Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 5th May 2024

National News 

1. India & Nigeria to finalise Local Currency Settlement System Agreement 

  • India and Nigeria have agreed to an early conclusion of the Local Currency Settlement System Agreement to strengthen bilateral economic ties. 
  • Under the local currency settlement system, the trade will be settled in India’s local currency and Nigerian local currency, Nigerian naira. 
  • This was decided at the 2nd session of the India-Nigeria Joint Trade Committee held in Abuja, Nigeria. 
  • Officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), EXIM Bank of India, and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) also accompanied the Indian delegation. 
  • India established a Diplomatic House in Lagos, Nigeria, in November 1958; even before Nigeria gained independence, Nigeria gained independence from Britain in 1960. 
  • Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India to visit Nigeria in September 1962. 
  • Two Nigerian Presidents have been the chief guests at the Republic Day celebration: President Shehu Shagari in 1983 and President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000. 

About Nigeria 

  • Capital- Abuja 
  • Currency- Nigerian naira 
  • Continent- Africa 
  • President– Bola Tinubu 

International News 

2. India at 159 among 180 countries in World Press Freedom Index 

  • India ranked 159 among 180 countries in the latest annual World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF, short for Reporters sans frontières in French), an international non-profit organization. 
  • India had ranked 161 in the 2023 list. 
  • Meanwhile, Pakistan ranked seven spots above India at 152. It had ranked 150 in 2023. 
  • Norway topped the ranking, while Denmark was on the second rank in World Press Freedom Index. Sweden ranked third on the list. 
  • While Eritrea was at the bottom, with Syria just ahead of it. 

Recent index 

  • World Cybercrime Index: India at 10th; topped by Russia followed by Ukraine 
  • Henley Passport Index 2024 – India at 85th; topped by Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain, France 
  • Corruption perception index 2023 – India ranked 93rd; topped by Denmark 
  • Mercer’s Quality of Living City Index 2023 – Rank 1. Vienna (Austria), Rank 2. Zurich (Switzerland), Rank 3. Vancouver (Canada), Hyderabad (153rd), Pune (154th), Chennai (161st), Mumbai (164th), Kolkata (170th), New Delhi (172nd), Khartoum (Sudan) at the bottom-most position (241st spot). 
  • Climate Change Performance Index 2023 – India ranked 7th 

3. Logistics agreement with India ‘a real game changer’: U.K. 

  • The U.K. is leveraging a logistics support agreement signed with India to expand military-to-military engagements, especially in the maritime domain, as it also looks to augment its capability and deployments in the Indo-Pacific. 
  • A U.K. warship underwent essential maintenance for the first time in April at Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) shipyard at Kattupalli as a Royal Navy Littoral Response Group-South (LRG-S) visited India. 
  • “The logistics-sharing agreement allows for the provision of logistic support, supplies and services between the U.K. and Indian armed forces, for joint training, joint exercises, authorised port visits and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations,” Brigadier Nick Sawyer, Defence Advisor in the U.K. High Commission in India, said on X. 
  • “This agreement has been a real game changer. It has led to increased engagements between our armed forces. The vital logistics partnership supports longer deployments of our capabilities in the region and is clear evidence of the U.K.- Indo-Pacific tilt in action, in sync with India.” 
  • India has signed a series of agreements that have significantly expanded the logistics support for the Indian military, especially the Indian Navy which has expanded its operational turnaround across the Indian Ocean Region. 
  • The LRG-S is a multifunctional amphibious task force equipped to undertake a wide spectrum of activity in the littoral environment, according to Brig. Sawyer consists of the ships RFA Argus and RFA Lyme Bay, with embarked forces centred on a Royal Marines strike force. 
  • “In recent deployments, Royal Navy ships have received spare parts manufactured by Indian shipyards within a short notice period, showcasing the growing interoperability between our navies,” he added. 

State News 

4. T.N.’s economy expected to grow at 8.08% to 10.69% in 2024-25, says study 

  • Tamil Nadu’s economy may grow at a rate of 8.08% to 10.69% in 2024-25. Providing these real growth rate figures (as opposed to nominal rates that include the factor of infiation), a study on the State economy, conducted by C. Rangarajan and K.R. Shanmugam, chairperson and director of the Madras School Economics respectively, has estimated that in the recently concluded financial year of 2023-24, the State’s growth rate varied from 8.08% to 9.44%. 
  • The study has taken into account four scenarios (only two of which are given in the table), apart from the findings that have been arrived at by using a statistical analysis model — autoregressive integrated moving average Commissioned by the State Finance Department, the study said that the country’s expected economic growth rate for 2023-24 was 7.3%. Being a “better-performing State,” 
  • Tamil Nadu’s growth would, in all probability, be faster than that of the country’s. Covering the economic growth between 2005-06 and 2022-23, the two economists said that the State “registered a strong real growth” of 10.3% from 2005-06 to 2011-12 (2004- 05 series), while the all-India growth stood at 8.23%. However, its average growth rate declined to 6.21% during 2012-13 to 2022-23 (2011-12 series), compared with the all-India figure of 5.73%. Acknowledging that there was a “downward shift” in the growth path of the country and Tamil Nadu, the authors said this was “also true” for other major States. 
  • “One main reason could be the change in the methodology of computing the Gross Domestic Product and the Gross State Domestic Product from 2011-12,” the authors said. The State’s economy was hit by three “external shocks”– the COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine confict, and the hike in interest rates by advanced nations to curb infation.
  • Though it “appears to have recovered almost fully” from the impact of the pandemic, the trend hinted that “Tamil Nadu’s growth is more susceptible to global fuctuations than India’s growth pattern”. 
  • The study also called for controlling the growth of public debt, the current level of which “is not supportive to growth,” the study pointed out that “almost all the major States have a similar problem.”. Tamil Nadu should represent to the 16th Finance Commission for debt consolidation and relief schemes or schemes to write off debt, as the 12th Finance Commission had recommended such measures, the study noted. 

Appointment News

5. Atanu Chakraborty reappointed as Chairman of HDFC Bank 

  • The Reserve Bank of India has approved the re-appointment of Atanu Chakraborty as part-time Chairman of HDFC Bank for three years with effect from May 5. 
  • Chakraborty has been the Part-Time Chairman and Independent Director of the Bank since May 2021. 
  • He served the Government of India for 35 years as a member of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in Gujarat cadre. 
  • He retired as Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Finance- Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) in April 2020. 

About HDFC Bank 

  • Founded – August 1994 
  • Founder – Hasmukhbhai Parekh 
  • Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra 
  • MD & CEO – Sashidhar Jagdishan 
  • Chairman – Atanu Chakraborty 
  • Tagline – We understand your world 

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • MD & CEO of Jio Financial Services – Hitesh Sethia 
  • MD & CEO Axis Bank – Amitabh Chaudhry (reappointment for 3 years) 
  • Independent Directors of Axis bank – Meena Ganesh and Gopalaraman Padmanabhan (reappointment for 4 years) 
  • Deputy Governor of RBI – T Rabi Sankar (reappointment for One Year) 
  • Chairman of HDFC Insurance Board -Keki Mistry 

6. Gautam Singhania appointed as MD of Raymond 

  • Raymond has re-appointed Gautam Hari Singhania as its managing director for a term of five years effective from July 1, 2024. 
  • Singhania, a commerce graduate, assumed the role of chairman and managing director of Raymond in September 2000. 
  • Over the years, he has been instrumental in strategically restructuring the Raymond Group, including the divestment of its non-core businesses of Steel, Cement, and Synthetics. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Secretary of National Jute Board – Shashi Bhushan Singh 
  • DG of Akashvani News aka All India Radio – Maushumi Chakravarty (replace Vasudha Gupta) 
  • Director of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) – Pratima Singh 
  • President of Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) – Krishna Ella 
  • Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) – Retired Justice Dinesh Kumar 

7. Ujjivan SFB names Carol Furtado as Executive Director 

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has appointed Carol Furtado as executive director for three years with effect from May 1. 
  • Ms Furtado has been with the bank since its inception and assumed various key positions including chief human resource officer, head of operations and service quality and chief business officer. 
  • Furtado has over 29 years of banking experience in retail banking and non-banking finance company domains. She was instrumental in the organization’s transition from NBFC-MFI to a small finance bank. 
  • A post graduate from Mount Carmel Institute of Management, Bangalore, she had previously worked with the ANZ group, Bank Muscat and Centurion Bank. 

About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank 

  • Founded- 1 February 2017 
  • Headquarters- Bangalore, Karnataka 
  • MD & CEO – Ittira Davis 

8. Sanjaya Kumar Mishra appoints as head of GST Appellate Tribunal 

  • The Appointment committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment of Sanjaya Kumar Mishra as President GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) for 4 years. 
  • Mishra is a former Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court. 
  • The selection was made on the recommendations of a Search-Cum-Selection Committee. This will speed up the process of making the GSTAT functional at earliest. 
  • GSTAT will have one Principal Bench located at Delhi and 31 State benches located at various locations across States. 
  • In February 2024, the Department of Revenue invited applications for appointments to the posts of the 63 posts of judicial members and 32 posts for the technical Members (Centre) in Principal Bench of GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT). 
  • The eligibility criteria was being a judge of the High Court, or serving a retired District Judge or Additional District Judge with 10 years of combined experience, or Lawyer with 10 years of experience with substantial experience in litigation in matters relating to indirect taxes. 

Important day 

9. 4 May – Coal Miners Day 

  • Coal Miners Day is observed annually on May 4 in India. 
  • It honours the hard work and sacrifices of coal miners around the world. The day reminds us of its vital role in providing energy for homes, industries, and communities.
  • Coal mining is a really important job for lots of people. This day helps us understand the tough things coal miners deal with, like staying safe and healthy while they work. 
  • Coal Miner’s Day started in 1952 when the Mines Act was made. This law aimed to help coal miners by giving them medical care, safety rules, and rescue places. 
  • Later, in 1974, the Coal Mines Act was made to save coal and keep miners safe. But, even with these laws, many miners still get sick or hurt. 
  • The first coal mine in India opened in 1774 by John Summer and Suetonius Grant Heatly. It was by the Damodar River in the Raniganj Coalfield. 

10. 4 May – International Firefighters Day 

  • International Firefighters’ Day is observed every year on May 4. 
  • It honour the brave men and women who risk their lives to keep communities safe from fires and other emergencies. 
  • International Firefighter’s Day traces its origins back to a tragic event in Australia. On December 2, 1998, five firefighters lost their lives while battling a fierce blaze in Linton, Victoria. 
  • This incident deeply affected the local community and prompted a movement to recognise and appreciate the efforts of firefighters worldwide. 
  • In 1999, International Firefighters’ Day was established to commemorate the bravery of those firefighters and to express gratitude to all firefighters for their selfless service.

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