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15th May, 2024 Current Affairs

15th May, 2024 Current Affairs

SAIL-Bhilai to Set Up Chhattisgarh’s First 15-Mw Floating Solar Plant

  • The Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), a key unit of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) situated in Chhattisgarh, is set to inaugurate the state’s premier floating solar project. This venture marks a pivotal moment in Chhattisgarh’s journey towards renewable energy and underscores BSP’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint while promoting eco-friendly initiatives.
  • The ambitious project, spearheaded by BSP, will see the installation of a 15 MW capacity floating solar plant within the expansive Maroda-1 reservoir located in Durg district.
  • Collaborating with NTPC-SAIL Power Supply Company Limited (NSPCL), a joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and SAIL, BSP aims to leverage expertise and resources to bring the project to fruition.

Indian Literary Masterpieces Inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

  • Three of India’s literary treasures – the Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana – have been inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register.
  • This prestigious recognition celebrates India’s rich literary heritage and cultural legacy, affirming the timeless wisdom and artistic expressions that have shaped the nation’s identity.
  • The Ramcharitmanas, authored by the renowned Goswami Tulsidas, the Panchatantra by Pt. Vishnu Sharma, and the Sahṛdayāloka-Locana by Acharya Anandvardhan, have profoundly influenced Indian literature and culture. These literary gems have left an indelible mark on readers and artists alike, shaping the nation’s moral fabric and artistic expressions.

Putin Reappoints Mikhail Mishustin as Russian Prime Minister

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has reappointed Mikhail Mishustin as the Prime Minister of Russia, subject to approval by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
  • Mishustin’s reappointment is seen as a move by Putin to ensure continuity and stability within his administration. By retaining a Prime Minister who has proven himself capable and loyal, Putin aims to maintain a steady course in governing Russia, particularly in the face of ongoing geopolitical tensions and economic challenges

Russia’s Controversial Oil and Gas Discovery in British Antarctic Territory

  • Russia has claimed to have discovered massive oil and gas reserves in the British Antarctic Territory, a region currently protected under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. According to evidence submitted to the Commons Environment Audit Committee, the reserves uncovered by Russian research ships contain around 511 billion barrels worth of oil, a staggering amount equivalent to approximately 10 times the North Sea’s output over the last 50 years.
  • The Antarctic Treaty, signed by numerous nations, including Russia, prohibits all oil developments in the region, designating it as a zone to be used “exclusively for peaceful purposes” and preventing it from becoming “the scene or object of international discord.” Russia’s discovery and potential intentions to exploit these reserves could potentially violate the terms of this treaty.
  • The British Antarctic Territory, one of Britain’s 14 overseas territories, has faced competing claims from Argentina and Chile in the past. Russia’s alleged discovery of vast energy reserves in this region could potentially reignite territorial disputes and heighten international tensions surrounding the Antarctic continent.

India-Oman Collaboration on Shark and Ray Research in Arabian Sea

  • In a significant move to bolster research and conservation efforts concerning sharks and rays in the Arabian Sea, India and Oman are set to embark on a joint initiative. This collaboration aims to enhance understanding, promote conservation, and facilitate capacity building in elasmobranch research, with a particular focus on the Arabian Sea region.
  • An upcoming workshop, to be hosted at the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), will mark the commencement of this collaborative endeavor. This workshop, jointly organized by CMFRI and Oman’s Marine Science and Fisheries Centre, will serve as the platform for initiating collaborative research activities and enhancing expertise in elasmobranch research.
  • Experts from both India and Oman, specializing in elasmobranch research, will converge at the workshop to share their knowledge and experiences. Notable figures leading the research teams include Dr. Khalfan Al Rashdi from Oman and Dr. Shoba Joe Kizhakudan from India.

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RBI Gold Holdings and Foreign Exchange Reserves soars

  • In the fiscal year 2023-24, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) saw a significant increase in its gold reserves, adding 27.46 metric tonnes and reaching a total of 822.10 metric tonnes by the end of March 2024. This brought the share of gold in the total foreign exchange reserves to about 8.15%, up from 7.81% in the previous year.
  • The World Gold Council highlighted a continuing trend of net central bank buying, though some banks may opt to remain on the sidelines amidst recent price surges. Opportunistic selling might also emerge due to the substantial price rise observed during the year.
  • Out of RBI’s total gold holdings, 408.31 metric tonnes were held domestically, while 387.26 metric tonnes were kept in safe custody with the Bank of England and the Bank for International Settlements. Additionally, 26.53 metric tonnes were held in the form of gold deposits.
  • By December 2023, RBI’s foreign exchange reserves covering imports increased to 11 months from 9.3 months, indicating improved reserve adequacy. The ratio of short-term debt to reserves decreased from 23.0% to 20.3%, and the ratio of volatile capital flows to reserves declined from 72.7% to 70.4% during the same period.

NASA and JAXA Forge Ahead with XRISM Despite Instrument Glitch

  • NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have decided to operate an instrument on the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) satellite as-is for at least the next year and a half, despite encountering an issue affecting one of its instruments. This decision showcases the agencies’ determination to push forward with this groundbreaking X-ray astronomy mission.
  • Launched in September 2023, XRISM carries two instruments developed in collaboration with NASA, designed to conduct cutting-edge X-ray astronomy observations.
  • Another significant development for the NSF is the selection process for the U.S. Extremely Large Telescope (US-ELT) program, which aims to provide funding for two large telescopes: the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT).
  • The NSF has formally initiated an external review process to determine which of the two projects it will support, with a cost cap of $1.6 billion. The review is scheduled to be completed by September, after which the NSF will select one of the telescope projects for agency support.
  • As NASA and JAXA navigate the technical challenges of XRISM, and both agencies confront budgetary constraints, the scientific community eagerly awaits the outcomes of these pivotal decisions that will shape the future of astronomy and astrophysics research.

United Nations Declares May 25 as World Football Day

  • The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously proclaimed May 25 as the World Football Day, marking a significant milestone in the global celebration of the world’s most popular sport.
  • The resolution, adopted during the 80th plenary meeting of the General Assembly in New York, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first international football tournament with representation from all regions – the 1924 Summer Olympic Games held in Paris.
  • The selection of May 25 as World Football Day holds significant historical significance. It commemorates the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, which marked the first international football tournament with representation from all regions of the world. This milestone event laid the foundation for football’s global expansion and its ability to captivate audiences across continents.
Published date : 15 May 2024 05:24PM

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