World Autism Awareness Day 2024 observed on April 2

• April 2 is observed as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) by the United Nations General Assembly.

• The theme for World Autism Awareness Day 2024 is "Colour," intended to challenge stereotypes and highlight the dynamic lives of individuals with autism.

• Designated by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 2007, April 2 has been observed as World Autism Awareness Day since 2008.

• Autism is a developmental disability impacting brain functions, and this day serves to promote understanding and support for individuals, particularly children, affected by autism.


A notice has been issued by the Supreme Court to the Election Commission (EC) on a writ petition.

• The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission following a writ petition advocating for mandatory cross-verification of electronic voting machine (EVM) counts with all Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips.

• The petitioner's advocate argued for a full count of VVPAT slips, contrasting with the current procedure of verifying only five randomly selected EVMs.

• The petition suggests simultaneous VVPAT verification, highlighting the government's substantial investment of nearly ₹5,000 crore in acquiring almost 24 lakh VVPATs.

• Despite this, only about 20,000 VVPAT slips were available for verification.

• The petitioner seeks direction for transparent glass on VVPAT machines to enhance transparency.

• VVPATs enable voters to confirm their votes, displaying candidate details for seven seconds through a transparent window upon casting a vote, as witnessed during the recent bye-election in Nagaland's 51-Noksen (ST) assembly constituency.


Katchatheevu issue

• Katchatheevu Island issue emerged after PM Modi blamed the Congress Party for giving it to Sri Lanka in 1974.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an attack against the Congress party for giving Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka in 1974.

• Katchatheevu Island is an uninhabited island spanning 285 acres in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. It is 1.6 km in length and more than 300 m wide.

• St. Anthony's Church is the only structure on Katchatheevu Island. It was built in the 20th century.

<• When did the Katchatheevu controversy begin?

• Sri Lanka claimed sovereignty over Katchatheevu due to the Portuguese occupation of the island from 1505 to 1658.

• India claimed it due to possession by the Raja of Ramnad as part of its estate.

• Katchatheevu has been a disputed territory between India and Sri Lanka since the British era.

• The island was ceded to Sri Lanka by the government of India through an agreement in 1974.


Fifteen products from Uttar Pradesh have been recently added to the list of Geographical Indication (GI) certified products.

• Recent additions of fifteen products from Uttar Pradesh to the Geographical Indication (GI) certified list have elevated the state to the foremost position in India, boasting a total of 69 GI-tagged products.

• Uttar Pradesh has outpaced Tamil Nadu, currently holding 58 GI-tagged products, reflecting its rich cultural and artisanal heritage recognized at a national level.

• Varanasi stands out as the primary hub for GI-tagged goods production in Uttar Pradesh, contributing 30 certified products, the highest count from any single geographical area in the state.

• This significant achievement underscores the diversity and uniqueness of products originating from Uttar Pradesh, reinforcing its prominence in the realm of Geographical Indication recognition.

• Notable among the newly GI-tagged products from Uttar Pradesh are:- Banaras thandai, Banaras Tabla, Banaras Shehnai, Banaras Lal Bharwamirch, Chiraigaon Karonda (Varanasi), Banaras Lal Peda, Banaras Mural painting etc.


Congo Appoints First Female Prime Minister Amid Eastern Violence

• The Democratic Republic of Congo has appointed Judith Suminwa Tuluka as the country’s first female Prime Minister.

• This move by President Felix Tshisekedi fulfills a campaign promise and comes at a time of worsening violence in the mineral-rich eastern region bordering Rwanda.

• The long-running conflict in the east has displaced more than 7 million people, according to the United Nations, making it one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

• The region is overrun by more than 120 armed groups seeking control over the area’s gold and other resources, leading to mass killings.


Novak Djokovic Becomes the Oldest World No. 1 in ATP Rankings History

• Novak Djokovic, the 24-time Grand Slam champion, continues to break records on the ATP Tour. As of this week, he begins his 419th week as the World No. 1, extending his huge record.

• On Sunday, April 9, 2024, Djokovic will surpass Roger Federer’s record and become the oldest World No. 1 in ATP Rankings history at the age of 36 years and 321 days.

• Djokovic, considered one of the greatest players of all time, has proven his near-unrivalled longevity at the pinnacle of his sport even as he enters his fourth decade.

• Since turning 30 in 2017, the Serbian has won an impressive 31 tour-level titles, including 12 Grand Slams, 10 ATP Masters 1000 victories, and two ATP Finals triumphs.


REC wins SKOCH ESG Award 2024 in Renewable Energy Financing Category

• REC Limited, a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power and a leading NBFC, has been bestowed with the SKOCH ESG Award 2024 in the ‘Renewable Energy Financing’ category.

• The award underscores REC’s dedication to sustainable financing, paving the way for a greener future and accelerating the transition to renewable energy.

• The SKOCH ESG Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate outstanding performance in Environmental, Social, and Governance practices.

• The SKOCH ESG Award and Assessment serve as an important benchmark for evaluating organizations’ commitment to India 2047.

• REC is a ‘Maharatna’ Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power and is registered with RBI as Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC), and Infrastructure Financing Company (IFC).

• REC Ltd. provides loans of various maturities to State, Central and Private Companies for creation of infrastructure assets in the country.

• REC Ltd. continues to play a key strategic role in the flagship schemes of the Government for the power sector and has been a nodal agency for Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGAYA), DDUGJY, National Electricity Fund (NEF) Scheme which resulted in strengthening of last-mile distribution system, 100% village electrification and household electrification.