Quizway Current Affairs 26-05-2023

MoCA launches UDAN 5.1 designed for helicopter routesThe Ministry of Civil Aviation(MoCA) launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) 5.1 to enhance connectivity to remote areas of the country and achieve last-mile connectivity through helicopters.

For the 1st time, the RCS-UDAN scheme is designed specifically for helicopter routes.

  • UDAN 5.1 is designed in consultation with all stakeholders including helicopter operators.

The launch follows the 4 successful rounds of RCS-UDAN. At present, the 5th phase of RCS-UDAN (UDAN 5.0) focusing on aircraft operations of Category-2 (20-80 seats) and Category-3 (>80 seats) is underway.
About UDAN 5.1:
UNDAN 5.1 focuses on 2 emerging phenomena in Indian civil aviation,

  • Democratization of air travel with a focus on last-mile connectivity.
  • Increasing demand for helicopters in aiding tourism.

Features of UDAN 5.1: 
i.The scope of operations for operators has been increased.

  • The scheme will now allow routes where either origin or destination is in a priority area. Earlier, both points had to be in the priority area.

ii.To ensure that flying in helicopters is more affordable for passengers, the airfare caps have been reduced by around 25%.
iii.To enhance the financial viability for operating the awarded routes, the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for the operators have been increased substantially for both single and twin-engine helicopters.
About UDAN:
i.Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) is a Regional Connectivity Scheme(RCS) launched on 21st October 2016 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation with an aim to fulfill the aspirations of the common man by following the vision of Ude Deshka Aam Nagrik” with an enhanced aviation infrastructure and air connectivity in tier II and tier III cities.

  • The first flight under UDAN was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27th April 2017.

ii.Under UDAN scheme the number of operational airports in India has been increased from 74 in 2014 to 141(as of 2022), which include 8 heliports, and 2 waterdromes.
iii.Around 425 new routes have been initiated under the scheme to provide air connectivity to more than 29 States/Union Territories.
iv.Under the previous rounds of UDAN, 46 helicopter routes have been operationalized to support hilly and northeast states.
Additional info: 
The Government of India has approved a “Revival of unserved and underserved airports” scheme for the revival and development of 100 unserved and under-served airports, helipads and water aerodromes by 2024.
About Minister of Civil Aviation(MoCA):
Union Minister– Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (Rajya Sabha- Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– General (Retd.) Vijay Kumar Singh

CBDT extends due date for Re-Registration/Approval by Charitable, Religious Trusts till Sept 30, 2023

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the due date for furnishing the application by the charitable or religious trusts and institutions for re-registration/approval to September 30, 2023 from November 25, 2022.

  • Under Income Tax law, the income of charitable institutions, religious trusts, medical and educational institutions, referred to in sub-clause (iv) or sub-clause (v) or sub-clause (vi) or sub-clause (via) of clause (23C) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 or any trust or institution registered under section 12AA or section 12AB of the Act are exempt from tax.
  • However, these institutions are required to seek registration from the I-T department.

Highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s Visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia from May 19 to 24, 2023Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia from May 19 to 24, 2023 to attend multilateral summits, including the Group of Seven (G7).
Key Events & Initiatives:
i.As India has been invited as a guest country for the G7 summit, PM Narendra Modi participated in the annual summit of the G7 advanced economies in Hiroshima under the Japanese Presidency on May 20 2023. He talked about challenges facing the globe, including food, fertiliser and energy security.
ii.PM Modi unveiled a 42-inch tall bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hiroshima, Japan on 20 May 2023.
iii.On May 22, 2023, PM Narendra Modi along with PM of Papua New Guinea James Marape released translation of the Tamil classic ‘Thirukkural’ in the Tok Pisin language to bring the Indian thought and culture closer to the people of this southwestern Pacific nation.
iv.On May 22, 2023, in a special ceremony at the Government House, Sir Bob Dadae, Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, conferred Prime Minister Modi with the “Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL)“, the highest civilian award in Fiji, in recognition of his global leadership.
v.PM Modi jointly hosted the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC III Summit) with PM of Papua New Guinea James Marape on May 22, 2023. FIPIC had been launched during PM Modi’s visit to Fiji in 2014.
About Australia:
Capital – Canberra
Currency – Australian dollar (AUD)
Prime Minister  – Anthony Albanese

India’s AI Supercomputer ‘Airawat‘ Ranked 75th iTop 500 Global Supercomputing Listi.On May 24, 2023, AI (Artificial Intelligence) Supercomputer ‘AIRAWAT’, has been ranked 75th globally in the 61st edition of Top 500 Global Supercomputing List which was released at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC 2023) in Germany.
ii.AIRAWAT or AI Research Analytics and Knowledge Dissemination Platform is installed at C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), Pune (Maharashtra) under National Program on AI (NPAI) by Government of India.
iii.The list has been topped by the United States (US) Frontier. This HPE Cray EX system is the first US system with a performance exceeding one Exaflop/s (EXA Floating point Operations per Second).
About Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY):
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha – Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Making cities climate-ready crucial to Solving Climate Crisis: World BankThe World Bank (WB) has released a report titled ‘Thriving: Making Cities Green, Resilient, and Inclusive in a Changing Climate’ providing guidance to policymakers on how to create greener, more resilient, and inclusive cities.

  • The assessment is based upon the 10,000 cities globally.

Key Points:
i.It stressed the urgent need for cities to be climate ready by adopting integrated green urban planning strategies that address interconnected challenges, including investment in green space and sustainable infrastructure.

  • It also provided a set of recommendations, including information dissemination, incentives, insurance coverage, integration and investments.

ii.The number of people living in cities increased from 1.19 billion to 4.46 billion between 1970 and 2021 and was responsible for approximately 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
iii.On a per capita basis, cities in high and upper-middle-income countries have the highest fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and those in low-income countries have the lowest.

  • Cities in lower-income countries account for only 14% of global urban CO2 emissions

iv.North American cities are the largest per capita emitters, while cities in Sub-Saharan Africa remain the lowest per capita emitters on average.
v.The urban population is expected to grow by 2.5 billion by 2050, thus, protection and restoration of ecosystems, such as forests, is needed for urban resilience and water security.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the urban population is projected to grow by 950 million, reaching 1.26 billion by 2050.

WMO approved for a Global Greenhouse Gas TrackerOn May 24 2023, The World Meteorological Congress, the supreme body of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in a landmark decision approved a new greenhouse gas (GHG) watch, a monitoring initiative to support urgent action to reduce heat-trapping gases which are fuelling temperature increase.

  • New Global Greenhouse Gas Watch approved by WMO will support mitigation action taken by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.
  • 193 countries of WMO have unanimously approved the creation of a global greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism.

Global Greenhouse Gas Watch:
The new Global Greenhouse Gas Watch will combine observations from Earth and from space with modelling, to fill critical information gaps.
It will build on WMO’s experience in coordinating international collaboration on weather prediction as well as modelling and data assimilation capabilities.
4 Components of GHG:
iA comprehensive, sustained, global set of surface-based and satellite-based observations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations, total column amounts, partial column amounts, vertical profiles and fluxes and supporting meteorological, oceanic, and terrestrial variables, internationally exchanged as rapidly as possible, pending capabilities and agreements with the system operators;
ii. Prior estimates of the GHG emissions based on activity data and process-based models;
iii. A set of global high-resolution Earth System models representing GHG cycles;
iv. Associated with the models, data assimilation systems that optimally combine the observations with model calculations to generate products of higher accuracy.
iGHG monitoring infrastructure will help improve understanding of the carbon cycle, which is vitally important for the planning of mitigation activities.
ii. Globally consistent, gridded information on GHG and their fluxes with appropriate time resolution will help in the improved evaluation of sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and indicate their association with the biosphere, the ocean and the permafrost areas.
iii. It also strengthens monitoring of CO2 to inform climate change mitigation. It will reduce uncertainty about carbon sources and sinks.
The monitoring infrastructure will build on and expand WMO’s long-standing activities in GHG monitoring, implemented as part of the global atmosphere watch and via its integrated global GHG information system.
About World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
WMO is a UN Agency dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Secretary-General– Prof. Petteri Taalas
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland.

Union Govt Approved Digital communication system between PSU banks & CEIB to Check Loan DefaultsThe Union government has ended the paper-based communication and introduced a digital communication mechanism between Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks and Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) to check the defaults on loans

Under the digital mechanism, the CEIB will send a report digitally regarding borrowers to the Public Sector Unit (PSU) banks for a loan amount of Rs 50 crore or higher at pre-approval stage within 15 days of request.

Introduction of Digital communication system:

i.At present it is mandatory for all the PSU banks to furnish a report from CEIB regarding the loan seekers of Rs 50 crore or more and those who have a pending default, before processing any loans.

ii.Now the Union government has removed the paper based reporting system and introduced a new digital system to streamline the process of communication between banks and CEIB.

iii.Digital Requirement: The new system will require banks to submit their requests to CEIB through dedicated emails in a specific format.

  • In turn, CEIB will exclusively send reports to banks via email, maintaining a record of the timeline and actions taken by the banks.

Benefit: With the new digital mechanism will make the process more smooth and faster with banks just having to place a request with CEIB online and getting final reports within 15 days.

Paytm launches UPI SDK to enable customers pay directly within the merchant app

Paytm owner One97 Communications Limited launches Paytm UPI (Unified Payments Interface) SDK allowing customers of online merchants to make UPI payments directly and in-line from the merchant’s mobile app by entering their UPI PIN, and without getting redirected during checkout.

  • This is part of the existing UPI acquiring arrangement between Paytm Payments Services Ltd. and Paytm Payments Bank, under which Paytm Payments Services Ltd provides UPI acquisition service to merchants. This UPI SDK is an add-on feature under the same arrangement.

HDFC Bank partners Manipal Global Academy of BFSI launches “Future Bankers 2.0”

HDFC Bank Limited, an Indian banking and financial services company headquartered in Mumbai, in association with the Manipal Global Academy of BFSI, has launched Future Bankers 2.0, a pan-India recruitment program to transform young graduates into banking professionals within 1 year.

  • Future Bankers 2.0, a one-year professional diploma, aims to create a robust, future-ready talent pipeline for HDFC Bank’s retail banking business.
  • The programme provides 8 months of paid internship and on-the-job training at HDFC Bank’s branch locations within India.
  • It facilitates strengthening a student’s grounding in banking products, processes, compliance framework, and day-to-day banking operations.
  • The course completion will get a Postgraduate (PG) Diploma in Sales & Relationship Banking from the Manipal Academy of BFSI and an assured job opportunity as a personal banker at the grade of Deputy Manager with HDFC Bank.

Senior judge Ioannis Sarmas appointed as Caretaker PM of GreeceKaterina Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, has appointed Senior judge Ioannis Sarmas (66 years old) as the caretaker prime minister(PM) of Greece to lead the caretaker government until the repeat election on 25th June 2023.

  • On 25th May 2023, He sworn in as the PM to replace outgoing PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the inconclusive ballot.
  • Ioannis Sarmas is the President of the Hellenic Court of Audit, (the supreme financial court of Greece), one of Greece’s 3 senior courts.

About Ioannis Sarmas:
iIoannisSarmas was born on March 21, 1957, on the island of Kos, Greece. From 1984 to 1986, he served as an officer in the Greek Air Force fulfilling his national service.
ii. From 1987 to 1993, he worked as a magistrate at the Greek Council of State and then as a magistrate since 1993 at the Hellenic Court of Audit, where he continues to serve.
iii. From 2002 to 2013, he held a position as a Member of the European Court of Auditors.
iOn 21st May 2023, Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s conservative New Democracy party won the general election with almost 41% of the vote.
iiThe New Democracy party won 146 seats out of 300, 5 seats short of the 151 required for a majority.
iiiUnder Greece’s constitution, the president can appoint a caretaker PM to lead the country to a repeat vote if coalition talks fail.
The June 2023 poll will take place under an electoral system that boosts the winning party.
About Greece:
Capital– Athens
Prime Minister– Ioannis Sarmas (interim)
President– Katerina Sakellaropoulou
Currency– Euro

Realme ropes in Shah Rukh Khan as New Brand Ambassador

Realme, a Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, has appointed Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as its new brand ambassador for their innovative range of smartphones.

  • This announcement coincides with the imminent launch of Realme’s highly awaited flagship smartphone series, the Realme 11 Pro Series 5G, which will soon be released in June 2023 in the Indian market.
  • Shah Rukh Khan will be promoting Realme’s new smartphone series.
  • Other brands endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan are TAG Heuer, Hyundai, Pepsi, Whirlpool, Nokia, Tag Heuer, Dish TV, LUX, Denver, Airtel, and Hotstar.   

Union Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated PCIM&H ‘e-office’ and online portalUnion Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ayush and Ports, Shipping and Waterways visited Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H), Ghaziabad and inaugurated “e-Office portal of PCIM&H” and “Online portal”.
Online portal:

  • The portal is inaugurated for the purpose of selling softcopies of pharmacopoeial monographs.
  • It will promote the hassle free reach of pharmacopoeia monographs among the stakeholders across the world.

Dr. Kousthubha Upadhyaya, Adviser (Ayurveda), Ministry of Ayush, and Dr. Raman Mohan Singh, Director, PCIM&H also accompanied Sarbanada Sonowasl during his visit of PCIM&H.
Key Points:
i.Sarbananda Sonowal also inspected the laboratories viz. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Microbiology, herbal garden and raw drug repository of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU & H) drugs.
ii.Sarbananda Sonowal also released the Monthly Newsletters published by PCIM&H which showcases the activities of PCIM&H,

  • The newsletters are paving way for the stakeholders to get updated about the new developments in the field of Quality Control and Standardization of ASAU&H drugs.

About PCIM&H: PCIM&H which is under the control of the Ministry of Ayush is actively engaged in the Standardization and Quality Control of ASU&H drugs and is publishing the standards in the form of Pharmacopoeias.
Additional info: Sarbananda Sonowal stated the benefits of Yoga and mentioned that the Yoga has been accepted by all globally.

Iran successfully test-launched ‘Kheibar’ New Generation Ballistic Missile   On May 25 2023, Iran successfully test-launched a new surface-to-surface 4th generation of Khorramshahr ballistic missile, a medium-range precision-guided projectile named Kheibar It was developed by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) under Iran’s Ministry of Defense.

  • The missile was unveiled during the event organised to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr city from Iraq in 1982.
  • The missile was unveiled alongside a replica of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, Israel.

Name References:
iThe Khorramshahr-4 is named after the Iranian city Khaybar in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
ii. Khaybarwas the scene of heavy fighting during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
iii. Khaybar also refers to the Jewish fortress conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century
Features of Kheibar:
iKheibar is, a liquid fuel missile with a potential 2,000 kilometres (1,243 miles) range and can carry a 1,500 kilogram (3,300-pound) warhead.
ii. The upgraded ballistic missile was capable of hitting Israel and the United States of America (USA) bases in the Middle East.
iii. The Kheibar missile is the latest version of the Khorramshahr, which is Iran’s longest-range missile to date.
ivThe engine is placed in the fuel tank, effectively reducing the missile length to about 13 metres.
vThe speed of the high-mobility tactical missile can reach Mach 16 outside the atmosphere and Mach 8 inside the atmosphere.
viIts features include quick preparation and launch time, which makes it a tactical weapon in addition to a strategic one.
viiThe missile is equipped with radar evading technology and can pass through the enemy’s air defence systems due to its low radar cross-section.
viii. The Khorramshahr-4 is modelled on North Korea’s Musudan ballistic missile.
About Iran:
Capital– Tehran
President– Ebrahim Raisi
Currency– Iranian Rial (IRR)

Hemidactylus pakkamalaiensis: New Gecko Species identified in Pakkamalai hills, Tamil Nadu   A team of researchers led by V. Deepak, a herpetologist and scientist of University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom (UK), has discovered a new species of rock dwelling large-bodied gecko named as Hemidactylus pakkamalaiensis (H.pakkamalaiensis) from the Pakkamalai hills, Gingee Hill range (southern Eastern Ghats) in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu(TN).

  • The new species, which belongs to the genus Hemidactylus, is named after the Pakkamalai hills where it was recorded.
  • The findings have been published in the latest issue of an international journal, Vertebrate Zoology.

Research Team:
The research team led by V Deepak, which includes Surya Narayanan, P. Christopher, K. Raman, S. Vimalraj, Prabhu N. Ponmudi, N. Mukherjee and M. Lenin first spotted the gecko in 2022 during an expedition in the hills.
Genus & Species:
iThe genus Hemidactylusgoldfuss has 188 species of which 54 are known from India. Members of this group are primarily known to live in gigantic boulders.
ii. With the discovery of this new species, the total number of species of Hemidactylus in India becomes 55.
Note: Out of the 55 species, 9 species are restricted to the Western Ghats, while the rest are distributed throughout peninsular India.
Features of Hemidactylus pakkamalaiensis:
This species is nocturnal and appears to be locally abundant. 
iThe gecko measures 104 mm(10.4 cm) from snout to vent and is light brown in colour.The new species can be easily distinguished from other geckos in the region by its large size and prominent tubercles on the body.
ii. It is altogether different from other large-bodies congeners (organisms of the same genus) by several non-overlapping morphological characteristics.
iii. It is genetically related to H. easai and H. graniticolus (24-28 femoral pores), it differs significantly from these closely related species by having fewer femoral pores, with a count of 19-21.

International Missing Children’s Day 2023 – May 25International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD) is annually observed across the globe on May 25 to commemorate missing children and generate awareness about the kidnappings of children.

  • The day is widely referred to with a forget-me-not flower as its emblem.

i. IMCD was initiated in 1983 by then-USA (United States of America) President Ronald Reagan as National Missing Children’s Day.
ii. The International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Missing Children Europe and the European Commission formally recognised May 25 of every year as International Missing Children’s Day.
iii. The 1st ever International Missing Children’s Day was formally recognised on 25th May 2001.

World Thyroid Day 2023 –  May 25World Thyroid Day is annually observed across the globe on 25th May to create awareness about the importance of the thyroid gland, a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck and to educate the general public about thyroid diseases and their symptoms.
Awareness ribbon: The blue and blue paisley print ribbons are used as the awareness ribbon to support awareness for Thyroid diseases.
i.World Thyroid Day (WTD) was founded by the European Thyroid Association (ETA) in 2008.
ii.In 2010, the day was endorsed by the four sister societies -ETA, American Thyroid Association, Latin American Thyroid Society (LATS) and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA) at the International Thyroid Congress(ITC) in Paris, France.

  • 25th May was chosen as the day of observance since the date was already observed as “National Thyroid Day” in some Scandinavian countries.

About European Thyroid Association (ETA):
President– Graham Williams(United Kingdom)
Founded in 1965
Headquarters– Altdorf, Germany

AIFF declares P.K. Banerjee’s Birth Anniversary as “AIFF Grassroots Day”

The All India Football Federation has declared June 23 as “AIFF Grassroots Day” to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian football icon Pradip Kumar Banerjee and honour his legacy.

  • Pradip Kumar Banerjee, popularly known as P.K., was born on 23rd June 1936 in Jalpaiguri, Bengal Presidency, British India.
  • He began his football career at the age of 15 and represented Bihar.
  • He made his debut for the national team in the 1955 Quadrangular tournament in Dacca (presently Dhaka), East Pakistan (now the capital of Bangladesh) at the age of 19.
  • He represented India thrice at the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where India won a silver medal in 1959 and 1964 and a bronze medal in 1965. He captained the Indian team in the 1960 Rome Olympics.
  • He represented India in 3 Asian Games namely, the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan, the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, where India clinched the gold medal, and the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand.

Singapore Investment Conclave: TN Government Signed 6 MoUs with Singapore institutionsOn 24th May 2023, the Tamil Nadu (TN) Government agencies signed 6 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with institutions and companies based in Singapore during the Investment Conclave – Tamil Nadu Investor’s first port of Call at Singapore.

  • The MoUs were signed in the the presence of M K Stalin, Chief Minister (CM) of TamilNadu and S. Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister in charge of Trade Relations, Singapore.

i.Guidance Tamil Nadu, the investment promotion agency of the State government, signed an MoU with Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries for research and development (R&D) initiatives, collaboration between universities, government and private players, as well as assistance in exports from companies in TN.
iiGuidance Tamil Nadu also signed an MoU with Hi-P International Private Limitedfor manufacture of electronic spare parts on an investment of Rs 312 crore. This will potentially generate employment opportunities for over 700 persons.
About TamilNadu:
Chief Minister– M.K. Stalin
Governor– R. N. Ravi
Airport– Coimbatore International Airport, Chennai International Airport

Justice S Vaidyanathan appointed Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court

Justice S Vaidyanathan, the seniormost judge of the Madras High Court (HC), has been appointed acting Chief Justice (ACJof the Madras HC by Droupadi Murmu, the President of India, under Article 223 of the Constitution of India, with effect from 25th May 2023. He succeeds  ACJ, T. Raja, who retired from service on 24th May 2023.

  • Justice S Vaidyanathan from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu (TN), got enrolled as an advocate on 27th August 1986 and practised in the Madras HC.
  • He also served as an editor of Labour Law Books published by the Madras Book Agency.
  • Later, he was elevated as an additional judge of the Madras HC on 25th October 2013 and became a permanent judge on 14th April 2015.

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