Maharashtra’s New Amravati station Becomes Central Railway’s 3rd Pink StationNew Amravati Railway Station (Amaravti, Maharashtra) became the 3rd station within Central Railway(CR) and the 1st station in Bhusaval Division of CR to be designated as a Pink Station, fully managed by women staff.
- Central Railway became the first zone of the Indian Railways to set up all women managed station.
- Matunga suburban station in Mumbai division became the 1st railway station in India to be operated by an all-woman staff in July 2017, followed by Ajni station in the Nagpur division in 2018.
About New Amravati station:
i.The New Amravati station has a staff strength of 12 women employees – 4 Deputy Station Superintendents, 4 Pointswomen, 3 Railway Protection Personnel and 1 Station Ticket Booking Agent.
ii.The station has a daily footfall of approximately 380 passengers and operates 10 trains.
Ministry of Railways approves closure of BRPL
The Ministry of Railways has granted in-principle approval for the closure of ‘Bastar Railway Private Limited (BRPL), a joint venture(JV) of NMDC Limited , IRCON International Ltd., Steel Authority of India Ltd.(SAIL) and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (CMDC).
- The closure involved the transfer of assets and liabilities of BRPL to the Ministry of Railways.
About Bastar Railway Private Limited (BRPL):
BRPL was established as a project-specific JV company in 2016 for developing the 140-kilometer rail line project from Rowghat to Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh.
- BRPL is still in the construction phase and has yet to generate revenue.
- 26% – IRCON International Limited is a Government of India Undertaking company under the Ministry of Railways.
- 12% – SAIL is a Maharatna Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) under the Ministry of Steel.
- 10% – CMDC is a Government of Chhattisgarh undertaking company.
52% – NMDC Limited, formerly National Mineral Development Corporation, is a Navratna PSE under the Ministry of Steel.
Gujarat CM launched ‘Sinh Suchna’ Web App On World Lion Day Gujarat Chief Minister(CM) Bhupendra Patel launched the Sinh Suchna Web application on the occasion of World Lion day celebrated on 10th August 2023.
- The purpose of the mobile app is to help the state forest department track the movement of lions to prevent incidents of human-animal conflict.
- Bhupendra Patel launched the ‘Lion Anthem Film’ which is produced by Ekta Janmay Chokshi and directed by Rohan Trivedi. The music has been composed by Nishit Mehta, sung by Brijraj Gadhvi while Parth Tarpara is the lyricist.
- He also launched two books namely ‘The King of Jungle – Asiatic Lions of Gir’, written by Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Sakkira Begum and ‘Hu Gir no Savaj’ by Shri Arvind Goswami.
The main event was organised in Sasan, the headquarters of Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (GNPWLS) in Junagadh district of Gujarat.
About Asiatic lion:
i.The Asiatic lions are found only in Gujarat.
- The Asiatic lions comprise the world’s second most population of wild lions after African lions.
ii.India’s National Emblem is adapted from the Lion Capital of the Ashoka Pillar in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh.
iii.Lion was chosen as the emblem for Make in India initiative (2014).
Conservation of Lion:
In recognition of endangered status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN)’s Red List of threatened species, the Union government has allocated Rs 2,900 crore under Project Lion for the conservation of Asiatic lions.
- As part of the project, plans are underway to establish a lion breeding centre, an isolation facility, installation of CCTV cameras, procurement of radio collars, acquisition of drones and additional resources to ensure prompt medical care for the lions.
- Project Lion proposes Barda Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat as second home for Asiatic lions
Note: The effort by the Govt of Gujarat also led to an increase in the lion population from 411 in 2010 to 674 in 2020. Furthermore, the lion territory expanded from Gir forest, now encompassing an area of 30,000 sq km.
i.The Chief Minister additionally disclosed plans for the establishment of a lion safari park near Una town within the Gir Somnath district of Gujarat. This initiative aims to alleviate the pressure on the Gir National Park located in Sasan-Gir.
ii.On the occasion, Prime Minister also launched “Lion @ 47: Vision for Amrutkal” to secure & restore lions’ habitats.
MoH&FW launched 2nd Phase of Nationwide MDA Campaign for Lymphatic FilariasisOn 10th August 2023, Union Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), inaugurated the 2nd phase of the Annual Nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in New Delhi, Delhi.
- The 2nd phase will cover 81 districts in 9 endemic States – Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh(UP).
- During the event, Union Minister Mandaviya also launched the National Guidelines for Clinical Management of Dengue Fever 2023 and Chikungunya Fever.
Note: Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease (NTD). LF is a Vector-Borne Disease transmitted by Culex mosquitoes.
Points to note:
i.India’s Accelerated Mission for Lymphatic Filariasis Eradication aims to achieve its goal of eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target.
ii.LF can be successfully eliminated from India, by encouraging public participation (Jan Bhagidaari) and adopting a ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole of Society’ strategy.
T.S. Singh Deo, Deputy Chief Minister (CM), Chhattisgarh; Brijesh Pathak, Deputy CM of Uttar Pradesh.
5 Pillars for Eliminating LF:
- Multi-drug administration (MDA) Campaign is held twice a year synchronized with National Deworming Day (10th Feb and 10th August).
- Early diagnosis and treatment; engagement of medical colleges for strengthening Morbidity management and disability (MMDP) services.
- Integrated Vector Control with multi-sectoral coordinated efforts.
- For inter-sectoral convergence with allied departments and ministries.
- Leveraging existing digital platforms for LF and exploring alternate diagnostics.
IIM Bangalore’s Report on ‘Assessment of Employment Potential of JOn 10th August 2023, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, released the report of the Study on Assessment of Employment Potential of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), in New Delhi, Delhi. The assessment was conducted by Centre for Public Policy under Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), Benglauru(Karnataka).
- The report of the study has estimated an employment generation potential of JJM to the tune of 2.82 crore person per year employment.
- The report was prepared with technical support from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Findings of the Report:
This report is the third in a series of findings released recently, on the impact of JJM on the lives of citizens in rural India.
i.Direct Employment:The report estimated that around 59.93 lakh persons get direct employment during the construction phase of JJM per year from the total employment generation of 2.82 crore person per year.
- Around 40% of the direct employment (23.8 lakh person per year) is estimated to be contributed by the engagement of engineers, managers, plumbers, electricians, motor mechanics and chemists.
- Additional employment:It also provides additional direct employment of 11.84 lakh person per year during the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) phase every year.
- It also provides Additional 13.3 lakh person per year employment during JJM operations phase.
ii.Indirect Employment:It Provides additional indirect employment to 2.22 crore persons per year in India through manpower engaged in production of the materials including pipes, valves, pumps.
Methods used for this Estimation:
The input-output model was used in the macro approach to estimate the impact of investment on employment across industries, whereas in the micro approach, sample data collected from completed JJM schemes from different states was used to estimate direct employment during the construction and O&M phases of the projects.
About Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM):
i.JJM was introduced by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi in August 2019 to provide tap water connection to all rural households.
The coverage of tap water connections increased from 3.23 crore (17%) households in 2019 to 12.79 crore (65.81%) households in August 2023.
ii.Due to this mission,the issues of access to clean drinking water in Arsenic and Fluoride affected areas have also been fully addressed.
Reports related to Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM):
i.WHO Report:In June 2023, World Health Organisation(WHO) released its findings on the potential health impacts of JJM and estimated that with 100% coverage of tap water supplies, more than 4 lakh diarrheal deaths can be averted.
ii.According to Nobel laureate Prof. Michael Kemer‘s research, improving clean drinking water availability could prevent around 1.36 child fatalities (under 5 years) and lower child mortality rates by one-third.
About Ministry of Jal Shakti:
Union Minister – Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Constituency- Jodhpur, Rajasthan)
Minister of State (MoS) – Prahlad Singh Patel (Constituency- Damoh, Madhya Pradesh) ; Bishweswar Tudu (Constituency- Mayurbhanj, Odisha)
Highlights of RBI’s 3rd Bi-monthly Monetary Policy of FY24; India’s real GDP to grow at 6.5% in FY24i.The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met on August 8-10, 2023, and released the ‘Monetary Policy Statement, 2023-24 Resolution of the MPC‘ which kept India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth unchanged at 6.5% in FY24 (2023-24) with FY24’s Q1 at 8%, Q2 at 6.5%, Q3 at 6%, and Q4 at 5.7%.
ii.This is on the back of higher rural and urban growth, increased investment activity and government’s plan of higher capital expenditure.
iii.Real GDP growth for Q1FY25 (April-June, 2024-25) is projected at 6.6%.
iv.The stance is to focus on withdrawal of accommodation to ensure that inflation progressively aligns with the target, while supporting growth.
v.In order to encourage wider adoption of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) Lite, RBI has increased the transaction limit to Rs 500 from Rs 200. This will eliminate the need for multiple transactions for users.
RBI’s Policy Rates:
The MPC kept the policy rates unchanged in August 2023.
IIITD-IC & YES Bank Signed MoU to Scale up Indian StartupsIIITD Innovation and Incubation Centre (IIITD-IC), a section 8 company promoted by the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology-Delhi (IIITD), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with YES Bank Limited (YES Bank) to support and scale up the growth of startup ecosystem in India.
- To enable enterprise banking, personal banking and beyond banking solutions required by the Startups.
- To bridge the gap between startups and corporates with the right and in-time mentorship.
Features of the partnership:
Under this MoU, IIITD-IC will strengthen the mentoring initiatives for startups, get access to experts across the industry and find new investment and funding opportunities to support startups.
With this partnership, YES Bank will offer banking facilities to Startups which are in the developmental phase at IIITD-IC through YES Bank’s YES HeadStartup programme.
- YES HeadStartup programme is a dedicated banking solution for startups which provides end-to-end solutions for the banking and digital service requirements of the startup.
- The banking facilities include, A salary account proposition for startups with only 5 employees; A fungible limit for credit cards for business and personal use and an API(Application Programming Interface) Sandbox facility.
YES Bank is one of the first banks in India to adopt the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) which supports developing startups to scale up.
About YES Bank Limited:
YES Bank was incorporated in November 2003 & Commenced operations in 2004.
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Prashant Kumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience our expertise
Chatbot– YES ROBOT
SEBI Reduces IPO Listing Timeline to 3 daysThe Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reduced the timeline for listing securities after the closing of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to 3 days (T+3) from the present requirement of 6 working days (T+6).
- This will be an option for IPOs opening on or after September 1, 2023, and will be mandatory for public issues opening after December 1, 2023.
- According to SEBI, the reduction in timelines for listing and trading of shares will benefit both issuers and investors.
- Under the new guidelines, companies will have to finalise allotment before 6 pm on T+1 day. The transfer of funds will be made to unsuccessful applicants on T+2 day.
i.Swift access to raised capital allows issuers to promptly deploy funds for business expansion and other operational enhancements.
ii.Early access to credit ensures investors have more flexibility in allocating funds for other investment opportunities.
i.Third-party verification will be carried out by the Registrar, to ensure the accuracy of the data provided by the applicant.
ii.The Registrar matches the Permanent Account Number (PAN) available in the applicant’s demat account. The PAN available in the applicant’s bank account is also cross-referenced.
Helios Capital Gets SEBI Approval to Launch MF business
Singapore-based Helios Capital Management PTE Ltd, which offers Portfolio Management Services (PMS) has been granted approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch a Mutual Fund (MF) business.
- Once launched, Helios Mutual Fund will become the 46th entity to enter into the MF industry with an Asset Under Management (AUM) of Rs.46-lakh crore.
i.In February 2021, Helios Capital applied for a mutual fund license with the SEBI.
ii.In September 2022, Helios Capital received Sebi’s in-principle approval to float the MF business and another firm, which received the approval along with Helios Capital was Zeordha Broking Ltd.
i.Zerodha Broking Ltd and Old Bridge Capital Management Pvt Ltd are the 2 entities awaiting SEBI’s final nod for a MF license.
ii.Another three entities waiting for SEBI approval to enter the MF industry is Unifi Capital, Alpha Alternatives Fund Advisors and Wizemarkets Analytics.
iii.In June 2023, Bajaj Finserv Mutual Fund became the 43rd asset management company to enter into the MF space.
Protean & PayNearby Partner for Credit Marketplace on ONDC
Protean eGov Technologies(Protean) has partnered with PayNearby, a fintech platform owned by Nearby Technologies Private Limited to provide credit services on the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) network for last-mile borrowers and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- Under this partnership, Protean will be an ONDC technology service provider through PayNearby’s Distribution as a Service (DaaS) network through over 12 lahks active PayNearby outlets.
- Protean will also aggregate Loan Service Providers (LSPs) onto a single platform.
Previously, PayNearby & Protean have partnered for paperless PAN(Permanent Account Number) Card services at nearby stores across India.
Supreme Court Forms All Women Team led by former J&K CJ Gita Mittal to Oversee Relief in ManipurSupreme Court of India(SC) is set to constitute an all-women committee of 3 former High Court judges led by former Chief Justice(CJ) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) High Court (HC) Gita Mittal to oversee the relief rehabilitation and rebuilding measures in Manipur.
- The other members of the team include Justices Shalini Shashank Phansalkar Joshi, former Judge of Bombay HC and Justice Asha Menon, former Judge of Delhi HC.
- The committee was constituted by the SC bench comprising Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, Chief Justice of India(CJI); Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra.
Note: Gita Mittal was the 1st woman CJ of the J&K and Ladakh High court (2018-2020).
Responsibilities of the All women’s team:
This will be a broad-based committee that will supervise, intervene and monitor relief and rehabilitation, restoration of homesteads, religious places of worship, better relief work, and others.
The Supreme Court has also appointed Dattatray Padsalgikar, retired IPS officer of Maharashtra Cadre & former Director General of Police(DGP) of Maharashtra, to monitor the overall investigation of criminal cases(excluding 12 cases referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI)) from 42 state police Special Investigation Teams (SITs).
i.The supreme court has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) from 6 different states to nominate 6 officers of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) rank to supervise the SITs formed for these cases.
ii.They will be deputed to the CBI and carry out the investigation under the supervision of the joint Director of the CBI.
iii.This aims to enforce multiple layers of monitoring to ensure a fair and thorough investigation.
Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, representing the government of Manipur, stated that 11 cases related to sexual violence against women, including the Thoubal sexual violence incident were transferred to CBI.
Violence in Manipur:
i.On 3 May 2023, ethnic violence erupted in Manipur between the Meitei people, a majority that lives in the Imphal Valley, and the Kuki tribal community from the surrounding hills.
ii.According to a recent status report by Manipur Government, more than 150 have died between May and June 2023.
iii.Around 252 people were arrested and another 12,740 were arrested as preventive measures.
IRDAI Approved Appointment of Amit Jhingran as MD & CEO of SBI LifeThe Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has approved the appointment of Amit Jhingran as the Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SBI Life Insurance Company Limited (SBI Life).
- Amit Jhingran is set to succeed Mahesh Kumar Sharma, the incumbent MD & CEO of SBI Life.
- Amit Jhingran is currently serving as the Chief General Manager(CGM), in State Bank of India (SBI), Hyderabad Circle, Telangana.
About Amit Jhingran:
i.Amit Jhingran joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1991 in Lucknow Circle, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
ii.He has also served as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of SBI, Chicago (Illinois), United States Of America(USA).
iii.During his career spanning over 3 decades he has held various assignments across international banking, retail banking, and branch management.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairman- Debasish Panda
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Established in – 1999
Established under – Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act(IRDAI), 1999
About SBI Life Insurance Company limited(SBI Life):
SBI life was started as a joint venture (JV) between State Bank of India (SBI) and French financial institution BNP Paribas Cardif.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Incorporated in – 2000
CJI Announces Launch of ‘Suswagatam’ Portal for E-passes to Enter SC
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud launched ‘SuSwagatam’, a web-based and mobile-friendly application which enables advocates, visitors, interns and others to register themselves online and get e-passes to enter the Supreme Court of India(SC).
- This will enable a user to avoid long queues, and obtain a paperless entry pass (e-pass) for access to the Supreme Court of India.
- This was launched under the guidance of CJI DY Chandrachud to promote citizen-friendly access to justice delivery systems.
- The portal was tested as a pilot project since 25th July 2023 and has received positive feedback from the users.
Russia launches Luna-25 Mission to Moon, its 1st Lunar Probe in 47 yearsOn 11th August 2023,Russia successfully launched Luna-25 Mission onboard the Soyuz 2.1b Fregat rocket to the Moon from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia (Russian Far East).
- This is Russia’s first moon mission since 1976
- Luna-25 is also the first domestically produced moon probe in modern Russian history.
Prime Minister– Mikhail Mishustin
Currency– Russian Ruble
Defence Ministry to Replace Microsoft Windows with Indigenous Maya OS with Chakravyuh
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has decided to replace the Microsoft Operating System (OS) in all the computers with internet connectivity with the new indigenously developed OS “Maya” based on open-source Ubuntu, by the end of 2023. Chakravyuh, a security feature of Maya, is an end-point detection and protection system.
- The development of the Maya OS began in 2021 and is developed collaboratively by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), National Informatics Centre (NIC), along with Indian software companies and academic institutions within 6 months.
- Indian Navy clears usage of indigenous Maya OS and the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army are currently evaluating it.
- The Maya OS introduces robust protection against cyber threats by offering an interface and functionalities that are similar to that of Windows OS and is user-friendly.
- Chakravyuh creates a virtual layer between the user and the internet, thus, preventing cyber criminals and cyber attackers from accessing sensitive data.
Padma Bhushan Awardee & Nuclear Physicist Bikash Sinha Passed away at 78Padma Awardee and renowned nuclear physicist Bikash Chandra Sinha (aged 78) passed away in Kolkata due to age related ailments. He was born in Kandi, Murshidabad, West Bengal in 1945.
About Bikash Chandra Sinha:
i.He joined Bhabha Atomic Research Centre(BARC), Mumbai, Maharashtra in 1976.
ii.He served as the chairman of the board of governors, National Institute of Technology(NIT) Durgapur, West Bengal(WB).
iii.He has also served as the director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata, WB from 1992 to 2009 and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre(VECC), Kolkata, WB, from 1987 to 2009.
iv.He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India from 2005 to 2009 and also nominated to the council again in 2009.
v.He has also served as the President of the Indian Physics Association from 2007 to 2010.
Nuclear Physics, High Energy Physics, Quark Gluon Plasma, Nuclear Medicine Precursory Signals of Earthquakes, Helium from Thermal Spring and Early Universe Cosmology.
i.He was honoured with Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2010 in the Science & Engineering field.
ii.He was the recipient of the S.N. Bose Birth Centenary Award of the Indian Science Congress Association in 1994.
iii.He is also the recipient of West Bengal highest state award ‘Bangabibhushan’ (2022). He also received the ‘Rabindra Smriti Puraskar’ in 2022.
iv.He also won Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany and Prof. Meghnad Saha Memorial Lecture Award from The National Academy of Sciences, India.
He has authored a book titled ‘Sristi O Krishti Bandhanhin Granthi’ in Bengali, published by Ananda Publishers in 2012.
First-Ever UN’s World Steelpan Day 2023 – August 11The United Nations (UN)’s first-ever World Steelpan Day was observed on 11th August 2023, to recognise the cultural and historical significance of the Steelpan, the National Musical instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, and its correlation to cultural, social, and economic development.
- Steelpan or steel drums orginiated in the islands of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, during the 1930s.
Note: ‘Steelpan’ was declared as the National Musical instrument of Trinidad and Tobago in August 1992.
i.On 24th July 2023, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a draft resolution A/RES/77/316 and proclaimed the 11th of August every year as World Steelpan Day.
ii.In 2019, Port of Spain (POS), the capital city of T&T, was designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City of Music for its creativity through the Steelpan, as a strategic component for sustainable urban development.
- Other Creative Cities of Music in the Caribbean are Havana, Kingston, and Santo Domingo.
iii.In 2022, the Government of T&T formally requested UNESCO to proclaim August 11 as World Steelpan Day from 2023, and annually, thereafter.
About Trinidad & Tobago:
Capital– Port of Spain
Prime Minister– Keith Christopher Rowley
Currency– Trinidad & Tobago Dollar
Rajasthan CM Launched Indira Gandhi Smart Phone Scheme in JaipurOn 10th August 2023, Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister (CM) of Rajasthan, launched the Indira Gandhi Smart Phone Scheme during an event organised at the B.M. Birla Auditorium in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- During the event, CM also launched the ‘Digital Sakhi Book’.
About Indira Gandhi Smart Phone Scheme:
i.Under this scheme, free smartphones with 3 years of data facility will be distributed to 1.3 crore women in Rajasthan. The beneficiaries will include girl students (class 9 to class 12) of government schools, college students, single women, and widows.
ii.Rs 6800 will be deposited in an e-wallet through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) for the purchase of these smartphones and SIM.
i.In the first phase of the scheme, it aims to provide smartphones to approximately 40 lakh women. Those eligible for the first phase include women who served 100 days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and 50 days under the Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme.
CM announced Fuel Surcharge Waiver for Electricity Consumers in Rajasthan
CM Ashok Gehlot announced a complete waiver of the fuel surcharge for all domestic and agricultural power consumers in Rajasthan.
It is noted that hereafter, no consumer will be required to pay the surcharge after using more than 200 units of electricity.
- Previously, the waiver was applicable only to those who used up to 200 units of electricity per month.
What is Fuel SurCharge?
A fuel surcharge for power consumers is an additional fee on electricity bills, covering the cost of fuel used to generate power. This charge can vary based on factors such as the price of fuel and the efficiency of power generation methods.
- It is often used to cover the expenses incurred in producing electricity using fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas.