MP’s Vidisha Becomes India’s 1st District for on-Ground Deployment of 5G Use Cases Offered by StartupsVidisha, an aspirational district of Madhya Pradesh(MP) becomes India’s first district for on-ground deployment of 5G(fifth-generation) use cases offered by startups.
- This is a joint initiative by Vidisha District Administration and Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, under the guidance of V.L Kantha Rao, Additional Secretary (Telecom) & Administrator of Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
5G use case promotional pilot:
On 12th January 2023, during V.L Kantha Rao’s visit to Vidisha, the startups in collaboration with C-DOT demonstrated the following 5G use cases,
- Superceuticals– 5G/4G Enabled smart health kiosk for measuring vitals & performing tests almost instantaneously with
- Ambupod: 5G/4G Enabled Auto Ambulance with basic life safety support & measurement of vitals with remote doctor support.
- LogyAI: Cataract Eye Screening application using smartphone for quick & effective screening of cataract disease
- Easiofy: AR/VR-3D visualization application for Lung & Brain scans (CT/XRAY etc.) for effective diagnosis.
- TechXR: AR/VR- 3D immersive experience kit for students for enhanced learning & teaching tool for innovative teaching methods.
- BKC Aggregators: Fasal Salah App- personalized crop advisory for farmers to take informed decisions and connect with Mandis/Traders, state subsidies/insurance for crops
- Dvara- Surabhi: Unique Biometric muzzle identity of cattle to be used by the state department and insurance companies, and predicting health status of cattle to be used by dairy farmers
- C-DOT (R&D Arm of DoT): One stop platform integrating all the health suits enabling Tele consultation and e-learning solution suits.
i.Under 5G use case promotional pilot, the above-mentioned use cases will be deployed at community and district health centres model schools and Agri and Dairy Farmers skill development centres for 1 year. This may be extended subsequently as per the need.
ii.These digital solutions will also be powered by BharatNet broadband to provide uninterrupted services to user communities of Vidisha.
- DoT is front-ending the “5G use case promotional pilot” for deploying 5G/4G/IoT innovative solutions of Startups & SMEs at Vidisha with a focus on Health, Agriculture, Diary, Education & Skill Development, benefiting the Vidisha community.
iii.During the event, the purchase cum Service orders and agreements have been signed with C-DOT and 7 Startups in presence of the officials of the Ministry of Communications, C-DOT and Vidisha District Administration at the Vidisha district Collectorate.
FSSAI notifies first-ever Regulatory Standards for Basmati RiceFor the first time in India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has formulated identity standards for basmati rice (including brown basmati, milled basmati, parboiled brown basmati, and milled parboiled basmati) through Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2023.
- These standards will be implemented from August 1, 2023.
- Basmati rice in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian subcontinent and is universally known for its long grain size, fluffy texture and unique inherent aroma and flavour.
Aim behind this regulatory standards:
To establish fair practices in the trade of basmati rice and protect consumer interest at domestic and global level.
What are the standards?
i.As per it, Basmati rice should possess its natural fragrance and should be free from artificial colouring, polishing agents, and artificial fragrances.
ii.It should also specify various identity and quality parameters for basmati rice such as average size of grains and their elongation ratio after cooking, maximum limits of moisture, amylose content, uric acid, defective or damaged grains and incidental presence of other non-basmati rice etc.
Reason behind the Formulation of these Standards:
As basmati rice are of premium quality rice and fetch a price higher than the non-basmati varieties, it is prone to adulteration for economic gains which may include, undeclared blending of other non-basmati varieties of rice.
- In order to overcome this scenario, and to ensure supply of standardized genuine basmati rice in domestic and export markets, FSSAI has notified regulatory standards for basmati rice.
India & US Establish New Trade Group to Build Sustainable Supply Chains
India and the United States of America(USA) have established a new working group to build sustainable supply chains and boost bilateral trade. This working group will initially focus on trade facilitation, digitization of customs procedures, issues related to sustainable finance and the scaling up of innovative clean technologies.
- The countries also agreed to continue close monitoring of visa issues and increase dialogue on food and agricultural trade issues in 2023 at the Trade Policy Forum meeting co-chaired by India’s trade minister, Piyush Goyal, and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
People aged 65+ worldwide to more than double from 761 mn in 2021 to 1.6 bn in 2050: UNThe United Nations (UN) in its World Social Report 2023 projected that the number of people aged 65 years or older worldwide will more than double from 761 million in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2050.
- It is published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
- The report has suggested the countries should undertake pension reforms including raising the retirement age to ensure income security for all older persons, including informal workers.
i.Northern Africa, Western Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to experience the fastest growth in the number of older people over the next three decades.
- Currently, Europe and Northern America have the highest share of older persons.
ii.Older persons should be able to continue working for as long as they desire and are able, but should not be compelled to do so.
iii.The governments should work to eliminate barriers to the participation of older people in the labour force and supporting their learning and skills development throughout the life course.
iv.Public spending in most countries has not been sufficient to cover the growing demand for long-term care.
v.Globally, a child born in 2021 can expect to live, on average, to age 71, with women living longer than men.
UN Reports: 5 Million Children Died Before Their Fifth Birthday in 2021; 1.9 Million Stillborn in 2021 Globally According to the recent data published in the “Levels & Trends in Child Mortality” report by the United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME), an estimated 5 million children died before turning five, with nearly half (47%) dying during their first month.
- In 2021, another 2.1 million children and youth between the ages 5–24 years lost their lives.
- According to the report, while mortality rates have decreased since 2000, progress has slowed in the last 12 years.
According to a separate report titled “Never Forgotten” by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 1.9 million babies were stillborn in 2021, with more than three-quarters (77%) occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
- Many of these deaths may have been avoided if one had equitable access to high-quality maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health care.
Key Points from The Reports:
i.Since 2000, the global under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) has declined by 50%, while mortality rates in older children and youth have decreased by 36%, and the stillbirth rate has decreased by 35%.
- This can be directly attributed to increased investments in primary health care systems to benefit women, children, and young people.
ii.However, if health services are not implemented quickly, nearly 59 million children and youth could die before 2030, and close to 16 million babies could be lost to stillbirth.
iii.Although Sub-Saharan Africa only accounted for 29% of live births globally, the region was responsible for 56% of all under-five fatalities in 2021, and southern Asia for 26% of the total.
iv.In 2021, the under-five deaths decreased to 5 million, and the global U5MR decreased to 38 per 1,000 live births.
- The risk of childhood mortality is highest in children born in sub-Saharan Africa.
v.Children born in Sub-Saharan Africa have the highest risk of childhood death in the world, with a U5MR of 74 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2021, compared to the global rate.
- This is 15 times higher than the risk for children in Europe and Northern America, and 19 times higher than the risk in Australia and New Zealand.
vi.Sub-Saharan Africa experienced nearly half of all stillbirths.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, stillbirths are seven times more common than they are in Europe and North America.
About the United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME):
UN IGME is led by UNICEF and includes the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.
Formed in – 2004
SEBI allows AIFs to participate in CDS transactions; allows MFs to switch from Active to Passive ELSS schemesi.On January 12, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has amended the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds-AIF) Regulations, 2012 to allow Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) to participate in the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) market as protection buyers and sellers.
ii.Regulations 16(1)(aa),17(da), 18(ab)and 20(11) of AIF Regulations enable AIFs to participate in CDS.
iii.SEBI also allowed Mutual Funds (MFs) with active Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) to launch passively managed open-ended ELSS schemes.
iv.SEBI has allowed the stock exchanges to launch multiple contracts of a commodity to attract more participation of investors in commodity derivatives market. For its implementation exchanges are required to make necessary amendments to the relevant bye-laws, rules and regulations, and inform the same to their members.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
UBI Sanctions 150 Agri Drone Loans for Garuda Kisan Drones under AIFOn 12th January 2022, Chennai-based Drone Startup, Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd, partnered with the Union Bank of India (UBI). Under this partnership, 150 Garuda Agri Kisan drones have received sanction for Loan under the Union Kisan Pushpak Scheme.
- This partnership is for the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme and capital subsidy under sub-mission on Agriculture Mechanization (SMAM).
i.The UBI has launched the Union Kisan Pushpak Scheme for financing Kisan Drones in the field of digitisation of land records and operations in crop production, spraying of fertilisers, chemicals, growth promoters and pesticides which helps farmers in growing their crop yield and improving their income.
ii.The AIF scheme will finance 150 drone applications that will benefit the farmer community and create 150 skilled pilots who will engage to become entrepreneurs and improve farmers income.
iii.Garuda Aerospace is training 1 lakh youth free of cost and is targeting to sell 5,000 drones before 31st March 2023.
Points to note:
i.Garuda Kisan drone is the 1st to receive the Agri drone loan in July 2022 from Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar.
ii.AIF Scheme has about Rs 1 lakh crore out of which Rs 1,000 crores have been allocated to drones.
- The AIF loans are collateral-free and can secure up to Rs.10 lakhs with three months of EMI relaxation and a 5 percent interest rate for the youth and farmers.
About Union Bank of India (UBI):
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – A. Manimekhalai
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1919
Tagline – Good People To Bank With
SBI Launches E-Bank Guarantee (E-BG) Facility
State Bank of India (SBI) has launched an e-Bank Guarantee (e-BG) facility in association with National e-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) to enhance transparency and reduce turnaround time from days to minutes. NeSL’s Digital Document Execution (DDE) platform, which provides e-Stamp and e-Sign functions, will facilitate the e-Bank Guarantee process and also the beneficiaries will instantly receive an e-Bank Guarantee on NeSL’s platform without further verification.
- The introduction of e-BG will replace the existing issuance of guarantees through physical stamping and wet signatures with e-stamping and e-signature.
Retail Inflation Eases to One-Year Low of 5.72% In December 2022According to data provided by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Retail Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased to a one-year low of 5.72% in December 2022.
- This decrease was primarily caused by a sharp deflation (-15.08%) in vegetable prices and an easing of price pressures in the broader “food and beverages” category.
In November 2022, the retail inflation rate was 5.88%.
- The consumer price index measures retail inflation by monitoring price changes in the most commonly purchased consumer goods and services.
- It is estimated for a given list of items such as food, housing, apparel, transportation, electronics, medical care, education, and so on.
i.For the second month in a row, Headline Inflation, or Wholesale Price Inflation (WPI), stayed below the upper limit of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) medium-term target of 2-6%.
ii.Food price inflation, which makes up about 40% of the CPI basket, decreased from 4.67% in November 2022 to 4.19% in December 2022.
iii.In December 2022, Core CPI Inflation—the measure of inflation that excludes food and fuel—remained strong at 6.1%, with evidence of significant inflation in the services sector.
iv.For the first time in 11 months, inflation dropped to below 6% in November 2022.
- The RBI projected 6.7% inflation for fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23).
v.In December 2022, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the repo rate by 35 basis points (bps) to 6.25%, the fifth increase in the current fiscal year (FY23), bringing the policy rate to its highest level since August 2018.
L&T Partners with H2Carrier to Develop Floating Green Hydrogen Projects
On 13th January 2023, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) signed an agreement with the Norway-based H2Carrier (H2C) to develop floating green ammonia projects for industrial-scale applications. Under the MoU, L&T and H2C will become a partner for Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commissioning (EPCIC) of the topsides for H2C’s floating process plants.
- H2C has expertise in developing and integrating Power-to-X (PtX) projects based on affordable, often stranded, non-commercial renewable power.
- H2C plans to build the P2XFloater hull at yards in Asia, and L&T will design and fabricate the topside process and utility modules to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia, including electrolysers, nitrogen generation plant, and ammonia synthesis unit.
Cognizant appoints Ravi Kumar S as CEO; succeeds Brian HumphriesOn 12th January 2023, Cognizant, an Information technology (IT) company, announced the appointment of Ravi Kumar S as its Chief Executive officer (CEO) with immediate effect. He was also named as a member of the Board of Directors of Cognizant.
- Ravi Kumar S succeeds Brian Humphries, who resigned from the post of CEO due to Cognizant’s recent underperformance on 9th January 2023.
- Brian Humphries will remain as a special advisor of Cognizant until 15th March 2023 to facilitate a smooth transition.
i. Stephen J. Rohleder, a member of Cognizant’s Board since March 2022, has been elected Chair of the Board.
- Former Chair Michael Patsalos-Fox will remain on the Board as an independent director.
ii. Surya Gummadi, a 24-year veteran of Cognizant, has been named President of Cognizant Americas.
- She had held the role on an interim basis since July 2022 and previously served as SVP of Cognizant’s Health Sciences business segment.
About Ravi Kumar S:
i. Ravi Kumar S currently serves on the board of directors of TransUnion, a computer and information technology company.
ii. Ravi Kumar joins Cognizant after a 20-year career at Infosys, where he held a number of leadership positions. He served as the President of Cognizant from January 2016 to October 2022.
iii. He started his career as a nuclear scientist at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center and joined Infosys in 2002.
iv. He oversaw the Business Process Management (BPM) Unit and was Chair of the Board of Infosys BPM Ltd. He has been in charge of the business operations of Infosys in China, Japan, Latin America, and India.
v. He has led the Infosys Global Services Organization across all global industry segments, driving digital transformation services, consulting services, technology services, engineering services, data & analytics, cloud and infrastructure, and enterprise package applications service lines.
CEO- Ravi Kumar S
Headquarters- Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
UAE Names Oil Chief Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber as COP28 Climate PresidentThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) has named Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of UAE and Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company(ADNOC), as President of the COP28 climate summit.
- The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in Dubai, UAE, from 30th November to 12th December 2023.
On 12th January 2023, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of the Presidential Court appointed Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber as President-Designate for the COP28).
- Shamma Al Mazrui appointed COP28 UAE Youth Climate Champion.
- Razan Al Mubarak appointed COP28 UAE UN Climate Change High-Level Champion.
Conference of the Parties (COP):
i. According to UNFCCC, the COP is the convention’s top decision-making body.
ii. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, which examines the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts.
iii. It also makes decisions regarding institutional and administrative arrangements that are necessary to support the Convention’s effective implementation.
iv. The COP27 Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference was held n the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in 2022.
This is the 1st formal assessment of the progress which will be held at COP28 in reducing emissions since the Paris Agreement was signed. It is referred to as a Global Stocktake (GST).
Election and Membership:
The 3 bureaux of the governing and subsidiary organisations and the 17 constituted technical bodies make up the institutional framework for climate change created under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.
About Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber:
i. He serves as the chairman of Masdar, a government-owned renewable energy corporation, which now operates in more than 40 countries. He also served as the UAE’s Climate Envoy.
ii. Al Jaber’s role as COP28 President will be vital in leading intergovernmental negotiations and influencing the outcomes of the UN climate change conference.
About the United Arab Emirates (UAE):
Prime Minister- Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
President- Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Capital- Abu Dhabi
Currency- United Arab Emirates Dirham
Alibaba Sells 3.1% Stake in Paytm for USD 125 million via Block Deal
On 12th January 2023, China’s Alibaba Group sold a 3.1% stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm for USD 125 million through a block deal. Alibaba, which owned a 6.26% stake in Paytm as of September 2022, sold its stake at Rs 536.95 apiece.
- Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, ot listed on the Indian stock exchanges on 18 November 2021 after an Initial Public Offering(IPO). Paytm raised USD 2.5 billion in India’s largest IPO.
Apax Partners Sells its Entire Stake in Shriram Finance
On 13th January 2023, Private equity player Apax Partners’ subsidiary Dynasty Acquisition is likely to sell its entire stake, up to 1.73 crore shares or 4.63 percent stake, in Shriram Finance through a block deal. As per the report, Apax will offer up to a 6 percent discount on deals. The deal size is Rs 2,250 crore including the green shoe option. Kotak Securities is likely to be the broker for the deal.
- In 2015, Apax had acquired a stake in Shriram City from TPG Capital. Presently, Apex holds a 4.63 percent stake in Shriram Finance, the merged entity of Shriram City and Shriram Transport.
‘ICGS Kamla Devi’: Last Vessel of FPV Series Commissioned in Kolkata, West BengalThe Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) “Kamla Devi,” the fifth and last vessel in the series of fast-patrol vessels (FPVs), was commissioned in Kolkata, West Bengal.
- The vessel was built indigenously by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), Kolkata, in a public-private partnership (PPP) with Titagarh Wagons Limited (TWL) to the specifications of Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
- The ICGS Kamladevi is named after ‘Kamla Devi Chattopadhyay’, a social reformer and freedom activist who advocated for the advancement of artisans and craftsmen across India as well as the promotion of the performing arts.
- She also campaigned for the socio economic upliftment of women in India and was awarded the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Ramon Magsaysay Award.
Features of ICGS Kamla Devi
i.The ICGS Kamla Devi has a length of 48.9 metres and a width of 7.5 metres, with a displacement of 308 tonnes.
- The vessel has a top speed of 34 knots and an endurance of over 1,500 nautical miles.
ii.It is propelled by three 71S type III Kamewa waterjets from Rolls-Royce and is powered by MTU 4000 series engines.
- It is equipped with a 40/60 gun as its primary armament and features an Integrated Bridge System.
iii.The ICGS Kamla Devi will patrol the seas and conduct anti-smuggling, anti-poaching, and search-and-rescue missions as needed.
“MV Ma Lisha” Set Sail Towards Cooperative Republic of Guyana
The “MV Ma Lisha,” a passenger-and-cargo oceangoing ferry built for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, was flagged off by Commodore (retired) P R Hari, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of GRSE.
- The ship was launched on June 15, 2022.
- It is designed and built by GRSE, a Defense Public Sector Unit (DPSU).
i.This is the first such ship built by any DPSU shipyard for export to a Latin American country.
ii.The “MV Ma Lisha” will travel to Chennai, where it will be loaded onto a semi-submersible vessel, the “MV Sun Rise,” for its journey to Guyana.
iii.The 70-metre-long vessel with a displacement of 1,700 tonnes is propelled by two diesel engines and has a maximum speed of 15 knots.
Former Union Minister Sharad Yadav Passed AwayOn 12th January 2023, Sharad Yadav, former Union minister and one of India’s most prominent socialist leaders, passed away in Gurugram, Haryana. He was born on 1st July 1947 in Babai, Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh.
About Sharad Yadav:
i. Sharad Yadav is a prominent Indian politician and founder-member of Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Sharad Yadav.
ii. He was a 7-time former Lok Sabha Member of Parliament and had been elected thrice to Rajya Sabha (1986, 2004, and 2014).
i. He joined the Bharatiya Lok Dal (Lok Dal) in the 1970s and later became the National General Secretary of the Lok Dal in 1979.
ii. He was first elected to the 5th Lok Sabha in the by-election held in 1974 from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh he was re-elected from the same in 1977.
iii. He played an important role in the formation of the Janata Dal (JD) in 1988, under the leadership of V.P. Singh.
iv. He has been elected 4 times from Bihar’s Madhepura (1991, 1996, 1999, and 2009).
v. He served as the Chairman of the Janata Dal Parliamentary Board from 1989 to 1997 and was also the Union Minister for Textiles and Food Processing Industries from 1989 to 1990.
vi. He also served as the Union Minister for Civil Aviation (1999-2001), the Minister of Labour (2001-2002) and the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (2002-2004).
vii. In 2018, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar founded the Loktantrik Janata Dal with their supporters.
UP Attracts Investments Worth Rs 76,867 Crore Ahead of UPGIS 2023The Government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) has received investment offers worth Rs. 76,867 crore from across India and signed 79 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit (UPGIS) 2023.
- UPGIS 2023 is the flagship investment summit of the Government of Uttar Pradesh and it is set to take place in Lucknow (UP) from February 10 to 12, 2023.
- The proposals and MoUs were signed during the Lucknow Roadshow held on the initiative of Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, Minister of Industrial Development, UP.
REC Inks 3 Strategic MoUs in Backdrop of MP Global Investors Summit 2023
REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited), a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Power, signed strategic MoUs in the backdrop of the “Invest Madhya Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023.”
- Madhya Pradesh (MP) hosted the Invest Madhya Pradesh—Global Investors Summit 2023 (7th edition) in Indore, MP, on January 11-12, 2023.
About Uttar Pradesh (UP):
Chief Minister (CM) – Yogi Adityanath
Governor – Anandiben Patel