Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 2nd April 2024


National News 

1. Vedanta’s BALCO, first Indian company to be certified with ASI Performance Standard 

  • Chhattisgarh-based Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), a unit of Vedanta Aluminium, has emerged as the first Indian company to achieve the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard V3 Certification for the manufacture and supply of a wide range of primary aluminium products at its facility in Korba. 
  • It aims to address sustainability areas in the aluminium value chain, such as biodiversity, indigenous peoples’ rights, circularity and greenhouse gas emissions. The independent, third-party audit of Balco was carried out by CETIZION Verifica. 
  • The ASI Certification program was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process and is the only comprehensive voluntary sustainability standard initiative for the global aluminium value chain. 
  • The ASI Performance Standard V3 defines 11 principles and 62 criteria under three sustainability pillars — Environment, Social, and Governance. 

2. Heatwave conditions likely during election season, warns IMD 

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday warned of "above-normal heatwave conditions in most parts of the country in April and May. These are the months when polling will be held across the collantry. 
  • Advisories have been issued to the Election Commission (EC) and the States to take precautions. adequate 
  • Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, north Karnataka, Odisha, and western Madhya Pradesh, which on average see one to three heatwave days during April and May, are likely to experience two to eight heatwave days, the IMD said. Heatwave days occur when day temperatures in a place are at least 15 4.5 degrees Celsius above normal, or greater than 45 mid degrees Celsius, on two GA consecutive days. 
  • While these regions are particularly vulnerable, above-normal temperatures are likely over the entire country barring Keramisla, Jammu and Kashmir, The Himachal Pradesh, Utta ely rakhand, and most of the northeastern States. Union Minister for Earthing Sciences Kiren Rijiju said that advisories had been issued to the EC and the Advisories have been issued to the EC and the States to take adequate precautions. 
  • States to "take precautions" and equip polling booths with oral rehydration salts for booth officials or voters who may expe rience a heatstroke. 
  • "Electors are advised to carry wet towels to protect themselves from dehydration and women electors are advised to avoid bringing small children to booths during hot weather conditions," the EC had said in an advisory on March 16. Given that the Lok Sabha election is held in the summer months, these are routine advisories sent by the EC to its officials. 
  • One of the reasons for the expected hotter than usual summers is the continuing effect of the El Nino, M. Mohapatra, Director-General, IMD, said. Associated with the heating of the surface waters of the Central Pacific, the El Nino is linked to drying up of the rains in India. 

3. Solar surge India's solar Industry must grow without compromising on quality 

  • The new financial year has begun with the government finally bringing into effect a policy that will discourage solar power project developers from relying on imported panels. 
  • The Approved Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (Requirement for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2019, requires module makers to submit to an inspection of their manufacturing facilities by the National Institute of Solar Energy. Being on the list as an 'approved' manufacturing facility certifies a compa- ny as legitimately manufacturing solar panels within its premises and not importing modules. The major advantage is eligibility to compete for the government's tenders for its flagship solar energy programmes. This includes the recently announced PM solar rooftop scheme. 
  • The creation of such a list was also aimed at restricting imports from China, which controls nearly 80% of the global supply, amid the downturn in diplomatic relations. India has ambitious plans of sourcing about 500 GW, nearly half its requirement of electricity, from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. This would mean at least 280 GW from solar power by that year or at least 40 GW of solar capacity being annually added until 2030. In the last five years, this has barely crossed 13 GW though the government has claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic affected this trajectory and the country was on track to add between 25 GW-40 GW annually. 
  • The difficulty is that meeting the targets requires many more panels and component cells than India's domestic industry can supply. In recent years, a significant fraction of India's solar installations has been met by imports. This affects the interests of domestic panel manufacturers who have to pay the government to be certified while at the same time losing out on orders to the cheaper Chinese panels. To meet demand, the Centre, which has kept postponing the implementation of the approved list, has now decreed that this will take effect from April 1. The yardstick of success is when India meets its 2030 commitment while also ensuring that solar power is affordable to most Indians. 
  • This means that domestic manufacturers should be subject to stringent quality checks and not be allowed to compromise on cost and quality merely on nationalistic grounds. While the Indian solar industry must grow and gain a reputation for being a high quality exporter, it should not forget that this is a road with no easy shortcuts. 

International News 

4. According to satellite based photos, China built a secret submarine base in Bangladesh 

  • China has built a submarine base in Bangladesh. It has been named BNS Sheikh Hasina. The construction of the submarine base being built in Bangladesh with the help of China is almost complete. Recently the satellite of submarine base is going to create panic in the security circles of India. 
  • The picture shows a dry dock, where submarines are repaired. The length of the dry dock is 135 meters and width is about 30 meters. 
  • This submarine base is being built in Pekua, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh and its cost is about 1.21 billion dollars. This base is spread over 1.75 square kilometers. 
  • According to media reports, the construction of this base started in the year 2020 and it was inaugurated by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in March 2023, a large number of Chinese officials attended the inauguration ceremony. 
  • After the construction of submarine base in Bangladesh, China will soon get logistics and strategic access. Experts see this as submarine diplomacy, as China has also given two submarines to Bangladesh. 

BNS Sheikh Hasina 

  • Up to six submarines and combat ships can be docked together at the BNS Sheikh Hasina base. This base is being built by a Chinese company and China has also invested money in it. 
  • In such a situation, there are speculations that China will also use it as a spy post. In this way, China will get a submarine base close to India, which is going to increase India's concerns. 
  • Docking of Chinese ships and submarines in Bangladesh will make the Bay of Bengal unsafe for India. China can keep an eye on the Indian naval groups deployed here. India has a nuclear submarine base at a short distance from Sheikh Hasina base in Bangladesh, which China can spy on. 

5. WHO launches 'CoViNet', a global laboratory to monitor the emerging corona virus 

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched CoViNet, a global network of laboratories to identify and monitor possible new coronaviruses that may emerge soon. 
  • It will assess other coronaviruses including SARS-CoV2, Corona virus and MERS-CoV with increased laboratory capacity. 
  • At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 26-27, 2024, representatives of laboratories finalized an action plan for 2024- 2025 to respond to the health challenges brought by the novel coronavirus. 
  • CoViNet is a network of global laboratories specializing in human, animal and environmental coronavirus surveillance. The network currently includes 36 laboratories from 21 countries in all 6 WHO regions. 
  • Data generated from CoViNet efforts will guide the work of WHO's Technical Advisory Groups on Viral Evolution (TAG-VE) and Vaccine Architecture (TAG-CO-VAC) and others, ensuring that global health policies and tools are informed by the latest scientific information. 
  • In low- and middleincome countries, CoViNet will support the creation of more laboratories to monitor MERS-CoV and novel coronaviruses of public health importance. 
  • Three Indian laboratories are also included in CoViNet. These are the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical ResearchNational Institute of Virology in Pune, and the Institute of Translational Health Sciences and Technology. 


  • At a recent event organized by the World Economic Forum, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that COVID-19 was the first 'Disease X' and it could happen again. 


  • It is most likely a zoonotic disease, with most ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses. Corona viruses are a large family of RNA viruses. 
  • Some coronaviruses typically cause mild illnesses such as the common cold with names such as OC43 and HKU1, with seasonal peaks in the winter. In contrast, three coronaviruses turned out to be deadly; SARS-CoV in 2002, MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2, which recently caused the COVID-19 pandemic. 

State News 

6. 15 products of UP including the famous 'Sanjhi Craft' of Mathura got GI tag

  • The Sanjhi art of Mathura has been granted GI tag by the Government of India. Sanjhi was given a G.I. There is a wave of enthusiasm among the people of Braj after getting the tag. Brij's 'Sanjhi', a symbol of evening, decoration, decoration and love of Radharani, this art will get recognition in the global market. 
  • With this, with the inclusion of 15 products of Uttar Pradesh in the list of Geographical Indication (GI) certified goods, the state has reached the number one position in India. With 69 GI tagged products, Uttar Pradesh has now overtaken Tamil Nadu, which has 58 GI tagged products. 
  • This art belonging to the Pushtimargiya and Ballabh clan is a symbol of the love and pastimes of Radha Krishna. Just as Holi of Braj is famous, similarly Sanjhi has also got a place among the oldest arts of Braj. 
  • This ancient art was given a new identity on the world stage by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2022. He gave it a new height by gifting Sanjhi's work to US President Joe Wyden. Sanjhi paper cutting work by Late of Mathura. It was made by the hands of Chainsukh Das Verma. 
  • It is mentioned in the Puranas that in the evening of Dwapar, when Lord Krishna used to come for grazing cows, the Braj Gopis used to welcome him by decorating flower paintings (Sanjhi). Since then Sanjhi art started in Braj. 
  • The new GI-tagged products from UP include Banaras Thandai, Banaras Tabla, Banaras Shehnai, Banaras Red Bharva Mirch, Chiraigaon Karonda (Varanasi), Banaras Lal Peda, Banaras Bhitthi Chitra, Jaunpur Imarti, Bundelkhand Kathia Gehu (wheat), Pilibhit Bansuri, Sambhal bone crafts, Chitrakote wood crafts and toys, Moonj crafts and Rampur patchwork. 
  • In India, a law regarding GI tag was made in the year 1999, after which the process regarding it started in the year 2003 and the first GI tag was given in the year 2004. In India, this tag is given by the Indian Geographical Registry based in Chennai. The item which gets GI tag has to be renewed every 10 years. 

Defence News 

7. In an all-time high, defense exports cross ₹21,000 crore 

  • India's defense exports crossed ₹21,000 crore for the first time, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday. 
  • The figures indicated that defense exports had grown by 31 times in the past 10 years compared with FY 2013-14, the Defence Ministry said. 
  • "Delighted to inform that defence exports have scaled to unprecedented heights and crossed ₹21,000-crore mark for the first time in the history of Independent India!," Mr. Singh said on X. "Defense exports have reached the level of ₹21,083 crore in the financial year 2023-24 ns... which is a spectacular cable growth of 32.5% over the previous fiscal.” 

Schemes & Committees News 

8. New rule to save fliers from tiring wait aboard aircraft stuck by delays 

  • Long delays due to reasons such as poor weather have on occasion forced airlines to confine passengers for up to 12 hours within an aircraft waiting on the ground for its turn for a take-off. But this is set to change soon. 
  • In an important security reform for air travelers that seeks to ensure their convenience, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued new standard operating proto- cols (SOPs) for airports and airlines. 
  • First, these allow passengers who have deplaned and are escorted back to the terminal building to undergo a security check at the boarding gate itself if a flight is delayed due to either weather or technical issues or the death of a passenger onboard. 
  • Currently, airlines are required to take passengers who have deplaned to the arrivals section of the airport where they have to re-enter the security queue. This is a long and tedious procedure and could escalate delays and is known to discourage airlines from disembarking passengers. 
  • The BCAS Issued the new protocol on Mar 30. 
  • "The SOP's will be implemented once the airports have set up the infrastructure and we have reviewed the same," BCAS Director-General Zalliquar Hasan told The Hindu. 
  • No timeline for implementation has yet been prescribed. 
  • Airports will be required to earmark space at some of their boarding gates for "return boarding" where CISF personnel and x-ray machines will be deployed for frisking passengers and scanning cabin bags. 

Awards News

9. REC wins SKOCH ESG Award 2024 in Renewable Energy Financing Category 

  • REC Limited, a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power and a leading NBFC, has been bestowed with the SKOCH ESG Award 2024 in the ‘Renewable Energy Financing’ category. 
  • The award underscores REC’s dedication to sustainable financing, paving the way for a greener future and accelerating the transition to renewable energy. 
  • REC has emerged as a significant player in India’s clean energy transition, actively contributing to the nation’s sustainable future. Through various initiatives and achievements, REC has committed to numerous sustainable projects and signed various MOUs for green projects. 
  • Executive Director of REC Limited – T.S.C. Bosh 

Recent Awards 

  • International Culture Award 2024 – Meena Charanda 
  • Times Power Icon 2024 Award by The Times Group – Vijay Jain 
  • Abel Prize 2024 – Michel Talagrand (for work in probability theory and stochastic processes). 
  • 29th Devi Shankar Awasthi Award 2023 – Nishant (for Kavita Pathak Aalochna) 
  • GEEF Global Environment Award 2024 – THDC India Limited Important day 

10. 2 April – World Autism Awareness Day 

  • World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every year on April 2. World Autism Awareness Day aim to spread awareness about autism as a disorder. 
  • Theme 2024 – Empowering Autistic Voices 
  • Autistic spectrum disorder is a group of developmental disabilities in which children may behave, communicate, interact and learn in ways that are different from most other children. 
  • World Autism Awareness Day was designated by a resolution passed by United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2007, highlighting the need to raise public awareness around autism and to work actively towards empowering and accepting individuals with autism, and recognising their contribution to the society. 

11. RBI entered its 90th establishment year 

  • The country's central banking institution Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is entering its 90th year on April 1, 2024. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural ceremony of RBI@90, an event organized to mark the completion of 90 years of the Reserve Bank of India, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. 
  • Mr Modi also released a commemorative coin on completion of 90 years of RBI. RBI was established on April 1, 1934 following the recommendations of the Royal Commission Hilton Young on Indian Currency and Finance to maintain the monetary stability of the country. 
  • The functioning of this central bank is governed by the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (II of 1934), it began operations on April 1, 1935 with Sir Osborne Smith as its first Governor. 
  • Over the years, the RBI has seen 26 governors, the current governor is Shaktikanta Das, who assumed office in October 2021. The central office of RBI was initially in Kolkata but it was shifted to Mumbai in 1937. 

Key facts 

  • India's foreign exchange reserves currently stand at US$642 billion, the fourth largest in the world. It has helped India deal with global crises such as the East Asian currency crisis of 1997 and the financial crisis of 2008. 
  • A flexible inflation targeting framework was established in 2016, with the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) responsible for setting interest rates to maintain inflation within a target range of 2–6%, with a target of 4%. 
  • RBI has implemented initiatives to reduce non-performing assets (NPAs) in the books of banks and maintain a comfortable capital adequacy ratio of 15-16%. It has also acted as a lender of last resort to rescue failed banks like Yes Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank. 
  • RBI has played an important role in promoting digital payments in the last decade. Unified Payments Interface (UPI), an instant accountto-account transfer system, currently handles 12 billion transactions per month, the total value of which is expected to reach Rs 18.23 lakh crore in December 2022 alone. 

Science & Technology News 

12. Microsoft and ChatGPT are collaborating for $100 billion AI supercomputer 'Stargate 

  • Microsoft and OpenAI are collaborating on a massive data center project that could potentially cost more than $100 billion. The goal of this project is to develop an artificial intelligence supercomputer called “Stargate”. 
  • Microsoft and OpenAI companies plan to build a series of supercomputers over the next six years. Their goal is to build the largest supercomputer, funded by Microsoft, which would cost about 100 times more than the largest existing data centers.
  • The proposed Stargate project is expected to launch in 2028, following a major AI upgrade to OpenAI in early 2022. 
  • The supercomputers are being divided into five phases, with Stargate being the fifth and current focus. Currently, a small fourth-stage supercomputer is in development and is planned to be launched in 2026. To complete the remaining steps, a significant portion of the cost will be spent on purchasing the necessary AI chips. 
  • OpenAI created ChatGPT, a chatbot that was launched on November 30, 2022. ChatGPT uses a large language model that helps users direct conversations according to their preferred length, format, style, detail level, and language. 
  • OpenAI is an American organization that was created in 2015. Its main objective is to research artificial intelligence and develop highly advanced computer systems that can perform valuable tasks better than humans. 

13.Trailer of India's first AIbased film 'IRAH' laun 

  • The trailer and song of India's first Hindi film 'Irah' made on Artificial Intelligence (AI) was launched in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The film stars Rohit Bose Roy, Rajesh Sharma, Karishma Kotak and Rakshit Bhandari in lead roles. 
  • Produced by Big Films Media and directed by Sam Bhattacharjee, the film is set to release in theaters across the country on April 4 through Implex Digital Theatrical Distribution. Musician Sameer Sen also attended the event. 
  • The trailer of the movie “IRAH” shows the misuse of AI technology, highlights its negative aspects. The trailer of “IRAH” offers a glimpse into the dark interiors of AI technology, highlighting its potential misuse and negative consequences. 
  • Roy's character, Hari Singh, is central to the narrative. The actor shared insights on the innovative aspects of his role, revealing that much of the film depended on VFX, with several scenes requiring him to deliver dialogues in a virtual environment. His character is also connected to an app named IraH, which plays an important role in the story. 
  • Director Sam Bhattacharjee elaborated on the thematic depth of the film, emphasizing the important role of technology and data in contemporary society. He credited lead actor Rohit Bose Roy for his commitment to the project and highlighted the extensive three-year effort invested in the film's VFX production. 
  • Amidst the excitement surrounding the film's release, Roy surprised fans by announcing “IRAH 2” during the event, hinting at a continuation of the interesting story explored in the original film. 

Sports News 

14. Rohan Bopanna became the oldest player to win the men's doubles final of Miami Open

  • Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden achieved a historic win in the men's doubles final at the Miami Open. The pair defeated Croatia's Ivan Dodik and America's Austin Krajicek 6-7, 6-3, 10-6. 
  • Bopanna, 44, became the oldest person to win an ATP Masters 1000 title. With this victory, he also achieved the top position in the ATP rankings. 
  • At the age of 44, Bopanna broke his own record of becoming the oldest to win a Masters 1000 title. Last year in Florida, he became the oldest ATP 1000 Masters champion at the age of 43. 
  • This was Bopanna and Ebden's second ATP Masters 1000 title win as the pair, having won the Indian Wells tournament in 2023. However, Bopanna has won six ATP Masters titles in his distinguished career.
  • After winning the Miami Open, Bopanna and Ebden's record for the 2024 season becomes 14-3. This run also includes winning the Australian Open 2024 title earlier this year. 
  • This was Bopanna's 14th ATP Masters 1000 final. Overall, this was the veteran Indian player's 63rd ATP Tour level final and 26th doubles title. Bopanna also achieved a rare feat in which he became the second Indian after Leander Paes to reach the finals of all nine ATP Masters events. 

Men's Singles Winner 

  • Jannik Sinner of Italy won the men's singles title of the Miami Open tournament at the Hard Rock Stadium in the United States. Second seed Sinner defeated 11th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-1 in the final. 
  • Sinner's third title of the season means he will move to a careerhigh of second in the ATP World Rankings, ahead of Spain's Carlos Alcaraz. Won 25 of their last 26 matches – the only loss coming to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semifinals.

Women's Singles Winner 

  • Unseeded American player Danielle Collins has won the women's singles title. In a major upset, Collins defeated fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the final, 7–5, 6–3. 
  • Collins became the fourth American to win the Miami Open singles title, following Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens. 

Women's Doubles Winners

  • The All-American team of Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and New Zealand's Erin Routliff, the second seeds and reigning US Open champions, 4-6, 7(7)-6(5). 
  • Miami Open 2024 Held from March 17 to March 31, the hard-court tournament began in 1985 as an ATP/WTA joint event. 

15. Hardik Singh and Salima Tete named Hockey India Player of the Year in men's and women's category respectively 

  • Hardik Singh and Salima Tete were named the 'Players of the Year' for 2023 in the men's and women's categories respectively at the sixth annual Hockey India Awards. Hockey India announced the 6th Hockey India Awards 2023 at a ceremony in New Delhi on 31 March 2024. 
  • Punjab's Hardik Singh, who is currently the vice-captain of the Indian hockey men's team, was part of the bronze medal-winning Indian team at the Tokyo Olympics 2023 and the gold medal-winning Hangzhou Asian team at the 2023 Asian Games. 
  • Hardik Singh, winner of the FIH Player of the Year at the Star Awards 2023, was also honored with the Hockey India Best Midfielder of the Year award. Hardik Singh received the Balbir Singh Senior Trophy and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh. 
  • Jharkhand's Salima Tete was part of the Indian women's hockey team that won the bronze medal at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games. He was also awarded the Asian Hockey Federation's Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2023. 
  • Awarded to Indian teams winning the Junior Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophy (both men's and women's). 
  • Hockey India Lifetime Achievement Award Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand's son Ashok Kumar was honored with the Hockey India Lifetime Achievement Award. Ashok Kumar was a member of the Indian hockey team that won the bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics. 
  • He scored in the final of the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, helping India win the gold medal. The winner received a cash prize of Rs 30 lakh and a trophy. 

Other Award Winners 

  • P.R. Sreejesh (Goalkeeper of the Year/Baljeet Singh Award) – ₹5 lakh 
  • Harmanpreet Singh (Defender of the Year/Pargat Singh Award) – ₹5 lakh 
  • Hardik Singh (Midfielder of the Year/Ajit Pal Singh Award) – ₹5 lakh 
  • Abhishek (Forward of the Year/Dhanraj Pillay Award) – ₹5 lakh 
  • Deepika Soreng (Women's Under21 Player of the Year/Asunta Lakra Award) – ₹10 lakh 
  • Arjit Singh Hundal (Men's Under-21 Player of the Year/Jugraj Singh Award) – ₹10 lakh 
  • Salima Tete (Player of the Year, Female/Balbir Singh Senior Award) – ₹25 lakh 
  • Hockey Haryana (Member of the Year) - Rs 2.5 lakh 
  • G Harsh Vardhan (President's Award for Umpire/Umpire Manager) - Rs 2.5 lakh 
  • Sonia Bathla (Chairman's Award for Technical Officer) – Rs 2.5 lakh 
  • SAIL Hockey Academy, Rourkela (President's Award) – Rs 5 lakh 
  • Dr. Vibhu Kalyan Nayak (Jaman Lal Sharma Award) – Rs 5 lakh

16. MS Dhoni became the first wicketkeeper in the world to take 300 catches in T20 cricket. 

  • Former Indian team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has achieved another special achievement in T20 cricket at the Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Dhoni took his 300th wicket behind the wicket in T20 cricket when he took the catch of Prithvi Shaw against Delhi in IPL 2024. 
  • Indian cricket team's legendary player Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become the first wicketkeeper in the world to take 300 wickets in T20 format. He achieved this feat while playing against Delhi Capitals in IPL. 
  • MS Dhoni had resigned from the captaincy of CSK even before the start of IPL. Rituraj Gaikwad has been made the captain in his place. Dhoni has become the first player in the world to reach this figure. Dhoni has now completed 300 dismissals in his T20 career with 213 catches and 87 stumpings. 
  • Former Pakistani keeper Kamran Akmal is second only to Dhoni with 274 dismissals (172 catches and 102 stumpings). Dinesh Karthik is at third position with 274 dismissals (207 catches and 67 stumpings). 
  • Quinton de Kock is fourth with 270 dismissals (221 catches and 49 stumpings), while Jos Buttler is fifth with 209 dismissals (168 catches and 41 stumpings).

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