Daily Current Affairs – April 23 & 24, 2023
Daily Current Affairs - Banking - April 23 & 24, 2023
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Sixth interactive meeting with the Textile Advisory Group in Rajkot
- Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal presided over the sixth interactive meeting with the Textile Advisory Group (TAG), to review the progress of initiatives for cotton value chain, as part of the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam which is being conducted under the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ Initiative in Gujarat in Rajkot.
- Shri Piyush Goyal noted the progress in the project on Traceability, Certification and Branding of Kasturi Cotton India and lauded that branding of Indian Cotton will add great value to the entire cotton value chain from farmers to end users.
- He appealed to The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) to make aggressive efforts to brand Kasturi cotton as premium cotton in domestic and international markets.
- Final approval for Holistic plan to enhance cotton productivity by targeting the technology of HDPS, Closer Spacing and ELS with an amount of Rs. 41.8685 crores were obtained from MoA&FW under NFSM.
- Cluster-wise identification of villages/farmers has been finalized in Rajasthan and the same is in progress in all the remaining cotton growing states where sowing will be taken up for the ensuing cotton season 2023-24.
- Ministry of Textile – Piyush Goyal,Cabinet Minister (Rajya Sabha MP,Maharashtra) – Darshana Jardosh, Minister of State (Surat,Gujarat)
Almost 50,000 km of National Highways added in 9 years
- About 50,000 kilometres of National Highways – the country’s arteries – being added in the last 9 years.
- India had a total of 97,830 km of National Highways in 2014-15 which has been expanded to 145,155 km by March 2023.
- From building 12.1 km per day of roads in 2014-15, the nation is seeing 28.6 km of roads being constructed every day in 2021-22.
- National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) – 1995 (Founded) – New Delhi (HQ) -Santosh Kumar Yadav (Chairman)
MoRTH planned to raise Rs 35,000 crores through asset monetisation this fiscal
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) planned to raise Rs 35,000 crore through various modes of asset monetisation in this financial year, against Rs 32,855-crore target in the last fiscal.
- Currently, MoRTH monetises its assets under three different modes viz toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model, Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) and project-based financing, in order to provide all categories of investors an opportunity to invest in assets pertaining to highways and associated infrastructure.
- Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) is an instrument on the pattern of mutual funds, designed to pool money from investors and invest in assets that will provide cash flows over a period of time.
- While Rs 15,000 crore is planned to be raised in 2023-24 via project-based financing of high-speed corridors by securitising the future toll revenues without any guidance from the authority, Rs 10,000 crores is planned to be raised via InvIT.
- MoRTH is planning to raise Rs 10,000 crore in 2023-24 via ToT.
- In the last four years, MoRTH has already raised Rs 67,997 crore through various modes of asset monetisation till February 28, 2023.
- He said Rs 26,366 crore has been raised through monetisation of 1,614 km till date via ToT, out of this Rs 3,144 crore has been raised in FY 2022-23 till February 2023, while bids have been invited for two more ToT bundles viz bundle 11 and 12 for a total of Rs 7,000 crore.
- These are likely to be awarded in July 2023.
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways – Nitin Gadkari,Union Minister (Nagpur,Maharashtra) – General Vijay Kumar Singh
5th India-Guyana Joint Commission
- External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar co-chaired the 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission Meeting with Foreign Minister Hugh Todd.
- There was comprehensive discussions on agriculture, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, ayurveda and wellness, defence cooperation, human resources, technology and innovation and infrastructure development.
- Dr Jaishankar also witnessed exchange of agreements in Migration and Mobility and Air Connectivity.
- The Commission of India was established in Georgetown in May 1965.
- The Commission was made into a full-fledged High Commission of India in 1968.
- The Indian Cultural Centre (now Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre) was set up in 1972.
- The relationship between India and Guyana ever since the independence of Guyana in May 1966 has been close and cordial with a high degree of understanding.
- Guyana – Georgetown (Capital) – Guyanese dollar (Currency) – Irfaan Ali (President) – Mark Anthony Phillips (Prime Minister & first vice president) – English (Language)
India's first Digital Science Park in Kerala
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the country’s first Digital Science Park, a Rs-1,500-crore project, in Thiruvananthapuram.
- The third-generation Science Park (they are located in bustling city centres) will come up close to the Digital University of Kerala at Technopark Phase IV – Technocity.
- Kerala – Thiruvananthapuram (Capital) – Pinarayi Vijayan (CM) – Arif Mohammad Khan (Governor) – Malayalam (Language)
UP on its way to become first state to have 100 % electric vehicles in govt departments
- In a major push to promote sales and usage of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government has set a target and has flung into action to convert vehicles used in all government departments into EVs in a phased manner by 2030.
- By achieving this target before 2030, Uttar Pradesh can become the first state in the country to have 100 per cent EV in government departments
- Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow (Capital) – Yogi Adityanath (CM) – Anandiben Patel (Governor) – Hindi (Language)
Banking and Finance
India's forex reserves up $1.65 billion to $586.4 billion
- India’s foreign currency reserves rose by $ 1.65 billion to $586.41 billion in the week ended April 14, 2023.
- The rise in reserves in the reporting week was on account of a $ 2.2 billion accretion to currency reserves that took them to $516.6 billion.
- Gold reserves, meanwhile, were valued at $46.17 billion, down by $0.52 billion.
- Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) were down by $ 38 million to $18.41 billion.
- The reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) grew by just $12 million to $5.19 billion.
- But the country’s foreign exchange reserves were lower by $ 17.28 billion compared to a level a year ago.
- RBI purchased $ 254 million worth of dollars on a net basis in February 2023. However, cumulatively sold dollars worth $ 26.26 billion from the end of March 2022.
- The outstanding net forward purchase of hard currency stood at $ 20.47 billion as of end-February 2023, down from $ 21.72 billion at end of January 2023.
- The outstanding net forward purchases were $ 65.79 billion at the end of March 2022.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – 01/04/1935 (Founded) – Mumbai (HQ) – Shaktikanta Das (Governor)
Mastercard partnered with M1xchange for digital invoice discounting solution for FPOs, MSMEs
- Mastercard announced its collaboration with M1xchange to offer a digital invoice discounting solution to farmers, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), and agri-MSMEs through Farm Pass, its agritech platform.
- Along with enabling access to credit and working capital, the solution will allow farmers and FPOs to directly connect with buyers and negotiate prices for their produce.
- Farm Pass is part of Mastercard’s broader Community Pass platform.
- As part of the collaboration, M1xchange, an RBI-approved facilitator for discounting and sale of receivables to banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), will bring on board its network of agri-businesses and lenders.
- Mastercard Inc. – 1966 (Founded) – New York (HQ) – Merit Janow (Chairman)
Business and Economy
Morgan Stanley India’s GDP
- Morgan Stanley predicted that India’s gross domestic product will grow by 6.2% in FY24.
- The report also said the inflation in India is likely to be below 5 per cent in the second quarter of calendar year 2024.
Hindustan Zinc Becomes Fifth Largest Silver Producer Globally
- Hindustan Zinc, India’s leading zinc-lead-silver producer, has emerged as the 5th largest silver producer in the world, according to the World Silver Survey 2023 by The Silver Institute.
- This places India in the top 20 silver-producing countries.
- Earlier, the company was ranked 6th largest silver producer which has now changed to 5th largest with 694 tonnes of silver production in the calendar year 2022.
- Hindustan Zinc produces 100% of India’s integrated Silver.
- The company has increased its production of Silver manifold since disinvestment with a production capacity of 800 tonnes from a meagre capacity of 41 tonnes in 2002.
- Previously, Silver refinery of Hindustan Zinc located at Pantnagar, in Uttarakhand has also been recognized by London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and has been added to “London Good Delivery” list.
- The silver produced at its refinery is marked 99.99% pure and has been LBMA certified.
- Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) – 1966 (Founded) – Udaipur, Rajasthan (HQ) – Mrs. Priya Agarwal (Chairman)
Agreements and MoUs signed
Indian Army, Tezpur University signed MoU on Chinese language training for Army personnel
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and Tezpur University for training the Indian Army personnel in the Chinese language.
- The course will be for a duration of 16 weeks and will be conducted at Tezpur University.
- The MoU was signed by HQ 4 Corps on behalf of the Indian Army and The Registrar, Tezpur University in presence of the Vice Chancellor Prof SN Singh.
- Tezpur University established in 1994 by an act of parliament as a central university is one the pioneers in the North East in the teaching of foreign languages including Chinese with highly qualified faculty.
- Indian Army – 26/01/1950 (Founded) – New Delhi (HQ) – Army Day (January 15) – General Manoj Pande (Chief of Army Staff) – “Service Before Self” (Motto)
Oliver Dowden named UK's new deputy prime minister
- Oliver Dowden appointed as UK’s new deputy prime minister by replacing Dominic Raab.
- Dowden had been serving in Rishi Sunak’s government as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office secretary.
- United Kingdom – London (Capital) – Pound Sterling (Currency) – Charles III (Monarch) – Rishi Sunak (Prime Minister) – English (Language)
Ranks and Indices
Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2023
- The Logistics Performance Index was reported by the World Bank every two years.
- For the first time, measures the speed of trade with indicators derived from big datasets tracking shipments.
- Singapore and Finland are the most efficient and highest-ranked countries among 139 countries in 2023.
- India was ranked 44th on the index in 2018 and has now climbed to 38th in the 2023.
- According to the report, India’s rank moved up five places in infrastructure score from 52nd in 2018 to 47th in 2023 and in 2014 it was ranked 54th.
- It climbed to the 22nd spot for international shipments in 2023 from 44th in 2018.
- Also moved four places up to 48th in logistics competence and equality.
- In timelines, India witnessed a 17-place jump in rankings, whereas it moved up three places in rank in tracking and tracing to 38th.
- World Bank – December 1944 (Founded) – Washington DC (HQ) – David Malpass (President)
Awards and Recognitions
PM GatiShakti NMP received PM's Award for Excellence in Public Administration, 2022
- The Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, 2022, in the category ‘Innovation-Central’ was conferred by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) at the 16th Civil Services Day Celebration for the successful implementation of the prestigious ‘PM GatiShakti National Master Plan’ programme.
- Ministry of Commerce and Industry – Piyush Goyal,Cabinet Minister (Rajya Sabha MP,Maharashtra) – Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (Mirzapur,UP), Som Parkash, Minister of State (Hoshiarpur,Punjab)
Books and Authors
‘Sachin@50 – Celebrating A Maestro’
- Book Name: ‘Sachin@50 – Celebrating A Maestro’
- Designed and Released by: Boria Majumdar (Indian sports journalist, sports historian and writer)
- Written by: Gulza
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- About Book: The book covers Tendulkar’s journey to success, starting from his teenage debut in November 15, 1989 against Pakistan at the age of 16.
2023 Archery World Cup
- The 2023 Archery World Cup, also known as the Hyundai Archery World Cup for sponsorship reasons, is the 17th edition of the international archery circuit organised annually by World Archery Federation.
- The 2023 World Cup consist of four events, and will run from 19 April to 10 September so far.
- 1st event in Antalya, Turkey.
- Gold – Jyothi Surekha Vennam (Women’s Individual)
- Gold – Jyothi Surekha Vennam & Ojas Pravin Deotale (Mixed Team)
- Silver – Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tarundeep Rai (Men’s Team)
- Bronze – Dhiraj Bommadevara (Men’s Individual)
- World Archery Federation – 04/09/1931 (Founded) – Lausanne, Switzerland (HQ) – Uğur Erdener (President)
- Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
- First held on April 22, 1970.
- In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be observed on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.
- Theme – “Invest in our planet”
World Book Day
- World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day or International Day of the Book, is an annually observed on April 23 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
- The first World Book Day was celebrated on 23 April in 1995.
- It was first celebrated on 7 October 1926, Cervantes’ birthday, before being moved to his death date, 23 April, in 1930.
- In 1995, UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.
- Theme – “Indigenous Languages”
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – 16/11/1945 (Founded) – Paris, France (HQ) – Audrey Azoulay (Director-General)
National Panchayati Raj Day
- National Panchayati Raj Day (National Local Self-Government day) is the national day of Panchayati Raj System in India celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually.
- Panchayati Raj was constitutionalised through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1993.
- The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 22 December 1992 and by Raj Sabha on 23 December 1992.
- Later it was approved by 17 state assemblies and received the assent of the President on 23 April 1993.
- This Act become effective on 24 April 1993.
- Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh declared the first National Panchayati Raj Day on 24 April 2010.
- The Ministry of Panchayati Raj celebrated National Panchayat Awards Week during 17th – 21st April, 2023 as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) 2.0.
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj has conceptualized a series of Thematic Conferences for the National Panchayat Awards Week on the theme “Panchayaton ke Sankalpon ki Siddhi ka Utsav”.
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj – Giriraj Singh,Cabinet Minister (Begusarai,Bihar) – Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Minister of State (Bhiwandi,Maharashtra)
Solar Industries to supply UAV 'Nagastra' to Indian Army
- Solar Industries Nagpur had bagged an order to supply unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ‘Nagastra’ to the Indian Army, beating competitors from Israel and Poland.
- A Solar Industries official said with government’s initiative to bring Atmanirbharta in ammunition and defence systems, the first indigenous Loiter Munition (LM), Nagastra-1, has been designed and developed by Economics Explosives Ltd (EEL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Solar Industries Nagpur, in association with Z-Motion, Bangalore.
- A model of ‘Nagastra -1’ loitering munition was recently displayed in the Army Commanders conference held in New Delhi.
- The company said that Nagastra -1 having an indigenous content of more than 75 per cent has many world class features.
- It said that in a ‘Kamikaze mode’ it can neutralise any hostile threat with GPS enabled precision strike with an accuracy of 2 m.
- The fixed wing electric UAV has an endurance of 60 min with a man-in-loop range 15 km and autonomous mode range of 30 km.
- In addition to day-night surveillance cameras the loiter munition is equipped with fragmenting warhead to defeat soft-skin targets.
- Solar Industries Nagpur – 24/02/1995 (Founded) – Nagpur, Maharashtra (HQ) – Manish Satyanarayan Nuwal (MD & CEO)
Daily Current Affairs - April 23 & 24, 2023 - Consolidated
- Sixth interactive meeting with the Textile Advisory Group in Rajkot
- Almost 50,000 km of National Highways added in 9 years
- MoRTH planned to raise Rs 35,000 crores through asset monetisation this fiscal
- 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission
- India’s first Digital Science Park in Kerala
- UP on its way to become first state to have 100 % electric vehicles in govt departments
- India’s forex reserves up $1.65 billion to $586.4 billion
- Mastercard partnered with M1xchange for digital invoice discounting solution for FPOs, MSMEs
- Morgan Stanley India’s GDP
- Hindustan Zinc Becomes Fifth Largest Silver Producer Globally
- Indian Army, Tezpur University signed MoU on Chinese language training for Army personnel
- Oliver Dowden named UK’s new deputy prime minister
- Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2023
- PM GatiShakti NMP received PM’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, 2022
- ‘Sachin@50 – Celebrating A Maestro’
- 2023 Archery World Cup
- Earth Day
- World Book Day
- National Panchayati Raj Day
- Solar Industries to supply UAV ‘Nagastra’ to Indian Army
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