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Daily & Latest Current Affairs in 2024

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1 May 2024
3 May 2024
5 May 2024
6 May 2024

Correct Answer :   5 May 2024

Bernard Hill, a British actor who incarnated a humble style of masculine leadership in three hugely successful Hollywood movies, “Titanic” and two films in the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, died on Sunday (5th May 2024). He was 79.

His death was announced in a family statement sent by a representative of Lou Coulson Associates, a British talent agency. It did not say where he died or provide a cause.

Mr. Hill drew praise from critics for his work in serious TV dramas, small-budget films and theater. But he was best known for playing the ship’s captain in “Titanic” (1997) and the ruler of a horsemen’s kingdom in the second and third installments of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Two Towers” (2002) and “The Return of the King” (2003).

By appearing in “Titanic” and “The Return of the King,” Mr. Hill became the first actor to star in more than one film to gross over $1 billion and the only actor to appear in two of the three films to win a record 11 Oscars (the third is “Ben-Hur”), The Manchester Evening News reported in 2022.

In each film, his stout frame, bushy whiskers and weathered visage helped him embody men of authority who faced danger with reluctance, then acceptance and, finally, self-sacrificial stoicism.

In “Titanic,” he was Capt. Edward J. Smith. Early in the movie, he grasps the ship’s railing, looks out to sea and instructs one of his crew to increase the ship’s speed: “Let’s stretch her legs,” he declares. The movie ultimately suggests that the undue speed of the ship is a factor in its fatal collision with an iceberg.

After hearing the bad news, Mr. Hill walks in a daze on the ship’s deck, eyes lost in the middle distance, the official regalia of his captain’s outfit rendered absurd. He walks alone to the helm and stands there erect as water bursts through the windows, ensuring that he will go down with his ship..

Source : NY Times

Published On : May 6, 2024
Madhya Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh

Correct Answer :   Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board has teamed up with Starscapes, an astro-tourism company, to introduce Nakshatra Sabha, a pioneering initiative aimed at offering a comprehensive astro-tourism experience. This initiative goes beyond mere stargazing, intending to immerse participants in various activities such as special solar observations, astrophotography contests, and camping under the stars. The collaboration seeks to create an engaging platform that brings together astronomy enthusiasts, adventurers, and travellers to marvel at the wonders of the cosmos while enjoying the natural beauty of Uttarakhand.

What is Nakshtra Sabha?

Nakshatra Sabha is an innovative astro-tourism initiative launched by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and Starscapes, aimed at providing a comprehensive celestial experience. It goes beyond traditional stargazing, offering activities like special solar observations, astrophotography contests, and camping under the stars. The initiative aims to attract astronomy enthusiasts, adventurers, and travellers to Uttarakhand, fostering engagement with the cosmos while enjoying the state’s natural beauty.

Excitement and Potential :

The Secretary of Tourism for the Government of Uttarakhand expresses enthusiasm for Nakshatra Sabha, recognizing Uttarakhand’s potential as a prime destination for astronomy-focused travel. With its lush forest cover, nature-based tourism offerings, accessibility to major cities, and well-established hospitality sector, including homestays, Uttarakhand is poised to attract astro tourists from around the globe.

Commencement and Scope of Nakshtra Sabha

Scheduled to commence in early June at George Everest in Mussoorie, Nakshatra Sabha will span until mid-2025, featuring immersive events across Uttarakhand. These events will explore potential night sky sites in districts like Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Nainital, and Chamoli, supplemented by educational seminars and webinars led by field experts.

Local Engagement and Economic Impact :

Nakshatra Sabha not only offers professional development opportunities for local residents but also aims to bolster local economies and advocate for preserving night skies. Through initiatives fostering dark sky conservation efforts and community engagement, the campaign endeavors to implement a region-wide preservation policy, ensuring sustainability for astro-tourism in Uttarakhand.

Collaborative Efforts with Starscapes :

Starscapes, collaborating with local communities, travel and tourism partners, and homestay communities, will play a crucial role in providing training and ongoing support for these initiatives. Their close involvement will ensure the success and longevity of Nakshatra Sabha, benefiting both tourists and the local economy alike.

Published On : May 4, 2024

Correct Answer :   Gurugram

American Express, a global payments company, has announced the inauguration of its expansive, nearly one-million-square-foot campus in Gurugram, Haryana. According to a release by the company, the new campus will serve as a hub for American Express operations in India and will be the largest campus opened by the company to date.

Situated in sector 74A Gurugram, the new office will be an addition to its existing facilities in Gurugram, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Pune.

Employees are set to transition to the new facility in phases, with the relocation process slated to commence by the end of May 2024.

Sanjay Khanna, CEO and Country Manager of American Express India emphasised the company's focus on nurturing local talent and leveraging global expertise to drive innovation and enhance customer experiences worldwide.

Khanna said, "The new office building provides a modern, energy efficient workspace that will enable our teams to continue driving innovation and delivering exceptional value to our customers worldwide."

In addition to work-related amenities, the campus features recreational facilities such as quiet rooms, recreational lounges, and onsite healthcare facilities to promote colleague well-being and work-life balance. A cafeteria, fitness facilities, outdoor sports courts, indoor table games, and terraces further aim to "foster a sense of community and belonging".

The building incorporates advanced technologies aimed at reducing environmental impact, including LED lighting for energy efficiency, smart building systems for optimal facility utilisation, electric vehicle charging stations, and renewable energy sources such as solar thermal power. Waste management and water reclamation initiatives underscore American Express' commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Gagandeep Singh, Senior Vice President of Global Real Estate and Workplace Experience at American Express, said, "Our new India campus is the largest office we've built from the ground up globally, and the facility is a fitting reflection of the American Express brand and the kind of workplace where our colleagues can thrive."..

Source : Business Standard

Published On : May 4, 2024
Muttoli Ajit Kumar
Ashok Kumar Pandey
Raj Kumar Barthwal
Shashi Bhushan Singh

Correct Answer :   Shashi Bhushan Singh

The Central Government has approved the appointment of Shashi Bhushan Singh (IRTS) as Secretary (at Director level) of National Jute Board, Kolkata under the Ministry of Textiles.

According to an order issued from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Singh has been appointed to the post for a period of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Singh is an Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) of 2010-batch. “He may kindly be relieved of his duties immediately with instructions to take up his new assignment,” the order read.

“However, in view of declaration of election to the Lok Sabha, if the officer is on election related duty he may kindly be relieved after due clearance from the Election Commission of India to take up his new assignment in the Ministry of Textile," the order further read..

Source : PSU Watch

Published On : May 4, 2024
South Africa

Correct Answer :   Namibia

NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on Thursday (2nd May 2024) entered into an agreement with the Bank of Namibia (BoN) for developing an instant payment system like Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for the African nation.

This partnership marks NPCI’s first-ever collaboration with a central bank to deploy the UPI stack in an international market.

The collaboration is aimed at developing real-time person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions in Namibia.

“Through this collaboration, BoN will gain access to best-in-class technology and insights from NIPL, enabling the creation of a similar platform in Namibia for the digital welfare of its citizens,” NIPL said in a release.

The agreement aims at improving accessibility, affordability, connectivity with both domestic and international payment networks, and interoperability of payments.

“By enabling this technology, the country will gain sovereignty in the digital payments landscape and stand to benefit from enhanced payment interoperability and improved financial access for underserved populations. This will also ensure scalability and adaptability to embrace future technological advancements and market demands, thereby propelling economic prosperity in the region,” said Ritesh Shukla, chief executive officer (CEO), NPCI International.

The development follows NPCI’s push to take UPI rails international after breaking into other markets such as France, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Mauritius.

In January 2024, NPCI announced the launch of the UPI-PayNow linkage that enables Indians to receive remittances directly into their bank accounts from Singapore and vice-versa.

In February this year, it announced a partnership with e-commerce and proximity payments company Lyra, to enable UPI acceptance in France.

The same month, UPI services were rolled out in Sri Lanka and Mauritius..

Source : Business Standard

Published On : May 4, 2024
South Africa

Correct Answer :   Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe on Tuesday (30th April 2024) started circulating a new currency to replace one that has been battered by depreciation and often outright rejection by the people. The ZiG was introduced electronically in early April, but people are now able to use banknotes and coins.

It’s the southern African country’s latest attempt to halt a long-running currency crisis underlining its persistent economic troubles. The government had previously floated various ideas to replace the Zimbabwe dollar, including introducing gold coins to stem inflation and even trying out a digital currency.

Since it was launched electronically on 5th April 2024, the ZiG — short for Zimbabwe Gold and backed by the country’s gold reserves — appears to be heading down the same path of mistrust, with some government departments refusing to accept it.

The ZiG is the sixth currency Zimbabwe has used since the spectacular 2009 collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar amid hyperinflation of 5 billion percent, one of the world’s worst currency crashes to date. That set off a chaotic series of events: first the U.S. dollar was allowed as legal tender, then banned, then unbanned.

A new “bond note” became legal tender, the Zimbabwe dollar was reintroduced before the gold coins and digital currency were tried.

However, nothing brought any currency stability and the U.S. dollar remains the most trusted for ordinary Zimbabweans.

As the shiny new ZiG banknotes hit the streets, the mistrust was evident.

Kudzanayi Mande, a vegetable trader at the crowded Mbare market in the capital of Harare, said she would rather forgo a sale than accept the ZiG. She was confused, the 56-year-old said.

“Already there is an official exchange rate and a depreciated black market rate, so I will wait a bit to see what its real value is,” she said. “The U.S. dollar is still a safer bet.”..

Source : AP News

Published On : May 3, 2024
May 1st
May 2nd
May 3rd
May 4th

Correct Answer :   May 3rd

On May 3rd, the global community will come together to observe World Press Freedom Day, a significant event that honours the fundamental principles of press freedom and the vital role journalists play in informing and enlightening the public.

Date and Theme

* This year, World Press Freedom Day falls on a Friday (3rd May 2024), and the theme for 2024 is “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis.” The theme highlights the crucial role of journalism and freedom of expression in addressing the global environmental crisis and driving meaningful action on pressing environmental issues.

Origin and Significance

* World Press Freedom Day was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993, following a recommendation from UNESCO’s General Conference. It marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, which has become a global observance of press freedom.

* The day serves as a reminder of the importance of press freedom, ensuring public access to information and government respect for freedom of expression. It raises awareness of the challenges faced by journalists globally, such as threats, violence, and censorship.

Honouring Journalists’ Contributions

* On this day, we acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of journalists worldwide. They play a vital role in holding decision-makers accountable and informing the public about critical issues, including the environmental crisis.

* The day also serves as a tribute to journalists who have tragically lost their lives while fulfilling their duty to inform and enlighten the public. Their sacrifices remind us of the risks they face in pursuit of the truth.

Promoting Press Freedom and Environmental Awareness

* The 31st World Press Freedom Day Conference, hosted by the Government of Chile and UNESCO in Santiago, will provide a global platform for discussions, debates, and the exchange of ideas on the state of press freedom worldwide and strengthening its foundation.

* This year’s theme, “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” emphasizes the importance of a free and independent press in informing the public and driving meaningful action on pressing environmental issues.

Published On : May 3, 2024
28th April 2024
29th April 2024
30th April 2024
1st May 2024

Correct Answer :   29th April 2024

Veteran politician, BJP MP and former Union Minister V Sreenivasa Prasad died on Monday (29th April 2024), family sources said.

* The 76-year-old Lok Sabha member from Chamarajnagar was ailing for some time and being treated at a private hospital, where he passed away early today.

* Prasad is survived by wife and three daughters.

* He was a six-time MP from Chamarajanagar and also served as MLA from Nanjangud in Mysuru district for two terms.

* On March 18 this year, Prasad announced his retirement from electoral politics, marking his 50 years in public life.

* He first contested Assembly elections as an independent in 1974.

* Prasad joined the erstwhile Janata Party in 1976 and switched over to the Congress in 1979. He also had a stint with the JD(S), JD (U), and the Samata Party before crossing over to the BJP.

* Prasad served as the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1999 to 2004.

* He returned to the Congress fold later, got elected as an MLA in 2013 and became Revenue Minister in the Siddaramaiah government.

* In 2016, Prasad resigned from the Assembly and rejoined the BJP. He contested the 2017 Nanjangud bypolls on a BJP ticket but lost. He then successfully fought the Lok Sabha election from Chamarajanagar in 2019.

* Condoling his death, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah described Prasad as a strong voice for the oppressed Dalits.

Published On : May 3, 2024
New Zealand
New Caledonia
Marshall Islands
Solomon Islands

Correct Answer :   Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands has elected former Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele as its new prime minister, indicating that the South Pacific island nation is likely to maintain close ties with China.

Manele’s Victory and Promises

* Jeremiah Manele secured 31 votes in a secret ballot involving 49 lawmakers, defeating opposition leader Matthew Wale, who received 18 votes. Manele used his first speech as the leader to promise to govern with integrity and prioritize the nation’s interests.

Continuity in Solomon Islands-China Relations

* The withdrawal of pro-Beijing former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare from the contest and his support for Manele as their party’s candidate suggest that the Solomon Islands could follow a similar trajectory in its relationship with China.

* During Sogavare’s previous term, China’s influence in the Solomon Islands grew significantly, with the country switching diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing and striking a secret security pact that raised concerns about potential Chinese naval presence in the region.

Implications for the South Pacific

* Meg Keen, the director of the Pacific Islands program at the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based international policy think tank, stated that while Manele may be a “less fiery and combative leader” for the West to manage, he is expected to continue pursuing close relations with China.

* The Solomon Islands’ political landscape has been marked by instability and unrest in recent years, with riots erupting in the capital, Honiara, following elections and leadership changes. The country’s ties with China have been a contentious issue, raising concerns among regional powers and allies.

Challenges and Opportunities

* As the new prime minister, Manele faces the daunting task of navigating the complex geopolitical dynamics in the South Pacific while addressing domestic issues such as economic development, social stability, and governance.

* The international community will closely monitor Manele’s leadership and the direction he takes in terms of foreign policy, particularly concerning the Solomon Islands’ relations with China and other major powers in the region.

Published On : May 3, 2024
Reliance Power Ltd
Adani Green Energy Ltd
Power Grid Corporation of India
Tata Power Company Ltd

Correct Answer :   Adani Green Energy Ltd

Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) has successfully secured USD 400 million financing from a consortium of five leading international banks for its 750 MW solar projects in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The financing will support the construction of these projects, expected to come online from November 2024 onwards.

Project Details

* Rajasthan Project : A 500 MW capacity project with a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
* Gujarat Project : A standalone merchant power project with 250 MW capacity, located at the world’s largest renewable energy cluster in Khavda, Gujarat. AGEL aims to diversify revenue streams by tapping into the evolving merchant energy market.

Banks’ Confidence and Financing Structure

* The consortium of lenders includes Cooperative Rabobank U.A., DBS Bank Ltd., Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., MUFG Bank, Ltd., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, reflecting growing confidence in financing merchant projects.
* The financing package includes a USD 400 million construction facility and a syndicated guarantee-backed assurance program, aligning with AGEL’s procurement strategy and capital management plan.

Sustainable Financing and Green Loan Framework

* The financing, housed under AGEL subsidiaries, underscores the company’s commitment to sustainability and aligns with the Green Loan Principles, 2023.
* Sustainable Fitch provided a favorable second-party opinion on the robustness and transparency of AGEL’s 750 MW Solar Projects Green Loan Framework, emphasizing its contribution to India’s transition towards a lower carbon future.

Legal Counsel

* Borrower’s counsel: Latham & Watkins LLP and Saraf & Partners.
* Lenders’ counsel: Linklaters and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Impact and Future Plans

* AGEL’s operational portfolio of 10,934 MW, the largest in India, reinforces its commitment to delivering reliable, affordable, and clean power to the national grid.
* This financing marks a milestone for the Indian renewable energy sector, driving clean energy transition and decarbonization while advancing UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy).

Published On : May 3, 2024