Daily Current Affairs and GK | 30 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 17:39 PM IST

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Topic: Art and Culture

1. The first true copy of Ravi Varma’s ‘Indulekha’ has been released.

  • On the occasion of the 176th birth anniversary of Ravi Varma, the first true copy of the ‘Indulekha’ painting has been released at the Kilimanoor Palace.
  • Ravi Varma was born in 1848 at Kilimanoor Palace, near Trivandrum.
  • A copy of Raja Ravi Varma’s pioneering artwork Indulekha, based on the novel by O. Chandu Menon has been placed in the art gallery of Kilimanoor Royal Palace.
  • This painting came into the public domain in 2022, which evoked a great sense of enthusiasm among the art fraternity.
  • It is believed that the famous painting ‘Reclining Lady’ by Ravi Varma was modelled on Indulekha.
  • Apart from this painting, the portrait of Pooyam Thirunal C.R. Kerala Varma and paintings of C. Rajaraja Varma and Mangala Bayi was also released.
  • Raja Ravi Varma:
    • He was a famous Indian painter and artist.
    • He was closely related to the royal family of Travancore.
    • His paintings are one of the best examples of the fusion of European academic art with a purely Indian sensibility and iconography.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. A partnership is expected between the European telecom industry body Industry Alliance 6G and India's Bharat 6G Alliance.

  • This collaboration will open doors for the development of 6G technologies.
  • An MoU between Industry Alliance 6G in Europe and Bharat 6G may shortly be signed.
  • This will be probably comparable to the agreement Bharat 6G made in September 2023 with America's Next G Alliance.
  • The Bharat 6G Alliance and America's Next G alliance inked a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2023.
  • Work on 6G wireless technology and the development of robust supply chains were the goals of this MoU.
  • The Department of Telecoms introduced the Bharat 6G Alliance in 2003.
  • It was established with the goal of uniting research organisations, academic institutions, and business leaders to further the Bharat 6G objective.

Topic: Sports

3. V Senthilkumar has won his 8th professional squash association tour title.

  • Velavan Senthilkumar won the Batch Open, a PSA Challenger event, at the Societe Sportive du Jeu de Paume in Paris.
  • Velavan Senthilkumar defeated Frenchman Melvil Scianimanico 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 and won the title.
  • The final was organised as part of the 12,000 dollars PSA Challenger Tour event.
  • Velavan Senthilkumar reached final after defeating 163rd-ranked Andes Ling from Hong Kong, China.
  • Velavan Senthilkumar is from Chennai. He won his first PSA title in April 2018 at the Madison Open in Wisconsin.

Topic: National Appointments

4. Dr Krishna Ella has been appointed as President of IVMA (Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association).

  • Dr Krishna Ella assumes the Presidency from Adar C Poonawala.
  • Adar C Poonawala held the Presidency from 2019 to March 2024.
  • Dr Krishna Ella is Co-Founder, Executive Chairman of Bharat Biotech.
  • Dr Krishna Ella is acknowledged as the father of Genome Valley.
  • Dr Krishna Ella has been announced as the IVMA’s new President for two years from April 2024-2026.
  • Mahima Datla takes over as the role of Vice President. Mahima Datla is Managing Director of Biological E.
  • T. Srinivas will be Treasurer. T. Srinivas is CFO of Bharat Biotech.
  • Dr. Harshavardhan will remain as Director General of IVMA.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

5. The world's largest airport terminal is planned by Dubai at Al Maktoum International.

  • Plans to build the world's largest airport terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport have been revealed by Dubai.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai has approved the ambitious project.
  • The project is set to revolutionize the aviation industry and strengthen Dubai's position as a global transportation hub.
  • After its completion, Al Maktoum International Airport will have an annual capacity of 260 million passengers, much larger than any other airport in the world.
  • This massive terminal is poised to be five times the size of the current Dubai International Airport, marking a significant leap in infrastructure and operational capabilities.
  • With an estimated cost of $35 Billion, the new terminal will boast 400 aircraft gates and five parallel runways, setting new standards for efficiency and scale in the aviation sector.
  • In addition, its plans include the construction of an entire city around the airport in Dubai South, which will accommodate the needs of a growing population expected to reach one million people.

world's largest airport terminal

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

6. An MoU signed by the Ministry of Mines with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation to provide knowledge support in the field of critical minerals.

  • On 29 April, a two-day "Critical Mineral Summit" on the expansion of beneficiation and processing capacities was held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
  • The summit was inaugurated under the auspices of the ministry.
  • Mines Secretary Shri V L Kanta Rao presided over the inaugural ceremony of the summit designed to promote cooperation and innovation in the beneficiation and processing of critical minerals.
  • The summit included exhibition pavilions displaying a diverse range of minerals from both terrestrial and marine sources, giving attendees an insight into the broader landscape of important minerals.
  • During the summit, the Ministry of Mines and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation signed an MoU.
  • This MoU marks the beginning of the partnership between the Ministry of Mines, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), and TERI.
  • Under this MoU, the focus will be on providing knowledge-based cooperation in the field of critical minerals, which are critical to India's economic growth, national security, and carbon emission reduction.
  • Under this summit, important panel discussions were also discussed on important topics such as building India's processing and beneficiation capabilities and scaling up strategies for domestic and global markets.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. Gina Justus has won the 2024 Cambridge dedicated teacher awards for Middle East and North Africa.

  • Gina Justus is a teacher at Our Own English High School, Sharjah Girls’ Branch.
  • Justus is originally from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Justus has been continuously working in the UAE since 2005. 
  • She was recognized for her mentorship and dedication to charity.
  • In this year’s competition, a record 14,840 nominations from 141 countries were received.
  • The Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards honours exceptional primary and secondary school teachers. It is a global competition.
  • In this, students, parents and peers can make nominations of teachers who significantly impacted their educational journey.
  • Gina Justus has been named the regional winner for the Middle East and North Africa. The public will now vote to determine the overall winner.
  • The overall winner of the 2024 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards will be declared on May 29th.

Topic: Indian Economy

8. Draft framework for electronic trading platforms has been issued by RBI.

  • 'Draft Master Direction - Reserve Bank of India (Electronic Trading Platforms) Directions, 2024' is the name of the draft framework.
  • It specified that a company applying for authorization to operate as an ETP operator must keep a minimum net worth of Rs 5 crore.
  • Such an entity must always maintain the minimum net-worth that is specified.
  • Furthermore, the entity must be an Indian corporation.
  • If any non-residents own shares in such an entity, their ownership must abide by all relevant laws and rules, such as the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999.
  • The entity will also need to keep up a strong technological infrastructure.
  • A regulatory framework was put in place by the Reserve Bank in October 2018 to allow ETPs to execute transactions in financial instruments under its purview.
  • Since then, 13 ETPs operated by 5 operators have been authorised under the framework.
  • Any entity, whether resident or not, must register with the Reserve Bank or receive prior authorization before operating an ETP.
  • Any electronic system that contracts trades in eligible instruments but is not a recognised stock exchange is referred to as an ETP.
  • Securities, money market instruments, derivatives, foreign exchange instruments, and other similar items are all considered eligible instruments.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

9. As per a study by IITM, Indian Ocean warming is accelerating.

  • The Indian Ocean had become warmer by 1.2°C between 1950-2020. It would heat 1.7°C–3.8°C between 2020–2100.
  • Marine waves are expected to increase ten times from the current average of 20 days per year to 220–250 days per year.
  • Due to global warming, the tropical Indian Ocean will likely be in a “near-permanent heatwave state.”
  • It will increase coral bleaching, seagrass destruction, and loss of kelp forests.
  • The heating of the ocean is not merely restricted to the surface; it refers to an increase in the overall “heat content” of the ocean.
  • Indian Ocean heat content is currently increasing at a rate of 4.5 zetta-joules per decade. It is likely to increase at a rate of 16–22 zetta-joules per decade in the future.
  • Rising heat will also increase the sea level. The heating of ocean water will increase the thermal expansion of the water.
  • The frequency of extreme dipole events is also likely to increase by 66%.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. India Today Group's AI anchor, Sana, won the global media award.

  • AI news anchor, Sana, won the International News Media Association (INMA)'s 2024 Global Media Award for AI-led newsroom transformation.
  • It has been selected as the best in South Asia for 'AI-led newsroom transformation'.
  • It won first place among national brands for the 'best use of AI in customer-facing products'.
  • The 2024 Global Media Awards highlighted how news media companies must think beyond traditional ways to connect with their readers.
  • India’s first AI anchor, Sana, was introduced by the India Today Group in March 2023.
  • 71 multi-platform entries from 245 market-leading news media brands in 43 countries participated in the 2024 Global Media Awards.
  • The awards ceremony was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Topic: Defence

11. India and Britain are close to an agreement on an electric propulsion system for warships.

  • To power domestic warships, the Indian government and the UK government are discussing the possibility of an agreement to develop electric propulsion systems in India.
  • Currently, Diesel engines, gas turbines, or steam turbines power Indian warships.
  • The electric propulsion capability is to power large warships with displacements of more than 6,000 tons.
  • Last month, the UK had sent a letter of intent to the government to develop capacity in India through a government-to-government agreement.
  • Indian officials are examining the formal proposal and the contours and terms of the agreement will be finalized after its acceptance.
  • Once the agreement is signed, the major capacity will be developed through collaboration between the UK's GE Power Conversion and state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
  • The two companies have signed an MoU to develop an 'Integrated All-Electric Propulsion System'.

Topic: Banking System

12. A roadmap has been prepared by RBI for the voluntary transformation of small finance banks into universal banks.

  • This roadmap for the voluntary transition of small finance banks (SFBs) to universal banks provided criteria, including net worth and NPA ratios.
  • As part of the roadmap, RBI has prescribed criteria like minimum net worth of ₹1,000 crore and net profit in the last two financial years.
  • Other criteria include a low non-performing asset (NPA) ratio and a diversified loan portfolio.
  • Based on the six specified eligibility requirements, the majority of the ten applicants might not be prepared to switch to a universal bank until the following year.
  • This is due to their inability to fulfill the gross non-performing assets (NPA) and net non-performing assets (NPPA) thresholds of less than or equal to 3% and 1%, respectively, for the previous two fiscal years.
  • In 2015, these applicants received "in-principle" approval to establish SFBs.
  • According to RBI guidelines, SFBs wishing to become universal banks must be listed on an established stock exchange (North East Small Finance Bank is the only one of the 10 SFBs that is not listed).
  • Its minimum net worth as of the end of the previous quarter (audited) should be ₹1,000 crore.
  • It should satisfy the mandated 15% capital-to-risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) threshold for SFBs.
  • It must be in a scheduled status and have demonstrated a minimum of five years of satisfactory performance.
  • A specified promoter is not required to be present for an eligible SFB to qualify.
  • The current SFB promoters, if any, must nevertheless continue in their role as Universal Bank's promoters.
  • During the transfer to Universal Bank, an eligible SFB will not be able to add new promoters or replace existing promoters.
  • There won't be a new minimum shareholding lock-in requirement for current promoters in the reorganized universal bank.
  • As of now, there are 11 SFBs. Their names are AU (Fincare SFB merged with AU on April 1, 2024), Capital, Equitas, Suryoday, Ujjivan, Utkarsh, ESAF Jana, North East, Shivalik, and Unity.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

13. World needs a global plastics treaty to resolve the plastic menace.

  • Plastic waste is prevalent from the peak of Mount Everest to the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Negotiators and observers from 175 countries arrived in Ottawa, Canada to discuss the first global treaty to curb plastics pollution.
  • This is the fourth round of negotiations since 2022 for a legally binding treaty on plastics pollution by the end of 2024. The final round will take place in November this year, in South Korea.
  • The proposed plastic treaty will be the most important environmental pact after the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • This treaty can lay out guidelines on how rich nations should help poorer countries to meet their plastic reduction target.
  • After 1950, plastic production across the world increased drastically. It has increased from just 2 million tonnes in 1950 to more than 450 million tonnes in 2019.
  • Plastic takes anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose, and currently less than 10% is recycled.
  • Plastic waste is also reaching rivers and oceans, where it breaks down into smaller particles known as microplastics. Plastic production and disposal are also contributing to climate change.
  • As per a study, around 400 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated annually.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. China now accounts for 30% of India's imports of industrial goods.

  • China's share in India's industrial goods imports has increased from 21% to 30% during the previous 15 years, according to GTRI.
  • India's growing dependence on Chinese industrial items, such as electronics, machinery, and telecom, is highlighted in a recent report.
  • The report is released by the economic think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI).
  • India's yearly exports to China have remained steady between 2019 and 2024, totalling about USD 16 billion.
  • China's imports have increased from USD 70.3 billion in 2018–19 to over USD 101 billion in 2023–24.
  • Over the course of five years, this led to a cumulative trade deficit that was more than USD 387 billion.
  • Concerns are raised by the widening trade deficit with China. This has important ramifications for economic stability and national security.
  • According to the report, India's imports from all other nations are expanding at a rate that is 2.3 times slower than China's exports to India.
  • China contributed USD 101.8 billion to India's total merchandise imports of USD 677.2 billion in the fiscal year 2023–24.
  • This suggests that 15% of India's total imports came from China.
  • China contributes USD 19 billion to the machinery sector, accounting for 39.6% of India's imports in this area.
  • China accounted for USD 15.8 billion, or 29.2%, of India's total imports of chemicals and pharmaceuticals during the period, which reached USD 54.1 billion.
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