Kerala becomes India’s first e-governed StateOn May 25, 2023, Kerala became India’s first fully e-governed state as it successfully digitized range of government services for prompt and transparent delivery to its citizens.
- It was announced by the Chief Minister (CM) of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan during the Total e-Governance Kerala’ event organised by the Kerala IT Mission in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
i.Under this comprehensive e-governance initiative, the Kerala government aims to bring services directly to citizens by eliminating the need to visit government offices in person.
ii.A noteworthy step in this direction is the implementation of the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) project, which has made internet access a citizen’s right.
- This initiative will make the internet affordable or even free for the residents of Kerala.
iii.The state government has also launched a single-window portal called e-Sevanam, offering 900 services which will soon be extended to taluk-level offices.
iv.Kerala has also established India’s first digital university namely Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology, also known as Digital University Kerala (DUK) in Thiruvananthapuram worth Rs 1,500 crore to foster knowledge-based society and economy by promoting e-literacy.
Governor– Arif Mohammed Khan
Festivals– Onam, Vishu
Stadiums– Greenfield International Stadium (Trivandrum International Stadium), Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium
Union Ministers Jitendra Singh & R. K. Singh jointly Launch Website and Logo of the MI-8 Ministerial & CEM-14 On May 25, 2023, Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Science and Technology, and R. K. Singh, the Union Minister of Power, New & Renewable Energy, jointly launched the Website and Logo of the Joint 8th Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-8) and 14th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM-14) event.
- India is set to host the MI-8, the annual ministerial meeting, jointly with CEM-14 during July 19-21, 2023, alongside the G20 Energy Transition (ET) Ministerial meeting in Goa.
i.Ministers and Heads of delegation from MI Member Countries, the European Union and International Organizations along with select high-level invitees representing key stakeholders from Industry, Research, academia, citizen organizations and Innovators from the globe will be participating in the MI-8.
ii.The focus for this 2023’s MI is ‘Advancing the Continuum of R&D towards Pilot Demonstration on Clean Energy Technologies’.
iii.As per the statement of Jitendra Singh, the MI-8 is in line with the national aspiration on India’s climate action called Panchamrit, which is outlined during COP26.
- Under the Panchamrit action plan, India intends to reach a non-fossil fuel energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030, fulfilling at least half of its energy requirements via renewable energy by 2030, intends to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 billion tons by 2030, reduce carbon intensity below 45% by 2030, and achieve a net-zero emissions target by 2070.
About Mission Innovation (MI):
i.It is a global initiative of 23 Countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) to accelerate Clean Energy revolution and progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net zero.
- The term ‘Mission Innovation’ was coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India was one of the founding members of Mission Innovation.
ii.Objective: The main objective of MI is to catalyze a decade of action and investment in research, development and demonstration to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible for all.
Progress over Different Phases of MI:
The first phase of Mission Innovation (MI) (2015-2020) was announced at COP21 on November 30, 2015, in Paris (France) to commit the ambitious efforts to combat climate change.
- In the first phase of Mission Innovation, India led three MI Innovation Challenges, such as Smart Grids, Off Grid Access to Electricity and Sustainable Biofuels.
- Funded Opportunity Announcements in the identified Innovation Challenge areas and provided Financial and technical contributions to the Global Cooling Prize
- India received Two MI Champions and hosted many workshops for the Analysis & Joint Research Group, the Innovation Challenges and MI 2.0 development meetings.
After a successful 5 years under first phase, the second phase of Mission Innovation (MI2.0) was launched on June 2, 2021.
- The focus of MI2.0 is on decade of action (2021-2030) and the emphasis is to scale-up the deployment of innovative clean energy technology and make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible for all.
Central Government signs agreement with 6 states to Start Digital Crop SurveyOn May 25, 2023, the Central Government signed an agreement with the States Governments of Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (UP) to initiate the digital crop survey.
- It was signed during the National Conference of State Agriculture Secretaries & State Revenue Secretaries on Digital Crop Survey organised by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) in New Delhi, Delhi to discuss with the state governments for the implementation of digital crop survey plan.
- A manual for web portal and mobile application for digital crop survey was also unveiled.
To create one verified source of truth about the farmer and his/her crop-sown data.
What is Digital crop survey?
i.It is a part of the Government’s Agristack or India Digital Ecosystem for Agriculture (IDEA) that has been under development since 2020 to A robust, effective, on-time, transparent digitally driven crop survey system.
ii.The implementation of Agristack and the Krishi-Decision Support System (Krishi-DSS) aims to address the challenges and problems faced in the agriculture sector.
iii.The survey will provide comprehensive information on the crops cultivated throughout India during various agricultural seasons, thus facilitating, more accurate understanding of the farming landscape.
iv.The survey will use GIS (Geographic Information Systems )-GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
NTCA, the Central Government body formed a 11 member Committee to oversee Cheetah ProjectOn May 25, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change has constituted an 11-member Cheetah Project Steering Committee to review, progress, monitor and advice on the Cheetah reintroduction programme to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and NTCA.
- The 11 member Committee will be headed by Rajesh Gopal, Secretary-General of Global Tiger Forum as its chairman and formerly of the India Forest Service and closely associated with Project Tiger.
- This move comes following the death of six cheetahs, including three new born cubs, within a period of two and half months at Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh.
Note: 3 cheetah cubs born to the Namibian cheetah allegedly died of dehydration and malnourishment in the past week.
Responsibility of the Committee:
i. The Cheetah project steering committee will also be responsible for opening of the cheetah habitat for eco-tourism, suggest regulations and advice on community interface for their involvement in the project activities.
ii. The committee shall be in force for a period of two years and will hold at least one meeting every month, besides taking field visits to KNP.
iii. The committee will also have a four-member consulting panel of international Cheetah experts, which include scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and some experts from the NTCA and the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department.
A panel of international experts, including Adrian Tordiffe- Veterinary wildlife specialist, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Laurie Marker- Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia; Dr. Andrew John Fraser- Farm Olievenbosch, South Africa; and Vincent van dan Merwe- Manager of Cheetah Metapopulation Project, The Metapopulation Initiative, South Africa.
In March 2023, cubs were born to a translocated Namibian cheetah at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh and current cheetah count at the KNP is 18, including one cub.
PM Modi Attended the 3rd Quad Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima & Invited Quad Leaders to India for next Quad Summit in 2024As a part of his visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia from May 19 to 24, 2023 Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi participated in the third in-person Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima, Japan on 20 May 2023, along with Anthony Albanese, PM of Australia, Fumio Kishida, PM of Japan and Joseph Biden, President of the United States of America (USA).
- Vision Statement: The Quad leaders unveiled a ‘Vision Statement’ titled ‘Enduring Partners for Indo-Pacific’ expressing their resolve to act as a “force for good” to find common solutions for region-wide benefit.
- India to Host Quad 2024: At the Quad Leaders’ Summit, PM Narendra Modi stated that India is willing to host the Quad meeting in 2024 and he also invited Quad Leaders to India for the next Quad Summit.
- The Quad leaders had a discussion about developments in the Indo-Pacific and affirmed their shared democratic values and strategic interests.
Initiatives announced by Quad Leaders:
The Quad leaders unveiled a series of initiatives including in areas of clean energy supply chains, undersea cables and investments in strategic technologies to strengthen the resilience and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.
i.Clean Energy Supply Chains Initiative: It would facilitate research and development and support the Indo-Pacific’s energy transition.
- In addition, the Quad Principles of Clean Energy Supply Chains were also approved to guide engagement with the region on clean energy supply chain development.
ii.‘Quad Infrastructure Fellowships Programme’: It was the initiative made to support policy makers and practitioners in the Indo-pacific region to design, build and manage sustainable and viable infrastructure in their countries.
iii.‘Partnership for Cable Connectivity and Resilience’ to leverage Quad’s collective expertise in the design, manufacturing, laying and maintenance of undersea cables to secure and diversify these critical networks.
iv.Quad support for a small-scale ORAN deployment in Palau, the first in the Pacific region. They also released the ORAN Security Report to support industry investment in open, interoperable and secure telecom platforms.
v.Quad Investors’ Network has been launched as a private sector-led platform to facilitate investments in strategic technologies.
Other Highlights of the Quad Summit:
i.They have reaffirmed their participation under Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP), launched in 2022 to enhance climate and clean energy cooperation as well as promote adaptation and resilience.
ii.Quad International Standards Cooperation Network and the Quad Principles on Critical and Emerging Technology Standards were released.
iii.The announcement was made regarding the evolution of the Quad Vaccine Partnership into a broader Quad health security partnership.
- Through this partnership, the Quad will strengthen coordination and collaboration in support of health security in the Indo-Pacific.
iv.PM Narendra Modi highlighted how India’s approach to demand-driven development cooperation with the region was contributing to these efforts.
- He also emphasized the importance of consolidating Quad’s constructive agenda and delivering tangible outcomes for the region.
Al Mohed Al Hindi 23: 2nd edition of India-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Naval Exercise held in Saudi ArabiaOn May 25 2023, the second edition of India-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Naval Exercise designated as “Al Mohed Al Hindi 23“, a series of exercises undertaken by the Indian Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Force RSNF on land and at sea concluded.
- The 5 days bilateral naval Exercise between India and Saudi Arabia was held from May 21, 2023 to May 25, 2023 in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
Al Mohed Al Hindi 23 aims to improve maritime security, encourage information exchange, and build improved interoperability between Indian and Saudi naval forces, ultimately contributing to regional stability in the Arabian Sea and Gulf region.
- First-ever edition “Al-Mohed Al-Hind” took place in August 2021 at Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
- The decision on the bilateral exercise was taken during the Riyadh Summit held in 2019.
The INS (Indian Navy Ship) TARKASH, the flagship frigate of the Indian Western Naval Fleet, and the INS SUBHADRA, an offshore patrol vessel, and IN (Indian Navy) Dornier, one maritime patrol aircraft took part in the naval exercise.
i.As part of harbour phase of bilateral ex Al Mohed Al Hindi 23, Special Forces interactions from either side, pre-sail conference for upcoming sea phase and friendly football match were conducted.
ii. As a part of the exercise, Indian Navy crew visited King Fahad Naval Academy (KFNA).
IEA’s World Energy Investment 2023: Clean Energy Investment Rises Fasten Than Investment in Fossil FuelsAccording to World Energy Investment 2023(WEI 2023), a new report by International Energy Agency (IEA), clean energy investment has increased 70% higher than the investment in fossil Fuels.
- While comparing IEA’s estimates for 2023 with 2021, the annual clean energy investment has increase faster than investment in fossil fuels (24% vs 15%).
About WEI 2023:
i.WEI 2023 is the 8th report of the annual series of IEA which provides the global benchmark for tracking capital flows in the energy sector
ii.The report offers an update on the investment in 2022 and an initial reading of the emerging picture for 2023.
iii.WEI 2023 focuses to track investment and financing trends in 2022 and provide an early indication for 2023.
Investment in Energy:
i.The report states that around USD 2.8 trillion is estimated to be invested in energy in 2023.
ii.More than USD 1.7 trillion of this will be invested in clean energy(renewable power, nuclear, grids, storage, low-emission fuels, efficiency improvement, and electrification) and the remaining(over USD 1 trillion) will be spent on fossil fuels.
- 15% of the investment towards fossil fuels will be spent on coal.
iii.For every USD 1 spent on fossil fuels, USD 1.7 will be spent on clean energy. This ration was at 1:1 in 2018.
Declining investment in Coal:
While the investment in new coal-fired power plants are on a declining trend, the Investment in coal supply, which is already above pre-pandemic levels, is expected to rise by 10% in 2023,
- In 2022, 40 GW of new coal plants being approved, the highest figure since 2016.
- Almost all of the new coal-fired capacity is expected to be built in China.
i.The Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated momentum behind the deployment of clean energy technologies. This momentum has been led by renewable power and electric vehicles (EVs).
ii.The report stated that the consumers are investing in more electrified end uses and the demand for EVs are increasing with a expected sale increase of more than one third in 2023.
- Following this, the investment in EVs has more than doubled since 2021, reaching USD 130 billion in 2023.
iii.Solar energy has the highest investment and more than USD 1 billion per day (USD 380 billion for the year) is expected to be invested towards solar investments in 2023.
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Executive Director– Dr Fatih Birol
Headquarters– Paris, France
Founded in 1974
ADB, India signs US$141.12 million Loan Agreement for industrial corridor development in APOn May 25, 2023, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a US$141.12 million loan agreement to support the development of high-quality internal infrastructure such as roads, water supply systems and electricity distribution network in three industrial clusters in the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP).
- The US$ 141.12 million will be used for the project to build infrastructure in three industrial clusters in the Visakhapatnam and Srikalahasthi-Chittoor nodes in AP.
- The ADB financing of US$ 141.12 million is the second tranche of the US$ 500 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) approved by ADB in 2016 to develop 11 industrial corridors across 17 states in India.
- In October 2021, ADB has approved the first tranche of US $250 million loan, as part of the MFF, to support the National Industrial Corridor Development Program (NICDP) of India.
Key Development under ADB Funding:
i.Thus the ADB financing through adopting multi sectoral approach will support the state by promoting industrialization, improving competitiveness to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to AP’s gross domestic product (GDP).
ii.Visakhapatnam node: Industrial infrastructure set to be built in Visakhapatnam node under the ADB financing are as follows.
- The development of internal infrastructure in the start-up area of the 160-hectare (ha) Rambilli and 441-ha Nakkapalli industrial clusters.
- Widening of 13.8-kilometer (km) of the Atchuthapuram–Anakapalli road and improvement of 4.4-km access road to the Nakkapalli cluster.
iii.Srikalahasthi-Chittoor node: The development in Srikalahasthi-Chittoor node via the ADB financing are as follows
- The development of the start-up area of the 938-ha Chittoor–South industrial cluster.
- Improvement of a 9.5-km access road to the Chittoor-South industrial cluster.
- An 8.7-km access road to the Naidupeta industrial cluster.
iv.Additionally, the project also support in implementing an updated marketing action plan for investment promotion and enhancing the skills of the population, particularly in vulnerable sections.
v.Guidelines for a green corridor model to enhance industrial cluster resilience to extreme weather conditions and a disaster risk management plan would be established under the funding.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
Establishment – 1966
Member countries – 68 countries (49 from the region)
SBI’s Ecowrap Report Projects India’s GDP Growth to 5.5% in Q4 FY23 & 7.1% in FY23
According to the Ecowrap report of the State Bank of India (SBI) released on May 26, 2023, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter (Q4) of Financial Year 2022-23 (FY23) is projected to be 5.5%. India’s growth for FY23 is projected at 7.1% due to growth in manufacturing sector.
- SBI’s projection is in line with the advance estimates released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in January 2023, which projected the growth for the FY23, at 7%.
- RBI has estimated Q4FY23 Real GDP growth to be 5.1%.
ii.As per the report, domestic consumption and investment benefited from stronger prospects for agricultural and allied activities.
iii.The GDP growht projection by Ecowrap was made SBI’s ANN (Artificial Neural Network) model, based on 30 high-frequency indicators from key sectors which are tuned/trained to project the GDP numbers forecasts.
-India to contribute 16% to global GDP growth: Morgan Stanley
i.According to Morgan Stanley, the Indian economy is a key contributor to Asian economic growth outperformance and India is expected to contribute 16% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) growth over 2023-24.
ii.The Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) and manufacturing PMI of India are well above than other economies. The passenger vehicle sales are at 131% of pre-Covid-19 levels, real goods and services tax collections are 35% higher than pre-Covid-19 and services exports have risen by 84% since October 2020.
ISA partnered with AISC for Growth and Sustainability in Steel SectorOn May 21 2023, The Indian Steel Association (ISA), the apex steel industry body and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Iron and Steel Council (AISC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to unlock new avenues of growth and sustainability in steel sector.
- The MoU signed for the bilateral cooperation aims to support the strengths, expertise, and resources of both organisations to unlock new avenues for growth, innovation, and sustainability in the steel industry.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dilip Oommen, ISA President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel AM/NS India, and Purwono Widodo- AISC President and PT Krakatau Steel President Director, Indonesia in Manila Philippines.
i. Discussions were made regarding the potential for collaboration in areas such as technology exchange, Research & Development(R&D), trade facilitation and market growth and the importance of producing environmentally and economically viable steel.
ii. Discussions also focused on decarbonisation efforts, emphasising the importance of defining near-zero emission steel, establishing measurement standards, and adopting sustainable production technologies and the importance of technology, innovation, and government support in achieving decarbonisation goals.
About Indian Steel Association (ISA):
Established in– August 2014
President– Dilip Oommen
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
3 Indian peacekeepers honoured with UNs Dag Hammarskjold MedalOn 25th May 2023, 3 Indian peacekeepers, Border Security Force(BSF) personnel Head Constables Sanwala Ram Vishnoi & Shishupal Singh and civilian peacekeepers (national staff) Shaber Taher Ali, were Posthumously awarded the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.
- Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, received the medals on behalf of the Indian Peacekeepers from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The medals were presented during the “Dag Hammarskjold Medal and Military Gender Advocate of the Year award ceremony” organised ahead of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2023 (29th May 2023) at the UN General Assembly hall, New York, the United States of America (USA).
Note: 2022 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Awarded to Captain Cecilia Erzuah from Ghana who served with the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
About Dag Hammarskjold Medal:
Dag Hammarskjöld medal is a posthumous award given by the UN to the UN Peacekeeping supreme, who sacrifices their lives during missions with a peacekeeping operation under the operational control and authority of the UN.
On 22 July 1997, during the occasion of the 50th anniversary of peacekeeping, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the Resolution 1121 (1997), in which it established the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal as a posthumous award to members of peacekeeping operations. On 6 October 1998, the first Medal was presented to the family of Dag Hammarskjöld.
Three Indian Peacekeepers:
The three Indians include Border Security Force (BSF) personnel head Constables Shishupal Singh from Sikar, Rajasthan and Samwali Ram Vishnoi from Barmer, Rajasthan, both of them served with the MONUSCO (UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)).
- The 2 BSF head constables were killed in July 2022 when violent protests broke out targeting the UN Peacekeeping Base in the DRC’s North Kivu province, as part of anti-UN protests across the African country.
Another Indian Shaber Taher Ali, who was employed in a civilian capacity with the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
India’s contribution to the UN peacekeeping mission started in 1950, and India has deployed more than 275,000 troops, including a significant number of women peacekeepers, in over 51 UN peacekeeping missions.
Click here for the List of Personnel who were Posthumously Awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on 26 May 2023
TVS SCS’s Executive VC R Dinesh elected as President of CII for 2023-24; ITC MD Sanjiv Puri as President DesignateOn May 25 2023, the National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) elected R Dinesh, executive vice-chairman of TVS Supply Chain Solutions (TVS SCS), as the new President of CII for the year 2023-24.
- R.Dinesh succeeds Sanjiv Bajaj, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv Limited, who served as CII President for 2022-2023.
Note: R Dinesh also chairs the CII Institute of Logistics and Chairman of the CII FBN (Family Business Network) India Chapter Council.
Other office-bearers for 2023-24:
i.Sanjiv Puri, Managing Director of ITC Limited has been named President-designate of CII for 2023-24.
ii.Rajiv Memani, Chairman and Managing Partner, EY(Ernst & Young) India, has been elected as the Vice President of CII for 2023-24.
- He also serves as the Chairman of Emerging Markets Committee, Ernst & Young LLP.
About R Dinesh:
i. R Dinesh started TVS Supply Chain Solutions (formerly known as TVS Logistics) in 1995.
ii. He is a fourth-generation member of the TVS family and has been engaged with CII for many years at the state, regional and national level.
iii. He also serves as the Director at TVS Mobility & Ki Mobility Solutions.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organisation, works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering Industry, Government and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.
Founded in– 1895
President– R Dinesh
Director General– Chandrajit Banerjee
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
CCI approves Multiples Fund III and CPHI-4 investments in Acko Technology
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of additional Series E Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares(CCPS)of Acko Technology & Services Private Limited by Multiples Private Equity Fund III (Multiples Fund III) and CPP Investment Board Private Holdings (4) Inc (CPHI-4).
- The Proposed Transaction is an acquisition of shares and falls under Section 5(a)(i)(A) of the Competition Act, 2002.
- The proposed transaction relates to the subscription of additional CCPS of Acko Technology & Services Private Limited by Multiples Fund III and CPHI-4.
MiG-29K makes first-ever Night Landing on INS Vikrant On May 24, 2023, an Indian Navy (IN) MiG-29K fighter jet landed on the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant for the first time at night.
- This is indicative of IN’s impetus towards Aatmanirbharta (Self-Reliance).
i.A prototype of the naval version of the locally created Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas planes and a MiG-29K of Russian origin both made day landings on the aircraft carrier in February 2023.
ii.MiG-29K fighter jets use the ski-jump to take-off, and are recovered by arrestor wires or what is known as STOBAR (short take-off but arrested recovery) in navy parlance.
iii. It is anticipated that twelve MiG-29Ks will be stationed on Vikrant, along with a new deck-based fighter that the navy is planning to procure as a temporary solution to meet its needs until the indigenous Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) becomes available in a few years. Notably, the maiden flight of the first TEDBF prototype is expected to take place around 2026, with production readiness targeted for 2031.
About INS Vikrant:
Commissioned in September 2022, INS Vikrant is currently sailing in the Arabian Sea.The aircraft carrier is presently undergoing air certification and flight integration trials with rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft to achieve combat-ready state
- The 45,000-tonne Vikrant is the first to be built in India and was constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kerala at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore.
- The namesake Vikrant is a tribute to India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant which was operated by the navy from 1961 to 1997.
i.Vikrant, which has 76% indigenous content, will operate an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft.
- Three MiG29K fighter jets and Advanced Light Helicopters are currently stationed there.
ii.Vikrant is the fourth aircraft carrier to be operated by the Indian Navy — first Vikrant (British origin) from 1961 to 1997, INS Viraat (British origin) from 1987 to 2016 and INS Vikramaditya 2013 onwards.
iii.Vikrant is 262 metres long, has a height of 61 metres (keel to mast) and its flight deck measures 12,500 square metres (equivalent to 10 Olympic-size swimming pools.) It has an endurance of 7,500 nautical miles, a maximum speed of 28 knots, 2,300 compartments and can carry a crew of 1,600.
About Indian Navy (IN):
Chief of the Naval Staff, (CNS)– Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar
Headquarters– Integrated Defence Headquarters, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi, Delhi
Next Generation Small Satellite 2: South Korea launches 1st Commercial-Grade Satellite On May 25, 2023, South Korea successfully launched a commercial-grade satellite namely ‘Next Generation Small Satellite 2’ for the first time as part of its growing space development program.
- It was lifted off by the South Korea’s KSLV-II Nuri rocket (Space Launch Vehicle) from its Space Launch Centre on a southern island along with a payload of 7 other cube shaped satellites.
Mission of Next Generation Small Satellite 2:
To verify radar imaging technology and observe cosmic radiation in a near-Earth orbit
i.The satellite will also assist South Korea’s efforts to develop a space-based surveillance system.
ii.South Korea plans to conduct three more Nuri rocket launches by 2027 and will seek to develop more advanced launch vehicles.
iii.In 2022, South Korea became the 10th nation to launch a satellite using its own technology, i.e. Nuri rocket for this purpose. However, the primary aim of the launch was to test the rocket’s performance.
iv.It should be noted that South Korea, ranking as the world’s 10th largest economy, holds significant expertise in manufacturing semiconductors, automobiles, and smartphones. However, in space development area, it falls behind its neighboring counterparts like China, India, and Japan.
- This launch will also help South Korea accumulate technologies and expertise to operate military spy satellites and build long-range missiles. It currently relies on the United States (US) spy satellites to monitor North Korean facilities, its rivalry.
About South Korea:
President– Yoon Suk Yeol
Currency– South Korean won.
GCC’s Araku Coffee from Andhra Pradesh gets Organic Certificate
The Girijan Cooperative Corporation (GCC) has received the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) certificate for the coffee and pepper GCC purchases from the tribal coffee farmers of the Chintapalli division, Andhra Pradesh(AP).
The certificate was granted by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI).
- This certification would provide scope for the higher price of the coffee and pepper.
- On 2,184.76 acres, 1,900 tribal farmers from the Gondupakalu, Lambasingi, and Kappalu clusters in the Chintapalli division cultivate coffee.
Note: Girijana Vikasa Swatchanda Samstha, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), assisted in getting the organic certification for the GCC Araku Valley Coffee.
UNGA declares November 26 as World Sustainable Transport DayOn 16th May 2023, during the 70th plenary meeting of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA), the resolution A/RES/77/286 was adopted and proclaimed the 26th November of every year as the World Sustainable Transport Day.
- The day aims to create awareness and educate the general public about the importance of international cooperation in addressing issues related to transport sustainability.
- The first ever World Sustainable Transport Day will be observed on 26th November 2023.
- The resolution was initiated by Turkmenistan.
Significance of November 26:
The 26th November was chosen to mark anniversary of the first United Nations(UN) Global Sustainable Transport Conference,
held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on 26 and 27th November 2016.
The resolution invites the UN Department of Economic and Social Affair(UNDESA), in collaboration with the UN regional economic commissions, to facilitate the observance of World Sustainable Transport Day.
- Note: UN regional economic commissions are ECA: Economic Commission for Africa; ECE: Economic Commission for Europe; ECLAC: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; ESCAP: Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; and ESCWA: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
- To create awareness of the benefits of sustainable transport and mobility.
- To promote the adoption of low-emission modes of transport, the utilization of alternative fuels and energy-efficient vehicles, and the enhancement of connectivity at regional and global levels.
SDGs & Sustainable Transport:
i.The role of transport in sustainable development was first recognized at the 1992 UN’s Earth Summit and reinforced in its outcome document – Agenda 21.
ii.The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development mainstreamed the, sustainable transport across several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets related to related to food security, health, energy, economic growth, infrastructure, and cities and human settlements.
World Schizophrenia Awareness Day 2023 – May 24World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is annually observed across the globe on May 24 to raise awareness of the mental illness that affects over 20 million people globally.
- Promoting greater knowledge and support for persons who are afflicted by schizophrenia can help reduce stigma and promote greater understanding.
World Schizophrenia Awareness Day was created by the National Schizophrenia Foundation in honour of Dr Philippe Pinel from France, a major figure in the early efforts to provide human care and treatment for mental illness.
i. Schizophrenia is a complex and often stigmatised mental health condition.
- It is a profound, severe, and debilitating brain disorder impacting thoughts, emotions, and actions, blurring reality, impairing emotional expression, and hindering decision-making
ii. Many people who live with Schizophrenia face social isolation, discrimination, and limited access to healthcare and support services.
iii. A variety of issues with thinking (cognition), behaviour and emotions are involved in schizophrenia.
iv. Signs and symptoms may vary but usually involve delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech, and reflect an impaired ability to function.
v. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people worldwide.
DEPwD observes World Schizophrenia Awareness Day:
i. On 25th May 2023, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), Government of India (GoI), commemorated Schizophrenia to raise awareness and to reduce the stigma around mental illness.
- DEPwD conducted various events at more than 30 places across India.
ii. The activities organized in India as a part of World Schizophrenia Day includes :
- Awareness & Sensitization Sessions
- Webinar on Early Intervention in Schizophrenia- A Psychologist & Psychiatrist Perspective
- TLM (Technical License Management) distribution to children with ID.
- Short-Term Training Programme on “Early Symptoms of Schizophrenia and its Management”
- Medical Camp.
Efforts of the Ministry of AYUSH:
The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) has chosen 6 specialities to integrate with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in India, from schizophrenia to malignancies, haemorrhoids, auto-immune illnesses, depression, and more.
- It is driven by the government’s announcement in February 2023 where it unfolded its plan for setting up a separate wing for integrative medicine.
Indian Commonwealth Day 2023 – May 24
Commonwealth Day (formerly Empire Day) is annually celebrated across the globe on the 2nd Monday in the month of March but India and certain other countries observe the day on May 24.
- India celebrated Commonwealth Day 2023 on 24th May 2023.
The day aims to encourage the 2.5 billion Commonwealth citizens to honour their shared values and principles, as well as pursue a collective future centred on stability and peace
Global Commonwealth Day 2023 falls on 24th May 2023 under the theme “Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future”.
- The 1st Commonwealth Day was celebrated in 1902 as “Empire Day” as a way of honouring Queen Victoria following her demise on 22nd January 1901.
- The date coincides with the birth anniversary of Queen Victoria, who was born on 24th May 1819).
- In 1958, Harold Macmillan, the then-prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK), declared that Empire Day would be renamed Commonwealth Day in recognition of the changing nature of relations among the group’s members.
Home Minister Amit Shah lays Foundation Stone of NFSU Assam & launches “Assam Police Seva Setu” On 25th May 2023, Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), laid the foundation stone of the Guwahati (Assam) campus of the National Forensic Science University (NFSU) in Assam.
This will be the world’s 11th NFSU Campus and India’s 10th Campus.
- Amit Shah also launched the web portal “Assam Police Seva Setu” to make the services of the Assam police more accessible and transparent for the people.
- During the event, he also unveiled a book titled “Analysis on Judicial Approach on Forensic Evidence” written by Dr J.M Vyas, vice chancellor of NFSU, on the use of forensic science in the judiciary was also released.
Note: In April 2023, NFSU Established its first overseas campus in Jinja, Uganda.
National Forensic Science University (NFSU):
i. The Assam Government has given 50 acres of land to this Forensic Science University and the Union government will provide Rs 500 crore on this NFSU for the graduation and post-graduation of 3,500 students.
ii. The campus, which is located in the Changsari suburb of Kamrup’s Molong district, is expected to be completed in 2 stages.
- The 1st phase is expected to complete by 2026, while the 2nd phase is targeted for 2030.
iii. The campus will provide more than 50 undergraduate, graduate, PhD, and post-doctoral programmes in various forensic science fields, including wildlife forensics, cyber security, narcotics, digital forensics, drone forensics, forensic psychology, and forensic justice & law.
- It is estimated that the campus will cost Rs 300 crore.
- NFSU has established Asia’s only Ballistic Research Centre Testing Range, Centre of Excellence in DNA Forensic Science and International Humanitarian Forensic Centre.
- Drone Forensic Centre and Centre of Excellence in Psychological Forensics have also been established by NFSU.
Assam Police Seva Setu:
i. Assam Police Seva Setu is an initiative of the Assam government that will serve as a digital interface between the citizens and law enforcement.
ii. The portal will be available in both Assamese and Bengali languages.
iii. Features of the Portal:
- Instant criminal reporting and grievance submission.
- Senior citizens living alone can register online.
- Verification of candidates for government, public sector, and private sector jobs.
- Tenant, paying guest, and domestic help verification.
- Reporting missing persons, child-related issues, and lost and found items.
- Security clearance for commercial constructions, petrol stations, and more.
- Obtaining permissions or No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for fireworks sales, temporary bar licenses, etc.
- Providing feedback and sharing confidential criminal information.
Goa & Uttarakhand signs MoU to Enhance Tourism
The Government of Goa and the Government of Uttarakhand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate towards enhancing the tourism landscape of both Goa and Uttarakhand. The MoU was signed in the presence of Rohan Khaunte, Minister for Tourism, IT, E&C, Printing and Stationary of the Government of Goa, and Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
- The MoU aims at promoting bilateral cooperation in the travel and tourism sector and facilitating travel between the states to increase the number of tourists visiting Goa and Uttarakhand respectively.
- The MoU also showcases India’s rich cultural diversity to the world, aligned with the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative, which aims to encourage people to witness and experience the rich heritage and vivid culture of India.