On 25th July 2023, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the mechanism of technical and institutional cooperation in telecommunications, at TRAI headquarters in New Delhi, Delhi.
· The MoU has been signed by Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, DG (TRAI CSR) and Rajeev Kumar, Registrar, C-DoT.
Outcome of the MoU:
i.Through the MOU, TRAI Centre of Studies and Research (TRAI CSR) and C-DoT have collaborated to explore the potential of emerging technologies.
ii.The MoU steps towards policy research, regulatory studies, and knowledge dissemination of upcoming technologies in the telecom and broadcasting sectors.
About TRAI CSR:
i.The TRAI CSR was established as an entity within TRAI to conceptualize, coordinate, and enable technological studies in the telecom and broadcasting sectors.
ii.Its task is to enable technology-driven growth in India by combining the energies of different industries and sectors.
C-DOT Signs Consortium Agreement with industry partners for ‘Collaborative Development of Disaggregated 5G RAN Solution’
The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), the premier Telecom Research and Development (R&D) Centre of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has signed a consortium agreement with leading industry partners for ‘Collaborative Development of Disaggregated 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) Solution’ to bolster India’s telecom R&D capabilities.
· The industry partners include Lekha Wireless Solutions Private Ltd, Signaltron Systems Private Ltd, Sooktha Consulting Private Ltd, and Resonous Technologies Private Ltd.
· The collaboration aims to create an Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN)compliant disaggregated 5G RAN solution that can effectively operate in the FR1 and FR2 (Frequency Range) frequency bands, catering to both public and private 5G networks.
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On 7th February 2023, K Rajaraman, Chairman, Digital Communications Commission (DCC) & Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications (MOC), launched the ‘IEEE C-DOT Certified Telecom Expert Program (ICCTEP)’ to bring learning in the areas of Telecom including 5G, Cyber Security and Quantum Communication to bridge the skill gap. The first program launched on the platform is on 5G and beyond.
About Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT):
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Rajkumar Upadhyay
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
On 28th July 2023, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2nd Edition of the Annual Global Summit, ‘SemiconIndia Conference 2023′ in Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
· SemiconIndia 2023, the 3-day program held from July 28 to 30, 2023, was organised by India Semiconductor Mission in partnership with industry and industry associations.
· The event showcases the semiconductor strategy and policy of India which envisions making India a global hub for semiconductor design, manufacturing, and technology development.
· The theme of SemiconIndia 2023 is ‘Catalysing India’s Semiconductor Ecosystem’.
i.The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY)
included 2 more semiconductor design startups/ o, Small & Medium
Enterprises (MSMEs) namely Aheesa Digital Innovations and Calligo
Technologies under its SemiconIndia future DESIGN Design-Linked Incentive (DLI)
scheme at the SemiconIndia 2023 conference in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
ii.Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), a California company, committed to investing approximately USD 400 million in India over the next 5 years.
iii.Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India, held the 15th India-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan in New Delhi, Delhi. They explored potential areas of collaboration in critical and emerging technologies, including semiconductors; resilient supply chains; and digital public infrastructure, among others.
About India Semiconductor Mission (ISM):
It is a specialized and independent Business Division within the Digital India Corporation.
Under the oversight of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), the ISM was introduced in 2021.
Chairman– Alkesh Kumar Sharma
Chief Executive Officer– Amitesh Kumar Sinha
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
On July 31st 2023, India and eastern European country Moldova agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the agriculture sector during a meeting between Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State(MoS) for Agriculture, and Vladimir Bolea, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture & Food Industries of Moldova at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi, Delhi.
· During the meeting, the Ministers emphasized the potential for increasing bilateral trade in agricultural commodities and for strengthening of bilateral agricultural cooperation through the exchange of knowledge and technology.
· Vladimir Bolea expressed Moldova’s interest in exporting vegetable oils to India and importing fertilizers and pesticides from India .
· He also highlighted the Moldovan culture of producing wine and apples as a way of life and expressed interest in exporting these products to India.
Prime Minister(PM)- Dorin Recean
President- Maia Sandu
Currency- Moldovan Leu (MDL)
i.On July 31, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a report ‘Sectoral
Deployment of Bank Credit – June 2023‘ showcasing a Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y)
growth of non-food bank credit to 16.3% in June 2023 as compared with 15% in
ii.On the other hand, the food bank credit shows a decline of -25.4% in June 2023 as compared to a decline of -55% in June 2022
iii.The Total Bank Credit (Food Credit + Non-food Credit) grew at 16.2% in June 2023 from 14.5% in June 2022.
iv.According to the report, the gross credit deployment in the aviation sector by 40 Indian SCBs witnessed a remarkable 93.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) surge in June 2023, reaching Rs 42,033 crore from Rs 21,733 crore in June 2022.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors –Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar, and
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
On July 31, 2023, Paytm, owned by One97 Communications Ltd (OCL),
introduced two new cutting-edge payment devices, the Paytm Pocket
Soundbox and Paytm Music Soundbox. Both devices are
equipped with 4G capabilities, providing enhanced convenience for on-the-go
About Paytm Pocket Soundbox:
It is a first-of-its-kind ‘Made in India’ portable device as small as debit card to empower on-the-go merchants with instant audio payment alerts. This easy-to-carry device has all the features of Paytm Soundbox.
· It provides 5-day battery life, 4G connectivity and a torch to keep going even in low-light conditions.
· The merchants on the go include cab and auto drivers, electricians, delivery agents, parking fee collectors and cart vendors.
About Paytm Music Soundbox:
It is a unique device that allows merchants to play music from their mobile phones via Bluetooth while managing payment transactions. It serves both as a speaker for payment notifications and a Bluetooth music player.
· It has 10-day battery life, 4G connectivity and a powerful 4W speaker.
· An additional feature called “voice overlay” enables merchants to hear payment notifications while music is playing.
Founder & CEO– Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pardesh (UP)
On 31st July 2023, Security market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) released a circular stating Market Infrastructure Institutions (MIIs) such as stock exchanges, depositories and clearing corporations should set up a common Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) portal to resolve disputes involving investors, listed companies, designated intermediaries and regulated entities.
· Market participants such as all listed companies, specified intermediaries and regulated entities should enrol in the portal.
· Essential features and functionalities will be integrated into the ODR Portal to facilitate the registration of investors and market participants, the submission of complaints, and the uploading of relevant documents or papers related to the dispute.
· The portal will include a status update facility that retrieves information from the ODR Institution concerning the progress of the complaint.
Phase 1(From 1st August 2023 to 16th August 2023):
i.Development of the ODR Portal, empanelment of ODR Institutions by the MIIs and empanelment of conciliators and arbitrators by those ODR Institutions by August 1, 2023.
ii.Registration of trading members and depository participants on the ODR Portal will be accomplished by August 15, 2023.
iii.From August 16, 2023 onwards, the registration of complaints against brokers and depository participants, as well as their resolution, will commence.
i.It is proposed that registration of all other market participants on the ODR Portal will be completed by September 15,2023.
ii.The registering of complaints against all other market participants and their resolution will begin from September 16,2023.
Dispute resolution process:
To initiate the dispute resolution process, SEBI has outlined the following steps:
i.In the first instance, the investor must raise their grievance directly with the market participant by lodging a complaint.
ii.If the grievance is not resolved satisfactorily, the investor can escalate it through the SCORES(SEBI Complaints Redress System) portal.
iii.After exhausting all available resolution options, if the investor remains dissatisfied, they can initiate dispute resolution through the ODR Portal.
iv.Alternatively, the investor may directly opt for the ODR Portal if the grievance lodged with the market participant was not resolved to their satisfaction, or at any subsequent escalation stage.
Note: The concerned market participant has the option to initiate dispute resolution through the ODR Portal. However, before doing so, they must provide the investor with a notice period of at least 15 calendar days to attempt resolution, which should have remained unsatisfactorily resolved between them.
About Securities Exchange Board of India(SEBI):
Chairperson – Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1992
On 28th July 2023, Karnataka Bank Limited, a leading ‘A’ Class Scheduled Commercial Bank in India, hosted the first edition of ‘KBL – FinOne’, “A Fintech Growth Program” in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
· The objective is to forge collaborations to develop innovative business models, providing seamless banking experience & offering a complete product suite.
· Srikrishnan H is the Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the bank.
The first edition of ‘KBL – FinOne’ featured over 30 speakers from various
fintechs, on topics such as emerging lending models, neo-banks,
platformization, including no code – low code, embedded finance, cards
infrastructure, payment innovations, etc.
Note: The event is hosted in association with “The Fintech Meetup”.
BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) has elected Thuraiya Hamid Alhashmi, Director of International Financial Relations and Organisations Department at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Finance, as a member of its Board of Directors and a Constituency Director.
· Alhashmi will become the first Emirati and Arab woman to assume a Director’s position at the NDB bank, established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in July 2015 to support infrastructure projects in BRICS countries and other emerging economies
· She was appointed following an internal voting process during NDB’s 8th annual meeting held in Shanghai, China.
Alhashmi was involved in managing the UAE’s relationship with international financial organizations, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), NDB, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the G20 (Group of Twenty) Finance Track
On 29th July 2023, Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC) Mutual Fund completed the acquisition of Industrial Development Bank of India(IDBI) mutual fund from IDBI Asset Management Limited following the approval of Competition Commission of India (CCI) in March 2023.
· A Scheme Transfer Agreement was entered into between LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Limited (“LIC AMC”), the asset management company, and LIC Mutual Fund Trustee Private Limited (“LIC Trustee”), the trustee company of LIC MF, with IDBI Asset Management Limited (“IDBI AMC”), the asset management company, and IDBI MF Trustee Company Limited (“IDBI Trustee”), the trustee company of IDBI Mutual Fund (“IDBI MF”).
· With this merger, LIC aims to enhance and broaden its product range, extend its presence and increase its assets under management (AUM).
i.Out of the 20 schemes of IDBI Mutual Fund, 10 schemes would undergo a merger with corresponding schemes of LIC Mutual Fund.
· The remaining 10 schemes would be directly taken over by LIC Mutual Fund as standalone offerings.
ii.This will expand the total product offering of LIC Mutual Fund from 28
schemes to 38 schemes.
Aim of the Merger:
i.The merger aims to offer schemes in the mid-cap, small-cap, gold fund and passive fund segments.
ii.Access to LIC mutual fund’s diverse range of product offerings, encompassing equity, debt, hybrid, solution-oriented themes, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and Index funds will be made available to investors who have invested in IDBI mutual fund schemes.
i.As of June 2023, LIC Mutual Fund had an AUM of Rs 18,400 crore, while IDBI Mutual Fund had Rs 3,650 crore.
ii.LIC mutual fund operates as an Asset Management Company (AMC) with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) serving as its sponsor. Other stakeholders include LIC Housing Finance Ltd, GIC(Government Insurance Company) Housing Finance Ltd, and Union Bank of India.
iii.IDBI mutual fund has IDBI Bank as its sponsor, and IDBI AMC fulfils the role of the asset management company for IDBI mutual fund. IDBI Trustee Company serves as the trustee company for IDBI mutual fund.
About Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) Mutual Fund:
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – T. S. Ramakrishnan
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1989
About Industrial Development Bank of India(IDBI) Mutual Fund
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Raj Kishore Singh
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 2010
The 37 year old England Cricketer Stuart Christopher John Broad announced
his retirement from all forms of Cricket on 29th July 2023 during the midway of
England vs Australia’s 5th Ashes Test at The Oval stadium, London, United Kingdom(UK).
Achievement of Stuart Broad:
i.He made his One Day International(ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) debuts against Pakistan in August 2006 and Test debut in December 2007 against Sri Lanka.
ii.Played for England national team in 167 test matches with 604 wickets.
· He also played 121 ODI with 178 wickets and 56 T20I matches with 65 wickets.
iii.He was honoured with Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
in 2016 for his services to cricket.
iv.As of now(July 2023), he is the Fifth highest wicket taker in Test history with 602 runs in 167 matches.
Moeen Ali confirms his Retirement from Test Cricket after Ashes 2023
England all-rounder Moeen Ali confirms his test cricket retirement after the end of the Ashes series and he will play in other formats of cricket.
· On the request of England Test captain BenStokes, he played the Ashes series.But he retired from test cricket in September 2021.
About Moeen Ali:
i.He played for England in 68 test matches taking 204 wickets and scored 3094 runs.
ii.He was awarded the Order of the British Empire(OBE) in June 2023 for his services to cricket.
Australia Retains Ashes 2023
Australia cricket team retained the 5 match test series ‘Ashes 2023’ after the 2-2 draw against England.It was held from 16th June to 31st July in the United Kingdom(UK).
· This marks Australia’s 4th consecutive win in the series.
· So far in the Ashes series, Australia won 34 Ashes and England won 33 Ashes, 5 series were drawn.
Summary of 5 test matches:
1st test: Australia Won by 2 wickets at the Edgbaston, Birmingham.
2nd test: Australia Won by 43 runs at the Lord’s, London.
3rd test: England Won by 3 wickets at the Headingley, Leeds.
4th test: Match drawn due to rain and it was held in Old Trafford, Manchester.
5th test: England won by 49 runs at the Oval, London.
i.England Player of the Series – Chris Woakes
ii.Australia Player of the Series- MItchell Starc
iii.England’s Men’s Player of the Summer: Joe Root
On 31st July 2023, Vakkom Purushothaman, Senior Congress leader and former Speaker of Kerala, who also served as Governor of Mizoram, Tripura and Andaman & Nicobar Island passed away at the age of 95 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
· He was born in Vakkom, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) on April 12, 1928.He was a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) for over 25 years.
About Vakkom Purushothaman:
i.Vakkom Purushothaman, an advocate by profession started his political life as a worker of the Students Congress in 1946. He became a Member of Vakkom Panchayath in 1953.
ii.He was elected to the Kerala Assembly 5 times from the Attingal Assembly constituency and became a Minister in the Kerala government thrice from 1971-1977, 1980 to 1981, and 2004 to 2006.
iii.He was the longest-served Speaker of the Kerala assembly, from 1982 to 1984 and again from 2001 to 2004.
iv.He was also elected to the Lok Sabha twice, from the Alappuzha constituency, and served from 1984-1989 and 1989-1991.
v.He served as the 6th Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 1993 to 1996, and Governor of Tripura (Additional Charge) for two months in 2014.
On 23rd July 2023, Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Defence (MoD), released the book and illustrations titled “Kargil: Ek Yatri Ki Jubani” (Hindi Edition) authored by Rishi Raj at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi, Delhi. The book which pays tribute to the Martyrs of Kargil War was published by Prabhat Prakashan.
· The book portrays the lives of all the 527 soldiers, who laid down their lives for our nation in the Kargil War.
· The book highlights the importance of the Kargil Vijay Diwas and giving rich tributes to the brave soldiers.
Rishi Raj has authored as many as 21 books, out of which four bagged the Rahul Sankrityayan Award from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (GoI).
· The event was graced by Subedar Major (Then Rifleman) Sanjay Kumar, who was awarded Param Vir Chakra in the Kargil War.
Note: Kargil War also refered as “Operation Vijay” was fought between India and Pakistan from May to July 1999 to 26th July 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K). July 26th has been observed as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’, which annually commemorates the sacrifices made by soldiers in this war.
India’s aviation security regulator, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), inaugurated ‘Aviation Security Culture Week’ at its headquarters in New Delhi, Delhi from July 31st to August 5th 2023, for the first time in the India.
· The theme of the ‘Aviation Security Culture Week’ is “See it, Say it, Secure it” which will be celebrated across all the major and non-major airports of India.
The main objective of the week is to inculcate security consciousness
amongst members of the aviation community setup as well as passengers and also
to make passengers aware of prohibited things they should not carry while
i.Capt. Devi Sharan, senior aviator and instructor in Air India, (famously known as the Captain of the flight IC-814, hijacked to Kandahar in 1999), was the chief guest in the event. Anil Sharma, head of the cabin team and chief purser of IC-814, was the guest of honor at the event.
ii.All the aviation stakeholders like the Airports Authority of India, airlines, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and passengers will take part in security awareness week.
About Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS):
Director General- Zulfiquar Hasan
Headquarters-New Delhi, Delhi
The United Nations (UN) World Breast Feeding (WBW) week is annually celebrated across the globe from 1st to 7th August to raise awareness about breastfeeding and its benefits.
· Its main aim is to support and encourage breastfeeding as a vital aspect of health and well-being for both mother and child.
· WBW was 1st observed in 1992.
WBW 2023: Theme
i.According to WHO, theme for 2023 is “Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work”.
· The theme will focus on breastfeeding and work, to advocate maternity rights, maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks and workplace accommodations.
ii.The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has set a theme
for WBW 2023 – “Enabling breastfeeding: making a difference for working
Note -The theme is aligned with thematic area 4 of the WBW-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 campaign.
About World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA):
WABA is a global network of individuals and organisations dedicated to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declaration, the Ten links for nurturing the future and the World Health Organization (WHO)/ United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) global strategy for infant and young child feeding.
Chairperson- Felicity Savage
Headquarters- Penang, Malaysia
World Lung Cancer Day is annually observed on 1st August to create awareness about the causes and treatment of lung cancer and to educate people about the habits and factors that can cause lung cancer.
· The day also aims to focus more on lung cancer research and arrange financial and moral support for it.
i.The campaign for World lung cancer Day was first organized in 2012 by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) in collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the American College of Chest Physicians.
ii.The IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) is the only global organization, solely dedicated to the study of lung cancer-related problems.
· It educates people about the major risk factors of lung cancer such as Tobacco smoking, Radon, Asbestos, etc.
About the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC):
President– Dr. Heather Wakelee (the United States of America (USA))
Headquarters– – Denver, Colorado, USA
Founded in– 1974
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities in collaboration with the National Health Mission (NHM) and the Department of Public Health and Family Welfare, Government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled chatbot called ‘Just Ask!’ (Khulke Poochho in Hindi), for adolescents and young adults (15-29 years) in India to explore information and become aware on the issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
· The chatbot will equip, empower, and educate them about the need for accurate and accessible information on social issues.
· The chatbot has been developed by the UNFPA sexual and reproductive health experts.
The project will be partly funded by Bayer, an international pharmaceutical company.
Bayer signed an agreement with UNFPA in India to contribute USD 720,000 to improve awareness on SRHR among adolescents and young people.
Prabhuram Choudhary, Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare of MP, and Andrea M Wojnar, India Representative of UNFPA.
Features and Benefits of the Chatbot:
i.The chatbot provides a secure, personalized, and non-judgemental space for adolescents and young adults in India (15-29 years).
ii.It assists them to be aware of the questions related to growing up, bodily changes, menstruation, reproductive health, pregnancy and family planning, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other SRHR topics.
iii.The chatbot engages users in interactive conversations and provides them with accurate and reliable information within minutes and free of cost.
· The content is supported by engaging infographics that increase comprehension and enable users to follow instructions easily.
iv.The user experience is designed to be safe, personalized, multi-lingual, and compassionate.
· The platform has been developed in line with UNFPA’s Guide on the Safe and Ethical use of Technology, the structural design will keep user data private.
v.It features two aspiring role models, Dhruv and Drishti, who communicate
information in a simple and relatable manner.
vi.The chatbot links adolescents and young people to Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs), government health facilities, and helplines.
About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
It is the United Nations (UN)’s sexual and reproductive health agency.
Executive Director– Dr. Natalia Kanem
Headquarters– New York, United States of America (USA)
Motto– “Ensuring rights and choices for all”
Established in– 1969