MoD signs Rs 470 crore Contract with UDPL for Modernisation of Naval Aircraft Yards at Goa & KochiOn 31st March 2023, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Ultra Dimensions Private Limited (UDPL), Visakhapatnam for the modernisation of Naval Aircraft Yards (NAYs) at Goa and Kochi (Kerala), at a cost of approximately Rs 470 crore.
- The NAYs would service and repair Naval Aircraft, Aero Engines, Rotables and Test Equipment at Goa and Kochi, Kerala.
The MoD has also signed a contract with Mecon Ltd, Ranchi, Jharkhand, as Project Monitoring Consultant, at a cost of Rs 24 crore.
i. The induction of the latest state-of-the-art aircraft to the Indian Navy inventory necessitates the modernization of existing maintenance and repair facilities at NAYs to bridge the technological and capability gap and address current and future aviation maintenance challenges.
ii. The modernisation includes repair facilities with state of Art automated machinery and Composite repair bays.
iii. Over three years, this project will create more than 1.8 lakh man-days of employment.
iv. The modernization will improve the operational readiness of Naval Aviation Platforms and reduce dependence on external agencies and foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for repairs.
10th Annual Indian Navy & Sri Lanka Navy Bilateral Maritime Exercise SLINEX-2023 commences at ColomboOn April 3, 2023, the 10th edition of annual bilateral maritime exercise between Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and India Navy (IN) ‘SLINEX-2023’ commenced in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- The exercise is divided into two phases, namely the Harbour Phase, which will be held from April 3-5, 2023, followed by the Sea Phase from April 6-8, 2023.
- The opening ceremony of SLINEX-2023 was attended by Sri Lankan Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, and India’s Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob.
To enhance interoperability, improving mutual understanding and exchanging best procedures in the multi-faceted maritime operations between the navies
IN: INS Kiltan (Advanced Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette) and INS Savitri (Offshore Patrol Vessel)
- Participant: Chetak helicopter and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft
SLN: SLNS Gajabahu (Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel) and SLNS Sagara (OPV)
- Participant: Sri Lanka Air Force Dornier and BEL 412 helicopters
i.As part of the Harbour Phase of the exercise, personnel from both navies will engage in a range of activities, including sports, yoga, and cultural events, aimed at promoting mutual learning, shared values, and
- Additionally, to increase public awareness and interest in the armed forces, the Indian Naval ships will be open to visitors, including school children.
ii.The interactions between the Sri Lankan and the Indian navies have grown significantly in accordance with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.
- This exercise strengthened mutual cooperation in the maritime domain.
iii.The previous edition of SLINEX was held in Visakhapatnam in March 2022.
Axis Bank Introduces ‘Digital Dukaan’ Business Management Solution for Merchants The third-largest private sector bank in India, Axis Bank, has collaborated with Visa and announced the launch of “Digital Dukaan”, a comprehensive digital offering that would allow merchants to accept payments through a number of digital modes and conduct day-to-day business digitally.
i.Digital Dukaan, an Android Smart POS (Point of Sale) application, is exclusively developed to address business needs such as accepting digital payments, inventory management, billing, and much more.
ii.With an inbuilt camera and LED flashlight, this Android Smart POS application can scan product barcodes, pay option for transactions up to Rs. 5,000, and allow tapping.
iii.It will offer value-added services like EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment), BQR, Sodexo card acceptance, Buy Now Pay Later, etc.
iv.Furthermore, Digital Dukaan will help merchants easily set up an online store and expand their business by creating new channels.
v.It would also simplify the process for merchants to notify customers about ongoing offers, discounts, and promotions via SMS.
Key Features of ‘Digital Dukaan’:
- Inventory management – hassle-free stock management; receipt of alerts and reminders on limited stocks, as well as a pre-loaded catalogue
- Digital Billing—Quick Billing accepts a wide range of payment options, including credit/debit cards, UPI (Unified Payments Interface), and others.
- Customized real-time business reporting: Getting reports that are tailored to help manage the organisation efficiently
- Digital Khatabook—Easy credit management and customer payment collection.
- Customer management – managing customer data and providing loyalty options.
About Axis Bank Ltd:
MD&CEO – Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1993
Tagline – Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi
KVB inks pact with SBI Life to market insurance schemesKarur Vysya Bank Ltd. (KVB) has entered into a pact with SBI Life Insurance to market the latter’s insurance schemes through its branches.
- SBI Life Insurance will utilize bank’s strong presence in urban, semi-urban and rural locations of South India viz. Tamil Nadu (TN), Andhra Pradesh (AP), Telangana and Karnataka to market its schemes.
The agreement for the same was signed in Chennai, TN.
About SBI Life Insurance:
MD & CEO– Mahesh Kumar Sharma
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
PhonePe Introduces E-commerce Consumer App “Pincode” on the ONDC PlatformPhonePe, a Walmart-owned fintech firm, has announced the introduction of ‘Pincode,’ an e-commerce consumer app that would be integrated into India’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) framework.
- The Pincode app will be initially made available in Bengaluru (Karnataka) in six major categories, including groceries, food, pharmaceuticals, electronics, home decor, and fashion.
- It will then be made available in other cities once it achieves a transaction volume of about 10,000 per day.
i.Pincode is a hyperlocal commerce app that is available on Google Play and the App Store.
ii.Pincode is centered on the ONDC network, which fosters demand for merchants to be digitized by multiple seller platforms in an inclusive manner while fostering new prospects for growth and innovation at scale.
Co-Founder & CEO – Sameer Nigam
Founded – 2015 (entered into financial services in 2017)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
SBI WeCare Senior Citizen FD scheme Last Date Extended by 3 Months
The State Bank of India’s (SBI) “WECARE” Senior Citizens’ Term Deposit Programme, which was introduced in May 2020 with an initial maturity date of September 2020, was repeatedly extended and has now been extended by the bank until 30 June 2023.
- SBI introduces a new Deposit Scheme “SBI WECARE” protecting their income by offering additional interest on Term Deposits.
India Development Update (Spring 2023 Edition) By WB: India’s GDP Growth Probably to Slow Down to 6.3% in FY24The World Bank (WB) lowered its fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) growth projection for India to 6.3% in its “India Development Update” (Spring 2023 Edition), down from 6.6% in December 2022 (FY23).
- It further added that slower consumption growth and unfavourable external conditions are anticipated to restrain India’s GDP growth.
Key Observations from the IDU 2023:
i.According to the latest IDU 2023, increased borrowing costs and weaker income growth are likely to adversely affect private consumption growth.
ii.The report also states that, while headline inflation remains high, it is expected to fall to 5.2% in FY24, down from 6.6% in the current fiscal year (FY23).
iii.Furthermore, the Government of India (GoI) is projected to achieve its fiscal deficit target of 5.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in FY24.
About the World Bank (WB):
President (WB Group) – David Robert Malpass
Establishment – 1944
Headquarters – Washington D.C, United States (US)
ADB Projected India’s GDP Growth Forecast for FY24 at 6.7%, FY23 at 6.4%The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asian Development Outlook April 2023, has reduced India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for the Financial year 2022- 2023 (FY23) to 6.4% from 7% of its earlier projection.
- India’s GDP growth forecast for FY24 was projected at 6.7% due to improvement in private investment and growth in the industry.
i.Growth: The Indian economy is estimated to have grown by 6.8% in fiscal year 2022 (FY2022, ending 31 March 2023).
iii.Inflation: Headline inflation exceeded the inflation target range of 2%–6%, averaging 6.8% in the first 10 months of FY22. At its highest, it reached 7.8% in April 2022.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters– Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Establishment – 1966
Members– 68 members (49 from Asian and the Pacific and 19 outside)
RBI Data on India’s BoP: India’s Current account Deficit Declined to 2.2% of GDP in Q3 FY23According to the Preliminary data on India’s balance of payments (BoP) for the third quarter of Financial Year 2022-23 (Q3 FY23) (i.e., October-December 2022) released by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) on March 31, 20223, India’s current account deficit, declined to 2.2% of the GDP ($18.2 billion) in Q3 FY23 from US$ 30.9 billion (3.7% of GDP) in Q2 FY23 and US$ 22.2 billion (2.7% of GDP) in Q3 FY22.
Key Features of India’s BoP in Q3 FY23:
i.According to RBI data, the decline was mainly due to the narrowing of the merchandise trade deficit to US$ 72.7 billion in Q3 FY23 from US$ 78.3 billion in Q2 FY23.
ii.Services exports reported a growth of 24.5% on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis due to rising exports of software, business and travel services.
iii.Non-resident deposits’ net inflows in Q3 FY23 was US$ 2.6 billion as compared with net inflows of US$ 1.3 billion in Q3 FY22.
iv.In Q3 FY23, the net foreign direct investment (FDI) decreased to US$ 2.1 billion from US$ 4.6 billion in Q3 FY22.
v.Accretion to foreign exchange reserves (on a BoP basis) was about US$ 11.1 billion in Q3 FY23 as compared with an accretion of US$ 0.5 billion in Q3 FY22.
vi.Net external commercial borrowings to India recorded an outflow of US$ 2.6 billion in Q3 FY23 as compared with an outflow of US$ 0.4 billion in Q3 FY22.
BoP in April-December 2022:
i.The current account deficit of India was about 2.7% of GDP in April-December 2022 as compared with a deficit of 1.1% during April-December 2021.
ii.Net FDI inflows was at US$ 21.7 billion in April-December 2022 compared with US$ 24.8 billion in April-December 2021.
iii.Portfolio investment recorded a net outflow of US$ 3.5 billion during April-December 2022 as compared with S$ 1.6 billion in April-December 2021.
iv.RBI reported a depletion of US$ 14.7 billion from the foreign exchange reserves (on a BoP basis) in April-December 2022.
Bane NOR Selects TCS to Strengthen Identity and Access Management Across its Digital Landscape
Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company, has been selected by Bane NOR, the Norwegian government agency responsible for maintaining, operating, and developing the Norwegian railway network, to enable secure access to the latter’s digital systems.
- Bane NOR needed an end-to-end partner to better secure employees’, partners’, and train operators’ access to business systems.
- Teams from TCS based in Norway and across Europe will provide managed services for identity governance and administration (IGA), access management, identity lifecycle management, and application management operations.
The identity and access management (IAM) module of TCS’ Cyber Security Suite, TCS IdentiFence, is a key lever in this transformation.
Kiran Nadar conferred with France’s highest civilian award “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”Kiran Nadar, Philanthropist and an art collector, was conferred with “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” (Knight of the Legion Honour), the highest French civilian award, by Emmanuel Lenain, French Ambassador to India in a ceremony held at the Residence of France in New Delhi, Delhi.
- Kiran Nadar was honoured for her outstanding contribution to the arts, her dedication to providing greater access to culture both nationally and internationally, and her leading role in establishing cultural ties between France and India.
About Kiran Nadar:
i. Kiran Nadar, the Chairperson of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) and a Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, is the founder of India’s 1st private museum.
ii. She started her career in advertising as a communications and brands professional at MCM Worldwide, a luxury fashion brand.
iii. Later she joined NIIT Limited (National Institute of Information Technology) and helped shape the brand, as well as worked in an advertisement agency.
iv. In 1988, Kiran Nadar started collecting pieces of art and decided to launch her own museum in 2005 to house her huge collection of artwork. Currently, the KNMA attracts over 1 lakh visitors annually.
Kiran Nadar has received many awards and honours as an acknowledgement of her social work. Some of the most prestigious awards she has bagged are
- Hero of Philanthropist for launching India’s first private philanthropist in 2010,
- Gold Medal of Bridge at The 2018 Asian Games in Mixed teams,
- Named Maharani of the Indian Art World due to her huge collection of art with more than 5,500 modern Southern Asian Arts.
About Légion d’Honneur:
i. The Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) was instituted in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte in France.
ii. It is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.
iii. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.
PM Narendra Modi confers President’s Police Medals on 2 CBI officers of Chandigarh
On 3rd March 2023, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (PM) of India, presented the President’s Police Medal to 2 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers of Chandigarh, Vineet Vinayak, Joint Director (Chandigarh Zone) of CBI, and Seema Pahuja, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) of CBI, Chandigarh, for their Distinguished Service, during the diamond jubilee celebration of CBI, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi.
- CBI has evolved from an anti-corruption agency to a multifaceted, multi-disciplinary police investigative agency with the capability, credibility, and legal mandate to investigate and prosecute offences.
- CBI, which was initially established (in 1963; enlarged in 1965) to look into bribery and official corruption, operates under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
- CBI was established by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India dated 1st April 1963.
Children’s Champion Award 2023: Assam’s Tapoban honoured in Health and Nutrition Category
Pathsala (Assam)-based Tapoban, a non-government organisation (NGO), which supports children with special needs has been honoured with the prestigious Children’s Champion Award 2023 in the Health and Nutrition category at a function held in Triveni Auditorium, Delhi.
The award was presented by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPR) on 25th March 2023.
- This award is given to honour individuals and organisations who have significantly enhanced the lives of children in many areas, including education, justice, health, nutrition, sports, and the artistic arts.
- The award was presented by Justice Dr S Muralidhar, Chief Justice of Odisha High Court, to Kumud Kalita, founder-president of the NGO.
The award carries Rs 75,000, a certificate, and a plaque.
Pranav Haridasan to be new MD & CEO of Axis Securities
Axis Securities Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axis Bank, announced the appointment of Pranav Haridasan as its new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a tenure of 3 years.
- He will succeed the current MD & CEO, B Gopkumar, who is set to transfer to Axis Asset Management Company as MD & CEO as part of the internal succession plan of Axis Group.
Prior to this appointment, Pranav Haridasan was serving as the MD and Co-Head of Equities at Axis Capital.
About Pranav Haridasan:
i. Before joining Axis Capital, Pranav Haridasan worked at Citigroup Global Markets as Director & Head of India/ Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Execution Services.
ii. He has a rich experience of over 20 years in financial markets across different asset classes.
iii. He has a history of upscaling an equity company while focusing on technology, compliance, and operations to build a robust, top-rated research, sales, trading, and derivatives platform.
About Axis Securities Limited:
Axis Securities Limited was originally incorporated as ENAM Securities Direct Private Limited as a wholly owned subsidiary of ENAM Securities Private Limited.
MD & CEO- B Gopkumar
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Incorporated on- 21 July 2006
CCI approvals on April 3, 2023On April 3, 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the following proposals:
i.CCI approves merger between Koninklijke DSM N.V. (DSM) and Firmenich International SA (Firmenich) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002. This proposed merger will form DSM-Firmenich (Danube), a Swiss domiciled company whose shares are proposed to be listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
ii.CCI has approved a share swap for the acquisition of the Constantia Flexibles Sales B.V. (CFlex) India entities by SBP Packagings (SBP) from C-Flex.
iii.CCI also approved the proposed combination involving the demerger of the FMCG business of Haldiram Snacks Pvt Ltd (HSPL), and Haldiram Foods International Pvt Ltd (HFIPL) into Haldiram Snacks Food Pvt Ltd (HSFPL) through an NCLT-approved scheme of arrangement.
About the Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Acting Chairperson– Sangeeta Verma
Establishment – 2003
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Artemis II lunar Mission: NASA Names 4 Member Crew with 1st Woman & 1st Black AstronautsOn April, 03, 2023, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has announced the 4 member Astronauts crew, Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman and Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen, chosen for the Artemis II lunar mission.
- Christina Koch is the first woman and Victor Glover is the first Black astronaut ever to be sent on a lunar mission.
- The four-member crew was chosen to fly as early as 2024. Artemis II would be the first crewed voyage around the moon in more than 50 years.
i.About the Astronauts:
- Jeremy Hansen (47) is a Royal Canadian Air Force colonel and the first Canadian ever chosen for a flight to the moon, he was named an Artemis II mission specialist.
- Reid Wiseman (47), another former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, was named Artemis II mission commander.
- Christina Koch (44) is an engineer who already holds the record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman, and she was named a mission specialist. She set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space and participated in the first all-female spacewalks.
- Victor Glover (46), a US Navy aviator was selected as the Artemis II pilot.
ii.The objective of the 10-day, 1.4-million-mile (2.3-million-km) Artemis II journey around the moon and back, is to demonstrate that all of Orion’s life-support apparatus and other systems will operate as designed with astronauts aboard in deep space.
Note – Artemis I mission was successfully completed in December 2022.
India’s IUCAA Partners With NASA to Develop AI-Based Model For Predicting Solar Storms
The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in India has partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop a new computer model that combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) and satellite data to sound alarms for dangerous space weather.
The team of researchers at the Frontier Development Lab applied an AI method “deep learning” and developed a computer model called DAGGER (formally, Deep Learning Geomagnetic Perturbation).
- The model uses AI to analyze data from spacecraft measurements of the solar wind (a relentless stream of solar material) and predict the location of an upcoming solar storm anywhere on Earth with 30 minutes of advance warning.
- It provides enough time to prepare for these storms and prevent severe impacts on power grids and other critical infrastructure.
International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action 2023 – April 4 United Nations (UN)’s International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is annually observed across the globe on April 4 to create awareness about landmines and work toward their eradication, as well as to educate people about the harmful effects of explosive mine action across the world
- 4th April 2023 marks the commemoration of the 18th International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
The theme for International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action 2023 is “Mine Action Cannot Wait”.
- The day is annually observed by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/60/97 on 8th December 2005 and proclaimed April 4 of every year as International Day for Mines Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
ii. The 1st ever International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was observed on 4th April 2006.
About United Nations Mine Action Service:
Director- Ilene Cohn
Headquarters- New York, United States of America (USA)
259th Raising Day of Army Medical Corps – 3rd April 2023On 3rd April 2023, the Indian Army celebrated the 259th Raising Day of Army Medical Corps(AMC), specialist corps in the Indian Army which primarily provides medical services to all Army personnel(serving and veterans along with their families).
The AMC raising day marks the foundation day of AMC and pays tribute to the medical personnel who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
i.The Indian Army Medical Corps (IAMC) came into existence as a homogeneous corps of officers and men on the pattern of the Royal Army Medical Corps on 3rd April 1943.
ii.It was formed by the amalgamation of the Indian Medical Service (IMS), Indian Medical Department (IMD) and Indian Hospital Corps (IHC).
- In May 1943, the IHC headquarters at Poona(Now Pune) became the Administrative Headquarters of the IAMC.
iii.The IAMC was re-designated as Army Medical Corps with effect from 26 Jan 1950.
About Armed Force Medical Services(AFMC):
AFMS consists of Army Medical Corps (AMC) including AMC (Non-Technical(NT)), Army Dental Corps (AD Corps) and Military Nursing Service (MNS).
Director General of AFMC– Vice Admiral Rajat Datta
Telangana Launched India’s 1st ‘Cool Roof Policy’ for All Types of Buildings
Telangana launched “Telangana Cool Roof Policy 2023-2028” to reduce temperatures in Hyderabad and other urban areas in Telangana. With this launch, Telangana became the India’s first state to introduce Cool Roof Policy.
- The Telangana Cool Roof Policy 2023-2028 aims to reduce the heat island impact and heat stress in Telangana.
- This policy encourages and promotes the usage of cool roof.
Telangana has set target to cover an area of 7.5 square kilometers, including 5 sq km in Hyderabad, Telangana in the first year (2023).
The government is set to cool roof an area of 300 sq km of area including 200 sq km in Hyderabad by 2030.
i.The government of Telangana will make it mandatory for all constructions beyond 600 square yards to factor in a cool roof at the design stage.
- Cool roofing can be implemented by using paints, tiles or other materials to reflect sunlight.
- The cool roof will be made optional for construction below 600 square years.
ii.The policy will be implemented in various projects including housing schemes, government offices, roads, pavements and cycling tracks.
i.Cool roofs are one of the simplest and most cost effective methods to combat heat. These will help to keep the indoor air temperature lower by 2.1 to 4.3 degree Celsius compared to traditional roofs.
ii.Cool roof reflects some of the incoming radiations of the sun back into the atmosphere, reducing heat retention and cooling indoor spaces.
Points to note:
i.With 48% of the population residing in urban area, Telangana is one of the urban states of India and Hyderabad is one of the fastes growing urban region in India.
ii.This rises the need to introduce the cost-effective and climate-friendly cooling solutions to counter the urban heat island effect.
i.Urban heat island (UHI) effect is a phenomenon that causes cities to be warmer than their surrounding rural areas, due to human activities and the built environment.
ii.UHI can have negative impacts on human health, energy consumption, air quality, and biodiversity.
Chief Minister– K. Chandrashekar Rao
Governor– Tamilisai Soundararajan
Wildlife Sanctuary– Jannaram Wildlife Sanctuary; Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger Reserve– Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve(shared with Andhra Pradesh); Kawal Tiger Reserve