NITI Aayog launches 2nd National MPI: India’s Multidimensionally Poor declines to 14.96% in 2019-2021i.On July 17, 2023, the Vice-Chairman of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Suman Bery released the 2nd edition of NITI Aayog’s Report ‘National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): A Progress Review 2023‘.
ii.The report represents India’s progress in reducing multidimensional poverty between the two surveys, National Family Health Survey [NFHS-4 (2015-16)] and NFHS-5 (2019-21).
iii.India has registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in number of India’s multidimensionally poor from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-2021.
iv.Uttar Pradesh (UP) registered the largest decline in number of poor i.e. 3.43 crore people.
About National Institution For Transforming India (NITI) Aayog:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– B. V. R. Subrahmanyam
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
IEA in collaboration with PPAC of MoP&NG launched Oil 2023 medium-term market reportOn 17th July 2023, The International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris(France)-based autonomous organization, in collaboration with Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the administration of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) launched the Oil 2023 medium-term market report titled IEA Oil 2023 – Supply and demand dynamics to 2028 in Delhi for oil supply and demand.
- The Oil 2023 medium-term market report forecasts that based on current government policies and market trends, global oil demand will rise by 6% between 2022 and 2028 to reach 105.7 million barrels per day (mb/d).
- India`s demand for energy is growing faster than any other major economy and is expected to grow in all sectors due to favourable demographics supported by urbanization and industrialization.
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Established in- 1974
Executive Director- Fatih Birol
Headquarters- Paris, France
Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s Visit to UAE On July 15, 2023, the Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (PM) of India, officially visited Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirated (UAE). This mark’s his 5th visit to UAE since 2015.
He was welcomed by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the airport and a ceremonial welcome and Guard of Honour were accorded to Modi
i.During the visit, two agreements were inked between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) to facilitating seamless cross border transactions and payments, and foster greater economic cooperation between the two countries.
ii.A Head of Agreement (HoA) was signed between India’s Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Limited to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from UAE’s Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Co (Adnoc) Ltd and TotalEnergies of France on a long-term basis.
About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
President– Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Currency– UAE Dirham
Capital– Abu Dhabi
World Humanitarian Drive got special status from the UN for global educationThe World Humanitarian Drive (WHD), an international Non-governmental organization (NGO), which promotes international education and trade, has been granted special consultative status by United Nations (UN)’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
With this ECOSOC status, WHD will be authorised to interact actively with its subsidiary bodies, the Human Rights Council, certain UN General Assembly (UNGA) sessions, other intergovernmental bodies, and the UN Secretariat.
i. The special consultative status will provide WHD with the privilege to access UN’s meetings, provide written and oral statements to ECOSOC.
ii. WHD can use UN facilities including submitting a quadrennial (occurring every 4 years) report on the activities of the organisation, in support of the work of ECOSOC and the UN at a recently concluded meeting held in UN in June 2023.
United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC):
i. ECOSOC is the highest status granted to a NGO, which allows them to facilitate with the United Nations.
ii. The status is granted to NGO’s, which have special capability and are concerned specifically with only a few of the fields of activity covered by the ECOSOC.
iii. ECOSOC has 54 member states, which are elected by the UNGA extend over 3 years of term.
About World Humanitarian Drive (WHD):
It is an International NGO with operations in 12 countries, founded in Croydon, UK.
The primary vision of WHD is to promote Peace, Education and Trade Harmony initiatives globally.
WHD also promotes key initiatives between India and the United Kingdom (UK).
Founder & Chairman- Dr Abdul Basit Syed, British Indian Global Peace activist, Entrepreneur, Writer.
Headquarters- London, the United Kingdom (UK)
UK signed treaty to join Trans-Pacific trading bloc
On 16th July 2023, the United Kingdom (UK) signed a deal to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a major Asia-Pacific trading bloc in New Zealand and became the first new member and first European nation to join since it was formed in 2018.
Kemi Badenoch, the Business and Trade Secretary of the UK signed the treaty confirming UK’s accession protocol for the CPTPP in New Zealand.
- With the inclusion of the UK, the collective Gross domestic product (GDP) of the bloc, comprising Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, will amount to 12 trillion pounds (USD 15.7 trillion), or 15% of the global GDP.
- The deal would mark the significant trade agreement for Britain since its departure from the European Union in 2020.
- It will bring a barrier-free trade access for British businesses to a market of 500 million people and access to the wider region and the pact is expected to come into force in the second half of 2024.
Ashok Leyland won orders worth Rs. 800 crore from Indian Army to deliver Defence VehiclesOn 17th July 2023, Ashok Leyland Limited, a part of Hinduja Group, has won a contract worth Rs 800 crore to supply defence vehicles to the Indian army.
- The contract includes the procurement of the field artillery tractor (FAT 4×4) and the gun towing vehicle (GTV 6×6).
About FAT 4×4 and GTV 6×6:
The FAT 4×4 and GTV 6×6 are specialised vehicles employed by the artillery for towing light and medium guns, respectively. Both these platforms were apparently featured in the initial positive indigenisation list announced by the government of India.
- The vehicles will be delivered over the next 12 months to meet the requirements of the Indian Army.
i. Ashok Leyland’s selection for these pivotal Defence contracts emphasises its commitment to indigenous manufacturing and its position as a trusted partner for the Indian Armed Forces.
ii. The contract also establishes the leadership of Ashok Leyalnd in the defence mobility vehicle business.
iii. Ashok Leyland has invested in development of mobility platforms ranging from 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, 10×10 & 12×12 for various applications and operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
iv. These platforms are indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by Ashok Leyland and contribute significantly towards import substitution.
v. The new order secured from the Defence Sector marked a significant milestone in the journey of Ashok Leyland, which is going to celebrate its 75th anniversary in September 2023.
vi. Ashok Leyland is looking at speeding up its defence business over the next 3 years to achieve Rs 3,500 crore plus tender win, compared with Rs 2,000 crore plus win over the past 5 years.
About Ashok Leyland Ltd:
Founded in- 1948
Headquarters- Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Shenu Agarwal
Union Minister Kishan Reddy Confers Global Incredible Inc Leadership AwardOn 16th July 2023, Kishan Reddy, the Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) conferred the ‘Global Incredible Inc Leadership Award’ from the U.S.India SME Council.
- US India SME Council bestowed his efforts to promote tourism and India’s rich culture.
- It was presented by the president and chief executive officer(CEO) of U.S. India SME Council, Inc. Elisha B. Pulivarti.
About US India SME Council:
i.US India SME Council is a Nonprofit, Membership, and Premier Business Advocacy Organization, based in Washington DC, the United States of America (USA).
ii.It is an organisation to serve the Small to Medium Business Enterprises (SMBEs) in the USA and India.
iii.It will promote trade, commerce, and people-to-people exchange programs between the United States & India.
HLPF on economic, social and environmental sustainability on tourism
On 14th July 2023, Kishan Reddy attended the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on economic, social and environmental sustainability on tourism in the capacity of G-20 Tourism Chair at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States of America (USA).
- The 2023 UN HLPF theme was “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”.
- At the meeting, Kishan Reddy delivered a keynote address and discussed India’s progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs.
About the meeting:
i.The HLPF side event organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport of the Republic of Croatia in collaboration with the UNWTO with support of the Ministry of Tourism of India as the Chair of the G20 Tourism Committee Presidency.
ii.The aim of the meeting is to demonstrate how multilateral, governmental, corporate, and academic collaborations are actively contributing to tourism’s potential in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
15th Edition of International Eni Award honours IIT-M ProfessorOn 17th July 2023, Eni, an Italian integrated energy company, announced the names of the winning researchers and scientists of the 15th edition of the Eni Award.Thalappil Pradeep, professor in the Department of Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras), has been awarded the Advanced Environmental Solutions Award, which is dedicated to research for the protection and sustainable use of natural resources.
- The prize is composed of a gold medal, a citation and a cash component and the award is set to be presented by the President of Italy in the near future.
Professor Thalappil Pradeep’s contribution:
i. T. Pradeep’s work on affordable clean water using advanced materials has gained recognition. He made groundbreaking discoveries in sustainable nano-scale materials that effectively remove toxic contaminants from water.
ii. His research on pesticide removal has positively impacted millions of people. Moreover, his team has successfully developed ‘water-positive’ materials that can effectively eliminate toxic contaminants like arsenic, uranium, and others from water.
i. T. Pradeep joins the ranks of distinguished previous awardees, including Nobel laureates such as Sir Harold W. Kroto, Alan Heeger, and Theodor Wolfgang Hänsch, along with Prof. C.N.R. Rao(Indian Chemist), a recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award in 2014.
ii. He also received other recognition such as with Padma Shri(2020), Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize(2022), Nikkei Asia Prize(2020), Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Prize(2008).
About Eni Awards:
i. Established in 2007, the Eni Award is a globally recognized platform for groundbreaking research in the realms of energy and the environment. The coveted distinction of the Eni Award stems from its stringent award criteria and the esteemed selection committee, which comprises Nobel laureates among other distinguished experts.
ii. The Eni Awards are divided into three categories: Energy Transition ,Energy Frontiers, and Advanced Environmental Solutions.
- Eni, established in 1953, is a comprehensive energy company operating in 69 countries worldwide. They focus on providing fully decarbonized products, balancing both environmental and financial sustainability.
- Headquartered in Italy, Eni effectively contributes to the fulfilment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the 2030 Agenda.
- The esteemed accolades in the first category were bestowed upon Yu Huang from the University of California (Los Angeles, USA) and Jeffrey R. Long from the University of California (Berkeley, USA).
- The second category’s laureate was Matthew Rosseinsky from the University of Liverpool (UK).
French government presented Chevalier award to Indian Musicians Aruna Sairam & Shashank SubramanyamOn 15th July 2023, the Government of France presented the title of Chevalier (Knight) de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) awards to Aruna Sairam, a Padma Shri awardee and Carnatic vocalist, and Shashank Subramanyam, flautist for their contributions in connecting France and India through their music.
The award Ceremony was held at the National Day of the French Republic celebrations in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Ordre des arts et des lettres:
i. It is an Order of France established by the Minister of Culture in 1957 and confirmed as part of L’ordre National du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963.
ii. It is the most significant arts-specific honour conferred by the Government of France that honours personalities who have made significant contributions to the music field, arts, literature and the cultural and artistic legacy of Indo-France relations.
iii. The award is given at three levels: Commandeur (Commander), Officier (Officer), Chevalier (Knight).
About Aruna Sairam:
i. ArunaSairam, born in 12th May 1960 in Mumbai, Maharashtra is regarded as the Music Ambassador of India.
ii. ArunaSairam is recipient of several awards including the Padma Shri for Arts in 2009 and the SangitaKalanidhi by the Music Academy in 2018.
iii. She was also elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
iv. ArunaSairam has also received the United States of America (US) Congress Proclamation Award of Excellence in 2008.
v. She received The “Kalaimamani” by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 2006.
About Shashank Subramanyam:
i. Shashank Subramanyam, born in October 14, 1978 in Rudrapatna, Karnataka.
ii. He was awarded the SangeetNatakAkademi Senior Award by Government of India for the year 2017.
iii. He was nominated for the Grammy for the album Floating Point with John McLaughlin in 2009.
iv. He received the Kalaimamani award from the Tamil Nadu Government in the year 2001.
Amit Shah Launches Refund Portal to Expedite Refunds for Sahara Group Depositors
On 17th July 2023, Union Minister of Home and Cooperation Amit Shah launched the ‘Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS) – Sahara Refund Portal’ aimed at aiding over 10 crore depositors of the Sahara Group in reclaiming their money within 45 days.
- The refund portal has been developed by a subsidiary of Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) Ltd, a Systemically Important Non-Deposit taking Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC-ND-SI)
- In Phase I, around 1.7 crore investors will be beneficiaries, and claims up to ₹10,000 will be prioritised for settlement. The refunds will be credited to the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of the investors within a 45-days registration in the portal.
About Ministry of Cooperation:
Union Minister – Amit Shah (Constituency – Gandhinagar, Gujarat)
Minister of State(MoS) – B. L. Verma
Commonwealth Sr. Jr. & Youth Weightlifting Championship 2023: India won 20 Medlas in Senior CategoryIndian Senior weightlifting contingent won 20 medals (9 Golds, 9 Silvers and 2 Bronze) at the Commonwealth Senior, Junior, and Youth Championships 2023 in Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- The Indian team overall won 61 medals (38 Gold, 21 Silver and 2 Bronze) across senior, junior and youth categories.
- The event witnessed 250 weightlifters from 20 countries participating across junior, youth and senior categories from 12th July to 16 July 2023.
Note: India won 16 medals (4 Gold, 7 Silver and 5 Bronze) at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.Last time India hosted the tournament in Pune in 2015.
i.Gold medallists:The nine gold medallists are Komal Kohar (women’s 45kg), Gyaneshwari Yadav (women’s 49kg), Popy Hazarika (women’s 59kg), S Nirupama Devi(women’s 64kg), Vanshita Verma (women’s 81kg), Mukund Aher (men’s 55kg), Shubham Todkar (men’s 61kg), Ajith N (men’s 73kg) and Ajay Singh (men’s 81kg).
ii.Silver medallists:The nine silver medallists are Jhilli Dalabehera ( women’s 49kg), Shrabani Das (women’s 55kg), T Madhavan(men’s 67kg), Harjinder Kaur (women’s 71kg), Pallavi S(women’s 64kg), Amarjit Guru(men’s 89kg), Harshad Wadekar(men’s 96kg), Harcharan Singh ( men’s 102kg), Lovepreet Singh(men’s 109kg).
iii.Bronze medallist:The two Bronze medallist are Jagdish Vishwakarma(men’s 96kg) and Purnima Pandey (women’s +87kg)
i.The 2022 junior World Championships silver medallist Gyaneshwari Yadav of India won the Gold medal in the women’s 49kg event, awarded as the Best Lifters in the junior category.
ii.Samoa’s Don Opeloge (102kg) and Jenly Wini Tegu (55kg) of Solomon Islands were named the ‘Best Lifters’ in the senior category.
Former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy Passes AwayOn 18th July 2024, Former Chief Minister(CM) of Kerala and veteran Indian National Congress(INC) leader Karottu Vallakalil Oommen Chandy passed away at the age of 79 in Bangaluru, Karnataka. He was born on October 31, 1943 in Kottayam, Kerala.
- He served as the Chief Minister twice (2004–2006 and again from 2011–2016) for a total of seven years. By serving for 2,459 days as CM, he is the fourth longest served CM of the state after Kerala’s former Chief Ministers E K Nayanar (4,009 days), K Karunakaran (3,246 days) and C Achutha Menon (2,640 days)
As Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA):
- As of 2nd August 2022, Oommen Chandy was the longest serving Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Kerala’s State Legislative Assembly representing Puthuppally constituency of Kerala for 18,728 days.
- Since the establishment of Kerala state, the assembly has seen a total of 970 legislators, but only K M Mani(President of Kerala Congress-M) and Oommen Chandy have achieved the remarkable milestone of completing 50 years as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
- He is the longest-serving member of the Kerala assembly. Having commenced his tenure as a legislator with a victory in the 1970 Assembly elections, he continued to secure triumphs in 12 consecutive polls till 2021.
As a Minister:
Oommen Chandy served as a minister in the state cabinet on four separate occasions.
i. In the first Karunakaran Cabinet (1977) and the first Antony cabinet (1977-78), he held the position of Minister for Labour in Kerala State Government.
- During his tenure as Labour Minister, Chandy introduced unemployment wages for the first time in the country.
ii. During the second Karunakaran cabinet (1981-82), he took charge of the Home Department in the State Government.
iii. Additionally, he served as the Finance Minister of Kerala from 1991 to 1994 in the fourth Karunakaran cabinet.
- Oommen Chandy received recognition from the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) for spearheading a series of pioneering initiatives in democratic governance under the Government of Kerala. These efforts aimed at enhancing people’s access and involvement in human development and governance.
- First of its kind in the country, Chief Minister’s Mass Contact Programme, introduced by Chandy, marked a groundbreaking approach in the nation as it facilitated direct communication and interaction between Chandy and the citizens.
Former CEC of India TN Seshan authored his autobiography “Through The Broken Glass”
‘Through The Broken Glass: An Autobiography authored by T.N. Seshan, the former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, who made a significant difference to Indian elections. It was published by Rupa Publications India. This autobiography also covers his term as the CEC from 1990 to 1995 with a page count of 368. It has been published 4 years after he passed away in 2019.
- In the early part of his career he described his first posting as a sub-collector in Dindigul and then a collector in Madurai of Tamil Nadu.
- T.N. Seshan is also the author of An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election.
Nelson Mandela International Day 2023 – July 18The United Nations (UN)’s Nelson Mandela International Day is annually celebrated across the world on 18th July to recognise Nelson Mandela’s values, including his commitment towards social justice, peace, reconciliation, and promotion and protection of human rights.
- This day also marks the birth anniversary (July 18, 1918) of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who played an eminent role in creating non-racial constitution, non-sexist and democratic of South Africa.
- The day is also called as Mandela Day.
- The 2023 Mandela Day marks the 105th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.
i. On November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution A/RES/64/13 and declared 18th July of every year (his birthday) as “Nelson Mandela International Day“.
ii. The resolution acknowledges Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
iii. The first UN’s Nelson Mandela International Day was observed on 18th July 2010.
World Snake Day 2023 – July 16
World Snake day is celebrated annually across the world on 16th July to raise awareness of the snakes in the world and also to recognise the importance of snakes and snakes disbelieves in our ecosystem.
- On 16th July 2023, World Snake Day was celebrated at the National Zoological Park (Zoo) in New Delhi, Delhi for the conservation of snakes by creating awareness about different types of snakes in India.
- On the occasion of the World Snake Day 2023, an enrichment activity was conducted by snake keeping staff by providing cage furniture in the reptile house. Plantation was also conducted inside the snake houses.
- Interaction with about 350 visitors and small children was conducted about snakes and healthy lifestyle following the Mission LiFE (lifestyle for the environment) at the reptile house.
- Reptile house walk was conducted and visitors interacted with the snake keepers. Literature on reptiles was also distributed among visitors.
Note: Currently there are 31 number of snakes of 07 species present in the National Zoological Park, Delhi.
Himachal CM Sukhu launches website of Aapda Rahat Kosh-2023
On 16th July 2023, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, launched the Aapda Rahat Kosh-2023 website, a digital platform initiative aimed at helping the disaster-affected people in the Himachal Pradesh.
- By using this website, people can donate money in Aapda Rahat Kosh-2023 from anywhere using multiple payment methods such as debit card, credit card, net banking, Quick Response (QR) code and Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
- The department of digital technology and governance developed a transparent web link where anyone can donate online and receive a receipt on their mobile device to facilitate this support.
- The system has been integrated with multiple payment gateways to ensure seamless transactions and preparations are under processing to enable online donations from overseas donors.