Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 29th May 2024

National News 

1. Fischer Medical Ventures makes India’s first indigenous MRI system 

  • Chennai-headquartered Fischer Medical Ventures (FMVL) has manufactured its magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems domestically, claiming to be the first company in the country to achieve this. 
  • The company is developing its MRI systems at a production facility in the Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) in Visakhapatnam. 
  • AMTZ, India’s premier medical technology park, provides a conducive environment for production, with access to facilities and a skilled workforce. 
  • The Indian medical device industry is heavily reliant on imports, with estimates suggesting 80-85 per cent of devices coming from outside the country. This dependence translates to a staggering import bill of over Rs 63,200 crore. 

2. India's first research center to study Norvester will start in Odisha 

  • The research center to study India's first Norvester will start in Odisha. The control center will be about 130 km east of Bhubaneswar at Chandbali in Bhadrak district of Odisha. This facility will be completed by 2026. 
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorological (IITM), Pune and National Medium-limit Weather Forecast Center (NCMRWF), Delhi, will develop and use this facility jointly. 
  • Meteorologists will soon be able to deploy drones, mobile vans and high-level equipment to monitor demonic norves or Kalbaisakhi, which affect the east and northeast areas of India every summer. 
  • The proposed research test facility will cover a large area adjacent to West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. Starting from East and North-East India, South Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, there are extremely strong storms with strong winds in the north-west. 
  • Although Norvester was less active in this summer, such incidents occurred occasionally in April and early May. Strong winds and storms came in the northern districts of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, killing at least five people last month. 
  • As soon as these convened clouds move towards West Bengal and Bangladesh, the northwest winds mix over the Bay of Bengal with hot, moist air, which causes a lot of obstruction in the air. 
  • In addition, local hills and dense forests together with sea wind make it ideal for the development of thunder cloud cells. These incidents of storms typically prevail between two to four hours in the afternoon. 
  • The proposed research test site will have several high-level equipment worth more than Rs 25 crore which will complement these existing observation mechanisms. 

3. New Delhi, Bengaluru and Lucknow International Airports honored with Green Airports Recognition-2024 Awards 

  • New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (Silver) Among the Airports Handling Over 35 Million Passengers Per Annum, Kempegowda International Airport (Kia) of Bengaluru, Karnataka in the Categary of Aerport Million to 35 Million Passengers Per Annum and Lucknow's Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport (Silver), Airports Handling Less Than 8 Million Passengers Per Year Have Won The Silver Award. 
  • The Award has been confirmed at the airports council interactive (ACI) Asia-Pacific and Middle East Green Airport Accredation (Gar) 2024. The Theme of Green Airports Recognition 2024 IS Ed Solutions'. 
  • The ACI Asia-Pacific and Middle East have announced the results of Gar 2024, with 12 airports of AsiaPacific and Middle East for their outstanding achievements in stability projects. 
  • Recognized airports have been honored in three categories - platinum, gold and silver - based on categories of various airports and prescribed criteria. 
  • Airports are divided into four categories: more than 35 million passengers per year, 15 million to 35 million passengers, 8 million passengers and 8 million passengers per year. 
  • Out of the airports handling 15 million to 35 million passengers per year, Platinum and Golden Awards were given to Kansai Airport in Japan and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia respectively. 

4. Sterlite Technologies partners with Connexin for gigabit broadband 

  • Sterlite Technologies Ltd partnered with UK-based Connexin to help deliver gigabit broadband connectivity in Nottinghamshire. 
  • This partnership is part of a £58 million government contract awarded to Connexin under Project Gigabit, aimed at bringing ultrafast broadband to rural areas. 
  • The company will utilise its smart fibre deployment services to connect approximately 12,000 hard-to-reach premises in Nottinghamshire, including areas such as Kirkby in Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Annesley, and Newark on Trent. 
  • The initiative is expected to provide residents with broadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps, per the company. 

5. Wipro to develop AI driven tech to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease 

  • Wipro has partnered with the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru to develop a personal care engine to reduce and manage the risk of cardiovascular disease by utilizing AI. 
  • The collaboration will develop new technologies for prevention and management of long-term health disorders and to provide precision support for these diseases. 
  • The personal care engine will focus on reducing and managing the risk of cardiovascular disease and correlated neurodegenerative disorders, by using AI to personalize its interaction with users, optimizing for their long-term health and wellbeing. 

6. Reliance Industries to begin construction on India’s first multimodal logistics park near Chennai 

  • Conceptualised 12 years ago, India’s first Multimodal Logistics Park at Mappedu near Chennai will see the limelight as Reliance Industries starts construction in June. 
  • In 2022, the company beat Adani Group to win the bid for the Rs 1,424 crore project on 184.27 acres of land in Tiruvallur district. 
  • The project aims to facilitate efficient, cost-effective and value-added logistics services such as cargo aggregation and disaggregation, distribution, intermodal transfer, sorting, packing, and repacking. 
  • In 2022, the Centre awarded the contract to Reliance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone on May 26, 2022. 
  • In October 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed among Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation, National Highways Logistics Management Limited and the Chennai Port Trust. 

International News 

7. Under 'PREFIRE Mission', NASA launches miniature climate satellite to study the Earth's poles 

  • NASA successfully launched a pair of small climate satellites from Launch Complex 1 aboard Rocket Lab's Electron rocket in Mahia, New Zealand. 
  • The mission, called PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-Infrared Experiment), aims to study heat emissions at Earth's poles, shedding light on the complex interplay between these regions and global climate change. 
  • The PREFIRE mission was jointly developed by NASA and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory managing the mission and providing the spectrometer. 
  • The PREFIRE mission consists of two shoebox-sized CubeSats, each equipped with a sophisticated thermal infrared spectrometer capable of measuring far-infrared radiation emitted by Earth's coldest and most remote regions. 
  • By gathering this vital data, scientists hope to better estimate the impact of climate change on sea ice loss, ice sheet melting, and sea level rise. 
  • The second Prefire CubeSat is scheduled to launch in the coming days. Once both CubeSats are operational, after a 30-day checkout period, the mission is expected to operate for 10 months. 

A super Earth called 'Gliese 12b' between Earth and Venus 

  • US space agency NASA has announced that an Earth-sized, potentially habitable planet has been discovered just 40 light years away. Named 'Gliese 12b', it is a super Earth exoplanet orbiting an M-type star. 
  • It resembles Exo-Venus in size and solar energy absorption. "We have discovered the closest, transiting, temperate, Earth-sized world to date," said Masayuki Kuzuhara, a project assistant professor at the Astrobiology Center in Tokyo. 
  • Shishir Dholakia, a PhD candidate in astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, who also claims to have discovered the exoplanet, described it as a 'eureka moment'! 
  • "It could be at the right temperature for liquid water to freeze on the surface," Dholakia said. Gliese 12b, Earth-sized or slightly smaller, orbits Gliese 12, a cool red dwarf star in the constellation Pisces, NASA said. 
  • The space agency said that the size of this star is only 27 percent of the size of the Sun and its surface temperature is equal to about 60 percent of the Sun. In the absence of an atmosphere, Gliese 12b's surface temperature is estimated to be around 107 °F (42 °C). 
  • NASA's TESS satellite (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) played a key role in the discovery, detecting the planet's transit and generating further interest in studying it with the James Webb Space Telescope. 

8. Philippines passes bill legalizing divorce 

  • The lower house of the Philippines Parliament passed a bill last week that legalizes divorce in the country. It will reach the Senate in August 2024. Conservative lawmakers and Catholics, who comprise about 79% of the Philippines' population, continue to oppose the bill. 
  • The bill's author, representative Edsel Lagman, said: "The only country in the world other than the Vatican where divorce is still illegal is a clear and resounding victory and signals the imminent liberation for Filipino wives who are trapped in toxic, abusive, abusive, and abusive divorce. 
  • The Philippines' divorce bill sets out grounds for absolute divorce, which include psychological unfitness, irreconcilable differences, domestic or marital abuse, gender reassignment surgery and separation for at least five years. 
  • The proposed Absolute Divorce Act passed the House 131–109. However, in 2018, after one such bill passed committee level in the House of Representatives, a senior Catholic priest said: “Divorce is a direct affront to the law ordained by God and especially reiterated by our Lord Jesus Christ! " The bill ultimately failed in the Senate. 
  • The divorce law was repealed when the Civil Code of the Philippines was enacted in 1950. Divorce remains illegal in the Philippines today largely due to the Catholic Church, which views marriage as a sacred commitment to one's spouses as well as to God and society. 
  • Countries such as Spain, Argentina and Ireland with large Catholic populations allowed divorce in the 1980s and 1990s. 
  • Divorce was allowed in the Philippines before Spanish rule in the 16th century. Under the American occupation in 1917, Filipinos could dissolve their marriage in case of adultery and concubinage. 
  • The Japanese, who occupied the Philippines during World War II, expanded divorce laws, allowing Filipinos 11 grounds to obtain a divorce. 
  • According to the 2020 census, Roman Catholics make up 78.8% of the Philippines' population while 6.4% are Muslims, the second largest group in the country. 

9. Russian government announces removal of Taliban from 'terrorist' list 

  • The state-run RIA Novosti news agency said on 27 May 2024 that Russia would remove the Taliban from the list of banned terrorist organizations three years after returning to power in Afghanistan. 
  • Moscow has fostered ties with the Taliban for years, holding several rounds of talks and promoting trade with Afghanistan despite international sanctions. 
  • "Kazakhstan recently took a decision to remove them from the list of terrorist organizations, which we are also going to take," RIA Novosti quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying. 
  • Kazakhstan removed the Taliban from the list of banned organizations in late 2023. 
  • The move could further boost diplomacy between Russia and Afghanistan but would prevent the Taliban government and what it calls the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" from receiving official recognition. 
  • The Taliban seized power from the US-backed government in 2021. They have imposed an extreme form of Islamic law that effectively bans women from public life. 
  • Russia has maintained relations with the Taliban for years. The head of US forces in Afghanistan claimed in 2018 that Moscow was providing the group with weapons – allegations Moscow denied at the time. 
  • The Taliban has been designated a terrorist organization in Russia since 2003. Moscow has a complicated history with Afghanistan, with the Soviet Union fighting a decade-long war against guerrilla mujahideen fighters in the 1980s to support the Kremlinbacked government. 

10. 2,000 people missing due to landslide in Mount Mungalo, Papua New Guinea 

  • The search continues for about 2,000 people buried at Mount Mungalo in Papua New Guinea's Enga province, with rocks still falling. A deadly landslide, which Papua New Guinea villagers say sounded like an "exploding bomb", could bury more than 2,000 people alive, a government agency fears. 
  • The figure - provided by the acting director of the country's National Disaster Center - is far higher than the 670 suggested by the United Nations (UN) over the weekend. 
  • Desperate efforts to rescue survivors or retrieve bodies from the debris have so far been hampered by debris up to 10 meters (32 ft) deep in some places, blocked access, and a lack of adequate equipment. 
  • The debris of the disaster is spread for about one kilometer. About 3,800 people were living in the area before the disaster. As the land continues to slip, fear is also increasing for the nearby villages. 
  • Every hour you can hear the sound of rocks breaking - it's like a bomb or a gunshot and rocks keep falling." Local authorities are now trying to evacuate 7,900 people to avoid any further loss of life. 
  • Enga Province is one of several mountainous highland areas of PNG that form part of the third largest rainforest on Earth after the Amazon and Congo Basin rainforests. 
  • According to the 2022 World Risk Index, Papua New Guinea is ranked as the 16th most vulnerable country in the world to climate change and natural hazards. 

11. Nepal celebrated Its 17th Republic Day 

  • Nepal has celebrated Its 17th Republic Day on 28 May. 
  • Republic Day is associated with people’s movement and aspiration for change from monarchy to make Nepal a republic nation. 
  • The Nepal Army, Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force conducted march-past and cultural pageants on the occasion. A Nepal Army helicopter displayed a banner reading ‘Republic Day, 2081’ and cascaded flowers in Tundikhel. 
  • After then CPN Maoist’s armed conflict and seven parties’ peaceful movement, then King Gyanendra Shah had restored the House of Representatives on April 24, 2006, thereby returning the rule to the people’s representatives. 
  • Two years later, the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly on May 28, 2008, declared the country a Republic. 

About Nepal 

  • Capital- Kathmandu 
  • Currency- Nepalese rupee 
  • President– Ram Chandra Paudel 
  • Prime minister– Pushpa Kamal Dahal 

State News 

12. 'Vaikasi Visagam' festival celebrated in Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu 

  • Thousands of devotees from different parts of Tamil Nadu participated in the 'Vaikasi Vishagam' festival organized at Lord Subramaniam Swamy temple. The 10-day festival began with traditional rituals and prayers. 
  • After 'Abhishekam' and 'Deeparadhanai', the deity reached 'Vasantha Mandapam' in a golden car. After the 'Giri Veethi' procession with Valli and Devayani, the festivities come to an end. After taking a holy dip in the sea, thousands of devotees offered prayers after standing in long queues for a few hours. 
  • Special buses were operated from Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Nagercoil to Tiruchendur. In view of the festival, 'Annadhanam' was organized in various parts of Tiruchendur. 
  • Vaikasi Visakam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Vaisaki when it coincides with Visakha Tara Purnima and is considered as the birth anniversary of Lord Murugan. Many devotees got parts of their bodies or tongues pierced with spears and carried 'Kavadis' to offer prayers and homage. 
  • The deities graced the temple chariot which was pulled by devotees chanting 'Arohar'. Vaikasi Visakam is an important festival dedicated to Lord Murugan which is celebrated under the Visakam constellation in South India. 
  • Lord Narasimha Swamy's birth constellation 'Swati Nakshatram' celebrated with pomp in Tirumala 
  • The birth-star 'Swati Nakshatram' of Lord Narasimha Swamy was celebrated grandly with special rituals at the Yoga Narasimha Swamy Sub Temple and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Tirumala. 

Appointment News

12. Apurva Chandra appointed as chairperson of Committee A Of 77TH WHA Event 

  • Apurva Chandra, Union health secretary, Government of India, has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Committee A at the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) by the WHO. 
  • Committee A is tasked with facilitating crucial discussions on a range of programmatic topics. These include universal health coverage, public health emergency preparedness and response, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, and sustainable financing for the World Health Organization (WHO). 
  • India’s leadership in Committee A underscores its growing influence in global health governance. The World Health Assembly features sessions from three main committees: Plenary, Committee A, and Committee B. 

About World Health Organization (WHO) 

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

13. Gaurav Banerjee appoints as new CEO of Sony India 

  • Japan’s Sony has appointed a Walt Disney executive, Gaurav Banerjee, as its new India chief executive to lead its television and other media businesses. 
  • Banerjee has resigned from Disney’s India unit where he was the head of content for its streaming service, Hotstar, and head of business for the company’s TV channels in Hindi-speaking markets. 
  • Last week, Sony said it was looking for a successor to its current India chief executive, N.P. Singh, who had decided to move on. 
  • Sony runs 26 channels in India, from general entertainment to sports and movies, and also a streaming service. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Chairman of DRDO – Samir V. Kamat (one year extension) 
  • Chairman of NAFED – Jetha Ahir 
  • Member in Central Electricity Regulatory Commission – Ramesh Babu V 
  • VC of International Aluminium Institute -John Slaven 
  • MD of Honeywell Automation India Ltd (HAIL) – Atul Pai (replace Ashish Gaikwad) 

Awards News

14. Divya Deshmukh won the Sharjah Chess Challengers title 

  • Seven months after winning the elite women's rapid crown, 18-yearold Asian champion Divya Deshmukh proved her worth in the classical format by winning the Sharjah Challengers chess title by defeating IM Leya Garifullina. 
  • The Indian national women's champions remained unbeaten in the nine-round open tournament and topped the table with seven points with a better tie-break score. Divya emerged champion in a tough tournament where 98 players from 38 countries, including six grandmasters, were competing. 
  • At the end of the ninth round, eighth seeded International Master (IM) Divya was tied with Russian IM Leya Garifullina and No. 5 seed Sina Movahed of Iran. With Buchholz tie-break score of 47 against Leia and Sina's 45 and 41 respectively, Divya recorded one of her most memorable wins. 
  • On her way to victory, Divya, rated 2440, gave a performance rating of 2584 Elo. Divya earned 16.4 international rating points by winning five rounds and drawing four boards. 
  • Iran's GM Bardiya Daneshwar won the title of champion in Masters by defeating GM Volodar Murzin. While India's Arjun Erigaysi finished 7th, the 7th Sharjah Masters was held from 14 to 22 May 2024. 
  • Charles Leclerc, the first Monaco F1 player to win the Monaco Grand Prix since 1931 Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc has achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first Monegasque driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix since Louis Chiron in 1931, ending a 92-year drought. 
  • It was the first time the 26-year-old had stood on a Monaco podium in six attempts and came after pitting twice from pole position in a race when first-lap collisions took away a fifth of the field. Leclerc's victory was his first since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix. 
  • McLaren's Oscar Piastri finished second, 7.1 seconds behind Leclerc, while Ferrari's Carlos Sainz took third. 

15. Major Radhika Sen receives UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award

  • Major Radhika Sen, an Indian peacekeeper deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has been named the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year for 2023. 
  • The prestigious award recognizes her outstanding service and efforts to empower local communities, especially women and girls, during her tour of duty from March 2023 to April 2024. 
  • Serving with the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO as the Commander of the Engagement Platoon for the Indian Rapid Deployment Battalion in eastern DRC, Major Sen played a crucial role in establishing Community Alert Networks. 
  • These networks provided a platform for community leaders, young people, and women to voice their security and humanitarian concerns, which Major Sen and her colleagues at MONUSCO then worked to address. 

Important day 

16. 29 May – International Day of the UN Peacekeepers 

  • International Day of the UN Peacekeepers is observed every year in 29 May. 
  • This day is observed to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of over 4000 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while trying to bring peace in strife-torn areas of the world. 
  • Theme 2024 – Fit for the future, building better together. 
  • The day also urges the global community to join and strengthen the global movement for peace. 
  • The first International Day of the UN Peacekeepers was observed on 29 May 2003.

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