19th January 2023
Uttar Pradesh will be hosting 11 G-20 meetings Between February 13-15
Current Affairs: Uttar Pradesh will be holding eleven meetings related to G-20 between February 13 and 15 and it will be held in various cities of Uttar Pradesh. As per the president, India is expected to hold more than 200 meetings related to various issues in the run-up to the G-20 summit.
Cities of Uttar Pradesh Organizing the G-20 Meetings-
The cities of Uttar Pradesh organizing the G-20 summit meetings are-
- Varanasi will organize six
- Agra will organize three
- Lucknow will organize one
- Greater Noida will organize one
Participation of member countries in G-20 meetings-
Till November 3, 2023, the representatives of about 40 countries and international organizations are expected to be taking part in the G-20 meetings which will be organized by the union ministry of foreign affairs.
Statement of District Magistrate on G-20 meetings-
The District Magistrate of Lucknow Suryapal Gangwar has said that-
“The nodal department of the government of India for the meeting to be held in Lucknow is the ministry of electronics and information technology. The meeting to be held in Lucknow is related to the working group, which is the 1st Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meeting.”
“The stress would be on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. We will show our technical competence and expertise in this area as top officials of G20 countries would be in Lucknow to discuss the digital economy.”
Participation in the Lucknow Session of G-20 meetings-
Many students and professors from different universities will be taking part in these meetings and will showcase research and technology enhancement in the field of AI and robotics. The Universities and colleges taking part in the meetings are:
- Lucknow University,
- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (Lucknow),
- Harcourt Butler Technical University (Kanpur),
- Madan Mohan Malviya University of Technology (Gorakhpur),
- Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Language University (Lucknow) and
- Bundelkhand University (Jhansi)
PM Narendra Modi to attend several events in Andaman and Mumbai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the following events in the Month of January, 2023
PM to inaugurate model of proposed Netaji memorial in Andamans on January 23-
Current Affairs: A proposed memorial dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be virtually inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on January 23 to commemorate the freedom fighter’s 126th birth anniversary.
The memorial of Netaji will be set up on Ross island. The memorial will consist of-
- A museum
- Cable car ropeway
- Laser and sound show
- Guided heritage trail through historical buildings
- A theme based children’s amusement park
- Restro lounge
About Andaman and Nicobar Island-
Chief Secretary- Keshav Chandra
Capital- Port Blair
PM Narendra Modi to launch projects worth Rs 38,000 cr during Mumbai visit-
On Thursday, during the PM’s visit to Mumbai, the PM will be inaugurating and laying the foundation stones of a string of projects. These projects worth more than Rs 38,000 crore which aimed towards developing infrastructure, easing urban travel and strengthening healthcare.
Projects in Mumbai-
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Mumbai Metro Rail Lines 2A and 7. This Metro Rail Line project is worth around Rs 12,600 Cr.
- The PM will also lay the foundation stones for seven sewage treatment plants
- A road concretization project
- Redevelopment of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Chief Minister- Eknath Shinde
PM Modi to distribute 71,000 appointment letters and title deeds to benefit 50,000 families in Kalaburagi, Karnataka
What PM is about to do?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to distribute 71,000 appointment letters to newly inducted recruits under the Rozgar Mela program on Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced in a statement. Modi will also address the new recruits through video conferencing.
In addition to the Rozgar Mela, Modi also distributed title deeds (hakku patra) to about 50,000 beneficiaries of newly declared revenue villages in Kalaburagi, Karnataka. He congratulated the Banjara Community on 3000 Tanda habitation becoming revenue villages.
The new recruits, selected from across the country, will join various positions within the Indian government, including junior engineers, loco pilots, technicians, inspectors, sub-inspectors, constables, stenographers, junior accountants, grameen dak sevaks, income tax inspectors, teachers, nurses, doctors, social security officers, PAs, and MTS.
The PMO also stated that the experience of the newly inducted officials in the Karmayogi Prarambh module, an online orientation course for all new government appointees, will be shared during the Rozgar Mela program. The program is a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s commitment to employment generation.
Modi also said that the government is working for the welfare of all, including Dalits, deprived, backward, tribals, divyang, children, and women and that Jan Dhan Yojana has revolutionized financial inclusion and that the Double-engine government considers the tradition, culture, food, and dress of every society living in India as our strength.
The Annual Status of Education Report released by NGO Pratham
Current Affairs: The NGO Pratham has issued the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022. It examines the effects of the closures of schools in 2020 and 2021 as well as the return of students to the classroom in 2022. Despite the pandemic-related school shut down, the total enrollment counts grew from 97.2% in 2018 to 98.4% in 2022.
What is in the report?
Figures for enrollment
- The overall enrollment rate for students aged 6 to 14 rose from 97.2% in 2018 to 98.4% in 2022.
- Additionally, the percentage of kids in this age range (3 to 16) who are not actively enrolled decreased to 1.6% from 2.8% in 2018, the lowest level ever.
- From 65.6% in 2018 to 72.9% in 2022, children enrolled in government schools saw a dramatic increase, reversing another pattern of a continuous decline in student enrolments recorded since 2006.
- A child’s ability to read letters, words, a straightforward paragraph at the Class 1 level of complexity, or a storyline at the Class 2 level of difficulty is determined by the ASER reading exam.
- Children’s fundamental literacy levels have significantly declined, with their reading skills deteriorating far more quickly and falling to pre-2012 levels as compared to their numeracy abilities.
- The proportion of Class 3 students in public or private schools who could read at the level of Class 2 fell from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022.
- From 50.5% in 2018 to 42.8% in 2022, the proportion of students enrolled in Class 5 in public or private schools who can at least read a Class 2-level text decreased.
- In Class 3, the proportion of pupils who could at least subtract decreased from 28.2% in 2018 to 25.9% in 2022.
- In India, the percentage of Class 5 students who can perform division has also decreased somewhat, from 27,9% in 2018 to 25,6% in 2022.
- In the country, the percentage of kids that can divide has slightly risen from 44.1% in 2018 to 44.7% in 2022.
Importance of the report
- The ASER 2022 study draws attention to the growing knowledge gaps in basic reading and math abilities that have developed due to the pandemic and school closures.
- According to the study, fundamental literacy and arithmetic abilities have significantly declined, reversing years of development, despite rising enrolment rates and a fall in the percentage of kids who aren’t now enrolled.
- In order to close these learning gaps and promote children’s ongoing learning and development, the research underlines the necessity for immediate interventions.
India Aims to Become Key Semiconductor Supplier for World
Current Affairs: India has set in motion an ambitious plan to become a key supplier for the world in the global semiconductor market. Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the government is investing $10 billion in this initiative, with a long-term program in place to achieve this goal.
Potential in Infrastructure, Talent Pool, and Technology
The minister spoke at a session on ‘Learning from semiconductor supply shocks’ at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 and highlighted India’s potential in terms of infrastructure, talent pool and technology. He said, “Our university system that produces a large number of talent is also helping a lot as we have tied up with many universities to prepare the right talent.”
When asked about the government’s own investment plans, Minister Vaishnaw said that the government itself is putting in $10 billion, and it has chalked out a long-haul program. He added, “We see a huge potential for India to become a key semiconductor supplier for the entire world, that too for the latest requirements including for electric vehicles and for all cutting edge technologies. We are convinced that the demand is going to be huge.”
Growth in Industry
The minister also stated that the industry is expected to double in size to $1 trillion in the next 6-7 years with the growth rate set to accelerate in a big way.
Minister Vaishnaw also emphasized that the government is mindful of the environment and will ensure that the new factories are supplied with green energy.
India’s ambitious plan to become a key supplier in the global semiconductor market is expected to be driven by government investments, a strong talent pool and technology, and a focus on sustainability. The industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, providing opportunities for businesses and employment.
CGI has been titled as a Top Employer 2023 in India by Top Employers Institute programme
CGI, one of the leading consultancy service providers has been certified as a Top Employer 2023 in India for the third time. The title was conferred for its
- Positive workplace culture,
- Learning and development,
- Leadership development,
- Career and succession management, and
- Workforce planning.
The Top Employers Institute programme certifies organisations based on the participation and results of their HR Best Practices Survey. Accordingly, this survey covers around six HR domains. These domains consisted 20 topics, including
- People strategy,
- Work environment,
- Talent acquisition,
- Equity and inclusion, etc.
George Mattackal President of CGI’s Asia Pacific Global Delivery Centers of Excellence said-
“At CGI, we foster an ownership culture where our professionals benefit from our collective growth and are empowered to shape our future. We are honoured to receive this certification for our collaborative and progressive HR practices that aim to help our professionals develop their careers while contributing to our clients, organisation and the communities where we live and work.”
How many organizations were certified-
The Top Employers Institute programme has certified around 2,052 Top Employers in 121 countries across five continents. CGI was also one of them. CGI is a company that cares for the development and well-being of its people and has enriched the world of work.
The firm was founded in 1976. It is among the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. The company employs over 18,000 professionals in India and expertises to more than 300 clients around the globe. CGI Fiscal 2022 reported revenue is around C$12.87 billion and it’s shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB).
Blocking of Funds Facility Proposed by SEBI
SEBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, issues a consultation document outlining a proposal to implement a blocking of funds option for trading on secondary markets.It is aimed at preventing stock brokers from misusing and defaulting on investors’ money.Market players are asked to respond by February 16 on any operational issues with the suggested concept, related processes, transaction flow, and risk management.
What is the Proposed Facility?
- It enables trading on the secondary market by investors using blocked funds in their bank accounts
- Reduces the necessity of transferring money to a stock broker.
- While funds are still in the client’s account, they are blocked in favour of the clearing corporation until the block mandate expires or the clearing corporation releases the block.
- Limiting its ability to debit payments from customer accounts to the block-specified amount.
What is the existing framework?
- Under the current system, the stock brokers and clearing members are where clients’ assets are transferred before they reach the clearing firm.
- Before reaching the customer, payments made by clearing corporations follow a similar pattern of going via clearing members and stock brokers.
Spot Bellied Eagle Owl (Bubo Nipalensis) spotted for the first time in the Seshachalam forest
Bubo Nipalensis, also known as the Spot Bellied Eagle Owl, was recently seen for the first time in Seshachalam Forest and for the third time in Andhra Pradesh. It has previously been seen twice in the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR).
What is a Spot-bellied Eagle Owl?
- The Forest eagle owl often referred to as the Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, is a big owl species that is generally found in forested settings, such as forests and rocky slopes.
- It is distinguished by its characteristic belly spots.
- The spot-bellied eagle owl is an enormous, fearless, and predatory bird.
- The bird in India is known as the “Ghost of the Forest” because it emits an odd cry that sounds like a person.
- These eagle-owl species are found in China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.
- Large birds and animals including golden jackals, hares, civets, and chevrotains are among their recognised prey species.
Vietnam President Phuc has revealed his resignation amid the ongoing anti-corruption drive
Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has revealed his resignation amid the ongoing anti-corruption drive. The anti-corruption drive has fired several ministers in Vietnam. Before Phuc, two other deputy prime ministers Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam, who served under President Phuc had also quit.
Phuc is an erstwhile prime minister. He has been president since 2021. He served as the PM of Vietnam from 2016 until April 2021, when he was elected president. Accordingly, Vietnam is managed by the powerful party’s secretary, the president, the prime minister and the chair of the assembly.
The Communist Party’s statement-
The party said that Phuc was politically responsible for violations and the wrongdoing of numerous officials under him. During the drive, two former deputy prime ministers, two ministers and other officials were exposed. They are now facing criminal charges in the country.
Blame on Phuc-
Phuc was held responsible when many officials, including two deputy prime ministers and three ministers committed violations. Consequently, it has caused very serious consequences.
NASA and Boeing collaborate for Sustainable Flight Demonstrator Project
Under the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project (SFD), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and Boeing will collaborate on the design and flight testing of a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing demonstrator aircraft. Through a much more fuel-efficient design of narrowbody airliners, the alliance intends to transform the commercial aviation sector.
What are the features of the SFD Project?
- The project’s goal is to collaborate with businesses, academia, and other governmental agencies to identify, choose, and develop crucial airframe technologies, such as new wing designs, that are very likely to be used in the development of the next generation of single-aisle seat class airlines.
- One of the main elements of the Sustainable Flight National Partnership is the initiative.
- Building, testing, and flying a full-scale demonstration aircraft this decade will cost NASA and Boeing more than $1 billion.
- The aircraft will test the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) idea. It is presently known as the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD).
- According to the TTBW idea, an aircraft with extra-long, thin wings stabilised by diagonal struts would be more fuel-efficient.
- 2028 is the projected launch date for the SFD aircraft.
What is Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW)?
- The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) concept is an innovative commercial aircraft design that seeks to transform the aviation sector by creating substantially more fuel-efficient narrowbody aircraft.
- Compared to today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft, the TTBW layout might reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30%.
- A brace is necessary since the newly created wing is so long and thin, but the aircraft can also gain lift from the brace in addition to the wing.
- Boeing is an American multinational company that develops, produces, and markets aircraft, helicopters, rockets, satellites, and missiles on a global scale.
- Boeing’s chief technology officer is Todd Citron.
World Entering golden age of artificial intelligence
On Wednesday, Satya Nadella, Microsoft Chief has said that- an Indian farmer to access an government programme used a ChatGPT even if he only knows a local dialect. And emphasized that the world is entering a golden age of artificial intelligence. AI space and products like ChatGPT are capturing broad attention and generating excitement.
Statements of Microsoft Chief Satya Nadella-
The chief of Microsoft Satya Nadella has said that-
“Technology will provide more and more ways to bring people together.”
“The future of work is not just about technology and tools. It’s about new management practices and sensibilities to the workplace”
“AI is just at the beginning of the S-curve. The near-term and long-term opportunities are enormous”
“Microsoft will achieve quantum supremacy and aims to build a general-purpose quantum computer”
Microsoft has all the building blocks for a next-generation quantum computer. “
“Safety and security needs to be included right at the design stage.”
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models, and is fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. This chatbot ChatGPTi is attracting the world’s attention and imagination-
- This new AI site amassed 1 million users within 5 days of its launch.
- This chatbot answers complex questions via short prompts on a vast array of topics and
- Even helps in writing lyrics and poetry.
Anecdotes on the usage of AI technology shared by Satya Nadella-
- First, the expert coder from Silicon valley used the model to help write better code faster and increased his productivity by 80 percent.
- Second, an Indian farmer used AI technology to access an opaque government programme.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines or via computer systems. Applications of AI includes-
- Expert systems
- Natural language processing
- Speech recognition
- Machine vision
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Manish Tiwari, a British Indian entrepreneur has been awarded Freedom of the City of London honour
Manish Tiwari, a British Indian entrepreneur has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London honour for his contributions to the financial hub of the UK capital. The award ceremony was held at the Chamberlain’s Court in the iconic Guildhall in London. Tiwari is the founder of an ethnic minority focussed marketing agency named Here and Now 365.
Freeman’s Declaration Book-
Recently, Manish Tiwari read the “Declaration of a Freeman” and also signed the Freeman’s Declaration Book. The honour is steeped in history. It also gave him the recognition of “Freeman”, the right to trade in the Square Mile or financial heart of London.
“On the strength of its multi-cultural legacy, the City of London continues to grow and prosper. It remains at the forefront of global finance by leveraging its past and embracing change and I am honoured to be a part of this legacy”.
History of the award-
The award ceremony is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies of the British capital. The tradition of presenting the title is believed to have started in 1237. The title of Freeman is more symbolic today. It also comes with certain corresponding duties in connection with the Lord Mayor’s office. Before 1996, the Freedom of the City was only available to the British or Commonwealth Citizens. Since then, it has been extended globally and persons of any nationality may be admitted.
Previous Indian recipient of the award-
Earlier, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India was honored by this award. Along with him, the other prominent recipients include
- South African leader Nelson Mandela and
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Now, Manish Tiwari has become the latest to join the ranks at the title.
APPOINTMENTS AND RECOGNITION
New Zealand’s leader Jacinda Ardern announces resignation before upcoming elections
On Thursday, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has announced that she will stand aside for a new leader and further added that she doesn’t believe she has the energy to seek re-election in the October polls.
Statement of Jacinda Ardern-
Jacinda Ardern said that her term would end by February 7, when she expects a new Labour prime minister will be sworn in – though “depending on the process that could be earlier.” “The decision was my own,”
“Leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also the most challenging. You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges.”
“I no longer have enough in the tank to do the job justice.”
About Jacinda Ardern-
Jacinda Ardern won elections in 2017 and became the prime minister at the age of 37 and is also a third female leader and one of the youngest leaders in the world. She was reelected for a second term in the year 2020. She gained a reputation as a trailblazer while in office, speaking frequently about gender equality and women’s rights.
Achievement of Jacinda Ardern-
- Jacinda Ardern transformed public assumptions about women in leadership.
- The transparency she offers the world has been a welcomed relief from the traditionally opaque obscurity into the private lives of our politicians.
- She eliminated COVID-19 in her country. Ardern announced that there was no longer any undetected community transmission of COVID-19 and that her country had effectively “eliminated” the virus.
- Ardern made headlines in 2018 when she brought her daughter into a UN speech.
- She banned military-style semi-automatics less than a month after Christchurch shootings
- She became the first NZ PM to march in an LGBTQ+ Pride event
- She pledged to to provide period products to all girls
Reasons for resignation of Prime Minister of New Zealand-
Some critics has argued that-
- She has done little to deliver the transformational government she promised when first elected.
- As per the polls in late 2022 it is shown falling support for Ardern and her Labour Party
- As per critics she has done little to deliver the transformational government promised when she was first elected.
About New Zealand-
Prime Minister- Jacinda Ardern
Currency- New Zealand Dollar
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
New study reveals microbes nourished by consuming viruses
The researchers have reported on December 27, that Halteria Ciliates are pond-dwelling microbes able to survive on a virus-only diet. The single-celled creatures are the first known to thrive when viruses are present.
Findings of Ecologist of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln-
The Ecologist John DeLong from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has said that-
“Scientists already knew that some microscopic organisms snack on aquatic viruses such as chlorovirus, which infect and kill algae. But it was unclear whether viruses alone could provide enough nutrients for an organism to grow and reproduce.”
“These feasts could shunt previously unrecognized energy into the food web, and add a new layer to the way viruses move carbon through an ecosystem — if it happens in the wild”
About the research in Halteria-
As per the experiments conducted on Halteria, DeLong and his team has found that-
- Halteria that were living in water droplets are given only cholovirus for sustenance reproduction. Halteria’s numbers went up and
- The Ciliates didn’t multiply as they did not have the access of viral morsels or any other food.
- Paramecium, a larger microbe, did not thrive on a virus-only diet, as a conclusion viruses can’t satisfy the nutritional requirements for all ciliates to grow.
How can viruses be harmful?
Viruses are very harmful for the human race. Viruses cause infectious diseases such as the common cold, flu and warts. They also cause severe illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19. Viruses invade living, normal cells and use those cells to multiply and produce other viruses like themselves.
About the National Academy of Sciences- University of Nebraska-Lincoln-
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit society, established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.
Nilmani Phookan, a renowned Assamese litterateur and Jnanpith awardee passed away
Renowned Assamese litterateur and Jnanpith awardee Nilmani Phookan passed away on Thursday. He had prolonged old-age related problems. Phookan lived with his wife, two sons and a daughter. Phookan’s last rites will be conducted with full state honour.
Reason behind his death-
Phookan died due to age-related illness. He was admitted to a local hospital on Wednesday after he complained about breathing difficulties. From there, he was then shifted to the Gauhati Medical College Hospital.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has expressed his grief-
CM said, ”Kavya Rishi Nilmani Phookan was among the foremost of the bright literary stars who have enriched Assamese literature and his contribution will always be remembered. His death has led to a loss that will be difficult to fill”.
Phookan received the Jnanpith award in 2021 for his contribution to the field of literature. He is the third recipient of the Jnanpith award in Assam after Birendranath Bhattacharya and Mamoni (Indira) Raisom Goswami. He has also been awarded by the
- Sahitya Akademi award in 1981 for his book of poems ‘Kobita’,
- Padma Shri in 1990
- Sahitya Akademi fellowship in 2002 and
- D.Litt by Dibrugarh University in 2019.
He is the author of several collections of poetry. His principal works, include
- ‘Phuli Thoka Suryamukhi Phulor Phale’
- ‘Golapi Jamur Lagna’
- ‘Kobita’ ,
- ‘Nrityarata Prithivi’ among others.
Nilmani has been bestowed with the title of ‘Kavya Rishi’. He was born and brought up in the Upper Assam town Dergaon. Art, particularly, led him to study in detail the ancient and modern art forms of the state. He was an art critic of repute who followed the works of artists in the state and encouraged them to experiment with different art forms.
20th January 2023
India-UAE Partnership Summit will have broad discussions on trade and agritech fields
The India-UAE Partnership Summit, scheduled to be held on January 24, will have broad discussions on the topics related to crucial economic subjects of
- Food processing and
Sessions of the Summit-
Accordingly, one session of the summit will focus on manufacturing and startups. The topic is being considered because the Indian start-ups have raised USD 42 billion and have added 46 Unicorns in 2021. The country has also introduced the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, which is fuelling the manufacturing sector in India.
UAE investors and businessmen have been actively investing in UAE and India. The transforming regulation in UAE is attracting businesses from across the world not only for trading but also for manufacturing. Accordingly,
- The Golden Visa Scheme,
- Ease of doing business,
- Attractive tax regime,
- Ease of living and several other measures are making the UAE a better choice for business.
Importance of business in today’s world-
Businesses create opportunities on both sides, with entrepreneurs and also with investors alike. Food security is also one of the utmost important topics in the new geo-political environment. In this, technology is expected to play a key role. It is the only reason which will fulfill the need for security and the changing landscape of food habits, agritech and food processing. Examples of such technologies are-
- Technological advancements,
- Al, etc
About Ministry of Commerce & Piyush Goyal –
Piyush Vedprakash Goyal is a politician, chartered accountant and cabinet minister of the Government of India. He has portfolios such as
- Minister of Textiles,
- Minister of Commerce and Industry and
- Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
About India-UAE –
Officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world.
The United Arab Emirates, or simply the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia. It is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran.
Relationship of India & UAE-
The two nations share historical ties and have maintained regular cultural exchanges both at official and popular levels. India and UAE signed a Cultural Agreement in 1975. The ICCR had opened a Culture Centre in Abu Dhabi in 2009 but it was closed in June 2014.
IREDA signs MoU with MNRE, setting annual performance target for the year 22-23
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), setting up the annual performance target for the Year 22-23. In the presence of senior officials from MNRE & IREDA Chairman & MD of IREDA, Pradip Kumar Dar and Secretary of MNRE, Bhupinder Singh Bhalla has signed the MoU.
Target and Parameters set by the Government of India-
- A target of Rs 3.361 cr. for Revenue from Operations
- Approx. 18% higher revenue in comparison with previous year achievement
Parameters related to the performance-
- Return of Net Worth
- Return on Capital Employed
- NPA to Total Loans
- Asset Turnover Ratio
- Earning per share, etc.
IREDA’s recent Statistics-
- In 2nd Quarter of Financial year 2022-23, 67% jump in Profit After Tax (PAT)
- In Quarter 2, reduced net NPAs from 4.87% to 2.72%
- IREDA has financed more than 3,068 Renewable Energy projects loan accounts with cumulative loan sanction
- Disbursement of the loan sanctions to the tune of Rs 1,41,622 crore & Rs 90,037 crores
- Supported Renewable energy capacity addition of 19,502 MW in the country.
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) Limited was formed in 1987 as a statutory and autonomous organisation under Government of India and administratively controlled by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is a ministry of the Government of India, headed by current Union Cabinet Minister Raj Kumar Singh, that is mainly responsible for research and development, intellectual property protection, and international cooperation, promotion, and coordination in renewable energy sources such as wind power, small hydro, biogas, and solar power.
SSC to Conduct Multi-Tasking (Non-Technical) Staff Exam in 2022 in 13 Regional Languages
Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, and MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has lauded the efforts of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) for deciding to conduct the Multi-Tasking (Non-Technical) Staff examination in 2022 in 13 regional languages in addition to Hindi and English. This marks the first time that the exam will be offered in regional languages.
The thirteen regional languages are Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Konkani, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, and Punjabi.
Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that the move aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing a level playing field for all job aspirants and ensuring that no one is denied an opportunity or disadvantaged due to a language barrier. He also pointed out that it fulfills the long-standing demand of candidates from different states, particularly from South India, for exams to be conducted in languages other than English and Hindi.
- In order to review the scheme and syllabus of examinations conducted by the SSC, including the medium in which the examinations are conducted, the Department of Personnel and Training had formed an Expert Committee.
- The committee recommended that it would be beneficial to conduct the examinations for lower-level posts in multiple languages, starting with a few languages and gradually increasing to include all the languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
What is SCC?
The Staff Selection Commission is one of the largest recruiting agencies of the Government of India, responsible for recruitment to all Group B (Non-Gazetted) and Group C (Non-Technical) posts in various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India. The medium of examination normally conducted by the commission is Hindi and English.
This is how India’s new Parliament building will look
The layout plans and photos of the new under-construction Parliament have been released by the Central Government. As per the reports, the New Parliament building will be inaugurated in March, 2023 and will likely host the second part of the Budget session.
Layout plan of new Parliament Building-
The new Parliament building is being built by Tata Projects Limited and is part of the Central Vista redevelopment. Its key features are large halls, modern library, redevelopment offices and committee rooms with state of art facilities.
The New Parliament building will consists of-
- Built-up area of about 65,000 sq. mt. and will be in a triangular shape ensuring optimal utilization of space
- Larger chambers for the legislature with a capacity of up to 888 seats and will have a peacock theme (National bird)
- Larger Rajya Sabha with the capacity up to 384 seats and will have a lotus theme (National Flower)
- Larger Lok Sabha which will have the capacity to accommodate up to 1,272 seats for joint sessions.
- Constitutional Hall with a design of the state of the art Constitutional Hall symbolically and physically puts the Indian citizens at the heart of democracy.
- It will have a Central Lounge for the members to interact which will be in a theme of the Banyan Tree (National Tree).
- Ultra-modern office spaces and will be equipped with the latest communication technology.
- Larger committee rooms which will be equipped with the latest audio-visual systems.
- Revamped Sansad Bhavan which aims to contribute towards economic revitalisation across the construction value chain and generate employment opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
- It consists of the Library which aims to offer a superior experience and help the members to efficiently gather information from archived material.
- The New Sansad Bhavan will be aimed as a symbol of India’s commitment towards environmental sustainability.
- It will also reflect modern India’s vibrance and diversity while also incorporating cultural and regional arts and crafts.
- The new structure will allow the persons with disabilities to free and independent movement.
Functions and Powers of Parliament-
The Parliament of India has the functions of-
- overseeing of administration,
- passing of the Budget,
- ventilation of public grievances and discussing various subjects like development plans,
- national policies and international relations.
- powers to impeach the President and
- Powers to remove the Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts,
- Powers to remove the Chief Election Commissioner and the Comptroller and Auditor General
All legislation requires consent of both the Houses of Parliament
- In the case of money bills, however,
- Delegated legislation
- The power to initiate amendment of the Constitution.
Indo-Egypt Joint Training Exercise Cyclone – I Commences in Rajasthan
Since 14 January 2023, Indian Army and the Egyptian Army have been conducting the first ever joint exercise between the special forces. This joint exercise is named as “Exercise Cyclone-I” and is in progress at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
Aim of the joint Exercise-
These joint exercises aims to-
- bolster defense co-operation between the two nations and
- focus on sharing professional skills and interoperability of Special Forces in desert terrain
- Undertaking counter terrorism, reconnaissance, raids and other special operations.
Effect of the Joint exercises-
These joint exercises will provide insights into the cultural and ethos of both armies. This will also help the armies in fostering military cooperation and interoperability to further strengthen the diplomatic relations between India and Egypt.
Relationship between Indian and Egypt-
Both the countries have a close political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues. The establishment of diplomatic relations was announced on 18 August,1947.
About Joint Exercise Cyclone-I
The Cyclone-I is the joint exercise which is being conducted between the forces of both the nations on a common platform. It is a 14 days long exercise which is being conducted in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The armies are engaged in advance special forces skills such as-
- Combat free fall
- Surveillance & Target Designation
- Sharing of information on weapons
- Joint planning
- Drills of special forces operations in a mechanized warfare setting
- Surgical strikes on terrorist camps
- Hideouts to include sniping of High Value Targets.
President- Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Currency- Egyptian Pound
Commander Amrith, a woman naval air operations officer will lead the Navy’s Republic Day parade
Lt Commander Disha Amrith, a woman naval air operations officer has been directed to lead the Indian Navy’s Republic Day contingent of 144 young sailors. Accordingly, its tableau will present the ‘Nari Shakti’ in force. The Navy officials have said that three women and five men Agniveers will also participate in the parade at Kartavya Path. Along with Amrith, another woman officer Sub Lt Valli Meena S will be among the three unit commanders of the naval contingent.
About Lt Commander Disha Amrith-
Amrith has completed her Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from BMS College of Engineering in Karnataka. The 29-year-old was a part of the National Cadet Corps’s Republic Day team in 2008. She was also a part of the marching contingents of one of the three services at the celebrations in Delhi. The officer, who hails from Mangaluru, got into the Navy in 2016. She has been posted at a key naval facility in the Andaman and Nicobar islands after completing her training in 2017.
Theme of the navy tableau-
Accordingly, the theme of the naval tableau would be ‘Indian Navy — Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof’. The theme revelation was made by the Vice Admiral Suraj Berry, the Controller Personnel Services (CPS).
Aim of the tableau-
The parade is designed with an aim to showcase the multi-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy. It will also highlight the key indigenously designed and built platforms. Along with it, the tableau also aims to spotlight the ‘Nari Shakti’ in the Indian Navy.
Activities at the parade-
- Main section– The main section of the parade will illustrate the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Navy. It will also adorn the model of the new indigenous Nilgiri class ship with a Dhruv helicopter which is being adopted by the marine commandos. Also, cut out models of indigenous Kalvari Class submarines will be illustrated.
- Next section– The forward part of the tableau will showcase a woman aircrew of Dornier aircraft flying overhead. It will highlight the all-women crew of a surveillance sortie undertaken last year.
- Rear section– at the ending of the tableau, three models of autonomous unmanned systems will be displayed. It is being developed indigenously under the IDEX-Sprint Challenge. Accordingly, the Indian Navy aims to take at least 75 technology/products as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Discovery of New Plateau in the Western Ghats
Recently, a rare low-altitude basalt plateau was found in Maharashtra’s Western Ghats. This discovery can aid in the research of how climate change affects the survival of species and raise awareness of the need to conserve rock outcrops and their enormous biodiversity importance on a worldwide scale.
What are the findings?
- The previous three types of plateaus in the area were laterites at high and low altitudes and basalt at high altitudes.
- This is the fourth form of the plateau to be discovered there.
- 76 kinds of plants and shrubs from 24 different families were discovered during the survey of the plateau.
- This is significant because the plateau hosts a few rare species and, together with the other three rock outcrops, shares a common ecosystem with them.
- This offers a special model system to research the interactions of the species in various environmental settings.
About the Western Ghats
- A series of mountains known as the Western Ghats extends from the states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka along India’s western coast.
- One of India’s four prime locations for biodiversity is the Western Ghats with the other three being the Himalayas, the Indo-Burma region and the Sundaland (includes the Nicobar Islands).
- It has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
4.5 magnitude earthquake jolts Dushanbe in Tajikistan
On Friday, National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said that an earthquake occurred 171 Km NE of Dushanbe in Tajikistan. The magnitude of the earthquake is 4.5 as per the Richter scale.
National Centre for Seismology’s report on the earthquake-
- The earthquake originated at a depth of 10 Kms
- Magnitude of the Earthquake is 4.5
- Occurred on 20/1/2023, 09:16:06 IST
- Latitude: 39.05
- Longitude- 70.66
- Location 171 kms NE of Dushanbe, Tajikistan
About National Centre for Seismology-
The National Centre for Seismology is an office of India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences. The office monitors earthquakes and conducts seismological research. Specifically, it provides earthquake surveillance and hazard reports to governmental agencies.
About Earthquake and its effects-
An earthquake is a weak or violent shaking of the ground produced by the sudden movement of the tectonic plates below the earth’s surface. The extent of destruction and harm caused by an earthquake depends on: magnitude, intensity and duration. It can result into-
- Ground shaking
- Soil liquefaction
Click on the links below to read more on the recent earthquakes-
Click here to read about the Earthquake
Click here to read about the earthquake in Solomon Island
Click here to read about the earthquake in Japan
Click here to read more on the Earthquakes
Click here to read about the earthquake in Tehri
President- Emomali Rahmon
Currency- Tajikistani Somoni
Hizb Ut Tahrir in Turkey for establishment of ‘Islamic Caliphate’
In May 2023, Turkey went for the elections and Hizb ut Tahrir emerged and called for a caliphate. In the conferences held in Ankara, Istanbul, Adana and Bursa, calls for the caliphate have been made and the distribution of brochures have also been done for calling caliphate in Ankara.
Ban on Hizb ut Tahrir-
Hizb ut Tahrir, an international pan-islamist and fundamentalist political organization, was banned in every Islamic country but it seems to be operating freely in Turkey. Several public meetings and conferences have been organized by the HuT and the ‘Radikal change’ for the establishment of ‘Islamic Caliphate’.
In December 25, 2022, it also organized a conference in Ankara titled- “Social Collapse-problems and solutions” near Turkish Grand National Assembly indicating the support of the government. Similar meetings have been held in other parts of the country professing the establishment of the Caliphate.
Aim for establishing the Caliphate state-
The brochures distributed by the Hizb ut Tahrir at these conferences and in the streets of Ankara targets-
- The Istanbul Convention
- Women’s associations
- Secular and Mixed Education
- Judicial System
- Establishing a Caliphate State
Criticism of the conferences held for establishing Caliphate State-
- The leader of the Victory (Zafer) Party has strongly opposed these conferences and the idea of establishing the caliphate state. He also criticized the leaders and speakers who wanted to break the secular fabric of the country.
- Many Turks have also opposed the idea of a Caliphate state and have criticized the leaders and speakers of such conferences. They called such speakers and leaders who are targeting secular values as a political stunt.
- They also opposed and criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for backing and promoting such ideas in the public.
Diplomatic relations were established and Ambassadors exchanged in 1948. Since then the political and bilateral relations have been usually characterized by warmth and cordiality, although some sporadic tensions remain due to Turkey’s support for Pakistan.
President- Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Currency- Turkish Lira
Australian Park Rangers Discover “Toadzilla”, Potentially the World’s Largest Cane Toad
Australian park rangers have discovered a giant cane toad in Northern Queensland’s Conway National Park, with some speculating it could be the largest of its kind ever found. The rough-skinned amphibian, which has been dubbed “Toadzilla” by the rangers, weighs approximately 2.7 kg and is 1,289 feet (393 meters) in size.
Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 as a means of controlling pests like cane beetles. However, the population has since exploded, with no natural predators to control their numbers. As a result, they have become a threat to Australian native species.
Senior park ranger Barry Nolan explained that “a female cane toad-like potentially Toadzilla would lay up to 35,000 eggs. So their capacity to reproduce is quite staggering. And all parts of the cane toad’s breeding cycle are poisonous to Australian native species, so prevention is a big part of how we need to manage them.”
Ranger Kylee Gray, who first stumbled upon the creature, described it as looking “almost like a football with legs.” She added that it may have grown so large due to a diet of insects, reptiles, and small mammals.
Despite its impressive size, “Toadzilla” was euthanized due to its “ecological impact” and its body has been donated to the Queensland Museum for research. The current Guinness World Record for the largest toad is 2.65kg, found in 1991.
French President Macron floats new military spending plan amid Ukraine war
Emmanuel Macron, President of France is expected to unveil his vision for modernizing the military in his nuclear-armed country. This vision of the French President is an impact of the Russia-Ukraine War and evolving threats around the world.
Plan of French President-
Emmanuel’s plan is expected to include higher military spending as per NATO’s expectations and expected to spend approx. 2% of GDP on defense. Outline of a future military spending plan for 2024-2030 will be presented on the basis of the consequences of the war in Ukraine- The money would be used to-
- To boost the defense system and to reinforce France’s domestic security and the country’s ability to operate abroad.
- To strengthen the country’s role as an independent global power,
- Announced a proposal for 413 billion euros in military spending for the period of 2024-2030.
- To ensure “our freedom, our security, our prosperity, our place in the world.”
- To modernizing France’s nuclear arsenal
- Boosting intelligence spending by 60%, doubling the number of military reservists
- Reinforcing cyberdefense
- Developing more remote-controlled weapons
Statement of French President-
“Nuclear deterrence is an element that makes France different from other countries in Europe. We see anew, in analyzing the war in Ukraine, its vital importance.”
India- France Relationship-
Both the countries have traditionally close and friendly relations. In 1998, India and France two countries entered into Strategic Partnership which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of International issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.
President- Emmanuel Macron
FITUR International Travel Exhibition being held at Madrid, Spain
Five days of the FITUR travel exhibition are being hosted at the Madrid, Spain International Tourism Fair. The full form of FITUR is Feria Internacional del Turismo.India took part in the exhibition.The tourism fair is one of the most significant tourism exhibitions of the world.
What is the FITUR Exhibition?
- The first FITUR exhibition was held in 1981.
- The exhibition is being visited by 31 nations.
- Each participating nation has its own pavilion during the exhibition.
- These pavilions will be used by the nations to display their tourist attractions.
- The tourism industry has been suffering greatly since COVID..
- The travel and tourist industry is searching for possibilities to recharge as a result of the countries reducing their travel restrictions.
Why is it important for India?
- India is participating in the event to boost tourism there via the Ministry of Tourism.
- Following COVID, about 42 million Indians employed in the tourism industry lost their jobs.
- India is currently seeking for ways to grow its tourism industry.
- FITUR is one of the best opportunities as a result.
- India has 253 square metres at the exhibition to display its attractions.
First Movers Coalition (FMC) Leadership Meeting held at World Economic Forum
The First Movers Coalition (FMC) Leadership Meeting was held recently by the World Economic Forum. It discussed the necessity of sustainable energy technologies. India attended the conference.
What is the First Movers Coalition?
- In 2021, US President Joe Biden introduced the FMC.
- He introduced it at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference.
- The coalition wants to develop a healthy market for sustainable energy products.
- The FMC seeks to support the decarbonization of high-emitting industries such as aviation, steel, shipping, and chemicals.
- Leveraging their purchasing power will enable this.
Which countries participated?
- India, Japan, Norway, Italy, Sweden, the UK, the USA, Singapore, Germany, and Denmark.
- In 2023, Canada joined the alliance.
- FMC also includes 60 additional multinational corporations in addition to these nations.
What was India’s role?
- India sought for greater investments from Europe.
- The nation emphasised the importance of cooperation with other European nations.
- India discussed its Startup 20 agenda during meetings with various foreign leaders.
- India will host the S20, a science summit, concurrent with the G20 summit.
- India will host the G20 summit in 2023.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Delhi based hindi documentary secures BAFTA nomination to the 2023 film awards in London
A Hindi documentary shooted in New Delhi has secured a nomination to the 2023 film awards which was announced by the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) in London. Accordingly, the EE BAFTA Film Awards recognises exceptional storytelling and immensely talented people.
About the documentary-
The Hindi documentary ‘All That Breathes’ was directed by Delhi-based filmmaker Shaunak Sen. The documentary has been nominated in the Best Documentary category. It is also the only film to have won both the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival.
Krishnendu Majumdar, the Indian-origin chair of BAFTA stated-
“The range of films recognised by our 7,500 voters, spanning blockbusters to independent debuts, offers a uniquely British perspective on this year’s best films from around the world. It is a huge achievement to reach this final stage, congratulations to today’s nominees.”
Story of the documentary–
‘All That Breathes’ tells the story of two brothers, Nadeem and Saud. Both the brothers devote their lives to the effort of protecting the black kite, a majestic bird of prey essential to the ecosystem of New Delhi that has been falling from the sky at alarming rates. Amid environmental toxicity and social unrest, the so-called “kite brothers” spend day and night caring for the creatures in their basement hospital.
Other nominations received by BAFTA-
A total of 45 feature films have received BAFTA nominations in the 2023 Film Awards. It also includes a record of
- 14 nominations for the anti-war epic ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’,
- 10 nominations each for ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ and ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ and
- 9 for the biopic ‘Elvis’.
Also, blockbusters such as ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ have received nominations mainly in the technical categories.
Who and where was the nomination announcement made-
Actors Hayley Atwell and Toheeb Jimoh announced the nominations. They revealed the names via a live broadcast on Thursday from the BAFTA headquarters in London. The award ceremony will take place at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on February 19.
The final round of voting will open on Friday for the selection of the winners. The voting is done by the BAFTA membership and its opt-in chapters or juries. Around 215 people were nominated on Thursday.
Supreme Court to set up fresh 5-judge Bench to hear pleas challenging polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims
On Friday, the Supreme Court said that a 5- judge bench will be constituted to hear the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and ‘Nikah Halala’ practice among muslims.
About the Constitutional bench-
A 5 judge bench was comprises of-
- Justices Indira Banerjee,
- Hemant Gupta,
- Surya Kant,
- M M Sundresh and
- Sudhanshu Dhulia
Reason for constitution of the New Bench-
Lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay has filed the PILs on the issue and requested to constitute a fresh five judge bench as the two of the judges of the previous constitution bench have retired. There are as many as eight petitions against the practices of polygamy and ‘Nikah Halala’. The Judges retired on August 30 last year-
- Justice Indira Banerjee
- Justice Hemant Gupta
Statement of the Chief Justice of India-
“There are very important matters which are pending before a five-judge bench. We will constitute one and bear this matter in mind”
Why is a 5 Judge Bench constituted?
A 5 Judge bench was constituted for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) parties to the PILs and sought their responses.
About the PIL filed on the unconstitutionality of ‘Nikah Halala’-
The PIL was filed to seek direction to declare polygamy and ‘Nikah Halala’ unconstitutional and illegal.
As per the Muslim laws Polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives.
‘Nikah Halala’ deals with the process in which a Muslim woman, who wants to remarry her husband after divorce, has to first marry another person and get a divorce from him after the consummation of marriage.
SC dismisses a lawsuit seeking free public access to charge sheets
The SC on Friday held a charge sheet filed in criminal cases by investigating agencies. The court declared that the charge sheet is not a public document and cannot be put into the public domain for free access.
What does the PIL include-
SC has dismissed a lawsuit that seeked free public access to charge sheets. The judgement was sanctioned by a bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar. They have also said that uploading a charge sheet on public domain would be offensive to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
SC’s initial hearing-
The court on January 9 had reserved its judgement on the plea. The court had orally observed that if FIRs are given to those unrelated to the case like busybodies and NGOs, it might be misused. Accordingly, the plea was filed by journalist Saurav Das. He said that the court should give free public access to the charge sheet by the police in accordance with Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Also, Advocate Prashant Bhushan said that every member of the public has the right to be informed of who is accused, and who has committed a particular crime.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Alarm is raised by the Kole Wetland declining bird population
The Asian Water Bird Census recently found that there are significantly fewer birds in the Kole wetland. There are now 9,904 fewer waterbirds in the wetland than there were in 2022 (15,959). This is significant, and the survey blames the reduction on unscientific construction in the area.
Why is the census important?
- Kerala is home to the Kole wetlands.
- The 23rd AWC was conducted in 2023.
- Due to the dramatic reduction in the number of water birds, Kole wetlands are a serious problem.
- The loss of habitat in the area was the primary cause of the population drop.
- This is a result of trash disposal and unscientific construction.
- The ornithologists discovered some rare birds during the census of 2023 such as the Amur Falcon, Wood Sandpiper, and Cattle Egret.
- Rare migratory birds were spotted too like Painted Storks, Whiskered Tern, Garganey, and Ibis.
- Consequently, they are more worried about having their home taken away.
What is the Asian Water Bird Census?
- The census identifies and counts water birds, primarily concentrating on the decreasing bird population in wetlands.
- It is a component of the international census of waterbirds.
- Wetland International conducts the census.
- Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Neotropics are just a few of the regions across the world where the census is carried out.
- South and Central America are included in Neotropics.
- The first census was carried out in India in 1987.
- Wetlands International receives assistance from the Bombay Natural History Society to carry out the survey throughout the nation.
21st January 2023
IOA sets up a 7-member committee to investigate on allegations of sexual harassment made against WFI chief
IOA has set up a seven-member committee to investigate about the allegations of sexual harassment made against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The announcement of the formation of the committee was made on Friday. The members of the committee are
- Olympic medalist Mary Kom,
- Former archer Dola Banerjee,
- Alaknanda Ashok,
- London Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt,
- Indian Weightlifting Federation President Sahdev Yadav and two advocates.
Works of the committee-
The Indian Olympic Association’s seven-member committee will organise an unbiased investigation. This investigation is done regarding the charges filed by wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India President and its coaches. Wrestlers, including Olympic and CWG medalists, have started a protest in Delhi. The protest particularly includes women wrestlers who have charged serious allegations of sexual harassment against the president and coaches of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). They have also alleged about the mismanagement in the functioning of the federation.
About the protest-
The wrestler’s protest was initiated on Wednesday. The wrestlers have demanded a complete overhaul of the Federation. However, the WFI president Saran Singh has refused the allegations claiming that it is a ‘political conspiracy’.
Sahdev Yadav’s remarks-
The member of the 7-member committee said, “We will sit and listen to everyone and do an unbiased investigation after looking at the charges and try to give a fair justice.” Also on Thursday, a group of wrestlers had a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur which stretched till early this morning. The minister is likely to meet with the grapplers again on Friday at his residence.
Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya celebrates its statehood day
On January 21, 2023, the northeastern states of Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura celebrated their Statehood day. Accordingly, the Indian government granted their statehood on January 21, 1972, under the North Eastern Region (Reorganization) Act, 1971.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday welcomed the people of three northeast states -Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya on their Statehood day. In the last few years, both Tripura and Manipur have seen progress and growth. Also, people from Meghalaya have standed out in diverse fields.
Constantly, Manipur has been progressing in several sectors during the last few years. Mr. Modi wished that its people’s aspirations are fulfilled and the state keeps strengthening India’s growth count. Also, in the last five years, Tripura has shown a remarkable growth count. From agriculture to industry, education to health, the state has seen great advancement.
History and more facts about the statehood day-
This year marks the 51st foundation year for the three states which got statehood under the North Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act of 1971. While Manipur and Tripura were princely states which were absorbed into India in October 1949, Meghalaya was part of Assam after Independence. The states came into being in 1972 after the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, of 1971, was enacted. This resulted in a significant transformation in the boundaries of India’s Northeastern region.
How did the States attained statehood-
Accordingly, at the time of Independence, the Northeast consisted of plains. It has old Assam province, the mountainous regions and the North East Frontier Tracts (NEFT) of the Northeast Frontier Province. After independence, the princely states of Manipur and Tripura merged with India in 1949. Then, these states were granted the status of Union territories. Finally, in 1972, these three states were granted full statehood by the North Eastern Reorganization Act, 1972.
Tripura is a hilly state in northeast India, bordered on 3 sides by Bangladesh. It is a home to a diverse mix of tribal cultures and religious groups. In it’s capital Agartala, the imposing Ujjayanta Palace is build among Mughal gardens, and Gedu Mia’s Mosque has white marble domes and towers.
It is a state in Northeast India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west. It also borders two regions of Myanmar, Sagaing Region to the east and Chin State to the south.
It is a state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed on 21 January 1972 by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills and the Garo Hills.
Egyptian President, 180 military contingent to be a part of Republic Day
January 20, During the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to India, both the countries are expected to sign half a dozen Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in areas like agriculture and digitization. The Republic day will be celebrated on 26th January, 2023 in India and the Egyptian President will be the chief guest and around 180- military contingent from Egypt will take part in the celebrations.
Salutation of the Egyptian President during India visit-
- On 25 January, Abdel Fattah will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Egyptian President will also meet Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar
- He will also attend a banquet hosted by Indian President Droupadi Murmu
- He will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan
- Egyptian President is also expected to interact with the Indian business community
- To commemorate the 75 years of diplomatic ties between India and Egypt, a commemorative stamp will be released.
Defense Cooperation between India and Egypt-
The two countries have several exchanges at a minister-level such as the visit of the Indian Defense Minister and External Affairs minister to Egypt last year. The two countries are also involved in the robust military cooperation like
- The Indian Air Force participated in the first-ever joint exercise in Egypt.
- The first-ever joint exercise between the special forces of the Indian Army and the Egyptian Army named ‘Exercise Cyclone-I’ was held in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Relationship between Indian and Egypt-
Both the countries have a close political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues. The establishment of diplomatic relations was announced on 18 August,1947.
About Indian Republic Day-
India will celebrate its 74th Republic Day on January 26 this year. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 January, 1949 by the Constituent Assembly and came into effect on January 26, 1950.
- Every year, the celebrations marking the day feature spectacular military and cultural pageantry.
- In New Delhi, armed forces personnel march along the Kartavya path in an elaborate display of military might.
- The epic show on Kartavya path eclipses everything else happening across the country on this auspicious day.
President- Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Currency- Egyptian Pound
Gujarat firms sign 22 MoUs entailing investments worth Rs 40,000 cr in UP
On Friday, a senior official said that a total of 22 corporate entities from Gujarat have promised to invest approx. Rs 40,000 Cr in UP. This investment from Gujarat will create 50,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities in the state.
Statements of Additional Chief secretary in UP’s Sports and Youth Welfare Department-
On Friday, Navneet Sehgal, Chief Secretary in UP’s Sports and Youth Welfare Department has said that- These 22 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) amounting to Rs 40,000 crore were signed during the B2G meetings and roadshows organized by the Yogi Adityanath’s government.
“We have been successful in receiving investment proposals of Rs 40,000 crore from Gujarat. Through these MoUs, more than 50,000 employment opportunities will be created directly or indirectly in the state. At the same time, many other investors expressed their desire to invest several thousand crore rupees in UP. They will finalize their investment by participating in the UPGIS 2023.”
About the roadshows and meets-
- The roadshows and meets to be held in Lucknow between February 10-12 organized in the run up to UP Global Investors Summit.
- In Ahmedabad, UP minister AK Sharma accompanied by his cabinet colleague Jitin Prasada, Minister of State Jayendra Pratap Singh Rathore and Avanish Awasthi and GN Sign has led the B2G meetings and roadshows.
Statement of UP Minister-
UP Minister AK Sharma from Energy and Urban Development portfolio has said that-
“People used to avoid UP in the past because of its law and order situation, governance related issues and corruption. But, everything has changed under Yogiji. UP is having a peaceful atmosphere today and the state is now walking on the path shown by Gujarat. You must not miss this opportunity,”
About the MoUs-
- The Torrent Group has signed an MoU to invest Rs 25,000 crore in UP
- Dairy major Amul has also signed an MoU of Rs 900 crore to set up a milk plant in Baghpat
Chief Minister- Bhupendrabhai Patel
About Uttar Pradesh-
Chief Minister- Yogi Adityanath
India International Science Festival, a major science fest inaugurated in Bhopal
The CM of MP Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh cooperatively inaugurated IISF-2022 fest in Bhopal. The event will experience a NATS Exhibition/ Innovation Showcase, where Students will showcase the engineered prototypes and products in various cutting-edge areas.
Theme of the event-
The fest has been inaugurated with the theme of “Marching towards Amrit Kaal with Science Technology and Innovation”. The themes selected for the Young Scientist Conference are Frontier areas of:
- Science Research,
- Pandemic Challenges,
- Impacts and research in vaccine development,
- Water resources,
- Recycling and purification, etc
Attendees of the inaugural event-
- Shri Om Prakash Sakhlecha, Minister for Science & Technology,
- Prof. Ajay Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor,
- Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary Department of Bio Technology,
- Dr. N. Kalaiselvi, Secretary, DSIR,
- Dr. Sudhir Bhaduria, Secretary General, Vigyan Bharati,
- Dr. Sanjay Mishra, Senior Scientist, DBT,
- Nikunj Shrivastava, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, MP, etc.
Why is the fest organised-
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that IISF Bhopal will be organising when India has assumed the G20 Presidency in 2023. Prime Minister Narendra Modi the United Nations has also declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The Minister also informed that India will also be chairing Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet in 2023, thus illustrating India’s rising stature in the International Forum.
Activities in the four-day fest-
Accordingly, there would be around 15 important events in four-days science festival in Bhopal. One of such events is the Student Science Village, where 2500 students will be participating. They will be introduced to new technologies and innovations. Also, apart from Mega Start-ups Expo, 1500 young scientists will brainstorm on the advancing technology in all areas including Biotechnology.
Prime speakers in the event-
Some of the important Prime Speakers and Experts who are taking part in IISF are
- Dr. Krishna Ella, CMD, Bharat Biotech,
- Dr. Archana Sharma, CERN, Geneva,
- S.Somanath, Chairman, ISRO,
- Anand Deshpande, Founder & CMD Persistent Systems,
- Prof. A. P. Dimri, Director, DST-IIG,
- Dr. Anil Bhardwaj, Director, PRL,
- Prof. Amitava Patra, Director, INST Mohali,
- Prof. Tapas Chakraborty, Director IACS.
PM Modi to name 21 Andaman & Nicobar islands after Param Veer Chakra awardees on Parakram Diwas
On January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a ceremony to name the 21 largest nameless islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after recipients of the Param Vir Chakra. The ceremony will be held by video conference. “Parakram Diwas” is observed on January 23.
Why are the islands being named?
- According to the Prime Leader’s Office, the prime minister has always placed the utmost importance on paying respect to the nation’s real-life heroes.
- Following this, it was decided to give the 21 largest unnamed islands in the island group their names after the 21 recipients of the Param Vir Chakra.
- It stated that the largest unnamed island would be named after the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, the second largest unnamed island would be named after the second recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, and so on.
- In addition, PM Modi will reveal a scale model of the National Memorial honouring Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, which will be situated on the island bearing his name.
Who are the islands being named after?
The unnamed islands will be named after
- Major Somnath Sharma
- Subedar and Honorary Captain Karam Singh
- Second Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane
- Nayak Jadunath Singh
- Company Havildar Major Piru Singh
- Capt GS Salaria
- Lieutenant Colonel Dhan Singh Thapa
- Subedar Joginder Singh
- Major Shaitan Singh
- Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid
- Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore.
- Lance Naik Albert Ekka
- Major Hoshiar Singh
- Second Lt. Arun Khetrapal
- Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon
- Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran
- Naib Subedar Bana Singh
- Captain Vikram Batra
- Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey
- Subedar Major Sanjay Kumar
- Subedar Major (retd) Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav.
Have any Islands been named previously?
- When Prime Minister Modi visited Ross Island in 2018, he changed the name to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep.
- In addition, Neil Island was renamed Shaheed Dweep and Havelock Island was renamed Swaraj Dweep.
What is the Param Vir Chakra award?
- It was instituted on 26 Jan 1950.
- It recognizes the most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy.
- It can be either on land, at sea, or in the air.
About Andaman & Nicobar Islands
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a Union Territory.
- The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located in the east of the Indian mainland geographically, surrounded by the Bay of Bengal.
- The capital is Port Blair.
About Narendra Modi
- Shri Narendra Modi was sworn-in as India’s Prime Minister on 30th May 2019.
- This is the start of his second term in office.
- Shri Modi has previously served as the Prime Minister of India from 2014 to 2019.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins is set to replace Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand’s New Prime Minister
Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s Labour MP and education minister Chris Hipkins is set to become New Zealand’s next prime minister. Chris is the only nominee for the party’s leadership. Chris is expected to be confirmed as the new leader at a meeting of Labour’s 64 lawmakers on Sunday.
Statement of Chris Hipkins-
“I think we’re an incredibly strong team,”
“We’ve gone through this process with unity and we’ll continue to do that. I’m feeling really fortunate to be working with such an amazing group of people who have a real commitment to the service of the people of New Zealand.”
Reason for the re-election-
Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister of the New-Zealand has announced that she is resigning after five and half years of her service and said that- “no more in the tank” to lead the country and would step down and not seek re-election.
About Chris Hipkins-
Chris Hipkins is a minister of police, education and public service. In the year 2008, he was first elected in the parliament and in November 2020, he was appointed as a minister for Covid-19. For 15 years Chris worked as a lawmaker and is known as a political troubleshooter as he has worked on various roles to solve the problems created by other lawmakers.
Statement from Green Party’s Labour Traditional Coalition Partner-
Co- Leader of the Green Party James Shaw has said that – “Chris will make an excellent Prime Minister and we look forward to continuing our work together, for the rest of this term and the next.”
What type of government does New-Zealand have?
There is a parliamentary democracy with a governmental structure similar to Germany. In 1996 New Zealand adopted the MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) system. Legislative power is vested in the single-chamber House of Representatives (Parliament), the members of which are elected for three-year terms. The political party or coalition of parties that commands a majority in the House forms the government and the leader of the governing party becomes the prime minister.
India-New Zealand relations–
Both the countries have a longstanding long standing, friendly and growing relationship. Ties between both the countries go back to the 1800s, with Indians settling in Christchurch as early as the 1850s. Larger numbers of immigrants from Punjab and Gujarat came to New Zealand in the 1890s. Indian troops fought alongside the Anzacs in Gallipoli in 1915.
About New Zealand-
Prime Minister- Jacinda Ardern
Currency- New Zealand Dollar
UNESCO dedicated the 2023 International Day of Education to Afghan girls and women
On Thursday, the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has announced that the International Day of Education i.e. January 24 was dedicated to the Afghan women and girls.
Statement of UNESCO-
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO said that-
“No country in the world should bar women and girls from receiving an education. Education is a universal human right that must be respected,”
“The international community has the responsibility to ensure that the rights of Afghan girls and women are restored without delay. The war against women must stop.”
“The country risks a lost generation as educated women are essential for its development,”
“Afghanistan or any other country – cannot advance if half of its population is not allowed to pursue an education and participate in public life.”
“Everyone has the right to education. Everybody. But in Afghanistan, girls and women have been deprived of this fundamental right,
Reason for announcing the dedicating International Day of Education-
UNESCO has taken this step following any earlier directives prohibiting secondary education of the girls and issued mere months after the fundamentalist group regained power in August 2021 in Kabul. Due to this Afghanistan has become the only country in the world where women and girls don’t have access to education. As per the report UNESCO of Afghanistan between 2001-218-
- Afghanistan recorded a tenfold increase in enrollment across all education levels
- The number of girls in primary school increased from almost zero to 2.5 million.
- Women’s presence in higher education also increased almost 20 fold
Current Situation of Afghan Women-
- 80 per cent of school-aged Afghan girls and women, 2.5 million, are out of school.
- The order suspending university education for women, announced in December,
- It affected more than 100,000 girls and women attending government and private institutions.
- UNESCO is working towards immediate access to education and schools for all girls and young women.
UNESCO’s steps towards Afghan women education-
UNESCO has worked towards supporting the Afghan Women education through
- Running a literacy programme that had helped over 600,000 young people
- Activities to ensure continuity of education through community- based literacy and skills development classes for over 25000 young people and adults.
- Run campaigns to increase public awareness of the right to education for youth and adults
- Took initiative to ensure reliable education data so that it can direct funding to meet the most critical outstanding needs.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.
Supreme Leader- Hibatullah Akhundzada
Acting Prime Minister- Hasan Akhund
Currency- Afghan Afghani (AFN)
US aviation FAA software system experienced a major outrage
The US has held the third-party contractors responsible for last week’s major outage which prohibited thousands of flights. The contractors were accused of “unintentionally deleting files” while working on the 30-year-old software.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) remarks-
It has said that the files were deleted while working to fix the synchronisation between the live primary database and a backup database. It has also said that the agency has found no evidence of any cyber-attack or malicious activity. However, the FAA continues its investigation on the outage.
Which system was breached-
The breach was done in the FAA software. It grounded thousands of flights in the country earlier this week. The system is at least 30 years old and six years away from being updated.
Necessary steps take by the officials-
The aviation administration has said that it has made the necessary fixings to the system. It has also taken measures to make the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system “more resilient”. The agency has made certain efforts to ensure the continuing robustness of the nation’s air traffic control system.
Number of systems affected by the breach-
Due to the massive nationwide technical glitch, more than 10,000 flights in and out of the US were delayed. In that, more than 1,300 others were cancelled. Accordingly, President Joe Biden had directed for a full investigation into the incident.
Record inflows into emerging market funds are sparked by China’s reopening: BofA
According to statistics released on Friday by BofA Global Research, investors pumped a record $12.7 billion into emerging-market debt and equity funds in the week leading up to Wednesday. This is in response to China’s relaxation of its Covid-19 activity limits.
What is the data?
- Many various asset classes, from commodities and mining stocks to currencies and equities markets in well-known tourist locations, have benefited from the abrupt change in Chinese policy.
- The benchmark index for Hong Kong’s stocks, the Hang Seng Index, closed on Friday at more than a six-month high.
- Blue chips for Chinese onshore companies entered the break at a five-month high.
- Additionally, according to the BofA statistics, there were weekly inflows of $14.4 billion into bond funds, $7.5 billion into equity funds, $0.6 billion into cash, and $0.6 billion out of gold.
How is it significant?
- After almost a year, European stocks had their first weekly inflow.
- The first inflows to European stock funds in 49 weeks, according to BofA, totalled $0.2 billion.
- Both China’s reopening and the recent drop in gas costs have benefited Europe.
- Because of the influx of capital into emerging markets, BofA’s “Bull & Bear indicator” is at 3.5, a 10-month high.
What is BofA?
- Bank of America is one of the top financial organisations in the world.
- It offers a broad variety of banking, investment management, and other financial and risk management products and services.
- These services are provided to individuals, small- and middle-market enterprises, major corporations, and governments.
President: Xi Jinping
No decision for 110 days direct encouragement to horse-trading: Raj HC
The Rajasthan High Court has ordered the submission of all original records of the resignations of 81 Congress MLAs that took place in September last year. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mittal and Justice Shubha Mehta issued the interim order on Friday, which also calls for the submission of the original copy of the order issued by the Speaker regarding the rejection of their resignations by January 30, 2023, for the next hearing.
The court questioned whether the resignations submitted by the MLAs can be kept pending indefinitely by the Speaker and if yes, for how long? The bench gave this order while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore.
The court expressed displeasure over the non-production of the Speaker’s order and commented that pendency for a long time over the resignation is like promoting horse-trading. Chief Justice Pankaj Mittal said that the Speaker has taken a decision on the resignations, but there should be a fixed time limit for this. It should not be kept pending for long.
During the hearing, Advocate General M.S. Singhvi said that there is a provision in the rules that resignation can be withdrawn, to which the court commented that the MLAs are sometimes resigning, sometimes withdrawing and they are not able to decide on their own whether they will remain as public representatives or not.
Arguments presented by the respondent:
- Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore presented an application pointing out that earlier it was said that 91 MLAs resigned, but now only 81 MLAs are being told to resign.
- He argued that in such a situation, the affidavit of the Assembly Secretary itself becomes suspicious.
- He also requested for an inquiry to be conducted regarding the resignations of 91 MLAs 110 days ago and for the order rejecting the resignations to be brought on the record of the court.
- He also requested for the withholding of the MLAs’ remunerations as they had no right to take salary and allowances and other facilities until the time their resignations were not accepted.
Gabon Foreign Minister Michael Moussa Adamo passes away, Jaishankar condoles demise
The Gabonese Foreign Minister, Michael Moussa Adamo, passed away on Friday at the age of 62. He reportedly died of a heart attack during a cabinet meeting. The President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, announced the news on Twitter, calling Adamo a “great diplomat and a loyal friend” and calling his death a “huge loss for Gabon.”
India and Maldives have expressed their condolences for Adamo’s death. India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, took to Twitter to express his grief, calling Adamo a “friend of India” and extending condolences to his family and the government of Gabon.
Abdulla Shahid’s response:
The Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, also tweeted that he will miss Adamo’s friendship and wise advice, and extended his condolences to his family and loved ones.
About Moussa Adamo:
Moussa Adamo was born in the northeastern town of Makokou in 1961 and began his career as a national television broadcaster. He eventually became the chief of staff to President Bongo as defense minister in 2000. After the death of President Bongo’s father in 2009, Adamo served as Bongo’s special advisor.
Gabon is a country located on the west coast of Central Africa. It is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo to the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. Gabon has a population of around 2 million people and its capital and largest city is Libreville.
22nd January 2023
Assam government plans to construct a modern floating jetty on the Brahmaputra river
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has announced that the centre has been planning to construct a modern floating jetty on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Sonitpur district. The aim of this plan is to ease the movement of cargo and passengers via waterways.
Where will be jetty build–
Accordingly, the union government has prepared a plan to build this facility at the historic Biswanath ghat. Once the floating jetty is built, it will facilitate the docking of three ships simultaneously.
Advantages of the floating jetty-
The new jetty will help to boost the local economy. The facility will help farmers and traders to transport and export their produce via waterways. Accordingly, the Centre’s ‘Act East’ policy has done wonders for the economic revival of the region in the global trade map. The main aim is to reenergise India’s traditional routes of trade via the Brahmaputra river.
About Union Minister-
Sarbananda Sonowal is an Indian politician from Assam. He is the current Cabinet Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Cabinet Minister of AYUSH. He is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Assam and also a member of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.
Mumbai’s air quality index in ‘poor’ category, Delhi at ‘very poor’
Mumbai and Delhi, two of India’s major cities, have recently been experiencing poor air quality, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
On Sunday, the AQI of Mumbai was measured at 245, with some areas such as Mazegaon recording a ‘very poor’ AQI of 313. The AQI in Delhi was also recorded at 245, with areas near Delhi University measuring an AQI of 290. In the National Capital Region, Noida had the highest AQI at 303, while Gurugram was recorded as ‘moderate’ at 169.
About The Air Quality Index (AQI):
The Air Quality Index (AQI) ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 to 50 considered as good, 51 to 100 as satisfactory, 101 to 200 as moderate, 201 to 300 as poor, 301 to 400 as very poor, and above 400 as severe.
Recent Development in AQI:
The Union government recently revoked actions under the graded response action plan (GRAP) stage III due to a significant decrease in pollution. However, the AQI in both Mumbai and Delhi remains in the poor to very poor range, indicating the need for continued efforts to improve air quality in these cities.
IAF to conduct annual command-level exercise in eastern sector after 2 years
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to conduct an annual command-level exercise in the eastern sector in the first week of February, the IAF said Saturday. The exercise, named Poorvi Akash, is being conducted after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exercise will involve the activation of the Command’s fighter, helicopter and transport assets towards the routine practice of aerial drills, including joint exercises.
- The exercise in February will be conducted on a bigger scale and will validate the IAF’s operational capabilities in the eastern sector.
- This comes as the Indian Air Force will also carry out Exercise Pralay involving all its major air bases in the northeast including the recently moved drone squadrons in the northeast amid the ongoing standoff with China, informed officials.
- The exercise planned to be held in the next few days also comes at a time when the Indian Air Force has deployed and activated the S-400 air defence squadron in the area which can take on any enemy aircraft or missile from a distance of up to 400 km.
- According to officials, the exercise would see major combat assets of the Air Force including the Rafale and Su-30 fighter jets activated along with the transport and other aircraft.
- The IAF recently moved a squadron of drones from other bases to the northeast to augment its capabilities of monitoring adversary activities along the Sikkim and the Siliguri Corridor sector.
This exercise is a demonstration of India’s military readiness and strength, especially in the Eastern sector, where the country shares a long border with China. The exercise will also help in maintaining and enhancing the combat readiness and joint manship of the IAF, especially in the Eastern sector.
Eastern Air Command:
Headquartered in Shillong, the Eastern Air Command is one of the five operational commands of the Indian Air Force and controls air operations in the eastern sector. Its area of responsibility includes a 6300 km-long international boundary with China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
The IAF’s Eastern Command in Shillong has the entire northeast air space to look after along the China border and frequently scrambles its fighters the moment the Chinese try to fly too close to the LAC or move in a direction towards Indian locations there.
IAF and old Exercise:
The Indian Air Force (IAF) regularly conducts exercises in order to maintain and enhance its combat readiness and joint manship. These exercises can range from small-scale, unit-level exercises to large-scale, command-level exercises.
One example of a large-scale exercise is Gagan Shakti, which is a pan-India exercise that is conducted every two years. The exercise is designed to test the IAF’s readiness and its ability to conduct operations in a realistic war-like scenario. It involves the participation of all IAF assets including fighters, transport aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Another example of an IAF exercise is Iron Fist, which is an annual exercise that focuses on the IAF’s capability to launch an integrated air-ground attack. The exercise includes participation from the Indian Army and the Indian Navy and features a range of aircraft and weapons systems.
The IAF also conducts bilateral exercises with other air forces. For example, the IAF has conducted annual joint exercises with the US Air Force, called Cope India, which focus on air combat and air-to-air refueling. The IAF has also conducted joint exercises with the air forces of other countries such as France, Russia, and Israel.
In addition to these exercises, the IAF also conducts regular training and maintenance activities to ensure that its aircraft and personnel are ready for operations at all times. These activities are essential for the IAF to maintain its high level of readiness and effectively defend India’s airspace.
Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Patralekh introduces a new water conservation scheme in the state
Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh introduced a new water conservation scheme on Saturday. Accordingly, the scheme has an outlay of Rs 467.32 crore. It has been launched with an aim to offer benefits to the farmers in the state who suffered drought last year.
Activities under the programme–
Under the programme, around 2,133 ponds will be renovated. Along with it, around 2,795 percolation tanks will be constructed in all the blocks of 24 districts of the state. The minister also laid the foundation for the renovation work of about 71 ponds and 184 percolation tanks. A percolation tank is an artificially built surface water body to fill in the groundwater storage.
Badal Patralekh’s remarks-
“The government is making all efforts for the benefit of Jharkhand farmers. The state government has received about 31.33 lakh applications from drought-hit farmers and 8.5 lakhs of them have so far been given financial aid. Our effort is to provide Rs 1,200 crore as relief to 30 lakh drought-affected farmers soon.”
In October 2022, the government also decided to provide a cash relief of Rs 3,500 to each farming family hit by the scarcity of rain.
About Badal Patralekh-
Patralekh is an Indian politician from the Congress party. He is the current Minister for Agriculture in the Government of Jharkhand. He is also the current MLA of the Jarmundi constituency, representing the Congress party.
It is a state in eastern India. It’s known for its waterfalls, the elegant Jain temples of Parasnath Hill and the elephants and tigers of Betla National Park. The state capital of Ranchi is a gateway to the park. It features the 17th-century Jagannath Temple, a Hindu shrine and the Jharkhand.
India stands on Implementing 13A in Sri Lanka
13A, an agreement to implement Sri Lanka’s 13th constitutional amendment was agreed between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. Under the agreement, the Sri Lankan government will grant authority to the nation’s Tamil community. India’s consideration of 13A’s implementation is “CRITICAL,” according to recent comments made by Minister of External Affairs Jai Shankar. India claims 13A is necessary for the Sri Lankan government to reach out to the nation’s Tamil population.
What is 13A?
- The 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is designated as 13A.
- The Tamil population in the nation will gain more power as a result.
- In Sri Lanka, Tamils make up a small percentage of the population and demand a separate state.
- The Sri Lankan government consented to expand the rights of Tamils in the nation through 13A in 1987 due to the efforts of the Indian Union Government.
- 13A was not, however, put into practice.
What is the significance of 13A?
- The Tamilians dominated the nation during the British era.
- Only 11% of Sri Lanka’s population was Tamil, while 11.2% of the country’s people were Sinhalese.
- The pattern began to change in 1948, the year the British left the island and Sinhalese came to power disenfranchising the Tamilians.
- As a result, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, were founded in 1976.
- When the fights between LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government reached their peak in 1983, India began to interfere.
- The war came to an end in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed the LTTE leader.
- Despite the end of the conflict, the situation for Tamils in the nation has barely changed.
- They continue to experience discrimination which is why India is once again making comments.
About Sri Lanka
Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
President: Ranil Wickremesinghe
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Brazil President Lula dismissed Brazil’s army chief amid the Jan 8 revolt
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva dismissed Brazil’s army chief Gen. Julio Cesar de Arruda on Saturday. He has been removed as the head of the army. The decision was made amid the concerns over threats to the country’s democracy following the January 8 revolt in the capital by protesters. The announcement of the dismissal was made on the official website of the Brazilian armed forces.
New head of the army-
Arruda was replaced by Gen. Toms Miguel Ribeiro Paiva. Paiva was head of the Southeast Military Command. For several weeks, the military has been targeted by Lula after the former President Jair Bolsonaro supporters protested against the government and damaged official buildings and destroyed public property.
Blame on the army-
Lula has said numerous times publicly that some of the army officials are the ones who allowed the rioting to happen. Defense Minister Jose Mucio, chief of staff Rui Costa said that the Jan 8 riots had caused “a fracture in the level of trust” in the army. Due to this, the government has decided that a change was needed.
About the President-
Silva is a Brazilian politician and trade unionist who has served as the 39th president of Brazil since 1 January 2023. He is the member of the Worker’s Party. Previously, he was also the 35th president from 2003 to 2010.
China no longer comfortable with status quo on Taiwan: Antony Blinken
China is no longer comfortable with the status quo on Taiwan, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a conversation with the University of Chicago Institute of Politics Founding Director David Axelrod on Friday. Blinken’s comments come amid renewed alarm over Beijing’s intentions towards Taipei. He pointed to China’s growing efforts to isolate Taiwan and the major military exercises it carried out near it in August as reasons for concern.
Blinken said that the status quo, which has prevailed for decades, has been vital for maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. “What we’ve seen over the last few years is, I think, China makes a decision that it was no longer comfortable with the status quo, a status quo that had prevailed for decades that had actually been successful in terms of the relationship between our countries and managing what is a difficult situation,” he said.
The US Secretary of State also expressed alarm over the situation in Hong Kong, which he said was one of the most sobering realities for people around the world and the reason why the world is so concerned about Taiwan. He called the gutting of China’s “one country, two systems” a “profound effect not only for people in Hong Kong but beyond.”
Blinken’s comments come ahead of his planned visit to Beijing from February 5 to 6, the first trip by a US Secretary of State to China since October 2018. The trip was decided after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks on wide-ranging friction between the two countries in November in Bali, Indonesia.
In recent months, Beijing has increased its military activity and routinely sends several warplanes and vessels toward Taiwan in an effort to intimidate the island. It has also warned foreign delegations visiting Taiwan that they are “playing with fire.” China views Taiwan as its own territory and has been ramping up political, military, and economic pressure to assert its claims.
China and Taiwan have a complex and contentious relationship. Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), was established in 1912 following the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. However, in 1949, the Communist Party of China (CPC) under Mao Zedong defeated the Nationalists in a civil war and established the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan and set up a government there.
- China’s viewpoint:
China has claimed Taiwan as a part of its territory and has never recognized the ROC as a separate sovereign state. Beijing has consistently advocated for reunification with Taiwan, through peaceful means if possible, but has not ruled out the use of force.
- Taiwan’s viewpoint:
Taiwan, on the other hand, has maintained its independence and has developed into a democratic society with its own government and political system.
- Current Relation:
The relationship between China and Taiwan has been marked by tension and sporadic military conflicts. China has been increasing its military, political and economic pressure on Taiwan to assert its claims over the island. Beijing has also been trying to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, by pressuring other countries not to recognize it as a separate country and limiting its participation in international organizations.
France want to be partner in building national base for defence industries in India: French envoy Lenain
Speaking to reporters on board the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, which took part in the Indo-French naval exercise ‘Varuna’ off the Goa coast, Lenain said the two countries can co-produce a lot of equipment for the defence and space sectors.
France is committed to making the best technologies available to Indian forces without restrictions, he added.
Lenain stated that France has fully understood India’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) as the French are also a highly independent country and have gone through a similar process.
He also said that when India is looking to diversify its suppliers, France is a great option.
India -France Relations According to Lenain:
The bilateral ties between India and France are exceptionally good and trustworthy, according to Lenain.
He stated that the best way to assert strategic autonomy is by cooperating together and that the two countries can co-produce a lot of equipment for the defence and space sectors.
The Indo-French naval exercise that began on January 16th culminated on Friday, with a French Navy official stating that it exemplifies the outstanding Indo-French naval cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
France is a country located in Western Europe. It is the largest country in the European Union and has a population of over 66 million people. The capital and largest city is Paris, and the official language is French. The current President of France is Emmanuel Macron. The country has a rich history and culture and is known for its art, wine, cuisine, and landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.
New Zealand’s new PM Hipkins names Carmel Sepuloni as deputy PM
New Zealand’s incoming Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has named Carmel Sepuloni as the new deputy Prime Minister. The announcement was made at a press conference on Sunday after Hipkins was confirmed as the successor to Jacinda Ardern as party leader and Prime Minister.
Significance of Hipkins:
Hipkins, 44, rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic, taking on a crisis management role. However, he and other liberals have long been in the shadow of Ardern, who became a global icon of the left and exemplified a new style of leadership.
Ardern, who was just 37 when she became leader, was praised for her handling of the nation’s worst-ever mass shooting and the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite her popularity, Ardern faced mounting political pressures at home and a level of vitriol from some that previous New Zealand leaders hadn’t faced. Online, she was subject to physical threats and misogynistic rants.
Details of Appointment:
Hipkins will have only a little more than eight months in the role before contesting a general election. Opinion polls have indicated that Labour is trailing its main opponent, the conservative National Party. The appointment of Sepuloni as Deputy Prime Minister is seen as a move to unite the party and avoid a drawn-out contest for the leadership position.
New Zealand is a country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is made up of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, as well as numerous smaller islands. The capital and largest city is Wellington, and the official languages are English and Maori. The population of New Zealand is around 5 million people.
New Zealand is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, including its rugged mountains, lush forests, and stunning beaches. The country is also famous for its adventure tourism, with activities such as hiking, skiing, and bungee jumping popular among visitors.
FTA between India-UK to be signed this year but no more visa offers, according to UK minister
It is anticipated that the free trade agreement, FTA between India-UK would be completed this year. The British trade minister in charge of the discussions has said that it will not include any increase in the number of offers of free movement visas for Indians.
Background of the negotiations
- The UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) discussions entered their sixth round on December 12-13, 2022.
- The Secretary of State for International Trade Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP visited India.
- She welcomed the most recent round of negotiations and talked about expanded trade and investment prospects for the UK and India during her meeting with Piyush Goyal, the Honourable Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
- The sixth round of negotiations for a UK-India FTA came to an end on December 16, 2022, between the United Kingdom and the Republic of India.
- This round of negotiations was handled in a hybrid manner, similar to previous ones; some UK representatives travelled to New Delhi while others participated virtually.
- Over 28 separate sessions, technical discussions were done about 11 different policy issues.
- In these policy areas, they featured in-depth discussions of the proposed treaty text.
- Beginning in early 2023, there will be the seventh round of official-level negotiations.
What are the current discussions?
- The UK’s FTA with Australia was one of the first trade deals made after Brexit, and the UK Secretary of State for Trade has ruled out any meaningful similarities between the FTAs with India and Australia.
- Badenoch said that this is not a pact that negotiates any form of free movement with India in response to increased visa offers.
- The minister hinted that he would be willing to make accommodations on issues like business mobility, but he ruled out the notion of giving Indians the same arrangement as Australians, who are allowed to live and work in the UK for three years.
- India and the UK’s bilateral trade presently amounts to about GBP 29.6 billion annually, according to official UK government data.
- Both parties formally began FTA negotiations at the beginning of last year, and although that October 2022 Diwali date was missed, Sunak promised to move “at pace” toward an FTA that does not compromise quality for speed.
About the U.K.
- Prime minister: Rishi Sunak Trending
- Capital: London
- Currency: Pound Sterling
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu dismisses Aryeh Deri’s due to a court decision
After the Supreme Court rejected Aryeh Deri’s appointment, which shook the newly formed cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed a prominent minister from his position on Sunday.
Who is Aryeh Deri?
- Aryeh Deri is an Israeli politician.
- He is the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish party Shas.
- Following Israel’s elections on November 1, he was appointed health and interior minister last month as part of a coalition agreement.
- In the 1980s and 1990s, he held ministerial roles; nevertheless, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, he was charged with corruption and sentenced to two years in prison.
- On October 16, 2012, he returned to his position as Shas leader after a thirteen-year absence.
What was the court’s ruling?
- Due to a tax evasion conviction from a year ago, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Benjamin Netanyahu “must dismiss Deri from his position.”
- The judges claimed Deri appeared to want to leave politics in order to receive a lesser punishment.
- The seasoned politician was fined $50,000 (180,000 shekels) and forced to resign from his parliamentary position, but he sought office once more in the November elections.
- Legislation permitting those convicted of crimes but not sentenced to prison to serve as ministers was passed by lawmakers last month.
- A summary of the court’s ruling states that the judges determined Deri’s appointment “could not stand” because it was “very irrational.”
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has held office the longest, is presently on trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust; he rejects the accusations.
What is the situation in Israel?
- Early in January, the government unveiled an ambitious plan to reform the judiciary, which has led to widespread protest.
- On Saturday, tens of thousands of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv against the contentious proposals, which include giving parliament more authority to choose judges and overturn Supreme Court rulings.
- The Supreme Court in Israel, which does not have a constitution, currently has the power to overturn laws that it deems unfair or discriminatory.
- Capital: Jerusalem
- President: Isaac Herzog
- Currency: Israeli New Shekel
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Vocalist Prabha Atre honored with the Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia Lifetime Achievement Award
Vocalist Dr Prabha Atre was honored with the Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde presented the award to her. He felicitated Dr Atre at a function at Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangayatan.
Reward presented to Dr Atre–
Shinde presented Dr Atre with award and also Rs 1 lakh at the programme. At the programme around 90 flautists performed to mark her 90th birthday. Shinde also said that his government was committed to promoting arts and classical music.
Prabha Atre was born on 13 September 1932. She is an Indian classical vocalist from the Kirana gharana. She has been awarded all three of the Padma Awards by the Government of India. When Atre was eight, her mother was not well and at a friend’s suggestion that classical music lessons would help her feel better, she took a few lessons. Listening to those lessons inspired Atre to learn the classical music.
Atre gained a Bachelor of Science from Fergusson College in Pune. Later, she also completed an LL.B. from University of Pune Law College. She has also gained a PhD in music. Atre has taught,
- Performing lecture-demonstrations, and
- Writing on the topic of Indian classical music.
About Hariprasad Chaurasia-
Hariprasad Chaurasia was born on 1 July 1938. He is an Indian music director and classical flautist, who plays the bansuri, in the Hindustani classical tradition. He has received the highest recognition of Padma Bhushan (1992) and Padma Vibhushan (2000)
Basic structure doctrine: V-P criticised it, Chief Justice of India calls it the ‘north star, guiding light
The Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud, has defended the “basic structure” doctrine of the Indian Constitution, stating that it is like a “north star” that provides guidance for the interpretation of the Constitution. The doctrine, which was established in the 1973 Kesavananda Bharati case, holds that certain parts of the Constitution are so fundamental that they cannot be amended.
His comments come after Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar questioned the doctrine, stating that it sets a “bad precedent” and that if any authority questions the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution, it would be difficult to say “we are a democratic nation”.
CJI Chandrachud stated that the basic structure of the Constitution is based on the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law, separation of powers, judicial review, secularism, federalism, freedom, and the dignity of the individual, as well as the unity and integrity of the nation. He added that from time to time, people like Nani Palkhivala, an eminent jurist, are needed to hold candles in their steady hands to light the world around us.
The Vice-President’s statements have sparked a debate on the issue of appointment to the higher judiciary with the government questioning the current Collegium system and the Supreme Court defending it.
Significance of basic structure principle:
The basic structure principle has been used as the ground for setting aside several Constitutional amendments, including the quashing of the Constitutional amendment and the corresponding NJAC Act on the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary.
Kunlavut Vitidsarn and An Seyoung became champions at the India Open after their wins in singles finals
Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Korea’s An Seyoung became champions at the India Open after their wins in singles finals. They have defeated the two-time world champions Viktor Axelsen and Akane Yamaguchi in their men’s and women’s singles finals on Sunday.
Kunlavut defeated Olympic champion Axelsen of Denmark in 22-20, 10-21, 21-12 in 64 minutes. By this, he has claimed his Super 750 tournament title. On the other hand, An defeated champion Yamaguchi in 15-21 21-16 21-12 in the women’s singles summit.
Who is Kunlavut Vitidsarn-
He was born 11 May 2001.He is a Thai badminton player with three-times World Junior champion in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He is the only one ro win this title three times. He has also claimed the gold medal at the Asian Junior Championships in 2019, where he earlier won a silver in 2018 and bronze in 2017.
Who is An Se-young-
An was born on 5 February 2002. She is a South Korean badminton player from Gwangju. She was awarded as the 2019’s Most Promising Player of the Year by the BWF.
Winners of the match-
World No.11 Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang were the winners in men’s doubles. The other two doubles matches didn’t take place due to the two players backout from the match. Both were Chinese pairs. They departed from the match on the final day of the tournament due to ill health.
Who were the departed pairs-
Wang Yi Lyu and Chen Qing Chen were reported sick. Accordingly, Wang Yi Lyu was selected to play the mixed doubles final with Huang Dong Ping, and Chen Qing Chen was expected to feature in the women’s doubles final with Jia Yi Fan. It was reported that both the players were suffering from diarrhoea. Due to such conditions,they withdrew their names from their respective matches. Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida from Japan, won the women’s doubles crown in the match.
It is a Southeast Asian country. It’s known for tropical beaches, rich royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, which is the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities.
It is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south.
23rd January 2023
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti 2023
Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti will be observed today as he was borned on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Odisha. January 23, 2023 is the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji. This day is also referred to as the Parakram Diwas and is celebrated to honor the life of Subhas Chandra Bose. Subhas Chandra Bose was the imminent leader, freedom fighter of the Indian National Army and the title of Netaji was given by the Indian and German officials at the Special Bureau of India in Berlin.
Importance of Parakram Diwas 2023-
- Parakram Diwas is celebrated on 23 January.
- It is celebrated on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
- Netaji was one of the prominent heroes and leaders of India’s Independence struggle.
- He fought for independence throughout his life.
- It is celebrated to commemorate the legendary freedom fighter’s extraordinary contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.
- Netaji’s Birthday is designated as Parakram Diwas in 2021.
- It is celebrated to develop the sense of patriotism in the hearts of Indian citizens.
- To encourage the younger to act with courage when faced with any challenges.
Quotes from the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose-
- One individual may die for an idea, but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives
- Tum mujhe khoon do main tumhe azadi doonga’ (Give me blood, I shall give you freedom).
- A true soldier needs both military and spiritual training.
- Men, money and materials cannot by themselves bring victory or freedom. We must have the motive-power that will inspire us to brave deeds and heroic exploits.
- No real change in history has ever been achieved by discussions.
- Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible.
About Subhas Chandra Bose-
- In 1921, Bose joined the nationalist movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress.
- He followed Jawaharlal Nehru to leadership in a group within the Congress which was less keen on constitutional reform and more open to socialism.
- Bose became Congress president in 1938.
- Bose had founded the Azad Hind Fauj, also called the Indian National Army (INA) which attacked the Britishers from the eastern side of the then undivided India.
Air Force Station Gorakhpur will held a public outreach programme ‘Know Your Forces’
Air Force Station Gorakhpur will hold a public outreach programme called ‘Know Your Forces‘. This programme is being organised as a part of the 74th Republic Day celebrations on Tuesday. It has been held to showcase the strength of the Indian Air Force and inspire the young talents to join the defence forces.
What will the event observe-
The event will include showcasing and an aerial display of fighter
- Helicopters, and
- Other IAF assets and slithering operations by Special Forces.
- The attendees will also be given details about the role and various career opportunities in the Indian Air Force.
What is a slithering operation-
A slithering operation means an exercise, in which troops are dropped from a chopper using a rope at a location where the helicopter cannot land. Below are some of the army troops that carries slithering operations:
- Para (Special Forces)- These forces are also known as Para SF. They are a group of special forces battalions of the Parachute Regiment in the Indian Army.
- The National Disaster Response Force- NDRF is an Indian specialized force constituted “for the purpose of special response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster.” The apex body for disaster management also carries out slithering operations.
Aim of the programme-
The programme mainly focuses on to inspire and motivate the youth of Gorakhpur and surrounding areas to join the army. The programme is also held to familiarise youngsters with the Indian Armed Forces and Indian Air Force in general.
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks third amongst the air forces of the world. Its mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflicts. IAF was officially established on 8 October 1932.
Vagir, 5th Submarine of Kalavari class, commissioned into Indian Navy
VAGIR is the fifth Scorpene-class conventional submarine. It was delivered and commissioned in the Indian Navy on 23 January 2023. The sea trials for VAGIR commenced on 1 February,2022 and was launched into water on 12 November 2020.
Reason for Commissioning of INS VAGIR Submarine-
- The commissioning of the INS VAGIR submarine in Indian Navy will bolster the Navy’s combat capability
- It is build while keeping in mind, China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean region
- To bolster maritime capabilities with a focus on the Indian Ocean
- At the induction ceremony R Hari Kumar, Navy Chief Admiral was present
About the Project-75-
- Six submarines were built under the Project-75.
- The Project includes construction of Six Submarines of Scorpene design.
- Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) under a collaboration with the Naval group of France have constructed the submarines
- The submarines were built under the technology transfer from Naval Group of France under a $3.75 billion deal.
Statement from the Ministry of Defense-
“The induction of Vagir is another step towards the Indian Navy, consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as also reflects MDL’s capabilities as a premiership and submarine building yard”
About other submarines commissioned in the Indian Navy-
- INS Kalvari commissioned in December 2017
- INS Khanderi commissioned in September 2019
- INS Karanj commissioned in March 2021
- INS Vela commissioned in November 2021
- INS Vagsheet was launched into water in April 2022 and will be delivered by the end of 2023.
PM Modi calls for prisons reforms and repeal of obsolete laws
Prison reforms are necessary in India. It is the issue which is discussed by the PM Narendra Modi. This meeting was organized for two days in Delhi. In this conference many areas covered in policing, national security counter insurgency and cyber security. In this conference 600 more officers of various levels attended virtually from state/UTs.
What did he discuss in the meeting?
He discussed various parts of the police, prison reforms and technological strengthening system. He suggested that the police force should be sensitive and train them about emerging technologies. He also discussed criminal law and said that repeal obsolete criminal laws. When prison is reformed then jail management is automatically reform. He also discussed the border, coastal security should be strengthened and officials should visit also.
Prime Minister Modi’s remarks-
“The Prime Minister suggested that we should further leverage technological solutions like biometrics etc. there is also a need to strengthen traditional policing mechanisms like foot patrols etc.”- the statement said.
Why are reforms necessary in prisons?
This reform is necessary because of the modern change and police should be strengthened in India because it can improve the system as well. These obsolete laws should be repealed and build the standard for the police system.
About Prime Minister Narendra Modi
He is the Prime Minister of India and he is the head of the government. He is the longest serving prime minister which is not from the congress political party. He was born on 17th sept 1950 in vadnagar. He is an Indian politician.
Odisha State Disaster Management Authority and Lunglei Fire Station selected for Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2023
The Ministry of Home Affairs have said that- For the excellent work in disaster management Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Lunglie Fire Station (LFS) has been selected for the Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-2023.
Reason for selecting Odisha State Disaster Management Authority-
OSDMA was established in 1999 in the aftermath of the Super Cyclone and has been a part of several initiatives such as
- Raising the Odisha Disaster Response Action Force (ODRAF)
- Multi-hazard Early Warning Service (MHEWS) framework
- SATARK- System For Assessing, Tracking And Alerting Disaster Risk Information Based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge
OSDMA has actively worked during the various cyclones-
- Hudhud (2014)
- Fani (2019)
- Amphan (2020)
- Odisha Floods (2020)
OSDMA has also conducted disaster management or preparedness trainings for building the community resilience in-
- 381 tsunami-prone villages
- 879 multi-purpose cyclone/flood shelters
Reason for selecting Lunglie Fire Station, Mizoram-
- Lunglie Fire Station has effectively responded to a massive forest fire in April 2021 which was spread to more than 10 villages.
- LFS personnel along with the local civilians had worked for more than 32 hours
- LFS personnel motivated and provided training to residents.
Statements from Ministry of Home Affairs-
“Under the guidance of the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah, the country has significantly improved its disaster management practices, preparedness, mitigation and response mechanisms resulting in a significant reduction in casualties during natural calamities.”
About Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-
- This award is instituted by the Government of India to recognize and felicitate the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India.
- Every year on 23rd January this award is announced.
- There is a cash prize of 51 lakhs and certificate for the institutions and 5 lakh and a certificate for the individuals.
Gujarat court describes cow as a ‘symbol of religion’
Gujarat court while awarding life term punishment to one Mohammad Ameen for illegally transporting cattle described the cow as ‘Gaumata’, a mother. The court said that cow dung can even prevent nuclear radiation from affecting the houses made of cow dung. The court has also stated that all of the earth’s problems will get solved the day cow slaughter ends.
What does the court order read-
Judge S.V. Vyas in the district court of Tapi read, “A cow is not only an animal but also a mother. That is why she is called ‘Gaumata’. The benefits of cows to the entire universe cannot be described. The day when not a single drop of cow’s blood falls on the earth, all the problems of the earth will be solved”.
The illegal cow transportation case-
- Details about the case- The case against Ameen pertains to 18 July, 2020, when a truck carrying 16 cows and bullocks was caught by the police. The police caught the vehicles around 5.30 am at a subdivision between villages in Tapi and Banaskantha districts in Gujarat. It was alleged that the cows were being transported without any food or water in the truck. Mandatory veterinary first-aid kits were also absent in the truck. Also, out of 16 animals, one cow and one bullock had died.
- Charges on Ameen– Ameen was arrested in relation to the case in August 2020. He was then found guilty under various laws, including
- The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2011,
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960,
- Gujarat Essential Commodities and Cattle (Control) Act, 2005, and
- Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2015.
- And now Ameen has been awarded the life sentence and a fine of Rs 5 lakh under Section 8(2) of the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act.
Importance of cows –
Judge S.V. Vyas said that the continuous incidents of cow killing and illegal manipulation are a “disgrace to the society”. The court also further listed the uses of cow products, from milk to cow urine. The judge also specified that
“Cow is a symbol of religion. Whatever the problems in the world today, the root of all these problems is the growth of irascibility and hot temper, and the only reason for their excessive growth is cow slaughter.”
About The Gujarat High Court-
It is the High Court of the state of Gujarat. The court was established on 1 May 1960 under the Bombay Re-organisation Act, 1960 after the state of Gujarat split from Bombay State. The seat of the court is Ahmedabad. The present strength of the Gujarat High court is 27 against sanctioned strength of 52.
National SC – ST Hub Conclave held in Mumbai, to empower and promote entrepreneurs among SC, ST Communities
On 23 January 2023, a national SC-ST Hub conclave was held in Mumbai. The Union Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises organized this Hub to promote the culture of entrepreneurship among members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Communities and to spread awareness of the National SC-ST Hub and other schemes of the MSME Ministry. Narayan Rane, the Union MSME Minister has inaugurated the event.
Aim of organizing the conclave-
- To achieve the sub-target of 4% annual procurement from MSEs owned by SC/ST entrepreneurs
- It provides an interactive platform to both aspiring and existing SC-ST entrepreneurs to interact with diverse stakeholders comprising Central Public Sector Enterprises Industry Associations, lending institutions and concerned central and State government departments
- The SC-ST MSMEs are also expected to be able to expand their horizons by incorporating new ideas
- The Conclave aims to help future SC-ST entrepreneurs to better leverage the benefits offered under the SC ST Hub and other schemes and programmes of the Ministry of MSME.
- The Hub supports entrepreneurs of the SC and ST communities in capacity building, market linkages, finance facilitation and tender bid participation.
- To encourage SC/ST enterprises for availing marketing support for their development and growth, various marketing support schemes have been synergized to form Special Marketing Assistance Scheme (SMAS).
Effect of organizing Conclave-
The share of public procurement from SC/ST entrepreneurs has risen
- From 99.37 crores to 0.07% i.e. 1,248.23 crore in 2015-16
- In 2021-22 it has risen to 0.86%.
Statement of Joint Secretary in MSME Ministry and CMD, NSIC-
The Joint secretary in his statement has briefed about the various schemes related to finance facilitation, skill development, technology enablement and other verticals, which can be beneficial for the entrepreneurs and said that-
“The Ministry’s goal is to assist MSME entrepreneurs and also contribute to the development of an ecosystem which enables MSME to become champions. She reiterated that the Ministry has reclassified the definition of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. 45% of national manufacturing output comes from MSMEs, their GDP contribution being around 30%.”
Statements of the MSME Minister-
The Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane has said that-
“The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched National SC ST Hub and various schemes under MSME Ministry to realize the dream of an Aatmnirbhar Bharat. These various schemes are being implemented for the purpose of employment generation, promotion of entrepreneurship, increasing GDP and boosting exports.”
“From being the 10th largest economy in the world in 2014, India has now become the fifth largest economy in the world. The government wants to make India the third largest economy in the world by 2030 and for this the industry sector should cooperate.”
“MSMEs account for 30 percent of India’s GDP and 50 percent of exports. Everyone should contribute to increase this further.”
“If someone has any doubts or difficulties regarding starting the business, our MSME Ministry will provide all possible assistance to resolve them. Everyone should contribute to the work being done through our ministry to create entrepreneurs, create employment and increase the country’s GDP. Our Ministry is working with the aim of complete eradication of unemployment and poverty from the country and everyone should cooperate in that work.”
“It is not enough that we read Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s thoughts; they should also be implemented at all levels, in order to really take them forward.”
Statement of MSME Secretary-
B.B. Swain MSME Secretary said that-
“We bank heavily on stakeholder consultation, we will be working very seriously on the suggestions given at the Conclave today.”
About UDYAM Portal and National SC- ST Hub-
- More than 1.35 Lakh SMEs registered on the UDYAM portal.
- It has been launched for the ease of registering under MSMEs
- It will help to provide the special encouragement to the Procurement from women-owned and SC/ST owned enterprises.
- Revised list of the products reserved for SC and ST categories.
- Revised annual guarantee fee under Credit Guarantee Scheme.
Hindu temples vandalised by Khalistani supporters
A third Hindu temple was trashed with anti-India graffiti in Melbourne’s Albert Park on Monday. Some of the people are running a “hate-filled agenda” against the Hindu community in the country. The Khalistani supporters are making such a mess in the country. Accordingly, it has been accused that Victoria Police has failed to take any action against the people who are destroying the Hindu architecture.
BAPS Swaminarayan Temple vandalised-
On January 12, BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in the Mill park area of Melbourne was ruined by the anti-India elements. On the temple walls, anti-India slogans were also written. Patel, a visitor, said that he witnessed the vandalised walls of the temple when he visited the place on Thursday.
The other two temples which were vandalised-
Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs was vandalised in the country. Along with it, the management of Melbourne’s International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple also known as the Hare Krishna Temple found the temple walls destroyed with anti-India graffiti in the early hours of Monday morning.
Attack on the Temple-
The attack on ISKCON Temple comes two days after the Victorian leaders held an emergency meeting with the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Accordingly, the Victorian Multicultural Commission issued a statement criticizing the vandalism of Hindu Temples in Mill Park and Carrum Downes.
Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple vandalism-
The Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia’s Carrum Downs was vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti. The act came to notice on January 16 after temple devotees came for ‘darshan’ amid the three-day long “Thai Pongal” festival.
Bhakta Das, Director of Communication for ISKCON temple stated-
He stated that the community were shocked by such cruel action. It was a surprise for them to see such disregard for the place of worship. The committee has filed the complaint against the action with Victoria Police.
Business 20 (B20) Inception Meeting held at Gujarat
On the eve of the G20, the Business 20 (B20) Inception Meeting took place in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, business representatives, the CEO, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, and others were present at the meeting. Mr Chandrasekaran, the head of TATA Sons, presided over the meeting. The influential people organised two action groups and seven task forces during the meeting. The topics of digital transformation, climate change, financial inclusion, and sustainability will be worked on and discussed by these groups. Africa will be given a specialised task force for the first time.
What was discussed in the meeting?
- The Business 20 (B20) inception meeting is being held as a part of G20.
- The Indian economy has increased by 12 times over the past three decades, according to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, who addressed the session.
- According to him, India is the only G20 nation to rank in the top five countries in the world for achieving climate targets.
- The Minister reaffirmed India’s commitment to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth.
- He urged firms and industries around the world to adopt sustainable and green business practices.
- Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s minister of railways, gave a briefing on the greatest economic strategies the government used during the Covid pandemic to achieve strong growth and low inflation.
- The Minister emphasised the PPP model’s accomplishment in popularising digital payments in India.
- He said that currently, 1.5 trillion dollars’ worth of digital transactions occurs annually in India.
- Amitabh Kant, the G-20 Sherpa from India, emphasised the importance of creating an inclusive and resilient global supply chain and encouraged businesses to adopt green technologies.
Who is G20 Sherpa?
- Amitabh Kant is the G20 Sherpa.
- An international summit’s delegate is a Sherpa.
- Numerous Sherpa meetings are held prior to the G7 and G20 summits
- Before the summit, the Sherpas get together to make agendas.
- They inform their country’s head of other developments and ongoing international negotiations.
MCL, a major coal production company plans to construct Rs 12,000-crore power plant in Odisha
MCL, a major coal production company is expanding its business into power generation. For this, it will set up a coal-based plant which requires an investment of around Rs 12,000 crore. The company’s chairman-cum-managing director O P Singh said that the plant will be constructed in Odisha.
What is MCL-
MCL is one of the major coal producing companies of India. It is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited was carved out of South Eastern Coalfields Limited in 1992 with its headquarters at Sambalpur.
O P Singh’s statement–
“We are in the process of diversifying into power generation. The power purchase agreement is in the process of getting finalised with a few states. The company is also planning to get bauxite blocks to expand its further other business.”
Accordingly, the company has applied to the government for coal linkage for the proposed plant. Afterwards, the 1,600-mw coal-fired power plant will be constructed as soon as the government permits the company. The government is also advising the company to go for diversification.
The approximate size of the mine would be three million tonnes per annum. Initially, the firm had a target of producing 176 MT of coal in the ongoing FY. Now, it is moving ahead of the target with an expected output of 190 MT by the fiscal-end. MCL recorded over 168 million tonnes in 2021-22, registering a growth of around 14% over the previous fiscal. Currently, the public sector enterprise has around 18 operational coal mines, including 15 open cast mines.
Nari Shakti to be reflected on Republic Day
This year, India will commemorate its 74th republic day. The National Flag will be hoisted at Raj Path on this day by Smt. Draupadi Murmu, the President of India and head of the Constitution. Various historical models and scenarios are presented during the event. The tableau will honour Nari Shakti, or women’s power, on this republic day. The tableau will feature representatives from 17 states and union territories depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Rajpath was renamed the Kartavya Path, and this is the first Republic Day celebration after that change.
How will Nari Shakti be represented?
- One of the main centrepieces of the Republic Day parade this year will be a demonstration of the increasing status of women (Nari Shakti) in the armed forces.
- Women officers will lead the marching contingents of the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force during the parade.
- Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy will serve as the group’s leader during the march of the Indian Air Force.
- A female officer named Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrith will also be in charge of the 144 young sailors who make up the Indian Navy’s marching contingent.
- Nampibou Marinmai, the Ministry of Defence’s public relations officer, stated that Nari Shakti is mostly the inspiration for this year’s tableaus themes.
How are the Tableaus selected?
- The tableaus are entirely the responsibility of a group established by the Defense Ministry.
- Eminent figures from the fields of music, painting, art, architecture, etc. make up the group.
- The committee examines the tableaus in light of various criteria, including topic, colours, simplicity, etc.
- The tableau’s expressions should be simple for the average person to grasp.
- Following that, the participants produce a 3D model for final approval.
- The goal is to create “Unity in Diversity,” hence no two states should have tableaus that are alike.
- The theme should be applied to the tractor and trailer.
- It is necessary for the vehicle to undergo a transformation.
- All products must be environmentally friendly.
Maldives to support India’s candidature to UN Security Council
For the term of 2028-2029, Maldives have decided to support India’s candidature to a non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council. The elections are scheduled to be held during the eighty-first session of the United Nations General Assembly in June 2027.
Statement of the Maldives’ Foreign Minister-
“India has Continuously demonstrated strong effective leadership in maintaining international peace and security. India has also been a strong proponent of the values and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”
“The Government of Maldives is confident that India will be a voice for all developing countries on the Security Council, and will continue to make meaningful contributions towards global discourse on peace and security in the years to come.”
Statement of India’s External Foreign Minister-
India’s External Foreign Minister, S. Jaishankar has said that-
“Our focus on capacity development has also been seen in the training programmes which have benefited more than 900 Maldivian officials last year alone.”
About India’s External Foreign Minister’s visit to Maldives-
- S.Jaishankar and Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid held discussions.
- Signing of the agreements related to the bilateral development cooperation
- Launch of a number of key India-supported projects that will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Maldives
- India’s External Foreign Minister along with the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs has inaugurated the India-funded community centre in Foakaidhoo.
Aim of the Bilateral Agreements between India and Maldives-
- The bilateral agreements between the two countries will create a quality infrastructure in Maldives.
- This quality infrastructure will spread over 16 atolls and 36 islands.
- These joint agreements will benefit youth and women development and promote sports.
- These joint projects will bridge the gap between the peoples of Northern Maldives and the rest of the world.
- The signing of the MIFCO (Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Limited) contract between the two countries will augment livelihood opportunities.
Both the countries share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links. Their relations have been close, cordial and multidimensional. India was one of the countries to recognize Maldives after its independence and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.
President- Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
NASA and Israel to sign an agreement on a space mission
An agreement on a space mission will soon be signed by NASA and Israel. According to the agreement, the United States will support Israel’s forthcoming ULTRASAT astronomy mission. The Israel Space Agency and Germany are actively developing the project. ULTRASAT will be equipped with a UV telescope and will operate in Geo Stationary Orbit. ULTRASAT’s primary goal is to search for UV signatures in space. It will specifically search for UV emissions from supernova explosions and mergers (colliding neutron stars).
- The satellite weighs 1,100 kg.
- It will be launched in 2026.
- It will operate for three years
- The purpose is to look for gravitational waves
- The total cost is 110 million USD
What is the role of the US?
- The ULTRASAT mission aligns with NASA’s Astro 2020 survey in terms of goals.
- The US is searching for gravitational wave emissions from stellar and galactic clouds. UV is also a gravitational wave.
- The Astro 2020 is a decade-long survey.
- In ten years, it will track the progress of astronomy in the US and around the world.
- The mission, which is frequently referred to be the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor, will find planets similar to Earth.
- There is a large UV-IR surveyor on it.
- In outer space, it searches for regions that could support life.
SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY
JUICE Space Mission of Europe to be launched in April 2023
The JUICE space mission and JUICE Spacecraft will be launched by the European Union in April 2023. The mission of the spacecraft is to study Jupiter’s moons. The mission’s focus is on Ganymede, Europe, and Callisto, Jupiter’s three largest moons. These three moons were chosen from the planet’s 80 other moons because of their enormous oceans. French Guiana will serve as the launchpad for the satellite. The satellite will be carried by Ariane 5. The first satellite from the planet Earth to orbit Ganymede is JUICE.
What is JUICE?
- JUICE is the abbreviation for Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer.
- German engineers created the satellite, which France then tested.
- The mission’s primary goal is to investigate the microbial life that exists on the icy moons.
- Additionally, the planet’s polar regions and magnetosphere will be investigated.
- JUICE will enter Ganymede’s orbit to investigate its composition.
- The satellite is anticipated to join Jupiter orbit by 2034 if it is launched in April 2023.
- In 2035, it will be deorbited.
What is the significance?
- The fact that Jupiter has one of the largest moon systems in the universe makes scientists intrigued to study the planet.
- The mission will cost 1.5 billion euros.
Supreme Court to consider setting up the 3 judge bench to hear Hijab Ban case in Karnataka
On Monday, the Supreme Court of India has said that for the case related to wearing the Hijab in Karnataka Schools, a three judge bench will be set up. The Meenakshi Arora has submitted that an intern order is required in the matter as the practical examinations are scheduled for the month of February for some classes.
Statement of Senior Advocate-
The Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora has said that-
“This is the headscarf matter. The girls have practical examinations from February 6, 2023 and this matter needs to be listed for interim directions so that they can appear. The practical examinations will be held in government schools.”
Statement of CJI-
The Chief Justice of India has said that-
“I will examine it. This is a three judge bench matter. We will allot a date.”
Verdict of the previous bench-
On October 13, a two judge bench had delivered the opposing verdicts in the hijab ban controversy and also urged the CJI to constitute a proper bench to adjudicate the matter.
Judgements of Justices from Supreme Court-
Justice Hemant Gupta-
- Dismissed the appeals and refused to lift the ban.
- Said that- Permitting a community to wear its religious symbols to schools will be an “antithesis to secularism,”
- Justice Dhulia held there will be no restrictions on Hijabs in schools or colleges in Karnataka State.
- Said that wearing the Muslim headscarf should simply be a “matter of choice.”
About the Hijab Ban case-
Government Pre-University Girls College, Udupi, Karnataka students filed a petition seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms as it is banned by the educational institutions in Karnataka.
Chief Minister- Basavaraj Bommai
Supreme Court dismisses CBI’s petition challenging bail granted to anil deshmukh
- He had been imprisoned since November of last year after being arrested in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The CBI later arrested him in the corruption case.
- He approached the high court after a special CBI court denied his bail application on both medical and merit grounds.
- The high court granted bail to the 73 year old NCP leader on December 12, but said the order will be allowed after 10 days because the Central Bureau of Investigation wanted more time to challenge it in the apex court.
- In December last year the CBI filed a petition in the Supreme court challenging the Bombay High Court order granting bail to Deshmukh in the corruption case.
- Three judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice V Ramasubramanian and JB Pardiwala. They ruled that they did not entertain the SLP petition filed by the CBI.
- Court said that Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta the bail granted in the PMLA case was maintained. The bench dismissed the petition properly.
- While dismissing the petition, the bench clarified that the observations made by the High Court will not influence the trial and are only confined to the issue of bail.
- Anil Deshmukh has been under custody since his arrest on November 2, 2021. In October 2022, the Bombay High Court had earlier granted bail to the deshmukh in the money laundering case, but the Supreme court refused to set it aside.
The court has directed- “He has been granted bail in the PMLA case as well. SLP dismissed. Same observations as in the PMLA case.”
Who is Anil Vasantrao Deshmukh?
He is a politician from the state of Maharashtra and leader of the party nationalist congress party (NCP). he served as the minister in the home ministry in Maharashtra between 2019 and 2021.
About Supreme Court of India
A supreme court is the highest court in India. It is called apex court, court of appeal etc. It is the final court of appeal in the country. The Supreme court decision is binding upon all of the lower courts. It is the guarantor of the fundamental rights of the citizens.
24rth January 2023
DRDO, Naval Group reach agreement on indigenous AIP modules on Scorpene submarines
On January 23, 2023, Senior officials of NMRL and Naval Group France signed an agreement in Mumbai to extend the cooperation to enter into the detailed design phase for integration of indigenous AIP in the Kalvari class submarines. As the Atma Nirbhar Bharat has boosted, DRDO’s Naval Material Research Laboratory’s Fuel cell-based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system will soon be fitted in INS Kalvari.
About Air Independent Propulsion (AIP)-
- This new technology has a force multiplier effect on the lethality of a diesel electric submarine.
- It will enhance the submerged endurance by several folds.
- It will enhance the performance as compared to other technologies
- It will generate hydrogen onboard.
- NMRL and Indian industry partners together have generated this technology.
- The technology is ready for industrialization.
Statement of Chairman & CEO of Naval Group France-
Mr. Pierre Eric Pommellet has said that-
“They are proud to cooperate with Indian stakeholders to safely integrate the AIP in the Kalvari class submarines, which have been built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. This is a natural extension of strategic bilateral cooperation shared between India and France in the field of underwater defense & deterrence and in line with Naval Group’s continued commitment towards the Government’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ policy.”
DRDO is the Defense Research and Development Organisation and is the premier agency under the Department of Defense and Research and Development in the Ministry of Defense of India. Its headquarter is stationed in Delhi, India.
List of Major Submarines commissioned in Indian Navy-
- INS Sindhughosh (S55)
- INS Sindhudhvaj (S56)
- INS Sindhuraj (S57)
- INS Sindhuratna (S59)
- INS Sindhukesari (S60)
- INS Sindhukirti (S61)
- INS Sindhuvijay (S62)
- INS Sindhushastra (S65)
- INS Shishumar (S44)
- INS Shankush (S45)
- INS Shalki (S46)
- INS Shankul (S47)
- INS Chakra (S71)
- INS Arihant (S73)
- INS Kalvari (S21)
- INS Khanderi (S22)
- INS Karanj (S23)
- INS Vela (S24)
- INS Vagir (S25)
- INS Arighat (S3)
Law minister Kiren Rijiju asserts that there is no ‘conflict of Mahabharata’ between govt and judiciary
Kiren Rijiju on Monday said that many times, differences arise between the government and the judiciary. But that doesn’t mean that the two are creating a Mahabharat. Accordingly, the law minister has asserted that, “there is no problem between us”.
His statement on Indian democracy-
He said that in India, if democracy has to flourish, then an independent judiciary is important. He also added that the SC has some views and the government has others. And if the differences arise between them, some people present it like a Mahabharat is going on between the govt and the judiciary.
Interactions between government and the judiciary-
Law minister also said that the members of the higher judiciary and the government will have to constantly meet in one way or the other on a daily basis. He also said that the party members have a live contact with CJI D Y Chandrachud on all big and small problema. Rijiju also asked that if “there is no debate or discussion in a democracy, what kind of democracy is it? ”.
He said that “In BJP, it is said that we can have ‘matbhed’ (difference of opinion) but not ‘manbhed’ (conflict). We can have different opinions. Difference in opinion does not mean we are mounting an attack on each other”.
He has also stated that as judges are not elected, they do not face public inspection but people watch them and make opinions about them from the way they deliver justice.
Rijiju said that the differences was an outcome of the 2015 verdict of a Constitution bench of SC to supplement the existing memorandum of procedure to appoint HC and SC judges. However, the government wanted to have a representative in the SC collegium. He said it was not a serious issue but it became a topic of debate with people questioning how the government can place its representatives in the collegium.
About Kiren Rijiju-
Kiren was born on 19 November 1971. He is an Indian politician from Arunachal Pradesh. He serves as the Cabinet Minister of Law and Justice in the Government of India.
Assam Cabinet decides to reserve men who marry girls below 14 years in the state under the POCSO Act
The Assam Cabinet has decided to reserve men who marry girls below 14 years in the state under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. This announcement was made by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting.
“We have decided to make the campaign against child marriage a priority in governance and we hope to end it in the next five years. The state has an average of 31% marriages in the prohibited age”.
What does POCSO Act include-
The POCSO Act of 2012 defines a child as an individual under the age of 18. It also criminalises sex between an under-age child and an adult. For instance, a husband cannot touch his wife if she is below the age of 14 as this amounts to sexual offence. The male partner is liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment under POCSO Act.
Why this decision has been taken-
Accordingly, Assam has a high rate of maternal and infant mortality. The primary cause for this is child marriage. Accordingly, the legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 21 for men. As per the National Family Health Survey data of 2019-20 it was found that 11.7% of girls are burdened with early motherhood and maternal and child mortality is a matter of concern here.
What will be the legal against those partners who are below age 14-
If both the partners are below the age of 14, the chief minister said that in that case the marriage will be declared illegal. The boy will be sent to a juvenile home as minors cannot be presented in the court. Those marrying girls in the age group of 14-18, will be tried under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. Necessary steps will also be taken against them.
Initiatives by Assam govt-
The govt has directed police to organise a
- Major crackdown against child marriage,
- Carry out an awareness campaign against the problem, and
- To take legal action against those who are violating norms.
Who will manage the provisions of the act-
The Gram Panchayat secretaries will be appointed as the Child Marriage Prevention (Prohibition) Officers. Their duty will be to file a complaint against any child marriage taking place in their area. The cabinet has also said that just asking the police to file cases will not solve the problem, but all the society must be involved to campaign against child marriage.
It is a state in northeastern India which is known for its wildlife, archeological sites and tea plantations. In the west, Guwahati, Assam’s largest city, features silk bazaars and the hilltop Kamakhya Temple. Umananda Temple sits on Peacock Island in the Brahmaputra river.
The UP Diwas is observed on 24th January
The UP day is observed on 24th January every year. On 24th January 1950, the United Provinces was renamed as Uttar Pradesh. In May 2017, the Uttar Pradesh Government declared the 24th January as the UP Day. The UP Day is also known as the UP Diwas or Uttar Pradesh Diwas and is celebrated as the foundation day of the state.
Celebrations of the UP Diwas-
The UP Diwas is celebrated today on 24th January and events will be organized in all the districts of the State of Uttar Pradesh. The events for this Diwas will be held for three days from 24th January till 26th January. In the events for this Diwas-
- Discussions on the achievements of the districts.
- Felicitation of the respected citizens
- The celebrations for this day will start today at Shilp Hatt in Noida, UP and in Awadh Shilp Gram, Lucknow
- All the departments of the district administration with Noida, Greno, Yamuna Authorities, commissionerate will be joining the celebrations.
- With the cultural programme, Noida Authority will launch several development schemes.
- These developmental schemes will be the worth of Rs 249 cr. which will benefit the cities in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
- The theme for the UP day will be Employment and Investments.
About the State of Uttar Pradesh-
Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. It is one of the most populated states in India and was established in 1950 after India became a republic.
Chief Minister- Yogi Adityanath
13th National Voters’ Day (NVD) to be observed on January 25, 2023
The 13th National Voters’ Day will be observed by the Indian Election Commission on January 25, 2023. Smt. Droupadi Murmu, the Honourable President of India, will be the chief guest at the national event that the Election Commission of India is hosting in New Delhi. As the event’s Guest of Honor, Union Minister for Law and Justice Shri Kiren Rijiju will be present.
What is the importance of NVD?
- Every year on January 25 since 2011, National Voters’ Day has been observed all over the nation to commemorate the founding date of the Election Commission of India, which was January 25, 1950.
- The primary goal of the NVD celebration is to increase voter participation by raising electoral awareness among the public.
- National Voters’ Day, which honours the nation’s voters, is also used to encourage voter registration, particularly among newly eligible young people.
- In the NVD events hosted across the nation, new voters are felicitated and given their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
- One of the biggest festivities in the nation, NVD is held at the federal, state, district, constituency, and voting booth levels.
- ‘Nothing Like Voting, I Vote for Sure’ is the theme of this year’s National Voter Day.
- It is intended for voters and expresses how they feel and what they hope to achieve when they use their voting power to participate in the electoral process.
What are the features of the logo?
- The election process is intended to be represented by the logo as festive and inclusive.
- The inked finger signifies the participation of each and every voter in the country.
- The Ashoka Chakra in the background symbolises the largest democracy in the world.
- The tick in the logo represents the voter making an informed choice.
What will be the highlights of the event?
- The Honorable President will present the National Awards for the year 2022 during the occasion in New Delhi.
- For their remarkable performance in the administration of elections in 2022, State and District level officers will receive National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices.
- Performance is measured across a variety of areas, including IT efforts, security management, election management, accessible elections, electoral rolls, and contributions to voter education and awareness.
- Important parties including government agencies and media outlets will also get national awards for their significant contributions towards raising voter awareness.
- The Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Rajiv Kumar, will give the Hon. President the inaugural edition of the ECI publication, “Electing the First President- An Illustrated Chronicle of India’s Presidential Elections.”
- There will also be a screening of the ECI song “Main Bharat Hoon- Hum Bharat Ke Matdata Hain,” which was created by ECI in collaboration with the Subhash Ghai Foundation.
What are the book and the song?
- The book, which is the first of its kind publication, gives glimpses into the historic journey of Presidential Elections in the country.
- It throws light on the nuances of the Presidential Electoral system and associated constitutional provisions through the timelines of the past 16 Presidential elections.
- The song brings forth the power of the vote and celebrates the spirit of inclusive, accessible, ethical, participative and festive elections in the largest and most vibrant democracy of the world.
About the Election Commission of India
- The Election Commission of India is a constitutional body.
- It was established by the Constitution of India to conduct and regulate elections in the country.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Formed: 25 January 1950
- Current executive: Rajiv Kumar
Low Carbon Cruise on Mahabahu Brahmaputra Flagged off by Union Petroleum Minister
The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep S Puri, recently flagged off a demonstration run of a barge fueled by mixed diesel (MD15) on the Mahabahu Brahmaputra river. The demonstration run was conducted ahead of the India Energy Week 2023 (IEW 2023) to be held in Bengaluru from 6-8 February 2023. The ship journey was conducted in a 50-passenger motorboat named ‘SB Gangadhar’.
The ship is equipped with two Ruston diesel engines (105 hp each) and runs on MD-15 (HSD mixed with 15% methanol).
- Methanol is a low-carbon hydrogen carrier fuel made from ashy coal, agricultural waste, CO2 from thermal power plants, and natural gas.
- This is a cost-effective way of delivering on India’s commitments to COP 21.
- Although its energy content is slightly lower than gasoline and diesel, methanol is used in the transport sector (road, rail, ship) and energy sector (including DG sets, boilers, process heating modules, tractors, and commercial vehicles) to make these two fuels.
- Retail cooking (LPG (partial), kerosene, charcoal replacement).
- NITI Aayog’s ‘Methanol Economy’ program aims to reduce India’s oil import bill, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and convert coal reserves and municipal solid waste to methanol.
- Methanol is a cheap alternative marine fuel. It costs less than other marine fuels and is economical in terms of shore storage and bunker infrastructure.
- The cost of converting a vessel to run on methanol is significantly lower than other alternative fuel conversions.
- This is because it does not require expensive exhaust after treatment and requires only minor modifications to existing storage and bunker infrastructure to process methanol as a liquid fuel.
- Blending gasoline with 15% methanol can reduce gasoline/crude oil imports by at least 15%. In addition, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in terms of particulate matter, NOx, and SOx by 20% and improve air quality in cities.
About India Energy Week
- IEW 2023 is the first major event under India’s G20 Presidency following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge at COP26 to make India net-zero emissions by 2070.
- India Energy Week, sponsored by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, is a single and comprehensive international energy event endorsed by the highest levels of the Government of India with the participation of all Public Sector Enterprises (PSUs) and officially recognized by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industries (FIPI).
Ministry of Petroleum:
The Ministry of Petroleum is a government department responsible for the management and regulation of a country’s oil and natural gas resources. Its duties may include setting policies and regulations for the exploration, production, and distribution of these resources, as well as overseeing the operation of state-owned oil and gas companies.
The demonstration run of a barge fueled by mixed diesel (MD15) on the Mahabahu Brahmaputra river is a step towards achieving India’s commitments to COP 21. The use of methanol as a marine fuel is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to traditional marine fuels. The Methanol Economy program aims to reduce India’s oil import bill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. India Energy Week 2023 will provide a platform to discuss and promote sustainable energy solutions in the country.
Military exercises with China, Russia normal process for South Africa: Foreign Minister
On Monday, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor said that the Joint naval exercises are part of the normal process of the training of the defense forces and are scheduled to be held in February 2023 with China and Russia.
About the Drills-
- The drills will be of 10 days starting from 17 February to 27 February in Durban and Richards Bay.
- The drills will be held with the aim to share operational skills and knowledge between the countries.
- Similar drills have been hosted by South Africa with France, the USA and countries from the western NATO military alliance.
Statements of Foreign Minister of Russia-
Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov has said that-
“They are three sovereign countries. They don’t violate any norms of international laws. They will conduct international exercises. I don’t understand how they can provoke a mixed reaction,”
“Maybe only with our American colleagues, because they believe that only they can have exercises all over the world; not only at more than 200 military bases all over the world but at any place. Now they are actively involved in naval exercises in the Pacific and near China in the Taiwan Strait, and it does not provoke any mixed reactions.”
“Our exercises are transparent. We together with our South African and Chinese partners have provided all the relevant information – it is available. The practice of trilateral exercises is not something new. We had similar drills with the participation of India and China.”
“The partners in the exercises were “perplexed” by “the way our Western colleagues provoke such noise around ordinary things in the life of sea powers, especially in a situation where Western countries conduct such drills much more often than we do.”
Statements of South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation-
“The exercises were part of a programme of military exercises that the South African Defence Force has as part of agreements with many countries worldwide.”
“These are all exercises we undertake to hone the skills of our military to be able to respond to a range of situations, including disaster management, in which our military often plays a role in addressing.”
“All countries conduct military exercises with friends worldwide. So there should be no compulsion on any country that should conduct them with any other partner. It’s part of a natural course of relations between countries.”
“The world, particularly in the financial and economic domain, is greatly influenced by rules developed in Bretton Woods institutions. These institutions do not always take account of the developmental needs of the poorest and most vulnerable countries.”
“We would have fairer trade and financial rules in the economic domain, because at the moment, the rules of these institutions really work against the poorest and most marginalised.”
“So this is the task that we as the Brics countries need to look at with far greater concentration and really look at what form of reform or radical change we want to see in the IMF, the World Bank and other developmental finance institutions which do not as yet sufficiently focus on the development aspect.”
India- South Africa relationship-
Both the countries have bilateral relations which have grown strong since the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. Both countries have since developed close strategic, cultural and economic ties.
About South Africa-
President- Cyril Ramaphosa
Capital- Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
Currency- South African Rand
US says Constructive Dialogue between India and Pakistan ‘a matter for those two countries
On Monday, The US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the talks between India and Pakistan are a matter of those two nations. His statement is a reaction which came after the invitation of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s to India for peace talks.
Statement of US State Department Spokesperson-
The US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price has said that-
“We have long called for regional stability in South Asia. That’s certainly what we want to see. We want to see it advanced.”
“When it comes to our partnership, our partnerships with India and Pakistan, these are relationships that stand on their own. We do not see these relationships as Zero-sum. They stand on their own.”
“We have long called for regional stability in South Asia, but the pace, the scope, the character of any dialogue between India and Pakistan is a matter for those two countries, India and Pakistan.”
Statements of Prime Minister of Pakistan-
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif has requested PM Narendra Modi for peace talks and said that-
“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir. It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources.”
“We have had three wars in India, and they have only brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment to the people. We have learned our lesson and we want to live in peace with India, provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems.”
Statement from Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson-
On the request of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has responded and said that-
“WE have already said that we have always wanted normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. But there should be a conducive atmosphere which does not have terror, hostility or violence. That remains our position”
Both the countries have a complex and largely hostile relationship. It is deeply rooted in a multitude of historical and political events, most notably the partition of British India in August 1947. The India–Pakistan border is one of the most militarized international boundaries in the world.
Relationship between India and USA-
Both the countries enjoy a close relationship and have often seen together on the issues such as counterterrorism, distrust of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.
About the USA-
House of Speaker- Republican Kevin McCarthy
The 46th President- Joseph R. Baiden
Capital of the United States – Washington D.C.
Currency- US Dollars
Prime Minister- Narendra Modi
President- Droupadi Murmu
Capital- New Delhi
Currency- Rupees (INR)
Prime Minister- Shehbaz Sharif
Currency- Pakistani Rupee
Power Outage in Pakistan: A Look into the Causes and Consequences
On Monday, a nationwide power outage affected nearly all parts of Pakistan, leaving millions of citizens without power. A power outage caused by a failure in Pakistan’s complex power grid lasted 24 hours, prompting cost-cutting measures as Pakistan grapples with its economic crisis. This article takes a closer look at the causes of the blackouts, the state of Pakistan’s power grid, and the immediate future outlook.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy reported that the national grid’s system frequency dropped at 07:34 local time, causing a “widespread collapse” in the power system. Energy Minister Krum Dastgill said the blackout was caused by a large overvoltage in the south of the country that affected the entire power grid.
Pakistan’s Power Grid
- Pakistan typically meets more than one-third of its annual electricity needs with imported natural gas. Natural gas prices have risen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
• The country is struggling to buy fuel from abroad due to recent delays in receiving funds under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.
• Fuel shipments make up the bulk of Pakistan’s imports, and current foreign exchange reserves barely cover a month’s worth of his imports.
• The government has ordered shopping malls, restaurants, and markets to close by 8:30 pm every day to save energy, and lights in schools, hospitals, and factories in the country.
Frequent Power Cuts
Pakistan has experienced hour-long blackouts for months, with rural areas facing longer blackouts than urban areas. Although winter power outages have been shortened, many areas remain without power to save fuel costs. The 2021 summer heat wave has exacerbated the crisis by increasing power demand.
Impact on Citizens and Businesses
- Power outages severely impacted citizens and businesses across the country. Hospitals, factories and government agencies are often powered by private generators, but these machines are beyond the capacity of most citizens and small businesses.
• In Part of northern Pakistan Temperatures were expected to drop below freezing overnight in parts of the country, and the supply of natural gas, the most common means of heating, was also unreliable due to load shedding.
• The economy is already hampered by runaway inflation, a declining rupee and very low foreign exchange reserves, and blackouts are putting further pressure on small businesses.
Blackouts in Pakistan highlight the fragility of the country’s power grid and the urgent need for reform. Government efforts to save energy and import kerosene were not enough to deal with the crisis, and frequent blackouts had a huge impact on citizens and businesses. Governments must take action to address the underlying problems in the power grid and prevent future blackouts of this magnitude. The economy is already in crisis, with blackouts adding to the pressure. It’s time for governments to take concrete steps to address this issue.
WHO calls for action to protect children from contaminated medicines
The World Health Organization (WHO) urges countries to detect and respond to outbreaks of counterfeit medicines and to protect children from contaminated medicines.
In the past four months, at least seven countries have reported cases of confirmed or suspected contamination with high levels of diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG) in commercial cough syrups intended for children.
These chemicals are toxic solvents and antifreeze and should never be included in pharmaceuticals as they can be fatal in small amounts
Incidents of contaminated medicines
- Since October 2022, WHO has issued three global medical alerts on substandard pediatric medicines and syrups.
- In October, a warning was issued for Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited (Haryana, India).
- These four products were identified in The Gambia and reported to WHO in September.
- In November, a warning was issued for eight products identified in Indonesia, including Unibebi Cough Syrup, Unibebi Demam Paracetamol Drops and Unibebi Demam Paracetamol Syrup manufactured by PT Afi Farma.
Earlier this month, the WHO issued a warning against his use of two “substandard” cough syrups made by India’s Marion Biotech. Ambronol Syrup and his DOK-1 Max Syrup were manufactured by Marion Biotech Ltd, based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The World Health Organization has issued a warning that the syrup does not meet quality standards and contains deadly impurities.
Call to Action
WHO calls on countries to prevent, detect and respond to the outbreak of substandard and counterfeit medical devices. It calls for the detection and removal of contaminated medicines from the market. Enhanced oversight and due diligence within supply chains in countries and regions likely to be affected. Immediate notification to WHO if these substandard products are detected in the country.
WHO’s call to action encourages countries to address the problem of contaminated medicines that have led to child deaths in some countries. Emphasizes urgent need. To address this problem, regulators and governments need to improve manufacturing site inspections and enforce laws against substandard and counterfeit medicines. Additionally, manufacturers must ensure that only pharmaceutical-grade ingredients are used, and suppliers and distributors must ensure that the products they sell meet quality standards.
Pakistan’s NA Speaker has accepted the resignation of 43 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf legislators
The resignations of an additional 43 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf legislators have been accepted by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
What is the current situation?
- 45 lawmakers from Imran Khan’s party collectively withdrew their resignations from the National Assembly a day before the acceptance.
- 43 resignations were accepted on Tuesday out of these 45 resignations.
- Due to their leave requests, two MPs’ resignations were not accepted.
- Additionally, they asked that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not de-notify them if the speaker accepts their resignations.
- The speaker approved another 43 resignations and forwarded them to the ECP for their de-notification, therefore the plan did not materialise.
What is the effect of the resignation?
- Following this, only two members of Khan’s party remained in the National Assembly, the lower chamber, along with roughly twenty dissidents who had refused to resign.
- While the MPs have already asked the ECP to consider their request to be excused from de-notification, it has not yet done so.
- The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) reacted strongly, and its leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the reason for the party’s “restricted numbers” of return to the house was to remove dissident Raja Riaz from his role as the opposition leader.
- According to him, 40 per cent of National Assembly seats were vacant and the “only solution to this crisis is elections”.
- Since the present parliament’s five-year term ends on August 16, it is unclear at this moment whether the administration will organise elections just for the vacant seats or call general elections ahead of schedule.
What is the background of the situation?
- After Khan was ousted from office in April of last year by a no-trust vote, at least 123 of his party’s lawmakers made the decision to resign immediately.
- Only 11 resignations were accepted in July last year.
- Speaker Ashraf insisted that the other lawmakers will be called in for verification individually.
- The speaker unexpectedly accepted 70 more resignations last week, including 69 from PTI legislators and one from Khan’s ally, Sheikh Rashid of the Awami Muslim League.
- The action shocked the PTI, which was concerned that its absence from the parliament would deny it a voice in choosing the Prime Minister.
- The PM would oversee the general elections that were planned to take place after August of this year.
- In order to pressure the administration into allowing his party to take over as the biggest opposition party in the parliament, Khan issued an order to his remaining party’s lawmakers to reverse their resignations.
- His party has already dissolved the provincial legislatures in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in an effort to pressure the federal government into holding early elections.
- The government has so far refrained from making the announcement of the early elections, insisting that elections for the dissolved assemblies take place within a necessary 90-day period and those for the federal parliament happen 60 days after the current session ends in mid-August.
Prime minister: Shehbaz Sharif
Currency: Pakistani rupee
India agrees to assist Sri Lanka with its debt as part of a potential IMF program
In the event that a scheme endorsed by the International Monetary Fund is implemented, India has pledged to assist in reducing Sri Lanka’s debt burden.
Why does Sri Lanka need the fund?
- The 22 million-person island nation has struggled with problems recently.
- These include a lack of foreign cash, out-of-control inflation, and a severe recession.
- The recession is the greatest economic crisis since the country’s 1948 separation from Britain.
What is the plan?
- Sri Lanka is in discussions to receive a $2.9 billion bailout from the international financial organisation.
- According to a letter, India had informed the IMF that it firmly supports Sri Lanka’s plan to restructure its debt as the island applies for a $2.9 billion loan from the international lender.
- The extension of India’s support for Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring, which will open the door for a bailout amid the country’s current economic crisis, has been welcomed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- According to IMF
“Sri Lanka is engaged with other official bilateral creditors to obtain similar assurances,”
“As soon as adequate assurances are obtained and remaining requirements are met, including by the Sri Lankan authorities, a Fund-supported program for Sri Lanka can be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for approval that would unlock much-needed financing.”
- For Sri Lanka to secure a final agreement with the IMF, which is necessary to assist the country in emerging from its worst financial crisis in seven decades, it needs the support of China and India, its two largest bilateral lenders.
- India was the first nation to provide assistance to the nation about debt restructuring.
How has India helped Sri Lanka during the crisis?
- India provided financial support of USD 4 billion last year to the nation during its economic crisis.
- In addition, as part of its “neighbourhood first” policy, New Delhi delivered substantial consignments of humanitarian aid to the nation, including rice, milk powder, and medications.
About Sri Lanka
Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Prime minister: Dinesh Gunawardena
Finland will join NATO without Sweden after Turkey questions the alliance’s expansion
Pekka Haavisto, the foreign minister of Finland, suggested that Finland would have to join NATO without Sweden after Ankara questioned the alliance’s growth in response to anti-Turkey demonstrations in Stockholm.
What is NATO?
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two North American.
- NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means.
- Founders: United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, MORE
- Founded: 4 April 1949, Washington, D.C., United States
- Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
What is the background of the situation?
- In a statement released on Tuesday, Haavisto said Finland should think about joining NATO without Sweden after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to support Sweden’s bid in the wake of a Quran-burning rally in Stockholm.
- Turkish opposition to the NATO expansion has prevented Sweden and Finland from applying jointly.
- Sweden must take action against exiled Kurdish terrorists and their supporters, and it must extradite Turkish President Erdogan’s critics, according to Turkey.
- All current members, including Turkey, must ratify Sweden and Finland’s united request to join NATO.
- According to Pekka Haavisto, joint membership of the two Nordic countries is
“the first option” but “we obviously have to assess the situation, if something has happened which means that in the long term, Sweden can no longer move forward”.
- He further empathised that it is too early to tell.
Why is Finland taking the decision?
- Due to a recent demonstration in Stockholm where a Quran was burned, Turkey decided not to support Sweden’s application to join the military alliance.
- Tobias Billstrom, the foreign minister of Sweden, said,
- “We are in contact with Finland to find out what is truly meant.
- Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish far-right politician, enraged Ankara and Muslim nations throughout the world on Saturday by setting fire to a copy of the Muslim holy book outside the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital.
- Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made statements to not support Sweden for NATO.
- Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson condemned the act.
What is the way ahead?
- The anti-Turkey demonstrations, according to Haavisto, “obviously put a brake on the process” of Finland and Sweden’s applications to join the transatlantic military alliance.
- According to Haavisto
“My very own evaluation is that there might be a delay, which will definitely be finalised till the Turkish elections,”
- According to a video posted by his office on Sunday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Sunday that elections would take place on May 14, one month earlier than expected.
- According to Khaleej Times, President Erdogan had previously hinted that the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey would be held earlier than June 18.
Celebrated Architect BV Doshi Dies: “Pole Star in World of Architecture”
Balkrishna Doshi, a renowned Indian architect, and Padma Bhushan award winner passed away on Tuesday at the age of 95. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest modern Indian architects, and his death was met with a flood of condolences from prominent figures in the architecture and design community.
About Balkrishna Doshi:
Born in Pune in 1927, Doshi began his career by working with legendary architects such as Le Corbusier and Louis Khan. He partnered with Khan to build the Institute of Indian Management in Ahmedabad and many other notable projects. He established his own architecture firm, Vastushilpa, in Ahmedabad in 1956, and went on to design over 100 projects throughout his career.
He was a pioneer in his field, and his contributions to architecture, art, life, culture, and philosophy will be forever remembered. His family members are also architects and they have expressed that they will continue his legacy.
Doshi’s contributions to architecture were widely recognized and celebrated, and he received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2018, the Padma Bhushan in 2020, and the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2022.
Doshi is known for his work in designing buildings that are influenced by Indian architecture, climate, local culture, and craft traditions.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Dharmendra Pradhan with Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw successfully tests the ‘BharOS’, a Made in India mobile operating system developed by IIT Madras
Union Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan along with Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw successfully tested the ‘BharOS’, a Made In India mobile operating system developed by IIT Madras. This is an important step towards fulfilling Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a strong, indigenous & self-reliant digital infrastructure in India.
Importance of BharOS
BharOS is an important initiative towards achieving self-reliance in the digital infrastructure of India. The development of a mobile operating system indigenously is a significant step towards data privacy and security. The successful test of BharOS is a testament to India’s capability to develop cutting-edge technology that can be used by the citizens of the country.
Benefits of BharOS
- BharOS is expected to benefit the poor people of the country by providing them with a strong, indigenous, dependable & self-reliant digital infrastructure.
- The use of BharOS will help in promoting policy enablers with the whole of the government approach, which is an applied experiment of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision.
- The successful implementation of BharOS will also help in reducing India’s dependence on foreign technology and promote the use of indigenous technology.
- The successful test of BharOS is an important step towards fulfilling PM Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a strong, indigenous & self-reliant digital infrastructure in India.
- The development of BharOS is in line with the government’s focus on promoting self-reliance and reducing dependence on foreign technology.
- The government’s efforts to develop a mobile operating system indigenously is a step towards achieving the goal of a strong, self-reliant and sustainable digital infrastructure in India.
BharOS is a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in the digital infrastructure of India. The successful test of BharOS is a testament to India’s capability to develop cutting-edge technology that can be used by the citizens of the country. BharOS will benefit the poor people of the country by providing them with a strong, indigenous, dependable & self-reliant digital infrastructure. The development of BharOS is in line with the government’s focus on promoting self-reliance and reducing dependence on foreign technology, and it is an important initiative towards fulfilling PM Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a strong, indigenous & self-reliant digital infrastructure in India.
About IIT Madras:
IIT Madras is the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the premier engineering and technology institutes in India and is known for its strong academic programs and research activities in various fields such as computer science, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. It was established in 1959 and is part of the IIT system, a group of autonomous public engineering and technology institutes in India.
Ministry of Information Technology India:
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is the government ministry of the Republic of India, responsible for the formulation and administration of rules, regulations, and laws relating to electronics, information technology, and related areas in India.
The Ministry was formed in 2016 as a new department, separating the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The Ministry is responsible for the development of the Indian IT industry and the promotion of the use of technology in various sectors of the economy, including education, health, and agriculture. It also plays a key role in implementing government policies related to e-governance, cyber security, and digital identity.
25th January 2023
Indian Navy plans to set up major Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX)
The Indian Navy plans to organise a mega exercise called Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX) in the Indian Ocean Region. It will showcase almost all of its operational assets like warships, submarines and aircraft to check the force’s warfare readiness amid China’s rising military attacks in the region.
Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said-
“As part of the exercise, all surface fighters of the Indian Navy including destroyers, frigates, corvettes as well as submarines and aircraft are put through complex maritime operational deployments. They are deployed to validate and refine the Navy’s concept of operations including operational logistics and interoperability with other services.”
Phases of the exercise-
Accordingly, the exercise is being organised in different phases, i.e both in harbour and at sea. It will cover various aspects of combat operations including live weapon firings. The exercise will witness participation not only by all Indian Navy units but also of Indian Army, Indian Airforce and Coast Guard officials.
Aim of the exercise-
The biennial exercise is aimed at authenticating and refining the Navy’s concept of “operations”. The exercise also aims at testing the overall military capabilities. Also, the maritime exercise will ease the operational level interaction with the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Coast Guard. This will strengthen the interactions and joint operations in a complex environment.
Tenure of the exercise
The exercise is being organised for a duration of three months i.e from January to March. The assets of
- The Indian Army,
- The Indian Air Force and
- The Coast Guard are being showcased for the mega exercise.
Other additional exercises organised-
The Navy has also conducted the biennial tri-services amphibious exercise (AMPHEX) 2023 at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh from January 17 to 22. This exercise aimed at joint training of elements of all three services in various aspects of amphibious operations to improve interoperability and teamwork.
About Indian Navy-
The Indian Navy is the maritime branch of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral, commands the navy.
ITDC signs pact with Ministry of Ayush for promoting medical tourism
The Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has signed an agreement with Ayush Province to promote medical tourism in the field of Ayurveda and other traditional medicine systems. The agreement aims to establish India as the number one destination for travel with medical value and to facilitate “healing Indian medical value travel with Ayurveda, yoga and other Indian traditional medicine systems.”
Promoting Medical Tourism
Under the terms of the agreement, ITDC will work to establish India as the number one destination for travel with medical value in consultation with the Ayush Ministry of Tourism. Medical value travel is travel intended to maintain, improve or restore health through medical intervention. To achieve this goal, ITDC will consider setting up Ayurveda and yoga centers in the hotels it operates.
ITDC has been appointed as the Nodal Agency by the Tourism Board of India to assist the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) in promoting travel of medical value. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ITDC and the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, aims to facilitate travel of medical value in Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine systems.
The agreement between ITDC and Ayush Province is a significant step towards promoting medical tourism in India and establishing the country as the number one destination for travel with medical value. The establishment of Ayurveda and yoga centers in ITDC-run hotels will provide tourists with the opportunity to experience traditional Indian medicine systems and promote wellness tourism. The agreement was signed in the presence of key officials from both ITDC and the Ministry of AYUSH, indicating the importance of the partnership in the promotion of medical tourism in India.
About the Ministry of Ayush:
The Ministry of Ayush, a ministry of the Government of India, is responsible for developing education, research and propagation of traditional medicine systems in India. Ayush is a name devised from the names of the alternative healthcare systems covered by the ministry: Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.
UAE encourages India’s goal of achieving 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030
UAE’s bilateral relationship and cooperation with India in the area of climate and clean energy has been strengthened more. UAE now supports New Delhi’s ambition to obtain 450 gigawatts of renewable energy installed capacity by 2030. Along with it, the state has also aimed at achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)-
CEPA entered into force in May 2022. Last year, this agreement was signed to boost the UAE-India bilateral trade to USD 100 billion within five years. This agreement will encompass multi-faceted cooperation and developments in
- Food security,
- Clean energy,
- Health and technology,
- Defence, and
President and CEO of Dubai Chambers of Commerce, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah’s remarks-
“Both the countries were old energy partners. India has been the third leading importer and consumer of UAE crude oil. The ambition also aligns with the UAE’s goals to expand its clean energy capabilities to meet the targets of the UAE Energy Strategy by 2050 and the ambitions set in the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative”.
Accordingly, CEPA has offered both India and the UAE new options to cooperate and hold multiple growth opportunities offered by the energy transition. Both the nations are working together for a more sustainable future. In order to achieve this, the countries expect an enhanced cooperation in renewable energy especially solar power and hydrogen.
The United Arab Emirates, or simply the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia. It is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran.
India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world.
India Elected as Vice-Chair at the 12th Session of FAO’s Intergovernmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) for Food and Agriculture
India has been elected as the Vice-Chair in the 12th Session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held at FAO headquarters in Rome during 18-20 January 2023. Dr B N Tripathi, Deputy Director General (Animals Science), ICAR, the National Coordinator from India was elected as Vice-Chair and also as Rapporteur of the 12th Session of ITWG and represented Asia & Pacific region.
Purpose of ITWG
The ITWG of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been established by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) at its 7th Session in May 1997.
The 12th Session is intended to hold to address the issues to :
- review the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources;
- review the status of the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System; and
- preparation of the Third Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
It would also discuss to explore the role of genetic resources in mitigating and adaptation to climate change; access and benefit-sharing for genetic resources; and “digital sequence information” and potential implications for the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources.
Recognition of India’s Efforts in AnGR Conservation
- Earlier, at the Global National Coordinators Workshop held in Rome on 16-17 January 2023 prior to the ITWG meeting, efforts to conserve the diversity of India’s Great Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) were widely recognized.
- B.N. Tripathi described efforts to document national breed diversity, landrace inventory, breed registries, reporting systems, and his AnGR inconspicuously.
- At the workshop, he also shared experiences of countries submitting data to the Livestock Diversity-Information System (DAD-IS).
Future Steps for ITWG
- The next step for the ITWG is to implement the actions discussed and agreed upon during the 12th session, in order to further conserve and sustainably use animal genetic resources for food and agriculture.
- This includes implementing the Global Action Plan for Animal Genetic Resources, monitoring AnGR diversity, and preparing the 3rd National Report.
- The ITWG will also continue to address the impact of climate change on genetic resources and explore options for access and benefit-sharing for genetic resources.
Visakhapatnam railway station receives ‘Green Railway Station Certification’ with the highest Platinum rating
Visakhapatnam road station of East Coast Railway has been awarded the ‘Green Railway Station Certification’ with the highest standing of Platinum by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for its efforts in espousing green principles and reducing adverse environmental impact. The station secured 82 out of 100 points in six environmental categories, making it one of the many road stations to receive this prestigious certification.
The Environment Directorate of Indian Railroads, with the support of the IGBC, has developed the Green Railway Station standing system to address issues such as water conservation, waste management, energy efficiency, reduced use of non-renewable energy, lower dependence on virgin materials, and the health and well-being of inhabitants. Visakhapatnam road station performed well in categories such as sustainable installations, health, hygiene, energy and water efficiency, smart green enterprise, innovation, and development.
Reason for Platinum rating:
The station achieved this feat through the collective efforts of all the departments, led by EnHM WING. The IGBC conducted the survey and made recommendations based on which the following measures were implemented:
- Construction of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for waste segregation
- Setting up and operationalization of a 500KLD Sewage Treatment Plant for station and colony water
- Installation of solar panels for power conservation
- Development of passenger amenities
- 100% fitment of LED lighting
Visakhapatnam Railway Station has a history of being awarded for its efforts in sustainable development, having received the A.P. Tourism Award for 2017, the Safaigiri Award for 2018, the ISO 14001 award, and National Tourism Award for 2019. With this latest certification, Visakhapatnam Road station has once again established itself as a leader in green and sustainable development.
Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is a port city and industrial center located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the second-largest city in the state and one of the fastest-growing cities in India. The city is known for its beaches, temples, and hills, as well as its shipbuilding and steel industries. It is also a major center for education and research, with several institutes of higher learning located in the city.
Nomura Holdings elects Mahesh Natarajan as the head of its equity capital business
Nomura Holdings has hired Mahesh Natarajan as a head of its equity capital markets business in India. Accordingly, the decision of hiring Mahesh as the head of the top-level investment banking came after the company started suffering a difficult phase. Mahesh is replacing Mangesh Ghogre, who headed Nomura’s equity capital market business in India until last month.
Natarajan’s current position-
Presently, Natarajan heads the equity capital markets which includes initial public offerings and block deals for Nomura’s domestic rival ICICI Securities. Accordingly, he has spent nearly 17 years with the firm. Earlier, he has also worked with Morgan Stanley earlier.
It has been reported that Natarajan will join the Japanese firm’s Indian unit in the coming months. The reason behind late joining is that the hiring decision is not public.
About Nomura Holdings Inc-
It is a Japanese financial holding company and a principal member of the Nomura Group. It, along with its broker-dealer, banking and other financial services subsidiaries, provides
- Financing and related services to individual, institutional, and government customers on a global basis with an emphasis on securities businesses.
Participation of the company-
Nomura has been part of the equity deals worth nearly $830 million in India and was ranked 10th in 2022. Accordingly, Indian companies raised around $19.4 billion from equity capital markets in 2022.
Atal Innovation Mission to transform education sector with Tinkering and AI
NITI Aayog, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and Intel India have cooperated to bring a change in the education sector. They are planning to embed future technological skills such as AI and Tinkering in the formal curriculum.
A pilot program was organised-
At the program, there was a display of AIoT integration-based lesson plans made by teachers themselves. They created it after acquiring training and orientation by experts from the academic and technology sector.
Demonstrations by students using Tinkering and AI-
Accordingly, a demonstration of AI and AIoT-enabled social impact projects were built by students using tinkering and AI. They were also guided by their teachers. Around 70 compendium lesson plans were released to set the pace for schools and educators for those who want to join the momentum for building digital readiness in the country.
What is compendium–
The compendium is a collection of lesson plans initiated by the teachers. Each lesson provides a 360-degree view of how AIoT integration can be used to improve learning in a classroom.
Aim of the collaboration-
The aim behind the collaboration is to range the NEP 2020’s guidance in order to increase the speed of tech integration for youth. The cooperation also focuses on the need to develop the future skills gap in the country. Along with it, it has aimed to optimize the current infrastructure like ATLs, etc towards making India AI-ready.
Chief guest, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, said, “Learning a concept in multiple ways with multiple modes strengthens the understanding of the concept. I thank CBSE and Intel India for this collaboration with AIM and congratulate all the participating schools who were part of the pilot of the ‘AIoT Integration in Curriculum’ program, on being the trailblazers. I hope that this compendium of AIoT integrated lesson plans created by educators is taken up by teachers across the country, to explore AIoT exemplar lesson plans and implement them in the classrooms, with utmost sense of urgency.”
About Atal tinkering labs-
Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) is a sub-mission under the Atal Innovation Mission of the Government of India. The aim and objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds. It also aims at inculcating skills such as,
- Design mindset,
- Computational thinking,
- Adaptive learning,
- Physical computing etc.
Nagaland Orange Festival hosted in Nagaland
The Orange Festival is being observed in Nagaland for two days. To recognise the dedication of orange producers, the state is hosting the Nagaland Fruit Festival. Recently, the state’s orange revenue nearly doubled. Fruit festivals are well-known worldwide. The Orange Festival in Amsterdam, the Mango Festival in India, the Cranberry Festival in Canada, the Pineapple Festival in Thailand, and the Pumpkin Festival in Germany are some of the most well-known fruit festivals worldwide. The first of July is recognised as International Fruit Day.
What are the features of the festival?
- The festival will be held in the village of Rusoma, which is close to Kohima.
- This year marks the third edition of the Nagaland Fruit Festival.
- The Rusoma Village council was in charge of organizing the Nagaland Fruit Festival.
- The horticultural department and council collaborated to organise the festival.
What is the importance of the festival?
- Orange generates between four and five crores in revenue for the state.
- In Nagaland, there are currently 78,000 orange trees.
- The celebration will serve as an excellent example for the other Nagas.
- In Nagaland and other northeastern states, the Nagas want their own land.
- Additionally, the festival will support India’s Look East Policy.
- According to this concept, India will enhance its trade with East and South East Asia by using the North Eastern states.
What are the other Fruit Festivals in India?
- The Banana Festival: Kerala
- Pineapple Festival: Manipur
- Mango Festival: Delhi and different parts of India
- Jack Fruit Festival: Kerala
- International Orange Festival: Nagpur
- Konkan Fruit Festival: Goa
- Strawberries Fruit Festival: Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
National Tourism Day being celebrated on January 25
The Indian government is observing this year’s National Tourism Day in Pochampally, Telangana. The Indian government is commencing its national-level festivities of the day from this village because the United Nations World Tourism Organization named the town one of the Best Tourism Villages in the world in 2021. The IKAT saris from the village are popular. They are handwoven and unique. India’s tourist industry brought in 9 billion USD in foreign exchange in 2021.
History of National Tourism Day
- In 1948, the country observed its first National Tourism Day.
- The nation celebrated its first National Tourism Day in 1948.
- Tourism was given its own department under the transportation umbrella in 1958.
- Currently, there is a separate Tourism Ministry for it.
- India recently launched the E-tourist Visa.
- With this, citizens of 40 different nations can apply online for an Indian visa.
- For the purpose of requesting a visa, they are not required to visit the Indian Embassy there.
Is there an International Tourism Day?
- World Tourism Day is observed on September 27 by the UN and other international organisations.
- The UN observes the day to promote tourism.
- Additionally, it tries to raise awareness of its impact on many social, financial, and political spheres.
- The UN observes World Agritourism Day on May 15.
11 billion tap water connections achieved through Jal Jeevan Mission
The Jal Jeevan Mission recently received praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for connecting 11 crore people to tap water. In 2019, the PM announced the mission. Providing tap water connections to every Indian family is the mission’s primary goal. 2024 is the deadline for achieving the goal. GoI allotted Rs 3.5 trillion for this mission. It is being put into effect by the Jal Shakti Ministry.
What are the reforms?
- GoI will change its focus from “Habitations to Households” as part of the mission.
- The government will make decisions based on the size of the population rather than the size of the land.
- The focus will be on providing services.
- The Village Water and Sanitation Committee will have 50% female members.
- Encouragement of community ownership.
- Pay attention to a public utility.
- Localities with contaminated groundwater will receive deliveries of potable drinking water.
- Since technology would be used to accomplish the plan, there will be no problems with accountability and transparency.
What are the funds allocated?
- The project’s funding is being split between the central and state governments.
- They split the funds equally, 50/50.
- It is 90:10 in the northern states.
- 10% of the funding goes to the state of the North East.
US President Biden understands first-hand impact layoffs can have on family: White House
US President Joe Biden understands the impact that job loss can have on a family, the White House has said in light of recent layoffs by major tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook that have left thousands of Indian-American IT professionals unemployed.
Statement by the White House:
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press conference, “The President understands first-hand how the impact of losing a job can have on a family. He understands that veritably tête-à-tête.” Jean-Pierre also stated that President Biden would do everything in his power to make sure the US economy works for everyone.
Reason for Layoffs:
The layoffs in the tech sector have been attributed to the shift in consumer behavior during the pandemic, where digital consumption soared and companies diversified their portfolios and increased hiring. However, as consumers have cut back on digital usage as normality returns, companies have been forced to restructure and cut costs.
The situation of Indian IT professionals:
Indian IT professionals in the US who have lost their jobs due to the layoffs are now struggling to find new employment within the allowed period under their work visas following the termination of their employment.
Jean-Pierre did not comment on the difficulties being faced by IT professionals who are not getting an extension of their H-1B visas.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in certain occupations that require theoretical or specialized expertise. Indians make up a large proportion of the recipients of H-1B and other work visas granted to foreign workers, many in the tech industry.
About the USA:
As a country, the United States is known for its diverse population and strong economy. It is the world’s largest economy and a leading global superpower in terms of military, political, and economic influence. The country has a capitalist economy and is home to many of the world’s largest companies and industries.
The United States is also known for its democratic system of government, with a president as the head of state and a two-party system. The country has a strong tradition of civil liberties and individual rights, protected by a system of checks and balances.
About Joe Biden:
Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States, who took office on January 20, 2021. He is a member of the Democratic Party and served as Vice President under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Prior to that, he served as a U.S. Senator from Delaware for 36 years.
Biden’s key priorities as President include tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, creating jobs, and addressing economic inequality. He also plans to address climate change, improve access to healthcare, and promote racial and social justice.
Biden Renominates Indo-American Arun Subramanian as NY District Court Judge
US President Joe Biden has renominated Indian-American attorney Arun Subramanian to be the District Court judge for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed, Subramanian would be the first South Asian judge to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Subramanian’s nomination was first announced by the White House in September 2022. However, it could not be confirmed by the former Congress. The White House on Monday transferred his nomination, along with the case of several other district court appointees, to the Senate for its renewed consideration.
About Arun Subramanian
- Born in Pittsburgh in 1979, to Indian parents, Subramanian is currently a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP in New York, where he has worked since 2007.
- He has represented both complainants and defendants in a range of cases and specializes in complex civil action at both the trial and appellate level.
- He served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court of the United States from 2006 to 2007 and Judge Gerard E. Lynch on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2006.
- He also worked as a law clerk for Judge Dennis Jacobs on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 2004 to 2005.
Arun Subramanian is a highly qualified attorney with a strong track record of pro bono service and representation of both complainants and defendants in a range of cases. His nomination as the District Court judge for the Southern District of New York would be a significant milestone for the South Asian community and the Asian American community. The Senate should consider his nomination swiftly and confirm him as a judge.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
President approves conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards 2022
The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, has approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2021 on 51 persons which includes Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak to 06, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak to 16 and Jeevan Raksha Padak to 29 persons. Five awardees are posthumous.
- The Jeevan Raksha Padak is a civilian lifesaving award presented by the Government of India. The award was originally called the Jeevan Raksha Padak, Class III. Jeevan Raksha Padak awards, an offshoot of the Ashoka Chakra series of Gallantry awards, were instituted in the year 1961.
- As the name implies, the award is given to the saviour of someone’s life, basically, for meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person in cases like drowning in water, accidents, fire incidents, electrocution, natural calamities, rescue operation in mines etc.
- The award is mainly given in three categories:
- Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak is awarded for conspicuous courage in saving life under circumstances of very great danger to the life of the rescuer. (Lump sum allowance: ₹ 2,00,000/-)
- Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak is awarded for courage and promptitude in saving life under circumstances of great danger to the life of the rescuer. (Lump sum allowance: ₹ 1,50,000/-)
- Jeevan Raksha Padak is awarded for courage and promptitude in saving life under circumstances of grave bodily injury to the rescuer. (Lump sum allowance: ₹ 1,00,000/-)
- The award may be given posthumous.
The recommendations of the award are considered by the Awards Committee within a period of two calendar years from the date of performance of the act and then the recommendations are made by award committee to the President or the Prime Minister The award is presented in the form of a medallion and a certificate signed by the Union Home Minister.
President and it’s power
The President of India is the Head of State. The system of government of India is a cabinet form of government. The Indian President is, therefore, a constitutional head. The primary duty of the President is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law of India as made part of his oath. The constitutional powers and functions of the President of India may be classified into six principal types.
Software for e-inspection of digitised judicial files launched at Delhi HC
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Chandrachud launched software for the electronic viewing of digitized court files at the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, stating that it is the first Supreme Court in India to introduce such a file viewing method. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Delhi Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and other judges.
Advantages of e-inspection
Previously, lawyers and litigants had to travel to the High Court to view litigation files. The introduction of e-inspection software eliminates this need, reducing paperwork and making the process more convenient for all parties involved.
Initiatives of Delhi HC
CJI Chandrachud also mentioned that the facilities provided by the Delhi High Court for judges, lawyers, and litigants are far more advanced than other High Courts and “in some respects also surpass the Supreme Court.”
The CJI also mentioned that he, as a judge and chairman of the Information Technology Commission of the Delhi High Court, was in constant contact with Judge Rajiv Shakdher when the High Court introduced neutral citations, a form of citation in which the court assigns each decision a unique serial number.
CJI Chandrachud also spoke of other initiatives that he has adopted after November 9, 2022, including a new mobile justice app and live streaming option which is also in the High Court’s digitization pipeline. The new move will help keep judges, attorneys and litigants on the same page when dealing with issues, and the files can also be saved in PDF format.
The launch of e-inspection software at the Delhi High Court is a step in the right direction toward the sustainable transformation of the correctional system. It will reduce unnecessary burdens, and increase convenience, and as CJI stated, the next step is to implement it in all the High Courts, the Supreme Court, and most importantly the District Courts.
CJI Announces Launch of Service to Provide Verdicts in Listed Languages
Today Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud announced the launch of a Supreme Court service that will provide verdicts in listed languages from Republic Day. This service is a part of the electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) design, which aims to make available verdicts in some listed languages free of cost.
The functionality of e-SCR:
The e-SCR design includes nearly 9000 judgments and an advanced search feature. Additionally, the service now includes over 3091 judgments in indigenous languages, which will be launched on Republic Day. The verdicts will be available on the apex court website, its mobile app, and on the judgment gateway of the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG).
The service includes judgments in 21 Oriya, 14 Marathi, 4 Assamese, 17 Kannada, 29 Malayalam, 3 Nepali, 4 Punjabi, 52 Tamil, 28 Telugu and 3 Urdu. The CJI stated that the court is on a mission to provide its judgements in all listed languages.
The e-SCR service is a free service available for attorneys across the country. It allows young lawyers to access judgments without having to pay. The advanced search feature, known as elastic search, allows for efficient search options such as text search, case type, and case time search, judge search, time and volume search, and bench strength search.
The launch of the e-SCR service is a significant step towards making the legal system more accessible to people who may not be fluent in English. It is expected to increase transparency and bring ease of justice. The service will be available on Republic Day and will be accessible through the Supreme Court website, mobile app, and the NJDG.
Chief Justice of India:
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the head of the Indian judiciary and the highest-ranking judge of the Supreme Court of India. The CJI presides over the Supreme Court and is responsible for the administration of justice in the country. The CJI is appointed by the President of India, in consultation with other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The CJI holds office for a term of five years, or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier.