FAO: Closing gender gap in agri-food systems can boost global economy by $1 trillionAs per the ‘The Status Of Women In Agrifood Systems’ released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), tackling gender inequality in agri-food systems can reduce hunger, boost the economy and reinforce resilience to shocks like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
- There would be increase in the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 1% or nearly $1 trillion if there is no gender gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in agri-food-system employment.
- Currently, Women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.
- Globally, 36% of working women are employed in agrifood systems, along with 38% of working men.
Note: The report is the first of its kind since 2010 (State of food and agriculture (SOFA) 2010–11: Women in agriculture – Closing the gender gap for development). It goes beyond agriculture to provide a comprehensive picture of the status of women working across agri-food systems — from production to distribution and consumption.
i.Prioritizing women in development interventions for small-scale producers could benefit 58 million people with increased income and 235 million people with greater resilience. This could also reduce global food insecurity by 2%, impacting 45 million individuals.
ii.Nearly 4 billion individuals depend on agri-food systems as their main source of livelihoods, with approximately half of them being women who face barriers to realizing their full potential such as inequality and discrimination, marginalized and denied agency, work in poorer conditions with lower wages, unpaid work, among others.
iii.Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the gap between women’s and men’s food security has grown to 4.3 percentage points in 2021 from 1.7 percentage points in 2019.
iv. Although 75% of agriculture and rural development policy documents from 68 countries acknowledge the roles and challenges faced by women, a mere 19% of these policies include gender-related goals..
v.Women need more access to and control over the livestock, water, seeds, land, technology, and finance needed to grow their livelihoods.
India, Japan &France Launch Common Platform for Sri Lankan Debt Restructuring ProgrammeIndia, Japan, and France announced a common platform for talks among creditors to address the debt restructuring programme of Sri Lanka, the country which was hit by an unprecedented financial crisis since 2022.
- The representatives of the three creditor countries, the Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman (India), FM Shunichi Suzuki (Japan), French Director General of the Treasury Emmanuel Moulin, held a press briefing on the margins of the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC , United States
- Under the platform, the representatives will demonstrate the multilateral cooperation regarding the debt restructuring process among the creditors, together with Sri Lanka.
i.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed India’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka in dealing with its current economic crisis.
- She emphasised the need for collaboration among creditors to ensure transparency and equality in the debt restructuring discussions.
ii.Sri Lankan President, Ranil Wickremesinghe who joined the conference virtually at the press conference mentioned the agreement with the IMF in March 2023 for USD 2.9 billion bailout.
iii.The IMF’s Executive Board approved a 48-month extended arrangement under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with an amount of SDR 2.286 billion to Sri Lanka following financing assurances from the creditors.
iv.Sri Lanka owes USD 7.1 billion to bilateral creditors, with USD 3 billion owed to China, USD 2.4 billion to the Paris Club (France) and USD 1.6 billion to India.
Note – Sri Lanka was hit by an unprecedented financial crisis in 2022, the worst since its independence from Britain in 1948, due to a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves, sparking a major political and humanitarian crisis in the island nation.
SEBI Issued Framework on Upfront Contribution by Issuers for LPCC’s Settlement Guarantee Fund On April 13, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) released a new framework for the upfront collection of amounts as charges from eligible issuers at the time of allotment of debt securities to build the Settlement Guarantee Fund of the Limited Purpose Clearing Corporation (LPCC).
- The new framework will come into force from May 1, 2023.
i.As a well-functioning repo market contributes to the development of the debt securities market, on September 29, 2020, the SEBI board permitted the setting up an LPCC for clearing and settling repo transactions in debt securities.
- The board also allowed collecting 0.5 basis points of the issuance value of debt securities per annum upfront prior to the listing of such securities to build the Settlement Guarantee Fund of the LPCC.
ii.With respect to that, AMC Repo Clearing Limited (ARCL) has been granted recognition as LPCC by SEBI.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also provided necessary approvals to ARCL to offer central counterparty services for repo transactions in debt securities.
About the Framework:
i.As per the framework the eligible issuers shall be notified by the LPCC as per its risk management policy.
ii.Collection of an amount of 0.5 basis points of the issuance value of debt securities per annum based on the maturity of debt securities by the Stock Exchanges will be held and placed in an escrow account prior to the allotment of the debt securities.
- The amount is applicable on a public issue or private placement of debt securities under the SEBI (Issue and Listing of Non-convertible Securities) Regulations, 2021.
iii.Further the collected amount will be transferred by the Stock exchange to the bank account of the LPCC within one working day of the receipt of the amount and inform the details of the same to the LPCC.
- Amount details will also be disclosed by the Stock Exchanges on their websites.
Note – The framework was issued in the exercise of powers under Section 11(1) of the SEBI Act, 1992.
About Securities Exchange Board of India(SEBI):
Chairperson -Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharastra
Establishment – 12 April 1992
CGTMSE Increased Guarantee Coverage for MSEs from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 croreThe Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) increased the guarantee coverage ceiling under its Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for MSEs from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore per borrower for credit facilities extended by lending institutions to Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
i.The changes are made with respect to the reduction in the loan growth to the MSE segment to 13.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) (as on February 24, 2023) from 24% y-o-y (as on February 25, 2022).
ii.Threshold for waiver of legal action was enhanced to Rs10 lakhs from the existing Rs 5 lakhs.
iii.The scheduled commercial banks’ credit to MSEs, as on February 24, 2023, stood at Rs 5,87,494 crore compared with Rs 5,18,873 crore as on February 25, 2022.
About Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises:
Union Minister – Narayan Tatu Rane (Rajya Sabha Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS) – Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (Jalaun,Uttar Pradesh)
Citi India completes first blockchain-enabled LC transaction on Contour
Citibank India (Citi India) has completed its 1st blockchain-enabled Letter of Credit (LC) transaction on Contour Pte. Ltd (Contour) for its client Cummins India Limited (Cummins), a diversified industrial manufacturing company.
The transaction is the 1st for both Cummins and Citi India on Contour. Citi is a founding member bank of Contour..
- Contour is a global digital trade finance network powered by blockchain technology, that enables multiple parties, including corporations, and logistics partners, to work together smoothly and securely in real time on a single platform.
- The decentralised global trade finance network of Contour has proven that LC processing times can be reduced by up to 90%.
- Document presentation under the LC usually takes 5–10 days, however, it was finished in 3 hours for Cummins. On Contour, this was the 1st domestic end-to-end blockchain-enabled LC transaction to be successfully executed.
Citi, through its Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) business in India, served as both LC Advising and Issuing Bank.
US Became India’s biggest Trading Partner in FY23 Followed by China According to the data of the Ministry of Commerce, the United States (US) has emerged as India’s biggest trading partner in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23) at USD 128.55 billion followed by China in the second position at US$15.32 billion.
- The bilateral trade between India and the US has increased by 7.65% in FY23 due to increasing economic co-operation as against USD 119.5 billion in FY22. It was USD 80.51 billion in FY21.
- Followed by US and China, the UAE with US$76.16 billion, was the third largest trading partner of India. It was followed by Saudi Arabia (US$52.72 billion), and Singapore (US$35.55 billion).
i.Exports to China decreased by 28% in FY23, whereas the imports increased by 4.16% to $98.51 billion in FY23. The Trade gap increased to $83.2 billion in FY23 as against $72.91 billion in FY22.
ii.The increase in bilateral trade between India and US was expected to continue in further years too.
iii.In FY23, India had a trade surplus of $28 billion with the US.
iv.Being the world’s third-largest consumer market and the fastest-growing market economy, India provides huge trade opportunities for the US.
Note – As per the Ministry of Commerce data, China was India’s top trading partner since FY14 till FY18 and also in FY21. Before China, the UAE was the India’s largest trading partner.
WPI Inflation eases to 30-month low in March 2023 on Easing Input Prices
According to the Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India for the Month of March 2023 (Base Year: 2011-12), the annual rate of inflation based on the all-India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) number for the month of March 2023 is 1.34% (Provisional), lower than 3.85% recorded in February 2023.
As input costs continued to decline, India’s annual wholesale-price-based inflation (WPI) decreased to its lowest level in nearly 30 months.
- In March 2023, the food index rose 2.32% year-on-year (YoY) compared with 2.76% in February 2023, while fuel and power rose 8.96%, slowing from the 14.82% rate.
- WPI on manufactured products fell 0.28%, compared with a fall of 0.14% in February 2023.
The main factor for the decline in the rate of inflation in March 2023 is by the fall in prices of basic metals, food products, textiles, non-food articles, minerals, rubber & plastic products, crude petroleum & natural gas and paper and paper products.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented Maharashtra Bhushan 2022 to Dr. Appasaheb DharmadhikariOn April 16, 2023, the Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) presented Maharashtra Bhushan Award for 2022 to Dr. Appasaheb Dharmadhikari during a public function at Kharghar area in Raigarh district, Maharashtra.
- Dr. Appasaheb Dharmadhikari was presented with a shawl, a citation and memento and a cheque of Rs 25 lakh, and a 10-feet garland of roses.
- Notably, he donated all prize money of Rs 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s (CM) Relief Fund.
Note: Appasaheb is from the Dr. Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari family, an Indian spiritual Guru cum Social Reformer. This is the first time that the Maharashtra Bhushan award has been given in the same family for the second time. Nanasaheb was awarded with the same in 2008.
i.Appasaheb was a selfless social worker who dedicated his life to serving the community on the slogan of “Let’s March On”, without seeking any recognition and inspired people to work towards positive change.
ii.His work spanned a wide range of social issues, including the betterment of children, the distribution of free educational materials, tree plantation drives, cleanliness initiatives, blood donation camps, and the empowerment of women and tribals. He also played a key role in eradicating superstition and illiteracy.
iii.In 2017, he was recognized with Padma Shri for his outstanding contributions to society.
About Maharashtra Bhushan Award:
Instituted in 1995, it is a highest civilian award presented annually by the Government of Maharashtra State. This award acknowledges the person who has contributed to the social life of Maharashtra.
- Some of the notable recipients of the award include Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Bhimsen Joshi, Ratan Tata and Sachin Tendulkar.
CM of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, among others
59th Femina Miss India World: Rajasthan’s Nandini Gupta crowned Femina Miss India World 2023On 15th April 2023, Nandini Gupta, a 19-year-old, from (Kota)Rajasthan, won the 59th edition of Femina Miss India World 2023 crown in the grand ceremony held at Khuman Lampak Stadium, Imphal, Manipur.
- Femina Miss India 2022 winner Sini Shetty of Karnataka crowned Nandini Gupta.
- Nandini Gupta will now represent India at the 71st edition of Miss World (2023), which is to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
i. Hosts– Manish Paul and Bhumi Pednaker
ii. Jury Panel– Femina Miss India Universe 2002 and Mentor Neha Dhupia, ace choreographer Terence Lewis, film director & writer Harshavardhan Kulkarni, boxing icon Laishram Sarita Devi, and distinguished designers Rocky Star and Namrata Joshipura.
iii. Runners-Up– Shreya Poonja of Delhi became the 1st runner-up and Thounaojam Strela Luwang of Manipur was crowned the 2nd runner-up.
iv. A total of 30 contestants from across India competed for the Femina Miss India World 2023 crown.
Note: The ceremony was hosted by Manipur Tourism and co-presented by VLCC & Trends. The event was co-sponsored by Rajnigandha Pearls and co-powered by ORRA Fine Jewellery with the cosmetics partner, Colorbar Made for Magic.
About Nandini Gupta:
Nandini Gupta was born in 2004 in Kaithun, Kota, Rajasthan, and is currently pursuing a course in Business Management at Lala Lajpat Rai College in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
FAA of USA: India’s IASA will continue to be published as Category 1
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States of America (USA) confirmed to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that India’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) category will continue to be published as Category 1.
- The FAA conducted the IASA program over a one-year period which included physical audits from 25 to 29 October 2021, and a further review in July and September 2022.
- In the recent International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit conducted in November 2022, India scored an Effective Implementation (EI) of 85.65% from the previous EI of 69.95%.
- The CAT-1 status denotes an airline’s ability to operate flights, provide services to American cities, and engage in codesharing arrangements with US carriers.
Fengyun-3G: China launches 1st satellite dedicated to monitoring heavy rainfalls On April 16, 2023, China launched Fengyun (FY)-3G, its first satellite allowing scientists to monitor the Earth’s precipitation from space. It was launched by China’s Long March 4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China’s Gansu Province.
- With a lifespan of 6 years (2023 – 2029), FY 3G is dedicated to monitoring heavy rainfalls during catastrophic weather conditions in global regions of low- and mid-latitude i.e. it will forecast global meteorological disasters through its powerful tool.
Note: This satellite is a continuation of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM) which is led by Japan and the United States (US).
Eighth Research Institute under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), and its ground system is built and operated by the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
i.The 20th member of the Fengyun series, the FY-3G can accurately sense minute changes in precipitation intensity in the atmosphere, such as the intensity of drizzle at 0.2 millimeters per hour
ii.It can provide information on the 3D structure of precipitation in the Earth’s low- and mid-latitude regions.
iii.Fengyun-3G adopts a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) with an inclination of 50 degrees and will first head southeast toward China.
- This track design can help the satellite move between 50 degrees north latitude to 50 degrees south latitude where global rainfalls are concentrated.
iv.The satellites onboards precipitation measurement radar, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, upgraded microwave radiance imager which can receive the 10 to 183GHz microwave radiation energy in the atmosphere and obtain the typhoon’s internal temperatures and humidity structure.
v.China falls within the typhoon activity zone of western North Pacific Ocean and the heavy rainfall and flooding linked to typhoons are more frequent in some Chinese cities.
vi.After the launch, the satellite observation data in China’s global weather prediction model can have an update every four hours with a 3% increase in accuracy.
Currency– Chinese Yuan
Taifa-1: Kenya launches First Operational Satellite into Space On April 15, 2023, Kenya successfully launched its inaugural earth observation satellite (EOS) ‘Taifa-1’ (Nation-1, in the Swahili language), using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Base in California, United States (US).
- Created by a team of nine Kenyan engineers, it is designed to gather environmental and agricultural data, such as flood, drought, wildfire, forest and urbanization changes data, which will be employed by authorities to manage disasters and tackle food insecurity.
i.The satellite was developed over a two-year period at a cost of 50 million Kenyan shillings ($372,000), with assistance from the Bulgarian aerospace firm Endurosat.
ii.It is anticipated to operate for five years before disintegrating over a 20-year period as it enters the atmosphere and burns up.
iii.It is equipped with an optical camera that takes pictures simultaneously in multispectral and panchromatic modes enabling it to operate within and beyond the visible light spectrum.
iv.The Falcon 9 rocket also carried 50 payloads from other countries under SpaceX’s rideshare initiative.
v.Kenya sent its first nano-satellite into space in 2018.
Currency– Kenyan Shilling
Europe Successfully Launches JUICE Mission to Study Jupiter’s Icy MoonsOn April 14, 2023, The European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), via the Ariane-5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport from Kourou, French Guiana.
- Juice, a robotic explorer’s, mission was to make detailed observations of the solar system’s biggest planet, Jupiter and three ice-encrusted moons which scientists believed to have underground oceans where sea life could exist.
- Juice is expected to reach Jupiter in 2031 and has a mission lifespan of about three years which could be extended by 200 or more days.
- It will make multiple flybys of Jupiter’s satellites Ganymede, Callisto and Europa before orbiting around Ganymede.
Components of JUICE:
- The 1.7 billion dollar spacecraft is armed with a suite of remote-sensing, geophysical and in-situ instruments.
- Juice’s main engine contains a bi-propellant: Mono-methyl hydrazine and mixed oxides of nitrogen.
- The spacecraft will be powered by 10 solar arrays arranged in two wings, stretching 27 meters from tip to tip. It can produce about 850 watt power at Jupiter.
Mission of JUICE:
- The mission would help scientists locate places where there is internal energy and liquid water.
- It will explore Jupiter’s complex environment extensively and study the wider Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants across the Universe.
- According to the researchers, Ganymede (the largest Jovian moon) and Callisto (the second-largest) are ocean worlds. It will also map the topography, geology and composition of the surface, characterise the ocean layers and detect subsurface water reservoirs.
- In 1996, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft revealed that Ganymede has its own magnetic field, the only moon with an intrinsic magnetic field.
- According to NASA, Juice would study the planets chemistry, including organic molecules, and understand its surface features and the composition of the non-water-ice material.
- ESA has determined that the possibility of finding life was very high on Europa, as it possesses environments suitable for some form of life.
- Europa has all three essential ingredients to support life: Liquid water, an energy source and organic compounds that act as building blocks for biological processes.
About European Space Agency:
Established in: 30 May 1975
Director General: Josef Aschbacher
Headquarters: Paris, France
The second underwater nuclear attack drone “Haeil-2” was tested by North KoreaEarlier on March 23, North Korea made a claim of conducting a test of an underwater nuclear attack drone, which notably had the ability to unleash a “radioactive tsunami”.The “Unmanned Underwater Nuclear Attack Craft” was the name given to the drone, also known as “Haeil” (meaning tsunami).
- As a sequel,Haeil-2, which is the second underwater nuclear attack drone of North Korea was tested from April 4 to April 7.
- The test effectively demonstrated the dependability and lethal striking capability of the underwater strategic weapon system.
- North Korea’s repeated missile tests and other actions are seen as a demonstration of strength against the joint military exercises being conducted by the United States and South Korea.
- North Korea launched approximately 30 missiles in 11 separate launch events in 2023. These launches involved various missile types, including an intercontinental ballistic missile with the potential to reach the United States mainland, as well as shorter-range nuclear-capable missiles designed to target neighbouring countries.
- Developed since 2012.
- The purpose is to prevent any form of escalated military actions by the enemy.
- Over a period of approximately 71 hours, the vehicle travelled a total distance 1,000 km along a course that included both an oval and figure-of-eight shape.
- Average speed: 4.6 knots.
- Depth : 80 to 100 mts.
About North Korea:
Capital : Pyongyang
Currency : North Korean won
President : Kim Jong Un (since 2011)
CUO & ZSI found New cyprinid fish named Garra laishrami in KoraputOn April 16 2023, the researchers of the Central University of Odisha (CUO), Koraput, and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) found a rare new edible freshwater cyprinid fish species of Genus Garra from the Kolab River at Ghatguda, Koraput in Odisha.
- The cyprinid fish species was named Garralaishrami.
- The new species is named after Dr.Laishram Kosygin of ZSI to honor his remarkable contributions to understanding the taxonomy of Indian freshwater fishes.
- The findings were published in the taxonomy journal “Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters”, from Germany.
- Fishes of genus Garra are characterized by the presence of a gular disc developed from tissues of the gular region that exhibit variation in the size, shape, and arrangement of the snout tubercles.
- These groups of fishes are distributed from Borneo, southern China and southern Asia through Middle East Asia, Arabian Peninsula and East Africa to West Africa.
- The new species Garralaishrami has been found so far in Kolab River, one of the major tributaries of Godavari, in the Eastern Ghats of Odisha.
- It is a member of the proboscis species group and is distinguished from its other members by the development of proboscis, degree of tuberculation on the proboscis and transverse lobe on snout and nostrils, position of transverse groove and morph metric data of the body.
- The maximum length of the fish is from 76 mm to 95.5 mm, and is edible.
- Research conducted by – SupriyaSurachita, a Department of Science and Technology (DST) INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) Fellow on the topic “Diversity, distribution of fishes and threats in the freshwater bodies of Koraput in Eastern Ghats of Odisha”.
- Supervised by Prof.Sharat Kumar Palita, Dean of School of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources of CUO, Koraput.
World Voice Day 2023 – April 16World Voice Day (WVD) is annually observed across the globe on April 16 to celebrate the phenomenon of voice and raise awareness about the importance of voice. The day also raises awareness of issues affecting the health of the voice.
- World Voice Day 2023 was observed on 16th April 2023 under the theme/motto “Your Voice Matters”.
The theme for WVD was chosen by members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Voice Committee.
i. World Voice Day was initiated by the Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice in 1999, and the first World Voice Day was observed as Brazilian Voice Day on 16th April 1999.
- The day was later recognised as a global awareness day after the members of the Academy’s Speech, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders Committee
ii. In 2002, Professor Mario Andre, a Portuguese laryngologist and the president of the European Laryngological Society, proposed the idea of celebrating the day as a global event.
Note: Since the day’s inception in 2002, the AAO-HNS has sponsored the World Voice Day celebration in the United States of America (USA).
About the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS):
President- Kathleen L. Yaremchuk
Headquarters- Alexandria, Virginia, USA
World Hemophilia Day 2023 – April 17 World Hemophilia Day is annually observed across the globe on 17th April to create awareness about Hemophilia, an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly.
17th April 2023 marks the 34th World Hemophilia Day.
- The annual observance of the day is organised by the World Federation of Hemophilia(WFH).
The theme of World Hemophilia Day 2023 is “Access for All: Prevention of bleeds as the global standard of care”.
About World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH):
The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and sustaining care for people with inherited bleeding disorders
President– Cesar Garrido(Venezuela)
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Alain Baumann
Headquarters– Montréal, Québec, Canada
AP Government changes Name of Greenfield Seaport in Srikakulam
On 16th April 2023, the Andra Pradesh (AP) Government renamed the Bhavanapadu Port as “Mulapeta Port”, respecting the sentiments of local villagers in Srikakulam district, AP.
Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister (CM) of AP, will lay the foundation stone for the greenfield port on April 19.
- The AP government took this decision as farmers from Mulapeta and Vishnuchakram villages requested the name change since Bhavanapadu village has no scope in the proposed port area, considering all the lands of Mulpeta and some from Vishnuchakram have been earmarked for acquisition.
- Lathkar Srikesh Balajirao, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of Srikakulam district, laid the proposals for renaming Greenfield Port, since the total land and the project displaced families belong to Mulapeta and Vishnuchakram villages and not Bhavanapadu.