On 8th April 2023, during his visit to Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and dedicated several projects to the
nation at the event held in Alstrom Cricket Ground, Chennai, Tamil Nadu(TN).
i.The PM inaugurated the Rs 1,260 crore New Integrated Terminal Building (NITB- Phase 1) aka ‘Golden Terminal’ of Chennai International Airport which will boost passenger handling. It will increase the passenger serving capacity of the airport from 23 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) to 30 MPPA.
ii.The PM has inaugurated TN’s second Vande Bharat train namely ‘Chennai–Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express’ that will ply from Chennai to Coimbatore.
iii.He also participated in the celebrations commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna Math at Vivekananda House in Chennai.
About Tamil Nadu (TN):
Chief Minister– M K Stalin
Governor– R N Ravi
Wildlife Sanctuaries– Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Palani(Kodaikanal) Wildlife Sanctuary
Zoological park– Arignar anna zoological park, Amirthi zoological park
(Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as the Vandalur Zoo is the first public zoo in India and was established in 1855)
On April, 9, 2023, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the
program ‘Commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger’at Mysuru University in
Mysuru, Karnataka, the first of its kind in India, organised to mark 50 years
of Project Tiger.
Other Major Initiatives:
· The PM launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) for the conservation of 7 major big cats – tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah in collaboration with countries which contain the natural habitat of these big cat species.
· He released the publications ‘Amrit Kaal Ka Vision For Tiger Conservation’, a summary report of the 5th cycle of Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves, declared tiger numbers and released the summary report of All India Tiger Estimation (5th cycle).
· He also released a commemorative coin on completing 50 years of Project Tiger.
Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre (JCBC), the world’s 1st conservation and breeding centre developed exclusively for the conservation of the Asian king vulture in Maharajganj district in Uttar Pradesh(UP) is set to be inaugurated by UP Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath on the occasion of International Vulture Awareness Day(first Saturday of September).
· The JCBC is located at the Bhari Baisi village in the Farenda range of the Gorakhpur forest division.
· Asian king vulture is critically endangered and protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
The objective of establishing the centre is to breed king vultures in captivity and release them into the wild to maintain a sustainable population of the species.
Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre (JCBC):
i. The JCBC is spread across 1.5 hectares in the Gorakhpur forest division.
ii. It is a state-of-the-art centre worth around Rs 15 crore, with multiple aviaries (cages for birds) for vultures, including breeding and holding aviaries, nursery aviaries for juveniles, and hospital and recovery aviaries for those in need of medical care.
iii. Other features include a food processing unit where vulture food is manufactured and tested before being served to the birds, as well as an incubation centre where eggs are artificially reared to assure 100% success.
iv. It is a 15-year project which aims to raise at least 40 vultures.
About Asian King Vulture:
i. The Asian king vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), often known as the red-headed vulture (also known as the Indian black vulture or Pondicherry vulture), is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in some parts of Southeast Asia.
ii. In 2004, the species was uplifted to ‘near threatened’ from ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
· In 2007, it was uplisted to ‘critically endangered‘ on the IUCN Red List.
iii. Recently, the Vulture population in India has been declining due to the widespread use of the Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac in veterinary care.
· Diclofenac is no longer used in veterinary medicine in India.
i. The infrastructure creation of the centre was started in 2021.
ii. 2 Phases of the Centres:
· 1st phase- To have the complete infrastructure in place.
· 2nd phase- Breeding of vultures
iii. The JCBC will have a total of 10 vultures for breeding. The breeding
adults will be added gradually.
iv. The forest department has partnered with the Bombay Natural History Society for technical guidance.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has formed a 4-member committee led by Finance Secretary T. V. Somanathan to examine the pension system for government employees.
· The panel will also include Deepak Mohanty, Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA); Annie Matthew, Special Secretary, Department of Expenditure (DEA), MoF; and Radha Chauhan, Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
According to its mandate, the committee would recommend any necessary
changes to the National Pension System (NPS), generally known as the New
Pension Scheme, as it pertains to employees of the government.
i.In March 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the formation of a Finance Secretary-chaired Committee to investigate the problem of NPS pensions for government employees and provide a solution that fulfils employees’ requirements while ensuring budgetary discipline.
ii.The decision comes as several states abandon the NPS in favour of the dearness allowance-linked Old Pension Scheme (OPS), while employee associations in a few other states increase demand for the same.
iii.The state governments of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh have informed the Government of India (GoI) of their decision to switch back to the OPS and have asked for a reimbursement of the corpus accumulated under the NPS.
The MoF has informed the Parliament that it is not taking any proposals into consideration to reinstate the OPS for GoI employees recruited after January 1, 2004.
Functions of the committee:
i.The committee will make suggestions for enhancing the pension benefits of government employees covered by the NPS while also guaranteeing economic discipline to protect common citizens.
ii.To arrive at its recommendations, the committee would establish its own procedure and mechanism, including consultation with states.
iii.However, the MoF did not specify a deadline for the committee’s recommendations to be submitted.
i.The NPS has been introduced for all government employees, except those in the armed forces, who joined the GoI on or after January 1, 2004.
ii.The majority of State/Union Territory (UT) governments have also notified the NPS of their new employees.
iii.According to the PFRDA, with the exception of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, 26 state governments have notified and implemented NPS for their employees.
On March 27, 2023, Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Railways, and Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications, inaugurated the Two days ‘First International Quantum Communication Conclave’ which was held on 27-28 March 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
· The conclave was organised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, and Telecommunication Engineering Center (TEC), in collaboration with Centre For Development Of Telematics (C-DOT), TSDSI (Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India) and IEEE Communications Society – Delhi chapter.
· The conclave intends to bring together international experts in the domain, practitioners, start-ups, researchers and the scientific community.
· It provided an opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in quantum communication technologies.
i.The standards of the ‘Test Guide of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) System’ and ‘Quantum-Safe and Classical Cryptography System’ were released at the conclave.
ii.C-DOT has developed QKD and Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) security solutions for communication.
iii.Ashwini Vaishnaw announced the Quantum Hackathon 2023 to find vulnerabilities in QKD, PQC solutions and to further strengthen the Quantum Ecosystem in India.
· Successful Hackathon applicants would be provided with a prize of Rs 10 Lakh for each break into the QKD or PQC systems and an opportunity to further collaborate with C-DOT in the area of Quantum Security.
iv.Funding by C-DOT was also announced for the development of solutions that
can break QKD or PQC security through CDOT’s Collaborative Research Policy
-Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Awards- 2022
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Awards – 2022 was presented on March 27, 2023 at the conclave.
· The award have been instituted by DoT to encourage telecom ecosystem for their outstanding contributions in the areas of telecom skilling, services, manufacturing, applications.
Awardees of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Awards – 2022:
Name of Awardee
Sterlite Technologies Ltd, Pune
Pune Skill development works in telecom sector
Vihaan Networks Limited, Gurugram
Technology development and manufacturing of solar powered 4G RAN in India for remote and rural area
QuNu Labs Private Limited, Bengaluru
Work in Quantum Communication and security solution
Dhruva Space Private Limited, Hyderabad
Work in Satellite communication field
Inntot Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ernakulam
Development of Software Defined Radio Receiver
According to the data from the Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Norway, and Singapore gained as the FPI (Foreign Portfolio Investment) destinations for India in FY23 while Mauritius witnessed the sharpest decline.
· Now, Singapore is the second biggest jurisdiction for FPI flows in India after the United States of America (USA).
· Singapore is followed by Luxembourg at 3rd place, and Mauritius’ ranking has dropped to 4 in FY23 (from 2nd in FY22), Norway ranked at 8th Place.
i.The total Assets Under Custody (AUC) from Mauritius declined nearly 42% to Rs 3.25 lakh crore at the end of March 2023, from Rs 5.55 lakh crore in March 2022.
· Norway and Singapore saw a 13% and 5% increase in AUC, respectively, during FY23
ii.The decreased attractiveness of Mauritius as a favoured location for FPI
into India can be attributed to the renegotiation of the India-Mauritius tax
treaty and increased scrutiny of flows.
iii.Overall, FPI AUC fell 4.44% in FY23, amid asset price depreciation and capital outflows of over Rs 35,000 crore.
iv.Overall, in 2023 YTD (Year To Date), FPIs have sold Indian equities worth Rs 23,844 crore. They recorded steep outflows worth Rs 28,852 in January 2023, the highest in 7 months, however, it moderated in February 2023 before turning positive in March 2023.
According to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Report (April 2023), credit growth continued to outpace deposit growth in financial year 2022-23 (FY23) at an eleven-year high, despite banks fully transmitting lending rates linked to external benchmarks [250 basis points (bps)], which now account for nearly half of floating-rate loans.
· In FY23, bank loans increased 14.6% while deposits increased just 9.6%.
· The rate of credit growth in FY23 was the greatest since FY 2011–12, when credit increased 17%.
· Significantly, lending rates surged the most in FY23.
Monetary Policy Transmission
i.Since May 2022 to March 2023, banks have hiked their repo-linked External Benchmark-Based Lending Rates (EBLRs) by 250 bps to keep pace with the policy repo rate.
ii.The internal benchmark for loan pricing, the Marginal Cost of Funds-Based Lending Rate (MCLR), increased by 140 bps from May 2022 to March 2023.
About the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1st April 1935
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) decided to establish the Corporate Debt Market Development Fund (CDMDF) in the form of an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) with an initial corpus of Rs 3,000 crore to serve as a backdrop facility for the purchase of investment-grade corporate debt securities during times of stress. This decision was made at the SEBI board meeting in March 2023.
· The action is intended to increase secondary market liquidity in general and to encourage optimism among participants in the corporate bond market.
i.CDMDF is an initiative aimed to assist mutual funds (MFs) in navigating
liquidity issues in the debt market in the event of a large credit emergency or
ii.The fund, structured as an AIF, will be backed by the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) and will be able to generate funds for the purchase of corporate debt securities during market downturns.
About Securities Exchange Board of India(SEBI):
Chairperson -Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 12 April 1992
Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao (CR Rao), a prominent Indian-American Statistician, has been awarded the 2023 International Prize in Statistics, the statistics’ equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for his monumental work 75 years ago that revolutionised statistical thinking.
· CR Rao will receive the prize, which comes with a USD 80,000 award, in July 2023 the biennial International Statistical Institute(ISI) World Statistics Congress, which will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
About the International Prize in Statistics:
i. The International Prize in Statistics, established in 2016, is awarded biennially at the ISI World Statistics Congress.
ii. The award is stewarded and managed by a foundation comprising representatives of the 5 major statistical organizations – the American Statistical Association; the Institute of Mathematical Statistics; the International Biometric Society; the International Statistical Institute; and the Royal Statistical Society.
iii. The inaugural International Prize in Statistics 2016 was awarded to British statistician David R Cox for Survival Analysis Model Applied in Medicine, Science, and Engineering.
i. In the 1945 paper published by CR Rao in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society, CR Rao demonstrated 3 groundbreaking results.
· 1st result- Cramér-Rao lower bound, which provides a means for knowing when a method for estimating a quantity is as good as any method can be.
· 2nd result- Rao-Blackwell Theorem, which provides a means for transforming an estimate into a better – in fact, an optimal – estimate.
· 3rd result- Provided insights that pioneered a whole new interdisciplinary field that has now flourished as ‘information geometry’.
ii. Combined, these results help scientists more efficiently extract
information from data.
About Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao:
i. C.R. Rao was born on 10 September 1920 in Huvanna Hadagali, Karnataka.
ii. He worked in India at the Indian Statistical Institute(ISI) for 40 years (1941-1979)
iii. He relocated to the United States of America (USA) and worked for 25 years at the University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University.
iv. He was the founder of the Indian Econometric Society and the Indian Society for Medical Statistics which hold conferences every year to discuss problems of current interest.
v. He published 201 research papers during his 40 years of stay in India and 272 during his 30 years in the USA.
vi. He is the author of 14 books and about 350 research papers. Three of his books have been translated into several European and Chinese and Japanese languages.
In March 2023, Israel successfully launched the Ofek 13, a new
Israeli spy satellite onboard the Shavit launch vehicle into space from Palmachim
Airbase spaceport, located near the cities of Rishon LeZion and Yavne, Israel.
This would enhance around-the-clock regional monitoring as Israel braces for a possible showdown with Iran.
· The Ofek-13, manufactured by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), is the latest in a series of Israeli-produced satellites first put into orbit in 1988.
· The Ofek 13 is the newest Israeli reconnaissance satellite to be launched, following the Ofek 16 in the summer of 2020.
i. According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the satellite has entered orbit, begun transmitting data, and completed an initial round of inspections in accordance with the original launch plans.
ii. It was launched on a Shavit missile over the Mediterranean Sea, a westward direction Israel generally uses to avoid sensitive technologies getting into the hands of Middle Eastern neighbours in the case of a malfunction.
iii. According to the IAI, “Ofek 16” is an “electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities.”
· It was launched into space using the locally-developed “Shavit” launcher, which has been used to launch previous Ofek satellites.
i. The ‘Ofek-13’ is the most advanced of its kind, with unique radar observation capabilities that will allow intelligence collection in any weather and visibility conditions.
ii. ‘Ofek-13’ satellite is a [synthetic-aperture radar] observation satellite with advanced capabilities
iii. The new satellite would allow Israel to take high-quality photos in any weather and at any time of day or night.
iv. The satellite would give decision-makers in Israel the ability to make the right decisions.
Norwegian company Norled has launched the world’s first liquid hydrogen-powered ferry vessel called ‘MF Hydra’. The vessel has been going through sea trials and system tests at Hjelmeland since the beginning of 2023. MF Hydra will now operate on the triangular route of Hjelmeland-Skipavik-Nesvik.
MF Hydra, powered by Ballard Power Systems FCwave fuel cell modules that use hydrogen to generate power, received clearance from the Norwegian Maritime Administration to start sailing.
· MF Hydra is the 82.4-meter-long ferry. It can carry up to 300 passengers and 80 vehicles and decrease its yearly carbon emissions by up to 95%.
· It will be able to travel at a speed of 9 knots thanks to its two 200 kW fuel cells, two 440 kW generators, and two Shottel thrusters.
· The hydrogen systems on board were supplied by the German company Linde Engineering.
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) of Iran has successfully tested a homemade long-range, high-precision kamikaze drone equipped with a 50-kg warhead. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), named “Meraj-532“, has a range of 450 km, and is capable of flying at a maximum altitude of 12,000 feet for 3 straight hours.
· The UAV can be assembled and prepared for flight easily, making it suitable for rapid reaction operations.
· Iran has made significant progress in the area of manufacturing UAVs over the past years, which is currently producing drones capable of carrying out a wide range of missions.
16 year old Indian Grandmaster (GM) Gukesh Dommaraju(Gukesh D) defeated World Rapid Champion GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan to win the Armageddon Championship Series 2023: Asia & Oceania held in Berlin, Germany from 3rd to 9th April 2023. He won a prize money of 18,000 EUR.
· It was the second regional tournament of the Armageddon Championship Series 2022-2023 which is organised by World Chess Events Limited in cooperation with World Chess Europe GmbH.
i.The total prize money for Armageddon Regionals is 50,000 EUR.
ii.Both finalists have earned a spot at the Armageddon’s Grand Finale in September 2023.
iii.Gukesh won in a field which included former world classical champion Vladimir Kramnik(Russia), Daniil Dubov(Russia), Yangyi Yu (China), Vidit Gujrathi and Karthikeyan Murali (both India) and Param Maghsoodloo (Iran).
About Armageddon Championship Series 2023:
i.Armageddon Championship Series 2023 is a revolutionary chess format held in Berlin, Germany from March to September 2023.
ii.The series began with Americas’ Championship Series from March 6 – 12, followed by Asia and Oceania, Women’s Week, and Europe and Africa series.
· The series will end with the Armageddon Championship Series 2022-2023 Grand Finale which will be held from 14th to 20th September 2023.
iii.Two winners from each Armageddon Regional tournaments plus two winners from the Armageddon Women’s Week tournament (a total of 8) will compete in the Armageddon Championship Series Grand Finale.
Note: An Armageddon game is a variant of blitz chess to determine a winner after a series of drawn game. A drawn game in the Armageddon is counted as a win for Black.
About Gukesh Dommaraju:
i.Gukesh D, hailing from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is best known for becoming the second-youngest grandmaster in history.
ii.He earned the GM title at 12 years, 7 months and 17 days of age, narrowly missing GM Sergey Karjakin’s record by 17 days
On 5th April 2023, ‘Azaad’ the autobiography of Ghulam Nabi Azad,
former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister, was launched by Dr
Karan Singh, the former Sadr-e-Riyasat of J&K and former member of
Rajya Sabha, and Kapish Mehra- Managing Director(MD) at Rupa Publications, in
New Delhi, Delhi.
The book was published by Rupa Publications India.
· The book covers Azad’s political path and provides insights into India’s enormous political transformations over the last 5 decades.
· Ghulam Nabi Azad, a former member of the Indian National Congress, served as a minister under 4 former Prime Ministers of India – Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, and Manmohan Singh.
Historian Nandini Das, a professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, England, United Kingdom (UK), authored a new book titled “Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire” and published by Bloomsbury Publishing.
· The book delves into the complex relationship between England and Mughal India in the early modern period, focusing on cultural and literary contacts between these two worlds.
· A profound and ground-breaking new history of one of the most important encounters in the history of colonialism: the British arrival in India in the early 17th century.
Nandini Das has edited and written on 16th and early 17th-century romance and prose fiction in “Robert Greene’s Planetomachia” (2007), and “Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction, 1570-1620” (2011), among others, and published widely on travel and cross-cultural encounter.
World Homeopathy (or homoeopathy) Day is annually observed across the globe on April 10 to honour homoeopathy and its contribution to treating people across the globe. The day also commemorates the birth anniversary of German physician Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy.
· 10th April 2023 marks the 268th birth anniversary of Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann.
World Homeopathy Awareness Week is observed from 10 April to 16 April 2023.
The day aims to create awareness about the effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating various health conditions.
i. Homoeopathy is a Greek word, ‘Homeo’ and ‘pathos’ which refer to similarities and suffering.
ii. It is a therapeutic system of medicine based on the principle “Similia Similibus Curentur,” which means “let likes be treated by likes.”
iii. It is a method of treatment for curing the patient by medicines that possess the power of producing similar symptoms in a healthy human being simulating the natural disease, which it can cure in the diseased person.
About the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH):
Union Minister- Sarbananda Sonowal (Rajya Sabha Assam)
Minister of State (MoS)- Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Valour Day, also known as
Shaurya Diwas is annually observed across India on 9th April to
commemorate the valour of CRPF personnel during the 1965 war against the
The day aims to honour the personnel of CRPF and to pay tribute to the personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty.
· 9th April 2023 marks the observance of the 58th CRPF Valour Day.
About Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF):
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force of the Union of India for internal security.
Director General– Dr.Sujoy Lal Thaosen
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
On 5th April 2023, the Odisha government received investment intents worth around Rs 26,000 crore during the Odisha Business Meet, 2023 held in Tokyo, Japan.
· Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister(CM) of Odisha, led the high-level delegation to Japan to attract investment in Odisha.
During the meet, Odisha received investment intents from several sectors
like logistics, metal ancillary, steel, metal downstream, green hydrogen and
green ammonia, green energy equipment manufacturing and Information Technology
(IT) and IT enabled services (ITeS).
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik chairs 1st digital cabinet meet from Kyoto
On 9th April 2023, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik chaired the first digital cabinet meeting of Odisha from the city of Kyoto, Japan and the cabinet member joined the meeting from Lok Seva Bhawan and other districts of Odisha.
Chief Minister– Naveen Patnaik
Governor– Ganeshi Lal
Festival– Raja Parba; Rath Yatra
Stadium– East Coast Railway Stadium
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