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

National News 

1. President invites Modi to form new government Swearing-in tomorrow

  • NDA Parliamentary Party elects Modi as its leader, allies hand over letters of support to President: Modi says he will strive to ensure consensus in all decisions of the government. 
  • President Droupadi Murmu on Friday formally invited Narendra Modi to form the next government, and begin his third successive term as Prime Minister, after the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) Parliamentary Party elected him as its leader. The new government will be sworn in on Sunday.
  • Earlier in the day, leaders of NDA parties, includ- ing N. Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United), and Maharashtra's Shiv Sena Chief Minister Eknath Shinde met the President and handed over their letters of support to the new supp government. 
  • At the meeting of the NDA Parliamentary Party held at the Central Hall of the old Parliament House, Mr. Modi evoked the spirit of a coalition government, stressing that he would strive to ensure sarvamat, or consensus, in all the decisions of his next government. 
  • "Governments may be made on the basis of numbers, but the country is run on consensus," Mr.Modi said, asserting that the NDA was an organic al liance committed to the principle of "nation first" Kicking off the proceedings at the NDA parliamentary party meeting, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh proposed Mr. Modi's name as the leader of the Parliamentary Party, and as the Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha. 
  • He was seconded by oth er senior leaders, including the BJP's Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah, Mr. Naidu, Mr. Kumar, Mr. Shinde, Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshak ti Party, and Pawan Kalyan of the Jana Sena Party. 
  • Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Modi said that mutual trust was at the core of this alliance, which is committed to the princi ple of 'sarv pantha sambha va (all sects are equal). Claiming that NDA partners were all known partners for good governance, he noted that the alliance was forming a government at the Centre at a time when its members were also in power in 22 States. 
  • Mr. Modi took potshots at the Congress, pointing out that even after 10 years in the Opposition, the par ty had not managed to reach a 100 seats. He said that the Opposition had made every attempt to paint the NDA's election victory as a loss, but insist ed that impression could not be created. 
  • "There were efforts to not acknowledge this very victory, to cast a shadow of defeat. But all such efforts remained fruitless," he said. Defending the demo- cratic process in the coun try made a pointed jab, ask- ing whether "EVMs were still alive" when the Lok Sabha results came in, re- ferring to the Opposition's doubts regarding Electron ic Voting Machines. 
  • 'Man with a vision' His NDA allies were ful some in their praise for the Prime Minister, with Mr. Naidu calling him "a man with a vision and a zeal", whose execution of plans was "perfect". 
  • Terming Mr. Modi the "right man at the right time", the TDP chief said that India's enhanced pres- tige on the global stage was due to the Prime Minister's decade-long tenure. 

2. Health experts call for vigil against spread of H5N1 virus during Bakrid 

  • A group of health experts from different continents have alerted the Muslim. community across the world to step up vigil against the possible spread of avian flu virus H5N1 dur- ing the Haj and Id-ul-Adha celebrations. 
  • Id-ul-Adha or Bakrid is a festival of animal sacrifice and is celebrated by about two billion Muslims across the world. About four mil- lion Muslims will be per- forming Haj in Makkah, coinciding with the Id cele- brations in the third week of June. 
  • "There is a risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza  'Mass herding of animals and sacrifice ups the risk of transmission from animals to humans' 
  • A virus H5N1 transmission during the Haj pilgrimage and Id-ul-Adha, which would involve the sacrifice of approximately 143 mil- lion animals. The risk of transmission from animals to humans is high," said N.M. Mujeeb Rahman, who co-authored a scientific ar- ticle in Nature Medicine about the risks. 
  • He said the detection of H5N1 in the U.S. dairy cat- tle, poultry in Asia, the Gulf, and Europe had re- sulted in over 800 human cases with half leading to death. "Two-thirds of these cases occurred in countries with large Mus- lim populations," Dr. Rah- man told The Hindu. 
  • Note of caution The team of experts that sounded the warning was led by Shahul H. Ebrahim from Mali. Apart from Dr. Rahman, the others in his team were Justin Wong from Brunei, Alimuddin Zumla from the U.K., Seif S. Al-Abri from Oman, Abdul- lah A. Al Rabeeah from Saudi Arabia, and Ziad A. Memish from the U.S. 
  • The team raised more concerns about the animal sacrifices done in com- munity settings across the world. 
  • "Although about three million animals are sacrificed at the Haj, the Saudi Project for Utilisa- tion of Haj Meat has streamlined the ritual slaughter to reduce health risks by centralising the process and eliminating di- rect contact with animals." 
  • Dr. Rahman said the risk in community settings. worldwide would remain significant. "The mass im- portation and herding of animals create opportuni- ties for viral transmission. Every time the virus repli- cates in a person, there is potential for it to adapt to humans and gain features that enable human-to-hu- man spread, as seen with COVID-19," he said. 

3. Sheikh Hasina to be first of foreign leaders to arrive for Modi's swearing-in 

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will arrive in Delhi on Saturday, the first of the foreign dignitaries from the neighbourhood invited by Narendra Modi to attend his swearing-in on Sunday evening. 
  • According to sources, Ms. Hasina, who is due to land around noon, will ar- rive a day earlier than the rest, as Sri Lankan Presi- dent Ranil Wickremesinghe and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will arrive on Sunday morning and Nepal's Prime Minister P.K. Dahal "Prachanda" later in the day. Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu also expected to attend the swearing-in, accompanied by a large delegation including senior Ministers. 
  • The decision to invite leaders of regional coun- tries mirrors Mr. Modi's outreach to South Asian Association for Regional Sheikh Hasina Cooperation (SAARC) countries in 2014 and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Coopera- tion (BIMSTEC) countries in 2019. 
  • This time, officials say the government is focusing on India's close "neigh- bours and the Indian Ocean Region", with invita tions being extended to leaders of countries like Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius as well as Bangla- desh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, who were invit- ed both the previous times. 
  • However, leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan were only invited in 2014, and ties with both coun- tries have subsequently teriorated over a number of issues. All the leaders will attend the swearing-in on Sunday evening at the Rashtrapati Bhavan fore- court, and the subsequent reception. 
  • For Monday, officials are working on schedules for call-ons by the External Af- fairs Minister and bilateral meetings with Mr. Modi and the visiting dignitaries. 

Packed schedule 

  • The new government will also have a packed foreign travel agenda in the weeks ahead, with Mr. Modi ex- pected to fly to Italy to at- tend the G-7 outreach be- ing hosted by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on June 13-14. He will also meet U.S. President Joe Bi- den, and leaders of the U.K., France, Germany, Ca- nada, European Union and Japan at the event. 
  • According to officials, Mr. Modi would not accept the invitation from Switzer- land to attend the peace summit on June 14 but In- dia will participate at a "se- nior" level. 
  • Then, Mr. Modi will be in Kazakhstan on July 3-4 for the Shanghai Coopera- tion Organisation (SCO) Summit in Astana, due to be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinp- ing, Pakistan's Prime Mi- nister Shehbaz Sharif, and leaders from Central Asia, Turkey and Iran. All eyes will also be on this summit where Mr. Modi will make his first bilateral visit abroad in his third term; in 2014, he travelled to Bhu- tan and Nepal, and in 2019, to Maldives and Sri Lanka. 
  • As The Hindu had re- ported earlier this week, Ms. Hasina, who was re- elected in January has been keen to schedule her visit to Delhi as her first destination abroad, before travelling to Beijing in July. 

International News 

4. Russia's economy is growing even after sanctions, says Putin 

  • President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the Rus- sian economy is growing despite heavy internation- al sanctions and the coun- try has expanded econom- ic ties with countries in Africa, the West Asia and Asia, as he sought to court investors. 
  • Addressing the Presidents of Bolivia and Zimbabwe and business leaders at the St. Peters- burg International Eco- nomic Forum, he said Rus- sia "remains one of the key participants in world trade," despite the fact that the country is under sanc- tions for sending troops in- to Ukraine.
  •  The forum has been used by Russia for decades by Vladimir Putin. AP as a showcase for touting the country's develop- ment, though Western offi- cials and investors have steered clear of the session since sanctions cut off much of Russia's trade with Western Europe, the U.S. and their allies. 
  • The main driver of Rus- sia's economic growth is the fighting in Ukraine now as important to the Kremlin economically as it is politically. 

5. Nvidia overtakes Apple to become world's second most valuable company 

  • US semiconductor maker Nvidia Corp has overtaken iPhone maker Apple to become the world's second most valuable company. The company's market cap rose to more than $3.06 trillion on June 5. 
  • Washington-based Microsoft remained the world's most valuable company with a market value of $3.14 trillion, as its shares rose 1.5%. Nvidia Corp's shares surged on June 5, following a surge in the company's market-cap. 
  • If we talk about the company's stock, on June 5, Nvidia Corp's stock closed at $1,224.40 (about Rs 1,86,958) with a gain of $60.03 or 5.16 percent. 
  • After the rise in the stock, the market cap of Nvidia Corp. rose to $3.01 trillion (about Rs 251 lakh crore). At the same time, the market capitalization of iPhone maker Apple is $3 trillion. On June 5, Apple's stock closed at $195.87. 
  • Nvidia's stock gave a return of 6.93 percent in the last 5 trading sessions. At the same time, the company's stock gave a return of 169.08 percent in 6 months. So far in the year 2024, Nvidia's stock has gained 154.19 percent. 
  • Even in the year 2002, Nvidia's market capitalization had surpassed Apple. That year, the difference in the market cap of these two companies was less than Rs 83,000 crore. In the year 2007, Apple launched the first iPhone. Apple's market capitalization increased rapidly after the launch of the iPhone. 
  • NVIDIA has four engineering development centers in India. Nvidia works in the technology sector. This company is known worldwide for the design and manufacturing of graphics processing units (GPUs). 
  • Nvidia was founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang, Curtis Preem and Chris Malachowski. Its headquarters is in Santa Clara, California. 

State News 

6. Two bird sanctuaries of Bihar, Nagi and Nakti, included in Ramsar list 

  • The Government of India has added two bird sanctuaries, Nagi and Nakti in Jhajha forest area of Jamui district of Bihar, to the 'Ramsar Sites' list, taking their number to 82. Both are man-made reservoirs, were added to the Ramsar sites on the occasion of World Environment Day, celebrated annually on June 5. The Nakati Bird Sanctuary was developed primarily for irrigation through the construction of the Nakati Dam. 
  • Since the construction of the dam, the wetland and its surrounding area have provided habitat for over 150 species of birds, mammals, fish, aquatic plants, reptiles and amphibians. 
  • These include globally threatened species including the endangered Elephas maximus indicus and a vulnerable native catfish (Wallago attu).
  • Currently, the highest number of such sites is in the UK (175), followed by Mexico (144). The number of Indian sites on the list has increased from 26 to 82 in the last ten years, with 40 of them added in the last three years. 
  • On World Wetlands Day 2024 on 2 February 2024, India has designated five wetlands as Ramsar sites, increasing the number from the existing 75 to 80. 
  • Three of these sites, Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve, Aghanashini Estuary and Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve are located in Karnataka, while two, Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary and Longwood Shola Reserve Forest are in Tamil Nadu. 
  • Tamil Nadu has the highest number of Ramsar sites (16 sites), followed by Uttar Pradesh (10 sites). 
  • The Ramsar Convention is an international environmental treaty signed on 2 February 1971 at Ramsar, Iran, under the auspices of UNESCO. 

India's first biosphere built in tiger reserve 

  • New Delhi-based entrepreneur Jai Dhar Gupta has built India's first biosphere 'Rajaji Raghati Biosphere' within the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand. “The Rajaji Raghati Biosphere (RRB) is a 35- acre private forest initiative led by ecologist Vijay Dhasmana. 
  • Located within the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, the biosphere is located along the rocky white Raghati river nestled in the Shivalik foothills. 
  • His team conducted extensive surveys to identify suitable native plant species, especially those that are rare or endangered in the region and collected seeds, establishing a seed bank. 
  • Rajaji National Park was notified in 1983 by merging three wildlife sanctuaries of Uttarakhand - Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla. It was named after the famous freedom fighter C. Rajagopalachari, popularly known as “Rajaji”. 

Banking & Finance News 

7. SBI Mutual Fund becomes the first fund house in the country to cross the Rs 10 trillion mark 

  • The assets under management of SBI Mutual Fund have achieved the figure of Rs 10 trillion. It has become the first fund house in the country to achieve this figure. The mutual fund sector giant has handled the equity surge well after the Covid 19 pandemic. 
  • This boom in SBI Mutual Fund AUM has come due to the steady increase in the equity market and the increase in the mutual fund investment base. The rise in mutual fund AUM depends on the increase in assets held in various schemes and fresh inflows. 
  • As of April 2024, SBI contributed Rs 2 trillion to the AUM of SBI Mutual Fund. More than Rs 5 trillion of AUM was in direct plans. About Rs 2.2 trillion was associated with other distributors. 
  • Institutional investors held about Rs 5 trillion of the total AUM. A large part of this was from the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). EPFO has investments in passive schemes of SBI Mutual Fund as well as some other fund houses. 
  • SBI MF had an average AUM of Rs 3.7 trillion for the three-month period ended March 2020, when it topped the AUM ranking for the first time.
  • The top 5 fund houses in the country are also backed by banks. These include ICICI Prudential MF, HDFC MF, Nippon India MF and Kotak MF. 

8. RBI retains repo rate at 6.50% 

  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not made any change in the policy rate i.e. repo rate. That is, the interest rates have been kept unchanged. This was announced by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. 
  • The RBI MPC decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% by a 4:2 majority. The rate-setting panel also decided to maintain the stance of 'withdrawal of easing'. 
  • The RBI Governor said that while fuel prices continue to fall, food inflation remains high. He said that the MPC is alert to external risks to inflation, especially food inflation, as it may delay the path to disinflation. 
  • The Interest Rate Setting Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) held a meeting from June 5 to June 7, 2024 to decide the monetary policy. Foreign exchange reserves reached a new high of $651.5 billion as of May 31, 2024. 
  • Announcing the MPC decision, the RBI governor said that real GDP growth is expected to be 7.2% in FY25. Which is higher than the previous estimate of 7%. Inflation forecast for FY25 was retained at 4.5%. 

Key Rates 

  • Repo Rate: 6.50% 
  • Standing Deposit Facility (SDF): 6.25% 
  • Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 6.75% 
  • Bank Rate: 6.75% 
  • Permanent Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35% 
  • CRR: 4.50% 
  • SLR: 18.00% 

Sports News 

9. Rohit Sharma became the first cricketer in the world to hit 600 sixes in international cricket 

  • Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma broke several records during India's victory against the Ireland team in the first match of the 9th ICC T20 World Cup cohosted by the United States of America (USA) and West Indies Cricket Board. 
  • Rohit Sharma, also popularly called "Hitman" due to his ability to hit sixes, became the first cricketer in the world to hit 600 sixes in international cricket. 
  • India started their campaign in the World Cup by defeating Ireland by 8 wickets. The match was played at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, USA. Jasprit Bumrah was declared the Man of the Match for taking 2 wickets for 6 runs. 
  • Rohit Sharma is followed by West Indies' Chris Gayle who has hit 553 sixes. He is followed by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and New Zealand's Brendon McCullum. 
  • \Rohit Sharma also broke Mahendra Singh Dhoni's record as the most successful Indian captain in the shortest format of cricket. Under his captaincy, India has won 42 (including super overs) out of 55 matches in T20 format. He broke Mahendra Singh Dhoni's record of 41 wins in 72 matches. 
  • At the same time, Pakistan's Babar Azam holds the top spot in the global record with 46 wins. He is followed by Uganda's Brian Masaba and England's Eoin Morgan (44-44). 
  • Rohit Sharma is the first Indian and the second player in the world to hit 100 sixes in ICC's white-ball tournaments (both T20 and One Day International). Rohit has hit 100 sixes (54 in ODI World Cup, 38 in T20 World Cup and 8 in Champions Trophy). West Indies' Chris Gayle holds the record of 127 sixes. 
  • Rohit Sharma has become the third player after Virat Kohli (4038 runs) and Babar Azam (4023) to score more than 4000 runs in T20 International. Rohit Sharma became the third player after Virat Kohli (1142) and Mahela Jayawardene (1016) to score 1000 runs in the T20 World Cup. 

FIFA qualifying match between India and Kuwait held in Kolkata 

  • Indian football star Sunil Chhetri led the national team for the last time in the crucial FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier against Kuwait at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on June 6, 2024. 
  • Indian star football player Sunil Chhetri's last match for India ended in a goalless draw against Kuwait. The 0-0 draw in Salt Lake dashed India's hopes of qualifying for the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. 
  • With Chhetri's retirement, his 19- year glorious international career has come to an end. India, who are currently second in Group A with four points from four matches. Qatar lead the group with 12 points, while Afghanistan have four points. Kuwait are at the bottom with three points. India, ranked 121 in the FIFA rankings, is 18 ahead of Kuwait. 

Science & Technology News

10. ISRO develops ‘PraVaHa Software’ for aerodynamic design and analysis 

  • ISRO, through its Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), has introduced ‘PraVaHa Software’, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool aimed at facilitating aerodynamic design and analysis for aerospace vehicles. 
  • PraVaHa, an acronym for “Parallel RANS Solver for Aerospace Vehicle Aero-Thermo-Dynamic Analysis”, is designed to simulate both external and internal flows on a wide variety of vehicles including launch vehicles, winged and wingless reentry vehicles. 
  • This CFD software enables understanding the air flow around the aircraft, rocket body and crew module, which is critical for sizing design elements such as the structure and the Thermal Protection System (TPS). 
  • Any aerospace vehicle is subjected to severe aerodynamic and aerothermal loads in terms of external pressure and heat fluxes while passing through the Earth’s atmosphere during ‘launch’ or ‘reentry’. 
  • PraVaHa has played a key role in the Gaganyaan programme, facilitating aerodynamic analysis for human-rated launch vehicles such as HLVM3, Crew Escape System (CES) and Crew Module (CM). 

IIT Dharwad unveils fire rescue drone 

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) A group of teachers and students in Dharwad, guided by Professors Sudhir Siddapureddy and Amir Mulla, with funding from the Tihan Foundation (NMICPS, Govt. of India) of IIT Hyderabad, has built a drone for fire rescue assistance. 
  • The first fire rescue assistance drone was unveiled and demonstrated during a two-day workshop on Drone Design and Autonomous Navigation in Fire Rescue (DDANFR 2024) organised by the Fire and Thermal Research Laboratory (FLRL) and Control Systems and Robotics Laboratory at IIT Dharwad on May 31 and June 1. 
  • Drones fitted with thermal cameras or drones with thermal imaging capabilities are often used by firefighters. The infrared radiation emitted from objects, including flames, can be detected and captured by specialist thermal sensors fitted on these drones.

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