World Press Freedom Index released, India ranked 159th out of 180 countries.

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1 World Press Freedom Index released, India ranked 159th out of 180 countries.

 India   has been ranked 159th among 180 countries in  the latest annual  World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders , an international non-profit organisation.  Earlier  in the list of 2023, India was at 161st position  . Meanwhile,  Pakistan  is ranked 152nd,  seven places above India  . In 2023 it was ranked 150th.  Norway  tops the ranking, while  Denmark  ranks second in the World Press Freedom Index. Sweden  is at third place in the list  .

2 ‘Nakshatra Sabha’ in Uttarakhand: New experience of astro-tourism

Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board  has  teamed up with Starscapes, an astro-tourism company ,  to launch  Nakshatra Sabha  , a pioneering initiative aimed at providing an immersive astro-tourism experience. The initiative goes beyond stargazing, aiming to engage participants in various activities such as special solar observations, astrophotography competitions and camping under the stars. This collaboration strives to create an engaging platform that brings together astronomy enthusiasts, adventurers and travelers to marvel at the wonders of the universe while enjoying the natural beauty of Uttarakhand.

3 Palestinian journalists in Gaza receive UNESCO Guillermo Cano Award 2024

In a sign of solidarity and recognition,  Palestinian  journalists  covering the crisis  in  Gaza  have been named winners of the 2024 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize . The announcement comes on the recommendation of an international jury of media professionals, highlighting the courage and commitment of these journalists amid challenging circumstances. Mauricio Weibel, President of the International Jury,   highlighted the enormous debt we owe to these journalists for their courage and dedication to freedom of expression. Established in 1997, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the defense and promotion of press freedom, especially in the face of threats. Named after  Colombian journalist Guillermo Cano Isaza  , the award honors his legacy and is funded by various foundations and organizations committed to press freedom.

4 India made the first indigenous UAV bomber FWD-200B

Flying Wedge Defense & Aerospace  unveils  FWD-200B  , India’s  first indigenous bomber drone  , a huge leap forward for  ‘ Make in India ‘. Bengaluru (Karnataka)  -based Flying Wedge Defense and Aerospace Technologies Pvt Ltd   launched its unmanned combat aerial vehicle . UCAV) – Flying Wedge Defense 200B (FWD-200B), India’s first indigenous military grade bomber drone. This drone strengthens national defense capabilities, reduces import dependence and supports Make in India initiatives.

5 IFFCO gets FCO approval for Nano Zinc Liquid, Nano Copper Liquid fertilizers

Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has received FCO (Fertilizer Control Order)  approval  to launch   its  IFFCO Nano Zinc (Liquid)  and  IFFCO Nano Copper (Liquid) fertilizers which address zinc and copper deficiency in agricultural crops. Will reduce and boost productivity. IFFCO Nano Zinc (Liquid) and IFFCO Nano Copper (Liquid) have been notified by the Government of India for 3 years. Zinc and copper are important micronutrients for the functioning of enzymes in plants. Zinc helps in plant growth and development and copper helps in chlorophyll and seed production. This will help in removing zinc and copper deficiency in crops, increasing crop yield and quality and solving the problem of malnutrition.

6 Sanjay Kumar Mishra heads GST Appellate Tribunal

Retired judge Sanjay Kumar Mishra  has   been appointed Chairman of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT)  by  the Central Government . The move aims to efficiently streamline the resolution of disputes related to businesses. The appointment, made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Search-cum-Selection Committee, comes with a salary of Rs 2.50 lakh per month for a tenure of four years.

7 REC gets RBI nod to set up its subsidiary in Gujarat-based GIFT City

REC Limited,  a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSU)  and leading  NBFC  under  the Ministry of Power , has been awarded the International Financial Services Center (IFSC) – Gujarat International Finance Tech City (“GIFT”)  City  located at  Gandhinagar, Gujarat  from  the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). ‘No Objection Certificate’ (dated May 3, 2024) has been received for setting up a wholly owned subsidiary. The decision to expand operations in GIFT – the emerging hub of financial services in India, comes at a time REC is diversifying its portfolio and exploring new areas of growth. This proposed subsidiary will be engaged in a range of financial activities including lending, investment and other financial services as a financial company under GIFT.

8 OECD raises Indian economy growth forecast to 6.6% for 2024-25

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in  its latest report, “ Economic Outlook ”, released on May 2, 2024,  has raised the economic growth forecast  for   the Indian economy to 6.6% for 2024-25 . In its previous report, it had estimated the growth rate of the Indian economy to be 6.2 percent in 2024-25. It has also estimated the growth rate of 6.6% for 2025-26. OECD is the latest international body to raise the growth prospects for India’s economy. Recently the International Monetary Fund has increased the expected growth rate of the Indian economy to 6.8% in 2024-25. The OECD expects the world economy to grow by 3.1 percent in 2024 and 3.2 percent in 2025.

9 Fintech startup Fi gets NBFC license: Expansion of lending in the new era

Fi ,  a  neobanking  startup   backed  by  investors  like  Peak This development aligns with the trend seen among fintech startups in recent years, where obtaining an NBFC license facilitates direct lending and asset base establishment.

10 HDFC Life launches “No Hassle Life Insurance Fatafat” campaign

HDFC Life launched  “ No Hassle Life Insurance Fatafat ” campaign, which aims to simplify and speed up life insurance purchasing through its online platform. The campaign underlines the importance of addressing India’s low insurance penetration and huge protection gap.

11 American Express will open a state-of-the-art office complex in 10 lakh square feet area in Gurugram.

American Express is set to inaugurate its massive new campus spread over  approximately one million square feet in  Gurugram   , showcasing the company’s commitment to fostering a vibrant work environment. The move marks a strategic move towards leveraging global expertise and local talent to drive innovation and value for customers around the world.

12 Appointment of Shashi Bhushan Singh as Secretary of National Jute Board.

Shashi Bhushan Singh,  a 2010 batch officer of  the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS),   has been appointed Secretary (at the Director level) of the National Jute Board  in  Kolkata under   the Ministry of Textiles  . This appointment is approved by the Central Government and will remain in effect for a period of five years or until further orders.

13 Fship Logistics partners with India Post for last-mile e-commerce delivery services

Fship Logistics  has   partnered with India Post  for  last-mile e-commerce delivery services . Fship Logistics, a tech-driven logistics platform, has partnered with India Post to enhance last-mile delivery services for e-commerce products, helping direct-to-consumer (D2C) startups, small and medium businesses ( SMB) and Micro will benefit. Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) across India. The partnership aims to enable affordable delivery, especially in rural areas with less developed logistics infrastructure. Fship will also address the growing logistics demand.

14 German company HyImpulse launches candle wax-powered rocket on a test flight into space

German company  HyImpulse  launches  candle wax-powered rocket  for  test flight into space  . On 3 May 2024, German private space company HyImpulse successfully test-  fired the candle wax-propelled rocket ” SR75 “.  A launch site at Koonibba , South Australia  .  This is the first time that a rocket is carrying commercial satellites into space on a test suborbital flight.

15 Japan beats Uzbekistan in final to win 2024 Men’s AFC U-23 title

Japan  has   won the men’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup for the second time  after defeating  Uzbekistan  in  the final . Japan had earlier won the title of this tournament in 2016. In the final match played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, the capital of Qatar, Japan won by one goal and also qualified for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. The sixth edition of the AFC U-23 was held in Qatar from 15 April to 3 May 2024.