Exercise Cope India 23 begins between Indian Air Force and US Air Force in West BengalOn April 10, 2023, the first phase of 11-day Exercise Cope India 23 was initiated between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) at West Bengal’s (WB) Panagarh Air Force base, also known as Air Force Station Arjan Singh.
- Its venues also include Kalaikunda (West Bengal) and Agra (Uttar Pradesh) Air Force Stations.
- Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) aircrew will also participate in the capacity of observers.
Note: This exercise is being held after a gap of 4 years as it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The previous edition of the exercise was held in 2019 at air bases in Kalaikunda and Panagarh.
Aim of Exercise:
To enhance mutual understanding between IAF & USAF and sharing their best practices
i.The Su-30MKI fighter aircraft will spearhead the IAF contingent which also features the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas, IL-78 mid-air refuelers and air-borne early warning aircraft.
ii.The USAF will field the F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jets.
iii.Both sides will field the C-130J and C-17 aircraft, with the USAF operating an MC-130J, as well.
i.This phase of the exercise will focus on air mobility and will involve transport aircraft and Special Forces assets from both the Air Forces.
ii.The exercise events are expected to primarily support fighter aircraft operations by using lasers to identify targets in frontline areas, enabling precision-guided bombs to accurately hit their intended targets.
iii.Cope India originated in 2004 as a fighter training exercise, but has since evolved to encompass a diverse range of training activities such as subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training, and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises.
State Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan & Telangana Emerges as Front-Runners During the RPM (Review, Planning, and Monitoring) meeting of States and State Utilities in New Delhi, Delhi, Union Minister R. K. Singh, Ministry of Power, released the report of the State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) 2021-2022.
- Five states are in the Front Runner category (>60 points) in SEEI 2021-22: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Telangana.
- Four states are in the Achiever category (50–60 points): Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Punjab.
- The best-performing states in their respective state groups are: Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka.
- The two states that improved the most from the last index are: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
According to the 11th edition of the “Annual Integrated Rating and Ranking,” which was published by the Ministry of Power, Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd. (Adani Electricity) has been recognised as the top electricity distribution company (DISCOM) in India among 71 such companies for its excellent governance, including financial sustainability, performance excellence, and the external environment.About Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (Adani Electricity):
i.Adani Electricity, a division of the Adani Group, is a power generating, transmission, and retail electricity distribution company.
ii.Adani Electricity owns and operates India’s largest and most efficient electricity distribution network.
CEO – Kandarp Patel
Kerala’s Periyar Tiger Reserve Tops in Management Review: 5th cycle of MEEAccording to the summary report of the 5th cycle of of Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves in India, by the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA), the Periyar Tiger Reserve(TR) in Kerala has reserve topped the list of best managed tiger reserve in India with a Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) score of 94.38%.
- Periya TR is followed by the Satpura TR (Madhya Pradesh) and Bandipur TR (Karnataka) with a MEE score of 93.18% and Nagarhole TR with 92.42%.
- The report was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the Commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger programme, at Mysuru, Karnataka.
i.The 5th cycle of MEE of TR in India in 2022 indicate a mean score of 77.92% (ranging between 50% to 94%) for 51 Tiger Reserves.
ii.A total of 12 Tiger Reserves have achieved ‘Excellent’ category, followed by 20 Tiger Reserves in ‘Very Good’ category, 14 Tiger Reserves in ‘Good’ category and 5 Tiger Reserves in ‘Fair’ category.
About National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA):
NTCA has been constituted under section 38 L (1) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
NTCA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
Chairperson– Bhupender Yadav (Union Minister for MoEF&CC)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
MoSPI Development Statistics: Gujarat Made the Best Use of MPLADS Funds in FY23, UP Received the Most FundsAccording to data presented in parliament on March 27, 2023 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Gujarat had the highest utilization-to-released fund ratio of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds in the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), while Rs. 66 crores were allocated to the state; it utilized Rs. 95.77 crore, or 145.11%.
- Other major states with the greatest utilisation-to-released-fund ratios are Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu.
i.According to the data, the amount of funds received from the Union Government by each state is proportional to the number of MPs elected in that state.
ii.For example, Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha MPs, received Rs. 427.5 crore and had spent 99% of the funds received in FY23 as of March 27, 2023.
iii.Following Uttar Pradesh are Maharashtra, Bihar, and West Bengal, which each earned Rs. 341.34 crore, Rs. 219.95 crore, and Rs. 182.17 crore.
iv.Under the MPLADS scheme, which is a Union Government scheme, each Member of Parliament (MP) has the option of proposing to the District Collector that work worth Rs. 5 crores be undertaken in his or her constituency.
About Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI):
Ministers of State (MoS) [Independent Charge] – Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurugram Constituency – Haryana)
Armed Forces form Panel to Examine Disability Pension
The Indian Armed Forces have set up an inter-services panel chaired by the Army’s Adjutant General (AG) to examine the disability pensions among armed force personnel. The directive to set up the panel came from the Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence, headed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan.
- This follows the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)’s report (released in March 2023) which questioned the rise of disability pensions of retired officers, especially of medical officers.
- Depending on the percentage of disability, armed personnel can get higher payouts of up to 30% of their pension benefits.
The total defence pensions for 2023-2024 are estimated at Rs 1.38 lakh crore.
Kerala Agricultural University Notified as Centre for Authority for Plant Protection Varieties, Farmers’ Rights
Kerala Agricultural University(KAU) has been notified as a centre of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority under The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW).
- The objective of the notification is to protect the rights of Kerala farming communities over the traditional plant varieties.
- Any individual, group of individuals, or governmental or non-governmental organisation may file a claim for compensation on behalf of those communities that have significantly contributed to the evolution of any registered plant variety
- Kerala Agricultural University can be contacted by any farmer in Kerala who believes they have contributed to the evolution of a recognised variety.
RBI Issued Outsourcing of IT Services Directions 2023; Simplifies Application process for registration of CICsOn April 10, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the directions named RBI (Outsourcing of Information Technology Services) Directions, 2023 for the outsourcing of Information Technology (IT) services by banks, NBFCs (Non-bank financial companies) and Regulated Entities (REs) to ensure that such arrangements do not undermine their responsibilities and obligations to customers.
- The Directions shall come into effect from October 1, 2023 to provide the REs with adequate time to comply with the requirements.
a.Regulatory and Supervisory requirements for the REs:
i.As per RBI directions, the Outsourcing of any activity should not diminish RE’s obligations as also of its Board and Senior Management.
ii.The RE also should take steps to ensure that the service provider employs the same high standard of care in performing the services as would have been employed by the RE, if the same activity was not outsourced.
iii.REs shall not engage an IT service provider that would result in reputation of RE being compromised or weakened.
– RBI simplifies the application process for registration of CICs
i.On April 10, 2023, RBI has undertaken a comprehensive review of the system of processing of applications for registration of Core Investment Companies (CICs) to make the process smoother and easier.
ii.To make the registration process user friendly, the number of documents to be furnished along with the application form has been reduced to 18 from the existing set of 52 documents.
About the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1st April 1935
SEBI Asks AIFs to Provide “Direct Plan” Option to Investors; Introduces Trail Model for Distribution Commission The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has mandated alternative investment funds (AIFs) to provide investors with the option of a “direct plan” and introduced a trail model for distribution commission.
- The framework for direct investments will go into effect on May 1, 2023.
With this directive, SEBI intends to reduce misselling, promote transparency in fee payments, bring transparency in expenses, and provide investors more options when investing in AIFs.
SEBI has also issued guidelines for excluding an investor from an investment in an AIF. In light of the recommendations made by the Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee (AIPAC), it has been determined that an AIF may excuse its investor from taking part in a specific investment under certain circumstances.
About the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
NSE Indices Launches India’s 1st Nifty REITs & InvITs IndexOn April 10, 2023, the NSE Indices Limited, a subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), launched India’s first index to track Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) called Nifty REITs and InvITs Index.
- The Nifty REITs and InvITs index will track the performance of REITs and InvITs that are publicly listed and traded or not listed but permitted to trade on NSE.
- Currently, the index comprises three listed REITs and three listed InvITs (total 6 securities).
- The Nifty REITs & InvITs Index has a base date of July 01, 2019, and a base value of 1000.
i.The index will be reviewed and rebalanced quarterly.
ii.The weights of securities within the index will be based on their free-float market capitalisation, subject to a security cap of 33% each, and the aggregate weight of the top three securities is capped at 72%.
iii.REITs and InvITs invests in real estate projects and infrastructure projects with a long gestation period. Thus they will enable investors to get exposure to different regular income generating real estate and infrastructure assets.
iv.There are 20 InvITs and 5 REITs registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Note – Blackstone sponsored Nexus Select Trust has filed its draft offer documents for an initial public offering of its REITs while Bharat Highways InvIT has also filed its draft papers for an IPO.
Kotak General Insurance ties up with actyv.ai to sell Insurance Products to MSMEs Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company Limited (Kotak General Insurance-KGI) has partnered with actyv.ai to offer basic insurance products to new-age Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
i.Through this KGI will offer its customized small OTC (Over The Counter) insurance products like health and commercial policy by utilizing actyv.ai’s AI (Artificial Intelligence)-powered platform to support the business sustainability of small businesses.
ii.This partnership will offer basic insurance to the last mile of the industrial value chain.
iii.Enterprises on actyv.ai’s platform will now be able to offer group insurance to all of its distributors, retailers, and suppliers.
Founder, Global CEO– Raghunath Subramanian
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
About Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company Ltd. (KGI):
Managing Director (MD) & CEO– Suresh Agarwal
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
ADB, TPDDL sign Rs 150 crore deal to enhance power distribution in Delhi On April 10, 2023, a Rs 150 crore ($18.2m) agreement has been inked between the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), the distribution arm of The Tata Power Company Limited (Tata Power), and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to boost Delhi’s power distribution.
- Under this, ADB will subscribe to non-convertible debentures worth 150 crore. The funds will be utilized for grid enhancements.
Grant to TPDDL for BESS:
Additionally, TPDDL will receive a $2 million grant from ADB to partially finance the purchase and integration of a pilot Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). This grant is provided by Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF) and administered by ADB.
- The 10-megawatt-hour (MWh) BESS is South Asia’s first grid-scaled energy storage project at the distribution transformer level. It will enable electricity to be stored and delivered on demand, reducing grid instability, and providing the flexibility to integrate intermittent solar and wind energy resources.
i.TPDDL is a joint venture between Tata Power and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
ii.Mainstreaming BESS at distribution transformer level will better integrate renewable energy sources and contribute to a more disaster-resilient power distribution system for Delhi,
iii.ADB’s investment will enable Tata Power in ensuring a high-quality power supply for consumers and help integrate clean energy into the power supply.
iv.The above funds will be utilized for various purposes, including the construction of a new 66/11-kilovolt grid, expansion and enhancement of transformers, substations, feeder lines, switching stations, and installation of smart meters.
i.In 2022 India’s Ministry of Power targeted battery storage capacity of 4% of total electricity consumption by 2030. To reach that goal, India would need a total battery energy storage capacity of 182 gigawatt-hours by 2030.
ii.Launched in September 2021, CIDF is a blended finance facility managed by ADB, established with an initial $25 million philanthropic commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Goldman Sachs.
About Tata Power:
CEO & Managing Director– Praveer Sinha
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
JICA, Citibank Partnered to Co-finance $125 million for Indusind Bank for Onlending to Agriculture SectorJapanese lender Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has partnered with Citibank to provide a $125 million funding line to domestic private sector lender Indusind Bank.
- Indusind Bank will be utilising the co-finance funding for onlending to the agricultural sector in India.
- The funding to Indusind Bank includes a JPY 13 billion (approx USD 97.45 million) loan from the JICA and another $30 million from Citibank.
i.The social finance offering intends to improve financial access for farmers and catalyze capital investment in India’s agricultural sector, which accounts for 17 per cent of GDP and employs 45 percent of the people.
ii.The financial facility will be helpful for the farmersw in purchase of farm equipment, seeds, and fertilizers and will also be used by small agricultural supply chain service providers.
iii.Earlier Citibank has committed USD 1 trillion to sustainable finance by 2030, as well as expanding access to basic services for 15 million underserved and low-income households, including 10 million women.
iv.JICA’s previous commitments to India include over Rs 4,000 crore support to build the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.
IIT-Kanpur partners with Defence PSU to focus on Innovation The Start-Up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), a technology business incubator of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur), Uttar Pradesh, has signed a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Agreement with the Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) at the Ordnance Factory Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
- The agreement between SIIC and AWEIL aims to provide financial support to the startup ecosystem and promote the incubation of new technology, knowledge, and innovation-based startups at IIT Kanpur under the CSR Policy of AW&EIL.
- The collaboration aims to drive the growth of high-potential startups that prioritise innovation and stimulate economic growth.
Note: AWEIL is one of the 7 new Defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) formed by converting the Ordnance Factory Board into fully government-owned enterprises.
The agreement was signed in the presence of dignitaries from SIIC, IIT Kanpur, and AWEIL.
i. As a result of this agreement, the expected outcome of this partnership is the overall growth and progress of India, as the startups that emerge from this cooperation are likely to contribute significantly to the economy and society in general.
ii. The partnership is also anticipated to have a powerful synergistic effect that uses the resources and experience of both organisations to support startups at IIT Kanpur that are centred on cutting-edge technology.
iii. It also expects to establish a dynamic startup ecosystem that promotes revolutionary research and development (R&D), generates employment opportunities, and positions India as a leading innovator on the global stage.
About the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Dr Nikhil Agarwal
Headquarters- Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
About the Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL):
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)- Rajesh Choudhary
Headquarters- Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
President of India Presents 11th Biennial National Grassroots Innovation & Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Awards of NIFOn 10th April 2023, President of India, Droupadi Murmu, presented the 11th Biennial National Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Awards of the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) at Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre (RBCC), New Delhi, Delhi.
On the same day, she also inaugurated the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) 2023 at the Sports Ground near RBCC.
Note: 1st edition of the National Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Awards were presented in 2001.
i.The NIF has created a database of more than 325000 technological ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge practices from around 625 districts across India.
ii.Under various award functions, NIF has recognised around 1093 grassroots innovators and school students at the national level.
iii.The efforts of NIF celebrates the achievements of innovators and the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) –2023
i.Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) 2023, under the Department of Science and Technology(DST), is an effort to promote science, technology, and innovation and encourage the general public to undertake entrepreneurship and make their mark in India and abroad.
ii.FINE 2023, the exhibition of innovation will be held at the RBCC from 10th to 13th April 2023.
To visit the exhibition of innovation, people have to register online on https://nif.org.in/fine2023
About National Innovation Foundation (NIF)-India:
i.NIF-India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
ii.NIF invites the entries of unaided technological innovations and traditional knowledge developed at grassroots by an individual (Citizen of India) or group.
iii.This recognises the innovations in the field of agriculture, health, energy, household or utility, transportation, livestock etc. leading to the reduction in drudgery, livelihood generation, development of plant varieties or herbal remedies for human or animal or farming problems, or any other low cost sustainable green technologies.
UIDAI & IIT Bombay signs MoU to Develop Touchless Biometric Capture SystemOn 10th April 2023, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay (IIT-Bombay), Mumbai, Maharashtra, to develop a robust touchless biometric capture system for easier usage by people anytime, anywhere.
- Under the MoU, UIDAI and IIT-Bombay will conduct joint research to develop a mobile fingerprint capture system and a liveness model connected with the capture system.
i. The touchless biometric capture system will enable fingerprint authentication from home, similar to face authentication, once it is fully developed and operational.
ii. The new system is expected to capture multiple fingerprints at once and increase the success rate of authentication.
iii. It will be an addition to the services already provided by the Aadhaar ecosystem.
iv. This system will use an intelligent combination of signal/image processing, machine learning, and deep learning with a common mobile phone that is accessible to most citizens with a good user experience.
v. Research and development (R&D) for the creation of a system for UIDAI would be conducted jointly as a result of the partnership between UIDAI and IIT Bombay through its National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security (NCETIS).
- The NCETIS is a joint initiative by IIT-Bombay and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), under its flagship Digitial India Programme.
- It has aimed at developing indigenous technology solutions for Internal Security forces in broad areas of Electronic System Design and Manufacturing.
About the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI):
The UIDAI is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under MeitY.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Dr Saurabh Garg
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
About the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-Bombay):
Chairman- Dr Sharad Kumar Saraf
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Amolops siju: ZSI Scientists discovered a New Frog Species in Meghalaya’s Siju CaveA team of scientists from the Pune (Maharashtra)-based Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of cascade ranid frogs of genus Amolops named “Amolops siju” from the Siju cave in the South Garo Hills district, Meghalaya.
- The discovery of the new species named after the siju cave was recently issued in the Journal of Animal Diversity, an international journal published by Lorestan University, Iran.
- The new species belongs to the order: Anura and the family: Ranidae.
i. This is the 2nd time a frog has been discovered inside a cave in India. The 1st was the Micrixalus spelunca, which was found in a cave in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu in 2014.
ii. This is the 4th new species of Cascade frog (Amolops) being published by the same team.
- The other 3 other species of cascade frog discovered by the team, are “Amolops chanakya”, “Amolops terraorchis” and “Amolops tawang” from Arunachal Pradesh.
About the discovery:
i. The newly discovered frog was found in the 4 km long natural limestone cave known as Siju in January 2020.
ii. The specimens of the new species were collected from the twilight (60-100 m from the cave entrance) and the dark zones (beyond 100 m of the cave entrance) of the cave.
iii. The team did not find any troglobitic (cave-adapted) modification, suggesting that this species of frog is not a permanent resident of the cave.
The team of researchers includes Bhaskar Saikia and Dr Bikramjit Sinha of ZSI, Shillong, Meghalaya, and Dr KP Dinesh and Shabnam Ansari of ZSI, Pune, Maharashtra.
About the Species:
i. Amolops siju is a member of the Marmoratus species group isolated in geographical space from its phylogenetic sister species and having distinct morphological characters.
- Adult male (size large)- Snout-vent length (SVL) 63.4 mm
- Adult female (size very large)- SVL 84.5–94.4 mm
Former TN Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta Passed Away
On 10th April 2023, Former Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Tamil Nadu(TN), Naresh Gupta, an IAS officer of the 1973 batch hailing from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN) at the age of 72.
Naresh Gupta has held various significant positions in TN, including the 1st Collector of Sivaganga, TN, from 1985 to 1986.
- He has also served as the Secretary to Governor Bhishma Narayan Singh from 1991 to 1993, Home Secretary from 2001 to 2002, and Member Secretary of the State Planning Commission from 2002 to 2005.
- He served as the CEO of TN from 1998 to 2000 and from 2005 to 2010.
- He also authored a book “Human Development in India” based on his experiences at the Planning Commission.
- Naresh Gupta retired in 2010 and was posted as a member of the Central Administrative Tribunal after his retirement.
SBI launches its Coffee Table Book “The Banker to Every Indian”
State Bank of India (SBI)headquartered in Mumbai(Maharashtra) announced the launch of its coffee table book titled “The Banker to Every Indian” which celebrates 75 years of Indian independence and the 200-year history of SBI, which was established in 1955.
The coffee table book details the Bank’s history ever since independence.
- The book is a tribute to the spirit of India’s independence and SBI’s contribution to nation-building.
- It showcases the ethics, technological advancements, and transformation with the important initiatives undertaken by the Bank.
National Safe Motherhood Day 2023 – April 11National Safe Motherhood Day is annually observed across the globe on April 11 to promote awareness about the importance of having proper access to healthcare during the various stages of pregnancy and motherhood.
The day also marks the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi (1869-1944), wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and a great freedom fighter and social reformer.
- 11th April 2023 marks the 154th birth anniversary of Kasturbai Gandhi. She was born on 11 April 1869, in Porbandar, British India(now in Gujarat).
National Safe Motherhood Day was initiated by the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI), a grassroots movement for the health and rights of women and newborns.
i. In 2003, the Government of India (GoI) declared April 11 of every year as National Safe Motherhood Day to promote maternal health and reduce maternal mortality.
ii. 1st National Safe Motherhood Day was observed on 11th April 2003.
iii. India was the 1st country to observe National Safe Motherhood Day.
TN Governor Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022On April 10, 2023, the Governor of Tamil Nadu (TN) Ravindra Narayana (RN) Ravi approved the ‘Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022’ to ban online gambling, including online rummy and poker with stakes.
Reason behind formation of this Bill:
Incidents of online gaming addicts losing money and falling into a debt trap.
i.The proposed bill suggests that individuals who participate in online gambling may face a fine of Rs 5,000, a jail sentence of up to three months, or both.
ii.Those who advertise online gambling could face imprisonment for up to 1 year, and those who organize such activities could be imprisoned for 3 years.
iii.The bill prohibits the playing of online gambling and games of chance for money or other stakes.
- It defines online games of chance as those where both an element of chance and skill are involved, and the element of chance dominates over the element of skill; games are presented as games of chance; the element of chance can only be eliminated by superlative skill; or games involve cards, dice, or wheel which work on random event generators.
In June 2022, the TN government formed a committee led by Justice K. Chandru, Former Chief Justice of Madras High Court, to examine the negative effects of online gambling, which submitted a report to the Chief Minister (CM) Muthuvel Karunanidhi (MK) Stalin recommending a ban on online gaming through an ordinance. The state assembly passed the ordinance in October 2022 and sent it to the governor for approval, but it was returned after 131 days on the grounds that the state government lacked the authority to legislate on the matter and the bill went against various judicial pronouncements.
The assembly then passed the bill again and sent it back to the governor, who gave his approval following a resolution by the state assembly urging the President and Central Government to direct the governor to clear the bill within a specific timeframe.
The Indian gaming market is projected to grow from $2.2 billion currently to $7 billion by 2026. It has 3 gaming unicorns, 400-plus gaming companies, 15,000-plus gaming developers, and around 420 million gamers.
About Tamil Nadu (TN):
Wildlife Sanctuaries– Gangaikondan Spotted Deer Sanctuary, Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary, Nellai Wildlife Sanctuary
Zoological Parks– Children’s Park, Kurumbapatti Zoological Park