Current Affairs April 02nd & 03rd 2023| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS : BANKING & FINANCE

Centre increases interest rates on small savings schemes for April-June Quarter of FY24

  • The Union Ministry of Finance has increased the interest rates on various small savings schemes between 10-70 basis points (bps) for the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) starting from April 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023.
  • This is the third time in the past 9 months that the interest rates on small savings schemes have been increased.

Key Highlights : 

  • The interest rates on small savings schemes range from 4.0% to 8.2% for April-June 2023.
  • The interest rates of schemes like the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, Monthly Income Savings Scheme, National Savings Certificate, Kisan Vikas Patra, and Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme have been revised.
  • Only the interest rates on the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Post Office Savings Account have been kept unchanged.
  • Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified quarterly.

Various Interest Rates for Quarter-1 (April-June) of 2023-24 : 

No Instruments Rate of Interest from Jan 1, 2023 -March 31, 2023 Rate of Interest from April 01, 2023-June 30, 2023
1 Savings Deposit 4.0% 4.0%
2 1 Year Time Deposit 6.6% 6.8%
3 2 Year Time Deposit 6.8% 6.9%
4 3 Year Time Deposit 6.9% 7.0%
5 5 Year Time Deposit 7.0% 7.5%
6 5 Year Recurring Deposit 5.8% 6.2%
7 5 Year Senior Citizen Savings Scheme 8.0% 8.2%
8 5 Year Monthly Income Account 7.1% 7.4%
9 5 Year National Savings Certificate (NSC) 7.0% 7.7%
10 Public Provident Fund (PPF) Scheme 7.1% 7.1%
11 Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) 7.2% (will mature in 120 months) 7.5% (115 months)
12 Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) Scheme 7.6% 8.0%

About Ministry of Finance : 

  • Cabinet Minister : Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Minister of State : Bhagwat Karad, Pankaj Choudhary

Axis Bank enters into co-lending pact with Shriram Housing Finance through Yubi

  • Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank and Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL), a leading Affordable Housing Finance Company, announced a strategic partnership under the co-lending model through the Yubi Co.Lend platform.

Aim : 

  • To leverage the financial expertise of Axis Bank and the loan processing technology of SHFL to assess the credit profile of borrowers and provide loans at competitive interest rates.

Key Highlights : 

  • Through this partnership, both the lenders will offer secured MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Loans and Home Loans to the middle and low-income segment borrowers based in rural and semi-urban regions.
  • The collaboration will leverage the tech platform, Yubi to process loans seamlessly as per the co-lending guidelines.
  • MD & CEO, Shriram Housing Finance Limited : Ravi Subramanian

About Axis Bank :

  • Founded : 3 December 1993
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • MD & CEO : Amitabh Chaudhry
  • Tagline : Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi

About Yubi :

  • Headquarters : Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Founder and CEO : Gaurav Kumar
  • Yubi, formerly known as CredAvenue, is an Indian fintech company that connects businesses with financial institutions, banks and other lenders through its digital platform.

SBI launches its Coffee Table Book – The Banker to Every Indian

  • The State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest financial institution, announced the launch of its coffee table book ‘ The Banker to Every Indian,‘ which celebrates 75 years of India’s independence and SBI’s glorious 200-year history.
  • The book is a tribute to the spirit of India’s independence and the Bank’s contribution to nation-building.
  • It showcases ethics, technological advancements, and transformation with the important initiatives undertaken by the Bank.

About SBI : 

  • Founded : 1 July 1955
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Chairman : Dinesh Kumar Khara

Aditya Birla Health Insurance signed bancassurance partnership with UCO Bank

  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co Ltd (ABHICL), a part of Aditya Birla Capital Ltd.’s (ABCL) health insurance joint venture, announced a bancassurance collaboration with public sector lender UCO Bank for the distribution of health insurance products through the bank’s branches across India.
  • ABHICL will be able to reach out to more than 40 million customers of the bank.

What is bancassurance?

  • Bancassurance is a relationship between a bank and an insurance company that is aimed at offering insurance products or insurance benefits to the bank’s customers.
  • This partnership arrangement can be profitable for both companies.

Key Highlights : 

  • Customers and employees of UCO Bank will now have access to ABHICL’s comprehensive suite of health-first insurance solutions, including incentivized wellness benefits of up to 100% Health Returns and chronic management programme, Day-1 cover for asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes; wellness coaching on nutrition and fitness; and mental health counselling.
  • Now, ABHICL has 17 bancassurance partners and over 80,000 direct selling agents across the nation thanks to the UCO Bank partnership.

About ABHICL : 

  • Founded : Oct 2016
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • CEO : Mr. Mayank Bathwal
  • ABHICL is a part of Aditya Birla Capital Ltd. (ABCL), is a joint venture (JV) between Aditya Birla Group and MMI Holdings of South Africa.

About UCO Bank : 

  • Founded : 6 January 1943
  • Headquarters : Kolkata, West Bengal, India
  • MD & CEO : Soma Sankara Prasad
  • Tagline : Honours Your Trust

State Bank of India & Godrej Capital sign Memorandum of Understanding to offer banking products & services

  • Godrej Capital Limited, the financial services arm of the Godrej Group has signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the State Bank of India (SBI) to strengthen their partnership, where the bank would provide various financial products and offerings.

Aim :

  • To capitalise on synergies that will empower its customers and accelerate the growth of its economy.
  • SBI and Godrej Capital will come together to make financial solutions more accessible and affordable.
  • As per Dinesh Khara, Chairman of SBI, the focus will be on delivering financial solutions to the Godrej group.
  • The association leverages the strengths of both groups by facilitating a gamut of financial services provided by the bank such as banking products, credit cards, wealth management and insurance products as preferred partners.

IRDAI designates LIC, GIC Re & New India as DSIIs for FY 23   

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation of India Limited (GIC Re), and New India Assurance Co are still considered Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for the financial year 2022-23.
  • LIC, GIC Re., and New India continue to be identified as D-SIIs, as in the 2021-22 list of D-SIIs
  • D-SIIs are perceived as insurers that are “too big or too important to fail”.

About D-SIIs : 

  • D-SIIs is used to describe insurance companies that are crucial to the domestic financial system due to their size, market significance, and connections both within the country and globally.
  • The failure or financial instability of these insurers could have a severe impact on the stability of the domestic financial system
  • The functioning of D-SIIs is vital for the uninterrupted availability of insurance services to the national economy.
  • D-SIIs are subjected to additional regulatory measures to deal with systemic risks and moral hazard issues.
  • D-SIIs are being subjected to enhanced regulatory supervision.

About IRDAI : 

  • Founded : 1999
  • Headquarters : Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Chairperson : Debasish Panda
  • The IRDAI is a statutory body under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance , Government of India and is tasked with regulating and licensing the insurance and reinsurance industries in India.

About GIC Re : 

  • Founded : 22 Nov 1972
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Chairman & MD : Devesh Srivastava

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

New small savings scheme for women, Mahila Samman Savings Certificate, launched

  • The Centre said the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate Scheme has been announced in the Budget with a deposit facility up to two lakh rupees in the name of women or girls for a tenure of two years at a fixed interest of 7.5 per cent.
  • This will offer deposit facility up to Rs.2 lakh in the name of women or girls for a tenor of 2 years at fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent with partial withdrawal option.
  • Limit – The maximum deposit amount for the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate is Rs 2 lakh
  • Tenor and interest rate – The scheme has a two-year terme., up to March 2025 and a 7.5 percent annual interest rate, with the option of partial withdrawal.
  • Small savings scheme taxation – This is a government-backed small-savings plan.
  • Generally, Section 80C tax benefits are available for small savings plans

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw conducts trial run on Chenab rail bridge

  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw travelled on the first trial run of a track-mounted trolley on the world’s highest arch bridge constructed on the Chenab river.
  • He inspected the iconic bridge havin g a height of 359 metres from the Chenab riverbed.
  • The track work on the Chenab bridge has been completed and now electric work will be undertaken, besides the installation of Kavach — an anti-collision safety device.
  • It is a part of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link (USBRL) project.
  • The arch bridge lies between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The deck height of the bridge is 359 metres, while its length is 1,315 metres.
  • The arch bridge has 17 spans and the linear length of the main arch span is 460 metres and it is curvilinear.
  • The bridge, which is 35 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch from Katra to Banihal.
  • The arch bridge is being constructed at Rs 1,486 crore.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India & South Asia could be worst hit if 1.5°C threshold overshot – IPCC

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final final report of the sixth assessment cycle.
  • As per IPCC report, Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health and there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.

Key Highlights : 

  • Human activities have ‘unequivocally’ caused global warming.
  • This has warmed the land and oceans by 1.1°C as observed for the period of 2011-2020, compared with the period 1850-1900.
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) announced by countries till October 2021 make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.
  • To achieve the 1.5°C goal with 50% likelihood, we need rapid and deep GHG emissions reductions in all sectors this decade.
  • It is a summary of the 5 earlier reports released between 2018 and 2022.

About IPCC : 

  • Established : 1988
  • Headquarters : Geneva, Switzerland
  • The IPCC is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
  • The IPCC was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

CURRENT AFFAIRS : STATE NEWS

T.N. plans year-long celebrations to observe Vaikom Satyagraha centenary  

  • On the beginning of the centenary of the Vaikom Satyagraha Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister (CM) Shri M.K. Stalin announced that his government was planning a year-long celebration of the movement that was launched to end caste discrimination in a temple in colonial Kerala.

Key Highlights : 

  • Vaikom Satyagraha was a movement started in Kerala from 30 March 1924 to 23 November 1925 for the upliftment of depressed classes.
  • It was launched against the oppression of people of the lower caste and untouchability in a place near Travancore known as Vaikom.
  • A ‘Vaikom Award’ would be given to eminent personalities or organisations who had worked for the welfare of the oppressed sections.
  • It would be awarded on Thanthai Periyar’s birth anniversary which is also being observed as the Day of Social Justice by the TN government.
  • TN government will also issue a commemorative stamp to mark the centenary of the Vaikom Satyagraha.
  • Pazha Adhiyaman’s book ‘Vaikom Protest’ in Tamil will be translated into Malayalam.
  • It will be also published in Telugu, Kannada and English.
  • A book on the movement was also published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.

About Tamil Nadu :

  • Governor: R. N. Ravi
  • Chief Minister: M. K. Stalin
  • Capital: Chennai
  • Dance : Bharatnatyam, Karakattam
  • National Park : Mudumalai National Park, Mukurthi National Park, Guindy National Park, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries : Kalakad Wildlife sanctuary, Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
  • Tiger Reserve : Anamalai Tiger Reserve
  • Biosphere Reserve : Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Second G20 Sherpa meet under India’s G20 Presidency kick off in Kerala   

  • The Second G20 Sherpas meeting under India’s G20 Presidency is scheduled to take place from March 30 to April 2, 2023, in Kumarakom, Kerala.
  • The four-day meeting will be chaired by India’s G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant.
  • 120 delegates from G20 member countries, 9 invitee countries, and various international and regional organisations are taking part in this meeting.
  • The second Sherpa meeting will work on many important issues of global concern and will cover the work being done under the 13 working groups within the Sherpa Track.
  • In addition, 11 Engagement Groups and 4 Initiatives will provide policy recommendations from the perspectives of civil society, private sector, academia, women, youth, scientific advancement and research.

Key Highlights : 

  • The Meeting started with two high-level side-events on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and Green Development.
  • A panel discussion will also be held on global challenges and opportunities to build a growth-oriented and inclusive DPI.
  • The Digital Public Infrastructure side-event has been organized in partnership with NASSCOM, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).
  • The Green Development event will be organized in partnership with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in India (UNRC) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
  • It will give perspectives on global efforts needed for a new vision of green development.
  • India’s G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant will also lead discussions with the G20 Troika comprising India, Indonesia and Brazil.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS NEWS

Govt caps maximum GST cess rate on tobacco products

  • In order to limit the maximum rate of GST compensation cess on pan masala, cigarettes, the government has made amendments to the Finance Bill.
  • Among other items, GST Compensation Cess has been linked to a ceiling rate of their retail selling price.
  • This rule issued by the government will be implemented from the 1 April 2023.
  • The maximum GST compensation cess rate for pan masala will be 51% of the retail sale price per unit, which is currently levied at 135% ad valorem [according to the estimated value of the goods being taxed]
  • Similarly, the rate for tobacco has been fixed at Rs 4170 per thousand sticks plus 290% ad valorem or 100% of retail sale price per unit.
  • The highest rate so far is 290% ad valorem with Rs 4,170 per thousand sticks.
  • The cess is levied over the highest GST rate of 28%.
  • In February, the GST Council, headed by the Union finance minister and comprising state finance ministers, approved the recommendations of a group of ministers to prevent tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses.

IFC to invest Rs 600 crore in Mahindra unit at valuation of up to Rs 6,020 crore

  • Mahindra & Mahindra said World Bank Group arm IFC will invest Rs 600 crore in a new unit of the company, which is being incorporated to scale up the last-mile electric mobility business.
  • IFC’s first investment in an EV manufacturer in the country and the first in electric three-wheelers globally will be in the form of compulsory convertible instruments at a valuation of up to Rs 6,020 crore.
  • The Rs 600 crore investment will result in ownership of between 9.97 per cent to 13.64 per cent for IFC in NewCo.
  • The NewCo will house the last-mile mobility division, including three-wheelers (Alfa, Treo, Zor) and four-wheeler SCV (Jeeto).
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries.
  • The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING AND REPORTS

26 % of world’s population does not have safe drinking water: UNESCO report

  • 26 per cent of the world’s population does not have safe drinking water and 46 per cent lack access to safely managed sanitation, according to a report published by UNESCO at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York.
  • As per the report, between two and three billion people experience water shortages for at least one month per year, posing severe risks to livelihoods, notably through food security and access to electricity.
  • The global urban population facing water scarcity is projected to double from 930 million in 2016 to 1.7 to 2.4 billion people in 2050.
  • The growing incidence of extreme and prolonged droughts is also stressing ecosystems, with dire consequences for both plant and animal species.

About UNESCO:

  • Founded: 16 November 1945, London, United Kingdom
  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Head: Audrey Azoulay; (Director-General)

IIT Delhi enters list of top 50 institutions for engineering in QS Rankings 2023

  • The Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi has entered the list of top 50 institutions for engineering in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.
  • With a ranking of 48, it is up by seven places from last year.
  • As many as 44 programmes offered by Indian higher education institutions in different disciplines have figured in the top 100 globally.
  • Last year, 35 Indian programmes made it to the top 100.
  • The Delhi University is the Indian varsity with maximum entries (27) followed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, (25) and IIT-Kharagpur (23).
  • The thirteen edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject has ranked 66 Indian universities, cumulatively achieving 355 entries, a 18.7 per cent increase compared to last year (299).
  • For the 13th edition of QS subject ranking, the universities were ranked in five broader areas – engineering and technology, arts and humanities, life sciences and medicine, natural science and social sciences and management.
  • The United States had the highest number of top-10 programs (256), followed by the United Kingdom with 145, and Switzerland with 32.
  • Universities in the U.S. took the top spot in 32 subjects, with Harvard University ranking first in fourteen, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claiming the lead in eleven.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

Nepalese Wicketkeeper-batsman Aasif Sheikh declared winner of 2022 CMJ Spirit of Cricket Award

  • Nepalese Wicketkeeper-batsman Aasif Sheikh has been declared the winner of the 2022 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award.
  • The Award is presented every year by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), UK in conjunction with the BBC.
  • The CMJ Spirit of Cricket Award was created in 2013 by MCC and the BBC in memory of former MCC President and BBC Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ), who was passionate about promoting the spirit of the game.
  • Sheikh was honoured for his sporting conduct shown in a Men’s T20 International between Nepal and Ireland in February 2022.
  • The match in Al-Almerat, part of the Oman Quadrangular T20I Series, saw Aasif refuse to run out Ireland’s Andy McBrine, who was accidentally upended by bowler Kamal Airee when attempting a run in the 19th over of the Irish innings, according to a statement issued by the MCC today.
  • For the first time in its history, MCC and BBC invited public nominations for the award in December 2022 and Aasif Sheikh’s conduct for Nepal was adjudged to be the winning entry.
  • Sheikh will be officially presented with the CMJ Spirit of Cricket Award later this year.
  • He was also awarded the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for his actions in January of this year.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPS AND PORTAL

BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover launches fantasy sports app Crickpe

  • BharatPe cofounder Ashneer Grover’s new venture Third Unicorn Pvt Ltd has launched a fantasy sports app Crickpe – almost a week ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.
  • With this Grover has marked his entry into a space crowded by fantasy sports startups such as Dream11, Mobile Premier League, My11Circle, and is backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, TPG, Falcon Edge, DST Global.
  • Through Crickpe, a real-money gaming app, users over 18 years of age will be able to create a virtual team of cricket players, and enter paid contests to earn cash prizes based on the players’ performance in real games.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: ENVIRONMENT

India’s first cloned Gir calf ‘Ganga’ produced at NDRI

  • In another major achievement in the animal science field after getting success in buffalo cloning, the National Dairy Research Institute (ICAR-NDRI) has become the first institute in the country to produce a cloned calf of cattle.
  • Scientists of the institute have produced a female cloned calf from the somatic cell of the tail of the indigenous Gir cow breed, which is a native tract in Gujarat and is popular for its docile nature, disease-resistance, heat-tolerance and high milk producing qualities.
  • The newborn cloned female calf of the cow has been named “Ganga”, which weighs 32kg and is growing well.
  • The scientists used three animals for producing this calf of a cow.
  • Oocyte was taken from the Sahiwal breed, somatic cell from the Gir breed and a surrogate animal was a cross breed.
  • The project was started in 2021 by the NDRI in collaboration with Uttarakhand Livestock Development Board (ULDB), Dehradun, for the cloning of indigenous cows such as Gir, Sahiwal, and Red Shindi.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS

UAE president names son Mr Sheikh Khaled as next crown prince of Abu Dhabi

  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Mr Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan known by his initials MBZ, has appointed his eldest son Mr Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed as crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the Gulf state.

About Mr Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed : 

  • Mr Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of both the Abu Dhabi Executive Committee and the Abu Dhabi Executive Office.
  • In 2016, he was appointed Head of National Security & in 2017, he was named Deputy National Security Adviser.
  • He is a member of Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairs, and a member of the board of directors of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Other Appointments : 

  • Also, President Mr Sheikh Mohammed, named Mr Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to serve as vice president of the UAE.
  • The new Vice President will also be the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Development Fund and a member of the Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council.
  • MBZ designated Mr Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Mr Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan as deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi.

About UAE : 

  • President : Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  • Prime Minister : Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • Capital : Abu Dhabi
  • Currency : UAE dirham

EPFO appoints UTI AMC & SBI Mutual Fund as fund managers

  • Retirement fund manager Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) approved appointment of UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund as its fund managers for 3 years.
  • Besides, the EPFO also approved a proposal for early redemption of its investment of around 700 crore in bonds of troubled Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), at its trustees’ meeting held in Hyderabad.

Key Highlights : 

  • The EPFO’s apex decision-making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT) headed by Labour Minister Mr Santosh Gangwar has decided to appoint 2 fund managers UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund for a 3-year term.
  • The EPFO’s advisory body Finance, Audit and Investment Committee (FAIC) had finalised and recommended the names of 3 asset management firms – HSBC AMC, UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund  for their appointment as fund managers for 3 years beginning October 1, 2019
  • The appointment of the fund managers for another term of 3 years had been pending with the EPFO since April, 2022.
  • EPFO had appointed SBI, ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, Reliance Capital, UTI AMC and HSBC AMC for 3 years, starting April 1, 2015.
  • The EPFO gave many extensions to the 5 fund managers.
  • Now, the extended term of the 5 fund managers would expire on September 30,2023.
  • The EPFO had appointed multiple fund managers for the first time in July 2008 for earning better rate of return on deposits for its subscribers.
  • Before that, SBI was the sole fund manager for the retirement fund body since its inception in 1952.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : DEFENCE NEWS

Ministry of Defence signs Rs 19,600 cr contracts for 11 Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels and 6 Next Generation Missile Vessels for Indian Navy

  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed contracts with Indian shipyards for acquisition of 11 Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPV) and 6 Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMV) at an overall cost of approx. Rs 19,600 crore, in a huge boost to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence,

About the contract for acquisition of 11 NGOPVs : 

  • The contract for acquisition of 11 NGOPV under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category was signed with Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata at a total cost of Rs 9,781 crore. 
  • Of the 11 ships, 7 will be indigenously designed, developed & manufactured by GSL and 4 by GRSE.
  • The delivery of the ships is scheduled to commence from September 2026.

About the contract for acquisition of 6 NGMVs : 

  • The contract for the acquisition of 6 NGMV was signed with Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) at a cost of 9,805 crore rupees.
  • The delivery of these ships is planned to start from March 2027.
  • These ships would be employed for Local Naval Defence operations & seaward defence of the Offshore Development Area.
  • It will be capable of conducting Maritime Strike Operations, Anti Surface Warfare Operations
  • The construction of these ships will generate an employment of 45 lakh man-days over a period of 9 years.

About Ministry of Defence : 

  • Defence Minister : Rajnath Singh
  • Minister of State : Ajay Bhatt
  • Defence Secretary : Giridhar Aramane

Ministry of Defence inks Rs 1,700 crore deal with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited

  • Ministry of Defence (MoD) inked a contract with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) for procurement of Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long range) {NGMMCB (LR)} and BrahMos Missiles at an approximate cost of over Rs 1,700 crore under Buy (Indian) Category.
  • The delivery of NGMMCBs is scheduled to commence from 2027.
  • These systems will be equipped with supersonic BrahMos Missiles and will significantly enhance multi-directional maritime strike capability of the Indian Navy.
  • This contract is going to give further boost to indigenous production of critical weapon systems and ammunition with active participation of indigenous industries.
  • This project will generate an employment of more than 90,000 man-days over a period of 4 years.

About BAPL : 

  • Founded : 12 February 1998
  • Headquarters : New Delhi, India
  • MD & CEO : Shri Atul Dinkar Rane
  • BrahMos Aerospace is an Indo-Russian multinational aerospace and defense corporation.
  • It was founded as a joint venture (JV) between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and NPO Mashinostroyenia of Russia.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

World Autism Awareness Day 2023: April 2

  • On April 2nd of this current year World Autism Awareness Day 2023 is observed all over the world
  • The theme of World Autism Awareness Day 2023 is Transformation: Toward a Neuro-Inclusive World for All”.
  • This year, the Department of Community Development announced to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day.
  • In the 1970s, Treatments included secretin injection and risperidone to act on dopamine receptors.
  • In 1995, as a result of her 30-year study, Sula Wolff published that children with Asperger syndrome represent the most subtle and most able end of the autism spectrum because they become independent as adults and display exceptional gifts.
  • In 2007, created by the United Nations General Assembly, World Autism Awareness Day lands on April 2 every year.
  • In 2013, The “American Psychiatric Association” developed a unified category of Autism Spectrum in the “Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders.”

Daily CA One- Liner: April 2 & 3

  • The Centre said the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate Scheme has been announced in the Budget with a deposit facility up to two lakh rupees in the name of women or girls for a tenure of two years at a fixed interest of 7.5 per cent
  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw travelled on the first trial run of a track-mounted trolley on the world’s highest arch bridge constructed on the Chenab river
  • In order to limit the maximum rate of GST compensation cess on pan masala, cigarettes, the government has made amendments to the Finance Bill
  • Mahindra & Mahindra said World Bank Group arm IFC will invest Rs 600 crore in a new unit of the company, which is being incorporated to scale up the last-mile electric mobility business
  • 26 per cent of the world’s population does not have safe drinking water and 46 per cent lack access to safely managed sanitation, according to a report published by UNESCO at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York
  • The Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi has entered the list of top 50 institutions for engineering in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023
  • Nepalese Wicketkeeper-batsman Aasif Sheikh has been declared the winner of the 2022 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award
  • BharatPe cofounder Ashneer Grover’s new venture Third Unicorn Pvt Ltd has launched a fantasy sports app Crickpe – almost a week ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament
  • In another major achievement in the animal science field after getting success in buffalo cloning, the National Dairy Research Institute (ICAR-NDRI) has become the first institute in the country to produce a cloned calf of cattle
  • On April 2nd of this current year World Autism Awareness Day 2023 is observed all over the world
  • The Union Ministry of Finance has increased the interest rates on various small savings schemes between 10-70 basis points (bps) for the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) starting from April 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023.
  • Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank and Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL), a leading Affordable Housing Finance Company, announced a strategic partnership under the co-lending model through the YubiLend platform.
  • The State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest financial institution, announced the launch of its coffee table book ‘ The Banker to Every Indian,‘ which celebrates 75 years of India’s independence and SBI’s glorious 200-year history.
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co Ltd (ABHICL), a part of Aditya Birla Capital Ltd.’s (ABCL) health insurance joint venture, announced a bancassurance collaboration with public sector lender UCO Bank for the distribution of health insurance products through the bank’s branches across India.
  • Godrej Capital Limited, the financial services arm of the Godrej Group has signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the State Bank of India (SBI) to strengthen their partnership, where the bank would provide various financial products and
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation of India Limited (GIC Re), and New India Assurance Co are still considered Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for the financial year 2022-23.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final final report of the sixth assessment cycle.
  • On the beginning of the centenary of the Vaikom Satyagraha Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister (CM) Shri M.K. Stalin announced that his government was planning a year-long celebration of the movement that was launched to end caste discrimination in a temple in colonial Kerala.
  • The Second G20 Sherpas meeting under India’s G20 Presidency is scheduled to take place from March 30 to April 2, 2023, in Kumarakom, Kerala.
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Mr Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan known by his initials MBZ, has appointed his eldest son Mr Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed as crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the Gulf state.
  • Retirement fund manager Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) approved appointment of UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund as its fund managers for 3 years.
  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed contracts with Indian shipyards for acquisition of 11 Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPV) and 6 Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMV) at an overall cost of approx. Rs 19,600 crore, in a huge boost to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence,
  • Ministry of Defence (MoD) inked a contract with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) for procurement of Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long range) {NGMMCB (LR)} and BrahMos Missiles at an approximate cost of over Rs 1,700 crore under Buy (Indian) Category.

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