Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 May 2024 17:50 PM IST

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Topic: New Development

1. Indian Institute of Petroleum & Energy discovered an eco-friendly solution for treating muddy river water.

  • Indian Institute of Petroleum & Energy (IIPE), Visakhapatnam, and other research institutions have developed an effective eco-friendly solution to resolve the problems associated with water treatment at various levels.
  • This eco-friendly solution ‘Surface Modification Technique of Membrane’ will help in the treatment of muddy river water.
  • Researchers of Assam Science and Technology University and the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology have joined the IIPE team in the research.
  • This research has been published in the Nature Scientific Reports journal.
  • Water pollution is a major issue in rural and urban areas. This new technique is beneficial for water treatment in industries such as pharmaceuticals, food processing, textiles and biotechnology.
  • This technique utilizes non-toxic gases and is eco-friendly. It reduces the need for chemicals or solvents in surface modification processes.
  • Muddy water reduces oxygen levels, blocks sunlight and carries pollutants.

Topic: Important Days

2. International Day of Light: 16 May

  • The International Day of Light is celebrated on 16 May each year.
  • It is observed to mark the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by Physicist and Engineer Theodore Maiman.
  • This day is observed to raise awareness about the significance of light.
  • It encourages scientific collaboration and possibilities of light-based technologies for innovation, creativity and sustainable societies.
  • In 2016, UNESCO adopted the resolution to celebrate International Day of Light every year.
  • The first International Day of Light was observed in 2018.

Topic: Indian Economy

3. According to a government survey, the unemployment rate in urban areas fell to 6.7% in the March quarter.

  • According to the 22nd Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS), the unemployment rate for people aged 15 and above in urban areas declined to 6.7% in the January-March period from 6.8% a year ago.
  • In April 2017, PLFS was launched by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
  • Unemployment, or unemployment rate, is defined as the percentage of unemployed people in the labour force.
  • In the March quarter of FY 2023, the unemployment rate was 6.8%, while it was 6.6% in April-June as well as the third quarter (July-September 2023) of the last financial year.
  •  he unemployment rate was 6.5% in October-December 2023.
  • The unemployment rate and labor force participation rate data for urban areas:


January-March 2024

October-December 2023

July-September 2023

April-June 2023

January-March 2023

Unemployment Rate (Overall)






Unemployment Rate (Women)






Unemployment Rate (Men)






Labor Force Participation Rate (Overall)






Topic: India and Its Neighbours

4. Cross-border UPI payments launched in Sri Lanka by PhonePe.

  • On 15 May, PhonePe, an Indian digital payments and financial services portal, has been launched in Sri Lanka.
  • India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Santosh Jha said the launch of UPI and subsequently the launch of PhonePe today is part of the broader agenda of connectivity.
  • Digital transformation has been a key element in the ongoing transformation in India and India is hoping to bring a similar transformation in Sri Lanka.
  • Along with bringing a digital identity project to Sri Lanka, India is also working on expanding comprehensive digital public infrastructure in the island nation.

Cross-border UPI payments

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

5. In Federation Cup, Neeraj Chopra won gold with a throw of 82.27 meters.

  • On May 15, Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal in men's javelin throw at the 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition in Bhubaneswar.
  • Neeraj struggled in the early stages of the competition as he stood second after three rounds.
  • He took the lead in the fourth round with an effort of 82.27 metres.
  • Last time, Neeraj Chopra competed in the domestic competition at the same event in 2021, when he won the gold medal with a throw of 87.80m.
  • Since then, he won a historic gold at the Tokyo Olympics, became Diamond League champions in 2022, became world champions in 2023 and defended Asian Games gold in China.

Neeraj Chopra won gold at Federation Cup

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

6. On May 11, the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Fellowship awarded to eminent English author Ruskin Bond.

  • In September 2021, Bond was named the recipient of the academy's highest honor.
  • His notable works include “Vagrants in the Valley”, “Once Upon a Monsoon Time”, “Angry River”, “Strangers in the Night”, “All Roads Lead to Ganga”, “Tales of Fosterganj”, and “Leopard on the Mountain”.
  • His many other works include over 300 short stories, essays and novellas and over 30 books for children.
  • Among other prestigious awards, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, the Sahitya Akademi's Children's Literature Award in 2012, the Padma Shri in 1999, and the Padma Bhushan in 2019.
  • Sahitya Akademi Fellowship:
    • The Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, awards a literary honour, the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, .
    • It is the highest honor given by the Academy to a living writer.
    • In 1968, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan became the first writer selected for the fellowship.
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Topic: Indian Economy

7. In the fiscal year 2023–2024, India's exports reached a record USD 778 billion.

  • The total value of exported goods and services was USD 776.3 billion in the fiscal year 2022–2023.
  • Services exports rose from USD 325.3 billion to USD 341.1 billion in 2023–2024.
  • In 2023–2024, merchandise exports decreased slightly from USD 451.1 billion to USD 437.1 billion.
  • India's exports to many nations, including China, Russia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, have increased significantly in the fiscal year 2023–2024.
  • The UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and South Africa are the other nations included in the top 10 list.
  • Total imports decreased from USD 898.0 billion in 2022–2023 to USD 853.8 billion in 2023–2024.
  • The trade deficit declined from USD 121.6 billion in 2022-23 to USD 75.6 billion in 2023-24.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Chandrakant Satija has been honored with Global Excellence Award 2024 for outstanding contributions in Education.

  • Chandrakant Satija has won the Global Excellence Award 2024 for being the “Most Trusted Admission Consultant in Vidarbha Region”.
  • Famous Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra presented the award to him on May 12th.
  • Chandrakant Satija is the Founder and CEO of Chandra Admission Consultants.
  • His company, Chandra Admission Consultants, assists applicants in securing admissions into prominent universities in India and abroad.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

9. After 140 years, researchers rediscovered a rare tree species in Wagamon.

  • A rare and endangered tree species, Uniyala multibracteata (locally known as Kattupoovamkurunnila), has been rediscovered after a gap of 140 years.
  • Kattupoovamkurunnila is endemic to Wagamon, Memala, and Elappara areas.
  • This species was originally discovered from Peerumade in 1880 by R.H. Beddome.
  • Its height is about 2 to 5 meters and its leaves are covered with cottony hairs.
  • It is found in evergreen forests and rocky grasslands on 1,200 metres above sea level.
  • The presence of this rare species in Wagamon shows the presence of rich biodiversity outside the protected area in the Western Ghats.
  • This shows the importance of conservation in the non-protected forests in the Western Ghats.
  • The rediscovery of Kattupoovamkurunnila has been published in a recent issue of the Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society journal, Journal of Threatened Taxa.

Topic: New Development

10. Japan unveiled the world’s first 6G device.

  • A Japanese consortium has released the world’s first high-speed 6G prototype device.
  • It will be 20 times faster than 5G and transmit data at a whopping 100 gigabits per second (Gbps).
  • This 6G prototype device is a result of a collaboration of leading companies, including DOCOMO, NTT Corporation, NEC Corporation, and Fujitsu.
  • These tests were conducted over a distance of 328 feet (100 meters).
  • At present, 5G has a theoretical maximum speed of 10 GB/s. Its average speed is around 200 megabits per second (Mbps) for T-Mobile users in the US.

Topic: Indian Economy

11. Moody's expects India to achieve growth of 6.6% in the financial year 2024-25.

  • Moody's Ratings said the Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.6% in the current financial year 2024-25, driven by strong credit demand that will support the profitability of the NBFC sector.
  • However, the rating agency's 2024-25 GDP growth projections are lower than those made by the RBI.
  • In the latest monetary policy review meeting, the RBI projected the Indian economy to grow at 7% in 2024-25.
  • The global rating agency has pegged India's growth rate at 6.2% for the next financial year 2025-26.
  • During the October-December quarter of fiscal year 2023-24, India's GDP grew by a massive 8.4%, and the country remains the fastest-growing major economy and is set to maintain its growth path going forward.
  • In 2022-23, India’s economy grew 7.2% and 8.7% in 2021-22, respectively.
  • In addition, the IMF has raised India's growth forecast for 2024 to 6.8% from 6.5% in its latest outlook.
  • India's GDP size currently ranks 5th after America, China, Germany and Japan. In 2022, India overtook the UK.
  • Currently, India's GDP is estimated to be around US$3.7 trillion.

Topic: Defence

12. On 14 May, BHISHM Portable Hospital tested in Agra for airdrop from aircraft by the Indian Air Force.

  • This is the first time that the Indian Air Force has tested this portable hospital.
  • This test was done so that the portable hospital could be deployed anywhere to deal with emergencies.
  • According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, BHISHM Portable Cubes are a part of a broader initiative called "Project BHISHM" (Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog, Hita and Maitri).
  • It is designed to treat up to 200 casualties with an emphasis on quick response and comprehensive care.
  • Specifically, the Aid Cube is equipped with a number of innovative tools designed to enhance disaster response and medical assistance during emergencies.
  • Additionally, it incorporates data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to support efficient management, real-time monitoring, and effective coordination of medical services in the field.
  • The entire unit consists of 72 easily transportable components that can be easily transported by hand, bicycle or even by drone, providing unmatched flexibility.

Topic: Banking System

13. In FY 24, Public sector banks' total profit stood at ₹1.4 lakh crore.

  • In the financial year ended in March 2024, the total profit of Public Sector Bank crossed ₹1.4 lakh crore.
  • It recorded a growth of 35 per cent over the previous year with a high base of ₹1 lakh crore.
  • In 2022-23, 12 public sector banks' total profit reached a net profit of ₹1,04,649 crore.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) contributed more than 40% of the total earnings.
  • SBI earned a profit of ₹61,077 crore, which is 22% more than the previous financial year.
  • Delhi-based Punjab National Bank with 228% had the highest net profit growth in terms of Percentage.
  • It is followed by the Union Bank of India with a 62 per cent rise and the Central Bank of India with a 61 per cent increase.
  • Bank of India registered a growth of 57% while Bank of Maharashtra's profit increased by 56%.
  • In the financial ecosystem, the government has implemented a comprehensive 4R strategy: Recognising NPAs transparently, Resolution and Recovery, Recapitalising PSBs, and Reforms.

Topic: Personality in News

14. Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro died at the age of 92.

  • Alice Munro, first Canadian author to win the Nobel Prize in literature, has died at the age of 92 in Ontario.
  • Her collections of short stories represent complexity and authenticity.
  • She is one of the most renowned writers in Canada. She received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013.
  • Her last work title was "Dear Life", which is a collection of short stories.
  • Alice Munro was born on July 10, 1931 in Ontario. Alice Munro devoted herself to writing by the end of the 1960s.
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