Daily Current Affairs 14 June 2024 | Latest News | Download Free PDF

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CURRENT AFFAIRS : BANKING & FINANCE

Financial Intelligence Unit Imposes Rs 1.66 Crore Fine on Axis Bank for Failing to Detect Fraudulent National Security Guard Account          

  • The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has imposed a fine of over Rs 1.66 crore on Axis Bank for its failure to detect and report suspicious transactions related to a fraudulent account created in the name of the National Security Guard (NSG).
  • The penalty was issued under Section 13 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
  • This section empowers the Director of FIU to impose monetary penalties on reporting entities, such as Axis Bank, for non-compliance with obligations under the PMLA.

Key Highlights : 

  • Nature of Violation:Axis Bank was found to have not implemented adequate mechanisms to identify and report suspicious transactions, as required by anti-money laundering regulations.
  • The fraudulent account in the name of NSG highlights lapses in the bank's internal controls and compliance procedures.
  • Role of FIU:The Financial Intelligence Unit, under the Union Finance Ministry, oversees the implementation of anti-money laundering laws and conducts examinations of financial institutions, including banks, designated as 'reporting entities' under the PMLA.
  • FIU's responsibilities include monitoring financial channels to prevent money laundering and financial frauds.
  • Consequences for Reporting Entities:Non-compliance with PMLA obligations can result in significant penalties, as demonstrated by the fine imposed on Axis Bank.
  • Banks and financial institutions are required to maintain robust systems for detecting and reporting suspicious transactions to prevent illicit financial activities.

About Financial Intelligence Unit—India (FIU-IND) : 

  • Formed : November 18, 2004
  • Headquarters : New Delhi
  • Minister Responsible : Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance
  • Director : Vivek Aggarwal
  • FIU-IND is an organisation under the Department of Revenue, Government of India which collects financial intelligence about offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

About Axis Bank : 

  • Established : 1993
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • MD & CEO: Amitabh Chaudhry
  • Tagline : Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi ("Progress is the Name of Life")

Securities and Exchange Board of India Imposes Fine on PTC India Financial Services Limited Chairman & Managing Director, Arm PFS, and Former MD      

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) restrained PTC India Financial Services Limited's (PFS) acting chairman Rajib Kumar Mishra from holding the director's post in any listed firm for 6 months and imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on him for corporate governance lapses.
  • Mishra is also the chairman and managing director of PTC India Ltd, a promoter firm of PFS.
  • Pawan Singh, former MD and CEO of PFS, has been prohibited from holding any director or key managerial personnel position in any listed firm or intermediary registered with SEBI for two years.
  • SEBI imposed a fine of ₹25 lakh on Pawan Singh.

Key Highlights : 

  • Corporate Governance Violations:Pawan Singh was found to have "grossly misused" his position to prevent Ratnesh from joining as Whole Time Director (Finance) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), despite board approval.
  • Mishra acted as a willing accomplice of Singh in these violations.
  • Obligations of the MD and CEO:SEBI emphasized that an MD and CEO must follow the company's board decisions and cannot exercise power unilaterally.
  • Resignation of Independent Directors:SEBI’s probe was initiated after three independent directors of PFS resigned in January 2021, citing violations of corporate governance norms.
  • Additional Restrictions on Singh:Pawan Singh is barred from holding any director or key managerial role in any listed company, intermediaries, or any company planning an IPO for the next two years.
  • SEBI's Directive for Mishra:Mishra has been restrained for six months from holding key positions in listed firms.
  • PTC India Financial Services is a subsidiary of PTC, which holds around 65% in the non-banking financial firm.

About SEBI :

  • Established : 12 April 1988 as an executive body and was given statutory powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman : Madhabi Puri Buch (first woman to lead the SEBI)
  • SEBI is the regulatory body for securities and commodity markets in India under the ownership of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), GoI.

Reserve Bank of India Grants Mobile Wallet License to Neobanking Startup Jupiter      

  • Tiger Global and Peak XV Partners-backed neobanking startup Jupiter has secured a prepaid payments instrument licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • With the PPI licence, Jupiter can now offer digital wallets to users. These wallets enable:
  • UPI payments
  • Fund transfers
  • Bill payments

Key Highlights : 

  • Current Services: Jupiter currently provides:Digital savings accounts in partnership with Federal Bank and CSB Bank
  • Features include UPI payments, co-branded credit cards, loans (co-lending), spend and asset trackers, personalized goal-saving features, and more.
  • Similarities to Bank Accounts: The prepaid account from Jupiter offers functionalities akin to traditional bank accounts, enhancing customer convenience.
  • Market Context: Jupiter joins Slice, another Bengaluru-based startup backed by Tiger Global, in the PPI ecosystem, further expanding digital financial services options in India.
  • Jupiter founder & CEO : Jitendra Gupta

What is a Neobank?

  • A neobank is a type of fintech that offers direct banking services to individuals and organizations, without traditional physical branches.
  • A neobank is a financial services organization that is typically only accessible via digital means and is often driven by a mobile experience with smartphone apps.

What is the difference between a bank and a neobank?

  • The primary difference between neobanks and traditional banks is that neobanks are entirely digital without any physical branch locations; they're accessed via a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

E Magazine

CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL

PM Modi in Italy for G7 Summit opening

Summit Venue

  • The G7 summit will take place at the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy's Apulia region from June 13 to 15.
  • The discussions are expected to focus on the ongoing war in Ukraine and the conflict in

Leaders Attending

  • US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among the prominent leaders attending the summit.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also scheduled to attend a session regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Bilateral Meetings with Italian PM

  • PM Modi will hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, marking their second meeting since Meloni's visit to India in March 2023.
  • Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra mentioned, "Their last meeting was at the COP28 Summit in Abu Dhabi in December 2023." The discussions will review bilateral ties and plan for future collaboration.

Key Focus Areas

  1. Africa, Climate Change, and Development: The summit will begin with discussions on these significant issues, emphasising their importance for the Global South and India's development goals.
  2. Middle East and Ukraine Conflict: Ongoing conflicts in these regions are expected to dominate the agenda, with leaders exploring solutions to these complex geopolitical challenges.
  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI will be a key topic, reflecting India's increasing focus on its applications and potential.
  2. Global Challenges: Modi will collaborate with other leaders on urgent international issues, showcasing India's dedication to global cooperation and problem-solving.

G7 countries:

  • The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

India may sign FTA with Oman in the first 100 days of PM Modi's third term

  • India may be finalising a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman within the first 100 days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third term, according to a report.
  • The news comes after Modi announced that the strategic ties between the two nations are ‘set to reach new heights’, a sentiment echoed during a review meeting chaired by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.
  • The Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tarik congratulated Modi on his third term.

FTA negotiations between India & Oman

  • The FTA discussions between India and Oman gained momentum following a meeting between Modi and Sultan bin Tarik in New Delhi on December 16, 2023.
  • The proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was a focal point of their talks.
  • Subsequently, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Oman’s Trade Minister Qais Bin Mohammed Al Yousef agreed to establish dedicated desks in Invest India and Invest Oman to enhance bilateral trade and investment.
  • Negotiations for the FTAwere also nearly complete during Modi’s previous term. However, the enforcement of the model code of conduct (MCC) on March 16, following the announcement of Lok Sabha poll dates, delayed the signing.
  • The report stated that preparatory work for the India-Oman FTA was well underway with officials confirming that draft documents were being prepared, and progress was ongoing.

Implications of India-Oman FTA:

  • The impending FTA with Oman will mark the first significant bilateral deal of Modi’s third term as Prime Minister of India.
  • The agreement with Oman is expected to bolster India’s energy security and facilitate a cheaper supply of fertilisers, alongside boosting foreign investments.
  • It will also lower the prices of Indian exports to Oman, including rice, tea, coffee, spices, dairy products, meat, apparel, steel products, and machinery.
  • According to the Commerce Ministry, bilateral merchandise trade surged by 82.64 per cent in 2021-2022, reaching $9.99 billion.
  • This figure climbed to $12.39 billion in 2022-2023, with India exporting $4.48 billion worth of goods to Oman and importing over $7.9 billion in merchandise.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL

PM Awas expansion: Centre to spend Rs 4 trillion

  • The construction of 30 million houses in both rural and urban areas under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is likely to cost the Central exchequer about Rs 4 trillion, while the state governments will have to spend another Rs 2.5 trillion, according to official sources.
  • The monies would be spent over a period of four-to-five years.
  • So far, the PMAY, launched in 2015, has enabled the construction of as many as 26 million houses.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the construction of 20 million more houses under PMAY-Gramin and 10 million under PMAY-Urban.
  • As such, under the PMAY scheme, the cost of unit assistance is to be shared between the Central and state governments in the ratio of 6:4 in plain areas, and 9:1 for North Eastern and hilly states.
  • Under the revamped PMAY-G, the cash support will likely be enhanced to around Rs 2.3-2.4 lakh/housing unit from Rs 1.2-1.3 lakh in the previous scheme, due to cost escalation.
  • For urban households, the Centre may unveil a new Rs 60,000 crore interest subsidy scheme for the urban poor and middle class for five years.
  • It will offer interest subvention of 3-6% per annum on home loan amounts up to Rs 5 million.
  • The extant scheme offered interest subvention for home loans up to Rs 18 lakh.
  • To achieve the target of “Housing for All” in rural areas, the Centre rolled out PMAY-G on April 1, 2016 and sanctioned 29.5 million houses to states.
  • The Centre has spent Rs 2.72 trillion since the scheme was rolled out.
  • Of the 11.86 million houses sanctioned under PMAY-U after the scheme was rolled out in June 2015, 11.41 million houses have been grounded and 8.2 million houses completed.
  • The Centre has spent Rs 1.63 trillion in the urban housing scheme since

It's official: Uttrakhand's Joshimath is now Jyotirmath again

  • The mythological city of Joshimath in Uttarakhand has been officially renamed Jyotirmath.
  • The decision was announced by the state government after getting approval from the Centre.
  • Fulfilling a promise made a year ago, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced to change of the official name of Joshimath tehsil in Chamoli district to its historical title, Jyotirmath.
  • The name change was initially proposed by local residents and several organisations during a ceremony held at Ghat in Chamoli district last year, where the decision to rename the ancient name of Jyotirmath back to it was formally announced.
  • The locals of the mythological city of Joshimath, gateway to Badrinath shrine, which came into the limelight after the natural disaster land submergence in early 2023, had been demanding to name Joshimath as Jyotirmath for a long time.
  • According to the information, it is believed that Adi Guru Shankaracharya came to this area in the 8th century.
  • He meditated under the immortal wish-fulfilment tree, 'Kalpa-vriksha', due to which he received the divine light of knowledge, through which and with the blessings of Jyotishwar Mahadev the place got its name Jyotirmath, but later it became popular as
  • After this, there was a constant demand to change the name, which was pending for a long time.

MNRE and IREDA host a conference in Bhubaneswar highlighting Odisha's Green Energy Potential

  • The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), in collaboration with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), organized a pre-event conference for Global Wind Day at the Welcome Hotel in Bhubaneswar.
  • According to the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), India’s onshore wind potential is estimated at 1,164 GWat 150 meters above ground level, with Odisha’s potential of 12 GW.
  • In his keynote address, Shri Pradip Kumar Das, CMD, IREDA highlighted Odisha’s significant green energy potential and the promising opportunities within the state.
  • He pointed out Odisha’s potential to lead in green hydrogen projects, stressing the state’s critical role in advancing sustainable energy initiatives.
  • As of 31stMarch 2024, IREDA has disbursed cumulative loans totalling 1,25,917 crores in renewable energy, with Rs. 26,913 crores disbursed to wind power projects nationwide.
  • Specifically, 1,637 crores loan has been disbursed by IREDA towards renewable energy projects in Odisha.
  • Shri Das also underlined Odisha’s Renewable Energy Policy 2022, which aims to drive investments in clean energy, with a special focus on RE manufacturing and emerging technologies such as green hydrogen, green ammonia, and floating solar.

BrahMos celebrates 23 years of milestones in missile technology

  • BrahMos commemorated the 23rd anniversary of its first successful test launch, a groundbreaking moment in the history of defence technology.
  • It was on 12 June 2001 that the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile soared into the skies from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, marking the beginning of a new era in missile technology.
  • The missile was developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
  • BrahMos Aerospace received its first production order from the Indian Navy in
  • Since then, the weapon system has garnered a strong interest in the international defence arena due to its exceptional precision, speed, and range capabilities.
  • It recently bagged major contracts, including ‘India’s biggest export deal’ with the Republic Philippines worth around US$375 million; an Order for Mobile Coastal Batteries for the Indian Navy; and the recent and largest-ever order worth Rs 20,000 Cr from the Indian Navy for advanced BrahMos systems.

Government to Launch 21st Livestock Census with Mobile Technology

  • The government announced that it will initiate the 21st livestock census from September to December 2024, utilizing mobile technology for the first time to gather detailed data on a wide range of animal species across the country.
  • This comprehensive enumeration will encompass all villages and urban wards, covering various species such as cattle, buffalo, Mithun, yak, sheep, goat, pig, horse, pony, mule, donkey, camel, dog, rabbit, elephant, and poultry birds like fowl and duck, held by households and enterprises.
  • Each animal will be counted at its location, with specific details recorded on breed, age, and sex, as stated in an official report.
  • A recent workshop in Arunachal Pradesh shed light on state-wise breeds and field identification techniques.
  • The resulting data will support livestock sector programs and contribute to the National Indicator Framework for Sustainable Development Goals.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS

Mohan Charan Majhi Takes Oath as Odisha’s Chief Minister    

  • Mohan Charan Majhi, a four-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and tribal leader, was sworn in as the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Minister of Odisha.
  • Majhi is the third tribal Chief Minister of Odisha, following Hemanand Biswal and Giridhar Gamang, since the state was formed in 1936.
  • V. Singh Deo, a six-time MLA from Patnagarh, and Prabhati Parida, a first-time MLA from Nimapara, were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers.
  • The two leaders will serve as Deputy Chief Ministers in the State’s first BJP government.

Full List of Cabinet Ministers in Odisha:

  • Chief Minister:
  • Mohan Charan Majhi
  • Deputy Chief Ministers:
  • Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo
  • Pravati Parida
  • Cabinet Ministers:
  • Suresh Pujari
  • Rabi Narayan Naik
  • Nityananda Gond
  • Krushan Chandra Patra
  • Prithviraj Harichandran
  • Mukesh Mahaling
  • Bibhuti Bhushan Jena
  • Krushna Chandra Mahapatra
  • Ministers of State (Independent Charge):
  • Ganesh Ram Singkhuntia
  • Suryabanshi Suraj
  • Pradeep Bala Samanta
  • Gokulananda Mallik
  • Sampad Chandra Swain
  • Governor Rabghubar Das administered the oath of secrecy and office to them at Janata Maidan.
  • This marks the first time a BJP government has been formed in Odisha.
  • The event is being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of Union ministers and other dignitaries.
  • The BJP secured 78 seats in the 147-member Assembly, ending the 24-year rule of the BJD, which won 51 seats.
  • Other parties: Congress (14), CPI(M) (1), Independents (3).
  • The new government includes four ministers from the tribal community and two from the Scheduled Castes.
  • The remaining ten ministers come from the General Category.

About Odisha : 

  • Governor : Raghubar Das
  • Chief Minister : Mohan Charan Majhi
  • Capital : Bhubaneswar
  • National Park : Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries : Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ramsar Sites : Ansupa Lake, Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Chilika Lake (first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention), Hirakud Reservoir, Satkosia Gorge, Tampara Lake

Pema Khandu Poised to Serve 3rd Term as Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh      

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pema Khandu has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh for his 3rd consecutive term.
  • Along with him, BJP's Chowna Mein was sworn in as the deputy chief minister for the second term.
  • The swearing-in ceremony held at DK State Convention Centre in Itanagar was attended by Union Ministers Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Kiren Rijiju, and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
  • Khandu, 44, became Chief Minister for the first time in 2016.
  • He took oath as the CM for the second time as a BJP leader on May 29, 2019, after the saffron party won the assembly polls by bagging 41 of the total 60 seats.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lieutenant General KT Parnaik (retd.) invited Khandu to form the government.
  • The BJP won 46 seats in the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh assembly in the elections held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election.
  • BJP won ten seats unopposed in the state before the elections were held.
  • Under the provisions of Article 164 (1) of the Constitution of India, the Governor invited Khandu, MLA to form the Government and take oath as the Chief Minister on June 13 at Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre, Itanagar.

10 other ministers were sworn into the new cabinet:

  • Biyuram Wahge
  • Nyato Dukam
  • Gabriel Denwang Wangsu
  • Wangki Lowang
  • Pasang Dorjee Sona
  • Mama Natung
  • Dasanglu Pul
  • Balo Raja
  • Kento Jini
  • Ojing Tasing

About Arunachal Pradesh : 

  • Governor : Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik
  • Chief Minister : Pema Khandu
  • Capital : Itanagar
  • National Parks : Mouling National Park, Namdapha National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries : Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary

Chandrababu Naidu Sworn in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for 4th Term

  • Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the chief of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was sworn in as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the 4th time.
  • The oath-taking ceremony took place at Kesarapalli IT Park near Vijayawada, in Krishna district, AP.
  • While setting this record, he broke the one set by his father-in-law and party founder NT Rama Rao, a three-time chief minister of the state.
  • The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
  • Jana Sena Party President Pawan Kalyan was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Chandrababu Naidu first became Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh in 1995.
  • In 2014, he became the first Chief Minister of the newly bifurcated state of Andhra Pradesh after the formation of Telangana.

Assembly Election Results:

  • In the 2024 assembly elections, Telugu Desam Party won 135 seats, and Jana Sena Party won 21 seats.
  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 8 seats, while Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) won 11 seats.
  • Andhra Pradesh Assembly comprises a total of 175 seats.
  • Chandrababu Naidu affirmed that his government would retain Amaravati as the sole capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • This decision contrasts with the previous proposal by Jagan Mohan Reddy to have three capitals, with Visakhapatnam as the executive capital, Amaravati as the legislative capital, and Kurnool as the judicial capital.

About AP : 

  • Capital : Amaravati
  • National Park : Papikonda National Park, Rajiv Gandhi (Rameshwaram) National Park, Sri Venkateswara National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries : Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary, Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary

Prem Prabhakar Appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBICAP Ventures Limited   

  • Prem Prabhakar has been appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBICAP Ventures Limited (SVL).
  • In his new role, Prabhakar will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction, operational efficiency and overall growth of the company.

About Prem Prabhakar : 

  • Prabhakar brings over 24 years of extensive experience in the banking sector.
  • Prior to this appointment, he served as General Manager at the State Bank of India (SBI). 
  • His notable assignments include serving as Deputy General Manager (B & O) managing retail business and operations, Chief Dealer (Forex) at SBI Global Markets, Mumbai, and Chief Dealer at SBI New York.
  • Additionally, he held the position of Director on the board of the Regional Rural Bank, Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank.
  • His expertise lies in treasury operations, with over 12 years of experience covering forex, money markets, derivatives, resource management, ALM and risk management.
  • SVL launched its latest fund, the TDC Fund, in April 2024, expanding its portfolio of managed funds aimed at various sectors and investment opportunities.

About SBICAP Ventures Limited : 

  • Overview: SVL is a prominent alternative asset management company with approximately INR 32,500 crore (USD 3.9 billion) assets under management.
  • Ownership: SVL is a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets Limited, which in turn is a subsidiary of State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest public sector bank.
  • Fund Management: SVL serves as the Investment Manager for several funds including Neev Fund, Neev II (SVL-SME Fund), SWAMIH Fund, and Fund of Funds (SRI Fund, UKIDCF, and TDC Fund).

Harsh Pati Singhania was Elected as 1st Vice-Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce .

  • Harsh Pati Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of JK Paper Limited and Director of JK Organisation, has been elected as the First Vice-Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris.
  • The election took place during the World Council meeting on June 11 in Paris, France.

Past Roles of Singhania:

  • President of ICC-India
  • President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci)
  • President of the All India Management Association (AIMA)

About the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC):

  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Current Chair: María Fernanda Garza
  • The ICC is the largest and most representative business organization in the world.
  • Represents over 45 million businesses globally.
  • Known as the "voice of world business."

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS NEWS

Amazon To Invest Billions In Taiwan Cloud Infrastructure, Expanding AWS Presence In Asia

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it will launch an AWS infrastructure Region in Taiwan by early 2025.
  • The new AWS Asia Pacific (Taipei) Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as education, entertainment, financial services, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in Taiwan, ensuring that customers who want to keep their content in Taiwan can do so.
  • As part of its long-term commitment, AWS is planning to invest billions of dollars in Taiwan over the next 15 years.

About Amazon Web Services

  • Since 2006, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud.
  • AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any workload, and it now has more than 240 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, media, and application development, deployment, and management from 105 Availability Zones within 33 geographic regions, with announced plans for 21 more Availability Zones and seven more AWS Regions in Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, and the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.

India's CPI inflation eases to a 12-month low of 4.75 per cent in May 2024

  • India's consumer price inflation eased to a 12-month low of 4.75 per cent in May 2024, compared to the same month of the previous year as declining fuel and cooking oil prices helped to bring down the burden on household budgets, figures released by the Ministry of Statistics.
  • CPI inflation had come down to 4.83 per cent in April, which was an 11-month low and the declining trend is continuing.
  • "Spices has shown a considerable decline at sub-group level in year-on-year inflation as compared to April 2024. Among the groups, inflation corresponding to 'Clothing & Footwear', 'Housing', and 'Miscellaneous' has decreased since last month,” the Ministry stated.
  • The declining trend in cooking oil prices continued in May with a 6.7 per cent fall during the month.
  • The price rise in spices slowed to 4.27 per cent from 11.4 per cent in April.
  • The inflation in pulses, however, stayed high at 17.14 per cent.
  • Vegetable prices, too, shot up by as much as 27.33 per cent, albeit a tad lower than 27.8 per cent in April which remains a pain point for consumers.
  • The prices of cereals also increased by 8.65 per cent during the month.
  • Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, rose 7.87 per cent in April, compared with an 8.52 per cent rise in the previous month.
  • The country’s CPI inflation has been showing a declining trend in recent months as it fell to 4.85 per cent in March from 5.09 per cent in February and 5.1 per cent in January this year.
  • However, it is still above the RBI’s mid-term target of 4 per cent and is the main reason why the central bank has not gone in for a cut in interest rates to rev up growth.
  • The RBI is keen to keep inflation under control to ensure growth with stability and held the repo rate steady at 5 per cent for the eighth consecutive time in a row in its bi-monthly monetary policy review.
  • While the RBI has raised its projected GDP growth estimate to 7.2 per cent for 2024-25 from 7 per cent earlier, it has kept its projection for retail inflation at 4.5 per cent.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das stated the forecast above-normal monsoon bodes well for the kharif season and could bring respite to food inflation pressures, particularly in cereals and pulses.
  • However, the outlook on crude oilprices remains uncertain due to geo-political tensions. Assuming a normal monsoon, CPI inflation for 2024-25 is projected at 4.5 per cent as the risks are evenly balanced, he added while making the monetary policy announcement last week.

Industrial production declines to a three-month low of 5% in April 2024

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in India slowed to 5 per cent in April 2024, a three-month low, as against 5.4 per cent in March, revealed the data provided by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
  • The IIP growth rate was recorded at 4.6 per cent in April 2023, the government stated in a press release.
  • The previous high of IIP was recorded at 11.9 per cent in October 2023, which slowed to 2.5 per cent in November, 4.2 per cent in December and 4.1 per cent in January 2024.
  • As per the data, the growth rates of the three sectors in April 2024, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity stood at 6.7 percent, 3.9 percent and 10.2 percent year-on-year respectively.
  • According to use-based classification, the capital goods segment grew by 3.1 per cent in April, but it expanded by 4.4 per cent in the same month of last year.
  • The output of consumer durables grew by 9.8 per cent during April compared to a decline of 2.3 per cent in 2023.
  • The output of non-durable consumer goods decreased by 2.4 per cent after rising by 11.4 per cent in April 2023.
  • Goods related to infrastructure and construction saw a marginal growth of 8.0 per cent in April 2024, against a 13.4 per cent expansion YoY.
  • The data also revealed that, in comparison to the same period last year, the output of primary goods increased by 7 per cent in April 2024 as against 1.9 per cent.
  • The core sector makes up 40.27% of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), making it a lead indicator of industrial activity.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING & INDEX

Infosys is a Top 100 most valuable brand in the world 

  • Four Indian companies have made it to the list of 100 most valuable global brands this year.
  • While Apple has topped the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands Report, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HDFC Bank, Airtel and Infosys from India also made the cut.
  • In the 2024 list, TCS has been ranked the 46th most valuable global brand, having a valuation of around $44.8 billion.
  • It is followed by HDFC Bank, in the 47th spot, with a brand value of approximately $43.3 billion.
  • At 73 is Airtel, valued at around $25.3 billion.
  • Next, in the 74th spot, is Infosys, with its brand value of around $24.7 billion.
  • In 2023, TCS was in the 42nd spot, followed by HDFC Bank (56), Infosys (66) and Airtel (76).

Top Companies:

  • For the third year running, Apple topped the list as the world's most valuable brand.
  • The US tech giant has also become the first brand to surpass $1 trillion in value.
  • Google is second on the list with a total brand value of around $753.5 billion.
  • Bill Gates-backed Microsoft occupies the third position and has a brand value of $712.9 billion.
  • They are followed by Amazon ($576.6 billion) and McDonald's ($221.9 billion) in fourth and fifth positions
  • Interestingly, NVIDIA leapt 18 places and has the highest brand value increase of 178% this time.
  • It has been placed at the sixth spot with a total brand value of around $201.8 billion.
  • Among others in the top 10 are Visa ($188.9 billion), Facebook ($166.8 billion), Oracle ($145.5 billion) and Tencent ($135.2 billion).

India is 129th on the Global Gender Gap index

  • India slipped two places on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index to 129th place as Iceland retained its top position in the rankings.
  • In South Asia, India was ranked fifth after Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan while Pakistan was ranked last.
  • In the world, Sudan was ranked last on the index of 146 countries while Pakistan fell three places to 145th.
  • India was among the economies with the lowest levels of economic parity, with Bangladesh, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Morocco as all of them registered less than 30 per cent gender parity in estimated earned income.
  • India showed the best gender parity in terms of enrolment in secondary education and ranked 65th globally on political empowerment of women.
  • With regard to parity in number of years with female/male heads of state for the last 50 years, India ranked 10th.
  • The WEF stated India's economic parity score has trended upwards for the past four years and the world has closed 68.5 per cent of the gender gap but at the current pace it will take another 134 years to achieve full gender parity.

India most-represented nation on Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024

  • With 96 institutions, India is the most-represented nation, followed closely by Turkey and Pakistan, in Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2024.
  • Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham secured 81st rank followed by JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences in the 101-200 band.
  • BS Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology is in the 201-300 band.

Key Highlights:

  • THE evaluated 2,152 universities from 125 countries/regions for the overall Impact Ranking for 2024.
  • Australia’s Western Sydney University tops the list for the third consecutive year.
  • The UK’s University of Manchester and Australia’s University of Tasmania follow in joint second.
  • The ranking methodology integrates scores across multiple United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reflect overall performance and impact.
  • The rankings are based on calibrated indicators across four broad areas: Research, Stewardship, Outreach, and Teaching, providing a comprehensive and balanced comparison of universities worldwide.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : DEFENCE NEWS

Indian Army Boosts Modernization with "Vidyut Rakshak" Innovation to Enhance Generator Efficiency     

  • The Indian Army has taken a significant step towards modernization with the launch of “Vidyut Rakshak,” an in-house innovation designed to enhance generator efficiency.
  • This was developed by Maj Rajprasad R S and was recently displayed during “Exercise Bharat Shakti,” which was witnessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The innovation showcases the Indian Army’s dedication to adopting advanced technologies for operational efficiency.

Key Highlights : 

  • An MoU for innovation production was signed between the Indian Army and the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi, during Aero India 2023.
  • Vidyut Rakshak is the first innovation launched under this MoU.
  • In addition to Vidyut Rakshak, the Indian Army has secured a patent for another innovation by Major Rajprasad, called the “Portable Multi-Target Detonation Device.”
  • This device has already been inducted into the Indian Army, further exemplifying the Army’s innovative spirit and commitment to enhancing its technological capabilities.

About Indian Army : 

  • Chief of Defence Staff : General Anil Chauhan
  • Chief of the Army Staff : General Manoj Pande

CURRENT AFFAIRS : OBITUARIES

Malawi Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima Dies in Plane Crash Alongside 9 Others      

  • Malawi's Vice President Saulos Chilima and 9 others were killed in a plane crash.
  • President Lazarus Chakwera confirmed there were no survivors.
  • The wreckage was found in a mountainous area in northern Malawi.
  • The aircraft was en route from the capital city, Lilongwe, to Mzuzu in the north when it disappeared from radar.
  • The plane carried Vice President Chilima and former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri, among others.
  • It vanished from radar during flight from the capital city, Lilongwe, to Mzuzu in the north.

About Saulos Chilima : 

  • Chilima was serving his second term as Vice President at the time of the crash.
  • He previously held the position from 2014 to 2019 under former President Peter Mutharika.
  • He was a candidate in the 2019 Malawian presidential election and finished third, behind the incumbent, Mr. Mutharika, and Mr. Chakwera.

About Malawi : 

  • Capital and Largest city : Lilongwe
  • Currency : kwacha
  • Malawi is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa.
  • It is bordered by Zambia to the west and Tanzania to the north and northeast

CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

International Albinism Awareness Day 2024

  • International Albinism Awareness Day is observed on 13 June every year to raise awareness about albinism, a rare, genetically inherited condition that causes a lack of pigmentation in the skin, resulting in uncharacteristically light hair, skin, and eyes.
  • The condition can affect anyone, regardless of gender or ethnicity, but it is more common in people born with dark skin.
  • Albinism is a significant public health concern, affecting an estimated one in every 20,000 people worldwide.
  • In some countries, the majority of people with albinism succumb to skin cancer between the ages of 30 and 40.
  • Regular health checks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing can easily prevent this cancer.

Theme:

  • This year's theme for International Albinism Awareness Day is “10 years of IAAD: A decade of collective progress.”

World Blood Donor Day 2024: June 14

  • Every year, World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 14. This year, World Blood Donor Day falls on Friday.
  • Every year, World Blood Donor Day is observed to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation and to urge more people to donate blood.
  • Blood donation is a noble task, and is used to treat various medical conditions, such as blood loss, Anemia and cancer.
  • In the process of blood donation, usually a person donates blood to the blood bank or to an organisation that collects blood for transfusion.
  • Blood donation is an important task required for the constant supply of healthy blood for the healthcare industry.

History:

  • In 1940, a scientist called Richard Lower performed a blood transfusion between two dogs without any ill effects.
  • This breakthrough allowed the development of modern blood transfusion techniques and made blood donation and transfusion a regular procedure in the healthcare sector.
  • In 2005, The World Health Assembly announced June 14 to be observed as World Blood Donor Day every year.

Theme:

  • The theme of this year's World Blood Donor Day Is - 20 years of celebrating giving: thank you, blood donors.

Daily CA on June 14 : 

  • The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has imposed a fine of over Rs 1.66 crore on Axis Bank for its failure to detect and report suspicious transactions related to a fraudulent account created in the name of the National Security Guard (NSG).
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) restrained PTC India Financial Services Limited's (PFS) acting chairman Rajib Kumar Mishra from holding the director's post in any listed firm for 6 months and imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on him for corporate governance lapses.
  • Tiger Global and Peak XV Partners-backed neobanking startup Jupiter has secured a prepaid payments instrument licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • A new tiger reserve is set to be established in Uttar Pradesh (UP) following the discovery of a tiger population in the Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), covering Balrampur, Shravasti, and Gonda districts.
  • Mohan Charan Majhi, a four-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and tribal leader, was sworn in as the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Minister of Odisha.
  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pema Khandu has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh for his 3rd consecutive term.
  • Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the chief of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was sworn in as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the 4th time.
  • Prem Prabhakar has been appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBICAP Ventures Limited (SVL).
  • Harsh Pati Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of JK Paper Limited and Director of JK Organisation, has been elected as the First Vice-Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris.
  • The Indian Army has taken a significant step towards modernization with the launch of “Vidyut Rakshak,” an in-house innovation designed to enhance generator efficiency.
  • Malawi's Vice President Saulos Chilima and 9 others were killed in a plane crash.
  • The G7 summit will take place at the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy's Apulia region from June 13 to 15.
  • India may be finalising a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Oman within the first 100 days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third term, according to a report.
  • The construction of 30 million houses in both rural and urban areas under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is likely to cost the Central exchequer about Rs 4 trillion, while the state governments will have to spend another Rs 2.5 trillion, according to official sources.
  • The mythological city of Joshimath in Uttarakhand has been officially renamed Jyotirmath.
  • The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), in collaboration with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), organized a pre-event conference for Global Wind Day at the Welcome Hotel in Bhubaneswar.
  • BrahMos commemorated the 23rd anniversary of its first successful test launch, a groundbreaking moment in the history of defence technology.
  • The government announced that it will initiate the 21st livestock census from September to December 2024, utilizing mobile technology for the first time to gather detailed data on a wide range of animal species across the country.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it will launch an AWS infrastructure Region in Taiwan by early 2025.
  • India's consumer price inflation eased to a 12-month low of 4.75 per cent in May, compared to the same month of the previous year as declining fuel and cooking oil prices helped to bring down the burden on household budgets, figures released by the Ministry of Statistics.
  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in India slowed to 5 per cent in April, a three-month low, as against 4 per cent in March, revealed the data provided by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
  • Apple has topped the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands Report, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HDFC Bank, Airtel and Infosys from India also cut.
  • India slipped two places on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index to 129th place as Iceland retained its top position in the rankings.
  • With 96 institutions, India is the most-represented nation, followed closely by Turkey and Pakistan, in Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2024.
  • International Albinism Awareness Day is observed on 13 June every year to raise awareness about albinism, a rare, genetically inherited condition that causes a lack of pigmentation in the skin, resulting in uncharacteristically light hair, skin, and eyes.
  • Every year, World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 14.
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