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Cabinet Approvals on May 17, 2023On May 17, 2023, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi has approved the following:
i.Signing of Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) between India’s Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for promoting access to high quality affordable assistive technology.
ii.After the success of PLI for mobile phones, the Union Cabinet also approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme 2.0 for Information Technology (IT) Hardware with an outlay Rs 17,000 crore.
iii.Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and The Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (CA Maldives).
iv.Signing of MoU between the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) to promote and strengthen cooperation in competition law.
v.The Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for revision in Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for various nutrients i.e. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur (S) for Rabi Season 2022-23 (from 01.01.2023 to 31.03.2023) and approved NBS rates for Kharif Season, 2023 (from 1.4.2023 to 30.09.2023) for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers.
About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director-General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
President– Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Currency– Maldivian Rufiyaa
>> Read Full News
GoI Implements RPwD Act 2016; Established Accessibility Standards for DivyangjanThe Government of India (GoI) has formulated rules under the provision of section 40 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 to establish the standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities (Divyangjan or PwDs).
- The rules establish the standard of accessibility for the physical environment, transportation, information and communication, including appropriate technologies and systems and other facilities and services provided to the public in urban and rural areas.
- Under this provision of section 40 of the RPwD Act 2016, 20 ministries are involved in making Accessibility guidelines/standards for their respective sector.
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(MoSJE), will regularly monitor the formulations of these guidelines or standards.
Note: The RPwD Act, 2016 was enacted on 28th December 2016 and came into force on 19th April 2017.
About the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(MoSJE):
Union Minister– Virendra Kumar(Constituency- Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– A. Narayanaswamy; Pratima Bhoumik & Ramdas Athawale
>> Read Full News
3rd ETWG meeting under India’s G20 Presidency held in Mumbai- India Commits to Just Energy Transition
The 3rd Energy Transitions Working Group Meeting (ETWG) under India’s G20 Presidency was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra on 15th May 2023.Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Secretary, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), announced that through the Presidency of the G20(Group of 20), India is committed to an accelerated, responsible and just energy transition through international cooperation and collaboration.
- This was announced during the official side event “Low-cost Finance for New & Emerging Energy Technologies” organised as a part of the 3rd ETWG.The side event was organised by the MNRE along with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
- A report titled “Low-Cost Finance for Energy Transition” prepared by IRENA in collaboration with the MNRE was also released during the side event of 3rd ETWG.
- During the event, 2 other reports titled “Financing Needs for New Age Critical Technologies: CO2 Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS)” and “Financing Needs for New Age Critical Technologies: Battery Energy Storage (BES)” were also released.
Recent Related News :-
India is hosting the prestigious G20 (Group of Twenty) summit in 2023, as the country holds the G20 Presidency from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023.The first “G20 Energy Transition Working Group” (ETWG) Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka, from February 5-7, 2023…Click here for more detail..
About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE):
Union Minister– Raj Kumar Singh(Constituency- Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State– Bhagwanth Khuba(Constituency- Bidar, Karnataka)
>> Read Full News
DDP of Defence Ministry announces 164 PIL Items; Import Value of Rs 814 crore
The Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD), announced that 164 Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) items, which were to be indigenised by December 2022 and had an import substitution value of USD 99 million (Rs 814 crore), have achieved the target within the timelines. This is in line with realising “Aatmanirbharta” in the defence sector.
With the notification of these 164 additional items, the total number of indigenised items from these PILs of DDP is 2,736, with an import substitution value of Rs 2,570 crore.
- The indigenisation of these items has been achieved by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) either through Industry partners, including MSMEs, or in-house.
- Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) have successfully indigenised these items either through Industry partners, including MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises), or in-house.
- The DDP has notified 4 PILs consisting of 4,666 items, including Line Replacement Units (LRUs), Sub-systems, and Spares & Components for DPSUs.
- DDP had earlier notified the successful indigenisation of 2,572 items, with an import substitution value of Rs 1,756 crore.
The DPSUs-wise list of these indigenised items is available on the Srijan Portal.
1st Ministerial Meeting of TTC: EU-India Agrees to coordinate Policies in Strategic Semi-Conductor SectorOn 16th May 2023, India and the European Union (EU) agreed to coordinate their policies in the strategic semiconductor sector with an aim to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by September 2023 in the 1st ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Brussels, Belgium.
- The EU-India Trade and Technology Council is the 2nd bilateral forum for the EU and the 1st one established with any partner for India.
Note: The EU and the United States of America (USA) launched a TTC in June 2021 is the 1st bilateral forum.
The meeting was co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice-Presidents (EVP) Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, with Indian Ministers Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs (MEA), Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry (MoC&I), and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State (MoS) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & MoS for Electronics and Information Technology, and joined by High Representative/ Vice-President Josep Borrell and Thierry Breton, European Commissioner.
i. The formation of the TTC was announced by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (PM) of India, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission in New Delhi, Delhi, in April 2022.
ii. They agreed to set up the TTC to facilitate the exchange of critical technologies relating to an array of domains including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, semiconductors and cybersecurity.
India & EU- Joint Statement:
i. The EU and India will work towards bridging the digital skills gap, explore Mutual Recognition of certifications and further the promotion of skilled professionals and talent exchange.
ii. It also enhances cooperation on Information technology (IT) and Telecoms Standardisation with a particular focus on promoting interoperable standards.
iii. According to the joint statement of the EU and India, both sides recognised the importance of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for the development of open and inclusive digital economies and digital societies.
iv. The EU and India are committed to deepening their partnership and using their respective strengths to accelerate the creation and adoption of advanced digital technologies that will benefit both societies and promote global progress in line with common values.
About the European Union(EU):
European Union (EU) is an organization of European countries to oversee their economic and political integration.
Presidency of the Council of the EU- Sweden (1st January 2023 to 30th June 2023)
Formed in 1993
Members– 27 member states
BANKING & FINANCE
IRDAI Forms Task Force to Facilitate Ease of Doing KYC Using Aadhaar
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), a statutory body under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), has constituted a task force to facilitate ease of doing Know Your Customer (KYC) and allied matters by insurers using Aadhaar, the 12-digit individual identification number.
- At Present, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) framework allows insurance companies to identify the customer by using their Aadhaar with consent management.
- The 12-member task force is headed by Rakesh Joshi, Member (finance and investment (F&I)) of IRDAI.
- The panel has been asked to suggest measures to ease of onboarding of customers using Aadhaar, and steps for fraud management at the underwriting and claims stages.
- The 12-point terms of reference also seek the panel’s suggestion on linking of ABHA ID (Ayushman Bharat) and facilitating insurers to access annuity life certificates (Jeevan Pramaan).
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
N Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons Chairman Conferred with Highest French Civilian Honour- “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur“On 17th May 2023, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, was honoured with the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour), the highest French Civilian award, for his substantial role in developing and fostering commercial links between India and France.
- N Chandrasekaran received the award from Catherine Colonna, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, who gave the award on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron.
About Natarajan Chandrasekaran:
i. In 1987, Natarajan Chandrasekaran started his journey with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as a graduate trainee.
ii. He served the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director(MD) of TCS from 2009 to 2017. He became the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the Tata Group.
iii. In 2016, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) appointed N Chandrasekaran as a director on its board.
iv. He has also been appointed as the chair of B20 India by the Central government. In this role, he will lead the business agenda during India’s G20 presidency.
v. He is also heading the new Economic Advisory Council of Maharashtra, which was announced by the state government in December 2022.
Awards: In 2022, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his excellence in Trade and Industry.
i.With approximately 25 French research and development centres, 15 joint Indo-French research institutes, and 500 collaborative projects in India, France has established itself as one of India’s most important scientific partners.
ii.In December 2022, Tata Technologies inaugurated its innovation centre in Toulouse, France, to cater for the new-age product engineering and digital requirements of the global aerospace and defence sector.
iii.In 2023, Tata Group-owned Air India had inked a multi-billion dollar deal with Airbus, France-based aerospace industry, to buy 250 aircraft from Airbus, which included 210 A320 neo planes and 40 A350 aircraft.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Manoj Soni sworn in as UPSC ChairmanOn May 16 2023, Manoj Soni, a former Vice-Chancellor of two universities in Gujarat, sworn in as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Oath was administered by Smita Nagaraj, a senior most Member of UPSC.
- Manoj Soni was already serving as the Chairman in charge of UPSC since April 2022. He joined UPSC as a member on June 28, 2017.
About Manoj Soni:
i. Manoj Soni served three terms as Vice-Chancellor:
- Two consecutive terms from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2015 as Vice-Chancellor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (BAOU), Gujarat;
- From April 2005 to April 2008 Manoj Soni, served as the Vice-Chancellor of The Maharaja Sayajirao University(MSU) in Baroda, Gujarat.
- He became the youngest-ever vice-chancellor in India, during his tenure at MSU.
ii. He taught International Relations at Sardar Patel University (SPU), Vallabh Vidyanagar between 1991 and 2016, except for the period when he served as Vice-Chancellor of the two universities.
i. In 2013, he was honoured with the ‘Honorary Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge’ title by the Mayor-President of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States of America.
ii. In 2015, he received the World Education Congress Global Award for Distance Learning Leadership from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, London, United Kingdom.
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC):
i.The UPSC conducts the civil services examination to select Group “A” officers of elite services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) and over two dozen all-India services that form the backbone of the country’s administrative structure.
ii.The Commission is headed by a Chairman and it can have a maximum of 10 members, who are all appointed by the President of India.
About Union Public Service Commission (UPSC):
Chairperson– Manoj Soni
Founded– 1 October 1926
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Air Marshal Ashutosh Dixit takes over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff
On 15th May 2023, Air Marshal Ashutosh Dixit, who was commissioned in the fighter stream in the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 6th December 1986, took over as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff(DCAS).
Prior to taking over as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, he served as Senior Air Staff Officer at South Western Air Command and the Air Defence Commander of Southern Air Command.
- He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test pilot, with over 3300 hours of flying experience on fighter, trainer, and transport aircraft.
- Air Marshal Ashutosh Dixit commanded a Mirage 2000 Squadron, a frontline fighter base in the Western sector, and a premier fighter training base.
- He formerly held the positions of Principle Director of Air Staff Requirement, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects), and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans).
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
RBI gives nod to SBIFML to acquire 9.99% stake in HDFC Bank On May 17, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved SBI Funds Management Ltd’s (SBIFML) application for acquiring up to 9.99% of the paid-up share capital or voting rights of HDFC Bank Ltd.
- SBIFML has to acquire the major shareholding in the bank within a period of six months i.e. by November 15, 2023.
- The investment will be made as part of the mutual fund schemes managed by SBI Funds Management.
i.SBIFML currently holds a 5.07% equity stake in HDFC Bank and 3.79% in Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Limited.
ii.SBIFML has to ensure that the aggregate holding in the bank remains below 10% of the paid-up share capital or voting rights of the HDFC Bank at all times.
iii.It should be noted that approval is subject to the conditions, including compliance with the relevant provisions of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949, RBI’s Master Direction and Guidelines on Acquisition and Holding of Shares or Voting Rights in Banking Companies dated January 16, 2023, provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, provisions of the regulations issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and any other guidelines, and regulations, as applicable.
iv.SBIFML is the largest in India with assets under management of Rs 7.17-lakh crore as of March end 2023.
About SBI Funds Management Ltd. (SBIFML):
It is a Joint Venture between the State Bank of India (SBI) and AMUNDI (France).
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer– Shamsher Singh
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
UGC Launches 2 New Portals: “UTSAH” to Track Implementation of NEP 2020 & “PoP”On 16th May 2023, the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched a new portal named “UTSAH”, short for “Undertaking Transformative Strategies and Actions in Higher Education”, to monitor the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).
The new portal was launched by Professor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman of UGC.
- On the same occasion, the UGC also launched the Professors of Practice (PoP) portal and revamped its main website.
About the UTSAH portal:
i. UTSAH portal will effectively track the qualitative reforms and initiatives taken by educational institutions across India in line with NEP.
- The Higher Educational Institutions can register on the UTSAH portal.
ii. UGC has developed this portal to motivate, implement, and monitor the progress of these initiatives.
iii. This portal also provides detailed information about UGC’s initiatives for qualitative reforms in higher education.
iv. For the information of all stakeholders, the Regulations, Guidelines, and Frameworks issued by the UGC will also be easily available via a hyperlink.
v. UTSAH portal has been designed in consultation with esteemed institutes such as the National Institute of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), and the Institute of National Importance (INIs).
About the PoP Portal:
i. The UGC has developed a portal for Professors of Practice (PoP) to facilitate institutions in recruiting experienced professional experts in the required area.
ii. Experts from any discipline can register with an email ID and mobile number in the PoP portal.
iii. Universities and institutions can also register on this portal and upload advertisements for the appointment of PoP positions with the required number of posts and specific domains.
iv. Universities and other organisations can also register on this portal and upload job advertising for PoP positions with the required number of posts and specific domains.
v. This portal serves as a platform for collaboration between experts and academic institutions, fostering a beneficial partnership.
About the University Grants Commission (UGC):
Chairman- Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment- 1956 (came into existence in 1953)
SP Hinduja, UK-based Billionaire Businessman & Chairman of Hinduja Group, Passed awayOn May 17 2023, the India-born British industrialist and Chairman of the Hinduja Group, Srichand Parmanand Hinduja (SP Hinduja) passed away at the age of 87 in London, United Kingdom (UK). He was born on 28 November 1935 in Karachi, Sindh province, British India (now Pakistan).
- SP Hinduja was also serving as the chairman of the Hinduja Bank of Switzerland and Hinduja Foundations.
- SP Hinduja was the eldest among the four Hinduja brothers: Gopichand P Hinduja, Prakash P Hinduja & Ashok P. Hinduja.
- Gopichand Hinduja, brother of SP Hinduja will succeed him as Chairman of Hinduja Group.
Career of SP Hinduja:
i. SP Hinduja entered the family business of textile and trading in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and in Tehran, Pahlavi of Iran in 1952.
- The Hinduja Group remained headquartered in Iran till 1979 then moved to London, UK.
ii.In 1993 he ventured into banking with IndusInd Bank, the 1st of the new-generation private banks in India.
- He founded the only Indian-owned Swiss bank, S P Hinduja Banquee Privee in 1994, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
iii.He also became a leading business tycoon in India alongside Tatas, the Birlas, the Bajajs and the Ambanis.
iv. Under his leadership, Hinduja group acquired Gulf Oil from the United States of America(USA)-based oil company Chevron in 1984, and Ashok Leyland Ltd (Land Rover Leyland International Holdings) from UK’s Rover Group in 1987.
- In 2012, the Group acquired the US firm Houghton International, the world’s largest metal fluids manufacturer.
i. SP and GP Hinduja were ranked 8th on the Forbes’ 2022 India’s 100 Richest List.
ii. SP Hinduja and his brother Gopichand topped the Sunday Times Rich List in 2022 for a fourth time with an estimated net worth of 28.5 billion pounds.
Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP MP from Ambala, Passed Away
On 18th May 2023, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rattan Lal Kataria, a Member of Parliament (MP), Lok Sabha, from Ambala (Haryana), passed away in Chandigarh at the age of 72. He was born on 19 December 1951 in Yamunanagar, Haryana.
He was also associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for over five decades. From 2000 to 2003, he served as the President of the BJP (Haryana Unit).
- Rattan Lal Kataria, the 3-time MP, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Ambala in 1999, 2014, and 2019.
- Rattan Lal Kataria served as the Minister of State (MoS) for Jal Shakti and Social Justice and Empowerment from 2019 to 2021.
International Museum Day 2023 – May 18International Museum Day (IMD) is annually observed across the globe on May 18 to promote the importance of museums as cultural institutions and to create awareness about the role of museums in society and their contribution to education, cultural exchange, and heritage preservation.
- The theme of the International Museum Day 2023 observed on 18th May 2023 is “Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing”.
i. International Museum Day was created by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 1977 following the adoption of a resolution by the ICOM General Assembly in Moscow, Russia, to create an annual observance to highlight the role of museums in the development of society on an international level.
ii. ICOM has been organising International Museum Day since 1977.
About the International Council of Museums (ICOM):
President- Emma Nardi (Italy)
Headquarters- Paris, France
>> Read Full News
World AIDS Vaccine Day 2023 – May 18World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Knowledge Day(HVAD), is annually observed across the globe on 18th May to create awareness about the importance of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccinations in preventing Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV infections.
- The observance of HVAD also recognizes the volunteers, community members, and researchers working to find a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV.
i.The idea of the observance of World AIDS Vaccine Day was proposed by the then United States of America’s President Bill Clinton.
ii.The observance was inspired by his commencement speech at the Morgan State University in 1997 when he emphasised on the importance of vaccination in eradicating HIV.
iii.The first ever World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on 18th May 1998.
>> Read Full News
MP Cabinet approved ‘CM Learn and Earn’ Scheme for Unemployed YouthsOn May 17 2023, the State Cabinet of Madhya Pradesh(MP) chaired by Chief Minister (CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a new scheme named ‘Mukhyamantri Sikho Kamao Yojana’ (Chief Minister Learn and Earn Scheme) to provide opportunity to learn skills for unemployed youths of the state.
- To provide employment-oriented skill training to about a lakh youth of MP.
- The scheme will also provide stipend to the youths along with training, skill upgradation which will boost employment opportunities and pave the way for a better way of earning.
Eligibility: Candidates accommodated in Madhya Pradesh and aged between 18 and 29, with a minimum educational qualification of 12th class, ITI (industrial training) are eligible for the scheme.
About Madhya Pradesh:
Chief Minister– Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Governor– Mangubhai C. Patel
Zoological Park– Van Vihar National Park Zoo, Kamla Nehru Prani Sangrahalaya Zoo (Indore Zoo)
>> Read Full News
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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 19 May 2023|
|1||Cabinet Approvals on May 17, 2023|
|2||GoI Implements RPwD Act 2016; Established Accessibility Standards for Divyangjan|
|3||3rd ETWG meeting under India’s G20 Presidency held in Mumbai- India Commits to Just Energy Transition|
|4||DDP of Defence Ministry announces 164 PIL Items; Import Value of Rs 814 crore|
|5||1st Ministerial Meeting of TTC: EU-India agrees to coordinate Policies in Strategic Semi-Conductor Sector|
|6||IRDAI Forms Task Force to Facilitate Ease of Doing KYC Using Aadhaar|
|7||N Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons Chairman Conferred with Highest French Civilian Honour- “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur“|
|8||Manoj Soni sworn in as UPSC Chairman|
|9||Air Marshal Ashutosh Dixit takes over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff|
|10||RBI gives nod to SBIFML to acquire 9.99% stake in HDFC Bank|
|11||UGC launches 2 New Portals: “UTSAH” to Track Implementation of NEP 2020 & “PoP”|
|12||SP Hinduja, UK-based Billionaire Businessman & Chairman of Hinduja Group, Passed away|
|13||Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP MP from Ambala, Passed Away|
|14||International Museum Day 2023 – May 18|
|15||World AIDS Vaccine Day 2023 – May 18|
|16||MP Cabinet approved ‘CM Learn and Earn’ Scheme for Unemployed Youths|