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Current Affairs 23 May 2023

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UGC Launches ‘NEP SAARTHI’ to Involve Students in Implementing NEP 2020UGC’s new initiative NEP SAARTHIThe University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced a new initiative titled ‘NEP SAARTHI (Student Ambassador for Academic Reforms in Transforming Higher Education in India)’ to involve students in the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

  • Objective: To create an environment where students could engage and participate to make effective use of the provisions of NEP 2020.

Selection Process of NEP SAARTHIs:
i.UGC has instructed all vice-chancellors, directors and principals of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to nominate 3 students from their institutions to be considered as NEP SAARTHIs along with a brief write-up justifying the nomination.
ii.The UGC will select 300 NEP SAARTHIs from among the nominees and the selected students will be given orientation and guided on how to carry out their roles effectively in hybrid mode.
iii.Nominations are open till June 2023. The NEP SAARTHIs will be announced in July 2023.
About University Grants Commission (UGC):
It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1956 to coordinate, determine, and maintain standards of teaching, examination, and research in university education.
Chairman – Prof. Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News


RBI cancels Certificate of Registration of 7 NBFCS, 14 surrender permits rbi cancels certificate of registration of 7 nbfcsi.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in exercise of powers conferred on it under Section 45-IA (6) of RBI Act, 1934 has cancelled the Certificate of Registration (CoR) of seven Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC).
ii.With this, the notified companies are barred from transacting the business of a Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI), as defined in clause (a) of Section 45-I of the RBI Act, 1934.
iii.The 14 NBFCs have surrendered the Certificate of Registration (CoR) granted to them by RBI. Thus, RBI, in exercise of powers conferred on it under Section 45-IA (6) of the RBI Act, 1934, has therefore cancelled their CoR.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1st April 1935
>> Read Full News

SEBI Introduced Risk disclosure Framework for Trading by Individual Traders in Equity F&O SegmentSebi introduces risk disclosure framework for individual traders in equity derivative segmentOn May 19, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced a risk disclosure framework for individual traders for trading in the equity Futures & Options (F&O) segment.The risk disclosure framework would come into force with effect from July 01, 2023

  • Objective: To empower the traders with detailed information about the risks associated with trading in derivatives and also to facilitate informed decision-making by the investors.

Key Points:
i.In accordance with the framework, all stock brokers are required to display risk disclosures on their websites and inform all their clients in a specified manner.
ii.Upon login into their trading accounts, clients need to be prompted to read ‘risk disclosures’ (which may appear as a pop-up window) and should be allowed to proceed ahead only after acknowledging the same.
iii.The ‘Risk disclosures’ need to be displayed prominently, covering at least 50 percent area of the screen.
iv.All Qualified Stock Brokers (QSBs) have been directed to maintain the Profit and Loss (P&L) data of their clients on a continuous basis and are directed to be retained for at least five years.
v.Stock Exchanges and Depositories are directed to display the ‘Risk disclosures’ on their respective websites, with a link to a study conducted by SEBI on January 25,
Risk disclosures on Derivatives:
i.9 out of 10 individual traders in the equity Futures and Options Segment, incurred net losses in the financial year 2021-22, with an average loss of Rs 1.1 lakh.

  • Only 11% of individual traders in the equity F&O segment made a profit, with an average profit of Rs 1.5 lakh in FY22.

ii.On average, loss makers registered net trading losses close to Rs 50,000.
iii.Over and above the net trading losses incurred, loss makers expended an additional 28% of net trading losses as transaction costs.
iv.Those making net trading profits, incurred between 15% to 50% of such profits as transaction costs.
NoteThe above framework was issued by SEBI in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the SEBI Act, 1992, to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and regulate, the securities market.
What is Futures and Options(F&O)?
According to SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), the equity Futures & Options (F&O) segment refers to a specific segment of the financial market where derivatives contracts based on equity (stocks) are traded.

  • Futures and options are the major types of stock derivatives trading in a share market In simple terms, traders can enter into agreements to either buy or sell stocks at a specific price and date in the future (futures contracts) or have the right to buy or sell stocks at a specific price within a certain time period (options contracts).
  • These are contracts signed by two parties for trading a stock asset at a predetermined price on a later date. Such contracts try to hedge market risks involved in stock market trading by locking in the price beforehand.
  • Future and options in the share market are contracts which derive their price from an underlying asset (known as underlying), such as shares, stock market indices, commodities, ETFs, and more.

About Securities Exchange Board of India(SEBI):
Chairperson -Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 12 April 1992

Bajaj Allianz Life Launched India’s First ULIP Small-Cap Fund
Bajaj Allianz Life launches Industry First Small-Cap Fund in Its ULIPs SegmentBajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd launched India’s first small-cap fund in the ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plan) segment namely ‘Bajaj Allianz Life Small Cap Fund’ that offers customers the opportunity to achieve capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of small-cap stocks.The NFO (New Fund Offer) period for Bajaj Allianz Life’s small-cap fund ends on May 23, 2023.

  • The benchmark index is the Nifty Small Cap 100 index.The benchmark index is a standard or reference point used to measure the performance of a particular market or segment.
  • Focus: Long-term wealth creation for our customers

About Bajaj Allianz Life Small Cap Fund:
This new fund offered by Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company allows customers to invest in a variety of small-cap stocks. Small-cap stocks are from companies that have a smaller overall value in the stock market.

  • It will invest a minimum of 60% in small-cap stocks, and market-cap exposure is based on equity exposure re-scaled to 100%.

What is ULIP?
A ULIP plan is a type of life insurance that offers the policyholder two advantages: protection through life coverage and the opportunity to invest in specific market-linked funds. In other words, ULIP is a type of insurance product that combines investment and insurance components into a single policy.
Key Points:
i.Small-cap equity funds have done better than the benchmark Nifty Small Cap 100 index for a long time. This means that the funds, which invest in smaller companies, have performed better than the average performance of similar companies in the index.
ii.The Nifty Small Cap 100 index’s value has decreased from its highest point and is now lower than its average value over a long period of time. This makes a case for investment in small-caps from a valuation perspective.
iii. In this case, the Nifty Small Cap 100 index specifically tracks the performance of small-cap stocks listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India.By using the Nifty Small Cap 100 index as the benchmark, it provides a way to assess how well the investments in the Bajaj Allianz Life Small Cap Fund or similar funds perform in relation to the overall small-cap market.
About Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd: 
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer– Tarun Chugh
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra

Tide and Transcorp launch India’s-first Recycled PVC RuPay Card Tide and Transcorp launch India's-first Recycled PVC RuPay Cardi.Tide, United Kingdom-based fintech, in partnership with Transcorp International Limited, launched India’s first recycled Polyvinyl Chloride (rPVC) Rupay card, along with MCT Cards & Technology Pvt. Ltd. and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India).

  • PVC cards are more durable than paper-based cards and can last longer without getting damaged or torn, along with security features.
  • rPVC Rupay cards are made from recycled PVC plastic. Every 99% rPVC card weighing 5.5-6 grams, saves on 7-8 grams of CO2 emissions and 3.5-4.0 grams of plastic waste, which will be used in the production of a new card made with virgin PVC.

ii.With this launch, all 4 entities initiated an industry-first initiative as part of an India-wide and global shift away from virgin plastic and accelerate reduction in carbon emissions.
About Transcorp International Limited:
It is a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulated Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) license holder.
Managing Director– Gopal Sharma
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News

Paytm Money Launches Bond Investing on its Platform for Retail Investors Paytm Money launches bond investing on its platform for retail investorsPaytm Money Limited, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Paytm, has launched India’s most advanced bonds platform for retail investors to simplify bonds and enable them to invest in three types of bonds such as government, corporate and tax-free.
i.All information related to coupon vs yield, clean price vs dirty price, coupon frequency, coupon record dates etc, would be available on one dashboard on the Paytm Money app.
ii.Being a SEBI’s registered broker, Paytm Money is leveraging the existing strong regulatory framework to innovate and bring a simple, secure and transparent bond product to India.
iii.Paytm Money has incorporated safety features such as limit order as the default order type, prices compared across both NSE and BSE and the best exchange rate pre-selected, credit ratings from multiple rating agencies, with the lowest being the default rating.
iv.Currently, Bonds on Paytm Money is being launched with an early access waitlist program.
Different Types of Bonds:
Bonds are a safe option for investors to get a steady income and fixed returns on their investments and to diversify their portfolios for good returns.
i.Government Bonds: Investments could be made in Government of India Bonds, with maturity ranging from 16 days to 39 years, giving investors great flexibility in managing their investments across all time horizons.

  • The yield on these bonds are currently between 7-7.3% per annum.
  • These bonds could be sold on the market at any time, without any premature penalty/lock in, giving investors flexibility in managing their investments.

ii.Tax-free Bonds: Investments could be made in tax-free bonds, issued by Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs), like National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), REC etc

  • The yields of these bonds are up to 5.8% per annum, and maturity, ranging from 5 months to 13 years.

iii.Corporate Bonds: Investors could expand their portfolio via investing in corporate bonds like Indiabulls Housing Finance, Edelweiss etc where depending on the credit profile of the company, and the maturity of the bond, one can earn up to 15% per annum.

Aditya Birla Capital launches ‘Udyog Plus’: An Innovative One-Stop Business Platform for MSMEs

Aditya Birla Capital, the financial services business of the Aditya Birla Group, through its lending arm, Aditya Birla Finance, has announced the launch of “Udyog Plus”, an innovative one-stop business platform, designed for the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) customers.

  • This new Business-to-business (B2B) digital platform offers solutions for MSMEs, including financing, protection, investments, advisory and value-added services for managing and growing their businesses.
  • Both existing and new customers of Aditya Birla Finance can access Udyog Plus, an open market, through the financing portion of the Aditya Birla Capital website.
  • The platform offers a completely paperless digital journey for business loans of up to Rs 10 lakh.
  • Udyog Plus is integrated with government e-commerce websites via Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) and with private e-commerce websites to provide credit facilities to sellers on these platforms.

Note: In February 2023, Aditya Birla Capital Ltd (ABCL), the holding company for the financial services businesses of the Aditya Birla Group, announced its collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to develop and promote digital payment methods through subsidiaries to its customers.    


SpaceX sends Ax-2 Mission to ISS; Crew Includes 1st Saudi Astronauts & 1st Saudi WomanSpaceX sends Saudi astronauts, including nation's first woman, to spaceOn May 21 2023, Spacex Falcon 9 Rocket launched the Crew of 4 astronauts (including the 2 Saudi Arabian Astronauts) with the Dragon Capsule spacecraft on the all-private Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) chartered flight to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the United States of America (USA).

Saudi Astronauts’ 1st Flight to ISS:
i.The private flight carries two Americans and two Saudi Arabians, including the first woman to fly in space from the Arab nation.
ii.One of the crew members Rayyanah Barnawi, became the first woman Astronaut from Saudi Arabia to go to space. She was accompanied by Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot with the Royal Saudi Air Force.

  • Ali al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Government, were the first from Saudi Arabia to ride a rocket since a Saudi prince launched aboard shuttle Discovery in 1985.

About the Ax-2 Mission:
i.Once reached the Space station, the 4 astronauts will spend a week over there.
ii.It is the second private flight to the space station organised by Axiom Space, a privately funded space infrastructure developer in Houston, Texas, USA, selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide the first commercial destination module on the ISS.
iii.The Ax-2 mission is the SpaceX’s 10th human spaceflight. The company has flown seven government-booked crew missions and three private flights since launching astronauts for the first time in May 2020.
Note: The first Private flight Ax-1 was launched on 8 April 2022 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA crewed by three businessmen, with a retired NASA astronaut.

Astronaut crew:
The 4 astronauts are namely:
i. Peggy Annette Whitson- retired NASA astronaut and former NASA Chief Astronaut;
ii. RayyanahBarnawi- a stem cell Researcher;
iii. Ali al-Qarni- a fighter pilot with the Royal Saudi Air Force;
iv. John Shoffner- former driver and owner of a sports car racing team that competes in Europe from Tennessee, USA.
i. The Crew was led by Peggy Annette Whitson, who racked up more total time in space- 665 days and counting than any other woman or American during her time as a NASA astronaut and the Ax-2’s first female commander and John Shoffner, served as Ax-2’s pilot.
ii. In a quirk of timing, the crew will be greeted at the station by an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates named Sultan Al Neyadi, who became the first Arab astronaut to complete a long trip to the ISS.

  • Note: Sultan Al Neyadi reached space for the first time in March 2023. On 28 April 2023, Sultan Al Neyadi became the first Arab to perform a spacewalk and he is there on a six-month mission.


Italian Open 2023: Daniil Medvedev wins Men’s Singles title;  Elena Rybakina wins Women’s singles title Italian Open Daniil Medvedev defeats Rune, wins maiden clay court titleRussian tennis player Daniil Medvedev won the Men’s Singles title at the 2023 Italian Open (also known as the Rome Masters or the Internazionali BNL d’Italia) by defeating Holger Rune of Denmark in the final. The 2023 Italian Open was from 2nd to 21st May 2023 at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy.

  • This marks Daniil Medvedev’s first-ever Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tile on the clay court of his career and his first-ever Italian Open title. 
  • With this win, Daniil Medvedev ascended to world number 2 in the ATP rankings.

Women’s Singles: 
The 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina won the Women’s singles title at the Italian Open 2023 by defeating Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. This marks her first major title on clay.
Italian Open 2023: 
Italian Open 2023 is the 80th edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and the 1st event with an upgraded format in 2 weeks and a 96-player draw.

  • The Italian Open 2023 is classified as an ATP Tour Masters 1000 event on the 2023 ATP Tour and a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) 1000 event on the 2023 WTA Tour.

Italian Open 2023 Doubles Title: 
Men’s doubles: 
Polish-Monegasque duo Jan Zieliński and Hugo Nys won the men’s doubles title at the Italian Open 2023 defeating Robin Haase and Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in the finals.

  • This marks their first ATP Masters 1000 title as a team and 2nd title (overall).
  • With this win, Nys and Zielinski have topped(No 1) in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.

Women’s Doubles: 
Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens of Belgium defeated Coco Gauff and
Jessica Pegula of the United States of America to win the Women’s Doubles title at Italian Open 2023.

  • This marks the duo’s first-ever major title as a team.

Winner of Italian Open 2023: 

Category WinnersRunners
Men’s SinglesDaniil Medvedev (Russia)Holger Rune (Denmark)
Women’s SinglesElena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)
Men’s DoublesHugo Nys (Monaco) and Jan Zieliński (Poland)Robin Haase and Botic van de Zandschulp (Netherlands)
Women’s DoublesStorm Hunter and Elise Mertens (Belgium)Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula (USA)

Indian long jumper Shaili Singh won bronze in Seiko Golden Grand Prix 2023, Japan

On 21st May 2023, Indian athlete (Long Jumper) Shaili Singh bagged a Bronze medal as she finished in 3rd at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix 2023 athletics meet in the women’s long jump event held in Yokohama, Japan.
She also recorded jumps of 6.59m, 6.35m, 6.36m, and 6.41m at the Yokohama meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour gold label event.

  • German athlete Maryse Luzolo, who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, won the Gold medal with an effort of 6.79m.
  • Two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist Brooke Buschkuehl, an Olympic long jumper from Australia, bagged the Silver medal with a 6.77m leap.

During the Indian Grand Prix 4 2023 athletics meet in Bengaluru, Karnataka, which was concluded in April 2023, Shaili Singh registered a jump of 6.76m, her personal best jump, the second-best by an Indian woman after the legendary athlete Anju Bobby George 6.83m.

Note: In 2021, Shaili Singh won the silver medal in the women’s long jump with a 6.59m effort at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.


Renowned British Novelist Martin Louis Amis Passed Away

On 19th May 2023, a renowned British Novelist Martin Louis Amis, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, passed away in Lake Worth, Florida, United States of America (USA), at the age of 73.
Note: He was the son of British writer Kingsley Amis, who won the 1986 Booker prize for his novel “The Old Devils”.

  • Martin Amis was born on 25th August 1949 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, the United Kingdom (UK). He was also an English essayist, memoirist, and screenwriter.
  • He is best known for his novels “Money: A Suicide Note” (1984), “London Fields” (1989) and “The Information” (1995). His last novel is “Inside Story”, published in 2020.
  • As an actor, he was known for ‘Saturn 3’ (1980), ‘London Fields’ (2018) and ‘A High Wind in Jamaica’ (1965).
  • He was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his memoir “Experience” (2000).


Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria releases a Book Titled “Partitioned Freedom”

On 20th May 2023, Gulab Chand Kataria, Governor of Assam, released a book titled “Partitioned Freedom”, which was authored by Ram Madhav and published by Prabhat Prakashan Pvt. Ltd, in Guwahati, Assam.

  • The book “Partitioned Freedom” offers profound insights into the events that unfolded during 1905 and the pre-independence era.
  • It explores and answers the questions raised because India which defeated the British designs to partition one province failed when the whole country was being partitioned 4 decades later.
  • Ram Madhav is an Indian Politician, Author, and thinker. His other books are “Uneasy Neighbours: India and China After 50 Years of the War” and “Asahaj Padosi”.


International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 – May 22International Day for Biological Diversity - May 22 2023United Nations (UN)’s International Day for Biological Diversity is annually observed across the globe on May 22 to raise awareness and promote the conservation of biological diversity.

  • The day highlights the importance of biodiversity and its crucial role in sustaining life on Earth.

The theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 observed on 22nd May 2023 is “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity”.

  • The promotes the idea of an action plan agreed upon at a global level to implement all the measures that the agreement contemplates before 2030.

i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/49/119 on 30th January 1995 and proclaimed December 29 as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
ii. In 2001, the UNGA proclaimed the resolution A/RES/55/201 and proclaimed May 22 of every year as the International Day for Biological Diversity.

  • From 2002 onwards the International Day for Biological Diversity was observed on May 22.

About the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD):
Acting Executive Secretary- Dr David Cooper
Headquarters- Montreal, Canada.
Establishment- 29 December 1993
About the United Nations (UN):
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, USA
Establishment- 1945
>> Read Full News

International Tea Day 2023 – May 21 International Tea Day - May 21 2023The United Nations (UN) International Tea Day is annually observed on 21st May globally to promote the ways to sustain the production and consumption of tea across the globe and also to learn the significance of tea in combating hunger and poverty.

  • International Tea Day also provides an opportunity for tea-producing countries, international organisations, governments and tea enthusiasts to collaborate and exchange knowledge and experiences related to tea production, trade and consumption.
  • The day is observed by the Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO) of the UN in collaboration with other relevant Organisations.

On 19th December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Resolution A/RES/74/241 and designated 21 May of every year as International Tea Day.

  • The first official UN-sanctioned International Tea Day was held on May 21st, 2020.

About Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO):
Director-General– QU Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
>> Read Full News

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2023 – 21st May World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development - May 21 2023The United Nations(UN)’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is annually observed across the globe on 21st May to celebrate the richness of the world’s cultures. The day also recognises the need to enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and peaceful global coexistence

  • The annual observance of the day is led by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/57/249 in December 2002 and proclaimed the 21st May of every year as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
ii.The UNGA resolution follows UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which recognises the need to enhance the potential of culture to achieve prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.”

  • The first-ever World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed on 21st May 2003.

About the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
>> Read Full News

National Anti-Terrorism Day 2023 – May 21 National Anti-Terrorism Day - May 21 2023Anti-Terrorism Day is annually observed across India on 21st May to mark the death anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister (PM) Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991 at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.

  • 21st May 2023 marks the 32nd death anniversary of 6th Prime Minister of India PM Rajiv Gandhi (1984 to 1989).

Anti-Terrorism Day is observed to promote peace, humanity, unity, and harmony among the people, and to raise awareness about terrorism’s antisocial acts.

  • All government offices and other public institutions take an anti-terrorism pledge on this day, and is celebrated to honour the victims of various terror attacks throughout India.

In 1992, the Government of India (GoI) decided to observe May 21 as National Anti-Terrorism Day to honour the memory of Rajiv Gandhi
About Rajiv Gandhi:
i. Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40 and perhaps even one of the youngest elected heads of Government in the world.
ii. He was born on August 20, 1944, in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra.
iii. He became both Prime Minister and Congress President in the wake of his mother’s (Prime Minister Indira Gandhi) assassination on 31 October, 1984.
iv. In 1991, Indian government posthumously awarded Rajiv Gandhi, India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the development of India.
v. Rajiv Gandhi, the architect of digital India, is hailed as the ‘Father of Information Technology and Telecom Revolution of India’.
Global Terrorism Index:
India was ranked 13th as per the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2023, comprehensive study analysing the impact of terrorism for 163 countries covering 99.7% of the world’s population.

  • The GTI report is produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), Sydney, Australia using data from Terrorism Tracker and other sources.


Madhya Pradesh Becomes India’s 1st State to Provide Free Air Travel to PilgrimsMP becomes first state in country to provide free air travel to pilgrimsOn 21st May 2023, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister (CM) of Madhya Pradesh (MP), flagged off a batch of 32 senior citizens (comprising 24 men and eight women) on pilgrimage to Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh (UP), from Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal, MP, through a flight under the state’s scheme of Mukhya Mantri Teerth-Darshan Yojana.

  • Madhya Pradesh has become India’s 1st state to conduct pilgrimage by air on government expenditure under the Mukhya Mantri Teerth-Darshan Yojana.

Key Highlights:
i. So far, 7,82,000 senior citizens have travelled on pilgrimage on 782 special trains as part of the Mukhya Mantri Teerth-Darshan Yojana.
ii. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan prepared an effective action plan for the month of May to July to make the benefits of Mukhya Mantri Tirth-Darshan Yojana by air easily available to the elders of MP, which was launched on May 21 from Bhopal (MP) to Prayagraj (UP).
iii. Upcoming Pilgrim Plans:

  • On 23rd May 2023, pilgrims from the Agar Malwa district (MP) will leave from Indore airport for Shirdi, Maharashtra.
  • On 25th May 2023, pilgrims from Betul district (MP) will leave from Bhopal airport through Agra airport for Mathura & Vrindavan (UP).
  • On 26th May 2023, pilgrims from Dewas (MP) will leave from Indore airport for Shirdi, Maharashtra.
  • On 3rd June 2023, pilgrims from Khandwa (MP) from Indore airport through Kolkata, West Bengal, for Gangasagar (West Bengal).

About the Mukhyamantri Tirth Darshan Yojana:
i. The Government of Madhya Pradesh launched Mukhyamantri Tirth Darshan Yojana in June 2012.
ii. Under the scheme, senior citizens will be taken on a free spiritual tour across India.
iii. The senior citizens of MP who are 60 years of age and older are eligible to visit different holy places outside MP under this scheme.
About Madhya Pradesh:
Chief Minister- Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Governor- Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel
National Park- Bandhavgarh National Park
Wildlife sanctuaries- Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary; Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary

Rajasthan Cabinet Approved proposal for Developing GIS-based 3D models of 4 citiesRajasthan government approves proposal to create GIS-based 3D models of 4 citiesOn May 20 2023, the state cabinet of Rajasthan chaired by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved a financial proposal of Rs 106.46 crore for developing Geographic Information System (GIS) based 3D models of 4 cities in the state namely Jodhpur, Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer.

  • The state government will develop GIS-based 3D models of the four cities for better planning and management of urban development.
  • The financial approval has been made for the implementation of GIS-based 3D city and Rajdhara Satellite Imagery Repository projects in these four cities.

Features and Benefits:
i. With this development, it will be possible to propose land use in city master plans, build new highways, flyovers, colonies, and drainage plans, as well as other ground-level works, large-scale infrastructure development, transportation planning, land planning, and town planning, among other things.
ii. Making efficient evaluations, simulations, and plans will be simpler and easier. A virtual tour of the city can also be taken using the produced 3D model and Augmented reality or virtual reality.
iii. In addition, a “repository” of satellite images of Rajasthan from various eras would be set up on the Rajdhara platform.
iv. According to the needs of various departments, this would make it easier to analyse land usage, land cover, changes in reservoirs/water sources and forest areas, assessment of crop yields, the growth and spread of cities etc.

Lavkush Gardens:

i.To promote ecotourism, the state government plans to create Lavkush Gardens in all districts of the state, and Rs.66 crore has been allotted for this purpose.

ii.In these gardens, models of forests and wildlife were set to be created for the children to learn about protecting the environment and wildlife conservation.

iii. There will be space for an exhibition as well as eco-trial trails that will be constructed. These gardens are meant to raise awareness of environmental conservation.

About Rajasthan:
Chief Minister– Ashok Gehlot
Governor– Kalraj Mishra
Airports– Jaipur International Airport, Maharana Pratap Airport

Niramaya Health Insurance Scheme: Vizag launches AP’s first health insurance scheme for special childrenOn 20th May 2023, Visakhapatnam district launchedNiramaya Health Insurance Scheme” a first of its kind initiative in Andhra Pradesh (AP), to provide free medical services for Special children i.e. children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities.

  • The Visakhapatnam District Collector A. Mallikarjuna launched the scheme at a programme organised at the Bhavitha Centre at Akkayyapalem, Visakhapatnam.
  • The scheme was being operated by the Central Government through the National Trust, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

About Niramaya Health Insurance Scheme:
i.Objective: The scheme intends to provide free medical services for special children.
ii.So far Fund Allocation: Rs 1,34,750 has been allocated to the scheme from the ‘Sanjeevani Nidhi’ fund for payment of insurance premiums to the physically challenged.

  • The amount in Sanjeevani Nidhi is the funds donated by all employees from their personal income on January 1 (New Year’s Day) and to date, Rs 15 lakh was collected.
  • The fund would be utilised for the poor, the underprivileged and persons with special abilities.

iii.In Visakhapatnam there are around 1,404 children with special needs and the district is implementing the scheme with the assistance of ‘The Ability People Organisation’.
iv.Under the scheme the beneficiaries could claim up to Rs 1 lakh/ year as reimbursement for medical expenditure incurred on treatment during the year.
Additional info: The district further plans for paying a premium for the ‘Sukanya Samruddhi Yojana’ scheme for girls, who have lost their mother or father and providing wheelchairs, tricycles and other aids to physically challenged persons in the district with Rs 60 lakh from the IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited).
About Andhra Pradesh:
Chief Minister – Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
Governor – S. Abdul Nazeer
Airports – Visakhapatnam International airport, Vijayawada International Airport


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