Daily Current Affairs and GK | 9 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 09 May 2024 16:42 PM IST

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Topic: Science and Technology

1. NHAI is exploring cutting-edge technology for self-healing roads.

  • To revolutionize road maintenance, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is exploring cutting-edge technology for self-healing roads.
  • This cutting-edge approach will empower roads to mend themselves through the application of a groundbreaking asphalt variant.
  • It will enable roads to repair themselves by applying a unique kind of asphalt.
  • Steel fibres and epoxy capsules are mixed into this asphalt to repair minor fractures and stop water seepage.
  • Heat will be applied to the steel fibres to repair roads through an induction machine, which will melt and rebind the asphalt.
  • Self-healing roads will be a way to deal with potholes, which are one of the major causes of traffic accidents and fatalities in India.
  • The use of self-healing roadways could greatly extend their lifespan and reduce the cost of maintenance.
  • In 2022 alone, potholes caused 4,446 accidents that claimed 1,856 lives in India.
  • In the Netherlands, 12 roads with self-healing asphalt have undergone testing.

Topic: State News/Manipur

2. Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey launched a 'School on Wheels' initiative.

  • It is an attempt to connect with students residing in relief camps in the state affected by ethnic violence.
  • The school bus having a library, smart TV, computer and sports items will reach relief camps along with a teacher.
  • The Vidya Bharati Shiksha Vikas Samiti is implementing the initiative.
  • About 18,000 students are presently staying in 480 relief camps.
  • Ethnic violence that started on May 3 of last year resulted in thousands of people being displaced from their homes and over 219 deaths.
  • A 'Tribal Solidarity March' was held across the hill districts on May 3rd of last year to express opposition to the Meitei community's request for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
  • The majority of Meiteis, who make up roughly 53% of Manipur's population, reside in the Imphal Valley.
  • The Nagas and Kuki tribes make up just over 40% of the population and are primarily found in the hilly regions.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

3. Global energy think tank Ember released a new report stating that in 2023, India surpassed Japan as the world's third-largest producer of solar power.

  • According to the report, India's solar energy deployment in 2015 ranked in ninth place.
  • In 2023, solar energy generated a record 5.5% of the world's electricity.
  • According to Ember's "Global Electricity Review", 5.8% of India's electricity was produced from solar power in the previous year.
  • For the nineteenth year in a row, solar energy has been the fastest-growing electricity source in the world.
  • In 2023, it generated more than twice as much new electricity globally as coal.
  • In terms of global solar generation growth in 2023, India ranked fourth (+18 terawatt hour, or TWh).
  • India lagged behind the China (+156 TWh), the United States (+33 TWh) and Brazil (+22 TWh).
  • Seventy-five percent of the growth in 2023 came from the top four solar-growth countries combined.
  • According to Ember, the world's solar generation increased by more than six times between 2015 and 2023.
  • India's share of solar energy in the country's electrical output grew from 0.5% in 2015 to 5.8% in 2023.
  • The production of electricity is responsible for almost half of India's yearly carbon dioxide emissions.
  • During the COP28 climate change summit in December of last year, world leaders came to a historic agreement to treble the capacity of renewable energy globally by 2030.

Topic: Defence

4. The joint exercises conducted by the Army and Indian Air Force at many places in Punjab.

  • Under the aegis of the Western Command of the Army, the Khadga Corps of the Indian Army successfully conducted a three-day joint exercise with the Indian Air Force at multiple locations in Punjab.
  • In support of mechanized operations in developed terrain, the exercise was conducted to refine procedures and validate the employment of combat helicopters.
  • The Gagan Strike-II exercise involved Apache and ALH-WSI helicopters, unarmed aerial vehicles, and special forces of the Indian Army.
  • Its objective was to validate various force multipliers in support of ground attack by strike corps along with live firing by helicopters as demanded by mechanized forces during offensive maneuvers.
  • The recent exercise demonstrated a high level of coordination and joint proficiency between the two armies.
  • Ground force commanders used aerial assets, including drones, to increase situational awareness and destroy mobile and stationary targets.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

5. The second consultation held by India and the EU on security and defense.

  • The second round of consultations on security and defense was held by the European Union and India in New Delhi, in which fruitful discussions were held on international and regional issues.
  • Vishwesh Negi, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) at India’s Ministry of Defense, and Joanneke Balfoort, Director for Security and Defense Policy at the European External Action Service, co-chaired the consultations.
  • In this, topics ranged from Russia's aggression against Ukraine to developments in South Asia and the Middle East.
  • On May 6, the two sides discussed security and defense policy developments during consultations.
  • The EU provided updates on the implementation of its strategic compass and Indo-Pacific strategy, including the European Defense Industrial Strategy (EDIS), as well as recent EU operations such as EUNAVFOR Aspides.
  • Furthermore, they committed to strengthening cooperation in existing areas of bilateral cooperation, such as cyber, maritime security, and crisis management.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. A MoU has been signed between the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Jindal Steel & Power (JSP).

  • This MoU is aimed at increasing indigenous content in ship building.
  • The partnership will support the supply of indigenous marine-grade steel.
  • The MoU highlights the pivotal role of public-private partnerships in trying to deal with complex security challenges.
  • It emphasizes the need of collaboration between the private sector and government agencies to strengthen national interests.
  • The MoU includes key benefits aimed at making sure quality, grades, and dimensions of the marine-grade steel.
  • It earmarks the designated steel plants for manufacturing the product. This will ensure a timely supply to shipbuilding yards serving the ICG.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. The 5th Joint Group of Customs (JGC) meeting between India and Bhutan held on 6th-7th May in Leh, Ladakh.

  • The meeting tried to strengthen bilateral ties and deal with various issues related to customs and trade facilitation.
  • The meeting was co-chaired by Surjit Bhujabal from India and Sonam Jamtsho from Bhutan.
  • During the meeting, the opening of new Land Customs Stations, the development of infrastructure, automation of transit processes were discussed.
  • Measures to prevent smuggling were also discussed during the meeting.
  • Bhutan thanked India, particularly the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, for support in skill development and capacity building for Bhutanese customs officials.
  • The India-Bhutan Joint Group of Customs meetings are held annually.
  • They try to redefine and re-engineer customs procedures as well as promote cooperation and trade facilitation as per global best practices.
  • India is Bhutan’s top trade partner, both in terms of imports and exports.
  • Trade between India and Bhutan has increased since 2014 and reached $1,615 million in 2022-23. This accounts for nearly 80% of Bhutan’s overall trade.
  • Bhutan is a landlocked country. So, trade through Land Customs Stations has a vital role in its economy.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. Setu unveiled India's first domain-specific LLM for the BFSI sector.

  • Sesame, India’s first Large Language Model (LLM) specifically designed for the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sectors, has been launched by Setu.
  • It has been developed in collaboration with indigenous AI research firm Sarvam AI.
  • It has been released at an event organised by a non-profit organisation, People+A.
  • Setu’s vision is to empower BFSI customers to make smarter, faster credit decisions and provide hyper-personalised financial services to their customers.
  • Setu was founded in 2018 by Sahil Kini and Nikhil Kumar. It is an application programming interface (API) infrastructure provider.
  • Setu has received a license to operate as an account aggregator from the Reserve Bank of India.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. Mumbai and Delhi listed among the top 50 richest cities in the world.

  • Mumbai with the 24th position and Delhi with the 37th position made it into the top 50 world's wealthiest cities in 2024.
  • The latest rankings of the world's wealthiest cities have been released by Henley & Partners and New World Health.
  • New York is in the top spot among the top 50 wealthiest cities in the world.
  • Among the top 50, 11 cities are from the USA. London (5th) and Los Angeles (6th) have witnessed declines or modest growth compared to a decade ago.
  • Five out of the top 10 wealthiest cities are from the Asia-Pacific region. Tokyo (3rd), Singapore (4th), and Beijing (10th) are in the top 10.
  • Beijing has made it into the Top 10 for the first time. A 90% surge in millionaires number occurred in the last ten years.
  • Singapore is also one of the world’s top destinations for migrating millionaires.
  • Seven of the ten fastest-growing millionaire cities are located in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

City

Ranking

Country

New York

1st

USA

The Bay Area

2nd

USA

Tokyo

3rd

Japan

Singapore

4th

Singapore

London

5th

UK

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
April Monthly Current Affairs 2024 March Monthly Current Affairs 2024
February Monthly Current Affairs 2024 January Monthly Current Affairs 2024

Topic: Indian Economy

10. Household savings declined by more than Rs 9 lakh crore in three years to Rs 14.16 lakh crore in 2022-23.

  • According to the latest National Accounts Statistics 2024 of the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, net household savings declined sharply from Rs 9 lakh crore to Rs 14.16 lakh crore in the three years to 2022-23.
  • In 2020-21, Net household savings reached Rs 23.29 lakh crore. Data shows that they have been declining since then.
  • In 2021-22, Net household savings declined to Rs 17.12 lakh crore and a five-year low of Rs 14.16 lakh crore in 2022-23.
  • Earlier, the lowest net household savings was Rs 13.05 lakh crore in 2017-18, which increased to Rs 14.92 lakh crore in 2018-19 and Rs 15.49 lakh crore in 2019-20.
  • According to data, investment in mutual funds almost tripled in three years to Rs 1.79 lakh crore in 2022-23 from Rs 64,084 crore in 2020-21. In 2021-22, it was Rs 1.6 lakh crore.
  • In shares and debentures, the domestic investment almost doubled from Rs 1.07 lakh crore in the three years from 2020 to 21 to Rs 2.06 lakh crore in 2022-23. In 2021-22, it was Rs 2.14 lakh crore.
  • In addition, Bank advances (loans) to households have also doubled in three years to Rs 11.88 lakh crore in 2022-23, from Rs 6.05 lakh crore in 2020-21. In 2021-22, it was Rs 7.69 lakh crore.
  • Financial corporations and non-banking financial corporations’ loans to households increased also fourfold to Rs 3.33 lakh crore in 2022-23 from Rs 93,723 crore in 2020-21. In 2021-22, it was 1.92 lakh crore.

Topic: Important Days

11. World Thalassaemia Day 2024: 8 May

  • Every year on 8 May, World Thalassemia Day is observed.
  • It is celebrated to create awareness regarding Thalassemia and to encourage those who struggle to live with this disease.
  • The theme of World Thalassemia Day 2024 is “Empowering Lives, Embracing Progress: Equitable and Accessible Thalassemia Treatment for All.”
  • In 1994, World Thalassemia Day was established and organized by the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF).
  • Thalassemia is a genetic disease that is passed from parents to their offspring.
  • Its symptoms start appearing from 3-4 months after the birth of the child.
  • People suffering from Thalassaemia have less hemoglobin than normal, which leads to anemia.
  • Normally, red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days.
  • However, due to this disease, the age of red blood cells remains for only 20 days.
  • Because of this, they need blood after a few days in case of severe anemia.

Topic: Indian Economy

12. India became the first country to get $100 billion in remittances.

  • According to the United Nations migration agency, India received $111 billion in remittances in 2022.
  • India, Mexico, China, the Philippines, and France were the top five countries to receive remittances in 2022.
  • India led in remittance receipts in 2010 ($53.48 billion), 2015 ($68.91 billion), and 2020 ($83.15 billion), with $111.22 billion in 2022.
  • Pakistan and Bangladesh are also ranked among the top ten recipients of international remittances.
  • The Gulf States remain favourite destinations for migrant workers, particularly from India, Egypt, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Kenya
  • Globally, India has the largest number of international migrants.
  • India also attracted immigrants, ranking 13th globally as a destination country for international migrants.
  • The remittance of China has declined due to demographic shifts and its zero-COVID policy.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

13. Globally, AstraZeneca withdraws its COVID vaccine, ‘Vaxzevria’.

  • Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has decided to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria.
  • AstraZeneca has taken this decision due to a surplus of newer vaccine options.
  • Recently, AstraZeneca admitted for the first time that its vaccine can cause Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).
  • It is the first company to accept clinical trial reports that have revealed adverse effects of the vaccine.
  • AstraZeneca began moving into respiratory syncytial virus vaccines and obesity drugs through many deals.
  • The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, also known as AZD1222 or Covishield, was used for vaccination in India.
  • It uses a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus), genetically to carry genetic material from the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
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
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