Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 1st May 2024


National News

1. Mines Ministry inks MoU with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation for knowledge support on critical minerals 

  • The Ministry of Mines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the non-profit, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, to enhance the knowledge base of the critical minerals processing industry in India. 
  • This partnership will help in creating a robust domestic critical minerals processing sector to support the country’s economic growth and enable a transition to clean sources of energy. 
  • The partnership will help promote India as a global hub for critical minerals processing and make it a self-reliant and globally competitive player in the critical minerals arena. 
  • The pact will help create a sustainable ecosystem for the growth of the critical minerals industry while ensuring environmental protection. 

Recent MoU 

  • NTPC inks pact with RINL for supply of limestone 
  • NGEL and ITL sign MoU for Renewable Energy Ventures 
  • CleanMax teams up with Apple to drive renewable energy adoption in India 
  • KABIL and CSIR-IMMT sign MoU for Technical and Knowledge cooperation for Critical Minerals 
  • The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) signed the Master Shipyard Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the United States Navy. 


2. UP govt to establish cyber police stations in 57 districts 

  • The Uttar Pradesh government is to establish cyber police stations in 57 districts after the parliamentary polls with each cyber police station having 25 posts for officers and employees. 
  • The state government plans to create a total of 1,425 posts in the designated 57 police stations across the state. 
  • The state government, in response to the rising incidents of cybercrime nationally and globally, has decided to establish cyber police stations across all 75 districts of the state. 
  • While cyber stations are already operational in 18 divisions, the remaining 57 districts will also get such stations following the Lok Sabha elections. 

About Uttar Pradesh

  • Capital – Lucknow 
  • Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath 
  • Governor – Anandiben Patel 


International News

3. The world's largest airport terminal will be built in UAE's Al Maktoum International Airport. 

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates has revealed plans to build the world's largest airport terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport. The ambitious project, approved by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will revolutionize the aviation industry and strengthen Dubai's position as a global transportation hub. 
  • Upon completion, Al Maktoum International Airport will have an annual capacity for 260 million passengers, dwarfing any other airport in the world. 
  • The new terminal, estimated to cost $35 billion, will be equipped with 400 aircraft gates and five parallel runways, setting new standards for efficiency and scale in the aviation sector. 
  • This massive terminal is poised to be five times the size of the current Dubai International Airport. Sheikh Mohammed stressed that all operations at Dubai International Airport will gradually transition to Al Maktoum International over the coming years. 
  • Plans include building an entire city around the airport in Dubai South, which will accommodate the needs of a growing population of one million people. 


4. China launches the first Hangar class submarine built for Pakistan 

  • The first Hangar-class submarine built by China for Pakistan was launched at the Wuhan Shipyard. This was the first of eight submarines of this class that the Pakistan Navy will induct into its fleet by 2028. 
  • The launch ceremony held at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) Shuangliu Base was attended by Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Naveed Ashraf. 
  • The Hangar-class, an export version of the Chinese Type 039A Yuan class, is a diesel-electric attack submarine, named after the now decommissioned PNS Hangar, which famously sank the Indian warship INS Khukri during the 1971 war. 
  • The Hangar-class has four diesel engines. It is also equipped with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, which significantly increases the submarine's underwater endurance. 
  • The Hangar-class has six 21-inch torpedo tubes, and the ability to launch anti-ship missiles, as well as the Babur-3 subsonic cruise missile, which has a range of 450 km. 
  • Pakistan's Hangar class is a direct counterpart to India's Kalavari class submarines, based on the French Scorpene-class. 
  • Of the total eight, four are to be constructed by WSIG, while the remaining four are being constructed at KS&EW (Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works) under a transfer of technology (TOT) agreement. 
  • In terms of size, the Hangar class is significantly larger than the Kalavari class, displacing 1,775 tonnes and being 67.5 meters long. The Hangar class, on the other hand, has a displacement of 2,800 tonnes, is 76 meters long, 8.4 meters wide (at its widest point), and has a draft (depth of the ship below the waterline) of 6.2 metres. 
  • Last year, the Pakistan Navy inducted two newly built Chinese Type 054 A/P frigates. The two countries had signed a contract for four multi-role warships in 2018. The first and second ships PNS Tugril and PNS Taimur are expected to join the fleet in 2022. 


5. AstraZeneca submission over COVID vaccine nothing new, say doctors 

  • Following pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca's admission in U.K. court documents that its vaccine against COVID-19 has the potential to cause Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), a rare side effect associated with blood clotting, doctors in India said this is not new information and that they are "well aware of the warning which has been available in India as an insert with the vaccine since the time it was introduced for general public here". 
  • They added that any adverse event associated with the vaccine would have occurred within 21 days to a month of the first dose. A report in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph stated that in a legal document submitted to the High Court in London in February for a group action being brought by 51 claimants, AstraZeneca admitted that the vaccine developed with the University of Oxford to protect against COVID-19 may cause TTS in "very rare cases". 
  • Doctors say any adverse event would have occurred within a month of the first dose. 
  • "It is admitted that the AZ vaccines can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known. Further, TTS can also occur in the absence of the AZ vaccine (or any vaccine). Causation in any individual case will be a matter for expert evidence," the newspaper quoted the legal document. The consequences of TTS are potentially life threatening including strokes, brain damage, and heart attacks. Both the Union Health Ministry and COVID-19 vaccine Covishield's manufacturer Serum Institute of India on Tuesday issued no statement regarding the development. The Oxford- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is sold under the brand name Covishield in these are well documented facts validated since early 2021 (soon after vaccine rollout). The World Health Organisation (WHO) wrote about it in May 2021 and updated it in 2023." 
  • Product information In India, the product information with the vaccine clearly mentions TTS in its special warnings and special precautions for use section while adding that a "majority of the events occurred within the first 21 days following vaccination and some events had a fatal outcome". Doctors here said that the court admission now is "no secret". 
  • Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman of the National Indian Medical Association (IMA) COVID Task Force, said: "The court admission is nothing new. 
  • He added that clotting was an issue for persons who were administered the first dose of the vaccine and in the first month afterwards. 
  • "Therefore, in 2024, people are not at risk of TTS. Also, heart attacks and strokes we see in practice are not caused by TTS, which is an exceptionally rare immunological reaction that leads to clots in certain locations," he added. 
  • "The clotting side effect of this vaccine is already known and is extremely rare. This is not the first time AstraZeneca admits risk of clotting events (again rarest side effect) associated with COVID," –°—Ériac Abby Philips, hepatologist from Kerala, wrote in a social media post.. (With PTI inputs) 


State News

6. ‘Nilgiri Tahr Survey’ started in Tamil Nadu under the supervision of IUCN 

  • The Tamil Nadu government has launched a three-day survey of the state animal Nilgiri Tahr. The purpose of this survey is to better understand and conserve this endangered species. 
  • The survey is being conducted in collaboration with organizations like Wildlife Institute of India (WII), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 
  • The Nilgiri tahr is an endemic species listed as endangered, and faces several challenges such as habitat loss and poaching. 
  • Conservation initiatives, such as those in the Eravikulam and Mukurthi national parks, along with captive breeding programs, highlight the multidisciplinary approach required for effective conservation of this endangered animal and its habitat. 
  • This iconic species is found in the southern regions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well as in the Nilgiri Hills and the Eastern Ghats. They can be found in rugged mountainous areas ranging from 1,200 to 2,600 meters. It is also protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. 
  • Founded in 1948, IUCN has become the world's largest and most diverse environmental network. It is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland. 
  • The IUCN Congress has been instrumental in crafting several key international environmental agreements, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the World Heritage Convention. 


7. Critical Mineral Summit organized in New Delhi

  • The "Critical Minerals Summit: Enhancing Benefits and Processing Capabilites" in Collaboration with the Ministry of Mines, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (Shakti) Indian Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) was organized At India Habitat Center in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi from April 29 - 30, 2024. 
  • The program will bring out the important mineral -profitable and share knowledge in the field of processing and to promote innovation and bring out the innovation leaders, startups, government officials, scientists, academics and policy experts together. 
  • The summit aims to bring a variety of stakeholders simultaneously to negotiate and cooperate on important issues such as mineral auction progress, policy promotion for CRM ecosystem development and professionally viable and environmental sustainable solutions. 
  • DRDO's International Workshop on Exoskeleton Technology 
  • The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) organized the first international workshop on emerging technologies and challenges' in Bangalore, Karnataka. 
  • Exoskeleton is a permanent device designed to facilitate fundamental human functions and is used in diverse fields such as medical, military, rescue, operation, industrial and consumer use. 
  • In the medical field, they are used to help people in professional therapy, enhancement and rehabilitation therapy who have faced any kind of accident and need to re -function or function normally. 
  • Pediatrics exoskeleton is designed for children with mobility problems, such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscle atrophy and muscular dystrophy affected by children. 
  • Exoskeleton is used in the army, as they help reduce physical burden on soldiers and increase their ability to walk long distances. 


8. Bengaluru region witnesses M driest April in last 41 years 

  • With the pre-monsoon showers eluding Bengaluru, the city has witnessed the driest April in the last four decades. 
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) observatory recorded zero mm of rainfall during the month. This was last observed in 1983. Since then, there has been rainfall in April every year. 
  • "In 1983, we did not record any rain in April. Since then, we have had rain/light rainfall in April. After 1983, this is the first year when we have not had any rainfall, making this April the driest in the last 41 years," IMD officials said. 
  • On April 19 and 20, some parts of the city received a light drizzle, the first in 2024. However, the IMD's observation data recorded at 5.30 p.m. on April 19 stated that the three stations Bengaluru City, Kempegowda International Airport, and HAL airport received zero mm rainfall. 
  • Likewise, on April 20, Bengaluru city recorded zero mm rainfall and the two other stations recorded trace (less than 0.2 mm) rainfall. According to the 
  • Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre's (KSNDMC) district-wise cumulative rainfall recorded between April 1 and 30, 12 districts, including Bengaluru Urban, saw large rainfall deficiency during this period. As per the data, six districts had a deficiency in rainfall. 
  • As per KSNDMC's pre-monsoon rainfall pattern-2024 recorded bet the ween March 1 and April 30, one district received no rainfall, 12 districts received significant deficit rainfall, eight districts received deficit rainfall, eight districts received normal rainfall, and two districts received excess rainfall. 


Defence News

9. Indian Air Force and Navy inducted supersonic air-tosurface missile 'Rampage 

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy have inducted the Rampage long-range supersonic Air-to-Surface 'Rampage missile' into their fleet. The missile, known within the Indian Air Force as the High-Speed Low Drag-Mark 2, offers a range of up to 250 kilometres. 
  • The Rampage missile, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Israeli Military Industries Systems, is a long-range, supersonic, air-tosurface, seeker-less precision strike missile. 
  • Its main features are its supersonic speed, striking range of over 190 miles, GPS/INS navigation with anti-jamming capabilities and allweather operations. The Rampage missile has been successfully integrated into the Indian Air Force's fleet of Russianorigin aircraft, which includes the Su-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighter aircraft. 
  • Similarly, the Indian Navy has welcomed Rampage missiles into its arsenal, especially for the MiG29 naval fighter aircraft, enhancing their capability to engage highvalue targets such as communication centers and radar stations. 
  • The procurement of Rampage missiles was facilitated under emergency powers granted by the Defense Ministry to equip the armed forces with critical weapons following the 2020 standoff with China. These missiles offer longer range than the Spice-2000, which were previously used in the Balakot air strikes in 2019. 
  • Apart from the Rampage missiles, the recent test firing of the ROX (Crystal Maze-2) missile in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands area demonstrated the IAF's commitment to enhancing its capabilities through the acquisition of state-of-the-art weapons. 


Appointment News

10. IndiGo airline appoints former Porqueras Orea as ‘Chief of Transformation’ 

  • IndiGo has named Isidro Pablo Porqueras Orea, former COO of European airline Volotea, as a chief of transformation. 
  • Orea has 25 years of professional experience in different functional areas such as operations, commercial, strategy and finance. 
  • He was with European airline Volotea from 2016-2023 and served as their COO for the last 5 years. 
  • Currently, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer is the COO of India’s largest airline. 


11. Bharat Biotech promoter Krishna Ella becomes new IVMA president 

  • Bharat Biotech co-founder Krishna M Ella was appointed president of the Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) for a two-year term from April 2024 to 2026. 
  • Ella takes over the presidency from Adar C Poonawalla, who held the post from 2019 to March 2024. 
  •  Adar Poonawalla has served as the chief executive officer of Serum Institute of India since 2011. SII became the first Indian company to roll out the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine, under the brand name Covishield, during COVID-19. 
  • Krishna M Ella aims to strengthen collaboration between vaccine manufacturers, researchers. Policymakers have been asked to accelerate vaccine development and improve production. The Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) also wants to support developing countries’ access to affordable vaccines. 

About Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) 

  • IVMA is a non-governmental apex body, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization. 
  • IVMA was established in 2010 by 4 founding members from the private sector. 
  • IVMA works to create and maintain an environment conducive to the development of vaccination using vaccines in India. This creates a partnership between industry, government and civil society. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) – Retired Justice Dinesh Kumar 
  • Director in Department of Land Resources – Sarvadanand Barnwal 
  • CVO of Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Authority – Manoj Kumar 
  • Director of MoHUA – Sunil Kumar Yadav 
  • Executive Chairman of Coromandel International – Arun Alagappan (replace A. Vellayan) 


12. Krishna Ella appointed as the new President of Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association 

  • The Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) has announced the appointment of Bharat Biotech co-founder and executive chairman Krishna Ella as its new president for the next two years from April 2024 to 2026. Ella will take over from Adar C. Poonawala. 
  • Adar Poonawalla has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India since 2011. SII became the first Indian company to introduce AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccines under the brand name Covishield during COVID-19. 
  • For the current two-year term, Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E, will take on the role of Vice President. Bharat Biotech's T. Srinivas, chief financial officer, will be the treasurer and Harshvardhan will remain the director general of IVMA. 
  • The association was established in 2010 by four founding members from the private sector. Its headquarters is in Hyderabad, Telangana. \

Justice Dinesh Kumar - Securities Appellate Tribunal 

  • Justice (Retd) Dinesh Kumar took charge as the Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on April 29, 2024. The Government of India appointed Justice Dinesh Kumar for a term of four years. Before taking charge as the presiding officer of SAT, Justice Dinesh Kumar was the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He retired from the post in February 2024. 
  • He will replace Justice Tarun Agarwal, who retires in December 2023. Dheeraj Bhatnagar also took charge as the technical member of the tribunal. 
  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal is a statutory body established in 1992 under the provisions of the Securities Exchange Board of India Act 1992. The Securities Appellate Tribunal was established in place of the High Court. SAT has jurisdiction over entire India. Its bench is in Mumbai. 


Important day

13. 1 May – Maharashtra & Gujarat Foundation Day 

  • Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day is celebrated every year on May 1st to commemorate the formation of the state in 1960. 
  • Following the implementation of the Indian constitution, the country was divided into states on the basis of linguistic borders. At that time, Bombay was recognised as a state under the State Recognition Act of 1956. 
  • Bombay had people speaking languages such as Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, and Kutchi. However, this merger of various vernaculars into one state did not work out and resulted in uproar and distress. 
  • The sanctity of the state was being jerked time and again due to these linguistic differences. 
  • Finally, after the enactment of the Bombay Reorganisation Act in Parliament, the state of Bombay got divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat on May 1, 1960. 
  • Since then, the day has been celebrated by the two states separately in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 


14. 1 May – International Labour Day 

  • International Labour Day is observed every year on 1 May. 
  •  It’s a day dedicated to honouring the contributions of working people in every industry and sector. It’s not just about celebrating their hard work, but also empowering them to be aware of their rights. 
  • In 1886, a large demonstration happened in America where the labours demanded eight hours of work on a daily basis. However, soon the demonstration went out of hand and in Chicago and lot of people got hurt. 
  • This incident came to be known as The Haymarket Affair. This incident marked the start of the International Labour Day. in 1889, a lot of socialist parties in Europe came together and decided to celebrate May 1 as International Labour Day. Since then, the special day has been observed every year on the same day.

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