Current Affairs – 5 August 2023

MoE Dharmendra Pradhan & MEA S. Jaishankar jointly launch SII; MoE chose OCI to modernize DIKSHAi.On August 3, 2023, the Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE), and Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) jointly launched Study in India (SII) Portal which is an integrated one-stop solution for international student registration and visa application process.
ii.It was launched during an event in New Delhi, Delhi.
iii.This portal is guided by National Education Policy (NEP).
iv.On August 2, 2023, MoE selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to modernize the national education technology platform Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA). This means, DIKSHA is transformed and migrated onto OCI under a multi-year collaboration agreement between both entities.

  • DIKSHA was an initiative of NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) under Minister of Education(MoE) in India.

About Ministry of Education(MoE):
Union Minister– Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)– Annpurna Devi; Dr. Subhas Sarkar; Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh

DPE upgrades the Status of OIL as ‘Maharatna CPSE‘ and OVL as ‘Navratna CPSEOn 3rd August 2023, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) under the Ministry of Finance, upgraded the status of 2 oil sector Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) namely Oil India Limited (OIL) and ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL). The status of OIL and OVL has been upgraded to the status of Maharatna and Navratna CPSEs respectively. Earlier OIL was a ‘Navratna’ CPSE, while OVL was a Categry-I Miniratna‘ CPSE.

  • OIL, the second-largest National Exploration & Production (E&P) Company in India, now will be the 13th Maharatna amongst the CPSEs.
  • OVL, the wholly owned subsidiary and overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), and the second largest petroleum company of India, now will be 14th Navratna amongst the CPSEs.

About Oil India Private Limited (OIL):
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)– Dr. Ranjit Rath
Headquarters– Duliajan,Assam
Incorporated on– 18th February 1959

President Droupadi Murmu Inaugurated Unmesha 2023 Utkarsha Festival in Madhya PradeshOn 4th August 2023, President of India Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the Unmesha’ – International Literature Festival and Utkarsh’ – National Festival of Folk and Tribal Performing Arts to promote inclusivity and cultural diversity at Ravindra Bhavan in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

  • The event, which will take place from 3rd–5th August 2023, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, is organized by the Madhya Pradesh Department of Culture in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Sahitya Akademi of the Union Ministry of Culture.
  • The function was also addressed by Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

i.‘Utkarsh’ celebrates the rich expressions of folk and tribal traditions in India.
ii.Artists from Madhya Pradesh and other states will give colorful programs every evening during Utkarsha, the festival of expressions and a celebration of the progress of tribal society.
Unmesha 2023:
i.The ‘Unmesha’ festival is a 3-day international literary gathering.
ii.It is India’s most inclusive and Asia’s largest literature festival in terms of the number of languages represented.

  • It is also on track to overtake other festivals as the biggest literary event in the world.

iii.More than 575 authors in 102 languages are expected to participate in over 75 events in ‘Unmesha 2023’.
iv.Writers from 13 countries will participate in the festival.
v.The President meant Unmesh as the opening of eyes and the flowering of flowers.

Note: This will be the 2nd edition of ‘Unmesha’. The first event was held in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh in June 2022.
Other programs during the event:
i.A cultural exhibition of more than 1000 artists depicting the spirit of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” is organized.
ii.Book exhibition by Sahitya Academy, cultural presentations by tribal communities and group discussions on devotion, cinema and tribal literature will also be showcased during the festival.

Fortune Global 500 list of 2023: Walmart tops the list followed by Saudi Aramco and State GridOn 2nd August 2023, Fortune, a global media organisation released the Fortune Global 500 list of 2023, an annual ranking of the largest 500 corporations across the world as measured by total revenue for fiscal 2022. Walmart tops the list for the 10th consecutive year, followed by Saudi Aramco and State Grid in the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. It was Fortune’s 34th Global 500 list since 1989.

  • Walmart, an American (United States of America (US)) Retail and Wholesale company with USD 611.3 billion in revenue; Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian (United Arab Emirates (UAE)) Mining and Crude-Oil Production company with USD 603 billion; and State Grid, a Beijing (China)-based power company owned by the Government of China with USD 530 billion in the 3rd position.
  • Reliance Industries, led by Billionaire Mukesh Ambani featured in the Fortune Global 500 list of 2023 ,holds a rank at number 88.
  • Saudi Aramco (also known as Saudi Arabian Oil Company), is one of the largest integrated energy and chemicals companies in the world in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranked 2nd in the annual list of Fortune Global 500 list of 2023 and it has emerged as the most profitable company ever on the list, earning USD 159 billion in the fiscal year 2022.

About Fortune 500

  • Fortune 500 companies are ranked by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine.
  • The concept of the Fortune 500 was created by Edgar P. Smith, a Fortune editor, and the first list was published in 1955.

IndiaFirst Life Insurance launches ‘Guarantee of Life Dreams(G.O.L.D)’ PlanOn 31st July 2023, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life), launched a new plan IndiaFirst Life Guarantee of Life Dreams (G.O.L.D.)” a non-linked, non-participating, individual life insurance plan is designed to provide policyholders with a regular long-term income option.

  • The highlight of this product is that one can plan to receive future income from the end of the first month itself.

Premium and Tenure:
The plan offers Premium Paying Terms (PPT), with options of 6 years, 8 years, and 10 years for a policy tenure of 30 years or 40 years. Receive a regular income from the end of the 10th year of the policy with the benefit of life cover

  • Pay premiums for a fixed period – 6, 8 or 10 years.
  • Receive a regular income in yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, or monthly frequency till the end of the chosen policy term, i.e., for 30 or 40 years.

What is Premium Paying Terms (PPT)?
Premium Paying Term (PPT) refers to the duration during which a policyholder needs to pay premiums for an insurance policy. It is the period within which the regular premium payments are made to keep the insurance policy in force.

  • Once the PPT is over, the policy remains active until the end of the policy term or maturity, depending on the terms of the insurance contract.

About Guarantee of Life Dreams (G.O.L.D.):
The IndiaFirst Life Guarantee of Life Dreams Plan extends three distinct choices for generating income:
i.Immediate Income Option: This option introduces a consistent and progressively increasing income stream, commencing as early as the conclusion of the first policy month. The income is disbursed monthly, ensuring a regular inflow of funds.
ii.Intermediate Income Option: With this option, policyholders enjoy regular increasing income starting from the end of the 5th policy year.
iii.Deferred Income Option: The Deferred Income Option provides a reliable and progressively increasing income source, commencing from the end of the 10th policy year. In addition, the plan incorporates two lump-sum cash back instalments, each amounting to 50 percent of the Annualised Premium. These installments are allocated at the conclusion of the 3rd policy year and the termination of the Premium Paying Term (PPT).
Eligibility Criteria:
i.Age at Entry:

  • Minimum 90 days
  • Maximum  for Premium Payment Term is 6, 8 & 10 years
  • Maximum  for Immediate income is 50 years and 55 years
  • Maximum  for Intermediate income is 50 years and 55 years
  • Maximum  for Deferred income is 50 years and 60 years

ii.Age at Maturity:

  • Minimum 30 years
  • Maximum 90 years

iii.Premium Payment Frequency – Yearly,Half Yearly,Quarterly, Monthly options are available.The minimum premium is Rs.4176 and  is no limit on maximum premium.
Additional Info
The plan offers Waiver of Premium (WOP) Rider in which future premiums are waived off in case the policyholder/ life assured suffers from death, accidental total permanent disability, or critical illnesses.
About IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life)
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Vishakha RM
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra 
Established in – 2008

IndusInd Bank and Tiger Fintech partnered to launch a co-branded credit card Powered by VisaOn 3rd August 2023, IndusInd Bank Ltd. and Tiger Fintech Private Limited, a Bajaj Capital Group company, announced the launch of the ‘IndusInd Bank Tiger Credit Card’, a co-branded credit card powered by Visa Inc (Visa), the global digital payments technology company, to give the best-in-class credit card access to the customers, to meet their lifestyle requirements.
Benefits of the card:
i.The card offers a ‘Magnificent Rewards Program’, where customers earn up to 6X accelerated rewards.
ii.Cardholders will also be able to convert their rewards points to air miles (by redeeming the reward points for flight tickets) and enjoy discounted foreign currency markup of 1.5%, which can lead to considerable savings on their international expenses.
iii.It also offers access to complimentary benefits like a 24×7 concierge facility (customers can have access to a team of personal assistants to perform various tasks), domestic and international lounge access at the airports, games/lessons of golf, assured movie tickets, and many other entertainment benefits.
iv.The benefits also include discounted fees for international transactions, with Visa’s commitment to a safe, secure, and seamless payment experience, cardholders can make secure transactions.
About IndusInd Bank Ltd:
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Sumant Kathpalia
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– We Make You Feel Richer
Established in– 1994

SEBI, APMI jointly set Standards for Performance Audit of PMS Players On August 2, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Association of Portfolio Managers in India (APMI) collaboratively established performance audit standards for portfolio management services (PMS) providers, effective from October 1, 2023.

  • This information by SEBI is provided in exercise  of  powers  conferred  under  Section  11(1)  of  the SEBI Act, 1992, read with the provisions of Regulation 43 of SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 2020, to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of the securities market.

Standard Terms of Reference by APMI:
i.APMI, in consultation with Sebi, will set standardized Terms of Reference (ToR) for auditing firm-level performance data. It will mandate portfolio managers to include all client portfolios in the audit process.
ii.According to the new standards, Portfolio Managers need to submit two reports to SEBI related to the firm-level performance data within 60 days after each financial year ends.

  • The first report is a “confirmation of compliance” with the requirement of an annual audit of the firm-level performance data. Portfolio Managers need to ensure that they have conducted the necessary audit as per the specified standard and submit this confirmation to SEBI within sixty days from the end of each financial year.
  • The second report is required to submit the actual “audit report” on firm-level performance data to SEBI within 60 days from the end of each financial year.The report contains the findings and results of the audit conducted on the firm-level performance data which includes detailed information about the assessment and evaluation of the portfolio manager’s performance data during the financial year.

iii.The performance of advisory clients may be excluded from the audit if it has not been published in any marketing material or website.
Click Here for Official Circular
About Securities and Exchange Board of India ( SEBI):
Chairperson -Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 12 April 1992

SEBI Allows OFS for Units of Private Listed InvITs via Stock Exchange

SEBI also allowed Offer For Sale (OFS) for units of private listed Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvlTsthrough a stock exchange mechanism. This information by SEBI is provided in exercise of powers conferred under  Section  11(1)  of  the SEBI Act, 1992.

  • Offer For Sale (OFS) mechanism is allowed for the sale of units of both Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) by their respective sponsors or sponsor group entities. Additionally, other unit holders of listed REITs can also use the OFS mechanism to sell their units.
  • Now,it has been decided to modify the framework to allow OFS for units of private listed InvITs.
  • In the case of OFS for listed InvITs, the trading lot will be the same as the trading lot prescribed for such InvITs in the secondary market under SEBI’s Infrastructure Investment Trusts rules.

What is Offer for Sale (OFS) Mechanism: OFS is a method that allows existing investors (promoters, shareholders, etc.) of a company or trust to sell their securities (shares or units) to the public through the stock exchange platform.
About Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs): 
InvITs are investment vehicles that pool money from investors to invest in income-generating infrastructure projects such as roads, highways, power plants, etc. These trusts are listed on stock exchanges, and their units can be bought and sold like shares.
InvITs Units 
i.There are two types of InvITs based on their issuance: privately placed and publicly offered. 

  • Privately placed InvITs have the flexibility to invest in a mix of under-construction assets, which are still being developed, and completed and revenue-generating assets that are generating income.
  • Publicly offered InvITs, on the other hand, mainly focus on investing in completed and revenue-generating assets, providing stable cash flows to investors from the outset.

What is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): REITs are similar to InvITs but invest in income-generating real estate assets like commercial properties, office spaces, shopping malls, etc. REITs are also listed on stock exchanges, allowing investors to trade their units.

India to grow at average 6.7% per year from FY24 to FY31: S&P GlobalAs per the an United States based corporation S&P Global’s report titled ‘Look Forward: India’s Moment’, India will grow at an average 6.7% per year from financial year 2023-24 (FY24) to FY31. This will increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India to USD($)6.7 trillion from $3.4 trillion in FY23.The per Per capita GDP will rise to about $4,500.

  • For FY24, India will be the fastest growing economy in the G20 (Group of Twenty) and will grow by 6% amid global slowdown and policy rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • India shows a GDP growth of 7.2% in FY23.
  • The report projected India’s economic growth from FY24 to FY31.

Key Points:
i.The Indian private sector will drive India’s economic growth with projected capital contribution of around 53% of the projected 6.7% average GDP growth until 2030.
ii.Increasing the participation of women in the labor force will be crucial for future growth since only 24% were participating in 2022.
iii.India has an opportunity to boost its share of global manufacturing exports, and the government aims to raise manufacturing’s contribution to GDP from 17.7% to 25% by 2025.
iv.The development of digital infrastructure is also a potential growth driver of Indian economy.
v.India’s  total energy demand to double by 2050.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba Granted 1-Year Extension
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved a one-year extension to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, by making him the longest-serving cabinet secretary in India’s history. This marks his third extension in the position.

  • The extension for a further period of one year goes beyond August 30th, 2023 in relaxation of All India Services (AIS) (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits or DCRB) Rules, 1958 and Rule 56 (d) of the Fundamental Rules.

About Rajiv Gauba:
i.Rajiv Gauba, born on 15th August 1959 in Punjab, India, is a 1982-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Jharkhand cadre.
ii.He was appointed as India’s cabinet secretary in 2019 for a two-year term. Subsequently, he received one-year extensions in 2021 and in August 2022.
i.Prior to Gauba, B D Pande held the record for being the longest-serving cabinet secretary, serving from November 2, 1972, to March 31, 1977.
ii.The administrative head of the Secretariat is the Cabinet Secretary who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board.

Societe Generale Bought Bandhan Bank Ltd. Shares For Rs 382 Cr
On 31st July 2023, Europe-based financial services group Societe Generale bought shares of Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank Ltd. for Rs 382 crore through open market transactions.

  • According to the bulk deal data available with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE), Societe Generale has acquired a total of 1.74 crore equity shares or 1.08 percent stake in Bandhan Bank of which 89.23 lakh shares were bought on the NSE and 85.52 lakh shares on the BSE.

The average buying price for the above shares was Rs 218.6 per share, and the stake buy amounted to Rs 382.01 crore.

Indian Air Force receives Israel’s Spike Non Line of Sight MissilesIndian Air Force (IAF) received air-launched Spike Non Line of Sight (NLOS) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles(ATGM) from Israel which can hit targets upto 50 km from a helicopter and 32 km from the ground.

  • The NLOS missiles will be integrated with the fleet of Russian-origin Mi-17V5 helicopters, manufactured by Kazan Helicopters

Key features of Spike Non Line of Sight (NLOS)missiles:
i.It was designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
ii.It is available in various configurations, including man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.
iii.Utilizes a fire-and-forget system with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance features.
iv.The long and extended range versions of the Spike introduce the “Fire, Observe and Update” operating mode.
v.Air-launched SPIKE NLOS ATGMs are capable of executing precise strikes against ground targets from standoff distances.
vi.Demonstrates the ability to inflict significant damage to enemy tank regiments and effectively halt their advances.
vii.It has the highest level of survivability due to stand-off range and passive guidance.
viii. It enables the handling of Anti-access/area denial (A2AD) targets

Increased production of missiles through “Make-in-India”:

  • A limited quantity of Spike NLOS ATGMs has been placed on order.
  • There is intent to produce a more substantial amount of these missiles through the “Make-in-India” approach.

About Israel:
Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu
President – Isaac Herzog
Capital – Jerusalem
Currency – New Israeli Shekel (NIS)

India’s indigenous Nag ATGM and Helina Dhruvastra Missiles Set to Join Indian Armed ForcesIndia’s indigenous Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) and the variant of HELINA (Helicopter-launched NAG) Weapon System called ‘Dhruvastra’ are set to be inducted into the Indian army and Indian Air Force (IAF) after clearing all the trials.

  • Both the Nag ATGM and Helina (Dhruvastra) missiles are developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited(BDL).
  • Nag is the surface-to-air missile and Dhruvastra is the air-to-surface missile.

About Nag ATGM:
i.NAG also known as Prospina, is a third generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile with Fire and Forget top attack capability.

  • Nag ATGM developed under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), which also includes four other missiles—Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.

ii.The Nag has an operational range of up to 4 km and is armed with a tandem High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead.
iii.Nag ATGM measures approximately 1.834 meters in length, has a diameter of 0.158 meters, and weighs around 44 kilograms.
About Helina (Dhruvastra):
i.Helina is an Air to Surface Missile system launched from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).ALH is fitted with two Twin launchers, one on each side, each carrying eight missiles.
ii.It has the operational range up to 7km and length of 1.946m, and a diameter of 0.150m.
iii.It has a High Resolution Imaging Infrared Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch(LOBL) mode and capable of automatic target detection and tracking in adverse weather conditions.
In 2022, DRDO has successfully flight tested at high-altitude ranges as part of user validation trials.

Italy’s World Cup Winning Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon Retires from FootballOn 2nd August 2023, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon(45 years old) announced his retirement from football. He was part of the Federation Internationale de Football Association(FIFA) World Cup winning Italian team in 2006 in Germany (against France).

  • He retired from international football in 2018 after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

About Gianluigi Buffon:
i.He was born on 28th January 1978 in Carrara, Italy.
ii.He made his professional debut with Serie B club Parma Calcio 1913(Serie B is the second highest division of Football in Italy) at the age of 17 in 1995.

  • He won Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and Italian Supercoppa with Parma.

iii.In 2001, he joined Italy’s Juventus Football club and won the 10 ‘Serie A’ titles and a Serie B title.
iv.He moved to Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain F.C in 2018 and won his only Ligue 1 title.
v.He holds the record of most caps for Italy with 176 appearances in international matches.
i.He was awarded the FIFA’s best men’s Goalkeeper award in 2017.He earned nicknames including ‘superman’ and ‘Gigi’.
ii.He was also the first ever goalkeeper to win the Golden Foot Award in 2016.
iii.He was part of the FIFPro World11 three times(2006,2007,2017).

  • The FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 is comprised of the best 11 men’s players from around the globe.
  •  FIFPRO is the Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels(International Federation of Professional Footballers).

SMSES Signed An MoU With AIFF To Promote Football 
On 2nd August 2023, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society (SMSES) to promote and elevate youth football in India at a formal function in Air Force Station in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The MoU was signed by Air Vice Marshal Alok Sharma, VM VSM, ACAS (Org & Cer) as a member, SMSES and Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Secretary General, AIFF.
  • The Air Force Sports Control Board conducts the tournament from 1994, priorly it was done by Durand football tournament committee

Note: The Subroto Cup International Football Tournament is an inter-school football tournament held annually in New Delhi, India from 1960.
Key points:
i.Under the MoU, SMSES will field a Subroto XI team in the AIFF’s youth competitions, comprising players from various age categories of the Subroto Cup.

ii.The selected players will gain direct entry into the AIFF Youth Leagues for both boys and girls from the 2023-24 season onwards and a one-time cash scholarship of Rs 25,000/- will be awarded to each of the 25 identified players in the U-17 Boys and Girls categories, while the Sub-Junior (U-14) category players will receive Rs 15,000/- each.
iii.These players will also be assessed using an IT-assisted Talent Development Scheme and may have the opportunity to attend National Team training camps in their respective age categories.
iv.The AIFF will encourage Indian Super League(ISL), I-League, and Indian Women’s League (IWL) clubs to send their scouts to the Subroto Cup matches. It will assist SMSES in the age detection of players using the TW3 method.

Padma Bhushan Awardee N Vittal Passed Away
On 3rd August 2023, Nagarajan Vittal, a Padma Bhushan awardee and a former Civil Servant passed away.
About Nagarajan Vittal:
Vittal, who was born on 31st January 1938 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is a 1960 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Gujarat Cadre.
He has held the appointments of,

  • Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Government of Gujarat;
  • Additional Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India;  Secretary, Department of Electronics, Government of India;
  • Chairman, Telecom Commission and Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, Government of India;
  • Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board and before retirement, his last appointment was as Central Vigilance Commissioner.

Achievements during his career:
Revival of the Kandla Free Trade Zone, Opening of the Dahej Port in Gujarat, Emergence of the Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertiliser Company (GNFC) and setting up of educational institutions and government organizations.
Books authored:
He has written more than 400 articles on various subjects and his published works include:

  • India Incorporated: Reflections on the Indian Electronics Industry (1994),
  • The Viscious Cycle of Vittal’s Law (1994),
  • The Red Tape Guerrilla(1995),
  • Fighting Corruption and Restructuring Government (2000), and Information Technology: India’s Tomorrow (2000).

He has edited Export Processing Zones in Asia -Some Dimensions published by Asian Productivity Organization (1977).
Awards & honors:

  • Dataquest IT Man of the Year 1993
  • The Great Son of the Soil Award 1998 by All India Conference of Intellectuals
  • H H Sri Paramacharya Man of the Year Award (2000), awarded by the Centenarian Trust, Chennai. (April 2001)
  • He received Padma Bhushan in the discipline of Civil Service by the Government of India in 2012.
  • He is the Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE).

He is included in the list of “Fifty men and women who shaped the economy” in the fifty years after India’s independence by the Business Today magazine (August 1997).

Assam CM Launched Amrit Brikshya Andolan app & Theme Song, Wood-Based Industries Registration PortalOn 2nd August 2023, Assam Chief Minister(CM) Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the Amrit Brikshya Andolan web portal/mobile application, the theme song for the Amrit Brikshya Andolan and the Wood-based Industry (WBI) registration web portal at the event held at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati, Assam.
Amrit Brikshya Andolan:
i.It is a massive tree plantation drive that aims to plant one crore commercial saplings across Assam on 17th September 2023 which provides a major boost to Assam’s green economy and will help against climate change and also increase the income of Assam’s farmers.

  • The Government of Assam aims to plant 3 crore commercially-viable saplings in 2024 and increase the target to 5 crore saplings in 2025.

ii.During the plantation drive, 40 lakh members of women Small Help Groups(SHG) from Assam will plant two saplings each, totaling 80 lakh and the rest, over 20 lakh, will be planted by Anganwadi workers, tea garden workers, government officials, police, forest battalions, and the public.
iii.By registering on the “Amrit Brikshya Andolan” app or portal, individuals can collect saplings from distribution stations, planting them and uploading geo-tagged pictures. A reward of Rs 100 will be credited to their bank accounts, with an additional Rs 200 given if the sapling survives for three years after being planted on 17th September 2023.
iv.The initiative strategically emphasizes agroforestry and Tree Outside Forest (ToF), fostering sustainable land use and economic diversification.
v.Plantation includes 23 valuable species like Teak, Boga Chandan, Agaru, Gamari, Hollock, Tita Sopa, and Bogi Poma. These offer economic potential and opportunities for local communities to enhance their livelihoods.
Website for registration of the Wood-based Industry (WBI):
i.A website for registration of the WBI was also launched for ease of doing business in the sector.
ii.The portal was launched for the implementation of the Assam WBI  (Promotion and Development) Rules 2022.
iii.It helps to streamline the functioning of the WBI in Assam and increase employment opportunities.
iv.The Assam Wood-based Industries (Promotion & Development) Rules 2022, replacing the earlier Assam Wood-based Industries (Establishment & Regulation) Rules of 2000, aim to foster the growth of indigenous wood-based industries.
About Assam:
Chief Minister- Himanta Biswa Sarma
Governor- Gulab Chand Kataria
Airport- Silchar Airport, Tezpur Airport
Festival- Bohag Bihu, Kati Bihu

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