Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 28th April 2024

National News 

1. India’s services exports grow 11.4% in 2023: UNCTAD report 

  • India’s services exports jumped 11.4 per cent to USD 345 billion in 2023 despite global economic uncertainties, according to a UNCTAD report. 
  • While China’s shipments from the sector contracted by 10.1 per cent to USD 381 billion. 
  • Sectors that contribute to India’s services export growth include travel, transport, medical and hospitality. 
  • With an 8.9 per cent annual rise in current dollar value terms, the world services exports surpassed USD 7.9 trillion in 2023. 
  • The leading exporters among developing economies include India, China, Singapore, Turkiye, Thailand, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.
  • India’s services imports, however, dipped marginally by 0.4 per cent to USD 248 billion last year. 

2. Chemist group resists E Centre's move to sell drugs without license 

  • The Union government's proposal to permit the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without a license in India is a cause of deep concern, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has said. AIOCD president J.S. Shinde said that such a move would contravene existing drug laws, pharmacy regulations, and pertinent legal frameworks, including directives from the Supreme Court. 
  • Allowing OTC drug sales without proper regulation poses serious threats, including drug abuse, increased risk of adverse drug reaction, delayed access to healthcare, possible compromise in storage of medicines, and so on. 
  • "Besides this, the absence of pharmacist consultation services, proliferation of commerfest drugs. delayed access to health-came serficies and imadiesq wane pharmacovigilance measures are also cause of concern," said AICOD general Singhall secretary Rajiv "With a membership comprising 12.4 lakh chemists across the nation, AJOCD finally opposes any measure that undermines the integrity of the health-care system. 
  • The organization stresses the impогtance of consulting all relevant stakeholders in the formulation of regulations pertaining to this matter," the group said in its memorandum submitted to the Health Ministry. 

International News 

3. China launches first of the 8 Hangor-class F advanced submarines built for Pakistan

  • China has launched the first of the eight Hangor class submarines to be built for its all-weather ally Pakistan to provide it with state-of-the-art warships, adding a new dimension to their growing bilateral military cooperation. 
  • The launch ceremony, held at Wuchang Ship-building Industry Group's 1(WSIG) Shuangliu Base on Friday, was attended by Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Naveed Ashraf, Geo News reported. 
  • The development comes as part of the agreement between Islamabad and Beijing under which the latter had agreed to provide the former with eight state-of-the-art advanced submarines. 
  • Out of the total eight vessels, four are to be built by WSIG, while the remaining four are being built at KS&EW (Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works) under the Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement. 
  • The submarines, having advanced stealth features,
  • The submarines, having advanced stealth features, are to be fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and are to be fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under a multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges. 
  • Speaking at the occasion, Admiral Ashraf emphasized the importance of maritime security under the prevailing geo-strategic environment and the Navy's resolve to ensure regional peace and stability. 
  • The Navy chief also underscored that the Hangor-class S/M Project will "add a new dimension to the all-weather Pak-China friendship and shows strong military cooperation between two countries". 
  • Friday's launch ceremony comes after Pakistan commenced the manufacturing of the 6th Hangor-class submarine by KS&EW in February earlier this year 

State News 

4. Private boat operators in Marine Drive feel the pinch as State forays into tourism 

  • The foray of the Kerala State Water Transport department (KSWTD) into backwater cruise opera- tions in Kochi this month by introducing a double-decker solar tourist boat signals a shift in the sector that has hitherto been dominated by private players operating tours from Marine Drive. 
  • Private boat operators have been feeling the pinch after Kochi Water Metro Ltd. (KWML) introduced electric hybrid Water Metro ferries a year ago, in which one can travel for as low as 20, and even 10 on taking travel passes. A good share of its passengers are tourists. 
  • The KSWTD had launched Indra, India's largest solar electric ferry, in the Kochi backwaters earlier this month. The air-conditioned, double-decker vessel has 100 seats, while the upper deck provides a semi-open space for travelers. 
  • Faced with a substantial dent in revenue after the introduction of Water Metro ferries, private boat operators have stepped up their marketing efforts along the three-km-long Marine Drive waterfront where all these players have berthed their vessels. Many have also slashed their rates, it is learnt. 
  • The secretary of Marine Drive Tourist Boats' Association Saju T.B. spoke of how there was a lull in demand for private tourist boats after Water Metro ferries began operating in Marine Drive a year ago. "The extension of their service to Fort Kochi since April 21 might further affect boat operators” 

Appointment News

5. Sunil Kumar Yadav appointed as Director of MoHUA 

  • Sunil Kumar Yadav (IRS) has been appointed as Director of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA). 
  • Yadav selected for the appointment to the post under the Central Staffing Scheme for a period of five years. 
  • Yadav is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 2010-batch. 

6. Arun Alagappan appointed as executive chairman of Coromandel International 

  • Agricultural solutions major Coromandel International, a part of Chennai-based Murugappa Group, has appointed Arun Alagappan as executive chairman of the company. 
  • Alagappan has been the executive vice chairman of the company since February 2021. 
  • His appointment comes as A. Vellayan retires from the position of chairman and non-executive director. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Chairman of Wrestling Federation of India’s Athletes’ Commission – Narsingh Pancham Yadav 
  • First women VC of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) – Prof Naima Khatoon 
  • CVO of Cotton Corporation of India – Nidhi Jain 
  • CEO of Pine Labs’ Setu – Anand Raisinghani (replace Sahil Kini) 
  • MD of Intel for India region – Santosh Viswanathan 

7. Yuvraj Singh named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador 

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced India legend Yuvraj Singh as an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador. 
  • Yuvraj, who famously hit 36 runs in an over during the first-ever T20 World Cup in 2007 which he and India ultimately won. 
  • He joins Chris Gayle and Usain Bolt as the first ambassadors to be announced, who will each add to the excitement of what will be the biggest T20 World Cup ever. 
  • The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be played from 1-29 June with co-hosts USA taking on Canada in the opening fixture at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas. 
  • A total of 55 matches will be played by 20 teams across 9 venues, culminating in the final on 29 June in Barbados. 
  • The historic first match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium will be played on 3 June between 2014 champions Sri Lanka and South Africa with 10 teams to feature across eight matches in New York. 

Recent Brand Ambassador 

  • MS Dhoni – French carmaker Citroen 
  • Sanjana Sanghi – SPACE India 
  • Neeraj Chopra – Eveready Batteries 
  • Nayanthar – Slice (the popular mango-flavored drink) 
  • Neeraj Chopra – BPCL’s Speed Petrol Variant 

8. Sana Mir named Ambassador of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the appointment of Pakistan cricket legend Sana Mir as the ambassador for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier. 
  • Mir represented Pakistan in 226 international games, with 137 of them as captain, will bring her invaluable experience to the event.
  • The Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier will witness 10 teams battling it out for two coveted spots at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 in Bangladesh. 
  • The teams have been divided into two groups of five, with the top two from each group progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will secure their place in the T20 World Cup later this year. 

About International Cricket Council (ICC) 

  • The International Cricket Council is the global governing body of cricket. 
  • It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. 
  • It was renamed as the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1987. 
  • Formation – 15 June 1909 
  • Headquarters – Dubai, UAE 
  • Chairman – Greg Barclay (New Zealand) 
  • Deputy Chairman – Imran Khwaja (Singapore) 
  • CEO – Geoff Allardice (Australia) 
  • General Manager – Wasim Khan 
  • Membership – 108 members 

Awards News

9. 60-Year-Old Argentinian Wins Miss Universe Buenos Aires Pageant 

  • A 60-year-old lawyer Alejandra Rodríguez created history by winning the Miss Universe Buenos Aires title in Argentina. 
  • Rodríguez was contesting the pageant with 34 other contestants aged between 18 to 73 years of age. 
  • According to a report on Hola, Rodriquez thought she had surpassed the age limit for global beauty pageants, but her perspective shifted with the revised regulations. 
  • Initially, Miss Universe contestants had to be unmarried and childless, aged between 18 and 28, since its establishment in 1952. However, the pageant’s recent decision permits women aged 18 to 73 to participate, disregarding previous criteria. 

Recent Awards 

  • Newsweek’s 2024 list of the ‘World’s Best Hospitals’ – Medanta Gurugram
  • World Press Photo of the Year award 2024 – Mohammed Salem 
  • CIDC Vishwakarma Award for Social Development and Impact – Puravankara Limited, 
  • International Fellowship by the Engineering Academy of Japan – Kaushik Rajashekara 
  • Earns Frost & Sullivan’s 2023 Indian Company of the Year Award – STT GDC India 

Books and Authors News

10. The Winner’s Mindset authored by Shane Watson 

  • Shane Watson witnessed one of cricket’s greatest tragedies unfolding on the field. He was one of the players at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Phillip Hughes was felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match in late 2014. 
  • The talented opener, who played for Australia in 26 Tests and 25 ODIs, died at a hospital two days later. 
  • Watson feared it could happen to him, too. All it could take is just one ball. Watson overcame that trauma. He became an even better cricketer than he was before, in fact. In the book, The Winner’s Mindset, he tells us how. 
  • This is no autobiography, though. It is, if you want to be precise, a self-help book. But to call it just that would be unfair. 

Recent Books 

  • Before I forget – M K Raina 
  • Heavenly Islands of Goa – P.S. Sreedharan Pillai (Goa Governor) 
  • A Game of Fire – Navdeep Suri & Nanak Singh 
  • Just a Mercenary? Notes from My Life and Career – Former RBI head Duvvuri Subbarao 
  • Knife – Salman Rushdie 
  • The Law and Spirituality: Reconnecting the Bond – Raman Mittal and Dr. Seema Singh 

Important day 

11. 26 April – International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day 

  • International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed every year on 26 April. 
  • The day is dedicated to remember the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 
  • It creates awareness about the catastrophic accident, in which approximately 8.4 million people were exposed to the harmful nuclear radiations. 
  • The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded on 26 April 1986, spreading a radioactive cloud over the Soviet territory now comprising Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. The explosion devastated the area, causing extensive damage to crops, plants, and other infrastructure. 
  • In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for international cooperation in addressing and mitigating the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. This marked the beginning of the United Nations’ involvement in the Chernobyl recovery. 

12. 27 April – World Veterinary Day 

  • World Veterinary Day is celebrated every year on the last Saturday of April. This year it will fall on April 27, 2024. 
  • The day aims to mark the importance of veterinary doctors who work on improving animal lives. 
  • It is observed globally through various activities such as seminars, workshops, educational sessions, and campaigns. 
  • It provides an opportunity to recognise and appreciate the veterinarians towards animal health, welfare, and the general well-being of society. 
  • Theme 2024 – Veterinarians are essential health workers 
  • World Veterinary Day was first celebrated on April 29, 2000 by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) to recognise and promote the role of veterinarians. 
  • On this day, veterinary organisations globally organise events and activities to honour the individuals involved in animal welfare. 

13. 27 April – World Healing Day 

  • World Healing Day (WHD) is celebrated every year on the last Saturday of April. This year, it celebrated on 27 April. 
  • World Healing Day is dedicated to promoting the benefits of mind-body practices and the emerging medical research on the subject. 
  • The day grew out of the founding event of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. 
  • World Healing Day was initially started by World Tai Chi & Qigong Day organizers in many countries, and it soon became a platform for teachers, groups, and organizations of various mind-body arts to showcase their work.

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