24 May 2024 Current Affairs

24 May 2024 Current Affairs


National News

Over 4000 Gangetic Dolphins in India: Conservation Success and Declining Pollution

  • According to a recent report by the Wildlife Institute of India, there are more than 4000 Gangetic dolphins in the Gangetic River basin.
  • Out of the total, more than 2000 dolphins are found in Uttar Pradesh, primarily in the Chambal River.
  • The marked increase in the number of river dolphins indicates a decline in the river’s pollution levels and the success of government conservation efforts.
  • The Gangetic River Dolphin is also known as the blind dolphin, Ganges susu, or Hihu.
  • Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica.
  • Current Distribution: The Gangetic dolphin is now found in certain stretches of:
  • India: Ganga-Brahmaputra-Barak river system.
  • Nepal: Karnali, Sapta Koshi, and Narayani river systems.
  • Bangladesh: Meghna, Karnaphuli, and Sangu river systems.

Government steps to save Gangetic Dolphin

To preserve the river dolphins, the government of India and state governments have taken a number of steps. Some of the important steps taken are as follows:

  • Gangetic river dolphin is listed in Schedule –I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 which  provides the highest degree of legal protection.
  • Gangetic river dolphin was declared the National Aquatic Animal of India on 18 May 2010 by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.
  • Gangetic river dolphin has been included as one of the 22 critically endangered species for providing financial assistance to States under the Centrally sponsored scheme ‘Development of Wildlife habitats’.
  • Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary in Bhagalpur, Bihar, has been set up to protect the species.
  • A comprehensive action plan (2022-2047) has been developed to ensure the well-being of river dolphins and aquatic habitats.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has declared a Dolphin Sanctuary area in the Chambal Sanctuary.
  • The Prime Minister has announced Project Dolphin in 2019 under the Arth Ganga part of the Namami Ganga Project.
  • The aim is to double the population of Dolphins by 2030.

Wildlife Institute of India 

  • The Wildlife Institute of India was established in 1982 as an autonomous institute under the Union Ministry of Forest and Climate Change.
  • Headquarters: Dehradun, Uttarakhand 

Cabinet Approves Over Rs 10,300 Crore for IndiaAI Mission:

  • The Cabinet has approved over Rs 10,300 crore for the IndiaAI Mission, signaling a significant commitment to bolster India’s AI ecosystem.
  • Objective: The mission aims to fortify India’s AI innovation ecosystem through strategic initiatives, including compute infrastructure expansion, startup empowerment, and ethical AI deployment.
  • Public-Private Partnership: Spearheaded by a public-private partnership model, the investment over the next five years is poised to catalyze various AI-related endeavors.

International news

Spain Becomes 99th Member of International Solar Alliance

  • Spain joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as the 99th member on May 2024. The announcement was made by the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal.
  • Ratification: Spain ratified the ISA Instrument of Ratification and deposited it with the ISA Head of Depository.
  • Host Country: India is the host country of the ISA.
  • Current Head of Depository: Abhishek Singh, Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry, is the current Head of Depository.

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Membership Criteria

  • Initial Eligibility: Countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • Expanded Eligibility: Amended during the first founding conference on 11 March 2018, co-hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, allowing all United Nations members to join.
  • Current Status: From 15 July 2020, membership is open to all UN member states.

Objectives of ISA

  • Primary Aim: Promote the extensive use of solar energy to counter fossil fuels.
  • Environmental Focus: Solar energy is more environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels like coal and petroleum.
  • Financial Commitments: Seek commitments from international organizations and the private sector to provide affordable financing for:
    • Solar mini grids
    • Rooftop installations
    • Solar e-mobility technologies in urban and rural areas

Membership Statistics

  • Signatories: 119 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement.
  • Full Members: 99 countries have ratified and submitted the ISA Instrument of Ratification.

Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana, India

Head: Abhishek Singh

Banking news

Strategic Bancassurance Partnership between SBI General Insurance and Jana Small Finance Bank

  • SBI General Insurance and Jana Small Finance Bank (JSFB) have entered into a strategic bancassurance partnership agreement.
  • JSFB customers will gain access to a wide array of general insurance products offered by SBI General Insurance.
  • Insurance Range: The products will encompass various insurance categories including health, personal injury, home, motor, and travel insurance
  • Commercial Line Products: Additionally, commercial line insurance products like property, marine, and engineering insurance will be available to cater to business needs
  • Market Expansion Strategy: SBI General Insurance aims to enhance its market position by tapping into Jana Small Finance Bank’s extensive customer base spread across 24 states and Union Territories through its branch network.

About SBI General Insurance Company Limited

  • Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) – Kishore Kumar Poludasu Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Establishment – 2009
  • Tagline – Suraksha aur Bharosa dono

About Jana Small Finance Bank (JSFB): Jana Small Finance Bank (JSFB) was formerly known as Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS). Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) – Ajay Kanwal

  • Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Establishment – 2008

Highlights from EPFO’s Provisional Payroll Data FY24

  • Formal job creation under EPFO rose by 11.4% in FY24, reaching 15.4 million compared to 13.85 million in FY23. Provisional data for March 2024 indicates 1.44 million net members were added to EPFO, a slight decrease from 1.54 million in February 2024.
  • Youth Employment: In March 2024, 0.74 million new members joined EPFO, with 56.83% in the 18-25 age group, suggesting a substantial number of first-time job seekers.
  • Member Mobility: About 1.18 million members exited and rejoined EPFO, opting to transfer their accumulations instead of settling finally.
  • Gender Inclusion: 0.2 million new female members joined, with a net addition of 0.29 million, indicating a trend towards a more inclusive workforce.
  • Industry Trends: Increased membership noted in manufacturing, marketing, IT services, restaurants, accounting, fish processing, and beedi making sectors.
  • Expert Services Dominance: Expert services, including manpower suppliers, contractors, and security services, contributed around 43% of net membership additions, highlighting their significant role in job creation.


  • Headquarters: new Delhi
  • Head: Shri Bhupender Yadav, 

VST Tillers Tractors Ltd. Signs MoU with Axis Bank for Farm Mechanization Financing

  • VST Tillers Tractors Limited, based in Bengaluru, Karnataka, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Axis Bank Limited.
  • Antony Cherukara, CEO of VST Tillers Tractors Ltd., and Rajesh Dhage, Business Head of Farm Mechanization at Axis Bank, signed the MoU.
  • Financial Solutions: Axis Bank will provide financial solutions to VST’s prospective customers for purchasing tractors and farm mechanization products through its network of 5370 branches.
  • Objective: The partnership aims to facilitate easy access to credit facilities, enabling farmers to adopt farm mechanization for enhanced productivity and efficiency.

About VST Tillers Tractors Limited (VST):

  • CEO– Antony Cherukara
  • Establishment- 1967
  • Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka

About Axis Bank Limited:

  • Managing Director (MD) & CEO- Amitabh Chaudhry Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Started Operations – 1994
  • Tagline- Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi

Appointment news

Rushabh Gandhi Appointed MD and CEO of IndiaFirst Life Insurance:

  • Rushabh Gandhi, currently Deputy Chief Executive Officer, has been approved by the board to assume the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD and CEO) at IndiaFirst Life Insurance.
  • Significance: Gandhi’s promotion signifies a significant milestone for the company and aligns with its succession strategy.
  • Effective Date: Gandhi is set to assume his new role on July 1, 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, including those from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the company’s shareholders, and other statutory clearances.
  • Successor: He will succeed R.M. Vishakha in the position.

India first life insurance:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Head:  Vishakha R M

Award news

Scientist Srinivas R. Kulkarni Awarded Shaw Prize in Astronomy: Prestigious

  • Indian-origin U.S. scientist Srinivas R. Kulkarni has been honoured with the prestigious Shaw Prize in Astronomy for 2024.
  • Kulkarni’s work in astronomy, including research on millisecond pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, and other transient astronomical phenomena, has been recognized by the Shaw Prize.
  • Educational Background: Kulkarni obtained his M.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1983.

Ranks And Report News

World Bank’s 11th Annual Report on Carbon Pricing 2024:

  • World Bank’s 11th Annual Report on Carbon Pricing 2024 Total revenues from carbon taxes and Emissions Trading Systems (ETSs) in 2023 have surged to USD 104 billion, surpassing the USD 100 billion threshold for the first time.
  • Comparison with Previous Year: In 2022, the total revenue from carbon taxes and ETS stood at approximately USD 95 billion, indicating a significant increase within a year.
  • Ambition Gap: Despite the revenue milestone, the report highlights that the price levels of carbon continue to fall short of the ambition required to achieve the goals set in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Defence news

Exercise Cyber Suraksha – 2024

  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan attended ‘Exercise Cyber Suraksha – 2024’, on May 22, 2024, and underscored the importance of strengthening India’s cyber defence capabilities.
  • The comprehensive cyber defence exercise is being conducted by Defence Cyber Agency from 20 – 24 May 2024.
  •  It aims to further develop Cyber Defence Capability of all Cyber security organisations and promote synergy amongst all stakeholders.
  • It focusses on enhancing collaboration and integration among participants from various military and prominent national organizations.
  • The CDS highlighted the critical need for jointness among all stakeholders in the cyber domain and praised the initiative for fostering a collaborative environment to tackle emerging cyber threats. He commended the participants and staff for their dedication and efforts in organizing the Exercise.

Sports news

India finishes the first Asian Relay Championships with three medals

  • The Indian athletic contingent finished the first Asian Relay Championships with three medals -one gold and two silver. 
  • The first Asian Relay Championships was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 20 and 21 May 2024.
  • It also offered a chance to Asian athletes to qualify for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics starting 26 July 2024.
  • 16 Asian countries, including powerhouse China and Japan participated in the Bangkok event.
  • The India mixed relay team won the gold medal in the 4×400-meter event. With a new national record of 3 minutes 14.1 seconds, the Indian team of Muhammed Ajmal, Jyothika Sri Dandi, Amoj Jacob and Subha Venkatesan won the gold medal.

Important days

World Turtle Day 2024: Celebrating Reptilian Diversity and Conservation

  • World Turtle Day is celebrated annually on May 23rd.
  • Objective: The day aims to raise awareness about the unique lifestyles and habitats of turtles and tortoises, promoting their conservation.
  • Reptilian Diversity: Turtles and tortoises, though often mistaken for one another, have distinct differences. Turtles are aquatic creatures, while tortoises are land-dwelling.
  • Lifespan: Tortoises can live up to an impressive 300 years, contrasting with the average 40-year lifespan of turtles.
  • Conservation Focus: World Turtle Day serves as a reminder of the importance of conserving these fascinating reptiles and their habitats for future generations.

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