Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 21 May 2024 16:55 PM IST

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Topic: Sports

1. Iga Swiatek won her 3rd Italian Open title.

  • Iga Swiatek defeated Aryna Sabalenka in the final by 6-2, 6-3 to win her third Italian Open title.
  • After Serena Williams, Swiatek became the first woman to win the Madrid and Rome titles back to back. It is the 21st title of Iga Swiatek’s career.
  • Alexander Zverev of Germany won the Men’s title after defeating Chile’s Nicolas Jarry by 6-4, 7-5.
  • Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos clinched Men’s doubles while Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini won the Women’s doubles title.
  • Italian Open also known as the Rome Masters is a professional tennis tournament.

Topic: Banking System

2. Bank of Maharashtra topped among PSU banks in terms of business growth.

  • In terms of total business and deposit mobilization among public sector lenders, the Bank of Maharashtra registered the highest growth rate in the last fiscal.
  • Bank of Maharashtra registered a growth of 15.94 per cent in the total business (domestic) in FY24.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) with 13.12 per cent growth is in the second position.
  • However, SBI's total business is around 16.7 times higher than Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) in absolute terms.
  • In terms of growth in deposit mobilisation, the Bank of Maharashtra is in the first spot with a 15.66 per cent rise.
  • The Bank of Maharashtra with 52.73 per cent growth is at the top of the list of low-cost CASA deposits. It is followed by the Central Bank of India with a 50.02 per cent growth.
  • The Bank of Maharashtra is a leading bank among PSBs at 17.38% in terms of the capital adequacy ratio.
  • In terms of the capital adequacy ratio, Indian Overseas Bank (17.28 per cent) and Punjab & Sind Bank (17.16%) are in second and third positions respectively.

Topic: International News

3. An inquiry committee submitted its report on the UK’s contaminated blood scandal.

  • An independent inquiry on the United Kingdom’s contaminated blood scandal released its report on 20 May.
  • This report found that the government disguised the error due to which thousands of people get infected with HIV or hepatitis.
  • UK’s contaminated blood scandal started in 1948 is considered the deadliest to hit Britain's National Health Service (NHS).
  • Many people get infected with HIV or hepatitis due to contaminated blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • The inquiry was launched six years ago in 2017. It finds out how people came into contact with the deadly diseases from transfusions of infected blood in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • During the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of people who had blood-clotting disorders received the blood donated or sold by people who were infected with HIV and hepatitis.
  • The inquiry report estimated that more than 30,000 people were infected due to HIV and hepatitis C.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

4. First set of malaria vaccine doses sent by SII to Africa.

  • On May 20, an important milestone achieved with the shipment of the first set of R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine by Serum Institute of India (SII) to seven to eight countries in Africa.
  • SII is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about half a million children die from malaria every year in the African region.
  • The University of Oxford and SII have developed the low-cost, high-efficacy R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine, leveraging Novavax's adjuvant technology.
  • With a reassuring safety profile, the vaccine has demonstrated high efficacy and R21//Matrix-M vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be authorized for use in children in malaria-endemic areas.
  • However, SII has now manufactured 25 million doses but they have a production capacity of 100 million doses per year.
  • Currently, out of the total 163,800 doses allocated for the Central African Republic (CAR) region, 43,200 doses were dispatched from the SII facility on 20 May.

Topic: International Appointment

5. John Slaven has been appointed Vice President of the International Aluminum Institute.

  • On May 20, Vedanta Aluminum appointed its CEO John Slaven as Vice President of the International Aluminum Institute (IAI).
  • During his new tenure, Slaven will lead a global initiative to promote aluminium's vital role in zero-carbon energy transition.
  • Slaven has over three decades of experience in the metals, mining and modern manufacturing industries.
  • IAI is an organization representing the primary aluminum industry worldwide.
  • It is tasked with raising awareness of the industry's operations, advocating for responsible production, and emphasizing the significant benefits of using aluminum in manufacturing green technologies.
  • IAI's current membership includes the world's leading bauxite, alumina and aluminium companies.
  • In FY24, Vedanta Aluminum is a leading producer of aluminium, producing 2.37 million tonnes.
  • It is also a producer of value-added aluminum products which have important applications in key industries.
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Topic: International News

6. A Subcritical nuclear test was conducted by the USA in Nevada.

  • During the tenure of President Joe Biden, this was the third experiment.
  • On May 21, the experiment was conducted to gather important data regarding the country’s nuclear warheads.
  • In partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Nimble series experiment was the first to be conducted at the Principal Underground Laboratory for Subcritical Experimentation (PULSE) facility.
  • According to the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, the test was conducted without the use of nuclear explosive testing, which depends on subcritical tests to support the safety and effectiveness of nuclear warheads.
  • In 1992, the American government had announced a restriction on tests involving nuclear explosions. But successive governments kept continuing the subcritical tests.
  • In September 2021, a previous subcritical test was conducted.
  • This experiment and all 33 previous US subcritical experiments conformed to the zero-yield standard of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Topic: Sports

7. In the World Para Athletics Championships, Deepthi Jeevanji created a world record by winning gold.

  • On May 20, para-athlete Deepthi Jeevanji of India created a world record of 55.06 seconds in the category of women’s 400m T20 at the ongoing Para Athletics World Championship 2024 in Kobe, Japan.
  • Jeevanji won the gold medal in the women's 400-meter T20 category with a timing of 55.06 seconds.
  • She broke American Breanna Clark's previously held world record of 55.12 seconds, set during last year's edition of the championships in Paris.
  • In the World Para Athletics Championships, with 55.19 seconds, Aysel Onder of Turkey was second and with 56.68 seconds, Lizanshela Angulo of Ecuador was third with 56.68 seconds.
  • During her qualifying round, Jeevani booked her place in the final of the women's 400m T20 heats by setting a new Asian record with a timing of 56.18 seconds.
  • At the Asian Para Games 2023, Jeevanji had performed brilliantly by winning the gold medal in the women's 400m T20 event.

para-athlete Deepthi Jeevanji

(Source: DD News)

Topic: Banking System

8. In FY 24, the Government will get 30% more dividends from public sector banks.

  • In FY24, public sector banks net profit has grown about 37 per cent year-on-year to ₹1,41,203 crore.
  • The government will get around 30% more dividends from PSB due strong financial performance.
  • PSBs will pay total dividends of ₹18,013 crore to the government in FY24 as compared to ₹13,804 crore in 2023. Out of 12 PSBs, 10 have declared dividends.
  • State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank and Indian Bank are the top four PSBs to provide dividends.
  • State Bank of India declared the highest dividend of ₹13.70 per equity share (1370 per cent on equity share of Re 1 face value) in FY24.
  • SBI's share is 39 per cent of the total public sector bank dividend paid to the government.
  • BoB with a dividend at ₹7.60 per equity is the second highest among PSBs. Canara Bank is in the third spot in terms of providing dividends to the government in FY 24.
  • Indian Bank’s Board has recommended a dividend of ₹12 per equity share, which is the fourth highest among PSBs.

Topic: Important Days

9. National Anti-Terrorism Day 2024: 21 May

  • National Anti-Terrorism Day is observed annually on May 21st in remembrance of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination on May 21st, 1991.
  • Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber from the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.
  • Rajiv Gandhi assumed office as Prime Minister after the assassination of his mother, Indira Gandhi, on October 31, 1984.
  • In 1987, Rajiv Gandhi had sent Indian peacekeeping forces to Sri Lanka to establish peace.
  • National Anti-Terrorism Day is observed to raise awareness about the serious consequences of terrorism and the importance of maintaining peace, unity, and security.
  • Anti-Terrorism Day in India was established by the VP Singh government in memory of Rajiv Gandhi.
  • On this day, victims of terrorism are honoured and various organisations and educational institutions organize debates, discussions and seminars on the impact of terrorism.

Topic: Space and IT

10. On May 19, America's first Black astronaut candidate took off into space with Jeff Bezos' rocket companies.

  • 90-year-old Dwight went into space aboard a Blue Origin capsule along with five other passengers.
  • President John F. Kennedy had chosen Ed Dwight, an Air Force pilot, to be the candidate for NASA's inaugural Astronaut Corps. However, he was not chosen for the final flight in 1963.
  • Until 1978, NASA did not select black astronauts, and in 1983, Guion Bluford became the first African American in space.
  • Three years earlier, the Soviets had launched the first black astronaut, Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez, a Cuban citizen of African descent.
  • In 2021, "Star Trek" actor William Shatner was the oldest man to go into space.
  • Now, Dwight became the new record holder for the oldest person in space after the quick trip from West Texas.

Topic: Space and IT

11. Andhra-born Gopi Thotakura created history by becoming the first Indian space tourist.

  • Indian expatriate Gopi Thotakura made history as the first Indian space tourist and the second Indian to go to space by joining the crew of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin's NS-25 mission.
  • On 19 May, Blue Origin successfully completed its seventh manned space flight and the 25th for the New Shepard program.
  • Gopi Thotakura was one of six members of the crew, including Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hayes, Carroll Scholar and former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight.
  • Each astronaut left for space with a postcard from Blue Origin's foundation, Club for the Future.
  • The club's mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEAM for the benefit of the Earth.
  • In 1984, the first Indian civilian to fly in space was Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, a former pilot in the Indian Air Force.

first Indian space tourist Gopi Thotakura

(Source: DD News)

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

12. FSSAI issued a warning to fruit traders for using calcium carbide for ripening.

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a stern warning to fruit traders, handlers, and Food Business Operators (FBOs) for using calcium carbide for ripening of fruits.
  • Calcium carbide is generally used for ripening fruits like mangoes. It releases acetylene gas.
  • The acetylene gas contains harmful traces of arsenic and phosphorus.
  • It can cause dizziness, frequent thirst, irritation, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, and skin ulcers.
  • Acetylene gas poses hazards to handlers and could leave dangerous residues.
  • Under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, the use of calcium carbide for ripening fruits is banned.
  • FSSAI has authorized the use of ethylene gas as a safer alternative for fruit ripening in India.
  • The Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee has approved Ethephon 39% SL for the ripening of mangoes and other fruits.
  • FSSAI has published a guidance document titled “Artificial Ripening of Fruits – Ethylene Gas a Safe Fruit Ripener”.

Topic: International Appointments

13. Mohammad Mokhber has been appointed as Interim President of Iran.

  • First Vice President of Iran, Mohammad Mokhber, has been appointed as Interim President.
  • He will be in charge of the executive branch for a maximum period of 50 days.
  • As per the Islamic Republic’s constitution, if a president dies in office then the first vice president assumed office for an interim period of 50 days, with the approval of the Supreme Leader.
  • The government's three branches- the executive, the legislative and the judiciary held an meeting.
  • Mohammad Mokhber became first vice president in 2021 when Raisi was elected president.
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