Current Affairs

12 April, 2022

International

President Of India Visits Turkmenistan And Netherlands To Strengthen The Bilateral Relationship

The President of India Ram Nath Kovind Visited Republic of Turkmenistan and Kingdom of the Netherlands from April 1 to April 7, 2022. The visit discusses the pending issues and strengthening bilateral relations with President of Turkmenistan Serdar Gurbangulyyevich Berdimuhamedov and King of Netherlands Willem Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Ram Nath Kovind becomes the first ever Indian President to visit Turkmenistan
President’s Visit To Turkmenistan:
i.The Turkmenistan visit was scheduled from April 1 to 4 April 2022.
ii.Documents were signed along with Memorandum of Understanding (MoU’s) at the Oguzhar (Presidential) palace Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
President’s Visit To Netherlands:
The President of India visited the Kingdom of Netherlands from April 4 to April 7, 2022 and met King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima. During the visit, the President will hold discussions with His Royal Majesties and Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The visit also celebrates 75 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands.

About Turkmenistan:
President – Serdar Gurbangulyyevich Berdimuhamedov
Capital – Ashgabat
Currency – Turkmenistan New Manat

Ecuador – first country to give legal rights to wild animals

The South American Country – Ecuador became the First country in the world to give legal rights to wild animals.
About Estrellita case:-
i.Ana Beatriz Burbano Proaño, a librarian, Ecuador took Estrellita a month old Woolly Monkey from the wild to grow it as her pet, Proano took care of Estrellita for about 18 years until the authorities seized her in 2019, as owning wild animals is illegal in South American country Ecuador.
ii.The authorities relocated the monkey to a Zoo but it died within a month because of the separation from the owner. Following which Proaño, the owner of the monkey filed a habeas corpus asking the court to rule that the monkey’s rights were violated.
iii.The Judgement came in favour of Estrellita, the court acknowledged that the rights of the woolly monkey had been violated by the government and also added that the animal’s rights were also violated by the owner when she removed the monkey from her natural habitat at a young age.
iv.The Court has finally stated that animals are subject to rights protected by rights of nature.
About Ecuador:-
Capital – Quito
President – Guillermo Lasso
Currency – United States Dollar

National

Asia’s Largest Sewerage Treatment Plant At Okhla; Set To Play Major Role In Yamuna Cleaning Process

The Okhla Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), with a capacity of 564 Million Litres Per Day (MLD), largest STP in Asia, which is set to function in Delhi from December 2022 will play a major role in Yamuna river cleaning process. Following the completion of this project the water quality of river Yamuna will be improved. This STP aims to remove contaminants from sewage to produce an effluent that is suitable for discharge to the surrounding environment or an intended reuse application According to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the total sanction cost of the Okhla STP project is Rs 665.78 crore.

Central Govt extends Rs 40cr relief to Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Committee upto 2025-26

The Union government has extended the scheme to provide Rs 40 crore grants-in-aid to the Dalai Lama’s Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) for another five years i.e. from 2021-22 to 2025-26. An amount of Rs 8 crore to CTRC has been released for the year 2021-22. The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy of 2014 is also reviewed in consultation with all the concerned stakeholders i.e. State/Central Departments. The information for the same was provided by Minister of State (MoS) Ajay Kumar Mishra, Ministry of Home (MHA) during a question Rajya Sabha.

Reason behind this extension:
The scheme was extended following the Galwan incident in June 2020 where 20 soldiers were killed in violent clashes with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Eastern Ladakh.

Union Cabinet Approval on April 8, 2022

The Union Cabinet Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
i.The Union Cabinet approved the continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), till March 2023 to work towards its intended target of culture of innovation and entrepreneurship using digital tools.
ii.CCEA chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the proposal to provide a one-time window to Central and State Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to surrender coal mines that are not in operation, without any penalty (forfeiture of bank guarantee) and without citing any reason. For this, 3-month time will be given to these PSUs.
iii.CCEA also approved the supply of fortified rice, worth approx. Rs. 2,700 crore per annum, throughout the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) by June 2024 in a phased manner. The entire cost of rice fortification will be borne by the Central Government as part of food subsidy till its full implementation.
iv.The Cabinet has approved the proposal for signing a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Financial Regulatory Commission, Mongolia (FRC) for establishing a technical assistance programme.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Mongolia:
Capital– Ulaanbaatar
Currency– Tugrik

Economy

VP Venkaiah Naidu confers Sangeet Natak Akademi for 2018 & Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowships & Awards

Vice President (VP) of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu presented the
Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship and Award for 2018 and Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowships for 2021 and 62nd National Exhibition of Art Awards for 2021 in the joint ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, Delhi.
i.Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship(Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) for 2018 was given to 4 artists and 40 others were honoured with Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards. Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain, Sattriya dancer Jatin Goswami, Sonal Mansingh and Thiruvidaimarudur Kuppiah Kalyanasundaram were the four fellowships. The criteria restricts any person below the age of 50 to ordinarily be considered for the honour, although a minimum age of 35 is required.

ii.Lalit Kala Akademi Awards for 2021 were given 23 personalities including 3 fellows. Sculptor Himmat Shah, reputed painters and artists Jyoti Bhatt and Shyam Sharma were awarded the prestigious Lalit kala Akademi were the 3 fellowship.

About Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards:
Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards are national honours presented by the government on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts. The awards are presented under the categories of music, dance, and theatre. Additionally one category was reserved for traditional, folk, and tribal dance, music, theatre and puppetry. An awards for overall contribution and scholarship in performing arts was also presented during the event.

About National Exhibition of Art:
The National Exhibition of Art is the most prestigious annual event of the Lalit Kala Akademi, started in 1955. Lalit kala Akademi has increased the number of awards from 15 to 20 this year.

Chairman – Ms. Uma Nanduri

Noted poet & litterateur Prof Ramdarash Mishra Selected for Saraswati Samman 2021

India’s noted poet and litterateur Professor Ramdarash Mishra has been selected as the recipient of the Saraswati Samman 2021 for his Hindi Poetry collection titled “Mein to Yahan Hun”. The book was first published in 2015. The recipient of the Saraswati Samman 2021 is selected by a selection committee headed by Dr Subhash C Kashyap, former secretary-general of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
About Saraswati Samman:
i.Saraswati Samman, one of India’s most prestigious literary awards, was instituted in 1991 by KK Birla Foundation.
ii.The award is annually presented to outstanding literary work written in any Indian language by an Indian citizen and published within the last 10 years.
iii.The award carries a citation, a plaque, and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs.

About Ramdarash Mishra:
i.Ramdarash Mishra was born on 15th August 1924, in Dumri village in Gorakhpur district, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
ii.He served as a professor in the Hindi department of the University of Delhi.
iii.He has served as a member of various Hindi Consultative committees in various ministries.
iv.He has around 32 collections of poems, 15 novels, 30 short story collections, 15 books of literary criticism, four collections of essays, travelogues and several memoirs.
About “Mein to Yahan Hun”:
“Mein to Yahan Hun” features the different aspects of inner life, societal concerns, communalism, corruption, human perspectives, exploitation of the Dalits, disquieting urban cities, the exuberance of the seasons and climatic concerns.

Tata AIA Life Insurance Partners with CSC for Life Insurance Distribution in Rural Areas

Tata AIA Life Insurance, one of the leading insurers in the Indian private sector, has teamed with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s Common Services Centers (CSC) to engage its network of over 4 lakh village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) at the last mile for distribution of life insurance plans. This partnership will help Tata AIA Life Insurance expand its coverage to nearly 95% of gram panchayats, paving the door for life insurance to be provided in India’s most rural locations. CSC will provide the Tata AIA Life POS Smart Income Plus plan, which combines life insurance with savings opportunities through its network.
The alliance is part of Tata AIA’s business growth strategy to expand its distribution network across smaller towns and rural India & contribute to industry efforts toward increasing life insurance penetration in India.

About Tata AIA Life Insurance:
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIA Life Insurance) is a joint venture between Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and the AIA Group Ltd. (AIA).
CEO & MD – Mr. Naveen Tahilyani
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

India won two historic gold medals in 2022 WSF World Doubles Squash Championships

India won maiden Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles at World Squash Federation (WSF) World Doubles Squash Championships – 2022 held at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom(UK). Dipika Pallikal pairing with Joshna Chinappa and Saurav Ghosal won the Women’s Doubles Squash Championship and Mixed Doubles Squash championships respectively.

i.The Second Seeded Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal, defeated the Fourth seeded English pair Adrian Waller and Alison Waters 11-6, 11-8 in the final at Scotstoun Leisure Centre, claiming the Mixed Doubles title.
ii.Later, The Third Seeded Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa triumphed Women’s Doubles finals after a hard fought 11-9, 4-11, 11-8 win over England’s Sarah Jane Perry and Waters (Second Seeded).
Note:
India now became the first in Asia to win a World Doubles Squash Championships title.

Miscellaneous

Pakistan Successfully Conducts Test Flight of Ballistic Missile Shaheen-III

The Pakistan Army has conducted a successful flight test of the surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile Shaheen-III, which was intended to revalidate various design and technical characteristics of the weapon system.
Shaheen-III is a 2,750-kilometer-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of reaching the farthest point in India’s northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, bringing a number of Indian cities within range. The missile was tested for the first time in March 2015.

Note: In 2021, the Pakistan Army conducted a successful test launch of an “enhanced-range” version of the indigenously-developed Babur Cruise Missile 1B.
Features of Shaheen-III:
i.The missile is solid-fuelled and equipped with the Post-Separation Altitude Correction (PSAC) system.
ii.Solid fuel is suited for rapid response capabilities, while the PSAC feature provides it with the ability to adjust the warhead trajectory for greater accuracy and evade anti-ballistic missile defence systems.
iii. The missile is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads.
iv.The missile test was launched into the Arabian Sea.
About Islamic Republic of Pakistan:
President – Arif Alvi
Capital – Islamabad
Currency – Rupee (PKR) (PKR -Pakistani Rupee)

India successfully test fires Pinaka MK-I , Pinaka Area Denial Munition Rocket System & Loitering Munitions

i.The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Armament Research and Development Establishment & DRDO’s High Energy Materials Research and Development, Pune, Maharashtra along with the Indian Army has successfully flight tested the indigenously developed Pinaka Mark-I (Mk-I) (Enhanced) Rocket System (EPRS) and The Pinaka Area Denial Munitions (ADM) Rocket System at the Pokhran Firing Ranges,Rajasthan. The EPRS is the upgraded version of the Pinaka rocket system and is being test fired by 24 EPRD rockets from different firing ranges.
Loitering Munitions test fired by Indian Private firms in high altitude conditions in Ladakh
The Economics Explosives Limited (EEL), a subsidiary of Solar Industries India Ltd, Nagpur Maharashtra and Z Motion Autonomous System Private Limited, Bangalore, Karnataka has successfully developed Loitering Munitions and test fires in high altitude conditions in Nubra valley of Union Territory of Ladakh.
i.The company has developed three variants of Loitering Munitions (LM) – LM0, LM1 and The Hexacopter. LM0 and LM1 had achieved a full endurance flight for 60 minutes The Hexacopter manoeuvred for 30 minutes, making it a first in the world, where a man portable LM with 4 KiloGram (KG) warhead had successfully tested at a flight ceiling of 4500 metres.

ii.The LM consists of parts that have more than 80 percent indigenous contents meeting global quality and safety standards.
Related Information:
The Solar Industries India Ltd, Nagpur Maharashtra has several systems which are under development as Counter Drone Systems that includes Loiter Munitions, Missiles on Drones, Drone based Gravity Drop Bombs, etc,. which can carry a variety of explosive warheads that can be used to neutralize tanks, combat vehicles, civil fortifications and soft skinned targets in open.

Bank of Maharashtra To Divest 4% Stake in ISARC

Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has announced that it will divest its entire stake of 4% in India SME Asset Reconstruction Company (ISARC) for a cash consideration of Rs 3.92 crore. The agreement was executed on 6th April 2022. The transaction is expected to close by December 2022-end.

A floor price of Rs 9.80 per equity share has been proposed for the divestment.
The bank holds 40 lakh equity shares or 4% at a face value of Rs 10 each in ISARC.
ISARC is India’s first Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC), supported by a number of public sector banks and undertakings, focussed on NPA resolution of the MSME sector.

Harsh V Shringla to Be Chief Coordinator of G20 Summit 2023

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed as the Chief Coordinator of the G20 Summit, which will be hosted by India in 2023. His appointment is effective from May 01, 2022, and he will hold the post till December 2023. Shringla, who will step down as Foreign Secretary on April 30, 2022, will be succeeded by Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who is the current ambassador of India to Nepal.
India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023 and will host the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in 2023. The G20 Summit 2023 will be India’s largest international event in recent years, bringing together the five P5 (US, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France) representatives in India at the same time.

Note: This is a newly created role for organising the summit, which will include both substantive aspects as well as logistics. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal will remain the G20 sherpa.
About Harsh Vardhan Shringla:
i.Shringla, an IFS officer of the 1984 batch, has been serving as foreign secretary since January, 2020. He has also served as ambassador to the United States, Thailand, and Bangladesh.
ii.He played a key role in implementing India’s Neighbourhood First policy into action by visiting Afghanistan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka during COVID-19, reinforcing India’s commitment to assisting its neighbours.
iii. He oversaw India’s election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in which India received 184 of the 192 votes cast.
G20 Bali Summit 2022:
It is the 17th meeting of G20 Heads of State and Government Summit which is scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia from November 15-16, 2022 under the Presidency of Indonesia with the overall theme of “Recover Together Recover Stronger”. The G20 Summit 2021 was held under the Italian Presidency in Rome, Italy.

About G20:
It is a strategic multilateral platform connecting the world’s major developed and emerging economies. India is a founding member of the G20 Group.
India will be part of the G20 Troika (preceding, current, and incoming G20 Presidencies) from 1 December 2021 till 30 November 2024.
Chairman – Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia
Formed – 1999
Members – 19 world’s major economies and the European Union (EU).

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