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Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launches Polyversity – India’s Largest Educational Metaverse & Bharat Blockchain Network
On June 06, 2022, Information Data Systems (IDS), an Information Technology (IT) Services and IT Consulting company based in Michigan, United States of America (USA), has unveiled the Bharat Blockchain Network (BBN) (Academic Blockchain Consortium) & Polyversity (Educational Metaverse).
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India (GoI) launched the initiatives in the presence of officials from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) at an event held at the AICTE Auditorium in New Delhi, Delhi.
i.The Bharat Blockchain Network (BBN), India’s first nationwide hybrid blockchain network, is built by IDS.
ii.Polyversity, a virtual university, is India’s Largest Educational Metaverse, with over 100 Academic Partners establishing virtual campuses, including the AICTE’s campus.
About Ministry of Education (MoE):
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha – Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS) – Annpurna Devi (Kodarma Constituency, Jharkhand); Dr. Subhas Sarkar (Bankura Constituency, West Bengal); Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur Constituency, Manipur)
>> Read Full News
Nitin Gadkari Targets to Construct 60 Km of Highway Per Day; NHAI sets new Guinness World Record
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced the target of constructing 60 kilometres of highway per day.
- Due to COVID-19 pandemic and logistics cost the construction was slowed down to 28.64 km a day in 2021-22 by India’s national highway construction
- Highlights – The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) are primarily responsible for the construction of national highways and expressways across India.
NHAI lays 75-km long highway in 105 hrs, sets new Guinness World Record
On 8th June 2022, NHAI created a new Guinness world record in laying 75 km, in under 5 days, of bituminous concrete in a single lane on NH53 between Amravati to Akola Districts in 105 hours and 33 minutes.
- The corridor connects major cities like Kolkata, Raipur, Nagpur and Surat.
i.NHAI and Raj Path Infracon Pvt Ltd has jointly made the efficient implementation of the project with 720 workers including a team of independent consultants
ii.The total length of the 75 km of single-lane continuous bituminous concrete road is equivalent to 37.5 km of two-lane paved shoulder road.
iii.Earlier the Guinness World Record for the longest continuously laid bituminous was for building 25.275 km on Al-Khor Expressway in Doha, Qatar. In Feb. 2019 ,it was completed in 242 hours i.e10 days.
About National Highways Authority of India (NHAI):
Established – NHAIwas set up by an act of the Parliament, NHAI Act, 1988
Chairman –Mrs. Alka Upadhyaya
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Ministry of Power Notifies Green Open Access Rules 2022; Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q1 2022
The Ministry of Power has notified the Green Open Access Rules, 2022, in order to further expedite ambitious renewable energy programmes with the ultimate objective of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and green energy for all.
The purpose of these guidelines is to encourage the generation, purchase, and consumption of green energy, including waste-to-energy energy plants.
According to Mercom India Research’s newly released report “Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q1 2022”, India added 513 MW (megawatt) of new open access solar capacity in the first quarter (Q1) (January – March) of the calendar year (CY) 2022.
- In comparison to 324 MW installed in Q4 2021, it has increased by 58 % quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Year-over-year (YoY) installations grew by 22% from 422 MW in the first quarter of 2021.
About Ministry of Power:
Union Minister – Raj Kumar Singh (Arrah Constituency, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS) – Krishan Pal (Faridabad Constituency, Haryana)
>> Read Full News
DBT, Gates Foundation Renews Pact to Speed Innovation for Global Health
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for developing new preventions, therapies and interventions to solve health (human and animal), food and nutritional inequities.
i.Background – In 2021, DBT and Gates Foundation signed a MoU on cooperation in health and development for 5 years, which was then renewed for another 5 years till 17th July 2022.
- During the past 10 years, programmes in diverse areas under maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation, infectious disease, data science approaches have been undertaken.
ii.Features of renewed MoU – Under the renewed MoU, the partnership pledges USD 50 million investment to explore the mechanisms to support innovators, focused on early-mid stage research and product development to tackle health and developmental issues.
About Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
William H. Gates Foundation launched in 1994 .Later William H. Gates Foundation merges with the Gates Learning Foundation to form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
CEO – Mark Suzman
Established – 2000
Headquarters – Seattle, Washington DC
Ministry of Defence approves funding under DRDO’s TDF scheme to Rs 50 crore for MSMEs, startups
Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh has approved enhancement of funding under Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme, Ministry of Defence, to Rs 50 crore from Rs 10 crore per project.
i. The scheme was executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) and supports indigenous development of components, products, systems and technologies by MSMEs and start-ups.
ii.The enhanced funding is in line with boosting the vision of ‘AtmaNirbharta’ in defence.
iii. The TDF Scheme aims to provide a major fillip to the defence manufacturing sector by encouraging the industry to innovate and develop defence technologies in order to place India on the self-reliance trajectory. The scheme facilitates up to 90 per cent of the total project cost and allows industry to work in consortium with another industry/academia
NHIDCL and IIT Roorkee sign MoU for sharing knowledge in field of highway engineering
The National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee for sharing knowledge on innovative ideas and technologies in the field of highway engineering.
AIM: To establish the collaboration between the NHIDCL and IIT-Roorkee in order to take up various activities of common interest such as sharing knowledge on innovative ideas and other infrastructure works as per mutually agreed terms and conditions.
About the MoU:
The MoU provides a formal basis for initiating interaction between NHIDCL and IIT, Roorkee, and will play a significant role in realising the aims and objectives of Prime Minister’s GatiShakti, National Master Plan launched.
QS World University Rankings 2023: IISc Bengaluru fastest rising South Asian university
According to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2023, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Karnataka, ranked 155 gaining 31 places since 2022 ranking and emerged as the fastest rising South Asian university among the top 200 universities.
- The ranking was topped by the United States(US)’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) followed by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom(UK) and Stanford University(US).
- Among the 41 Indian institutes featured in the ranking, 12 institutes have improved their score over last year, 12 remained stable, 10 declined, and 7 are new entries.
About QS World University Rankings 2023:
On 8th June 2022, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), London(UK)-based higher education analyst, released the 19th edition of QS World University Rankings, “QS World University Rankings 2023”.
>> Read Full News
NY Legislature Passes World’s First ‘Right To Repair’ Law For Digital ElectronicsThe New York (NY) State Legislature in the United States (US) has passed the world’s first ‘Right to Repair’ law that allows digital electronics manufacturers to make parts, tools, information, and software available to consumers and independent repair shops.
About the Act:
i.The Digital Fair Repair Act would require manufacturers of digital electronics like cellphones and computers to make diagnostic and repair information and parts available for sale to independent repairers.
- It does not include motor vehicles, home appliances, medical devices, public safety communications equipment like police radios, agricultural equipment, and off-road equipment.
ii.Background – This is enacted after the federal pressure to enforce consumers’ rights to repair and refurbish their purchased goods.
- This prevents monopoly on repair services and reduces inflated prices.
About United States (US):
President – Joe Biden
Capital – Washington DC
Currency – Dollar
BANKING & FINANCE
Highlights of RBI’s 2nd Bi-monthly Monetary Policy of 2022-23; Repo Rate raised to 4.90%
i.The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met on June 6-8, 2022 , and released the RBI’s 2nd bi-monthly monetary policy of FY23 which retained India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 7.2% for the FY23 from 7.8% estimated earlier, with FY23’s Q1 at 16.2%; Q2 at 6.2%; Q3 at 4.1%; and Q4 at 4%.
ii.The stance is to focus on withdrawal of accommodative.
iii.The MPC raised the repo rate by 50 basis points to 4.90% which is biggest in more than a decade.
iv.RBI allowed Financially Sound and Well Managed (FSWM) Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) to provide Doorstep Banking (DSB) services to their customers on a voluntary basis, at par with Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs).
v.RBI enhanced the limit for e-mandates/ standing instructions on credit/debit cards and prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) for recurring transactions to Rs 15,000 from Rs 5,000.
vi.RBI also proposed to modify the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) scheme by enhancing the subsidy amount for micro entrepreneurs accepting digital payments, simplifying the subsidy claim process, etc.
vii.RBI also proposed to allow linking of credit cards to Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Firstly, Rupay credit cards will be enabled with this facility.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935, in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
ii.The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Calcutta but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937.
iii.Though originally privately owned, since nationalization in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.
>> Read Full News
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
OECD Slashes India’s GDP Growth Forecast To 6.9% For FY23
In its “OECD Economic Outlook, June 2022”, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) slashed India‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to 6.9% in Fiscal Year 2022-23 (FY23) from its December 2021 forecast of 8.1 percent.
- This is 120 basis points lower than the December 2021 forecast of 8.1%.
- The OECD expects that the global economy will grow by 3% in 2022, down from 4.5% predicted in December 2021, and that inflation will be around 9%.
i. Despite a pick-up in corporate investment aided by the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI), Real GDP is projected to rise by 6.9% in FY23 and 6.2% in FY24.
ii.The Indian economy is gradually losing momentum as inflationary expectations remain elevated due to rising global energy and food prices, monetary policy normalises, and global conditions deteriorate, after recording the strongest GDP rebound in the G20 (Group of Twenty) in 2021.
iii. While inflation will gradually fall, the current account deficit will grow as energy import costs go up.
- India’s GDP grew by 8.7% in 2021-22, making it the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
- In June 2022, The RBI has forecasted the growth rate for FY23 is 7.2% .
- In June 2022, World Bank had slashed India’s forecast to 7.5 per cent for FY23 from its April, 2022 forecast of 8.5%.
Inflation Control Measures Taken by the RBI:
i. In order to combat India’s surging inflation, the RBI raised the benchmark repo rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 4.9%.
ii.It started tightening monetary policy in May 2022, with the goal of anchoring inflation expectations and limiting second-round impacts.
- By the end of 2022, the OECD expects the policy rate to have risen to 5.3 % and will remain there in 2023.
Concerns of the OECD:
i. According to the OECD, the Indian government should provide income support to vulnerable households to fight signals of significant decline in living conditions.
ii.Risks include the emergence of a new COVID variation, inability to control inflation, a reversal of capital flows to emerging markets, and a substantial expansion of the current account deficit.
iii. In FY23 and FY24, monetary policy normalisation and weaker external demand will impact on GDP growth, but strong government spending will continue to boost activity.
iv.The establishment of a “bad bank” – National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (NARCL) entrusted with cleaning up balance sheets and improving logistics is likely to lessen the impact of higher credit costs on private investment.
About Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):
Secretary-General – Mathias Cormann
Member countries – 38
Establishment – 1961
Headquarters – Paris, France
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
AR Rahman Appointed as Ambassador of India-UK Culture Platform
On 7th June 2022 ‘India-United Kingdom (UK) Together Season of Culture’ appoints Music Maestro AR Rahman as its ambassador which was officially launched by Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner to India Jan Thomson and Director (India) of the British Council Barbara Wickham.
- The launch marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
- AR Rahman was a key consultant to the Season of Culture.
About Season of Culture
i.Over 1,400 artists from India, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will present their collaborations to millions of people in India, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- Variety of arts such as theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, music, architecture, design, fashion, tech-art, and new media art will be exhibited.
ii.The ‘Season of Culture’ intends to build on the British Council’s work in India and strengthen partnerships between India and the UK in the arts, English, and education.
iii.People in both nations will get the opportunity to see unique and exciting creative work by UK and Indian artists
About British Council(India):
Director – Barbara Wickham
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India set to launch 1st Human Space Mission Gaganyaan & 1st Human Ocean Mission in 2023
On 8th June 2022, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge), Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES); and Ministry of Science & Technology announced that India is set to simultaneously launch the first Human Space Mission “Gaganyaan” as well as the first manned Human Ocean Mission in 2023.
- The announcement was made during the event organised as a part of World Ocean Day 2022(8th June) at Prithvi Bhawan, Delhi.
- He also announced that the government is set to unveil the Blue Economy Policy and more than 40 million people will be employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
About Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES):
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Jitendra Singh (Constituency- Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir)
>> Read Full News
India Finalises Deals for Cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia
The Indian government has finalised deals with South Africa and Namibia to get the planet’s fastest animals, cheetahs that became extinct in India and will be released into the wild at Kuno Palpur National Park in Sheopur district, Madhya Pradesh, by the end of 2022.
- Initially, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed for 10 years, which can be extended for another five years.
- There will be 12 cheetahs from South Africa and 8 from Namibia and more will be followed in subsequent years.
i.The two governments agreed to the cooperation on conservation of the cheetah for improved ecosystem services, community livelihood options, transfer of technology and science.
- According to CITES ,a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals, sustainable use of biodiversity means to contribute to tangible benefits for local people.
- A group of four officials, including divisional forest officer Prakash Kumar Verma, assistant conservator of forests Amritanshu Singh, veterinarian Onkar Anchal and National Tiger Conservation Authority deputy inspector general Rajendra G Garawad have been sent to Namibia and South Africa for training.
- CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (also known as the Washington Convention)
ii.Namibia was keen on India’s support as it wants 22 elephants to be exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
iii.The project to translocate cheetahs from Africa to India is a long-term, one-time project being implemented by the environment ministry with the help of the Wildlife Institute of India.
iv.A special 10 sq km enclosure for cheetahs has been readied at the Kuno-Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
v.The government plans to introduce 8-10 cheetahs every year and take the number to 50 over a five-year period.
About South Africa:
President –Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
Capital – Cape town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
Currency – South African Rand(ZAR)
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Anurag Thakur Released Books Titled ‘Loktantra ke Swar’ & ‘The Republican Ethic’
Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Education (MoE); and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) along with Anurag Singh Thakur Union Minister, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB); and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports(MoYAS) launched 2 books titled “Loktantra Ke Swar” Khand 4 in Hindi and “The Republican Ethic”(volume 4) in English.
- The books are a compilation of selected speeches of Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India.
- This is the 4th volume of the series, featuring the 4th year of the presidency of Ram Nath Kovind. Simultaneously, the e-version of the book was also released.
- Anurag Singh Thakur presented the first copies of the books to President Ram Nath Kovind.
The books are published by the Publication Division of the MIB, Government of India.
i.The book features the thoughts of President Ram Nath Kovind on varied topics such as Public service, ethics, education, aspirations of our youth, and contemporary global issues.
ii.The book features 38 selected speeches categorized into 8 sections.
The 8 sections are, Addressing the Nation; Educating India, Equipping India; Dharma of Public Service; Honouring Our Sentinels; Spirit of the Constitution and Law; Acknowledging Excellence; Moral Exemplars, Guiding Lights, and Window to the World.
World Accreditation Day 2022 – June 9
World Accreditation Day(WAD) is annually observed across the globe on 9th June to promote the value of accreditation in the economy. The day also aims to create awareness about the importance of accreditation related activities.
- 9th June 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of World Accreditation Day
The theme of World Accreditation Day 2022(WAD 2022) is “Accreditation: Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment”.
- The 2022 theme aims to highlight how accreditation and conformity assessment can provide solutions for global issues.
- The WAD 2022 poster was created by Punyasorn Lumjuan.
i.World Accreditation Day (WAD) is a global initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) in 2007.
ii.The first ever World Accreditation Day was observed on 9th June 2008.
About International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC):
ILAC Chair– Etty Feller(Israel)
Headquarters– New South Wales, Australia
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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 10 June 2022|
|1||Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launches Polyversity – India’s Largest Educational Metaverse & Bharat Blockchain Network|
|2||Nitin Gadkari Targets to Construct 60 Km of Highway Per Day; NHAI sets new Guinness World Record|
|3||Ministry of Power Notifies Green Open Access Rules 2022; Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q1 2022|
|4||DBT, Gates Foundation Renews Pact to Speed Innovation for Global Health|
|5||Ministry of Defence approves funding under DRDO’s TDF scheme to Rs 50 crore for MSMEs, startups|
|6||NHIDCL and IIT Roorkee sign MoU for sharing knowledge in field of highway engineering|
|7||QS World University Rankings 2023: IISc Bengaluru fastest rising South Asian university|
|8||NY Legislature Passes World’s First ‘Right To Repair’ Law For Digital Electronics|
|9||Highlights of RBI’s 2nd Bi-monthly Monetary Policy of 2022-23; Repo Rate raised to 4.90%|
|10||OECD Slashes India’s GDP Growth Forecast To 6.9% For FY23|
|11||AR Rahman Appointed as Ambassador of India-UK Culture Platform|
|12||India set to launch 1st Human Space Mission Gaganyaan & 1st Human Ocean Mission in 2023|
|13||India Finalises Deals for Cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia|
|14||Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Anurag Thakur Released Books Titled ‘Loktantra ke Swar’ & ‘The Republican Ethic’|
|15||World Accreditation Day 2022 – June 9|