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21st May, 2024 Current Affairs

21st May, 2024 Current Affairs

Student Enrollment Under SC Category Grows By 44%

  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has reported significant increases in student enrollment under various categories from 2014-15 to 2021-22. According to data released, enrollment of Scheduled Caste (SC) students rose by 44%, from 4.61 million to 6.62 million. SC female student enrollment increased by 51%. Additionally, Scheduled Tribe (ST) student enrollment grew by 65.2%, from 1.641 million to 2.71 million, with female ST enrollment surging by 80%. Minority female student enrollment also saw a notable rise of 42.3%, growing from 1.07 million to 1.52 million.
  • NCBC Chairman Hansraj Gangaram Ahir highlighted the government’s efforts to enhance the constitutional rights of Other Backward Classes (OBCs), implementing a 27% reservation in educational institutions. In 2020-21, this policy enabled 34,133 OBC children to gain admission to Central Schools and 19,710 to Navodaya Schools. Sainik Schools admitted 1,026 OBC students in 2021-22. OBC enrollment in MBBS programs increased from 1,662 in 2021 to 2,090 in 2023, while PG Medical courses saw admissions rise from 2,663 in 2021 to 3,322 in 2023.
  • Overall higher education enrollment increased by 26.5%, from 34.2 million in 2014-15 to 43.3 million in 2021-22. Female enrollment rose by 32%, from 15.7 million to 20.7 million. OBC student enrollment surged by 45%, from 11.3 million to 16.3 million, with female OBC enrollment increasing by 49.3%. In central universities, OBC enrollment rose by 32.6%, with female enrollment up by 40.4%. In Institutes of National Importance, OBC enrollment increased by 71%, with female OBC enrollment more than doubling.

India, UAE Commence Talks On India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

  • A high-level Indian delegation concluded its first round of talks with UAE officials  on developing the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC), just three months after the two nations inked a framework agreement for the project.
  • The inter-ministerial team from India, comprising top Officials from shipping, Ministry of Shipping, Ports & Waterways, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Central Board of Excise and Customs and Deendayal Upadhyay Port, Kandla visited major UAE shipping hubs from May 15-17.
  • During their three-day stay, they engaged in detailed discussions with authorities at Khalifa Port, Fujairah Port and Jebel Ali Port on facilitating goods movement along the envisioned economic corridor linking India with markets in the Middle East and Europe.The delegation also met UAE customs officials as part of efforts to cooperate on streamlining trade flows under the IMEEC initiative.
  • The swift scheduling of these follow-up meetings after February’s signing of the bilateral framework agreement underscores the high priority attached to the corridor by New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. The pact, inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UAE visit this February enables joint investments and technical collaboration for developing the corridor aimed at generating logistical efficiencies and cost reductions.

Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s Acting President announced

  • On May 19, 2024, following the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, Mokhber assumed the role of Acting President of Iran. His position was confirmed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on May 20, 2024, until new presidential elections are held.
  • As the first vice president, Mokhber is constitutionally empowered to assume the powers and functions of the President upon the latter’s death, with the approval of the Supreme Leader. A Temporary Presidential Council, comprising the Speaker of the Assembly, the Head of the Judiciary, and the First Vice President, is formed to organize a new election within 50 days.
  • Mohammad Mokhber, born on June 26, 1955, in Dezful, Iran, is a prominent figure in Iranian politics. He holds two doctoral degrees, one in international law and another in management, along with a master’s degree in management

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Die In Helicopter Crash

  • Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash. Iran state TV said, there is no sign of life at the crash site of the helicopter that was carrying President Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
  • The helicopter made a hard landing after it got into difficulties in heavy fog in the north of the country. President Raisi was travelling back to Iran following a visit to Azerbaijan when his helicopter came down.

Taiwan: President-Elect Lai Ching-TeTo Take Oath Of Office

  • In Taiwan, President-elect Lai Ching-te will take oath of office tomorrow. He won the presidential election in January. Sixty-four-year-old Lai has served as Vice President for the past four years during incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen’s second term.
  • Laihosted a shrimp fishing event to welcome visiting leaders who will attend his inauguration tomorrow. Speaking ahead of the hour-long event, Lai welcomed the group of dignitaries from countries that formally recognize the Republic of China, Taiwan’s formal name. He said he will work with all sides to build a nation of prosperity and maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

US Conducts Subcritical Nuclear Test At Nevada

  • The United States conducted a subcritical nuclear test at Nevada earlier this week. The experiment, the third under the administration of President Joe Biden, was carried out on Tuesday to collect essential data regarding the country’s nuclear warheads. The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration said, it relies on subcritical tests to support the safety and effectiveness of nuclear warheads, without the use of nuclear explosive testing.
  • The US government had announced a moratorium on tests involving nuclear explosions in 1992, however, successive administrations have continued subcritical tests. The last subcritical test took place in September 2021.

China Sanctions US Defence Firms Over Taiwan Arms Sales

  • In the latest move against perceived infringements on its territorial claims, China has sanctioned Boeing and two other US defense companies for their involvement in arms sales to Taiwan. The announcement came on the day of Taiwan’s presidential inauguration, highlighting tensions in the region.
  • Lai Ching-te, Taiwan’s newly inaugurated president, has emphasized the need to bolster the island’s security through the acquisition of advanced fighter jets and other technology, as well as by enhancing its domestic defense industry.

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World’s First 6G Device Launched in Japan

  • In a world where speed and connectivity reign supreme, the race towards the next generation of wireless technology has reached a new milestone. A Japanese consortium has unveiled the prototype of what is touted to be the world’s first high-speed 6G device, promising data transfer rates at lightning speed. This groundbreaking innovation opens the door to a realm of possibilities previously unimaginable.
  • The purported 6G device boasts an astounding data transmission rate of 100 gigabits per second (Gbps), dwarfing the capabilities of current 5G technology by a staggering factor of 20. Utilizing the 100 gigahertz (GHz) frequency indoors and the 300 GHz band outdoors, this prototype showcases the potential for unprecedented connectivity speeds.
  • The transition from 4G to 5G primarily focused on enhancing data capacity for activities such as video streaming and mobile browsing. However, the advent of 6G heralds a new era of possibilities.

India’s April Trade Performance: Exports Inch Up, Trade Deficit Widens

  • It sounds like India's export sectors are showing resilience despite the global economic uncertainties. The growth in electronics, chemicals, petroleum products, and pharmaceuticals is promising, indicating strengths in these industries. However, the widening trade deficit, particularly driven by increased imports of gold and crude oil, could pose challenges for India's balance of payments. Managing this deficit while fostering export growth will likely be a key focus for policymakers in the coming months.
  • Exports up by 1% to $34.99 billion.
  • Imports surged by 10.25% to $54.09 billion, driven by significant increases in gold and crude oil imports.
  • Trade deficit widened to a five-month high of $19.1 billion, attributed to the significant increase in imports, particularly gold and crude oil.

Coal India, NMDC, ONGC Videsh Seek Overseas Critical Mineral Assets

  • The Indian government has announced plans for public sector companies like Coal India, NMDC, and ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to actively seek critical mineral assets overseas. This strategic move aims to secure vital mineral resources essential for various industries, including clean energy technologies and electric vehicles.
  • Coal India, NMDC, and ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) are set to explore critical mineral assets abroad under the guidance of a group of secretaries.
  • Coal India has initiated active pursuit of lithium blocks in Chile, signaling its proactive approach towards securing critical minerals. Similarly, NMDC is already engaged in mining operations in Australia, focusing on gold mines and exploring opportunities in lithium mining.

GDP Growth Rate Likely to be 6.7% in Q4, Around 7% in FY24: Ind-RA

  • The Indian economy showed robust growth in the first three quarters of the 2023-24 fiscal year, with GDP expanding by 8.2% in the June quarter, 8.1% in the September quarter, and 8.4% in the December quarter.
  • India Ratings and Research (Ind-RA) expects the GDP growth rate to be 6.7% for the March quarter and around 6.9-7% for the entire fiscal year, according to their principal economist, Sunil Kumar Sinha. The official GDP numbers for Q4 and provisional estimates for FY24 will be released on May 31.
  • The Reserve Bank of India projected a GDP growth rate of 7% for 2023-24 in its April monetary policy review. Sinha expects the GDP to expand by 7.1% in the current fiscal year, continuing the momentum observed in the first half.

Venezuela Becomes First Country to Lose All Glaciers
Venezuela has recently witnessed a poignant environmental milestone, marking a grim reality of the climate crisis.

  • The nation has likely become the first in modern history to lose all its glaciers, with the reclassification of the Humboldt glacier as an ice field, its final icy vestige, earlier this month. This event serves as a stark reminder that climate change is not a distant threat but an urgent crisis demanding immediate action.
  • Once home to six glaciers nestled in the Andes mountains at approximately 5,000 meters above sea level, Venezuela saw the disappearance of five by 2011. Scientists initially estimated that the Humboldt glacier would endure for another decade, but its rapid melting has defied expectations. Now reduced to less than 2 hectares, the Humboldt’s downgrade from a glacier to an ice field underscores the alarming pace of glacial retreat.

Indian Para Athlete Deepthi Jeevanji Wins Gold and Sets New World Record

  • Indian para-athlete Deepthi Jeevanji etched her name in history by winning the gold medal in the women’s T20 400m event at the World Para Athletics Championships 2024. Her stunning performance on Monday not only secured India’s first gold medal at the prestigious event but also set a new world record time of 55.07 seconds.
  • Deepthi Jeevanji’s historic achievement at the World Para Athletics Championships 2024 has not only brought immense joy and pride to India but has also served as an inspiration for aspiring para athletes across the nation. Her dedication, perseverance, and unwavering spirit have showcased the true essence of sportsmanship and resilience.

Alexander Zverev and Iga Swiatek Reign Supreme at Italian Open 2024

  • German tennis star Alexander Zverev etched his name in history by winning the Italian Open singles title for the second time. The 25-year-old defeated the first-time Masters finalist, Nicolas Jarry of Chile, in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, to claim his eighth overall Masters title.
  • In the women’s singles event, the indomitable Iga Swiatek of Poland etched her name in the annals of Italian Open history by capturing her third title in the last four years. The world number one displayed her prowess by defeating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, adding to her remarkable collection of 21 career titles.
Published date : 21 May 2024 05:17PM

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