On October 25, 2023, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime
Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has given its approval to the following proposals
which were detailed by Union Minister, Anurag Singh Thakur, Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting (MIB) during a press conference in New Delhi,
i.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the inclusion of Jamrani Dam Multipurpose Project of Uttarakhand under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana-Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (PMKSY-AIBP) of Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
ii.The Union Cabinet approved Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Rabi Season 2023-24 (October 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024) on Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, amounting to Rs 22,303 crore. The decision was made in light of falling international prices.
iii.The Union Cabinet also approved a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan on the Japan-India Semiconductor Supply Chain Partnership which was signed in July 2023. It will be effective from July 20, 2023, and will remain in force for 5 years.
Prime Minister– Fumio Kishida
High-Level Committee (HLC) on One Nation, One Election(ONOE) under the chairmanship of Former President Ram Nath Kovind held its 2nd meeting in New Delhi, Delhi on 25th October 2023.
· The website developed for the “One Nation, One Election” was launched at the meeting. This will act as a repository of all relevant information on the ONOE proposal.
· The website will also act as a platform for interaction and receiving suggestions from all stakeholders.
Decisions taken by the Committee:
· Budgetary provision for the HLC for the current FY -2023-24 was approved.
· Resignation of Shri Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, Leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha from the membership of HLC was noted.
· The committee also informed that letters have been sent to 6 National parties, 33 State parties and 7 Registered unrecognised parties inviting their suggestions on ONOE.
Additional info: The Law Commission of India(LCI), under the Chairmanship of Justice Ritu Raj Awasthimade, presented the committee with suggestions and viewpoints on the issue of simultaneous elections in India.
What is One
Nation, One Election?
The One Nation, One Election is a proposal to hold simultaneous elections to the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and State Assemblies.
i.HLC was constituted by the Government of India in September 2023.
ii.The committee was set up to explore the possibility of holding elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies at the same time.
iii.HLC has been renamed as ‘High Level Committee on One Nation, One Election’ (‘एक देश, एक चुनाव के लिए उच्च स्तरीय समिति’).
· This is in accordance with the decision taken in the first meeting of HLC which was held on 23rd September 2023.
i.Chairman Former (14th) President of India Ram Nath Kovind.
ii.Niten Chandra, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs will be the secretary of the committee.
· Amit Shah – Union Minister of Home Affairs and Union Minister of Cooperation
· Ghulam Nabi Azad – Former Leader of Opposition(Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha)
· Nand Kishore Singh – Former Chairman of 15th Finance Commission
· Subhash C. Kashyap – Former Secretary General of Lok Sabha
· Harish Salve – Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India
· Sanjay Kothari – Former Chief Vigilance Commissioner
Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice (Independent Charge) is the Special Invitee of the committee.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) secures membership in the International Competition Network (ICN) Steering Group at the 22nd Annual Conference of the ICN, hosted by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) in Barcelona, Spain from 18 to 20 October 2023.
· This is the 1st time that CCI has become a member of the ICN’s apex body, a Steering Group and the membership is for 2 years.
· With more than 140 member competition agencies, ICN operates under the guidance of its Steering Group, comprised of 18 esteemed members worldwide.
Competition Network (ICN):
i.ICN functions as a virtual international organization, comprising global competition authorities.
ii.ICN’s work primarily occurs through project-oriented Working Groups, fostering collaboration through various mediums such as teleconferences, teleseminars, and webinars.
iii.Through dynamic dialogue, the ICN platform facilitates the convergence towards robust competition policy principles across the global antitrust community.
Role of ICN:
i.The ICN is the only global body dedicated solely to competition law enforcement globally.
ii.Its members comprise national and multinational competition authorities and emphasises project-based and results-driven working groups.
iii.ICN provides a specialised yet informal platform for antitrust authorities to foster regular contacts and collaboratively address practical competition concerns.
Steering Group of ICN:
i.The Steering Group of ICN is composed of representatives of ICN member agencies and the 18 members Steering Group serve renewable two-year terms.
ii.Steering Group members are confirmed by consensus of ICN Members in odd-numbered years at the ICN annual conference.
About International Competition Network (ICN):
Founded in– 2001
Chair of ICN Steering Group– Andreas Mundt (President, Germany Federal Cartel Office)
Member Agencies– 143 Members
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 400 million policy-based loan to India to enhance the infrastructure quality and provide assured public services and efficient governance systems. The loan will be under Sub-programme 2 of ADB’s Sustainable Urban Development and Service Delivery Programme.
· Subprogram 2 will support investment planning and reform actions at the state and urban local body (ULB) levels.
· It will be implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoH&UA) with guidance from ADB.
The program supports India’s urban reform agenda for improving the quality of urban life by creating
· High-quality urban infrastructure
· Assured public services
· Efficient governance systems
i.The program integrates urban planning reforms with capacity building of ULBs and community awareness.
ii.Urban planning reforms includes controlling urban sprawls and paving a path for a systemic and planned urbanization.
· The legal, regulatory, and institutional reforms are an integral part of these urban planning reforms.
iii.ULBs will help cities become well-planned centres of economic growth.
· This is done by promoting the modernization of building bylaws, land pooling, and urban agglomeration.
i.These planning processes will make cities more resilient to climate change and disasters, promote nature-based solutions, improve the urban environment, and make cities more financially sustainable by generating more revenue.
ii.Cities will be encouraged to become more financially responsible by making changes to how they collect taxes and spend money. This will make it easier for them to borrow money and invest in the infrastructure they need.
i.India cities have the potential to drive economic growth.
ii.India has stressed the importance of making cities livable through inclusive, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure.
· This is in alignment with ADB Strategy 2030.
iii.Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban
Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0, India’s flagship urban transformation program, aims
to provide universal access to water supply and sanitation, and ensure urban
water security by reducing water losses, recycling wastewater for non-potable
uses, rejuvenating water bodies, and maintaining sustainable groundwater
Subprogram 1, sanctioned in 2021, focused on the formulation of national-level policies and guidelines to enhance urban services.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
Established in – 1966
Members – 68 Countries
Zerodha Fund House(ZFH), a joint venture between Zerodha Broking Limited and smallcase Technologies Private Limited, launched its maiden mutual fund schemes Zerodha Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index Fund and Zerodha ELSS Tax Saver Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index Fund.
· Both schemes are open-ended, passive, index-equity mutual fund schemes.
· The New Fund Offering (NFO) opened on 20th October 2023 and will remain open till 3rd November 2023.
About the Fund
i.Both the launched funds are benchmarked against the Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index total returns index (TRI).
iii.The index fund will replicate the Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index, while the ELSS scheme will be an open-ended passive equity-linked savings scheme with a statutory lock-in period of three years.
iv.The tax benefit replicates the Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index.
· The Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) provides tax benefits under Section 80 (C) of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
v.The minimum Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)
investment for the index fund is Rs 100, while the minimum threshold for the
ELSS fund has been set at Rs 500.
vi.The schemes will adopt a passive investment strategy.
· It will invest in stocks in proportion to the weightage of the stocks in the Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index.
This is the first NFO of the Fund House after receiving approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in August 2023 to launch mutual fund schemes.
What is NFO?
i.NFO is a singular investment solution to invest in the top 250 companies.
ii.NFO provides an equity product with a mix of stability and growth.
Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index:
i.The Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index is a stock index that tracks the performance of 250 large and midcap companies listed on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE).
ii.The index is weighted evenly between the two segments, with 50% of the weight allocated to each.
iii.The Nifty LargeMidcap 250 Index covers approximately 84% of the total market capitalization, 87% of the free-float market capitalization, and 69% of the total liquidity of all traded equity stocks on the NSE.
About Zerodha Fund House(ZFH):
Zerodha Fund House is a passive-only Asset Management Company (AMC) which aims to build transparent, and affordable mutual funds.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Vishal Jain
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
Established in – 2023
South Korea-based Mirae Asset Financial Group has appointed Swarup Anand Mohanty as the Vice Chairman (VC) of Mirae Asset Investment Managers (India) Private Limited (Mirae AMC) with effect form 24th October 2023.
· Prior to the appointment he was serving as the Director and Key Personnel of AMC. he has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AMC since 2016.
· With this, Mohanty becomes the first Non-Korean person to be appointed as the VC within Mirae Asset Financial Group.
· The appointment is a part of the major management reshuffle of Mirae Asset Financial Group.
About Swarup Anand Mohanty:
i.He has over 2 decades of experience in the field of financial services including more than 17 years of experience in Asset Management Sales. He is overall responsible for the India AMC.
ii.He joined AMC as head-Sales in July 2011 and was appointed as Associate Directors on the Board of Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) Private Limited (“MAGI India”) in 2016.
iii..Previously, he worked as National Sales Head – Retail, India at Religare Asset Management Co. Ltd.
iv.He also held pivotal roles in renowned organisations like Birla Sunlife Asset Management Co. Ltd, and Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd, and Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Ltd.
Points to note:
i.As a part of the management reshuffle, key founding members like Choi Hyun-man (the Co-founder of Mirae Asset Financial Group), Mirae Asset Securities CEO and Chairman; Cho Woong-gi, Vice Chairman of Mirae Asset Securities; and Choi Kyeong-joo, Vice Chairman of Mirae Asset Global Investments have stepped down from their positions.
ii.Lee Jun-yong, President of Mirae Asset Global Investments; Kim Jae-sik, President and CEO of Mirae Asset Life Insurance; Kim Mi-seob, Heo Sun-ho, and Rhee Jung-ho, Presidents of Mirae Asset Securities President; were appointed as VC within their respective subsidiaries.
· Mirae Asset Financial Group is one of Asia’s leading independent financial services companies.
· The AMC is the Asset Management Company of Mirae Asset Mutual Fund (MAMF) India.
· The AMC is the subsidiary of Mirae Asset Global Investments, which in turn is the asset management arm of the Mirae Asset Financial Group.
About Mirae Asset Investment
Managers (India) Pvt. Ltd (Mirae AMC):
Vice Chairman & CEO– Swarup Anand Mohanty
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Started Operations in 2008
On 25th October 2023, the Zuzana Čaputová, President of Slovakia, formally appointed Robert Fico as the Prime Minister (PM) of Slovakia. He will succeed Ľudovít Ódor who has been serving as the Interim PM of Slovakia since 15 May 2023 after the resignation of Eduard Heger as PM.
· This is the 3rd time Robert Fico will serve as the PM of Slovakia, after having served from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018.
· He is the head of the current ruling pro-Russian party Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD).
i.Notably, his appointment was made after his SMER-SD won the 30th September 2023 election and formed a coalition with the centre-left HLAS (Voice) party and the ultranationalist Slovak National Party (SNS).
ii.The party won 42 seats in the 150-seat Parliament.
iii.He pledged in his election campaign to end military support for Ukraine and criticized sanctions on Russia.
President– Zuzana Čaputová
Currency– The Euro
The Ministry of Steel has the tenure of Amitava Mukherjee, Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) for a further period of 1 year with effect from 20th November 2023 up to 19th November 2024 or till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders.
· He is the Director (Finance) of NMDC who has been holding additional charge as the CMD since March 2023.
· This is the 2nd extension given to Mukherjee on his additional charge. Earlier the Government extended his tenure in July 2023 till November 19, 2023.
· This decision follows the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on October 18 approving a Ministry of Steel’s proposal for his extension.
General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), virtually inaugurated the Indian Army’s 1st Vertical Wind Tunnel (VWT) at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh (HP) to train the special forces and refine the Combat Freefall (CFF) skills of armed forces personnel.
· The state-of-the-art wind tunnel provides a controlled environment for military trainees. It enhances the Combat Free Fall (CFF) skills of armed forces personnel.
· The facility simulates real-life free-fall conditions, allowing trainees to experience various CFF scenarios.
This marks a significant step in modernizing the Indian Army’s training infrastructure.
The installation of VWT is a part of the Indian army’s effort to infuse technology into the training methodologies.
Vertical Wind Tunnel (VWT):
i.A Vertical Wind Tunnel (VWT) is a wind tunnel that moves air up in a vertical column. These tunnels are often used for aerodynamic research and modern human flight.
ii.Wind tunnels that are built specifically for humans to fly in are often referred to as skydiving simulators, indoor skydiving tunnels, or simply wind tunnels.
iii.These tunnels employ powerful fans to generate wind speeds, allowing participants to float effortlessly, mimicking the sensation of a skydive.
iv.Beyond recreation, VWT serves as a training ground for skydivers, enabling them to practice maneuvers in a controlled environment.
v.Generating specific air columns at defined velocities, the VWT replicates diverse Controlled Free Fall (CFF) scenarios.
Incorporated into the CFF training curriculum at SFTS, the VWT yields multiple advantages. They are:
i.The system simulates varied freefall scenarios which is crucial in assessing individual reactions to numerous situations in an airborne operating environment.
ii.Reducing potential instability during airtime and parachute deployment aids trainees in getting used to free-fall conditions.
iii.The VWT is beneficial for beginners and a valuable resource for delivering advanced training to seasoned free-fallers and CFF instructors.
China’s Chinese Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has launched its 30th flight mission Shenzhou 17 (also known as “Divine Vessel”) along with three astronauts to the Tiangong Space Station.
· The spacecraft lifted off atop a Long March-2F Y17 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
· This is the sixth manned mission of China to its space station since 2021.
i.The crew is led by former air force pilot Tang Hongbo (48).
· He is making his second spaceflight.
· He belongs to China’s second batch of astronauts in 2010.
ii.The other two members of the crew: Tang Shengjie (33) and Jiang Xinlin (35), are both travelling to space for the first time.
· They joined the China’s 3rd batch of astronauts.
iii.The crew is the youngest-ever crew of Chinese
astronauts to visit the Tiangong Space Station.
About Shenzhou 17 mission:
i.Shenzhou 16 crew will hand over control to the incoming Shenzhou 17 astronauts.
ii.The mission will last for six months, during which time the astronauts will conduct experiments and technology tests.
iii.The astronauts will also conduct Tiangong’s first extravehicular experimental maintenance work.
i.Shenzhou 16 was the fifth manned mission to China’s Tiangong space station.
ii.The crew consisted of Jing Haipeng (commander), Zhu Yangzhu, and Gui Haichao.
iii.It launched on May 30, 2023, and will return to Earth on October 31, 2023.
Tiangong Space Station:
i.The Tiangong space station is a Chinese space station being built in low Earth orbit between 340 and 450 kilometers above the earth.
ii.In 2021, Shenzhou 12 was the first crew to visit the space station.
iii.Chinese will be the working language of this space station.
About People’s Republic of China:
President – Xi Jinping
Capital – Beijing
Currency – Renminbi (Yuan)
Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited unveiled ‘Vikram-I’ orbital space launch vehicle at the newly inaugurated its headquarters ‘The MAX-Q Campus’ located at the GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park in South Hyderabad, Telangana.
· The event was attend by Union Minister of State(MoS) Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) who also unveiled simulation of Vikram 1.
· The Vikram-I rocket is capable of carrying a load of up to 480 Kilograms (kg) into 500 Kilometre (km) the Low Earth orbit (LEO) and a load of 290 kg into a 500 km Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO).
· Vikram 1 is the all-carbon-fibre bodied rocket that can place multiple satellites in orbit and features 3D printed liquid engines.
Vikram-I is set ot launch in 2024 by Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited which was established in 2018 by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka(Co-Founders).
The former England football player Sir Bobby (Robert) Charlton passed away at the age of 86. He suffered dementia in 2020.
· Sir Bobby Charlton was part of the England’s Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)World Cup winning team in 1966.
About Sir Bobby
i.Robert Charlton was born in 11th October 1937 in Ashington, northeast England, United Kingdom(UK).
ii.He debuted for Manchester United football club from 1956 to 1973 in 758 matches and scored 249 goals.
· He also was a part of Manchester United’s that won the European Cup(1968),three English Premier League titles(1965& 1967) and one Football Association Challenge(FA) Cup(1963).
iii.He represented England national football team from 1958 to 1970 in 106 international matches and scored 49 goals.
· As of October 2023, Bobby Charlton was the third highest goal scorer for England National team behind Wayne Rooney(53 goals) and Harry Kane (61 goals).
· He played four FIFA World Cups 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970.
i.He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1969 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1974 Queen’s New Year Honours List.
· He was Knighted in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 for his contribution to the game.
ii.He also awarded the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in Europe in 1966.
· He also received the FIFA Order of Merit in 1984, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President’s Award in 2008, and the FIFA Golden Foot Legend Award in 2011.
· He was presented with lifetime achievement trophy at the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
· He also lifted the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in 1966 and FIFA World Cup All-Star Team twice in 1966 and 1970.
The book titled ‘The Lords of the Wankhede – Tales Between Two Titles’ Co-authored by Indian cricketer W.V. Raman and senior journalist R. Kaushik was launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka and it was published by Rupa Publications.
· The book describes the changes that occurred in Indian cricket between 1983 and 2023, and reflects on the events that influenced the growth of cricket in India.
· Woorkeri Venkat Raman represented Indian cricket team between 1988 and 1997, also played for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket and his first book ‘The Winning Sixer’ was launched in 2020.
· Kaushik is also the co-author of V.V.S. Laxman’s autobiography ‘281 and Beyond’, Former Indian cricket captain Gundappa Ranganatha Visvanath’s autobiography ‘Wrist Assured’ and Former Indian cricket team fielding coach R. Sridhar’s memoir ‘Coaching Beyond’.
The book launch event was attended by former Indian cricketers Venkatesh Prasad and VVS Laxman.
The United Nations (UN) Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week is annually observed across the globe from 24th to 31st October 2023 to raise awareness of the importance of media and information literacy (MIL) and to celebrate the progress made towards achieving MIL for all.
· 24-31 October 2023 marks the observance of the 12th Global Media and Information Literacy Week.
The 2023 theme of Global MIL Week is “Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces: A Collective Global Agenda”.
The annual event of Global MIL Week is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
i.In June 2011, the first edition of the International Forum on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) held in Fez, Morocco came up with the Fez Declaration on MIL.
· It dedicated that World Media and Information Literacy Week should be celebrated from 15-21 June every year.
ii.In 2019, the UNESCO General Conference at its 40th
session adopted a resolution and decided to proclaim Global MIL Week to be
observed from 24 to 31 October each year.
iii.In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/267 and proclaimed 24 to 31 October of each year the Global MIL Week.
Union Minister of State(MoS)
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Ministry of Skill Development &
Entrepreneurship and Electronics & Information Technology(IT)
launched a project named “Heartland Tripura” to enhance the
employability and skills of the youth of Tripura.
This project was launched in partnership with Deloitte India and the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Agartala(Tripura)and they signed agreement in the inaugural ceremony.
· NIELIT (Agartala) provide skill development certification courses through the project “Heartland Tripura which enhances career and personal development opportunities for undergraduate students in both engineering and non-engineering fields.
· The certification courses offered in cyber security, internal audit, analytics, and softer skills around business communication, executive presence, and grooming amongst others.
· Deloitte will develop an industry readiness curriculum, drive National Council for Vocational Education and Training(NCVET)-based certification, provide trainer access through its professionals, and giude colleges to hold placement fairs.
· The project also intends to identify target organisations for placements and to create an advocacy network for companies to hire from Tripura colleges.
Goa Chief Minister(CM) Pramod Sawant launched the ‘Swayampurna e-bazaar’, an online platform to sell products across India made by self-help groups, local artisans, and women of Goa.
· The Goa government is set to provide training at the panchayat level through Swayampurna Mitras on the packaging of items for sale through the Swayampurna e-bazaar portal.
· The entrepreneurs and self-help groups from Goa can contact ‘9262626262’ to join this platform and sell their products online, One can also shop via www.goaebazaar.com
· The Swayampurna e-bazaar is an extension of the successful Swayampurna Chavath e-bazaar’, an online food delivery portal integrated with the Swiggy app for delivering food products produced by local Goa people.
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