Current Affairs May 2024

Read this post to know about Weekly Current Affairs in short for the Week May 20th to 26th 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 3 of May are given below:

Weekly Current Affairs Update

For the Week: May 20 to 26, 2024

HEADLINES

 

 

Section A: INDIA

  • IAF conducts night vision goggles-aided landing in Eastern sector
  • IAF chief inaugurates emergency medical response system in Bengaluru
  • Project Udbhav concludes at National Museum in New Delhi
  • DD Kisan deploys two AI anchors
  • Jyoti Ratre is oldest Indian woman to scale Mount Everest
  • Kaamya Karthikeyan is youngest Indian to scale Everest from Nepal side
  • extends tenure of Army Chief General Manoj Pande

 

Section B: INDIA & THE WORLD

  • Indians were highest no. of immigrants to UK in 2023
  • BIMSTEC charter comes into force
  • Oxford Economics Global Cities Index
  • India 39th on Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024
  • Serum Institute ships first batch of R21 malaria vaccine to Africa

 

Section C: WORLD

  • Diplomatic Conference on Traditional Knowledge held at WIPO
  • Leaders of Japan, South Korea and China meet
  • Death toll from Papua New Guinea landslide crosses 670
  • Burkina Faso junta extends its transition term by 5 years
  • Russia removes Estonian buoys
  • China stages mock missile strikes on Taiwan
  • International Court of Justice orders Israel to halt military operation in Rafah
  • Russia could seize US assets if US confiscates Russian holdings
  • International Day of Remembrance of Srebrenica Genocide
  • Ireland, Spain and Norway recognize Palestine
  • NATO countries conduct Spring Storm exercise in Estonia
  • EU signs off on using Russian asset profits for Ukraine
  • Kosovo shuts 6 Serb bank branches over use of dinar currency
  • G7 Finance Ministers meet in Italy
  • Armenia returns to Azerbaijan four border villages it had seized
  • Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coast
  • World Metrology Day celebrated on May 20
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development observed on May 21
  • International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories observed
  • International Day of the Markhor observed on May 24
  • Vesak Day observed on May 23
  • International Day to End Obstetric Fistula observed on May 23
  • International Day for Biological Diversity observed on May 22
  • International Tea Day observed on May 21
  • World Bee Day celebrated on May 20
  • World Turtle Day celebrated on May 23
  • World Thyroid Awareness Day observed on May 25
  • World Schizophrenia Day observed on May 24
  • First World Football Day observed on May 25
  • Cross reinstalled at Notre-Dame de Paris
  • Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda re-elected
  • Longest-serving flight attendant dies in US
  • Iran’s President, Foreign Minister dead in helicopter crash
  • Dominican Republic: Luis Abinader re-elected President
  • Lai Ching-te inaugurated as new president of Taiwan
  • ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israel and Hamas leaders
  • Author, military historian Caleb Carr dies in US at 68
  • Doge meme & Dogecoin inspiration, Kabosu the dog, dies
  • Purnima Shrestha is 1st to climb Mount Everest 3 times in 2 weeks
  • Kami Rita scales Mount Everest for record 30th time

 

Section D: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

  • ICMR denies participation in BHU’s Covaxin study
  • World’s highest astronomical site opens in Chile
  • Nasa launches satellite to better climate change prediction
  • IIT Madras and Shell India set up Centre for Energy Research
  • CSIR launches Electric Tiller
  • Robot sets new record for solving the puzzle cube

 

Section E: AWARDS

  • Cannes Film Festival
  • Jenny Erpenbeck wins International Booker Prize
  • Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences
  • The Shaw Prize
  • NHPC conferred with HR award by Economic Times
  • Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award

 

Section F: BANKING & FINANCE 

  • RBI to transfer ₹2,10,874 cr. surplus to Centre for FY24
  • Airbus Helicopters, SIDBI sign MoU for helicopter financing

 

Section G: ECONOMY

  • directs telcos to block incoming international spoofed calls
  • India records trade deficit with 9 of top 10 trading partners in 2023-24
  • Indians lost over ₹1,750 crore to cyber fraud
  • India’s peak power demand hit a record 240 GW on May 24, 2024
  • Finance Minister is now final authority for grading CPSEs
  • India’s forex reserves rise to $648.7 bn
  • Nifty 50 index surpasses 23,000 mark
  • Kerala tops youth unemployment rate, Delhi registers lowest: PLFS Survey
  • Healthcare ads most violative, says ASCI
  • Indians had $31.7 billion overseas spending in FY24
  • BSE market cap crosses $5 trillion
  • BIS certification must for sale of used imported electronic products: DGFT
  • appoints Ramesh Babu V as Member in CERC

 

Section H: CORPORATE

  • Wipro to exit 30-share BSE Sensex
  • HCLTech to buy HP’s Communications Tech Assets for $225 mn
  • Go Digit General Insurance lists
  • Tech Mahindra, Japan’s Fuji TV partner to produce content globally
  • Microsoft launches Copilot+PC
  • Vicco Laboratories chairman Yeshwant Pendharkar dies
  • WEF founder Klaus Schwab to step back from executive role
  • Computing visionary Chester Gordon Bell dies at 89

 

 

 

 

 

Section I: STATES

  • NCBC could delist some castes from central OBC list of West Bengal
  • Karnataka bars attenders during pregnancy scans

 

Section J: SPORTS

  • Kolkata Knight Riders wins IPL
  • Charles Leclerc wins Formula One Monaco Grand Prix
  • 2024 BWF Badminton Malaysia Masters badminton
  • HCL Squash Tour Indore 2024
  • Dipa Karmakar is first Indian gymnast to win gold at Asian level
  • Annu Rani wins silver medal in javelin throw at Halle athletics meet
  • New world record in women’s 10,000m
  • Archery World Cup held at Yecheon (South Korea)
  • World Para Athletics Championships
  • Divya Deshmukh wins Sharjah Challengers chess title
  • New national record in men’s 110m hurdles
  • Asian Relay Championships 2024
  • Boxing: Parveen loses Asiad medal after suspension
  • Atalanta win Europa League football
  • Paris Saint-Germain win French Cup football
  • Manchester United stuns City to win FA Cup
  • Former German football player Karl-Heinz Schnellinger dies
  • US golfer Grayson Murray dies
  • IOC launches ‘Let’s Move India’ Campaign

 

Section A: INDIA

 

IAF conducts night vision goggles-aided landing in Eastern sector

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has achieved a significant milestone by successfully landing an aircraft using night vision goggles (NVG) for the first time on an advanced landing ground in the Eastern sector. The IAF’s official account shared this achievement, stating that an “IAF C-130J aircraft carried out a successful Night Vision Goggles aided landing at an Advanced Landing Ground in the Eastern sector.” The Eastern sector of India encompasses northeastern states such as parts of Odisha, Jharkhand, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Bihar. It also oversees the protection of a 6300 km long international border with China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. The use of NVG technology allows the IAF to conduct safer and more effective operations in low-light conditions.

 

IAF chief inaugurates emergency medical response system in Bengaluru

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has inaugurated its first-ever Emergency Medical Response System (EMRS) of the Indian Air Force at Command Hospital Air Force in Bengaluru, a Defence Ministry release said on May 22, 2024. The EMRS has been set up in order to provide expert guidance and definitive care during medical emergencies of serving personnel and their families of the Indian Air Force (IAF) across the nation. The Ministry of Defence in the release said that the EMRS is a first-of-its-kind 24/7 telephonic medical helpline for serving IAF personnel and their families across India.

 

Project Udbhav concludes at National Museum in New Delhi

Union Minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt on May 21, 2024 visited the National Museum in New Delhi to mark the culmination of Project Udbhav, which aims to promote indigenous discourse in the Army by integrating India’s ancient strategic acumen into a contemporary military domain with a focus on making the force “future-ready”. The project is a collaboration of the Indian Army and Delhi-based think-tank United Service Institution of India (USI).

 

DD Kisan deploys two AI anchors

DD Kisan deployed two Artificial Intelligence anchors on May 26, 2024 that have been named as ‘AI Krish’ and ‘AI Bhoomi’, and can speak in 50 Indian and foreign languages. DD Kisan, which comes under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was launched in 2015 to cater to the farming and rural community.

NEWSMAKERS

 

Jyoti Ratre is oldest Indian woman to scale Mount Everest

Jyoti Ratre scaled Mount Everest at 55 and became the oldest Indian woman to do so. She scaled 8,848.86 m Mount Everest on May 19, 2024. Previous record was held by Sangeeta Bahl who had achieved the feat on May 19, 2018 at the age of 53.

 

Kaamya Karthikeyan is youngest Indian to scale Everest from Nepal side

A 16-year-old girl became India’s youngest and world’s second youngest to scale Mount Everest from the Nepal side. Kaamya Karthikeyan and her father, a naval officer Commander S. Karthikeyan, climbed Mt. Everest on May 20, 2024.

 

Govt. extends tenure of Army Chief General Manoj Pande

The government has extended the tenure of Army Chief General Manoj Pande, giving him another month in office and effectively postponing the appointment of his successor who was scheduled to take over at the end of May. Gen Pande was to retire on May 31 after completing his tenure at the age of 62.

Section B: INDIA & THE WORLD

 

Indians were highest no. of immigrants to UK in 2023

Indians made up the highest number of people — 250,000 — to immigrate to Britain in 2023. Of these, 127,000 Indians came to work and 115,000 came to study, and 9,000 came for other reasons. The next largest nationality to immigrate were: Nigerian (141,000), Chinese (90,000), and Pakistani (83,000).

 

Net migration to the UK fell 10% last year to 685,000 after hitting a record high in 2022 of 764,000, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show. In UK, foreigners arriving to study or work are also counted in immigration numbers. Of these, 85% were non-EU arrivals, in sharp contrast to pre-2021 when EU nationals made up the largest component of long-term immigration.

 

The main reason for immigration to the UK among non-EU nationals is now work, rather than study; 423,000 non-EU nationals came to UK to work in the year ending Dec 2023, an increase of 53% from the year before when there were 277,000. Of these, 219,000 were dependant applicants and 204,000 were for main applicants, meaning the number of non-EU nationals arriving as dependants of those on long-term work visas has overtaken the number of main applicants. This is mainly due to the rise in dependants accompanying those on health and care visas.

 

BIMSTEC charter comes into force

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will now be open to new members and observers after a historic first charter of the grouping came into force on May 20, the Ministry of External Affairs has announced.

 

With the charter having been adopted in the 5th summit of the BIMSTEC leaders, the grouping has acquired a ‘legal personality’ and will be able to enter into structured diplomatic dialogue with other groupings and countries.

 

BIMSTEC was formed in 1997 by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar and India.

 

BIMSTEC nations met virtually on 30 March 2022 under the chairship of Sri Lanka and adopted the charter. The chair of BIMSTEC was taken up by Thailand after the 5th leaders’ summit. In April 2024, Nepal’s parliament took up the BIMSTEC charter and ratified it which paved the way for the coming into force of charter.

 

Oxford Economics Global Cities Index

Oxford Economics Global Cities Index was released on May 23, 2024. The Index covered the 1,000 largest cities in the world. It evaluates urban economies on a wide range of metrics covering five broad categories: Economics, Human Capital, Quality of Life, Environment and Governance, providing a nuanced understanding of each city’s strengths and weaknesses. The Oxford Index has ranked New York at the top of list, followed by London, San Jose, Tokyo, Paris, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Melbourne and Zurich in top-10. Delhi is the highest ranked Indian city at 350 followed by Bengaluru at 411 and Mumbai at 427.

 

S.No
Rank (Global Cities Ranking)
City
Economics
Human Capital
Quality of Life
Environment
Governance
1
350
Delhi
108
51
838
973
380
2
411
Bengaluru
171
179
847
727
380
3
427
Mumbai
169
126
915
812
380
4
472
Chennai
244
189
879
763
380
5
472
Chennai
244
189
879
763
380

 

India 39th on Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024

India’s rank on the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024 has risen to 39th place, with global tourism activities returning to pre-pandemic levels, the annual report showed on May 21, 2024. While the US topped the list, India is ranked highest in South Asia and among the lower-middle-income economies, the WEF said.

 

India was ranked 54th in the previously published index in 2021, though changes made to the index parameters limit its comparability to earlier years.

 

After the US, Spain, Japan, France and Australia figure among the top five in the 2024 list.

 

The index, prepared in collaboration with the University of Surrey, showed India is highly price-competitive (18th) and boasts competitive Air Transport (26th) and Ground and Port (25th) infrastructure.

 

In particular, India’s strong Natural (6th), Cultural (9th) and Non-Leisure (9th) Resources help drive travel, and the country is only one of three to score in the top 10 for all the resource pillars, the WEF said.

 

Moreover, despite a decline compared to 2019, the country still scores well for travel and tourism demand sustainability, especially thanks to more sustainable long stays among inbound visitors.

 

It further said that as with many economies, travel and tourism enabling conditions in India have been impacted by global inflationary supply-side trends for the sector, with price competitiveness declining, while air transport and tourist services infrastructure are yet to recover to the 2019 level.

 

As a result, the country’s overall TTDI (Travel and Tourism Development Index) score is 2.1 per cent below its 2019 level.

 

The biennial index analysed the travel and tourism sectors of 119 countries around a range of factors and policies.

 

Germany was ranked 6th, followed by the UK, China, Italy and Switzerland in the top ten.

 

The results highlighted that high-income economies generally continue to have more favourable conditions for travel and tourism development.

 

Serum Institute ships first batch of R21 malaria vaccine to Africa

Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) has shipped its first R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine consignment to Africa.

 

This is the second malaria vaccine (the first is from GSK) authorised globally for children in malaria-endemic regions. It was developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Novavax’s Matrix-M adjuvant.

 

The malaria vaccine also received support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Wellcome Trust and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

 

The R21/Matrix-M vaccine received WHO recommendation for use in children in October 2023, followed by the announcement of its Phase 3 trial data results this year.

 

The initial shipment will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), followed by other African countries such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the next coming days, Serum Institute of India (SII) said. Of the 1,63,800 doses of the vaccine allocated for CAR region, 43,200 doses were dispatched from SII’s Pune facility on May 20, 2024.

Section C: WORLD

 

NEWS ROUND UP

 

Diplomatic Conference on Traditional Knowledge held at WIPO

The “Diplomatic Conference on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge” as held at the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva on May 13-14, 2024.

 

Members of WIPO concluded an agreement under which it will be mandatory for patent applicants to disclose country of origin or source of genetic resources if the claimed invention is based on those materials or associated traditional knowledge. The treaty will provide additional protection for Indian genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Although these are currently protected within India, they are prone to misappropriation in countries, which do not have disclosure obligations.

 

The current patent legislation does not have a mandatory provision requiring patent applicants to disclose the country of origin or source in case where the invention is based on genetic resources.

 

At present, only 35 countries have some form of disclosure obligations, most of which are not mandatory and do not have appropriate sanctions or remedies in place for effective implementation.

 

The new treaty was adopted on May 24 at the WIPO headquarters in Geneva after 192 countries and 86 observers participated in the two-week negotiations from May 13-24 at a Diplomatic Conference.

 

This treaty will require contracting parties, including the developed world, to bring changes in their existing legal framework for enforcing disclosure of origin obligations on patent applicants.

 

Genetic resources (GRs) are present in things like medicinal plants, agricultural crops, and animal breeds. While genetic resources themselves cannot be directly protected as intellectual property, inventions developed using them can, most often through a patent.

 

Some genetic resources are also associated with traditional knowledge (ATK) through their use and conservation by indigenous peoples as well as local communities, often over generations. This knowledge is sometimes used in scientific research and, as such, may contribute to the development of a protected invention.

 

Leaders of Japan, South Korea and China meet

The Japanese and South Korean leaders raised sensitive topics like Taiwan, North Korea and the South China Sea as well as ways to boost cooperation when they individually met China’s premier May 26, 2024 in Seoul. The leaders were in Seoul for their trilateral meeting that was last held in December 2019.

 

After meeting Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that he expressed serious concerns about the situations in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. He said Japan is closely monitoring developments on self-governed Taiwan.

 

During a separate meeting with Li, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, on his part, asked China, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, to contribute to promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula, while speaking about North Korea’s nuclear program and its deepening military ties with Russia.

 

Li said China wants to cooperate with South Korea and Japan on economic issues, especially on supply chains and the restart of talks on a three-way free trade deal.

 

Death toll from Papua New Guinea landslide crosses 670

The International Organization for Migration on May 26, 2024 increased its estimate of the death toll from a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea to more than 670 as emergency responders and traumatized relatives gave up hope that any survivors will now be found. Papua New Guinea is a diverse, developing nation with 800 languages and 10 million people who are mostly subsistence farmers.

 

Burkina Faso junta extends its transition term by 5 years

The military leader of Burkina Faso will remain in office for another five years following the signing of a new charter after national consultations in the capital on May 25, 2024.

 

Civil society representatives, the security and defense forces and lawmakers in the transitional assembly participated in the talks in Ouagadougou, which most political parties boycotted.

 

“The duration of the transition is fixed at 60 months from July 2, 2024,” said Col. Moussa Diallo, the chairman of the organizing committee of the national dialogue process, in a speech after the talks.

 

The current junta seized power in September 2022 by ousting the military regime of Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba about eight months after it staged a coup to remove democratically elected President Roch Marc Kaboré.

 

Russia removes Estonian buoys

Russian border guards removed Estonian buoys on a river separating the Baltic country from Russia on May 22, 2024. The Russians removed 25 of the 50 buoys that Estonia had installed on the Narva River to prevent boats from accidentally crossing the border.

 

For decades, Estonia and Russia have installed buoys on the Narva River for the summer, with the towns of Narva on the Estonian side and Ivangorod on the Russian bank, largely in mutual agreement.

 

Every year, the marking of the shipping routes is rechecked because the riverbed changes over time. In 2023, Russia said it did not agree with the locations of the Estonian buoys.

 

China stages mock missile strikes on Taiwan

China’s People’s Liberation Army conducted 2-day “Joint Sword – 2024A” exercises in May 2024 to “test the ability to jointly seize power, launch joint attacks and occupy key areas” in waters east of Taiwan. China staged mock missile strikes and dispatched fighter jets carrying live missiles and bombers. China tested its ability to “seize power” and control key areas of Taiwan.

 

International Court of Justice orders Israel to halt military operation in Rafah

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel on May 24, 2024 to immediately halt its military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter in Rafah from fighting between Israel and Hamas elsewhere. The International Court of Justice does not have a police force to enforce its orders.  The Hague, Netherlands-based ICJ is the only international court that adjudicates general disputes between nations, and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues. It is one of the six organs of the United Nations (UN).

 

Russia could seize US assets if US confiscates Russian holdings

President Vladimir Putin on May 23, 2024 signed a decree allowing Russia to confiscate assets of U.S. companies and individuals to compensate for any Russian assets confiscated in the United States.

 

Ukraine and many of its supporters have called for the confiscation of $260 billion in Russian assets frozen outside the country after Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion.

U.S. President Joe Biden in April signed into law the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act, which allows the administration to seize the roughly $5 billion in Russian state assets located in the U.S.

 

The decree signed by Putin says that Russian companies and the central bank and individuals could apply to Russian courts to declare the seizure of property in the U.S. as unjustified. If the court agrees, a government commission would offer assets in compensation that could include property owned by U.S. citizens or companies in Russia, securities and shares in Russian companies.

 

International Day of Remembrance of Srebrenica Genocide

The UN General Assembly voted May 23, 2024 to establish an annual day of remembrance for the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, despite furious opposition from Bosnian Serbs and Serbia. The resolution written by Germany and Rwanda – countries synonymous with genocide in the 20th century – received 84 votes in favor, 19 against with 68 abstentions and makes July 11 “International Day of Remembrance of the Srebrenica Genocide.”

 

Bosnian Serb forces captured Srebrenica – a UN-protected enclave at the time – on July 11, 1995, a few months before the end of Bosnia’s civil war, which saw approximately 100,000 people killed. In the following days, Bosnian Serb forces killed around 8,000 Muslim men and teenagers – a crime described as genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice. The incident is considered the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II.

 

In addition to establishing the memorial day, the resolution condemns “any denial” of the genocide and urges UN member countries to “preserve the established facts.” In a letter to other UN members, Germany and Rwanda described the vote as a “crucial opportunity.”

 

Ireland, Spain and Norway recognize Palestine

The leaders of Ireland, Spain, and Norway announced their countries’ recognition of Palestine as a state, intending to support a two-state solution and push for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said May 22, 2024 that a two-state solution was in Israel’s best interest and the recognition of Palestinian statehood would come as of May 28.

 

Ireland’s PM Simon Harris said May 22, 2024 it was a move coordinated with Spain and Norway, “an historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.” He said the move was intended to help move the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to resolution through a two-state solution.

 

Spain’s PM Pedro Sánchez said that his country will recognize Palestine as a state on May 28.

 

NATO countries CONDUCT Spring Storm exercise in Estonia

Troops from 15 NATO countries participated in the military training exercise called Spring Storm in Estonia in May 2024.

 

EU signs off on using Russian asset profits for Ukraine

The European Union on May 21, 2024 formally approved using the profits from frozen Russian central bank assets to arm Ukraine, as the United States presses for a more ambitious plan.

 

The EU hopes the move will generate some 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) a year to help Kyiv as it battles against Moscow’s invasion.

 

“The EU Council has confirmed its agreement to use windfall profits from Russia’s immobilised assets to support Ukraine’s military self-defence and reconstruction in the context of the Russian aggression,” Belgium, which holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, said.

The EU froze around 200 billion euros of Russian central bank assets held in the bloc as part of punishing sanctions imposed on Moscow for sending troops into its neighbour in February 2022.

 

About 90 percent of the funds frozen in the EU are held by the international deposit organisation Euroclear, based in Belgium.

 

Under the EU scheme, 90 percent of the interest will go to a central fund used to pay for weapons for Ukraine, while 10 percent would go towards reconstruction.

 

Kosovo shuts 6 Serb bank branches over use of dinar currency

Kosovo police on May 20, 2024 closed six branches of a Serbia-licensed bank in line with the decision on the ban of the use of the Serbian dinar currency in the country, a move that has raised tension with neighboring Serbia.

 

The police closed the branches of the Postal Savings Bank, following a request from financial institutions on their illegitimacy and based on an authorization from the prosecutor’s office.

 

Starting on Feb. 1, the government required areas dominated by the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo to adopt the euro currency, which is used in the rest of the country, and abolished the use of the Serbian dinar.

 

Pristina postponed the move for about three months, following pressure from the European Union and the United States, concerned that the decision would negatively impact the ethnic Serb minority in northern Kosovo.

 

Most of Kosovo uses the euro, even though the country isn’t part of the EU. But parts of Kosovo’s north, populated mostly by ethnic Serbs, continue to use the dinar. Many Serbs there rely on the government of Serbia for financial support, often delivered in dinars in cash.

 

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, which Belgrade doesn’t recognize.

 

G7 Finance Ministers meet in Italy

The U.S. sought to build support for squeezing more money for Ukraine out of frozen Russian assets and for uniting against China’s trade practices as Finance Ministers from the Group of Seven rich countries held a two-day meeting on May 24-25, 2024 at Lago Maggiore, Italy. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for “more ambitious options” to unlock money from some $260 billion in Russian central bank reserves frozen in Europe and the U.S. after the February 24, 2022, invasion.

 

Armenia returns to Azerbaijan four border villages it had seized

Armenia has returned to Azerbaijan four border villages it seized decades ago, the countries confirmed on May 24, 2024 — a key step towards normalising ties between the historic rivals. The Caucasus countries fought two wars in the 1990s and in 2020 for control of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

 

Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coast

Severe cyclonic storm ‘Remal’ made landfall in Bangladesh on May 26, 2024 night as authorities evacuated over 800,000 people from vulnerable areas of the country’s low-lying southwestern coastlines to shelters.

 

World Metrology Day celebrated on May 20

World Metrology Day was celebrated on May 20, 2024. The theme of this year is ‘We Measure Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’, declared jointly by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML). World Metrology Day takes place on May 20 annually. The day celebrates the signing of the Metre Convention by delegates from 17 different countries in Paris, France on May 20, 1875. It resulted in the establishment of a universally recognized standard measurement system.

 

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development observed on May 21

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed by the UN on May 21, 2024. According to the UN, three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

 

International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories observed

The International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories is being observed by the UN from May 25 to 31, 2024. In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

 

International Day of the Markhor observed on May 24

The first International Day of the Markhor was observed by the UN on May 24, 2024. The markhor (Capra falconeri) is an ecologically significant species found across the mountainous regions of Central and South Asia, including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The greatest threats to the survival of the markhor are habitat loss, illegal hunting, including poaching, and climate change. The number of mature individuals of markhor in the world is approximately 5,700. The markhor was categorized as “near threatened” in 2014 and is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

 

Vesak Day observed on May 23

The Vesak Day was observed on May 23, 2024. “Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 BC, that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away.

 

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula observed on May 23

The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was observed on May 23, 2024. This year’s theme, “Breaking the Cycle: Preventing Fistula Worldwide”, underscores the urgent need to address obstetric fistula comprehensively, emphasizing equitable access to quality maternal health services, social reintegration, and sustained investment in healthcare systems. Obstetric fistula is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum, caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. It leaves women and girls leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. Ninety percent of pregnancies involving fistula end in stillbirth.

 

International Day for Biological Diversity observed on May 22

The International Day for Biological Diversity was observed on May 22, 2024. This year, the theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity is “Be part of the Plan”. This is a call to action to encourage governments, indigenous peoples and local communities, non-governmental organizations, lawmakers, businesses, and individuals to highlight the ways in which they are supporting the implementation of the Biodiversity Plan. Everyone has a role to play and therefore can be #PartOfThePlan.

 

International Tea Day observed on May 21

The International Tea Day was observed by the UN on May 21, 2024. The tea industry is a main source of income and export revenues for some of the poorest countries and, as a labour-intensive sector, provides jobs, especially in remote and economically disadvantaged areas. The Day is observed to promote collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty. This year, International Tea Day highlights women and their role in the tea sector. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the cultural heritage, health benefits and economic importance of tea, while working to make its production sustainable “from field to cup” ensuring its benefits for people, cultures and the environment continue for generations.

 

World Bee Day celebrated on May 20

World Bee Day was celebrated on May 20, 2024. In recognition of the pivotal role that youth can play in addressing challenges bees and other pollinators are facing, World Bee Day 2024 focuses on the theme “Bee engaged with Youth.” This theme highlights the importance of involving young people in beekeeping and pollinator conservation efforts, recognizing them as the future stewards of our environment.

 

World Turtle Day celebrated on May 23

World Turtle Day was celebrated on May 23, 2024. Every year on May 23, American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a non-profit organisation, observes World Turtle Day. This event is intended to raise awareness about the need to maintain turtles, tortoises, and their increasingly disappearing habitats.

 

World Thyroid Awareness Day observed on May 25

World Thyroid Awareness Day was observed on May 25, 2024. The day is marked annually on May 25th to raise global awareness about thyroid diseases and their impact on people’s health. The initiative aims to promote understanding, early detection, and proper management of thyroid disorders. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in producing hormones that regulate metabolism and various bodily functions. Thyroid diseases encompass a range of conditions, including hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). The theme for this year’s World Thyroid Day is – Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Thyroid problems are among one of the most common endocrine disorders. The day aims to create awareness about the significance of the thyroid gland and how we can ensure that people with thyroid diseases are diagnosed accurately and have access to proper treatment facilities.

 

World Schizophrenia Day observed on May 24

The World Schizophrenia Day was observed on May 24, 2024. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness affecting more than 21 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. People with schizophrenia present most common symptoms such as hallucinations (Seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling things that are not real), delusions, disorganised thoughts, unusual body movements and cognitive disorders. The purpose of this day is to spread awareness about this illness and eradicate the myths and superstitions around mental illnesses in general.

 

First World Football Day observed on May 25

The first World Football Day was observed by the UN on May 25, 2024. The day marks the 100th anniversary of the first international Football tournament in history with the representation of all regions which took place on May 25, 1924 during the summer Olympic games held in Paris. On May 7, 2024, the General Assembly passed Resolution A/RES/78/281 proclaiming May 25 as World Football Day. The resolution encourages all countries to support football and other sports as a tool to promote peace, development and the empowerment of women and girls.

 

Cross reinstalled at Notre-Dame de Paris

The cross at the apse of Notre-Dame de Paris, which survived the 2019 fire, was reinstalled atop the cathedral’s framework May 24, 2024 after restoration by artistic ironworkers from Normandy. The cross, spanning 12 meters and weighing 1.5 tons, is the only element of the choir roof that resisted the flames. The ongoing restoration project aims for the cathedral’s reopening on December 8, 2024. The fire, which occurred on April 15, 2019, caused the collapse of Notre-Dame’s spire and part of its roof. Five years later, the restoration has made significant progress, including the reinstallation of the spire’s lead-covered needle. Notre-Dame de Paris is a UNESCO world heritage site.

NEWSMAKERS

 

Dominican Republic: Luis Abinader re-elected President

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader won second term following his victory in presidential election held on May 19, 2024. He won 57% of votes ahead of rivals Leonel Fernández and Abel Martínez.

 

The president’s Modern Revolutionary Movement also won a majority in the Caribbean nation’s Congress (parliament).

 

Much of the president’s popularity has been fueled by the crackdown on Haitian migrants. The Dominican Republic has long taken a hard line with Haitian migrants but such policies have ramped up since Haiti entered a free fall following the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. As gangs have terrorized Haitians, the Dominican government has built a Trump-like border wall along the 250-mile (400-kilometer) border.

 

Lai Ching-te inaugurated as new president of Taiwan

Lai Ching-te was inaugurated as Taiwan’s new President in Taipei, on May 20, 2024. He had won presidential election held on January 13, 2024. In his inauguration speech, the new President urged China to stop its military intimidation against the self-governed island Beijing claims as its own territory. He took over from Tsai Ing-wen, who led Taiwan through eight years.

 

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda re-elected

Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda won re-election on May 26, 2024. Nauseda won 74.6% of votes. His opponent, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, conceded defeat. The Lithuanian president steers defense and foreign policy, attending EU and NATO summits, but must consult with the government and parliament on appointing the most senior officials.

 

Longest-serving flight attendant dies in US

Bette Nash, who served American Airlines for nearly seven decades as flight attendant, passed away at the age of 88 on May 17, 2024. Nash was associated with American Airlines for 67 years and became the world’s longest serving flight attendant. Nash began her career in 1957 when she joined Eastern Airlines, which subsequently became American Airlines, in Washington, DC. She still holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving flight attendant. She never officially retired from the position.

 

Iran’s President, Foreign Minister dead in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, 63, was declared dead following a helicopter crash on May 19, 2024. Along with Raisi, his foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was also killed. Following Raisi’s death, Iranian vice-president Mohammad Mokhber, 68, Iran’s became the interim president. Raisi had been at the Azerbaijani border on May 19 to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, a joint project. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. Raisi assumed the presidency in 2021 and is known to have

received unwavering support for his nuclear policies and security measures from his mentor, the vehemently anti-Western Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israel and Hamas leaders

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war that began on October 7.

 

Karim Khan said that he believes Netanyahu, his defense minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders – Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh – are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

 

The prosecutor must request the warrants from a pre-trial panel of three judges, who take on average two months to consider the evidence and determine if the proceedings can move forward. Israel is not a member of the court, and even if the arrest warrants are issued, Netanyahu and Gallant do not face any immediate risk of prosecution.

 

Author, military historian Caleb Carr dies in US at 68

Author and military historian Caleb Carr died in US on May 23, 2024. In his best-known novel, “The Alienist,” John Schuyler Moore is a New York Times police reporter in 1890s Manhattan who helps investigative a series of vicious murders of adolescent boys. He co-authored “America Invulnerable: The Quest for Absolute Security from 1812 to Star Wars” with James Chace.

 

Doge meme & Dogecoin inspiration, Kabosu the dog, dies

Kabosu, a dog of Shiba Inu species who became well-known for having featured in the original Doge meme and the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, died in Japan on May 24, 2024. Owned by Atsuko Sato, she was 17 years old.

 

Purnima Shrestha is 1st to climb Mount Everest 3 times in 2 weeks

On May 25, 2024, Purnima Shrestha, a photojournalist and mountaineer from Nepal, made history by being the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest three times in one climbing season. May 12 was Purnima’s first ascent of the 8848.86-meter mountain. Her second ascent was on May 19. Purnima had climbed Mount Everest four times before.

 

Kami Rita scales Mount Everest for record 30th time

Renowned Sherpa mountain guide Kami Rita scaled Mount Everest for a record 30th time on May 22, 2024, completing his second climb this month to the top of the 8,849-meter summit. His first ascent of this year’s climbing season was on May 12 guiding foreign clients. His closest competitor for the most climbs of Mount Everest is fellow Sherpa guide Pasang Dawa, who has 27 ascents of the mountain.

Section D: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

ICMR denies participation in BHU’s Covaxin study

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on May 20, 2024 criticised a recently-published study on the long-term safety analysis of Covaxin in adults and adolescents for its poor methodology and design, and also clarified the article “misleadingly and erroneously.

 

ICMR director general Rajiv Bahl said the study did not include unvaccinated individuals for comparing the rates of ‘adverse events’ with the vaccinated group. Hence, the side-effects cannot be linked or attributed to Covid vaccination, he said. He clarified that ICMR is not associated with the study and hasn’t provided any financial or technical support for the research.

 

Bahl has written a letter to the authors of the paper and editor of the journal to immediately remove the acknowledgement to ICMR and publish an erratum. “The authors have been asked to ad dress the methodological concerns raised. Failure to do so may prompt ICMR to consider legal and administrative action,” he added.

 

A research paper titled ‘Long-Term Safety Analysis of the BBVl52 Coronavirus Vaccine in Adolescents and Adults: Findings from a l-Year Prospective Study in North India’ by researchers from Banaras Hindu University stated that nearly one-third of the 926 participants in the study who received Bharat Biotech’s anti-Covid vaccine Covaxin reported ‘adverse events of special interest’.

 

Bahl said that ICMR was acknowledged for research support without any prior approval of or intimation to it, which is inappropriate and unacceptable. He also noted that similar acknowledgements to ICMR have been made in previous papers without permission, raising concerns about the authors’ practices.

 

World’s highest astronomical site opens in Chile

A new telescope billed as the world’s highest astronomical site has opened.

 

The Japanese University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory, or TAO, is perched on top of a tall mountain in the Chilean Andes at 5,640 meters (18,500 feet) above sea level. The facility’s altitude surpasses even the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, which is at an elevation of 5,050 meters (16,570 feet).

 

The region’s high altitude, sparse atmosphere and perennially arid climate is deadly to humans, but makes an excellent spot for infrared telescopes like TAO as their observational accuracies rely on low moisture levels, which render Earth’s atmosphere transparent in infrared wavelengths.

 

TAO’s 6.5-meter telescope consists of two science instruments designed to observe the universe in infrared, which is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than visible light but shorter than microwaves.

 

Nasa launches satellite to better climate change prediction

A tiny Nasa satellite was launched May 25, 2024 from New Zealand with the mission of improving climate change prediction by measuring heat escaping from Earth’s poles for the first time. The satellite, which is the size of a shoe box, was launched by an Electron rocket, built by a company called Rocket Lab. The overall mission is called PREFIRE. It will serve to take infrared measurements far above the Arctic and Antarctic so as to measure directly the heat that the poles release into space.

 

IIT Madras and Shell India set up Centre for Energy Research

Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ Energy Consortium and Shell India on May 22, 2024 said they have partnered to launch Shell IITM Centre for Energy Research (SICER) that will promote commercialisation of technologies in the energy sector. The inauguration ceremony took place at the Shell Technology Centre in Bengaluru.

 

CSIR launches Electric Tiller

Dr. N. Kalaiselvi, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) & Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) unveiled the Central Mechanical Engineering Research institute’s Electric Tiller in Durgapur on May 25, 2024. The tiller is tailored to meet the requirements of small to marginal farmers, who constitute over 80% of the nation’s farming community. These farmers, typically with land holdings of less than 2 hectares, can utilize the electric tiller for various agricultural tasks, benefiting from substantially reduced operational costs.

 

Robot sets new record for solving the puzzle cube

According to the Guinness World Records, a robot has become the fastest in the world to solve the puzzle cube, doing so in just 0.305 seconds. The robot was created by the Mitsubishi Electric team in Japan. According to Wikipedia, as of July 2023, Korean-American Max Park currently holds the world record for solving the puzzle cube in the fastest time. He solved the cube in a record 3.13 seconds. The Rubik’s Cube was invented by Hungarian architecture professor Ernő Rubik around 50 years ago.

Section E: AWARDS

 

Cannes Film Festival

The 77th annual Cannes Film Festival was organised at Cannes, France from May 14 to 25, 2024.

 

Feature Films

Palme d’Or award for the best film was won by ‘Anora’ (English), directed by Sean Baker of United States.

 

Grand Prix award for the second best film was won by ‘All We Imagine as Light’ (Malayalam-Hindi) directed by India’s Payal Kapadia. The film is an Indo-French co-production between petit chaos from France and Chalk and Cheese Films from India.

 

Other winners:

Jury Prize: ‘Emilia Pérez’ by Jacques Audiard

 

Best Director: Miguel Gomes for ‘Grand Tour’

 

Best Actress: Adriana Paz, Karla Sofía Gascón, Selena Gomez, and Zoe Saldaña for ‘Emilia Pérez’

 

Best Actor: Jesse Plemons for ‘Kinds of Kindness’

 

Best Screenplay: ‘The Substance’ by Coralie Fargeat

 

Special Prize: ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ by Mohammad Rasoulof

 

Short Films

Palme d’or: ‘The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent’ (Croatian), directed by Nebojša Slijepčević

 

Special Mention: ‘Bad For A Moment’ (Portuguese), directed by Daniel Soares

 

Un Certain Regard

India’s Anasuya Sengupta won the Best Actress award in the Un Certain Regard section for her role in ‘‘The Shameless’.

 

Other winners:

Un Certain Regard Prize: Black Dog by Guan Hu

 

Un Certain Regard Jury Prize: The Story of Souleymane by Boris Lojkine

 

Un Certain Regard Best Director: ‘The Damned’ by Roberto Minervini & ‘On Becoming a Guinea Fowl’ by Rungano Nyoni

 

Best Actor: Abou Sangare for ‘The Story of Souleymane’

 

Un Certain Regard Youth Prize: ‘Holy Cow’ by Louise Courvoisier

 

Special Mention: ‘Norah’ by Tawfik Alzaidi

 

Honorary Palme d’Or: Meryl Streep, Studio Ghibli, George Lucas

 

Caméra d’Or (best first feature film)

Armand by Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

Special Mention: Mongrel by Chiang Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin

 

La Cinef

Two Indian films – Chidananda S Naik’s ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’ and Mansi Maheshwari’s animated movie ‘Bunnyhood’ bagged first and third prizes in the La Cinef category.

 

The second prize was jointly awarded to ‘Out of the Widow Through the Wall’ directed by Asya Segalovich from Columbia University, and ‘The Chaos She Left Behind’ created by Nikos Kolioukos from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

 

Jenny Erpenbeck wins International Booker Prize

German author Jenny Erpenbeck and translator Michael Hofmann won the International Booker Prize for fiction May 21, 2024 for “Kairos”.

 

The book is set in the dying days of the German Democratic Republic, leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Erpenbeck, 57, was born and raised in East Berlin, which was part of East Germany until the country disappeared with German reunification in 1990.

The book beat five other finalists, chosen from 149 submitted novels, for the prize, which recognizes fiction from around the world that has been translated into English and published in the U.K. or Ireland. The 50,000 pounds ($64,000) in prize money is divided between author and translator.

 

The International Booker Prize is awarded every year. It is run alongside the Booker Prize for English-language fiction, which will be handed out in the fall.

 

Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences

Canadian historian and writer Michael Ignatieff has won Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences for his “critical reflections on the major conflicts of our time,” prize organizers said May 22, 2024.

 

With more than 20 books that range from human rights, foreign policy, economics, and nationalism, among other topics, the 77-year-old Ignatieff has become, in the jury’s words, “an essential reference to navigate our current times of war, political polarization and threats to freedom.”

 

His titles include “The Needs of Strangers” (1984), “Isaiah Berlin: A Life” (1998), and “Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry” (2001). He also has published numerous articles and opinion columns.

 

Ignatieff has taught and researched at many of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford, and was rector of the Central European University.

 

He was also heavily involved in Canadian politics, rising to its Liberal Party’s presidency in 2009 and leading the opposition in parliament.

 

The 50,000-euro ($54,000) Princess of Asturias Award is one of eight prizes covering areas including the arts, communication, science and sports that are handed out annually by the foundation.

 

The Shaw Prize

Shrinivas R. (Shri) Kulkarni, George Ellery Hale Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA, has bagged The Shaw Prize, 2024.

 

Also known as the Nobel of the East, the prize from the Hong Kong-based Shaw Prize Foundation recognises contributions one has made to furthering societal progress, enhancing quality of life, and enriching humanity’s spiritual civilization.

The Foundation announces the annual awards in the areas of astronomy, medicine and life sciences, and mathematical sciences.

 

The 67-year old Indian origin Professor won along with Peter Sarnak, a Mathematics Professor at Princeton, and Swee Lay Thein and Stuart Orkin, both from the USA for their work in life sciences and medicine.

 

Kulkarni won the prize for his ground-breaking discoveries about millisecond pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, and other variable or transient astronomical objects. His contributions to time-domain astronomy culminated in the conception, construction and leadership of the Palomar Transient Factory and its successor, the Zwicky Transient Facility, which have revolutionised our understanding of the time-variable optical sky.

 

NHPC conferred with HR award by Economic Times

NHPC, a PSU hydropower company, has been conferred with the ‘The Economic Times HR World Future Ready Organization Award 2024-25’. The Award has been given to NHPC in recognition of its preparedness in the areas of upskilling of employees, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) interventions, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, constant technological upgradations, Employee Engagement processes, robust Corporate Governance strategies etc. which establish it as a trusted brand amongst all its stakeholders. The Award was given in Mumbai on May 23, 2024.

 

Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award

Arti, an 18-year-old rickshaw driver from a village in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, received the Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award, named after the human rights barrister, at the Prince’s Trust Awards in London on May 22, 2024. She was honoured for inspiring other young girls through her work with the government’s Pink E-rickshaw initiative, which provides safe transport for women.

Section F: BANKING & FINANCE

 

RBI to transfer ₹2,10,874 cr. surplus to Centre for FY24

The Reserve Bank of India’s board on May 22, 2024 approved the transfer of a record ₹2,10,874 crore as surplus to the Union government for the accounting year 2023-24. The RBI had transferred ₹87,416 crore in FY23.

 

The Board also decided to increase the Contingent Risk Buffer (CRB) to 6.50% for 2023-24, from 6% in the previous year. CRB provisions are essentially used during any unexpected and unforeseen contingencies.

 

“The transferable surplus for the year (2023-24) has been arrived at on the basis of the Economic Capital Framework (ECF) adopted by the Reserve Bank on August 26, 2019, as per recommendations of the Expert Committee to Review the extant Economic Capital Framework of the Reserve Bank of India,” the central bank said in a statement.

 

Airbus Helicopters, SIDBI sign MoU for helicopter financing

Airbus Helicopters and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for financing purchase of Airbus’ helicopters in India. Under the MoU, Airbus Helicopters and SIDBI would identify potential civil helicopter operators in India interested in financing solutions for purchasing the helicopters. While Airbus would provide technical and helicopter-industry knowledge, SIDBI would be responsible for evaluating the prospects and financing them exclusively for Airbus.

Section G: ECONOMY

 

Govt. directs telcos to block incoming international spoofed calls

The government has directed telecom operators to block all incoming international spoofed calls that display Indian mobile numbers, an official statement said on May 26, 2024.

 

It has been reported that fraudsters were making international spoofed calls displaying Indian mobile numbers to Indian citizens and committing cyber-crime and financial frauds, the Department of Telecom (DoT) said.

 

Such calls appeared to be originating within India but were being made by cyber-criminals from abroad by manipulating the calling line identity (CLI), and had been misused in recent cases of fake digital arrests, ‘FedEx scams’, drugs or narcotics in courier, impersonations as government and police officials, disconnections of mobile numbers by DoT or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) officials, etc.

 

“DoT and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have devised a system to identify and block such international spoofed calls from reaching any Indian telecom subscriber. Now directions have been issued to the TSPs for blocking such incoming international spoofed calls,” the statement said.

 

Incoming international spoofed calls with Indian landline numbers were already being blocked by the TSPs, according to the directions issued by the DoT.

 

“Despite best efforts, there may still be some fraudsters who succeed through other means. For such calls, you can help everybody by reporting such suspected fraud communications at the Chakshu facility on Sanchar Saathi,” the statement said.

 

Recently, the DoT issued directives to telecom operators to carry out immediate re-verification of 6.8 lakh mobile numbers within 60 days that are suspected to have been obtained using invalid, non-existent or fake documents. The department has flagged around 6.80 lakh mobile connections as potentially fraudulent after advanced AI-driven analysis.

 

India records trade deficit with 9 of top 10 trading partners in 2023-24

India has recorded a trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, with nine of its top 10 trading partners, including China, Russia, Singapore, and Korea, in 2023-24, according to official data.

 

The data also showed that the deficit with China, Russia, Korea, and Hong Kong increased in the last fiscal compared to 2022-23, while the trade gap with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Indonesia, and Iraq narrowed.

 

The trade deficit with China rose to $85 billion, Russia to $57.2 billion, Korea to $14.71 billion and Hong Kong to $12.2 billion in 2023-24 against $83.2 billion, $43 billion, $14.57 billion and $8.38 billion, respectively, in 2022-23.

 

China has emerged as India’s largest trading partner with $118.4 billion of two-way commerce in 2023-24, edging past the U.S.

 

The bilateral trade between India and the U.S. stood at $118.28 billion in 2023-24. Washington was the top trading partner of New Delhi during 2021-22 and 2022-23. India has a free trade agreement with four of its top trading partners — Singapore, the UAE, Korea and Indonesia (as part of the Asian bloc). India has a trade surplus of $36.74 billion with the U.S. in 2023-24. India’s total trade deficit in the last fiscal narrowed to $238.3 billion as against $264.9 billion in the previous fiscal.

 

Indians lost over ₹1,750 crore to cyber fraud

Indians lost more than Rs 1,750 crore to cyber criminals in the first four months of 2024 with over 7 lakh 40 thousand cybercrime complaints being registered on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal run by the ministry of home affairs between January and April 2024. According to Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), on an average 7,000 cybercrime complaints were registered per day in May 2024, a jump of 113.7% between 2021-2023 and 60.9% from 2022-2023, and 85%of them were financial online frauds.

 

I4C is a body established by the MHA to provide a framework for law enforcement agencies to deal with cybercrime. The massive rise in number of cases can be seen between 2019 to 2024 with 26,049 complaints being registered in 2019, 2,57,777 in 2020, 4,52,414 in 2021, 9,66,790 in 2022, 15,56,218 complaints in 2023 and 7,40,957 in 2024 in the first four months of the year.

 

Most victims were targeted using online investment fraud, gaming apps, algorithm manipulations, illegal lending apps, sextortion, and OTP forwards among others. Over 1 lakh investment scam cases were reported in 2023, according to I4C. In cases of digital arrests, Indians lost ₹1.2 billion in 4,599 cases in the first four months of 2024. Trading scam accounted for 20,043 cases in which ₹14.2 bn were lost to cyber criminals during the same period.

 

Similarly, ₹2.22 billion was lost in 62,687 complaints of investment scams, and dating apps caused a loss of ₹132.3 million in 1,725 complaints, states the I4C data. The total amount lost to cyber goons by Indians between January to April 2024 stood at ₹17.6 billion.

 

The I4C said that it is continuously working with RBI, DFS, Banks, FIU, DOT, DIU, Fintech Companies on use of mule accounts and abuse of telecom infrastructure by cybercriminals. It is further monitoring and blocking cybercrime infrastructure such as Skype accounts, Google and Meta advertisements, SMS headers, SIM cards, and bank accounts.

 

India’s peak power demand hit a record 240 GW on May 24, 2024

India’s peak power demand hit a record 240 Giga Watts (GW) on May 24, 2024.

 

According to the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) data, the peak power demand met on May 24 stood at 239.96 GW, almost equalling the 2023 record. Peak demand met during evening hours was 220.58 GW. India had recorded an all-time high peak demand met of 240 GW in September 2023.

 

Finance Minister is now final authority for grading CPSEs

Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) will be graded with the approval of the Finance Minister here on. This is part of a reworked mechanism.

 

According to a new Office Memorandum (OM), the process for upgrading and downgrading of categorised CPSEs to higher/lower schedule has been simplified. All categorised CPSEs would continue to come to Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) for upgradation of their schedule with the approval of their Administrative Ministry or Department based on existing guidelines. The DPE will examine and take the decision on the upgradation with the approval of the Finance Minister. Such proposal would not be referred to the Cabinet Secretariat and PESB (Public Enterprises Service Board).

 

CPSEs are slotted in four categories — A, B, C and D. This has a bearing on organisational structure and salaries of Board level incumbents. According to the Department of Public Enterprises under the Finance Ministry, as on June 26, 2023, 71 CPSEs (NTPC, Indian Oil, ONGC, SAIL, BHEL among others) were in A category, while 68 (Air India Assets Holding, Cement Corporation, Garden Reach, besides others) fell in B category; 38 were placed in C and five in D category. CPSEs are also classified into four Ratnas — Maharatna (11 CPSEs), Navaratna (12 CPSEs), Mini Ratnas-1 (58 CPSEs) and Mini Ratnas-2 (10 CPSEs) to defines financial and organisational powers.

 

The proposals for categorisation are to be furnished to the DPE with the concurrence of the financial advisor and the approval of the Minister-in-charge of the administrative Ministry/Department concerned. The proposal should contain performance of the CPSE for the last five years on quantitative parameters: investment, capital employed, net sales, profit before tax, number of employees and units, capacity addition, revenue per employee amongst others.

Qualitative factors include national importance, complexities of problems faced, technology, expansion prospects and diversification and competition alongside share price, Maharatna/Navaratna/Mini Ratna status and ISO certification.

 

Earlier, the proposals were being referred to DPE which used to process them in consultation with the PSEB. Post processing, approval from competent authority was obtained before notifying the schedule. Now, approval from Finance Ministry has been explicitly mentioned in the OM.

 

India’s forex reserves rise to $648.7 bn

India’s forex reserves surged by $4.54 billion to $648.7 billion as of May 17, marking an all time high, data published by the Reserve Bank of India showed on May 24, 2024. According to the Weekly Statistical Supplement released by the RBI, Foreign currency assets (FCAs) increased by $3.361 billion to $569.01 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 $1.24 billion to $57.19 billion, whereas SDRs rose by $113 million to $18.16 billion. Reserve position in the IMF decreased by $168 million to $4.32 billion.

 

Nifty 50 index surpasses 23,000 mark

The benchmark Nifty 50 index surpassed the 23,000 mark for the first time on May 24, 2024. After hitting a high of 23,026, the index settled at 22,957, down 11 points, or 0.05 per cent, over its previous day´s close.

 

Kerala tops youth unemployment rate, Delhi registers lowest: PLFS Survey

Kerala recorded the highest unemployment rate among the 15-29 age group in urban areas for the January-March quarter of 2024, while Delhi had the lowest joblessness rate, according to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).

 

The survey, which covered 22 states and Union territories, identified Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Odisha as other States/UTs with high unemployment rates in this age category.

 

The overall unemployment rate for the 15-29 age group was 17 per cent for the January-March period, an increase from 16.5 per cent in the previous quarter but slightly lower than the 17.3 per cent reported in the same period in 2023. For all age groups, the unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent, marginally up from 6.5 per cent in the previous quarter and slightly below the 6.8 per cent from the previous year.

 

Three states and UTs recorded single-digit unemployment rates: Delhi (3.1 per cent), Gujarat (9 per cent ), and Haryana (9.5 per cent ). Karnataka (11.5 per cent ) and Madhya Pradesh (12.1 per cent ) also had relatively low unemployment rates.

 

The data also highlighted the high unemployment rate for women, with Jammu & Kashmir at 48.6 per cent , followed by Kerala (46.6 per cent ), Uttarakhand (39.4 per cent ), Telangana (38.4 per cent ), and Himachal Pradesh (35.9 per cent ). The overall female unemployment rate for the January-March quarter was 22.7 per cent, a slight increase from 22.5 per cent in the previous quarter but lower than 22.9 per cent in the same period in 2023.

 

The PLFS survey tracks joblessness, labor force participation, and worker population ratios. The unemployment rate is based on the Current Weekly Status (CWS), where a person is considered unemployed if they did not work for at least one hour during the reference week but were available for work during that time.

 

Healthcare ads most violative, says ASCI

Healthcare emerged as the most violative sector in India with respect to advertising rules in 2023-24, with majority of violations took place due to misleading claims, an annual analysis of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) showed.

Among the violators, healthcare ads contribute 19% of cases, followed by illegal offshore betting (17%), personal care (13%), conventional education (12%), food and beverage (10%), and realty (7%). Babycare emerged as a new contender in the top violators category, with influencer promotions (by celebrities without proper disclosure) contributing to 81% of cases.

 

In 2023-24, the analysis studied 10,093 complaints and 8,299 advertising campaigns. Nearly half of the advertisements picked up by ASCI were not contested by the advertisers. The majority of violations were on account of misleading claims at 81%, followed by ads that promoted harmful situations or pro ducts at 34% (the same ad can be processed for multiple objections).

Manisha Kapoor, CEO & secretary general of ASCI, said, “2023-24 has been a truly challenging year and ASCI stepped up to this by focusing on digital. About 3,200 advertisements were shared with various regulators, such as MIB, Ayush, and MahaRera, for direct violations of the law. We see this as a continuing area of focus. With the highest number of violative ads seen online, advertisers and platforms must work more closely with regulators and self-regulators to keep consumers protected.’’

Further, digital media remained the primary source of violations, accounting for 85% of ads processed and had a lower compliance rate of 75%, compared to 97% for print and TV. This raises serious questions about the online safety of consumers, a point highlighted last year as well, ASCI said.

 

In 2023-24, the number of complaints regarding misleading and violative ads was 12.8% higher over 2022-23.

 

Celebrities continued to appear in ads that were in violation of ASCI code. ASCI processed complaints against 101 ads featuring celebrities, 91% of which required modification, the analysis said. About 104 celebrities appearing in these 101 ads were found to be in violation of guidelines as they could not provide any evidence of due diligence.

The analysis pointed to lack of due diligence of marketing and advertising campaigns by social media influencers. Due diligence is a requirement under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

 

Indians had $31.7 billion overseas spending in FY24

Indians spent a record $31.7 billion overseas under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) in FY24, marking a nearly 17% increase over the $27.1 billion recorded in FY23. This surge occurred despite the imposition of tax collection at source (TCS).

 

Travel: The annual data for remittances reveals a significant rise in overseas travel spending, which reached $17 billion in FY24—an increase of more than 24.5% compared to $13.6 billion in the previous year. The share of international travel in LRS spending has climbed to 53.6% in FY24, up from 37% in FY20.

 

Education: Spending on education fell in absolute terms to $3.4 billion in FY23 from $5.2 billion in FY22, reducing its share of overall spending to 12%. In FY24, spending on education remained flat at nearly $3.5 billion, even as travel expenditures soared.

 

Maintaining relatives abroad: Education abroad is no longer the second-largest category in forex spending. Indians spent more on maintaining relatives abroad, totaling $4.6 billion, than on education fees.

 

BSE market cap crosses $5 trillion

The market capitalisation of companies listed on the BSE crossed $5 trillion for the first time on May 21, 2024.

 

BIS certification must for sale of used imported electronic products: DGFT

The import of used, repaired, refurbished and reconditioned electronic products will now need to be certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) if they are to be sold in India, in a move the industry welcomed saying it was in line with the government’s recent thrust to prevent import and sales of poor quality products in the country.

 

In the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification on May 20, the Centre has specified that import of second-hand products, whether or not refurbished, repaired or reconditioned, notified under the Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement of Compulsory Registration) Order, 2021, is prohibited unless they are registered with BIS and comply with the labelling requirement published by BIS.

 

There are 63 products listed under this order which till now required compulsory BIS certificates only when the manufacturer was launching a new product.

 

Govt. appoints Ramesh Babu V as Member in CERC

Ramesh Babu V took oath of office and secrecy as Member, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, on May 21, 2024. The oath of office and secrecy was administered to him, by the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh. He held the post of Director (Operations), NTPC from May 2020 till his retirement, before which he served in various positions in NTPC.

 

CERC is the Central Commission for the purposes of the Electricity Act, 2003. The Commission consists of a Chairperson and three other Members. Additionally, Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority is the ex-officio Member of the Commission. Jishnu Barua is the Chairperson of CERC.

 

Major functions of CERC under the Electricity Act, 2003 are, among others, to regulate the tariff of generating companies owned or controlled by the Central Government, to regulate the tariff of other generating companies having a composite scheme for generation and sale of electricity in more than one State, to regulate the inter-State transmission of electricity and to determine tariff for inter-state transmission of electricity.

Section H: CORPORATE

 

Wipro to exit 30-share BSE Sensex

Gautam Adani’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) would soon be included in India’s headline equity index Sensex. S&P Dow Jones Indices on May 24, 2024 announced that with effect from June 24, Wipro will be removed from the 30-share index and APSEZ will take its place.

 

Adani Ports is the first stock from the 10-company Adani Group to have found a seat in the 30-pack Sensex. In the Nifty50 index, which has India’s 50 largest stocks based on market capitalisation, there are two Adani stocks – Adani Ports and Adani Enterprises.

 

Designed to measure the performance of the 30 largest, most liquid and financially sound companies across key sectors of the Indian economy that are listed on the BSE, Sensex is India’s most tracked bellwether index.

 

Launched on January 1, 1986, Sensex covers more than 40% of total market cap of the listed universe on the BSE. Based on float-adjusted market cap weighted methodology, the index is rebalanced twice every year — in June and December. The top 10 Sensex constituents by index weights include HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Infosys, L&T, ITC, TCS, Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank and SBI.

 

HCLTech to buy HP’s Communications Tech Assets for $225 mn

HCLTech, India’s third largest IT services company, has agreed to buy select assets of Communications Technology Group from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for $225 million (about ₹1,873 crore) in cash. “Through this arrangement, HCLTech will acquire industry-leading intellectual property (IP), engineering and R&D talent and client relationships with top global Communication Service Providers (CSPs),” the Noida-based company said in a regulatory filing on May 23, 2024. HPE will retain the part of CTG business focused on Operations Support Systems (OSS).

 

Go Digit General Insurance lists

Shares of Go Digit General Insurance got listed on May 23, 2024 and ended with a premium of over 12 per cent against the issue price of ₹272. On BSE, shares of the company ended at ₹305.75 apiece, up 12.40 per cent. On the NSE, it ended at ₹305.65 each, up 12.37 per cent. The company’s market valuation stood at ₹28,043.46 crore. The ₹2,615-crore initial share sale had a price band of ₹258-272 per share. Go Digit offers motor insurance, health insurance, travel insurance, property insurance, marine insurance, liability insurance, and other insurance products. It is one of the first non-life insurers in India to be fully-operated on the cloud.

 

Tech Mahindra, Japan’s Fuji TV partner to produce content globally

IT company Tech Mahindra on May 23, 2024 said it has partnered with Japanese broadcaster Fuji TV to develop and produce content across genres for the global entertainment industry. The partnership will combine Fuji TV’s original content with Tech Mahindra’s localisation and animation services.

 

Microsoft launches Copilot+PC

Microsoft introduced new software and computers infused with AI features — stepping up its efforts to outcompete Alphabet Inc´s Google and Apple Inc. A new category of AI-focused PCs will be called Copilot+PC, CEO Satya Nadella said.

NEWSMAKERS

 

Vicco Laboratories chairman Yeshwant Pendharkar dies

Ayurvedic cosmetics company Vicco Laboratories chairman Yeshwant Pendharkar passed away in Nagpur on May 24, 2024 at the age of 85. Vicco founder Keshav had five sons — Gajanan, Yeshwant, Sumant, Jayant and Ashok.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab to step back from executive role

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), will step back from his current role and become chairman of the board of trustees by next January, the Geneva-based organization said on May 21, 2024. The forum, which was established by Mr. Schwab in 1971, is known for its annual gathering of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

 

Computing visionary Chester Gordon Bell dies at 89

Chester Gordon Bell, a visionary in the world of computing who helped design some of the first minicomputers in the 1960s, died in US May 17, 2024 at the age of 89. Bell worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he started designing computers like the PDP8, the first commercially successful minicomputer.

Section I: STATES

 

NCBC could delist some castes from central OBC list of West Bengal

Thirty seven castes from West Bengal, included in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) by Congress-led UPA government before 2014 parliamentary elections, are now under the scanner of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and some may be delisted. The move follows the order of Calcutta high court invalidating all OBC certificates issued by West Bengal government after 2010. NCBC chairman Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said his organisation was scrutinising the list.

 

Karnataka bars attenders during pregnancy scans

Tightening its grip over illegal sex determination, the Karnataka Health Department has now barred the entry of any attender or relative along with a pregnant woman inside the ultrasonography room. Besides, the display of additional monitors in the ultrasound room is also prohibited. All ultrasound scanning centres and hospitals where scanning is done have been directed to display boards stating that no attender would be allowed inside. This comes in the wake of the recent unearthing of a female foeticide racket that was being run in the Health Department’s staff quarters at Pandavapura in Mandya district.
 

 

Section J: SPORTS

 

Kolkata Knight Riders wins IPL

The 2024 Indian Premier League cricket tournament was won by Kolkata Knight Riders, captained by Shreyas Iyer, which defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad, led by Pat Cummins, by 8 wickets in the final played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on May 26, 2024. Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat. Kolkata Knight Riders won their third title.

 

Awards:

Most valuable player: Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders)

 

Orange Cap: Virat Kohli (741 runs in 15 innings), Royal Challengers Bengaluru

 

Purple Cap: Harshal Patel (24 wickets in 14 innings), Punjab Kings

 

Emerging player: Nitish Reddy

 

Electric striker of the season: Jake-Fraser McGurk, Delhi Capitals

 

Most Sixes: Abhishek Sharma (42), Sunrisers Hyderabad

 

Most fours: Travis Head (64), Sunrisers Hyderabad

 

Catch of the season: Ramandeep Singh, Kolkata Knight Riders

 

Fairplay: Sunrisers Hyderabad

 

Charles Leclerc wins Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc won the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix on May 26, 2024 for his first victory of this season. Leclerc was followed by McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in second place and his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third. This was eighth race of the 2024 season.

 

2024 BWF Badminton Malaysia Masters badminton

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen won the men’s singles title at 2024 BWF Badminton Malaysia Masters badminton in Kuala Lumpur on May 26, 2024 by defeating Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, 21-6, 20-22, 21-13 in the final. Women’s singles title was won by Wang Zhi Yi of China who triumphed over PV Sindhu of India with a 21-16, 5-21, 16-21 victory.

 

HCL Squash Tour Indore 2024

India’s Rathika Suthanthira Seelan clinched the women’s title at the HCL Squash Tour Indore 2024, a PSA Challenger Tour event, on May 26. She defeated fellow Indian Pooja Arthi Raghu 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-3) at Daly College, Indore. In the men’s event, Ravindu Laksiri of Sri Lanka beat India’s Om Semwal in the final 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-4).

 

Dipa Karmakar is first Indian gymnast to win gold at Asian level

Top Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar on May 26, 2024 became the first from the country to win a gold medal in the Asian Senior Championships as she clinched the yellow metal in the women’s vault event at Tashkent. The 30-year-old Dipa secured an average of 13.566 in the vault final on the last day of competitions in Uzbekistan’s capital city. Dipa, who returned to action last year after a 21-month suspension for a doping offence, is out of contention for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

 

 

Annu Rani wins silver medal in javelin throw at Halle athletics meet

India’s Annu Rani won the silver medal in the women’s javelin throw event at the Hallesche Werfertage 2024 athletics meet in Halle, Germany with a 59.09m throw on May 26, 2024. Jo-Ane van Dyk of South Africa won the gold medal with the throw of 60.82m. Alizee Minard, the 2022 French champion, bagged the bronze in the field of 12 with a distance of 58.49m. Annu Rani has a personal best of 63.82m which is also the women’s javelin throw national record in India. The Paris 2024 Olympics qualification mark is set at 64m.

 

New world record in women’s 10,000m

Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet (24) created a new world record in women’s 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic athletics in Eugene, Oregon (US) on May 25, 2024. She clocked 28:54.14 to break the record of 29:01.03 held by Letesenbet Gidey (26) of Ethiopia by more than six seconds.

 

Archery World Cup held at Yecheon (South Korea)

The Indian women’s compound team of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Parneet Kaur and Aditi Swami won the Archery World Cup gold medal at the stage two event at Yecheon (South Korea) on May 25, 2024. The Indian team defeated Turkey’s Hazal Burun, Ayse Bera Suzer and Begum Yuva 232-226 in the final. Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Priyansh in mixed team compound event after losing to Olivia Dean and Sawyer Sullivan of USA 153-155.

 

World Para Athletics Championships

India ended its World Para Athletics Championships campaign with unprecedented success, scooping 17 medals (6 gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze), to take the sixth spot in the standings at Kobe, Japan on May 25, 2024.

Divya Deshmukh wins Sharjah Challengers chess title

India’s Divya Deshmukh won the Sharjah Challengers chess title in May 2024. The Indian national women’s champion remained unbeaten in the nine-round open tournament to finish on top of the table collecting seven points with a better tie-break score. Divya emerged champion in a tournament where 98 players from 38 countries including six Grandmasters were vying for honours.

 

New national record in men’s 110m hurdles

Tejas Shirse shattered the seven-year-old Indian men’s 110m hurdles national record on May 22, 2024 at the Montonet GP in Finland on May 22, 2024. The 21-year-old Shirse clocked an impressive 13.41s to finish the race with a gold medal. In the process, he surpassed the previous national record of 13.48s held by Siddhanth Thingalaya since 2017 in the event. Despite setting the new national record, Shirse is still way off the automatic qualifying mark for the 2024 Paris Olympics in men’s 110m hurdles, which stands at 13.27s.

 

Asian Relay Championships 2024

India’s mixed 4×400 relay team set a new national record while winning the gold medal at the Asian Relay Championships at Bangkok on May 20, 2024 but missed the target of entering the Paris Olympics qualification bracket. The quartet of Muhammed Ajmal, Jyothika Sri Dandi, Amoj Jacob and Subha Venkatesan clocked 3 minutes 14.12 seconds to win the race. The earlier national record of 3:14.34 was clocked by the Indian team while winning silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

 

The Indian men’s and women’s 4x400m teams won silver medals. The men’s relay quartet of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, T Santosh Kumar, Mijo Chacko Kurian and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3:05.76 to finish behind the Sri Lanka team, which won in 3:04.48. Vietnam (3:07.37) edged out Qatar to secure the bronze medal.

 

India’s challenge in the women’s 4x400m relay race, meanwhile, was fronted by Vithya Ramraj, MR Poovamma, Rupal and Prachi Choudhary. The four timed their run at 3:33.55 seconds only to be outdone by the Vietnamese quartet, who won gold in 3:30.81 seconds. Japan bagged the bronze after finishing the course in 3:36.56.

Boxing: Parveen loses Asiad medal after suspension

In the wake of boxer Parveen Hooda’s suspension by the International Testing Agency (ITA) for whereabouts failure, India on May 20, 2024 lost the bronze medal she had won in the women’s 57kg division at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2023. Her results obtained in December 11, 2022–May 17, 2024 stand disqualified. India’s medal count at the Asiad will now come down from 107 to 106. But it will not affect the country’s fourth-place finish.

 

Atalanta win Europa League football

Ademola Lookman scored a hat-trick as Italy’s Atalanta beat Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the Europa League football tournament final at Dublin, Ireland on May 22

 

Paris Saint-Germain win French Cup football

Paris Saint-Germain beat Lyon 2-1 in the French Cup football final in Paris on May 25, 2024. Ousmane Dembele and Fabian Ruiz scored for PSG in the first half. Jake O’Brien got a consolation goal for Lyon in the second half.

 

Manchester United stuns City to win FA Cup

Manchester United stunned Manchester City 2-1 in final played at Wembley Stadium in London on May 25, 2024 to win in the FA Cup football tournament. Jérémy Doku scored for Manchester United in the second half while Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo scored for the winners in the first half.

 

Former German football player Karl-Heinz Schnellinger dies

Former German football player Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, who played at four World Cups, died in Italy at the age of 85 on May 21, 2024. Considered one of the best defenders at his time, he played in 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970 world cups.

 

US golfer Grayson Murray dies

US golfer Grayson Murray, the two-time PGA Tour winner, passed away on May 25, 2024. He was 30-year-old.

 

IOC launches ‘Let’s Move India’ Campaign

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on May 23, 2024 announced the launch of ‘Let’s Move India’, an initiative to inspire people to celebrate the athletes participating in the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. The move invites people from across the country to join the movement through a digital challenge on social media.