MoPSW launched ‘SAGAR SAMRIDDHI’, an Online Dredging Monitoring SystemOn 9th June 2023, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), launched “Sagar Samriddhi – Waste to Wealth”, an online dredging monitoring system to accelerate ‘Waste to Wealth’ initiative of the MoPSW.
- The system is developed by National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), the technological arm of MoPSW.
i.This new technology will bring improvement against the old system – The draft & Loading Monitor (DLM) system.
ii.This will also bring in synergy among multiple input reports like daily dredging reports, and the pre and post-dredging survey data before processing and producing real-time dredging reports.
About Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal
Minister of State– Shripad Yesso Naik, Shantanu Thakur
ICMR Study: India has 101 million diabetics & 136 million pre-diabetics & Goa has highest prevalenceAccording to the new study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes(ICMR-INDIAB), India has around 101 million people living with diabetes and 136 million people with pre-diabetes.
- The study showed that Goa has the highest population of diabetic patients. Around 26.4% of the Goan population has diabetes.
The ICMR-INDIAB study is published in the medical journal “The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology”, a monthly journal focused on diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism.
About the Survey:
i.The survey conducted between 18th October 2008 and 17th December 2020), is the largest survey on diabetes and other metabolic non-communicable diseases undertaken in India.
ii.Under this survey, the researchers analysed the data of more than 1.13 lakh individuals. 75000 of these people were from rural areas.
Centre takes 5 significant decisions for strengthening Primary Agricultural Credit Societies On 8th June 2023, the Government of India has taken 5 more important decisions revolving around Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), a basic unit and the smallest cooperative credit institution in India works on the grassroots level (gram panchayat and village level).
The 5 decisions were taken in a meeting held between Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation and Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers in New Delhi, Delhi.
i. There are about 1 lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Cooperative Societies present across India. On the basis of mapping, PACS which are not functioning as fertiliser retailers will be identified and encouraged to function as retailers on the basis of feasibility in a phased manner.
ii. PACS which are not currently functioning as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendras (PMKSK) will be brought under the scope of PMKSK.
Note: PMKSK will serve the needs of the farmers in India and provide agri-inputs (fertilisers, seeds, implements) including testing facilities for soil, seeds and fertilisers.
iii. PACS will be connected with the marketing of organic fertilisers, especially Fermented organic Manure (FoM) or Liquid Fermented Organic Manure (LFOM) or Phosphate-enriched Organic Manure (PROM).
iv. PACS can also be employed as drone entrepreneurs for spraying fertilisers and pesticides. Drones can also be used for the survey of the property.
v. Fertiliser companies will act as an aggregator for small bio-organic producers to market the end product, under the Market Development Assistance (MDA) scheme of the Department of Fertilisers. PACS will also be included as wholesalers/retailers in this supply and marketing chain of bio-organic fertilisers.
ICAI Central Council approves renewal of MRAs with CPA Canada, CPA IrelandThe Central Council of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI), India’s largest professional accounting body, has approved the renewal of the existing mutual recognition agreement (MRA)/memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with CPA Canada (Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada) and CPA Ireland, formerly the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland.
- ICAI has also approved the renewal of MRA with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), the National Board of Accountants and Auditors (Tanzania) and the Qatar Financial Centre Authority.
These are in line with the efforts of ICAI to increase the global outreach and footprint of accounting profession to expand opportunities for its members.
i.The ICAI has been expanding its presence across the globe and it is working with the accounting bodies across the globe to establish MRAs and mutual recognition agreements.
ii.ICAI aims to collaborate with international organisations in accounting and related fields to provide greater mobility and professional opportunities for indian professionals.
Other MoUs signed by ICAI:
i.In May 2023, the Union Cabinet of India also approved the MoU to establish mutual cooperation between ICAI and CA Maldives.
ii.In April 2023, the ICAI and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) renewed their MoU to provide opportunity for the qualified member of both ICAI and ICAEW.
ICAI office in US:
i.To enhance the professional global presence, ICAI’s Central Council also approved to open 2 new representative offices in the United States of America(USA).
ii.These offices will be established in Philadelphia and Kansas.
iii.With these 2 new offices the total number of representative offices in the USA becomes 9. The other offices are located in Florida, Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, Michigan, New Jersey and North Carolina.
Recently, Aniket Sunil Talati, President of ICAI, inaugurated the ICAI chapter in Seattle, the 9th Overseas Chapter in the USA.
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off MV Empress, India’s 1st International Cruise from Chennai
On 5th June, 2023, The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the India’s maiden International Cruise Vessel – MV Empress – from Chennai to Sri Lanka in Chennai, Tamil Nadu(TN). It is built at a cost of Rs.17.21 crores.
- The cruise service is the result of an Memorandum of understanding(MoU) signed during the first Incredible India International Cruise Conference in 2022 between Chennai Port and M/S Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd to start domestic and international cruise service.
The modern cruise terminal developed at Chennai Port is spread over an area of 2,880 square metres with an ability to host 3,000 passengers at a time.
The cruise service will go to three ports in Sri Lanka, Hambantota, Trincomalee and Kankekanturi.
Government of India constitutes Peace Committee in Manipur under the Chairpersonship of Governor, Manipur
The Central government has constituted a peace committee in Manipur under the chairmanship of Governor Anusuiya Uikey.
- The members of the committee include the Chief Minister, a few ministers in the state government, MP, MLAs and leaders from political parties, former civil servants, educationists, litterateurs, artists, social workers and representatives of different ethnic groups.
Aim: To facilitate the peace-making process among various ethnic groups of the State, between conflicting groups and strengthen social cohesiveness, mutual understanding and facilitate cordial communication.
Background: On May 3, 2023, Violence broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.
Insurance gets IRDAI Approval to Carry Life Insurance Business in India
On June 02, 2023, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) granted the Certificate of Registration (CoR) to Go Digit Life Insurance Limited (Go Digit) to carry out life insurance business in India.
- The approval brings the total number of insurers in the Indian life insurance segment to 26.
Go Digit is backed by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings.
Go Digit General Insurance is also proposing to come out with an Initial public offering(IPO) and has already filed papers with markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Mumbai’s BEST received UITP Awards 2023 under ‘Climate And Health’ categoryBrihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, a civic transport and electricity provider public body based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, won the UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) Awards 2023 under Climate and Health category for its project “BEST Green Travel Initiative: Creating Sustainable Public Transportation”.
- Lokesh Chandra, General Manager of BEST, received the award during an award ceremony organized as a part of the UITP Global Public Transport Summit held from 4th to 7th June 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
- UITP is a 138-year-old organization, which acts as an international association for public transport authorities.
Note: BEST was also recognized as one of the top 3 finalists in the ‘Public And Urban Transport Strategy’ category.
About UITP Awards:
i.The UITP Awards cover 9 categories, that encompass the full spectrum of our diverse sector.
ii.The UITP awards are considered the most prestigious award in the field of public transport.
iii.The winners of UITP Awards 2023 were selected by an international jury panel consisting of 21 members.
BEST received award for excellence in smart mobility by FICCI
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) honoured BEST with an award for excellence in “smart mobility” category. The award recognises the efforts of BEST towards the transformation of bus transport undertaken by BEST in the past 2 years.
Key Initiatives of BEST:
i.10,000 e-buses: BEST aims to convert the entire fleet to electric buses and grow it to 10000 e-buses by 2026. The fleet will double from 3219 to 7000 by 2023.
ii.Run on 100% renewable energy: The entire fleet will be powered by renewable solar energy. It as already procured the 700 MW of solar energy that is needed to power its fleet.
iii.Digital Tickets on NCMC and BEST Chalo App(E-bus app): This offers mobile tickets, passes, live tracking and live seat status.
- BEST launched the BEST Co-branded Chalo National Common Mobility Card(NCMC), a tap-to-pay prepaid card, powered by RyPay and Yes Bank.
- This was India’s first NCMC ever launched by any city/state bus utility.
iv.100% digital buses: BEST operates India’s first 100% digital buses where passengers use the BEST mobile app or card to tap in and tap out themselves.
PESB Recommended Sanjay Swarup as the Next CMD of CONCOROn 7th June 2023, the Public Enterprises Eelection Board (PESB) recommended Sanjay Swarup for the post of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR), Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Railways.
- Currently, Sanjay Swarup is serving as the Director (International Marketing & Operations) at CONCOR, India’s biggest rail hauler of containers.
- The recommendation of PESB is yet to be signed off by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
- V Kalyana Rama, the current CMD, is set to be step down from the role in September 2023.
As the CMD of CONCOR, Sanjay Swarup will also take up the role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CONCOR and will be accountable to the Board of Directors and the Government of India.
About Sanjay Swarup:
i. Sanjay Swarup,an Indian Railways Traffic Service (IRTS) officer of 1990 batch, has more than 3 decades of career spanning a range of assignments in Public Sector and Government.
ii. He started his career in Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and served there for more than 4 years.
iii. He has also worked with the Indian Railways in various areas like Operations, Commercial, Safety and Information Technology (IT).
iv. In CONCOR, he has worked in various capacities in International Marketing, Commercial and Operations at Pan India Level and so on.
v. He is also a life member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Asian Institute of Transport Development (AITD), Centre for Transportation Research and Management and All India Management Association (CTRAM) and All India Management Association (ALMA).
CONCOR has been lined up for privatisation by the government, however the final process is yet to start.
About Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR):
Incorporated in– March 1988 and
Started Operations from– November 1989
Chairman and MD– V. Kalyana Rama
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Latvian Parliament Elected Edgars Rinkevics, the Foreign Minister of Latvia as its New PresidentOn 31st May 2023, The Saeima, the Parliament of Latvia (one of the three Baltic States) elected Edgars Rinkevics, a long-time foreign minister of Latvia as the 11th President of the Baltic nation since 1918, for a four year term and he is expected to be sworn in on July 2023.
- Edgars Rinkevics, 49 will also become the first openly gay president in the Baltic nation, who first announced in 2014 that he is “proudly” homosexual.
- He will represent Latvia, a European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member nations, at NATO’s Vilnius (Lithuania) summit in July 2023.
- The current President, Egils Levits, who took office in 2019 decided not to run for a second term.
Edgars Rinkevics, as a candidate of New Unity party, received 52 votes from the 100-seat Saeima legislature, (one vote more than what was required to win by) defeated his closest rival Uldis Pīlēns, a businessman, who received 25 votes.
Note: Krisjanis Karins, the Prime Minister of Latvia also belongs to the New Unity party.
About Edgars Rinkevics:
i. From 1993 to 1994, Edgars Rinkevics was working as a Journalist for the Latvian Radio specialising in the foreign policy issues and international relations.
ii. In 1995, he served as a senior expert in the Policy Department under the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and in 1996, he became its director.
iii. From 1996 to 1997, he served as a Deputy State Secretary for Defence Policy under the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia.
iv. From 2002 to 2003, he was the Deputy Head of Latvia’s Delegation for Negotiations on Accession to NATO.
v. From 2005 to 2007, he became the Head of NATO Summit Latvia Task Force and he was the Head of the President’s Chancery, in the Chancery of the President of the Republic of Latvia till 2011.
vi. Since 2011, he has served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.
In 2022, he was awarded the 2022 First Degree Order of Ukraine for “Merit” for his contribution to strengthening international relations, supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and promoting Ukraine in the world.
Prime Minister– Krisjanis Karins
President– Egils Levits
Currency– the Euro
CPPIB Sells 1.77% Stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank
On 9th June 2023, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) sold around 3.3 crore shares or 1.7 % of the equity of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited(KMB) through open market transactions. The shares were sold at an average price of Rs 1855.64, the total deal value was Rs 6,123.6 crore.
- Around 2.2 crore shares were sold at Rs 1,855 each, while another block of 1.09 crore shares were traded at Rs 1,864.15.
- CPPIB has been a long-term investor in the KMB and raised its stake from 4.9% at the end of March 2016, to 6.26% at the end of March 2018.
- As of March 2021, CPPIB held 6.37% stake in KMB. In March 2022, CPPIB had sold 2.02% stake in the KMB at Rs 1,699 per share.
- The current stake-sale will bring down the fund’s holding to below 3 %.
LIC Raises Stake in SAIL to 8.6% & reduces stake in NHPC to 3.19%
Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC) has increased its stake in Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), a Maharatnas Central Public Sector Enterprises(CPSE) under the Ministry of Steel, by 2.001% (8.26 crore shares) through an open market acquisition, at an average price of Rs 66.18 per unit.
- With this acquisition, LIC has raised its stake from 6.68% to 8.68%.
- LIC brought these shares between 14th October 2022 and 8th June 2023 for about Rs 547 crore.
LIC reduces its stake in NHPC to 3.19%
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC)reduces its stake in National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to 3.19% in the March quarter from 3.48% in the preceding quarter.
- LIC sold shares worth Rs 832.8 crore between October 18, 2022 and May 23, 2023.
- It disclosed that its ownership in NHPC Ltd has decreased from 522.6 million to 319.9 million shares.
- This reduction means LIC’s ownership has gone down from 5.203% in October to 3.19%.
About Life Insurance Corporation of India:
Founded– 1st, September, 1956
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Chairperson– Siddharth Mohanty
India Army signed its 2nd Procurement Contract with Astrome Tech Pvt Ltd for “Tactical LAN Radio systems”On 9th June 2023, the Indian Army signed a contract with Astrome Technologies Private Limited, Bengaluru (Karnataka)-based start-up company to procure the indigenously-developed “Tactical LAN (Local area network) Radio” for reliable and interference-free communication in remote and difficult terrain.
- It is the second procurement contract that the Indian Army has signed in order to furthering its commitment to the “Make in India” Campaign through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX).
- Tactical LAN Radio is a state of the art high bandwidth backhaul wireless radio equipment designed to provide reliable and fail-safe communication.
The contract was signed in the presence of Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar- the Vice Chief of Army Staff at New Delhi, Delhi.
iDEX framework, formulated and approved by the Ministry of Defence, was launched by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India in April 2018, during Defence Expo India 2018, aims to create an ecosystem to foster innovations and encourage technological advancements in Defence and Aerospace.
Features of LAN Radio:
i. The solution offers an enhanced range of communication and embedded frequency hopping mechanism to prevent chances of interference and long-range point-to-multipoint high-bandwidth communication.
ii. It also incorporates enhanced safety features and can operate continuously for 48 hours on a single set basis without any breakdown.
iii. The Astrome technology company has also developed ‘GigaMesh’, an innovative wireless product to solve internet woes of rural parts of India.
- In 2022, Astrome got a pilot project from the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) and has deployed Multi-Link E-band radios, which Astrome claims is the world’s first such system for broadband internet connectivity, in rural Karnataka.
Progression of Indian army Projects:
i. Currently, 42 Indian Army projects are being developed through the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC), Open Challenges and iDEX PRIME scheme, which provides support to 41 start-ups to develop cutting-edge solutions for the Indian Army’s challenges.
ii. The Indian Army has dedicated a nodal officer and nominated a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for each challenge to provide continuous support and monitor the progress of the projects.
iii. Additional iDEX projects of the Indian Army, approved under the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN), are nearing finalisation and are expected to be formalised into contracts soon.
About Astrome Technologies Pvt. Ltd:
Incorporated on– 20th May 2015
Chairman & Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer (CTO)- Prasad Laxminarayana Horabailu
Co-Founder & CEO– Neha Satak
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
1st ACTCM Barge of the series of LSAM 15 (Yard 125) delivered to Indian Navy at NAD (Karanja), MumbaiOn 9th June 2023, the first Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile (ACTCM) Barge of the series LSAM 15 (Yard 125) has been delivered to the Indian Navy (IN) at the Naval Armament Depot (NAD), Karanja, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- The Contract for the construction of 11 ACTCM Barge was concluded with M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane(Maharashtra), a Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME), in consonance with “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiatives of the Government of India.
ACTCM Barge, Yard 15(LSAM 15) was launched by Indian Navy’s Captain Prashant Saxena AWPS Mumbai, Maharashtra on 10th February 2023 at Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane.
About the barge:
i.The Barge was built under the classification rules of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) with a service life of 30 years.
ii.The major or auxiliary equipment of the barge is sourced from indigenous manufacturers
iii.The availability of the ACTCM Barges will provide impetus to the Operational commitments of IN by facilitating Transportation, Embarkation and Disembarkation of articles or ammunition to IN Ships both alongside jetties and at outer harbours.
WBIDC, FICCI, Amazon Jointly Hosts E-Export Haat in West BengalOn 8th June 2023, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation(WBIDC), Amazon Global Selling and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry(FICCI) have jointly organised an e-Export Haat at Silpa Sadan, Kolkata, West Bengal(WB) to help small businesses and entrepreneurs from West Bengal expand their businesses globally through e-commerce exports.
- This is in line with the West Bengal government’s desire to boost e-commerce export opportunities in the WB using online trading platforms.
About e-Export Haat:
It featured sessions on e-commerce exports opportunities, master classes on various aspects of e-commerce exports, and on-the-spot registrations on Amazon Global Selling for the attending exporters.
Participants: around 200 potential exporters and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from Kolkata and other districts of the West Bengal attended the e-Export Haat.
About West Bengal:
Chief Minister-Mamata Banerjee
Governor- Dr. C. V. Ananda Bose