Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 16:38 PM IST

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Topic: Space and IT

1. Astronomers have detected the largest stellar black hole in the Milky Way galaxy.

  • This stellar black hole mass is 33 times that of the Sun. It is also the second closest black hole to Earth. It is just 2,000 light years away from the earth.
  • The discovery was made when researchers were analysing data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission.
  • So far, around 50 stellar-mass black holes in the Milky Way have been identified.
  • The newly discovered stellar black hole has been named “Gaia BH3”. It is a most massive black hole of stellar origin in the Milky Way.
  • When a star with more than eight times the Sun’s mass runs out of fuel, it explodes as a supernova and its core collapses to form a stellar black hole.
  • Apart from stellar black holes, the Milky Way galaxy has a supermassive black hole.
  • The supermassive black hole in the Milky Way is about 4 million times the mass of the Sun and is 26,000 light years away.
  • Scientists are also searching for intermediate black holes, which are tens of thousands of times the Sun’s mass.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

2. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has increased its equity stake in Hindustan Unilever.

  • LIC’s stake in Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has crossed 5 per cent.
  • LIC has increased its shareholding in HUL from 4.99% to 5.01% of the paid-up capital of the company.
  • LIC acquired additional shares on 12 April at an average cost of Rs 2,248.59 per unit.
  • Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is a subsidiary of the British company Unilever.
  • It was established in 1931 as Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Co.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai. It is a consumer goods company.
  • Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) was formed in September 1956. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Its slogan is yogakshemam vahamyaham.

Topic: Space and IT

3. ISRO has developed Carbon-Carbon (C-C) nozzle for rocket engines.

  • It is a light-weight, innovative nozzle and a breakthrough in rocket engine technology.
  • ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) has accomplished this innovation.
  • It promises to improve thrust levels, specific impulse, and thrust-to-weight ratios of rocket engines.
  • Thus, it boosts the payload capacity of launch vehicles.
  • The unique silicon carbide anti-oxidation coating of the C-C nozzle is one of its primary features.
  • This increases its range of action in oxidising conditions.
  • This invention lessens strains brought by the high temperature.
  • Additionally, it improves corrosion resistance, enabling higher operating temperature limitations in harsh conditions.
  • This development has a great deal of potential, especially for the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the main launch vehicle of the ISRO.
  • Currently, the PS4, the fourth stage of the PSLV, has twin engines with Columbium alloy nozzles.
  • However, a mass decrease of about 67% can be obtained by substituting C-C counterparts for these Columbium alloy nozzles.
  • The PSLV's payload capacity is expected to rise by 15 kg as a result of this modification.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Squadron Leader DS Majithia passed away at the age of 103.

  • DS Majithia was oldest retired Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilot.
  • DS Majithia flew aircraft like Gypsy Moth, Wapiti, Hart, Audax, and Atlanta.
  • He passed away at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand. He joined the air force volunteer services in 1940.
  • He won best pilot trophy at the Initial Training School in Walton, Lahore.
  • He retired in August 1947. He was known as Maji.

Topic: Summits/ Conference/ Meetings

5. DRDO organized the first international workshop on 'Emerging Technologies and Challenges for Exoskeletons' in Bengaluru.

  • On 16th and 17th April 2024, the 1st International Workshop on 'Emerging Technologies and Challenges for Exoskeletons' was organized in Bengaluru.
  • The Defense Bio-Engineering and Electromedical Laboratory of the DRDO organized the workshop.
  • It was inaugurated by Dr. Sameer V Kamat, Secretary of the Department of Defense Research and Development and Chairman of the DRDO.
  • Dr Kamat urged various stakeholders including the R&D community, armed forces, industry, and academia to work together to address the challenges and prepare a roadmap for the future of exoskeletons.
  • More than 300 participants from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), services, industry, academia, and researchers participated in the two-day workshop.
  • Exoskeleton technology involves wearable structures that enhance the capabilities of the human body.

Emerging Technologies and Challenges for Exoskeletons

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

6. International literature prize awarded to Kannada poet Mamta G Sagar.

  • On April 6, the World Organization of Writers (WOW) awarded the World Literary Prize to Kannada poet, playwright, and academic, Mamta G Sagar for her contribution to literature.
  • The event was held as a part of WOW's first congress in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • The three-day congress was held at the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Writers Village, a community started by renowned Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in 1981.
  • The event was organized in collaboration with both the ANA and the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA).
  • The Bengaluru-based author seeks to address issues related to gender, politics, and human rights violations with anthologies like 'Kaada Navilina Hejje' (published in 1992) and 'Nadiya Neerina Teva' (1999).
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
March Monthly Current Affairs 2024 February Monthly Current Affairs 2024
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Indian Economy

7. India's growth forecast for 2024 was increased by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 6.5% to 6.8%.

  • India continued to be the emerging market and developing economy with the fastest rate of growth.
  • The IMF projected India's growth rate to be 6.5% for 2025.
  • Its growth expectations were supported by strong and stable domestic demand as well as an increasing number of people in working age.
  • According to the IMF's most recent World Economic Outlook report, during the medium term, approximately two out of every three new workers worldwide would come from sub-Saharan Africa and India.
  • Over the previous 20 years, the Group of Twenty (G20)'s 10 emerging countries have continuously outperformed advanced economies in terms of economic growth.
  • Since 2000, the G20 emerging markets' percentage of the global GDP has more than doubled.
  • The G20 emerging markets include Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkiye.
  • India's official statistics show that during the October–December quarter of the fiscal year 2023–2024, the India grew by an 8.4%.
  • India's GDP expanded by 7.8% and 7.6% in April-June and July-September in 2023–2024, respectively.
  • India's GDP expanded by 7.2% in 2022–2023 and 8.7% in 2021–2022, respectively.
  • In general, the IMF projected 3.2% global growth in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Topic: International News

8. India and Mauritius have signed a protocol to amend tax treaty.

  • Both nations signed the new protocol on Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) on 7th March 2024.
  • This has closed lacuna in their Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
  • This has tightened the scrutiny on tax avoidance on investments coming into India.
  • The amendment includes a Principal Purpose Test (PPT).
  • PPT is to decide whether a foreign investor is actually eligible for treaty benefits.
  • PPT is also to decide if the tax benefit the primary reason to route investments via Mauritius.
  • Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is a bilateral agreement.
  • It is aimed at preventing double taxation of income earned in one country by residents of the other country.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. Central government formed a panel on the issues of queer community.

  • Government notified a committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary “to examine the various issues relating to queer community.
  • The committee has been formed after the Supreme Court asked the central government in October to set up a high-powered panel to look into the issues of the queer community.
  • The six member committee will comprise secretaries from the Ministry of Home Affairs; Ministry of Women and Child Development; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Law Ministry.
  • This committee will decide the rights which will be available to queer couples in unions.
  • It will also examine steps to be taken so that the queer community does not face any threat of violence, harassment or coercion.
  • In 2023, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court declined to recognise the right to marry as a fundamental right for same-sex couples.

Topic: National Appointments

10. Nalin Negi has been appointed as full-time CEO of BharatPe.

  • Fintech firm BharatPe has named its interim CEO and chief financial officer Nalin Negi as full-time chief executive officer.
  • Nalin Negi became the interim CEO in January 2023 after then-CEO Suhail Sameer resigned from the post.
  • Negi joined BharatPe in 2022 and has experience building and scaling businesses in the fintech and banking domains.
  • Under Negi's leadership, BharatPe recorded an 182 per cent increase in revenue from operations in FY'23.
  • BharatPe was co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018.

Topic: International Appointments

11. Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah appointed as the new Prime Minister of Kuwait by the Emir of Kuwait.

  • The appointment came after the resignation of former Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah on April 7.
  • Following the election of a new parliament on 4 April, Sheikh Mohammed submitted the resignation of his cabinet on 6 April.
  • His resignation was a procedural step after the new parliament was elected.
  • The new Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed is a Kuwaiti economist and served as Minister of Health, Minister of Oil, and Minister of Information from 2006 to 2011.
  • He also served as the Minister of Finance and Communications from 1999 to 2005.
  • Its capital is Kuwait City and its currency is Kuwaiti Dinar.

Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

12. In March, India's goods trade deficit narrowed to an 11-month low of $15.6 billion.

  • An official data on April 15 showed that India's goods trade deficit in March narrowed by nearly 17% from the previous month as imports fell sharply while exports rose marginally.
  • According to Commerce Ministry data, the deficit declined to $15.6 billion in March, from $18.71 billion in February and $16.02 billion in January.
  • This is the lowest in the last 11 months, with the last time the deficit was this low in April 2023 when it came in at $14.44 billion.
  • The March figure was much higher than economists' estimate of a deficit of $18.55 billion.
  • In March, Goods exports rose marginally to $41.68 billion from $41.40 billion in February amid a slowing pace of global trade growth during 2024.
  • In March, the total value of merchandise imports fell to $57.28 billion from $60.11 billion in the previous month.
  • In March, services exports stood at $28.54 billion, down from $32.15 billion in the previous month.
  • In March, services imports rose marginally to $15.84 billion from $15.39 billion in February.

Topic: Indian Economy

13. India's overall export (Merchandise and Services combined) in March 2024 is estimated to be USD 70.21 Billion.

  • In March 2024, India's overall export (Merchandise and Services combined) shows a negative growth of (-) 3.01 per cent over March 2023.
  • Overall import in March 2024 is estimated to be USD 73.12 Billion. It shows a negative growth of (-) 6.11 per cent over March 2023.
  • India's overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in FY 2023-24 (April-March) are estimated to be USD 776.68 Billion. It exhibits a positive growth of 0.04 per cent over FY 2022-23 (April-March).
  • Overall imports in FY 2023-24 (April-March) are estimated to be USD 854.80 Billion. It shows a negative growth of (-) 4.81 per cent over FY 2022-23 (April-March).
  • Merchandise exports in March 2024 were USD 41.68 Billion, as compared to USD 41.96 Billion in March 2023.
  • As compared to USD 60.92 Billion in March 2023, Merchandise imports in March 2024 were USD 57.28 Billion.

Topic: International Appointments

14. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong will step down and hand over power to Lawrence Wong.

  • After two decades, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will step down from his post on May 15. Lawrence Wong will take oath as the next Prime Minister.
  • Lawrence Wong is currently serving as deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
  • He has been a potential candidate for the Prime Minister post since 2002.
  • Wong was designated as the PM-in-waiting in April 2022 after a rare disruption in the leadership transition process.
  • Wong is also deputy chairman of sovereign wealth fund GIC and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Southeast Asian nation's central bank.
  • He led the education and national development ministries before becoming finance minister in 2021.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
Major sources of Indian Constitution President of India
Ramsar sites of India 2022 Classification of Rocks
Interior of the Earth Tax system in India





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