Daily Current Affairs and GK | 3 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 03 May 2024 17:17 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. Supreme Court orders Rajasthan to stop illegal mining in Aravalli range.

  • Justice B.R. Gavai, heading a Special Bench with Justice A.S. Oka said that Illegal mining in the Aravalli range must be stopped.
  • The court is dealing with a matter related to illegal mining in the Aravalli range.
  • The Supreme Court granted Rajasthan a week to provide information about the steps taken by the state to curb illegal mining.
  • The Forest Survey of India (FSI) report in 2018 revealed that 31 hillocks had disappeared due to rampant illegal mining.
  • It also found illegal mining at more than 3,000 sites across the Aravallis in Rajasthan and Haryana.
  • The Rajasthan government had earlier told the court about the issue regarding the classification between the Aravalli hills and the Aravalli ranges.
  • In 2002, the Supreme Court banned mining activities in the entire Aravalli region in Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • Aravalli is the only geographical feature that stops dry winds to the Gangetic Plains. Guru Shikhar is the highest peak of the Aravalli range.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NIPL) and Bank of Namibia have signed an agreement.

  • As part of the agreement, NIPL will support Bank of Namibia in developing United Payment Interface (UPI)-like instant payment system for Namibia.
  • The aim of the partnership is to enhance digital financial services and improve real-time Person-to-Person (P2P) as well as Merchant payment transactions (P2M) in Namibia.
  • Through this agreement, Bank of Namibia will have access to best technology from NIPL.
  • Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab said "Our objective is to achieve full interoperability of payment instruments by 2025.”
  • NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NIPL) is the international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

Topic: Science and Technology

3. Ancient rocks with the oldest evidence of magnetic field of the Earth have been found in Greenland.

  • These rocks have been discovered by geologists at MIT and Oxford University.
  • The researchers found that the age of rocks is nearly 3.7 billion years.
  • Their magnetic field had a minimum strength of 15 microtesla.
  • There is evidence from earlier research that the magnetic field on Earth is at least 3.5 billion years old.
  • The lifetime of the magnetic field is being extended by an additional 200 million years by the current study.
  • The magnetic field might have been essential to bringing about the habitability of Earth.
  • The early magnetic field was powerful enough to hold onto a climate that supported life.
  • It was powerful enough to prevent harmful solar radiation from reaching the Earth
  • The team took samples from rock formations in southwest Greenland's Isua Supracrustal Belt.
  • They discovered that some of the magnetized minerals were probably roughly 3.7 billion years old based on the uranium to lead ratio.
  • The Earth's magnetic field is currently about 30 microtesla.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Paul Auster dies at the age of 77.

  • He died from complications from Lung cancer.
  • He was an American writer and filmmaker.
  • The New York Trilogy is a series of novels by Paul Auster. 
  • He was shortlisted for Booker prize. He wrote more than 30 books.
  • The Invention of Solitude is his first memoir. It dealt with his father’s death.
  • Baumgartner is his final novel. It was published last year.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

5. Forest officials' study said that removing exotic plant species from forests would ensure food for wild animals.

  • A study by the Kerala State Forest Protection Employees Organisation said the removal of exotic plants from forest areas would help ensure food for wild elephants in Munnar's Chinnakkanal.
  • Recently, a group of ground forest teams, including deputy rangers, watchers, and a security watcher team, visited Chinnakkanal.
  • They interacted with local people and panchayat officials about steps to reduce human-elephant conflict in the area.
  • Santosh PG, district secretary, KSFPSO, said the removal of exotic species like Acacia mearnsii (black wattle) and eucalyptus from the forests is important to solve the problems.
  • Many areas of the forests are filled with exotic trees with no other plants growing.
  • Elephants and other wild animals are unable to pass through these areas.
  • By converting these areas into natural grasslands, it will ensure food and water for the wild elephants in Chinnakkanal, including the landscape.
  • Exotic species have been found in about 4,000 hectares of forest land in the district.

Topic: Summits/ Conference/ Meetings

6. The 11th Joint Trade Committee meeting held by India and New Zealand to strengthen trade relations.

  • On 2 May, the 11th Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting concluded between India and New Zealand in New Zealand.
  • The Indian delegation, led by Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal, had fruitful discussions with key stakeholders, including New Zealand's Trade Minister, Todd McLay, and Acting Chief Executive Brooke Barrington.
  • The meeting between both countries highlighted the immense potential for collaboration, particularly in sectors like pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and food processing.
  • A focal point of the discussions was the establishment of a stronger bilateral economic dialogue architecture, including the formation of working groups in sectors such as agriculture, food processing, storage and transportation, forestry, and pharmaceuticals.
  • The pharmaceutical and medical devices sector emerged as a major area of discussion with a focus on streamlining regulatory processes and enhancing quality assessment.
  • A commitment to the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was reaffirmed during the meeting.
  • Additionally, it highlighted the importance of cooperative partnerships within platforms, such as the G20 and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
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Topic: International Appointments

7. The Solomon Islands legislators have chosen Jeremiah Manele to be their new prime minister.

  • Lawmakers in the Solomon Islands selected the previous foreign minister as prime minister.
  • He has promised to carry out the international strategy that brought the nation closer to China.
  • In the 50-seat parliament, Manele received 31 votes to opposition leader Matthew Wales's 18 votes.
  • A national election was held last month. The government of outgoing Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare lost half of its seats in the election.
  • But none of the political parties were able to secure the majority in the election.
  • China, the United States, and adjacent Australia all closely watched the election.
  • In 2022, Sogavare signed a contentious security agreement with China.
  • The archipelago of the Solomon Islands is strategically located 1,600 kilometres (990 miles) northeast of Australia.
  • In the Solomon Islands, China has constructed roads, ports, stadiums, and a Huawei telecommunications network.
  • Australia continues to be the nation's largest supplier of aid.

Topic: Indian Economy

8. As per OECD’s latest Economic Outlook report, it is expected that India’s GDP will grow by 7.8% in financial year 2023-24.

  • It has projected a growth of 6.6% over the next two fiscal years.
  • As per the report, gross capital formation, especially in the public sector will drive India’s domestic demand.
  • It is expected that private consumption growth will remain sluggish.
  • The growth in exports will continue. Services like information technology and consulting will witness an increase in global market share.
  • The report says the headline inflation will decline gradually but food inflation will stay elevated.
  • India's Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation dropped to 4.9% in March from 5.1% on average in the preceding two months and 5.7% in December 2023.
  • The RBI is expected to start loosening monetary policy in the second half of 2024 as inflation starts to decline, according to the report.
  • In its most recent review meeting, the RBI maintained the repo rate at 6.5% for the seventh consecutive time.
  • According to the report, the policy rate will initially be lowered in late 2024, and subsequent reductions of up to 125 basis points will be put into effect before March 2026.
  • Additionally, the report says that the RBI will only adopt a neutral stance in 2025.
  • The report says unpredictable tax surcharges should be avoided and unpredictable export restrictions should be avoided.
  • According to the report, minimum price supports should be rationalised and subsidies for pesticides and fertilisers should be reduced.
  • The report suggests easing the requirements for selling produce in mandis, or wholesale markets regulated by the state.

Topic: National News

9. FSSAI has given orders for compulsory testing of spice brands across India.

  • As per the order by FSSAI, a comprehensive testing of spices from all brands will be performed.
  • FSSAI has directed its officials to carry out thorough inspections, sampling, and testing across all spice manufacturing facilities.
  • It has also instructed state governments to conduct spice testing to guarantee quality.
  • This decision has been taken after the suspension of sales of certain spices of MDH and Everest by Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • The sale of these brand's spices has been stopped due to elevated ethylene oxide (ETO) levels.
  • Ethylene oxide (ETO) is a pesticide unsuitable for human consumption and associated with long-term cancer risks.
  • FSSAI will also start surveillance on other food products, such as fortified rice and dairy products.
  • India's Spices Board has mandated ETO testing for all spices exported to Hong Kong and Singapore from May 6.

Topic: Banking System

10. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recovered 98% of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation.

  • As per the new update from RBI, 97.76% of the Rs 2,000 currency notes in circulation have returned to the banking system.
  • Only Rs 7,961 crore worth of the withdrawn notes are still with the public.
  • As per the RBI, the total value of Rs 2,000 banknotes in circulation has declined from Rs 3.56 lakh crore on May 19, 2023, to just Rs 7,961 crore as of 30 April 2024.
  • Rs 2,000 banknotes are still considered legal tender. If the receiving party accepts then it can be used for transactions.
  • After the demonetization, Rs 2,000 banknotes were introduced in November 2016. Its main aim was to meet the currency demands at the time.
  • The printing of Rs 2,000 banknotes has been discontinued from the fiscal year 2018-19.

Topic: Science and Technology

11. IIT-Patna has been granted a patent for its cost-effective inverter.

  • The Patent Office of the Government of India has granted a patent on an indigenously developed lightweight, compact, and easy-to-carry inverter to the Indian Institute of Technology-Patna (IIT-P).
  • This patented technology will go a long way in making the country self-reliant in the field of portable power modules (Inverter/UPS).
  • IIT-P will have a copyright on the commercial use of this technology for 20 years.
  • It has been developed at the Incubation Center of IIT-P under the Startup Scheme of 'Portable Power Technology'.
  • It has been developed by a group of five young scientists–Abhijeet Kumar, Saurabh Rai, Abhishek Ranjan, Radheshyam Kumar, and Rahmat Ali under the guidance of AK Thakur, Academic Dean, IIT-P.
  • This unique technology is ready to be put into commercial use next month.
  • It's all integrated into one box (the battery and inverter are not separated) and carries about one-fifth the total weight of a normal inverter and battery.
  • Furthermore, this cost-effective product will promote clean and green energy production without any harmful emissions or health hazards.

Topic: National Appointment

12. The appointment of Hitesh Sethia as CEO of Jio Financial Services approved by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

  • Hitesh Kumar Sethia has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jio Financial Services for a period of three years, with effect from November 15, 2023.
  • The company received the approval letter on April 24, 2024.
  • With over two decades of experience, Sethia is a former executive at McLaren Strategic Ventures.
  • He has worked with companies in Europe, Asia, and North America.
  • Jio Financial Services, a former subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), is an Indian financial services company that provides financial services, including payment services and insurance broking.
  • In August 2023, it became an independent entity and was listed on the Indian stock exchanges.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. An integrated portal for government retirees has been launched by the Pension department.

  • The Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare has launched an Integrated Pensioners’ Portal of the Bank of India, which is also known as the Bhavishya Portal.
  • It combines the pension processing and payment services of five banks into a single window.
  • The retirees can check their monthly pension slips, check the status of life certificates, submit Form 16, and view statements of arrears paid through this portal.
  • Services of State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank will be provided on this platform.
  • Later, most pension-disbursing banks will be integrated with the portal.
  • The portal is designed to ensure end-to-end digitisation of pension processing and payment.
  • It will help in achieving transparency and efficiency in pension-related services.

Topic: National Appointment

14. Justice PS Dinesh Kumar assumed the office of the presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

  • Justice PS Dinesh Kumar, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, has taken over as the presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal.
  • Dheeraj Bhatnagar, retired Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi has become the technical member of SAT.
  • The tenure of both members will be four years.
  • Justice Tarun Agarwala retired from the presiding officer post on December 29.
  • A SAT bench consists of three members including a presiding officer, a judicial and a technical member.
  • The tribunal was without a presiding officer or a judicial member for three months.
  • SAT hears appeals against orders passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
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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