Cabinet Approval on June 7, 2023On June 07, 2023, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the following proposals.
i.Approved the third revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) with a total outlay of Rs 89,047.82 crore that includes allotment of 4G/5G spectrum through equity infusion.
ii.Approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2023-24.
iii.The cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi also approved the continuation of the central sector plan ‘Exploration of Coal and Lignite scheme’ with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,980 crore with extension of time period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 co-terminus with the 15th Finance Commission cycle.
iv.Union Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi also approved Metro Connectivity from HUDA City Centre to Cyber City with Spur to Dwarka Expressway, Gurugram (Haryana) covering the distance of 28.50 km having 27 stations on the route.
Highlights of US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to India from June 4 to 5 2023United States (US) Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was on a two-day visit to India from June 4 to 5, 2023, to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between both nations, especially in areas of transfer of critical technologies for co-development of military hardware.
- It is Defence Secretary Austin’s second visit to India and his previous trip to India was held in March 2021.
i.Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence, Government of India and Lloyd Austin discussed General Electric’s proposal to share technology with India for fighter jet engines and New Delhi’s plan to procure 30 MQ-9B armed drones at a cost of over USD 3 billion from US’s General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
ii.On June 05, 2023, India and the US concluded a roadmap for defence industrial cooperation to fast-track technology tie-ups and co-production of military platforms such as air combat and land systems.
iii.The US defence secretary also had separate talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and he exchanged views about regional and global security issues of concern, including maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
About United States(US):
Capital – Washington, D.C.
Currency – United States dollar (USD)
President – Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
Meta & MWCD launched Amrit Generation Campaign to Empower Youths
Meta (formerly known as Facebook) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) launched the Amrit Generation campaign to empower and engage the youth of India (age group of 16-18 years) to express their aspirations and dreams for the future. The campaign starts from 8th June 2023.
- The campaign was launched by Union Minister Smriti Irani, MWCD on 7th June 2023.
- The campaign invites youths to showcase their creativity and share their aspirations by creating Reels on Instagram and Facebook using the #Amrit Generation.
- 50 shortlisted entries will be invited to New Delhi (Delhi) to interact with senior policymakers and industry leaders and will also get an opportunity to visit the Meta office in Gurugram (Haryana).
IEA report: Global Renewable Capacity Additions to increase by 107 GW in 2023 According to Renewable Energy Market Update – June 2023 of International Energy Agency (IEA), the Global renewable capacity additions are set to increase by 107 gigawatts (GW), the largest absolute increase ever, to more than 440 GW in 2023.
- The growth in renewable capacity is fueled by the expanding policy support, growing energy security concerns and improving competitiveness against fossil fuel alternatives.
- India’s renewable capacity additions are expected to increase again in 2023 and 2024, owing to faster onshore wind, hydropower and distributed solar PV deployment.
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Executive Director– Dr. Fatih Birol
Headquarters- Paris, France
BCI Signs MoU With Bar Council Of England & Wales For Mutual Exchange Program Of Lawyers & Law Students
On June 5, 2023, The Bar Council of India (BCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Law Society of England and Wales for an exchange programme of Lawyers and Law Students for mutual exchange of training & learning amongst each others jurisdiction.
- The MoU follows BCI’s commitment to implement the regulations to permit the practice of home jurisdiction law by English and Welsh lawyers and law firms in India.
- The MoU was signed by Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman of BCI, Lubna Shuja, President of Law Society of England and Wales and Nick Vineall KC, Chair of the Bar of England and Wales in the Meeting Hall of the Law Society of England and Wales, in London, the United Kingdom(UK).
- The lawyers recommended by the Bar Council of India shall have no right to practise in the UK in terms of the MOU.
Bond issuances by banks to fall below Rs 90,000cr in FY24: ICRA ReportAccording to the ICRA report on Indian Banking Sector, Bond issuances by banks are projected to decrease to Rs 90,000 crore in FY24 from a record high of Rs 1.1 lakh crore in FY23. This is attributed to improved liquidity conditions and increased inflows from foreign investors.
- Banks issue bonds as a means to secure funding and strengthen their capital base.
Reason behind the expected decrease in bond issuances:
Stronger foreign institutional investor (FII)/foreign portfolio investment (FPI) inflows, derecognition of the Rs 2,000 note, and a potential dividend from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are anticipated to alleviate liquidity conditions temporarily.
i.Regarding Tier-I or Additional Tier I (ATI) bonds, issuances are projected to be lower than the levels observed between FY2022 and FY2023, estimated at Rs 30,000-33,400 crore due to lower scheduled call options .
- Public sector banks (PSBs) will remain larger issuers of tier-I bonds in the current financial year.
- ATI bonds are unsecured bonds with no pre-determined maturity date, and are issued to raise long-term capital.
ii.There will be a slight increase in outstanding Tier-I bonds, which are expected to reach Rs 1.3 lakh crore by March 2024 compared to Rs 1.2 lakh crore as of March 2023.
iii.As for Tier-II bonds, a moderation is expected after the peak observed in FY23, which amounted to Rs 49,600 crore. However, some banks may still opt to raise infrastructure bonds.
iv.According to the latest RBI’s money market operation data, liquidity surplus has risen from around Rs 56,000 crore to Rs 2.11 lakh crore.
Tata Group retains 1st Position as India’s Most Valuable Brand: INDIA 100 2023 Brand Finance Reporti.The brand valuation firm Brand Finance released its INDIA 100 2023: The annual report on the most valuable and strongest Indian brands- June 2023 report in which the Tata Group has retained its 1st position as India’s most valuable brand at $26,381 Million in 2023.
ii.It has shown a growth at 10.3% as compared to 2022.
iii.This is the first time that an Indian brand has breached the brand value mark of $25 billion.
iv.Tata is followed by the Infosys at $13 billion and LIC at $9.8 billion at 2nd and 3rd position respectively. Both also retained their position as 2022.
v.Mahindra Group is fastest growing brand amongst the top ten as it performed exceptionally well in FY23 with record profits crossing Rs 10,000 crore for the first time on revenues of Rs 1,21,269 crore.
vi.Taj is India’s strongest brand for the second consecutive year with Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.4 out of 100 and a corresponding elite AAA brand strength rating.
About Brand Finance:
Chairman– David Haigh
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom (UK)
Jagdish Bakan, Ramanathapuram DFO, wins UNESCO’s 2023 Michel Batisse Award Jagdish Sudhakar Bakan, wildlife warden and District Forest Officer (DFO) of Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu (TN) has been selected for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s 2023 Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management.
- He is the first Indian to win Michel Batisse Award.
About Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management:
The award was established in 2005 and is given once every two years during the Man and the Biosphere Reserves (MAB) Programme Council, in memory of Dr.Michel Batisse, a French Scientist.
- The award will be given for outstanding achievement in management of biosphere reserves across the globe in line with the recommendations of the Seville Strategy.
The award carries a cash prize of USD 12000.
Note: The 2021 Michel Batisse Award was won by Sharon Wright of Australia for her work in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, Australia.
i. Jagdish S Bakan will deliver a lecture on his case studies at the 35th session of the International Coordinating Council of the MAB Programme organised by the UNESCO in Paris from June 12 to 15, 2023.
ii. He will receive the Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management on June 14 2023 in Paris, France.
iii. The reward of USD 12,000 will go to the Tamil Nadu State government and the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust.
Note: The Michel Batisse Award only acknowledges completed work accomplished within a Biosphere Reserve in the World Network. Case studies that concern future work will not be considered.
About Jagdish Sudhakar Bakan:
i. JagdishSudhakarBakan, 2017 batch Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer hails from Parbhani district, Maharashtra.
ii. He is currently the Director of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu.
iii. He has been chosen for the award for his work in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, which is endowed with rich marine biodiversity, including several species of fish, coral, birds, sea turtles, crustaceans.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Established in– 16 November 1945
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Indian-origin scientist Joyeeta Gupta honoured with NWO Spinoza Prize 2023On 7th June 2023, Dutch Research Council (NWO) has named Indian-origin Scientist Joyeeta Gupta, Professor of Environment and Development in the global South at the University of Amsterdam, as the recipient of the 2023 NWO Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific awards in the Netherlands, for her scientific work promoting a fair and sustainable world.
- She was honoured for her remarkably broad and interdisciplinary research approach. Her research work primarily focuses on addressing the challenges posed by climate change through good governance.
- She is the 12th researcher from the University of Amsterdam to receive the Spinoza Prize.
- NWO has named Joyeeta Gupta and Toby Kiers,Professor of Mutualistic Interactions, University Amsterdam as the recipients of the 2023 NWO Spinoza Prize.
- Bram Nauta, professor of Integrated Circuit Design at the University of Twente, and Corien Prins, professor of Law and Information Technology at Tilburg University, were named the recipients of the 2023 NWO Stevin Prizes.
About Joyeeta Gupta:
i.Joyeeta Gupta is also working as a professor of Law and Policy in Water Resources and Environment at the International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE)Delft Institute for Water Education,The Netherlands.
ii.She served as the co-chair of the Earth Commission (2019-2021), set up by Future Earth and supported by the Global Challenges Foundation. She was co-chair of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Global Environment Outlook-6 (2016-2019)
iii.She was also the lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) between 1988 and 2014, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, former United States of America (USA) Vice President.
About the NWO Spinoza Prize:
i.Spinoza Prize, named after Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), renowned Dutch scientist and philosopher, was established in 1995.
ii.The award is annually presented by the NWO to two best researchers to increase the visibility of excellent scientists and to encourage world-class research in the Netherland.
iii.Prize includes a bronze statue of Spinoza and 1.5 million euros.
About NWO Stevin Prize:
The Stevin Prize is an award and honour for researchers with international reputations who have achieved an exceptional success in the area of knowledge exchange and impact for society.
About NWO:The Dutch Research Council(NWO) is the most important science funding bodies in the Netherlands and realises quality and innovation in science
About The Netherlands:
Prime Minister– Mark Rutte
British Writer Paterson Joseph wins 2023 RSL Christopher Bland Prize
On 8th June 2023, British actor and writer Paterson Joseph has won the 2023 Royal Society of Literature(RSL) Christopher Bland Prize (5th edition of the award) for his debut novel titled “The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho”. The book is a historical fiction about Charles Ignatius Sancho, who was the first Black man to vote in England.
- The jury for RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2023: Lemn Sissay (chair), Meena Kandasamy and Simon Savidge.
- RSL Christopher Bland Prize is an annual award which honours a debut writer for their work of fiction or non-fiction, who is first published at the age of 50 or over. The award carries a cash prize of 10,000 Pound sterling.
- The Prize was launched in 2018 in memory of British Politician Sir Christopher Bland who died in 2017.
CCI approves acquisition of 4.04% shareholding in Acko Tech by GASACK
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of an additional 4.04% shareholding of Acko Technology and Services Private Limited (Acko Tech) by General Atlantic Singapore ACK Pte. Ltd. (GASACK).
- The CCI has approved the proposed combination subject to compliance with amendments jointly provided by GASACK and GAP Bermuda, LP pursuant to Regulation 19(2) of the Rules of the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in Commercial Transactions Related to Combinations), 2011.
- Acko Tech is engaged in the business of providing general (non-life) insurance through its subsidiary, Acko General Insurance Limited (Acko GI).
- General Atlantic Singapore ACK Pte (GASACK) is an investment holding company held by funds or vehicles controlled by US-based private equity firm General Atlantic.
Tata Elxsi partners with ISRO to build Crew Module Recovery Models for Gaganyaan MissionTata Elxsi, a leading global design and technology company has partnered with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to design and develop Crew Module Recovery Models (CMRM) for recovery team training of the Gaganyaan Mission.
- The project marked Tata Elxsi’s entry into mechanical design for space.
- This is the first time ISRO has outsourced the mechanical design and development work to an external partner for a critical system.
- Currently, two Recovery-Models CMRM and Ground Support Fixture (GSF) have been delivered to Naval training teams at Kochi (Kerala) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) to train the recovery teams.
ISRO’s Gaganyaan Mission aims to demonstrate Human Spaceflight capability by launching a three-member crew onto an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back to Earth safely by landing in Indian sea waters.
i. Safe recovery of the crew is one of the key requirements of this project, which must be carried out with minimum lapse time and hence CMRMs are designed and fabricated.
ii. The CMRMs for recovery team training, are mock-up models, which simulate details of mass, Centre of gravity, outer dimensions, interfaces, and externals of the actual Crew Module.
iii. Tata Elxsi executed activities from developing the design configuration in accordance with ISRO requirements, to carrying out structural analysis for various load cases, material procurement and testing, fabrication, carrying out load tests, and transportation of the CMRM and the GSF.
iv. Tata Elxsi has also carried out the design and delivered hardware meeting a highly challenging delivery schedule of 6 months, demonstrating excellent program management skills, which enabled timely commissioning recovery training exercises to meet Gaganyaan mission requirements.
On February 7, 2023, ISRO, along with the Indian Navy carried out initial recovery trials of Crew Modules in the Water Survival Test Facility (WSTF) of the Indian Navy, at Kochi, Kerala.
DRDO successfully fight-tested “Agni Prime” Ballistic Missile off Odisha coastOn 7th June 2023, Agni Prime or Agni-P, a New Generation Ballistic Missile was successfully flight-tested by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
- This was the first pre-induction night launch conducted by users after three successful developmental trials of the missile, validating the accuracy and reliability of the system.
i. A number of Range Instrumentation like Radar, Telemetry and Electro Optical Tracking Systems were deployed at different locations, including two down-range ships, at the terminal point to capture flight data covering the entire trajectory of the vehicle.
ii. The test witnessed by the senior officials of DRDO and Strategic Forces Command was conducted in the night hours of June 7 2023, and all the objectives were successfully demonstrated during the flight test.
i. It is a 2 stage canisterised solid propellant ballistic missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system.
ii. It has a range between1000 to 2000 km (Kilometre) and was test-fired for the first time in June 2021.
iii. It is lighter than all the earlier Agni series of missiles.
- Agni series of missiles includes the Prithvi short range ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft, which constitute the backbone of India’s nuclear weapons delivery.
In 2022, India has carried out a successful launch of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), with India’s first ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSMN) Indian Navy Ship (INS) Arihant, validating India’s second strike nuclear capability.
India Bagged 3 Bronze at IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
3 Indian boxers, Deepak Kumar, Mohammed Hussamuddin and Nishant Dev, have won the bronze medal at the 22nd edition of the International Boxing Association (IBA) World Men’s Boxing Championships (2023), held at the Humo Arena in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 30 April-14 May 2023.
- Uzbekistan topped the overall medal tally with 9 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze) followed by Kazakhstan with 5 medals (4 gold and 1 silver) and Russia at 3rd with 6 medals (2 Gold and 4 bronze).
Indian Medallist (3 Bronze):
- Totally 13 boxers represented India at IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023.
Best Team Award won by Uzbekistan
Best Boxer award – Hasanboy Dusmatov,Uzbekistan
Best Judge and Referee Award– Tamim Sultani,Afghanistan
About International Boxing Association (IBA):
President– Umar Kremlev
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
Renowned Doordarshan anchor, Gitanjali Aiyar passes away
Gitanjali Aiyar, one of India’s first English news presenters on national broadcaster Doordarshan(DD) passed away. She was born on 29th January 1947.
- She worked with DD for over 3 decades since 1971 and was awarded the best anchor 4 times. She was honoured with Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women in 1989.
- In 2002, she switched to corporate communications, government liaison and marketing.
- She has also worked with the Taj and Oberoi group of hotels, and worked as consultant at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
- She also worked as the Head of Major Donors department World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India.
World Oceans Day 2023 – June 8United Nations(UN) World Oceans Day is annually observed across the globe on 8th June to create awareness about the importance of the oceans, a life source which supports the sustenance of humanity and every other organism on earth.
- The theme of World Oceans Day 2023 is “Planet Ocean: tides are changing”.
i.The concept of a ‘World Oceans Day’ was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit 1992, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
ii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/63/111 on 5th December 2008 and proclaimed the 8th June of every year, starting from 2009, as World Oceans Day.
- The first-ever World Oceans Day was observed on 8th June 2009.
World Brain Tumour Day 2023 – June 8World Brain Tumour Day is annually observed on the 8th of June across the globe with the intent of increasing public awareness about brain tumours, and the importance of early detection and timely treatment, as well as provide support to affected individuals.
- Brain Tumour is an unusual growth of cells in the brain or around it, which causes pressure inside the skull and it can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).
The theme for World Brain Tumour Day 2023 is “Protect yourself- keep away from stress.”
- The 2023 theme emphasises the significance of developing stress management techniques to prevent brain tumours.
Symbol: The Gray ribbon is the official symbol of raising awareness for Brain Tumour and Brain Cancers.
i. World Brain Tumour Day was established by the Deutsche HirntumorhilfeV. (German Brain Tumour Association), a Leipzig(Germany)-based non-profit organisation in 2000.
ii. Since 2000, World Brain Tumour Day has been celebrated annually on 8 June as a contribution to brain tumour patients and their family.