Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 12th May 2024


National News 

1. India and Oman to jointly undertake research on sharks and rays in Arabian Sea 

  • A joint initiative between India and Oman to boost research and conservation of sharks and rays in the Arabian Sea will be launched at an upcoming workshop at ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). 
  • Experts from both countries will take part in the workshop which is expected to take place shortly, here, which will take up the collaborative research works and capacity building in elasmobranch research. 
  • The workshop will lay the foundation for a collaborative future in marine research between the two countries and open avenues for regional management and conservation of iconic resources such as sharks and rays in the Arabian Sea. 

Recently India signed MoUs with others countries 

  • India to train Bangladeshi’s civil servants for the next 5 years 
  • India signs MoU with Bulgaria to enhance collaboration, exchange auditing expertise 
  • India and Nepal agree to promote Sanskrit research and education 
  • India & Singapore sign MoU on Law and Dispute Resolution 
  • India and Bhutan signed MoU in the field of Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation Measures 

2. India, and Moldova sign agreement for Visa Waiver on Diplomatic Passports 

  • India and Moldova signed an agreement allowing holders of diplomatic and official passports from either country to travel to the other without requiring a visa. 
  • This Agreement will add further momentum to the friendly and cordial relations between the two countries. 
  • Diplomatic relations between India and Moldova were established on March 20, 1992. 

About Moldova 

  • Capital – Chisinau 
  • Currency- Moldovan Leu 
  • Official language- Romanian 
  • President- Maia Sandu 

International News 

3. India contributes $5,00,000 to U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund 

  • India has contributed $500,000 to the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund, underscoring its unwavering commitment to support multilateral efforts in the global fight against the scourge of terrorism. 
  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj handed over to Under Secretary General, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov the country’s voluntary financial contribution of half a million dollars towards the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund (CTTF). 
  • The contribution is a testament to India’s commitment to international cooperation on countering terrorism and continued implementation of the announcement made by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to contribute to the trust fund during the special meeting of the counter-terrorism committee held in New Delhi in October 2022 under India’s presidency of the body. 

About United Nations (UN) 

  • Founded – 24 October 1945 
  • Headquarters – New York, US 
  • Official languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian & Spanish 
  • Membership – 193 members 
  • 1st Secretary General – Trygve Halvdan Lie (Norway) 
  • 9th Secretary‑General – António Guterres (Portugal) 
  • Deputy Secretary-General – Amina J. Mohammed (Nigeria) 
  • United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24 every year 

Appointment News

4. Idriss Deby won Chad’s Presidential election 

  • The Military dictator and interim president of the Central African Country of Chad, Mahamat Idris Deby Itno has won the presidential election. 
  • Mahamat Idris Deby seized power with the support of fellow army generals in 2021 and became the interim president of the country after the death of his father, President Idriss Deby. 
  • President Idriss Deby was killed in 2021 by rebels in Northern Chad shortly after being elected President for the sixth time. 
  • President Idriss Deby was a dictator who ruled the country with an iron hand for 30 years from 1990 till 2021. 
  • The election will legitimise the rule of Mahamat Idris Deby Itno for another six years. 

About Republic of Chad 

  • Chad is a landlocked country situated in north-central Africa. 
  • It is the fifth largest country in Africa in area. 
  • Capital: N’Djamena 
  • Currency: CFA franc 
  • President: Mahamat Idris Deby Itno 

5.RBI appoints R. Lakshmi Kanth Rao as Executive Director 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed R Lakshmi Kanth Rao as executive director (ED). 
  • As executive director, Rao will handle the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), the Right to Information Act (FAA), and the Department of Communication. 
  • Rao was previously serving as chief general manager in charge in the Department of Regulation. 
  • He has over 30 years of experience at the RBI and has worked in several areas, including regulation of banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), supervision of banks, and consumer protection. 
  • He also served as a banking ombudsman at RBI Chennai and as regional director of Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow. 

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • Chairman of HDFC Life – Keki Mistry 
  • Head of Key Relations Group in SBI General Insurance – Jaya Tripathi 
  • CEO of Paytm Money – Rakesh Singh 
  • MD & CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank – Sanjeev Nautiyal (replace Ittira Davis) effect from 1 July 2024 
  • Executive Director of Ujjivan SFB – Carol Furtado (3 years) 

Important day 

6. 11 May – National Technology Day 

  • National Technology Day is celebrated annually in India on 11 May. 
  • This day is dedicated to recognizing the contributions of innovators, scientists, and engineers, and to promoting scientific and technological innovation in the country.
  • The day was first established in 1998 to commemorate the successful nuclear test at Pokharan. This test was a significant milestone in India’s technological advancement, and it paved the way for the country to acquire a leading position in the field of nuclear weapons technology. 
  • The history of National Technology Day in India dates back to 1998, when Indian Army conducted five nuclear bomb tests (Pokhran- II) in Rajasthan under the surveillance of the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 
  • The The Pokhran – II was lead by the Missile Man of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. India was entitled as the sixth nuclear country after the huge success of Pokhran Test. 

7 .11 May 2024 – World Migratory Bird Day 

  • World Migratory Bird Day is observed every year on second Saturday of May. This year was celebrated on 11 May. 
  • Objective – To raise awareness about the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. 
  • Theme 2024 – Insects 
  • World Migratory Bird Day was first established in 1993 by visionaries from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. 
  • The initial celebrations were organized by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation along with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2007, the responsibility for the day was transferred to the non-profit organization ‘Environment for the Americas’. 
  • WMBD is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May and October to accommodate the varying migration patterns in different regions. 

Ranks & Reports News 

8. Study shows impact of climate hazards on women, children 

  • Women and children in Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana are particularly vulnerable to climate change-related disasters, reveals an internal study commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. 
  • Children exposed to climate hazards are more likely to be stunted, underweight, and more vulnerable to early pregnancies, it elaborates. The study exclusively accessed by The Hindu identifies climate and health hotspots in order to specifically understand the impact of floods, cyclones and droughts on health of women and children. 
  • “The issue of climate change impact on women and children is under-researched and often overlooked in policy formulation,” Soumya Swaminathan, chairperson, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), and former chief scientist of World Health Organization, told The Hindu. Titled “How does climate change impact women and children across agro-ecological zones in India - A scoping study”, the study was done by MSSRF. 
  • Speaking on the sidelines of the WomenLift Health Global Conference 2024 at Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in April earlier this year, Ms. Swaminathan said, “In our scoping study we realised that up to 70% of Indian districts are at very high risk of floods, droughts, and cyclones. Women and children’s under-nutrition, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence indicators in these hotspots are also very stark.” 
  • Overall, 183 districts were vulnerable to hydrometeorological disasters such as cyclones and floods, while 349 districts witnessed drought. The study was able to generate certain spatial hotspots where high exposure to hydro-met hazards such as foods, cyclones and droughts significantly co-exists with a higher prevalence of poor health variables such as underweight women and child marriage. 
  • In northern areas of Bihar and Gujarat, the geospatial maps show hotspots where exposure to drought, flood, and cyclone coexist with stunting and underweight children. 

9. Encroachments, land diversions threaten Delhi Ridge, the national capital’s lungs 

  • Over 308 hectares of the ecologically sensitive Delhi Ridge area have been encroached upon and another 183 hectares “diverted” for “non-forestry purposes”, a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) report has informed the Supreme Court. The Delhi Ridge is the tail end of the ancient Aravalis, which is around 1,500 million years old and stretches through Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. 
  • The Forest Department has 6,626 hectares of forest land. Five percent, that is, 308.55 hectares, have been encroached upon. “These are official figures and actual encroachment can be much more and can be found out only after the entire boundary of Delhi Ridge is secured by geo-tagged pillars. 
  • The speed of removal of encroachments is also quite slow with only 91 hectares of encroachment removed in the last five years,” the report noted. ‘Gradual increase’ Similarly, diversion of ridge land for non-forestry purposes has increased gradually, the CEC highlighted. 
  • “In the last five years, it was 183.8841 hectares as compared to 117.9718 hectares in the earlier five-year period. Total figure from 2015 onwards stands at 301.8559 hectares, which is around four percent of the total ridge area,” the report said. 
  • The CEC said the management of the ridge land, called the green lungs of the national capital, did not “seem to be up to the mark with five percent [of forest land] under encroachment, rate of diversion on the rise and four percent diverted”. The report came up before a Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice B.R. Gavai. 
  • The CEC told the court it would file a detailed report on the challenges faced by the Delhi Ridge, which include rapid urbanisation, manifold increase in the population of Delhi, and rapacious exploitation of resources. 
  • It said these factors have resulted in slow erosion of a natural bounty. Amicus curiae, advocate K. Parameshwar, is assisting the top court in the case. “The Delhi Ridge, a vital ecological and geographical feature, stands at a critical juncture marred by a myriad of challenges. 
  • Despite its significant ecological value, the Ridge faces various issues, including encroachments and a tangled web of ownership disputes,” the CEC said. 
  • The report said the different orders passed by multifold committees, authorities, and courts have led to not only no progress being made to secure the ridge but also diluted the seriousness of the issue over the years. 

Books & Author News

10. Author Ruskin Bond awarded Sahitya Akademi Fellowship 

  • Eminent author Ruskin Bond has been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest honor given by the literary organization. 
  • Due to his ill health, the honor was given to him by Sahitya Akademi president Madhav Kaushik and Sahitya Akademi secretary K. Sreenivasarao at his Mussoorie home, an official release said. Mr. Bond's son was also present on the occasion. 
  • Born on May 19, 1934 in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Bond has been active in the world of writing for more than 50 years and has written in various genres of literature. 
  • His notable works include Vagrants in the Valley, Once Upon a Monsoon Time, Angry River, Strangers in the Night, All Roads Lead to Ganga, Tales of Fosterganj, Leopard on the Mountain and Too Much Trouble.

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