Current Affairs April 2024

Read this post to know about Weekly Current Affairs in short for the Week April 30th to 05th May, 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 4 of April are given below:


Weekly Current Affairs Update

For the Week: April 30 to May 5, 2024




Section A: INDIA

  • Hindu marriage not valid unless performed with requisite ceremonies: SC
  • Govt proposes new explosives law, repeal old act of 1884
  • Greater Noida in UP is most polluted city in India
  • SMART: India flight tests missile-assisted torpedo release system
  • 6th barge built by private sector for Navy launched
  • International Sun Day celebrated
  • Vice Admiral K Swaminathan assumes charge as vice chief of Navy



  • Nepal to introduce new Rs 100 currency note featuring Indian territories
  • India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting
  • Iran releases all crew members of seized vessel MSC Aries
  • India, Norway extend health cooperation
  • India to host 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
  • India, UAE discuss ways to deepen Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  • India ranked 159th on press freedom by RSF
  • Police in Canada arrest three ‘hit squad’ members, all Indians, for Nijjar killing
  • Kareena Kapoor Khan appointed UNICEF India National Ambassador
  • Afghanistan’s only female diplomat resigns in India after gold smuggling allegations


Section C: WORLD

  • Liberia passes a law setting up war crimes court
  • Japan’s PM unveils a framework for global regulation of generative AI
  • European court upholds Italy’s right to seize Greek bronze from US museum
  • Turkey halts all trade with Israel over military actions in Gaza
  • Georgia: ‘Foreign agent’ bill
  • EU announces $1 bn in aid for Lebanon to shore up economy, border security
  • Israel reopens Gaza’s Erez crossing for first time since Oct 7
  • Colombia to break diplomatic relations with Israel over war in Gaza
  • ICJ rejects Nicaragua’s request for Germany to halt aid to Israel
  • Haiti’s transitional council names new PM
  • In a first, U.K. sends asylum seeker to Rwanda
  • Asian Development Fund to be replenished with USD 5 bn
  • Nepal’s top court orders limit on Everest climbing permits
  • Zimbabwe launches new currency ZiG
  • Google to pay up to $6 million to News Corp for new AI content
  • G-7 Ministers agree to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030s
  • China’s third aircraft carrier Fujian conducts first sea trials
  • Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet votes to close Al Jazeera offices in Israel
  • Togo’s ruling party wins a majority in parliament
  • Indonesia’s Mount Ruang volcano erupts again
  • International Firefighters’ Day observed on May 4
  • World Asthma Day observed on May 7
  • International Labour Day celebrated on May 1
  • World Portuguese Language Day observed on May 5
  • World Tuna Day observed on May 2
  • World Press Freedom Day observed on May 3
  • International Jazz Day observed by UNESCO on April 30
  • Jeremiah Manele elected prime minister in Solomon Islands
  • José Raúl Mulino wins Panama presidential election
  • Sadiq Khan wins third term as Mayor of London
  • Scotland’s first minister resigns
  • US author Paul Auster dies at 77
  • Actor Bernard Hill, of ‘Titanic’ and ‘Lord of the Rings,’ dies 79
  • Juro Kara, playwright behind Japan’s modern underground theater, dies at 84



  • China launches lunar probe mission to collect samples for first time from far side of moon
  • Chinese astronauts return to Earth after 6 months on space station
  • ISRO releases ISSAR 2023 report on vulnerability of space assets to collisions
  • NewSpace India to handle all IRS satellite data and products


Section E: AWARDS

  • Goldman Environmental Prize
  • Whitley Awards
  • UNESCO Press Freedom Prize
  • AFI Life Achievement Award



  • RBI proposes to overhaul rules governing project lending
  • RBI issues draft framework for electronic trading platforms
  • RBI: Govt to buy back bonds worth Rs 40,000 crore
  • Industry’s share in bank credit shrinks to 23%: RBI
  • 76% of Rs 2000 currency notes returned, says RBI
  • FPIs domiciled at GIFT City allowed to issue P-notes
  • RBI removes curbs on Bajaj Finance
  • RBI approves reappointment of Atanu Chakraborty at HDFC Bank
  • Sanjeev Nautiyal to be Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s new MD & CEO


Section G: ECONOMY

  • India Inc’s CSR Spends Up 5% in FY23 to ₹15,524 Crore
  • Women outnumber men in skills training
  • India has stringent norms for pesticide residue limits: FSSAI
  • India extends duty-free import of yellow peas by four months
  • Onion exports: India lifts ban on sending onions out of the country
  • IN-SPACe releases norms to implement Indian space policy
  • India’s forex reserves decline by $2.41 bn to $637.92 bn
  • Manufacturing activity eases slightly to 58.8 in April
  • ETO testing mandatory for export of all spices to Singapore and Hong Kong
  • OECD revises India’s FY25 growth forecast upward to 6.6%
  • India’s services exports dip marginally in March to $30 bn
  • SC rejects plea for allocating spectrum without auction
  • GST revenue collection hits record high of Rs 2.10 lakh cr in April
  • Prices of commercial LPG cylinders slashed by Rs 19; ATF rate hiked marginally
  • India to grow 6.8% in FY25, public investment to be the driver, says IMF
  • India’s infrastructure output slows down to 5.2% in March as against 7.1% in Feb
  • 500 MSMEs apply for sops under two key schemes for green investments
  • India revises windfall tax to Rs 8,400 per tonne, effective May 1
  • India growth may top 7% in FY25: NCAER
  • Critical Minerals Summit held in New Delhi
  • MCA fills vacancies in Appellate Authority for CA, CS, Cost Accountants
  • Sanjaya Kumar Mishra to head GST appellate panel
  • Justice PS Dinesh Kumar takes charge as presiding officer of Securities Appellate Tribunal



  • Godrej Group split announced
  • Raymond to demerge engineering business
  • Investcorp to acquire NSE’s technology services business
  • Bayer acquires 25% stake in Bayer Zydus Pharma JV
  • JNK India listed
  • Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc files trademark infringement case in India
  • Krishna Ella is president of vaccine makers’ body






Section I: STATES

  • West Bengal SSC recruitment case: SC stays CBI probe
  • ‘Kallakkadal phenomenon’ threatens Kerala, southern Tamil Nadu coastlines
  • ICG & ATS Gujarat seize Indian fishing boat carrying 173 kg of narcotics
  • Village heads to be held accountable if child marriages solemnised in Rajasthan: HC
  • Indian Army and Punit Balan Group develop Constitution Park in Pune
  • Char Dhams among eight railway stations renamed in Amethi
  • 14 Patanjali products lose licence in Uttarakhand
  • BJP MP Srinivas Prasad passes away at 76
  • Tamil playback singer Uma Ramanan passes away at 72
  • Percussion maestro Aravindakshan Marar dies at 82
  • Editor of daily Hindi Milap Vinay Vir dies at 72


Section J: SPORTS

  • 2024 World Athletics Relays held in Nassau, Bahamas
  • Uber Cup badminton
  • Thomas Cup badminton
  • Madrid Open tennis
  • Sriram Balaji and Begemann win Cagliari Challenger tennis
  • Asian carrom championships held in Maldives
  • Tejaswin Shankar wins high jump event at Arizona athletics meet
  • Mumbai City FC lifts ISL Cup
  • R Vaishali becomes GM
  • Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh Memorial hockey tournament
  • Football: Real Madrid win LaLiga title
  • Italy wins Fred Perry Cup tennis
  • Lando Norris wins Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix
  • Former football coach César Luis Menotti dies at 85
  • Japan win AFC U23 Asian Cup football tournament


Section A: INDIA


Hindu marriage not valid unless performed with requisite ceremonies: SC

A Hindu marriage is not an event for “song and dance”, “wining and dining” or a commercial transaction, the Supreme Court has observed and said it cannot be recognised in the “absence of a valid ceremony” under the Hindu Marriage Act. A bench of Justices B V Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih said a Hindu marriage is a ‘samskara’ and a sacrament which has to be accorded its status as an institution of great value in Indian society.


In its recent order passed in the matter of two trained commercial pilots, who sought a divorce decree without performing a valid Hindu marriage ceremony


It noted that under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, a man and a woman can acquire the status of being a husband and a wife as per the provisions of the said Act.


“The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is not restricted to Hindus. Any man and woman irrespective of their race, caste or creed can acquire the status of being a husband and a wife under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 but under the provisions of the Act (Hindu Marriage Act, 1955), there should not only be compliance of the conditions as prescribed under Section 5 of the said Act but also the couple must solemnise a marriage in accordance with Section 7 of the Act,” it said.


Exercising its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the apex court declared the estranged couple were not married in accordance with the law and held the marriage certificate issued to them in absence of valid ceremony under the Hindu Marriage Act as null and void.


It also quashed their divorce proceedings and a dowry case lodged against the husband and his family members.


Govt proposes new explosives law, repeal old act of 1884

The government has proposed the draft Explosives Bill, 2024 in place of the Explosives Act, 1884 which it seeks to repeal. In a note for public consultation, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has sought to increase fines for violation of provisions and further streamline the process of grant of licences. Explosives include gunpowder, nitroglycerin, nitroglycol, di-nitro-toluene, and picric acid.


As per the proposed Explosive Bill 2024 bill, the Central Government shall prescribe the authority competent to grant, suspend or revoke a licence and to perform certain other functions under the new Act.


At present, the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) under the DPIIT is the authority for granting licences for manufacture, possession, use, sale, import and export of any explosive.


The new bill also proposes that the licensing authority would specify in the licence about the quantity of explosives that a licencee can manufacture, possess, sell, transport, import or export, for specified period, as may be prescribed.


If a licencee manufacturers, imports or exports violating any provisions the draft bill proposes three years imprisonment or a fine of Rs one lakh or both. In the existing Explosives Act, the prison term for violation is three years, and Rs 50,000 fine.


Greater Noida in UP is most polluted city in India

Greater Noida in UP was the most polluted city in the country with an AQI of 346, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) bulletin at 4 pm on May 5, 2024.


Patna was the second most polluted city, recording an air quality index (AQI) of 316, which is classified as ‘very poor’. Other cities in the state that recorded ‘poor’ AQI are Siwan (282), Muzaffarpur (233), Hajipur (232) and Bettiah (221).

‘Very poor’ air quality causes respiratory illness on prolonged exposure, according to the CPCB.


AQI is an assessment of air quality that takes into account pollutants, including PM 2.5 — particulate matter less than 2.5 microns, and PM 10.


SMART: India flight tests missile-assisted torpedo release system

India on May 1, 2024 successfully flight-tested the supersonic missile-assisted release of torpedo (SMART), an anti-submarine warfare system, from an island off the Odisha coast.


The system was launched around 8.30 am from the ground mobile launcher.


Several state-of-the-art mechanisms such as symmetric separation, ejection and velocity control have been validated in this test.


SMART is a next-generation missile-based lightweight torpedo delivery system, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capability of the Indian Navy far beyond the conventional range of lightweight torpedo.


This canister-based missile system consists of two-stage solid propulsion, electromechanical actuator and precision inertial navigation systems etc.


It carries an advanced lightweight torpedo as a payload along with a parachute-based release system.


6th barge built by private sector for Navy launched

The ‘Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile Barge, LSAM 20 (Yard 130)’, 6th Barge of 11 x ACTCM Barge Project, built by MSME Shipyard, M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane for Indian Navy, was launched on April 29, 2024. The availability of these Barges would support operational commitments of Indian Navy by facilitating Transportation, Embarkation and Disembarkation of articles/ ammunition to IN Ships both alongside jetties and at outer harbours. The model testing of the Barge during the design stage was undertaken at the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, Visakhapatnam.


International Sun Day celebrated

The Government of India joined the global community in commemorating International Sun Day on May 3, 2024, as an annual reminder of the significant benefits of solar energy in fostering a greener and healthier planet. On this day, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, organized a ‘Run for Sun’ Marathon at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The ‘Run for Sun’ Marathon, featuring 3 km and 5 km races, was designed to raise awareness about the pivotal role of solar power in mitigating climate change and promoting a cleaner and healthier future for all.



Vice Admiral K Swaminathan assumes charge as vice chief of Navy

Vice Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, known for his expertise in communication and electronic warfare, on May 1, 2024 assumed charge as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff. He was serving as Chief of Personnel at the naval headquarters in his previous assignment. Admiral Dinesh Kumar Tripathi, who took charge as the 26th Chief of the Naval Staff on April 30, 2024, was serving as the Vice Chief of the force.




Nepal to introduce new Rs 100 currency note featuring Indian territories

Nepal on May 3, 2024 announced the printing of a new Rs 100 currency note with a map that shows the territories of Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani, which are in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.


The meeting of the council of ministers chaired by Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ took a decision to print the new map of Nepal, which includes the Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani in the Rs 100 denomination bank notes.


On June 18, 2020, Nepal completed the process to update the country’s political map by incorporating three strategically important areas Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas by amending its Constitution, something that India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and terming as “untenable” the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal.


India maintains Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura belong to it.


Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.



Nepal has asserted its claim based on the Sugauli Treaty of 1816. According to the treaty all territories east of the Kali (Mahakali) river, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipulekh, belong to Nepal.


The Sugauli Treaty, signed on March 4, 1816, between the East India Company and Guru Gajraj Mishra, delineated the boundary line of Nepal following the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16.


India, however, has stated that the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between India and Nepal annulled the Sugauli Treaty.

Nepal argues that treaties such as the 1923 Nepal–Britain Treaty of Friendship reaffirmed its sovereignty during the era of British rule.


India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Indonesia, Air Marshal Donny Ermawan Taufanto, M.D.S. co-chaired the 7th India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting in New Delhi on May 3, 2024. During the meeting, both sides identified means to enhance existing areas of collaboration especially in the field of defence industry ties, maritime security and multilateral cooperation.


Iran releases all crew members of seized vessel MSC Aries

Iran on May 3, 2024 said it released all the crew members of Portuguese-flagged cargo vessel MSC Aries that had 17 Indians among its 25 crews.


Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian mentioned the release of the crew of the ship during a phone conversation with his Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna on May 3, 2024, according to an Iranian readout.


Ann Tessa Joseph, the sole woman cadet among the 17 Indian crew members of the Israeli-linked container vessel was released days after the tanker was seized by Iran’s military on April 13. The ship’s crew comprised Indian, Filipino, Pakistani, Russian and Estonian nationals.


India, Norway extend health cooperation

India and Norway on May 1, 2024 extended their cooperation in implementing various health schemes across multiple regions in India.


Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra and Deputy Ambassador of Norway Martine Aamdal Bottheim signed the documents marking the commencement of the 4th phase of Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).


The Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) was established in 2006, based on an agreement between the Governments of Norway and India to make sustainable efforts to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in India.


NIPI aims to provide strategic, catalytic and innovative support to India’s National Health Mission (NHM) by testing scalable interventions in four high focus states of Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and UT of Jammu and Kashmir.


India to host 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) situated in Vasco da Gama, Goa, will host the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM 46) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 26) from May 20 to 30, 2024, in Kochi, Kerala.


The Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959 and entered into force in 1961, established Antarctica as a region dedicated to peaceful purposes, scientific cooperation, and environmental protection. Over the years, the Treaty has garnered widespread support, with 56 countries currently party to it. The CEP was established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) in 1991. The CEP advises the ATCM on environmental protection and conservation in Antarctica.


India’s first Antarctic research station, Dakshin Gangotri, was established in 1983. At present, India operates two year-round research stations: Maitri (1989) and Bharati (2012). The permanent research stations facilitate Indian Scientific Expeditions to Antarctica, which have been ongoing annually since 1981. In 2022, India enacted the Antarctic Act, reaffirming its commitment to the Antarctic Treaty.


India, UAE discuss ways to deepen Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on April 30, 2024 held a meeting with UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy in New Delhi and discussed ways to further deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations.


India ranked 159th on press freedom by RSF

India’s score in the World Press Freedom Index fell over the last year, from 36.62 to 31.28, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF for Reporters sans Frontières), which puts together an annual index on the freedom enjoyed by journalists in 180 jurisdictions. India’s rank improved from 161 in 2023 to 159 in 2024, but this was because other countries had slipped in their rankings. The government has in the past dismissed international rankings of freedoms in India as misinformed and propaganda driven.


Norway and Denmark topped the RSF table while Eritrea was at the bottom, with Syria just ahead of it.


The press freedom questionnaire covers five categories — political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context and security. Scores for India dropped (worsened) in all but the security indicator.


“India’s media has fallen into an ‘unofficial state of emergency’ since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 and engineered a spectacular rapprochement between his party, the BJP, and the big families dominating the media,” the RSF country file on India said. Reference is also made to “Godi media” as mixing populism and pro-BJP propaganda. Indian journalists who are very critical of the government are subjected to harassment campaigns by BJP-backed trolls, the India country report says.


“Yes, the elections context matters massively in India. I think this is one of the countries where there’s a perception of authorities participating in sort of mass disinformation and propaganda,” Rebecca Vincent, director of campaigns at RSF, said at a briefing organised by the Foreign Press Association in London, to launch the index.


Police in Canada arrest three ‘hit squad’ members, all Indians, for Nijjar killing

Canadian police on May 3, 2024 arrested three Indians who they alleged were part of a hit squad tasked by Indian govt with the killing of Canadian citizen and pro-Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey in 2023. The accused —Kamalpreet Singh, Karanpreet Singh and Karan Brar— faced first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the Nijjar case, according to documents filed in a Surrey court. The accused were arrested in operations in two provinces –Alberta and Ontario. The three arrested men are Indian citizens who arrived in Canada on temporary visas after 2021, some of them on student visas. “None is believed to have pursued education in Canada. None has obtained permanent residency. All are alleged associates of a criminal group in Punjab & Haryana that is associated with Punjabi Lawrence Bishnoi,” CBC News reported.



Kareena Kapoor Khan appointed UNICEF India National Ambassador

UNICEF India on May 4, 2024 announced actress Kareena Kapoor Khan as its new National Ambassador. She will support the not-for-profit organisation in furthering every child’s right to early childhood development, health, education and gender equality, a press release said. Kareena had earlier served as a Celebrity Advocate for UNICEF India.


Afghanistan’s only female diplomat resigns in India after gold smuggling allegations

An Afghan diplomat in India, who was appointed before the Taliban seized power in 2021 and said she was the only woman in the country’s diplomatic service, has resigned after reports emerged of her being detained for allegedly smuggling gold.


Zakia Wardak, the Afghan consul-general for Mumbai, announced her resignation on May 4, 2024 after media reported recently that she was briefly detained at the city’s airport on allegations of smuggling 25 bricks of gold, each weighing 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), from Dubai. She has not been arrested because of her diplomatic immunity.


The Taliban — who took over Afghanistan in 2021 during the final weeks of U.S. and NATO withdrawal from the country — have barred women from most areas of public life and stopped girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade as part of harsh measures they imposed despite initial promises of a more moderate rule.


They are also restricting women’s access to work, travel and health care if they are unmarried or don’t have a male guardian, and arresting those who don’t comply with the Taliban’s interpretation of hijab, or Islamic headscarf.


Section C: WORLD




Liberia passes a law setting up war crimes court

President Joseph Boakai on May 2, 2024 signed an executive order to create a war crimes court to deliver justice to the victims of Liberia’s two civil wars, characterized by widespread mass killings, torture and sexual violence. The back-to-back civil wars killed an estimated 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003. The legislation was passed by both the parliament and the senate, and signed off by a majority of lawmakers, including some who would face prosecution.


Victims and activists for justice have been calling for a court to try those accused of war crimes for decades. A post-war truth and reconciliation commission in 2009 identified a list of people to be prosecuted for war crimes, but the government didn’t take action. Justice was a key issue in the presidential election in 2023, helping Boakai defeat soccer great and then President George Weah.


Liberia began as a settlement for freed slaves from the United States in 1822, but declared itself an independent nation 25 years later.


Japan’s PM unveils a framework for global regulation of generative AI

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida unveiled an international framework for regulation and use of generative AI on May 2, 2024, adding to global efforts on governance for the rapidly advancing technology. Kishida made the announcement in a speech at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


When Japan chaired the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in 2023, it launched a Hiroshima AI process to draw up international guiding principles and a code of conduct for AI developers.


Some 49 countries and regions have signed up to the voluntary framework, called the Hiroshima AI Process Friends Group, Kishida said, without naming any. They will work on implementing principles and code of conduct to address the risks of generative AI and “promote cooperation to ensure that people all over the world can benefit from the use of safe, secure, and trustworthy AI,” he said.


The European Union, the United States, China and many other nations have been racing to draw up regulations and oversight for AI, while global bodies such as the United Nations have been grappling with how to supervise it.


European court upholds Italy’s right to seize Greek bronze from US museum

The Rome-based European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) on May 2 upheld Italy’s right to seize a prized Greek statue from the J. Paul Getty Museum in California, ruling that Italy was justified in trying to reclaim an important part of its cultural heritage and rejecting the museum’s appeal.


Though the artist of “Victorious Youth,” a life-sized bronze dating from 300 B.C. to 100 B.C., is unknown, some scholars believe it was made by Lysippos, Alexander the Great’s personal sculptor.


The bronze, which was pulled from the sea in 1964 by Italian fishermen and then exported out of Italy illegally, was purchased by the Getty in 1977 for $4 million and has been on display there ever since.


Turkey halts all trade with Israel over military actions in Gaza

Turkey on May 2, 2024 suspended all imports and exports to Israel citing the country’s ongoing military action in Gaza and vowed to continue to impose the measures until the Israeli government allows the flow of humanitarian aid to the region. In April 2024, Turkey had announced that it was restricting exports of 54 types of products to Israel, including aluminium, steel, construction products and chemical fertilizers. Israel responded by also announcing trade barriers. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Turkey of blocking Israeli imports and exports from Turkish ports.


Georgia: ‘Foreign agent’ bill

Georgia’s parliament on May 1, 2024 passed second reading of the controversial “foreign influence” bill.


The proposed law would require media and non-commercial organizations to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad.


Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze’s ruling Georgian Dream party introduced the bill.


Lawmakers voted 83 to 23 to adopt the bill in a second reading of three readings needed before it could be sent to the president for his signature to become law.


President Salome Zurabishvili could veto the measure, but the ruling party has enough seats in parliament to override it.


EU announces $1 bn in aid for Lebanon to shore up economy, border security

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on May 2, 2024 announced $1 billion in aid for Lebanon until 2027 during a visit to the crisis-hit country and urged it to tackle illegal migration to the bloc. The European Union has already agreed deals with Tunisia, Mauritania and other countries to stem flows of irregular migrants.


The European Commission president said the aid was designed to strengthen basic services such as education and health in the country mired in a severe economic crisis.


Lebanon’s economy collapsed in late 2019, turning the country into a launchpad for migrants, with Lebanese joining Syrians and Palestinian refugees making perilous voyages bound for Europe.


The authorities in Beirut say Lebanon currently hosts around two million people from neighbouring, war-torn Syria — the world’s highest number of refugees per capita — with almost 785,000 registered with the United Nations.


Von der Leyen was accompanied by Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, who is on his second visit to Lebanon in less than a month. Cyprus, the EU’s easternmost member, located less than 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Lebanon and Syria, wants to curb migrant boat departures from Lebanon towards it shores.


Israel reopens Gaza’s Erez crossing for first time since Oct 7

Israel reopened the Erez Crossing with Gaza for the first time since October 7 with the passage of 30 trucks delivering food and medical supplies from Jordan to the northern area of the Strip.


It is the only crossing located on Gaza’s northern border. Before the war, it served as the only crossing point for pedestrian traffic. Before the attacks of October 7, it was primarily used by international personnel such as diplomats, aid workers, and journalists and also Palestinians with work or medical permits, while trucks used the Kerem Shalom crossing at the southern end of the Strip.


The entry of humanitarian aid through the Erez Crossing was made possible after engineering work was carried out in the area by the Engineering Units and additional IDF forces. Using engineering tools, the renewed crossing was built, having previously been used only as a civilian crossing.


At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Around 30 of the remaining 133 hostages are believed dead.


Colombia to break diplomatic relations with Israel over war in Gaza

Colombian President Gustavo Petro on May 1, 2024 announced his government will break diplomatic relations with Israel effective May 2, 2024 in the latest escalation of tensions between the countries over the Israel-Hamas war.


Petro again described Israel’s siege of Gaza as “genocide.” He previously suspended purchases of weapons from Israel and compared that country’s actions in Gaza to those of Nazi Germany.


Weeks after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that sparked the current war in Gaza and killed some 1,200 people, Petro recalled Colombia’s ambassador to Israel as he criticized the country’s military offensive.


Historically, Colombia had been one of Israel’s closest partners in Latin America. But relations between the two nations have cooled since Petro was elected as Colombia’s first leftist president in 2022.


Colombia uses Israeli-built warplanes and machine guns to fight drug cartels and rebel groups, and both countries signed a free trade agreement in 2020.


ICJ rejects Nicaragua’s request for Germany to halt aid to Israel

The International Court of Justice, based at The Hague, Netherlands on April 30, 2024 rejected a request by Nicaragua to order Germany to halt military and other aid to Israel and renew funding to the U.N. aid agency in Gaza. The court said that legal conditions for making such an order weren’t met and ruled against the request in a 15-1 vote, effectively siding with Germany, which told judges that it’s barely exporting any arms to Israel.


However, the 16-judge panel declined to throw out the case altogether, as Germany had requested. The court will still hear arguments from both sides on the merits of Nicaragua’s case, which alleges that, by giving support to Israel, Germany failed to prevent genocide in Gaza. The case will likely take months or years.


Nicaragua, a longstanding ally of the Palestinians, alleges that Germany is enabling genocide by sending arms and other support to Israel.


Haiti’s transitional council names new PM

Haiti’s newly installed transitional council chose a former sports minister as the Caribbean country’s prime minister on April 30, 2024 as part of its task of trying to establish a stable new government amid stifling violence. Fritz Bélizaire was chosen to replace current interim Prime Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert, gaining the support of four of the seven voting members on the nine-member panel.


The council also planned to choose a Cabinet as it seeks to quell gang violence that is choking the capital, Port-au-Prince, and beyond. More than 90,000 people have fled the capital in the span of one month, and overall, more than 360,000 people have been left homeless in recent years as gunmen raze communities in rival territories.


The transitional council will act as the country’s presidency until it can arrange a presidential election some time before it disbands, which must be by February 2026.


Haitians remain divided over whether they believe a transitional government can help calm a troubled country whose capital has been under siege since gangs launched coordinated attacks on Feb. 29.


Ariel Henry, the former prime minister, was on an official trip to the East African country when the coordinated gang attacks began, and he remains locked out of Haiti. He submitted his resignation recently.


In a first, U.K. sends asylum seeker to Rwanda

In a first, a migrant whose asylum application was rejected by the United Kingdom was sent to Rwanda under a voluntary scheme.


The unnamed man, who was relocated under a scheme that pays migrants £3,000 to leave, took a commercial flight out of the U.K. on April 29, 2024 and arrived in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.


U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had vowed to begin forcibly removing migrants with failed asylum claims to Rwanda starting in July in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the English Channel on boats to enter the U.K.


This is separate from the voluntary scheme that was announced in March and is a variant of an existing scheme where those without a right to remain in the U.K. are given financial assistance if they agree to leave the country.


Asian Development Fund to be replenished with USD 5 bn

The Asian Development Fund (ADF) will be replenished with USD 5 billion to support most vulnerable sections in the Asia Pacific region. Donors and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed for the replenishment of ADF and Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF) during the 57th Annual Meeting of the Manila-based multilateral funding agency. ADF is ADB’s largest source of grants for operations in its poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries and is replenished every four years. ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said ADF 14, marking the 13th replenishment since the fund’s establishment, will support grant operations during 2025 –2028.


Nepal’s top court orders limit on Everest climbing permits

Nepal’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to limit the number of mountaineering permits issued for Everest and other peaks, a lawyer confirmed May 3, 2024, just as expeditions prepare for the spring climbing season.


Zimbabwe launches new currency ZiG

Zimbabwe on April 30, 2024 started circulating a new currency to replace one that has been battered by depreciation and often outright rejection by the people. The ZiG (short for Zimbabwe Gold) was introduced electronically in early April, but people are now able to use banknotes and coins. The ZiG is the sixth currency Zimbabwe has used since the spectacular 2009 collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar amid hyperinflation of 5 billion percent, one of the world’s worst currency crashes to date. That set off a chaotic series of events: first the U.S. dollar was allowed as legal tender, then banned, then unbanned.


Google to pay up to $6 million to News Corp for new AI content

Alphabet-owned Google has agreed to pay News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal, between $5 million and $6 million annually to develop new AI-related content and products. AI firms are looking to partner with news organizations to license their archived content for training their chatbots. Similar deals include that between OpenAI and news publishers such as Financial Times and Axel Springer, whose brands include Politico.


G-7 Ministers agree to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030s

G-7 Energy Ministers, meeting at Turin, Italy, agreed a time frame for phasing out coal-fired power plants, a British Minister said on April 29, 2024, as the UN warned “excuses” for failing to take bold actions on climate change were “not acceptable”.


China’s third aircraft carrier Fujian conducts first sea trials

China’s Fujian aircraft carrier held maiden sea trials on May 1, 2024, a key next step in a vast naval build-up by Beijing as it carves out a more assertive role for itself in the Pacific and beyond. The Fujian is China’s third aircraft carrier after the Liaoning and the Shandong vessels and is the Chinese navy’s largest-ever ship.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet votes to close Al Jazeera offices in Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on May 5, 2024 that his government has voted unanimously to shut down the local offices of Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera. The decision escalated Israel’s long-running feud against Al Jazeera. It also threatened to heighten tensions with Qatar, which owns the channel, at a time when the Doha government is playing a key role in mediation efforts to halt the war in Gaza.


Togo’s ruling party wins a majority in parliament

Togo’s ruling party has won a majority of seats in the West African nation’s parliament, the election commission said in capital Lome on May 4, 2024. The ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) party of President Faure Gnassingbe won 108 out of 113 seats. The West African nation has been ruled by the same family for 57 years, initially by Eyadema Gnassingbe and then his son Faure Gnassingbe.


Indonesia’s Mount Ruang volcano erupts again

Indonesia’s Mount Ruang volcano erupted April 30, 2024 for a second time in two weeks, spewing ash almost 2 kilometers (more than a mile) into the sky, closing an airport and peppering nearby villages with debris. The alert level of the volcano on Sulawesi Island was again raised to the highest level by the Indonesian geological service, after sensors picked up increasing volcanic activity.


International Firefighters’ Day observed on May 4

The International Firefighters’ Day was observed on May 4, 2024. International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed every year on 4 May to honour and pay tribute to the great work done by the firefighters while protecting the life and property of people. Firefighters put their lives at risk, work tirelessly, and volunteer anytime to prevent the damages caused by fire accidents.


World Asthma Day observed on May 7

World Asthma Day was observed on May 7, 2024. It is held on the first Tuesday of May each year. The objective is to raise the awareness about this chronic respiratory disease, which is majorly prevalent in children these days. In celebration of World Asthma Day 2024, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) has selected the theme of “Asthma Education Empowers”. GINA emphasizes the need to empower people with asthma with the appropriate education to manage their disease, and to recognize when to seek medical help.


International Labour Day celebrated on May 1

International Labour Day was celebrated on May 1, 2024 to commemorate the contributions of workers and the labour movement. May 1 is marked as May Day, also referred to as International Workers’ Day and Labour Day in different countries across the world. May 1 became associated with the labour movement in the late 19th century, after trade unions and socialist groups decided to designate it as a day in support of the working class people. The decision was taken in memory of Chicago’s Haymarket Affair, which took place on May 4, 1886, when a violent clash broke out between the police and labour protestors. The incident happened after a bomb went off at Haymarket Square in Chicago, where the police had arrived to break a peaceful rally. Ultimately, seven police officers were killed and 60 others were injured before the violence ended. It’s estimated that four to eight civilians died and 30 to 40 were wounded.


World Portuguese Language Day observed on May 5

The World Portuguese Language Day was observed on May 5, 2024. The date of 5 May was officially established in 2009 by the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) – an intergovernmental organization that has been in official partnership with UNESCO since 2000, and which brings together peoples with the Portuguese language as one of the foundations of their specific identity – to celebrate the Portuguese language and Lusophone cultures. In 2019, the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference decided to proclaim 5 May of each year as “World Portuguese Language Day”.


World Tuna Day observed on May 2

The World Tuna Day was observed on May 2, 2024. Tuna is rich in Omega-3 and it also contains minerals, proteins, and vitamin B12, among other advantages. As a result of the amazing qualities of tuna, the fish are threatened by overwhelming demand. According to the latest data, among the seven principal tuna species, 33.3 percent of the stocks are estimated to be fished at biologically unsustainable levels That is why in December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly voted to officially observe World Tuna Day. The move underlines the importance of conservation management to ensure that we have systems in place to prevent tuna stocks from crashing.


World Press Freedom Day observed on May 3

The World Press Freedom Day was observed on May 3, 2024 with its theme as: “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis”. World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. The Windhoek Declaration on promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, which was adopted in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1991, was celebrated on May 3. This statement focused on the significance of a free, independent, and pluralistic press as a fundamental part of democracy and development.


International Jazz Day observed by UNESCO on April 30

The International Jazz Day was observed by UNESCO on April 30, 2024. In November 2011 the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 30 April as “International Jazz Day”. This International Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about the art of jazz, its roots, its future and its impact. The Global Host for this year’s celebration was the city of Tangier, Morocco.



Jeremiah Manele elected prime minister in Solomon Islands

Lawmakers in Solomon Islands elected former Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele as prime minister May 2, 2024.

Manele won 31 votes in a secret ballot of 49 lawmakers who won general elections on April 17 in the South Pacific island nation. Matthew Wale, who led the opposition in the previous parliament, received the remaining 18. In 2023, outgoing Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing and struck a secret security pact with China. Sogavare’s election in 2019 sparked riots in the capital Honiara over legal questions hanging over his eligibility to become prime minister.


José Raúl Mulino wins Panama presidential election

Panama elected Jose Raul Mulino as its new president drawing voters with his pledge to revive the once-stellar economy, crack down on drug cartels and shut down migration routes to the US. Mulino ran as the substitute for fugitive former President Ricardo Martinelli, who was banned from participating and sought asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy after a court upheld a conviction for money laundering. Mulino replaced Martinelli as the candidate for the Achieving Goals and Alliance parties. Capital is Panama City. Balboa is the currency of Panama.


Sadiq Khan wins third term as Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan of the opposition Labour Party on May 4, 2024 registered a decisive victory to secure a record third term as Mayor of London. The 53-year-old Pakistani-origin Labour candidate secured a massive 10,88,225 votes with a 43.8 per cent vote share, well ahead of the Conservative candidate Susan Hall’s 8,12,397 votes – an impressive majority of over 2,75,000.


Scotland’s first minister resigns

Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, resigned on April 29, 2024, triggering a leadership contest as the governing Scottish National Party. Yousaf, whose pro-independence party has been weakened by a campaign finance scandal and divisions over transgender rights, was brought down by his decision to oust the Green Party from his governing coalition because of differences over climate change goals. He was unable to persuade other parties to back his minority government in Scotland’s regional parliament where SNP is one seat short of a majority with 63 of the 128 voting seats. The SNP is the dominant party in Scottish politics and currently holds 43 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the U.K. Parliament.


US author Paul Auster dies at 77

US writer and film director Paul Auster died in US at the age of 77 on April 30, 2024. His notable books include The New York Trilogy (City of Glass (1985), Ghosts (1986) and The Locked Room (1986)), Moon Palace (1989), The Music of Chance (1990), The Book of Illusions (2002), The Brooklyn Follies (2005), Invisible (2009), Sunset Park (2010), Winter Journal (2012), and 4 3 2 1 (2017).


Actor Bernard Hill, of ‘Titanic’ and ‘Lord of the Rings,’ dies 79

Actor Bernard Hill, known for his roles in Hollywood movies such as “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Titanic,” died at the age of 79 on May 5, 2024.


Juro Kara, playwright behind Japan’s modern underground theater, dies at 84

Juro Kara, who helped shape Japan’s postwar avant-garde theater, defiantly yet playfully transforming the essence of Kabuki aesthetics into modern storytelling, died at the age of 84 on May 4, 2024. In 1983, Kara won the Akutagawa Award for new writers for his novel “Letters from Sagawa.”




China launches lunar probe mission to collect samples for first time from far side of moon

China on May 3, 2024 launched a 53-day-long lunar probe mission to collect samples for the first time from the far side of the moon and bring them for scientific studies. The Chang’e-6 mission is tasked with collecting and then returning samples from the moon’s far side to Earth — the first endeavour of its kind in the history of human lunar exploration, China National Space Administration (CNSA) said.


The entire mission would last for 53 days. The far side of the moon is not visible from Earth.


The lunar probe was carried by a Long March-5 Y8 rocket blasted off smoothly from the Wenchang Space Launch Site on the coast of China’s southern island province of Hainan.


Chang’e 6 consists of four components: an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a re-entry module, according to CNSA.


After collecting dust and rocks on the moon, the ascender will transport the samples to the lunar orbiter for transfer to the re-entry module, which will carry them back to Earth.


The CNSA has announced that scientific instruments from France, Italy and the European Space Agency/Sweden will be on board the lander of the Chang’e-6 mission and a Pakistani payload on the orbiter.


The ICUBE-Q orbiter has been designed and developed by Pakistan’s Institute of Space Technology (IST) in collaboration with China’s Shanghai University SJTU and Pakistan’s national space agency Suparco. ICUBE-Q orbiter carries two optical cameras to image the lunar surface.


The Chang’e lunar exploration probe is named after the Chinese mythical moon goddess.


The Chang’e 5 brought samples from the moon’s near side. Chinese said the analysis of the samples found they contained water in tiny beads embedded in lunar dirt.


India became the first country to land near the little-explored lunar south pole region last year when its Chandrayaan-3’s lander, carrying the Pragyaan rover successfully landed there.


Chinese astronauts return to Earth after 6 months on space station

A Chinese spacecraft returned to Earth on April 30, 2024 with three astronauts who completed a six-month mission aboard the country’s orbiting space station.


The Shenzhou-17 craft carrying Tang Hongbo, Tang Shengjie and Jiang Xinlin landed at the Dongfeng site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the Gobi Desert shortly before 6 p.m. It comes roughly four days after the Shenzhou-18 mission docked with the station with their three-member replacement crew.


The new crew is made up of Commander Ye Guangfu, 43, a veteran astronaut who took part in the Shenzhou-13 mission in 2021, and fighter pilots Li Cong, 34, and Li Guangsu, 36, who are spaceflight rookies.


ISRO releases ISSAR 2023 report on vulnerability of space assets to collisions

ISRO has released a report assessing the vulnerability of its assets in outer space to environmental hazards such as natural objects like asteroids as well as artificial space objects, to ensure safe and sustainable space operations, Releasing the Indian Space Situational Assessment Report (ISSAR) 2023, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, “Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is a must in outer space.”

According to the report, about 1,37,565 close approach alerts were received from USSPACECOM. Also, a total of 3,033 alerts for close approaches within the distance of one kilometre were deduced by the ISRO satellites.


The report also identified 2,700 close approaches with other operational satellites within 5 kilometres. On certain occasions, coordination was carried out with other international agencies like SpaceX and EUMETSAT.


However, none of the close approaches were critical enough to warrant a collision avoidance manual, the report stated. The report was compiled by ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management on April 2, 2024, according to a press release issued by ISRO.


The report stated that ISRO regularly carries out analysis through IS4OM/ISTRAC to predict close approaches by other space objects to Indian space assets. In case of any critical close approach, collision avoidance manuals (CAM) are carried out to safeguard the operational spacecraft, it added.


The space agency is an active participant in many international fora such as the Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) with 13 space agencies, the International Academy of Astronautics space debris working group, International Astronautical Federation space traffic management working group, International Organization for Standardization space debris working group and UN-COPUOS scientific and technical sub-committee for discussing space debris issues, related studies and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.


NewSpace India to handle all IRS satellite data and products

The NewSpace India Limited on April 30, 2024 said that it will handle all the Indian Remote Sensing satellite data and products. It further said that Bhoonidhi will continue to be the data dissemination platform. As per India’s Space Policy 2023, satellite data of 5m and coarser is now free and open for all users. Data finer than 5m (except DEM, merged, mosaicked & customized products,etc) is open and free for Government Entities and priced for NGEs.


Section E: AWARDS


Goldman Environmental Prize

This year’s seven winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, known as the “Green Nobel,” which honours grassroots activists and leaders from across the globe for achievements in protecting the natural world. The recipients were selected from about 100 nominees and the winners were announced April 29, 2024.


The winners are:


Teresa Vicente, professor of philosophy of law at the University of Murcia in Spain, led a historic, grassroots campaign to save the Mar Menor ecosystem—Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon—from collapse, resulting in the passage of a new law in September 2022 granting the lagoon unique legal rights. Considered to be the most important saltwater coastal lagoon in the western Mediterranean, the once pristine waters of the Mar Menor had become polluted due to mining, rampant development of urban and tourist infrastructure, and, in recent years, intensive agriculture and livestock farming.


Marcel Gomes, executive secretary for the media nonprofit Repórter Brasil, who organized a campaign that alleged connections between beef from the world’s largest meatpacking corporation, JBS, and illegal deforestation in Brazil and helped pressure retailers around the world to stop selling the meat.


Murrawah Maroochy Johnson, an indigenous activist who helped stop development of a coal mine in Australia’s Queensland state that would have devasted nearly 20,000 acres (8,000 hectares) of a nature preserve, spewed nearly 1.6 billion tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over its lifetime, and endangered the rights and culture of Indigenous peoples.


Alok Shukla, who led a community movement that saved nearly half a million acres (200,000 hectares) of forests from 21 proposed coal mines in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India.


Andrea Vidaurre, who helped convince the state of California’s air quality agency to establish two transportation regulations that limit emissions from trains and trucks. The rules include the nation’s first emissions limit for trains.


Nonhle Mbuthuma and Sinegugu Zukulu, Indigenous activists who prevented seismic testing for coal and gas in a coastal area off South Africa’s Eastern Cape.


The Goldman Environmental Prize was founded in 1989 by philanthropists Richard and Rhoda H. Goldman to recognize common people working in their communities to protect and improve their environment.


Whitley Awards

The Whitley Awards, held annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN), honour grassroots conservation leaders. The charity’s flagship prizes – the ‘Green Oscars’ – recognise individuals for galvanising their communities in saving some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems and for their innovative solutions to the threats to nature.


Winners of a Whitley Award are given funding, which enables conservationists to scale-up their work and make a global impact.


The 2024 Whitley Award winners were announced on May 1, 2024.


India’s Dr Purnima Devi Barman will receive the 2024 Whitley Gold Award of £100,000 for galvanising a movement of more than ten thousand local women to save the greater adjutant stork and its wetlands habit in Assam.


Prizes were also presented to conservationists from Brazil, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea, Guyana, Cameroon and Nepal.

Marine Biologist Naomi Longa and her all-female team of local and indigenous divers and snorkellers who are using AI to help safeguard the coral reefs in their native Papua New Guinea.


Cameroon’s Aristide Kamla, the country’s foremost expert in manatees, who is saving African manatee habitat from invasive freshwater ferns which blanketed the surface of Lake Ossa.


Fernanda Abra from Brazil, where the Waimiri-Atroari people helped her to build low-cost canopy bridges over the BR-174 highway in the Amazon rainforest.


Bhutan’s Kuenzang Dorji, a wildlife biologist, who is “restoring harmony” between people and primates – local farmers and Endangered Gee’s golden langurs.


Guyana’s Leroy Ignacio, a conservationist and Indigenous Makushi, who is stepping up efforts to protect the Endangered Red Siskin songbird as Guyana, the world’s fastest growing economy, navigates unprecedented change.


Nepal’s Raju Acharya, who spearheaded a 10-year government plan to protect owls that harnesses the proactive participation of communities in central Nepal, home to ten ethnic groups.


UNESCO awards Press Freedom Prize to reporters covering Gaza conflict

Palestinian journalists covering the conflict in Gaza have been announced as the laureates of the 2024 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, praised the journalists’ courage. She said, “The prize pays tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances.” Each year, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Prize pays tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances. Once again this year, the Prize reminds us of the importance of collective action to ensure that journalists around the world can continue to carry out their essential work to inform and investigate. The ongoing conflict in Gaza is having grave consequences for journalists.  Since 7 October 2023, UNESCO has condemned and deplored the deaths of 26 journalists and media workers in the line of work, based upon information from its international NGO partners.


Nicole Kidman wins AFI Life Achievement Award

Nicole Kidman received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award May 4, 2024 at a gala in Los Angeles, where she became the first-ever Australian to earn the honor. Kidman joined 10 other actresses — including Meryl Streep, Bette Davis, Barbra Streisand, Diane Keaton, and Jane Fonda — as recipients of the AFI Life Achievement Award, and became only the third non-American-born actress — along with Julie Andrews and the British-born Elizabeth Taylor — to receive the honor.




RBI proposes to overhaul rules governing project lending

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to overhaul rules governing project lending to enable the flow of funds to infrastructure and, at the same time, ensure that the risk metrics are under control. It has stipulated minimum exposure of banks in consortium lending and prescribed norms to defile credit events.


The regulator issued draft guidelines pertaining to the prudential framework for financing projects in the infrastructure, non-infrastructure and commercial real estate sectors. It said the guidelines lay down the regulatory dispensations regarding the date of commencement of commercial operations (DCCO) of such projects.


In the case of projects financed under consortium arrangements, where the aggregate exposure borrowing is up to Rs 1,500 crore, each lender should have a minimum exposure of 10%. If the aggregate exposure is more than Rs 1,500 crore, individual exposure should not be less than 5% or Rs 150 crore, whichever is higher. However, after the DCCO, lenders may acquire from or sell exposures to other lenders – new or existing – in the multiple banking or consortium arrangements.


In its draft guidelines, the RBI discouraged banks from designing finance agreements that allow a moratorium on repayments beyond the DCCO. The repayment structure should factor in lower initial cash flows, it said. However, if lenders decide to grant a moratorium on repayment beyond the DCCO, the moratorium cannot exceed six months from the commencement of commercial operations.


The RBI also proposed that the original or revised repayment tenor, including the moratorium period, if any, should not exceed 85% of the economic life of the project.


The dispensations under this framework shall be available only to those lenders who have extended finance to such project loans based on a common agreement between the debtor and the lenders, the RBI said.


For infrastructure projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, lenders can consider 50% or more land availability sufficient to achieve financial closure, said the draft guidelines.


The RBI also said that lenders should ensure that disbursal is proportional to the stages of completion of the project as well as to the progress in equity infusion by the promoter.


A positive net present value (NPV) is a prerequisite for any project financed by lenders, said the draft guidelines. Any subsequent diminution in NPV during the construction phase, either due to changes in projected cash flows, project life-period or any other relevant factor which may lead to credit impairment, shall be construed as a credit event. The RBI asked lenders to undertake revaluation of the project NPV independently every year.


RBI issues draft framework for electronic trading platforms

The Reserve Bank of India on April 29, 2024 proposed a revised regulatory framework for electronic trading platforms (ETPs) in the wake of increased integration of the onshore forex market with offshore markets. Market makers too have been requesting the RBI to allow access to offshore ETPs offering rupee products.


ETP refers to any electronic system, other than a recognised stock exchange, on which transactions in eligible instruments are contracted. Eligible instruments mean securities, money market instruments, forex instruments, derivatives, or other instruments of like nature.


The ‘Draft Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Electronic Trading Platforms) Directions, 2024’ said that an entity seeking authorisation as an ETP operator should maintain a minimum net-worth of ₹5 crore and continue to maintain the minimum net-worth prescribed all times.


RBI: Govt to buy back bonds worth Rs 40,000 crore

In a move that will ease the prevailing tight liquidity conditions in the banking system, the Reserve Bank of India on May 3, 2024 said the Centre plans to buy back Rs 40,000 crore worth of government securities on May 9, the first such repurchase since 2018.


The unexpected move is also seen bringing down yields on short-term government bonds, as the three securities that the government has chosen to buy back are all maturing within six to nine months.


A fall in government bond yields brings down cost of borrowing for companies as pricing of corporate bonds is benchmarked to sovereign debt. A bulk of corporate borrowing is through short-term papers.


The bonds that the government has announced for buyback are the following – the 6.18%, 2024 paper, the 9.15%, 2024 paper and the 6.89%, 2025 paper.


“The offers for the auction should be submitted in electronic format on the Reserve Bank of India Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system on May 09, 2024 (May 2, 2024) between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The result of the auction will be announced on the same day and settlement will take place on May 10, 2024 (May 3, 2024),” the RBI said.


A buyback of securities essentially means that the government is choosing to repay a portion of outstanding debt before the dates of actual maturity of its bonds. Given that banks are among the largest holders of government bonds, such buybacks release liquidity into the banking system.


As on May 2, liquidity in the banking system, as measured by banks’ borrowing from the RBI, was at a deficit of Rs 78,481.39 crore, latest central bank data showed.


In its role as the government’s debt manager, the RBI advises the Centre on steps such as buybacks and switches of government securities. Dealers said that the surprise step displayed the RBI’s commitment towards preventing sharp swings in banking system liquidity, which could affect cost of borrowing across the economy.


Industry’s share in bank credit shrinks to 23%: RBI

Bank loans to the services and agriculture sectors were the main drivers of the 20% credit growth in FY24, with both sectors growing at over 20%, according to data released by RBI. While the pace of credit growth to large industries more than doubled in FY24 (7%) from the year before (3.1%), it remained sluggish, resulting in a further decline in market share.

As of March 22, 2024, the share of industry in bank credit shrunk to 23.1% from 24.8% in March 2023 and 27.1% in March 2022. The share of the services sector has increased marginally to 28.3%. Personal loans now account for 31% of bank credit, up from 30.6% in March 2023 and 29% in March 2022.


Banks added Rs 27.6 lakh crore to non-food credit in FY24, expanding their book by 20% to Rs 164.1 lakh crore. The exceptional growth was due to the merger of HDFC with HDFC Bank, which added Rs 5.3 lakh crore to bank loans or nearly 400 basis points to credit growth. Without the merger, the credit growth would have been 16.3%.


Of the Rs 22.4 lakh crore that banks added to their books, around Rs 3 lakh crore went to industry. Within this, more than half of the incremental credit (Rs 1.7 lakh crore) went to large industry. Credit to the services sector (excluding the HDFC-HDFC Bank merger) grew 20.2% to Rs 44.9 lakh crore, while personal loan growth (excluding HDFC merger impact) moderated to 17.7%. Total personal loans outstanding as of March 22, 2024 were Rs 49.2 lakh crore.


Within services, the highest credit growth was recorded by the aviation sector, which grew 56% to Rs 43,246 crore. The ‘tourism, hotels and restaurant’ segment saw the biggest turnaround, with credit growth rising from 2.4% to 12% to Rs 77,642 crore.


The growth rate of personal loans decelerated to 17.7%, compared to 21% recorded in the previous year. This decline was primarily attributed to a significant slowdown in ‘other personal loans’ to 18.7% and vehicle loans at 17.3%. However, home loans sustained their growth momentum, reaching 17.4% compared to 15.2% in the preceding year. Although the growth rate of credit cards moderated, it remained relatively high at 25.6%. Conversely, education loans experienced an uptick, with a growth rate of 23.3% in FY24.


Within the industry, the sector that saw the biggest accretion to the loan book (in absolute amount) was infrastructure, which saw loans grow by 6.5% (Rs 77,653 crore) to Rs 12.8 lakh crore, followed by iron & steel (Rs 43,362 crore). Within infrastructure, banks grew their telecom loan book by 27% (Rs 29,954 crore) to Rs 1.4 lakh crore. Banks reduced their exposure to petroleum, mining airports, and ports from March 2023 levels.


97.76% of Rs 2000 currency notes returned, says RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 2, 2024 said 97.76 per cent of the Rs 2000 denomination banknotes have returned to the banking system, and only Rs 7,961 crore worth of the withdrawn notes are still with the public. On May 19, 2023, the RBI announced the withdrawal of Rs 2000 denomination banknotes from circulation.


The total value of Rs 2000 banknotes in circulation, which was Rs 3.56 lakh crore at the close of business on May 19, 2023, when the withdrawal of the high value banknotes was announced, has declined to Rs 7,961 crore at the close of business on April 30, 2024, the Reserve Bank said in a statement.


“Thus, 97.76 per cent of the Rs 2000 banknotes in circulation as on May 19, 2023, has since been returned,” it said.


The Rs 2000 banknotes continue to be legal tender.


People can deposit and/or exchange Rs 2000 banknotes at 19 RBI offices across the country. People can also send Rs 2000 bank notes through India Post from any post office to any of the RBI Issue Offices for credit to their bank accounts in India.


Public and private entities holding such notes were initially asked to either exchange or deposit them in bank accounts by September 30, 2023. The deadline was later extended to October 7, 2023. Deposit and exchange services at bank branches were discontinued on October 7, 2023.


Starting October 8, 2023, individuals have been provided with the choice of either exchanging the currency or having the equivalent sum credited to their bank accounts at the 19 offices of the RBI.


The 19 RBI offices depositing/exchanging the bank notes are in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Belapur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram.


The Rs 2000 banknotes were introduced in November 2016, following the demonetisation of the then-prevailing Rs 1000 and Rs 500 banknotes.


FPIs domiciled at GIFT City allowed to issue P-notes

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) domiciled at the GIFT International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) have been allowed to issue offshore derivative instruments (ODIs), popularly known as participatory notes (P-notes).


At present, the International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA), the unified regulator for GIFT City, allows banking units to issue P-notes.


“As a First phase, the authority had permitted IFSC banking units, registered with Sebi as FPIs, to issue derivative instruments with Indian securities as underlying…As a second phase, it has now been decided to permit IFSCA-registered non-bank entities, registered with Sebi as FPIs, to issue derivative instruments with Indian securities as underlying, in GIFT-IFSC,” an IFSCA said in a circular.


P-notes, short for Participatory Notes, are financial instruments that let foreign investors indirectly invest in the Indian stock market without registering with the market regulator Sebi.


P-notes act like a substitute for underlying Indian company shares.


P-notes do not require foreign investors to register with Sebi and offer anonymity.


Previously, only banks registered with GIFT City could issue P-notes. Now, foreign funds registered with Sebi and operating in GIFT City can also issue them


This new development provides more options for foreign investors: This gives foreign investors more choices for investing in Indian stocks through P-notes


This move could attract more foreign funds to set up shop in GIFT City, boosting its development as a financial hub


RBI removes curbs on Bajaj Finance

The Reserve Bank of India on May 2 lifted the curbs imposed on Bajaj Finance for sanction and disbursal of new loans under two products – ‘eCOM’ and ‘Insta EMI Card’ – the company informed the exchanges. “The RBI, vide its letter dated 2 May 2024, based on the remedialactions taken by the company, has conveyed its decision of lifting the said restrictions on eCOM and online digital ‘Insta EMI Card’, with immediate effect,” the notification said. Bajaj Finance will now resume sanction and disbursal of loans in the above two business segments including the issuance of EMI cards, the company said.



RBI approves reappointment of Atanu Chakraborty at HDFC Bank

The Reserve Bank of India on May 3, 2024 approved the reappointment of Atanu Chakraborty as part time chairman of HDFC Bank for a period of three years w.e.f. May 05, 2024 to May 04, 2027. Chakraborty served the Government of India for 35 years as a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the Gujarat cadre. His focus areas included finance and economic policy, infrastructure, and petroleum and natural gas.


Sanjeev Nautiyal to be Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s new MD & CEO

Sanjeev Nautiyal, former deputy managing director of State Bank of India, will be taking the reins at Ujjivan Small Finance Bank from July 1 as the bank’s managing director and chief executive officer. The Reserve Bank of India has approved his appointment for a period of three years.


Section G: ECONOMY


India Inc’s CSR Spends Up 5% in FY23 to ₹15,524 Crore

India Inc.’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends rose by 5% from ₹14,816 crore in FY22 to ₹15,524 crore in FY23 across 1,296 NSE-listed companies, led by HDFC Bank (₹820.89 crore), Tata Consultancy Services (₹783 crore) and Reliance Industries (₹744 crore).


Ten companies, including these three, accounted for 33% of the total spends on CSR in FY23, according to data from Prime Database Group.


Others in the top 10 in terms of CSR expenditure included Tata Steel (₹480.62 crore), Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (₹475.89 crore), ICICI Bank (₹462.66 crore), Infosys (₹391.51 crore), ITC (₹365.5 crore), Power Grid Corporation of India (₹321.66 crore) and NTPC (₹315.32 crore).


The CSR law, which came into force in April 2014, mandates that companies with net worth of ₹500 crore and above or revenue of ₹1,000 crore and above or net profit of ₹5 crore and above during the preceding financial year, have to spend 2% of average net profit of the last three years on CSR projects.


The average net profit of these 1,296 companies over the last three years was ₹8.14 lakh crore, up from ₹7.20 lakh crore in FY22. As per CSR requirements, the amount required to be spent by them was ₹15,713 crore (FY22: ₹13,994 crore), against which they spent a slightly lower ₹15,524 crore (FY22: ₹14,816 crore).


In line with previous years, education received the maximum (₹1,211 crore) followed by healthcare (₹825 crore). In comparison to the previous year (only considering data of 536 companies for which project details were available for both years), spends on environmental sustainability increased the most (76%) followed by spends on education (41%) and rural development (26%).


In contrast, contribution to disaster management fell the most (77%), followed by that on slum development (75%) and the PM’s Relief Fund (59%).


The top five companies that posted a maximum increase in CSR spends in absolute terms over FY22 were ICICI Bank (₹196.04 crore), Jindal Steel & Power (₹111.20 crore), Hindustan Zinc (₹87.53 crore), HDFC Bank (₹84.88 crore) and Tata Steel (₹74.65 crore). All the figures refer to the increase in CSR expenditure in FY23 over FY22.


According to, 1,893 companies were listed on the NSE main board as on March 31, 2023. Of these, annual reports for FY23 have been released by 1,854 companies.


Women outnumber men in skills training

Women outnumbered men in acquiring skills training under the Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Yojana with over 95% of them opting for tailoring as a preferred trade.


Launched by PM Narendra Modi in September 2023, the scheme has trained 0.35 million individuals till date, of which 0.24 million or 68.76% are women and 0.11 million or 31.3% are men. Of these, 0.23 million women acquired tailoring skills while the majority of males (33,104) opted for mason training.


Government data showed 1.04 million individuals enrolled for training under the scheme so far, as against the target of training 3 million under the scheme. The highest number of beneficiaries under the scheme are from Karnataka (83,067), followed by Gujarat (56,221), J&K (55,856), Andhra Pradesh (44,922), Assam (24,851), Maharashtra (17,557), UP (13,026), Madhya Pradesh (10,692), Rajasthan (7,846) and Chhattisgarh (7,830).

However, the scheme has failed to take off in eight states, including Delhi, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, with just one registration in each of the three states and no training so far.


Under the scheme, traditional artisans and craftspeople across 18 traditional trades are covered. The beneficiaries get five-seven days of basic training while the advanced training can go up to 15 days.


The idea is to nurture the talent and skills of the beneficiaries, laying the path for them to become either entrepreneurs or get employed in the trade of their choice. Each beneficiary is given ₹500 per day stipend during the training period along with a Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, which is expected to serve as a proof of their skill sets at the time of seeking a job.


Besides, the beneficiaries are entitled to a collateral-free enterprise development loan up to ₹2 lakh at concessional rates, ₹15,000 incentive for buying a toolkit, marketing support as well as an incentive for digital transaction to help establish enterprises.


India has stringent norms for pesticide residue limits: FSSAI

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on May 5, 2024 said India has one of the most stringent standards of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for pesticides in the world. “MRLs of pesticides are fixed differently for different food commodities based on their risk assessments,” it said in a statement.


ET on Saturday reported that India has increased the maximum level of unregistered pesticides in spices and herbs to 0.1mg/kg from 0.01 mg/kg on April 8. “The MRL of 0.01 mg/kg was applicable in case of pesticides for which MRLs have not been fixed,” the authority said in a statement. “This limit was increased to 0.1 mg/kg only in cases of spices and is applicable only for those pesticides which are not registered in India by CIB & RC,” it added.


FSSAI said this revision was recommended by scientific panel on pesticide residues after considering the adoption of MRLs in the range 0.1 mg/kg and above by Codex Alimantarius Commission on Pesticide Residues on spices during 2021-23 in a phased manner for various spices in the world (MRLs fixed by Codex for spices and culinary herbs ranges from 0.1 to 80 mg/kg). Pesticides are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA & FW) through the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee, which regulates the manufacturing, import, transport, storage of pesticides.


India extends duty-free import of yellow peas by four months

India has extended the timeline for duty-free imports of yellow peas by four more months until October 2024, according to an official notification.


In early December, the central government allowed duty-free imports of yellow peas until March 2024, later to be extended till April and then June. It was part of New Delhi’s intervention to cool the prices of the overall pulse basket.


Reportedly, the duty on yellow peas was first implemented in November 2017 at 50 per cent. India largely imports yellow peas from Canada and Russia.


India is a large consumer and grower of pulses and it meets a portion of its consumption needs through imports.


India primarily consumes chana, Masur, urad, Kabuli chana, and tur pulses.


As part of the centre’s intervention, it had in September extended stock limits on tur and urad dal by two months until December 31, besides revising the stock holding limits for certain stakeholders.


The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had maintained that the revision in stock limits and extension of the time period were to prevent hoarding, elicit the continuous release of tur and urad in sufficient quantities to the market and make the pulses available at affordable prices.

India is dependent on imports of pulses for its domestic requirements. Pulses imports have almost doubled in 2023-24 to USD 3.74 billion.


Onion exports: India lifts ban on sending onions out of the country

The Centre on May 4, 2024 lifted the ban on onion exports but imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of $550 per tonne. Additionally, a 40% duty was imposed on onion exports.


Onion farmers, mostly in Maharashtra, had been protesting against the export ban, citing loss of income.


Tight global supplies and a dry spell induced by the El Nino weather phenomenon had prompted the government to restrict onion exports during the 2023-24 financial year. On 8 December 2023, the government had banned the export of onions till 31 March 2024.


According to data released by the farm ministry in March, India’s onion production in 2023-24 is estimated at 25.5 million tonnes, down from 30.2 million tonnes last year. This decline has been attributed to a fall in output in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan.


IN-SPACe releases norms to implement Indian space policy

Space regulator IN-SPACe on May 3, 2024 unveiled norms, guidelines and procedures for effective implementation of the Indian space policy that opened up the sector to private players to engage in a range of activities from building and launching satellites to setting up ground stations and share remote sensing data.


The 147-page document lists out space activities that need authorisation from IN-SPACe, specifies criteria for granting such authorisations and provides necessary guidelines/pre-requisites to be fulfilled by an applicant for making an authorisation application.


The norms, guidelines and procedures (NGP) will complement the government’s endeavour in providing a predictable regulatory regime, transparency and ease of doing business in the Indian space sector.


According to the NGP document, any entity, whether Indian or foreign, carrying out space activities from Indian territory, its exclusive economic zone, or within its jurisdiction, needs authorisation from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).


The authorisation is required for a wide range of activities, including launching, operating, guiding, planning re-entry of space objects, establishing communication and remote sensing satellites, hosting payloads, operating space transportation systems, and disseminating high-resolution remote sensing data pertaining to Indian territory.


India’s forex reserves decline by $2.41 bn to $637.92 bn

India’s forex reserves declined by $2.41 billion to $637.92 billion in the week ending April 26, latest data published by the Reserve Bank of India showed on May 3, 2024.


According to the Weekly Statistical Supplement released by the RBI, Foreign currency assets (FCAs) decreased by $1.16 billion to $559.7 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 dropped by $1.28 billion to $55.53 billion, whereas SDRs were up by $15 million to $18.05 billion.


Reserve position in the IMF increased by $8 million to $4.64 billion.


Manufacturing activity eases slightly to 58.8 in April

Buoyant domestic demand ensured a strong start for the fiscal, with the manufacturing activity easing slightly to 58.8 in April compared with 59.1 in the previous month, according to results of a private survey released May 2, 2024. The India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index remained high above the 50-level, which separates expansion from contraction, and even above the long-run average of 53.9.


ETO testing mandatory for export of all spices to Singapore and Hong Kong

India’s Spices Board has made testing for ethylene oxide (ETO) mandatory for all spices being exported to Hong Kong and Singapore, where authorities in April 2024 stopped sales of some products of two Indian spice brands on the ground that they contained high levels of ETO, a carcinogen. Testing has been made mandatory from May 6.


Makers of spice mixes use different methods to prevent development of microorganisms like E Coli and Salmonella in their products. Of these, treatment using ETO is one of the cheapest.


Most developed countries have stringent pesticide and chemical residue norms for food items. Singapore allows 50 ppm (part per million) of ETO, while Hong Kong has zero tolerance for it. In the US, authorities accept 7 ppm of ETO, while the European Union and the UK accept 0.10 ppm ETO.


OECD revises India’s FY25 growth forecast upward to 6.6%

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, May 2, 2024, revised India’s FY25 growth forecast upward to 6.6% from 6.2% projected earlier.


“Strong investment and improving business confidence in India are projected to sustain real GDP growth of just over 6½ per cent in both FY25 and FY26, despite relatively sluggish private consumption growth,” OECD said.


“Domestic demand will be driven by gross capital formation, particularly in the public sector, with private consumption growth remaining sluggish,” it further added.

The international group projects the Indian economy to register 7.8% growth in FY24, higher than the 7.6% estimated by the government.


The revision from OECD follows similar upward revisions by other international agencies on the back of strong domestic fundamentals of the Indian economy.


“New supply chain disruptions generated by geopolitical turmoil, food inflation stickiness due to extreme weather episodes, and negative spillovers from fluctuations in global financial markets,” were cited as downside risks by OECD.


India’s services exports dip marginally in March to $30 bn

India’s services exports declined 1.3 per cent in March to $30 billion while imports fell by 2.1 per cent to $16.61 billion, according to a report by the Reserve Bank of India released on May 2, 2024.


As per RBI’s data on India’s international trade in services, the trade surplus during March 2024 was USD 13.4 billion.


According to the commerce ministry data, the services export during fiscal 2023-24 is estimated at USD 339.62 billion and imports at USD 177.56 billion.


The trade surplus or difference between exports and imports works out to be USD 162 billion during the year.


Overall exports (merchandise and services) are estimated to reach USD 776.68 billion in 2023-24 as compared to USD 776.40 billion in 2022-23.

SC rejects plea for allocating spectrum without auction

The Supreme Court has declined to receive an application by the Centre to allow the administrative allocation of spectrum.


The Registrar found the application for clarification misconceived. Spectrum, a scarce natural resource, is allocated to private players only through open, transparent auction.


The law was laid down on this issue by the Supreme Court 12 years ago in the 2G spectrum judgment. ‘Administrative allocation’ of spectrum would have government in sole charge of selecting operators to distribute airwaves.


The Registrar invoked Order XV Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 to decline the application. Under this provision of the 2013 Rules, the Registrar may refuse to receive a petition on the ground that it discloses no reasonable cause or is frivolous or contains scandalous matter. The government has 15 days to appeal to the court.


The application filed by the Union government had said spectrum was assigned not only for commercial telecom services but also for discharge of sovereign and public interest functions.


The February 2012 judgment in the 2G spectrum case held that “for alienation of scarce natural resources like spectrum, etc, the state must always adopt a method of auction by giving wide publicity so that all eligible persons may participate in the process”.


GST revenue collection hits record high of Rs 2.10 lakh cr in April

India’s Gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections hit a record high of Rs 2.10 lakh crore in April, growing 12.4 per cent on year-on-year basis, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on May 1, 2024.


GST collection in March stood at Rs 1.78 lakh crore. Previously, the highest-ever GST collection figure stood at Rs 1.87 lakh crore in April 2023.


The growth was driven by a 13.4 per cent growth in domestic transaction and 8.3 per cent growth in imports, the ministry said.


After accounting for refunds, the net GST revenue for April 2024 stands at Rs 1.92 lakh crore, reflecting an impressive 17.1% growth compared to the same period last year.


Average GST collection in FY24 was Rs 1.68 lakh crore while it was Rs 1.51 lakh crore in FY23.


Prices of commercial LPG cylinders slashed by Rs 19; ATF rate hiked marginally

Government oil marketing companies on May 1, 2024 slashed prices of commercial LPG gas cylinders by Rs 19 with immediate effect.


Jet fuel or ATF price was also hiked by a marginal 0.7 per cent. Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price was hiked by Rs 749.25 per kilolitre, or 0.7 per cent, to Rs 101,642.88 per kl in the national capital, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.


The increase reverses the marginal 0.5 per cent cut effected on April 1.


Rates in Mumbai on May 1, 2024 were increased to Rs 95,173.70 per kl from Rs 94,466.41.


Prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes.


Alongside, oil firms also cut the price of commercial LPG by Rs 19 to Rs 1,745.50 for a 19-kg cylinder.


India to grow 6.8% in FY25, public investment to be the driver, says IMF

Indian economy will likely expand 6.8% in the current fiscal as public investment remains the primary growth driver, the International Monetary Fund said April 30, 2024 in its Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific.


The IMF recently revised India’s growth forecast upward to 6.8% from 6.5% projected in its January forecast.


The fund also revised India’s FY24 growth outlook upward to 7.8%, higher than the government’s projection of 7.6%.


India’s inflation declined to a 10-month low of 4.9% in March, according to data released in April 2024. However, food inflation remained sticky above 8%.


IMF kept the FY25 forecast unchanged at 4.6%, easing to 4.2% in FY26.

India’s infrastructure output slows down to 5.2% in March as against 7.1% in Feb

The growth rate of eight core sectors in India increased by 5.2 per cent in March on an annual basis, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said on April 30, 2024.


The index had grown by 7.1 per cent in February 2024 and 4.1 per cent in January 2024. Meanwhile, it stood 4.2 per cent in March 2023.


The index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) measures the combined and individual performance of production of eight core industries namely cement, coal, crude oil, electricity, fertilizers, natural gas, refinery products and steel. These industries comprise 40.27 percent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).


500 MSMEs apply for sops under two key schemes for green investments

At least 500 micro and small enterprises (MSE) have applied for incentives under two key schemes for green investments and circular economy in the first three months of the their launch as they prepare for global climate regulations and consumers’ preference for eco-friendly products, officials said. The Green Investment and Financing for Transformation (GIFT) and Scheme for Promotion and Investment in Circular Economy (SPICE) were launched in December.


“380 crore loan has been disbursed under the two schemes till March,” said an official. The GIFT scheme provides an interest subvention of 2% every year for five years on loans up to 2 crore to MSEs adopting an environment-friendly technology, while SPICE offers capital subsidies to MSEs for brownfield projects, nudging them to expand or upgrade their existing circular economy projects.


A circular economy extends producers’ responsibilities, holding them accountable for what happens to the product after its useful years.


SPICE, an outlay of Rs 472.5 crore, runs from FY24 to FY27, while GIFT has an outlay of 478 crore for three years until FY26.


India revises windfall tax to Rs 8,400 per tonne, effective May 1

The centre April 30, 2024 revised Windfall tax on domestically produced crude oil to Rs 8,400 per tonne, down from Rs 9,600 per tonne.

The export duty on petrol diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) will continue to be nil.


The new rates will be effective May 1, the central board of Indirect Taxes and Customs( CBIC) said in a late night notification April 30, 2024.


The government had on April 16 raised the windfall tax on petroleum crude to 9,600 rupees a metric ton from 6,800 rupees, after firming of crude oil prices in the international market.


India first imposed windfall profit taxes on July 1, 2022, joining a host of nations that tax extraordinary profits of energy companies.


The rates are reviewed every fortnight based on international crude oil prices in the previous two weeks.


India growth may top 7% in FY25: NCAER

The Indian economy could grow faster than 7% in this financial year, the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) said in its monthly economic review released on April 29, 2024.


“Projected acceleration in both global growth and trade volumes, as well as the forecast of an above-normal monsoon, indicate that the Indian economy can again attain growth rates higher than 7% during the current fiscal year,” said NCAER director general Poonam Gupta.


The International Monetary Fund, earlier this month, raised India’s 2024-25 growth forecast to 6.8% from 6.5% projected earlier.


According to government data, the economy grew 7.6% in FY24.


The NCAER’s April review found that the economy carried forward the momentum seen in February and March. “A range of high-frequency indicators reveal the resilience…with Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing at a 16-year high and UPI (Unified Payments Interface) touching highest volume since its inception in 2016.”


Critical Minerals Summit held in New Delhi

The ‘Critical Minerals Summit: Enhancing Beneficiation and Processing Capabilities’ was held the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on April 29-30, 2024. The summit, designed to foster collaboration and innovation in critical minerals beneficiation and processing, was inaugurated under the patronage of the Ministry of Mines.


The summit featured exhibition pavilions showcasing a diverse array of minerals sourced from both terrestrial and marine environments, providing attendees with a comprehensive view of the critical minerals landscape.


On the sidelines of the summit, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Mines and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. This MoU initiates a partnership between Ministry of Mines, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and TERI. This partnership will focus on providing knowledge support in the field of Critical Minerals which are crucial for India’s economic development, national security, and low-carbon energy transition.



MCA fills vacancies in Appellate Authority for CA, CS, Cost Accountants

The Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) has filled the vacancies in the Appellate Authority for Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants.


Justice Suresh Kumar Gupta, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, has been appointed as Chairperson of this Appellate Authority, which was set up to hear appeals against the orders issued by the Disciplinary Committees of the three professional institutes —CA Institute, Cost Accountants Institute and Company Secretaries Institute.


MCA has also appointed Rakesh Mohan, Sandip Garg, Wholetime Member, IBBI and Amit Anand Apte as Members (government nominees) of the Appellate Authority.


The Appellate Authority has been set up in accordance with Section 22A(1) of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, Section 22A of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, and Section 22A of the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959.


Sanjaya Kumar Mishra to head GST appellate panel

Centre has set in motion the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) with the appointment of retired Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra as its President. The setting up of the tribunal aims to help businesses resolve various disputes efficiently.


“The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet, based on the recommendation of the SCSC (Search-cum-Selection Committee), has approved the appointment of Justice (Retd) Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, Former Chief Justice, High Court of Jharkhand, to the post of President in Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal, in the salary of ₹2.50 lakh per month for 4 years,” an order from Department of Personal and Training (DoPT) said. The four-year will be counted from the date of his assuming charge or till attaining the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.


The Finance Ministry has already issued vacancy circulars for 63 judicial members and 33 Technical Members for the Centre and States together. Last September, the Centre notified to set up 31 GSTAT benches with one Principal Bench in Delhi. Further, it was said that Uttar Pradesh will have three Benches, the highest in any given State in the country. Other larger States, such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, will have two benches each. The Principal Bench will take up matters related to inter-state disputes, while Benches in States will take up all other issues, including rates. The aggrieved parties can move to the High Courts and Supreme Court.


GST Tribunals are envisioned as specialised bodies to handle disputes related to GST, providing a timely and efficient resolution mechanism. However, several legal, administrative and constitutional challenges have contributed to the delay in their establishment. GST Tribunals are essential for resolving tax matters because they provide an impartial, expert, and efficient forum for addressing tax disputes. They play a crucial role in ensuring fairness, accountability, and the rule of law in tax administration. It is said that setting up 31 Benches in all major cities across the country will help resolve tax disputes and reduce the strain on jurisdictional High Courts.


Justice PS Dinesh Kumar takes charge as presiding officer of Securities Appellate Tribunal

Justice PS Dinesh Kumar on April 29, 2024 took charge as the presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). Justice Kumar, formerly a Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, has been appointed for four years. The tribunal had been functioning without a judicial member for the last four months after previous presiding officer Justice Tarun Agarwala vacated office in December. Dheeraj Bhatnagar (retired Principal Chief Comm­issi­oner of Income Tax, Delhi) also took charge as a technical member of the tribunal which only had Meera Swarup as a technical member.




Godrej Group split announced

The founding family of 127-year-old Godrej Group, which spans from soaps and home appliances to real estate, has reached an agreement to split the conglomerate.


Adi Godrej and his brother Nadir will keep Godrej Industries that has five listed firms. Their cousins Jamshyd and Smita will get unlisted Godrej & Boyce and its affiliates as well as a land bank, including prime property in Mumbai.


The group has been split between two branches of the founding family, with Adi Godrej (82) and his brother Nadir (73) on one side and their cousins Jamshyd Godrej (75) and Smita Godrej Crishna (74) on the other.


Godrej Enterprises Group (GEG) — comprising Godrej & Boyce and its affiliates that have a presence across multiple industries spanning aerospace and aviation to defence, furniture and IT software — will be controlled by Jamshyd Godrej as chairperson and managing director. His sister Smita’s daughter Nyrika Holkar, 42, will be the executive director. Their families will control this arm that also will hold the land bank, including 3,400 acres of prime land in Mumbai.


Godrej Industries Group (GIG) — which includes the listed companies – Godrej Industries, Godrej Consumer Products, Godrej Properties, Godrej Agrovet and Astec Lifesciences — will have Nadir Godrej as chairperson and will be controlled by Adi, Nadir and their immediate families.


Both Groups will continue to use the Godrej brand.



Lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur Ardeshir Godrej and his brother in 1897 succeeded at locksmithing after failed ventures into hand-fashioned medical devices.


Ardeshir did not have any children, and so the group was inherited by his younger brother Pirojsha. Pirojsha had four children – Sohrab, Dosa, Burjor and Naval.


Over the years, the helm of the group came to the children of Burjor (Adi and Nadir) and Naval (Jamshyd and Smita) as Sohrab had no children while Dosa had one child Rishad, who had no children.


Raymond to demerge engineering business

The boards of various businesses of Raymond on April 3, 2024 gave their nod for demerger of their engineering business to enable the company’s and newly acquired Maini Precision Product’s foray into certain sectors.


Companies involved in formation of the scheme include JK Files & Engineering (JKFEL), JKFEL Tools And Technologies Limited (JKTTL), Ring Plus Aqua Limited (RPAL), Maini Precision Products Limited (MPPL), Ray Global Consumer Enterprise Limited (RGCEL) and other subsidiaries.


The composite scheme entails demerger of engineering business done by JKFEL and its arms RPAL, MPPL and JK Talabot into JKTTL.


It also entails merger of RPAL & MPPL into JKTTL, demerger of aerospace and defence business of JKTTL into RGCEL.


Raymond also re-appointed Gautam Hari Singhania as the managing director of the company for a term of five years with effect from July 1, 2024. He is the CMD is since September 2000.


Investcorp to acquire NSE’s technology services business

Investcorp, a US-based global alternative investment firm, acquired NSEIT, the digital technology business of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) for Rs1000 crore. The transaction excludes the digital examinations business that is also housed inside NSEIT. NSEIT, a provider of digital transformation and cybersecurity services focused on customers in capital markets, insurance, and banking, has presence in India, North America and Middle East. The company’s offerings include digital engineering, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud services, and cybersecurity services.


Bayer acquires 25% stake in Bayer Zydus Pharma JV

Bayer announced acquisition of the remaining 25 per cent stake in Bayer Zydus Pharma Private Ltd, for ₹282 crore thus ending 13-year-old joint venture. The JV brought together Zydus’ expertise in marketing and distribution along with Bayer’s novel products, marking their presence in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, women’s health, ophthalmology and oncology.


JNK India listed

Shares JNK India made a strong listing at the bourses on April 30, 2024. Against an IPO price of ₹415,the stock listed at ₹620 on the BSE — up 49.39 per cent — and ended at ₹693.95 — a gain of 67.21 per cent. At NSE, it closed at Rs 694.55. JNK India manufactures fired heaters, reformers and cracking furnaces that are required in process industries such as for oil and gas refineries, petrochemical and fertilizer industries


Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc files trademark infringement case in India

Tesla Inc, the electric vehicle (EV) MNC founded by Elon Musk, has initiated legal action against Gurugram-based Tesla Power India Ltd for trademark infringement. The case is around allegations of Tesla Power India Ltd utilizing trade names such as “Tesla Power” and “Tesla Power USA”, which Tesla Inc claims infringes upon its own trademarks. The Delhi High Court has asked the Indian company to submit its response.



Krishna Ella is president of vaccine makers’ body

Krishna M Ella, Co-founder, Executive Chairman of Bharat Biotech has taken over as President of the Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) for a two-year period from April, 2024. Ella takes over the Presidency from Adar C Poonawalla who held the post from 2019 to March 2024.


Section I: STATES


West Bengal SSC recruitment case: SC stays CBI probe

The Supreme Court of India on April 29, 2024 stayed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into recruitment of School Service Commission (SSC) teachers till further orders.


The top court also set May 6 as date for further hearing West Bengal Government’s plea against the Calcutta High Court decision which declared the entire panel of 2016 SSC teachers’ recruitment null and void and also cancelled appointments of 24,000 teachers and non-teaching staff.


Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on April 29, 2024 had said that her government will challenge the verdict “as it affects 1.5-2 lakh families.”


The state CM had said, “We challenge the verdict, as it affects 1.5-2 lakh families. Is it possible to return the salary of eight years in 4 weeks?”


Those who were improperly appointed have been ordered by the court to repay their salaries within six weeks.


What is the scam?

In 2014, the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) announced that the State Level Selection Test SLST would be used to recruit teachers for West Bengal’s state-run schools.


The actual recruitment process began in 2016. However, this process was met with numerous challenges, including several petitions filed in the Calcutta High Court alleging irregularities in the recruitment process.


The petitioners claimed that many candidates who received lower grades were placed higher on the merit list, raising concerns about the fairness of the selection process. Furthermore, there were allegations that individuals who did not even make the merit list received appointment letters.


‘Kallakkadal phenomenon’ threatens Kerala, southern Tamil Nadu coastlines

The entire coastal areas of Kerala and the southern coastal parts of Tamil Nadu are likely to experience the “kallakkadal phenomenon” — the sudden swell of the seas causing rough waves — until 11.30 pm on April 29, 2024, prompting a central agency to issue alerts to fishermen and coastal residents. “As the rough seas are likely to intensify, stay away from the danger zone areas as per the instructions of the authorities,” according to the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).


INCOIS, the agency that issues weather warnings for fishermen in the country, advised people to safely moor fishing vessels in the harbour. “Keeping a safe distance between boats can avoid the risk of collision. The safety of fishing equipment should be ensured,” it added. INCOIS also advised people to avoid trips to the beach and activities at sea completely.


The term ‘kallakkadal’ literally means a sea which comes suddenly like a thief. INCOIS has said that the swell surge is the result of strong winds in the southern part of the Indian Ocean at certain times occurring suddenly without any particular indications or warning, hence the name “kallakkadal.”


ICG & ATS Gujarat seize Indian fishing boat carrying 173 kg of narcotics

In a coordinated effort, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on April 29, 2024 seized an Indian fishing boat in the Arabian Sea carrying 173 kg of narcotics and arrested two perpetrators on board.


Acting on specific and credible intelligence provided by ATS Gujarat, ICG strategically deployed its assets ensuring comprehensive surveillance to intercept the suspected boat. Subsequent investigations upon intercepting the boat confirmed the accuracy of the intelligence inputs, establishing the involvement of the fishing boat and its two perpetrators in smuggling drugs. Further investigation into the crew’s involvement is underway.


The operation marked the twelfth such seizure by the ICG in the last three years, including recent detention of a Pakistani fishing boat with a substantial quantity of drugs on board, highlighting the commitment of both agencies to safeguard the maritime borders and combating illicit activities at sea.


Village heads to be held accountable if child marriages solemnised in Rajasthan: HC

The Rajasthan High Court has directed the state government to ensure that no child marriage takes place in the state, and said village heads and panchayat members will be held accountable if they are solemnised. The court’s order came on May 1, 2024 ahead of the Akshay Tritiya festival on May 10. Many child marriages are solemnised on Akshay Tritiya in Rajasthan. A division bench of the court, while hearing a PIL seeking the court’s intervention to prevent child marriages, noted that inspite of the Prohibition of Child Marriage act 2006 being in force, child marriages are still taking place in the state.


Indian Army and Punit Balan Group develop Constitution Park in Pune

Constitution Park, jointly developed by Indian Army and Punit Balan Group, was inaugurated in Pune on April 29, 2024. The park was inaugurated by GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Lt Gen Ajai Kumar Singh.


Char Dhams among eight railway stations renamed in Amethi

The Centre has approved renaming 8 Amethi railway stations in Uttar Pradesh. A no-objection-certificate (NOC) has been issued to rename Fursatganj Railway Station as Tapeshwarnath Dham, Kasimpur Halt as Jais City, Jais City as Guru Gorakhnath Dham, Bani as Swami Paramhans, Misrauli as Maa Kalikan Dham, Nihalgarh as Maharaja Bijli Pasi, and Akbarganj as Maa Kalikan Dham, according to the home ministry.


14 Patanjali products lose licence in Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand government on April 29, 2024 informed the Supreme Court that it has suspended the licences of 14 products sold by Patanjali Ayurved and Divya Pharmacy with immediate effect. The declaration came with an apology by the State Licensing Authority (SLA) along with a promise that it would commit no deliberate act to disobey the court’s orders. An affidavit said in an order issued on April 15 that the suspension took place for repeated violations of regulations, mainly concerning misleading advertisements, under Rule 159(1) of The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.



BJP MP Srinivas Prasad passes away at 76

Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former Union Minister V. Srinivas Prasad, 76, passed away in Bengaluru on April 29, 2024. He represented Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha constituency six times and Nanjangud Assembly segment twice. Prasad had announced his retirement from politics in March. After his victory in the Lok Sabha elections of 1999 from the JD(U), Prasad served as the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government till 2004. He joined the Congress later, got elected as an MLA from Nanjangud (reserved) Assembly constituency in 2013 and became the Minister for Revenue and Religious Endowment in the Congress government headed by CM Siddaramaiah. He joined the BJP in 2017 and won from Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha constituency in 2019.


Tamil playback singer Uma Ramanan passes away at 72

Popular Tamil playback singer Uma Ramanan passed away on May 1, 2024 in Chennai. The 72-year-old singer, known for her collaboration with music composer Ilaiyaraaja and other prominent composers, has left behind a rich legacy in the world of music.


Percussion maestro Aravindakshan Marar dies at 82

Kelath Aravindakshan Marar, who had been part of the percussion ensembles of the Thrissur Pooram for more than four decades, passed away in Thrissur on May 5, 2024 at the age of 82.


Editor of daily Hindi Milap Vinay Vir dies at 72

Reputed journalist and Editor of the Daily Hindi Milap, Vinay Vir, passed away in Hyderabad on April 27, 2024. Vir, who elevated Hindi journalism to new heights, was 72 years old.


Section J: SPORTS


2024 World Athletics Relays held in Nassau, Bahamas

The 2024 World Athletics Relays was held in Nassau, Bahamas on May 4-5, 2024. USA won gold in 4x100m relay – Men, 4x100m relay – Women, 4x400m relay – Women and 4x400m relay – Mixed. Botswana won gold in 4x400m relay – Men.




4x100m relay – Men

  1. USA – 37.40 (Courtney Lindsey, Kenneth Bednarek, Kyree King & Noah Lyles)
  2. Canada – 37.89
  3. France – 38.44


4x100m relay – Women

  1. USA – 41.85 (Gabby Thomas, Tamari Davis, Thomas, Celera Barnes & Melissa Jefferson)
  2. France – 42.75
  3. Great Britain – 42.80


4x400m relay – Men

  1. Botswana – 2:59.11 (Busang Collen Kebinatshipi, Letsile Tebogo, Leungo Scotch & Bayapo Ndori)
  2. South Africa – 3:00.75
  3. Belgium – 3:01.16


4x400m relay – Women

  1. USA – 3:21.70 (Gabby Thomas, Quanera Hayes, Bailey Lear & Alexis Holmes)
  2. Poland – 3:24.71
  3. Canada – 3:25.17


4x400m relay – Mixed

  1. USA – 3:10.73 (Matthew Boling, Lynna Irby-Jackson, Willington Wright, Kendall Ellis)
  2. Netherlands – 3:11.45
  3. Ireland – 3:11.53


Uber Cup badminton

China won the Uber Cup women’s team badminton championship by defeating Indonesia with a score of 3-0 in Chengdu on May 5, 2024.


Chen Yufei won the first singles match against Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in straight sets, 21-7, 21-16.


In the doubles match, world No. 1 pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan extended China’s lead to 2-0 by beating Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti and Ribka Sugiarto 21-11, 21-8.


In the second singles match, He Bingjiao clinched victory for China with a 10-21, 21-15, 21-17 win over Ester Nurumi Tri. Japan and South Korea were awarded the bronze medals


Thomas Cup badminton

China won the Thomas Cup men’s team badminton championship by defeating Indonesia with a score of 3-1 in Chengdu on May 5, 2024.


In the first singles match, Shi Yu Qi gave China 1-0 lead by defeating Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-17, 21-6.


In doubles match, Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang of China won against Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-18, 17-21, 21-17.


In the second singles match, Jonatan Christie beat China’s LI Shi Feng 21-16, 15-21, 21-17.


In the second doubles match, He Ji Ting & Ren Xiang Yu defeated Muhammad Shohibul Fikri & Bagas Maulana 21-11, 21-15 to win the final for China 3-1.


Madrid Open tennis

Russia’s Andrey Rublev won the men’s singles title at Madrid Open tennis in Madrid, Spain by defeating Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the final on May 5, 2024.


Iga Swiatek of Poland won the women’s singles title by defeating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the final 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7).


Men’s doubles title was won by Sebastian Korda (USA) & Jordan Thompson (Australia) who defeated Ariel Behar (Uruguay) & Adam Pavlásek (Czech Republic) in the final 6–3, 7–6(9–7).


Spain’s Cristina Bucșa & Sara Sorribes Tormo defeated Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) & Laura Siegemund (Germany) in the final, 6–0, 6-2 to win the women’s doubles tennis title.


Sriram Balaji and Begemann win Cagliari Challenger tennis

Sriram Balaji and Andre Begemann beat Boris Arias and Federico Zeballos 6-4, 6-7(3), [10-6] in the doubles final of the €205,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Cagliari, Italy, on May 5, 2024. The champion team collected €11,705 and 175 ATP points.


Asian carrom championships held in Maldives

India’s Rashmi Kumari outplayed Shainy Sebastian 25-0, 25-4 to clinch the women’s title in the 6th Asian carrom championship which concluded in Maldives on May 1, 2024. In the men’s final, India’s Mohd. Ghufran beat his compatriot K. Srinivas 25-17, 25-24.


India also swept both the men’s and women’s team championships. The results, finals: Men: India bt Maldives 3-0 (K. Srinivas bt Ismail Azmeen 25-19, 25-3; Md. Ghufran bt Hassan Nazim 25-8, 25-22; Sandeep Dive & Jugal Kishor Dutta bt Adam Adeel & Ibrahim Hujan 25-17, 25-5). Women: India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (Rashmi Kumari bt Tashmila Kavindi 25-0, 25-15; Nagajothi Kathavarayan bt Roshita Joseph 25-1, 25-0; Aaknaksha Kadam & Shainy Sebastian bt Tharushi Himahansika & Hirushi Malshani 25-16, 25-12).


Tejaswin Shankar wins high jump event at Arizona athletics meet

India’s Tejaswin Shankar won the men’s high jump event at the USATF Throws Festival 2024 in Tucson, Arizona on May 4, 2024 with a season best-equalling effort of 2.23m. Incidentally, the top three jumpers each recorded the same 2.23m mark at the University of Arizona Roy P. Drachman Stadium. Earnest Sears of the USA finished second while Roberto Vílches of Mexico was third. Since Tejaswin Shankar managed the clearance with his first attempt while Sears and Vílches, managed it in their second and third attempts, respectively, the Indian athlete was declared the winner. Tejaswin Shankar’s personal best is 2.29m, a national record, achieved in 2018.


Mumbai City FC lifts ISL Cup

Mumbai City FC beat Mohun Bagan Super Giant 3-1 in the Indian Super League 2023-24 final at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on May 4, 2024. Jason Cummings (44’) gave the losing side the lead but second-half strikes from Jorge Diaz (53’), Bipin Singh (81’) and Jakub Vojtus (90+7’) scored in the second half to hand MCFC their second ISL title. ISL 2023-24 awards — Golden Glove: Phurba Lachenpa (Mumbai City FC), Golden Boot: Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters FC), Emerging Player of the League: Vikram Partap Singh (Mumbai City FC), Player of the League: Dimitrios Petratos (Mohun Bagan Super Giant).


R Vaishali becomes GM

Indian chess player Vaishali Rameshbabu completed the requisite 2500 ELO points at Llobregat Open tournament in Spain to become only the third Indian woman after Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli to become a GM (Grandmaster).


Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh Memorial hockey tournament

Punjab and Sind Bank won the ‘Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh Memorial’ hockey tournament in Chandigarh on April 30, 2024 The winners defeated the Indian Air Force in a closely fought match 12-11 via penalty shootout. At the end of regulation time, both teams were locked at 3-3. An icon of India’s military history, Arjan Singh had successfully led the IAF during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Singh died on September 16, 2017, at the age of 98.


Football: Real Madrid win LaLiga title

Real Madrid won a record 36th LaLiga title on May 4, 2024 with four matches to spare in the season. Real Madrid had 87 points from 34 matches. Girona (74) and Barcelona (73) were second and third respectively after playign the same number of matches.


Italy wins Fred Perry Cup tennis

Nitten Kirrtane went down fighting in three sets to Davide Gregianin as India lost 1-2 to Italy in the final of the Fred Perry Cup ITF tennis masters over-50 world championship in Mexico City on May 3, 2024. Nitten lost 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Gregianin after Lorenzo Pennisi had given a strong start for Italy with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Jagdish Tanwar. The Italians gave a walkover in the inconsequential doubles.


Lando Norris wins Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix

McLaren driver Lando Norris (UK) won the Miami Formula One Grand Prix, sixth race of 2024 season, at Miami (USA) on May 5, 2024. This was his first win in F1. Netherlands’s Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing-Honda RBPT was second. Monaco’s Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was third.


Former football coach César Luis Menotti dies at 85

César Luis Menotti, former player and coach of Argentina’s team that won its first World Cup title in 1978, died on May 5, 2024 at the age of 85. He played 11 matches for Argentina and scored two goals in 1963-1968. At the club level, he played for Rosario Central (1960-1963 and 1967), then went to Racing Club (1964) and Boca Juniors (1965-1966), all Argentine clubs. Menotti played for the New York Generals in the U.S. (1967), followed by Brazil’s Santos (1968) and Italy’s Juventus (1969-1970). Menotti coached Argentina’s national team between 1974 and 1983.


Japan win AFC U23 Asian Cup football tournament

Japan defeated Uzbekistan 1-0 in final on May 3, 2024 to win the AFC U23 Asian Cup football tournament at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.