Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 8th May 2024

National News 

1. IAF conducts Bambi Bucket Operation in response to the forest fires in Uttarakhand 

  • The Indian Air Force had deployed its Mi17 V5 helicopters to undertake Bambi Bucket operations to douse the forest fires near Nainital, Uttarakhand. 
  • These helicopters efficiently transported and released over 4,500 liters of water over the affected areas, a crucial effort made in close coordination with the Uttarakhand government. 
  • The swift and coordinated action by the Indian Air Force played a pivotal role in supporting the ground-based firefighting crews. 

Other Operations in News 

  • Operation True Promise – Iran launches against Israel 
  • Operation Ajay – To evacuate Indians from Israel 
  • Operation Kaveri – To evacuate Indians from Sudan 
  • Operation Karuna – To help Myanmar affected by cyclone Mocha 
  • Operation Dost – Help to earthquake affected Turkey 

2. IIT Madras startup Mindgrove launches first India-made microcontroller chip 

  • India is finally set to have a made-in-India microcontroller chip powering electronic device. 
  • Mindgrove Technologies, incubated by IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation and IIT Madras Incubation Cell, and supported by Peak XV Partners, has launched Secure IoT, India’s debut high-performance SoC (system on chip). 
  • A system-on-chip (SoC) combines many electronic parts into one chip, like a mini-computer. It goes into the printed circuit board (PCB) and is used in various devices, making them smaller and more efficient. 
  • The new, indigenous chip comes at a 30 percent lower cost than other chips in a similar segment and is the only Indian chip commercially available in this segment. 

IITs in News 

  • Innovative 3D Printed Dummy Ballot Unit unveiled by IIT Guwahati 
  • ADIF and IIT Guwahati incubation center sign MoU to boost startup ecosystem 
  • C-DOT and IIT Jodhpur sign agreement for “Automated Service Management in Network of 5G 
  • BEL signs MoU with IIT-Mandi for co-operation in research 
  • AFMS partnered with IIT Kanpur to Address Healthcare Challenges for Soldiers 
  • Lightstorm signed with IIT Madras to launch employment skilling initiative 

3. Focus on mother tongue from the early stages: CBSE 

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has instructed all its schools to make use of educational material which will focus on learning in one's mother tongue and encourage education. multilingual 
  • The CBSE circular dated May 7 is in line with the National Education Policy, 2020 and the National Curriculum Framework, 2022, which emphasize teaching and learning in the child's mother tongue, or regional and local language. 
  • "Recognising the value of preserving linguistic diversity as highlighted in above documents, the National Council for Educational Research and Training and the Indian Institute of Languages have collaborated to produce a series of 52 entry-level primers tailored to various mother tongues and local languages spoken across India," Praggya M. Singh, Director (Academics), CBSE, said. Bhutia, Bodo, Garo, Khandeshi, Kinnauri, Kuki, Manipuri, Nepali, Sherpa and Tulu are some of the languages the primers are available in. 
  • These primers form a basal reader for the local language and introduce numerals to the children attending balvatikas and anganwadis. 
  • "Schools are encouraged to promote the use of these primers among teachers and students to develop strong language skills in their native language," Ms. Singh said. 

International News 

4. Plastic solution Plastic pollution cannot stop by treaties, without investment in alternatives 

  • The Global Plastics Treaty, an ambitious initiative involving at least 175 United Nations member nations to eliminate the use of plastics, concluded its fourth round of negotiations recently. The goal is to finalize a legal document by the end of 2024 with timelines by when countries must agree to curb plastic production, eliminate its uses that create wastage, ban certain chemicals used in its production and set targets for recycling. Unfortunately, an agreement is not in sight. There is yet another round of negotiations scheduled in Busan, South Korea this November. 
  • The primary hurdles are economic. Oil producing and refining countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia, India and Iran are reluctant about hard deadlines to eliminate plastic production. 
  • A coalition of African countries, supported by several European nations, is in favor of a year, around 2040, to ensure that a timeline for reduction is in effect. There is also disagreement on whether contentious elements in the treaty should be decided on by a vote or consensus, the latter implying that every country has a veto. 
  • India's opinion, other than being uncomfortable with binding targets, is that a legally binding instrument to end the plastic pollution must also address "... availability, accessibility, affordability of alternatives including cost implications and specifying arrangements... for capacity building and technical assistance, technology transfer, and financial assistance". 
  • This language and India is not the only proponent, is reminiscent of the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibility' enshrined in climate talks. Under this, countries must have a common target but those more privileged must support others and take on stricter targets themselves. 
  • In the year that the plastics treaty was mooted, in 2022, India brought into effect the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules (2021) that banned 19 categories of "single-use" plastics. It, however, does not include plastic bottles, even those less than 200 ml and multi-layered packaging boxes (as in milk cartons). 
  • Moreover, even the ban on single-use plastic items is not uniformly enforced nationally, with several outlets continuing to retail these goods. The global distribution of the plastic pollution is unequal with Brazil, China, India and the U.S. responsible for 60% of plastic waste, according to a report by the non-profit EA Earth Action. Much like how transitioning away from fossil fuel invites its own challenges, plastic pollution cannot be ended by merely signing treaties. 
  • There needs to be much greater investment in alternative products and making them affordable before realistic targets are decided upon. 

5. Scotland parliament approves SNP's John Swinney as new First Minister 

  • Scotland got its second leader in as many years on Tuesday, as parliament approved political veteran John Swinney to lead the country as First Minister. 
  • Mr. Swinney, 60, succeeds Humza Yousaf, who formally resigned from the role earlier in the day, following his announcement last week that he would step down after just over a year in charge. 
  • Mr. Yousaf, 39, announced his resignation last Monday before a confidence vote in the Scottish parliament that he was set to lose, having ditched his junior coalition partners, the Scottish Green Party, in a row over climate policy. 
  • Mr. Swinney won the backing of 64 members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) in the vote that was all but a foregone conclusion, with nearest rival Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross picking up 31. 
  • The Scottish political veteran said it was "something of a surprise" to find himself taking the top job at his stage of his ca- reer, but added it was "an extraordinary privilege". 
  • Mr. Swinney, an old party hand who led the ruling pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) from 2000 to 2004 when the nationalists were in opposition, was elected unop- posed as leader of the SNP on Monday. 
  • He is seen as an experienced operator able to reach across the political divide, which is key to the SNP being able to rule as a minority government. 
  • Mr. Swinney must also unite his divided party, split between those on the left supportive of trans rights and urgent climate action and members on the right wanting to focus on issues such as health and the economy. He has said that alongside advancing the case for Scottish independence, he wants to eradicate child poverty. 

6. Xu Feihong to take over as China's new Ambassador to India 

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has appointed senior diplomat Xu Feihong as the new Ambassador to India after an unusually long delay of 18 months amid frozen relations between the two countries over the eastern Ladakh military stand-off. 
  • While there is no official announcement in Beijing yet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Mr. Xu, former Ambassador to Afghanistan and Romania, has been appointed as China's new envoy in India. 
  • Mr. Xu, 60, is expected to travel to New Delhi soon to take over his new posting. 
  • He will succeed veteran Chinese diplomat Sun Wei- dong who completed his tenure in India in October 2022. 
  • Mr. Sun, who was China's envoy to Pakistan before his India stint, is currently the Vice-Foreign Minister overseeing China's South Asia policy. 
  • Mr. Xu's appointment which coincides with the ongoing Lok Sabha elections comes amid protracted military and diplomatic negotiations between Beijing and New Delhi to resolve the prolonged military stand-off. 
  • Relations between the two countries were frozen except for trade ever since the eastern Ladakh border stand-off erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Tso (lake) area. The eastern Ladakh stand-off has resulted in a freeze of bilateral ties. 
  • The two sides have so far held 21 rounds of corps commanders-level talks to resolve the stand-off. 
  • According to the Chinese military, the two sides so far agreed to disengage from four points, namely the Galwan Valley, the Pangong Lake, Hot Springs, and Jianan Daban (Gogra). 
  • India is pressing the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to disengage from the Depsang and Demchok areas, maintaining that there cannot be restoration of normalcy in its relations with China as long as the state of the borders remains abnormal. 

State News 

7. 3 Independents pull out, Haryana BJP govt. in crisis 

  • Three Independent MLAs on Tuesday withdrew their support to the BJP government in Haryana, even as the Congress demanded that the Assembly election should be conducted in the State under President's Rule as the government had been reduced to a "minority". 
  • The BJP government, which has the support of two other Independents and Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) MLA Gopal Kanda, is now two short of the majority mark in the 90-member Assembly which has a current strength of 88. As per the current strength of the House, the majority mark is 45. 
  • The Opposition Congress has 30 MLAs, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) 10, and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) one. 
  • The three Independent MLAS Sombir Sangwan (Dadri), Randhir Singh Gollen (Pundri), and Dharam pal Gonder (Nilokheri) said they were extending their support to the Congress. They made the announcement in the presence of Haryana Congress president Chaudhary Udaibhan and Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda. 
  • The current Assembly position in Haryana 
  • In March, the Chief Minister Nayab Singh Sainiled government won the trust vote with six Independent MLAs and the lone MLA of the HLP extending their support to the BJP. In all, seven Independents had won in the 2019 Assembly election. 
  • In 2019, the BJP emerged as the single-largest party by winning 40 seats, but it fell short of six seats to form the government on its own. The majority mark in the 90-member House is 46. The BJP and the JJP, which secured 10 seats, decided to come together to form the government. The two parties parted ways in March after strained relations. 

8. Manipur launches “School on Wheels” Initiative for Students 

  • Manipur government has launched the “School on Wheels” initiative aiming to impart education to students sheltered in relief camps in the state following the yearlong ethnic strife in the state. 
  • Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey launched the “School on Wheels” initiative. 
  • Under this the school bus, equipped with a library, computers, and sports items, would visit different camps accompanied by a teacher. 
  • The incidents which started on May 3 last year affected thousands of people, especially a huge number of students of Manipur.”The ‘School on Wheels’ scheme would reach out to students staying in the relief camps and impart them with required teaching. 
  • The Manipur government currently runs around 320 relief camps, housing more than 59,000 men, women, and children. Around 18,000 students are currently staying in relief camps. 
  • At least 220 people have been killed, 1,500 injured and 60,000 displaced since violence broke out between the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities on May 3 last year. 

About Manipur 

  • Capital – Imphal 
  • Chief Minister – Biren Singh 
  • Governor – Anusuiya Uikey 

Banking and Financial News

9. QuantPower Emerges as Best Trading Platform in India 

  • QuantPower, the most innovative AI-enabled trading platform, has secured the prestigious title of Best Trading Platform in India for the second consecutive year.
  • This milestone reaffirms QuantPower’s position as the preferred software for Indian investors, offering an unparalleled suite of features that consolidate various trading tools into one comprehensive solution. 
  • Under the umbrella of Wisdom Tree Ventures Pvt Ltd., has revolutionized the trading landscape by providing a unified platform that caters to diverse trading styles. 
  • By seamlessly integrating advanced features such as Strategy Builder, Algo Bots, and Backtesting for algorithmic traders, alongside Advanced Charting, Trading from Charts, and Chart Alerts for manual traders, QuantPower empowers investors to make informed decisions with confidence. 
  • Deb Mukherjee, the Group CEO of Wisdom Group, also celebrated the recognition of Wisdom Tree Ventures as the Top Fintech Company of the Year 2024 by Entrepreneur India. 

Appointment News

10. Visa appoints Sujai Raina as India Country Manager 

  • Digital payments platform Visa has appointed Sujai Raina as the country manager for India. 
  • Besides, Sandeep Ghosh will continue in his role as Group Country Manager for India and South Asia. 
  • He will oversee operations in India and other markets in the subcontinent, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. 
  • Raina will be responsible for the India business, leading and executing Visa’s strategic initiatives for the market, partnering with clients and the payments ecosystem. 

Recent Appointment 

  • DG of National Institute of Solar Energy – Mohammad Rihan 
  • Head of GST Appellate Tribunal – Sanjaya Kumar Mishra (for 4 years) 
  • MD of Raymond -Gautam Hari Singhania 
  • Secretary of National Jute Board – Shashi Bhushan Singh 
  • DG of Akashvani News aka All India Radio – Maushumi Chakravarty (replace Vasudha Gupta) 

11. Subodh Kumar appoints as Director in Ministry of Ayush 

  • Subodh Kumar (IAS) has been appointed as Director in the Ministry of Ayush. 
  • Kumar has been selected for the appointment to the post with effect from the date of taking over charge of the post for a period upto October 8 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
  • Kumar is a 2010- batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. Presently, he is on ‘Compulsory wait’ in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. 

Recent Appointment 

  • 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 
  • Director in Department of Land Resources – Sarvadanand Barnwal 
  • CVO of Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Authority – Manoj Kumar 

Important day 

12. 8 May – World Red Cross Day 

  • World Red Cross Day is observed on 8 May every year. 
  • This day is dedicated to the people who are suffering from various natural calamities, armed conflicts, and other crises. 
  • The day also serves as an opportunity to highlight the humanitarian values of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 
  • Theme 2024 – I give with joy, and the joy I give is a reward 
  • World Red Cross Day, an annual celebration that commemorates the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, the visionary founder of the Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 

13. BRO celebrates its 65th Raising Day 

  • The Border Road Organization (BRO) celebrated its 65th raising day on 7 May 2024. 
  • A ceremony was organised in New Delhi on the occasion, presided over by the Union Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane. 
  • The Border Road Organization was set up on 7 May 1960 by the Pt Nehru government to execute crucial road projects vital for the Army. 
  • It started its operation in May 1960 with two projects: Project Tuskar in the East and Project Beacon in the West. 
  • Project Tuskar, now renamed Project Vartak job, was to build a road between Bhalukpong and Tenga in Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • Project Beacon was launched to build and maintain roads in the strategically important Kashmir region for the Indian Army. 
  • The Border Road Organization is part of the Union Ministry of Defence and is always headed by an Army officer. 
  • DG of BRO – Lt Gen Raghu Srinivasan 

14. 8- 9 May – Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War 

  • On May 8 and 9, the day is set aside as ‘The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War.’ 
  • These two days recognise the sacrifices and loss of military and civilians during the second world war. 
  • As an observance, non-governmental organisations and individuals are urged to pay tribute to the victims of World War II. 
  • On May 8, 1945, World War II Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. The anniversary is also known as Victory in Europe or VE Day.

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