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21st May, 2024

FSSAI, Malaria Vaccine, ATCM, Transnational, Baul, Hanooman AI, Loan growth, Back to campus, Ak-203, Gopichand, Mangalyaan 2, Giant Virus, May 20: World Metrology Day, May 20: World Bee Day, FIFA Women’s cup, Grand prix, Dump trucks, Pasudhan kawach, Iran, Taiwan, Pig Butchering Scam

  1. FSSAI issues safety alert on fruit sellers using calcium carbide for artificial ripening
  2. Serum Institute ships its first set of malaria vaccine doses to Africa
  3. India is set to host the ATCM 46 and CEP 26
  4. CCPCJ calls for steps against Transnational Organised Crimes
  5. 9 Day Indo-Bangla Baul Music Festival Begins In Dhaka
  6. A Bhartiya AI: Hanooman AI launched in India, works in 98 languages including 12 Indian
  7. Bank of Maharashtra Tops Among PSU Banks in Business Growth in FY24
  8. Samsung Launches ‘Back to Campus’ Campaign for Students
  9. Indo-Russian joint venture handed over 27,000 Ak-203 assault rifles to Indian Army
  10. Gopichand Thotakura becomes first Indian space tourist
  11. Mangalyaan-2 policy Unveiled
  12. Scientists Discover 1.5-Billion-Year-Old “Giant” Virus
  13. May 20: World Metrology Day
  14. May 20: World Bee Day
  15. Brazil Declared Host of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027
  16. Formula-1: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024
  17. BEML Secured Order Worth Rs 250 Cr from NCL to Supply BH100 Rear Dump Trucks
  18. AIC Signs MoU with CSC to Widen “Sampoorna Pashudhan Kawach” across Rural India
  19. Iran’s 1st Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was appointed as Interim President of Iran
  20. Dr William Lai Ching-te, sworn in as the 16th President of Taiwan
  21. Pig Butchering Scam

Table of Content

National News

  1. FSSAI issues safety alert on fruit sellers using calcium carbide for artificial ripening
      • What: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an alert to traders, fruit handlers, and Food Business Operators (FBOs) who operate ripening chambers.
      • They are strictly advised to comply with the prohibition on Calcium Carbide for artificial ripening of fruits, especially during the mango season.
      • Calcium carbide, commonly used for ripening fruits like mangoes, releases acetylene gas, which contains harmful traces of arsenic and phosphorus, which is harmful for human health.
      • Use of calcium carbide for ripening fruits has been banned under Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011.
        Source: The Telegraph
Knowledge Nuggets -
- The FSSAI has been established under Food Safety and Standards , 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
- FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
- FSSAI Chairperson: Shri Apurva Chandra
  1. Serum Institute ships its first set of malaria vaccine doses to Africa
      • What: Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by number of doses, marked a significant milestone with the shipment of the first set of R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine countries in Africa.
        • Approximately 163,800 doses have been allocated for the Central African Region (CAR).
        • CAR countries will be followed by other African nations such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the coming days.
      • Tell me more:
        • Vaccine Developed by: University of Oxford and SII
        • It is the second malaria vaccine to be authorised for use in children in malaria-endemic regions.
          • RTS,S. RTS,S/AS01 (brand name Mosquirix) is the first malaria vaccine approved for public use
        • Close to half-a-million children die of malaria each year in the African region, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
          Source: Business Standard
  2. India is set to host the ATCM 46 and CEP 26
      • What: India is set to host the prestigious 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM 46) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 26) from May 20 to 30, 2024, in Kochi, Kerala.
      • Tell me more:
        • Organized by: The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Goa, through the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
        • No. of invitee: 56 member countries of the Antarctic Treaty.
          • The ATCM summit was last hosted by India in 2008.
        • About Antarctica Treaty:
          • The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58.
          • It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 56.
        • About ATCM
          • ATCM is an annual meeting of the original 12 parties to the Antarctic treaty, and other parties that have shown interest in Antarctica through research.
          • The Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959 and established Antarctica as a region dedicated to peaceful purposes, scientific cooperation, and environmental protection.
          • India has been a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983. In 2022, India enacted the Antarctic Act, reaffirming its commitment to the Antarctic Treaty.
          • From 1961 to 1994 the ATCM generally met once every two years, but since 1994 the meetings have occurred annually.
          • 46th ATCM Agenda: It covers strategic planning for sustainable management of Antarctica and its resources.
            Source: Indian Express
Knowledge Nuggets -
What is the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)?
- The CEP was established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) in 1991.
- The CEP advises the ATCM on environmental protection and conservation in Antarctica.
- ATCM and CEP are pivotal in the international community's ongoing efforts to safeguard Antarctica's fragile ecosystem and promote scientific research in the region.
- Convened annually under the Antarctic Treaty System, these meetings serve as forums for Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties and other stakeholders to address Antarctica's pressing environmental, scientific, and governance issues.
26th CEP Agenda:
It focuses on evaluating the Antarctic environment, assessing impacts, managing and reporting; responding to climate change; developing area protection and management plans, including marine spatial protection; and conserving Antarctic biodiversity.

International News

  1. CCPCJ calls for steps against Transnational Organised Crimes
      • What: At the recently concluded 33rd Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and
        Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) the heads of the FATF, INTERPOL, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) suggested two main ideas to fight crime:

        • Make crime less appealing by going after illegal money: By focusing on taking away the profits that criminals make from their activities, crime would become less attractive because it would be harder for criminals to benefit financially.
        • Improve how we prevent crime: By enhancing the strategies and methods used to stop crimes before they happen, the overall effort to prevent crime would become more effective.
      • Tell me more (Key outcomes of the Session)
        • Adopted four thematic resolutions:
          • Countering trafficking in persons in the context of rapid technological change;
          • Treatment of children associated with terrorist groups;
          • Reducing reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration; and
          • Preventing and countering violence against children by organized criminal groups and terrorist groups.
        • Launched the Generation Justice (GenJust) initiative.
          • It aims to engage youth from across the globe in shaping the international agenda on crime prevention and criminal justice.
            Source: UNODC
Knowledge Nuggets -
About Transnational Organized Crimes (TnOCs)
- Organized crimes are illegal activities, conducted by groups or networks acting in concert, by engaging in violence, corruption or related activities in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or material benefit.
- TnOCs occur when these activities, or these groups or networks, operate in two or more countries. e.g., Drug trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, etc.
  1. 9 Day Indo-Bangla Baul Music Festival Begins In Dhaka
      • What: A 9 Day Indo-Bangla Baul Music Festival Begins In Dhaka To Mark 250th Birth Anniversary Of Fakir Lalon Shah.
      • The event is being organised by the cultural and research organisation Lalon Biswasangha
      • The High Commission of India and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh are supporting the event.
        Source: Myanmar TV
Knowledge Nuggets -
About Fakir Lalon Shah
- Born in Horishpur in Jhenaidah district of modern Bangladesh.
- He was a contemporary of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda.
Key Contributions
- Founded the ‘Lalon Akhrah” which had around 10,000 followers across all religions.
- He is considered as Father of Baul Music. In 2008, Baul songs are listed under UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Banking and Economy

  1. A Bhartiya AI: Hanooman AI launched in India, works in 98 languages including 12 Indian
      • What: Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates (UAE))-based AI investment firm 3AI Holding and Seetha Mahalaxmi Healthcare (SML) India have launched India’s homegrown generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) platform ‘Hanooman AI.
      • Tell me more:
        • It is an Indian large language model (LLM) available in 98 global languages, including 12 Indian languages.
          • The 12 Indian languages are Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Sindhi.
          • Global Languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Russian, and Chinese and others.

        • Focuses on: The platform aims to serve four sectors, including healthcare, governance, financial services, and education.
        • Features: It can communicate with users in their native language, providing a seamless experience across diverse linguistic backgrounds.
          Source: First Post
  2. Bank of Maharashtra Tops Among PSU Banks in Business Growth in FY24
      • What: Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has emerged as a top performer among public sector banks (PSBs), showcasing impressive growth in total business and deposit mobilization.
        • SBI’s growth rate: 13.12%, and BoM growth rate is: 15.94%
      • Tell me more:
        • Deposits: BoM (15.66%) was followed by SBI (11.07 per cent), Bank of India (11.05 per cent) and Canara Bank (10.98 per cent).
          • Only these four PSBS managed to achieve double-digit growth in deposits during FY24.
          • However, SBI’s total business (deposit and advances) stood significantly higher at Rs 79,52,784 crore (about 16.7 times) compared to BoM’s Rs 4,74,411 crore.
        • CASA deposits (Current account and Savings Account deposits): The BoM continued to top the chart with 52.73 per cent growth, followed by the Central Bank of India with a 50.02 per cent rise at the end of March 2024.
          • A higher level of current account and savings accounts helps banks to keep their cost of funds low.
        • With regard to loan growth, UCO Bank was a tad higher at 16.38 per cent, followed by BoM at 16.30 per cent. SBI also reported 16.26 per cent growth in advances in FY24.
          • Loan growth of remaining public sector banks was lower than 16 per cent during the fiscal.
        • On the asset quality side, the BoM and SBI reported the lowest gross non-performing assets with 1.88 per cent and 2.24 per cent, respectively, as of March 31, 2024.
        • In terms of net NPAs, BoM and Indian Bank reported the lowest numbers, with 0.2 per cent and 0.43 per cent, respectively.
        • In terms of capital adequacy ratio, the BoM was leading PSBs at 17.38 per cent, followed by Indian Overseas Bank at 17.28 per cent and Punjab & Sind Bank at 17.16 at the end of Fy24.
          Source: Economic Times
  3. Samsung Launches ‘Back to Campus’ Campaign for Students
      • What: Samsung is offering student discounts on Galaxy laptops, tablets, and smartphones through their Back to Campus campaign. Students can get up to 10% off, no-cost EMI for up to 24 months.
        Source: Samsung

Defence News

  1. Indo-Russian joint venture handed over 27,000 Ak-203 assault rifles to Indian Army
      • What: The Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) has delivered close to 27,000 AK-203 assault rifles to the Indian Army.
      • Additionally, an additional 8,000 rifles are expected to be delivered to the army in the next two weeks.
      • Tell me more:
        • Manufactured by: IRRPL, which is a joint venture between India and Russia.
        • Factory location: Korwa in Amethi (Uttar Pradesh).
        • Total rifles to be manufactured: 6.1 lakh
        • Impact of Make in India: The 1st 70,000 rifles will be manufactured in India with gradual increase of localization from 5% to 70%, remaining rifles will be manufactured with 100% localization.
        • These rifles will replace India’s indigenously developed Indian Small Arms Systems (INSAS) rifles inducted in Indian Army more than 3 decades ago.
          Source: The Hindu
Knowledge Nuggets -
It was established in 2019 between Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), now known as Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL) from India and Rosoboronexport (ROE) and concern Kalashnikov of Russia.

Science and Technology

  1. Gopichand Thotakura becomes first Indian space tourist
      • What: New Shepard rocket system built by Blue Origin, the company owned by Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, under the mission named New Shepard-25 (NS-25) lifted off with 6 crew members including one Indian named Gopichand Thotakura.
      • Tell me more:
        • About NS-25 Mission:
          • It is the 7th human space flight for the New Shepard program.
          • Till date, the program has flown 31 human above the Karman line.
            • Note: Karman line is internationally recognised boundary line of space i.e. 62 miles or 100 kms above the Earth
        • Gopi Thotakura, the 1st Indian Space Tourist:
          • Among the 6 crew members, Gopi Thotakura, commercial jet pilot and entrepreneur from Andhra Pradesh (India), is the only Indian on this human space flight.
          • He is the 1st Indian space tourist and the 2nd Indian to venture into space after Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma of Indian Army (1984).
          • He is the co-founder of Preserve Life Corp, a global center for holistic wellness and applied health located near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, U.S.A.
        • Other Crew Members:
          • Captain Ed Dwight is the 1st Black astronaut on the space flight.
          • Mason Angel (USA), Sylvain Chiron (France), Kenneth L. Hess (USA), Carol Schaller (USA).
            Source: Times of India
  2. Mangalyaan-2 policy Unveiled
      • What: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is making significant strides towards its second Mars mission (Mangalyaan -2), aiming to become the third country to land a spacecraft on another planet.
      • The details of this mission, known as Mangalyaan-2, were unveiled during a recent presentation at the Space Application Centre on National Technology Day (May 11, 2024).
      • Tell me more (KEY FEATURES OF MANGALYAAN-2)
        • Rover and Helicopter Combination: Similar to NASA’s Perseverance rover, Mangalyaan-2 will feature a rover and helicopter combination.
          • The rover will be deployed using a sky-crane system, a technology developed by NASA to ensure controlled and precise landings.
        • Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle: The mission will be launched aboard the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3), known for its heavy-lift capabilities.
        • Mars Helicopter: Engineers are designing a helicopter to operate in Mars’ thin atmosphere.
          • The helicopter, still in the conceptual stage, will carry the Martian Boundary Layer Explorer (Marble) for aerial exploration and atmospheric profiling.
        • Relay Communication Satellite: To maintain communication with Earth, ISRO plans to deploy a relay communication satellite ahead of the mission.
          • The satellite will be launched aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and will ensure uninterrupted communication between Mars and Earth.
            Source: Hindustan Times

  3. Scientists Discover 1.5-Billion-Year-Old “Giant” Virus
      • What: Scientists recently made a huge find in Yellowstone National Park, they found “giant” viruses that are about 1.5 billion years old.
      • The name “giant” comes from the fact that these viruses’ genes are much bigger than those of most viruses.
      • Surprisingly, they don’t hurt people and give us important information about how life began on Earth.
        Source: WION
Knowledge Nuggets -
Yellowstone National Park
- Oldest and one of the largest national park in the US.
- Designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage site in 1978.
- Hot springs are the most common hydrothermal features in Yellowstone

Important Days

  1. May 20: World Metrology Day
      • What: World Metrology Day (WMD) is annually observed across the globe on 20 May
      • Why: To raise awareness about Metrology, the science of measurement, and its application and to highlight the importance of measurement science in our daily lives.
      • The theme for World Metrology Day 2024 is: “Sustainability.”
      • UNESCO organized an official launch event of WMD under the theme “We Measure Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.
        Source: Metrology
  2. May 20: World Bee Day
      • What: The United Nations (UN) World Bee Day is annually observed across the globe on 20 May
      • Why: To raise awareness about the importance of bees and beekeeping globally.
      • Theme for 2024: “Bee Engaged with Youth.”
        Source: FAO
Knowledge Nuggets -
About Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO):
- Director-General- QU Dongyu
- Headquarters- Rome, Italy
- Established in- 1945
- Work: FAO is a specialized agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.


  1. Brazil Declared Host of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027
      • What: International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino announced Brazil as the host for the 10th edition of FIFA Women’s World Cup (FIFAWWC) 2027 during the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, Thailand.
      • Tell me more:
        • Brazil became the 1st South American country to hold the Women’s World Cup, beating the joint bid of Belgium, Netherlands and Germany (BNG).
        • Brazil hosted the men’s football World Cups twice in 1950 and 2014.
          Source: Outlook
  1. Formula-1: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024
      • What: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2024 defeating McLaren’s Lando Norris who finished on the second spot.
      • Charles Leclerc secured the third position.
      • Hosted by: Italy.
        Source: Hans India

Memorandum of Understanding

  1. BEML Secured Order Worth Rs 250 Cr from NCL to Supply BH100 Rear Dump Trucks
      • What: BEML Limited (Bharat Earth Movers Limited) has secured an order worth Rs 250 crore from Northern Coal Fields Limited (NCL) for supplying 28 units of BH100 rear dump trucks.
        Source: Business Standard
  2. AIC Signs MoU with CSC to Widen “Sampoorna Pashudhan Kawach” across Rural India
      • What: Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd. (AIC) has signed a MOU with CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd. (CSC).
      • Why: To widen the reach of its cattle insurance product “Sampoorna Pashudhan Kawach,” designed to protect farmers’ livestock from unforeseen risks.
        Source: Economic Times


  1. Iran’s 1st Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was appointed as Interim President of Iran
      • What: Iran’s first Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was appointed as acting President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
        • Note: Iran has a total 12 Vice President’s including the First Vice President.
        • First Vice President is the immediate deputy of the President, while rest other Vice Presidents are just like Cabinet Ministers (like India) of the Iran’s government.
  • Why: He has been appointed after the death of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in the country’s northwest region.
  • Tell me more:
    • Also the Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ali Bagheri Kani has been appointed as the acting foreign minister.
      • He has been appointed after the death of Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the same helicopter crash.
    • According to Article 131 of the Constitution of Iran, the vice president assumes the presidency if the president dies, is absent, or is incapacitated while in office.
      • The 1st vice president of Iran is the second most powerful person in the elected branch of government after the president.
    • As per the constitution of Iran, the nation has a maximum of 50 days before a presidential election must be held to choose Raisi’s successor.
      Source: WION
Knowledge Nuggets -
- The Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state and the highest political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- At present, Mr. Ali Khamenei is the present Supreme Leader of Iran.
- Recently India has signed Chabahar Port deal with Iran
  1. Dr William Lai Ching-te, sworn in as the 16th President of Taiwan
      • What: Dr William Lai Ching-te, a doctor turned politician was sworn in as the 16th President of Taiwan (Republic of China (ROC).
        • William Lai Ching-te succeeded Tsai Ing-wen, the 1st female head of state of Taiwan who served as president for 2 consecutive 4-year terms since 2016.
      • Bi-khim Hsiao succeeded Lai Ching-te as the 16th Vice President of Taiwan.
        Source: CNN
Knowledge Nuggets -
About Taiwan
- The official currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan dollar (TWD)
- The Capital is: Taipei


  1. Pig Butchering Scam
      • What: It is a new type of financial fraud known as Pig Butchering Scams are increasing worldwide, including in India.
      • About Pig Butchering Scam
        • Also known as a “sha zhu pan” scam, it is used to describe a scam perpetrated over a long period of time to steal victim’s money repeatedly via online apps.
        • Criminals lure victims into digital relationships to build trust before convincing them to invest into fraudulent schemes or platforms.
        • The term “pig butchering” comes from the scammers’ practice of “fattening up” their victims by building trust before “slaughtering” them.
CEO of Anujjindal.in

About Anuj Jindal

Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.