On May 9, 2023, the Telangana government (Govt) launched Telangana State Robotics Framework, a first-of-its-kind policy in India, to provide a roadmap for the state to create a sustainable robotic ecosystem and be a leading state in the field of robotics.
· Telangana State Robotics Framework was launched by Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao(KTR), Minister for Information Technology(IT) and Industries, the Government of Telangana at T-Hub Events Room, Hyderabad, Telangana.
· The framework was developed by the Emerging Technologies Wing of the ITE&C (Information Technology, Electronics and Communications) Department of Telangana in collaboration with the All India Robotics Association.
Focus Area: The framework focuses on
leveraging robotics technology for the growth and development of four key
domains such as agriculture, healthcare, consumer robotics, and industrial
The state govt plans to set up a Telangana Robotics Innovation Centre (TRIC) to implement the framework.
Chief Minister – Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao
Governor – Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan
Tiger Reserve – Amrabad Tiger Reserve
Punjab has become the first Indian State to implement the “Right to walk” by making it mandatory for all road-owning agencies, including the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), to provide footpaths and cycle tracks in all future expansion of roads and construction of new ones.
· This is a part of the efforts of Punjab to control the number of accidents and deaths of pedestrians and cyclists.
· These directions were issued by the Government of Punjab following 2 court orders after Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed at the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court of India.
i.According to the government, the number of pedestrians killed in road crashes has increased from 25,858 in 2019 to 29,124 in 2021, which indicates that the road infrastructure does not provide safety to pedestrians.
ii.In 2022, the Supreme Court of India notified the states to ensure the safety of the pedestrians and cyclists by provided dedicated, seamless and safe pedestrian lanes and cycle tracks.
Chief Minister– Bhagwant Mann
Governor– Banwarilal Purohit
Wildlife sanctuary– Bir Mehas Wildlife Sanctuary; Bir Gurdialpura Wildlife Sanctuary
Airport– Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport; Bathinda Airport
Union Minister Rajesh Bhushan, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), has launched SAKSHAM (Stimulating Advanced Knowledge for Sustainable Health Management), a learning management information system (LMIS) of MoHFW.
· SAKSHAM was developed by the National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW), New Delhi, Delhi.
i. Gopalakrishnan, Special Secretary (Health), Dr Dheeraj Shah, Director NIHFW, Nidhi Kesarwani, Deputy Director NIHFW, Dr V K Tiwari, Dean NIHFW, along with senior officials of the Health Ministry and NIHFW were present on the occasion.
i. SAKSHAM is a dedicated and unified platform that offers medical education and training online to all health professionals in India.
ii. It will ensure inclusive capacity building of health professionals from primary health centres located in rural and remote areas all the way up to tertiary care and corporate hospitals in metropolitan cities.
iii. Currently, SAKSHAM: LMIS hosts more than 200 public health and 100 clinical courses online.
iv. After undergoing the necessary training and qualifying for the required assessment criteria, health professionals can register for the clinical courses on the portal https://lmis.nihfw.ac.in/ and receive certification.
On 10th May 2023, MyGov in collaboration with Ministry of Culture launched a “YUVA PRATIBHA – Singing Talent Hunt” with an aim to promote Indian music at the grassroots level on a national scale by identifying and recognising the new and young talent in various singing genres such as Folk, Patriotic, and Contemporary.
· The initial submission for the competition will be open for a period of one and a half months.
· It is a unique opportunity for citizens across India to display their singing talent and skills and to gain national recognition.
· The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd winners will be rewarded with Rs 1,50,000, Rs 1,00,000, and Rs 50,000, respectively, along with a Trophy and Certificate. The top 3 winners will be mentored for a period of 1 month with a mentorship stipend.
According to the report ‘Born Too Soon: Decade of Action on Preterm Birth’, published on May 10, 2023, almost half of all pre-term births (babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy) in 2020 happened in five countries of India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China and Ethiopia.
· The report alarms ‘silent emergency’, as for every 10 babies born, 1 is preterm, and every 40 seconds, 1 of those babies dies.
· The report was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) together with PMNCH, the world’s largest alliance for women, children, and adolescents,
Key Findings of the Report:
i.An estimated 13.4 million babies were born pre-term in 2020 with nearly one million dying from complications. This is equivalent to around one in 10 babies.
ii.In 2020, Bangladesh had the highest estimated pre-term birth rate (16.2%), followed by Malawi (14.5%) and Pakistan (14.4%). India and South Africa, at an estimated 13% each.
iii.India tops the list of pre-term birth numbers with 30.16 lakh births, Pakistan is at 9.14 lakh, Nigeria at 7.74 lakh and China at 7.52 lakh.
On May 9 2023, The FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a non-government, not-for-profit organisation) and the BCC (Business Council of Canada) announced a new partnership to connect business leaders from both countries, promote bilateral economic ties, and enhance cooperation as partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
· The announcement was made at the CEOs Roundtable organised by FICCI and BCC in Toronto, Canada.
· India’s bilateral relationship with Canada holds great potential especially in areas like energy, science, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and infrastructure development.
India’s Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal; Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng; FICCI President Subhrakant Panda; Secretary General Shailesh Pathak and BCC President & CEO Goldy Hyder.
Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA):
On May 10 2023, the two organisations co-chaired the sixth Canada-India ministerial dialogue on trade and investment and discussed an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA, an interim step towards the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) with the goal of successfully concluding negotiations by the end of the year.
Note: Seventh round of negotiations between Indian and Canadian officials for EPTA was held in Ottawa, Canada in April 2023.
Trade between two nations:
i. The total bilateral trade between India and Canada amounted to US$ 6.8 billion for FY(Financial Year) 2021-22.
ii. Canada exported US$ 3.1 billion worth of products to India and imported US$ 3.7 billion worth of products from India.
iii. Canadian portfolio and institutional investment into India is currently valued at CA$ (Canadian Dollar) 70 billion (US$51.7 billion).
A trade agreement would not only increase the trade and investment businesses in both countries but would also mark an important milestone in Canada’s recently released Indo-Pacific Strategy.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
The largest and oldest apex business organisation in India.
Established in– 1927
President– Shubhrakant panda
Secretary General– Shailesh K Pathak
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
About Business Council of Canada (BCC):
A non-partisan advocacy organisation formerly known as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
Established in– 1976
President and CEO– Goldy Hyder
Headquarters– Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
On May 8, 2023, Yes Bank Limited announced the launch of a solar financing scheme named ‘YES KIRAN’ to offer financial assistance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) manufacturers who wish to install solar panels at their premises.
· Objective: The scheme was launched by the bank to support MSMEs to adopt sustainable energy practices and bring in cost efficiency by reducing the expenses towards power and fuel.
i.The bank has partnered with solar panel manufacturers like Tata Power Solar Systems, Goldi Solar and Loom Solar, and Panasonic Solar Power System to facilitate MSME businesses for their transition to renewable energy solutions.
ii.Benefits provided under the scheme include flexible loan tenure at competitive interest rates, reduced operational cost, end-to-end support from the YES BANK team through the entire cycle of planning to implementation, and a broad range of tie-ups with leading solar panel manufacturers and installers.
iii.The scheme also supports to fulfil India’s G20 vision of achieving a target of over 50% energy production from renewable sources by 2030.
About YES Bank Ltd.
Establishment – 2004
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD&CEO – Prashant Kumar
Tagline – Experience Our Expertise
Federal Bank Limited partners with
National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) to launch an electronic Bank
Guarantee (e-BG) facility for its customers, enabling them to obtain a Bank
Guarantee digitally, replacing the traditional paper-based process.
i.Under the e-BG facility, which is issued through NeSL’s e-BG platform, all the processes such as issuance, invocation, amendment, and cancellation of Bank Guarantees will be made digitally and overcomes the need for physical printing of any document or request.
ii.The platform is safe, secure, and fast, making trade and business activities convenient.
iii.Customers who are eligible to avail of the service include individuals, sole proprietors, companies, partnership firms, government agencies, and associations of people.
iv.Currently, the service is made available only in states where e-stamping is available.
v.The e-BG enables faster communication, reduces opportunities for fraud, reduces time, ensures correct payment of stamp duty, and lowers the cost of storage and retrieval.
About Federal Bank Ltd.
Establishment – April 23, 1931
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
MD&CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner
Kalyan(Maharashtra)-based Agritech firm Rukart, which sells “Subjee Cooler” to enhance the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, has partnered with the State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest public sector bank, to help potential customers in getting easy loan options to buy the cold storage system ‘Subjee cooler’.
· Rukart manufactures Subjee Cooler, a cold chain storage system that requires only 20 litres of water a day to function.
· The cost of the product is Rs 50,000 each and one Subjee Cooler has a storage capacity of 100 kg.
· The aim of the tie-up is to mitigate distress sales among marginal/small farmers and retailers.
Note: Rukart is mentored by the Powering Livelihoods program, jointly run by Council On Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Villgro Innovations Foundation.
On 9th May 2023, Axis Bank Limited (formerly known as UTI Bank), India’s third largest private sector bank, enabled RuPay Credit Card support on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
· Customers can now scan UPI QR codes or use the merchant’s UPI checkout page to make a purchase using their RuPay credit card.
· This feature will currently work in UPI apps which are supporting the RuPay Credit Card feature and the customers have RuPay Credit Card with Axis Bank.
Competition Commission of India (CCI), a Fair-trade regulator, has cleared the proposal of Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors (EAAA) and ESOF III Investment Fund to subscribe to certain compulsorily convertible debentures issued by Biocon Biologics Ltd (BBL).
· The Proposed Combination is notified under Section 5(a) of the Competition Act, 2002.
Acquirers- Edelweiss Alternative Asset
Advisors Limited and ESOF III Investment Fund.
Target- Biocon Biologics Limited.
i. EAAA is a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-registered alternative asset advisor.
ii. ESOF III Investment Fund is a SEBI-registered Category II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF).
iii. BBL is a global biosimilar firm, engaged in the manufacturing and commercialisation of pharmaceutical formulations.
i. The activities of the Parties do not exhibit any horizontal, vertical, or complementary overlaps in any of the plausible relevant markets in India.
ii. The Proposed Combination is being notified under the green channel route in terms of Regulation 5A and Schedule III of the CCI (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (as amended).
About the Competition Commission of India (CCI);
Acting Chairperson- Sangeeta Verma
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment- 14th October 2003 (Operational from 2009)
IBM (International Business Machines) in collaboration with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) disclosed a new geospatial foundation model, designed to convert satellite data into high-resolution maps of floods, fires, and other landscape changes to reveal the planet’s past and hint at its future.
· The model watsonx.ai geospatial offering is an artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by IBM.
· The goal of the NASA and IBM collaboration is to provide an easier way for researchers to analyse and draw insights from large NASA datasets related to Earth processes.
· This collaboration is part of NASA’s Open-Source Science Initiative (OSSI), a commitment to building an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative open science community over the next decade.
About IBM geospatial
i. As part of a Space Act Agreement with NASA, IBM set out to build the first-ever foundation model for analysing geospatial data in just four months.
ii. The new geospatial foundation model is designed to enable first steps by converting NASA’s satellite observations into customised maps of natural disasters and other environmental changes.
iii. These foundation models (types of AI models trained on a broad set of unlabeled data) make deploying AI significantly more scalable, affordable, flexible and efficient.
iv. As part of the NASA/IBM collaboration, the geospatial intelligence foundation models will be applied to NASA’sHarmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) dataset.
v. The part of IBM’s watsonx.ai model, a nextgen enterprise studio is planned to be available in preview for AI builders through (EIS) IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite in July 2023 to train, test, tune, and deploy both traditional machine learning and new generation AI capabilities.
Note: IBM watsonx, is a new AI and data platform to be released that will enable enterprises to scale and accelerate the impact of the most advanced AI with trusted data.
The potential applications of this platform would include:
· Helping to estimate climate-related risks to crops, buildings, and other infrastructure;
· Valuing and monitoring forests for carbon-offset programmes;
· Developing predictive models to help enterprises create strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
IBM is working with NASA’s
Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) on this effort.
Note: IMPACT is a component of NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program and is charged with expanding the use of NASA Earth observing data through innovation, partnerships, and technology at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, United States of America (USA).
IBM & NASA plan to develop another project and is expected to be a large language model based on Earth science literature.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
Administrator– Bill Nelson
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States (US)
About International Business Machines (IBM):
Chairman and CEO– Arvind Krishna
Headquarters– Armonk, New York, United States (US)
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, partnered with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists to develop cutting-edge Piezoelectric MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) technology sensor for underwater communications, which will be advantageous to defence applications, especially in the Navy.
· This sensor will be used by the Indian Navy’s Next Generation SONAR initiative by DRDO to support both innovative and modern technological advances.
i. Piezoelectric MEMS technology sensor allows India to fabricate the devices at a lower cost than the foundries that are available internationally, where production costs are high and the availability of foundries is restricted.
ii. With the development of Piezo MEMS technology, India is able to expand beyond the limits of defence capabilities and undertake strategic operations for key applications.
iii. “Piezoelectric MEMS technology” is required to produce high-performance thin films and turn “piezo thin film” into sophisticated, futuristic naval sensors and apparatus for underwater applications.
· The piezo thin films are one of the essential parts of piezo MEMS devices and are considered for acoustics and vibration-sensing applications.
iv. IIT Madras researchers and DRDO scientists
collaborated with many partners to develop a piezo MEMS process technology to
make “Thin film membrane based Piezo MEMS Acoustic sensors.”
v. The fabricated PZT thin film-based acoustic sensor outperforms the traditional PVDF-based acoustic sensor in terms of functionality.
· Lead-Zirconium-Titanium oxide (PZT) is a piezoelectric ceramic with high piezoelectric constants often used as sensors and actuators.
The research was led by IIT Madras Prof. Amitava Das Gupta and Prof. Boby George, along with Dr E. Varadarajan, Scientist, and Dr V. Natarajan, Senior Scientist of DRDO at the DRDO Industry Academia – Ramanujan Centre of Excellence (DIA-RCoE).
· The researchers worked with multiple partners for the development of Piezoelectric MEMS technology.
About the Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO):
DRDO is the Research and Development (R&D) wing of the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India.
Chairman- Dr Samir V Kamat
Formed in- 1958
On April 29 2023, an Indian-American development economist and Padma Bhushan award winner, Padma Desai passed away at the age of 92 in New York, the United States of America (USA). She was born in Surat, British India (now in Gujarat) in 1931.
· She was the Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems and Director of Center for Transition Economies in 1992 at Columbia University in New York, USA.
· She is well known for her scholarship on Soviet and Indian industrial policy.
About Padma Desai:
i. Padma Desai started her career at the Department of Economics, Harvard in USA from 1957–1959.
ii. From 1959 to 1968 she was associate professor of economics at Delhi School of Economics at University of Delhi in New Delhi, Delhi.
iii. In 1980 she joined the Columbia University as a professor of economics and in 1992 she became the Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems and later become the director of the Center for Transition Economies at the University
iv. In 1995 she served as the US Treasury Advisor to the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.
v. She served as the President of the Association of Comparative Economic Studies in 2001.
vi. The Harriman Institute at Columbia University established the Padma Desai Summer Fellowship with gifts from Padma Desai and her husband, JagdishBhagwati.
i. In 1968 she co-authored a book titled “India: Planning for Industrialization” with JagdishBhagwati.
ii. Other noted books authored by Padma Desai include, The Soviet Economy: Problems and Prospects (1987); Perestroika in Perspective: The Design and Dilemmas of Soviet Reform(1989); Work Without Wages: Russia’s Nonpayment Crisis.
iii. In 2013 her memoirs titled “Breaking Out: An Indian Woman’s American Journey” was published in the USA.
In 2009, the Government of India honoured her with Padma Bhushan.
Former Health Minister of Kerala K. K. Shailaja, a Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly from the Mattanur constituency, authored a new book (autobiography) titled “My Life as a Comrade: The Story of an Extraordinary Politician and the World That Shaped Her”. The book was co-authored by Manju Sara Rajan, former CEO of the Kochi Biennale Foundation and journalist, and published by Juggernaut Books.
· The book details the course of her life which started in a small settlement in Malabar and eventually led her to a Cabinet position in the Kerala government.
· K. K. Shailaja, popularly known as ‘Shailaja Teacher’, is a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
· She has also served as the minister for Social Justice, Women and Child Development in Kerala. She has authored several books on gender, communism and public health in Malayalam.
The United Nations(UN)’s International Day of Argania is annually observed across the world on 10th May to create awareness about the major role of the Argan Tree (Argania spinosa), the native species of Morocco, in achieving the 3 dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) at the local level.
· 10th May 2023 Marks the observance of the 3rd edition of International Day of Argania.
The theme of
International Day of Argania 2023 is “Socio-economic development &
sustainability of the Argan ecosystem”.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/262 on 3rd March 2021 and proclaimed the 10th May of every year as the International Day of Argania.
ii.The first-ever International Day of Argania was observed on 10th May 2021.
On May 3 2023, Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Chief Minister (CM) of Uttarakhand approved ‘Chief Minister’s Skill Upgradation and Global Employment Scheme‘ (“Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Unnayan aur Vaishavik Rozgar Yojana”) to help youths of the Uttarakhand to pursue careers in foreign nations.
· The scheme will also help aspiring youth in the procedures related to tickets, visas of the selected candidates apart from grooming and upskilling.
Process of the scheme:
i. An application has been developed on the ‘Apuni Sarkar Portal’ to create a database related to youth seeking jobs abroad.
ii. Proposals are being invited from organisations working in the field of foreign employment and the Uttarakhand government has received the proposals of many organisations.
iii. In the first phase, work will be done to connect the selected candidates of Uttarakhand with the employment opportunities available abroad in the fields of hospitality and nursing sectors.
Skill upgradation training as well as training about the language, culture and work ethics of the concerned country is necessary to communicate the youth for foreign employment in the domain area.
On May 9 2023, a workshop was held in Uttarakhand, where interested candidates were screened and after the selection process the candidates have been trained for jobs available in the elderly care sector in Japan
Capital– Dehradun (Winter capital) and Bhararisain (Summer Capital)
Chief Minister– Pushkar Singh Dhami
Governor– Gurmit Singh
Bird Sanctuary– Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary, Kilbury and Pangot and Bird Sanctuary
On 9th May 2023, PTC India Limited (formerly Power Trading Corporation of India Limited), a Power Trading Solutions (PTS) provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brookfield Renewable, for the procurement of 100 MW solar power on a long-term basis.
· Brookfield Renewables is developing a 400 MW solar power project at the Bikaner solar park in Rajasthan.
· The MoU includes an option to increase the power capacity to 200 MW at the time of project commissioning based on mutual confirmation by the two parties.
· PTC India will market the power to various utilities and commercial and industrial consumers.
· Under this arrangement, PTC India will provide Brookfield Renewables with an assured tariff and payment security.
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