Current Affairs – 15 June 2023

Global DPI Summit 2023 held in Pune; MoU signed between India & 4 Nations on sharing INDIA STACKi.On June 12-13, 2023, the Global DPI Summit 2023 was held as the part of the side event of third meeting of G20 (Group of Twenty) Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) in Pune, Maharashtra.
ii.It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (MoS) Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
iii.The theme of the summit was Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for Ease of Living, Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Governance
iv.The event saw the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the four countries of ArmeniaSierra LeoneSuriname, and Antigua and Barbuda on sharing INDIA STACK.
About Armenia:
Capital– Yerevan
Currency– Armenian Dram
Prime Minister– Nikol Vovayi Pashinyan

INS Satpura represented Indian Navy at Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo 2023 at Indonesia Indian Naval ship (INS) Satpura participated in the 4th edition of  Multilateral Naval Exercise “Komodo” (MNEK 2023) held in and around Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia from June 4 to 8 2023.

  • INS Satpura participated in the exercise as part of the Indian Navy’s deployment to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.
  • INS Satpura also represented the Indian Navy at the International Fleet Review (IFR) reviewed by President of Indonesia Joko Widodo on 5th June 2023.
  • Indian Navy’s participation in MNEK exercise series is a reaffirmation of India’s commitment to ‘Act East’ (Maritime Cooperation) in its attempt to ensure ‘Security and Growth for All in Region’ (SAGAR).

About MNEK: 
MNEK is a biennial exercise, held every 2 years, since 2014 between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. .

  • The last edition (3rd) of MNEK was held in 2018 in Lombok Island, Indonesia from 4th to 9th May 2018.
  • Komodo 2023 was the first iteration since 2018 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participation of INS Satpura:
It actively participated in the International Maritime Security Symposium during harbour phase, and various other activities that include City Parade, Cultural Programmes and Band performances, and also participated in a multilateral maritime exercise on 8th June 2023.
Note: In May 2023, INS Satpura was deployed in South East Asia and participated in the inaugural edition of ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise AIME23 from 02 – 08 May 2023, which witnessed participation by all ASEAN navies.
About MNEK 2023: 
Participants: The navies of 36 countries including the United States of America (USA), Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Canada, China, and India celebrated the opening of the international exercise of the 2023 MNEK.
Theme: The theme of MNEK 2023 was “Partnership to recover and to rise stronger.”

  • Under the theme, the Indonesian Navy invited the participating nations to work together to contribute to responding to humanitarian problems and deal with potential natural disasters in the region.

Key Points:
iThe exercise allowed for several exchanges that support multilateral cooperation in the maritime environment across the Indo-Pacific.
ii. The exercises emphasises non-warfighting aspects of operational-level exercises.
iii. This also includes a shore phase with engineering and medical civic action programs, international maritime security symposium, community outreach, military sports engagements, and an international fleet review.

In Europe NATO begins its air drill -“Air Defender 23”

On 12th June 2023, North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) began its German(host) led air force deployment “Air Defender 23” exercise in Europe, in a display of unity toward partners and threats from Russia .

  • The exercise is set to take place from 12th-23rd June 2023 and include 250 military aircraft from 25 NATO and partner countries including Japan and Sweden.
  • The exercise will focus on keeping up the United States(US) presence in Europe and to provide training on a larger scale.
  •  Training missions will take place over the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and Southern Germany.

“Air Defender” was brought in 2018 to respond to the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine
Note: NATO’s Article Five, an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das Launched Financial Inclusion Dashboard AntardrishtiIn June 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, Shaktikanta Das, launched a financial inclusion dashboard named Antardrishti‘.

  • Purpose: The dashboard provides the necessary knowledge to assess and track the development of financial inclusion by recording relevant data.
  • The dashboard, presently intended for internal use in the RBI, will further facilitate greater financial inclusion through a multi-stakeholder approach.
  • The dashboard will assess the degree of financial exclusion at a local level across the nation.

Financial Inclusion (FI) Index:
i. Meanwhile, YogeshDayal, Chief General Manager, RBI, stated about another initiative that promotes Financial Inclusion and measures the extent of financial inclusion, the Financial Inclusion (FI) Index which was constructed by RBI in 2021, based on three dimensions of financial inclusion such as ‘Access (35%), Usage (455), and Quality (20%).
ii.The FI-Index incorporates details of banking, investments, insurance, postal as well as the pension sector in consultation with the government and respective sectoral regulators.
iii. Information on various aspects of financial inclusion will be collected under the index in a single value ranging between 0 and 100, where 0 represents complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1st April 1935

Fino Payments Bank joins Hubble Money to introduce Spending AccountFino Payments Bank Ltd. has partnered with Bengaluru (Karnataka)-based fintech company Hubble Money to introduce India’s and world’s first spending account aimed at helping customers manage their finances, track expenses, and earn rewards on purchases. This partnership is made under Fino Payments Bank’s Fino 2.0 initiative to strengthen its digital offerings and enhance the overall customer experience.

  • It will target GenZ and millennial customers, and cater to their aspirations and lifestyle changes.

i.Depositors can save money in the spending account and earn up to 10% cashback on all purchases made from the account.
ii.Users will earn an annual interest rate of 2.75% on the funds parked in the account.
iii.The spending account is integrated with Fino Payments Bank’s digital savings account, which can be accessed through the FinoPay mobile app.
iv.They can track their expenses across more than 50 partnered brands, potentially saving up to Rs. 20,000 annually.
About Fino Payments Bank Ltd:
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer– Rishi Gupta
Headquarters– Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 2017

SEBI introduces framework for Direct Mutual Fund Investment PlatformsOn June 13, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced a regulatory framework for online investment platforms that facilitate investments in commission-free mutual fund (MF) schemes w.e.f. September 01, 2023.

  • This brings clarity on obligations of such platforms, and also addresses investor concerns on associated risks and introduces grievance redressal mechanism.

This introduction followed the public consultation and discussions in the MF Advisory Committee where it has been decided to prescribe a framework for Execution Only Platforms for transacting in direct plans of schemes of MF. In this regard, the SEBI (Stock Brokers) Regulations, 1992 have been amended.

  • This circular by SEBI is issued in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the SEBI Act, 1992 to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of the securities market.

What are the regulations?
i.Platforms providing MF investment services in direct (commission-free) plans will have to apply for ‘Execution Only Platform’ (EOP) licence either with SEBI or the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) within three months of the regulation coming into force.

  • As of now, these MF investment platforms operate under a stock broker or Investment Advisor (IA) licence.

ii.Platforms of investment advisors and stock brokers will not need an EOP registration if it is open only for their advisory or broking clients.
Click Here for Official Circular
SEBI registered Investment Advisors and Stock Brokers use their technology or digital platforms to offer services for executing transactions in direct plans of MF schemes. These platforms are often used by investors who are not their clients according to the regulations set by SEBI (Investment Advisers) in 2013 or SEBI (Stock Brokers) in 1992. Currently, there is no specific framework in place for technology or digital platforms (including those provided by Investment Advisors and Stock Brokers to non-clients) to solely offer execution services for direct plans of MF schemes and gather transaction-related data.

  • In this regard, the above mentioned introduction has been made.

Microfinance AUM increased by 22% in FY23; NBFC-MFIs being top lender with 40%According to the data released by MFIN (Microfinance Institutions Network), Gross loan portfolio (Asset under Management (AUM) of the microfinance industry increased by 22% in FY23 to Rs 3.5 lakh crore, serving 6.6 crore unique borrowers.

  • The number of active microfinance loan accounts increased 14.6% to 13 crore as on March 2023.

Key Points: 
i. NBFC-MFIs (Non Banking Finance Companies – Microfinance institutions) continued to be the largest provider of micro-credit in terms of loans outstanding, with their share of the total industry portfolio rising to 40% in FY23 from 35.2% in FY22.
ii.With a market share of 34% banks held the second place followed by small finance banks at 16.6%.
iii. Other NBFCs accounted for 8.5% share and other MFIs accounted for 1%.
Regional Distribution:
i.In case of regional distribution, Bihar replaced Tamil Nadu as the largest State in terms of gross loan portfolio outstanding, followed by Uttar Pradesh at third place.
ii.East and North-East and South India accounted for 63% of the total portfolio under regional distribution.

  • The share of East and North-East reduced continuously over FY23, reaching 34.9% from 37.7% as of March 2022.
  • South and North region gained more than 1% each.

i.AUM of NBFC-MFIs increased 39% YoY to Rs 1.3-lakh crore in March 2023, including owned portfolio of Rs 1.1 lakh crore and managed or off-balance sheet portfolio of Rs 23,931 crore.
ii.The average ticket size increased to 13% YoY to Rs 42,010 for FY23.
iii.NBFC-MFIs received debt funding of Rs 74,787 crore during FY22 a 59.2% higher than FY22. Total equity grew 25.4% to Rs 26,332 crore.

GSITI, Hyderabad gets Accredited as “Athi Uttam” by NABET 

Geological Survey of India Training Institute (GSITI),under the Ministry of Mines, received accreditation from National Accreditation Board of Education and Training (NABET) for its outstanding Earth Science training.

  • Team from Capacity Building Commission (CBC), NABET and Quality Council of India(QCI) awarded the Certificate of Accreditation with the grading of Athi Uttam following the on-site assessment.
  • The assessment were based on the inspection of all standard operating procedures and methodologies followed by GSITI at various levels.

Key Points: 
On 11th June 2023, the Union Minister of State Geological Survey of India (GSI) Independent charge Jitender Singh, Ministry of Science and Technology & Ministry of Earth Sciences, presented the  accreditation certificate to Ch. Venkateswara Rao, deputy director general of GSI and head of Mission-V during the national training conclave held in New Delhi, Delhi.
About Geological Survey of India Training Institute:
i.It operates in 6 Regional Training Divisions (RTD) situated in Hyderabad(Telangana), Nagpur(Maharashtra), Jaipur(Rajasthan.), Lucknow(Uttar Pradesh), Kolkata(West Bengal), and Shillong(Meghalaya).
ii.It has set up four Field Training Centres (FTCs) which align with the Ministry of Mines Vision in Chitradurga (Karnataka), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Zawar (Rajasthan), and Kuju (Jharkhand) to provide training to geoscience professionals, teachers, researchers, and students across various geological subjects.
iii.GSITI offers training, capacity building programs to stakeholders, central and state departments, Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Limited (MECL) , Oil and Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC), Oil India Limited(OIL), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), central universities, colleges, other educational institutions and to participants from developing nations(75 nations) through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation(ITEC) programme, sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Established- 1976
Headquarters- Hyderabad, Telangana 
About National Accreditation Board of Education and Training(NABET):
NABET is a constituent Board of Quality Council of India(QCI) which offers accreditation to educational organisations, vocational training organizations and skill certification bodies.
Chairperson –Premendra RajMehta
CEO-Varinder S Kanwar
Headquartered- New Delhi, Delhi

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das honoured with Governor of the Year award at Central Banking Awards 2023

On June 14 2023 in London, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) 25th governor, Shaktikanta Das has been honoured with the title the “Governor of the Year” at the Central Banking Awards 2023.

  • He has been granted this award for his role during Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the fight against inflation.

In March 2023, The Central Banking Awards 2023 awards winners were announced and the top 2 prizes were given to the National Bank of Ukraine — the 2023 Central Bank of the Year.

ACC named Sudhansh Pant as new Health Secretary; Chanchal Kumar as Aviation SecretaryAs a part of the top level bureaucratic reshuffle, Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Sudhansh Pant, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1991 batch Rajasthan Cadre, as the new Secretary (Officer on Special Duty – OSD), Department of Health and Family Welfare(DoH&FW) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoH&FW).
i.T K Ramachandran, the Chairman of V O Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu(TN) will succeed Sudhansh Pant as the Secretary, MoPSW.
ii.Chanchal Kumar, a 1992 batch IAS Officer of the Bihar cadre, has been appointed as the Secretary (OSD), Ministry of Civil Aviation(MoCA). He is currently serving as the Managing Director(MD) of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).

IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers elected as next chief of IATA’s board of governors

Pieter Elbers,the Chief executive officer(CEO) of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo), has been elected as the chair-elect of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors. He will succeed the current chairman Yvonne Manzi Makolo, the CEO of Rwandair, in June 2024.

  • The announcement was made during the 79th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit, Istanbul, Turkey from June 4-6, 2023.
  • Pieter Elbers, a Dutch airline executive, has been serving as the CEO of IndiGo since 2022.  He has served as the president and CEO of the Netherlands’ flag carrier airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, from 2014 to 2022.

IATA is a trade association of airlines, founded in 1945, headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

  • The IATA Board now has representation from Air India and IndiGo as its members.

IRDAI has approved SBI MF to take upto 10% share in ICICI LombardOn 12th June 2023, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) gave its approval to SBI Mutual Fund (SBIMF) to acquire upto 10% of the total paid up equity share capital of ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited(ICICI Lombard) through market purchase.

  • SBIMF is a joint venture (JV) between the State Bank of India(SBI), an Indian public sector bank, and Amundi, a European asset management company.

By the end of March 2023, SBIMF, through various scheme, held 4.62% stake in ICICI Lombard, while ICICI Bank held 48.02%.
Key Points:
i.The IRDAI has instructed SBI MF to verify that its total shareholding,  including those of group entities or body corporate under the same management, shall not exceed 10% of the total paid-up equity share capital.
ii.The IRDAI’s approval is valid for one year and subject to compliance with  provisions of IRDAI (Registration of Indian Insurance Companies) Regulations, 2022, Indian Insurance Companies (Foreign Investment) Rules, 2015, Insurance Act/Rules/Regulations, Orders, Circulars etc.
Additional info: : 
i.In May 2023, The board of directors of ICICI Bank approved the plan  to increase its the shareholding in ICICI Lombard by 4% in the next 16 months.
ii.ICICI bank aims to acquire 2.5% stake out of the 4% by 9th September 2024.
About ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company:
MD & CEO- Bhargav Dasgupta
Established- 2001
Headquarters- Mumbai,Maharastra.
About The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India:
IRDAI (also referred to as IRDA) is a government body responsible for regulating and developing the insurance industry in India.
Chairperson- Debasish Panda
Founded- 1999
Headquarters- Hyderabad, Telangana

CCI approves acquisition of certain shareholding in Ambit by Daiwa International

On 13th June 2023, The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of a certain shareholding(Minority Stake) in Ambit Private Limited (APL) by Daiwa International Holdings Inc through a combination of primary subscription of shares and secondary share purchases from existing shareholders.

  • Daiwa International Holdings Inc, incorporated in Japan was established for the purpose of holding stock in a domestic or foreign company for its commercial activities.
  • APL is a merchant banker registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).  

GRSE Launched two Warships INS Anjadip & Sanshodhak; Foundation laid for the 7th ASW-SWC ShipOn June 13, 2023, two warships of INS (Indian Naval Ship) Anjadip, the 3rd of eight indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW-SWC), and INS Sanshodhak, the 4th and last in the series of Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project, were launched by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) at shipbuilding facility of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in Kattupalli, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

  • GRSE is now building eight ASWSWCs and four SVLs for the Indian Navy and the Ships are at various stages of completion.

Key Points:
i.INS Anjadip was launched by Priya Pandit, wife of Vice Admiral R B Pandit, Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) , Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command. It is built by GRSE, Kolkata, West Bengal.
ii.The ship was named Anjadip to signify the strategic maritime importance accorded to the island of Anjadip, which is located off Karwar (Karnataka).
iii.ASW SWC ships are of 77 m long and have a displacement of 900 tons with a maximum speed of 25 knots and endurance of 1800 nautical miles (NM).
iv.INS Sanshodhak is the 4th and last in the series of  the SVL Project, being built by L&T/ GRSE for Indian Navy. The chief guest of the Launching Ceremony was VAdm Adhir Arora, Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India.
Note – At the end of the launch event, R B Pandit also laid the keel for the 7th ASW SWC ship.
About Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE):
Chairman & Managing Director – Commodore (Retd) PR Hari, Indian Navy
Headquarter– Kolkata, West Bengal

Gekko MizoramensisNew species of flying geckos found in MizoramA team of researchers uncovered a new species of gliding geckos named Gekko Mizoramensis in Mizoram, this new species can glide and researchers have termed it a “parachute gecko“. The new species has been named Gekko Mizoramensis after the state of Mizoram.

  • The parachute gecko is one of the 14 geckos all over the world that are known for gliding through the air, and one specimen of the new species was collected more than 20 years ago.
  • Details of the new species of gliding geckos, have been published in the latest issue (15th May 2023) of, Salamandra, a German journal on herpetology.

Genus and Species:
The new species belongs to the gekkonid genus Gekko, and gliding flight in members of the subgenus Ptychozoon, commonly known as Parachute Geckos, and are nocturnal.
Geckos are small, mostly carnivorous lizards found in warm climates throughout the world.
iThe Gekkomizoramensis had evolved the adhesive pads on their feet, which let them climb almost on any surface using a network of microscopic hairs.
ii. It became one of the most successful lizard groups by some adaptations such as the ability to discard and regrow their tails to distract predators, or see well in the dark.
iii. These geckos have flaps of skin and when they leap off a tall structure, air resistance pushes the flaps out to their full extent much like a parachute, slowing the speed at which they fall, while other gliding reptiles use bone to form their flying surfaces.
iv. The skin flaps also help to break up their shape, acting as a camouflage against predators.
v. The new species is most similar to its sister species Gekkopopaensis (by the Arakan Hill range of Burma), from which it differs in having an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 7–14% and by discrete differences in morphology and colour pattern.

  • There is a 21% difference in DNA of both species and there were morphological variations too.

Note: At present there are more than 1,200 species of gecko and the species found inhabiting Mizoram, has previously been discovered in parts of South Asia including Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Cambodia.

World Blood Donor Day 2023 – June 14 World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is annually observed on 14th June across the world to raise awareness about the significance of donating blood, and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
The annual observance of WBDD is led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The slogan/theme for 2023 WBDD campaign is “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”

  • The 2023 slogan focuses on patients requiring life-long transfusion support and highlights the role of every single donor, who gives the valuable gift of blood or plasma.

iIn 2004, the WHO initiated and established the observance of World Blood Donor Day on 14th June to mark the birth Anniversary of Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943), Austrian-American immunologist.
ii. Following the successful observance of the WBDD 2004, in May 2005, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a resolution WHA58.13 titled “Blood safety: proposal to establish World Blood Donor Day” and agreed to observe 14th June every year as WBDD.

  • WBDD is celebrated as an integral part of the national blood donor recruitment programme.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Founded in– 1948
Director-General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland

NSE, Maharashtra govt & Moneybee Institute sign MoU for investor-awareness programmesOn 13th June 2023, the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) signed a tri-partie Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Higher and Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra, and Moneybee Institute Pvt. Ltd. to create awareness among the public about investing in the capital markets.

  • Maharashtra became the first state to actively initiate the financial literacy campaign under this MoU.

Note: Moneybee Institute has been engaged in training through online and offline sessions related to finance and investments since 2007.
The primary aim of this MoU is to create awareness amongst the public about the various aspects of investing in the Capital Markets, provide relevant and practical knowledge to investors, enabling them with relevant information to make better investment decisions.
Key Points:
iThe Maharashtra government being the first state through this initiative, will be guided to avoid cyber fraud, create awareness about ponzi schemes and how and where to invest.
Note: Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent scheme that involves paying existing investors in a non-existent enterprise with the funds collected from new investors.
ii. Capital Markets play a crucial role in driving economic growth, so it is important to promote education and awareness for the new, potential, and existing investors in the securities market.
About National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE)
Incorporated in– 1992
Started operations– 1994
Chairman& Public Interest Director– Girish Chandra Chaturvedi
Managing Director& CEO– Ashishkumar Chauhan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

MP CM inaugurated Mukhyamantri Ladli Behna Yojna’s fund transferOn 10th June 2023, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister (CM) of Madhya Pradesh (MP) inaugurated the Mukhyamantri Ladli Bahna Yojana‘ by depositing an amount of Rs 1000 each in the accounts of 1.25 crore women of the state, during the event held in Garrison Ground, Jabalpur, MP.
Note: The Madhya Pradesh Government had plans to increase the assistance to Rs.3000 per month in future.
About Mukhyamantri Ladli Bahna Yojana:
On 5th March 2023, MP CM launched the Ladli Bahna Scheme to strengthen the economic status of the women and girls of MP.
Features of the Scheme:
iThis scheme will enhance women’s economic independence, improving their health and nutrition status and expanding their influence over family decisions.
ii. On the 10th of every month, the amount will get credited to the beneficiaries, and they will get a total of Rs 12,000 annually which will help them to fulfil their basic needs.
iRegistering for the scheme, a woman should be the local inhabitant of Madhya Pradesh state.
ii. The age limit should be above 21 years old and under 60 years old.

  • Initially it was above 23 years, now it has been relaxed to 21 years

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