By admin: June 2, 2023

UAE withdraws from US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

Tags: International News

United Arab Emirates (UAE)Recently the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced its withdrawal from the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a maritime alliance.

An overview of the news

  • A few weeks ago, Iran seized two tankers within a week in Gulf waters near the Strait of Hormuz.

  • The second tanker, Niovi, was on its way from Dubai to the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

  • The UAE was disappointed by the lack of US response to the recent tanker seizures, saying it was a "misrepresentation" of the talks between the two countries.

Why did UAE withdraw from this alliance?

  • The UAE did not give any specific reasons for withdrawing from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in an official statement.

  • This could be part of a broader strategy by the UAE to assert its own regional influence, pursue independent foreign policies, or rebalance its relations with China and Iran.

About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

  • It was established in 2002.

  • Its objective is promoting security, stability, and prosperity across maritime regions.

  • Member Nations - 34 member nations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.

  • Its main operations are counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, suppressing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation.

  • Focus Areas - Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and surrounding areas.

  • In April 2022, India had announced that it would join the CMF as an Associate Partner.

Argentina's Celeste Saulo becomes first female Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization

Tags: Person in news

Celeste Saulo of ArgentinaCeleste Saulo of Argentina has been appointed as the first female Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

An overview of the news

  • Saulo won a landslide victory at the Congress of the United Nations Climate and Weather Agency in Geneva.

  • She will take over from the outgoing secretary-general Petteri Taalas of Finland on January 1. 

  • Saulo has served as director of Argentina's National Meteorological Service since 2014.

  • He said that at a time when inequality and climate change are the biggest global threats, WMO should contribute to strengthening meteorological and hydrological services to protect populations and their economies.

  • The leader of the World Meteorological Congress is elected every four years.

  • The agency plays an important role in coordinating international meteorological operations.

  • It relies on satellites and thousands of weather stations to measure key parameters of the atmosphere, land and sea.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • It was established in 1873 by the International Meteorological Organization.

  • Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

  • On March 23, 1950, the World Meteorological Organization became a specialised organisation of the United Nations.

  • This organisation uses the latest information on meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related geophysical research to contribute to the safety and welfare of society.

India approves world's largest food storage scheme in co-operative sector

Tags: Government Schemes National News

world's-largest-food-storage-schemeThe Union Cabinet on 31st May approved forming and empowering an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to create the “world’s largest grain storage plan in the cooperative sector” by converging 8 ongoing schemes of three ministries.

An overview of the news

  • This ₹1 trillion scheme will be the world's largest grain storage scheme in the cooperative sector.

  • The scheme will help cooperatives set up decentralized storage facilities across the country, which is likely to reduce the burden on the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

  • This will reduce wastage of agricultural produce and help farmers to plan their sales better.

Implementation of the scheme

  • An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will be constituted under the chairmanship of the Cooperation Minister.

  • The Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Minister of Food Processing Industries and concerned Secretaries will be the members of this Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC).

  • The Ministry of Cooperation will implement a pilot project in at least 10 selected districts of different States/UTs of the country.

8 Schemes identified for convergence

  • Schemes of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

  1. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)

  2. Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI)

  3. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)

  4. Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)

  • Schemes of Ministry of Food Processing Industries

  1. Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME)

  2. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)

  • Schemes of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

  1. Allocation of food grains under the National Food Security Act

  2. Procurement operations at Minimum Support Price

Mission Olympic Cell approved Neeraj Chopra's proposal to train in Kuortane, Finland

Tags: Person in news Sports News

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) on 28th May approved Olympic Gold Medallist Neeraj Chopra’s proposal to train in Kuortane, Finland.

An overview of the news

  • Neeraj will train at the Kurtane Olympic Training Center in Finland.

  • He is scheduled to compete in several World Athletics events next month.

  • The MOC members also approved paddler Payas Jain's proposal for an advanced training camp in Taiwan.

  • Proposals to get Indian table tennis stars Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran's personal trainers Aman Balgu and Raman Subramaniam for a number of events were also approved by the MOC.

  • The ministry said that the financial assistance will cover air travel expenses of the players, camp expenses, boarding and lodging expenses, medical insurance and pocket money apart from other expenses.

  • Neeraj, who recently became the first Indian Javelin thrower to become World Number One, followed a similar training plan in 2022 as well.

Bureau of Indian Standards notifies 31 Indian Standards related to AYUSH herbs, products

Tags: National National News

31-Indian-Standards-related-to-AYUSH-herbsThe Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standard body of India, has recently introduced 31 Indian standards pertaining to Ayush herbs and products.

An overview of the news

  • The 31 Indian standards encompass various aspects of Ayush, including 30 herbs and one product, namely the stainless steel neti pot. 

  • These standards were recently made public through a gazette notification issued by the AYUSH ministry.

  • In order to emphasize its commitment to Ayush, BIS has established a separate department to focus specifically on Ayush-related matters.

  • BIS plays a crucial role in standardization, marking, and quality certification activities. 

  • By taking this step towards standardization in the field of Ayush, BIS aims to enhance the quality and credibility of Ayush products and services.

  • The Ministry of Ayush states that the implementation of these standards will facilitate international trade by ensuring the quality of Ayush products and services. 

About Bureau of Indian Standards

  • Bureau of Indian Standards is the national standards body of India under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.

  • Headquarter- Manak Bhawan, Old Delhi

  • Director General- Pramod Kumar Tiwari

  • Established- 23 December 1986

UPI hits record 9 billion transactions worth Rs 14 lakh crore

Tags: Economy/Finance National News

UPI-hits-record-9-billion-transactionsThe Unified Payments Interface (UPI) registered more than nine billion transactions in May 2023 amounting to over 14 lakh crore rupees.

An overview of the news

  • According to the National Payments Corporation of India NPCI, UPI recorded a total 9.41 billion transactions in May 2023.

  • UPI had recorded 8 billion transactions in January this year, followed by 7.5 billion in February, 8.7 billion in March, and 8.89 billion in April. 

  • In Financial Year 2022-23, the payment system processed a total of 83 billion transactions, amounting to a value of 139 lakh crore rupees.

  • India's homegrown payments system UPI is one of the globally accepted payment systems and has emerged as a trusted payment mode ever since its launch in 2016. 

  • The report titled "The Indian Payments Handbook - 2022-27" said that the share of UPI in the total transaction volume in the retail segment during 2022-23 was around 75 per cent.

  • The Indian digital payments market is expected to reach 411 billion transactions in FY 2026-27 from 103 billion in FY 2022-23.

About UPI

  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a single platform that integrates various banking services and facilities under one umbrella.

  • It is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

  • The names of the top UPI apps currently are – PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay and BHIM.

  • NPCI launched UPI in 2016 with 21 member banks.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • NPCI, an umbrella organization for operating retail payment and settlement systems in India, has been initiated by the 'RBI' and the 'Indian Banks' Association' (IBA) under the 'Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007'.

  • It is a 'not-for-profit' company established under the provisions of Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 (as amended in 2013), with the objective of providing physical and electronic payment infrastructure to the entire banking system in India.

Amarendu Prakash takes charge as new SAIL chairman

Tags: Person in news

Amarendu-Prakash-takes-charge-as-new-SAIL-chairmanAmarendu Prakash took charge as the new Chairman and Managing Director of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) with effect from 31 May.

An Overview of the News

  • He was earlier Director (In-Charge) of SAIL's Bokaro Steel Plant.

  • SAIL had experienced three years of losses from FY16 to FY18.

  • Prakash is heading the Bokaro Steel Plant as Director-in-Charge from September 2020.

  • Under Prakash's leadership, Bokaro Steel Plant achieved remarkable production records in FY22 and FY23.

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL):

  • It is a leading steel making company in India.

  • SAIL is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Steel, Government of India.

  • SAIL aims to promote the development and production of steel in the country.

  • The history of SAIL begins with India's First Five Year Plan (1951–1956).

  • Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) was established in 1954, which later became the flagship company of SAIL.

  • In the 1970s and 1980s, SAIL embarked on a significant expansion plan to increase its steel production capacity.

  • New steel plants including Bokaro Steel Plant in Jharkhand, Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant in Karnataka, Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu and Alloy Steel Plant in West Bengal were established.

Establishment - January 19, 1954

Headquarters - New Delhi

CEO - Soma Mondal

Cabinet approves setting up of UPU Regional Office in New Delhi

Tags: National National News

The Cabinet approved the setting up of a Regional Office of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) at New Delhi.

An Overview of the News

  • The purpose of the office is to carry out the development cooperation and technical assistance activities of the UPU in the region through an agreement with the UPU.

  • India will actively participate in multilateral organizations in the postal sector with a focus on South-South and triangular cooperation.

  • India will provide field project experts, staff and office infrastructure for the UPU Regional Office.

  • The office will formulate and implement projects for capacity building, training, improving postal service efficiency and quality, enhancing postal technology, promoting e-commerce and trade in the region.

  • These projects will be coordinated with UPU.

  • The establishment of the office will expand India's diplomatic footprint and strengthen its ties with other countries, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • It will also enhance India's presence and influence in global postal forums.

About UPU

  • Establishment: The UPU was established in 1874 through the Treaty of Bern.

  • Purpose: It is a specialised agency of the United Nations.

  • Postal Coordination: The UPU coordinates postal policies among the member countries.

  • Global Postal System: It oversees and enhances the postal system around the world.

  • Financial Services: UPU promotes accessible and affordable postal financial services.

  • Innovation and Collaboration: It encourages member countries to embrace innovation and collaborate with stakeholders.

Health Ministry asks OTTs to post anti-tobacco warnings

Tags: National National News

Health-Ministry-asks-OTTs-to-post-anti-tobacco-warningsThe Union Health Ministry has made it mandatory for OTT platforms to display anti-tobacco warnings as seen in cinema halls and television programmes.

An Overview of the News

  • The amendment to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2004 requires online platforms to show at least 30 seconds of anti-tobacco health spots at the beginning and middle of their programmes.

  • A prominent static message stating "Tobacco causes cancer" or "Tobacco kills" must be displayed at the bottom of the screen when displaying tobacco products or their use.

  • Warning messages should be legible with black font on a white background and health warnings, spots and disclaimers should be in the language of the material.

  • Display of tobacco brands, product placement and use of tobacco in promotional material is prohibited.

  • India has implemented measures to reduce tobacco use including 85% pictorial warnings on cigarette packets since 2018.

  • India's data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey shows that tobacco use has declined by 42% among school-going children aged 13-15 over the past decade.

  • The decision was taken by the Health Ministry after consultations with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and other stakeholders.

Tobacco Effects:

  • More than 7 million deaths are caused by direct tobacco use, while 1.2 million deaths are due to secondhand smoke exposure.

  • More than 80% of the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries.

  • In 2020, 22.3% of the global population used tobacco (36.7% men, 7.8% women).

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC):

  • Adopted by WHO member states in 2003, it is currently ratified by 182 countries.

  • It aims to address the tobacco epidemic and its harmful effects.

New and Emerging Nicotine and Tobacco Products:

  • Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs): Toxicity similar to other tobacco products, proved no less harmful.

  • Electronic-cigarettes: injurious to health, especially risky for young people and pregnant women.

WHO response:

  • MPOWER measures were launched in 2007 for effective tobacco control implementation.

  • MPOWER measures include monitoring, protection, termination support, warnings, advertising restrictions, and taxes.

Etihad Airways named Environmental Airline of the Year 2023

Tags: Awards International News

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has been named the Environmental Airline of the Year 2023 for the second year in a row at the Airline Rating Awards.

An Overview of the News

  • The prestigious award acknowledges the airline's commitment to sustainable aviation through innovation and collaboration.

  • Etihad is ranked third in the 'Top 10 Airlines' category, which evaluates comfort, innovation, value and safety in economy, business and first class.

  • Etihad's sustainability strategy focuses on emissions reduction, industry alignment, collaboration with the UAE ecosystem and proactive transparency.

  • Key initiatives of the airline include the Greenliner program using Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the deployment of Sustainable50 A350-1000 aircraft.

  • Antonaldo Neves, Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group

  • Geoffrey Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, AirlineRatings.com

About United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Location: It is located in Western Asia.

  • Geographical Boundaries: It shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia.

  • Maritime Borders: It also has maritime borders with Qatar and Iran in the Persian Gulf.

  • Religion: Islam is the dominant religion in the UAE, with the majority of the population being Sunni Muslim.

Capital - Abu Dhabi

Official language - Arabic

Government - Federal Islamic parliamentary elective semi-constitutional monarchy

President/Crown Prince - Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Prime Minister - Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Vice President - Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sri Lanka's Council of Ministers Approves Establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism

Tags: International News

Sri Lanka's Council of Ministers Approves Establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation MechanismSri Lanka's cabinet ministers approved a proposal to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism.

An Overview of the News

  • The proposal draws inspiration from the successful Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.

  • In March, Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabri and Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksa visited South Africa to study the commission's functioning.

  • The proposed mechanism aims to address issues surrounding the three-decade-long armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

  • Former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe submitted a cabinet memorandum and concept paper in 2018 as the basis for the commission.

  • There were efforts to set up a similar mechanism in 2015 under pressure from the United Nations human rights body, but it was not followed through.

  • The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism is seen as a way to address the demands of affected Tamils seeking information on missing persons.

  • The proposed commission aims to provide answers, reconciliation and justice in the post-conflict context of Sri Lanka.

About Sri Lanka

  • It is an island country in South Asia.

  • It was earlier known as Ceylon.

  • The official name of the country is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

  • It is located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal.

  • Sri Lanka is separated from the Indian peninsula by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.

Capital - Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative) and Colombo (executive and judicial)

Official languages - Sinhala AND Tamil

President - Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister - Dinesh Gunawardena

India won the Men's Junior Asia Cup 2023 title in Hockey

Tags: Sports Sports News

India-won-the-Men's-Junior-Asia-Cup-2023-title-in-HockeyIndia won the Men's Junior Asia Cup 2023 title in Hockey by defeating Pakistan 2-1 in the final held in Salalah, Oman.

An Overview of the News

  • The win marked India's fourth title in the men's Junior Asia Cup, having previously won in 2004, 2008 and 2015.

  • Angad Bir Singh and Arjit Hundal Singh scored for India, while Pakistan managed to score a goal through Basharat Ali.

  • In the semi-finals, India defeated Republic of Korea 9–1, while Pakistan defeated Malaysia 6–2 to enter the final.

  • Pakistan are the second most successful team in the men's junior Asia Cup with three titles, but their last win was 27 years ago in 1996.

Men's Hockey Junior Asia Cup

  • It is an international under-21 field hockey tournament organized by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).

  • The tournament has been held annually since 1988 and serves as a qualifying event for the men's FIH Hockey Junior World Cup.

  • To participate in the tournament, players must be under 21 years of age as of 31 December of the year preceding the tournament.

About Oman

  • It is a country located in Western Asia.

  • It is located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

  • It shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

  • Oman shares maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan.

Capital and largest city - Muscat

Official language - Arabic

Sultan - Haitham bin Tariq

Crown Prince - Theyazin bin Haitham

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