1. National Panchayati Raj Day Observed on April 24th every year –


  • 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.
  • The concept of Panchayati Raj has its roots in ancient Indian tradition, where village councils, or Panchayats, played a crucial role in local administration. However, it was not until the late 20th century that the system was revived and granted constitutional status.
  • In 1957, the Balwantrai Mehta Committee was formed to study the process of democratic decentralization and recommend measures to revive the Panchayati Raj system. The committee’s recommendations led to the establishment of a three-tier system of Panchayats at the village, block, and district levels.


  1. India Ranks Fourth in Global Military Spending in 2023 –


  • India has emerged as the fourth largest military spender globally in 2023, allocating $83.6 billion for defense, following the United States, China, and Russia. This significant investment underscores India’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities, particularly along the China border post the Ladakh standoff in 2020.
  • India has intensified its efforts to modernize its military infrastructure and capabilities, encompassing fighter jets, helicopters, warships, tanks, artillery guns, rockets, missiles, unmanned systems, and other combat technologies. This focus on modernization reflects India’s strategic response to evolving regional security challenges and geopolitical dynamics.
  • In 2022, India also secured the fourth position in global military spending, with an expenditure of $81.4 billion. This consistent upward trend signifies a 6% increase from the previous year and a substantial 47% surge since 2013. Such sustained investment underscores India’s long-term commitment to bolstering its defense capabilities and maintaining regional stability.


  1. Record Direct Tax Collections Exceed Budget Estimates in FY 2023-24 –
  • In a significant development, provisional figures released by the Ministry of Finance reveal that net direct tax collections for the Financial Year (FY) 2023-24 have surpassed Union Budget Estimates by a substantial margin of Rs. 1.35 lakh crore, marking a remarkable increase of 7.40%. The provisional direct tax collections stand at Rs. 19.58 lakh crore, showcasing a robust growth of 17.70% compared to the preceding FY 2022-23.
  • The Budget Estimates (BE) for Direct Tax revenue in FY 2023-24 were initially set at Rs. 18.23 lakh crore and were later revised to Rs. 19.45 lakh crore. However, the actual net collections have surpassed both the BE and the Revised Estimates (RE) by 7.40% and 0.67% respectively, underlining the robust performance of direct tax revenue in the fiscal year.
  • The provisional gross collection of direct taxes (before adjusting for refunds) for FY 2023-24 stands at an impressive Rs. 23.37 lakh crore, indicating a substantial growth of 18.48% over the previous fiscal year.

The Gross Corporate Tax collection for FY 2023-24 amounts to Rs. 11.32 lakh crore, demonstrating a commendable growth of 13.06% over the preceding year. Meanwhile, the Net Corporate Tax collection for the same period stands at Rs. 9.11 lakh crore, reflecting a growth of 10.26%.