Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 17 May 2024 16:52 PM IST

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Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

1. UN amended India's 2024 economic growth projection to 6.9%.

  • The United Nations has released the World Economic Situation and Prospects.
  • The world economy is now forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2024 and 2.8 per cent in 2025.
  • The report forecasts that the Indian economy will grow by 6.9 per cent in 2024 and 6.6 per cent in 2025.
  • Earlier, the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2024 report projected 6.2 per cent GDP growth for India.
  • This growth will be mainly driven by strong public investment and resilient private consumption.
  • Pharmaceutical and chemical exports are expected to expand strongly.
  • The consumer price inflation in India is projected to decline from 5.6 per cent in 2023 to 4.5 per cent in 2024.
  • Due to robust growth and higher labour force participation, labour market indicators have also improved in India.
  • The inflation rates in other South Asian countries will also decline.
  • The Chinese economy is expected to grow at 4.8 per cent in 2024, up from 4.7 per cent projected in January.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. Japan and US have signed an agreement to develop interceptors for hypersonic missiles. 

  • Both nations are planning to develop interceptors by the 2030s under the agreement.
  • The plan will cost more than $3 billion. It was for the first time announced in August.
  • The interceptor is being called as Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI).
  • In the 2024 budget, the Japanese government has included $480 million for the development of interceptors.
  • Hypersonic missiles are difficult to intercept. They fly at over five times the speed of sound. They have irregular trajectories.
  • By 2027, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has promised to boost defence spending to 2% of GDP, the NATO level.

Topic: Sports

3. World’s highest competition pool has been opened in Bhutan.

  • Its opening was announced by World Aquatics recently.
  • It is the first-ever competitive swimming pool which is at a record altitude of 8200 feet (2,400 meters) above sea level in Bhutan.
  • It is part of the Pools for All Program to promote aquatic sports in the region.
  • Pools for All Programme initiative was launched in 2019.
  • It aims to guarantee that every National Member Federation of World Aquatics gets access to aquatics facilities to promote aquatic sports.

Topic: International Appointment

4. On 15 May, Lawrence Wong was sworn in as Singapore's new Prime Minister.

  • He became the first leader to change leadership in 20 years and only the fourth leader since the country's independence.
  • Wong is part of the "4G" leaders, a new generation of politicians chosen by the long-dominant People's Action Party (PAP) to maintain stability and continuity in the city-state.
  • President Tharman Shanmugaratnam administered the oath to Wong.
  • He will retain his post as Finance Minister, taking over from Lee Hsien Loong.
  • Hsien Loong is the son of Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore.
  • Wong, a government scholar, started his career as an economist at Singapore's Ministry of Trade.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

5. Third session of the India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee concluded in New Delhi.

  • The third session of the India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee (JTC) was held in New Delhi from 13 May to 14 May.
  • The JTC was co-chaired by Ms Priya P Nair, Economic Adviser, Department of Commerce and Ms Rudo M Faranisi, Chief Director, Economic Cooperation, Government of Zimbabwe.
  • The Zimbabwean delegation included Mr Peter Hobwani, Ambassador Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of Zimbabwe and over 15 representatives of relevant ministries.
  • Both sides agreed to explore the possibility of signing MoUs for regulatory cooperation in digital transformation solutions, telemedicine, rough diamonds, instant payment systems, traditional medicine etc.
  • Both sides identified several areas for enhancing bilateral cooperation in pharmaceuticals, the geospatial sector, health care, machinery and mechanical equipment, vehicles, electrical machinery, mineral fuels, mineral oils and distillation products, iron etc.

India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee

(Source: PIB)

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: Reports and Indices/Ranking

6. India had 116 cases of internet shutdowns in 2023, according to data analysed by Access Now.

  • It accounted for 41% of the 283 instances globally. India now leads the world in internet shutdowns for the sixth year in a row.
  • Access Now has recorded the 1,458 shutdowns since 2016. Out of these, India accounted for 773 (53% of them).
  • The number of internet shutdowns increased by 41% from 201 in 2022 to 283 in 2023.
  • The shutdowns cost India $1.9 billion in the first half of 2023 alone.
  • They cost India a loss of $118 million in foreign investment in the first half of 2023 alone.
  • The Shutdown of a single day can lead up to 379 people into unemployment in India.
  • In India, 64 shutdowns affected one district. This was prompted by the statewide shutdown in Punjab in March and the 47 shutdowns in Manipur.
  • There were local or statewide internet shutdowns in 13 Indian states.
  • The number of Indian states having over five shutdowns has grown from 3 in 2022 to 7 in 2023. 
  • In India, 41% of all shutdowns lasted for five days or more. In 2022, this number was 15%.
  • In 2023, Iran had 34 internet shutdowns, and Myanmar had 37, following India.
  • To stop exam cheating, twelve shutdowns were ordered in six countries, including India.
  • Natural disasters have been recognised by Access Now as "emerging trigger" for shutdowns.
  • There was an increase of 35.6% in platform blocks.
  • After Facebook, Grindr is the chat app that is blocked the most outside of India.
  • Access Now is a not-for profit group that focusses on digital rights.

Topic: Important Days

7. World Telecommunication And Information Society Day: 17 May

  • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is observed on 17 May.
  • It is observed to increase awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) can bring to economies and societies.
  • Presently India has 99% coverage footprint in 4G and over 6 lakh villages covered in 4G and about 4.42 lakh 5G base station transceivers.
  • World Telecommunication Day has been observed annually on 17 May since 1969.
  • It marked the founding of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.
  • In March 2006, UN General Assembly adopted resolution declaring that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.
  • The decision was made to observe May 17 as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in honour of both events at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2006.
  • World Telecommunications and Information Society Day 2024 is focused on the theme “Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development”.

Topic: Indian Polity

8. Supreme Court put a limit on ED’s power to arrest PMLA accused.

  • Supreme Court ruled that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) doesn’t have the authority to arrest an accused after a special court takes cognizance of a charge sheet filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
  • If a person is summoned by a designated special court under the PMLA, it cannot be said that he is in custody. So, the accused don't need to apply for bail.
  • Supreme Court said that the ED would have to separately apply for the custody of a person once he appears in court.
  • The judgment of SC curtailed ED’s authority to arrest individuals, which were not detained during the investigation phase under PMLA.
  • This judgment is based on an appeal filed by Tarsem Lal against the ED, challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court denying him anticipatory bail.
  • The two conditions under Section 45 of the PMLA put the burden on the accused for bail. One, the person has to prove in court that he or she is prima facie innocent of the offence.
  • The second condition is that the accused should be able to convince the judge that he would not commit any offence while on bail.

Topic: Personality in News

9. Rajasthan’s first woman minister Kamla Beniwal,died at the age of 97.

  • Veteran Congress leader and former governor of Gujarat, Kamla Beniwal, passed away at a private hospital in Jaipur.
  • Apart from Gujarat, she also worked as the governor of Tripura and Mizoram.
  • She also served as the deputy chief minister of Rajasthan. 
  • She was born in 1927 in Jhunjhunu district’s Gaurir village in a Jat family.
  • In 1952, she became a member of the first Rajasthan Assembly.
  • Kamla Beniwal was elected MLA seven times from Jaipur District. 
  • She was also the chairperson and member of various committees of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.

Topic: Sports

10. Sunil Chhetri announced his retirement from international football after the FIFA World Cup qualifiers match.

  • On June 6, Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri will retire from international football after the FIFA World Cup qualification match against Kuwait.
  • In a career spanning two decades, Chhetri has been a key figure in Indian football, playing 145 matches for the national team and scoring an impressive 94 goals.
  • He has been instrumental in India's victories in the SAFF Championship (2011, 2015, 2021) and Nehru Cup (2007, 2009, 2012).
  • Most notably, he helped India win the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which allowed them to qualify for their first AFC Asian Cup in 27 years.
  • In 2002, Chhetri started his professional career at Mohun Bagan.
  • With the most caps and the highest total goals scored in the Indian national team in history, he is the third-best goalscorer in international competition among active players, behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Chhetri was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2019, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, and the Arjuna Award in 2011 for his exceptional athletic achievement.
  • He also became the first football player to win India's top sporting honour, the Khel Ratna Award, in 2021.

Topic: Personality in News

11. Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico injured in shooting incident.

  • On May 15, Slovakia's four-time Prime Minister Robert Fico was injured in a shooting incident in Handelova and was hospitalized.
  • The incident occurred after a government meeting in Handlowa.
  • Handelova specifically is a mining town in the Trencin region of Slovakia, where, outside the House of Culture, where a government meeting was held, the shooter fired at PM Fico.
  • In October 2023, Leftist leader Robert Fico was appointed as Slovakia's prime minister for the fourth time.
  • Before this, he served as PM from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018.

Topic: National News

12. First set of CAA certificates has been granted to 14 applicants.

  • Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla presented the first set of citizenship certificates to 14 applicants.
  • An empowered committee headed by the Director (Census Operation), Delhi, decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants after due scrutiny.
  • The Centre had notified Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, on March 11.
  • It has laid out the rules for the processing of applications by the District Level Committee (DLC) and scrutiny and grant of citizenship by the State Level Empowered Committee (EC).
  • People belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and who have entered India up to December 31, 2014, are only eligible for citizenship.
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill got the President’s assent on December 12, 2019.

Topic: Defence

13. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd celebrated its 250th Foundation Day on 14th May.

  • A series of events were organised in Mumbai to celebrate the 250th Foundation Day of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.
  • The event included the inauguration of adjacent land acquired from the Mumbai Port Authority (MPA) and the launch of a prototype of an indigenous midget submarine.
  • MDL’s Commemorative Coin was also released to commemorate the 250th Foundation Day. The coin has been issued by the RBI.
  • Solar Electric Hybrid boat & Fuel Cell Electric Ferry was also commissioned.
  • Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited was started with a small dry dock in the year 1774 and was incorporated in 1934. It has been under the Government of India since 1960.
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