Current Affairs 13-September-2023

Indian Navy Signed MoU with Uber to Offer Reliable Mobility Solutions for Naval Personnel, FamiliesThe Indian Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s Uber, a leading ridesharing app, to provide reliable, convenient, safe, and economical mobility solutions for personal travel and commute of Naval personnel and families across India.

  • This MoU aligns with the Chief of the Naval Staff’s (CNS) vision of ‘Happy Personnel’ under the ‘SHIPS FIRST’ approach and is a maiden initiative in the Armed Forces.
  • This also promotes the Government of India’s (GoI) ‘Digital India’ vision of embracing technology for transformative change.

Key People:
The MoU was signed in the presence of Admiral R Hari Kumar, CNS; Mrs. Kala Hari Kumar, President Navy Wellness and Welfare Association (NWWA); and Mr. Abhinav Mittoo, Senior Country Manager, Uber for Business, Under India South Asia and Egypt.
About the MoU:
i.Through this partnership, the Indian Navy will integrate Uber’s advanced ride-sharing technology via a seamless platform, Uber for Business into the Naval ecosystem.
ii.The partnership will help streamline the travel experiences of the Naval workforce, making their travel smoother and the process more efficient.
Uber will extend several benefits to Indian Naval personnel and their families including: –

  • A personalised profile on the Uber App.
  • Premier Executive Cab Category provides surge price protection during peak office hours.
  • Availability of Top-rated drivers.
  • Zero cancellation fee on all Uber rides.
  • 24×7 Premium business support.

i.The Indian Navy has incorporated the ‘SHIPS FIRST’ approach in its functioning, to boost the morale and welfare of the Human Resource.
ii.The ‘H’ signifying ‘Happy Personnel’ in ‘SHIPS FIRST‘, highlights the focus of the Indian Navy to meet the welfare of its sailors (personnel) and their families.
About Uber Technologies, Inc:
Uber is an American transportation conglomerate that provides ride-hailing services.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Dara Khosrowshahi
Headquarters– California, United States of America
President India and South Asia– Prabhjeet Singh
Launched in 2009

DEPwD Launched 5 Initiatives for PwDs: Online Case Monitoring Portal for Grievance RedressalThe Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DePWD) under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) launched 5 Pioneering Initiatives to Foster Inclusivity and Empower Persons with Disabilities(PwDs).

  • An Online Case Monitoring Portal developed by the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) was launched to simplify and expedite the grievance resolution process for PwDs.
  • The initiatives were launched by Pratima Bhoumi, Minister of State (MoS), MoSJE at the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC) in New Delhi, Delhi.

The other 4 initiatives were: 

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Council of Architecture(COA).
  • Releasing of Anonymous Data of Unique Disability ID (UDID).
  • PM-DAKSH (Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi) Portal.
  • Comprehensive Booklet: Pathways to Access: Courts on Disability Right.

About Online Case Monitoring Portal:
To minimize reliance on physical paperwork, support operational efficiency and Environmental Sustainability in line with the Government’s broader objectives.
i.The portal is equipped with a range of features designed to enhance efficiency, including seamless online complaint filing, end-to-end digital process, automation of reminders and time-based notices, and a hybrid approach incorporating e-court and e-office modules.
ii.The portal will replace the traditional paper-based procedures with a digital grievance resolution process.
iii.The portal will streamline disability grievance handling and is accessible on the Office of the CCPD website.
About the other 4 initiatives: 
i.DEPwD has partnered with COA to introduce universal accessibility courses within Bachelor of Architecture programs.

  • This partnership will extend to develop a certified course for architects and civil engineers, equip them with skills to conduct accessibility audits in built environments and ensure compliance with accessibility standards.

ii.DEPwD released the anonymous data through the UDID portal for research purposes. This will provide insights at various levels, facilitating a deeper understanding and informing targeted interventions.
iii.PM-DAKSH Portal introduced by DEPwD is a comprehensive digital platform designed to empower PwDs in their pursuit of skill training and employment opportunities.

  • This will offer seamless registration through UDID, access to location-based skill training options, a wide array of job listings from across India, and streamlined administrative processes.

iv.The booklet, Pathways to Access: Courts on Disability Rights, by DEPwD is a compilation of notable judgments from India’s Supreme Court and High Courts concerning disability rights.

  • This will be a reference guide for PwDs and stakeholders in the disability sector.

Varuna-23: Phase II of 21st edition of Varuna conducted in Arabian Sea
The Indian Navy and the French Navy conducted the Phase II of the 21st edition of the Varuna (Varuna 2023), the bilateral maritime exercise, in the Arabian Sea. The 3 day exercise witnessed the participation of guided missile frigates, tankers, maritime patrol aircraft and integral helicopters by both countries.

  • Varuna 23 was conducted in two phases. The Phase I of ‘Varuna-2023’ was conducted off India’s Western Seaboard from 16th to 20th January 2023.
  • The 21st edition of Varuna marks the 25th year of Indo-French strategic partnership.
  • Indian & French Navy bilateral naval exercise was initiated in 1993 and the exercise was named “Varuna” in 2001.

Bharti AXA Life introduces ‘Income Laabh to Simplify Insurance with Maximum ProtectionBharti AXA Life Insurance has launched Bharti AXA Life Income Laabh, an individual savings plan that provides both financial security and a consistent income stream throughout the policy term.

  • It is a non-linked, non-participating individual savings plan with life insurance coverage.
  • This launch was made as a part of its aim to simplify insurance and deliver maximum protection to its consumers.

Key Points:
i.Policyholders can expect guaranteed income for 10 to 12 years, with initial payouts equal to 100% of the annual premium and increasing to 150% after 5 years for a 10-year term, or 200% after 6 years for a 12-year term.
ii.A lump sum amount is given at the end of the income period to support important life goals, aiming to enhance the financial well-being of customers and their families.
iii.Optional riders are offered for enhanced coverage, providing additional security and peace of mind to policyholders.

  • Bharti AXA Life Income Laabh also offers flexibility in premium and policy terms, along with potential tax benefits.

About Bharti AXA Life Insurance:
Bharti AXA Life Insurance is a joint venture (JV) of  New Delhi based Bharti Group (51%) and Paris Based AXA (49%), a French multinational insurance firm.
MD & CEO– Parag Raja
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

NGEL Nayara Energy Signed MoU For Green Hydrogen Production
NTPC Green Energy Limited(NGEL) signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nayara Energy Limited to produce Green Hydrogen for Nayara Energy’s captive usage and help them in the decarbonisation process and to reduce carbon footprint.

  • This partnership aligns with NTPC’s initiatives to develop hydrogen projects and aims to make India self-reliant (Atmanirbhar Bharat).
  • The MoU was signed by NTPCREL’s Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Mohit Bhargava and Nayara Energy’s Head-Technical Amar Kumar.

NGEL  is the subsidiary of  NTPC Limited (formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation) whereas Nayara Energy Limited is a Pan-India fuel retail network.

CSIR announces Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes 2022 for 12 scientistsi.On September 11, 2023, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Director General N Kalaiselvi announced the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) awards for 2022 to be distributed to 12 young scientists across India.
ii.The announcement was made at the launch event of ‘One Week One Lab’ programme of CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (CSIR-NIScPR), in the presence of Minister of State (MoS) Dr. Jitendra Singh (Ministry of Science and Technology), Vice President, CSIR in New Delhi, Delhi.
iii.The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding Indian work in science and technology.
About Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
Director General– N. Kalaiselvi
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Science & Technology
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

RBI Approved Re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as MD & CEO of  ICICI Bank for 3yearsThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ICICI Bank Limited for three years with effect from 4th October, 2023 to 3rd October 2026.

  • This is his second extension of tenure; the first extension happened in 2021 for two years which is about to expire on 3rd October 2023.
  • He has been serving as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank since 2018 succeeding Chanda Kochchar.

i.In October 2022, the board of directors of ICICI Bank approved to re-appoint him to the post.
ii.The shareholders of the bank also approved the reappointment at the annual general meeting held in August 2023.
About Sandeep Bakhshi:
i.Prior to the appointment as MD & CEO,  Sandeep Bakhshi was a Whole time Director and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the ICICI Bank.
ii.He joined the ICICI Group in 1986 and has handled various assignments across the group in ICICI Limited, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, ICICI Bank and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
About ICICI Bank Limited:
Managing Director(MD) &  Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in 1994
Tagline – Hum Hai Na Khayal Apka

GQG Acquired Over 5 Crore Shares in IDFC First Bank from V Vaidyanathan
GQG Partners have acquired 5.07 crore equity shares (0.8% of the total equity) in IDFC First Bank for about Rs 478.70 crore from V Vaidyanathan, Managing Director(MD)  & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IDFC First Bank. The transaction occurred at a price of Rs 94.5 per share.

  • Out of Rs 478.7 crore sales proceeds, Rs 229 crore would be to pay to IDFC First Bank to subscribe to new shares of the bank and Rs 240.5 crore towards income tax payment for exercising the stock options.
  • Rs 9.2 crore will be contribution to pre-committed causes.

Following this transaction, Vaidyanathan’s shareholding in IDFC FIRST Bank will increase from 0.58% as of 30th June 2023, to 1.04% of the paid-up capital of the bank.  Including options yet to be converted, his shareholding is 1.23% of the total share capital of the bank

  • The stock options were given to Vaidyanathan as a part of the merger between Capital First and IDFC Bank in December 2018.

IDFC First Bank Limited, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, was established in 2018. Tagline: ‘Always You First’.

Overview of Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2023The Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2023 was held from 31st August to 5th September 2023 at the National Library of India, Kolkata, West Bengal.

  • India’s Grandmaster Divya Deshmukh won the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid title in the women’s category.
  • India’s GrandmasterPraggnanandhaa secured third place in both Open Rapid and Open Blitz events.
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France won the Tata Steel Chess India Open Rapid title.
  • Grandmaster (GM) Alexander Grischuk won the Tata Steel India 2023 Open Blitz title.CategoryRapidBlitzOpen (Men’s)Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    (France)Alexander Grischuk
    (Represented by FIDE)Teimour Radjabov
    (Azerbaijan)Nodirbek Abdusattorov
    (Uzbekistan)Women’sDivya Deshmukh
    (India)Ju Wenjun
    (China)Ju Wenjun
    (China)Koneru Humpy

About Federation Internationale des Echecs/International Chess Federation (FIDE):
President – Arkady Dvorkovich
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
Established – 1924

Germany Defeat Serbia to Win First-Ever FIBA Basketball World CupGerman men’s basket ball team won the International Basketball Federation(FIBA) Basketball World Cup 2023 by defeating Serbia in the finals held in Manila, Philippines.

  • The 19th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup took place for the first time across three host nations in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia from 25th August to 10th September 2023.
  • This marks Germany’s maiden FIBA Basketball World Cup title.
  • The event witnessed the participation of 32 teams grouped into 8, each comprising of 4 teams.

Winners of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023:

  • Germany’s previous best performance at the men’s World Cup was in 2002 in Indianapolis(USA) where they won the bronze medal.
  • Germany was also unbeaten throughout the tournament and became the fifth consecutive World Cup champion to go unbeaten.

ii.This was Serbia’s second defeat at the finals of the men’s World Cup since they lost to the United States of America(USA) in the 2014 final in Madrid, Spain.
iii.Canada bagged the bronze medal by defeating the United States of America(USA).

  • This also marks Canada’s first medal in the FIBA World Cup.

i.Dennis Schroder of Germany won the TISSOT Most Valuable Player award.

  • Josh Giddey (Australia) earned the Wanda Rising Star Award at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

ii.Schroder also  joined  the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 All-Star 5, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia, Canada star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Edwards from the USA, and Slovenia star Luka Doncic.
iii.The winning team was awarded the Naismith trophy named after the Basketball inventor James Naismith.
Additional Info:
i.Qatar is set to host the 2027 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
ii.Spain won the previous edition of the World Cup (2019) followed by Argentina and France in the second and third place respectively held in China in 2019.
About International Basketball Federation/Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA):
President – Hamane Niang
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Established – 1932

NÖ OPEN 2023: ATP Challenger in Tulln: India’s Sumit Nagal ends as Runner-Up
Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal finished as runner up in the NÖ OPEN 2023(powered by EVN), a Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger 100 event, held in TullnAustria from 3rd to 10th September 2023.

  • Czech Republic’s Vit Kopriva won the title defeating Sumit Nagal in the finals held in TC Tulln facility in Tulln.
  • Nagal earned 60 ranking points during the event and is ranked 156th (as of 11th September 2023) in the ATP Rankings.

He has won a total of four ATP Challenger Tour title: 2017 Bengaluru Open
Bengaluru(Karnataka, India), 2019 Challenger de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2023 Garden Open in Rome, Italy and 2023 Tampere Open in Tampere, Finland.
Note: The NÖ Open is a professional tennis tournament played on clay courts. It is currently part of the ATP Challenger Tour.

Goa Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai Launched Mashaal for 37th National Games
P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, Governor of Goa, launched the Mashaal (torch) for the 37th National Games in a ceremony organised by the Department of Sports and Youth affairs, Goa and the Sports Authority of Goa at Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Donapaula, Goa.

  • The 37th National Games is set to be held from 25th October, 2023 to 9th November 2023 in Goa.
  • Governor also launched the anthem (theme song) of the 37th National Games featuring the voice of Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan. The Goan instrument, Ghumat is also used for the anthem.

During the event, Dr. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister (CM) of Goa, launched the website with all information related to the 37th National Games.

Archery World Cup Finals 2023: Indian Archer Prathamesh Jawkar Clinched Silver Medal
Indian archer Prathamesh Samadhan Jawkar(Ranked World No.14) clinched the silver medal in Men’s Coumpond Finals in Hermosillo 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup Finals which was held in Hermosillo, Mexico on 9th & 10th September 2023.

  • Prathamesh Jawkar competed against Mathias Fullerton (Ranked World No.14) of Denmark in the gold medal clash.

The match was a tie as both players scored 148 points after five sets. While both archers hit a 10 in the shoot-off, Fullerton won because his arrow was closer to the centre.

British Scientist Sir Ian Wilmut, Creator of Dolly, the Cloned Sheep, Passed away
On September 10, 2023, British Scientist Sir Ian Wilmut, the man who led the team at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh that created Dolly the Sheep in 1996 has passed away at the age of 79. He was born on 7th July 1944 in Hampton Lucy, United Kingdom(UK).
About Ian Wilmut:
British embryologist Ian Wilmut was a Chair of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

  • He laid the foundations for stem cell research/ regenerative medicine which aims to cure many of the diseases of ageing by enabling the body to regenerate damaged tissue.

i.He worked at the University of Cambridge, as part of Professor Christopher Polge’s team, that worked on the preservation of semen and embryos by freezing.

  • He was a part of the team that created Frostie, the first calf to be born from a frozen embryo in 1973.

ii.Later, He moved to the Animal Breeding Research Organisation (ABRO), the predecessor to The Roslin Institute.
iii.In 2005, He moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2005, becoming the first Director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine.
Awards and Honours:
i.In 1998, he received the Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Award and the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
ii.He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999 and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2002.
iii.He together with Keith Campbell and Shinya Yamanaka jointly received the 2008 Shaw Prize for Medicine and Life Sciences for their works on the cell differentiation in mammals.
About Dolly, the Sheep:
i.Dolly, a Finn Dorset sheep, was the world’s first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.
ii.Dolly was cloned from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a 6 year old Finn Dorset sheep and an egg cell from a Scottish Blackface sheep.
iii.Dolly was born on 5th July 1996 and was announced to the world on 22nd February 1997. After 6 years, Dolly died on 14th February 2003.

American Software Developer & Co-Creator Of PowerPoint Dennis Austin Passed Away
Dennis Austin, one of the co-creators of  PowerPoint software, passed away. He was born on May 28, 1947 in Pittsburgh city of  Pennsylvania, United States of America(USA). He was PowerPoint’s primary developer from 1985 until his retirement in 1996.

  • Austin along with Robert Gaskins created the powerpoint for the software company Forethought and released it in 1987.
  • Microsoft then acquired the firm and integrated PowerPoint into its suite of Office programs.

National Forest Martyrs Day 2023- September 11 The National Forest Martyrs Day is annually observed across India on 11th September to remember, and honour people who sacrificed their lives to protect forests and Wildlife in India that are important for the well-being of the planet.

  • The day is also observed as an annual commemoration of the Khejarli massacre in 1730.

i.In 2013, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India (GoI) officially declared the 11th of September of every year as National Forest Martyrs Day.

  • The day is observed to recognise the infamous Khejarli Massacre of 1730 took place in Khejarli, Rajasthan.

ii.Since 2013, September 11th has been an annual commemoration of the Khejarli massacre known as National Forest Martyrs Day.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC):
Union Minister– Bhupender Yadav (Rajya Sabha- Rajasthan)
Minister of State– Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency- Buxar, Bihar)

International Day for South-South Cooperation 2023- September 12 The United Nations (UNInternational Day for South-South Cooperation is annually observed across the globe on 12th September, to highlight the importance of cooperation among people and economic and technical cooperation among countries of the developing world, known as the Global South.

  • South-South Cooperation (SSC) refers to the technical cooperation among developing countries in the Global South.

The 2023 theme of the International Day for South-South Cooperation is, “Solidarity, Equity, and Partnership: Unlocking South-South Cooperation to Achieve the SDGs”.

  • The theme highlights the importance of SSC in achieving the UN 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

i.On 23rd December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/58/220 and proclaimed the 19th December of every year as the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation.
ii.The first-ever UN Day for SSC was observed on 19th December 2004.
About United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC):
Director– Dima Al-Khatib
Headquarters– New York, United States of America (USA)
Established in– 1974

ONDC & Transport Dept of Kerala signed MoU to Extend Open Mobility Network  Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), an initiative of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry(MoCI) and the Transport Department of the Government of Kerala signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand the scope of the open mobility network in Kerala.

  • The agreement expanded the Kochi Open Mobility Network to cover the rest of the state of Kerala, now called the Kerala Open Mobility Network (KOMN), which was launched in November 2022 in Kochi, Kerala.
  • The project will integrate all modes of transportation that are currently operating in Kerala onto the ONDC network and will offer affordable and convenient access to all modes of transport through user-friendly buyer and seller apps.

The MoU was signed by S. Sreejith, Transport Commissioner, Kerala; and Shireesh Joshi, Chief Business Officer (CBO), ONDC.
About the Collaboration:
i.The partnership aims to integrate the KOMN into ONDC, fostering an inclusive and accessible mobility ecosystem without any obstacles.
ii.This commitment extends to providing the people of Kerala with convenience, accessibility, and efficiency in all aspects of transportation on the open network.
iii.This collaboration, known as the KOMN, brings together various stakeholders from government agencies to private providers, and ensuring safety and convenience, leads to a more connected and accessible Kerala.
The collaboration to extend the open mobility network, powered by the ONDC protocol, can enhance both the customer and driver value proposition in the Yatri cab and auto booking app in Kochi, Kerala.

  • It allows drivers to connect directly with customers, eliminating the need for any intermediaries thereby enabling the customers to pay less and drivers to earn more.
  • With a network of over 5,000 drivers and 2 lakh customers, the app has completed 180,000 trips and enabled drivers to earn over Rs 4.5 crore without any commissions.

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