MoA&FW and NAFED launched First ever Millets Experience CentreOn April 28 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) collaborated with National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) has launched the first ever ‘Millets Experience Centre’ (MEC) at Dilli Haat, INA (Indian National Airways), New Delhi in Delhi, in order to enhance the public awareness on Millets and encourage the utilisation of Millets.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of MoA&FW and Rajbir Singh, Managing Director of NAFED commemorated the launch of the MEC in New Delhi, Delhi.
About Millets Experience Centre (MEC):
i. MEC established at DilliHaat which, is known as the food bazaar of Delhi is a national and cultural hub for visitors from all over the world, will further provide the visitors a chance to witness India’s ‘Millet Movement.
ii. The MEC would help broaden the range of vision for consumers, who are looking for healthier alternatives, as well as bring visibility to India’s strong millet-based start-up community.
iii. MECs will likely come across Delhi and some other states in the future through collaboration with retail chains, hotels, and the food and beverage industry.
iv. MEC will enable the consumers to experience an expansive Millet menu and an ‘in-store’ shopping experience with a wide variety of millet based products, a promotion to a healthy and nutritional diet.
International Year of Millets (IYM 2023):
- The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023), in response to India’s proposal, which was supported by 72 countries.
- This declaration made the Government of India to work on ‘mission mode’ to promote Millets or Shree Anna as a good crop for farmer, environment and consumer.
i. The declaration of the National Year of Millets began in 2018, with some visionary effects of the Government of India, it has been continued with the IYM 2023 and now gearing towards becoming a ‘Global Hub’ for Millets with this initiative.
ii. The IYM 2023 celebrations will include a variety of activities targeted at raising awareness about the environmental, health, and economic benefits of millet farming.
About National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED):
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), established in 1958 is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act., to promote Cooperative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit the farmers.
Managing Director – Rajbir Singh Panwar
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Indian Navy’s Warships Starts Inducting Indigenous Naval Anti-Drone SystemsIndian Navy’s Surface warships are inducting the Naval Anti-Drone System (NADS) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with the support of the Indian Navy and manufactured by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a Public sector undertaking(PSU) under the Ministry of Defence.
- This is the first indigenously developed Naval Anti-Drone System (NADS) to be inducted into the Indian Armed Forces.
In 2021, Indian Navy and BEL signed a contract for the supply of the indigenous Naval Anti-drone system which is expected to provide an effective way to counter the increased threat to the strategic installations of the Indian Navy.
Note: Similar contracts have been signed with the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
About the Naval Anti-Drone System (NADS)
i.The Naval Anti-Drone System (NADS) developed under the `Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative will support the Indian Armed Forces in tracking and tackling emerging aerial threats.
ii.The NADS is equipped with both hard and soft kill capabilities.
This system uses a laser-based kill mechanism for destroying the enemy target.
iii.They operate with Radars, Electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors and radio frequency (RF) detectors.
iv.They are capable of detecting and jamming micro drones.
- The RF/global navigation satellite system (GNSS) detects the frequency which is being used by the controller, and then the signals are jammed.
i.This system provides 360-degree coverage and both the mobile and static versions of NAD will be supplied to the Indian Navy.
ii.The NADS has been deployed to provide cover for the Republic Day parade, Independence Day Celebrations at Red Fort and in 2020 during the Ahmedabad for the Modi-Trump roadshow.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff– Admiral R Hari Kumar
Motto– “Sam no Varunah” – “Be auspicious unto us Oh Varuna”
Indian Air Force participates in exercise INIOCHOS-23 in GreeceThe Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in Exercise INIOCHOS-23, a multi-national air exercise hosted by the Greece Air Force at its Andravida Air Base in the western Peloponnese from April 24, 2023 – May 4, 2023.
- Hosted by the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) of Greece, IAF participated with four Su-30 MKI and two C-17 aircraft.
- INIOCHOS a major air exercise in Europe and the Mediterranean, capable to provide high level training and a unique participation experience.
To enhance international cooperation, synergy and interoperability amongst the participating Air Forces
i. Cyprus with an AW139 Helicopter
ii. France with Rafales
iii. India with 4 Su-30 MKI and two C-17 Aircraft
iv. Italy with Tornados
v. Jordan with F-16s
vi. Saudi Arabia with F-15s
vii. Slovenia with PC-9s
viii. Spain with EF-18s
ix. USA with F-16s and MQ-9s
x. Austria with INTEL personnel and Canada with Air Battle Managers.
i.The Exercise is divided into three phases:
- Phase 1: Detachment Deployment, 18 – 23 April 2023
- Phase 2: Execution Phase, 24 April – 4 May 2023
- Phase 3: Force Redeployment, 5-7 May 2023
ii.INIOCHOS-23 will also involve Hellenic Army, Navy and Special Operations assets and personnel for the creation of complex and realistic combat scenarios involving multiple types of air and surface assets.
iii.It is based on the Single Base Concept, which means the entire exercise takes place from a single air base.
iv.It will also enable the participating contingents to engage in professional interactions, to share each other’s best practices.
Note: This will be the third exercise that the IAF will be taking part in simultaneously. The Exercise Cope India with the United States (US) is underway at Kalaikunda, West Bengal (WB) and four Rafale fighters are taking part in a multilateral exercise Orion hosted by France.
UNICEF Report: 9 out of 10 Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Low-income Countries have No access to InternetAccording to the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) report ‘Bridging The Gender Digital Divide: Challenges and an Urgent Call for Action for Equitable Digital Skills Development’ Around 90% (9 out of 10) of adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 in low-income countries have are offline (no access to the internet). compared to 78% of adolescent boys and young men of the same age who do not use the internet.
Key Findings of the Report:
i.The report highlights that a majority of youth in low- and middle-income countries are not connected to the internet, have limited digital skills, and do not own a mobile phone.
ii.Among 54 countries and territories analysed, only eight have achieved gender parity in internet use among youth.
iii.Among regions, the largest gap is observed in South Asia, favouring adolescent boys and young men by 27% points.
About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
Headquarters – New York, USA
Executive Director – Catherine M. Russell
WhiteOak Capital Mutual Fund launches Multi-asset NFO with Old Tax benefits On April 28, 2023, the White Oak Asset Management Company (AMC) has announced the launch of its new fund offer (NFO) ‘White Oak Capital Multi Asset Allocation Fund’ which is an open-ended scheme that will invest across multiple asset classes, including equity-related instruments, debt and gold instruments with old tax benefits.
- The NFO is open for subscription from May 03 to May 10, 2023.
Backdrop: The NFO was launched for investors who are looking for tax benefits under the Old Income Tax regime after the Union government announced the removal of the long-term capital asset benefit given to mutual fund investments with effect from April 1, 2023.
i.The minimum application amount is Rs 500 and in multiples of Rs 1 thereafter. As it is an open-ended scheme, it will reopen again for buying later.
- The systematic investment plan (SIP) amount is Rs 500 on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Where one opts for a quarterly mode of SIP payment, the amount is Rs 1,500 and in multiples of Rs 1 thereafter.
ii.Under the multi asset allocation approach, allocations will be based on relative attractiveness of various asset classes.
- The fund invests across asset classes such as equity, foreign equities, debt, gold, silver and money market securities dynamically by making use of the Internal Proprietary Model.
iii.NFO scheme is eligible for Long Term Capital Gain Tax, along with indexation benefit on holding for over 3 years.
iv.WhiteOak Capital Multi Asset Allocation Fund seeks to achieve reasonable return with moderate volatility for its investors over medium- to long-term. The scheme can be a easier and tax-efficient way of investing in various asset classes via a single mutual fund scheme.
BOI Launches Shubh Arambh FD scheme for Senior citizens
Bank of India (BoI) announced the launch of a retail term deposit scheme for senior citizens named ‘Shubh Arambh Deposit’.
- With effect from April 1, 2023,the special FD scheme comes with an additional interest rate of 0.50% for senior citizens and 0.65% for super senior citizens.
- The bank is providing a 7.15% interest rate on a 501-day term for the general public.
ACC names Siddhartha Mohanty as LIC Chairperson and First CEO On April 28, 2023, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance for the appointment of Siddhartha Mohanty, Managing Director (MD) and interim chairperson, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) as Chairperson till June 29, 2024.
- After this, he will be named as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director till June 7, .2025, i.e. up to the date of his attaining the age of 62 years, or until further orders, whichever is earlier, in the pay scale of Rs 2,25,000 (fixed).
Note: LIC has decided to phase out the chairman post to align with other publicly traded corporations. In May 2022, LIC offered the largest IPO in India to date as the government agreed to sell a 3.5% stake.
i.Siddhartha Mohanty name for this post was recommended by the Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB)
ii.He was one of four managing directors at LIC when insurer launched its IPO.
iii.He began his career with LIC as a direct recruit officer in 1985 and rose through the ranks to the top position.
About Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
IOA sets up a two member ad-hoc committee to manage WFI
On April 27, 2023 the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) set up a two-member ad-hoc committee comprising, Bhupender Singh Bajwa, IOA executive council member and Suma Shirur, former Indian shooter of outstanding Merit of IOA, to overlook the operations of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), the governing body of wrestling in India.
- Additional appointment: IOA plans to appoint a retired High Court Judge to the Ad-Hoc Committee for a fair and transparent election.
i.Seven women wrestlers have made allegations against former WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for sexual harassment of them. Thus First Information Report (FIR) was been filed against him and he resigned from the post following the allegation.
ii.Earlier in January 2023 IOA formed a committee led by veteran boxer Mary Kom to address a complaint by the wrestlers.
iii.The committee held multiple hearings of the complaint for both parties, but instead of utilising this committee, the wrestlers, including World Championships medal winner Vinesh Phogat, Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik wrestlers chose to protest publicly in New Delhi, Delhi.
iv.Thus the IOA again formed the ad-hoc committee to overlook and give suggestions over the WFI’s operation.
i.The ad-hoc committee was formed which will be responsible to manage the WFI’s affairs including the selection and participation of sportspersons in international events.
- Note: The decision for the appointment of ad-hoc committee was taken on April 27, 2023, at the IOA Executive Council emergency meeting chaired by President P T Usha (retired Indian track and field athlete).
ii. The election for the WFI President post was earlier proposed on May 7, 2023 and now the election stands null and void as per an order issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs, and the new election date will be communicated by the Adhoc Committee.
- Note- The 37th National Games are going to be held in Goa later in 2023.
About Indian Olympic Association (IOA) :
It is the body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Olympic Games, Asian Games and other international athletic meets and managing the Indian teams at these events.
President – P. T. Usha
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Shantanu Roy to be the Next CMD of BEML Limited
Shantanu Roy has been chosen to become the new Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of BEML Limited (fomerly known as Bharat Earth Movers Limited), a Miniratna Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- Public enterprises selection board (PESB) on 18th April 2023, recommended Shantanu Roy for the position.
- Current CMD of BEML Limited is Amit Banerjee, Director (Rail & Metro), Additional Charge.
Currently, he is serving as Director (Mining & Construction Business) in BEML Limited.
About Shantanu Roy:
i. Shantanu Roy has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the capital goods sectors for Defence, Mining & Construction, Transportation, Transmission, Renewable and large power projects.
ii. He was served in the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited from 1992 to 2019.
iii. He joined BEML Limited in 2019 as an Executive Director and was responsible for International Business Division, Strategy & New initiatives, Coordination and northern region operations. He was appointed as Director in February 2023.
About the BEML Limited:
i. BEML is India’s leading mining & construction equipment manufacturer, as well as Asia’s 2nd-largest equipment company.
ii. It provides a wide range of mining machines for both opencast and underground mining.
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka
Emirates Airline Unveils World’s First Robotic Check-In Assistant: “Sara”
On 27th April 2023, Dubai-based airline Emirates unveiled the world’s 1st robotic check-in assistant named “Sara”, at its newly launched City Check-in and Travel Store, at the ICD Brookfield Place of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai, the United Arab Emirates(UAE).
The aim of the latest innovation of Emirates is to enhance the customer experience and make the check-in process more seamless and efficient.
- Emirates City Check-in and Travel Store provide a wide range of services to consumers, including a booking facility, check-in for flights at the heart of the city, luggage drop-off, shopping for travel essentials, and saving time.
- Sara has facial recognition technology and can print boarding cards, making the check-in procedure faster.
Golden Globe Race 2022: Indian Sailor Abhilash Tomy 1st Indian & Asian to Complete Golden Globe RaceOn 29th April 2023, Commander Abhilash Tomy (44-year-old), a retired Naval officer, has become the 1st Indian and Asian to finish the Golden Globe Race, a solo around-the-world sailing race, which started on 4th September 2022 from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France. He came in 2nd taking 236 days 14 hrs and 46 mins to complete this feat.
- The 2022 Golden Globe Race is the 3rd edition of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.
South African Kirsten Neuschäfer has become the 1st woman ever to win a solo around the world race, finishing 1st in the Golden Globe Race. She took 235 days, 5 hours, 44 minutes and 4 seconds to complete.
About Abhilash Tomy:
i. Abhilash Tomy is an adventurer, author, environmentalist, survival expert, and one of India’s most prominent sailors.
ii. A pilot in the Indian Navy. Abhilash has covered 52,000 miles under sail while in the Navy including a solo non-stop circumnavigation from Mumbai (Maharashtra) and back in 2012-13.
iii. He has also represented India in the Cape Town (South Africa) to Rio Race in 2011, the Copa del Rey Race in Spain in 2014, and the Korea Cup for 2 years in a row.
iv. He has been awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award (2012), the Kirti Chakra for valour (2013) and courageous action and Mac Gregor medal(2013).
About Golden Globe Race:
i. The Golden Globe Race (GGR) is a solo sailing race around the globe in a yacht with no kind of modern technology.
ii. It started off on July 1, 2018, for the 1st time since 1968-69 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.
iii. The winner of the first 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe was Englishman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston sailing a 32ft timber yacht built in India named Suhaili.
Conditions for GGR:
- At least 21,600 nautical miles (the earth’s circumference, or approximately 40,000 kilometres) must be covered.
- Every meridian must be crossed at least once and the Equator twice;
- The race must end at the same port where it began;
- The 3 great capes: Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn, and Cape of Good Hope, must be rounded.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a book titled ‘Reflections’ by Narayanan Vaghul
On 28th April 2023, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs released a book titled “Reflections” authored by the eminent banker Narayanan Vaghul, former chairman of ICICI Bank Ltd, in an event organised at Jio Convention Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex, in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The book is a vivid account of Vaghul’s experiences over several decades in the financial sector of India.
- Narayanan Vaghul was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the Trade and Industry category in 2010.
World Immunization Week 2023 – April 24 -30World Immunization Week is observed annually across the globe in the last week of April to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
- World Immunization Week 2023 is observed from 24th to 30th April 2023.
- World Health Organization (WHO) set the theme of World Immunization Week 2023 as ‘The Big Catch-Up’ to get vaccines back on track.
World Immunization Week is annually organised by the WHO to protect more people and their communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The World Immunization Week is observed since 2012 by WHO
i. Through the World Immunization Week 2023, WHO highlights successful vaccination campaigns underway in several countries, as well as some “bright spots of resilience”, such as India, which saw a strong recovery in essential immunization in 2022.
ii. As per the statement of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), around 67 million children worldwide missed out on one or more essential vaccinations between 2019 and 2021, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and armed conflict.
iii. Under the World Immunization Week 2023 focus will be given to the 20 countries that missed children vaccinations in 2021 (for three quarters)
- The 20 countries include Afghanistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Somalia and Myanmar.
World Veterinary Day 2023 – April 29 World Veterinary Day (WVD) is annually observed across the globe on the last Saturday of the month of April to raise awareness about the veterinarians and their utmost devotion to animal health, welfare, and public health.
- The day is celebrated to honour and recognise the efforts of veterinary professionals across the globe in augmenting animal health and welfare.
i.World Veterinary Day 2023 is observed on 29th April 2023.
- WVD 2022 was observed on 30th April 2022.
- WVD 2024 will be observed on 27th April 2023.
ii.The theme of World Veterinary Day 2023 is “Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness in the Veterinary Profession”.
iii.The annual observance of World Veterinary Day is led by the World Veterinary Association (WVA)
About World Veterinary Association (WVA):
President– Dr Rafael Laguens
Headquarters– Brussels, Belgium
Justice S.V. Bhatti appointed Acting Chief Justice of Kerala
Justice Sarasa Venkatanarayana Bhatti has been appointed as the acting Chief Justice (CJ) of Kerala with effect from 24 April 2023. He succeeds Justice S. Manikumar who retired on 22 April 2023.
- Justice S.V. Bhatti, a native of Madanapalli in Andhra Pradesh(AP)’s Chittoor district, began his career as a lawyer in Hyderabad, Telangana, in 1987.
- He had served as the standing counsel for several public sector companies, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Hindustan Shipyard and National Maritime University.
- He had also served as a special government pleader in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh.
He was appointed as a judge to the High Court of the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh in April 2013 and joined the Kerala High Court as a judge in March 2019.