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Current Affairs for 30 April 2024

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Critical Minerals Summit


The Ministry of Mines is set to host a two-day "Critical Minerals Summit: Enhancing Beneficiation and Processing Capabilities" in New Delhi. This summit, organized in collaboration with the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (Shakti), the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and the Indian Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), aims to foster collaboration and drive innovation in critical mineral beneficiation and processing. It will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders, including industry leaders, startups, government officials, scientists, academics, and policy experts, to address the growing demand for Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) essential for renewable energy systems and electric vehicles as part of India’s strategic development goals. The summit will focus on eight key minerals identified by the Ministry of Mines, including Glauconite (Potash), Lithium – Rare Earth Elements (Laterite), Chromium, Platinum Group, Graphite, Tungsten associated with Graphite, Rare Earths (RE), and Vanadium associated with Graphite.


Raja Ravi Varma


Raja Ravi Varma, an iconic Indian painter and artist, is renowned for his exceptional works revolving around Hindu mythology and Indian epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Born in the Kilimanoor palace in Kerala, he revolutionized Indian art by incorporating Western techniques into traditional Indian subjects. His paintings, like Damayanti Talking to a Swan and Shakuntala Looking for Dushyanta, showcase his mastery and fusion of European academic art with Indian themes. Varma’s use of oil paints and lithographic reproductions made his art accessible to a broader audience, challenging traditional norms and leaving a lasting impact on Indian art.


Army Tactical Missile Systems


The United States recently supplied Ukraine with long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to support its defense efforts against Russia. ATACMS, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is a conventional surface-to-surface artillery weapon capable of striking targets beyond the reach of standard Army artillery. It operates with solid propellant and can carry cluster munitions, providing enhanced firepower and precision. Used during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, ATACMS is a critical asset in modern warfare, offering high mobility, all-weather capabilities, and rapid deployment through systems like the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).




Opioids, a class of drugs derived from or mimicking substances in the opium poppy plant, have garnered international attention due to their addictive nature and health risks. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is significantly more potent than morphine, have become a major concern. These drugs, while effective as analgesics, also pose a high risk of overdose and addiction, leading to devastating consequences. The production and export of synthetic opioid precursors, including fentanyl, have sparked discussions on global drug policies and the need for enhanced regulation to curb the opioid crisis.


Global Alliance Of National Human Rights Institutions


The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) plays a crucial role in ensuring human rights standards worldwide. Through its Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA), GANHRI evaluates and accredits National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) based on the Paris Principles, which emphasize independence, pluralism, and accountability. This accreditation process promotes credible and effective NHRIs, essential for upholding human rights and fostering international cooperation in human rights advocacy. The SCA's upcoming meeting signifies ongoing efforts to strengthen human rights institutions globally and uphold universal human rights standards.


Nephrotic Syndrome


The use of fairness creams containing high levels of mercury has been linked to Nephrotic Syndrome, a kidney disorder characterized by excessive protein in the urine. Studies have identified a correlation between cosmetic mercury exposure and renal damage, highlighting the need for safer cosmetic practices and stricter regulations. Nephrotic Syndrome's association with fairness creams underscores broader concerns about consumer product safety and the potential health risks posed by certain cosmetic ingredients.


Bru Community


The Bru community, historically residing in Mizoram, has gained recognition as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in Tripura. Recent developments, including their participation in Lok Sabha elections and resettlement agreements, reflect efforts to address historical grievances and promote inclusivity. The Bru community's integration into electoral processes and settlement initiatives signifies progress towards social harmony and empowerment of marginalized communities.


Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Status


The gem and jewellery sector's attainment of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status signifies a milestone in trade facilitation and supply chain security. AEO status, granted by the Ministry of Finance, enhances operational efficiency and credibility for businesses, promoting international trade and economic growth. The programme's alignment with global customs standards underscores India's commitment to enhancing trade infrastructure and fostering a conducive business environment.


Chithirai Festival


The annual Chithirai festival, commemorating Lord Kallazhagar's ceremonial entry into the Vaigai river, holds cultural and historical significance in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The festival, blending mythological narratives and traditional rituals, attracts devotees from across the region, promoting cultural heritage and community cohesion. The Vaigai river, integral to the festival's traditions, symbolizes spiritual purification and serves as a focal point for religious festivities, reinforcing Madurai's rich cultural heritage and spiritual legacy.


DURGA II Laser Weapon


The Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) initiative to develop the DURGA II high-power laser weapon signifies advancements in defense technology. Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs), like DURGA II, offer innovative solutions for modern warfare, capable of neutralizing diverse threats with precision and efficiency. DEWs' potential to counter emerging challenges, including hypersonic missiles, highlights the strategic importance of investing in cutting-edge defense capabilities for national security and defense preparedness.


India’s Forex Reserves Drop


India's recent decline in forex reserves reflects strategic interventions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) amidst economic uncertainties. The fluctuation in foreign currency assets underscores the RBI's proactive measures to manage liquidity and stabilize the exchange rate. While the decrease in reserves is a short-term response to market dynamics, India's robust forex management strategies remain crucial for economic resilience and financial stability.


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