Current Affairs – 27 & 28 August 2023

C-DOT Launched TRINETRA on Its 40th Foundation DayTRINETRA, a comprehensive security system, was launched on the celebration of 40th Foundation Day of Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) observed on 25th  August 2023.

  • C-DOT is Telecom Research & Development(R&D) centre of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.
  • The event was inaugurated by Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State(MoS) for Communications, Government of India.

About Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT):
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Rajkumar Upadhyay
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1984

G20 TIMM adopted G20 Trade and Investment Outcome Document and Chair’s SummaryThe Group of Twenty (G20) Trade and Investment Minister’s Meeting (TIMM) was held under the India’s G20 Presidency at the Pink City of India i.e. Jaipur in Rajasthan.

  • The meeting was led by Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI).
  • The meeting concluded with the finalisation and adoption of G20 Trade and Investment Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary.

Key Points from Document:
The meet consensus on the following five deliverables which have been adopted in the Outcome Document of Trade Ministerial Meeting:
i.First deliverable involves High-Level Principles for digitalizing trade documents, encompassing 10 principles guiding effective transition to paperless trade with emphasis on security, interoperability, and inclusivity.
ii.Jaipur Call for Action was issued to improve MSMEs’ (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) information access, with plans for the International Trade Center (ITC), Genva, Switzerland to upgrade its Global Trade Helpdesk, addressing MSMEs’ information gaps with the consultation from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and World Trade Organization (WTO).
iii.Endorsement of G20 Generic Mapping Framework for Global Value Chains (GVCs), including data, analysis, and representation building blocks, along with principles to enhance GVC resilience and collaboration.
iv.Sharing of best practices on Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for professional services.
v.Recognition of the need for mutual dialogues to reduce regulatory differences and trade frictions, along with plans for a 2023 G20 Standards Dialogue to discuss regulatory practices and standards.
G20 comprises 19 countries viz. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America(USA) — and the European Union (EU).

  • The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

MoE Announces Launch of Smart India Hackathon 2023On 23rd August 2023, The Ministry of Education’s(MoE) Innovation Cell in collaboration with the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) announced the launch of the 6th edition Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2023.

  • SIH-2023 is supported by the participation of 26 Central Ministries, 6 State Ministries, and 4 Industry partners.
  • The last date for the submission of problem statements for senior SIH is September 30, 2023, whereas for Junior SIH, it is October 30, 2023.

Note:The first edition of the Smart India Hackathon was held in 2017.For the Junior category, this is the 2nd edition since it was started in 2022.
Key people:
i.Sanjay Murthy, Secretary of Higher Education, Prof. T.G. Sitharam, Chairman of AICTE, and Dr. Abhay ere, Vice Chairman of AICTE were present at the announcement event at New Delhi, Delhi.
About Smart India Hackathon 2023:
i.Smart India Hackathon 2023 is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to address critical challenges, we encounter in our everyday lives.It aims to foster a culture of product innovation and cultivate problem-solving skills among participants.
ii.The competition is set to be held in two categories.

  • SIH Junior – Class 6th-12th students.
  • SIH Senior – Higher Education Institution (HEI) students (Graduate/Post-Graduate/Doctor of Philosophy)

iii.Themes – Agriculture, FoodTech & Rural Development, Blockchain & Cybersecurity, Clean & Green Technology, Disaster Management, Fitness & Sports, Heritage & Culture, MedTech / BioTech / HealthTech, Miscellaneous, Renewable / Sustainable Energy, Robotics and Drones, Smart Automation, Smart Education, Smart Vehicles, Transportation & Logistics, Travel & Tourism and Toy.
iv.Participants can choose their problems from the collection of 239 problem statements, including 182 software challenges and 57 hardware challenges
v.The tentative dates for the grand finale of Senior SIH and Junior SIH are in the first week of November 2023 and January 2023, respectively.
Additional info:
i.UNESCO India Africa Hackathon was inaugurated at Gautam Buddha University in Uttarpradesh on November 2022.
ii.The National Cybersecurity Hackathon ‘KAVACH-2023’ was conducted by AICTE in collaboration with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BRPD), and the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) along with Ministry of Home Affairs.

  • It was launched in February 2023 and the valedictory was held in AMC Engineering College, Bengaluru on 10th August 2023.

ii.The four teams won the ‘KAVACH-2023’ including LNCT University of Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering and Business Management (Jalgaon, Maharashtra), Bhilai Institute of Technology Durg (Chhattisgarh) and Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Management (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu).

President of India Releases Postage Stamp in Memory of Dadi Prakashmani
Droupadi Murmu, The President of India, released a postage stamp in memory of Dadi Prakashmani, former chief of Brahma Kumaris, at Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The stamp was released under the ‘My Stamp’ initiative of the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications, to commemorate Dadi Prakashmani’s 16th death anniversary. Dadi passed away on 25th August 2007.

i.Dadi Prakashmani, known as Dadi Kumarka, was born in 1922 in the north Indian province of Hyderabad, Sindh (now in Pakistan). She served as the Administrative Head of Brahma Kumaris from 1969 until 2007.
ii.During her lifetime, the organization expanded from 1 country to 120 countries with over 5,000 centres and sub-centres around the world.

  • The Brahma Kumaris, officially known as the ‘Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya,’ is a global spiritual movement dedicated to personal change and world rejuvenation.
  • The organisation was founded by Prajapita Brahma in 1936 in Hyderabad, Sindh. It is now headquartered in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.

‘UPI Chalega 3.0’: NPCI Launched 3rd edition of UPI Safety Awareness Campaign
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched “UPI Chalega 3.0”, the 3rd edition of its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) Safety Awareness campaign, developed in collaboration with key stakeholders in the payments ecosystem.  The campaign aims to promote the adoption of UPI as a secure, easy, and instant mode of payment.
The campaign is designed to educate users about UPI’s various features, including UPI LITE for quick low-value transactions, UPI AUTOPAY for secure recurring payments, and UPI Interoperability for seamless money transfers across all UPI-enabled applications.

  • Aim: To drive UPI adoption and safe usage through engaging initiatives such as enhancing brand awareness of UPI, improving understanding of its features, and encouraging wider adoption among new users.
  • A dedicated microsite,, has been created to provide a comprehensive resource hub, which offers informative videos, instructional guides, details about participating banks and third-party apps, and dynamic social media updates.
  • Users can access detailed information about UPI services, enabling them to set up and use UPI LITE, UPI AUTOPAY, and UPI Interoperability.

Note: In 2020, the UPI Chalega campaign was launched under the guidance of the Financial Literacy Advisory Committee (FLAC). UPI Chalega Campaign 1.0 and 2.0 had a significant impact on the adoption and understanding of UPI, making it the preferred payment method.

India’s First AI School Launched in Kerala
On 22nd August 2023, Former President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated India’s first Artificial Intelligence (AIschool at Santhigiri Vidyabhavan in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

  • AI School was created by iLearning Engines (ILE) of the United States of America(USA) in collaboration with Vedhik eSchool which was managed by a committee of veteran professionals including former Chief Secretaries, DGPs and Vice Chancellors.

iAI School facility will be initially available to students from classes 8 to 12. The curriculum and methodology are designed in compliance with the National School Accreditation Standards, which are based on the New National Education Policy (NEP 2020).
ii.It provides coaching for competitive exams including JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) , NEET(National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), CUET(Common University Entrance Test), CLAT(Common Law Admission Test), GMAT(Graduate Management Admission Test), ILETS(International English Language Testing System).
iii. By providing digital content through the school’s website, the financial burdens on parents will be reduced.

RBI raises Small Value Payment Transaction Limit in Offline Mode to Rs 500i.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the upper limit for offline transactions to Rs 500 from Rs 200 w.e.f. August 24, 2023, following its announcement during the bi-monthly policy review on August 10, 2023.
ii.However, overall limit is retained at Rs 2000 to contain the risks associated with relaxation of two-factor authentication.
iii.The information for the same was provided by RBI under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).
iv.Offline digital payments are Internet-free transactions, often for small amounts, by using means like National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) and UPI (Unified Payments Interface) Lite.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Swaminathan Janakiraman, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

IRDAI Approves Amendments to Reinsurance Regulations On August 24, 2023, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), during its 123rd Authority Meeting, approved amendments to Reinsurance Regulations to enhance the business environment, and to attract more reinsurers to set up operations in India.

  • These amendments streamline the existing regulations for all insurance market participants including Indian insurers, Indian reinsurers, Foreign Reinsurance Branches (FRBs), and International Financial Services Centre(IFSC) Insurance Offices (IIOs).
  • This will also position India as a key global reinsurance center.

Key Amendments:
i.The amendments include a reduction of the minimum capital requirement for FRBs from Rs 100 Crore to Rs 50 Crore, with the provision to repatriate any excess assigned capital.

  • The decrease in the capital requirement for overseas reinsurers will increase the number of reinsurers operating within India.

ii.The order of preference for various categories has also been simplified from six to four levels. These levels are as follows:

  • Category 1: This includes Indian Reinsurers, with the sole Indian reinsurer being GIC Re.
  • Category 2: IIOs, which invest 100% of retained premiums within India’s domestic market, as well as FRBs.
  • Category 3: Encompasses other International Insurers and Intermediaries.
  • Category 4: It includes other Indian insurers and Cross Border Reinsurers (CBRs) for per-risk facultative placements within the registered insurer’s business segment.

iii.The format for reinsurance programmes has been simplified, and regulatory reporting requirements have been rationalised for increased clarity and effectiveness.
iv.The regulatory framework for IIOs has been aligned with International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) regulations to remove dual compliance.
Focus Areas of Amendments:
i.To expand reinsurance sector capacity to meet rising demand and handle bigger risks.
ii.To boost industry expertise to encourage excellence and innovation.
iii.To ease compliance obligations for sector entities, enhancing regulatory navigation efficiency.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
It is a statutory body formed under an Act of Parliament, i.e., Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDAI Act 1999) .It is a public authority as defined in the Right to Information Act, 2005
Chairman– Debasish Panda
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana
Establishment– 2000

IIT Bombay Partners with HSBC to Support Innovation-led Green Hydrogen InitiativesThe Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, (Mumbai) Maharashtra has partnered with HSBC to pursue technological advancements towards making green hydrogen production more efficient, cost-effective, and scalable.

  • This partnership will help boost the Indian government’s National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) focused on providing policy support towards achieving global leadership in green hydrogen transition.

This partnership was unveiled by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance at Delhi on August 24, 2023.
Key People:
Prof. Ravindra D. Gudi, IIT Bombay, Group Chairman, HSBC, Mark Tucker; CEO, HSBC India, Hitendra Dave; Global Head of Philanthropy & Head of Sustainability, HSBC India,  Aloka Majumdar among others were present during the event.
About Partnership:
i.The IIT Bombay and HSBC partnership will boost IIT researchers and students to create innovative solutions to address challenges in green hydrogen technology. The initiative involves project proposals from IIT Bombay, assessed by a steering committee including HSBC India representatives and professors, potentially leading to incubation for the top submissions.
ii.India’s MGHM targets 5 MMT (Million Metric Tons)  annual green hydrogen production by 2030, contributing 125 GW (Giga Watt) renewable energy capacity and aiding the country’s net-zero emissions goal.
IIT Bombay has received a donation of USD 18.6 million for Green Energy and Sustainability Research Hub
IIT Bombay has received an USD 18.6 million donation from an alumnus to establish a Green Energy and Sustainability Research Hub, which will redefine the institute’s role in tackling the global climate crisis.
The hub will be located within a state-of-the-art academic building on the IIT Bombay campus in suburban Powai.
Focus Areas:
It will focus on vital aspects such as assessing climate risks, devising mitigation strategies, climate adaptation, and environmental monitoring. It also aims to promote renewable energy adoption, efficient technologies, and research in key domains like battery tech, solar energy, biofuels, clean air, flood forecasting, and carbon capture. The center will provide tailored industry education and foster collaborations with global universities and corporations.

RBI approves the amalgamation of Akola Merchant Co-operative Bank Limited with Jalgaon Peoples Co-operative Bank Limited The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) sanctioned the Scheme of Voluntary Amalgamation of Akola (Maharashtra) based Akola Merchant Co-operative Bank Limited with Jalgaon (Maharashtra) based The Jalgaon Peoples Co-operative Bank Limited. Both of the banks are Urban Co.operative Banks(UCB).

  • The authority is granted under Sub-Section (4) of Section 44A read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

After Amalgamation:
i.The Scheme of Amalgamation will come into force with effect from 28th  August, 2023.
ii.Following the amalgamation, the branches of Akola Merchant Co-operative Bank Ltd., will function as branches of  The Jalgaon Peoples Co-operative Bank Ltd.
About Amalgamation guidelines:
i.RBI has the authority to approve the voluntary amalgamation of Co.operative banks based on its discretion.
ii.The Amalgamation was based on a comprehensive framework notification of RBI released in 2021, named Master Direction – Amalgamation of Urban Cooperative Banks, Directions, 2020.
RBI may consider proposals for merger or amalgamation of urban cooperative banks (UCBs) under three circumstances.
About Jalgaon Peoples Co-operative Bank Limited:
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Rohit Pandurang Bhujbal
Headquarters – Jalgaon, Maharashtra
Established in  – 1933

Frontier Markets Joined with Airtel Payments Bank and Mastercard Partner, Launched ‘She Leads Bharat: Udyam
Frontier Markets, a Social Commerce Platform, in collaboration with Airtel Payments Bank and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth launched an initiative ‘She Leads Bharat: Udyam’ . The announcement was made at the 1st edition of Asia Inclusive Growth Forum.

  • The initiative aims to elevate 1,00,000 women-owned small businesses in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • This  is a first-of-its-kind initiative that brings together the private sector,social enterprise, and philanthropy in the banking, financial services, and insurance sector.
  • This initiative focuses on showcasing a digital-first approach to empower women-owned small businesses, enabling them to enhance their earnings.

Role of Frontier Markets’:
Frontier Markets will implement the program and utilize its team of Saral Jeevan Sahelis, who are women entrepreneurs. Their role involves identifying and enrolling women-owned small businesses onto the Meri-Saheli platform.
i.In the first phase, the initiative will enable 1,00,000 women-owned small businesses to learn and earn via Frontier Markets’ proprietary, flexible Meri-Saheli platform.
ii.Frontier Markets aims to reach 1 million women and 100 million rural households by 2025.

  • Saral Jeevan Sahelis – Frontier Markets, has a network of 32,000+ rural women entrepreneurs called “Saral Jeevan Sahelis”.
  • Meri-Saheli tech platform, the first of its kind vernacular, Artificial intelligent (AI)-voice enabled tech platform designed by Sahelis to support rural markets.

Role of Airtel Payment Bank:
i.Selective 10,000 women business owners  will be made as Business Correspondence (BCs) by Airtel Payments Bank.
ii.This initiative is in alignment with the Airtel Payment Bank’s vision of ‘Empowering India with Accessible and Inclusive Banking.’
Role of Mastercard:
i.Mastercard through its Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth program will provide capital and global expertise.
ii.The funding of the project will be provided by Mastercard Impact Fund.
About Frontier Markets:
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Ajaita Shah
Headquarters – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Established in –  2011
About Airtel Payment Bank:
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)  – Anubrata Biswas
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 2017

Antler Launched India’s First ONDC-Centric Venture Platform Antler ONDC for Indian Start-up Founders
Antler India, a Venture Capital (VC) firm launched India’s first Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)-focussed venture platformAntler ONDC, to provide resources, an expert network, community, and capital to start-up founders building on ONDC. The platform aims to increase talent density and enable opportunities on ONDC and is also set to democratise e-commerce in India. It will also support pre-team and pre-idea founders to build on ONDC.

  • The platform has been created in partnership with Nandan NilekaniCo-founder and Chairman of the Infosys Board; Foundation for Interoperability in Digital Economy (FIDE) (Beckn Protocol), and ONDC.
  • The new programme offers UDS 300,000 pre-seed capital and a potential extra investment of up to USD 200,000 from Antler network partners, including unicorn founders, for prepared teams with ideas,
  • The Antler India offers a unique solution, helping aspiring entrepreneurs find cofounders and raise funding in a span of 3 months, will also support founders building on ONDC to scale up.

NASA & SpaceX Launched International Crew-7 Astronaut Mission to ISSOn 26th August 2023, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully launched the international Crew-7 astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS).The agency’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission is the seventh commercial crew rotation mission for NASA.

  • The 4 astronauts of the Crew-7 mission lifted off atop a brand-new SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, the United States of America (USA).
  • The Crew-7 team will ride on the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, Endurance, which is a trained spaceflight, that previously completed missions as part of SpaceX’s Crew-3 and Crew-5 missions to the ISS.
  • The journey from Earth to the ISS is estimated to take nearly 30 hours.

The Crew:
A crew of 4 astronauts from 4 different (countries’) space agencies is a rare occurrence in the history of spaceflight and is the most international crew to fly with SpaceX to date and are:
i.Commanding Crew -7 is NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, who is making her first spaceflight,  and is now the 2nd Iranian-American to fly to space, after Anousheh Ansari;
ii.European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Andreas Mogensen, from Denmark,serves as Crew-7’s pilot, and he’s the first ESA astronaut to hold that title as part of a Dragon crew.
iii.Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Konstantin Borisov, of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are flying as Crew-7 mission specialists.

  • Crew-7 will join the space station’s Expedition 69 crew of NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, and Frank Rubio, as well as UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin, and Andrey Fedyaev. For a short time, the number of crew aboard the space station will increase to 11 until Crew-6 members Bowen, Hoburg, Alneyadi, and Fedyaev return to Earth a few days later.

Key Points:
i.The Falcon 9’s first stage shut down and separated from the upper stage approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the launch.
ii.The booster then performed a boost-back engine burn for a return to Earth, which was also achieved.
iii.The Falcon 9’s first stage touched down at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in the USA. It was the first launch and landing for this particular booster.
About Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX):
President and Chief Operating Officer– Gwynne Shotwell
Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder– Elon Musk
Headquarters– Hawthorne, California, the USA
Founded in– 2002

PM Modi Declared August 23 as “National Space Day” to marks Chandrayaan-3’s successOn 26th August 2023, Prime Minister (PMNarendra Modi declared that 23rd August of every year will be observed as “National Space Day” in India to commemorate the soft landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the Moon.

  • The announcement was made while addressing the team of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Scientists at the ISRO Telemetry Tracking & Command Network Mission Control Complex (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

PM Narendra Modi also announced that the spot, where, the moon lander of Chandrayaan-3, landed on the lunar surface will be known as ‘Shivshakti’ Point. He also announced that the point on the Moon where Chandrayaan-2 crash landed in 2019 will be called Tiranga Point‘.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman– S. Somanath
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Formed on– August 15, 1969

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