Current Affairs – 18 & 19 June 2023

NITI Aayog, UN sign the GoI-UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027i.On June 16, 2023, a ‘Government of India – United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027’ aka ‘GoI-UNSDCF 2023-2027’ was signed between the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and United Nations (UN) office in India.
ii.It was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) B V R Subrahmanyam, NITI Aayog; and Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, India.
iii.The formulation of the GoI-UNSDCF 2023-2027 was led by NITI Aayog while the UN Resident Coordinator led and coordinated inputs from the UN Development System (UNDS) in India.
iv.The formulation of the GoI-UNSDCF 2023-2027 was led by NITI Aayog while the UN Resident Coordinator led and coordinated inputs from the UNDS in India.
About NITI Aayog (National Institution For Transforming India):
Chairman– Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

Dugdh Sankalan Sathi Mobile App: MHI Minister Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey launches app for Indian Dairy IndustryOn June 16, 2023, Union Minister Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) unveiled ‘Dugdh Sanakalan Sathi Mobile App’ or ‘Milk Collection Partner Mobile App’ from Mussoorie, Uttarakhand for the Indian Dairy Industry.

  • This app will address the key challenges in the milk collection process which ultimately benefit the milk producers and contribute to the growth of the dairy sector.

Developer of App:
It is designed and developed by Jaipur (Rajasthan)-based Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (REIL), a“Mini Ratna Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) under MHI.

  • Its Managing Director is Rakesh Chopra.

Aim of App:
To improve the quality of milk, foster transparency among stakeholders, and streamline operations at the grassroots village level, including Milk Cooperative Societies, milk producers, milk organizations/unions and state federations.
Key Points:
i.It is a comprehensive cloud-based solution that utilizes the latest state-of-the-art platform.
ii.The app will provide all services to milk producers in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu and other languages.
iii.It is on the lines of Indian Government’s commitment for digitizing processes and facilitating direct beneficiary transfers of the government subsidies and milk payment to milk producers.
iv.Its other features include enhanced transparency through stakeholder engagement, online monitoring of daily milk poured at Milk Cooperative Societies, and real-time milk price updates.

Indian Navy Launches Julley Ladakh outreach programme to engage with youngsters and civil societyIndian Navy Launched “Julley Ladakh” (Hello Ladakh), an outreach programme to Ladakh with an aim to increase awareness about the naval service and to engage with youth and civil society members.

  • Vice Chief of Navy Staff, Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh flagged off 5000km Motorcycle Expedition from New Delhi on 15th June and it will reach Leh on 28th June passing through the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

i.Motorcycle expedition conducted in partnership with TVS Motors. Riders took part in this expedition with TVS Apache RTR and RR 310.
ii. As part of the initiative, Navy Personnel will pay homage at the Kargil War Memorial and for those at the 1962 battle of Rezang La.
iii. Indian Navy also conducts a band concert, a Medicalcamp and a football match between the Navy and the Ladakh Football Club.
Main objectives of the Julley Ladakh:

  • Celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (75 years of Indian Independence).
  • Conduct Awareness drives at Schools/ Colleges in Ladakh region about the career opportunities Indian Navy offers including the Agnipath Scheme.
  • Motivate Youth to join the Indian Navy.
  • Showcase Nari Shakti, an initiative of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, by including Women Officers and spouses.
  • Interact with naval veterans and Veer Naris in the region.

The Indian Navy had also undertaken the Sam No Varunah car expedition to engage with citizens in all the coastal states.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral R. Hari Kumar
Founded – 26 January 1950
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

Department of Legal Affairs sets up Panel led by T K Vishwanathan to recommend Reforms in Arbitration Law
On June 16, 2023, the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law & Justice (MoL&J) constituted a 16-member expert committee chaired by the Former Secretary of the Department of Legal Affairs and Padma Shri awardee (2017) T K Vishwanathan to recommend reforms in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

  • The objective is to alleviate the burden on courts.
  • The panel has been tasked with submitting its report within 30 days.

Its members include Law ministry additional secretary Rajiv Mani, Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, some senior advocates, representatives of private law firms, and officials of the Legislative Department, NITI Aayog, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), railways and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) are its other members. Click Here for List
Key Responsibilities of Committee:
i.It will assess the current Indian arbitration system in the country, including the working of the Arbitration Act by identifying the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges when compared to other important foreign jurisdictions.
ii.It will also suggest a framework for a model arbitration system. This system should be efficient, effective, and cost-effective, catering to the specific needs and requirements of the users involved in arbitration cases.
iii.It will recommend principles for determination of costs of arbitration, and fees of arbitrators.
iv.It will propose measures to fast track enforcement of award by suggesting modification to existing provision
v.It will recommend a charter of duties for guidance of arbitral tribunal, parties and arbitral institutions.
vi.The panel will also examine the feasibility of enacting separate laws for domestic arbitration and international arbitration.
i.Under arbitration, the parties concerned, instead of approaching courts, opt for private dispute resolution through arbitrators. The decision of arbitrators is binding.
ii.The Department of Legal Affairs is taking several steps to strengthen the dispute resolution environment and promote ease of doing business through reforms in laws.

PM Narendra Modi Pens Song ‘Abundance of Millets’ with Grammy winner Falu; 3 New Categories Added to Grammy Awards

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has collaborated with Falguni Shah (Falu), an Indian-American singer-songwriter, who is also a Grammy Award winner for a special song named ‘Abundance in Millets’ to promote the benefits of millet and its potential to alleviate world hunger.

  • The single track ‘Abundance in Millets’ which was performed by Falu along with her husband (singer) Gaurav Shah was released on June 16, 2023, on every streaming platform.
  • The song which highlights the benefits of millet was written in English and Hindi and made accessible to everybody.

The Recording Academy has recently announced the addition of three new categories of Best African Music Performance, Best Pop Dance Recording, and Best Alternative Jazz Album, to the Grammy Awards.

Defence Ministry signs ₹500 crore contract to strengthen Indian Army’s communication system

On June 15 2023, the Ministry of Defence(MoD) signed a contract with ICOMM Tele Ltd – Hyderabad for procurement of 1,035 numbers of 5/7.5 Ton Radio Relay Communication’ equipment containers for Rs.500cr in New Delhi, Delhi  to strengthen the Indian Army’s communication system.

  • The Radio Relay containers helps in addressing a long overdue requirement of mobile communication detachments of the Indian Army and the delivery  is scheduled to take place from 2023-24.

Buying indigenous products helps in realising the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

Sports Ministry Revised the amount of boarding and lodging for Athletes and officials by 66%

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) increased the upper limit for boarding and accommodation for Indian athletes and team officials by almost 66%, from USD 150 to USD 250 per day.
This revision is applicable for Indian athletes and officials participating only in international competitions, under the Ministry’s Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs).
Because of higher rates fixed by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in foreign countries, NSFs made a request to the ministry to increase the existing ceiling of USD 150 per day which was fixed in 2015

India, Australia includes 15 New Areas for talks on CECA 
On June 16, 2023, India and Australia have decided to expand the negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by including 15 more areas which have never been part of any trade deal that India has been part of.

  • These areas include agri-tech, critical minerals, space, sports, MSMEs, gender innovation and competition policy, among others.
  • This decision has been made during the third round of negotiations on the comprehensive trade agreement with Australia. he next round of talks are scheduled for July 2023.

Note: India and Australia have already implemented an interim trade pact (Economic and Cooperation Agreement) in December 2022.
About Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF):
On IPEF India has an observer status on the trade pillar and it is observing the developments “very” closely. IPEF was launched jointly by the United States (US) and other partner countries of the Indo-Pacific region on May 23, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan.
i.The framework is structured around four pillars relating to trade, supply chains, clean economy and fair economy (issues like tax and anti-corruption). India has joined all the pillars except the trade one.
ii.Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the US and Vietnam are members of the 14-nation bloc IPEF.
About Australia:
Capital– Canberra
Currency– Australian Dollar
Prime Minister– Anthony Albanese

India, Nepal, and Bangladesh Finalised the draft of a Tripartite Power Trade AgreementIndia, Nepal, and Bangladesh have finalised the draft of a tripartite power trade agreement, the first of its kind initiative for development to create greater energy connectivity across the neighbourhood.
Key Points:
i.The agreement which was agreed by the three countries is expected to be signed in the coming months.
ii.The agreement would enable Nepal and Bangladesh to send surplus power from one region to another via the Indian grid (which was a long-standing demand from Nepal and Bangladesh).
iii.Earlier, the electricity trade with neighbouring countries was done under bilateral agreements.
iv.The finalisation of new guidelines for Cross-Border Trade of Electricity (CBTE) in recent years served as building blocks for the new arrangements.

Paytm introduces UPI SDK for faster payments of its Merchants
One97 Communications Limited (OCL) owned Paytm introduced Paytm UPI software development kit (SDK) for its merchants to make payments without any failure of the payments. Paytm UPI SDK supports transactions via UPI-linked bank accounts and RuPay credit cards.

  • Paytm UPI SDK will allow users to pay directly from bank accounts through UPI PIN without having to jump between merchant and payment app.
  • Earlier Paytm introduced UPI LITE, to enable transactions of up to Rs.2,000 without having to enter a PIN to make payments. Along with UPI LITE, Paytm is enhancing two-sided payments for its merchants and customers fail-proof UPI payments.

Arundhati Roy Awarded the European Essay Prize 2023Indian writer Arundhati Roy was awarded the 45th European Essay Prize for lifetime achievement by the Charles Veillon Foundation for the French translation of her compilation of essays titled “Azadi” (2021).

  • Roy will receive a prize money of CHF 20,000 (roughly Rs 18 lakh) at an award event on September 12 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

i.In Azadi, the author used it as a powerful form of combat,analysing the rise of fascism and its structural implications. Roy has also reflected on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.

  • Arundhati Roy explores themes such as nationalism, resistance, democracy, and the struggles faced by marginalized communities.

ii.Azadi,consists of nine stand-alone essays, published by Penguin Publications.
About Arundhati Roy:
i.Roy’s first novel, The God of Small Things, won the Booker Prize in 1997.
ii.The “Ministry of Utmost Happiness” and “My Seditious Heart” were the other books written by Roy.
About European Essay Prize:
i.European Essay Prize awarded by the Charles Veillon Foundation since 1975, to honour a book or the work of an author, to nourishing and spreading the evolution of thought.
ii. The aim of the award is to draw attention to authors whose work get witness to and offer a fertile commentary on current societies, their practices, and ideologies
iii. Earlier recipients included Mona Chollet (2022), Johny Pitts (2021), Alessandro Baricco (2020), Siri Hustvedt (2019), Marcel Gauchet (2018).

Axis Bank appoints N. S. Vishwanathan as Part-time Non-Executive Chairman

On 16th June 2023, The Board of Directors of Axis Bank approved the appointment of N. S. Vishwanathan, Independent Director as the Non-Executive (Part-time) Chairman of the Bank for a period of three years, subject to approval of the shareholders of the Bank and Reserve Bank of India.
About N. S. Vishwanathan:
S. Vishwanathan had joined the RBI in 1981 and retired in March 2020 as the Deputy Governor.

  • He currently serves as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Governing Council at the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad.
  • He served as a member of board at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), where he served from July 2016 to March 2020.     

Bharatmeta India’s metaverse by at VivaTech in Paris, an India-based company specialising in Artificial Intelligence and emerging technology solutions showcased its version of the metaverse called Bharatmeta at VivaTech event held in Paris 2023.

  •  Metaverse refers to a multi-dimensional digital space that employs virtual reality and augmented reality to provide lifelike experiences to users online.
  • Bharatmeta offers practical use cases for banking, commerce, culture, and collaboration within the metaverse.It aims to bridge the gap between physical and virtual realms.

About provides digital solutions to financial institutions and governments globally. Its specialty lies in metaverse banking, AI, and big data analytics, among others.

World Crocodile Day 2023 – June 17World Crocodile Day is observed on June 17 every year to spread awareness about the conservation of endangered crocodiles and alligators around the world.

  • The Crocodiles and alligators are celebrated during the day and it would encourage people to get involved in helping them.
  • World Crocodile Day 2023 was organized by the Crocodile Research Coalition in conjunction with the Belize Zoo.
  • Crocodiles are reptiles from the order Crocodilia that have short legs, powerful tails, long snouts, and bony-plated backs.

Key Points:
i.Crocodiles are large semi-aquatic reptiles found in the tropics of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia.
ii.Crocodilian Species in India include Mugger (or) Marsh Crocodile, Estuarine (or) Saltwater Crocodile and Gharial Crocodile.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2023 – June 17 The United Nations (UN)’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed across the globe on 17th June to create awareness about Drought, one of the most destructive natural disasters in terms of loss of life and also encourages people to find achievable solutions for combating desertification.
The theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2023 is “Her land Her rights”.

  • The theme emphasizes that investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity.

Focus: The global focus for the 2023 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is on women’s land rights.

  • It is essential for achieving the interconnected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030 and contributing to the advancement of several other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):
Executive Secretary– Ibrahim Thiaw
Headquarters– Bonn, Germany

Madhya Pradesh Government adopts Cooperative Policy 2023 

On 14th June 2023, the cabinet meeting chaired by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan approved the Co-operative Policy 2023, with an aim to strengthen the cooperative movement and create jobs in the co-operative sector.

  • This policy focuses on the preparation and implementation of the public co-operative partnership (PCP) model, which means cooperative organisations would collaborate with government entities.

Highlights of the policy:
i.New co-operatives to be formed in agriculture, health care, food processing, animal husbandry, water conservation, new and renewable energy, tourism, minerals, agricultural equipment, organic products, and other sectors and they will be linked to various government schemes.
ii.Formation of core groups at the district level to explore investment possibilities in the co-operative sector.
iii. To ensure the ease of doing business and promoting transparency in the functioning of cooperatives, a better Information System and Cooperative Database to be developed
iv.State Cooperative Education and Training Fund set to be established to strengthen the cooperative education system.
About Madhya Pradesh:
Chief Minister – Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Governor- Mangubhai chhaganbhai Patel
Tiger Reserves- Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Panna Tiger Reserve, Kanha Tiger Reserve

Arunachal Pradesh CM launches app called ‘Arunpol App’ of Arunachal Pradesh Police

On 14th June 2023, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister “Pema Khandu” launched an app called ‘Arunpol App‘ of Arunachal Pradesh Police and flagged-off an Arunachal Pradesh Police(APP) awareness generation vehicle Arun Pol Sewa  from the Civil Secretariat, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The  app will helps common people to register complaints without coming to the police station and helps the public with emergencies.
  • The vehicle travels places to know the issues of the people and create awareness among the masses.

CM Pema Khandu also launched another app called E-Vigilance app for the state government employees. He said that this app will benefit the state government employees by ensuring timely vigilance clearance.

Assam launch WebPortal to check illegal cattle transportation

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