Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 17th May 2024

 


National News

1. SBI becomes the first bank to becomes a clear member of India International bulltion Exchange

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) announced that it had achieved the distinction of being the first bank to become a member of India International Bullion Exchange (TCM) member in Gift City, Gujarat. According to an official release, this milestone enables SBI IBU Gift City to trade on the IIBX platform and settling them on behalf of its customers. 
  • The RBI guidelines allowed the branches of an Indian bank to act as trading members (TM)/Trading and Clearing Members (TCM) of IIBX at GIFT IFSC. The central bank also allowed special category customers (SCCs) to import gold through IIBX, which are nominated banks in India. 
  • The release said that the entry of India's largest bank in the region as TCM will promote trading volume in IIBX. 

IIBX 

  • India International Bullion Exchange IFSC Limited (IIBX) was launched by Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on 29 July 2022. IIBX GIFT has been established in IFSC, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. IIBX is regulated by the International Financial Services Center Authority (IFSCA). 
  • The Union Budget for the first time in the year 2020, India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX) was announced by jewelers in India. 
  • It is a platform that not only enrolls jewelers to trade in the exchange, but also establishes the infrastructure required for storage of gold and silver. 

Gift city 

  • Gift (Gujarat International Finance Tech-City) is located in City Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It includes a multi-service Special Economic Sector (SEZ) with India's first International Financial Services Center (IFSC) and a special domestic tariff area (DTA). 
  • The Gift is an infrastructure between the International Financial Services Center (IFSC) and the NSE subsidiary at the Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX). 


2. India's biggest skill competition ' IndiaSkills 2024' started in New Delhi

  • India's biggest skills competition, The IndiaSkills 2024, has started on 15th May 2024 in New Delhi. Over the next four days, over 900 students from 30 states and union territories will showcase their skills in 61 different fields ranging from traditional crafts to the latest technologies. 
  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) Secretary Atul Kumar Tiwari has inaugurated it at Yashobhoomi, Dwarka, New Delhi. 47 skill competitions will be held onsite, 14 will be held offsite in Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat keeping in mind the availability of best infrastructure. 
  • Students participating in the national level competition have been trained in ITIs, NSTIs, Polytechnics, Engineering Institutes, Nursing Institutes and Biotechnology Institutes. 
  • Around 2.5 lakh candidates had registered for the competition on the Skill India Digital Hub (SIDH) portal, out of which 26,000 were shortlisted through the process of pre-screening. 
  • This year, IndiaSkills is supported by over 400 industry and academic partners such as Toyota Kirloskar, Autodesk, JK Cement, Maruti Suzuki, Lincoln Electric, NAMTECH, Vega, L'OrĂ©al, Schneider Electric, Festo India, Artemis, Medanta and Signia Healthcare. 
  • The winners of IndiaSkills will prepare for the WorldSkills competition to be held in Lyon, France in September this year. WorldSkills will feature 1,500 competitors from over 70 countries. 


3. Adani Energy Solutions acquires Essar's Mahan-Sipat Transmission Project

  • Adani Energy Solutions Ltd (AESL) has acquired 100 per cent stake in Essar Transco Limited for an Enterprise Value of INR 1,900 crore after obtaining necessary clearances. 
  • This share acquisition follows agreements signed in June 2022. 
  • The acquisition covers the fully operational 400 kV, 673 circuit kilometres inter-state transmission line linking Mahan in Madhya Pradesh to Sipat pooling substation in Chhattisgarh. 
  • The project, which operates under the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission-regulated return framework, was commissioned in 2018. 
  • Adani Energy Solutions completed the acquisition through its wholly owned subsidiary Adani Transmission Step-Two Limited (ATSTL). 
  • Adani Energy Solutions is the country’s largest private transmission company with a presence across 17 states of India and a cumulative transmission network of 21,182 circuit kilometre and 57,011 MVA transformation capacity. 


4. Police started Operation 'Maryada' for smooth conduct of Kedarnath Dham Yatra 2024 in Uttarakhand 

  • Police launched Operation ‘Maryada’ for the smooth conduct of Kedarnath Dham Yatra 2024 in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand. 
  • Under Operation Maryada, the police request pilgrims and tourists who consume drugs to maintain decorum in this area. Along with challan, the police is also registering a case against the rioters and drug users. 
  • Guptkashi DSP Harshvardhini Suman said, “Under Operation Maryada, we are taking strict action against those who are using any kind of intoxicants, it is not good for the temple and the Dham. 

Other Operations in News 

  • Operation Sadbhavana – To provide essential aid and healthcare for North Sikkim’s communities by Indian Army 
  • Operation Bambi Bucket – To extinguish the forest fire near Nainital in Uttarakhand 
  • Operation True Promise – Iran launches against Israel 
  • Operation Ajay – To evacuate Indians from Israel 
  • Operation Kaveri – To evacuate Indians from Sudan 


5. Porter becomes India's 3rd Unicorn of 2024 

  • Homegrown logistics services platform Porter has become the third unicorn (with a valuation of $1 billion and above) in India this year. 
  • Earlier this year, fintech firm Perfios and Ola’s AI venture Krutrim had turned unicorns. 
  • As per Tracxn, there were 113 unicorns in India as of earlier this month. 
  • PeakXV-backed Porter’s earlier valuation was $514 million, after it raised $101 million in a Series E round from investors such as Tiger Global, Vitruvian Partners, Lightrock India and more. Till date, it has raised $150 million over nine rounds, according to Tracxn data. 


International News 

6. Tata Consultancy Services will establish the first human-focused AI excellence center in France 

  • The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced the creation of the first human-focused global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence in the French capital Paris. The announcement was made during the prestigious "Chuj France Summit" organized by Chairman Emmanuel Macron, which outlines TCS's commitment to the French market and the global AI landscape. 
  • The new AI center will be located in the upcoming TCS Paceport in the La Defense area of Paris, which will be inaugurated in June 2024, which will become the 7th such feature in TCS's global pace network after Amsterdam, London, New York, Pittsburgh. 
  • Joining the growing AI ecosystem as part of France's 2030 National Strategy for AI, TCS is creating new jobs and internships, aiding the country's goal of doubling the AIproficient workforce over the next five years. 
  • The purpose of this collaborative approach is to tap in the deep talent pool of France in design and engineering, promoting the development of advanced humanfocused AI technologies. 
  • Initially, the Center will focus on state-of-the-art regions such as brain-computer interfaces, manufacturing sympathy in machines and highlighting AI's power in art and culture. 
  • TCS has steadily increased its investment in France since started operating in 1992. With the acquisition of TKS-Technosoft in 2006 and Ulti in 2013, TCS has greatly enhanced its presence in the region. 


7. Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico shot 5 times in a public place

  • The Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, is fighting for his life in hospital after being shot in a small town north-east of Bratislava. The 59-year-old man was shot five times and is in critical condition. 
  • Five shots were fired outside a cultural center in the town of Handlova, about 140 kilometers (85 miles) northeast of the capital. Fico was taken to a hospital in Banska Bystrica, where he underwent surgery. 
  • Peter Pellegrini, the newly elected President of Slovakia, expressed regret over the incident. 
  • Fico's government, elected last September, has halted arms supplies to Ukraine, and plans to amend the penal code to eliminate a special anti-corruption prosecutor and take control of public media. 
  • His critics worry he will lead Slovakia, a NATO-owned country of 5.4 million, down a more autocratic path. 
  • The incident comes just three weeks before crucial European Parliament elections, where populist and hard-right parties in the 27-nation bloc are expected to make significant gains. 
  • Fico has long been a divisive figure in Slovakia and beyond, and his return to power last year over a pro-Russian, anti-American message had caused even more concern among fellow EU members that he would abandon his country's pro-Western course. 


8. Indo-US special forces conduct joint anti-terrorism excercise 'Tarkash' in Kolkata 

  • The seventh edition of the annual India-US joint urban counterterrorism exercise 'Tarksh' was conducted at NSG's Kolkata Center from 22 April - 15 May 2024. 
  • National Security Guard (NSG) conducted joint counter-terrorism mock drills with US Special Operations Forces (SOF) at multiple locations in Kolkata to enhance interoperability and coordination between the two special forces. 
  • The joint exercise also involved sharing of best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures on a broad spectrum of counterterrorism operations in urban environment, including close combat, creation of intervention exercises, hostage rescue operations, surveillance, long range firing and planning of complex operations. 
  • The primary objective of the IndiaUS Exercise 'Tarksh' is to build functional relationships and enhance interoperability between their special forces in conducting coordinated counter-terrorism operations, especially in urban counter-terrorism contingencies. 
  • The previous edition of Tarkash was held in Chennai in January 2023. 


9. UAE launched 10-year Blue Residency Visa for Envirnoment Champions 

  • The United Arab Emirates has launched a 10-year Blue Residency visa for individuals who have made ‘exceptional efforts and contributions to protecting the environment, whether marine or land’. 
  • The 10-year Blue Residency Visa aims to attract and retain global leaders in environmental research, activism, and technological solutions. 
  • This visa category extends beyond the UAE’s borders, welcoming those who champion sustainability initiatives worldwide. 
  • This initiative strengthens the UAE’s position as a global leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship. 

About United Arab Emirates (UAE) 

  • Capital – Abu Dhabi 
  • Currency – Dirham 
  • President – Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan 
  • Prime Minister – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum 
  • Official language -Arabic 


Appointment News

10. Kapil Sibal elected as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association

  • Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal has won the election for the President post of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). 
  • Besides Sibal, senior advocates Adish C Aggarwala, Pradeep Kumar Rai, Priya Hingorani and advocates Tripurari Ray and Neeraj Srivastava were contesting for the post of SCBA president. 
  • Kapil Sibal secured 1,066 votes and defeated his nearest rival and senior advocate Pradeep Rai. While Pradeep Kumar Rai received 689 votes. 
  • This is the fourth time, Kapil Sibal will serve as the president of the SCBA. 
  • A Harvard Law School graduate, Sibal was the additional solicitor general of India during 1989-90. He was designated as senior advocate in 1983. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Chairman of Tata Electronics – N. Chandrasekaran 
  • CEO for APMEA region in Infosys – Vinay Firake 
  • Director of IFFCO – Vivek Bipindada Kolhe 
  • First woman DGP of Meghalaya – Idashisha Nongrang 
  • President of Larsen and Toubro – R Shankar Raman 


Ranks & Reports News

11. Adolescent girls at risk after receiving Covexin, says study 

  • Adolescent girls and those with co-morbidities are at a higher risk of adverse events after receiving Bharat Biotech's BBV152 (Covexin) vaccine against COVID-19, says a report published in Springer Nature recently. 
  • The report said that nearly a third of the participants of an observational study on the vaccine reported adverse events of special interest (AESI). The study titled "Long-term safety analysis of the BBV152 coronavirus vaccine in adolescents and adults: findings from a one-year prospective study in North India", conducted by a team of researchers at Banaras Hindu University also said that serious adverse events may occur in 1% of COVAXIN 
  • The study said that serious adverse events may occur in 1% of BBV152 recipients. 
  • BBV152 recipients and that extended surveillance is warranted following the administration of the vaccine. 
  • To a query from The Hindu, Bharat Biotech said that for such a study on safety to be informative and to avoid investigator bias, some data points were also required. "Additionally, several studies have been executed on the safety of Covaxin, and published in peer-reviewed journals, demonstrating an excellent safety track record," the company said. 
  • According to the study, which had 1,024 individuals enrolled, 635 adolescents and 291 adults could be contacted during the one-year follow-up. Viral upper respiratory tract infections were reported by 304 (47.9%) adolescents and 124 (42.6%) adults, the study said. 
  • New onset skin and subcutaneous disorders (10.5%), general disorders (10.2%), and nervous system disorders (4.7%) were the common AESIs in adolescents. General disorders (8.9%), musculoskeletal disorders (5.8%), and nervous system disorders (5.5%) were the common AESIS in adults. Menstrual abnormalities were noticed in 4.6% of female participants. 


12. State cannot acquire property without proper procedure: SC 

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday took a significant step to protect private property from arbitrary state takeover for a "public purpose", holding that compulsory acquisition without following mandatory procedures followed by a grant of compensation to the owners will not make the accession constitutional. 
  • The right to property is protected as a constitutional right and has even been interpreted to be a human right, a Bench of Justices P.S. Narasimha and Aravind Kumar declared in a judgment. 
  • "It is generally assumed that for a valid acquisition, all that is necessary is to possess the power of eminent domain [power of the sovereign to acquire property of an individual for public use without consent] to acquire, followed by grant of reasonable and fair compensation... Compulsory acquisition will still be unconstitutional if proper procedure is not established and followed before depriving a person of his/her right to property," Justice Narasimha, who authored the verdict, observed. 
  • The judgment upheld a Calcutta High Court order rejecting an appeal filed by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation defending its acquisition of private land. The court ordered the corporation to pay 5 lakh as costs within 60 days. 
  • The judgment noted that though the 44th Constitutional Amendment Omitted the right to property as a fundamental right, Article 300A, which was simultaneously inserted into the Constitution, provided that "no person shall be deprived of his property, save by authority of law". 
  • A person's rights, even the history of liberty, have been safeguarded through the prescription and observance of mandatory procedures and processes of law. Procedure is an integral part of the "authority of law" in Article 300A. The phrase "authority of law" in the Article should not be understood as merely the power of eminent domain vested in the state. 
  • The requirement of a 'law' in Article 300A does not end with the mere presence of legislation which empowers the state to deprive a person of his property, Justice Narasimha clarified. 
  • The court laid down seven basic procedural rights of private citizens which constitute the "real content of the right to property under Article 300A" that the state should respect before depriving them of their private property. They include the right to notice or the duty of the state to inform the person that it intends to acquire his property; the right of the citizen to be heard or the duty of the state to hear the objections to the acquisition; the right of the citizen to a reasoned decision or the duty of the state to inform the person of its decision to acquire property; the duty of the state to demonstrate that the acquisition is exclusively for public purpose; the right to fair compensation of the citizen; the duty of the state to conduct the process of acquisition efficiently and within prescribed timelines; and finally, the conclusion of the proceedings leading to vesting or the right of conclusion., 
  • "The culmination of an acquisition process is not in the payment of compen- sation, but also in taking over the actual physical possession of the land. If possession is not taken, acquisition is not complete," Justice Narasimha laid down the law. 


Sports News

13. Puma signs deal with Athletics Federation of India for official kit sponsor 

  • PUMA India has signed a deal with the Athletics Federation of India to become its official kit sponsor. 
  • Puma signed a multi-year deal to exclusively supply performance kits, speed suits and travel gear to every athlete under AFI representing India in track & field, jumps, throws, cross country running and marathons at both domestic and international tournaments. 
  • With the partnership, several international stars such as Neeraj Chopra (javelin throw), Kishore Kumar Jena (javelin throw), Parul Chaudhary (steeplechase), Subha Venkatesan (4x 400 m relay), Murali Sreeshankar (long jump), Jyothi Yarraji (hurdle), Priyanka Goswami (race walk) and Jeswin Aldrin (long jump) will benefit from PUMA’s gear across sporting events. 
  • Kitting under this partnership does not include Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. 
  • Puma will equip over 400 athletes with competitive edge, ensuring that every milli-second is maximised to its fullest advantage. 


14. Neeraj Chopra won gold medal in Federation Cup with a throw of 82.27 meters 

  • In men's javelin throw, Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal at the Federation Cup 2024 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The 26-yearold superstar struggled in the early stages of the competition as he stood second after three rounds. He took the lead in the fourth round with an effort of 82.27 metres. 
  • 26-year-old Neeraj was participating in an event in India for the first time after becoming Olympic champion three years ago. Neeraj Chopra last competed in the domestic competition at the same event in 2021, when he won the gold medal with a throw of 87.80m. 
  • Asian Athletics Championships silver medalist DP Manu won the silver medal with an effort of 82.06 metres, while Uttam Balasaheb Patil won the bronze medal with an effort of 78.39 metres. Bibin Antony finished fourth with a personal best effort of 77.37 metres. 
  • Both Neeraj and Kishore Jena have also secured Paris 2024 Olympic quota for India. 

Pranav V wins Dubai Police Masters 2024 

  • The first Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge concluded successfully, with Indian players securing the top four positions in the Masters category. 
  • Pranav V emerged as the tournament champion, while Aravind Chithambaram finished runner-up. With a prize pool of $125,000, it is the largest tournament in UAE history. 
  • Notably, twelve players achieved the title norm, which was a commendable achievement. Shyam Nikhil of India and Nogarbek of Kazakhstan reached the respected title of Grandmaster, eight achieved the IM-norm, and one achieved the WIM-norm. 
  • Pranav's win gave him a total prize money of US$16,500, while Arvind got $14,500. 


Important day 

15. 17 May – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 

  • World Telecommunication Day is observed every year on May 17 to honour the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 
  • Theme 2024 – Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development 
  • In the year 1865, International Telecommunication Union was founded, when the first Indian Telegraph Convention was signed. 
  • In 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society asked the United Nations to declare May 17 as World Telecommunication Day to be observed every year. 


16. 17 May – World Hypertension Day 

  • World Hypertension Day is observed every year on 17 May. 
  • Theme 2024 – Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer 
  • Objective – To spread awareness about the risk of hypertension and its prevention. 
  • World Hypertension Day was first observed on May 14, 2005, by the World Hypertension League (WHL). Since 2006, May 17 has been marked as World Hypertension Day across the world. 


17. 17 May 2024 – National Endangered Species Day 

  • National Endangered Species Day is observed every year on the third Friday of the month of May. This year, National Endangered Species Day celebrated on May 17. 
  • Objective – To create awareness about the consequences of human activities and what we can do to save endangered species. 
  • Theme 2024 – Celebrate Saving Species. 
  • In the year 2006, David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition established National Endangered Species Day to be celebrated every year to urge people to contribute to the safety and protection of endangered species. 
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, forty percent of animals, insects and plants on this planet are at risk of extinction. 


Obituary News 

18. Former Governor of Gujarat Kamla Beniwal passed away 

  • Veteran Congress leader Kamla Beniwal, who had held the post of Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Governor in three states, died in Jaipur on 15 May 2024. She was 97 years old. She held the post of Governor in Tripura, Gujarat and Mizoram. 
  • Kamla Beniwal was born on 12 January 1927 in a Jat family of Gorir village in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. She was a senior Congress politician. Kamla Beniwal was educated in Jhunjhunu. 
  • She earned a bachelor's degree in economics, political science and history. Kamla Beniwal became the first woman minister in the Rajasthan government by winning the assembly elections in 1954 at the age of 27. 
  • Beniwal, a seventime MLA, was the Deputy CM in the first Ashok Gehlot government in 2003. She served as the 18th Governor of Gujarat from 27 November 2009 to 6 July 2014. At the age of 15, Beniwal took part in the 'Quit India' movement.

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