Current Affairs – 23 & 24 July 2023

For the 1st time, India hosted the Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 in New DelhiFor the first time, India hosted the Global Food Regulators Summit 2023, held as part of the Group 20 (G20) event, in Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, Delhi from 20th to 21st July 2023. The summit was organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

  • The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 to create a global platform of food regulators to exchange perspectives on strengthening food safety systems and regulatory framework across the food value chain.

i. Food-o-Copoeia, a collection of food category-wise monographs launched at the summit.
ii. The common regulators platform ‘SaNGRAH‘ – Safe food for Nations: Global food Regulatory Authorities Handbook also launched at the summit.

India Chamber of Business and Commerce signs MoA with ICMR to Promote India as Global Hub in Healthcare ManufacturingOn July 20, 2023, India Chamber of Business and Commerce (India Chamber), and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have signed an Memorandum of Association (MoA) to promote India as global Hub in healthcare manufacturing and delivery, and to build a strong healthcare ecosystem for the future and attract investments in the healthcare sector.

  • The agreement is in the line with creating Institutional arrangement for India Health Dialogue- A national flagship initiative led by India Chamber of Business and Commerce in partnership with ICMR, IMA (Indian Medical Association) and Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME) to transforming healthcare and establishing India-led global supply chain networks.

The MoA was signed by Dr Rajiv Bahl, Secretary of Department Of Health Research (DHR) and Director General of ICMR; and Nitin Pangotra, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), India Chamber, at MoMSME in New Delhi, Delhi in the presence of Union Minister Narayan Rane, MoMSME.
Key Points:
i. The partnership promotes international collaborations in innovation and technology, academia-industry partnerships, capacity building, and new innovations in healthcare.
ii. It creates a global platform for investment opportunities and entrepreneurship in India’s healthcare manufacturing and services sector.
iii. It also fill the knowledge gap in the health sector and develop a critical manufacturing ecosystem to make self-reliant in healthcare with world-class Medical Parks and infrastructure.
Notably, the future of healthcare involves digital and smart healthcare delivery, innovation-based high-quality manufacturing, diversification into critical healthcare equipment, medical devices, diagnostics, drug parks, and the application of new technologies. This MoA will cater to this with the application of new innovation and technologies into healthcare system.

Govt extends Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana for 2 Years upto June 2024The Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, has extended the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana(ABVKY), an unemployment relief scheme, under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) for two years upto 30th June 2024.

  • According to the gazette notification, the scheme has been extended for a period 1st July 2022 to 30th June 2024 with relaxed eligibility conditions and enhanced rate of relief.
  • This is the third extension since its inception. Previously, the scheme was extended twice from 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 and from 1st July 2021 to 30th June 2022 to provide relief to those Insured Persons (IPs) who became unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About  Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana:
i.On 1st July 2018, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) launched Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) scheme (on pilot basis) under the Section 2(9) of Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948. The Scheme aims to provide relief to the Insured Persons (IPs) who have become unemployed (Tenure: 2 years)

  • It was decided to enhance the rate of unemployment relief under the scheme to 50% of wages from earlier rate of 25% along with relaxation in eligibility conditions with effect from 24th March 2020.
  • The waiting period to file the claim was reduced from 90 days to 30 days.
  • IPs are required to have been in insurable employment for at least two years and have contributed for a minimum of 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding their unemployment.
  • They must have contributed for at least 78 days in one of the remaining three contribution periods within the two years prior to their unemployment.

Additional Info:
Between July 1, 2018 and December 12, 2022 a total of 66,013 employees have availed the unemployment benefits under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana, with a disbursement of Rs 87.83 crores.

Union Cabinet Approves Mediation Bill, 2021 & Press & Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023

On 19th July 2023, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the amendments to 2 key bills: The press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 and the Mediation Bill, 2021, which were re-worked to incorporate suggestions from a Parliamentary panel.

  • The amendments cleared by the union cabinets are largely based on the recommendations made by the parliamentary panel.

Amendment to Mediation Bill 2021:
Mediation Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 20th December 2021 and the Parliamentary Standing Committee was tasked to review the bill.

  • The bill aims to institutionalise mediation and establish the Mediation Council of India.
  • Cabinet approved amendments to the Mediation Bill including reducing the maximum timeline for completing mediation proceedings from 360 to 180 days.
  • Pre-litigation mediation has been made voluntary instead of mandatory.

About the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023:
Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 aims to remove the provision for prosecution and imprisonment of publishers and simplify the registration process for periodicals.

  • This bill will replace the Press and Registration of Books(PRB) Act 1867’ which governs the registration of the print and publishing industry in India.

NITI Aayog Releases IESS to Access the Impact of Green Energy PoliciesOn 20th July 2023, the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) released a Revamped India Energy Security Scenarios (IESS) 2047 (IESS 2047 V3.0) to assess the integrated impact of various green energy policies of Government of India.
i.IESS 2047 is a user-friendly interactive tool that can help ministries/ departments to develop a variety of energy transition scenarios to achieve net-zero.
ii.The tool helps analyze emissions, cost, land, and water requirements till 2047 by assessing the demand and supply of energy. It provides many permutations and combinations of net-zero pathways.
NITI Aayog and Vasudha Foundation Released the ICED 3.0
On 20th July 2023, NITI Aayog in collaboration with energy and climate think-tank Vasudha Foundation released the India Climate Energy Dashboard (ICED) 3.0 during the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in Goa.

  • The ICED is the country’s one-stop platform for revamped online data center on energy, electric mobility, climate and related economic datasets.

About NITI Aayog:
Chairman- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister
CEO- B.V.R. Subrahmanyam
Established- January 1st, 2015
Headquaters– New Delhi, Delhi
Ist article Source- pib
2nd article Source- sau pib

Kerala gets India’s 1st Construction Innovation Hub in KochiKerala got India’s first Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) that will serve as a platform to promote innovation and entrepreneurship around sustainable and affordable building facilities by encouraging collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the industry stakeholders.

  • The CIH was launched at the Sheltertech Summit, a summit to advance housing and construction innovations, which was organised by the Habitat for Humanity and Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • The overall programme management of CIH will be taken care of KSUM, and the CIH is set to be based in Kochi, Kerala, which is also the headquarters of KSUM.

Responsibilities of KSUM:
i.The programme management includes the identification and recruitment of nascent companies.
ii.It also provides them with housing-related technical mentorship and connections, besides programme design and facilitation.
iii.Establishing connections with the Habitat for Humanity India (HFHI), a Georgia (United States of America (USA)) based non-profit organisation, that builds homes and provides housing-related services to low-income families.
Note: HFHI founded in 1976 and functioning in 70 countries.
Benefits of the Hub:
i.CIH, which will serves as a platform to start-ups across India is initially intend to function virtually, gives KSUM a decisive role in setting up a secretariat at the nodal agency to handle its administrative tasks and identify a full-time point-to-contact person for the CIH.
ii.The facility will enable the KSUM to realise start-up space at Kerala Technology Innovation Zone (KTIZ) in Kochi, Kerala, promote events and reach out to target audience.
iii.It will help provide digital platform for KSUM’s innovation lab, collaborate with different government departments to identify pilot projects related to low-income housing as well as construction skilling, its finance and other connects to start-ups/scale-ups as needed.
iv.KSUM will have the power to call for application of start-ups/students/Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and evaluate their initial screening. It can hold road-shows and reverse pitch sessions for the participants to get best start-ups nationally.
v.With the launch of the CIH, KSUM is set to form an advisory council comprising pertinent stakeholders, with early-stage innovators reaching out to college students and conducting challenges and knowledge sessions to promote shelter in the first year.
About Kerala:
Chief minister– Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor– Arif Mohammed Khan
Festival– Thiruvathira, Malayalam month of Dhanu (December-January) and Pooram festival (Mid-April)

Indian Army & TVS motor launched All-women Motorcycle Rally to commemorate 24th Kargil Vijay Diwas
The Indian Army, in partnership with TVS Motors company, launched a Tri-Services All Women Motocycle Rally – ‘Nari Sashaktikaran Motorcycle Rally’ to commemorate 24th Kargil Vijay Diwas and to highlight the brave spirit of women. General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) flagged off all-women motorcycle rally from the National war memorial, New Delhi on 18 July 2023.

  • The Kargil Vijay Diwas commemorates the victory of Indian Armed Forces against Pakistan on July 26, 1999, as part of Operation Vijay.

i.Rally will cover around 1000 kilometres through Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to reach Kargil War Memorial in Dras, Kargil District, Ladakh on 25 July 2023.
ii.The 25-member strong tri-services team includes two Veer Naris, one of whom is a serving officer, 10 serving Indian Army Women officers, one woman officer each from Indian Air Force and Indian Navy, three women soldiers of Indian Army and eight Armed Forces spouses.
iii. The riders took part in the rally with TVS Ronin motorcycles.

IIT Guwahati Signs MoU with Indian Council of World Affairs
On 19th July 2023, the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G), Assam has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), to work together to expand awareness and knowledge on international affairs and Indian foreign policy.

  • The MoU was signed between Professor Parameswar Krishnan Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, and Ambassador Vijay Thakur Singh, Director-General, ICWA. The agreement will be valid for a period of 3 years.
  • The MoU aims to address the challenges and opportunities in the global arena and shared vision of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.
  • It will undertake joint studies on issues of common interest through mutually agreed modalities.

Note: ICWA is India’s premier and oldest think-tank on foreign policy and international affairs.

Indian Bank Launched “Resources Acquisition Centres” to build-up Deposit PortfolioOn 20th July 2023, the Indian Bank, India’s 7th largest Public Sector Bank launched “Resources Acquisition Centre” (RAC) to bolster its retail deposit business portfolio, which encloses Current Deposit, Savings Bank, and Term Deposit accounts.

  • The bank plans to establish 20 RACs at Ultra Potential Centres in Phase-I to strengthen its deposit portfolio. The inaugural ceremony of the first RAC took place in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Key People:
Mahesh Kumar Bajaj, Executive Director, Indian Bank and SSP Roy, Field General Manager of Mumbai (Maharashtra) Field General Managers Office (FGMO).
Key Points:
i.The dedicated RAC team of responsive and digitally empowered relationship managers will focus on Relationship Banking, aiming to increase existing client relationships and attract potential high-value clients.
ii.The bank will target specific customer segments, such as High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs), Government/Institutional Clients, Salaried Class, Corporates, Business community, Traders, and Pensioners.
iii.The introduction of RACs is expected to deliver significant and innovative results by offering strong Relationship Banking services to both existing and potential high-value clients.
iv.The transformation roadmap of Indian bank focuses on the State-of-the-Art technology, pioneering and customized products/processes, and delivering delightful customer experiences through Relationship Banking.
About Indian Bank:
Incorporated on– March 5, 1907
Started business on– August 15, 1907
MD & CEO– Shanti Lal Jain
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Madhavarao appointed as CMD of Bharat Dynamics LimitedCommodore A Madhavarao (Retd.) assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) effective from July 19, 2023. The MoD approved his appointment till the date of his superannuation on April 30, 2026 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

  • Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd), who served as the CMD of BDL from 2019, retired from the post on 31st March 2023.
  • After Siddharth Mishra, P Radhakrishna Director (Production) assumed additional charge CMD, BDL with effect from 1st April 2023 for a period of 3 months. On 8th July Nuka Srinivasulu, Director (Finance) assumed additional charge of CMD, BDL.

About A Madhavarao:
i. Prior to this appointment, A Madhavarao held the position of Director (Technical) with additional charge of Director (Production) in BDL since January 2023.
iiHe served  as Executive  Director (Marketing) at BDL  and  Unit  Head  of  BDL Kanchanbagh Unit in Hyderabad, Telangana.
iii. In BDL, he played a significant role in developing infrastructure in BDL by taking up initiatives to enable BDL towards realization of Government of India’s ‘Atmanirbharta’ (self-reliant India).
iv. Besides BDL, he has had over 3 decades of experience in the Indian Navy.
v. He served as General Manager (Technical) at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
About Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL):
Incorporated on– 16th July 1970
Chairman & MD– A Madhavarao
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana

Vijay Sampla Resigns as Chairperson of NCSC 
On 18th July 2023, Former Union minister and senior Punjab BJP leader Vijay Sampla resigned from the post of chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).

  • Sampla has been holding the charge of NCSC chairperson since 2021.

i.He served as chairman, for the Khadi and Village Industries Board, Punjab from 2009-12.
ii.He won the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Hoshiarpur in Punjab and was the minister of state for social justice and empowerment from 2014 to 2019.
iii.In April 2022, Sampla was appointed as the chairperson of the NCSC for second time.
Note: The NCSC is a constitutional body,under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment,Government of India established to safeguard the interests of the scheduled castes (SC) in India.

IAF to get its first Airbus C295 transport aircraft in September 2023
Indian Air Force (IAF) will get its first C-295 transport aircraft in September, 2023 from Airbus and Space S.A., Spain.C295 is replacing Avro transport aircraft that procured in 1960s.

  • The C-295 has a capacity of 9 tonnes and can carry up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers. IAF will become the largest operator of the C-295.

Key points:
i.In September 2021, the Defence Ministry signed a ₹22,000-crore deal with Airbus and Space S.A., Spain, for procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft to replace the Avro aircraft in service with the IAF. As per contract, 16 aircraft would come in fly away condition, manufactured at the Airbus facility in Seville, and 40 would be manufactured in India by Airbus jointly with  Tata Advanced Systems Limited(TASL).

  • The first aircraft manufactured in India would be delivered in September 2026.

ii.Six IAF pilots and 20 technicians have been trained at the Seville facility, Jorge Tamarit, head of the C295 India programme.

American Singer & Grammy Award winner Tony Bennett  Passes Away On 21st July 2023, legendary pop &  jazz singer and recipient of 19 Grammy awards,  Tony Bennett(Anthony Dominick Benedetto or  Joe Bari) passed away at the age of 96. He was born on 3rd August 1926 in Queens, New York, United States of America(USA).
About Tony Bennett:
He received a Recording Academy (Grammy)’s  Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. He sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.

  •  In 1999, Bennett and his wife, Susan, founded Exploring the Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the role of the arts in public high school education.


  • In 2014, he made  the album ‘Cheek to Cheek’ in collaboration with Lady Gaga, becoming the oldest living act to reach the top spot in the US, breaking his record for his album Duets II in 2011.
  • In 2021, at the age of 95 years and 60 days, with the release of “Love for Sale,” his second collaboration with Gaga, as it made him the oldest person to launch a new material album, setting a Guinness World Record.

Grammy & Other Recognistion:
i.Out of 19 Grammy awards, Bennett received first Grammy for the song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” under two category (for Record of the Year and Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male). Later it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994.
ii.In 1994, his MTV Unplugged outing won Bennett a Grammy for album of the year
iii.Four of his albums were certified Platinum (given by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), including I Left My Heart in San Francisco (1962), MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett (1994), Duets: An American Classic (2006) and Duets II (2011).
iv.Other albums: ‘Because of You’(1951- first No. 1 hit ), ‘The Art of Excellence’(1986), ‘Perfectly Frank’(1992)
v.’Love for Sale’(2021) was his last studio release.
Note: Platinum is the certification awarded to music albums that have sold more than 1 million copies.
As a painter:

  • The United Nations has commissioned him for two paintings (“Peace” and “Brotherhood”) , including one for their 50th anniversary in 1995.
  • “Homage to Hockney,” is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art (Ohio, USA), and “Boy on Sailboat, Sydney Bay.” in National Arts Club(New York, USA)

As a Democrat:
i.In 1944, Tony Bennett served in the US Army during World War II, fighting in France and Germany.
ii.He was a supporter of the civil rights movement, participating in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches.

National Flag Adoption Day 2023 – July 22National Flag Adoption Day is annually observed across India on 22nd July to commemorate the day on which the Constituent Assembly adopted the tricolour flag, in its present form, as the national flag of India in 1947.
The History of the Indian National Flag:
i.Before India’s independence from the British on 15 August 1947, The meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947 adopted the National Flag of India.
ii.The flag served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter.
Features of India’s tri-colour flag: 
i.The National flag of India is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion.

  • The National Flag was first designed in 1923 by Pingali Venkayya. The initial flag design by Venkayya had only two colours – red  and green. He later added a running wheel to symbolise the progress of the Nation.

ii.In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the chakra.
iii.The chakra is designed after the wheel which is featured on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
iv.The diameter of the chakra approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
Saffron colour indicates the strength and courage of India
White indicates peace and Dharma Chakra represents truth.
Green represents fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.
In India, the term “Tricolour” or “Tiranga” refers to the Indian national flag.
The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is 2:3.
Flag Code: 
i.After 55 years of Independence, on 26th January 2002, the flag code of India was modified and allowed the citizens of India to hoist the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day and not just National days as was the case earlier.
ii.Flag Code of India, 2002, was divided into 3 parts

  • Part I of the Code contains a general description of the National Flag.
  • Part II of the Code is devoted to the display of the National Flag by members of public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc.
  • Part III of the Code relates to the display of the National Flag by Central and State governments and their organisations and agencies.

According to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 whoever destroys or disrespects or into contempt the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years, or with fine, or with both.

Pi Approximation Day 2023 – July 22  The Pi Approximation Day is annually observed on 22nd July across the globe to honour the importance of the concept of Pi in calculations, which is represented using the Greek letter ‘π’.
Why 22nd July?
i.When the date 22nd July is written in the day/month format (22/7), it looks like the fraction 22/7.
ii.The value of 22/7 approximation to 2 decimal place is 3.14.
Note: Pi Day is annually observed across the globe on 14th March to celebrate the never ending number, which denotes the Pi value when written in the (American calendar system) format (3.14).

World Brain Day 2023- July 22World Brain Day, is celebrated annually across the globe on July 22, to raise awareness about brain health and neurological disorders.2023 marks the 10th Anniversary of World Brain Day, hosted annually on July 22 by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN). 

  • The theme for World Brain Day 2023 is “Brain Health and Disability: Leave No One Behind.”
  • WFN is partnering with the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation (WFNR) to amplify the reach of the 2023 World Brain Day initiative.
  • World Brain Day 2023 will be celebrated on July 22 and it was first observed on 22nd July 2014.

History of World Brain Day:
i.22nd July was chosen as “World Brain Day” to honor the foundation of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) in 1957 in Belgium and also the crafting of WFN’s 1st constitution.

  • WFN represents over 145 national neurological societies.

ii.The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee proposed designating the 22nd of July 2014 as “World Brain Day” during the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) Council of Delegates meeting on the 22nd of September 2013.
iii.The approval to celebrate it into a annual event was given by the Board of Trustees of the Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee in February 2014.
World Brain Day is framed by five key aims:
i.Prevention: Brain disabilities can be prevented, treated and rehabilitated.
ii.Awareness: Global brain health awareness can reduce the disability associated with brain disorders.
iii.Access: Universal access to care, treatment, rehabilitation and assistive technology is essential.
iv.Education: Education increases equity for those living with brain disabilities.
v.Advocacy: Brain health is a human right that applies to everyone, everywhere.

Telangana Govt & WEF Launched ‘Saagu Baagu’ Project Phase 1 Insights ReportOn 20th July 2023, the government of Telangana & World Economic Forum (WEF) launches ‘Saagu Baagu’(agriculture advancement) project Phase 1 Insights report in Telangana, Hyderabad. The project aims to provide AI-based agritech services to farmers in Telangana.

  • The WEF report showcases the successful implementation of the pilot project launched through Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture Innovation (AI4AI) benefiting over 7,000 chilli farmers in Khammam district in Telangana.

Implementation of the Project:
The project was initiated in 2022 and is implemented by Digital Green (in consortium with three agritech startups) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About the Saagu Baagu project: 
It is a partnership between the Government of Telangana, and the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).
About Telangana:
Chief Minister- K. Chandrashekar Rao
Governor- Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan
Capital- Hyderabad

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