National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated annually on April 24th to commemorate the establishment of the Panchayati Raj system in India. This decentralized form of governance, introduced by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1993, aimed to empower local self-governing bodies, known as Gram Panchayats, at the village level.

Every year on April 24th, the world observes the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. This significant occasion seeks to reaffirm the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, particularly the commitment to resolving disputes among nations through peaceful means. Multilateralism is often defined as a form of cooperation involving three or more states. However, this quantitative definition fails to capture the true essence of multilateralism. It is more than just a practice or a matter of the number of actors involved; it represents adherence to a common political project based on the respect of a shared system of norms and values.

In a remarkable achievement, World No. 6 Casper Ruud of Norway defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, clinching the ATP Barcelona Open 500 singles title. The final scoreline of 7-5, 6-3 marked a significant milestone for Ruud, as he secured the biggest trophy of his professional career.

The prestigious 2024 Laureus Sports Awards ceremony, held in Madrid, was a grand celebration of the world’s best athletes and their remarkable achievements. The event honored several sporting icons who have left an indelible mark on their respective disciplines.

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, etched his name in the annals of Laureus history by becoming the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for the fifth time.

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Aitana Bonmatí

In a historic moment, Aitana Bonmatí, a football star from Barcelona and the Spanish national team, became the first footballer to be named the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

Comeback of the Year: Simone Biles

Simone Biles, the American artistic gymnast, added another accolade to her impressive collection. With 37 World and Olympic medals, she is now the most decorated gymnast in history.

Breakthrough of the Year: Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham, an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Real Madrid and the England national team, was honored for his breakthrough performances.

Other Notable Awards

  • Team of the Year Award: Spain Women’s Football Team
  • Action Sportsperson of the Year Award: Arisa Trew
  • Laureus Sport for Good Award: Fundación Rafa Nadal
  • Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award: Diede de Groot

The 34th Seng Khihlang festival, a revered event for adherents of the Khasi Indigenous Faith, recently concluded in Wahiajer, Meghalaya. Spanning from April 19, 2024, the festival celebrated the unity and traditions of the indigenous community. At the heart of this annual gathering lies the symbolic exchange of the Monolith, a cherished ritual that represents the enduring spirit of unity among believers. This year, the esteemed Monolith was received in Wahiajer from Seng Khasi Shaid Shaid, located in the West Khasi Hills.

The southern Indian state of Kerala is renowned for its rich cultural tapestry, encompassing a diverse array of religions, landscapes, rituals, and histories. Amidst this vibrant melting pot, one festival stands out as a true embodiment of Kerala’s profound cultural heritage – the Thrissur Pooram.

Microsoft has introduced a new VASA 1 AI model, a framework designed to generate lifelike talking faces for virtual characters, boasting appealing Visual Affective Skills (VAS). With just a single static image and a speech audio clip, the company says its VASA-1 can create life-like short videos. The model also gives several options to make changes to the video. Here is everything you need to know. The VASA 1 can deliver high video-quality content with realistic facial and head dynamics. The model supports the online generation of 512 x 512 videos at up to 40fps with negligible starting latency.

OpenAI has hired Pragya Misra, 39, its first official in India, in order to handle government relations. Misra previously worked at Truecaller AB and Meta. An intermediary between U.S.-based AI companies and the Indian administration is key as the country has started voting in its 2024 general elections. The AI startup backed by Microsoft interacted with Indian tech policy and civil society representatives on February 12 as experts and activists flagged fears of generative AI being used to hurt India’s elections.

The first-ever Hindi radio broadcast has started in Kuwait. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait lauded Kuwait’s Ministry of Information for starting a Hindi programme on Kuwait Radio on FM 93.3 and AM 96.3 every Sunday. This step taken will further strengthen the ties between the two nations. India and Kuwait have long-standing trade ties, with the Indian rupee serving as Kuwait’s official currency until 1961. The year 2021-22 commemorated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.


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