Daily Current Affairs and GK | 26 and 27 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 27 Apr 2024 18:18 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. Germany lifts restrictions on the sale of small arms to India.

  • For growing strategic and military ties, Germany has decided to lift restrictions on the sale of small arms to India as an exception.
  • The German government had earlier imposed restrictions on the sale of small arms to non-NATO countries.
  • This will pave the way for the sale of small arms from Germany to the Indian military and state police forces.
  • Earlier, Germany permitted the National Security Guard (NSG) to buy spare parts and accessories for MP5 submachine guns.
  • The German firm, Heckler & Koch, makes the MP5 submachine guns that are being used by the NSG and Indian Navy’s marine commandos (MARCOS).
  • The military engagement between India and Germany has increased in recent years.
  • Two ships from Germany—likely a frigate and a tanker—will visit India as part of a larger deployment and will participate in some sea manoeuvres with the Indian Navy.
  • Germany could also provide engines for India’s future light tanks programme.

Topic: National News

2. In FY23, 83,000 patents were filed in India, a growth of 24.6%.

  • As per a Patenting Trends report released by Nasscom, 83,000 patents were filed in India in FY23, the highest in the last two decades.
  • Between FY2019-FY2023, the number of patents filed has witnessed significant growth of over 2X.
  • More than 100,000 patents were granted between 15th March 2023 to 14th March 2024.
  • The proportion of patents filed by Indians has increased from 33.6% of total filings in fiscal year 2019 to more than 50% in fiscal year 2023.
  • Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Neurotechnology are amongst the top technology patents filed by DeepTech Start-ups in India.
  • In the health sector, medical imaging, diagnosing, report generation and testing saw the maximum applications for patents.
  • Artificial Intelligence saw maximum patents filed in areas of image processing, Natural Language Processing, and Predictive modelling.
  • In the last two years, the patent filing process has been improved in India.

Topic: Defence

3. In the maritime partnership exercise, the Indian Navy participated with the UK Littoral Response Group.

  • On April 25, in the Maritime Partnership Exercise,  the Indian Navy's indigenous, INS Sahyadri participated with the Royal Navy's RFA Argus and RFA Lyme Bay, part of the UK Littoral Response Group South at sea.
  • An opportunity provided by the exercise for both the navies to exchange best practices.
  • The exercise demonstrates the Indian Navy's commitment to strengthening maritime partnerships and promoting regional stability.

 

UK Littoral Response Group

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National News

4. Narsingh Yadav, a former wrestler, elected chairman of the WFI's seven-member athlete panel.

  • On April 24, to process mandated by the sport's world governing body, former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Narsingh Pancham Yadav was elected chairman of the Wrestling Federation of India's Athletes Commission.
  • Narsingh, an Arjuna awardee and 2010 Asian Championships gold medalist, participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games and lost the preliminaries in the 74kg category.
  • A total of eight candidates were in the fray for seven posts and seven members were elected after voting on the ballot paper.
  • After this, they elected Narsingh as the chairman of the commission.
  • The other elected members of the Athletes Commission were Sahil (Delhi), Smita AS (Kerala), Bharti Bhagei (UP), Khushboo S Pawar (Gujarat), Nikki (Haryana) and Shweta Dubey (Bengal).
  • The sport's international body United World Wrestling (UWW) had lifted the WFI suspension, saying the move was subject to the Sanjay Singh-led national federation setting up an athlete commission to resolve the grievances of wrestlers.

Topic: Indian Polity

5. Plea seeking 100% cross-verification of EVM data with VVPAT records rejected by SCI.

  • On April 26, petitions seeking 100% cross-verification of electronic voting machines (EVM) data with voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) records were rejected by the Supreme Court of India.
  • The bench of Justice Sanjeev Khanna and Dipankar Dutta gave this decision.
  • Although the matters were reserved for orders on April 18, they were listed again on April 24 as the bench wanted some technical clarifications from the Election Commission.
  • On April 26, the order was passed keeping in mind the replies given by the Election Commission.
  • However, the apex court passed two directions to the Election Commission.
  • The court said that the Symbol Loading Unit (SLU) should be sealed and secured in a container after the symbol is loaded into the EVM.
  • The candidate and his/her representative shall sign the seal.
  • After the declaration of results, the sealed containers will be kept in the store room along with the EVMs for at least 45 days.
  • These should be opened and sealed like EVMs.
  • The second instruction states that the burnt memory semi-controller i.e. control unit, ballot unit, and VVPAT in 5% of EVMs per assembly constituency will be examined on the written request of candidates 2 and 3.
  • After the declaration of results, a team of engineers from EVM manufacturers will verify it.
  • Such a request is to be made within 7 days of the declaration of the result.
  • The cost will be borne by the requesting candidate and should be refunded if the EVM is found to be tampered with.

Topic: Personality in News

6. On 25 April, Yakshagana exponent Subrahmanya Dhareshwar passes away at the age of 67 in Bengaluru.

  • Yakshagana singer Subramanya Dhareshwar has earned the fame of 'Bhagwat Shrestha' for his magnificent voice.
  • He was honored to fill the vacuum created after the departure of Kalinga Navada, who had created a new wave in Yakshagana in the Badguthittu version.
  • Subrahmanya Dhareshwar had served for 46 years in the field of Yakshagana, a unique dance form of coastal Karnataka, consisting of distinctive singing, dancing, and drama styles.
  • It bears similarities to the Theyyam art form of the neighboring state of Kerala.
  • Dhareshwar had worked as the lead singer for 28 years in Perdoor Mela alone and before that, he started his journey at Amriteshwari Mela.

 

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ has been endorsed at SCO Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Kazakhstan.

  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ meeting was held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on April 26.
  • Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane took part in the meeting during which Defence Ministers of all SCO Member States signed a protocol.
  • The Defence Secretary reaffirmed India's unwavering commitment to preserving security, stability, and peace in the SCO area at the meeting.
  • He underlined that in order to ensure the prosperity and growth of the SCO Member States, terrorism must be tackled with a zero-tolerance policy.
  • Aramane also brought attention to India's long-standing UN request for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • Additionally, he emphasised the idea of "Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)," which India had put forth for the Indo-Pacific region.

Topic: Banking System

8. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has partnered with RBI’s RBI Innovation Hub (RBIH).

  • NABARD has partnered with RBIH to introduce a system which will enable faster processing of agricultural loans.
  • NABARD will integrate its e-Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan origination system portal with the Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit (PTPFC) of RBIH.
  • The loan origination system portal was developed by NABARD to facilitate digital KCC loan processing for cooperative banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
  • The digitization of agricultural lending will make sure instant doorstep delivery of credit to farmers.
  • NABARD chairman Shaji K V and Rajesh Bansal, CEO, RBIH signed the partnership agreement.
  • About 351 district and state cooperative banks, along with 43 RRBs, will be able to access digitised state land records, satellite data, KYC, and credit history through the integration with PTPFC.
  • For the 120 million farmers in India, the partnership will cut the loan turnaround time from three to four weeks to only five minutes.
  • More than ten states have complied with the PTPFC's request to make digital land records available, allowing lenders to easily obtain reliable information.
  • A few RRBs will be involved in the partnership's pilot phase of implementation.
  • The objective is to expand the digital lending platform to include about 5 crore KCC loans from all RRBs and cooperative banks in the country.

Topic: Banking System

9. Axis Bank became 4th largest lender by market cap in India.

  • Axis Bank surpassed Kotak Mahindra Bank to become India's 4th largest lender by market cap.
  • Kotak's market value decreased to Rs 3.3 lakh crore, while Axis Bank's rose to Rs 3.4 lakh crore.
  • Due to better-than-expected Q4 results, Axis Bank's shares rose by 4%.
  • HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) are India's top three most valuable banks by market cap.
  • HDFC Bank tops the lenders with a market cap of ₹11.5 lakh crore, followed by ICICI Bank with a market cap of ₹7.78 lakh crore and SBI at ₹6.99 lakh crore.
  • Recently, RBI has banned Kotak Mahindra Bank from onboarding new customers online and issuing new credit cards.
  • Axis Bank registered a net profit of ₹7,130 crore in the January-March quarter.

Topic: Personality in News

10. Father of Indian psychoanalysis, Sudhir Kakar, passed away.

  • Sudhir Kakar, known as the father of Indian psychoanalysis, passed away at the age of 85. He was a famous author and cultural critic.
  • He left an unforgettable mark on the field of psychoanalysis in India.
  • He has written more than 20 non-fiction and fiction books.
  • The Inner World (1978) was one of Kakar’s first major works.
  • He tackled rarely discussed subjects in India including the influence of religion, social norms, intimate relationships and sexual expression.
  • He obtained his doctorate in economics from the University of Vienna and later trained in psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt.

Topic: National News

11. After the UAE, the Indian passport is the second cheapest passport in the world.

  • Indian passports are also the cheapest in terms of cost per year of validity.
  • However, people from India can travel visa-free to only 62 countries with an Indian passport.
  • UAE, with the number one spot, is the cheapest in terms of cost of acquisition and number of countries for visa-free access.
  • An Australian firm, Compare the Market AU, has conducted this study.
  • It studied the cost of obtaining passports from different countries the cost-effectiveness per year of validity, and also their value in terms of the number of countries to which it provides visa-free access.
  • The study found that passports are most expensive in Mexico, where a 10-year passport costs US$231.05, followed by Australia, where a 10-year passport costs US$225.78.
  • India has the second cheapest passport on the overall list, priced at US$18.07 for 10 years of validity, compared to US$17.70 for 5 years of validity in UAE.
  • With a cost of US$1.81 per year, India has the cheapest passport in terms of cost per year of validity.
  • South Africa and Kenya were in second and third place, with US$3.05 and US$3.09 respectively.

Topic: National Appointments

12. RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Shankar got approval for a one-year extension from the government.

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved for a period of one year, from May 3, 2024.
  • He was appointed as the Deputy Governor of RBI in May 2021 for a term of three years.
  • Before being promoted to the post of Deputy Governor, he was the Executive Director of the Reserve Bank.
  • In 1990, he joined RBI and has worked in various positions in the central bank.

Topic: Banking System

13. FEMA regulations for direct listing on international exchanges have been released by RBI.

  • Reserve Bank has notified amendments to the FEMA regulations for listing an Indian company on international stock exchanges.
  • These new regulations will help companies to utilise foreign exchange more effectively.
  • The first set of regulations is related to the mode of payment and reporting of non-debt instruments.
  • The second set of regulations is related to foreign currency accounts by a person resident in India.
  • In January, the government has permitted the direct listing of securities by Indian companies on international exchanges of GIFT IFSC.
  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has issued Companies (Listing of Equity Shares in Permissible Jurisdictions) Rules, 2024.

Topic: National Appointments

14. Rana Ashutosh Kumar Singh's name for the position of State Bank of India MD has been recommended by the FSIB.

  • Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) has also recommended the appointment of Asheesh Pandey for the position of MD & CEO in Indian Bank.
  • Rana Ashutosh Kumar Singh is currently Deputy Managing Director (Retail- Personal Banking & Real Estate) at SBI.
  • Presently, SBI has four MDs. They are Challa Sreenivasulu Setty, Alok Kumar Choudhary, Ashwini Kumar Tewari, and Vinay M Tonse.
  • The tenure of Alok Kumar Choudhary as MD will end on June 30, 2024, when he will superannuate.
  • Asheesh Pandey is currently the Executive Director at Bank of Maharashtra.
  • Presently, Shanti Lal Jain is the MD and CEO of Indian Bank.
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