Daily Current Affairs and GK | 5 May 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 05 May 2023 18:16 PM IST

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Topic: Corporates/Companies

1. Polavarapu Mallikharjuna Prasad will be the next Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India (CIL).

  • The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PSEB) recommended the name of Polavarapu Mallikharjuna Prasad as the next Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India (CIL).
  • He is currently serving as the chairman cum managing director of the Ranchi-based CIL arm - Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL).
  • He was one among the seven officials interviewed for the post.
  • He joined as CMD of Central Coalfield Ltd in September 2020. He started his career as an executive trainee with Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) in 1984.
  • He was appointed CMD of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) in August 2019.
  • Coal Ministry has set an ambitious target of producing 1012 MT in 2023-24.
  • Coal India Limited (CIL):
    • Coal India Limited is a coal mining and refinery company owned by the government of India.
    • It is the world's largest coal producer. It is a Maharatna Public Sector Undertaking.
    • It is headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Topic: Defence

2. Indian Army conducted integrated surveillance and firepower training exercise 'Buland Bharat'.

  • ‘Buland Bharat’, surveillance and firepower training, exercise was conducted in Arunachal.
  • The exercise has been organized at the newly operationalised High Altitude Artillery Ranges of Eastern Theatre in West Kameng and Tawang.
  • ‘Buland Bharat’ exercise was conducted to test “simulated war conditions in high altitude area”.
  • The exercise involved synergised application of surveillance and firepower capabilities of the Artillery and the Infantry in association with Special Forces, Aviation, and CAPF.
  • The Special Forces, Aviation and Central Armed Police Forces deployed in West Kameng and Tawang also participated in this exercise.
  • During the month-long training exercise, uninterrupted communication on multiple media was also tested at long distances.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. 'CU-Chayan', a unified faculty recruitment portal launched by UGC.

  • A new portal named ‘CU-Chayan’ has been launched by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for faculty appointments in central varsities.
  • The portal will provide a host of features including a consolidated list of job openings across all participating universities.
  • Applicants will have a single login to apply to any university and a personalized dashboard to help manage the application process.
  • Applicant can also search for jobs using various filters like university name, location, designation, category, subject, type of employment, experience, education level, etc.
  • All future recruitments will take place on this portal and the commission has also asked all the CUs to deactivate their recruitment portals.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

4. ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit launched by UAE govt.

  • On 4 May, ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit took place at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.
  • It is one of the international conferences in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the whole region.
  • The summit was launched in partnership between ‘Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office’ and ‘Machines Can See’ company.
  • The aim of the conference was to bring together experts from around the world to discuss the future of AI and its potential to contribute to the UAE's vision of creating the next Silicon Valley.
  • During the summit, the current progress in AI, its applications and its future in the UAE and the rest of the world, were discussed.
  • The event was organized in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Economic and Tourism and the Dubai Future Foundation.
  • The summit included presentations and panel discussions from various experts in the field of AI.

Machines Can See 2023 Summit

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Banking System

5. G20 TechSprint competition launched by RBI to improve cross-border payments.

  • On 4 May, a global technology competition G20 TechSprint, has been launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for developing innovative solutions to improve cross-border payments.
  • The fourth edition of the G20 TechSprint has jointly been launched by the RBI and the BIS Innovation Hub (BISIH) of the Bank for International Settlements under India’s G20 Presidency.
  • The 2023 TechSprint will focus on solutions for three challenges cross-border payments face.
  • Anti Money Laundering and Sanctions technology solutions will be the first focus to reduce illicit finance risk.
  • In second aspect, foreign exchange and liquidity technology solutions will be covered to enable settlement in emerging market and developing economy (EMDE) currencies.
  • In the third, technical solutions for multilateral cross-border central bank digital currency (CBDC) platforms will be introduced.
  • From May 04, 2023 to June 04, 2023, the competition is open to developers from around the world for submitting application and the TechSprint will conclude around August/ September 2023.
  • Shortlisted teams will be invited to develop their solutions over a period of six weeks, and each team will be eligible for a stipend of INR 8 lakh, approximately US$10,000.
  • For each problem statement, the winners will be awarded 40 lakh rupees approximately US$50,000.

G20 TechSprint competition(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Art and Culture

6. Buddha Purnima was celebrated on 5 May.

  • Buddha Purnima celebrations mark the birth of Gautam Buddha.
  • It also marks the day when he attained Enlightenment (Nirvan) under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya.
  • It is considered a ‘triple-blessed day’ - as Tathagata Gautam Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and Maha Parnirvana.
  • In Hinduism, Buddha is considered the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
  • His birth anniversary is also known as Vaisakhi Buddha Purnima or Vesak.
  • The day is celebrated by Buddhists and Hindus around the world and is a major festival in countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
  • Buddha:
    • He was born into a noble family of the Kshatriyas in Lumbini, Nepal in 563 BCE.
    • His childhood name was Siddhartha Gautama and he belonged to Shakya clan.
    • He attained enlightenment under a peepal tree in Bodhgaya.
    • His first sermon is called Dharma Chakra Pravartana.

Buddha Purnima (Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. India hosted SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa on 4-5 May.

  • India had formally sent invitations to all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
  • China, Pakistan, and Russia confirmed their foreign ministers’ presence.
  • The focus of the foreign ministers’ meeting was primarily on the substantive content of the upcoming meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State, which is scheduled for July 3-4 in New Delhi.
  • This was the Chinese Foreign Minister’s second visit to India. The last time Foreign Minister Qin Gang visited India was exactly two months before the G20 Foreign Minister’s meeting in March 2023.
  • India recently held the SCO defence, transport and NSA level meet.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was founded in 2001. It is an intergovernmental organisation.
  • It focuses on regional security issues, including its fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism. Its priorities also include regional development.
  • India took over the rotating presidency of the SCO at the 2022 Summit in Samarkand.

India hosted SCO foreign ministers’ meeting

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Maharashtra

8. The setting up of the Maharashtra State Infrastructure Development Corporation has been approved by the Maharashtra government.

  • This has been done with the aim to speed up the construction of good quality roads across the state and also to ensure their maintenance and repairs.
  • The initial capital funding for this corporation will be 100 crore rupees.
  • Maharashtra cabinet has also approved a proposal to use solutions based on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for solid waste management in all civic bodies across the state.
  • This proposal will be undertaken under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). The proposal is likely to cost around 578 crore rupees.
  • Maharashtra Government has taken a decision to give scholarships to students who wish to do research studies in recognised foreign universities in certain fields.
  • These fields are Marine Science, Marine Ecology, Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marine Fisheries, Marine Biotechnology, Microbiology and Biodiversity.
  • The government has kept 31.5 crore rupees for the purpose of scholarships. Scholarships will be given to 25 students annually for three years.
  • Maharashtra cabinet has given approval to set up a 350-bed regional psychiatric hospital in Shirur taluka of Pune at the cost of 146 crore rupees.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. 52% of Indian population had internet access in 2022: ‘Internet in India Report 2022’.

  • The ‘Internet in India Report 2022’ has been released by IAMAI and Kantar.
  • According to the report, 52% of the Indian population or 759 million people have got access of internet at least once a month in 2022.
  • The number of internet users is likely to grow to 900 million. Out of total 759 million people, 399 million are from rural India, while 360 million are from urban India.
  • Rural India continues to drive the growth of the internet in the country.
  • By 2025, 56% of all new internet users in India will be from rural India.
  • In Urban India, internet penetration witnessed only 6% growth in 2022.
  • The internet penetration in Bihar is 32% and the internet penetration in Goa is 70%.
  • Bihar has the lowest internet penetration while Goa has the highest internet penetration.
  • The active Internet users comprised 54% male users. 57% of all new users in 2022 were females. By 2025, 65% of all new users will be women.
  • The Internet is mainly used for Digital entertainment, digital communications and social media service.
  • Indians are fast adapting to social media platforms as the next e-commerce destination.
  • The report found that digital payments in 2022 have grown by 13% as compared to 2021. 99% of all digital payment users are UPI users.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Nadia (Patna Region) wins 1st prize in 24th National Youth Parliament Competition.

  • The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is organising Youth Parliament Competitions in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas for the last 26 years.
  • Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal distributed the prizes in New Delhi.
  • He said that the younger generation should learn and adopt the democratic values and ethics of democracy.
  • The following 7 regional-winning Vidyalayas also received prizes:
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Puri, Odisha (Bhopal Region)
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Chandrapur, Maharashtra (Pune Region)
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mandya, Karnataka (Hyderabad Region)
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir (Chandigarh Region)
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, East Khasi Hills-I, Meghalaya (Shillong Region)
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kurukshetra, Haryana (Jaipur Region)
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow Region)
  • 80 Vidyalayas spread over 8 regions of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti participated in the 24th National Youth Parliament Competition.
  • The main of the Youth Parliament Scheme is to inculcate the spirit of self-discipline, righteous expression of views, and other virtues of a democratic way of life among youths.

1st prize in 24th National Youth Parliament Competition

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. Smart Cities Mission deadline extended by one year as some cities fail to meet deadline.

  • The Smart Cities Mission has been extended by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry until June 2024 in response to requests for additional time to finish their ongoing projects.
  • The deadline was initially set at June 2023 to provide five years to all cities to complete the mission activities.
  • The extension is not only for carrying out projects but also for completing documentation, dissemination and institutionalization of all best practices, templates and innovations created under the mission.
  • On 25 June 2015, the Smart Cities Mission was launched and 100 cities were selected for redevelopment through a two-stage competition from January 2016 to June 2018.
  • Around 50 cities have completed around 75% of their projects and are on track to complete the remaining works by June 2023.
  • The government has released around Rs 38,000 crore to 100 cities.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. UN press freedom prizes presented to 3 jailed Iranian female journalists.

  • On 2 May, the United Nations has awarded premier press freedom prize to three imprisoned Iranian female journalists “for their commitment to truth and accountability.”
  • The winners are Niloufar Hamedi, Elaheh Mohammadi, and Narges Mohammadi.
  • Iranian journalist Niloufar Hamidi reported Mahsa Amini's death in custody.
  • Elaheh Mohammadi wrote about Amini's funeral.
  • Nargis Mohammadi has worked as a journalist for many years and is one of Iran's most prominent activists.
  • The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization World Press Freedom Prize is named after Guillermo Cano.
  • Guillermo was a Colombian journalist who was assassinated on December 17, 1986, in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá.
  • On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO has been presenting the award since 1997 on 3 May.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

13. Himachal Pradesh government approved a monthly incentive of Rs 1,500 for women of Spiti Valley.

  • The cabinet of Himachal Pradesh has approved a monthly incentive of Rs 1,500 as Indira Gandhi Mahila Samman Nidhi to all eligible women of the Spiti Valley.
  • It will be given to all women above 18 years. It will also be given to Buddhist nuns.
  • A sub-committee will be formed to formulate a White Paper on the state's financial position.
  • Himachal Pradesh government also gave approval to introduce e-stamping for the collection of stamp duty to promote ease-of-doing business.
  • It also gave approval to continue a dual system of stamps, i.e. physical stamp paper and e-stamp paper from April 1 to March 31, 2024.
  • After 1 April 2024, physical stamp paper will discontinue completely.
  • Cabinet also gave the nod to increase the honorarium of Revenue Chowkidars or part-time workers from Rs 5,000 to Rs 5,500 per month.
  • Himachal Pradesh government also decided to constitute Atal Tunnel Planning Area.
  • The state government will give Rs 600 for school uniforms through direct benefit transfer to all eligible students.

Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

14. US Federal Reserve hikes interest rate by 25 bps.

  • US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 5.15 per cent for controlling inflation. It has become effective from 4 May 2023.
  • Its main aim is to bring inflation under 2 per cent. It is the 10th consecutive increase since March 2022.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 5 to 5-1/4 percent.
  • In March, inflation slowed to 5 per cent, which is still more than Fed's target.
  • Fed's continuous sharp rate hike has triggered panic among investors.
  • Recently, First Republic Bank collapsed and it has been acquired by JPMorgan.
  • According to government data, job opening has fallen sharply in March to the lowest level in nearly two years.
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