Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 28th May 2024

National News 

1. First Hydrogen plant of GAIL inaugurated in Vijaipur, MP 

  • The government of India-owned GAIL(India) Limited’s first green hydrogen plant has become operational at Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh. 
  • This marks the entry of India’s largest natural gas transmission and distribution company in the green fuel business. 
  • The 10-megawatt proton exchange membrane electrolyser for the green-hydrogen producing unit at the Vijaipur complex has been imported from Canada. 
  • The plant will produce about 4.3 tonnes of green hydrogen per day, with a purity of about 99.999 per cent by volume. It uses electricity produced from renewable sources such as the sun’s solar energy, to split water to produce green hydrogen. 
  • The plant was in line with the National Green Hydrogen mission that has set out a goal of 5 million tons of annual green hydrogen production capacity for the country by 2030. 

2. Ghana ties up with Reliance Jio arm, others for building 4G, 5G telecom infra 

  • Ghana has signed deals with a Reliance Jio subsidiary, Tech Mahindra and other vendors to build 4G and 5G infrastructure as the African country aims to enhance its telecom capabilities. 
  • Ghana’s state-backed Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC) has partnered with Jio’s arm Radisys, Tech Mahindra and Nokia to build the necessary infrastructure for delivering affordable 5G mobile broadband services. 
  • NGIC has been allocated 5G spectrum and local telcos will be utilising the shared infrastructure to roll out the services in the next six months. As per reports, the overall contract is over $200 million. 
  • Ghana is a part of the 33-nation Smart Africa alliance, and other countries in the continent will be closely watching the rollout to see whether they can also emulate the same locally. 

About Ghana 

  • Capital- Accra 
  • Currency- Ghanaian Cedi 
  • President -Nana Akufo-Addo 
  • Official language- English 

3. Telangana government enforces Statewide ban on gutka and pan masala 

  • The Telangana government has issued a one-year ban on the manufacture, storage, distribution, transportation and sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine throughout the State, effective immediately. 
  • The restriction has been imposed in light of a legitimate concern for public well-being. As indicated by the order from the Food Safety Commissioner, the restriction will be upheld under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. 
  • The order passed by the Food Safety Commissioner stated that, “Telangana state hereby prohibits the manufacture, storage, distribution, transportation and sale of Gutkha/Pan masala which contains tobacco and nicotine as an ingredient which are packed in sachets/pouches/package/containers etc., or by whatever name it is called in the entire State of Telangana for a period of one year with effect from May 24, 2024″. 

About Telangana 

  • Established – 2 June 2014 
  • Capital – Hyderabad 
  • Chief Minister – Revanth Reddy (replace K. Chandrashekar Rao) 
  • Deputy CM – Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka 
  • Governor – P. Radhakrishnan 

International News 

4. U.S. officials visit Taiwan after new leader assumes office, condemn Chinese drills 

  • A senior U.S. lawmaker affirmed on Monday Washington’s support for Taiwan against Chinese “aggression”, on the first congressional visit to the self-ruled island since it swore in a new President. 
  • Sitting down on Monday morning with President Lai Ching-te, Representative Michael McCaul — who heads the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee — said he and his colleagues stood in “strong support of this beautiful island”. 
  • Three days after Mr. Lai was sworn in, Chinese warships and fighter jets encircled Taiwan in drills that Beijing said were a test of its ability to seize the island. China claims democratic Taiwan as part of its territory, and says it will never renounce the use of force to bring the island under its control. Mr. McCaul on Monday condemned those “intimidating military exercises”. 
  • “Whether it’s Putin in Russia, the Ayatollah in Iran or Chairman Xi next door to us in China, an unholy alliance is eroding peace around the world,” he told Mr. Lai. Mr. McCaul arrived in Taipei on Sunday accompanied by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Beijing said on Monday it “firmly opposes” the lawmakers’ visit. 

5. China agrees to revive cooperation with Seoul, Tokyo, but mi ed by their U.S. ties

  • China’s Premier agreed on Monday to revive threeway cooperation with South Korea and Japan in the face of shared challenges, but issued a veiled rebuke against the two countries’ expanding security cooperation with the United States. 
  • Chinese Premier Li Qiang met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Seoul in the countries’ first such trilateral meeting in more than four years. In a joint news conference, Mr. Li said China wants to cooperate with South Korea and Japan on economic issues. 
  • Mr. Yoon said the three leaders agreed to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, establish safe supply chain networks and work together to tackle shared environmental, health and other issues. 
  • Mr. Kishida said the three countries share a big responsibility for regional peace and that Japan will chair the next round of the trilateral leaders’ meeting. 
  • Signs of disapproval Despite the amicable mood, however, Mr. Li at one point expressed Chinese uneasiness about Japan and South Korea’s moves to beef up their security partnership with the U.S., which Beijing views as an attempt to form a bloc to contain China. 

WHO organized 'Walk the Talk' yoga session program in Geneva 

  • To mark the upcoming occasion of International Yoga Day, the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized a 'Walk the Talk' yoga session event at the Place des Nations. 
  • Union Health Secretary Apoorva Chandra, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and other senior officials of the Indian delegation attended the event and re-energized themselves with yoga asanas. 
  • The delegates and the WHO chief re-energized themselves with yoga asanas at the event held at the Place des Nations (Palace of Nations) in Geneva, Switzerland. 
  • International Yoga Day is celebrated across the world on June 21 every year since 2015, after PM Modi's proposal to dedicate a day to celebrate the ancient Indian fitness routine was formally accepted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. 
  • In his 2014 address at the UNGA, Prime Minister Modi proposed June 21 as the date to celebrate International Yoga Day, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
  • Last year, Prime Minister Modi had led a special yoga session on the lawns of the United Nations Headquarters to mark the 9th edition of International Yoga Day. 

Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences - Pragati-2024 

  • Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, to host “Pharma Research in Ayurvedic and Techno Innovation (PRAGATI-2024)” on May 28, 2024 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. 
  • This interactive meeting focuses on exploring research opportunities and promoting collaboration between CCRAS and the Ayurveda pharmaceutical industry. 
  • Professor Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General, CCRAS, will lead the interactive meeting on behalf of CCRAS, emphasizing the importance of research-based, quality, safe and effective Ayurveda products. 
  • The objective of the meeting is to maximize the potential of Ayurveda stakeholders in drug and device development by connecting researchers and industrial partners involved in the creation of Ayurveda formulations and technological innovations. 
  • For the first time, a focus group discussion will be held on “Establishing research priorities” for further CCRAS-industry collaboration. Representatives from 35 pharmaceutical companies from across the country including some CEOs from renowned companies like Himalaya, Emami, Baidyanath, Dabur, IMPCL, Arya Vaidya Sala, Aushadhi and IMPCOPS will participate in the event. 

6. Leaders of China, Japan and South Korea held the ninth trilateral summit in Seoul 

  • The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea met in Seoul on 27 May 2024 for their ninth trilateral summit. This is the first summit to be held between the nations in four years. 
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held a trilateral summit for the first time in more than four years. 
  • According to Seoul officials, the leaders are expected to issue a joint statement on six areas, including economy and trade, science and technology, people-to people exchanges and health and population aging. 
  • They aim to increase the number of people-to-people exchanges to 40 million by 2030 through exchanges in culture, tourism and education. 
  • The three recognized the need to work together towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions and carbon neutrality. They pledged to take concrete action and support efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature targets. 
  • The last trilateral leaders' meeting was held in December 2019. Since then, it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. The three Asian nations together represent about 25 percent of global GDP, and they are closely linked to each other economically and culturally. 

7. Gitanas Nauseda won Lithuania's presidential election 

  • Incumbent President Gitanas Nauseda has won Lithuania's presidential election by defeating his rival Ingrida Simonytė. The latest data announced by the Central Election Commission (VRK) shows that across a total of 1,895 stations, Nausida got the support of 74.43 per cent of voters, while Simonyte stood second with 24.06 per cent. 
  • Nauseda has declared his victory, securing his second five-year term. In a statement, he said, the people have given him a huge mandate of confidence. A run-off poll was held on 26 May 2024 after no candidate secured more than half the votes in the first round on 12 May. 
  • This is the second time that Nausicaä and Simonite have participated in a presidential election. In 2019, Nausida defeated Simonyte with 66 percent of the vote. 
  • As President, Nausicaä has a semiexecutive role, including leading the armed forces, chairing the defense and national security policy body, and representing the country at NATO and EU summits. 
  • In view of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Nauseida and Simonyte both support increasing defense spending to at least 3 percent of Lithuania's GDP, from 2.75 percent planned for this year. 
  • Like other Baltic countries, Lithuania worries it could be Moscow's next target. 

New Prime Minister of Chad - Allamaye Halina 

  • Chad's newly elected President Mahamat Idriss Deby has been sworn in as his late father's successor after serving as interim leader for three years under military rule in the north-central African country. 
  • Chad named Allamaye Halina, previously its ambassador to China, as the new prime minister in a decree read on state television. He had served only as Prime Minister since the beginning of the year, having returned to the country under a reconciliation deal following a period in exile following protests against military rule. 

8. China launches AI model based on President Xi Jinping's philosophy 

  • China's top internet regulator has introduced a large language model (LLM) based on President Xi Jinping's political philosophy, describing it as a "safe and reliable" AI system. It promotes socialism with Chinese characteristics. 
  • Developed by the China Cyberspace Research Institute under the Cyberspace Administration of China, this model incorporates Xi Jinping's political views and other government-backed cyberspace topics. 
  • The chatbot was trained on seven databases, six of which were mostly related to information technologies provided by China's Internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China, or CAC. 
  • According to a WeChat post of the magazine of administration, the core content of the LLM includes "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" enshrined in China's Constitution in 2018. 
  • Xi Jinping Thought, also known as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, is composed of 14 principles, including ensuring the absolute power of the Chinese Communist Party, strengthening national security, and socialist values , as well as improving the livelihood of the people. 
  • This model is designed to meet the needs of different users, which can answer questions, generate reports, summarize information, and translate between Chinese and English. 
  • The big language model trained by Xi is the latest effort by authorities to spread the Chinese leader's ideology and ideas. Students have had to take classes on Xi Jinping Thought in schools, and an app called Study Xi Strong Nation was also launched in 2019 to allow users to learn about his ideologies and take quizzes. 

9. France conducts first successful launch of ASMPA-R nuclear airlaunched cruise miss 

  • France conducted the first evaluation firing of its new airlaunched nuclear cruise missile, the Advanced Medium-Range Air-toGround Strategic Missile (ASMPAR), on 22 May 2024. 
  • The Defense Ministry statement said the ASMPA-R development is in line with the French President's desire to maintain the long-term operational reliability of French forces ahead of the arrival in 2035 of a future fourth-generation nuclear missile. 
  • It is an inertial-guided, air-tosurface missile possibly guided by terrain-mapping and a preprogrammed onboard computer. The motor assembly includes a solid-propellant engine that turns on after the missile is released from the aircraft. 
  • Upon ignition, the missile accelerates to Mach 2.0 in five seconds, after which the booster cartridge is ejected from the ramjet exhaust nozzle. Then, the liquid (kerosene)-powered ramjet motor takes over and accelerates to a maximum speed of Mach 3.0, depending on altitude. 
  • Operation Durandal saw a Rafale B aircraft and an A330 Fenix overcome representative air-to-air and ground-to-air threats before firing the MBDA-built ASMPA-R. 
  • The ASMPA-R project is the latest development in a series of Air-Sol Moyne Portie (ASMP) missiles dedicated to France's airborne nuclear deterrent. The ASMP, originally developed in 1986, had a range between 80 and 300 km, and used a TN81 warhead of variable yield between 100 and 300 kilotons of TNT. 
  • France's nuclear deterrence policy is unusual on the world stage where nuclear powers including the US and China emphasize the virtues of a no-first strike policy with respect to the use of nuclear weapons. 
  • In contrast, the French strategy includes the option of first strike against non-nuclear provocations. 

10.WHO launches first-ever investment round for sustainable funding 

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched its first investment round to sustainably finance its Health for All mandate. 
  • The move comes as the organization seeks to transform the way it is funded by 2028. 
  • The investment round is part of a broader plan to reform the WHO’s funding architecture and make it more sustainable amid an era of climate change, mass migration, pandemics, an ageing world population, and turbulent geopolitics. 
  • The high-level event, which was held alongside the G20, will help member states and donors declare their support for the strategy and make commitments. 

About World Health Organization (WHO) 

  • Formation – 7 April 1948 
  • Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland 
  • First President – Andrija Štampar 
  • Director General – Tedros Adhanom (Ethiopia) 
  • Deputy Director General – Soumya Swaminathan (Indian) 
  • Member Countries – 194 

State News 

11. Tamil Nadu's Idol Wing CID announced to bring 'Dancing Krishna' idol from Thailand 

  • The CID (iW-CID), the idol wing of the Tamil Nadu Police, will bring back an ancient Chola-era bronze statue of 'Kaliya Kalki', also known as Kaliya Northern Krishna (Nritya Krishna), which was stolen many years ago. and has now been recovered from Bangkok. 
  • Recently, Director General of Police (DGP) Shailesh Kumar Yadav of Idol Wing CID discussed the plan to bring back the idol from the Thai capital with officials of the Union Culture Ministry and Archaeological Survey of India in New Delhi. The current price of the statue is $3.5 million. 
  • The rare version of the bronze statue was commissioned by the Department of Fine Arts of Thailand. The statue has been kept at the Indian High Commission in Bangkok and will be brought to India as soon as possible through proper channel. 
  • Due to the sustained efforts of a special team of the Idol Wing CID, an idol of Krishna in dance posture dating back to the Chola period was recently found abroad. 
  • Mr Yadav said that investigation revealed that Mr Latchford (who died in 2020) had collected the idol from international antique dealer Subhash Chandra Kapoor in 2005 and perusal of documents revealed that the price fixed for the idol was at the time of purchase. It was US$6,50,000. After Latchford's death, his daughter handed over most of his collection to Cambodia and Nritya Krishna's collection to Thailand after investigation by Indian and US authorities, said S. Vijay Kumar, an art lover and co-founder of the India Pride Project. 
  • It is also suspected that the idol may have been stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu by Kapoor and his associates before 2005 and sold to Latchford. Efforts are being made to find out from which temple this idol was stolen. 

12. Made-in-India Cherrapunji Gin takes top honor at Global Spirits Masters competition 

  • Cherrapunji Eastern Craft Gin, a domestic from Meghalaya, India, has won top honors at the Global Spirits Masters competition. 
  • This gin beat 110 brands from 55 countries to win the top spot and was showcased at the London Wine Fair on May 21, 2024, bringing the flavors of Northeast India to the global stage. 
  • Spirits made in India are slowly but surely making their mark in the world of fine spirits. Following the success of Godavan Whiskey, India now has its Cherrapunji Gin taking top honors at the Global Spirits Masters competition. 
  • The gin is uniquely packaged in a beautifully designed steel bottle, replacing the bulky and less convenient glass bottles. 
  • The bottle features illustrations by Portland-based designer Reshidev RK that depict the vibrant life of Meghalaya with images of a mandarin picker, a colonial-era Bedford bus, a red panda, a bamboo forest, a rooster, clouds and monoliths. 
  • Currently, Cherrapunji Gin is available in Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, with plans to expand across Northeast India and will soon be launched in Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Goa and select international markets. 
  • It's Said that it is made from rainwater, Cherrapunji Gin is a collaboration between the company's master distiller and a Dutch counterpart, a blend of 12 native botanicals from Northeast India.
  • The flavor profile of the gin was created by Mayukh Hazarika, a native of Shillong in the Netherlands – founder and CEO of Cherrapunji Gin – who worked with a Dutch master distiller to perfect the recipe. 
  • Key ingredients include GI-tagged Khasi Mandarin, known for its sweet and tangy taste; sohmarit (wild chilli) from the forests of Meghalaya, adding a spicy kick; Fragrant Kaji Nemu (lemon) peel from Assam; And a taste of smoked tea from Tripura Estate. The essential juniper is obtained from Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • The company is now focusing on exports, with the first batch set to reach European shores next month. This is the first time that a brand from Northeast India has made such a significant impact in the craft spirits industry. 

13. According to PLFS survey, Kerala is the top state in youth unemployment rate in the quarter January-March 2024. 

  • According to the latest Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS) released by the Statistics Ministry, Kerala recorded the highest unemployment rate among the 15- 29 age group in urban areas in the January-March quarter of 2024, while Delhi had the lowest unemployment rate. 
  • The survey, which covered 22 states and union territories, identified Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Rajasthan and Odisha as other states with high unemployment rates in this age group. 
  • The overall unemployment rate for the 15-29 age group was 17 percent for the January-March period, up from 16.5 percent the previous quarter, but slightly lower than the 17.3 percent reported in the same period in 2023. 
  • For all age groups, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, slightly higher than the previous quarter's 6.5 percent and slightly lower than the previous year's 6.8 percent. 
  • Three states and union territories recorded single-digit unemployment rates: Delhi (3.1 percent), Gujarat (9 percent), and Haryana (9.5 percent). Karnataka (11.5 percent) and Madhya Pradesh (12.1 percent) also had relatively low unemployment rates. 
  • The data also highlighted the high unemployment rate for women, at 48.6 percent in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by Kerala (46.6 percent), Uttarakhand (39.4 percent), Telangana (38.4 percent), and Himachal Pradesh (35.9 percent).
  • The overall female unemployment rate for the January-March quarter was 22.7 percent, a slight increase from 22.5 percent in the previous quarter, but lower than 22.9 percent for the same period in 2023. 
  • The unemployment rate in the 15- 29 age group remains high, which has increased further due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there has been some improvement since the pandemic, it remains an important issue for policymakers focused on job creation for new workforce entrants. 

Appointment News

14. DRDO chairman Samir V. Kamat gets one year extension 

  • The tenure of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) chairman Dr Samir V Kamat was extended for another year by the Centre. 
  • As per a government order, Dr Kamat will continue in his present position as the DRDO chief till May 31, 2025. 
  • He was appointed to the highest post in the DRDO in August 2022 and was slated to retire on May 31, 2024. 
  • Dr Kamat completed his B.Tech (Hons) in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT-Kharagpur in 1985 and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA in 1988 and joined DRDO in 1989. 

About Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) 

  • Founded – 1 January 1958 
  • Headquarters – New Delhi 
  • Motto – “Strength’s Origin is in Knowledge” 
  • Chairman – Samir V Kamat Awards 

15. NHPC honoured with ‘The Economic Times HR World Future Ready Organization Award 2024-25’ 

  • NHPC, India’s premier hydropower company has been conferred with the prestigious ‘The Economic Times HR World Future Ready Organization Award 2024-25’. 
  • The Award was received by Uttam Lal, Director (Personnel), NHPC along with Lucas Guria, Executive Director (HR) and a team of NHPC officers at the Awards Ceremony held in Mumbai. 
  • The Award has been given to NHPC in recognition for its future preparedness in the areas of upskilling of its employees, ESG interventions, DE&I initiatives, constant technological upgradations, Employee Engagement processes, robust Corporate Governance strategies etc. which establishes it as a trusted brand amongst all its stakeholders. 

Recent Award 

  • UK’s Women’s Empowerment Award – Arti (from UP) 
  • Shaw Prize 2024 in astronomy – Srinivas R. Kulkarni 
  • International Booker Prize 2024 – Jenny Erpenbeck and Michael Hofmann (Kairos) 
  • ATD BEST Award 2024 for Talent Development – NTPC Ltd (3rd Rank) 
  • Global Excellence Award 2024 – Chandrakant Satija 

Sports News

16. Classic Football Academy bag AIFF U17 title 

  • Classic Football Academy retained the All-India Football Federation Under 17 Elite Youth League 2023-24 Title beating Sudeva Delhi FC 2-1 at the Nagoa Panchayat Ground, Goa. 
  • Played on the well-maintained turf of Nagoa in Goa, the two teams dished out a lively display of attacking football, much to the delight of the sparse crowd. 

Important day 

17. 28 May – World Hunger Day 

  • World Hunger Day is observed every year on 28 May.
  • This day raises awareness about the urgent issue of global hunger. It’s time to acknowledge the millions suffering from malnutrition and the need for sustainable solutions to end hunger for good. 
  • Theme 2024 – Thriving Mothers, Thriving World 
  • In 2011, The Hunger Project, a global organisation dedicated to ending hunger and poverty, established World Hunger Day as a yearly event. 
  • This day serves as a platform to advocate for sustainable solutions that address the root causes of hunger, promote food security, and empower communities. 

Science & Technology News

18. Investment in technology will secure boundaries: Dhankhar 

  • Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday said a country that invests in technological advancement will have secure boundaries. Mr. Dhankhar, who visited National Aerospace Limited (NAL) and laid the foundation stone of the Centre for Carbon Fiber and Prepregs in Bengaluru, said, “Gone are the days of conventional warfare. 
  • I have before me men in uniform. They know the changing dynamics of warfare.” He said how a country positions itself and how strong it will be will be determined in laboratories like NAL. “How our position will happen, how strong we will be, will be determined in laboratories like this. 
  • And the good thing is, our future is bright because you people are working with that intellect, education, which is unrivaled in the world,” he added. He said India is one of the countries that are focusing on disruptive technologies. 
  • “There are five to six countries focusing on that (disruptive technologies). Our quantum computing system that will be of extreme awareness to you all is in place,” Mr. Dhankhar said. He also praised NAL’s contribution to the country’s aerospace sector. 
  • “In the last two years, India’s space accomplishments have come to be globally recognised. He witnessed the flying display of the Hansa NG, the indigenous flying trainer designed and developed by NAL at the HAL airport. 

Using AI to increase student enrolment 

  • In a novel campaign to boost enrolment in the Zilla Parishad High School at Vattemla in Rajanna Sircilla district of Telangana, the school headmaster K. Suryanarayana is spearheading an AI-powered campaign on social media to increase student enrolment in the State-run school in the next academic year. 
  • The novel idea struck him when his daughter, who is studying in third year B.Tech at IIITDM-Kancheepuram, explained to him about the multifarious applications of AI during her recent visit to her native place for summer vacation. Translating the idea into action, he claimed to have created a ‘virtual AI anchor’, a computerised avatar, to highlight the benefits of studying in the ZPHS, Vattemla. 
  • “The ‘AI anchor’ reads out a text in Telugu highlighting the salient features of the ZPHS such as English medium instruction, well-qualified teachers, mid-day meals, free textbooks, two pairs of school uniform, digital lessons through T-Sat channel and so on,” Mr. Suryanarayana said. 
  • He said efforts are on to increase student enrolment in the school. The campaign is aimed at spreading awareness about the advantages of studying in the State-run school endowed with well-qualified and experienced teachers. The ZPHS, Vattemla, recorded 100% results in the SSC exams last year.

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