31 May 2024 Current Affairs

31 May 2024 Current Affairs

DAILY-CURRENT-AFFAIRS-BY-EDUSPRINT

National news

Asian Development Bank’s $2.6 Billion Sovereign Lending to India in 2023: Driving Development and Resilience

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) allocated $2.6 billion in sovereign loans to India in 2023, signaling a significant commitment to supporting the country’s development initiatives.
  • Targeted Sectors: The allocated funds are directed towards various sectors critical for India’s growth and resilience, including urban development, power, industry, horticulture, connectivity, and climate resilience.
  • Strategic Focus Areas: ADB’s sovereign loans are strategically aimed at fostering India’s structural transformation, job creation, infrastructure enhancement, green growth, and socioeconomic inclusiveness. The integration of smart technologies and innovations underscores ADB’s commitment to driving sustainable development.
  • Project Highlights: The sovereign loans support a range of key projects across different regions of India. These include the Visakhapatnam–Chennai Industrial Corridor, urban service improvement in Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, and Tripura, road connectivity projects in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, horticulture development in Himachal Pradesh, and the expansion of the Delhi–Meerut rapid rail transit corridor.

Asian development bank:

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • Founded: 19 December 1966
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa

Satyadeep Gupta creates record by climbing Mount Everest & Lhotse

  • Satyadeep Gupta of India made history by becoming the first person to successfully climb both Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, and Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest peak, twice in a single season.
  • Gupta’s remarkable accomplishment involved conquering Mount Everest, standing at 8,848.86 meters, on May 21, 2024, followed by scaling Mount Lhotse, which reaches 8,849 meters, just hours later on May 22, 2024.
  • Record Time: Not only did Gupta achieve the double ascent, but he also set a new record for the fastest journey from Mount Everest to Mount Lhotse by an Indian, completing the traverse in a remarkable 11 hours and 15 minutes.

IIT Kanpur and DRDO Jointly Inaugurate Centre of Excellence in Defence Technologies

  • The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has collaborated with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to establish the DRDO-Industry-Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA COE) on the IITK campus. This initiative aims to facilitate interdisciplinary research in next-generation defence technologies.
  • Appointment of Director: Sanjay Tandon, former director of the Institute of Technology Management (ITM) at Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, has been appointed as the director of the Centre of Excellence at IITK. His expertise and leadership will drive the center’s research initiatives forward.
  • Research Focus Areas: The Centre of Excellence is dedicated to conducting focused research in various defence verticals, including advanced nanomaterials, accelerated material design, high-energy materials, and bioengineering. These areas are crucial for the development of cutting-edge defence technologies.
  • Enhancing Defence Capabilities: Through this collaboration, the Centre of Excellence seeks to contribute to the enhancement of India’s defence capabilities by fostering innovation, knowledge exchange, and the development of cutting-edge technologies that meet the nation’s security needs.

DRDO:

  • Headquarters: New delhi
  • Founded in 1958
  • Chairman: Samir V Kamat

International news

India Assumes Chairmanship of Colombo Process: Advancing Regional Cooperation on Migration Management

  • India has taken on the chairmanship of the Colombo Process for the first time since its establishment in 2003. This marks a significant milestone in India’s engagement with regional migration issues.
  • The Colombo Process is a regional consultative forum comprising 12 member states from South and Southeast Asia. Its focus is on managing overseas employment and ensuring the protection of migrant workers.
  • Objective: India’s chairmanship aims to promote safe, orderly, and legal migration practices among member states. This underscores the country’s commitment to enhancing the well-being and rights of migrant workers.
  • Role of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA): The announcement of India’s chairmanship was made by the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal. This reflects India’s diplomatic leadership in regional migration governance.

Banking news

Strengthening Governance in India’s Insurance Sector: IRDAI Implements Shorter Audit Tenures

  • IRDAI has mandated a decrease in the engagement period of statutory auditors with insurance companies from 10 years to 4 years. This move is aimed at promoting corporate governance within the industry.
  • Enhanced Transparency: The shorter audit tenure ensures regular rotation of audit firms, fostering independence and transparency in auditing processes.
  • Mandatory Cooling-off Period: Outgoing auditors and their affiliates are now subject to a mandatory three-year cooling-off period. During this time, they are prohibited from undertaking certain activities related to the insurer they previously audited, such as investment risk management or concurrent audits.
  • Conflict Mitigation: The cooling-off period aims to mitigate potential conflicts of interest and maintain the objectivity of auditors, thereby upholding the integrity of audit processes.
  • Regulatory Measures: These guidelines represent a strategic regulatory intervention by IRDAI to promote good governance and strengthen the regulatory framework within the insurance sector.
  • Industry Impact: The implementation of shorter audit tenures and the introduction of cooling-off periods are expected to positively impact the insurance industry by fostering greater accountability, transparency, and trust among stakeholders.

RBI fines HSBC Bank for violation of FEMA regulation

The Reserve Bank of India fined HSBC Bank Rs 36.38 lakhs for violating the provision of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999. According to the RBI, the HSBC bank failed to follow the required reporting requirements under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme of FEMA.

What is a Liberalised Remittance Scheme?

  • Introduction: The Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) was launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2004 under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999.
  • Purpose: Allows resident individuals, including minors, to remit up to $250,000 per financial year abroad without RBI permission.
  • Permitted Activities: Funds must be used for activities allowed under FEMA, including current account transactions such as travel, medical expenses, tourism, and supporting relatives abroad. Also permits capital account transactions like opening foreign bank accounts, property purchases, and foreign investments.
  • Historical Evolution: Initial limit set at $25,000 in 2004, periodically raised to $250,000.
  • Currency and Transaction Limits: Remittances can be made in any freely convertible foreign currency, and there’s no limit on the number of transactions per financial year.
  • Eligibility: Scheme available only for resident individuals, excluding corporations, partnership firms, HUFs, Trusts, etc.
  • Transaction Reporting: Remittances facilitated through authorized dealers, who report transactions to the RBI.
  • Compliance Issues: Instances of non-compliance, such as failure to report transactions, can lead to regulatory action.

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)1999

  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) was enacted in 1999 and was implemented on 1 January 2000. It replaced the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA)1973.
  • The FEMA Act lays down the rules and regulations regarding foreign exchange transactions. Certain sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999 empower the RBI regarding transactions and management of foreign exchange in India.  

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation(HSBC) Limited

  • The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is a British Bank that was established in Hong Kong in 1865. 
  • It started its Indian operation by buying the Mercantile Bank of India in 1959.
  • HSBC is registered as a foreign bank and is regulated by the RBI.
  • Global HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
  • Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India Operation: Hitendra Dave
  • Tagline: The world’s local bank.

Bank of Maharashtra Introduces Maha Krishi Samriddhi Yojana (MKSY) to Foster Agro-Based Industries and Infrastructure

Bank of Maharashtra (BOM) has launched the Maha Krishi Samriddhi Yojana (MKSY), a significant initiative aimed at providing financial assistance to food and agro-based industries and agricultural infrastructure projects, including startups engaged in processing activities and infrastructure development.

About Maha Krishi Samriddhi Yojana (MKSY):

Eligibility:

  • Entities Covered: Individuals, proprietorships, partnership concerns, Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs), private limited companies, public limited companies, and limited liability partnership concerns are eligible for assistance under MKSY.
  • Scope: MKSY also extends support to new and existing food and agro processing units categorized under “Agriculture.”

Features: Finance Provision: MKSY offers financing for both new establishments and expansion of existing units. This encompasses the acquisition and construction of land, building, plant, and machinery, with the project cost inclusive of takeover of existing units.

About Bank of Maharashtra:

  • Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Nidhu Saxena Headquarters- Pune, Maharashtra
  • Established- 16 September 1935
  • Tagline- Ek Parivaar, Ek Bank (One Family One Bank)

India’s GDP Growth Projections for FY24 and Q4FY24: Insights from SBI and RBI

  • According to State Bank of India (SBI’s) Economic Research Department report, overall India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to touch 8% for FY24.
  • While, SBI’s Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model with 30 high frequency indicators projected that India’s GDP growth will be 7.4% for 4th Quarter (Q4) of FY24(2023-24).
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has estimated India’s GDP growth will be 7.3%, 7.5% and 7.0% for Q4FY24, Q1FY25 and for full FY25 respectively.
  • Government of India (Gol) will release the India’s GDP figures for Q4(January-March 2024) and provisional estimates for FY24 on 31st May, 2024.

About State Bank of India(SBI):

  • Chairman- Dinesh Kumar Khara
  • Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra Tag line-“The Banker to Every Indian” Founded in 1st July 1955

Appointment news

P Santhosh Appointed as MD & CEO of NARCL: Leading India’s Bad Bank into the Future

  • P Santhosh has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), India’s state-owned bad bank.
  • Board Decision: The decision to appoint Santhosh was made by NARCL’s board, which recommended him for a three-year term in the leadership position.
  • Interim Leadership Transition: Santhosh’s appointment follows his interim role as NARCL’s acting CEO since January 2024. He assumed this position after the unexpected departure of N Sundar before the completion of his term.

Muthoot Pappachan Group Appoints Shah Rukh Khan as Brand Ambassador: Strengthening Brand Presence and Connection

  • Muthoot Pappachan Group Named Actor Shah Rukh Khan as its Brand Ambassador On 29th May 2024, Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG), popularly known as Muthoot Blue, has named Bollywood Actor Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador.
  • MPG is the promoter of leading Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) in India including Muthoot FinCorp Limited, Muthoot Microfin Limited, Muthoot Capital Services Limited, and Muthoot Housing Finance Company Limited.
  • This strategic collaboration represents a significant milestone for MPG, reinforcing its brand presence and a new way of connecting with a diverse audience across India.

Muthoot pappachan group:

  • Founded: 1887
  • Headquarters: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
  • Chairman: Thomas John Muthoot

Science and tech news

Agnikul launches world’s first Rocket with 3D-printed rocket engine

  • Chennai-based startup Agnikul Cosmos has launched the world’s first space rocket with a single-piece three-dimensional (3D) printed engine. 
  • After four failed attempts, Agnikul succeeded in launching its own rocket into space on its fifth attempt. The rocket named Agnibaan is India’s first semi-cryogenic engine-powered rocket launch, which was completely designed and manufactured indigenously.

Agnikul used Inconel material to build the 3D-printed rocket. Inconel is an alloy that is oxidation-corrosion-resistant and well-suited for space travel.

Second private company to launch a rocket in Space 

  • Agnikul became the second Indian private company to launch its rocket in space. 
  • The first private company to launch a rocket was the Hyderabad startup Skyroot Aerospace.
  • It launched its indigenously developed Vikram-S rocket from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Sriharikota Launchpad. 

About Agnikul and its achievement 

  • Agmikul Cosmos was founded by Moin SPM and Srinath Ravichandran in 2017 and incubated at IIT Madras. The company builds small launch vehicles for commercial space missions and designs, manufactures, tests, and launches orbital-class rockets for micro and nanosatellites.
  • The Startup was the first company in India to build a factory capable of manufacturing 3D-printed rockets.
  • Agnikul designed and developed India’s first privately built rocket launchpad, ‘Dhanush,’ in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The launchpad is located in ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Center-SHAR (SDSC-SHAR) Sriharikota spaceport.ISRO launches its rocket from SDSC-SHAR.

Ranks and report news

Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Tops Indian Institutions in THE Asia University Rankings 2024

  • According to the 12th edition of Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings (2024), Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru (Karnataka), ranked 32nd on the list, is the highest ranked Indian institution. The 2024 list features a total of 91 Indian institutions.
  • Tshingua University (China) has topped the list for the 6th consecutive year, followed by Peking University (China) and National University of Singapore (NUS) (Singapore) at 2nd and 3rd rank respectively.
  • THE Asia University Ranking 2024 ranked 739 universities from 31 countries/regions. This marks an increase of 10.5%, up from 669 in 2023.
  • With 119 universities, Japan has the most representation on the 2024 ranking followed by India with 91 universities (up from 75 in 2023) and Mainland China with 86 universities.

About Times Higher Education (THE):

  • THE, (Formerly The Times Higher Education Supplement -The Thes), is a British magazine reporting on news and issues related to higher education.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Paul Howarth
  • Headquarters– London, The United Kingdom (UK)

Important days

Inaugural International Day of Potato: Celebrating Nutritional, Economic, and Cultural Significance

  • United Nations (UN)‘s first-ever International Day of Potato was observed across the globe on 30th May 2024 to raise awareness of the various nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural values of the Potato (Solanum tuberosum), the 3rd most consumed food crop globally.
  • The annual observance of the day is facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
  • The theme of the inaugural International Day of Potato 2024 is “Harvesting diversity, feeding hope”.

Food and agriculture organization:

  • Founded: 16 October 1945, Québec City, Canada
  • Headquarters: Rome, Italy
  • Head: Qu Dongyu

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