On 18th May 2023, Prime Minister(PM), Narendra Modi, laid the foundation
stone and dedicated to the nation, several railway projects worth more than Rs
8000 crores in Odisha through video conferencing.
i.During the event, PM flagged off the Vande Bharat Express between Puri(Odisha) and Howrah(West Bengal).
ii.He also laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of Puri and Cuttack railway stations.
iii.The Prime Minister dedicated 100% electrification of the rail network in Odisha which will reduce the operating and maintenance cost and reduce reliance on imported crude oil.
iv.He also dedicated other railway projects including,
· Doubling of the Sambalpur-Titlagarh rail line.
· New broad gauge rail line between Angul-Sukinda.
· 3rd line connecting Manoharpur-Rourkela-Jharsuguda-Jamga.
· New broad-gauge line between Bichhupali-Jhartarbha.
Chief Minister– Naveen Patnaik
Governor– Ganeshi Lal
Festival– Raja Parba; Rath Yatra; Nuakhai
Stadium– Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium; East Coast Railway Stadium
On May 19 2023, the Assam Government and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways(MoPSW) signed an agreement for a ‘Riverine based Tourism Circuit’ being developed over the River Brahmaputra in Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati, Assam.
· The project is being developed under the Sagarmala Programme will connect the seven historic sites namely Kamakhya (Assam), Pandunath (Assam), Ashwaklanta, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar and Auniati Satra situated in Guwahati, Assam.
The MoU was signed among the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) under MoPSW; Sagarmala Development Corporation Limited (SDCL) under MoPSW; Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC); and Department of Inland Waterways Transport (DIWT); Government of Assam.
· The MoU was signed in the presence of Himanta Biswa Sarma- Chief Minister(CM) of Assam; Sarbananda Sonowal- Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Government of India.
i. The initial cost of the project being developed under the Sagarmala Programme is INR 40-45 crores.
ii. SDCL and IWAI will jointly contribute 55% of the project cost while the remaining will be provided by ATDC.
iii. DIWT (Directorate of Inland Water Transport, Assam) has generously offered the usage of Ghats near the temples free of charge for the project.
Riverine based Tourism Circuit:
i. The Riverine based Tourism Circuit project will facilitate modern ferry service on a ‘Hop On Hop Off’ among seven historic religious temples/sites around Guwahati and the waiting lounge at the ferry terminal will be a modern facility providing a comfortable ambience for the passengers.
ii. The circuit will sail from Hanuman Ghat, Uzan Bazar (Assam) and will complete its journey by covering all 7 temples/sites through waterways.
iii. This project is executed via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), and will be completed within 12 months.
Key People Involved:
Parimal Shuklabaidya- Transport Minister, Government of Assam; Jayanta Malla Baruah- Tourism Minister, Government of Assam; Sanjay Bandopadhyay- Chairman, IWAI; Rituparna Baruah- Chairman, ATDC; Dilip Das- Vice Chairman, ATDC; Dilip Kumar Gupta- Managing Director, SDCL
Chief Minister– Himanta Biswa Sarma
Governor– Gulab Chand Kataria
Stadium– Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
India through the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the Israel government to build an “India-Israel Center of Water Technology” (CoWT) in Water Resource Management and Water Technologies at IIT Madras.
· The LoI was signed on 9th May 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi, by Manoj Joshi, Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Prof V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, and Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel to India in the presence of External Affairs Ministers S Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen.
i. The CoWT aims to build human capacity to ensure the implementation of the best technologies of Israel in a tailor-made context for the Indian requirements and pilot sustainable technologies to ensure water security for India.
ii. The centre will help the MoHUA develop its Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Mission for attaining its overall targets in collaboration with Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation(MASHAV- acronym in Hebrew), in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel.
India-Israel Center of Water Technology (CoWT):
i. CoWT will build a mutual network of knowledge exchange that will include technology, scientific information, and literature in addition to sustainable water management practices.
ii. It will also function as a platform to bring together experts from both India and Israel to hold discussions and consultations on issues like drinking water, and sewerage management and to develop new areas of intervention.
iii. CoWT will also provide wide exposure to Indian Water professionals at all levels as they demonstrate the projects using advanced technology and host an exhibition of Israeli water companies.
iv. India and Israel seek to jointly identify specific projects in the areas of integrated water resources management, urban water supply, non-revenue water, and sewage recycling at the onset of this development.
v. The focus will be on building the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions for water harvesting and smart data management with the objective of demonstrating the most advanced technologies in the field.
On 17th May 2023, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (MoFAHD), launched the “Sagar Parikrama Yatra Phase-V” in Karanja, Raigad, Maharashtra.
The yatra started on 17th May 2023 from Gateway of India, Mumbai concluded on 19th May 2023 in Goa.
· The Sagar Parikrama Yatra Phase-V would be proceeding towards coastal regions including Gateway of India, Karanja (Raigad District), Mirkarwada (Ratnagiri District), Devgad (Sindhudurg District), Malvan, Vasco, Mormugaon, Canacona (South Goa).
· It aims to resolve the issues of the fishermen and stakeholders and ensure their economic upliftment.
· The Program ‘Sagar Parikrama’ has successfully completed 4 phases, covering 19 locations in Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.
i.Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has been ranked as the World’s Top
Public/Private Business Incubators in the 2nd edition of the UBI Global World
Rankings of business incubators and accelerators (World Ranking Report
21/22). KSUM was honoured for its role in making Kerala a vibrant Startup
ii.The honour for the same was jointly received by the Secretary (Electronics & IT), Kerala, Rathan U Kelkar, and KSUM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anoop Ambika during the UBI Global World Rankings 2021-2022 event held as part of the World Incubation Summit 2023 (WIS 2023) in Ghent, Belgium.
iii.This report presents the Rankings and Recognitions derived from the World Benchmark Study 2021-2022 conducted by UBI Global, a Swedish-based innovation intelligence company and community. This is the 6th iteration of the study.
About UBI Global:
CEO and Co-Founder– Ali Amin
Headquarters– Stockholm, Sweden
Founded in 2013
On May 17 2023, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, Nepal and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Government of Nepal, signed a Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for undertaking two High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal under the grant assistance of the Indian Government.
· The 2 projects are the construction of the Malagiri Shanti Yogashram in Ramechhap District, Nepal and the Kedar Jyotipunja Multiple Campus, Doti District, Nepal.
· The 2 projects, one each in Health Care and Education Sectors, will be developed at a total estimated cost of Nepalese Rupees (NRs) 80.33 million.
The construction of these 2 projects aims at providing better health care and education facilities for the local community and improving the quality of life for people in Nepal.
The construction of Malagiri Shanti Yogashram in Ramechhap will be implemented through Ramechhap Municipality and Kedar Jyotipunja Multiple Campus in Doti will be implemented through Badikedar Rural Municipality.
Since 2003, India has taken up over 535 High Impact Community Development Projects in Nepal and has completed 478 projects. Among these, 81 projects are in Mahdesh Pradesh, Nepal including 6 projects in Mahottari District, Nepal.
The Government of India has gifted 23 ambulances to various hospitals and health posts in Mahottari, Nepal.
President– Ram Chandra Poudel
Prime Minister– Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Currency– Nepalese Rupee (NR)
On May 16, 2023, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Ministry of Finance, Government of India (GoI) omitted Rule 7 of the Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000 under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and included the international credit cards (ICCs) spendings outside India under the RBI’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) and also be subjected it to a higher rate of 20% Tax Collected at Source (TCS) effective after July 1, 2023.
· Note: Rule 7 exempts overseas use of ICCs from ‘Rule 5’, which mandates prior approval from the RBI.
· Prevailing Rules: Only debit cards, forex (Foreign exchange) cards, and bank transfers were included in the LRS limit and the usage of ICCs for making payments for fulfilling expenses during travel outside India was not included in the LRS limit.
· The amendment of FEMA was made in accordance with the announcement made in budget 2023-23 and the TCS for foreign remittances under LRS was raised from 5% to 20% on overseas tour packages and funds remitted under LRS (other than for education and medical purposes).
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
On May 15, 2023, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) relaxed norms for ‘surety bonds’, which protect parties in transaction financial losses due to a breach of contract or other types of non-performance.
· Surety bonds are a type of insurance that provides financial protection and assurance to parties involved in a contract or agreement.
· A surety bond involves three parties: the principal (contractor), the obligee ( the person hiring the contractor), and the surety company (the insurer). The principal obtains a surety bond from the surety company, which guarantees to the obligee that if the principal fails to fulfill their obligations, the surety will step in and provide compensation.
What are the relaxations?
i.The solvency requirement for surety bond products has been lowered by the IRDAI.Previously, insurance companies had to hold capital 1.875 times their liabilities, but now they only need to hold 1.5 times their liabilities.This change is meant to help the surety insurance market grow.
· solvency requirement refers to the amount of capital that an insurance company must hold in relation to its liabilities.This requirement ensures that the insurance company has enough money set aside to fulfill its promises and pay for any claims or obligations it may have.
ii.The previous 30% exposure limit on each contract underwritten by an insurer was also removed.Now insurers have more flexibility and can take on a higher percentage of the risk or liability on individual contracts.
· The exposure limit is a rule that sets a maximum level of risk or liability that an insurance company can take on for each contract they underwrite.It is like a safety measure that puts a cap on the amount of risk or responsibility the insurance company can handle for each individual contract.
i.The regulator has made amendments to the ‘IRDAI (Surety Insurance Contracts) Guidelines’ in January 2022.This notification removed the restriction on the amount of money (premiums) that insurance companies specializing in surety insurance can receive for providing coverage in a single financial year. Before the amendment, there was a limit on how much they could earn from premiums, but that restriction has now been removed.
ii.Applicability: It is applicable to all General Insurers (Except ECGC Ltd, AIC Ltd and Stand Alone Health Insurers).
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairperson– Debasish Panda
Headquarter– Hyderabad, Telangana
On May 18, 2023, Paytm in partnership with SBI Card and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), launches the next-generation co-branded RuPay Credit Card named ‘Paytm SBI Card’ on the RuPay network.
· Objective: To further improve credit inclusion in India and make credit cards more accessible to young and digitally-evolved customers.
i.The card enables customers to make UPI (Unified Payment Interface) payments by scanning QR codes.
ii.The co-branded credit cards offers Paytm First membership worth Rs 750 along with numerous offerings.
iii.The cardholder could also receive the added benefit of a 1% fuel surcharge waiver and Rs 1,00,000 cyber fraud insurance coverage in the case of ‘Platinum’ cardholders.
Note – Through the launch of the card the partnership between SBI Card and Paytm, which began in 2020, has expanded further.
-Godrej Agrovet Partners SBI to Extend Finance to Oil Palm Farmers
On May 18, 2023, Godrej Agrovet Limited’s (GAVL) Oil Palm Business announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind finance offering for oil palm farmers in partnership with the State Bank of India (SBI).
Objective: To offer loans to palm farmers for setting up micro irrigation facilities, establishing fencing arrangements to protect against cattle grazing, and enhancing tube wells on farms.
i.The financial offering was initially launched for the oil palm farmers of Telangana, and now it enables Godrej Agrovet farmers from the states of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Manipur and Tripura also to avail loan for around Rs 1 lakh to Rs 50 Crore.
· As a loan up to Rs 1.6 lakh would be offered without security it would be ideal for farmers venturing into oil palm farming for the first time.
ii.GAVL is the largest oil palm processor in India and works directly with
farmers for the entire lifecycle of their crop. It has 65,000 hectares of oil
palm under cultivation across India, and now the company plans to increase
cultivation by 1 lakh hectares by 2027.
iii.It provides a comprehensive package of knowledge, tools, services, and solutions to oil palm farmers through its Samadhan centres.
JCB International Co. Ltd., Japan’s international payment brand, partners with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to offer 40% cashback to RuPay JCB cardholders on in-store purchases in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Thailand, Malaysia, and Spain.
· The offer will be valid from May 15 to August 15, 2023.
This offer is the third phase of the limited-time special cashback offer
scheme offered by JCB in partnership with RuPay for all RuPay JCB Debit
and Credit Cardholders.
i.During the offer period, the customers using a RuPay JCB Card would receive 40% cashback on purchases made at retail stores in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Thailand, Malaysia, and Spain.
ii.The maximum cashback amount per transaction will be Rs 3,000, with an overall cap of Rs 15,000 per card during the offer period.
Note – In-store purchase is defined as a face-to-face point of sale (PoS) transaction made at a merchant location.
About the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
MD & CEO – Dilip Asbe
Headquarters -Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 2008
YES BANK partnered with Mastercard and Worldline India, and launches YES PAY EASY, a mobile app for small-scale merchants to enable them to accept card and digital payments from their customers’ smartphones.
· YES PAY EASY will transforms the customers’ smartphone into a secure payment acceptance device and enable merchants to use their mobile phones as a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal and accept remote payments.
Payment Acceptance Mode:
Merchants can accept payments using Bharat QR, tap-on-phone, and SMS Pay.
· BHARAT QR (STATIC & DYNAMIC): Under this mode, the app accept payments from Visa, MasterCard, RuPay Cards and UPI through Bharat QR. Physical Debit Cards and Credit card are not required.
· SMS PAY: In this mode, the payments will be collected remotely by sending a unique payment link through SMS.
· TAP-ON-PHONE: Contactless payment by Tapping debit and credit cards on the NFC (Near-field communication)-enabled phone. Transaction Limit is up to Rs 5000/- per transaction.
Features of YES PAY EASY:
i.The merchants could share digital charge slips and generate reconciliation statements using the app.
ii.Merchants could also track pending payments and send reminders using the app’s Khata feature, which facilitates the digital recording of pending payments and reminders.
iii.The onboarding process for the app is self-guided, catering to individuals or sole proprietors who are customers of YES BANK.
iv.To cater to customers across different regions, the app is available in eight languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Bengali.
v.The app possesses low rental costs compared to regular POS terminals.
About YES Bank Ltd.:
MD & CEO -Prashant Kumar
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Experience Our Expertise
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited announced a strategic partnership with actyv.ai, a Singapore-based enterprise SaaS (Software as a service) platform with embedded B2B (Business-to-business), BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) and insurance to co-create comprehensive insurance offerings for Small and Midsize Enterprises (SMEs) the entire supply chain ecosystem, encompassing distributors, retailers, and suppliers.
· The partnership was made to empower sustainable growth, reduce the business, foster growth, and contribute to the overall economic development of the country.
i.By providing group insurance options to supply chain partners, enterprises can foster continuous growth, while simultaneously ensuring the well-being and security of all stakeholders.
ii.Under the partnership with actyv.ai’s technological capabilities, ICICI Lombard will embed bite-sized insurance products within the actyv.ai platform, enabling seamless access to enterprises and small businesses alike.
iii.ICICI Lombard is the first in India to establish a digital platform specifically designed for MSMEs to acquire risk coverage.
About ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited:
MD & CEO – Bhargav Dasgupta
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
The Tiruchirappalli International Airport project(Trichy Airport Project) of ITD Cementation India Limited has been awarded the International Safety Award under the 1st- class merit category by the British Safety Council.
· ITD Cementation India Limited, engaged in the construction of the new terminal building in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, received the award on 10th May 2023.
· ITD Cementation India Limited received the award for demonstrating a strong commitment to good health and safety management in 2022.
Two Airports from Karnataka win Platinum Rating in ACI’s Green Airports
The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA), the 2 airports from Karnataka, have bagged the Platinum Category award in the Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific’s Green Airports Recognition 2023, for demonstrating outstanding accomplishments in their sustainability projects.
· MIA was awarded among the less than 8 million passengers per annum airports for the single-use plastic-free airport project.
· KIA bagged the platinum award for airports handling between 15-35 million passengers per annum for the project- plastics circularity at KIA.
About the British Safety Council:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Michael Robinson
Headquarters- London, the United Kingdom (UK)
About Airports Council International (ACI):
Director General– Luis Felipe de Oliveira
Headquarters- Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
“Gauri,” a documentary based on journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, directed by Kavitha Lankesh, has won the “Best Long Documentary Award” at the 12th edition of the South Asian Film Festival of Montréal (SAFFMontréal 2023) in Montréal, Canada.
· The film portrays the life of Gauri Lankesh, who was assassinated in 2017.
· The documentary film “Gauri” has been commissioned by Free Press Unlimited, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
· In 2022, “Gauri” won the “Best Human Rights Film” award at the Toronto Women’s Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
SAFFMontréal(SAFFM) is presented by Kabir Centre for Arts & Culture, a
not-for-profit organization promoting various art forms and activities such as
music, dance, cinema, literature and poetry.
SAFFM was held in hybrid mode on-site from 28th April to 7th May 2023 and online from 1st to 10th May 2023.
In accordance with the statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan regarding the Union Cabinet Reshuffle, Arjun Ram Meghwal, has replaced Kiren Rijiju with the independent charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice in addition to his existing portfolios of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Minister of State for Culture.
· Kiren Rijiju was assigned with the portfolio of the Ministry of Earth Sciences which was earlier handled by Union minister Jitendra Singh. He took over as the Minister of Law and Justice on 8 July 2021.
· The existing portfolios of Meghwal are the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and the Minister of State for Culture.
· The reallocated the portfolios of following two ministers in the Union Council of Ministers were made by President Droupadi Murmu, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Data Security Council of India (DSCI) has appointed Pramod Bhasin as its new Chairman with effect from 1st April 2023. He succeeds Rajendra S Pawar, the chairman and co-founder of NIIT Group, who had served as the Chairman of DSCI for a period of 3 years.
· Pramod Bhasin is currently serving as the Chairman of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
· He established Genpact in 1996 and led it until 2011, shaping the business process industry in India.
· The newly appointed leadership aims to establish cybersecurity as a cornerstone of the new era of digitisation along with Vinayak Godse, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DSCI.
Note: DSCI, a not-for-profit industry body on data protection in India, was established by NASSCOM(National Association of Software and Service Companies) with a commitment towards making cyberspace safe, secure and trusted by establishing best practices, standards and initiatives in cyber security and privacy.
On 18th May 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the UBS Group AG (Aktiengesellschaft) (UBS)’s proposed acquisition of Credit Suisse Group AG (Credit Suisse) by way of an absorption merger with UBS being the surviving legal entity.
· The merger has been necessitated due to the financial difficulties of Credit Suisse.
· Post transaction, all Credit Suisse’s Assets, Liabilities, and Contracts will be transferred to UBS in their totality.
The proposed transaction is notifiable to the CCI under the Section
5(c)(i)(A) of the Competition Act, 2002.
i.UBS is a multinational investment bank and financial services company founded and based in Switzerland.
· UBS is involved in wealth management, asset management, investment banking services, and retail and corporate banking.
· In India, UBS’s business is primarily focused on brokerage services.
ii.Credit Suisse is a multinational investment bank and financial services company founded and based in Switzerland.
· The businesses of Credit Suisse comprise wealth management, asset management, investment banking services, and retail and corporate banking.
· In India, Credit Suisse’s businesses comprise wealth management and investment banking services.
Note: UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher and UBS Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Ralph Hamers will be the chairman and Group CEO of the new combined entity.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
CCI was established under the Competition Act, 2002 for the administration, implementation and enforcement of the Act, and was constituted in March 2009.
Chairperson– Ravneet Kaur
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Indra Sistemas, S.A.(Indra), Madrid (Spain) based Information Technology and Defense System Company, and TATA Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has installed the naval version of Lanza-N 3D on one of the Indian Navy’s Destroyer Ship.
· This is the first of the 23 radars that will be equipped in the Indian Naval Ships. Indra will deliver the radars to the Indian Navy by over the next decade.
· The Lanza radars will replace the ELM-2248 MF-STAR and RAWL-02/LW-08 radars on India’s destroyers: Kolkata-class and Visakhapatnam-class, during their scheduled refit or mid-life modernization program.
· Indian Navy aims to enhance its maritime security efforts, with the deployment of Lanza-N 3D radars.
· These cutting-edge radar systems offer advanced surveillance capabilities, enabling naval vessels to effectively detect and track both surface and air threats in real-time.
i. The installation is part of the contract signed by Indra in 2020 with TASL, within the framework of a technology transfer program. This provides for the delivery of a total of three complete radars by Indra, and the core system elements for another 20 radars, destined for ships, which will be locally assembled and integrated by TASL.
ii. In November 2022, after designing and producing the first radar at Indra’s facilities in Madrid, Spain, the system passed the factory acceptance tests (FAT) at CEAR (the Radio-electric Analysis Center) of the Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA).
iii. The Lanza-N radar that is being installed is based on the one fitted to the ship Juan Carlos I of the Spanish Navy but the system has been adapted to the regulatory requirements of India to guarantee its optimal operation even in high humidity and extreme heat conditions.
Lanza-N Radar and its Features:
i. Lanza-N 3D radars, the naval version of its advanced surveillance system, will be deployed to augment the Indian Navy’s surveillance and air defence capabilities over the next decade.
ii. The Lanza-N integrates a 3D primary surveillance radar that provides medium and long-range coverage up to 254 nautical miles(around 450 kilometres). It also includes the integration of a Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR)/IFF (Identification Friend or Foe).
iii. The Lanza- N incorporates the latest technological and operational updates from Indra’s Lanza radar family, as well as improvements such as increased power for long-range capabilities and remote monitoring of the pressurisation system.
iv. The Lanza-N radar system provides a comprehensive situational picture to naval commanders, enabling them to make informed decisions swiftly.
v. These radars offer enhanced detection range, accuracy, and reliability, thereby improving the Navy’s overall situational awareness during operations with these high-resolution tracking and target acquisition capabilities.
On 19th May 2023, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket topped with 22 second-generation “V2 Mini” Starlink satellites into Orbit, which was lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States of America (USA), and landed the returning rocket at sea.
· “V2 Mini” Starlink satellites are larger and more capable than the 1st-generation Starlink craft that make up the vast majority of the mega constellation.
· This launch was the 30th Falcon 9 flight of the year and the 32nd orbital mission overall for SpaceX in 2023.
· It was the 5th launch and landing for this particular booster, SpaceX. It has previously launched CRS-26, OneWeb Launch 16, Intelsat IS-40e, and one Starlink mission.
On May 15, 2023, the Chief Minister (CM) of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami launched ‘Patch Reporting App’ to report potholes. It will help in making the roads of Uttarakhand pothole-free.
· This app will enable the mobile phone users to record pictures of potholes and register their complaints with Public Works Department (PWD) authorities seeking their repair by giving the relevant details.
· The complainants will be given updates about action taken for the redressal of their complaints.
On May 18, 2023, the Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra tea received a protected Geographical Indication (GI) with the European Union (EU). This means the tea can now be sold in Europe, as the registration will recognize the quality, genuineness and reputation of the product in the European market.
· Kangra Tea is known for quality, unique aroma, and a tinge of fruity flavor.
· This recognition will benefit the growers of Palampur, Baijnath, Kangra, and Dharamshala in Kangra district, Jogindernagar in Mandi district, and Bhattiyat area of Chamba district.
· Kangra tea received GI status in 2005 from the Registrar of Geographical Indications, Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
· The GI status has been given to more than 400 traditional products of the State including Kullu shawl, Chamba Rumal, Kinnaur shawl, Kangra painting, Lahaul woolen socks and gloves etc.
On 18th May 2023, Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister (CM) of Odisha, launched “State Dashboard”, a data and analytics-powered platform which will streamline performance monitoring of government schemes by aiding data-driven decision-making.
· The State Dashboard consists of 3 critical components: CM Dashboard, Department Dashboard, and Administrative Action Monitoring Portal.
· The launch of the integrated Dashboard will carry forward the 5T governance model (transparency, teamwork, technology, timeliness, and transformation).
The Dashboard will enable citizens to access public information with ease on policies, budget allocations and public expenditures.
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