Indian Railways’ GSV Vadodara and Airbus sign MoU to enhance India’s Aviation Sector On September 7, 2023, Indian Railways’ Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya (GSV) Vadodara (Gujarat) and Airbus, an European multinational aerospace corporation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration to enhance India’s aviation sector.
- Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya is a Central University under Ministry of Railways in Vadodara, Gujarat. This is India’s first University in the Transportation and Logistics sectors.
The MoU was signed by Remi Maillard, President and Managing Director, AIRBUS India and South Asia; and Prof. Manoj Choudhary, Vice-Chancellor, GSV at Rail Bhawan, New Delhi, Delhi.
- Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Railways; and Ms. Jaya Varma Sinha, the Chairperson and CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Railway Board were present during the signing ceremony.
What is under the MoU?
i.The MoU entails a partnership between two entities to establish a C295 aircraft facility in Vadodara.
ii.It will support the creation of sector-specific training programs for students and professionals, collaborative research, industry exposure for faculty, student internships, placements, and scholarships.
iii.This collaboration is expected to generate job opportunities for students, and around 15,000 students will be placed within Airbus’s Indian operations.
About Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya(GSV):
GSV was established in 2022 by an Act of Parliament.
- It focuses on transportation and logistics, global collaborations aligning with national developmental plans.
- It offers multidisciplinary programs, executive training, and research, utilizing Indian Railways’ training infrastructure.
Chancellor– Ashwini Vaishnaw (Union Minister of Railways)
Location– Vadodara, Gujarat
Gender Snapshot 2023: Progress on SDG 5 ‘Gender Equality’ is OfftrackUnited Nations (UN)’s report titled “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023” states that the world is failing in its efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) 5: gender equality, due to the biases against women around the world in heath, education, employment and the halls of power.
- This is the latest edition of the annual series jointly produced by of the UN Women(UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
- The report provides a comprehensive analysis of gender equality progress across all 17 SDGs.
- The report also highlights prevailing trends, gaps, and recent setbacks on the journey towards achieving gender equality by 2030.
About UN Women(UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) :
Executive Director – Sima Bahous
Headquarters – New York, United States of America(USA)
Established in – 2010
About United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
Under-Secretary General – Li Junhua
Headquarters – New York, United States of America(USA)
Established in – 1955
Highlights of 4th Edition of Global Fintech Fest 2023 Global Fintech Fest (GFF) is the largest fintech conference, jointly organized by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the Payments Council of India (PCI), and the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC). The esteemed Global Fintech Fest 2023 features over 100 countries, 800 speakers and 50,000 delegates this year.
- Theme: Global collaboration for a responsible financial ecosystem Inclusive | Resilient | Sustainable.
- Venue: Jio World Convention Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
i.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s address at the Global Fintech Fest 2023 in Mumbai covered several important aspects of India’s financial ecosystem and its challenges.
ii.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das recently announced five new innovative payment solutions developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) at the Global Fintech Fest 2023.
- Credit Line on UPI
- UPI LITE X
- UPI Tap & Pay
- Hello! UPI — Conversational Payments on UPI
- BillPay Connect — Conversational Bill Payments
iii.Fintech companies, financial institutions and start-ups can nominate their works for Fintech Awards in 15 diverse sub-categories under 3 classifications (Global Awards, Entity Awards, Special Fintech Achievements).
iv.Hitachi Payment Services, a 100% subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi Ltd., has introduced India’s first-ever UPI-ATM, known as the “Hitachi Money Spot UPI ATM.”
v.The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) made a significant impact at the Global Fintech Festival (GFF) 2023 in Mumbai, organized an industry meet-up under the theme “Reimagine Aadhaar #together.”
vi.The State Bank of India (SBI), the largest lender in the country, has unveiled the ‘Nation First Transit Card,’ also known as the RuPay National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) Prepaid Card, at the Global Fintech Fest 2023.
It is an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to create a robust payments and settlement system.
MD & CEO: Dilip Asbe
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
HSBC India Launched “ONDC in a box”; Becomes 1st Foreign Bank in India to launch ONDC propositionHongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation(HSBC) India has launched ‘Open Network for Digital Commerce(ONDC) in a Box’, a one-stop-shop proposition for corporates to partcipate in ONDC platform, during the Global Fintech Fest (GFF) 2023 held in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- With this launch, HSBC India becomes the first foreign bank in India to offer an ONDC-enabled proposition.
- ONDC in a box was developed in partnership with Protean eGov Technologies Ltd (Protean) and Shayr Omnichannel Private Limited (Adya).
About ONDC in a box:
As a part of this, the banking services are offered by HSBC India and the ONDC Modules are offered by Protean and Adya.
- The end-to-end banking requirements for ONDC across Payments and Settlement are serviced and managed by HSBC India.
- The ONDC modules and the front-end applications like the buyer app, seller app, reconciliation service provider, and issue and grievance management are handled by Protean and Adya.
Eligibility: Offer is valid for HSBC India customers (who have chosen HSBC Bank as the settlement bank on ONDC) till 30th August 2025.
Benefits: This will offer a secure Application Programming Interface(API) for collections and settlement and a wide suite of services offered for ONDC enablement.
i.Protean is contributing to and supporting open digital building blocks, including ONDC, accelerating commerce for network participants through its products.
- Protean is an approved Network Service Provider by ONDC. It offers ONDC Gateway Services; Technology Service Provider (TSP) services (various Buyer app and Seller App solutions); Reconciliation & Settlement Service Provider (RSP) and Issue & Grievance management solutions.
ii.Adya offers customisable ONDC Buyer and Seller applications (apps), along with supporting apps like Grievance Management, Settlements, and Logistics App.
ONDC is an initiative by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- The initiative aims to build an open, interoperable network on which buyers and sellers can transact without needing to be present on the same platform.
About Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation(HSBC) India:
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Hitendra Dave
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharasthra
Established in – 1959
About Protean eGov Technologies Ltd (Protean):
Managing Director(MD) & CEO – Suresh Sethi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharasthra
Established in 1995
Union Bank of India, 1st PSB to launch Rupay Debit Cards for Women and HNIs Union Bank of India (UBI) has introduced two new Debit Card variants, the HNI Emperio RuPay Metal Debit Card and the RuPay Empower Her Debit Card, in association with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
- With this, UBI becomes the first Public Sector Bank (PSB) to offer Metal Debit Card cards, serving High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNI) and women customers.
- These cards are issued on the RuPay network.
- The cards were unveiled at the Global Fintech Fest(GFF) 2023 in Mumbai, Maharashtra by UBI’s MD & CEO (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer), A. Manimekhalai, and NPCI’s COO (Chief Operating Officer), Praveena Rai.
About HNI Emperio RuPay Metal Debit Card:
It will serve ultra-HNIs with benefits in the form of insurance cover, subscription to over the top (OTT) channels, international lounge access and merchant-specific discounts. It is equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) and can be enabled for tap and pay in transit.
Note: Those with net worth of Rs 100 crore and more are classified as Ultra-HNIs (UHNIs) and those with investable surplus of Rs 5 crore and above can be classified as HNIs.
About RuPay Empower Her Debit Card:
It is a Rupay platinum card, and offers a comprehensive range of benefits, including free cancer care coverage for breast, ovarian, and cervical cancers, along with complimentary health check-ups. It also provides free personal accident and air accident cover, access to OTT subscriptions, international lounge access, and merchant-specific offers and discounts.
About Union Bank of India(UBI):
Managing Director & CEO– A. Manimekhalai
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Good People to Bank with
Established in 1919
Nationalised in 1969
AU Small Finance Bank Launches Zenith+ Metal Credit Card
AU Small Finance Bank Ltd., a Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-approved Small Finance Bank (SFB), introduced the Zenith+ Metal Credit Card, expanding its range of banking solutions.
- This super premium credit card includes features from global travel to unlimited entertainment options like premium lounge access, personalised concierge services, and a welcome benefit with Luxury Brand vouchers or Reward Points worth Rs 5000 upon card activation.
- The annual membership fee for this card is Rs 4,999 plus Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- The card’s benefits include the lowest Foreign Exchange (Forex) markup of 0.99% for global travel.
Google Cloud & CERT-In Under MeitY Partners to Train Govt Officials in Cybersecurity SkillsGoogle Cloud Platform (GCP), offered by Google, has partnered with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to train government officials in cybersecurity skills.
- CERT-In is part of the MeitY which deals with cybersecurity threats, hacking, and other cyber-related issues.
- This partnership aims to strengthen the cybersecurity landscape in India.
Features of the partnership:
i.Around 1000 government officials will undergo training in cyber defence best practices including use of Generative Artificial intelligence(AI), Conducting cybersecurity AI hackathons and real-world applications and scenarios.
- The experts from Google Cloud and Mandiant (cybersecurity firm and a subsidiary of Google) will lead training sessions.
ii.Google Cloud will also offer 1 lakh scholarships for Google cybersecurity certificates.
- These scholarships aim to equip learners with in-demand skills necessary for a successful career in cybersecurity.
ONDC & Google Cloud Collaborate to Advance E-Commerce in India with AI
Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and Google Cloud collaborated to advance e-commerce in India with generative AI.
- ONDC is an open protocol network that will allow any e-commerce application to identify and engage in local commerce across categories such as mobility, grocery, food ordering and delivery, hotel booking, and travel, among others.
‘Build for Bharat’ – Hackathon :
i.They set to launch an India-wide hackathon, ‘Build for Bharat’ aimed at catalyzing innovation and addressing critical challenges for the digital users in the country.
- The hackathon is set to span three months, drawing 100,000 participants who will offer mentoring and assistance.
ii.The hackathon aims to create solutions that democratise access to digital commerce for all people, regardless of digital literacy, geography, or economic background.
- It also intends to encourage an open ecosystem of developers, students, and companies that will innovate within the ONDC framework.
iii.It also supports participants in addressing typical e-commerce difficulties such as enhancing supply chain visibility, developing more targeted consumer personalisation, and optimising inventory management.
About Google Cloud:
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Thomas Kurian
Established – 2008
Headquarters – California, United States of America(USA)
About Indian Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT-In):
Director General – Sanjay Bahl
Established – 2004
Cleartrip Partners with Axis Bank to Offer Travel Benefits to Credit Card Holders
Cleartrip, a subsidiary of Flipkart India Private Limited, has partnered with Axis Bank, one of the largest private sector banks in India, to introduce an innovative proposition to provide travel benefits to both existing and new cardholders, who book through Cleartrip. This collaboration is set to benefit close to 12.5 million customers.
- This will offer a wide range of privileges for domestic flight bookings, such as discounts in bookings of seats worth Rs. 1,200, free meals, exemption from convenience fees, and options to cancel and reschedule flights for a nominal fee of Re.1 under CT FlexMax.
- Axis Bank credit card holders can access specially curated travel offers without having to wait to collect/redeem points in order to enjoy the benefits. The partnership represents a significant departure from the conventional standards of booking discounts for domestic flights.
- Currently, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) concentrate on offering instant cash discounts through partnerships with banks. However, they offset these discounts by imposing convenience fees and additional charges for seats and meals.
- While Axis Bank is billing the partnership as “one of a kind,” Cleartrip isn’t the first OTA to link up with a bank or financial institution. Cleartrip is invested in disrupting the OTA space through a transparent and customer-centric approach.
India ranks 30th in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Countries 2023; Switzerland Topsi.According to the 8th edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Countries Rankings 2023, India improved its ranking by one spot to claim 30th rank in 2023 with overall score of 40.8. India was ranked 31 out of 85 in 2022.
ii.The list is topped by Switzerland, among 87 countries, for the second consecutive time and sixth time overall.
iii.Switzerland is followed by Canada at 2nd rank, and Sweden at 3rd rank.
iv.India’s best performance came in the ‘Movers’ category by grabbing the 5th spot.
About U.S. News & World Report:
Executive Chairman & CEO– Eric Gertler
Headquarters– Washington DC., United States of America
Updated: Swachh Vayu Survekshan 2023: Indore, Amravati, Parwanoo Tops in Category -1,2 & 3 RespectivelyUnion Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has given awards to the ‘Swachh Vayu Survekshan-2023′ winners on the occasion of the “International Day of Clear Air for Blue Sky” on 7th September 2023, at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh .
- ‘Swachh Vayu Survekshan- 2023’ was conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under the initiative of the MoEFCC.
- The 2nd edition of Swachh Vayu Survekshan took place in 2023.
‘National Clean Air City’ Awards:
i.Category 1: Indore (Madhya Pradesh) secured the first rank followed by Agra (Uttar Pradesh) and Thane (Maharashtra) in the second and third place respectively.
- Those cities with a population above 10 lakh fall under category 1.
ii.Category 2: Amravati of Maharashtra bagged the top rank followed by Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) in the second and third place respectively .
iii.Category 3: Parwanoo of Himachal Pradesh bagged the top rank followed by Kala Amb(Himachal Pradesh) and Angul(Odisha) in the second and third place respectively.
The award comes with a cash price, trophy and Certificate with the title “National Clean Air City”
Click here to know more about Swachh Vayu Survekshan 2023
Winners of Swachh Vayu Survekshan 2023:
MoEF&CC sets up new panel replacing SC’s Ad-Hoc Central Empowered CommitteeThe Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has set up a new permanent Central Empowered Committee (CEC), replacing an ad hoc expert panel with the same name which assisted the Supreme Court (SC) in matters of forest and environment issues.
- Now, CEC is instituted as a permanent statutory body on environmental issues, and Government of India (GoI) has full control over the constitution of the CEC.
- This development followed the Forest Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
i.In this regard, Union government will nominate and appoint members to the new CEC.
ii.It will comprise a chairperson, a member secretary and three expert members.
- The chairperson, with a minimum of 25 years of experience in environmental, forestry, or wildlife fields or substantial administrative expertise in government, will serve a maximum term of three years.
iii. The member secretary must hold a rank not lower than deputy inspector general or director with a minimum of 12 years of experience, and the three expert members, one from each sector, need at least 20 years of expertise.
About Ad-hoc (Old) CEC:
The CEC, formed in 2002 by the SC, acted as an environmental watchdog, significantly influencing India’s environmental policy and governance. It was created during the T N Godavarman case to oversee court orders related to forests and wildlife. It monitored the implementation of the court’s orders related to forests, wildlife and conservation.
CCI Approves Acquisition of up to 29.9% Stake in RHI Magnesita NV by Ignite Luxembourg
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of up to 29.9% equity shares of RHI Magnesita NV by Ignite Luxembourg Holdings S.à r.l.
Acquirer– Ignite Luxembourg Holdings S.à r.l
Target– RHI Magnesita NV
This acquisition led to an indirect acquisition of RHI Magnesita India Limited (RHIM India), as no shares of the Indian company were being purchased as part of the Proposed Combination.
- Ignite Luxembourg Holdings, incorporated in Luxembourg, is owned by New York (United States of America (USA))- based Rhône Capital LLC (Rhône Capital).
- RHI Magnesita NV conducts its business in India through its subsidiary, RHIM India, and exports to India.
IAF Tests Indigenously Developed Military Combat Parachute System
The Indian Air Force(IAF) tested the efficacy and foolproof functioning of the Military Combat Parachute System which is indigenously designed and developed by Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE).
- ADRDE is a Research & Development(R&D) lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
A test jumper of the IAF, intentionally detached the main parachute and let the reserve parachute open on its own through Reserve Static Line (RSL), without activation of the Reserve Handle, even before the Barometric Automatic Activation Device(AAD).
Director – Manoj Kumar
Headquarters – Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Established in – 1969
International Literacy Day 2023- September 8 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s International Literacy Day (ILD) is annually observed on 8th September across the globe, to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
- The 2023 theme of ILD is, ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’.
- The first-ever International Literacy Day was observed on 8th September 1967.
On the occassion of ILD 2023(on 8th September 2023), UNESCO announced the winner of UNESCO International Literacy Prizes (ILP): the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize (3 awards) and The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy (3 awards).
World Physical Therapy Day 2023- September 8 World Physical Therapy (PT) Day, also known as World Physiotherapy Day, is annually observed across the globe on 8th September to raise awareness about the importance of physical therapy and the role it plays in improving the health, well-being, and quality of life of individuals across the globe.
- This day is an opportunity to recognise and honour the contributions made by physical therapists, also known as physiotherapists, towards keeping people fit, mobile, and healthy.
The 2023 campaign theme of World Physical Therapy Day is “Arthritis and the Role of Physiotherapists”.
- The theme highlights different forms of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis
Note: This follows the 2022 theme which focused on “Osteoarthritis”.
In 1996, the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) designated 8th September as World PT Day to honours the world’s physiotherapy community’s togetherness and unity.
The WCPT was rebranded as World Physiotherapy in 2020.
Why September 8?
The date, 8th September, marks the day on which WCPT was founded in 1951.
- WCPT came into being at its inaugural meeting on 8th September 1951 at the Ingeniørhuset Restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark.