DoT Launches Bharat 6G Alliance to Drive Innovation and Collaboration in Next-Generation Wireless Technologyi.On July 3, 2023, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT),Ministry of Communications (MoC) launches Bharat 6G Alliance (B6GA) to propel India’s technological progress in the telecom sector. In this regard, the B6GA website (https://bharat6galliance.com) was also launched. B6GA was launched by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, MoC.
ii.For B6GA, the Central Government has allocated a grant of Rs 240.51 crores through the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF).
iii.B6GA is a collaborative platform in India, bringing together startups, companies (both public and private), academia, research institutions, global technology alliances, associations, and standards development organizations. Its goal is to lead the development and deployment of 6G technology in India.
iv.During the event, grants totaling Rs 48 crore were awarded to 66 startups and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) under Digital Communication Innovation Square (DCIS) initiative which fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.
About Ministry of Communications (MoC):
Union Minister– Ashwini Vaishnaw (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Orissa)
Minister of State– Devusinh Chauhan (Constituency-Kheda, Gujarat)
NADA India signs MoU with SARADO to increase the Regional Cooperation in anti-doping in sportOn 3rd July 2023, National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (SARADO),comprising of Anti-Doping Organizations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to increase the Regional Cooperation in anti-doping in sports NADA India – SARADO Cooperation Meet in New Delhi, Delhi.
- The collaboration helps in collectively addressing the challenges posed by doping practices in sports.
- This agreement marks a significant milestone as the first of its kind for India in the field of anti-doping.
The project plan includes the development of anti-doping education and prevention programmes in South Asia; training and upskilling of sample collection personnel and educators; organising seminars and workshops; facilitating exchange programmes; and producing educational literature on anti-doping over a period of 3 years.
What is Doping in sports?
Doping is the act of consuming artificial and often illegal substances to gain an advantage over others in sporting competitions (for example:anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, stimulants and diuretics).
About National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) India :
NADA India was set up as registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 on November 24, 2005 with a mandate for Dope free sports in India.
- Director General & Chief executive officer(CEO) – Ms. Ritu Sain
About South Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (SARADO):
i.SARADO was formed on 16th May 2007 in the South Asian Anti-Doping Program Project Development Meeting held in Maldives.It comprises of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to value and foster doping free sport.
- Director General – Mr. Mohamed Mahid Shareef,
Govt Launches Scheme to Support Pregnant Minor Victims of Sexual AssaultUnion Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani has launched a new scheme to address the challenges faced by pregnant minor victims of sexual assault who lack family support. The “scheme for critical care and support for accessing justice to rape/gang rape survivors or minor girls who get pregnant” aims to provide essential assistance to these vulnerable individuals under Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD).
- Under the initiative, medical and financial support will be provided through the Nirbhaya Fund.
- The budget of the proposal is Rs 74.10 crore. The allocated funds will also be used to establish dedicated shelters for these victims.
- The scheme aims to provide an integrated support system under one roof, leveraging the administrative structure of Mission Vatsalya in collaboration with state governments and Child Care Institutions (CCIs).
i. The focus of the scheme is on offering shelter, food, daily necessities, safe transportation for court hearings, and legal aid to those minor girls
ii. Depending on state governments’ discretion, the shelters may be standalone facilities or designated wards within existing child care institutions (CCIs).
iii. The additional support, available in CCIs until the age of 18 and in after-care facilities until the age of 23, demonstrates the government’s dedication to protecting and empowering vulnerable minors who have experienced trauma.
i. This initiative aligns with the establishment of 415 POCSO fast track courts across the country, reflecting the government’s commitment to expedite justice for minor rape victims.
ii. Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal alarming numbers, with 51,863 cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in 2021. Of these cases, 64% (33,348 incidents) involved penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive measures to protect and support minor victims.
About Ministry of Women and Child Development:
Union Minister – Smriti Zubin Irani (Constituency: Amethi, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Munjapara Mahendrabhai
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launches campaign to transform iconic 75 Lighthouses into Tourism DestinationsOn 1st July 2023, Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, launched a campaign to transform 75 historic Lighthouses across India into Tourism Spots from Dwaraka, Gujarat.
- He inaugurated the 1st three renovated lighthouses in Dwarka, Gopnath and Veraval in Gujarat.
- This inauguration marks the beginning of the campaign.
Note: the campaign is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to transform India’s distinctive lighthouses into captivating tourism sites.
Significance of the campaign:
i.The aim of the campaign is to showcase the rich culture, significance, and magnificent structures of India.
ii.These historic sites have the potential to develop into tourist attractions and to boost the local economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about the unique appeal of lighthouses and their potential as tourist attractions during the 75th episode of Mann Ki Baat.
i.Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also participated in Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)’s Business 20(B20) Meet at Surat, Gujarat, and interacted with the leading members of the business community.
ii.He invited firms to invest in the inland waterways sector and highlighted the need for river cruises such as ‘Narmada Vilas’, ‘Godavari Vilas’, ‘Mahanadi Vilas’, ‘Cauvery Vilas’ based on the success of Ganga Vilas.
RAKEZ & ICFA signed MoU to promote Trade and Innovations in Food and Agriculture Sectors between UAE and India Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) and the Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote growth and development within the food and agriculture sectors of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India.
The MoU was signed by Ramy Jallad, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RAKEZ Group and Dr MJ Khan, Chairman of ICFA.
Significance of the MoU:
i. The MoU aims to create opportunities for knowledge exchange, trade promotion, investment, and research and development collaboration.
ii. It emphasises the commitment to strengthen relationships with international organisations like ICFA and recognising India’s role as a strategic trade and investment partner for the UAE.
iii. The collaboration aims to provide opportunities for capacity-building, enabling tech and agricultural companies in the RAKEZ business community to enhance their methods and share innovative, sustainable farming techniques with major Indian companies.
iv. RAKEZ and ICFA will actively identify and promote investment opportunities for Indian businesses in the economic zone, serving as an attractive gateway to the Middle East through this partnership.
v. This MoU further strengthens the UAE-India relations, which have been raised by the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)signed in February 2022.
Features of the MoU:
i. Under this MoU, RAKEZ will enable Indian agri-businesses to explore profitable opportunities in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region through Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
ii. The proposed joint research and development projects will stimulate agricultural innovation and contribute significantly to the sector’s advancement in both India and the UAE.
iii. The MoU will facilitate promotional activities for trade, market access, and business matchmaking between Indian food and agriculture companies and businesses within the RAKEZ ecosystem.
i. As one of the UAE’s largest trading partners, India brings valuable innovation and expertise in the food and agriculture sectors, particularly in sustainable farming and food processing technologies.
ii. Over 4,000 Indian companies, including Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, and Dabur, already operating in RAKEZ, the collaboration with ICFA promises to further boost Indian presence and investment in the UAE.
About Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA):
ICFA is a society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860, established in 2015
President- Prof. Panjab Singh
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
India Post & Canada Post signed a bilateral Tracked Packet agreement
On 7th June 2023, India Post & Canada Post signed a bilateral Tracked Packet agreement to introduce International Tracked Packet Service (ITPS) between two countries to facilitate e-commerce exports.
- India Post already provides ITPS service with 38 partner countries and Canada will be the 39th and the service commenced from July 01, 2023.
The service will provide competitive shipping solution for packets upto 2.0 kg with tracking facility and fullfill a major demand of exporters.
Note: The postage rates for first 50 gms would be Rs 400 and Rs 35 for every additional 50 gms.
First of its kind Exhibition on ‘Banking on World Heritage’ depicting UNESCO Heritage sites inaugurated at IGNCA, Delhi
On 30th June 2023, Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture inaugurated an exhibition ‘Banking on World Heritage’ first of its kind in the world at Darshanam gallery of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi, Delhi. This exhibition showcases Banknotes of G-20 Member Nations, depicting United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed World cultural Heritage Sites.
- The exhibition organised under the chairmanship of India as part of the ongoing G-20 Summit celebrations and will run till July 9 2023 and has been organised in the spirit of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam.
- The exhibition has been curated by Ms. Rukmini Dahanukar, an independent scholar and founder of ‘Money Talks’.
Note: “Money Talks” is a collection of papers; an on-going research that argues, Money is not merely a medium of exchange but a medium of communication.
India Doubles its share of Global Commercial Services Exports to 4.4% in 2022: WB & WTO Reporti.On July 3, 2023, a report titled ‘Trade in services for development-Fostering sustainable growth and economic diversification’, co-published by World Bank (WB) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), was released virtually during a High level launch event.
ii.As per it, India has doubled its share of global commercial services exports to 4.4% in 2022 from 2% in 2005.
iii.China also doubled its share of global commercial services exports from 2005 to 2022, from 3% to 5.4%.
iv.India has emerged as a favored medical travel hub, attracting approximately 3.5 million foreign patients between 2009 and 2019.
About World Bank (WB) Group:
President– Ajay Banga
Financial Arms– 5: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
Headquarters– Washington, DC, United States
About World Trade Organization (WTO):
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Merger Between HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd Receives Final Board ApprovalIn a significant development, the merger between Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and HDFC Bank has successfully obtained final board approval. With a valuation of around USD 40 billion, this unprecedented merger creates a financial services powerhouse. The approval was granted by HDFC Bank’s board in accordance with the Companies Act, 2013.
Composite Scheme of Amalgamation for merger:
- HDFC Investments Limited and HDFC Holdings Limited merged with HDFC Limited.
- HDFC Limited merged with HDFC Bank Limited has become effective from July 1, 2023.
i.With a combined valuation of USD 172 billion, the merger will impact millions of customers, shareholders, and various businesses associated with both HDFC and HDFC Bank, including group insurance and asset management ventures.
ii.After merging with mortgage lender HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank is set to become the world’s fourth most valuable bank based on market capitalization and emerge as the second biggest company in India.
iii.Deepak Parekh, the esteemed chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Limited, has announced his retirement as HDFC prepares to merge with HDFC Bank, marking the end of his remarkable 45-year tenure.
About Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank:
Chairman – Mr. Atanu Chakraborty
MD & CEO – Sashidhar Jagdishan
Established in – 1994
Tagline – We Understand Your World
Headquarters – Mumbai,Maharashtra
Indian Overseas Bank Launches RuPay Select Debit Card, Offering Exclusive Luxury BenefitsOn 4th July 2023, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) introduced the all-new RuPay Select Debit card, aiming to provide customers with a comprehensive blend of luxury, convenience, and security. With a host of exclusive benefits, including access to gyms, complimentary health check-ups, golf lessons, spa services, and lounge privileges at select domestic and international airports, this new debit card promises a premium banking experience for IOB customers.
- With the introduction of the RuPay Select Debit card, Indian Overseas Bank aims to enhance its customers’ banking experience by offering a range of exclusive luxury benefits.
- This initiative not only provides convenience and security but also reflects IOB’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs and expectations of its valued customers.
i. To be eligible for the RuPay Select Debit card, individuals must maintain a savings bank account or a certificate of deposit (CD) with IOB, with an average daily balance of Rs. 1 lakh.
ii. The cash withdrawal limit is set at Rs. 50,000, while the daily limit for merchant establishment usage (PoS) is Rs. 5 lakh. For e-commerce transactions, users can spend up to Rs. 3.5 lakh per day.
The issuance fee for the card is Rs. 800, along with applicable GST, and an annual maintenance fee is also charged.
- IOB customers will enjoy five free transactions (both financial and non-financial) at IOB ATMs. Subsequently, a charge of Rs. 10 plus GST will be levied for each financial transaction, including cash withdrawals and deposits.
- Non-financial transactions, such as checking bank statements and mini statements, will incur a charge of Rs. 5 plus GST.
About Indian Overseas Bank (IOB):
MD & CEO – Ajay Kumar Srivastava
Headquarters – Chennai,Tamil Nadu
Established in – 1937
Tagline – Good people to grow with
King Charles and Queen Camilla Give Environmental Award to Indian ConservationistsOn 28th June 2023, Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camilla presented the prestigious Elephant Family environmental award to Indian conservationists at the 2023 Animal Ball, Lancaster House, London to recognise contributions to protecting Asian wildlife.
- Filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves, behind Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Elephant Whisperers,’ received the Tara Award
- The Real Elephant Collective (TREC)-a wildlife conservation group from India, consisting of 70 Adivasi artists, was honoured with Mark Shand Award.
i.The debut director of ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ Kartiki Gonsalves was recognised for extraordinary achievements in storytelling and advocacy for coexistence, received elephant statuette as the award.
ii.TREC was conferred the award for their five-year meticulous work in creating the CoExistence Herd of intricate sculptural representations of wild elephants.
i.TERC in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu works with indigenous communities to present intricate sculptural representations of wild elephants.
ii.The sculptures, made from the invasive weed lantana camara, provide livelihood opportunities for Adivasi (indigenous) communities while contributing to the removal of this harmful weed from protected areas.
The Elephant Whisperers:
The film explores connection between humans and elephants through the heartwarming story of Raghu, an orphaned elephant from the same herds depicted in TREC’s sculptures.
Animal ball 2023:
i.The year 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of wildlife conservation charity Elephant Family, established by Mark Shand in 2003(Queen Camilla’s late brother).
ii.This year’s annual Animal Ball was a celebration of indigenous communities, hosted by the Elephant Family in partnership with the British Asian Trust.
Ajay Banga, World Bank president, an only Indian honouree named in 2023 list of Great ImmigrantsAjay Banga, Padma Shri awardee and the President of the World Bank, has been named among the 2023 annual list of “Great Immigrants”, that honours individuals who have strengthened the United States of America (USA) through their contributions. The list is curated by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the USA, a philanthropic organisation.
- Ajay Banga, became the first-ever Indian American to lead the World Bank in June 2023 and he is the only honouree from India in 2023 list of ‘Great Immigrants.
2023 Great Immigrants:
i. In honour of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant and the founder of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the corporation in every Fourth of July celebrates the exemplary contributions of immigrants to American life.
ii. In 2023, the Corporation honours 35 individuals from 33 countries whose contributions and actions have enriched and strengthened the society and democracy of the USA.
iii. In 2023, the Corporation highlighted the work of immigrants who have promoted opportunities for others through their work as educators, mentors, philanthropists, job creators, public servants, storytellers, and advocates.
- Every 4th of July is celebrated as the Independence Day of the USA.
- The corporation is now led by Irish immigrant Dame Louise Richardson.
About Ajay Banga:
i. He started his career in India and spent 13 years at Nestle India and 2 years at PepsiCo.
ii. Before joining the World Bank, Ajay Banga was the Vice chairman at General Atlantic.
iii. He is also a co-founder of the Cyber Readiness Institute and served as vice-chair of the Economic Club of New York, the USA.
iv. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mastercard.
v. He was the Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman from 2020-2022.
vi. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2016 for his contributions in the fields of trade and industry.
Highlights of the 2023 Event:
2023 honorees include: Ke Huy Quan, Vietnamese-born Academy Award-winning actor; Pedro Pascal, Chilean-born actor; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian-born Director-General of World Trade Organization; Ted Lieu, Taiwan born US Congressman and so on.
Note: Ke Huy Quan won the 2023 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’.
Michael Rosen awarded PEN Pinter Prize 2023
British writer and performance poet Michael Rosen has been awarded the PEN Pinter Prize 2023. He will receive the award in a ceremony co-hosted by the British Library on 11 October 2023.
- Some of Rosen’s most well-known books include You Can’t Catch Me (1982), which won the Signal Poetry Award; You Wait Till I Am Older Than You (1996), Rover (2007), Fantastic Mr Dahl (2012, on Roald Dahl’s writing life).
i.The Prize is awarded annually to a writer resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth who is committed to fearless exposition of truth.
ii.The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 in memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter.
iii.The prize is shared with an international writer of courage selected by English PEN’s Writers at Risk Committee in association with the winner.
Lt Gen MU Nair Appointed as the Head of National Cyber Coordination CentreOn 3rd June 2023, Lt Gen MU Nair has been appointed the new National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC)by the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC), the cybersecurity and e-surveillance agency in the government of India.
- He is India’s third cyber security chief after Lt Gen (retd.) Dr Rajesh Pant and first chief Gulshan Rai.
About Lt Gen Nair:
i.A distinguished alumnus of the esteemed National Defence Academy, Lt Gen MU Nair has been honored with Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Sena Medal.
ii.Prior to his appointment as NCSC he held the chair of 28th Signal-officer-in-Chief at the Army Headquarters in July 2022, and also served as the commandant of the Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
iii.He has also held other important positions including the additional director general, signal intelligence, chief of staff of a corps and command.
iv.Lt Gen Nair is an expertise in cyber warfare, signal intelligence and communication and information technology at both national and global levels.
About National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC):
NCSC under National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) coordinates with different agencies at the national level for cyber security matters.
Vice Admiral Atul Anand takes over as Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs
On July 3, 2023, Vice Admiral Atul Anand was appointed as the Additional Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- He will succeed Lt Gen Anil Puri, who retired on February 28, 2023.
About Vice Admiral Atul Anand:
i.He was commissioned into the executive branch of the Indian Navy on January 1, 1988.
ii.He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (71st Course, Delta Squadron)
iii.He is a recipient of Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).
iv.He commanded Torpedo Recovery Vessel INTRV A72, missile boat INS (Indian Naval Ship) Chatak, corvette INS Khukri and missile destroyer INS Mumbai.
v.He also served as the Navigating Officer of the Indian Navy’s ships — Sharda, Ranvijay and Jyoti.
MoRD Launches eSARAS App for Products From Women SHGsOn 3rd July 2023, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojna- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), the flagship initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), launched the eSARAS, an e-commerce mobile application to support the marketing of products made by women of Self-help Groups (SHGs).
- The app was launched by Shailesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of MoRD in New Delhi, Delhi.
- He also inaugurated the eSaras Fulfilment Centre at the MoRD office at Janakpuri, New Delhi, Delhi.
The eSaras app:
i.The app is an online platform for buying handicrafts and handloom items made by rural women registered with SHG’s.
ii.The app is a platform for marketing of the best, authentic handicrafts and handlooms made by women from SHG’s.
iii.The launch of the app promotes the spirit of “Vocal for Local” by marketing easier by “SHG Didis” in even more customer friendly way.
The eSARAS fulfillment centre:
i.The eSARAS fulfillment centre will be managed by the Foundation for Development of Rural Value Chains (FDRVC – a Not for Profit Company constituted jointly by MoRD and Tata Trust).
ii.It will be used to process, package and ship products that customers purchase through the eSaras portal and app.
iii.It will handle the logistics required to bring an online order to a customer’s doorstep.
Note: DAY-NRLM’S strategy is a 360 degree approach with online marketing initiatives like eSARAS App and Portal, and popular on-grounds events like SARAS Melas, Saras Food Festivals.
ECI opened Online Portal for filing 3 types of Financial Reports by the Political Parties
The Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a new web-portal Integrated Election Expenditure Monitoring System to facilitate the online filing of Contribution Report, Audited Annual Account and Election Expenditure Statement by the Political Parties according to the provisions in the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951. The online availability of the data is expected to enhance the level of compliance and transparency.
All political parties are required to submit their financial statements online with this portal to the Election Commission/Chief Electoral Officers of States/Union Territories (UTs).
The twin objectives of the facility is to overcome the difficulties faced by the political parties in physical filing of reports, and to ensure timely filing of financial statements in the prescribed formats.
International Day of Cooperatives 2023 – July 1 The United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Cooperatives (CoopsDay) is annually observed across the globe on the first Saturday of July to raise awareness about the importance of cooperatives and their contributions to the development of society.
The day also commemorates the establishment of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
- 1st July 2023 marked the observance of the 101st International Day of Cooperatives.
- The theme for the International Day of Cooperatives 2023 is “Cooperatives: partners for accelerated sustainable development”.
On the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives 2023(1st July 2023), Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, inaugurated 17th Indian Cooperative Congress (ICC) on 1st and 2nd July 2023 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, Delhi.
- The theme of the congress is ‘AmritKaal: Prosperity through Cooperation for a Vibrant India’.
- The 2-day event organised by National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) was chaired by Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and Ministry of Cooperation.