Current Affairs April 2024

Read this post to know about Weekly Current Affairs in short for the Week April 16 to 22, 2024. If you’re getting ready for entrance exams in India, it’s really important to know what’s happening around you. Whether you want to study UPSC, SSC, Bank Exams, Defence Exams or something else, keeping up with current events is a must. The exams often have questions about what’s going on in the world – like news about our country, other countries, or new discoveries. Being aware of these things not only helps you do well in the exams but also makes you smarter in general. It’s like having a wider view of the world, which is good for interviews and discussions too. So, it’s not just about passing the exams but also about being informed and ready for whatever comes your way.

In this post, you can see the headlines of current happenings categorised for your convenience. The categories of weekly current affairs of Week 3 of April are given below:


Weekly Current Affairs Update

For the Week: April 16 to 22, 2024




Section A: INDIA

  • Ministry of Law and Justice holds conference on “criminal justice system”
  • SC reserves judgment on petitions seeking 100% EVM-VVPAT verification
  • New panel to address issues of LGBTQ+ community
  • X says it took down four posts as per EC directive
  • Centre releases curriculum framework for anganwadis
  • Students with 4-yr bachelor’s degrees, 75% can directly pursue PhD: UGC
  • DRDO conducts flight test of ITCM off Odisha coast
  • Right to sleep a basic human requirement, says HC on ED questioning senior citizen post midnight
  • Monsoon rainfall seen above normal in 2024 in India, IMD says
  • DD changes logo colours from red to orange
  • Civil Services Day celebrated on April 21
  • Indian Navy’s INS Talwar seizes 940 kgs of narcotics in operation Crimson Barracuda
  • Indian Navy conducts mega exercise on East Coast
  • UPSC CSE 2023 results announced
  • Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi appointed as next Indian Navy chief
  • IPS officer Nalin Prabhat appointed NSG chief
  • BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Moradabad Kunwar Sarvesh Singh dies



  • Maldivian President Muizzu secures ‘supermajority’ in parliamentary polls
  • India’s population estimated at 144 crore: UNFPA report
  • UK’s India Gate to commemorate role of Indian soldiers from World Wars
  • Peru-based top potato research centre to set up India wing
  • Indian crew member from MSC Aries seized by Iran returns home
  • India, UK discuss prioritising extradition requests
  • India is a top-tier security partner: Australia
  • General Manoj Pande inaugurates state-of-the-art IT lab in Uzbekistan
  • India sends first batch of BrahMos to Philippines
  • Petroleum Minister talks to OPEC Secretary General
  • US backs G-4 for permanent seat at UNSC
  • 8 persons of Indian-descent in Time’s 100 most influential people list


Section C: WORLD

  • Israel hits back at Iran with a limited drone strike on air base
  • Chaos in Dubai as UAE records heaviest rainfall in 75 years
  • Brazil’s president creates two new Indigenous territories
  • China’s PLA sets up Information Support Force
  • United States vetoes Palestinian bid for UN membership
  • US House passes $95 billion Ukraine, Israel aid package, sends to Senate
  • US Congress renews controversial surveillance tool
  • US govt. announces new partnership with 50 countries to stifle future pandemics
  • US agrees to pull over 1,000 troops from Niger
  • Belarus’ parliament votes to leave Europe’s conventional forces treaty
  • US House passes bill to ban TikTok unless it divests from China
  • 2 Japanese navy helicopters crash in Pacific
  • South Korea protests Japan PM’s tribute to Yasukuni shrine
  • Sweden’s parliament passes gender change law for young people
  • Greece to create 2 major new marine parks by the end of this year
  • Tsunami alert after a volcano in Indonesia has several big eruptions
  • US reimposes oil sanctions on Venezuela
  • San Francisco mayor announces the city will receive pandas from China
  • Google fires workers protesting contract to provide services to Israel
  • Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads from China app store on government order
  • Venezuela closes embassy in Ecuador to protest raid on Mexican embassy
  • Swiss vote to ban swastika in crackdown on extremist symbols
  • World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi
  • World Heritage Day celebrated on April 18
  • World Liver Day observed on April 19
  • World Creativity and Innovation Day celebrated by UN on April 21
  • Chinese Language Day observed by UN on April 20
  • World Haemophilia Day observed on April 17
  • World Art Day celebrated on April 15
  • World Voice Day celebrated on April 16
  • Croatia’s top court rules President cannot be PM because of campaign
  • Kenya’s military chief among 9 killed in helicopter crash
  • N. envoy for Libya resigns
  • Iconic artist & Black rights advocate Faith Ringgold dies in US at 93
  • Singapore PM Lee to step down



  • Isro develops light-weight, innovative nozzle for rocket engines
  • Astronomers find biggest stellar black hole in Milky Way galaxy
  • IISc launches ‘Longevity India Initiative’ to pioneer ageing research in India
  • UN approves updated cholera vaccine
  • Surya Tilak Project of Indian Institute of Astrophysics
  • DRDO chairman Samir Kamat inaugurates Indian Navy’s ‘SPACE’ in Kerala
  • New species of tiger discovered in rainforests of Brazil
  • AFMS & IIT Kanpur announce collaboration


Section E: AWARDS

  • World Press Photo of the Year awards
  • Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar award
  • Pat Cummins, Nat Sciver Brunt named as Wisden Leading Cricketers in the World
  • 2024 Writers Guild Awards
  • Jodhka to get Malcom Adiseshiah Award 2024
  • India at European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad



  • RBI issues draft norms for offline PAs, moots ₹15-cr net worth
  • IRDAI removes age bar for buying health insurance
  • Ajith Kumar KK named CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank
  • Deepak Parekh steps down as HDFC Life Insurance’s chairman


Section G: ECONOMY

  • UNCTAD raises India’s 2024 growth forecast to 6.5%
  • IMF raises India’s FY25 growth forecast to 6.8%; FY26 outlook unchanged
  • India allows onion export to Sri Lanka, gives additional quota to UAE
  • Majority of top-100 firms making disclosures about carbon emissions: PwC
  • Net direct tax collections surge 17.7% YoY to Rs 19.58 lakh crores in FY24
  • Forex reserves decline to $643.16 billion
  • India’s textile exports face second consecutive year of decline
  • Supreme Court upholds tribunal order on service tax on Patanjali camps
  • Crude import dependence increases to 87.7% in FY24
  • New policy allows 74% FDI via automatic route in satellite business
  • At WTO, India seeks permanent solution for public stockholding
  • Green Credit Programme
  • Gems, jewellery exports in FY24 dip by 12.17% to Rs 2.65 lakh cr: GJEPC
  • EPFO Payroll data shows surge in youth employment in Feb
  • Malabar parota to attract 5% GST, not 18%: HC



  • LinkedIn’s latest list of top companies to work for in India
  • Nestlé baby food sold in India has higher sugar content: IBFAN
  • Hindustan Zinc forays into critical minerals, sets up subsidiary
  • Zomato introduces ‘large order fleet’ for serving groups of up to 50 people
  • Cropin launches Aksara, a generative AI system for climate smart agriculture
  • AMD introduces AI chips for business laptops and desktops
  • Archer, InterGlobe JV for electric air-taxi in India
  • NTPC Green Energy inks pact with Indus Towers
  • Tesla, E-Ashwa to launch electric two-wheeler with fire safety technology
  • 20 companies launch EV charging alliance
  • Aditya Birla Fashion announces Madura business demerger
  • Happiest Minds to acquire Macmillan Group arm
  • Indo Count acquires global home fashion brand Wamsutta
  • Dailyhunt parent acquires Magzter
  • Bombay HC temporarily restrains Cognizant from using trademark logo
  • Aegon Life Insurance renamed
  • World’s Best Airports
  • Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor secures bail






Section I: STATES

  • In a first, people of Andaman’s vulnerable Shompen tribe vote
  • Fossils of huge prehistoric snake found in Kutch mine
  • GI tag to Kashi’s Tirangi Barfi, 5 other items of UP
  • Tirumala Tirupati received 1,031 kg of gold in 2023
  • 29 Naxals killed in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker, three security personnel hurt
  • 2018 Elgar Parishad case: Shoma Sen walks out of jail after 6 yrs
  • Carnatic musician K.G. Jayan passes away at 90
  • Kannada actor Dwarakish passes away at 81
  • IAF veteran Dalip Singh Majithia dies at 103


Section J: SPORTS

  • List of nominees for 2024 Laureus Awards announced
  • Walkers Akshdeep, Priyanka secure Paris 2024 berth
  • 2024 London Marathon
  • Olympic Qualification Regatta held in South Korea
  • Yuki Bhambri wins doubles title at Munich ATP tennis
  • Casper Ruud wins Barcelona Open tennis
  • Elena Rybakina wins Stuttgart Open tennis
  • Max Verstappen wins Formula One Chinese GP
  • Discus thrower Alekna shatters longest-standing men’s world record
  • Armand Duplantis beats own pole vault world record
  • India return with nine medals from Asian Wrestling Championships
  • Wrestlers Vinesh, Reetika, Anshu secure Paris Olympics quotas for India
  • Former England Test batsman Raman Subba Row dies aged 92
  • Japan’s former world No. 1 Momota Kento retires
  • 1974 football WC winner Hoelzenbein passes away aged 78


Section A: INDIA


Ministry of Law and Justice holds conference on “criminal justice system”

Describing the new criminal justice system as a “watershed moment for our society”, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on April 20, 2024 recounted how courts hear “sordid stories in the course of search and seizure operations under the Income Tax Act”. He praised the new laws for having better safeguards.


Justice Chandrachud was speaking at a conference on “India’s progressive path in the administration of criminal justice system”, organised by the Ministry of Law and Justice. Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, Attorney-General R. Venkataramani, and Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta were present.


The new laws — the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Act (BSA) — are aimed at a complete overhaul of the country’s criminal justice system and will come into effect from July 1.


Justice Chandrachud said that these laws have transitioned India’s legal framework on criminal justice into a new age. “Much needed improvements have been introduced to protect victim interests and carry out the investigation and prosecution of offences efficiently,” he said.


The CJI noted that the BNSS, which replaces the Code of Criminal Procedure, prescribes measures such as audiovisual recording of search and seizure operations and the presence of a forensic expert at the crime scene for offences punishable with more than seven years imprisonment.


“The audiovisual recording of search and seizures is an important tool for the prosecution as well as for protecting the civil liberties of citizens. Very often in courts, we hear sordid stories of what happens in the course of a search and seizure operation, particularly under the Income Tax Act. The judicial scrutiny would safeguard the rights of citizens against procedural impropriety during search and seizures,” Justice Chandrachud said.


SC reserves judgment on petitions seeking 100% EVM-VVPAT verification

The Supreme Court on April 18, 2024 reserved its judgment on petitions seeking 100 per cent verification of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.


The VVPAT is a mechanism that ensures that voters are given visual confirmation that their vote has been cast. Paper slips show in a display on the VVPAT machine with the candidate’s serial number, name, and party symbol for seven seconds so that the voter can verify their vote.


As it stands, the mechanism to tally votes post-polling is as follows: VVPAT paper slips of five randomly selected EVMs in each assembly constituency or each assembly segment in a parliamentary constituency are physically verified to confirm the accuracy of the election.


A petition filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and activist Arun Kumar Agarwal seek counting all VVPAT slips. Earlier, on April 1, the court sought replies from the Election Commission of India and the Centre on his petition.


The current sample system was put in place by the Election Commission, in 2018, after it asked the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) to come up with a “mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent sample size for the internal audit of the VVPAT slips with electronic result of EVMs.”


First introduced in 2014, the VVPAT system was trialled in that year’s general elections, with the system seeing widespread usage in the 2017 Goa Assembly elections. The VVPAT-EVM combo was used across the all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2019 general elections.

New panel to address issues of LGBTQ+ community

The Ministry of Law and Justice on April 16, 2024 notified a six-member committee to address issues related to the queer community. The committee, to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary, will suggest measures to ensure that the queer community does not encounter any discrimination in accessing goods and services or face threat of violence among others.


Last October, while hearing the plea on same-sex marriage, the SC had directed that such a panel be set up to address the challenges faced by the community in accordance with the statement made by the Centre in the court.


The order comes with the Model Code of Conduct in force and ahead of the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha election.


X says it took down four posts as per EC directive

Social media platform X released a letter by the Election Commission (EC) ordering a takedown of four posts by leaders of the YSR Congress Party, the Telugu Desam Party, the AAP and the BJP.


The company said it disagrees with the takedown order issued by the EC, and that “freedom of expression should extend to political speech”. The company has taken down the posts in India.


However, these posts are visible from non-Indian Internet connections.


This is the first time that X is proactively disclosing a takedown notice from India to the public since April 2023, when it stopped publishing summaries of such orders.


The EC has issued such orders in the past to X, which have been disclosed and reported in the media; however, subsequent disclosures for government takedowns around the world come selectively through the handle of X’s global affairs team.


Centre releases curriculum framework for anganwadis

For the first time, the Union government has released a curriculum advisable to be taught to children aged three to six years, thus giving an impetus to pre-school learning in 14 lakh anganwadis across the country.


The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has released the National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education 2024 titled ‘Aadharshila’, on the lines of the National Education Policy 2020 and the National Curriculum Framework. Aadharshila (translated as foundation stone) is a detailed 48-week curriculum meant for learning in the age group of three to six years in anganwadis.


There are 14 lakh anganwadis in India which serve as nodal points in villages for the health and nutrition needs of pregnant mothers and children.


This framework will serve as a base for States to develop their own culturally appropriate curriculums seen as a solution to tackle challenges of children.


The curriculum helps to develop skills which will help a child easily transition into Grade 1.


Students with 4-yr bachelor’s degrees, 75% can directly pursue PhD: UGC

Students with four-year undergraduate degrees can now directly appear for NET and pursue PhD, according to University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Jagadesh Kumar.


To pursue a PhD with or without a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), the candidates will require a minimum of 75 per cent marks or equivalent grades in their four-year undergraduate course.


So far, a candidate for the National Eligibility Test (NET) needed a master’s degree with a minimum of 55 per cent marks.

The exam this year will be conducted in offline mode instead of a Computer Based Test. Tests for all subjects will be conducted on June 16.


A relaxation of five per cent marks or its equivalent grade may be allowed for those belonging to SC, ST, OBC (non-creamy layer), differently-abled, economically weaker sections and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the UGC from time to time, he added. UGC-NET is an exam to determine the eligibility of Indian nationals for the “award of Junior Research Fellowship and appointment as assistant professor”, “appointment as assistant professor and admission to PhD” and “admission to PhD only” in Indian universities and colleges.


The application process for the exam began on Saturday and will end on May 10.


DRDO conducts flight test of ITCM off Odisha coast

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight test of the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, on April 18, 2024. A release issued by the Defence Ministry stated that during the test, all subsystems performed as per expectations.


According to the release, to ensure complete coverage of the flight path, the missile performance was monitored by several Range Sensors like Radar, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and Telemetry deployed by ITR at different locations. The flight of the missile was also monitored from the Su-30-Mk-I aircraft of the Indian Air Force.


The missile followed the desired path using waypoint navigation and demonstrated very low-altitude sea-skimming flight. This successful flight test has also established the reliable performance of the indigenous propulsion system developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bengaluru, the release mentioned.


The missile is also equipped with advanced avionics and software to ensure better and more reliable performance. The missile is developed by Bengaluru-based DRDO laboratory Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), along with contributions from other laboratories and Indian industries. The test was witnessed by many senior scientists from various DRDO laboratories, along with representatives from the production partner, as mentioned in the release.


Right to sleep a basic human requirement, says HC on ED questioning senior citizen post midnight

The right to sleep is a basic human requirement, which cannot be violated, the Bombay High Court said on April 15, 2024 deprecating the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning a senior citizen throughout the night in a money laundering case. A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Manjusha Deshpande said statements must be recorded during earthly hours and not at night when a person’s cognitive skills may be impaired. The court gave the order in a plea filed by 64-year-old Ram Issrani challenging his arrest by the probe agency in a money laundering case. The ED arrested Issrani in August 2023. In his plea, Issrani claimed that his arrest was illegal and unwarranted as he had been cooperating with the probe and had appeared before the agency whenever he was issued summons.


Monsoon rainfall seen above normal in 2024 in India, IMD says

India is likely to receive above average monsoon rains in 2024, the Indian Meterological Department said on April 15, 2024. The monsoon rains are seen at 106 per cent of long-term average in 2024. “India is likely to see above-normal monsoon with cumulative rainfall estimated at 106 per cent of long-period average of 87 cm,” IMD said. “El Nino is weakening, it will enter a neutral stage by the time monsoon sets in,” said IMD DGM Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.


DD changes logo colours from red to orange

Prasar Bharati, the government-owned broadcaster, has changed the logo for its Hindi news channel, DD News, from red to orange. The change in the branding, set design, logo and general visual aesthetics was announced in social media posts on April 16. Gaurav Dwivedi, the CEO of Prasar Bharati, said that the colour is same as that of DD India [English news channel] that was changed in 2023. He added that the logo of DD National, which broadcasts general entertainment and news programmes in English and Hindi, was also updated in 2023 to saffron/orange and blue.


Civil Services Day celebrated on April 21

The Civil Services Day was celebrated in India on April 21, 2024. The Government of India commemorates ‘Civil Services Day’ every year on April 21. The day is marked to celebrate the exemplary work done by our civil servants, and as an opportunity for them to recommit themselves to the cause of citizens.  National Civil Services Day was first celebrated on April 21, 2006. April 21 was chosen because it is on this day that the first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, 1947 addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers at Metcalf House in Delhi. He referred to the civil servants as the “steel frame of India.”


Indian Navy’s INS Talwar seizes 940 kgs of narcotics in operation Crimson Barracuda

Indian Naval warship INS Talwar, deployed in the Arabian Sea, intercepted a suspicious dhow on April 15, 2024 and apprehended 940 Kg narcotics from it. The Operation Crimson Barracuda, executed with precision by the ship’s specialist boarding teams and MARCOs (Marine Commandos), resulted in the confiscation of a staggering 940 kilograms of contraband narcotics. The seized drugs, indicative of illicit trafficking activities in the region, are being disposed of in accordance with the established procedures outlined in the CMF (Combined Maritime Forces) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).


Indian Navy conducts mega exercise on East Coast

The Indian Navy on April 20, 2024 said it carried out an extensive exercise along the East Coast as part of efforts to check its preparedness to meet any maritime security challenges. The exercise ‘Poorvi Leher’ witnessed participation of ships, submarines, aircraft and special naval forces. In addition to the participation of assets from Eastern Naval Command, the exercise also witnessed participation of assets from IAF, Andaman and Nicobar Command and Coast Guard.



UPSC CSE 2023 results announced

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on April 16 declared the results for the Civil Services Exam 2023, with Aditya Srivastava securing the top rank. Srivastava qualified the examination with Electrical Engineering as his optional subject. He has done his graduation (B Tech.) in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur.


Animesh Pradhan, a graduate (B Tech.) in Computer Science from NIT Rourkela, secured second rank with Sociology as his optional subject.


Donuru Ananya Reddy, a graduate [B.A. (Hons.) Geography] from Miranda House, Delhi University stood third in the rank with Anthropology as her optional subject.


P.K. Sidharth Ramkumar, B.Arch from College of Architecture, Trivandrum, secured fourth rank with Anthropology as his optional subject.


Ruhani, a graduate [B.A. (Hons.) Economics] from St. Stephens College, Delhi University, secured fifth rank with Economics as her optional subject.


This year’s recruitment drive aimed at filling 1,105 positions across various government departments. Candidates who cleared the preliminary exam held on May 28, 2023, proceeded to take the mains exam in September 2023. Only those who emerged successful in the mains were called for personality tests, conducted between January 2 and April 9, 2024, for a total of 1026 candidates. A total of 1,016 candidates cleared the examination and have been recommended for different central government services, the UPSC said.


Of the over 1,000 candidates, 115 are from the economically weaker section, while 303, 165, and 86 belong to the OBC, SC and ST categories respectively. The remaining 347 are general category candidates.


These candidates have been recommended for appointment to the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, and Central Services (Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’).


Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi appointed as next Indian Navy chief

The government has appointed Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi as the next Chief of the Indian Navy. Tripathi is presently the Vice Chief of Navy Staff and will assume his new office on April 30. Prior to taking over as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, VAdm Dinesh K Tripathi served as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. An alumnus of Sainik School Rewa and National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, he was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1985.


IPS officer Nalin Prabhat appointed NSG chief

Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Nalin Prabhat has been appointed as the Director-General of National Security Guard (NSG), the country’s counter-terrorism and counter-hijack force. Prabhat is a 1992 batch IPS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He is currently posted as Additional Director-General, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), in Jammu and Kashmir. According to an order by Department of Personnel and Training, the appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment till the date of his superannuation, August 31, 2028.


BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Moradabad Kunwar Sarvesh Singh dies

BJP candidate from Moradabad Lok Sabha seat, Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar, passed away at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on April 20, 2024. He was 72 years old Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar was one of the 12 candidates in the poll fray from Moradabad parliamentary constituency, which had its elections in the first phase on April 19. He served as the Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad from 2014 to 2019 but lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to SP’s ST Hasan. He was also a five-time BJP MLA from Thakurdwara assembly constituency in Moradabad, serving from 1991 to 2007 and then again from 2012 to 2014.




Maldivian President Muizzu secures ‘supermajority’ in parliamentary polls

The party of Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu (45) won control of parliament on April 21, 2024, in an election landslide, results showed, with voters backing his tilt towards China and away from traditional benefactor India.


Muizzu’s People’s National Congress (PNC) won 66 of the first 86 seats declared, according to the Elections Commission of Maldives, already more than enough for a super-majority in the 93-member majlis, or parliament.


The PNC and its allies had only eight seats in the outgoing parliament, with the lack of a majority stymieing Muizzu after his presidential election victory in 2023. The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) – which had previously had a super-majority of its own – was headed for a defeat with just 12 seats.


The Maldives, a low-lying nation of some 1,192 tiny coral islands scattered some 800 kilometers across the equator, is one of the countries most vulnerable to sea level rises caused by global warming.


According to information released by the Elections Commission (EC), 207,693 people cast their ballots as of 5:00 pm local time, making for a voter turnout of 72.96 per cent. This includes 104,826 men and 102,867 women. A total of 284,663 people were eligible to vote to elect lawmakers for 93 constituencies in the 20th People’s Majlis.


Relations with India

The election in the Maldives also came amidst deteriorating ties between the archipelago nation and India since Muizzu, 45, assumed power in November 2023. During last year’s presidential election, he had maintained a strident anti-India stand.


While India was forced to withdraw most of its military personnel manning three aviation platforms in the country, Muizzu travelled to China in January and met top Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping. China and the Maldives also signed a defence cooperation agreement and several other infrastructure development projects.


The Maldives is India’s key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and occupies a special place in its initiatives like ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ of the Indian government. On the other hand, China is expanding its footprints in IOR through its ‘debt trap’ diplomacy and ‘String of Pearls’ approach, a strategic initiative to create a network of military and commercial establishments in countries falling on the Indian Ocean.


India’s population estimated at 144 crore: UNFPA report

India’s population is estimated to have reached 144 crore, with 24 per cent in the 0-14 age bracket, according to a recent report by the UNFPA.


The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) State of World Population – 2024 report – Interwoven Lives, Threads of Hope: Ending Inequalities in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights – revealed that India’s population is estimated to double in 77 years.


India leads globally with an estimated population of 144.17 crore, followed by China at 142.5 crore, according to the report.


India’s population was recorded at 121 crores during the last census, conducted in 2011.


The report further detailed that an estimated 24 per cent of India’s population is aged 0-14 while 17 per cent is within the 10-19 age range.


The segment aged 10-24 is estimated to constitute 26 per cent, with the 15-64 age group making up 68 per cent. Additionally, 7 per cent of India’s population is aged 65 years and above, with men having a life expectancy of 71 years and women 74 years.


The report has found that 30 years of progress in sexual and reproductive health has mostly ignored the most marginalised communities worldwide.


According to the report, the child marriage percentage in India was at 23 between 2006-2023.

The report noted that maternal deaths in India have fallen considerably, accounting for 8 per cent of all such fatalities worldwide.


UK’s India Gate to commemorate role of Indian soldiers from World Wars

A local council in Brighton, England on April 19, 2024 approved plans for an annual multi-faith event to commemorate the role of Indian soldiers in the two World Wars at the town’s India Gate memorial from this October. The India Gate was presented to the people of Brighton by the “princes and people of India” as a gesture of thanks for the care provided by the town’s hospitals and is “dedicated to the use of the inhabitants of Brighton.”


It was unveiled by the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, on October 26, 1921, and stands at the entrance of the Royal Pavilion – one of three buildings in Brighton serving as a base hospital which treated these soldiers from undivided India wounded on the Western front. These included soldiers from the modern-day countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.


According to historical records, in World War I (1914-1918) more than 1.5 million soldiers from pre-Partition India served in the British Indian Army of the colonial era, participating in major battles such as the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, Battle of Gallipoli, and the Battle of the Somme. In World War II (1939-1945), over 2.5 million soldiers from undivided India volunteered to serve in the British Indian Army, the largest volunteer army in history.


Peru-based top potato research centre to set up India wing

Peru-based International Potato Center (CIP), the premier research-for-development organisation with focus on potato and sweetpotato, will set up CIP-South Asia Regional Centre (CIP-SARC) in India at Agra in Uttar Pradesh.


The CIP-SARC will focus on development of new varieties of potato and sweetpotato, which are climate resilient, disease-free and suitable for processing. It will offer global science expertise, an extensive global innovation network and global genetic resources.


In 2017, the CIP, which is headquartered in Lima, set up its first Asia centre in China, the world’s top potato producer and consumer. The China Center for Asia Pacific (CCCAP) in Yanqing, Beijing serves the entire East Asia and the Pacific region.


The proposed CIP-SARC will be the second major international agricultural research institute in India. In 2017, the Agriculture Ministry supported the establishment of a regional centre of the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Varanasi.


Currently, two centres of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) work on tuber crops in India. While the Shimla-based ICAR-CPRI (Central Potato Research Institute) is working on potato, Thiruvananthapuram-based ICAR-CTCRI (Central Tuber Crops Research Institute) is working on sweetpotato.


Indian crew member from MSC Aries seized by Iran returns home

An Indian woman who was a crew member on the MSC Aries container vessel seized by Iran on April 13 has returned to the country, said Ministry of External Affairs on April 18, 2024. MEA said that its mission in Tehran is in touch with 16 other Indian crew members still aboard the vessel which was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz. The vessel was seized after Tehran vowed to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1.


India, UK discuss prioritising extradition requests

India and the United Kingdom on April 15, 2024 discussed the need for expediting action under mutual legal assistance treaty and prioritisation of extradition requests relating to fugitives. A number of fugitives from India including former Kingfisher Airlines promoter Vijay Mallya, diamantaire Nirav Modi and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari besides separatists from Punjab and wanted terrorist sympathisers are based in the United Kingdom and their extradition is being pursued by agencies. The issue came up for discussion during the visit of a high-level delegation from the United Kingdom that included its candidate for the post of Interpol Secretary General Stephen Kavanagh to the CBI Headquarters on April 15, 2024. During the visit, the CBI Director Praveen Sood and other senior agency officials held detailed discussions with Kavanagh about enhancing operational collaboration with the UK.


India is a top-tier security partner: Australia

India is a top-tier security partner for Australia, stated its new National Defence Strategy (NDS) 2024 released recently. “Australia will continue to support India’s key role in the region by increasing the depth and complexity of our defence cooperation. The government will continue to seek opportunities with India to drive practical bilateral and multilateral cooperation, defence industry cooperation and information sharing,” the NDS released on April 17 said.


General Manoj Pande inaugurates state-of-the-art IT lab in Uzbekistan

The Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Pande, recently inaugurated a high-tech IT Laboratory at the Uzbek Academy of Armed Forces during his visit to Uzbekistan from April 15-18. This initiative marks a significant milestone in the defence cooperation between India and Uzbekistan, following a commitment made during the Defence Ministers’ meeting in 2018. The IT Lab, funded through the Ministry of External Affairs’ ‘c’ initiative, is equipped with cutting-edge technology, including lecture halls, a Cybersecurity Lab, and various programming labs, enhancing the training resources available to Uzbek armed forces and strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations.


India sends first batch of BrahMos to Philippines

Marking a key military export milestone, India delivered the first batch of BrahMos missiles to the Philippines on April 19, 2024. The missiles were delivered to Manila by an Indian Air Force C 17 Globemaster III aircraft and are the first of several missiles that will be dispatched under a $375 million contract inked in 2022. This is the first time that India has exported cruise attack missiles and is the largest single defence export order till now. The BrahMos shore based anti-ship missile system has a range of 290 km and has been jointly developed with Russia and is being produced in India.


Petroleum Minister talks to OPEC Secretary General

In a telephonic conversation with OPEC Secretary General, Haitham Al-Ghais, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri emphasized the importance of balancing market stability, affordability, with pragmatism. Puri had an extended telephone conversation lasting 30 minutes with OPEC Secretary General on 19 April, 2024.  India is the second largest export destination for OPEC. During Financial Year 2022-23, India imported crude oil, LPG, LNG, and petroleum products from OPEC countries, amounting to approximately US$ 120 billion.


US backs G-4 for permanent seat at UNSC

Backing India’s stand that the United Nations Security Council of 70 years ago does not reflect the realities of today, a top US diplomat has said that the Biden administration supports G-4 members becoming permanent members of the UN’s top body. US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, indicated that Russia and China are the only two countries in the Security Council who are opposed to the expansion of the 15-member powerful wing of the UN.



8 persons of Indian-descent in Time’s 100 most influential people list

Eight individuals of Indian descent, including Alia Bhatt, Ajay Banga, and Sakshi Malik, have been honoured in Time magazine’s prestigious list of the 100 most influential people of 2024. The list, released on April 17, 2024, features a diverse array of leaders from various sectors, including finance, entertainment, technology, activism, and academia.


The list includes politicians, business leaders, artists, icons, movie stars, athletes, and scientists who have made significant impact in their fields. The overall list contains four categories: Leaders, heroes, artists, and thinkers.


Indian-origin persons in the list:


Sakshi Malik was honoured on the list as India’s first and only female wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She was also recognised for her courageous advocacy against sexual harassment in sports. Malik’s vocal stance against misconduct within the Wrestling Federation of India garnered widespread support and attention.


Dev Patel: British actor of Indian descent, Dev Patel, earned recognition for his impactful contributions to cinema, both as an actor and director. Patel’s directorial debut in “Monkey Man” showcased his versatility and commitment to storytelling.

Priyamvada Natarajan: In the realm of academia, Priyamvada Natarajan, a professor at Yale University, was acknowledged for her groundbreaking research in astronomy, particularly in the study of dark matter and dark energy.


Asma Khan, a British restaurateur of Indian origin, was acknowledged for her culinary prowess and innovative approach to cuisine at her renowned London restaurant, Darjeeling Express.


Jigar Shah, Director of the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, was recognised for his instrumental role in spearheading economic development initiatives on a global scale.


Ajay Banga: Current President of the World Bank


Alia Bhatt: Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt, who holds British citizenship, was recognised for her “formidable talent” and philanthropic endeavours.


Satya Nadella: The Microsoft CEO was recognised for his significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence and his commitment to empowering humans with technology.


Section C: WORLD




Israel hits back at Iran with a limited drone strike on air base

Israel reportedly struck back at Iran on April 19, 2024 morning, hitting a military site in a drone operation that was limited in scale and seemed to cause little damage.


Iranian state media confirmed an attack had taken place in the city of Isfahan and said it failed. The country’s officials signalled they weren’t inclined to launch a counterstrike.


The Israeli government hasn’t confirmed or denied the attack.


Italy’s Foreign Minister said Israel gave the US a last-minute forewarning and that Washington played no role in the incident.


“The small-scale of the event” is partly down to the efforts of the Group of Seven to restrain Israel’s response to last weekend’s assault, Antonio Tajani told reporters in Capri. He spoke after a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers.


An explosion was heard early April 19, 2024 in Isfahan, Iran’s third-biggest city. Nuclear facilities located there are safe, state television and the UNs’ nuclear watchdog said.


Flights were suspended in Isfahan and the Iranian cities of Tehran and Shiraz as well as airports across the country’s western borders, but those restrictions were soon eased.


Chaos in Dubai as UAE records heaviest rainfall in 75 years

Chaos ensued in the United Arab Emirates after the country witnessed the heaviest rainfall in 75 years, with some areas recording more than 250 mm (around 10 inches) of precipitation in fewer than 24 hours, the state’s media office said in a statement on April 17, 2024.


The rainfall, which flooded streets, uprooted palm trees and shattered building facades, has never been seen in the Middle Eastern nation since records began in 1949. In the Dubai, flights were canceled, traffic came to a halt and schools closed.


One-hundred millimeters (nearly 4 inches) of rain fell over the course of just 12 hours on April 16, according to weather observations at the airport – around what Dubai usually records in an entire year, according to United Nations data.


In neighbouring Oman, at least 18 were killed in flash floods triggered by heavy rain, the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management said.


Like the rest of the Persian Gulf region, Dubai has a hot and dry climate. As such, rainfall is infrequent, and the city’s infrastructure often fails to handle extreme weather events.


Brazil’s president creates two new Indigenous territories

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on April 18, 2024 announced the creation of two new Indigenous territories for Brazil, bringing the total number of new reserves during this term to 10. The Cacique Fontoura reserve will be in Mato Grosso state and the Aldeia Velha territory will be in Bahia state. They will cover a combined total area of 342 square kilometers.


Speaking at a ceremony in Brasilia, Lula said Indigenous peoples should be patient as he seeks to fulfill his pledge of creating 14 new territories.


Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, had encouraged widespread development of the Amazon — both legal and illegal — and made good on his pledge to not demarcate a single centimeter of additional Indigenous land.


Lula took office in 2023 pledging to change that, but Indigenous rights activists hoped he would move faster. In 2023, he demarcated six territories in April and two more in September.


The Brazilian president said during his speech that the latest two new territories would not be enough. He cited legal issues for the delay in setting aside additional lands.


China’s PLA sets up Information Support Force

The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Central Military Commission (CMC), the apex military bureaucracy, held the founding meeting of the new Information Support Force (ISF) on April 19, 2024. The Chinese Communist Party General Secretary and Chairman of the CMC, Xi Jinping, awarded the military flag to the ISF. It was later announced that the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLA SSF) would cease to exist.


Formed on December 31, 2015, the PLA SSF centralised space, cyber, electronic and psychological warfare capabilities into a single service. It was formed to create synergies between various advanced warfighting capabilities and was hailed as instrumental in achieving Xi’s stated goals of modernisation, informatisation, and converting the PLA into a world-class army.


With this change, the PLA now has a new system with four services – the Army, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force, and four arms – the Aerospace Force, Cyberspace Force, Information Support Force and Joint Logistic Support Force.


United States vetoes Palestinian bid for UN membership

The United States on April 18, 2024, spoiled a long-shot Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership, vetoing a Security Council measure despite growing international distress over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The move by Israel’s key ally had been expected ahead of the vote, taking place more than six months into Israel’s military offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, in retaliation for the deadly October 7 attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel.


Twelve countries voted in favor of the draft resolution recommending full Palestinian membership. Britain and Switzerland abstained. Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas’s office called the US veto “a blatant aggression”.


The draft resolution called for recommending to the General Assembly “that the State of Palestine be admitted to membership of the United Nations” in place of its current “non-member observer state” status, which it has held since 2012.


Any request to become a UN member state must first earn a recommendation from the Security Council – meaning at least nine positive votes out of 15, and no vetoes – followed by endorsement by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.


The United States, Israel’s main ally, has not hesitated in the past to use its veto to protect Israel and did not hide its lack of enthusiasm for Palestinian UN membership in the weeks leading up to the vote, as the Palestinians and other Arab states implored the Council to recommend full membership.


Washington has said its position is unchanged: that the UN is not the venue for recognition of a Palestinian state, which must be the result of a peace deal with Israel.


US House passes $95 billion Ukraine, Israel aid package, sends to Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives on April 20, 2024 with broad bipartisan support passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, over bitter objections from Republican hardliners.


The legislation now proceeds to the Democratic-majority Senate. U.S. leaders from Democratic President Joe Biden to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell had been urging embattled Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring it up for a vote.


The bills provide $60.84 billion to address the conflict in Ukraine, including $23 billion to replenish U.S. weapons, stocks and facilities; $26 billion for Israel, including $9.1 billion for humanitarian needs, and $8.12 billion for the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan.


The vote on passage of the Ukraine funding was 311-112. But significantly, 112 Republicans opposed the legislation, with only 101 in support.


US Congress renews controversial surveillance tool

US lawmakers on April 20, 2024, April 20, approved the renewal of a powerful electronic surveillance tool widely used by American intelligence agencies abroad. Senators voted 60-34 to pass the bill, and the White House said President Joe Biden will “swiftly sign the bill into law.” It passed the House of Representatives earlier.

The program enables US intelligence agencies to conduct electronic surveillance without seeking a judicial warrant. In particular, it allows them to sweep up communications, including phone calls and emails, of non-Americans anywhere outside of US territory. That includes communications from US citizens to foreigners targeted for monitoring.


The authority under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has been denounced by privacy and civil liberties advocates.


US govt. announces new partnership with 50 countries to stifle future pandemics

President Joe Biden’s administration will help 50 countries identify and respond to infectious diseases, with the goal of preventing pandemics like the COVID-19 outbreak that suddenly halted normal life around the globe in 2020.


U.S. government officials will offer support in the countries, most of them located in Africa and Asia, to develop better testing, surveillance, communication and preparedness for such outbreaks in those countries.


The strategy will help “prevent, detect and effectively respond to biological threats wherever they emerge,” Biden said in a statement April 16, 2024.


The Global Health Security Strategy, the president said, aims to protect people worldwide and “will make the United States stronger, safer, and healthier than ever before at this critical moment.”


The White House on April 16, 2024 released a website with the names of the countries that are participating in the program.


US agrees to pull over 1,000 troops from Niger

The United States agreed on April 19, 2024, to withdraw its more than 1,000 troops from Niger, officials said, upending its posture in West Africa where the country was home to a major drone base. The move effectively marks a new regional gain for Russia, which has ramped up its focus on Africa and backed military regimes in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso.


Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell accepted the call to remove troops in a meeting in Washington with the prime minister of the junta, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine


They agreed that a US delegation would head within days to the capital Niamey to arrange an orderly withdrawal.


Niger was long a linchpin in the US and French strategy to combat jihadists in West Africa. The United States built a base in the desert city of Agadez at the cost of $100 million to fly a fleet of drones.

President Mohamed Bazoum, a Western ally, was deposed by the junta in July 2023.


Belarus’ parliament votes to leave Europe’s conventional forces treaty

The Belarusian parliament on April 17, 2024 voted to suspend the country’s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty that once was a key security doctrine for the continent, a 1990 agreement that was abandoned in 2023 by Russia.  The bill, introduced by President Alexander Lukashenko, could pave the way for Belarus — Russia’s ally in the war in Ukraine — to expand its military. Belarus lawmakers unanimously approved the bill calling for the treaty’s suspension.


The treaty, signed in 1990, places limits on tanks, combat vehicles, warplanes and heavy artillery that can be deployed in Europe. It aimed at keeping a military balance between the West and the countries that were part of the Cold War-era Warsaw Pact.


However, Russia withdrew entirely from the treaty in November 2023 and NATO countries that were parties to it responded by suspending their participation just hours later.


Belarus hosts Russian tactical nuclear weapons, along with missiles and troops. The country has been used by Russia as a staging point for sending troops into Ukraine, but Belarusian forces have not taken part in the war that is now in its third year.


According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the treaty mandated that Belarus’ armed forces do not exceed 100,000 of troops and personnel. There are currently 63,000 troops and personnel in the Belarusian army, and some 300,000 men are in the reserve.


Military experts say that after suspending its participation in the treaty, Belarus — which shares a border with Ukraine and NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland — will be able to expand its army and amass more weapons.


US House passes bill to ban TikTok unless it divests from China

The US House of Representatives on April 20, 2024, April 20, passed a bill that would force TikTok to divest from its Chinese parent company ByteDance or face a nationwide ban in the United States, where it has around 170 million users. US officials have voiced alarm over the popularity of the social media platform with young people, alleging that it is subservient to Beijing and a conduit to spread propaganda – claims denied by the company. The legislation would give ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok, and a possible three-month extension if a sale was in progress. The bill would also bar the company from controlling TikTok’s secret algorithm that feeds users videos based off their interests.



2 Japanese navy helicopters crash in Pacific

Two Japanese navy helicopters crashed into the Pacific Ocean during a training exercise, killing at least one of the eight crew members on board, defence minister Minoru Kihara said on April 21, 2024. The two SH-60 patrol helicopters were conducting anti-submarine exercises on the night of April 20 near Torishima in the remote Izu island group, off the southern coast of central Japan. The two flight recorders had been discovered in close proximity to each other and the probability was high that the two helicopters had collided. 7 out of the 8 crew members are missing.


South Korea protests Japan PM’s tribute to Yasukuni shrine

South Korea on April 21, 2024 protested Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s offering to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine with “deep disappointment” and urged Japanese leaders to show repentance for the country’s wartime past. The shrine is seen by Beijing and Seoul as a symbol of Japan’s past military aggression because it includes 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal among the 2.5 million war dead honoured there. Past offerings there by Japanese leaders have led to protests from the two countries. Kishida and some Cabinet members sent ritual offerings to the shrine.



Sweden’s parliament passes gender change law for young people

The Swedish parliament passed a law April 17, 2024 lowering the age required for people to legally change their gender from 18 to 16. Those under 18 still need approval from a guardian, a doctor and the National Board of Health and Welfare. No longer required is a gender dysphoria diagnosis, defined by medical professionals as psychological distress experienced by those whose gender expression does not match their gender identity. Sweden joins a number of countries with similar laws including Denmark, Norway, Finland and Spain. The vote in Sweden passed 234-94 with 21 lawmakers absent.


Greece to create 2 major new marine parks by the end of this year

Greece will be able to create the two new major marine parks it has announced for the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea by the end of this year, the country’s environment and energy minister said April 17, 2024. Speaking during an international ocean conference in Athens, Theodoros Skylakakis said scientific studies to determine details such as which species will be protected and what measures must be taken will be completed and implemented by year’s end. The creation of the park in the Aegean has irked Greece’s neighbor and regional rival Turkey, which has accused Athens of exploiting environmental issues to push a geopolitical agenda. Greece’s foreign ministry retorted that Ankara was “politicizing a clearly environmental issue.”


Tsunami alert after a volcano in Indonesia has several big eruptions

Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami alert April 17, 2024 after eruptions at Ruang mountain sent ash thousands of feet high. Officials ordered more than 11,000 people to leave the area. The volcano on the northern side of Sulawesi island had at least five large eruptions in the past 24 hours, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation said. Authorities raised their volcano alert to its highest level.


US reimposes oil sanctions on Venezuela

The US government on April 17, 2024 reimposed crushing oil sanctions on Venezuela, admonishing President Nicolás Maduro’s attempts to consolidate his rule just six months after the U.S. eased restrictions in a bid to support now fading hopes for a democratic opening in the OPEC nation. U.S. companies have been prohibited to do business with state-run oil producer Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., better known as PDVSA, without a specific license from the U.S. Treasury Department. Any U.S. company investing in Venezuela would have 45 days to wind down operations. In October, the U.S. granted Maduro’s government relief from sanctions on its state-run oil, gas and mining sectors after it agreed to work with members of the opposition to hold a free and competitive presidential election this year.


San Francisco mayor announces the city will receive pandas from China

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the panda loan in Beijing on April 19, 2024, April 19, alongside officials from the China Wildlife Conservation Association, or CWCA. It will be San Francisco’s first time hosting the beloved animals long-term. San Diego previously announced it was receiving two pandas back in February. China is home to the only natural habitat for pandas and owns most of the black-and-white bears in the world. Beijing loans the animals to other countries as a tool for diplomacy and wildlife conservation.


Google fires workers protesting contract to provide services to Israel

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired 28 employees after they were involved in protests against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion joint contract with Inc. to provide the Israeli government with AI and cloud services. The protests, which were led by the No Tech for Apartheid organization, took place on April 16, 2024 across Google offices in New York City, Seattle, and Sunnyvale, California. Protesters in New York and California staged a nearly 10-hour sit-in, with others documenting the action, including through a Twitch livestream. Nine of them were arrested on trespassing charges.


Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads from China app store on government order

Apple removed Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China on April 19, 2024 after the iPhone maker was ordered by the Chinese government. “The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns,” Apple said. “We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree.” The iPhone maker said the apps remain available for download on all other storefronts where they appear.


Venezuela closes embassy in Ecuador to protest raid on Mexican embassy

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ordered the closure of his country’s embassy and consulates in Ecuador on April 16, 2024 in solidarity with Mexico in its protest over a raid by Ecuadorian authorities on the Mexican embassy in Quito. Maduro and other presidents participating in a virtual meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States expressed their support for Mexico’s request to have the United Nations suspend Ecuador from the world body over the April 5 raid. But Maduro was the only one to announce the recall of a diplomatic mission.


Swiss vote to ban swastika in crackdown on extremist symbols

Switzerland’s parliament on April 17, 2024 approved a motion to ban the Nazis’ swastika emblem as part of a crackdown on extremist symbols in the neutral country. The lower house of parliament voted to prohibit one of the most infamous symbols of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist regime following concerns about rising antisemitism.


World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi

The World Future Energy Summit concluded on April 19, 2024 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), drawing over 400 companies from 112 countries and regions to exchange insights on a sustainable future. First held in 2008, the annual summit has evolved into one of the largest exhibitions in the global renewable and clean energy sector and the foremost sustainable development conference in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This year’s summit focussed on advancing energy transition and efficiency to realize the “UAE Consensus” established at COP28, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


World Heritage Day celebrated on April 18

World Heritage Day, also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites, was celebrated on April 18, 2024. The day aims at spreading awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status. This year, the theme is “Discover and Experience Diversity.” This theme highlights the richness of our history. It also reminds us to explore and appreciate the unique heritage of different communities.


World Liver Day observed on April 19

World Liver Day was observed on April 19, 2024 with its theme as: “Keep your liver healthy and disease-free”. The theme focuses on the need of regular well being check-ups to prevent liver-related disorders. World Liver Day is observed every year on the 19th of April, to understand the importance of a healthy liver and spread awareness about it.


World Creativity and Innovation Day celebrated by UN on April 21

World Creativity and Innovation Day was celebrated by the United Nations on April 21, 2024. The day is celebrated to raise the awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.


Chinese Language Day observed by UN on April 20

The Chinese Language Day observed by UN on April 20, 2024. The event was established by the UN Department of Public Information in 2010, seeking “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization”.


World Haemophilia Day observed on April 17

The World Haemophilia Day was observed on April 17, 2024. The day is observed to create awareness about haemophilia, a rare genetic blood disorder which inhibits the clotting of blood, leading to significant bleeding during injuries and surgeries. haemophilic individuals lack two crucial clotting factors, Factor VIII (8) or Factor IX (9). April 17 is the birth anniversary of Frank Schnabel, who established the World Federation of Haemophilia. This year’s theme: “Equitable access for all: recognizing all bleeding disorders.” The main objective of this theme is to urge local policymakers and governments to improve access to care, with a specific focus on better prevention and bleeding control for all individuals with bleeding disorders (PWBDs).


World Art Day celebrated on April 15

World Art Day was celebrated on April 15, 2024. This day is dedicated to promoting the development, distribution, and enjoyment of art worldwide. World Art Day, a celebration to promote the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art, was proclaimed at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019.


World Voice Day celebrated on April 16

World Voice Day was celebrated on April 16, 2024. The day is an annual event celebrated on April 16th to raise awareness about the importance of voice in our daily lives. Additionally, the day encourages people to check on their vocal health.



Croatia’s top court rules President cannot be PM because of campaign

Croatia’s Constitutional Court in Zagreb on April 19, 2024 banned President Zoran Milanović from becoming prime minister in case his center-left party manages to garner a majority after the parliamentary election held on April 17, 2024. The ballot ended inconclusively. The governing center-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) of current Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, won the most votes but not enough to rule alone. Although it finished second, Milanović’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) is also trying to muster a coalition in the 151-member parliament. Plenković’s HDZ won 61 parliamentary seats. Milanović announced that he would run for prime minister just hours after calling the election for April 17. The Constitutional Court warned him in March 2024 last that he had to resign first, a warning that he ignored.


Kenya’s military chief among 9 killed in helicopter crash

Kenya’s military chief, General Francis Ogolla, was among nine people killed when their military helicopter crashed shortly after take-off on April 18, 2024, President William Ruto announced. The aircraft, which had been on a visit to troops deployed in northwest Kenya to combat endemic cattle-rustling, came down just minutes after leaving Cheptulel Boys Secondary School in West Pokot County. Two soldiers survived the crash and were in hospital.


U.N. envoy for Libya resigns

The U.N. envoy for Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, on April 16, 2024 submitted his resignation. The former Senegalese minister and U.N. diplomat, who has held the job for 18 months, said he had done his best to get the five key political actors in Libya to resolve contested issues over electoral laws and form a unified government to lead the country to long-delayed elections. Libya plunged into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. In the chaos that followed, the country split, with rival administrations in the east and west backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.


Iconic artist & Black rights advocate Faith Ringgold dies in US at 93

Faith Ringgold, a pioneering multimedia artist who explored race relations in the United States and advocated for Black people and women to be better represented in the arts, died on April 13, 2024 at the age of 93. Renowned for her pictorial quilts combining textiles and painting, Ringgold won international fame, with her art exhibited at the White House and in museums around the world.


Singapore PM Lee to step down

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on April 15, 2024 that he will step down on May 15 after two decades at the helm, and hand power to his deputy Lawrence Wong. Mr. Lee, 72, will formally advise the President to appoint Mr. Wong, who is currently Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, to succeed him.




Isro develops light-weight, innovative nozzle for rocket engines

ISRO said it has achieved a breakthrough in rocket engine technology with the development of a lightweight Carbon-Carbon (C-C) nozzle for rocket engines, enhancing payload capacity. This innovation accomplished by the space agency’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) promises to enhance the vital parameters of rocket engines, including thrust levels, specific impulse, and thrust-to-weight ratios, thereby boosting the payload capacity of launch vehicles, it said.


Thiruvananthapuram-based VSSC leveraged advanced materials like Carbon-Carbon (C-C) composites to create a nozzle divergent that offers exceptional properties, an ISRO statement said.


By utilising processes such as carbonisation of green composites, chemical vapor Infiltration, and high-temperature treatment, it has produced a nozzle with low density, high specific strength, and excellent stiffness, capable of retaining mechanical properties even at elevated temperatures, it said.


A key feature of the C-C nozzle is its special anti-oxidation coating of silicon carbide, which extends its operational limits in oxidising environments. This innovation not only reduces thermally induced stresses but also enhances corrosion resistance, allowing for extended operational temperature limits in hostile environments, according to ISRO.


The potential impact of this development is significant, particularly for the ISRO’s workhorse launcher, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The PS4, the fourth stage of the PSLV, currently employs twin engines with nozzles made from columbium alloy. However, by replacing these metallic divergent nozzles with C-C counterparts, a mass reduction of approximately 67 per cent can be achieved, the space agency said.


This substitution is projected to increase the payload capability of the PSLV by 15 kg, a notable enhancement for space missions. The successful testing of the C-C nozzle divergent marked a major milestone for ISRO.


On March 19, 2024, a 60-second hot test was conducted at the High-Altitude Test (HAT) facility in ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu, confirming the system’s performance and hardware integrity.


“Subsequent tests, including a 200-second hot test on April 2, 2024, further validated the nozzle’s capabilities, with temperatures reaching 1216 K, matching predictions,” the release said.


The collaborative effort involved the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala near Thiruvananthapuram which designed and configured the test, and IPRC, which conducted the instrumentation and execution of the tests at its HAT facility, it was noted.


Astronomers find biggest stellar black hole in Milky Way galaxy

Astronomers at the European Space Agency (ESA) have identified the biggest stellar black hole, named Gaia BH3, discovered in the Milky Way, with a mass 33 times that of the Sun. This black hole was detected “by chance” during data collection from ESA’s Gaia mission


Data from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) and other ground-based observatories were used to verify the mass of the black hole. The research study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on April 16, 2024.


Stellar black holes are formed from the collapse of massive stars and the ones previously identified in the Milky Way are on average about 10 times as massive as the Sun. Even the next most massive stellar black hole known in the Milky Way galaxy, Cygnus X-1, only reaches 21 solar masses, making this new 33-solar-mass observation exceptional.


To confirm its discovery, the Gaia collaboration used data from ground-based observatories, including from the ultraviolet and visual echelle spectrograph instrument on ESO’s VLT, located in Chile’s Atacama desert. These observations revealed key properties of the companion star, which, together with Gaia data, allowed astronomers to precisely measure the mass of BH3.


IISc launches ‘Longevity India Initiative’ to pioneer ageing research in India

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on April 18, 2024 announced the launch of the Longevity India Initiative, a project focused on efforts to extend human ‘healthspan’ and tackle ageing-related challenges.


The initiative has also started a large-scale clinical study that will involve researchers from multiple IISc departments, clinicians, industry, philanthropists and civil society, according to a statement from IISc.


This initiative seeks to enhance the understanding of ageing through both fundamental and applied research, and to develop solutions that can improve quality of life. The initiative has received initial grant funding support from Prashanth Prakash, founding partner at Accel India.


The initiative was formally launched at an event at the Institute on April 18, 2024. The Longevity India Initiative brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts from academia, industry, and healthcare to address complex challenges related to ageing. The initiative will leverage advanced research to develop interventions that can help manage age-related diseases more effectively, with an emphasis on promoting healthy ageing across India.


UN approves updated cholera vaccine

The World Health Organization has approved a version of a widely used cholera vaccine that could help address a surge in cases that has depleted the global vaccine stockpile and left poorer countries scrambling to contain epidemics.


WHO authorized the vaccine, made by EuBiologics, which also makes the formulation now used, recently. The new version, called Euvichol-S, is a simplified formula that uses fewer ingredients, is cheaper, and can be made more quickly than the old version.


The vaccine was shown to be help preventing the diarrheal disease in late stage research conducted in Nepal.


WHO’s approval means donor agencies like the vaccines alliance Gavi and UNICEF can now buy it for poorer countries. Leila Pakkala, director of UNICEF’s supply division, said in a statement that the agency will be able to boost supplies by more than 25%.


Cholera is an acute diarrhea disease caused by a bacteria typically spread via contaminated food or water. It is mostly seen in areas that have poor sanitation and lack access to clean water. While most people infected with cholera don’t experience symptoms, those with severe cases need quick treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. If left untreated, cholera kills about a quarter to half of people infected.


Surya Tilak Project of Indian Institute of Astrophysics

Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an Autonomous body under the Department of science and Technology played a crucial role in the Surya Tilak Project at Ayodhya.  Under the Surya Tilak project, sunlight was brought on the forehead of Sri Ram Lalla at 12 noon on the occasion of Sri Ram Navami in the Chaitra month.  IIA team carried out the calculation of the sun position, design and optimisation of the optical system, and performed the integration & alignment at the site.


The English calendar date of Sri Ram Navami festival changes every year as it follows Lunar Calendar. Therefore, the position of the sun on the sky changes every year on the day of Sri Ram Navami. Detailed calculations show that the English calendar date of Sri Ram Navami repeats every 19 years. Calculating the position of the sun in the sky on these days requires expertise in astronomy.

IIA team led the calculation for identification of the calendar days of Sri Ram Navami for one cycle of 19 years followed by its repetition, estimation of the position in the sky on the calendar dates of the Ram Navami.


They also led the design of an opto-mechanical system to bring the sunlight from the top of the temple to the forehead of the idol, estimation of the size, shape and location of mirrors and lenses in the system for sufficient light to fall on the idol for about 6 minutes,opto-mechanical design of the lens and mirror holder assembly, and the manual mechanism to shift the position of the first mirror according to the position of the Sun in the sky. Crucial design optimisation as well as simulations were carried out to arrive at various quantities in the opto-mechanical design as well as the functioning of the mechanism.


As the temple is not fully complete now, the IIA experts modified the design to suit the existing structure and performed image optimisation. This design, with 4 mirrors and 2 lenses, is executed for the Surya Tilak on 17th April 2024. The IIA technical experts participated in the testing, assembly, integration and validation of the system at cite. The crucial alignment of the mirrors and lenses were performed by the technical experts from IIA during the trial runs in the Ram Mandir prior to the first Surya Tilak on 17th April 2024.


At the site, the implementation of the opto-mechanical system is done by CBRI. The device is manufactured by Optics, Bangalore.


The final design of the Surya Tilak with 4 mirrors and 4 lenses, will be implemented once the full temple is constructed, by placing the mirrors and lenses in their permanent fixtures.The above mechanism was designed to work even if there is a shift of 1-2 days in the calendar date of the Ram Navami. A change will alter the duration of the spot on the idol. The mechanism will not work if there is no sunlight due to cloud or rain. An annual shift of the first mirror has to be performed manually before Ram Navami every year. The lenses and mirrors are mounted on holders are accessible and can be cleaned periodically.


The device has been manufactured by Optica, Bangalore & implementation of the opto-mechanical system at the site is being done by CSIR-CBRI.


DRDO chairman Samir Kamat inaugurates Indian Navy’s ‘SPACE’ in Kerala

A state-of-the-art Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterization and Evaluation (SPACE) was inaugurated at Kerala’s Idukki on April 17, 2024.


Samir V Kamat, Secretary, Department of Defence–Research and Development (R&D)–and Chairman, DRDO, inaugurated the platform at Underwater Acoustic Research Facility in Kulamavu in Idukki.


SPACE, set up by the Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory of DRDO, has been designed as a premier testing and evaluation hub for sonar systems destined for Indian Navy onboard various platforms, including ships, submarines and helicopters.


The SPACE marks a milestone in naval technology advancement. It will consist of two distinct assemblages- a platform that floats on the water surface, and a submersible platform that can be lowered to any depth up to 100 m using winch systems. Upon completion of operations, the submersible platform can be winched up and docked with the floating platform.


The release stated that SPACE will mainly be utilised for the evaluation of complete sonar systems, allowing for quick deployment and easy recovery of scientific packages such as sensors and transducers. It will be suitable for survey, sampling, and data collection of air, surface, mid-water, and reservoir floor parameters using modern scientific instrumentation.


It will cater to the needs of data processing and sample analyses in modern, well equipped scientific laboratories, heralding a new era of Anti-Submarine Warfare research capabilities.


New species of tiger discovered in rainforests of Brazil

A new species of tiger, dubbed the clouded tiger cat (Leopardus pardinoides), has been discovered in the rainforests of Brazil.


The clouded tiger cat is a small wildcat, roughly the size of a domestic housecat, and is characterized by its distinctive spotted coat which provides camouflage in its natural habitat.


Researchers involved with the Tiger Cats Conservation Initiative in Brazil have recently concluded that this feline is indeed a separate species from its previously known relatives. This conclusion was reached after careful study of the cat’s appearance, genetic variety, and geographical range.


Found in the cloud forests of the southern Central American and Andean mountain chains, the clouded tiger cat’s range stretches from Costa Rica through Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Its habitat is a world away from the savannas and shrublands where its cousins, the northern tiger cat and the Atlantic Forest tiger cat, reside.


AFMS & IIT Kanpur announce collaboration

The Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaborative research and training with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur on April 18, 2024.  IIT Kanpur will also provide technical expertise for developing AI diagnostic models, at Armed Forces Centre for Computational Medicine established in Armed Forces Medical College, which is first of its kind amongst medical colleges in India. Under the ambit of this MoU, faculty exchange program, joint academic activities and development of training modules will also be planned.


Section E: AWARDS


World Press Photo of the Year awards

Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem, who is Palestinian, won this year’s prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award April 18, 2024 with a depiction of loss and sorrow in Gaza, a heartrending photo of a Palestinian woman cradling the body of her young niece. The photograph, taken in Khan Younis just days after Salem’s own child was born, shows 36-year-old Inas Abu Maamar holding five-year-old Saly, who was killed along with her mother and sister when an Israeli missile struck their home.


In the three other global categories announced April 18, 2024, South Africa’s Lee-Ann Olwage won Photo Story of the Year for her touching series “Valim-babena,” featured in GEO magazine. The project focused on the stigmatization of dementia in Madagascar, a topic she explored through intimate portraits of “Dada Paul” and his family. Lack of public awareness surrounding dementia means that people displaying symptoms of memory loss are often stigmatized.


Photographer Alejandro Cegarra, a Venezuelan native who migrated to Mexico in 2017, won the Long-Term Project award for “The Two Walls,” published by The New York Times and Bloomberg. Cegarra’s project, initiated in 2018, examines a shift in Mexico’s immigration policies, which have moved from being historically open to enforcing strict regulations at its southern border. The jury said the photographer’s perspective as a migrant gave it a “sensitive,” human-centered perspective, according to a press release.


Julia Kochetova of Ukraine won the Open Format award for “War Is Personal.” The project stood out from coverage of the ongoing conflict by offering a personal look at the harsh realities of war. On a dedicated website, she merged traditional photojournalism with a diary-like documentary style, incorporating photography, poetry, audio clips and music.


The Associated Press won the Open Format award in the regional Africa category with the multimedia story “Adrift,” created by journalists Renata Brito and Felipe Dana. The story investigates the fate of West African migrants who attempted to reach Europe via a treacherous Atlantic route but ended up on a ghost ship discovered off Tobago. The team’s compelling use of photography, cinematography and detailed narrative, enhanced by expert design and multimedia elements, highlights the perils faced by migrants and the human stories behind global migration issues.


The Associated Press’ Ebrahim Noroozi won the Asia Stories award for his series “Afghanistan on the Edge,” which documents the country since the Taliban took over in August 2021.


World Press Photo is an independent, nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands, founded in 1955.


Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar award

Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with the Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar award, the Mangeshkar family announced on April 16, 2024. The family and the trust instituted the award in the memory of Lata Mangeshkar, who died on February 6, 2022. Bachchan, 81, will receive the recognition on April 24, the memorial day of their father and theatre-music veteran Deenanath Mangeshkar.


This award, known as the Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar, is given every year to an individual who has made a path-breaking contribution towards the nation, its people and society. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was its first recipient, followed by Lata Mangeshkar’s sister Asha Bhosle in 2023.


Music maestro A R Rahman will receive the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar for contribution to Indian music, said a press release issued by the Mangeshkar family.


The award will also be presented to non-profit organisation Deepstambh Foundation Manobal for services in the field of social service, while Ashtavinayak Prakashit’s “Galib”, produced by Malhar and Vajreshwari, will be recognised as the best drama of the year.


Marathi writer Manjiri Phadke will receive Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar (Vagvilasini Puraskar) for contribution to literature, while actor Randeep Hooda will be feted with the Vishesh Puraskar for contribution to cinema.


Veteran actors Ashok Saraf and Padmini Kolhapure will be honoured with Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar for their contribution to cinema.


The recipients also include Roopkumar Rathod for his contribution to the field of music, Bhau Torsekar for editorial services and Atul Parchure for services to theatre and drama.


Pat Cummins, Nat Sciver Brunt named as Wisden Leading Cricketers in the World

Australian skipper Pat Cummins and England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt have been named as the Wisden Leading Cricketers in the World in the 2024 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanck, published on April 16.


The Australian pace spearhead and skipper in Tests and ODI formats, led his side to the front as they overcame a tough challenge from India to win their maiden ICC World Test Championship in June and later their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup title in Ahmedabad in November. He also played a crucial role in his side defending the Ashes urn away from home, drawing the series 2-2 in England.


In 11 Tests last year, Cummins took 42 wickets and scored 254 crucial runs at an average of 15.87. Across 24 international games, he took 59 wickets and made 422 runs at an average of 21.10. Within these 422 runs were many small, but impactful batting contributions throughout the Ashes and Cricket World Cup.


Sciver Brunt has been recognised as the top women’s cricketer because of her role in the women’s Ashes. She played a crucial role in England’s series wins in the white-ball leg of the competition, scoring two back-to-back centuries in ODIs.


In six ODIs last year, she made 393 runs at an average of 131.00, with three tons and took three wickets. In two Tests, she made 137 runs in four innings, with the best score of 78 and also took a wicket. In 10 T20Is, she scored 364 runs at an average of 45.50, with three half-centuries. She also took five wickets in the shortest format.


After that, she scored a record-breaking 66-ball ton against Sri Lanka, the fastest by an England women’s player in ODI history. Her all-round appeal was recognised by the Indian T20 franchise Mumbai Indians , who paid 3,20,000 pounds to get her services in 2023. She was also a part of MI team, which won the inaugural Women’s Premier League in India. With 332 runs in 10 games, including three fifties and 10 wickets, she played a crucial role in the Blue and Gold franchise’s win.


This year’s five Wisden Cricketers of the Year are: Australians Mitchell Starc, Usman Khawaja and Ashleigh Gardner and England’s Harry Brook and Mark Wood. All these players delivered standout performances across the men’s and women’s Ashes in particular.


Gardner picked 12 wickets in the one-off Ashes Tests against Australia and helped her team secure four points from the Test win that helped them retain their Ashes crown. She is the tenth women’s player to receive this honour, that dates back to 1889 and the first Australian women’s player to be a part of the list since star all-rounder Ellyse Perry back in 2020. She was also the ‘Player of the Tournament’ in Australia’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 win, scoring 110 runs in five matches at an average of 36.66 and taking 10 wickets.


Khawaja, the Australian opener, emerged as the top run scorer in the men’s Ashes, scoring 496 runs, including a century, in the Edgbaston Test. In 13 Tests, he scored 1,210 runs at an average of 52.60, with three centuries and six fifties.

Starc was the top bowler in the competition, with 23 wickets. He also secured 16 wickets in the 2023 World Cup, including two match-winning spells in the semifinals and final against South Africa and India, respectively. In nine Tests last year, he took 38 wickets. In 23 international games last year, he took 63 wickets.


Brook, the breakout England batter, scored 363 in five Ashes Tests. After England was 2-0 down in the series, his knock of 75 played an important role in the Leeds Test win for England, which marked the start of a brilliant fight back from the Three Lions. In five matches, he scored 363 runs at an average of 40.33, with four fifties.


In eight Tests last year, Brook made 701 runs at an average of 53.92, with a century and six fifties. In 32 international games last year, he scored 1,280 runs at an average of 38.78, with a century and 10 fifties in 38 innings. He also scored 169 runs in six matches during the Cricket World Cup, including a fifty.


Wood was also a star for England and his 14 wickets in three matches, including a scorching spell against Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja, were the highlights of the series. These were the only Tests he played last year. In 13 matches across the year, Wood took 23 wickets.


Head has been awarded with the Wisden Trophy, an honour given for the best Test performance of the year. The explosive left-hander played a knock of 163 in 174 balls against India in the WTC final in the UK.


West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews was given the Leading T20 Cricketer award, after securing eight successive Player of the Match awards. During these matches, she averaged 88 with the bat and scored at a strike rate of 144.


2024 Writers Guild Awards

In programs held simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles on April 14, 2024, ‘The Holdovers’, ‘American Fiction’ and ‘Succession’ got the 2024 Writers Guild Awards. While ‘American Fiction’ received the best-adapted screenplay award, ‘The Holdovers’ won the award for best original screenplay. HBO drama ‘Succession’ won two Writers Guild of America Awards, for best drama series and also for best drama episode. ‘The Bear’ won Best Comedy Series award in the TV categories. The ‘Last of Us’ received the award for best writing for a new series. ‘Beef’ won the Best Limited Series Writing award.


Prof. Jodhka to get Malcom Adiseshiah Award 2024

Surinder S. Jodhka, professor, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been chosen for the Malcom Adiseshiah Award 2024. Vikas Kumar, associate professor, School of Development, Azim Premji University, will receive the Elizabeth Adiseshiah Citation-2024. Every year, the awards are given to outstanding social scientists.


India at European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

India’s Gunjan Aggarwal (17), Sanjana Philo Chacko (15), Larissa Goyal (16), and Saee Vitthal Patil (17) returned victorious from the 13th European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) 2024 on April 16, 2024, with Aggarwal and Chacko bagging the silver medal, and Goyal and Patil the bronze. Held in Tskaltubo, Georgia, between April 11 and 17, EGMO is an Olympiad exclusively for high school female students who enjoy mathematics beyond the regular curriculum.  The objective of EGMO is to inspire girls to take part in national and international STEM Olympiads by offering them a separate track. Over the years, it has become successful in increasing participation from school girls across the world.




RBI issues draft norms for offline PAs, moots ₹15-cr net worth

The Reserve Bank of India has issued two draft directions on regulation of payment aggregators (PA), pertaining to physical Point-of-Sale (PoS) activities of these players, net worth and licensing requirements.


The second circular covers revisions and updates to KYC and due diligence of merchants, operations in escrow accounts, etc, and are intended to further strengthen the payment ecosystem, the central bank said.


RBI had, in September 2022, announced regulation of offline PAs who handle proximity/face-to-face payments. The regulator has sought comments and feedback on the draft circular May 31, 2024.


The payments ecosystem in India includes online PAs (PA – O) and those which facilitate face-to-face or proximity payment transactions (PA – P). “An authorised non-bank PA-O (or PA-P) which wants to commence physical (or online) PA activity (as the case may be), shall seek approval from DPSS, RBI, CO prior to commencement of such business,” RBI said.


The draft guidelines mandate PA-P banks to comply with the final norms within three months of issue whereas non-bank entities providing PA-P services will need to inform RBI about their intention to seek authorisation within 60 days of the circular being issued and submit an application by May 2025.


Non-bank PA-Os too will also need to seek RBI’s approval within 60 days if they wish to continue their PA-P operations.


Non-banks providing PA-P services will need a minimum net worth of ₹15 crore at the time of application and a minimum net worth of ₹25 crore by March 31, 2028. New non-bank PA-P will need minimum net worth of ₹15 crore at the time application and will be required to grow it to ₹25 crore by end of the third financial year of grant of authorisation.


“Existing non-bank PA-P which are not able to comply with the net worth requirement or do not apply for authorisation within the stipulated time frame, shall wind-up PA-P activity by July 31, 2025,” RBI said.


In the second circular, RBI said that non-bank PAs shall be permitted to engage agents to assist their merchants for onboarding, subject to a Board approved policy and proper due diligence of the agents.


It also said that for face-to-face/proximity payment transactions done using cards, no entity in the card transaction / payment chain, other than the card issuers or card networks, shall store the card-on-file data from August 1, 2025.


“Any such data stored previously shall be purged. For transaction tracking and / or reconciliation purposes, entities can store limited data – last four digits of card number and card issuer’s name – in compliance with the applicable standards,” it said.


IRDAI removes age bar for buying health insurance

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has removed the age limit for purchasing health insurance policies, with effect from April 1.


Earlier, there was an age limit of 65 years to buy new health insurance policies. The IRDAI’s latest move is aimed at bringing in extended health benefits to senior citizens, and caters to diverse demographic groups, including children and maternity needs.


The IRDAI directive mandates health insurance providers to develop specialised policies catering to senior citizens, and to establish dedicated channels for addressing their claims and grievances.


Companies are also encouraged to develop tailored products to meet specific age-related requirements, fostering a more inclusive healthcare ecosystem.


It adds that the move will enhance the accessibility and affordability of healthcare coverage across all age groups.


The IRDAI is an autonomous and statutory body responsible for managing and regulating India’s insurance and reinsurance industry.



Ajith Kumar KK named CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Ajith Kumar KK as the managing director and chief executive of Dhanlaxmi Bank for three years, replacing JK Shivan. Kumar is serving as the chief human resources officer at Federal Bank, and has an experience of more than 36 years in credit, human resources, business and branch banking. Shivan, whose term ended on January 29, was asked by RBI to continue as the MD and CEO till a successor assumed charge.


Deepak Parekh steps down as HDFC Life Insurance’s chairman

HDFC Life Insurance’s chairman Deepak S Parekh stepped down from his role, the company said in an exchange filing on April 18, 2024. Following Parekh’s resignation, the company has appointed Keki M Mistry as the new chairman of the board.


Section G: ECONOMY


UNCTAD raises India’s 2024 growth forecast to 6.5%

Indian economy is likely to carry forward the momentum in 2024, growing 6.5% compared with 6.7% in the previous year, United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) noted in its latest report released April 16, 2024, revising India’s growth forecast by 0.3 percentage points. The global trade body pointed out that the factors that helped India grow by 6.7% in 2023 will help the economy achieve a similar growth rate in the current year as well.


“The expansion in 2023 was driven by strong public investment outlays as well as the vitality of the services sector, which benefitted from robust local demand for consumer services and firm external demand for the country’s business services exports. These factors are expected to continue to support growth in 2024,” it pointed out.


UNCTAD was more critical of the global outlook. It raised its growth forecast for 2024 to 2.6% from 2.5% projected earlier but noted that global growth is likely to slow down further from 2.7% in 2023 and remain below the pre-pandemic average of 3.2%.


IMF raises India’s FY25 growth forecast to 6.8%; FY26 outlook unchanged

Anticipating increased economic activity in the current, ongoing fiscal, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on April 16, 2024 raised India’s FY25 GDP growth forecast to 6.8% from its earlier forecast of 6.5%.


The IMF’s upward revision of FY25 GDP growth forecast comes after similar revisions were made by several others, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and S&P Global. In its April edition of World Economic Outlook, the IMF said it expects India’s FY26 (next fiscal) GDP growth at 6.5%. The IMF expects India to grow at 7.8% in FY24.


Meanwhile, the IMF’s baseline forecast for the world economy is that it will continue growing at 3.2% during CY2024 and CY2025, at the same pace as in CY2023, the agency said in its latest edition of the World Economic Outlook.


India allows onion export to Sri Lanka, gives additional quota to UAE

India has allowed a limited quantity of onion exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka, at a time when the staple vegetable’s outward shipments have been kept under restrictions.  The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), issued a notification on April 15, 2024, permitting the export of an additional 10,000 metric tons (MT) of onions to the UAE (above 24,000 tonne already allowed) and 10,000 tonne to Sri Lanka, facilitated through the National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL).


Majority of top-100 firms making disclosures about carbon emissions: PwC

Supplementing the efforts of the Indian government to achieve a net-zero emission target by 2070, as many as 51 per cent of the top-100 companies have started making disclosures on a voluntary basis about carbon emissions, says a PwC India survey.

The survey further said that about 31 per cent of the respondent companies have disclosed their net-zero targets.


The government and the regulators have introduced new regulations pertaining to ESG (environmental, social and governance) for businesses. India’s transition to BRSR Core positions the nation as a frontrunner in the global transition towards a more credible and transparent sustainability reporting landscape.


“51 per cent of India’s top 100 listed companies by market capitalisation disclosed their Scope 3 data for FY23 despite it being a voluntary disclosure in Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR),” said the report, ‘Navigating India’s Transition to Sustainability’.


This, it added, “sheds light on how Indian businesses are taking a step further in ESG reporting as Scope 3 emissions are crucial to understand an entity’s net zero journey.”

ESG reporting through the BRSR has ushered in greater transparency and a holistic view of a business’s environmental and societal impact, thus, enabling investors and other stakeholders to form key decisions through an ESG lens, make comparisons across companies and sectors, and track progress over time, PwC India said.


The survey further said 44 per cent of the top 100 listed companies conducted the life-cycle assessment of their products or services, 89 per cent of the companies disclosed their information on leadership indicators, 49 per cent have increased their energy consumption from renewable sources.


According to the report, the key initiatives which led to a reduction in emissions included transitioning to energy-efficient technologies such as LEDs, adopting efficient air-conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems, shifting to renewable sources for securing energy needs, purchasing carbon offsets, and entering into off-site power purchase agreements.


The report has analysed the publicly accessible BRSR reports of top 100 companies (Nifty 50 companies and NEXT 50 listed companies) and their response to the regulatory requirement of mandatory reporting under the BRSR for the financial year ended 31 March 2023.


Net direct tax collections surge 17.7% YoY to Rs 19.58 lakh crores in FY24

India’s net direct tax collections surged 17.7% year-on-year to ₹19.58 lakh crore in the fiscal year ended March 2024, surpassing the revised estimates, official data released on April 21, 2024 showed.


The Centre had budgeted ₹18.23 lakh crore as net direct tax revenue for 2023-24, which was later revised upwards to ₹19.45 lakh crore.


Both corporate and personal income tax witnessed double-digit growth, the data showed. Net corporate tax collections stood at ₹9.11 lakh crore, up 10.26% from ₹8.26 lakh crore in FY23.


Net personal income tax (including Securities Transaction Tax-STT) collections were at ₹10.44 lakh crore, up 25.23% over FY23 collection of ₹8.33 lakh crore.


Gross direct tax collections (provisional) for 2023-24 stood at ₹23.37 lakh crore, a growth of 18.48% over FY23. The Centre issued refunds worth ₹3.79 lakh crore in 2023-24.


Indirect tax collections have already exceeded the revised estimates.


Forex reserves decline to $643.16 billion

India’s forex reserves declined by $5.4 billion to $643.16 billion on the week ended April 12, latest data published by the Reserve Bank of India showed on April 19, 2024.


Previously, forex reserves surged by $2.9 billion to an all-time record high of $648.56 billion, for the week ended on April 5, 2024.


According to the Weekly Statistical Supplement released by the RBI, Foreign currency assets (FCAs) decreased by $6.51 billion to $564.65 billion. Expressed in dollar terms, the FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.


Gold reserves expanded by $1.24 billion to $55.8 billion, whereas SDRs were down by $93 million to $18.08 billion.


Reserve position in the IMF dipped by $35 million to $4.63 billion.


Typically, the RBI, from time to time, intervenes in the market through liquidity management, including through the selling of dollars, with a view to preventing a steep depreciation in the rupee.


The RBI closely monitors the foreign exchange markets and intervenes only to maintain orderly market conditions by containing excessive volatility in the exchange rate, without reference to any pre-determined target level or band.


India’s textile exports face second consecutive year of decline

India’s textile exports experienced a setback for the second consecutive year in 2023-24


In the fiscal year 2023-24, exports amounted to $34.4 billion, marking a decline of over $1 billion (3%) compared to the previous fiscal year. Additionally, exports saw a significant drop of 16.3% compared to the fiscal year 2021-22, when the country reported exports worth $41 billion


Within the textile sector, the segment encompassing cotton yarn, fabrics, made-ups, and handloom products witnessed a notable year-on-year increase in exports by $740 million in 2023-24 over the previous year, attributed to a surge in cotton yarn exports.


According to data from the NIRYAT portal of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, North America led total textile exports at $11 billion, followed by Europe at $10 billion, and West Asia and North African countries at $4 billion.

In the segment of readymade garments, which accounts for 42% of combined textile exports, there was a 10% decrease in FY24 compared to the previous year.


Supreme Court upholds tribunal order on service tax on Patanjali camps

The Supreme Court on April 19, 2024 refused to intervene with the October 5, 2023, order of the Allahabad bench of Customs, Excise And Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), which said Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust was liable to pay service tax on its residential and non-residential yoga camps as it charged an entry fee.


Disposing of an appeal by the Trust, a bench of Justices A S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan said CESTAT was right in categorising it as a “health and fitness service”. CETSAT had also rejected the Trust’s contention that what it received from participants of the yoga camps was donation.


The Patanjali Trust had approached CETSAT to challenge the October 2012 order of the Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise, Meerut, confirming the demand of service tax amounting to Rs 4.94 crore, and an equal amount as penalty, from it.


Arguing before CESTAT, the Trust contended that its activities were not taxable under the health and fitness services as per the definition as it extended to yoga for physical fitness and not yoga for therapeutic purpose. The Trust also said that what it accepted from the participants of these yoga camps was voluntary donation and not a consideration for any service to be provided.


Rejecting the Trust’s appeal, CETSAT relied on the definition of “health and fitness service” in the Finance Act, 1994 as meaning “service for physical well-being such as sauna and steam bath, turkish bath, solarium, spas, reducing or slimming salons, gymnasium, yoga, meditation, massage (excluding therapeutic massage).”


On the Trust’s contention that what was received was donation, CETSAT said “it is quite evident that the amounts… was nothing but the consideration for the provision of service taxable under health and fitness services”.


Crude import dependence increases to 87.7% in FY24

India’s petroleum products consumption increased 4.6 percent in financial year 2023-24 (FY24) to 233.3 million metric tonne (MMT) while domestic production of the country remained steady in the year.

According to a latest report from the oil ministry, growth in petroleum production consumption—an indication of oil demand—in FY24 was led by 6.4 percent growth in motor spirit (MS) or petrol, 4.4 percent in high speed diesel (HSD), 11.8 percent in ATF and 14.3 percent in naptha consumption besides LPG, lubes, bitumen, petcoke and LDO. Product consumption in the previous year was 223 MMT.


On the contrary, domestic crude oil production in FY24 was 29.4 MMT, almost steady from 29.2 MMT in the previous year. In turn, India’s crude oil imports were the highest in the year as the country met 87.7 percent of its oil requirements from supply from other countries. In comparison, India’s dependency on imports of crude oil was 87.4 percent and 85.5 percent in FY23 and FY22, respectively


New policy allows 74% FDI via automatic route in satellite business

The Finance Ministry has notified a new foreign direct investment (FDI) limit for various satellite-related activities under Foreign Exchange Management (Non-Debt Instruments) Rules. This means that all key regulations are in place to implement the higher FDI limit.


The notification said, “The investee entity shall be subject to sectoral guidelines as issued by the Department of Space from time to time.” The new rules will come into effect from April 16. In February, the government had approved an amendment to the FDI policy for the space sector.


Under the amended policy, 100 per cent FDI is allowed in the space sector. Now, satellite manufacturing & operation, satellite data products and ground segment & user segment can get FDI up to 74 per cent under the automatic route, beyond which government route will be applicable. Sub-sector comprises launch vehicles and associated systems or sub-systems.


The creation of spaceports for launching and receiving spacecraft can get FDI through automatic routes up to 49 per cent. Here, too, beyond 49 per cent, these activities are under government route. One hundred per cent FDI under automatic route has now been permitted to manufacture components and systems/sub-systems for satellites, ground segment and user segment.


To date, FDI is permitted to establish and operate satellites only through the government’s approval route. In line with the vision and strategy under the Indian Space Policy 2023, the Union Cabinet has eased the FDI policy on space sector by prescribing liberalised FDI thresholds for various sub-sectors/activities “The liberalized entry routes under the amended policy are aimed to attract potential investors to invest in Indian companies in space,” a government statement said.


Definitions overview

The notification defines various satellite-related activities. Here, “Satellites – Manufacturing and Operation” means end-to-end manufacturing and supply of satellite or payload, establishing the satellite systems, including control of in-orbit operations of the satellite and payload. “Satellite Data Products” refers to the reception, generation, or dissemination of earth observation or remote sensing satellite data and data products, including application interfaces (API).


“Ground segment” means the supply of satellite transmit or receive earth stations, including earth observation data receive stations, gateways, teleports, satellite Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) stations, Satellite Control Centres (SCC), etc. “User segment” means the supply of user ground terminals for communicating with the satellite, which is not covered under the ground segment.


“Launch Vehicles and Associated Systems or Sub-systems” refers to a vehicle and its stages or components designed to operate in or place spacecraft with payloads or persons in a sub-orbital trajectory, earth orbit or outer space. “Creation of Spaceports for launching and receiving Spacecraft” means that a spaceport (also referred to as a launch site) may be regarded as the base from which spacecraft are launched and consists of facilities involving devices for transportation to, from and via outer space.


“Manufacturing of components and systems or sub-systems for satellites ground segment and user segment” comprises the manufacturing and supply of the electrical, electronic and mechanical components systems or sub-systems for satellites, ground segment and user segment.


At WTO, India seeks permanent solution for public stockholding

India is trying to restart work at the WTO on the long-pending permanent solution for public stockholding subsidies, for smooth running of programmes such as the MSP, after the recent Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi failed to deliver results, but some countries, including Brazil and the US, are trying to defer the matter, sources have said.


In a Committee on Agriculture (CoA) meeting on April 16, 2024 at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, New Delhi insisted that members should revisit the joint proposal made by G33-African Group-ACP Group on public stockholding, which elaborates on what an acceptable permanent solution could be, and said that negotiations on the matter should conclude first without it being linked to negotiations on domestic support, a Geneva-based official said.


“India said it was deeply disappointed by the fact that a permanent solution on public stockholding could not be agreed to at MC13 and said members should urgently honour the mandate on the matter pending since the 2013 Bali Ministerial Decision,” the official said.


The Bali interim solution on public stockholding offers India and other developing nations a peace clause which allows them to breach the WTO prescribed agriculture subsidy limit (10 per cent of value of production) without the risk of legal action from other members.


Last month, India invoked the peace clause for the fifth time for breaching the subsidy limit on rice in 2022-23.


Permanent solution

India and several other developing countries are still insisting on a permanent solution as the peace clause is ridden with difficult conditions and onerous notification requirements, leaving them open to questions and even disputes.


New Delhi pointed out at the meeting that food security was national security and since only 17 per cent of food production in the world was actually traded, trade alone could not ensure food security of developing nations.


“India emphasised that its own experience of feeding a large population and protecting livelihoods of millions of poor farmers testified to the success of the public stockholding programmes,” the source said.


Brazil’s proposal

Brazil, which came up with a proposal suggesting a timeline and review process that would serve as checkpoints to assess the progress of the agriculture negotiations leading up to the next Ministerial, deferred the permanent solution until MC14 in 2026.


“Brazil’s handling of the public stockholding matter in its agriculture proposal led to protests from several members which give priority to permanent solution. This included members of the African Group, G33 developing members (including China and India), and countries from the African, Pacific and Caribbean regions (ACP),” the official said.


The EU was open to Brazil’s suggestion on a timeline but said that priority should be given to some issues, particularly the trade-distorting domestic support and the long-overdue matter of public stockholding.


The US expressed caution on the way forward and said that to break the stalemate, all members must engage and be willing to compromise, the official said. New Delhi, however, held on to its position that a permanent solution on public stockholding should be arrived at first before negotiations on the other agriculture pillars, including domestic support and market access.


Green Credit Programme

The Environment Ministry on April 12, 2024 issued further guidelines on its Green Credit Programme (GCP).


This programme was officially unveiled in October 2023 and its goal is to lay an emphasis on sustainability, reduce waste and improve the natural environment.


The GCP programme presents itself as an “innovative, market-based mechanism” to incentivise “voluntary actions” for environmental conservation, according to a document of the Environment Ministry. Under this, individuals, organisations and companies — public and private — would be encouraged to invest in sectors ranging from afforestation, water conservation, stemming air-pollution, waste management, mangrove conservation and in return be eligible to receive ‘green credits.’


An autonomous body of the Ministry, the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), is in charge of administering the programme. They will define methodologies to calculate ‘green credits’ that result from the activities prescribed. They will also manage a trading platform whereby such credits could be traded.


In February, the Ministry prescribed the rules governing the first of these initiatives — afforestation. Broadly, companies, organisation and individuals could offer to pay for afforestation projects in specific tracts of degraded forest and wasteland. The actual tree planting would be carried out by the State forest departments. Two years after planting and following an evaluation by the ICFRE, each such planted tree could be worth one ‘green credit.’


GCP is different from forest conservation laws

India’s forest conservation laws oblige any industry, that is allowed to raze forests and use that land for non-forestry purposes, to provide an equivalent amount of non-forest land to forest authorities and pay them to afforest that land. The GCP programme for afforestation says that companies can “exchange” their credits for “complying with compensatory afforestation”.


Recent update

In its latest update, the Ministry has issued the guidelines that States must rely on to calculate what it would cost to restore a degraded forest landscape. In fresh guidelines on how to restore a degraded forest landscape, the Environment Ministry has clarified that preference would be given to indigenous species


Gems, jewellery exports in FY24 dip by 12.17% to Rs 2.65 lakh cr: GJEPC

Gems and jewellery exports declined by 12.17 per cent to Rs 2,65,187.95 crore (USD 32,022.08 million) during 2023-24, compared to the previous financial year, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) data showed. Gems and jewellery exports in FY23 stood at Rs 3,01,925.97 crore (USD 37,646.17 million), according to GJEPC data.


EPFO Payroll data shows surge in youth employment in Feb

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has released its provisional payroll data for February, 2024, indicating a positive trend in employment numbers. According to the data, there has been a net addition of 15.48 lakh members during the month, highlighting a growth in the organised workforce.


Malabar parota to attract 5% GST, not 18%: HC

The Kerala High Court ruled that the Malabar Parota will attract GST at 5 per cent and not 18 per cent. With this the court has turned down order by the State’s Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) and Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR). While the AAR initially held these items as taxable at 18 per cent, the High Court disagreed, pointing out that these products (pizza, bread, khakhra, plain chapati or roti), akin to bakery goods, are more appropriately classified under Heading 1905, entitling them to a lower GST rate of 5 per cent.




LinkedIn’s latest list of top companies to work for in India

Tata Consultancy Services has topped the LinkedIn’s latest list of top companies to work for in India, followed by Accenture and Cognizant in the second and third place respectively. Professional networking platform LinkedIn on April 16, 2024 released the 2024 Top Companies list for India wherein IT companies bagged the top three ranks, while financial services firms dominated the list with 9 out of 25 companies from this sector.


The 8th edition has derived insights from LinkedIn data, and lists the top 25 large companies, 15 best mid-size companies, and provides insights on in-demand skills, top locations, and the largest job functions within these companies.


Amongst large companies (500+ employees in India), Tata Consultancy Services retained its top spot this year, followed by Accenture and Cognizant.


Continuing the trend from last year, financial services dominated the 2024 list with 9 out of 25 companies from this sector including Macquarie Group (4th place), Morgan Stanley (5th), and JPMorgan Chase and Co (6th), LinkedIn said.


Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform Lentra ranked first on the list of top mid-size companies list (250-500 employees), followed by Indian online travel platform MakeMyTrip.


The list also featured fashion and beauty retailer Nykaa and fantasy sports platform Dream11, showcasing the wide range of opportunities available in diverse industries for job seekers in India.


“The in-demand skills that the top companies are looking for in the financial services sector include investor relations, capital markets, and investment banking. Companies in the technology sector are looking for skills such as enterprise software, data storage technologies, software development life cycle (SDLC), and artificial intelligence (AI),” the data revealed.


LinkedIn said the ranking of companies is based on eight pillars that have been shown to lead to career progression such as the ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, gender diversity, educational background, and employee presence in the country.


Nestlé baby food sold in India has higher sugar content: IBFAN

Nestle’s baby food products sold in India under the Cerelac brand have higher sugar content, in comparison to the same products sold in European markets, according to a report released recently by a Swiss NGO, the Public Eye and International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). It was found that all 15 Cerelac products for six-month-old babies, which are sold without any added sugars in the United Kingdom and Germany, contained 2.7 grams of added sugar per serving in India.


Despite World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations against added sugar in foods meant for children under the age of three, Indian regulators do allow a limited amount of sucrose and fructose in baby food.


On April 18, the Consumer Affairs Ministry asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to initiate “appropriate action” against the Nestle group for allegedly selling baby products with high sugar content in India.


Hindustan Zinc forays into critical minerals, sets up subsidiary

Vedanta-owned Hindustan Zinc, the third largest silver maker globally and among the major zinc makers in India, is planning to explore, discover and develop mineral blocks, especially critical, deep-seated, and offshore ones. It will also participate in an auction of critical mineral blocks here. The company has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Hindmetal Exploration Services Pvt Ltd, to tap mineral resources “through systematic exploration” of deposits. It will also “participate in auctioning of mining blocks containing critical minerals.”

Zomato introduces ‘large order fleet’ for serving groups of up to 50 people

Online food delivery platform Zomato has introduced India’s first large order fleet, designed to serve orders for a gathering of up to 50 people for group events like parties. The company’s CEO Deepinder Goyal said that an “all-electric fleet” will be used to deliver the large orders, which were earlier served by multiple regular fleet delivery partners, leading to a less than ideal customer experience.


Cropin launches Aksara, a generative AI system for climate smart agriculture

Agritech firm Cropin Technology announced the launch of ‘Aksara’ a generative artificial intelligence system for climate smart agriculture. Cropin said the first version of Aksara will cover nine crops such as paddy, wheat, maize, sorghum, barley, cotton, sugarcane, soybean, and millets  This generative AI system can suggest farmers which inputs to use for crops like rice or maize under specific agro-climatic conditions or provide climate smart agri-advisories, the company said in a statement.


AMD introduces AI chips for business laptops and desktops

Advanced Micro Devices unveiled a new series of semiconductors for artificial intelligence-enabled business laptops and desktops on April 16, 2024 as the chip designer looks to expand its share of the lucrative “AI PC” market. AMD said its latest Ryzen PRO 8040 Series was built for “business laptops and mobile workstations” while its AMD Ryzen PRO 8000 Series was a desktop processor for business users.


Archer, InterGlobe JV for electric air-taxi in India

Archer Aviation, backed by Stellantis and Boeing, aims at starting trials of its electric air taxi in India next year, ahead of a planned commercial launch in 2026. U.S.-based Archer has partnered InterGlobe Enterprises, which is the promoter of IndiGo airline, to launch the air taxis to help people avoid ground traffic in congested cities. Archer and InterGlobe will, in a joint venture, own and operate 200 of the ‘Midnight’ aircraft, valued at $1 billion.


NTPC Green Energy inks pact with Indus Towers

NTPC Green Energy Ltd (NGEL), an arm of power PSU NTPC, on April 19, 2024 said it has signed an initial agreement with Indus Towers Ltd (ITL) to undertake joint development of grid-connected renewable energy-based power projects including solar, wind, energy storage etc. ITL, a telecom infrastructure provider, deploys, owns, and manages over 211,775 telecom towers and communication structures across the country.


Tesla, E-Ashwa to launch electric two-wheeler with fire safety technology

Tesla Power India Pvt. Ltd. and E-Ashwa Automotive have announced their partnership to introduce the first electric 2W vehicle (EV) in India with a built-in fire suppressant system. This new feature is expected to improve safety standards for EVs across the country. E-Ashwa is known for its electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers while Tesla Power India makes energy storage solutions.


20 companies launch EV charging alliance

Twenty energy companies have joined hands to form an alliance to create an open energy network, on the lines of the united payment interface (UPI), to facilitate seamless payment and transaction interoperability within EV charging networks. The alliance — Unified Energy Interface (UEI) — includes member companies such as ChargeZone, Pulse Energy, Kazam, Sheru, Trinity and Turbo. The not-for-profit alliance is being formed to help fund the working group and any minimal infrastructure cost the network may have at the inception. The cost will be equally split between all alliance members. As per government data, India has 12,146 operational public EV charging stations as of January 2024 with Maharashtra having the highest numbers.


Aditya Birla Fashion announces Madura business demerger

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail’s (ABFRL’s) board of directors on April 19, 2024 approved the demerger of Madura business into a separate listed entity. Under the proposal, a vertical demerger of Madura Fashion and Lifestyle business (MFL Business) will be executed and the newly incorporated company named as Aditya Birla Lifestyle Brands Ltd (ABLBL) will be listed separately on completion of the demerger from ABFRL. ABLBL will house the lifestyle brands Louis Phillippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly & Peter England along with casual wear brands American Eagle and Forever 21. It will also have sportswear brand Reebok and an inner-wear business under Van Heusen brand.


Happiest Minds to acquire Macmillan Group arm

Ashok Soota-promoted Happiest Minds Technologies has executed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% equity interest in Macmillan Learning India, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Macmillan Group, USA, for cash consideration of ₹4.5 crore. Macmillan Learning India offers software development services to the Macmillan Group and has been working as an offshore development centre. During fiscal 2022-23, the company posted a turnover of ₹6.9 crore.


Indo Count acquires global home fashion brand Wamsutta

Indo Count, a global bed linen manufacturer and exporter, announced its strategic acquisition of the international home fashion brand Wamsutta from Beyond, Inc. Beyond, Bed Bath & Beyond, Baby & Beyond, Welcome Rewards, Zulily, and are trademarks of Beyond, Inc.


Dailyhunt parent acquires Magzter

VerSe Innovation, the parent firm of online news aggregator Dailyhunt and short-video platform Josh, on April 17, 2024 said it has acquired New York-based digital magazine store Magzter. VerSe Innovation was founded by Umang Bedi and Virendra Gupta. Girish Ramdas and Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan founded Magzter in 2011. The company is headquartered in New York and since 2024 it is owned by VerSe Innovation.


Bombay HC temporarily restrains Cognizant from using trademark logo

The Bombay High Court has temporarily restrained US information technology major Cognizant Technology Solutions from using in India a trademark logo that is allegedly identical to the logo of Bengaluru-based Atyati Technologies Pvt Ltd. The court, in its ex-parte order, also observed that Atyati Technologies has made out a prima facie case and the balance of convenience also tilts in its favour.


Aegon Life Insurance renamed

Bandhan Financial Holdings has officially taken over Aegon Life Insurance and the latter will now be called Bandhan Life. Aegon Life is a JV between Aegon NV, of Dutch origin, and BCCL, which is the owner and publisher of The Economic Times.


World’s Best Airports

Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar won the Skytrax World Airport Awards for 2023. Singapore’s Changi Airport was second while Seoul’s Incheon Airport secured third place. Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports came in fourth and fifth place.

Seoul’s Incheon Airport was also named the most family-friendly airport of 2024.  5 Indian airports made it to the list of Skytrax World’s Top 100 Airports for 2024. They are: Delhi (36), Mumbai (95), Bengaluru (59), Hyderabad (61) and Goa (92). The list is prepared based on votes from air travellers around the world in the 2023/2024 World Airport Survey.



Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor secures bail

Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor walked out of jail on April 18, 2024 after a special court in Mumbai granted him bail in all cases filed against him in connection with the ₹466.51-crore bank fraud case. The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Kapoor on March 7, 2020 in the money laundering case, and he was booked in eight cases related to alleged bank fraud.  The court granted bail to Kapoor in the CBI case against him and Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar for allegedly indulging in criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, and forgery for diversion of public money worth ₹466.51 crore.


Section I: STATES


In a first, people of Andaman’s vulnerable Shompen tribe vote

For the first time in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, seven members of the Shompen tribe, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTGs) of Great Nicobar Islands on April 19, 2024 exercised their voting rights for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the union territory, an official said. Not only Shompen tribe members exercised their voting rights at polling station 411 named as ‘Shompen Hut’ built inside the forest staff quarters.


The Shompen tribes were assisted in their language by an interpreter known as ‘Mathiyas’ (a Nicobari tribal youth). As per the 2011 census the population of the Shompen was 229. Other two primitive tribes like Onge and Great Andamanese too exercised their voting rights like in 2019 Lok Sabha election but seven Shompen did it for the first time out of 98 Shompen voters


The total number of voters in the Union Territory (UT) is 3,15148, which includes 1,64,012 male, 1,51,132 female and four voters in the third gender category. The voters include 39 Great Andamanese tribes of Strait Islands, 68 Onge tribes at Hut Bay and 98 Shompen tribes of Great Nicobar Island.


A total of 12 candidates, including two women and five independents will contest for the lone Lok Sabha seat in 412 polling stations. However, the contest is between the Congress candidate and sitting MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma and the BJP nominee Bishnu Pada Ray.


Fossils of huge prehistoric snake found in Kutch mine

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee have reported the discovery of fossils of one of the largest snakes that ever existed and likely lived 47 million years ago during a period called the Middle Eocene. The fossils were found in Kutch, Gujarat, and the reptile, named Vasuki Indicus, could have been anywhere between 10 metres and 15 metres long, or as big as a modern-day school bus.


It belonged to the now-extinct Madtsoiidae snake family but represents a unique lineage from India, the authors note.


Professor Sunil Bajpai and post-doctoral researcher Debajit Datta at the IIT-Roorkee stumbled upon 27 pieces of a “partial, well preserved” vertebral column of the snake at the Panandhro Lignite Mine in Kutch.


The discovery, the authors report in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Scientific Reports, could improve understanding of how the Madtsoiidae species evolved in different kinds of climate, as well as the factors that contributed to large body sizes. One of the causative factors is held to be high temperatures in the tropical climate of that time.


Vasuki Indicus existed at a time when the earth looked quite different from today, and Africa, India and South America were one, conjoined landmass. It likely had a cylindrical body, hinting at a robust and powerful build, and was as big as Titanoboa, a massive snake that once roamed the earth and is reportedly the longest ever known, said a press statement from IIT-Roorkee.


Bajpai said that this discovery is significant not only for understanding the ancient ecosystems of India but also for unravelling the evolutionary history of snakes on the Indian subcontinent.


GI tag to Kashi’s Tirangi Barfi, 5 other items of UP

The “Tirangi Barfi” of Varanasi, a sweet treat regarded as the “sweet weapon” of freedom fighters during the Quit India Movement, has received the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The GI Registry awarded GI certification not only to the Banaras Tirangi Barfi but also to five other Uttar Pradesh products on April 16, 2024. These include Banaras Metal Casting Craft, Lakhimpur Kheri Tharu Embroidery, Bareilly Cane and Bamboo craft, Bareilly Zardozi Craft, and Pilkhuwa Hand Block Print Textile. With these six new additions, Uttar Pradesh retains its position as the state with the most GI-tagged products in India, reaching a total of 75. Tamil Nadu follows behind with 58 GI products.


Tirumala Tirupati received 1,031 kg of gold in 2023

Despite the soaring prices of gold this year, devotees remain undeterred in their offerings to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the world’s wealthiest Hindu temple trust. According to a report, donations of gold to the presiding deity, Sri Venkateswara Swamy, have been on the rise. TTD records indicate a deposit of 1,031 kg of gold valued at Rs 773 crore in 2023. The trust currently holds 11,329 kg of gold worth Rs 8,496 crore in various nationalized banks through the gold monetization scheme.


29 Naxals killed in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker, three security personnel hurt

In one of the biggest anti-Naxal operations since 2017, security forces have gunned down at least 29 Maoists in an encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on April 16, 2024, the Chhattisgarh police have said. The gunfight took place at around 2 pm in Hapatola forest between Binagunda and Koronar villages under Chhotebethiya police station limits, when a joint team of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the state police’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on an anti-Naxal operation, according to Border Security Force (BSF) which has been extensively deployed in Kanker district for counter-insurgency operations.



2018 Elgar Parishad case: Shoma Sen walks out of jail after 6 yrs

Former Nagpur University professor and activist Shoma Senwalked out of Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai on bail on April 17, 2024, six years after her arrest in connection with Elgar Parishad case in 2018. Arrested on June 6, 2018, by NIA & booked under UAPA for her alleged links with banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), Sen was granted bail by Supreme Court April 5. She had been facing pre-trial incarceration for five-and-a-half years, said her counsel Anand Grover, while seeking her bail in SC. He said that several co-accused had already been granted bail for delayed trial.


Carnatic musician K.G. Jayan passes away at 90

Noted Carnatic musician K.G. Jayan died at his residence in Ernakulam on April 16, 2024. He was 90.


Kannada actor Dwarakish passes away at 81

Dwarakish, Kannada actor, producer, and director, passed away at his Bengaluru residence on April 16, 2024. He was 81. Dwarakish, who debuted as an actor in his maternal uncle Hunsur Krishnamurthy’s Veera Sankalpa in 1964, first made a mark as a comedian before going on to become a prolific producer under the banner Dwarakish Chitra. Collaborating with Rajkumar, and director S. Siddalingaiah, the artist’s first independent production, Mayor Muthanna, was a hit.


IAF veteran Dalip Singh Majithia dies at 103

Veteran air warrior Squadron Leader (retd) Dalip Singh Majithia, who joined the Indian Air Force during the tumultuous years of World War II and distinguished himself as a “fearless aviator” during his career, died at the age of 103. The centenarian, who had “over 1,100 flying hours to his name”, including missions in aircraft such as Hurricanes and Spitfires, passed away at Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur in the early hours of April 16, 2024. His tenure as the flight commander of the legendary Number 4 Squadron — ‘The Fighting Oorials’ — from 1942 to 1943 at Burma, remains etched in the annals of history.


Section J: SPORTS


List of nominees for 2024 Laureus Awards announced

The list of nominees for 2024 Laureus Awards was announced in Spain on April 21, 2024.


Full list of nominees for 2024 Laureus Awards:


Laureus World Sportsman of the Year 2024 nominees: Novak Djokovic (Serbia, tennis); Mondo Duplantis (Sweden, athletics); Erling Haaland (Norway, football); Noah Lyles (USA, athletics); Lionel Messi (Argentina, football); Max Verstappen (Netherlands, motor racing)


Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year 2024 nominees: Aitana Bonmatí (Spain, football); Shericka Jackson (Jamaica, athletics); Faith Kipyegon (Kenya, athletics); Sha’Carri Richardson (USA, athletics); Mikaela Shiffrin (USA, Alpine skiing); Iga Swiatek (Poland, tennis)


Laureus World Team of the Year 2024 nominees: Europe Ryder Cup team (golf); Germany men’s basketball team; Manchester City FC (Great Britain, football); Red Bull Racing formula one team (Austria); South Africa Springboks (rugby union); Spain women’s football team


Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year 2024 nominees: Jude Bellingham (Great Britain, football); Linda Caicedo (Colombia, football); Coco Gauff (USA, tennis); Qin Haiyang (People’s Republic of China, swimming); Josh Kerr (Great Britain, athletics); Salma Paralluelo (Spain, football)


Laureus World Comeback of the Year 2024 nominees: Simone Biles (USA, artistic gymnastics); Sébastien Haller (Côte d’Ivoire, football); Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Great Britain, athletics); Siya Kolisi (South Africa, rugby union); Jamal Murray (Canada, basketball); Marketa Vondrousova (Czechia, tennis)


Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability 2024 nominees: Simone Barlaam (Italy, para-swimming); Danylo Chufarov (Ukraine, para-swimming); Diede de Groot (Netherlands, wheelchair tennis); Luca Ekler (Hungary, para-athletics); Nicole Murray (New Zealand, para-cycling); Markus Rehm (Germany, para-athletics)


Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year 2024 nominees: Rayssa Leal (Brazil, skateboarding); Caroline Marks (USA, surfing); Kirsten Neuschäfer (South Africa, sailing); Bethany Shriever (Great Britain, BMX racing); Filipe Toledo (Brazil, surfing); Arisa Trew (Australia, skateboarding)


Laureus Sport for Good Award 2024 nominees: Bola Pra Frente (Brazil), Dancing Grounds (USA), Fundación Rafa Nadal (Spain); ISF Cambodia; Justice Desk Africa (South Africa); Obiettivo Napoli (Italy)


Walkers Akshdeep, Priyanka secure Paris 2024 berth

India’s mixed relay team comprising Akshdeep Singh and Priyanka Goswami qualified for Paris Olympics by virtue of their 18th place finish at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships at Antalya (Turkey) on April 21, 2024. The top-22 teams automatically qualify for the quadrennial extravaganza and the Indian duo clocked a personal best time of 3:05.03 across the 42.195 km distance that they covered.


The event was won by the Italian team represented by Francesco Fortunato and Valentina Trapletti, who won the gold medal with a timing of 2:56:45. They were followed by Japan’s Koki Ikeda and Kumiko Okada, who clocked 2:57:04. The bronze was taken by the Spanish duo of Alvaro Martin and Laura Garcia-Caro, who finished the race in 2:57:47.


The format of mixed team relay walk requires the man and woman to alternately cover the said distance. The man first walks 12.195 km and then the woman covers 10km followed by another 10 km from the man and the final 10km by the woman. There is a 20 metre distance for the changeover before each leg starts.


2024 London Marathon

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya won the women’s race at London marathon on April 21, 2024 in 2:16:16 followed by Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa (02:16:23) and another Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei (02:16:24) in second and third places respectively. Alexander Mutiso Munyao of Kenya won the men’s race in 02:04:01 followed by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele (02:04:15) and UK’s Emile Cairess (02:06:46) in second and third places respectively.


Olympic Qualification Regatta held in South Korea

Balraj Panwar secured India’s first Paris 2024 quota in rowing after winning the bronze medal in the men’s single sculls (M1x) event at the Asian and Oceaninan Rowing Olympic Qualification Regatta, in Chungju, South Korea on April 21, 2024. The 25-year-old Panwar finished third with a timing of 7:01.27. Vladislav Yakovlev of Kazakhstan won the race, clocking 6:59.46 while Indonesia’s Memo took the bronze with 6:59.74. Arvind Singh and Ujjwal Kumar also won bronze medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls (LM2x). Only the top two in the event obtained Paris 2024 quotas. The Indian men’s double sculls duo of Salman Khan and Nitin Deol, meanwhile, won the gold medal with a timing of 6:35.73 in the Asian Rowing Cup, which is being held simultaneously with the Asian Qualifiers in Chungju.


Yuki Bhambri wins doubles title at Munich ATP tennis

India’s Yuki Bhambri won the men’s doubles at the BMW Open in Munich on April 21, 2024. Bhambri, 31, and France’s Albano Olivetti defeated Andreas Mies and Jan-Lennard Struff, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) in the final of the claycourt event. At Acapulco, Mexico, on April 20, India’s Rithvik Bollipalli and Niki Poonacha defeated Luke Johnson and Skander Mansouri 7-6(4), 7-5 in the final to win men’s doubles title in $164,000 Challenger tennis tournament.


Casper Ruud wins Barcelona Open tennis

Casper Ruud of Norway defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-5, 6-3 in the final to the men’s singles title at Barcelona Open tennis on April 21, 2024.


Elena Rybakina wins Stuttgart Open tennis

Elena Rybakina defeated Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-2 in the final to win women’s singles title at Stuttgart Open tennis in Germany on April 21, 2024.


Max Verstappen wins Formula One Chinese GP

Triple World champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull won the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 21, 2024 with McLaren’s Lando Norris finishing second. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) finished third.


Discus thrower Alekna shatters longest-standing men’s world record

Mykolas Alekna of Lithuania shattered the world record in men’s discus throw on April 14, 2024, eclipsing the longest-standing global men’s mark in athletics set 38 years ago. The 21-year-old threw an astonishing 74.35 metres with his fifth attempt at a throws meet in Ramona, Oklahoma to break German Juergen Schult’s record of 74.08 set in 1986.


Armand Duplantis beats own pole vault world record

Sweden’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis (24) opened his outdoor season in stunning fashion on April 20, 2024 as he bettered his own pole vault world record at the Xiamen Diamond League meeting in China. Duplantis, the reigning Olympic champion, cleared 6.24 meters at his first attempt at the Egret Stadium to improve by 1cm his previous best set in Eugene in 2023.



India return with nine medals from Asian Wrestling Championships

A total of 30 Indian wrestlers competed at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2024 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that concluded on April 16, 2024. Men’s freestyle wrestlers won three medals while women clinched six. Greco-Roman wrestlers drew a blank.


Anju and Harshita Mor won win two silver medals for India on April 14. Anju won the silver in the women’s 53kg weight category while Harshita finished second in the women’s 72kg. Anju was blanked by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Ji Hyang Kim 10-0 and settled for the silver medal. Harshita also suffered a 5-2 loss to Qian Jiang of China in the gold medal match of the women’s 72kg and secured the silver medal. Manisha Bhanwala and Antim Kundu also won bronze medals in the women’s 62kg and 65kg weight classes, respectively.


On April 13, Indian women managed a silver and a bronze medal. Radhika Jaglan bagged silver in 68kg while Shivanee Pawar secured a bronze in 50kg. Fighting the final against Japan’s Nonoka Ozaki, Radhika was convincingly beaten 15-2.


On April 11, Udit Kumar got men’s freestyle 57kg silver medal after losing to Japan’s Kento Yumiya 4-5. Indian men Abhimanyu (70kg) and Vicky Chahar (97kg) bagged bronze medals.


Wrestlers Vinesh, Reetika, Anshu secure Paris Olympics quotas for India

Indian women wrestlers, Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Reetika (76kg), earned three quota places in the Asian Olympic Games qualifier in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on April 20, 2024. So far, four Indian women, including Antim Panghal (53kg), have bagged quota places. No male wrestler has yet earned a quota.


Former England Test batsman Raman Subba Row dies aged 92

Former England Test batsman Raman Subba Row died at the age of 92 on April 18, 2024. At the time of his death, he was England’s oldest living men’s Test cricketer. In 1958, Subba Row played the first of his 13 tests for England and in 1961 he scored a century in both his first and last Tests against Australia. In all, he scored 984 Test runs at an average of over 46. After retiring to pursue a business career, he was the manager of England’s tour of India and Sri Lanka in 1981. Subba Row also served five years as chairman of the Test and County Cricket Board, the forerunner to the ECB, from 1985. He later became one of the International Cricket Council’s first match referees, overseeing 160 fixtures.


Japan’s former world No. 1 Momota Kento retires

Japan’s former world No. 1 Momota Kento on April 18, 2024 announced his retirement from international badminton. The two-time world champion said his last duty for the national team will be the 27 April-5 May Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in Chengdu, China. In 2019, Momota won a record 11 titles on the BWF Tour and was named the top men’s player. But the following year in January, he was part of a fatal highway accident in Kuala Lumpur he was fortunate to survive. Momota made his return to competition that December, but has not been the same since.


1974 football WC winner Hoelzenbein passes away aged 78

Bernd Hoelzenbein, who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974, passed away aged 78, his long-time club Eintracht Frankfurt announced on April 16, 2024. Hoelzenbein scored five goals in 40 matches for West Germany. In the 1974 World Cup final against the Netherlands in Munich, Hoelzenbein won the penalty converted by Paul Breitner which levelled the scores at 1-1.