By admin: April 1, 2023

Finland became the 31st member of NATO

Tags: International News

Finland became the 31st member of NATO

Finland has become the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Turkey's unanimous vote played a key role in Finland's acceptance as a NATO member.

An Overview of the News

  • Finland shares a border of more than 1,300 kilometres with Russia, and their decision to join NATO was based on security concerns following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

  • Sweden's application to join NATO has been rejected by Turkey and Hungary.

  • With the accession of Finland, NATO now includes countries in most of Europe and North America.

About NATO

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO), is a military alliance between North American and European countries formed in 1949 and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

  • It was created during the Cold War as a defence pact to prevent Soviet expansion and protect member states from possible aggression.

  • The founding members of NATO were the United States, Canada, and ten European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

  • NATO Secretary General- Jens Stoltenberg

About Finland

Prime Minister- Sana Marin

Capital- Helsinki

Currency- Euro

Aditya Birla Health Insurance partners with UCO Bank

Tags: Economy/Finance National News

Aditya Birla Health Insurance partners with UCO Bank

Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited (ABHICL) has entered into a partnership with UCO Bank to distribute health insurance products through the bank's branches across India.

An Overview of the News

  • UCO Bank's network of 3164 branches and over 40 million customers will allow ABHICL to expand its national footprint.

  • Through the partnership, UCO Bank's customers and employees will have access to ABHICL's health-first insurance solutions, including incentive wellness benefits and chronic management programs.

  • ABHICL now has 17 Bancassurance Partners with over 80,000 Direct Selling Agents across India.

  • CEO of UCO Bank - Soma Shankar Prasad

  • CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance - Mayank Bathwal

About Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited (ABHICL)

  • It is an Indian health insurance company that offers a range of health insurance products to individuals, families and corporations.

  • It is a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited, one of the largest conglomerates in India.

  • ABHICL has tie-ups with over 5,500 network hospitals across India, providing customers easy access to cashless medical treatment.

  • Additionally, ABHICL offers wellness programs to help customers maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Book titled "War and Women" written by Dr. MA Hasan released

Tags: Books and Authors

 "War and Women,"

Dr. M A Hasan's book, "War and Women," was launched during the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

An Overview of the News

  • The event was organised by the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Parliament in Europe.

  • The book was released at the Serpentine Cafeteria inside the United Nations Building.

  • The book throws light on the suffering of Bengali women who were victims of sexual violence during the 1971 war.

About United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

  • It is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly established in 2006 to promote and protect human rights globally.

  • Its mandate includes addressing human rights violations, making recommendations to improve human rights standards, and investigating and reporting human rights abuses.

  • The UNHRC is composed of 47 member states elected for three-year terms, and holds three regular sessions each year.

  • It conducts a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process to review the human rights records of all member states of the United Nations.

  • The UNHRC has thematic mandates to address specific human rights issues and country mandates to investigate human rights abuses in a particular country.

  • The UNHRC cooperates with other United Nations bodies to promote and protect human rights, such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Odisha Day or Utkal Day: 1 April

Tags: Important Days

Odisha Day or Utkal Day: 1 April

Odisha Day or Utkala Divas is celebrated on 1st April and this day is significant for the people of Odisha as it marks the formation of the state on 1st April, 1936.

An Overview of the News

  • Odisha has its 88th foundation day on 1st April 2023.

  • The state celebrates the day with cultural programmes, parades and flag-hoisting ceremonies.

  • The event provides an opportunity for the people of Odisha to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage and the progress made by the state.

  • The Jagannath Puri Temple and the Sun Temple at Konark are popular tourist attractions in the state.

About Odisha

Capital- Bhubaneswar

Governor- Ganeshi Lal

Chief Minister- Naveen Patnaik

  • In 1803, the British East India Company took over Odisha.

  • In 1827, the Orissa Medical School was established.

  • In 1876, the formation of the political organisation Utkal Sabha.

  • In 1936, Odisha became a separate state.

  • In 1950, the Jagannath Temple Act was passed.

  • In 2019, Odisha became India's first "open defecation free" state.

Sprinter Lashinda Demus was awarded the Olympic gold medal after a decade

Tags: Sports Awards Sports News

More than a decade after the 2012 London Games, Lashinda Demus, a sprinter from the United States, was awarded an Olympic gold medal at the age of 40, Czechia's Zuzana Hejnova a silver and Jamaica's Kalisz Spencer a bronze. Medal awarded.

An Overview of the News

  • The International Olympic Committee stripped Natalya Antyukh, the original gold medalist in the 400 metres hurdles, of her title due to her involvement in the Russian doping scandal.

  • Antyukh beat Demus by just 0.07 seconds at the London track.

  • Historical evidence recovered from the Moscow testing laboratory database allowed the Athletics Integrity Unit to disqualify Antyukh's results from July 2012 to June 2013.

About London Olympics 2012

  • Held in London, UK from 27 July to 12 August 2012.

  • Over 10,000 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated and competed in 26 sports.

  • The United States topped the medal table with 104 medals, including 46 gold.

  • China finished second with 88 medals, including 38 gold.

  • Great Britain finished third with 65 medals, including 29 gold.

India Post Payments Bank launches WhatsApp Banking Services

Tags: Economy/Finance

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has announced the launch of WhatsApp Banking service in collaboration with Airtel, a leading private sector telecom company.

An overview of the news

  • According to the Ministry of Communications, with this new service of India Post Payments Bank, customers can now easily access various banking services from their WhatsApp account through their mobile phones.

  • Under this new arrangement, it will be delivered to customers through WhatsApp messaging solution Airtel IQ.

  • Airtel will enable IPPB customers to seamlessly connect with the bank on WhatsApp.

  • With this, customers will not only be able to avail multiple banking services conveniently, but will also be able to avail a host of services like locating the nearest post office.

  • WhatsApp messaging will enhance the convenience of connecting with the bank directly at the customers' fingertips.

  • With this, the Digital India Mission of the Central Government will also be taken forward.

  • IPPB is a public sector bank which was launched in 2018 with the objective of providing banking services to the unbanked population of India.

IMF approves 15.6 billion dollar support package for Ukraine

Tags: Economy/Finance International News

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $15.6 billion support package to aid the economic recovery of conflict-torn country Ukraine.

An overview of the news

  • The Russian invasion has devastated Ukraine's economy, causing economic activity to shrink by about 30 percent last year, according to the IMF.

  • War has destroyed capital stock and promoted poverty.

  • The 48-month Extended Fund Facility program approved by the Fund's Board amounts to approximately $15.6 billion.

  • It is part of the IMF's $115 billion total support package, which includes debt relief, grants, and loans by multilateral and bilateral institutions.

  • If the current conflict were to continue into 2025, it would raise Ukraine's financial needs from $115 billion to around $140 billion, said the IMF.

About Ukraine

  • Ukraine, a country located in Eastern Europe, is the second largest country in the continent after Russia.

  • Its capital is Kiev, located on the Dnieper River in north-central Ukraine.

  • Prime Minister: Denys Shmyhal

  • President: Volodymyr Zelensky

  • Capital: Kyiv

  • Official Language    : Ukrainian

  • Currency : Rryvnya (UAH)

About International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  • It is an international organization that promotes global economic growth and financial stability, encourages international trade, and reduces poverty.

  • It was established in 1944 in the aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

  • It is an organization of 190 member countries.

  • It is governed by and accountable to 190 countries.

  • India became its member in December 1945.

  • The IMF's resources come mainly from money that countries pay in as their capital subscriptions (quotas) when they become members.

  • The International Monetary Fund’s executive board comprises 24 members.

  • Managing Director - Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria)

  • Headquarter (HQ) - Washington, D.C., US

ISRO releases images of Earth captured by its EOS-06 satellite

Tags: Science and Technology

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has recently released images of Earth captured by the EOS-06 satellite.

An overview of the news

  • The images are a mosaic generated by ISRO's National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC).

  • The images have been captured by the Ocean Color Monitor (OCM) payload on board EOS-06 by NRSC.

About EOS-06 satellite

  • Earth Observation satellite (EOS-6) is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series.

  • It provides continued services of Oceansat-2 with enhanced payload capability.

  • It was launched by ISRO onboard the PSLV-C54 along with eight Nano-satellites on 26 November, 2022.

  • It provides continued services of Oceansat-2 with enhanced payload capability and carries four payloads OCM-, Sea Surface Temperature Monitor, Ku-Band Scatterometer, and ARGOS.

Objectives of the Mission

  • Ensuring data continuity of ocean color and wind vector data to maintain operational applications.

  • To improve the applications, adjusting the number of bands in the optical region for some additional datasets such as sea surface temperature and fluorescence.

  • Develop related algorithms and data products.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

  • ISRO was set up on 15 August 1969.

  • Chairman of ISRO: S Somnath

  • Headquarters of ISRO : Bengaluru, Karnataka

  • Space Station from where ISRO launches rockets :

  • Satish  Dhawan  Space  Centre  (SDSC)  SHAR,  Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh

Vice ADM Atul Anand takes over as the Director General of Naval Operations (DGNO)

Tags: Defence Person in news

Vice Admiral Atul Anand took over as the Director General Naval Operations on April 1, 2023.

An Overview of the News

  • He was commissioned into the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy on January 1, 1988, and is an alumnus of the National Defense Academy, Defense Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur (Bangladesh) and the National Defense College, New Delhi.

  • Vice Admiral Atul Anand is a recipient of the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal.

  • He has also served as Navigating Officer of IN Ships Sharda, Rannvijay and Jyoti, and was Direction Officer of Sea Harrier Squadron INAS 300 and Executive Officer of destroyer INS Delhi.

  • His important staff appointments include Joint Director Staff Requirements, Director Staff at the Defense Services Staff College, Wellington, Director Naval Operations and Director Naval Intelligence (Ops).

About Indian Navy

  • It was established in 1830 and its mission is to protect maritime interests and borders.

  • The motto of the Indian Navy is "Sham no Varunah", which means "May Varuna, lord of the oceans, be auspicious to us."

  • The fleet includes ships, submarines and aircraft with approximately 67,000 personnel.

  • Operations include anti-piracy, disaster relief and joint exercises with other navies.

Himachal Pradesh's Kangra tea gets European GI tag

Tags: State News

The European Commission (EC) has recently granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to Kangra tea, aunique variety of tea grown in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh in India.

An Overview of the News

  • According to the notification issued by the Election Commission on March 22, the PGI status will be effective from April 11, 2023 and will help protect the authenticity and quality of Kangra tea in the European market.

  • This is a significant achievement for Kangra tea, as it joins the list of other Indian products such as Darjeeling tea, Basmati rice and Pashmina shawls, which have been accorded the same status in the European Union.

About Kangra Tea

  • It was first introduced in the mid-19th century by Dr. Jameson, a British civil surgeon who sowed tea seeds in the Kangra Valley.

  • In 1882, the Kangra tea garden won a gold medal at the Calcutta Exhibition, further enhancing its prestige.

  • A disease known as "orange rust" destroyed many tea gardens in the early 20th century, leading to a decline in the industry.

About the European Commission (EC)

  • It is the executive branch of the European Union (EU) and serves as its administrative body.

  • The President of the Commission is elected by the European Parliament and appointed by the European Council.

  • The Commission is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and has a staff of approximately 32,000 employees.

  • The Commission ensures that EU laws and policies are implemented correctly and that Member States follow EU rules.

  • The Commission cooperates with other EU institutions, such as the European Council and the European Parliament, to shape EU policies and legislation.

  • The Commission's decisions are subject to oversight by the European Court of Justice, which interprets and applies EU law.

About Himachal Pradesh

Capital- Shimla (Summer), Dharamshala (Winter)

Chief Minister-Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu

Governor- Shiv Pratap Shukla

PM Modi addresses joint commanders' conference in Bhopal

Tags: Defence Summits National News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Joint Commanders' conference of the three services which is being held at Kushabhau Thackeray International Convention Center in Bhopal.

An overview of the news

  • The theme of the conference is 'Ready, Resurgent, Relevant'. 

  • Commanders of the three services and senior officials of the Ministry of Defense are participating in the conference. 

  • The focus of the conference is to advance the theater command structure for national security, enhance coordination among the three services and work together in the future.

  • Apart from this, the strategy of security forces in the event of war, self-reliance in defense matters and defense ecosystem are also being discussed in the conference.

  • The conference was attended by top commanders of the three services including CDS General Anil Chauhan, Army Chief General Manoj Pandey, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar.

India’s Defence exports touch all-time high of 15 thousand 920 crore rupees

Tags: Economy/Finance Defence National News

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on April 1 said that India’s defence exports have reached an all-time high of 15 thousand 920 crore rupees in Financial Year 2022-2023.

An overview of the news

  • India exported military hardware worth Rs 8,434 crore in 2020-21, Rs 9,115 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19.

  • The amount was Rs 4,682 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1,521 crore in 2016-17.

  • The government has set a target of manufacturing defense hardware worth Rs 1,75,000 crore and taking defense exports to Rs 35,000 crore by 2024-25.

  • In recent years, the government has implemented various measures to promote domestic defense production.

Steps taken by the Government to boost defence production

  • Simplified defence industrial licensing, relaxation of export controls and grant of No Objection Certificate.

  • Specific incentives introduced under the foreign trade policy.

  • Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy 2020.

  • The government had issued two "positive indigenization lists" which included 209 items that could not be imported.

  • The government has also announced two dedicated corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh to act as clusters of defense manufacturing.

The vision of the government

  • To achieve a turnover of $25 billion, including exports of $5 billion in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025.

PM flag off Bhopal-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express at Rani Kamlapati Railway Station

Tags: National News

On April 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Vande Bharat Express train between Bhopal and New Delhi from Rani Kamalapati Railway Station in Bhopal.

An overview of the news

  • The new train being introduced between Rani Kamalapati Railway Station, Madhya Pradesh and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi will be the 11th Vande Bharat train of the country.

  • This indigenously designed train is equipped with state-of-the-art passenger amenities.

  • The Vande Bharat train between Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi will cover the distance of 701 km in seven hours and 30 minutes and will run on all days except Saturdays.

  • It will stop at Veerangana Laxmibai Jhansi, Gwalior and Agra.

  • The train is equipped with advanced state-of-the-art safety features including Collision Avoidance System - Kavach.

  • Each coach is fitted with CCTV cameras and passengers can talk to the drivers in case of emergency.

  • The executive coaches of the train have been equipped with 180-degree swivel seats.

About Vande Bharat Express Train

  • The first Vande Bharat Express was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 February 2019.

  • These trains have a self-propelled engine which can save diesel and reduce electricity usage by up to 30%.

  • The first Vande Bharat Express was manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.

  • It was manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ programme, at a cost of about Rs 100 crore.

  • These trains can achieve a maximum speed of 160 kmph.

  • In the Union Budget for 2022-2023 the government has proposed the development and manufacture of 400 new Vande Bharat trains in the next three years.

Unity Cup Tennis Ball Cricket Tournament 2023

Tags: Sports Sports News

Unity Cup Cricket Tournament 2023 organized jointly byHUDCO and NBCC on 1st April, 2023 at Siri Fort Sports Complex, New Delhi.

An overview of the news

  • It aims to encourage team building and promote the Fit India Movement of the Government of India.

  • It was inaugurated by Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

  • The tournament was organized between the mega teams of MoHUA, CPWD, NBCC and HUDCO.

  • The series of exciting matches began with the opening match played between MoHUA and CPWD.

  • MoHUA won the final by 20 runs from NBCC in the finals. 

  • Manoj Joshi lifted the winning Trophy on behalf of MoHUA Team.

  • The sporty event was followed by presenting 'Man of the Match' to Maninder from MoHUA. 

Axis Bank and Shriram Housing Finance partner for co-lending

Tags: Economy/Finance National News

Axis Bank and Shriram Housing Finance partner for co-lending

Axis Bank and Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL) entered into a strategic partnership through the Yubi Co.Lend platform under the co-lending model.

An Overview of the News

  • The partnership aims to address the needs of unorganized sector customers, including self-employed or salaried borrowers, who have limited access to credit due to lack of sufficient income proof.

  • The partnership will provide secured MSME loans and home loans to middle and low-income group borrowers in rural and semi-urban areas.

  • The collaboration between Axis Bank and SHFL will address the credit gap faced by MSME and home loan borrowers by using their wide customer reach and rigorous credit underwriting and appraisal tools.

  • This partnership is in line with Axis Bank's India Banking mission of financial inclusion in rural and semi-urban areas in a seamless digital manner.

About Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL)

  • It is a subsidiary of Shriram City Union Finance Limited (SCUF) and was established in 2011. It is registered with National Housing Bank (NHB) and provides housing finance solutions to individuals, groups and corporate entities.

  • The company primarily focuses on catering to the needs of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG) of the society. It also caters to the needs of the middle-income group (MIG) and self-employed individuals.

  • As on December 31, 2022, the company had 2,901 branches across 19 states and 1 union territory.

  • It has been ranked 8th in the Great Place to Work® Institute's Best Workplaces for BFSI 2020 list.

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