i.On April 11, 2023, the Ministry of Textiles
launched 2 Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for 31 items which
marked the first technical regulation from India for the Technical Textiles
ii.These QCOs consist of 19 Geo Textiles and 12 Protective Textiles in the Phase-I.
iii.These two Geo Textiles and Protective Textiles QCOs will come into effect in 180 days immediately after the date of the publication of the orders in the gazette and both, domestic manufacturers as well as foreign manufacturers who intend to export their products to India.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS)– Darshana V Jardosh (Constituency- Surat, Gujarat)
National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has named India’s first semi high-speed Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) as RAPIDX as it is easy to read and simple to pronounce in various languages.
· It also signifies speed and progress, the ‘X’ denotes the next generation technology and the new-age mobility solution.
· RAPIDX, with a design speed of 182kmph, will connect Delhi with National Capital Region (NCR), including Meerut, Alwar and Panipat.
Release of Logo:
NCRTC also released RAPIDX’s logo with a green leaf symbol highlighting brand’s commitment towards decarbonisation by not only decongesting NCR by reducing the number of vehicles on the road but also by using green energy.
· NCRTC is installing solar panels on stations and depots by using blended power in traction.
i.RAPIDX trains will run on RRTS corridors, being implemented to connect key urban nodes across the NCR.
ii.NCRTC is targeting to commission a 17km priority section between Sahibabad and Duhai of the 84km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor, in 2023, before the scheduled time, and the entire first RAPIDX corridor by 2025.
iii.NCRTC is a Joint Venture (JV) company of the Union government and states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (UP).
President Droupadi Murmu has given her assent to the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aims to amend the Competition Act, 2002, that regulates competition in the Indian market and forbids anti-competitive practices like cartels, mergers, and acquisitions that might have a negative impact on competition.
· This Act may be referred to as the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023, and it will go into effect on the date that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) “appoints” for the amended law to take effect.
· It is worth noting that the law stipulates that different dates may be chosen for certain provisions of the Act.
· The Act shall be implemented and enforced by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
i.The Competition Amendment Bill 2023 suggests a
number of amendments to the Competition Act of 2002, including reducing the
window for evaluating combinations, broadening the scope of anti-competitive
agreements, and changing the penalties.
About the Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Acting Chairperson– Sangeeta Verma
Establishment – 2003
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
The Geographical Indication (GI) Tag has been granted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoC&I) to several products of Madhya Pradesh (MP), which include 5 handcrafts product, 1 Agricultural product, 1 Food stuff, 1 Textile product.
· The 5 handicraft products include Gond Painting of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Handmade Carpet, Bhedaghat stone craft (Jabalpur), wrought iron crafts (Dindori), and Waraseoni handloom sarees (Balaghat).
· Sharbati Gehu (wheat which is also called The Golden Grain), registered by the GI Registry in the agricultural product category.
· Morena Gajak(a kind of sweet) has received the GI tag in the food ingredient category.
· Ujjain Batik print has received the GI tag in the textile category.
i.Sharbati wheat is a regional variety of wheat grown in Sehore and Vidisha districts, the grains have a golden sheen. Sehore district is the largest producer of Sharbati wheat in India
ii.Gond painting is a traditional art of Madhya Pradesh and belongs to the Gond tribe. Patangarh village of Dindori district is famous for gond paintings.
Andaman and Nicobar Command
(ANC), the first and only Tri-Service theatre command in India, conducted a
large-scale Joint Military Exercise “Exercise KAVACH” (Ex KAVACH)
involving the assets of the Indian Armed forces – Army, Navy, Air Force, and
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) from 23rd February 2023 to 7th April 2023.
The aim of the exercise was to enhance joint warfare capabilities & Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and enhance inter-operability and operational synergy between the forces.
i. “Exercise KAVACH” showcased the capabilities and preparedness of the Armed Forces to protect India’s maritime interests and ensure the security of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
ii. This exercise demonstrated the professionalism and synergy among the various ANC components while conducting successful joint operations in a complex and dynamic environment.
i. The multi-domain exercise included participants from the “Shatrujeet Brigade” of the Army, Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD), Special Forces of the Navy, and Amphibious troops of the ANC.
ii. The exercise involves amphibious landing, air-landed operations, heliborne operations and rapid insertion of the Special Forces from the mainland on a remote Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
iii. The demonstrations of rapid response capabilities during the exercise were witnessed by Lieutenant General Ajai Singh, Commander-in-Chief of ANC.
On 11th April 2023, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education and Skill Development (MSDE), unveiled the digital version of the Employability Skills Curriculum (ES) for students enrolled in India’s Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) at the Future Skills Forum in New Delhi, Delhi.
· The Future Skills Forum is an initiative of the Future Right Skills Network (FRSN), a collaborative effort by QUEST Alliance, Accenture, Cisco, and J.P. Morgan.
· The Employability Skills Curriculum brings together government skills training institutions, civil society organisations, and industry and corporate social responsibility partners to help young people acquire critical skills for the future.
The digital lessons include modules on financial and digital literacy, diversity and inclusion, career development, goal setting and entrepreneurship.
· These come from the upgraded ES curriculum that the MSDE launched in September 2022.
According to the ranking of the world’s ‘most criminal countries’ released by the World of Statistics, Venezuela ranked first in the list followed by Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan. India was at the position 77th on the list of criminal countries.
· The US (United States) and the UK(United Kingdom), have ranked 55th and 65th, being ahead of India in the criminal ranking country.
· Turkey, Germany, and Japan were among the least criminal countries, ranking at 92nd, 100th, and 135th ranks.
· The top 10 most criminal countries list include Venezuela (1), Papua New Guinea (2), Afghanistan (3), South Africa (4), Honduras (5), Trinidad (6), Guyana (7), Syria (8), Somalia (9) and Jamaica (10).
Countries with the Highest
i.As per the World Population Review’s (WPR) ‘Crime Rate by Country 2023’, Venezuela ranked as the country with the highest crime rates globally with a crime Index of 83.76.
· India was ranked 71 with a crime index of 44.43.
i.The top 10 countries with the highest crime rates expressed per 100,000 people are, Venezuela (83.76), Papua New Guinea (80.79), South Africa (76.86), Afghanistan (76.31), Honduras (74.54), Trinidad and Tobago (71.63), Guyana (68.74), El Salvador (67.79), Brazil (67.49), Jamaica (67.42).
ii.Overall crime rate is calculated by dividing the total number of reported crimes of any kind by the total population, then multiplying the result by 100,000 (because the crime rate is typically reported as X number of crimes per 100,000 people).
On April 11, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified an enclosed Framework for acceptance of Green Deposits for the Regulated Entities (REs) to promote and develop a green finance ecosystem in India.
· The framework will come into effect from June 1, 2023.
Purpose: The framework was set up with
the intent to encourage REs to offer green deposits to customers, protect
interests of the depositors, support customers to achieve their sustainability
agenda, address greenwashing concerns and help augment the flow of credit to
Applicability: The provisions of the framework would be applicable to the following entities (i.e. collectively referred to REs):
· Scheduled Commercial Banks including Small Finance Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks, Local Area Banks and Payments Banks) and
· All Deposit-taking Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) registered with the RBI, including Housing Finance Companies (HFCs).
i.The REs were directed to implement a comprehensive RBI-approved policy on green deposits.
ii.REs were directed to ensure that the funds raised through green deposits are allocated to eligible green activities/projects.
iii.The allocation of funds raised through green deposits by REs during a financial year shall be subject to an independent Third-Party Verification/Assurance which shall be done on an annual basis.
iv.Use of proceeds: RBI stated that the allocation of proceeds raised from green deposits should be based on the official Indian green taxonomy.
· In case of pending finalization of the taxonomy, as an interim measure, REs are required to allocate the proceeds raised through green deposits towards list of green activities/projects mentioned by RBI such as Renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, climate change adaptation, sustainable water and waste management, and green buildings.
· The projects have to encourage energy efficiency in resource utilisation, reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, promote climate resilience and/or adaptation and value and improve natural ecosystems and biodiversity.
v.The list of ‘exclusions’ mentioned by RBI for REs includes projects involving new or existing extraction, production and distribution of fossil fuels, nuclear power generation, and direct waste incineration.
According to provisional statistics released by the General Insurance Council (GIC), India’s non-life insurers recorded growth in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) due to strong performance across sectors.
· In FY23, non-life insurers have underwritten a gross premium of Rs 2.6 crore, a 16.4% increase over FY22.
i.Underwriting is a process by which an individual or organisation undertakes financial risk in exchange for a fee.
· Underwriters evaluate the level of risk in the business activities of insurers.
According to the Insurance
Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the four public sector
general insurance companies – New India Assurance Co. Ltd, United India
Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., and National Insurance
Company Limited– have lost 803 basis points (bps) in market share to
their private counterparts in the past five years.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI):
Chairperson – Debasish Panda
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
i.On April 11, 2023, the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) in its bi-annual World Economic Outlook (WEO) 2023 report with a title
‘A Rocky Recovery’ has downgraded India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
forecast for the financial year 2023-24 by 20 basis points (-0.2%) to 5.9% from
6.1% in January 2023 WEO Update.
ii.For FY25, India’s growth projections is cut by 50 basis points (-0.5%) to 6.3% from 6.8% in January 2023 WEO Update.
iii.The global economy will grow by 2.8% in 2023 and 3% in 2024, down 10 basis points each from its January WEO 2023 forecasts.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Headquarters– Washington, D.C, USA
A consortium led by
state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged an order worth more
than Rs 9,600 crore to supply 80 sleeper class Vande Bharat trains to Indian
Railways over a period of 6 years.
The consortium, comprising BHEL and Titagarh Wagons Ltd, is called Technology Partner.
· In the mega-tender of the Indian Railways, the BHEL-led consortium received an order for 80 Vande Bharat trains.
· Sleeper class Vande Bharat or Train18 trainsets are in demand since they can travel on long routes like Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah.
· The order is for the supply of 80 trains each at a cost of Rs 120 crore, excluding taxes and duties.
The order for an Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) has also been placed for 35 years.
Bengaluru(Karnataka) based Raman Research Institute(RRI) has partnered with the Indian Navy to develop secure maritime communications using quantum technologies.
· RRI signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Weapons and Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE), the Research and Development (R&D) wing of the Indian Navy in this regard.
Professor Tarun Souradeep, Director, RRI, and Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Materiel, Indian Navy signed the MoU at the Sena Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi.
Note: RRI is an aided autonomous research institute engaged in research in basic science which receives funding from the Department of Science and Technology(DST).
i.The partnership between RRI and Indian Navy was formalised after RRI announced a breakthrough demonstration in establishing secure communication between a stationary source and a moving receiver using quantum key distribution.
ii.This partnership with an aim to enhance the research in quantum technologies for maritime use cases is in line with efforts of India towards becoming self-reliant.
About the MoU:
i.The MoU between RRI and WESEE comprises a broad umbrella of potential research areas.
ii.Under this MoU, the Quantum Information and Computing (QuIC) laboratory at RRI along with WESEE will develop solutions in areas that include ship-to-shore communication.
iii.Recently, the QuIC Lab has achieved the capabilities to find applications in secure communications with moving offshore vessels.
Significance of QuIC Lab:
i.QuIC is India’s 1st laboratory to propose and implement a wide range of applications using single and entangled photons, particularly towards establishing secure communications in strategic areas like banking, defence, and cyber security.
ii.QuIC has been leading India’s research in the field of secure quantum communication.
iii.Major achievements of QuIC Lab:
· Development of an end-to-end simulation toolkit named “qkdSim”.
· Ensuring safety in communication platforms.
· Establishing secure communication between two buildings and between a stationary source and a mobile receiver.
About Raman Research
RRI was founded in 1948 by the Indian physicist and Nobel Laureate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (C V Raman).
It was restructured in 1972 as aided autonomous institute.
Director– Prof. Tarun Souradeep
Location– Bengaluru, Karnataka
On 11th April 2023, Sanjay Malhotra, Revenue Secretary, Ministry of Finance (MoF), launched the Unified Portal of the Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN), which will instil efficiency and transparency and reduce the time taken by the pharma industry to get a trade licence.
· The launch of the Unified portal of CBN will prove as a stepping stone to ease doing business with NDPS and controlled substances in India with transparent and better compliance.
Under the ambit of various United Nations Conventions and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, the CBN is a central government organisation that deals with the international trade of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and precursor chemicals.
· The portal has been calibrated to have database integration and ingestion with other government services including Bharat Kosh, GST, PAN- NSDL validation, e-Sanchit, and UIDAI facilitating single point services for obtaining the licenses from CBN.
On 12th April 2023, Keshub Mahindra, former chairman emeritus of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Group, passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra, at the age of 99. He was born on 9th October 1923 in Shimla, British India (now in Himachal Pradesh).
· According to the Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List 2023, Keshub Mahindra was named India’s Oldest Billionaire.
About Keshub Mahindra:
i. A renowned philanthropist Keshub Mahindra, who has redefined good corporate governance in India, joined his father’s company, Mahindra & Mahindra(M&M) Group, which was into manufacturing and selling utility vehicles, in 1947.
ii. Later, he served as the chairman of the M&M Group from 1963 to 2012. The current Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Group is Anand Mahindra.
iii. He has been appointed by the Government of India to serve on many Committees including the Sachar Commission on Company Law & MRTP and the Central Advisory Council of Industries.
iv. He served as a Member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry from 2004 to 2010.
v. He also served as a member of the Apex Advisory Council of the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and President Emeritus of the Employers’ Federation of India.
vi. He was a member of the Council of the United World Colleges (International) in the United Kingdom (UK) and an Honorary Fellow of the All India Management Association.
vii. He has also served on several Boards and Councils such as Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Tata Steel Limited, Tata Chemicals Limited, Indian Hotels, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and ICICI Bank Limited.
viii. He was also the Founder Chairman of HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited); Vice-Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd; Chairman of Mahindra Ugine Steel Co. Ltd; Director of Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited.
In 1987, Keshub Mahindra was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur (Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor) by the French Government.
Pattabhi Ram & Sabyasachee Dash has co-authored a new book titled “The Great Bank Robbery: NPAs, Scams and the Future of Regulation” which discusses 11 scams that have rocked India since its Independence(1947). The book is published by Rupa Publications India Pvt Ltd.
· V. Pattabhi Ram, a Chartered Accountant based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is an author, public speaker and teacher. He has authored several books such as “Ticking Times: An Accountant and a Gentleman”, and “First Lessons in Strategic Financial Management” (co-authored with S.D. Bala).
· Sabyasachee Dash is a career corporate executive and a Chartered Accountant.
The United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Human Space Flight is annually observed across the globe on April 12 to mark the beginning of the space era for mankind, the contribution of space science and technology, and ensure the realisation of the conservation of outer space for peaceful purposes.
· International Day of Human Space Flight 2023 was observed on 12th April 2023.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/65/271 on 7th April 2011 and declared April 12 of every year as International Day of Human Space Flight.
ii. The 1st ever International Day of Human Space Flight was observed on 12th April 2011.
Note: 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the first-ever human space and the 50th anniversary of the 1st session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Why April 12?
12th April 1961 was the date of the first human space flight. The 1st human space flight was carried out by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, a citizen of the Soviet Union.
About the United Nations
Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
Acting Director- Niklas Hedman
Headquarters- Vienna, Austria
International Day for Street Children(IDSC) is annually observed across the globe on 12th April to create awareness about the difficulties faced by the children who live on the streets and demand equal rights for them.
· The day offers a platform for the street children to speak out and promote their rights.
The observance of the IDSC is
led by the Consortium for Street Children(CSC), a global network that raises
the voices of street children and creates long-term change to ensure they are
i.The first ever International Day for Street Children was launched by CSC on 12th April 2011.
ii.Since 2012, the day is celebrated globally to recognise the humanity, dignity and defiance of street children in the face of unimaginable hardships.
On 7th April 2023, Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs, inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 234 development projects worth Rs 5,196 crore in the Azamgarh and Kaushambi districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
· Of the total projects, 117 development works worth Rs 4,583 crore rupees are in Azamgarh, UP, and 117 development projects worth Rs 613 crore rupees are in Kaushambi, UP.
i. The foundation stone of 117 development projects worth Rs.4583 includes
· 1358 schemes at the cost of Rs 4257 crore under ‘Nal se Jal’
· 55 schemes related to widening and strengthening of roads at the cost of Rs 175 crore
· 61 schemes at the cost of Rs 151 crore related to 16 different departments of UP.
ii. The foundation stone of 117 development projects worth Rs 613 includes the inauguration of:
· 70 schemes of the Public Works Department worth Rs 405 crore
· 24 projects worth Rs 51 crore from 12 departments including Youth Welfare, Sports, Urban Development and Vocational Education.
· 19 schemes of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Phase-III worth Rs 151 crore
· 4 schemes of the Health and Urban Development Department worth Rs 6 crore
Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister(CM) of Uttar Pradesh, and Brijesh Pathak & Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Ministers(CM).
About the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA):
Union Minister- Amit Shah (Constituency- Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat)
Minister of State (MoS)- Nityanand Rai (Constituency- Ujiarpur, Bihar); Ajay Kumar Mishra (Constituency- Kheri, Uttar Pradesh); Nisith Pramanik (Constituency- Coochbehar, West Bengal)
About Uttar Pradesh:
Chief Minister (CM)- Yogi Adityanath
Governor- Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel
Bird Sanctuary- Samaspur Bird Sanctuary; Okhla Bird Sanctuary
Festival- Ayudha Pooja; Lath Mar Holi
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