Daily Current Affairs and GK | 12 and 13 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 13 May 2024 16:26 PM IST

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

1. India participated in the 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York.

  • The 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) was organized from May 6th to 10th May 2024.
  • In this session, India highlighted significant advancements in forest conservation and sustainable forest management.
  • Between 2010 and 2020, India ranks third in the net gain in average annual forest area.
  • India also shared information about the ‘Green Credit Program’, which is designed to incentivize entities to take up tree plantation and restoration of degraded forest lands.
  • India also highlighted the creation of the International Big Cat Alliance at this session.
  • In October 2023, India Led Initiative under UNFF was hosted at Dehradun. Representatives from 40 countries and 20 international organizations have participated in this initiative.
  • The Ministry of India hosted a side event on ‘Principles and Strategies for Landscape Integrated Fire Management through Collaborative Governance’.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) signed an MoU.

  • To enhance economic and trade relations, the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • The main aim is to promote awareness of the UAE-India bilateral economic partnership and the benefits of the UAE-India CEPA.
  • The MoU established a comprehensive collaboration between the UICC and the ICC, focusing on public promotion, and increasing awareness.
  • Both organizations will engage in dialogue, and information sharing, and host joint events.
  • This partnership will boost trade volumes and bring the benefits of favourable trade policies to enterprises.

Topic: National Appointment

3. Idashisha Nongrang has been appointed the first woman Director General of Police (DGP) of Meghalaya.

  • Retiring on May 19, Lajja Ram Bishnoi will be succeeded by Ms Nongrang. As the state police chief, she will serve till May 19, 2026.
  • Currently, Ms Nongrang is the Director General of Meghalaya Civil Defense and also belongs to the Khasi community.
  • In 2021, she served as the acting DGP.
  • Meghalaya is a hilly state dominated by three matrilineal ethnic communities.
  • Khasi is a matrilineal community. The other two matrilineal communities in the state are the Garo and the Jaintia.

Topic: National News

4. Comprehensive guidelines for exporters to prevent ETO contamination formulated by the Spices Board.

  • The comprehensive guidelines for exporters to prevent contamination of ethylene oxide (ETO), a carcinogenic chemical, in products shipped from India have been issued by the Spices Board. 
  • The guidelines have been issued amid quality concerns raised by some countries on these items.
  • As per the guidelines, exporters have to avoid the use of ETO as sterilizing/fumigating agent or any other application in spices.
  • Exporters must ensure that transporters, storage/warehouses, packaging material suppliers do not use this chemical at any stage.
  • Exporters will have to take adequate measures to ensure absence of EtO and its metabolites in spices and spice products throughout the supply chain.
  • These rules has been announced after the products of popular brands MDH and Everest were banned from sale in Hong Kong and Singapore due to the presence of carcinogenic ingredient ethylene oxide.
  • In 2023-24, India's spice exports were to total US$4.25 billion, accounting for 12% of global spice exports.
  • Major spices exported from India include chilli powder, which tops the list with exports worth US$ 1.3 billion, followed by cumin at US$ 550 million, turmeric at US$ 220 million, cardamom at US$ 130 million, etc.
  • In 2023, world spice trade was worth US$35 billion. China is the top exporter with exports of US$8 billion in 2023.

Topic: Space and IT

5. New liquid rocket engine successfully tested by ISRO in Tamil Nadu.

  • The new liquid rocket engine manufactured through additive manufacturing technology by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully tested.
  • On 9 May, the test successfully conducted at ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
  • This newly redesigned PS4 engine has reduced the number of parts from 14 to one piece and eliminated 19 weld joints.
  • This will result in significant savings in raw material usage per engine, reducing metal powder from 565 kg to 13.7 kg and reducing production time by 60%.
  • This new, redesigned engine will be utilized in both the PSLV First Stage Reaction Control System and fourth stage of the PSLV launch vehicle.
  • ISRO is planning to include this PS4 engine in the regular PSLV programme.
  • Additive manufacturing technology means 3D printing of PS4 engines.
  • Private partner Wipro 3D and ISRO joined hands to successfully complete hot testing of 3D printed PS4 engine.
  • This will usher in a new era of advanced 3D manufacturing technology for India's space programme.

New liquid rocket engine

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

6. International Nurses Day 2024: 12 May

  • Every year on 12 May, International Nurses Day is observed.
  • It is observed to recognize the tireless and invaluable contribution of nurses to health care and global health security.
  • The theme for the International Nurses Day 2024 is “Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care.”
  • The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is celebrating this day since 1965.
  • In 1974, 12 May was chosen to celebrate this day to mark the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. She is the founder of modern nursing.
  • In 1998, 8 May was announced as the annual National Student Nurses' Day.
  • According to WHO, an additional 9 million nurses and midwives are needed if the world is to achieve UHC by 2030.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
April Monthly Current Affairs 2024 March Monthly Current Affairs 2024
February Monthly Current Affairs 2024 January Monthly Current Affairs 2024

Topic: Indian Economy

7. India’s foreign exchange reserves have increased by $3.668 billion to $641.590 billion in the week ended May 3.

  • This increase follows three consecutive weeks of decrease.
  • India's foreign exchange reserves have fallen for three weeks in a row after rising for seven weeks.
  • India’s foreign currency assets increased by $4.459 billion to $564.161 billion.
  • The reserves of gold had a decrease of $653 billion and reached $54.880 billion.
  • India has enough foreign exchange reserves to cover its projected imports for eleven months.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased its foreign exchange reserves by over $58 billion in the calendar year 2023.
  • Foreign exchange reserves have increased by over $20 billion cumulatively so far in 2024.
  • The last time India's foreign exchange reserves reached their peak was in October 2021.

Topic: National News

8. DRDO and IIT Bhubaneswar will collaborate for AI-driven surveillance and other projects.

  • During a meeting between DRDO and IIT Bhubaneswar officials, nine sanctioned projects of the Electronics and Communication Systems (ECS) cluster were handed over to IIT Bhubaneswar.
  • Seven other projects are in process to be sanctioned with Rs 18 crore funding.
  • IIT Bhubaneswar will work on the sanctioned project.
  • This would benefit in electronics warfare, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven surveillance, power systems, radar systems etc.
  • The collaboration is expected to improve the sustainability of defence research programmes.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

9. In FY 2023-24, Oil Marketing Companies registered significant profit growth.

  • The total profit of Oil marketing companies stood at 86 thousand crore rupees in the financial year 2023-24. It is 25 times more than last fiscal year's profit.
  • Oil Marketing Companies' net profit is 543% up in comparison to the fiscal year 2013-14.
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited registered a record net profit of over Rs 16,014 crore. It was in loss of six thousand 980 crore rupees in the 2022-23.
  • In the last fiscal year, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited's profit reached to 26 thousand 673 crore rupees. It is around 13 times higher than the 2022-23 fiscal year.
  • BPCL’s capital outlay of ₹1.7 lakh crores over 5 years under ‘Project Aspire’ created long-term value for shareholders. 
  • IOCL capped an excellent year with the historically best refinery throughput, sales volume and net profit.
  • After the announcement of results, markets reacted positively to the results with BPCL and HPCL rising in share prices.

Oil Marketing Companies registered significant profit growth

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Corporates/Companies

10. Khanij Bidesh India is to acquire lithium asset in Australia in FY25.

  • Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) is likely to acquire a lithium block in Australia this year.
  • KABIL is owned by three public sector undertakings -- National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd (MECL).
  • It is entrusted with the important mission of identifying, exploring, acquiring, and developing critical & strategic mineral assets overseas.
  • Recently, the Registered Office of Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) has been inaugurated in New Delhi.
  • Lithium is the most important mineral for the energy transition. It is a fundamental part of lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems.
  • Argentina is part of the 'lithium triangle' along with Chile and Bolivia. They have more than 50% of the World’s total lithium reserves.
  • Australia is one of the leading producers of Lithium and Cobalt.

Topic: International News

11. The ban on the world's largest crypto exchange Binance will be lifted soon by FIU-India.

  • A top government official said on May 10 that the ban on the world's largest crypto exchange, Binance, will be lifted soon by the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-India).
  • In March, the ban on another offshore crypto exchange, KuCoin, was lifted after FIU-India imposed a fine of Rs 34.5 lakh.
  • In addition, FIU has also approved the application of offshore cryptocurrency exchanges Binance, and KuCoin to register as Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to trade in India.
  • In January, nine offshore cryptocurrency platforms including Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, OKEx, Gate.io, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex—were banned from operating through websites and mobile applications in India.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit—India (FIU-IND):
    • FIU-India is the national agency responsible for analyzing suspicious financial transactions.
    • It collects financial intelligence about offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, of 2002.
    • Established in November 2004, it reports directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC), chaired by the Finance Minister.
    • It is headquartered in New Delhi.

Topic: Art and Culture

12. India will showcase its creative economy at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

  • From May 14th to May 25th, India will participate at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in France.
  • The corporate Indian delegation comprises members of the Government of India, state governments, and industry, who will showcase India's creative economy in the world's leading film market.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said, India will host Bharat Parv at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time.
  • The Bharat Pavilion at Cannes will serve as a platform for the Indian film community to engage in various activities.
  • This includes fostering production collaborations, curated knowledge sessions, signing distribution deals, business-to-business meetings, and networking with major entertainment and media players from around the world.
  • During the Bharat Parv, the official poster and trailer of the 55th International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa will also be unveiled.

77th Cannes Film Festival

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International Appointment

13. Mikhail Mishustin has been reappointed as Prime Minister of Russia.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has reappointed Mikhail Mishustin as Prime Minister.
  • On May 10, the State Duma (lower house of the Parliament of Russia) approved Mishustin as Prime Minister for a second term.
  • Mishustin’s reappointment was expected by political observers.
  • He has been credited with keeping the Russian economy stable even after the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine War.
  • Mishustin has been serving as Prime Minister of Russia since January 16, 2020.
  • Before becoming Prime Minister, he was the head of the Federal Taxation Service of Russia.
  • In Russia, the prime minister holds the office at the president's discretion. The term of the prime minister is 6 years.

Topic: Space and IT

14. ISO 42001:2023 Certification for Artificial Intelligence Management System is granted to Infosys.

  • Infosys announced that it has been certified with ISO 42001:2023, the world's first international standard on AI management systems.
  • Infosys is among the first IT services companies globally to earn certification for implementing an Artificial Intelligence Management System (AIMS) framework.
  • The Artificial Intelligence Management System (AIMS) framework will promote AI practices and adherence to regulatory requirements for enhanced efficiency and accountability in AI initiatives.
  • This AIMS framework is part of the Infosys Topaz Responsible AI Suite.
  • The ISO 42001:2023 certification will provide a roadmap and systematic approach for AI management.
  • The Infosys Topaz Responsible AI Suite objective is to monitor and protect AI models and systems from risks and threats.
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