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CURRENT AFFAIRS BOOSTER : 21st JULY 2023



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Current Affairs

 

21st July 2023


NATIONAL AFFAIRS

1)  Union Cabinet Approves Mumbai based NITIE as 21st IIM of India

On 12th July 2023, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a bill amending IIM Act to include the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) in Mumbai as the 21st Indian Institute of Management (IIM).The amendment will rename NITIE Mumbai as IIM Mumbai .

·         Maharashtra is set to become the first state to have two IIMs, which includes IIM Nagpur, established by the Government of India in 2015, and newly designated IIM Mumbai.

·         The approved bill to be passed in the monsoon session of Parliament, which is set to take place from July 20 to August 11, 2023.

·         NITIE Mumbai was established in 1963 with the support of the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP)and the International Labour Organization(ILO) to create Skilled professionals.

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2)  Gujarat Govt Signed MoU with OneWeb to Setup India’s First Private ‘Satellite Network Portal Site’

On 19th July 2023, the Gujarat government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OneWeb, a London-based Company, and Gujarat Government’s Department of Science and Technology, for setting up India’s First Private ‘Satellite Network Portal Site’ in Gujarat.

·         This project under Digital India, aims to provide affordable internet access to villages, district panchayats, local administrative bodies, government departments, and other entities throughout India.

Key people:
The MoU was signed by Vijay Nehra, Secretary, the State Department of Science and Technology, and Rahul Vatts, Director of OneWeb India Communication Pvt. Ltd. in the presence of Gujarat’s Chief Minister(CM) Bhupendra Patel.
Outcome of the MoU:
i.OneWeb will establish one of the two private ‘satellite network portal sites’ in two villages in Jotana taluka of Mehsana district of Gujarat.
ii.The satellite network portal in Katosan and Tejpura, Jotana taluka, Gujarat, is scheduled to launch in 2023 with an estimated cost of over Rs. 100 crores for its Phase-1.
iii.The satellite network portal site, which will be located in Jotana taluka of Mehsana district, plans to provide high-speed, low-latency, and affordable connectivity to the government, businesses, consumers, schools, and other institutions.
Note: Under this, two Satellite Network Portals (SNPs) are being set up in India, one in Gujarat and the other in Tamil Nadu through OneWeb.
OneWeb:
i.OneWeb is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite company with 648 satellites, aiming to build a global communication network.
ii.Unlike traditional geostationary satellites located 36,000 km above the equator, OneWeb uses LEO satellites to provide broadband Internet access, resulting in lower latency of less than 100 ms compared to GEO-based networks with latencies of 500-700 ms.
Note: This technology is already operational in Europe and Canada.
About Gujarat:
Governor- Acharya Devvrat
Capital- Gandhinagar
Folk dance- Garba, Dandiya, Bhavai

>>READ FULL NEWS

 

3)  NABARD’s 42nd Foundation Day 2023- 12th July

On July 12, 2023, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) celebrated its 42nd Foundation Day. Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation was the chief guest of the event  held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, Delhi.

·         The day was marked by a series of events throughout the country,  including a webinar on the theme of “NABARD: 42 Years of Rural Transformation.”

The webinar was addressed by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, who highlighted the important role that NABARD has played in the development of rural India by enhancing agricultural production, developing infrastructure, and fostering financial inclusion.
At the event:

·         Amit Shah distributed Micro-Automated teller machine(ATM) and Rupay Kisan Card to the dairy farmers of milk societies of Banaskantha and Panchmahal districts of Gujarat Central Co-operative societies.

Key people:
Minister of State for Finance Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Secretary, Gyanesh Kumar, Ministry of Cooperation, and Chairman of NABARD K.V.Shaji were present during the event.
Achievements of NABARD:
i.NABARD has launched credit delivery mechanism like Kisan Credit Card (KCC), Joint Liability Group (JLG) , Self Help Groups (SHG) , Banking Correspondents, improving the rural infrastructure through Rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF), improving the financial health of co-operative banks & Regional Rural Banks (RRB) etc.
ii.Through capital formation NABARD has amounted Rs. 8 lakh crore to the rural economy.
iii.It has reduced the short-term loan for agriculture finance of Rs.896 crore in 1982 to Rs.1.58 lakh.
iv.It has increased  the long term agriculture loan in 1982 which amounted to Rs 2300 crore to Rs 1 Lakh crore.
v.It has financed 13 million metric ton capacity warehouses 1 crore self-help groups hin India.
vi.NABARD has about 7000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO)which ensures farmers to get remunerative prices for their produce.
vii.Under NABARD, the Cooperative Development Fund(CDF) established in 1992-93 with Rs 10 crore has increased to Rs 293 crore.
viii.NABARD has refinanced Rs.12 lakh crore to the rural agricultural economy to meet the needs of agriculture and farmers and to strengthen and diversify agri-production and Rs 20 lakh crore in the rural economy with a growth rate of 14%.
About NABARD:
i.NABARD is a development bank focussing primarily on the rural sector of the country by providing finance for Agriculture and rural development.
ii.It came into existence on 12 July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
iii.It is a statutory body established under Parliamentary act-NABARD Act, 1981.
Founded in – 12 July 1982
Chairman – K.V.Shaji

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4)  3rd G20 FMCBG Meeting under India’s Presidency held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

i.On July 17-18, 2023, the 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) 2023 meeting under the Indian Presidency was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It was jointly chaired by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry  of Finance, and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das.
ii.The meeting concluded with a G20 Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary comprising 26 paragraphs and 2 Annexures.
iii.This FMCBG meeting was preceded by the 3rd G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies (FCBD) meeting during 14-15 July 2023 in Gandhinagar.
iv.The member also endorsed new G20 2023 Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) for the three years 2024-26. It aims to advance financial inclusion of individuals and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in G20 and beyond by focusing on promoting technological, innovations and digital infrastructure including DPI.
v.During the meeting, the Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and her Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman jointly inaugurated the India-Indonesia Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) to enhance collaboration on bilateral and international economic and financial matters.
About Ministry of Finance:
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (RajyaSabha- Karnataka)
Minister of State (MoS) – Pankaj Chaudhary
Departments under the MoF – Department of Expenditure; Department of Economic Affairs (DEA); Department of Revenue; Department of Financial Services; Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) & Department of Public Enterprises.

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5)  India and the US jointly launched a call for proposals on Critical and Emerging Technology

On 18th July 2023, India and the United States of America (US) jointly launched a call for proposals on “Critical and Emerging Technology: Quantum Technologies and Artificial Intelligence for Transforming Lives“. The program was designed by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and the Secretariat for USISTEF.

·         The objective is to promote technology innovation and entrepreneurship in commercially viable and socially relevant areas.

·         US Secretary, Department of Energy, Ms Jennifer M. Granholm and Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh made  a discussion on bilateral collaboration between the two countries.

·         The program worth USD 2million launched under the US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF) for the joint development and commercialization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies, and encouraged public-private collaborations to develop high performance computing (HPC) facilities in India.

·         The call will remain open till August 31, 2023 and will invite joint Indo-US technology innovation and entrepreneurial proposals that are commercially viable and socially relevant.

·         It will provide a prominent boost to the domestic as well as the US priorities looking at various facets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Note  – India has recently approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) with an aim to seed, nurture and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT).

>>READ FULL NEWS


INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

6)  Highlights of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s 3 day visit to Malaysia from 9th to 11th July 2023

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a three-day official visit to Malaysia from 9-11 July 2023, with a focus on further combining bilateral defence cooperation and Enhanced Strategic Partnership between India and Malaysia.
He discussed the roadmap for the 4th Decade of India-Malaysia Defence Cooperation with Malaysian counterpart Mohamad Hasan in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
He inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Rajnath Singh unveiled the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in the presence of distinguished INA (Indian National Army) veterans in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
About Malaysia:
Capital– Kuala Lumpur
Prime Minister– Anwar Bin Ibrahim
Currency– Malaysian Ringgit

>>READ FULL NEWS


7)  UN Women and UNDP Launched the Report “The paths to equal: Twin Indices on Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality”

United Nations (UN) Women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a report titled  The paths to equal: Twin indices on women’s empowerment and gender equality at the Women Deliver 2023 Conference (WD2023) in Kigali, Rwanda, East Africa.

·         The report highlights the global challenges faced by women and provides a roadmap for targeted interventions and policy reforms.

The Women’s Empowerment Index (WEI) & The Global Gender Parity Index (GGPI):
The data is collected from 114 countries and have been analysed based on two new indices that offers a comprehensive assessment of countries progress in achieving gender equality.
i.WEI measures women’s power and freedoms to make choices and seize life opportunities across five dimensions: health, education, inclusion, decision-making, and violence against women.

·         According to WEI on an average, women are empowered to achieve only 60% of their full potential.

ii.GGPI evaluates the status of women relative to men in core dimensions of human development, including health, education, inclusion, and decision-making.

·         The GGPI measured that women achieve 28 % less than men across key human development dimensions.

iii.The twin indices also provide vital evidence needed for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”).
Highlights of the report: 
i.Less than 1%of women and girls live in countries with both high levels of women’s empowerment and high gender parity.
ii.More than 90% of the world’s female population i.e 3.1 billion women and girls live in countries characterized by a large women’s empowerment deficit and a large gender gap.
Outcome of the report: 
Of the 114 countries analysed,
i.85 countries have low or middle women’s empowerment and low or middle performance in achieving gender parity.
ii.More than half the countries in this group are in the high (21 countries) or very high human development group (26 countries).
iii.No country has achieved full women’s empowerment or complete gender parity
About UN Women:
UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
About UNDP:
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change.

>>READ FULL NEWS

 

BANKING & FINANCE

8)  BSE, NSE & SEBI allowed Micro-Cap Stocks under ESM to trade on All Days

On July 18, 2023, a joint discussion of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), National Stock Exchange (NSE) Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) decided to lift trading curbs on micro-cap stocks that come under Enhanced Surveillance Measures (ESM).

·         The revised framework is applicable from July 24, 2023.

·         This will ease rules for trading in stocks that remain under ESM framework and also enhance their liquidity.

Note: The revised framework comes days after BSE-listed Mercury EV Tech had moved Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) to challenge the ESM framework. The next hearing was scheduled for July 25, 2023.
Changes in ESM Framework:
i.The rule of 100% margin remains unchanged.
ii.Now, the stocks under ESM Stage-II are allowed trade-for-trade (T2T) settlement on daily basis (trading days) from Monday with +/- 2% price band under Periodic Call Auction. Earlier, these were allowed to trade only once a week with Periodic Call Auction.
Table showing existing Rules and New Rules:

Stage

Existing Surveillance Action

Revised Surveillance Action

I

Applicable margin shall be 100% from T+2 day. AND Trade for Trade settlement with price band of 5% OR 2% (In case scrip is already in 2% band)

No Change

II

Trade for Trade settlement with price band of 2%. AND Trading permitted once a week with Periodic Call Auction.

Trade for Trade settlement AND 100% Margin AND Trading permitted with +/- 2% price band on all trading days under Periodic Call Auction



What is ESM?
From June 5, 2023, BSE and NSE had introduced ESM framework for companies/stocks with a market capitalisation below Rs 500 crore to curb excess volatility by monitoring and controlling the price fluctuations of small-cap companies, and to ensure stability and transparency in the market.

·         The parameters for short-listing the securities under the ESM framework include high-low price variation and close-to-close price variation.

·         Both BSE and NSE have jointly implemented ESM.

About National Stock Exchange (NSE):
Managing Director & CEO– Ashishkumar Chauhan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

>>READ FULL NEWS

 

9)  RBI cancels Licence of United India Co-operative Bank Limited

On 19th July 2023,  Reserve Bank of India(RBI) cancelled the licence of United India Co-operative Bank Limited, Nagina( Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh) as the bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects to pay its present depositors in full.

·         The bank also does not comply with the provisions of Section 11(1) and bank has failed to comply with the requirements of Sections 22(3) (a), 22 (3) (b), 22(3)(c), 22(3) (d) and 22(3)(e) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

·         The bank is prohibited from engaging in any ‘banking’ activities, including the acceptance and repayment of deposits, as defined in Section 5(b) in conjunction with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Liquidation:
Commissioner and Registrar of Cooperative in Uttar Pradesh to initiate the winding-up process and appoint a liquidator for the bank.
i. The RBI reassured depositors that they will receive insurance claims for their deposits, subject to the monetary ceiling of 5 lakhs from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), in accordance with the DICGC Act, 1961.
ii. 99.98% of depositors of the bank are eligible to receive the full amount of their deposits from DICGC.
About Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC)
Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC) is one of the five subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Chairman – Michael Debabrata Patra
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established under – Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961
Established in –  1978

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10)       PNB launched ‘Project PNB PALAASH’ for environmental sustainability

Punjab National Bank (PNB), India’s leading Public Sector Bank, launched an environmental initiative ‘Project PNB Palaash’, an eight-month campaign to promote sustainability aimed at reducing costs and enhancing operational efficiencies through measures such as energy and resource conservation, paper reduction, waste management and optimised digital processes.

·         The goal of this initiative is to actively contribute to conservation activities, encourage the adoption of sustainable practices, and promote active employee engagement.

·         The campaign is in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) vision of sustainable finance and the 6th iteration of Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE 6.0), an initiative by Department of Financial Services (DFS),Government of India.

·         Campaign themes for this project include Digi Branches, Green Data Center, Electric Vehicle Funding, Green Project Funding, Recycle Camp, Tree Planting, Paper Savings, Energy Conservation Olympics, and Paper Savings.

·         Key People: Atul Kumar Goel, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Punjab National Bank; Kalyan Kumar, Binod Kumar, and M Paramasivam, Executive Diresctors of PNB .

Note: As part of this initiative, one lakh plus employees of PNB will plant minimum two saplings each.

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ECONOMY & BUSINESS

11)       HDFC Bank Crossed USD 100 Billion Valuation; Becomes World’s 7th largest Lender

On 14th July 2023, following its reverse merger with its parent company, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) limited, HDFC Bank crossed the USD 100 billion market capitalisation(m-cap) and traded at a market value of around USD 152 billion. With this, HDFC Bank has emerged as the World’s 7th largest lender, moving ahead of Bank of China( and Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.

·         HDFC bank has entering the list of the world’s top 10 banks by market capitalisation. JPMorgan Chase (USD 438 billion) tops the list followed by Bank of America at 2nd (USD 232 billion) and ICBC at 3rd (USD 224 billion).

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AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

12)       J&K Rural Livelihoods Mission bagged SKOCH Award under “State of Governance India 2047” in Gold Category

The UMEED Programme of Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) bagged the SKOCH Award under the theme “State of Governance India 2047” in Gold category in District Governance for its outstanding efforts in creating marketing avenues for Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in the Union Territory. JKRLM received the SKOCH Award for the first time since the establishment of the scheme.

·         This recognition is for the hard work and dedication of JKRLM for empowering women and promoting entrepreneurship in rural areas and creating marketing opportunities from district level to national level platforms.

·         Indu Kanwal Chib, Misssion Director of JKRLM, who received the award introduced several initiatives including Umeed Women’s Haat, and District Rural Haat, SHG products available on e-commerce platforms like Meesho, Flipkart and Amazon etc.,

·         SKOCH award, one of the highest honors in the field of governance, finance, and technology, which recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of communities through innovative initiatives.

·         Some of the notable 2023 SKOCH Award Winner of Gold Winner’s List

2023 SKOCH Award Winner for Gold

Winner

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI)

1.Union Prerna – Union Bank of India.
2.Naari Shakti – Telangana Grameena Bank
3. Financial Reporting – State Bank of India

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Finance & Revenue

Supply Chain Management System strengthening and Extension – Maharashtra State Excise Department

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Forest under Expansion, Consolidation and Improvement of wildlife habitat

 Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve,Assam

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Urban Developmentary

MMRDA e-Tendering Portal – Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Labour

Child Labour Tracking System (CLTS) – Labour Resources Department, Government Of Bihar

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in E-Governance

1. e-Vivechna App – State Crime Records Bureau, PHQ Bhopal M.P.
2.e-Mitra – Department of Information Technology & Communication (DoIT&C), Government of Rajasthan

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Ease of Doing Business

1.BANGLASHREE – A new incentive scheme for Micro, Small &Medium Enterprises. – Directorate of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of West Bengal
2.Hastkala Setu Yojana – Commissionerate of Cottage and Rural Industries
3.Nivesh Sarathi – Invest UP

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Women & Child Development

Mukhya Mantri Doodh Uphaar Yojna – Women & Child Development Department, Haryana

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in E-Governance

Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Finance, Government of India for Online Dashboard for MoUs of Central Public Sector Enterprises

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Public Sector Undertaking

1. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited( RVNL) Excellent Physical and Financial Performance of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.
2. Bharat Electronics Limited for Response To Covid Pandemic Wave-1

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Rural Development

1.Mukhyamantri Grameen Pey-Jal Nischay Yojana – Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of Bihar.
2.SHG Bank Linkage – Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, Andhra Pradesh.
3.Streenidhi – Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, Andhra Pradesh

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Power & Energy

APTRANSCO of Andhrapradesh

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Minority Affairs

Odisha PVTG Nutrition Improvement Programme(OPNIP) – Odisha PVTG Empowerment & Livelihoods Improvement Programme(OPELIP)

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Police & Safety

Kaaval Karangal – Greater Chennai Police

SKOCH Award Winner for Gold Category in Environment – Vehicle Location tracking system(VLTS) for Hazardous waste transportation

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

 

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13)       Moksha Roy, 7-year-old Indian-origin wins UK PM’s Points of Light award

On 13th July 2023, Moksha Roy, a 7-year-old Indian-origin girl from Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom (UK) has been awarded the UK Prime Minister’s (PM) Points of Light Award as Sustainability Champion for volunteering for several sustainability initiatives including raising funds for children in need for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

·         She has been the world’s youngest Sustainability Champion, who started advocating for the United Nations (UN)’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) initiative against micro-plastic pollution at the age of 3.

·         The initiative was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, a bishop of superior rank, who is ‘primate of All England and the UN task force.

Note: She received the award from Oliver Dowden, Deputy PM, the UK.
Achievements of Moksha Roy:
i. She attempts to educate over 1 billion children and their families about micro-plastic pollution and how to prevent it by her work, including to children in 24,000 UK schools and colleges.
ii. She wrote letters to the world leaders at the age of 5 and urged them to introduce the UN SDGs into the school curriculums to ensure children can learn about the UN SDGs to act on crucial issues ranging from climate change, gender equality and plastic pollution.
iii. She has also assisted in educational sessions for deprived school children in India and has provided messages at events, including at Conference of the Parties (COP)27.
Awards/Honours:
In 2022, she has been awarded the British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) in recognition of exceptional positive impact on society and as an inspiration to others.
About UK Points of Light Award:
i. The Points of Light first established by George H. W. Bush (Former President of the United States of America (USA)) in 1990.
ii. In April 2014, UK Points of Light was launched, it was developed in partnership with the US programme.
iii. The award is presented to outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community.

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APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS

14)       Rakesh Pal appointed as 25th Director General of Indian Coast Guard

On 19th July 2023, Rakesh Pal has been appointed as the 25th Director General of Indian Coast Guard (DGICG). He holds the recognition of being the First Gunner of ICG.
He was given the additional charge of DGICG in February 2023. He was elevated to the rank of Additional Director General in February 2022.
Note: Virender Singh Pathania was the 24th DGICG, appointed on December 31 2021.
About Rakesh Pal:
i. He hails from Uttar Pradesh and is an alumnus of the Indian Naval Academy and joined Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in January 1989.
ii. Over 34 years of career span, he held several key appointments afloat and ashore and the prominent ones are:

·         Commander Coast Guard Region (North West) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

·         Deputy Director General (Policy and Plans) and Additional Director General Coast Guard in New Delhi, Delhi, the Headquarters of ICG.

iii. He has commanded all classes of ICG ships (ICGS), including ICGS Samarth, ICGS Vijit, ICGS Sucheta Kriplani and ICGS Ahalyabai and and ICGS C-03.
iv. He has undergone professional specialisation in the Gunnery and Weapons System at the Indian Naval School Dronacharya in Kochi, Kerala and Electro-Optics Fire Control Solution course from the United Kingdom (UK).
v. He has held various staff assignments such as Director (Infra & Works) and Principal Director (Administration) at Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi, Delhi.
vi. He has also Commanded two Coast Guard bases of the forward areas of Okha & Vadinar in Gujarat.
Awards/Honours:
Rakesh Pal was conferred with Tatrakshak Medal (TM) in 2013 for his illustrious service and President Tatrakshak Medal (PTM) in 2018 for his distinguished service.

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IMPORTANT DAYS

15)       International Chess Day 2023 – July 20

The United Nations (UN)’s International Chess Day or World Chess Day is annually observed on 20th July across the globe to mark the significant role of Chess as an affordable and inclusive activity and also to improve overall Intelligence quotient (IQ) across the world.
20th July 2023 also marks the observance of the 99th Anniversary of the International Chess Federation, or Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE),established in 1924.
Background:
i.The idea to designate a specific day to celebrate chess internationally was first proposed by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In 1966, FIDE, the international governing body for chess, officially established International Chess Day in response to UNESCO’s proposal. Since then, July 20th has been celebrated annually as a tribute to the captivating world of chess.
ii. On 12th December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/74/22 and proclaimed the 20th July of every year as World Chess Day.
iii. The first-ever UN recognised World Chess Day was observed on 20th July 2020.
About International Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE)):
President– Arkady Dvorkovich (Russia)
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
Motto– “Gens una sumus” (Latin) (“We are one family”)

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16)       International Moon Day -20th July 2023

United Nations(UN) designated International Moon Day (IMD) which is annually celebrated across the globe on July 20th to mark the anniversary of the first landing by humans on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 lunar mission.

·         The day aims to raise public awareness about sustainable Moon exploration and utilisation.

·         The first IMD was celebrated on 20th July 2022.

Theme for IMD 2023:
i.IMD 2023 is celebrated on 20th July 2023 and it marks the 54th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission.
ii.The day will be celebrated with the theme “Lunar Exploration Coordination & Sustainability.”
iii.The theme emphasizes educating the public on the importance of conducting sustainable lunar exploration.
Note: Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin were the first humans to set foot on the moon which they then named Tranquility Base, on July 20 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission. During this mission, Michael Collins orbited the Moon in the command module.
About the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
Director- Aarti Holla-Maini
Headquarters- Vienna, Austria
Established- 1958

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STATE NEWS

17)       Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel launches Gramin Awas Nyay Yojana

On 19 July 2023, During the announcement of Rs.1,764 crore worth benefits for various segments of government employees, Chief Minister (CM) Bhupesh Baghel introduced the ‘Nyay Yojana,’ a housing scheme aimed at providing homes to rural homeless individuals in Chhattisgarh.

·         The scheme will be fully sponsored by State Government of  Chhattisgarh by allocating Rs.100 crore in budget.

About Gramin Awas Nyay Yojana:
The scheme is the outcome of the survey conducted by Panchayat and Rural Development Department under Government Of Chhattisgarh. The survey pointed out that

·         This will help families which are encountering challenges in obtaining housing approval due to the eligibility criteria for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana which is based on Socio-Economic Survey 2011 (officially known as Socio Economic and Caste Census – SECC 2011).

·         The number of beneficiaries are around 8 lakhs.

About Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011
It is the first-ever census that generated data covering households in both rural and urban areas. SECC 2011 is also the first paperless census in India which was conducted on hand-held electronic devices by the Government of India.

·         The data is being used to identify beneficiaries and expand the direct benefit transfer scheme.

·         The Ministry of Rural Development commenced the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in June 2011 and the results of SECC 2011 were released by the government in July 2015.

SECC 2011 included the following three components of the census:

1.      Rural census: It was conducted by the Ministry of rural development.

2.      Urban census: It was conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

3.      Caste census: It was conducted by the Ministry of Home Affairs- Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.

About Chhattisgarh:
Chief Minister – Bhupesh Baghel
Governor – Biswabhusan Harichandan
Capital – Raipur, Chhattisgarh

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18)       Karnataka Launches Gruha Lakshmi Scheme for Women Supporting Households

On 19th July 2023, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the registration for Gruha Lakshmi scheme, which provides Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of the households.

·         The Scheme will benefit around 1.28 crore families in Karnataka and the cash benefit of Rs 2,000 will be transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

·         The Gruha Lakshmi scheme will be implemented from August 15, 2023

Background:
i.This was one of the poll promises by the newly elected Siddaramaiah led Congress government in the election manifesto of the 2023 Karnataka general Assembly Election.
ii.On 7th July 2023, the Karnataka Government allocated an amount of Rs 24,166 crore for the Gruha Lakshmi scheme for 2023-24 fiscal year.
Eligibility:
i.The eligibility criteria to enrol in the Scheme for the women whose names appear as the head of the family on Antyodaya, Below Poverty Line (BPL), and Above Poverty Line (APL) cards.
ii.Those women or their husbands who pay income tax or GST are not eligible under the scheme.
iii.Only one woman in a family can be the beneficiary of this scheme and the woman must not be a government employee.
Registration for the Scheme:
i.Registration for the Gruha Lakshmi scheme can be done both online and offline.
ii.The beneficiaries may also register for this Scheme through common service centres such as Karnataka-1, Bengaluru-1, Grama-1 or Bapuji Seva Kendra centres
iv.Eligible women can get themselves registered online by visiting the official portal of Seva Sindhu Guarantee scheme.
iii.Documents required for Gruha Lakshmi Scheme:

·         BPL Card/APL Card/ Antyodaya Card

·         Bank-linked Aadhaar card

·         Bank details

·         Aadhaar-linked phone number

Recently launched New Schemes in Karnataka:
During the Budget presentation for the 2023-24 fiscal year, the Karnataka Government allocated around Rs 52,000 crore to their five main poll promises including for the Gruha Lakshmi scheme.
i.Under the Anna Bhagya scheme, every individual from a BPL family and and ‘Antyodaya’ households receives 10 kg of free rice every month.
ii.Yuva Nidhi scheme provides a two-year payment of Rs 3,000 per month for unemployed graduates and Rs 1,500 per month for unemployed diploma holders.
iii.The Uchita Prayana scheme  provides free bus travel to all women across the state.
iv.The Gruha Jyothi scheme launched to provide 200 units of free electricity.
About Karnataka:
Chief Minister – Siddaramaiah
Governor – Thaawar Chand Gehlot
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

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