Current Affairs May 2024

Read this post to know about Weekly Current Affairs in short for the Week May 13th to 19th 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 2 of May are given below:


Weekly Current Affairs Update

For the Week: May 13 to 19, 2024


Section A: INDIA

  • Acquisition of pvt property not valid if proper procedure not followed: SC
  • Adverse events seen in some participants who took Covaxin, reports new study
  • Indian Air Force tests BHISHM portable hospital for airdrop in Agra
  • BRO breaks through 2.79-km Sungal tunnel along Jammu-Poonch highway
  • ICG apprehends fishing vessel off Maharashtra coast
  • Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd celebrates 250 years milestone
  • Elgar Parishad case: SC grants bail to Gautam Navlakha
  • NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha released
  • Senior advocate Kapil Sibal elected president of SCBA
  • Poonam Dhillon elected CINTAA President
  • Print media veteran Naresh Mohan dies at 82


  • India signs contract to operate Iranian port of Chabahar
  • Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra get UNESCO recognition
  • Army gets 27,000 AK-203 rifles through JV with Russia
  • Nepal bans sale of four types of masala from India
  • Trilateral Maritime Security Workshop conducted at Kochi
  • IMEX held in Frankfurt
  • India records highest number of Internet shutdowns in 2023
  • Power loss on container ship Dali led to collision with Baltimore bridge
  • PhonePeUPI payments launched in Sri Lanka
  • CJI addresses session at J20 summit in Brazil
  • More than 350 people become Indian nationals under CAA
  • World Hydrogen Summit 2024
  • India extends budgetary support of $50m to Maldives
  • UN-linked body defers accreditation of NHRC-India
  • Kenya floods: India sends humanitarian aid
  • Central govt. extends ban on LTTE for 5 more years
  • Ex-Indian Army colonel with UN killed in Gaza


Section C: WORLD

  • Niger reaches agreement on the departure of US troops
  • Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice meets in Vienna
  • Ukraine: Mobilization law
  • IEA warns of key energy mineral shortage risk
  • Dow crosses 40,000 for the first time
  • IEA trims 2024 oil demand growth forecast
  • France govt issues scratch and-sniff baguette stamps
  • Monet painting fetches $35 million
  • Russia economy resilient; Gaza war weighs on neighbours: EBRD
  • France imposes emergency in New Caledonia
  • Pakistan conducts training launch of ‘Fatah-II’ rocket system
  • Japan, US sign agreement to develop hypersonic missile interceptor
  • EU nations endorse reforms to bloc’s asylum system
  • Russia seizes Deutsche Bank, UniCredit assets
  • Georgian parliament adopts ‘foreign influence’ bill
  • Cambodia and China begin military exercises
  • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed on May 17
  • International Day of Living Together in Peace observed on May 16
  • International Day of Light celebrated on May 16
  • International Day of Families celebrated on May 15
  • World Hypertension Day observed on May 17
  • Global Accessibility Awareness Day celebrated on May 18
  • International Museum Day celebrated on May 18
  • Kuwait forms new government headed by Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah
  • Iran President Raisi missing after helicopter ‘accident’
  • Chad’s junta leader officially declared winner of presidential election
  • Russia: New appointments
  • Iranian filmmaker flees to Europe
  • Singapore: Lawrence Wong sworn in as PM
  • Slovakia PM Robert Fico shot
  • Alice Munro, Nobel literature winner, dies at 92
  • Hollywood actor Dabney Coleman dies at 92
  • Vietnam nominates its public security minister as new president



  • Powerful solar storm impacts Earth, says ISRO
  • Gopi Thotakura becomes India’s first space tourist


Section E: AWARDS

  • Infosys Science Foundation lowers upper age cap



  • RBI convenes Conference of Heads of Assurance of Urban Cooperative Banks
  • ICAI passes orders against five affiliates of Price Waterhouse for professional misconduct
  • MSCI includes 13 Indian stocks in its Global Standard Index, removes 3
  • YES Bank launches YES Grandeur for elite customers
  • IFC gives $500-mn loan to HDFC Bank for microloans to “underserved women”
  • Narayanan Vaghul, the banking doyen, passes away at 88


Section G: ECONOMY

  • Companies knowingly violated FAME subsidy scheme
  • FSSAI warns traders, food businesses against use of calcium carbide
  • Annual business summit of CII held in New Delhi
  • MSDE firms up strategy for trainers’ development
  • UN upgrades India’s 2024 growth forecast to 6.9% from 6.2%
  • India’s forex reserves rise for second straight week, up by $2.56 bn
  • Merchandise exports likely to reach $500 bn in FY25: FIEO
  • Urban unemployment drops slightly to 6.7% in Q4FY24
  • LIC granted 3-year time to achieve 10% public shareholding
  • Trade deficit rose to $19.1 billion in April
  • India slashes windfall tax to Rs 5,700 per tonne, effective May 16
  • WPI inflation at 13-month high
  • CPI inflation declines to 11-month low



  • Microsoft, I4C block 1,000 Skype accounts tied to cyber criminals
  • HDFC Bank launches mobile app-based, customisable digital card
  • Motorola presents “Sound of Perfection,” featuring Indian musicians
  • Indian Oil completes Mercator acquisition
  • Acer group forays into consumer electronics
  • Adani Energy Solutions buys Essar Transco for ₹1,900 crore
  • Puma signs sponsorship deal with Athletics Federation of India
  • Airbus unveils half-plane, half-copter for more speed
  • Google unleashes AI in search
  • AWS makes Amazon Bedrock available for developers in India
  • Stellantis to make Chinese company’s EVs in India
  • Founder Sachdev to retain majority stake in Centre for Sight
  • Google launches Trillium chip
  • Devyani International, PVR Inox form JV
  • Murugappa Group to introduce e-small commercial vehicles
  • Shriram Fin to sell home loan arm to Warburg Pincus for ₹4,630 cr
  • Indegene ends 26% higher on listing day
  • Amazon’s self-driving robotaxi unit Zoox under investigation
  • Twitter’s domain is now officially
  • Parle Agro launches Dhishoom
  • OpenAI cofounder Ilya Sutskever to exit
  • Sunday Times Rich List of wealthiest people in UK released
  • ITC’s Sanjiv Puri takes over as CII president
  • Kesoram chairperson Manjushree Khaitan dies at 65
  • Vineet Nayyar, ex-Tech Mahindra Vice Chairman, passes away at 85
  • Naturals Ice Cream founder Raghunandan Kamath passes away






Section I: STATES

  • Manipur government initiatives safeguard endangered polo ponies
  • Disaster management platform launched in Assam
  • ADB sanctions loan for Sikkim’s Power for All initiative
  • Sushil Kumar Modi, former Bihar Deputy CM, dies at 72
  • Former Governor Kamla Beniwal dies in 97
  • Author Malti Joshi dies at 90


Section J: SPORTS

  • Elorda Cup boxing
  • Oleksandr Usyk wins heavyweight boxing championship
  • Italian Open tennis
  • Juventus clinches Italian Cup football
  • Brazil to host 2027 Women’s World Cup
  • Bayer Leverkusen crowned Bundesliga champions
  • Manchester City win Premier League
  • 2024 BWF Thailand Open badminton
  • Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
  • Performance of Indian athletes
  • Summer McIntosh Sets new WR in 400m individual medley
  • Carlsen emerges champion of Casablanca Chess Variant
  • Shyaamnikhil becomes India’s 85th Grandmaster
  • V Pranav wins the Dubai Open chess
  • Akash Pal and Poymantee Baisya win mixed doubles TT

Section A: INDIA


Acquisition of pvt property not valid if proper procedure not followed: SC

The procedure prescribed for acquiring private property is part of the Right to Property under Article 300A of the Constitution and any acquisition done without following it would be outside the authority of law, the Supreme Court ruled on May 16, 2024.


Upholding a Calcutta High Court Division Bench order, rejecting the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s decision to acquire a piece of private land, an SC bench of Justices P S Narasimha and Aravind Kumar said there are seven basic procedural rights that Article 300A confers on a landowner and which need to be complied with before a valid acquisition. The court ordered the corporation to pay ₹5 lakh as costs within 60 days.


Writing for the Bench, Justice Narasimha said, “The seven steps may be procedures but they do constitute the real content of the right to property under Article 300A, non-compliance of these procedures will amount to violation of the right. An action of acquiring property without following due procedure would be outside the authority of law.”


The ruling said the requirement of a “law” does not end with the mere presence of a legislation which empowers the State to deprive a person of his property. “Rather, the nature, characteristics, provisions and procedure provided in such a legislation must necessarily be considered.”


It said “the State must mandatorily comply with the procedure which has been provided under the statute for an acquisition to be valid under Article 300A”. The court added that “the existence of and adherence to procedural safeguards is crucial for the protection of the right to property as they ensure fairness, transparency, natural justice and non-arbitrary exercise of power in the process of acquisition”.


In 2009, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation attempted to “forcefully enter and occupy” a property belonging to Birinchi Bihari Shah in Narkeldanga North Road, forcing him to approach the HC. The court disposed of the petition, directing the Corporation to hold an enquiry into the encroachments and to not do any construction over the property.


A year later, Shah again approached the HC after the Corporation deleted his name from the category of owner and inserted the name of the corporation in the official records.


In January 2015, a single-judge bench of the HC disposed of the plea, restraining the Corporation from interfering with the possession of Shah and also injuncting it from giving effect to the “wrongful recording of its name in the official records”.


Adverse events seen in some participants who took Covaxin, reports new study

Nearly a third of the participants of an observational study on the side-effects of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin reported adverse events of special interest (AESI), according to a report on SpringerLink, an integrated platform for journals and other materials published by Springer. Researchers found that female adolescents and those with a history of allergy are at a higher risk of AESI after receiving Covaxin, as per the report.


“The majority of the AESI persisted at the 1-year follow-up,” said the study conducted by researchers at Banaras Hindu University.


Common AESIs included viral upper respiratory tract infections, skin disorders, and nervous system issues. Serious AESIs like stroke and Guillain-Barre Syndrome were rare but reported. Females, adolescents, and those with pre-vaccination Covid-19 or comorbidities had higher odds of AESIs. Extended surveillance is recommended to understand late-onset adverse events.



Indian Air Force tests BHISHM portable hospital for airdrop in Agra

The Indian Air Force on May 14, 2024 tested BHISHM portable cubes at Agra for airdrops from the aircraft. This is the first time the Indian Air Force tested this portable hospital. This test was performed so that the portable hospital can be deployed to cater to emergencies anywhere.


As per the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, BHISHM portable cubes are a part of the broader initiative named “Project BHISHM” – Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog, Hita and Maitri, which is tailored to treat up to 200 casualties, emphasising rapid response and comprehensive care.


BRO breaks through 2.79-km Sungal tunnel along Jammu-Poonch highway

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on May 14, 2024 achieved a significant milestone by breaking through the 2.79-km Sungal tunnel along the Jammu-Poonch national highway.


Sungal, connecting Akhnoor and Poonch, is the second of the four tunnels on the strategic national highway 144-A, also known as the golden arc road, having achieved the milestone.


Earlier, the 700-metre Naushera tunnel achieved the breakthrough on January 28, while the tunnelling work inside 260 meter Kandi and 1.1 km Bhimber Gali is in progress.


ICG apprehends fishing vessel off Maharashtra coast

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) apprehended a five-man crew fishing vessel ‘Jay Malhar’ engaged in illegal diesel smuggling off the Maharashtra coast on May 16, 2024. 25 tonnes of unaccounted diesel valued approx Rs 27 lakh, concealed in fish hold along with small quantity of banned narcotic substance, was seized upon search.


Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd celebrates 250 years milestone

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) on May 14, 2024 celebrated the completion of 250 years. From a humble beginning as a small dry dock in 1774 to its incorporation in 1934, and subsequently, its stewardship under the Government of India since 1960. To mark this occasion of immense significance MDL organized a series of events including the inauguration of adjacent land acquired from the Mumbai Port Authority (MPA), the launch of a prototype of the indigenous midget submarine ‘Arowana’, the commissioning of 24-seater Fuel Cell Electric Ferry named “SUCHI”, release of MDL’s Commemorative Coin marks the 250 years and conducting a daylong Technical Seminar on “Emerging Technologies and Future of Shipbuilding”.


IEIC, NIMHANS & GoI tie up for tech de-addiction

Bengaluru-based NIMHANS, think-tank Interactive Entertainment and Innovation Council (IEIC) and the Centre’s department of consumer affairs have come together to take up research promoting responsible and healthy usage of digital content. With the study, IEIC wants to address issues related to abusive consumption, addiction, and associated dysfunctions arising from dysfunctional impulse control patterns. The research project will identify underlying factors contributing to excessive online content consumption, building a predictive and coping model that can be made available to all digital consumers online.  



Elgar Parishad case: SC grants bail to Gautam Navlakha

The Supreme Court on May 14, 2024 granted bail to activist Gautam Navlakha in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. A bench of Justices M M Sundresh and S V N Bhatti refused to extend the stay imposed by the Bombay High Court order on the bail granted to Navlakha in the case.


It also directed Navlakha to pay Rs 20 lakh towards expenses for security in house arrest.


The court noted that Navlakha has been in jail for over four years and charges are yet to be framed in the case.

The Bombay High Court had on December 19, 2023 granted bail to Navlakha but stayed its order for three weeks after the NIA sought time to file an appeal in the top court.


Navlakha, who was arrested in August 2018, was in November 2023 permitted by the Supreme Court to be placed under house arrest. He is currently residing in Navi Mumbai.


The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which police claim triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city. Sixteen activists have been arrested in the case and five of them are currently out on bail.


NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha released

The Supreme Court of India on May 15, 2024 ordered the release of NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha in Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case based on allegations that the news portal received money to spread pro-China propaganda.


The top court also declared the arrest and his remand as invalid in eyes of law and also noted that the grounds of arrest were not supplied to him or his counsel before remand.


Prabir Purkayastha was booked under the UAPA and arrested on October 3, 2023, following a series of raids conducted in the wake of allegations made in a New York Times article that NewsClick was being paid to boost Chinese propaganda.


It also alleged Purkayastha conspired with a group — People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) — to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.


Senior advocate Kapil Sibal elected president of SCBA

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal was elected president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on May 16, 2024. He would be serving the SCBA for the fourth time as its president. He was previously elected the president of the lawyers’ body in 2001. He did two separate stints in the mid- and late 1990s. Senior advocate Pradeep Rai was the runner-up. Others who contested for the post included, Priya Hingorani, Tripurari Ray and Neeraj Srivastava.


Poonam Dhillon elected CINTAA President

Actor Poonam Dhillon took over as the president of the Cine and TV Artistes Association (CINTAA). Established in 1997, the autonomous body safeguards the rights of its members vis-a-vis their professional engagement and working conditions. Actor Padmini Kolhapure is the vice-president of CINTAA.


Print media veteran Naresh Mohan dies at 82

Distinguished media veteran and former president of Indian Newspaper Society (INS) Naresh Mohan passed away on May 16, 2024. He was 82. He also served as executive president at Hindustan Times, chairman at United News of India and as member of the Press Council of India. Founded in 1939, INS acts as the central organisation for newspapers in India, and plays a major role in protecting and promoting freedom of the press in the country. In his message, Sharma conveyed his heartfelt condolences to Mohan’s family. Mohan served as the president of INS from 1990 to 1991, when he was associated with the Hindustan Times as its executive president. Formerly, he was also the member of The Tribune Trust.



India signs contract to operate Iranian port of Chabahar

India has signed a long-term contract to operate the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar that will help it expand trade with Central Asia.


India’s Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash on May 13, 2024 witnessed the signing of the 10-year contract for the operation of the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, between India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) and Ports and Maritime organisation of Iran in Tehran.


The new long-term agreement is intended to replace the original contract. The new agreement will be valid for 10 years and will be automatically extended.


The original pact only covers operations at the Shahid Beheshti terminal of Chabahar Port and is renewed every year.


Chabahar is a deep-water port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran. It is the closest Iranian port to India, and is located in the open sea, providing easy and secure access for large cargo ships. The Port has provided the much-needed sea-access to landlocked countries of the region, including Afghanistan, and emerged as a commercial transit hub.


Iran inaugurated the Chabahar Port in 1973. India had expressed its initial interest in developing the port to bolster connectivity and trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia. This interest materialised in 2008 when India and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding for Chabahar and the development of a transit corridor.


A pact on Chabahar was signed in 2016 during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Iran. A tripartite agreement was signed in 2016 between India-Afghanistan-Iran on the port. In 2018, when Hassan Rouhani, the then Iran president, visited India, the issue of expanding India’s role at the port figured prominently.


India took over the operations of the Chabahar Port with effect from 24.12.2018. Landlocked Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have been keen to utilise Chabahar to access the Indian Ocean Region and Indian market.


For the landlocked Central Asian states, Chabahar Port provides access to the Indian Ocean Region. Pakistan has been trying to woo the Central Asian states to utilise its ports at Karachi and Gwadar to access the Indian Ocean Region. However, India has been indicating to the Central Asian countries that Chabahar will be a more attractive proposition.


Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra get UNESCO recognition

Three Indian literary works, Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayaloka-Locana, were added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register during the tenth meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) on May 7-8, 2024 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.


Two Ramacharitmanas manuscripts were sent to UNESCO — one authored by Goswami Tulsidas and the other one written in Arabic in the 18th century, highlighting the appeal of the text for West Asia and other parts of the world as well.


The 15th-century Sahṛdayaloka-Locana, by Kashmiri scholars Acharya Anandvardhan and Abhinavagupta, was chosen because of its aesthetics.


This is the first time since the MOWCAP was formed in 2004 that India has sent any nominations, and all three sent by the country have been accepted.


Along with the three Indian items on the list, the Member States inscribed 20 items during the 2024 cycle, at the tenth General Meeting in Ulaanbaatar.


20 inscribed items to the MOWCAP Regional Register for Asia-Pacific


  1. i) Australia and Tuvalu – Funafuti: The Edgeworth David 1897 Expedition Documents


  1. ii) Bangladesh – ‘Sultana’s Dream’ by Rokeya S. Hossain


iii) China – Archives Relating to the Chengdu Traditional Teahouses


  1. iv) China – Huizhou Genealogy Archives


  1. v) China – Printing Blocks Housed at the Derge Printing House


  1. vi) India – The Illustrated Manuscripts of Ramcharitmanas of Tulasidas


vii) India – The Manuscript of the Sahṛdayāloka-Locana: Seminal Text of Indian Poetics


viii) India – The 15th Century Manuscript of the Panchatantra Fables


  1. ix) Indonesia – Indarung I, The First Cement Plant in Southeast Asia (1910-1972)


  1. x) Indonesia – Indonesian Sugar Research Institute’s Archives 1887-1986: The Role of ISRI’s Research Activities to the World Sugar Industry


  1. xi) Indonesia – The Tambo Tuanku Imam Bonjol Manuscript


xii) Malaysia – Al-Tarikh Salasilah Negeri Kedah: Genealogical History of Kedah State


xiii) Malaysia – The Royal Correspondence of Baginda Omar (Surat Persendirian Baginda Omar)


xiv) Mongolia – Family Chart of Hereditary Lords of the Khalkha Mongols, the House of Genghis Khan


  1. xv) Mongolia – Mongolia’s First Postage Stamps ‘Eldev Ochir’


xvi) Philippines – Doctrina Christiana en Lengua Espanola y Tagala (Christian Doctrine in Spanish and Tagalog), Manila, 1593


xvii) Philippines – Hinilawod Epic Chant Recordings


xviii) Uzbekistan – Images of Khorezm Oasis by Khudaibergan Devanov (1879-1937)


xix) Uzbekistan – “Turkestan Album” 1871-1872


  1. xx) Vietnam – Bas-reliefs on the Nine Bronze Urns in Hue Imperial Palace


Since it was established in 1998, the MOWCAP Regional Register has inscribed 65 items from Asia-Pacific countries.


Memory of the World (MOW) register

UNESCO’s MOW programme is an international cooperation strategy aimed at safeguarding, protecting, and facilitating access to and the use of documentary heritage, especially heritage that is rare and endangered. According to its charter, UNESCO launched the initiative in 1992 “to guard against collective amnesia” by calling upon the preservation of invaluable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination.


Army gets 27,000 AK-203 rifles through JV with Russia

The Indian Army has started receiving the Russian AK-203 assault rifles. As many as 27,000 rifles have been handed over to the Army so far by the Indo-Russian joint venture established at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh.


Under an over ₹5,000-crore contract signed in July 2021, over 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles are to be manufactured in India with technology transfer from Russia, by a joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd. (IRRPL).


The IRRPL was set up in 2019 between the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Ltd (MIL)] from India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and Kalashnikov concern of Russia.


As per contractual terms, the first 70,000 rifles will be produced in India with a phased increase in the extent of localisation from 5% to 70%. The remaining rifles will be produced with 100% localisation.


India had procured and inducted 70,000 AK-103 assault rifles off the shelf under a deal signed in August 2021.


For a while, the Army has been looking to replace the indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles in use with a modern rifle.


The Army has inducted 66,400 of the 72,400 SIG-716 assault rifles which have been provided to frontline troops involved in counter-insurgency operations.


The AK-203 rifles were to meet the larger demand for assault rifles.


Nepal bans sale of four types of masala from India

After Singapore and Hong Kong, Nepal has also banned the sale and import of certain spice-mix products manufactured by Indian brands over alleged quality concerns. Four spice-mix products by MDH and Everest were banned in the Himalayan nation from May 17, 2024 due to suspected ethylene oxide or EtO contamination, according to the department of food technology and quality control in Kathmandu. Under this, madras curry powder, sambhar mixed masala powder; mixed masala curry powder of MDH and fish curry masala of Everest have been banned in Nepal.


Trilateral Maritime Security Workshop conducted at Kochi

The 2nd edition of India – Australia – Indonesia Trilateral Maritime Security Workshop (TMSW) was conducted from May 15 to 17, 2024 at INS Dronacharya, Kochi, India. The Theme of the workshop was ‘Indian Ocean Region: Collaborative Efforts to Enhance Regional Maritime Security’, which was chosen to discuss ongoing maritime security challenges and opportunities for collaboration between the three maritime neighbours in the region. The Workshop was conducted under the aegis of Headquarters Southern Naval Command and witnessed participation of delegates from the three participating Navies.


IMEX held in Frankfurt

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India participated in IMEX, Frankfurt from May 14 to 16, 2024. The Ministry of Tourism showcased the strengths of India as a leading MICE destination to the global market and to act as a catalyst to bring forth greater number of Conferences and Conventions to be hosted in the country. IMEX is a hub for the global events industry, which offers a valuable and lucrative opportunity for professionals to enhance businesses, foster genuine connections, and gain invaluable insights.


India records highest number of Internet shutdowns in 2023

India witnessed the highest number of Internet shutdowns in the world in 2023, a record it has held for the sixth straight year, according to a report released on May 15, 2024.


The Internet was snapped 116 times in the country last year, the Keep It On coalition, a grouping of civil society bodies that advocates against Internet blockades, said.


Officials in India continue to impose Internet shutdown orders over communal tension, violence, exams, and other reasons. This has drawn condemnation from civil society in India and around the world, especially in Manipur, where footage documenting atrocities committed during the ethnic violence have gone viral several weeks after the incidents actually took place.


More of these shutdown orders are being applied regionally rather than locally.


The Internet was shut down across Punjab during the manhunt for pro-Khalistani preacher Amritpal Singh, and multiple times across Manipur during the ongoing ethnic violence in the State.


“The impacts [of the Internet shutdown in Manipur] were severe, particularly for women, as the shutdowns made it more difficult to document rampant atrocities, including murder, rape, arson, and other gender-based violence, and thereby hold perpetrators accountable,” the report said.


With 37 orders, Myanmar recorded the second-highest number of Internet shutdowns, followed by Iran (34), Palestine (16), and Ukraine (8).


The report says that Internet was snapped 116 times in the country last year


Power loss on container ship Dali led to collision with Baltimore bridge

Electrical power loss on container ship Dali led to its collision with Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed under the impact and claimed six lives, according to a preliminary report by the US National Transportation Safety Board.


The report said that on March 25, about 10 hours before leaving Baltimore port, the Dali experienced a blackout during in-port maintenance.


On March 26, at about 0129 eastern daylight time, the 947-ft Singapore-flagged cargo vessel Dali was transiting out of Baltimore Harbour in Baltimore, Maryland, when it experienced a loss of electrical power and propulsion and struck the southern pier supporting the central truss spans of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.


A portion of the bridge subsequently collapsed into the river, and portions of the deck and the truss spans collapsed onto the vessel’s forward deck. A seven-member road maintenance crew employed by Brawner Builders — which was contracted by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) — and one inspector employed by Eborn Enterprises, Inc, a sub-consultant to the MDTA, were on the bridge when the vessel struck it.


The inspector escaped unharmed, and one construction crew member survived with serious injuries. The bodies of the six fatally injured crew members have been recovered. One person among the 23 aboard the Dali was injured.


PhonePeUPI payments launched in Sri Lanka

PhonePe said its app users travelling to Sri Lanka can make payments using UPI (Unified Payments Interface) across LankaPay QR merchants. The transactions will be facilitated by the UPI and LankaPay National Payment Network. Users can scan LankaQR code to make secure and quick payments without carrying cash or calculating currency conversions. The amount will be debited in Indian currency, showing the currency exchange rate.


CJI addresses session at J20 summit in Brazil

CJI D. Y. Chandrachud addressed a session at J20 summit in Brazil on May 14, 2024. The J20 Summit, overseen and coordinated by Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF), brings together presidents from the Supreme and Constitutional Courts of G20 member countries, as well as representatives from the African Union and the European Union. This event facilitates discussions on critical topics including social justice, environmental sustainability, and the integration of technology for improved judicial efficiency. CJI informed participants that the Indian Supreme Court was using SUVAS (Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software), a machine learning, AI-enabled translation tool for our judgements of 16 regional languages.


More than 350 people become Indian nationals under CAA

More than 350 people received Indian citizenship on May 15, 2024 under the newly notified Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. While the first set of 14 people received it in the national capital, the rest were granted nationality digitally in other parts of the country.


Home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over the certificates to the 14 people in the national capital after their applications were processed online through a designated portal.


This comes more than two months after the rules under the contentious law were notified to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.


Union home minister Amit Shah had on May 7, 2024, said that more than 25,000 applications have been received under CAA and the process was on to issue citizenship certificates.


The CAA rules envisage the manner of application form, procedure for processing applications by the district-level committee (DLC), scrutiny and grant of citizenship by state-level empowered committee (SLEC).


Applications have been received from persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have entered into India up to December 31, 2014, on account of persecution on grounds of religion or fear of such persecution.


DLCs chaired by senior superintendents of post or superintendents of post as designated officers, on successful verification of documents, have administered the oath of allegiance to the applicants. After processing as per rules, DLCs have forwarded the applications to SLEC headed by the director (census operation). Processing of applications is done through the online portal.


The empowered committee, Delhi, headed by director (census operation), after due scrutiny, has decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants. Accordingly, the director (census operation) granted certificates to these applicants.


CAA was enacted in December 2019. It got the president’s assent but the rules under which the Indian citizenship was granted were issued on March 11, 2024.


World Hydrogen Summit 2024

For the first time, India set up its pavilion, at the World Hydrogen Summit 2024, held in Rotterdam, Netherlands from May 13 to 15, 2024. The Summit is an event in the global green hydrogen ecosystem. Around 15,000 delegates from around the world attended the Summit. India launched its National Green Hydrogen Mission in January 2023 with an overall outlay of Rs 19,744 crores. India has set an ambitious target to achieve a green hydrogen production capacity of 5 million tonnes by the end of the year 2030.

India extends budgetary support of $50m to Maldives

Following the recent visit of Maldives foreign minister Moosa Zameer, India has extended budgetary support of $50 million to the island nation. The support is in the form of a rollover of $50 million Treasury Bill for an additional year, through the State Bank of India, Male, from May 13, 2024. A number of infrastructural developmental projects and high impact community developmental projects are under way with the assistance of India, which consists of a notable part as grant assistance.


UN-linked body defers accreditation of NHRC-India

The Geneva-based, United Nations-linked Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) deferred the accreditation of the National Human Rights Commission-India (NHRC) for the second year in a row. The decision, which can affect India’s ability to vote at the Human Rights Council and some UN General Assembly bodies, was taken on May 1, during the meeting of the Subcommittee on Accreditation (SCA), which included representatives from New Zealand, South Africa, Honduras, and Greece.


Kenya floods: India sends humanitarian aid

India sent second tranche of humanitarian aid to flood-hit Kenya. This initiative comes as part of ongoing efforts by India to support countries affected by natural disasters and emergencies. The aid was sent via an Indian Air Force aircraft from Ghaziabad’s Hindon Airport to Kenya. The first tranche of humanitarian aid was sent on May 10. The shipment contains 40 tonnes of medicines, medical supplies, and other essential equipment and is aimed at providing crucial support to flood victims in the region.


Central govt. extends ban on LTTE for 5 more years

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for another five years, as the group “continues to foster a separatist tendency amongst the masses”, and its affiliates “enhance the support base for LTTE in India and particularly in Tamil Nadu”, which will impact the territorial integrity of the country. The MHA declared LTTE an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The LTTE was last banned on May 14, 2019. A UAPA tribunal upheld the ban on November 21, 2019. The MHA said that even after its military defeat in May 2009, the LTTE had not abandoned the cause of ‘Eelam’, and had been clandestinely working towards it by undertaking fund-raising and propaganda activities. The remnant LTTE leaders or cadre had also initiated efforts to regroup the scattered activists and resurrect the outfit, it said.



Ex-Indian Army colonel with UN killed in Gaza

A former Indian Army colonel, who had taken premature retirement from service, was killed in an attack on a United Nations vehicle near Rafah in Gaza on May 13, 2024, becoming the first international UN casualty of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Col Waibhav Anil Kale had joined the United Nations Department of Safety and Security in March 2024 and had recently been posted to Gaza. The retired officer was driving a UN vehicle towards the European Hospital in Gaza when it came under fire. An inquiry has been initiated by Israel into the incident and the UN has strongly condemned the attack. The UN vehicle is believed to have come under fire by Israel Defence Forces (IDF) personnel, who reportedly mistook it for a Hamas vehicle, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Section C: WORLD




Niger reaches agreement on the departure of US troops

The US troop withdrawal from Niger, at the demand of the West African nation’s military rulers, has begun and will be over by September 15 “at the latest”, a joint statement said on May 19, 2024.


The two sides announced they had reached a disengagement agreement and US forces deployed as part of an anti-jihadist mission have started to leave after Niamey claimed their presence was illegal.


The decision comes after talks between a delegation from the US Department of Defense and Nigerien counterparts in capital Niamey. Niger’s military rulers seized power in a July 2023 coup and scrapped a military cooperation deal with Washington in March.


The United States has around 650 soldiers in Niger with a major drone base near Agadez in the north of the country. Niger has already overseen the withdrawal of troops from France, the former colonial power and traditional security ally, and has strengthened ties with Russia which has provided instructors and equipment.


Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice meets in Vienna

The heads of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have called for the need to urgently step up efforts to target the huge illicit profits generated by transnational organised crime that facilitate conflicts, fund terrorism, and negatively impact vulnerable populations. The issue was raised at a side event of the 33rd Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna in May 2024. They are: FATF President T. Raja Kumar, Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly.


Ukraine: Mobilization law

A divisive mobilization law in Ukraine came into force on May 18, 2024, as Kyiv struggles to boost troop numbers after Russia launched a new offensive that some fear could close in on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.


The legislation, which was watered down from its original draft, will make it easier to identify every conscript in the country. It also provides incentives to soldiers, such as cash bonuses or money toward buying a house or car.


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also signed two other laws, allowing prisoners to join the army and increasing fines for draft dodgers fivefold.


IEA warns of key energy mineral shortage risk

The sharp drop in prices for minerals critical to the green energy transition is masking a looming shortage due to inadequate investment, the International Energy Agency said May 17, 2024. In its inaugural review of the market for such critical materials, the IEA noted prices for minerals key for electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels fell back to pre-pandemic levels as supplies caught up with and surpassed demand. “Secure and sustainable access to critical minerals is essential for smooth and affordable clean energy transitions,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement.


Dow crosses 40,000 for the first time

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) at the New York stock exchange crossed 40,000 points for the first time on May 15, 2024. The Dow finished down 0.1 percent at 39,869.38. The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 5,297.10, while the tech rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 percent to 16,698.32.


IEA trims 2024 oil demand growth forecast

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on May 15, 2024 trimmed its forecast for 2024 oil demand growth. Global oil demand this year will grow by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd), the Paris-based IEA said in a monthly report, down 140,000 bpd from the previous forecast, largely citing weak demand in developed OECD nations. IEA said lower 2024 forecast was linked to poor industrial activity and a mild winter sapping gasoil consumption, particularly in Europe, where a declining share of diesel cars was undercutting consumption. On May 14, 2024, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had stuck by its expectation that world oil demand will rise by 2.25 million bpd in 2024. The 1.15 million bpd difference is about 1 per cent of world demand.


France govt issues scratch and-sniff baguette stamps

Joining the ranks of screen goddess Brigitte Bardot and the Eiffel Tower, another French treasure is being celebrated with its own postage stamp: the baguette. And this one is scratch-and-sniff. It is the latest showcasing of French cultural heritage as Paris prepares to host Olympics. Priced €1.96 each, the stamp is intended to be used for international letters of up to 20 grams. The baguette is one of the most talked about breads in the world and the most popular in France: 6 billion baguettes are made every year, the postal service said.


Monet painting fetches $35 million

A Claude Monet (1840-1926) artwork sold for $34.8 million at an auction on May 15, Sotheby’s said in New York. The painting, titled ‘Meules à Giverny’, was painted in 1893 the French impressionist. Auction house Christie’s also sold $115 million in contemporary art recently, including a Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) painting for $32 million. At the Phillips auction house, Basquiat’s ‘Untitled (ELMAR)’ sold for $46.5 million.


Russia economy resilient; Gaza war weighs on neighbours: EBRD

Russia’s economy will grow further this year despite Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion, while Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza will weigh on neighbouring nations, Europe’s development bank forecast May 15, 2024.


The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) issued fresh GDP projections for the regions in which it operates during its annual meeting, held this year in the Armenian capital of Yerevan in May 2024.


The EBRD, founded in 1991 to help former Soviet bloc countries switch to free-market economies, has since extended its reach and now includes countries in the Middle East and North Africa.


France imposes emergency in New Caledonia

France imposed an emergency May 15, 2024 in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, boosting security forces’ powers to quell deadly unrest in the archipelago where indigenous people have long sought independence.


Armed clashes and other violence that erupted May 13, 2024 following protests over voting reforms have left four people dead, including a gendarme, and injured more than 300.


There have been decades of tensions on the archipelago between Indigenous Kanaks seeking independence and descendants of colonizers who want to remain part of France.


The French legislature in Paris debated amending the French constitution to make changes to voter lists in New Caledonia. The National Assembly on May 15, 2024 approved a bill that will, among other changes, allow residents who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years to cast ballots in provincial elections.


Opponents say the measure will benefit pro-France politicians in New Caledonia and further marginalize indigenous Kanak people. They once suffered from strict segregation policies and widespread discrimination. The vast archipelago of about 270,000 people east of Australia is 10 time zones ahead of Paris.

Pakistan conducts training launch of ‘Fatah-II’ rocket system

Pakistan on May 15, 2024 conducted training launch of guided multi-launch rocket system ‘Fatah-II’, which is capable of engaging targets with high precision up to a range of 400 kilometres, the army said. The launch of Fatah-II Guided Rocket System was aimed at perfecting the launch drills and procedures, the army said in a statement.


Japan, US sign agreement to develop hypersonic missile interceptor

Japan and the United States are planning to develop interceptors to shoot down hypersonic missiles by the 2030s under a contract signed by the two countries on May 15, 2024. The agreement is to jointly develop the so-called Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI). Hypersonic missiles fly at more than five times the speed of sound and have irregular trajectories, making them difficult to intercept.


EU nations endorse reforms to bloc’s asylum system

European Union nations endorsed reforms to the bloc’s asylum system on May 14, 2024.


EU government ministers approved 10 legislative parts of The New Pact on Migration and Asylum. It lays out rules for the 27 member countries to handle people trying to enter without authorization, from how to screen them to establish whether they qualify for protection to deporting them if they’re not allowed to stay.


The reform package will only enter force in 2026, bringing no immediate fix to an issue that has fueled one of the EU’s biggest political crises, dividing nations over who should take responsibility for migrants when they arrive and whether other countries should be obligated to help.


Russia seizes Deutsche Bank, UniCredit assets

A Russian court has ruled that Deutsche Bank and UniCredit’s assets in Russia are to be seized.


European banks have largely exited Russia after Moscow launched its offensive on Kyiv in 2022.


A court in Saint Petersburg ruled in favour of seizing 239 million euros ($260 million) from Deutsche Bank, documents dated May 16 showed. The same day, it ordered the seizure of around 463 million euros worth of assets belonging to Italy’s UniCredit.


Both decisions were issued in answer to a request from RusKhimAlians, which was planning to build a major gas processing and liquefaction plant in cooperation with German company Linde, which pulled out of the project due to Russia’s military assault.


RusKhimAlians sued UniCredit and Deutsche Bank — both guarantors of the project.


Georgian parliament adopts ‘foreign influence’ bill

Georgia’s parliament on May 14, 2024, adopted a controversial “foreign influence” law. Lawmakers voted 84 to 30 to pass the law in its third and final reading. The new law was supported by the ruling Georgian Dream party and Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze.


The bill requires NGOs and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as bodies “pursuing the interests of a foreign power.” Russia has used a similar law to silence public figures and organizations that disagree with or deviate from the Kremlin’s views.


Georgian society is staunchly anti-Kremlin. Georgia’s bid for membership of the EU and NATO is enshrined in its constitution and – according to opinion polls – supported by more than 80% of the population.


Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has vowed to veto the law, though Georgian Dream has enough MPs to override it.


Cambodia and China begin military exercises

Cambodia and China began 15-day military exercises in Cambodia on May 16, 2024. About 1,315 Cambodian military personnel and 760 Chinese are participating in the regular “Golden Dragon” ground and sea maneuvers, including three Chinese and 11 Cambodian ships.



World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed on May 17

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was observed on May 17, 2024. From fighting climate change to eliminating hunger and poverty, digital technologies can help achieve 70% of targets under the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Now more than ever, building a sustainable future demands innovative thinking and action in the digital world. Focus of this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is “Digital innovation for sustainable development.” This year’s Day offers the chance to explore how digital innovation can help connect everyone and unlock sustainable prosperity for all.


International Day of Living Together in Peace observed on May 16

The International Day of Living Together in Peace was observed on May 16, 2024.   The UN General Assembly, in its resolution 72/130, declared 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace, as a means of regularly mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.


International Day of Light celebrated on May 16

The International Day of Light was celebrated by UNESCO on May 16, 2024 to highlight the role light plays in a diverse range of fields such as science, energy, culture, education and sustainable development. 16 May is the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman.


International Day of Families celebrated on May 15

The International Day of Families was celebrated on May 15, 2024. This year’s theme: ‘Families and Climate Change’. Climate change negatively impacts the health and well-being of families through increased pollution, while extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change, such as hurricanes, droughts and floods, often lead to forced displacement and loss of livelihoods for families and individuals. Without drastic action, adaptation to and mitigation of the impacts of climate change will become increasingly difficult and costly. Empowering families through education, changing consumption habits, and advocacy is critical for meaningful and effective climate action.


World Hypertension Day observed on May 17

The World Hypertension Day was observed on May 17, 2024. Hypertension, in the words of the World Hypertension League (WHL), is ‘a driving force in the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the leading risk factor for death and disability globally.’ World Hypertension Day, initiated by WHL in 2005, aims to increase awareness of this silent killer, and galvanise global action to combat high blood pressure. This year, the theme is a call to ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.’


Global Accessibility Awareness Day celebrated on May 18

Global Accessibility Awareness Day was celebrated on May 18, 2024. Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a consciousness-raising awareness day focusing on digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people alive today who live with disabilities or impairments. It is marked annually on the third Thursday of May.


International Museum Day celebrated on May 18

The International Museum Day was celebrated on May 18, 2024 with its theme as: “Museums for Education and Research”. This year’s theme underscores the pivotal role of cultural institutions in providing a holistic educational experience. This day pushes for a more conscious, sustainable and inclusive world. Organised on 18 May each year or around this date, the objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”



Kuwait forms new government headed by Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah

Kuwait formed a new cabinet headed by Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah, according to a royal decree issued on May 19, 2024 from the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Sheikh Ahmad is the emir’s nephew and was previously appointed prime minister in April.


The new government comes shortly after the emir dissolved parliament indefinitely on May 17, 2024, after a prolonged period of bickering between the government and the elected parliament.


The emir also suspended some articles of the constitution, including those stating that a new parliament must be elected within two months of a dissolution and that laws must be approved by the parliament and the emir.


The powers of the National Assembly would be assumed by the emir and the country’s cabinet.

The changes give Emir Al-Sabah full control over new legislation.


Iran President Raisi missing after helicopter ‘accident’

A helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in “an accident” amid poor weather conditions on May 19, 2024, with a search under way and no news yet on his condition. The accident happened to the helicopter carrying the President” in the Jolfa region of Iran’s western province of East Azerbaijan.


The accident happened in the mountainous forest area of Dizmar near the town of Varzaghan.


Raisi, 63, was visiting the province on May 19, 2024 where he inaugurated a dam project together with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries.


His convoy included three helicopters, and the other two had “reached their destination safely. Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said one of the helicopters “made a hard landing due to bad weather conditions”.


Chad’s junta leader officially declared winner of presidential election

Chad’s junta leader General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno won the African nation’s May 6 presidential election with 61% of the vote, according to final results announced May 16, 2024, May 16.


Déby called the election to end three years of military rule in a country crucial in the fight against jihadism across Africa’s restive Sahel region. The regime has long muzzled opposition figures, however, and Déby’s main rival was killed in February.


Prime Minister Succès Masra came second with 18.5%, while former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacke won 16.9%. The final results, with a turnout of 75.78 percent, are very close to the provisional results.


The father of 40-year-old Déby ruled Chad for three decades before him.


Russia: New appointments

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on May 19, 2024 replaced Sergei Shoigu as defense minister on May 19, 2024 and appointed him as secretary of Russia’s National Security Council. Putin also appointed Andrei Belousov as the country’s defense minister in place of Shoigu, who has served in the post for years. The reshuffle comes as Putin starts his fifth presidential term and as the war in Ukraine drags on for the third year. In line with Russian law, the entire Russian Cabinet resigned on May 14, 2024 following Putin’s glittering inauguration in the Kremlin.


Iranian filmmaker flees to Europe

Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof fled his home country in May 2024 to an undisclosed location in Europe after a court in Iran sentenced him to prison on national security charges. Rasoulof won a Golden Bear for best film at the Berlinale festival in 2020 for “There Is No Evil” and his film “A Man of Integrity” was recognized for a “Certain Regard” honor at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2017.


Singapore: Lawrence Wong sworn in as PM

Singapore’s deputy leader Lawrence Wong was sworn in as the nation’s fourth prime minister on May 15, 2024 in a carefully planned political succession designed to ensure continuity and stability in the Asian financial hub. A U.S.-trained economist, Wong, 51, succeeds Lee Hsien Loong, 72, who stepped down after two decades at the helm. Lee’s departure marked the end of a family dynasty led by his father Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first leader who built the colonial trading outpost into one of the world’s richest nations during 31 years in office.


Slovakia PM Robert Fico shot

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico was on May 15, 2024 shot multiple times and rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a cabinet meeting. Fico has been prime minister since 2023. As well as his current stint as premier, Fico also headed the government in 2006-10 and 2012-18. Since he was elected in October 2023, Fico has made a string of remarks that have soured ties between Slovakia and neighbouring Ukraine. He has notably questioned Ukraine’s sovereignty and called for a compromise with Russia.


Alice Munro, Nobel literature winner, dies at 92

Nobel laureate Alice Munro, the Canadian literary giant who became one of the world’s most esteemed contemporary authors and one of history’s most honoured short story writers, died at age 92 on May 13, 2024 at Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. She won the Nobel literary prize in 2013. Apart from Nobel, Munro received several honours from around the English-language world, including Britain’s Man Booker International Prize and the National Book Critics Circle award in the U.S.


Hollywood actor Dabney Coleman dies at 92

Dabney Coleman, the mustachioed character actor who specialized in smarmy villains like the chauvinist boss in “9 to 5” and the nasty TV director in “Tootsie,” died at the age of 92 in US on May 16, 2024. He won Golden Globe for ‘Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy’ for “The Slap Maxwell Story” and an Emmy Award for best supporting actor in Peter Levin’s 1987 small screen legal drama “Sworn to Silence.”


Vietnam nominates its public security minister as new president

Vietnam nominated its Public Security Minister To Lam as its new president on May 11, 2024. The Communist Party’s Central Committee had agreed to the nomination of Lam, a Politburo member, as President. The nomination was approved by Vietnam’s rubber-stamp National Assembly later. Former President Vo Van Thuong resigned in March. His predecessor had also resigned in 2023 while taking “political responsibility” for corruption scandals during the pandemic. The anti-graft campaign is being led by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (79). The president and the head of Vietnam’s Parliament are among the top four political positions in the party apart from PM and the Communist Party General Secretary.



Powerful solar storm impacts Earth, says ISRO

A powerful solar storm impacted Earth in early May 2024, triggered by the highly active region AR13664 in the Sun, ISRO said on May 14, 2024. This region unleashed a series of X-class flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) directed at Earth.


According to ISRO, the resulting geomagnetic storm was the most intense since 2003, causing disruptions to communication and GPS systems. “This is the biggest geomagnetic storm since 2003 in terms of its strength, as the flaring region on the Sun was as big as the historically important Carrington event that took place in 1859,” ISRO said in a statement. Multiple X-class flares and CMEs have hit the Earth in the past few days, the space agency said.


“This (CME) had severe effects over high latitudes where trans-polar flights are already being reported to get diverted. More events are expected in the next few days,” ISRO noted. The space agency said that the Indian sector got less affected as the main event of the storm happened in the early morning of May 11, when the ionosphere had not developed fully. Also, being at lower latitudes, widespread outages haven’t been reported in India. The Ionosphere was very turbulent over the Pacific and American sectors, ISRO said.


The Ionosphere is part of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, between 80 and about 600 km where extreme ultraviolet and x-ray solar radiation ionises the atoms and molecules, thus creating a layer of electrons. The ionosphere is important because it reflects and modifies radio waves used for communication and navigation.


ISRO said it has mobilised all its observation platforms and systems to record the signatures of this event. Both Aditya-L1 and Chandrayaan-2 have made observations and signatures have been analysed. “The ASPEX payload on-board Aditya-L1 is showing high speed solar wind, high temperature solar wind plasma and energetic ion flux till now,” the space agency said.


Gopi Thotakura becomes India’s first space tourist

On May 19, 2024, Gopichand Thotakura, a 30-year-old US-based entrepreneur from Vijayawada (AP), became India’s first civilian astronaut and the country’s first space tourist.


He was part of a six-member crew aboard space company Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-25 mission which launched into space from West Texas in the United States. Blue Origin is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space company.


The crew capsule separated from the rocket around the “Karman line”, giving the astronauts a few minutes at the edge of space. At its apogee or peak altitude, Thotakura’s spacecraft was 347,500 feet above sea level.


“The Karman line”, which is at an altitude of between 80km and 100km, is the boundary between the planet’s atmosphere and outer space.


Apart from Thotakura, the six-member crew had Mason Angel, Carol Schaller, Ed Dwight (USA’s first Black astronaut), Ken Hess, and Sylvain Chiron.

Section E: AWARDS


Infosys Science Foundation lowers upper age cap

The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) awardees will now have an upper age cap of 40 years instead of 50, and will have to spend at least 30 days over two trips in Indian research institutes, the non-profit trust announced on May 15, 2024.


Additionally, economics would now be a new awards category, separate from humanities, bringing the total categories to six from 2024 onwards.


The stipulation that the ISF prize winners spend time in Indian research institutes would spark an interest in undergraduates in various sectors, ISF president and Infosys cofounder S Gopalakrishnan said. The fundamental objective of the Infosys Prize continues to be recognition of the best research that benefits humanity and creates role models for young scholars and aspiring scientists in India, he added.


ISF trustee and Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy said the new direction, transitioning from a mid-career prize to an early-career prize, would give the winners a longer runway to pursue follow-up research in their domains.



RBI convenes Conference of Heads of Assurance of Urban Cooperative Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) convened a Conference of Heads of Assurance of Urban Cooperative Banks in Mumbai on May 16, 2024.


This conference, attended by about 300 participants representing more than 120 UCBs, focused on enhancing the resilience of the financial system through effective assurance functions.


With the theme ‘Resilient Financial System – Role of Effective Assurance Functions,’ the event is part of a series of supervisory engagements the RBI has organized over the last year with its regulated entities.


Similar conferences for Heads of Assurance Functions of Scheduled Commercial Banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies were held earlier.


Deputy Governors M Rajeshwar Rao and Swaminathan J addressed the participants, along with Executive Directors S C Murmu, Saurav Sinha, Rohit Jain, and Manoranjan Mishra, along with other senior officials representing the Regulation, Supervision, and Enforcement departments of the RBI.


In his keynote speech, Rao emphasised the significance of the three Assurance Functions and stressed the importance of ensuring their effectiveness and independence.


ICAI passes orders against five affiliates of Price Waterhouse for professional misconduct

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has passed orders against five affiliates of auditing major Price Waterhouse, two other entities and two individuals for professional misconduct. In the orders issued in May 2024, the disciplinary committee of the ICAI has directed that the entities concerned to immediately stop existing arrangements with the multinational entities, as the same is circumventing the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act 1949.


The action has been taken against five PwC affiliates — Price Waterhouse & Co LLP, New Delhi; Price Water House, Kolkata; Price Waterhouse & Co, Chennai; Price Waterhouse & Co Chartered Accountants LLP; Price Water House, Bangalore LLP. Others are Dalal & Shah Chartered Accountants LLP, Dalal & Shah LLP and two chartered accountants — Dinesh Yashavant Supekar and Neeraj Kumar Gupta.


In similarly-worded orders dated May 8, the disciplinary committee said there was apparent sharing of human resources, infrastructure, brand name and contact details, which signifies that in substance, PwC was controlling the respondent firms and that it was “professional misconduct” under the Act.


MSCI includes 13 Indian stocks in its Global Standard Index, removes 3

Global index services provider MSCI has included 13 Indian stocks in its Global Standard Index and removed three. That takes the total count of domestic stocks on the MSCI indices to 146, up from 136. The change is scheduled for May 31.


Global passive funds, such as exchange-traded funds, structure their portfolios based on these indices. Any change in composition prompts these funds to adjust their allocations.


The newly included stocks are JSW Energy, Canara Bank, Indus Towers, PB Fintech, Sundaram Finance, and NHPC. Berger Paints has been dropped, while Indraprastha Gas and Paytm’s parent, One 97 Communications, have been downgraded to the small-cap index.



YES Bank launches YES Grandeur for elite customers

YES Bank on May 18, 2024 launched YES Grandeur, a banking program targeted at the emerging affluent section of the society. So, only banking customers with an average monthly balance (AMB) of Rs 5 lakh or a net relationship value (NRV) of Rs 20 lakh will be eligible for the program, with additional consideration to loan relationships.


IFC gives $500-mn loan to HDFC Bank for microloans to “underserved women”

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided a $500-million loan to HDFC Bank for extending microloans to “underserved women”. HDFC Bank said it would use the funds for on-lending to SHGs and joint liability groups enrolled in the Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative.



Narayanan Vaghul, the banking doyen, passes away at 88

Narayanan Vaghul, the banker who sowed the seeds of financial supermarket ICICI Group and was instrumental in familiarizing India with modern banking, passed away on May 18, 2024 at the age of 88 in Chennai.


Vaghul received the Padma Bhushan in 2009 in the Trade and Industry category. He was also awarded The Economic Times Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.


Vaghul started at the State Bank of India as an officer in the city then called Madras but soon resigned and took a teaching position at the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), where he became a director. In 1978, he joined the Central Bank of India as executive director, and in 1981, he was appointed CMD of the Bank of India.


Vaghul was appointed as the chairman and managing director of the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI), which was then still a government-controlled public finance institution, in 1985 by prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. He led the corporation’s transformation into India’s largest private-sector bank taking the name ICICI Bank. He retired in 1996, but remained as its non-executive chairman until 2009.

Section G: ECONOMY


Companies knowingly violated FAME subsidy scheme

A high-level government panel has held that companies knowingly violated Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) subsidy scheme guidelines that were ‘very clear’.


The report, submitted by the panel in May 2024, counters findings of an earlier probe by a joint secretary in the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) that said some key terms in the FAME were not clearly defined.


The December 2023 report by the joint secretary was not accepted by the Centre, which ordered a fresh probe in February.


Electric two-wheeler (e2w) makers have cited the previous rejected report to delay repayment of subsidies they were accused of wrongfully availing.


Besides studying the FAME II guidelines, this high-level committee has also examined the role of government functionaries, which allowed the subsidy disbursals without establishing competence of beneficiaries.


The government launched the first FAME scheme in 2015 with a budget of Rs 895 crore. FAME II, an expanded iteration of the programme, was rolled out in 2019 with an outlay Rs 10,000 crore. These schemes were aimed at supporting the sale of electric vehicles (EV) made in the country.


Subsidy disbursals in the programme were linked to a phased manufacturing programme (PMP), which ensured higher localisation as years passed. While companies did not adhere to the PMP, they continued seeking FAME subsidy, defeating the intent of the scheme.

The government, after an initial probe, sent out recovery notices in the current fiscal (2023-24) totalling ₹469 crore to seven companies for violating local sourcing norms. Amounts wrongly claimed were disbursed for sales made from 2020 to 2023.


FSSAI warns traders, food businesses against use of calcium carbide

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a stern warning to traders, fruit handlers, and Food Business Operators (FBOs) involved in ripening fruits. The advisory specifically targets those using calcium carbide for artificial ripening, especially during the mango season. This practice is strictly prohibited.


FSSAI has urged the Food Safety Departments of States and Union Territories to be vigilant and take stringent action against those violating these regulations. The authority emphasised that using calcium carbide, a hazardous chemical, poses significant health risks and contravenes the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, along with its associated rules and regulations.


By enforcing these measures, FSSAI aims to ensure the safety and health of consumers while maintaining the integrity of the fruit market. The move comes as part of FSSAI’s ongoing efforts to curb the illegal practice and protect public health.


Annual business summit of CII held in New Delhi

Labour secretary on May 18, 2024 said that most states have brought out draft rules under the new labour codes, ensuring there is harmonisation of standards for the industry to move from one state to another. According to the Labour Ministry, 3 crore employment opportunities were generated in 2022-23. The official was speaking at the annual business summit of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) held in New Delhi on May 17-18, 2024. The RBI’s KLEMS data provides insights into five key inputs in production—capital (K), labour (L), energy (E), materials (M) and services (S).


The central government should come up with an incentive scheme on the recommendation of the Finance Commission for states to mobilise resources at the local level, Niti Aayog vice chairman Suman Bery said at the Summit.

India can become the third largest economy globally by 2027-28 if it continues to push ahead with the growth momentum witnessed in the last two decades, Sixteenth Finance Commission Chairman Arvind Panagariya said.


MSDE firms up strategy for trainers’ development

The ministry of skills development and entrepreneurship has proposed blending of digital content into classroom learning using digital tools and resources as part of its trainer development strategy for skilling, developed by the Future Right Skills Network (FRSN).


“To cater to the vision of a Viksit Bharat 2047, the ministry has laid out a roadmap where trainers from short-term and long-term skilling ecosystems will be equipped with the right skills and technology to help learners participate in the future market,” MSDE said in a statement issued on May 17, 2024.


Besides, it has laid out a blueprint to improve the efficiency of existing trainers through recognition, performance evaluation, motivation, and up-skilling.


The recommendations will be validated in different Indian states to gather the responses of trainers, learners, and other stakeholders of the skilling ecosystem before its large-scale implementation.


The drafting of the trainer development strategy has been facilitated by Quest Alliance and supported by FRSN, a collaboration between Accenture, Cisco, J.P. Morgan and SAP.


“Additionally, the mentioned strategies will address the gaps in staffing and training capacity and; the shortage of qualified trainers in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector which impacts the quality and effectiveness of skill development programs and reduces attrition of qualified trainers due to irregular employment, limited career advancement opportunities, and low pay,” MSDE added.


UN upgrades India’s 2024 growth forecast to 6.9% from 6.2%

The United Nations has revised upwards India’s growth projections for 2024, with the country’s economy now forecast to expand by close to seven per cent this year, mainly driven by strong public investment and resilient private consumption.


The World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2024, released May 16, 2024, said, “India’s economy is forecast to expand by 6.9 per cent in 2024 and 6.6 per cent in 2025, mainly driven by strong public investment and resilient private consumption. Although subdued external demand will continue to weigh on merchandise export growth, pharmaceuticals and chemicals exports are expected to expand strongly.”


The 6.9 per cent economic growth projections for India in the mid-year update is an upward revision from the 6.2 per cent GDP forecast made by the UN in January 2024. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2024 report that was launched in January had said that growth in India was projected to reach 6.2 per cent in 2024, amid robust domestic demand and strong growth in the manufacturing and services sectors. The projection in January for India’s GDP growth for 2025 remains unchanged at 6.6 per cent in the latest assessment of the economic situation.


The world economy is now forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2024 (an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the forecast in January) and 2.8 per cent in 2025 (an increase of 0.1 percentage points).


India’s forex reserves rise for second straight week, up by $2.56 bn

India’s forex reserves surged by $2.56 billion to $644.15 billion as of May 10, the latest data published by the Reserve Bank of India showed on May 17, 2024.


Previously, forex reserves expanded by $3.66 billion to $641.59 billion for the week ended on May 03, 2024.

According to the Weekly Statistical Supplement released by the RBI, Foreign currency assets (FCAs) increased by $1.49 billion to $565.65 billion. Expressed in dollar terms, the FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.


Gold reserves were up by $1.07 billion to $55.95 billion, whereas SDRs rose by $5 million to $18.06 billion.


Reserve position in the IMF decreased by $4 million to $4.5 billion.


It can be noted that for the week ended on April 5, the country’s forex kitty reached an all-time high of $645.6 billion.


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


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


Merchandise exports likely to reach $500 bn in FY25: FIEO

In its export outlook for FY25, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on May 16, 2024 stated that it expects merchandise exports to reach $500-510 billion for the year. In FY24, goods exports had fallen to $437.06 billion. FIEO also said that while meeting the ambitious target of $2 trillion exports by 2030, requiring a CAGR of 12.7%, is challenging, it is within reach and can be achieved.


Urban unemployment drops slightly to 6.7% in Q4FY24

Urban unemployment declined to 6.7% in the last quarter of FY24 compared with 6.8% in Q4FY23, according to periodic labour force survey (LFS) data released May 15, 2024. Sequentially, there was a pick up in the unemployment rate from 6.5% in the previous quarter. The rise in the unemployment rate compared with the previous quarter can be attributed to a relative slowing down of activity in the last quarter of the year.


The Indian economy is likely to grow 7.6% in FY24. It registered 8.2% growth in the first three quarters of the year.


There was an improvement in female unemployment, which dropped to 8.5% in the January-March 2024 period from 8.6% in Q3FY24 and 9.2% during the similar period last year.


In terms of labour force participation, women witnessed an improvement, with the labour force participation rate rising to its highest level of 25.6% since the start of the series in 2017.


On the other hand, the male unemployment rate rose to 6.1% from 5.8% in Q3FY24 and 6% in Q4 of the previous fiscal.


The sequential rise in the unemployment rate in the younger age cohort of 15-29-year-olds was even greater, with the proportion of unemployed individuals rising to 17% from 16.5%/


Female unemployment in this age group went up to 22.7% in Q4FY24 from 22.5% in Q3. For males, it rose to 15.1% from 14.6%.


Of the total employed population, 48.7% were employed in regular wage or salaried work, and only 10.8% were employed in casual labour.


The proportion of self-employed in the working population has been rising, as 40.5% were self-employed in the fourth quarter of the fiscal compared with 39.5% during the similar period last year.


Twelve of 22 states had a higher unemployment rate than the national average. Jammu and Kashmir had the highest unemployment rate at 11%, followed by Kerala at 10.7% and Rajasthan at 9.6%.


The highest rise in the unemployment rate was witnessed by Punjab, where unemployment rose 1.3 percentage points to 7.7% from 6.4% in the previous quarter.


Himachal Pradesh, on the other hand, witnessed a 3.2 percentage point drop in unemployment to 9.1% in Q4FY24.


Delhi had the lowest unemployment rate at 1.8%, followed by Karnataka at 4.1%.


In terms of female unemployment, 11 of 22 states had double-digit unemployment. Delhi and Haryana had the lowest unemployment rate for women in urban areas.


LIC granted 3-year time to achieve 10% public shareholding

PSU insurance company Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on May 15, 2024 announced that it has got a three-year extension from markets regulator Sebi to comply with minimum public shareholding norms.


“Pursuant to Regulation 30 of Listing Regulations, this is to inform that Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) vide its letter dated May 14, 2024 has conveyed its decision, to grant additional time of 3 years to Life Insurance Corporation of India (“the Corporation”) to achieve 10% public shareholding under Rule 19(2)(b)(iv) of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, i.e., within a period of 5 years from the date of listing,” LIC said in a regulatory filing.


The revised timeline for LIC to achieve 10% public shareholding is on or before May 16, 2027.


In May 2022, the government had sold a 3.5% stake in LIC IPO which was an entirely (offer for sale) worth around Rs 21,000 crore. It remains India’s largest IPO till date


Trade deficit rose to $19.1 billion in April

India’s goods exports grew 1.06% on-year to $34.99 billion in April, while the trade deficit widened to a four-month high driven by ballooning gold imports, official date released May 15, 2024 showed. Imports increased 10.3% on-year to $54.1 billion in the first month of FY25. Gold imports in April more-than-doubled to $3.11 billion from $1.53 billion the previous month.


WPI inflation at 13-month high

India’s wholesale inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), rose sharply to a 13-month high in April, reaching 1.26 per cent from 0.53 per cent in March. In April last year, wholesale inflation stood at minus 0.79 per cent. Data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on May 14, 2024 showed that the uptick in factory gate inflation during April was primarily driven by spikes in the prices of food articles and fuel, among other factors.


CPI inflation declines to 11-month low

Retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), hit an 11-month low of 4.83% in April even as it remained little changed from 4.85% in the preceding month, data released on May 13, 2024 showed. Food inflation inched up higher to 8.7% in April from 8.5% in the previous month, owing to a double-digit rise in the prices of vegetables and pulses.



Microsoft, I4C block 1,000 Skype accounts tied to cyber criminals

Anti-cyber fraud agency Indian Cyber Coordination Centre (I4C) has, in collaboration with Microsoft, blocked over 1,000 Skype accounts linked to intimidation, blackmail, extortion and ‘digital arrests’ of citizens by cyber criminals posing as personnel of the police, CBI, narcotics department, RBI or ED etc.


I4C is also facilitating blocking of SIM cards, mobile devices and mule accounts used by such fraudsters, MHA said on May 14, 2024.


A large number of complaints are being reported on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP), detailing how these fraudsters typically call a potential victim and inform that the victim has sent or is the intended recipient of a parcel containing illegal goods, drugs, fake passports or any other contraband item. Sometimes, they also pose that a near or dear one of the victim has been found to be involved in a crime or an accident and is in their custody. A demand for money is made to compromise the “case”.


HDFC Bank launches mobile app-based, customisable digital card

HDFC Bank, on May 14, 2024, announced the launch of Pixel, its first end-to-end mobile app-based customisable, DIY digital card range. The card, it said, is designed for digital natives who are fluent with digital assets, have unique preferences and distinct financial behaviour.


Motorola presents “Sound of Perfection,” featuring Indian musicians

Following the launch of the brand’s first ever True Wireless Stereo offerings in India, the moto buds and moto buds+, Motorola, announced the ‘Sound of Perfection’ album, an Intellectual property (IP) by a mobile phone brand. For the launch, Motorola has collaborated with Spotify. The IP brought together five popular music artists from across the country to create five distinct tracks in five different languages, culminating into a final track “Haq Se” bringing all the artists together


Indian Oil completes Mercator acquisition

PSU Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL), India’s largest oil marketing company, has completed the Rs 148-crore deal to acquire oil and gas company Mercator Petroleum, its first acquisition through the insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC). The deal was completed on May 14, 2024 after the company transferred the amount to lead lender Bank of Baroda (BoB).


The Rs 148 crore deal amounts to about 31% recovery for total admitted dues of Rs 482 crore. Secured creditors are to receive Rs 135 crore for their admitted claims of Rs 291 crore, while operational creditors including employees and vendors are to receive Rs 5.40 crore against their total admitted claims of Rs 73 crore. IOCL is also supposed to bear the process cost of Rs 8.7 crore. Besides the money, creditors are also entitled to any upside from future gains from the oil discoveries. The Mumbai bench of the NCLT had approved IOCL’s acquisition of Mercator in November 2023.


UTI Capital and Bank of Baroda (BoB) are financial creditors of Mercator, holding about 40% and 60% of the debt, respectively, with the proceeds to be distributed according to the debt holding.


Mercator has terrestrial oil and gas search blocks in the Gulf of Khambhat, Gujarat which it won in 2008. It is a good acquisition for IOCL because the block is located about 60 kilometers from the Koyali refinery block of petroleum behemoth.


Acer group forays into consumer electronics

Acer Group on May 16, 2024 entered into the consumer electronics market with the launch of the Acerpure brand in India. The company will now sell a range of consumer electronics from TVs and air purifiers to water purifiers, vacuum cleaners and hair dryers.


Adani Energy Solutions buys Essar Transco for ₹1,900 crore

Adani Energy Solutions Ltd (AESL) said May 16, 2024 it has completed the acquisition of Essar Transco Ltd for an enterprise value of ₹1,900 crore It comprises the fully operational 400 kV, 673 circuit kms inter-state transmission line linking Mahan in Madhya Pradesh to Sipat pooling substation in Chhattisgarh.


Puma signs sponsorship deal with Athletics Federation of India

PUMA India has signed a deal with the Athletics Federation of India to become its official kit sponsor, the sports brand said on May 16, 2024. Puma signed a multi-year deal to exclusively supply performance kits, speed suits and travel gear to every athlete under AFI representing India in track & field, jumps, throws, cross country running and marathons at both domestic and international tournaments. Kitting under this partnership does not include Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.


Airbus unveils half-plane, half-copter for more speed

Airbus Helicopters showcased an experimental half-plane, half-helicopter on May 15, 2024 in a quest for speed as competition heats up to define the rotorcraft of the future. The Racer is a one-off demonstrator model that combines traditional overheard rotor blades with two forward-facing propellors in a bid to combine stability and speed, shortening response times for critical missions like search-and-rescue.


Google unleashes AI in search

Google on May 14, 2024 rolled out a retooled search engine that will frequently favor responses crafted by artificial intelligence (AI) over website links. The AI overviews are supposed to only crop up when Google’s technology determines they will be the quickest and most effective way to satisfy a user’s curiosity. “This bold and responsible approach is fundamental to delivering on our mission and making AI more helpful for everyone,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the media.


AWS makes Amazon Bedrock available for developers in India

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing subsidiary of Amazon, on May 15, 2024 launched its first generative artificial intelligence (GenAI)-powered service Amazon Bedrock based in Mumbai to help software developers build and scale applications in India.


Stellantis to make Chinese company’s EVs in India

European car maker Stellantis, which makes Jeep and Citroen brands in India, on May 14, 2024 tied up with Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) manufacturer Leapmotor and said it will bring “affordable” EVs to India by the end of this calendar year under a joint venture (JV). This will be the third Chinese brand to enter India after SAIC’s MG and BYD in the EV space. Both the companies entered into a JV at the global level after receiving all required authorisations, thus completing the formation of Leapmotor International BV — a 51:49 JV led by Stellantis.


Founder Sachdev to retain majority stake in Centre for Sight

Centre for Sight founder Dr Mahipal Sachdev will retain a majority stake in his pan-India chain of eye care clinics post a $100-million investment from ChrysCapital that was announced on May 14, 2024. The Padma Shri awardee was previously the head of the ophthalmology department at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.


Google launches Trillium chip

Google parent Alphabet on May 14, 2024 unveiled a product called Trillium in its artificial intelligence data center chip family that it says is nearly five times as fast as its prior version. Google’s tensor processing units (TPUs), the chips have allowed the company to take a significant share of the market. Nvidia commands roughly 80% of the AI data center chip market, and the vast majority of the remaining 20% is various versions of Google’s TPUs. The company doesn’t sell the chip itself, but rents access through its cloud computing platform.


Devyani International, PVR Inox form JV

Devyani International, which runs quick service restaurants (QSRs) like KFC and Pizza Hut, has formed a 51:49 joint venture with multiplex operator PVR Inox for the development and operation of food courts situated within shopping malls in India.


Devyani and PVR INOX will invest in the share capital of the proposed company in the ratio of 51:49, respectively. PVR INOX is the largest film exhibition company in India, with 1,748 screens across 361 properties in 112 cities (India and Sri Lanka).


Devyani is India’s largest franchisee for Yum Brands (KFC and Pizza Hut) in India. Devyani is also the sole franchisee for the Costa Coffee brand and stores in India. In addition, it caters to South Indian vegetarian food lovers with Vaango, which launched over a decade ago and is a prominent brand in the Food Retail Business (FRB) category with its Food Courts.


Murugappa Group to introduce e-small commercial vehicles

Tivolt Electric Vehicles is gearing up to introduce electric small commercial vehicles (e-SVC) under the Montra Electric brand in the coming months. The products would signify the Murugappa group’s entry into the e-SCV space and bring about a significant change in India’s mid- and last-mile mobility sectors, said the TI Clean Mobility Pvt. Ltd. (TICMPL) subsidiary.


Shriram Fin to sell home loan arm to Warburg Pincus for ₹4,630 cr

New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus will acquire Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL) in a deal valued at ₹4,630 crore.


Warburg Pincus will acquire the stake through its affiliate Mango Crest Investment Ltd. At present, Shriram Finance Ltd holds a controlling stake in SHFL with private equity firm Valiant Partners L.P. (Valiant), Mauritius, holding the rest.


As a part of this transaction, Valiant and Shriram Finance will completely divest their stakes to Warburg Pincus. The existing management team of SHFL, led by Ravi Subramanian, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the business.


The company has a pan-India presence with 155 branches, an AUM of ₹13,762 crore, net worth of ₹1,924 crore and revenues of ₹1,430 crore, as of March 31, 2024.


Indegene ends 26% higher on listing day

Shares of Indegene Ltd ended the day 1 of listing with 26 per cent gains on May 13, 2023. As against the IPO price of ₹452, the stock of healthcare tech firm closed at ₹570.65 on the BSE, a gain of 26.25 per cent. The stock listed at ₹659.70, a premium of 446 per cent, but could not on to the gains and slipped to hit a day’s low of ₹527.80. On the NSE, after listing at ₹655, the stock ended at ₹569.50.


Amazon’s self-driving robotaxi unit Zoox under investigation

Amazon’s self-driving robotaxi unit is being investigated by the US government’s highway safety agency after two of its vehicles braked suddenly and were rear-ended by motorcyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its website May 13, 2024 it will evaluate the automated driving system developed by Zoox.


Twitter’s domain is now officially

Microblogging site Twitter’s name would be rebranded to ‘X’, all core systems of the company have now been moved to, its head Elon Musk said on May 17, 2024.


X in August 2023 said its app would definitively be called X going forward. In marketing copy, the company declared, “The X app is the trusted digital town square for everyone.” The app has a new slogan, too: “Blaze your glory!” (Twitter’s previous tag lines included “Let’s talk” and “It’s what’s happening.”)


When Musk bought Twitter in 2022, he formed a new parent company, X Corp., for the transaction.


In other words, people are now using X, an app by X Corp.



Sunday Times Rich List of wealthiest people in UK released

The Sunday Times Rich List of wealthiest people in UK was released on May 19, 2024. With a fortune of £37.196bn, Gopi Hinduja and family, who are of Indian origin, topped the list. They were followed by Sir Leonard Blavatnik: £29.246bn, David and Simon Reuben and family: £24.977bn, Sir Jim Ratcliffe: £23.519bn and Sir James Dyson and family: £20.8bn. The list also features other prominent Indian-origin figures, including Lakshmi N. Mittal of ArcelorMittal steelworks and Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Resources. The overall trend in the 36th edition of the Rich List indicates a decline in billionaire numbers compared to previous years.


ITC’s Sanjiv Puri takes over as CII president

Chairman and managing director of ITC Sanjiv Puri on May 19, 2024 took over as president of Confederation of Indian Industry for 2024-25, the industry body said in a statement. He has succeeded R. Dinesh, chairman of TVS Supply Chain Solutions. Puri heads ITC Ltd, a conglomerate with businesses in FMCG, hotels, paperboards & packaging, agribusiness and IT. He is also the chairman of ITC Infotech India Ltd, its subsidiaries in the UK and US and Surya Nepal Private Ltd. The CII also announced the appointment of Rajiv Memani, chairman India region of EY (Ernst & Young), as president-designate for 2024-25. Memani is also a member of EY’s global management body as the chair of its global emerging markets committee. The industry body also named Tata Chemicals Ltd MD and CEO R Mukundan as its vice president for 2024-25.


Kesoram chairperson Manjushree Khaitan dies at 65

The B K Birla Group on May 16, 2024 announced the death of Manjushree Khaitan, the chairperson of Kesoram Industries Limited. Khaitan, 65, died in Kolkata. Khaitan assumed the role of chairperson in July 2019, following the demise of her father, industrialist Basant Kumar Birla.


Vineet Nayyar, ex-Tech Mahindra Vice Chairman, passes away at 85

Vineet Nayyar, former Executive Vice Chairman of Tech Mahindra, passed away on May 16, 2024 at the age of 85. Nayyar had also served as the Vice-chairman and MD of the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) in 2018 to 2020. Nayyar has worked for the Indian government, international multilateral agencies, and the corporate sector (both public and private) over the course of a career spanning more than four decades. He spent more than ten years as a World Bank employee and founded the state-owned Gas Authority of India, serving as its managing director and chairman. He was the Vice Chairman of HCL Technologies Ltd. and the Managing Director of HCL Corporation Ltd.


Naturals Ice Cream founder Raghunandan Kamath passes away

Naturals Ice Cream founder Raghunandan Kamath passed away on May 18, 2024.


Kamath learned the art of selecting the finest fruits from his father. At 14, he left his academic path to join his brother’s eatery, ‘Gokul Refreshments,’ where he dreamt of creating handcrafted icecream filled with real fruit pulp.


When the brothers parted ways, he seized an opportunity with Rs 3, 50,000. With six staff members, he “embarked on a journey that would redefine the ice cream industry with the onset of Naturals Ice Cream where one can taste the original icecream,” says the company website. The first icecream parlor was set in the suburbs of Juhu scheme, Mumbai where they launched with only 12 flavors to begin with, and over the period added many more flavors.


Kamath focused on the core elements of fruit, sugar, and milk as ingredients, crafting unique flavors that danced on the taste buds of his patrons for the last 39 years. The brand’s slogan, “Taste the Original,” embodied its dedication to authenticity yet with quality.


Naturals Ice Cream today has a turnover of around Rs. 300 crore with 165+ outlets across various cities in 15 different states in India.

Section I: STATES


Manipur government initiatives safeguard endangered polo ponies

The Manipur government has taken measures, including the allotment of grassland, to protect the state’s endangered ‘polo ponies’. The Manipur government has now allotted 30 acres of grassland to conserve the endangered species at Lamphelpat in Imphal West district. As per the 20th Livestock Census conducted by the Manipur government, only 1,089 ponies remained in the state after the death of many horses in the last 16 years. The Manipur government declared ponies as an endangered species in 2013


Disaster management platform launched in Assam

The Disaster Reporting and Information Management System (DRIMS), a digital platform for online reporting of damages incurred during various disasters, was launched on May 15, 2024. It was launched at Assam Administrative Staff College (AASC), Khanapara, Guwahati. DRIMS is an initiative of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) for accurate reporting and assessment of damages caused by disasters and disbursal of aid to those affected by them. This platform has been developed in collaboration with UNICEF, efficiently captures critical impact indicators of damages during disasters, which helps to deliver relief and rehabilitation grants expeditiously to the affected beneficiaries.


ADB sanctions loan for Sikkim’s Power for All initiative

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 148.5 million loan to help modernise and enhance the reliability, quality and resilience of electricity supply in Sikkim. This project fully supports Sikkim’s Power for All initiative, ensuring round-the-clock uninterrupted access to quality electricity for households, industries, businesses, and the public, ADB said in a statement on May 16, 2024.



Sushil Kumar Modi, former Bihar Deputy CM, dies at 72

Former Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on May 13, 2024 passed away in New Delhi. Modi, aged 72 years, served as finance minister of Bihar from 2005-2013 and from 2017-2020. In 1990, the BJP veteran joined active politics and successfully contested from Patna Central Assembly (now known as Kumhrar). He was re-elected in 1995 and 2000.


Former Governor Kamla Beniwal dies in 97

Congress veteran party leader Kamla Beniwal, who served as Governor of Mizoram (2014–2014), Governor of Gujarat (2009–2014) and Governor of Tripura (2009–2009), died at the age of 97 on May 15, 2024. Beniwal, elected an MLA for seven terms from Jaipur district, became Rajasthan’s first woman Minister in 1954 at the age of 27. She was appointed Deputy Chief Minister in the first Ashok Gehlot government in 2003.


Author Malti Joshi dies at 90

Veteran author Malti Joshi, who wrote in Hindi and Marathi languages, passed away on May 15, 2024 aged 90. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2018.


Section J: SPORTS


Elorda Cup boxing

Reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen and Minakshi clinched a gold each as the Indian team concluded their Elorda Cup boxing tournament with a best-ever tally of a whopping 12 medals at Astana on May 18, 2024. Besides Nikhat and Minakshi’s gold medals, Indian boxers won two silver and eight bronze to better their last edition’s record of five medals.


Nikhat (52kg) continued her dominance in the tournament as she outclassed Zhazira Urakbayeva of Kazakhstan with an unanimous 5-0 scoreline. Minakshi started the day for India with a bang when she defeated Uzbekistan’s Rahmonova Saidahon 4-1 in the women’s 48kg final to give India their first gold medal of the competition.


Anamika (50kg) and Manisha (60kg) suffered losses in the final to end their campaigns with silver medals. Anamika fought valiantly but conceded a 1-4 loss against China’s Wu Yu while Manisha faced a 0-5 defeat to Kazakhstan’s Viktoriya Grafeeva.

Indian medallists: Gold:Minakshi (48kg) and Nikhat Zareen (52kg); Silver:Anamika (50kg) and Manisha (60kg); Bronze (men): Yaiphaba Singh Soibam (48kg), Abhishek Yadav (67kg), Vishal (86kg) and Gaurav Chauhan (92+kg); (women) Sonu (63kg), Manju Bamboriya (66kg), Shalakha Singh Sansanwal (70kg) and Monika (81+kg).


Oleksandr Usyk wins heavyweight boxing championship

Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk beat Tyson Fury of UK by split decision to win the world’s first undisputed heavyweight boxing championship in 25 years at Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia on May 19, 2024, an unprecedented feat in boxing’s four-belt era.


Italian Open tennis

Iga Swiatek of Poland beat Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-2, 6-3 in the final to win her third Italian Open tennis women’s singles title at Rome on May 18, 2024. Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-5 in the final to win men’s singles title at Italian Open tennis on May 19.


Juventus clinches Italian Cup football

Juventus won the Italian Cup on May 15, 2024 after defeating Atalanta 1-0. Dusan Vlahovic scored for Juventus.


Brazil to host 2027 Women’s World Cup

Brazil will host the 2027 Women’s World Cup after a vote of FIFA’s full membership chose the South American bid over a joint proposal from Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. The FIFA Congress on May 17 voted 119-78 for Brazil. It will be the first time the global women’s tournament, first played in 1991, is staged in South America.


Bayer Leverkusen crowned Bundesliga champions

Bayer Leverkusen, who were crowned Bundesliga champions in April, on May 18, 2024, became the first team in Bundesliga history to go through an entire season unbeaten after a 2-1 home win against Augsburg extended their undefeated streak in all competitions to 51 games. Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany.


Manchester City win Premier League

The 2023–24 Premier League was won by Manchester City (91 points) on May 19, 2024. This was their fourth consecutive title and became the first men’s team in English league history to achieve this feat. The Premier League is the highest level of the English football league system and is contested by top-20 clubs. Manchester City finished the season with 91 points followed by Arsenal (89) and Liverpool (82).


2024 BWF Thailand Open badminton

Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia won the men’s singles title at the 2024 BWF Thailand Open badminton tournament in Bangkok on May 19, 2024 by defeating Hong Kong China’s Ng Ka Long Angus in the final 21-11, 21-10.

Thailand’s Supanida Katethong won women’s singles title by beating Han Yue of China in the final 21-16, 25-23.


Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand won women’s doubles title by beating Indonesia’s Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi in the final 21-14, 21-14.


India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched the men’s doubles title after beating China’s Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi in the final 21-15, 21-15.


Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy on May 19, 2024. The win was Verstappen’s fifth in seven races this season. McLaren’s Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) were second and third respectively.


Performance of Indian athletes

India’s Vikrant Malik won the men’s javelin throw event at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa 2024 athletics in Lisbon, Portugal on May 18, 2024. A Khelo India University Games champion, Vikrant threw 80.30m on his third attempt to take the title at the Estadio Universitario.


Indian athlete Jyothi Yarraji won the women’s 100m hurdles title at the Kurpfalz Gala Weinheim 2024 athletics meet in Weinheim, Germany on May 18, 2024. She clocked 13.06s.


Indian javelin thrower Annu Rani produced a 56.07m to finish second at the International Pfingstsportfest Rehlingen 2024 in Germany on May 19, 2024. Sara Kolak of Croatia clinched the top spot with a distance of 58.85m.


World and Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra won men’s javelin gold in the National Federation athletics meet at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on May 15, 2024. Abha Khatua smashed Manpreet Kaur’s two-year-old National mark with a 18.41m effort and claimed the women’s shot put gold medal on May 13.


Summer McIntosh Sets new WR in 400m individual medley 

Summer McIntosh set a new world record in the 400m individual medley with a time of 4:24:38 at the 2024 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials. McIntosh swam nearly a second and a half under her previous world record of 4:25:87, which she set in Toronto last year during the 2023 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials.


Carlsen emerges champion of Casablanca Chess Variant

Magnus Carlsen won the Casablanca Chess Variant tournament in Casablanca (Morocco) on May 19, 2024. The World No. 1 from Norway finished the four-player event with 4.5 points from six rounds. In the tournament, in which the players were required to make moves from certain positions onwards from well-known games from the past, Hikaru Nakamura of the United States was the runner-up with 3.5 points. India’s Viswanathan Anand was third with three points while Bassem Amin of Egypt finished last with one point.


Shyaamnikhil becomes India’s 85th Grandmaster

  1. Shyaamnikhil became India’s 85th Grandmaster by completing his third and final GM norm in the recently-concluded Dubai Police Masters chess tournament. The 31-year-old conjured the requisite 2500 ELO rating points, the minimum requirement to be a GM, way back in 2012 with two GM norms but for the third one, he had to wait for 12 years.


V Pranav wins the Dubai Open chess

V Pranav won the Dubai Open chess tournament on May 19, 2024. He won $16,000 (more than Rs 13 lakh). The over-the-board nine-round Swiss League tournament had 10 players rated Elo 2650 and above. The top-four finishers were Indians — Pranav, Aravindh Chithambaram, M Pranesh and Aditya Mittal.

Akash Pal and Poymantee Baisya win mixed doubles TT

Indian table tennis players Akash Pal and Poymantee Baisya won the mixed doubles title at the WTT Feeder Cappadocia 2024 in Nevsehir, Turkiye on May 17, 2024. The Indian duo got the better of their more experienced compatriots Anirban Ghosh and Swastika Ghosh in the final with a narrow 3-2 (12-10, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10) scoreline.