India’s 1st Indigenously Developed Kakrapar Atomic Power Project Unit-3 Begins Operation at Full Capacity On August 31, 2023, India’s first indigenously developed 700-Megawatt Electric (MWe) Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project Unit-3 (KAPP3) in Gujarat has commenced operations at full capacity.
- It had started commercial operations on June 30, 2023 but had been operating at 90% of its capacity till now.
- KAPP-3 and KAPP-4 are India’s first pair of indigenously designed PHWRs of 700 MW unit size with enhanced safety features.
i.Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), is tasked with the design, construction, commissioning, and operation of nuclear power reactors.
- The Construction of 700 MW nuclear power plants is going on at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan (RAPS 7 and 8), and at Gorakhpur in Haryana (GHAVP 1 and 2).
ii.The government has sanctioned the building of 10 indigenously developed PHWR in fleet mode at four locations viz, Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh (MP), Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan and Kaiga in Karnataka.
- The PHWRs, which use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator, constitute the mainstay of India’s nuclear power fleet.
- Till now, the biggest reactor of indigenous design was the 540 MWe PHWR, two of which have been deployed in Tarapur, Maharashtra.
iii.NPCIL currently operates 23 commercial nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 7480 MW.
- Twelve more reactors are under construction at various stages, connected to the grid, totalling to 9,400 MW.
About Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limit (NPCIL):
Chairman & Managing Director– Bhuwan Chandra Pathak
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Amazon & India Post Signs MoU for MSME Exporters; Amazon launches Sah-AI, Digital AssistantAmazon, an American multinational technology company focusing on e-commerce, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India Post to simplify cross-border logistics for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) exporters.
- The MoU was signed during the (Fourth) Amazon Smbhav Summit 2023 held on 31st August 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.
- During the event, Amazon introduced “Amazon सह-AI (Amazon Sah-AI)”, a generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) -based personal digital assistant.
Features of the MoU:
i.The partnership between India Post and Amazon will simplify cross-border logistics and compliance for Indian exporters shipping directly to customers around the world.
ii.Under this MoU, Indian exporters on Amazon’s Global Selling program will be enabled to book their shipments, print shipping labels and pay for shipping directly from their Seller Central account.
iii.They will be able to send their shipments to India Post’s Dak Niryat Kendras across India from where it can be exported to customers abroad.
Amazon Smbhav Summit 2023:
The fourth edition of Amazon Smbhav Summit took place in 2023, focused on innovation, financial inclusion and sustainability for small businesses and consumers.
- During the event, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, unveiled the postal stamp to commemorate the 10-year partnership between India Post and Amazon. The stamp features various transportation modes used by Amazon to ship products from sellers to customers across India.
Amazon Partners with Indian Railway’s DFCCIL:
Amazon also announced its engagement with Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) of the Indian Railways for shipping customer packages through freight railway routes in India.
- With this Amazon becomes the 1st e-commerce company in India to partner with DFCCIL to ship packages.
- Amazon India has started operations with DFC on the 659 km long Rewari-Palanpur (Haryana-Gujarat) route.
i.Amazon has now opened its logistics and supply chain for D2C (Direct-to-consumer) brands across India to serve the customer’s orders from various sales channels(including their own websites)
ii.Amazon has promised to digitise around 10 million MSMEs, generate USD 20 billion in cumulative e-commerce exports and generate more than 2 million jobs in India by 2025.
- The process of digitisation will enable economic growth, expand customer reach, reduce expenses on marketing and distribution and offer access to foreign markets.
iii.Amazon is allocating USD 15 million for nature-based projects in the Asia-Pacific region as a part of its USD 100 million Right Now Climate Fund.
About India Post:
India Post is a government-operated postal system in India and is the trade name of the Department of Post under the Ministry of Communications.
Director General Postal Services– Alok Sharma
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
India To Host 1st Edition of ‘Global IndiaAI 2023 ’ in October 2023
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is set to organise the 1st edition of the Global IndiaAI 2023 conference in October 2023(tetatively planned for 14/15th October 2023).
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), and MeitY is chairing the conference’s steering committee. The committee includes memebrs from MeitY’s Digital Economy Advisory group and other prominent leaders in the field of AI.
- The conference will showcase the vibrant India artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem comprising initiatives like DI Bhashini, India Datasets Program, and others.
- This key annual gathering for the entire AI ecosystem, will witness the participation from leading AI players, researchers start-ups, and investors from India and abroad.
- The conference will cover a wide range of topics including Next Generation Learning and Foundation AI models, AI applications in healthcare, governance, next-gen electric vehicles, future AI research trends, and others.
Indian Army to Participate in Exercise BRIGHT STAR- 23 in EgyptIndian Army contingent comprising 137 personnel has departed to Egypt to participate in “Exercise BRIGHT STAR- 23“, a military exercise scheduled to be conducted from 31 August to 14 September 2023 at Mohammed Naguib Military Base in Egypt.
- Exercise BRIGHT STAR- 23 is a multinational tri-services joint military exercise that will be led by US CENTCOM (United States of America Central Command), and the Egyptian Army.
- This exercise will provide a unique opportunity for the Indian Army to share best practices and experiences with other armies aimed at enhancing defense cooperation.
Prime Minister– Mostafa Madbouly
Currency– Egyptian Pound (EGP)
PhonePe Enter Online Stock Broking with Share.Market App
On 30th August 2023, PhonePe, an Indian digital payment platform, entered the online stock broking business with a new trading app, Share.Market under its subsidiary PhonePe Wealth Broking. The app can be used to invest in stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).
- As per PhonePe, Share.Market offers a more discounted brokering price (24 cents or 0.05%, whichever is lower), and broader market intelligence and a quantitative research-based tech platform called WealthBaskets, which will be available to users as both a mobile app and on the web.
- With this new launch, PhonePe aims to tap into the growing interest in stock trading and investing among its user base, which will bring a new dimension to stock broking by providing quantitative research along with execution.
- It will provide a spectrum of investment products allowing investors across different demographics to build a balanced portfolio.
- Share.Market charges a one-time onboarding price of Rs 199 that includes benefits such as zero brokerage up to Rs 400 on trades till March 31, 2024.
ICICI Prudential Life launched ICICI Pru GIFT ProICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited (ICICI Prudential Life) has launched “ICICI Pru GIFT Pro” which is a protection and savings-oriented life insurance plan. The new plan provides policyholders, also known as the “Life Assured,” with a wide range of options to customize their policy.
- It offers a range of flexibilities to the policyholder, including options related to Money Back Benefit and Guaranteed Income (GI).
Premium Payment Term (in years) – 5 to 12
Minimum Annual Premium – Rs 50,000
Min/Max Age at Entry (in years) – 18 (minus Policy Term) and 60
i.ICICI Pru GIFT Pro enables customers to personalize the product to suit their individual requirements. This includes the flexibility to select income benefits and premium payment terms, among other customizable features.
i.MoneyBack benefit is the facility to withdraw a particular percentage of the amount from the total premiums paid.This option allows policyholders to receive periodic payments, typically a percentage of the sum assured, at regular intervals during the policy’s duration.
- Choice of Percentage: When you start your “ICICI Pru GIFT Pro” insurance policy, you have the flexibility to choose any percentage between 0% to 100% of the total annual premiums you’ll pay.
- One-Time Lump Sum: This chosen percentage represents the MoneyBack Benefit, which is a one-time lump sum payment that you’ll receive at specific intervals during your policy.
ii.Guaranteed Income option – With the Guaranteed Income (GI) option, the insurance company promises to pay you a fixed amount of money at regular intervals.
- Level(Constant) Guaranteed Income option is an income option which will provide you a constant income (does not increase or decrease) throughout the income period.
- Increasing Guaranteed Income option is an income option which will provide you an increasing income throughout the income period. Your income will increase by 5% p.a simple interest.
iii.Customers have the freedom to select any amount, up to 100% of the premiums they’ve paid, as a lump sum benefit. They can also pick when they receive this benefit.
i.Tax benefits may be applicable on premiums paid, subject to conditions under provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961
ii.GI can be increased with the Low Cover Income Booster option.
iii.Through the Save the Date option one can fix any date to receive income.
The death benefit in the “ICICI Pru GIFT Pro” plan is the amount that will be paid to the designated beneficiaries or nominee(s) in the unfortunate event of the policyholder’s death during the policy term.
How does the insurance plan work?
A person pays premiums for a certain period of time (5 to 12 years for this plan).
- After the completion of policy term, the person will receive Guaranteed Income (GI) at the end of every month/year from the accumulated amount for a particular period of time (Income Period – starting from 8th year till 30 years).
About ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited (ICICI Prudential Life):
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited (ICICI Prudential Life) is promoted by ICICI Bank Limited and Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited.
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Anup Bagchi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 2001
Mastercard launches ALT ID for Enhanced Online Payment Security at Guest Check-Out Mastercard has launched ALT ID (Alternate Identifier) solution for enhanced online payment security for Guest Check-Out processes as it will prevent exposure of sensitive card information during transactions.
How does it work?
i.The ALT ID solution creates an Alternate Identifier for actual card numbers provided by users during guest check-out processes or cardholders who carry out transactions without saving their cards. Therefore, it reduces the vulnerability of exposing sensitive card data in the event of unauthorized access or data breaches.
- The ALT ID solution will provide multiple advantages to cardholders, such as non-storage of card numbers on merchant websites and protection from potential data breaches.
ii.For merchants and payment service providers, , it will allow them to safeguard card numbers with minimal developmental complexities, thereby enhancing the overall customer payment experience they offer.
iii.Previously, Mastercard rolled out a Card-On-File (CoF) tokenization solution for cardholders to safely complete transactions without revealing sensitive card details.
Click Here to Read about CoF
CEO– Michael Miebach
Headquarters– New York, United States of America(USA)
India’s GDP in the Q1FY24 grew one-year high to 7.8%: NSOi.As per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew one year high to 7.8% in the April-June quarter of 2023-2024 (Q1FY24), compared to a growth of 6.1% in the January-March quarter of FY23 (Q4FY23).
ii.This growth is driven by stronger consumption demand and higher activities in the services sector.
iii.India remains one of the fastest growing major economies, and is expected to grow at 6.5% in FY24.
About the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI):
MoSPI is the nodal agency for the planned and organized development of the statistical system in India.
Ministers of State (Independent Charge) – Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurugram Constituency – Haryana)
65th Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2023: India’s Ravi Kannan Among Four WinnersPhilippines based Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) announced the 65th edition of the Ramon Magsaysay Award(2023) with the theme “Transforming Asia, Inspiring the World”.The 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award is set to be held in Manila, Philippines on 11th November 2023.
The 2023 Ramon Magsaysay awardees are:
- Ravi Kannan: “Hero for Holistic Healthcare” from India.
- Miriam Coronel–Ferrer: “Women in Peace-Building Pioneer” from the Philippines.
- Eugenio Lemos: “Food Sovereignty Visionary” from Timor-Leste.
- Korvi Rakshand: “Education-for-All Champion” from Bangladesh.
Note: The Ramon Magsaysay Award is regarded as the ‘Nobel Prize of Asia’.India has received a total of 59 awards, while the Philippines has received 65 awards, making it the highest among all countries.
About Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF):
Chairman – Aurelio R. Montinola III
Established – 1957
Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
National Awards for e-Governance 2023 Presented During 26th NCeG Held in IndoreThe 26th National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG), was organised on the 25th and 26th of August 2023 at Brilliant Convention Centre, Indore, Madhya Pradesh(MP), to deliberate on providing better facilities to the citizens.
- During the conference, the National Award for e-Governance 2022-23 (NAeG 2023) were presented for exemplary implementation of e-Governance initiatives.
- The 26th NCeG was organised on the theme ‘Viksit Bharat, Empowering Citizens’.
i.NAFIS of NCRB gets DARPG’s Gold Award for Excellence in Government Process Reengineering for Digital Transformation .
ii.West Bengal Government’s Suvidha Vehicles System wins Gold Award for Efficient Trade Facilitation in Government Process Reengineering for Digital Transformation category.
iii.SVAMITVA Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj won Gold in NAeG 2022-23 in Application of Emerging Technologies for Providing Citizen Centric Services category
About Ministry Of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions:
Union Minister- Narendra Modi (Constituency- Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State- Dr. Jitendra Singh (Constituency- Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir)
General Brice Oligui Nguema appointed as Transitional President of Gabon
On August 30, 2023, General Brice Oligui Nguema, Chief of the Gabonese Republican Guard, was unanimously appointed as the Transitional President of Gabon and Chairman of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions.
- He will be sworn in as Transitional President before the Constitutional Court on Monday September 4, 2023.
Note: Gabon is the latest African country to witness a military coup after Niger in July 2023 and Mali in 2022.
The African Union(AU)’s Peace and Security Council has decided to “immediately suspend” Gabon following the military coup.
i.Gabon’s coup leaders appointed Brice Oligui Nguema after deposing Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
ii.The military coup came after the Gabonese Election Center confirmed that incumbent President Ali Bongo officially won a 3rd term as president with 64.27% of the vote.
About Brice Oligui Nguema:
i.Brice Oligui Nguema served as an aide-de-camp to Omar Bongo Former President of Gabon, who ruled Gabon for nearly 42 years (from 1967 until his death in 2009).
ii.Under the presidency of Ali Bongo, Nguema was appointed as the military attache at Gabon’s embassies in Morocco and Senegal.
iii.In 2018, he was appointed as the General Manager of Special Services under the Gabonese Republican Guard, an independent military responsible for protecting government officials and buildings.
iv.In 2020, he was appointed the Commander-in-Chief of the Gabonese Republican Guard.
Currency– Central African CFA franc
Jaya Varma Sinha Appointed as 1st Woman Chairpeson & CEO of Railway Board
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) has approved the appointment of Jaya Varma Sinha as the Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Railway Board. She becomes the 1st woman to hold the post since the establishment of Railway Board in 1905.
- She succeeded Anil Kumar Lahoti whose tenure as chairman and CEO ended on 31st August 2023.
- Jaya Varma Sinha will hold the post till 31st August 2024. Previously was set to retire on 1st October 2023, but she will be re-employed until her tenure is over.
- Prior to this appointment, she was serving as the Member (Operations and Business Development), Railway Board.
About Jaya Varma Sinha:
i.Jaya Varma Sinhais is an Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer of 1986 batch who started her career in 1988.
- During her 35 year career, she held various significant positions, including Additional Member for Traffic Transportation on the Railway Board and roles in diverse areas such as operations, commercial, and vigilance.
ii.She was also the first woman to be appointed as the Principal Chief Operations Manager of South Eastern Railway in 2018.
iii.She has also served as Railway Adviser in the High Commission of India, Dhaka, Bangladesh for four years.
- The Maitree Express from Kolkata to Dhaka was inaugurated during her tenure in Bangladesh.
Titagarh Rail Systems Launches Diving Support Craft ‘DSC A 20’ for Indian NavyTitagarh Rail Systems Limited (TRSL), formerly known as Titagarh Wagons Limited (TWL), launched the ‘DSC A 20’ (Yard 325), a Diving Support Craft (DSC) for the Indian Navy at Titagarh shipyard, West Bengal.
- This is the first of the five DSC vessels to be delivered to the Indian Navy by TRSL, with the total contract value of about Rs 175 crore.
- The Launch Ceremony was attended by Vice Admiral Sanjay Mahindru of Indian Navy.
Features of DSC:
i.The DSC is a state-of-the-art watercraft outfitted with extensive technology capabilities to assist diving operations in every potential underwater environment.
- They are 30 m long catamaran hull ships, with a displacement of approx 300 tons.
- DSC used for operational/training diving activities in harbours and coastal waters.
ii.These ships are designed and built in India in accordance with the appropriate Naval Rules and Regulations of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
- During the design stage, the ships’ hydrodynamic analysis and model testing were performed at the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
i.The contract for building five DSC was signed between Ministry of Defence(MoD) and TRSL, Kolkata on February 2021.
- It is set to be delivered to Indian Navy in fiscal year 2024-2025.
The Keel of the 5th DSC, ‘DSC A 24’ was also laid along with the launch.
About Titagarh Rail Systems Limited (TRSL):
Chairman & Managing Director(CMD) – Jagdish Prasad Chowdhary
Established – 1997
Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal
GalaxEye Introduces Drone-Based High-Resolution All-Weather Imaging System
GalaxEye, a SpaceTech start-up company, has introduced a high-resolution Aerial drone-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) System. This cutting-edge technology enables exceptionally detailed and high-resolution all-weather imaging, even in rainy or cloudy conditions.
- The drone-based SAR system is said to be the first such technology developed by a private company in India.
- GalaxEye’s in-house developed ‘data fusion technology’ will deliver detailed insights and data from space, empowering satellite constellations to conduct all-weather imaging without facing atmospheric hindrances that “plague” current single-sensor satellites.
- This technology will generate highly detailed images through a compact satellite constellation, which will achieve global coverage within a 12-hour time frame when fully operational.
- The capability of constant all-weather, all-time imaging, along with precise object geometry analysis, holds immense value across various sectors such as insurance, precision agriculture, accurate property tax assessments, and the monitoring of utilities like transmission lines.
Note: GalaxEye the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) intubated space-tech startup is building the world’s 1st multi-sensor earth observation satellite.
National Nutrition Week 2023 – September 1 to 7 National Nutrition Week (NNW) is annually observed across India from September 1 to 7, to raise awareness among people about the vital role of nutrition and health in human lives, and to promote healthy and hygienic eating habits.
- The main objective of NNW is to highlight the importance of a healthy diet and its impact on the body, as a balanced diet with essential nutrients is necessary for proper development and functioning.