By admin: June 3, 2023

BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Cape Town

Tags: Summits International News

brics NationsBRICS countries kicked off its foreign ministers meeting on 1st June in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa.

An overview of the news

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar participated in the meeting of foreign ministers of BRICS countries.

  • South Africa, which currently holds the chair of the bloc, hosted the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Cape Town on 1-2 June.

  • The foreign ministers’ meeting will finalise the agenda for the 15th BRICS summit scheduled to be held in South Africa in August. 

  • It is believed that 19 countries are in line to join BRICS.

Joint Agreement

  • The BRICS foreign ministers agreed BRICS cooperation should be strengthened to promote unity among developing countries. 

  • Advance the global governance system reform.

  • Accelerate the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

  • Contribute to world peace and development.


  • The full form of BRICS is Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

  • Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill coined the term BRIC (without South Africa) in 2001.

  • He claimed that by 2050, the four BRIC economies would dominate the global economy by 2050.

  • South Africa was included in the list in 2010.

  • The presidency of the Forum is rotated annually among the members.

  • BRICS accounts for about 40% of the world’s population. 

  • It accounts for 30% of the world's GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

  • In the year 2014, during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, the BRICS leaders signed an agreement to establish a New Development Bank (NDB).

Odisha becomes the first state to notify a committee for conservation of seeds preserved by tribal farmers

Tags: State News

The Odisha government has established a committee called the Landrace Varietal Release Committee (LVRC) to release traditional millet varieties in accordance with standard operating protocols (SoP) for seed systems.

An overview of the news

  • Odisha is the first state in India to develop a protocol for releasing indigenous millet varieties conserved by tribal farmers for centuries.

  • Landraces refer to ecotypes that have been cultivated for a long time in their original habitats. 

  • It is crucial to preserve these landraces before they become extinct.

  • The initiative aims to preserve traditional landraces, promote agrobiodiversity, and empower custodian farmers in Odisha while supporting sustainable agricultural practices.

Landrace Varietal Release Committee (LVRC)

  • The objective of the committee is to recognize the efforts of custodian farmers, particularly tribals, in conserving traditional millet landraces.

  • The LVRC consists of representatives from the Agriculture department, Odisha State Seed and Organic Products Certification Agency, Odisha State Seed Corporation, State Seed Testing Laboratory, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, ICAR-IIMR, custodian farmers, Farmers Producer Organisations etc.

  • The committee will advise the state government on mainstreaming landraces of millets in Odisha, review the implementation of the SoP, and submit periodic reports.

  • The LVRC will assess and release landraces of millet crops in the state based on their traits and farmer preferences, as well as review seed requirements and plan for different regions of the state.

Participatory varietal trials (PVTs) 

  • Participatory varietal trials (PVTs) conducted under the Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) have shown that certain millet landraces perform better than released varieties under different agricultural practices.

Standard Operating Protocol (SoP)

  • The working group, in consultation with experts from various institutions, developed a standard operating protocol (SoP) for seed systems for landraces.

  • The SoP takes into account scientific parameters such as yield, as well as criteria like taste, climate resilience, pest tolerance, and cultural significance.

  • The comprehensive SoP developed for landrace seed systems in Odisha is not only applicable to millets but can also be contextualized for other crops, including horticulture.

Shalini Singh becomes first woman NCC cadet to complete mountaineering course

Tags: Person in news

Shalini-Singh-becomes-first-woman-NCC20-year-old Shalini Singh from Lucknow has become the first woman NCC cadet in India to complete a mountaineering course in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand.

An Overview of the News

  • Shalini Singh scaled the 15,400 ft peak in Dring Valley in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand as part of the course.

  • The training course took place at Tekla, Uttarkashi from 26 April to 6 May.

  • The training was conducted under tough conditions, with subzero (-14°C) temperatures.

  • Shalini was the only woman cadet in the team of 45 NCC cadets.

  • This included training in rock climbing, rappelling, snow and ice climbing and camping.

  • Shalini Singh was admitted as Senior Wing NCC Cadet in 67 UP Battalion.

National Cadet Corps (NCC):

  • It is the youth wing of the Indian Armed Forces, headquartered in New Delhi, India.

  • It has been active since July 16, 1948 and is open to school and college students on a voluntary basis.

  • The NCC functions as a tri-services organisation comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force.

  • Its primary aim is to develop the youth of the country into disciplined and patriotic citizens.

  • The Soldier Youth Foundation in India is a voluntary organisation that recruits cadets from high schools, higher secondary schools, colleges and universities across the country.

  • On completion of their course, officers and cadets in NCC and Soldier Youth Foundation are not bound to serve in active military duty.

  • Its emblem comprises three colours: red - representing the Indian Army, dark blue - representing the Indian Navy and light blue - representing the Indian Air Force.

Odisha Train Accident

Tags: State News

The death toll of the tragictrain accident in Balasore's Bahanaga station in Odisha has risen to 238, and around 900 are feared critically injured. 

An overview of the news

  • Several carriages from the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed in Balasore district on 2nd June night, hit a stationary goods train and several of its coaches ended up on the opposite track.

  • Another train, the Howrah Superfast Express going from Yesvantpur to Howrah collided with the overturned bogies.

  • The force with which the trains collided resulted in the shattering of several coaches.

Fatal train accidents in india

  • Year 2014: On May 26, Gorakhdham Express going towards Gorakhpur collided with a stopped goods train near Khalilabad station in Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, killing 25 people and injuring more than 50.

  • 2016: On 20 November, the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur, killing at least 150 passengers and injuring over 150.

  • 2017: On August 18, the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar, killing 23 people and injuring around 60 others.

  • Year 2022: On 13 January, 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed in Alipurduar area of West Bengal, killing 9 people and injuring 36 others.

MoU signed between the Indian Navy and the Indian Maritime University

Tags: National National News

MoU-signed-between-the-Indian-NavyThe Indian Navy and Indian Maritime University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for technical collaboration on 2 June.

An overview of the news

  • The MoU outlines the procedure for collaboration in various areas, including training, joint research and development, collaborative courses, and resolution of field level issues.

  • The collaboration will involve teams from the Centre of Excellence (Marine Engineering) at INS Shivaji, Lonavala, and the Indian Maritime University.

  • Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Materiel, and Dr. Malini V Shankar, IAS (Retd), Vice Chancellor of Indian Maritime University, signed the MoU.

  • The agreement aims to enhance cooperation between the Indian Navy and Indian Maritime University in areas related to maritime education, research, and resolving practical challenges faced in the field.

  • Through this collaboration, the Indian Navy and Indian Maritime University will work together to develop and implement training programs, conduct joint research projects, and address issues specific to the maritime sector.

Significance of MoU

  • The technical collaboration between the Indian Navy and Indian Maritime University is expected to contribute to the overall growth and development of maritime education, training, and research in India.

  • This partnership reflects the importance of synergy between academic institutions and defense forces in fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and addressing real-world challenges.

  • The signing of the MoU demonstrates the commitment of both the Indian Navy and Indian Maritime University to strengthen their cooperation and promote excellence in the maritime sector.

About Indian Maritime University (IMU)

  • It is a central university in India dedicated to maritime education, training, and research.

  • It was established through an Act of Parliament in 2008 as a teaching-cum-affiliating university.

  • The university has its headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and operates through its various campuses and affiliated institutes located across the country.

  • The university aims to provide quality education and training to students aspiring to pursue careers in the maritime industry, including shipping, logistics, ports, offshore sectors, and related fields.

Nepal's PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India

Tags: International Relations International News

Nepal's-PM-Pushpa-Kamal-Dahal's-visit-to-IndiaIn a significant diplomatic development, Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' made a four-day visit to New Delhi on 31 May.

An overview of the news

  • Various projects were launched during the visit which included the Kurtha-Bijalpura section of the railway line.

  • An Indian Railways cargo train was inaugurated from the newly constructed rail link Bathnaha (India) to Nepal Customs Yard under Indian grant.

  • Integrated Checkposts (ICPs) were inaugurated at Nepalgunj (Nepal) and Rupaidiha (India).

  • Celebration of ICP in Bhairahawa (Nepal) and Sonauli (India).

  • Phase-II facilities under Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum pipeline inaugurated.

  • Apart from this, another new pipeline will be built from Siliguri to Jhapa in eastern Nepal.

Exchange of MoU/Agreement between the two countries

  • Treaty of Transit between India and Nepal.

  • MoU between India and Nepal for cooperation in the field of Petroleum Infrastructure.

  • MoU between India and Nepal for development of infrastructure at Dodhra Chandani Check Post on Indo-Nepal border.

  • MoU between NPCIL and NCHL, Nepal for cross border payments.

  • Project Development Agreement of Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project.

  • MoU for the development of Phukot-Karnali Hydroelectric Project.

About Nepal

  • The kingdom of Nepal was established by the Shah dynasty.

  • It is a landlocked country in South Asia.

  • Prime Minister - Pushpa Kamal Dahal

  • President - Ram Chandra Paudel

  • Capital - Kathmandu

  • Currency - Nepalese Rupee

Karnataka becomes the latest state to join the DBT bandwagon

Tags: State News

Congress-led government in KarnatakaThe Congress-led government in Karnataka formally approved the implementation of two Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes, Griha Lakshmi and Yuvanidhi.

An Overview of the News

  • The Griha Lakshmi scheme aims to transfer Rs 2,000 per month to all women heads of households, while Yuva Nidhi provides an unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 per month for graduates and Rs 1,500 per month for diploma holders.

  • Griha Lakshmi is inspired by Tamil Nadu's Magalir Urimai Thogai scheme, but differs as it covers all female heads of households, not just eligible women.

Comparison with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh:


  • Telangana's Rythu Bandhu scheme, launched in 2018, offers investment support of Rs 5,000 per acre per crop season to land-owning farmers.

  • In ten seasons, the scheme has disbursed a cumulative amount of Rs 65,559 crore to around 65 lakh farmers.

  • Telangana also implements various welfare schemes under the DBT mode, such as Asara (monthly pension for senior citizens and targeted beneficiaries), Rythu Bima (group life insurance), debt relief for farmers, and Kalyana Lakshmi/Shaadi Mubarak.

Andhra Pradesh:

  • Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has transferred a cumulative amount of Rs 210,177.89 crore to about 7.89 crore beneficiaries in 28 DBT schemes.

  • Notable DBT schemes in Andhra Pradesh include YSR Pension Kanuka, YSR Aasara, Sunna Vaddi, Cheyutha, Jagannan Ammavodi, Jagannath Vidya Deevena and Dr YSR Aarogyasri.

  • These schemes benefit different sections of the society and aim to provide assistance to pensioners, women, students, farmers and needy persons.

About Karnataka

  • It is a state in southwest India and is bordered by Maharashtra to the north, Goa to the northwest, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest.

  • Capital - Bengaluru

  • Chief Minister - Siddaramaiah

  • Governor - Thawar Chand Gehlot

  • Official Animal - Indian Elephant

  • Official Dance - Yakshagana

India’s first deluxe train Deccan Queen completes 93 years of service

Tags: National National News

The Deccan Queen, the first deluxe train service of the Indian Railways, completed 93 years of service on June 1, 2023.

An overview of the news

  • The train was introduced on June 1, 1930, and was considered a significant milestone in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.

  • Known as the "Queen of Deccan" or "Dakkhan ki Rani," the Deccan Queen operated between Mumbai and Pune.

  • Initially, the train consisted of seven coaches, offering first and second class accommodations. The third class was introduced in 1955.

  • On January 1, 1949, the first-class accommodations were discontinued, and the second class was upgraded to first class. The third class was later redefined as the second class in April 1974.

  • In 1966, the coaches of the Deccan Queen were replaced with anti-telescopic and steel-bodied integral bogies. The interior furnishings were improved for enhanced passenger comfort.

  • The Deccan Queen is equipped with modern pantry facilities, including a toaster, deep freezer, and microwave oven.

  • The dining car of the train is well-furnished with cushioned chairs and carpets, offering table service to 32 passengers.

  • Over the years, the Deccan Queen has become an iconic train and a symbol of pride for Indian Railways, serving as a popular mode of transportation for passengers traveling between Mumbai and Pune.

NATO Launches Arctic exercise

Tags: Defence International News

NATO-Launches-Arctic-exerciseNATO countries have started military exercises in the Arctic region.

An Overview of the News

  • The exercise involves approximately 1,000 allied forces from Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with NATO applicant Sweden.

  • Finland, NATO's newest member, is hosting its first joint training in the Arctic region since joining the Western alliance in April.

  • The exercise took place at Rovajärvi in northern Finland, near the Russian border, at one of Europe's largest artillery training grounds.

Oath to defend Finland:

  • NATO has pledged to protect its newest member, Finland.

  • The decision to join NATO was influenced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which raised tensions between Moscow and the West.

Participation and Scope of Practice:

  • About 6,500 Finnish soldiers and 1,000 vehicles are participating in the exercise.

  • The Arctic Challenge 2023 exercise also includes 150 aircraft from 14 NATO members and partner countries.

  • The objective of the exercise is to enhance military cooperation and preparedness in the Arctic region.

  • Joint training reinforces NATO's commitment to collective defence and regional security.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):

  • It 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 defense 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

  • Finland is the 31st member of NATO.

  • Prime Minister- Sana Marin

  • Capital- Helsinki

  • Currency- Euro

Saudi naval cadet trains with Indian Navy for the first time

Tags: Defence International News

55 cadets of the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) underwent training with the Indian Navy for the first time.

An Overview of the News

  • The cadets have been attached to the Indian Navy's First Training Squadron ships, INS Tir and INS Sujata, for afloat training.

  • The cadets were given simulator training before commencing sea training.

  • During sea flights, cadets received training in navigation, seamanship, anchoring, coastal navigation, replenishment at sea, sea boats, fire fighting and emergency drills.

  • The Chief of the Naval Staff was apprised of the ongoing training activities and progress of the trainees.

  • Navy Chief Admiral -R Hari Kumar

Indian Navy:

  • It is the maritime branch of the Indian Armed Forces, responsible for protecting India's interests at sea.

  • The President of India holds the position of Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy, which vests ultimate authority and responsibility over naval operations.

  • The Navy is commanded by the Chief of Naval Staff, who is a four star Admiral.

  • Establishment - 26 January 1950

  • Headquarters -New Delhi

US Congress approves deal to lift country's borrowing limit

Tags: International News

US-Congress-approves-deal-to-lift-country's-borrowing-limitThe US Congress approved a deal to lift the country's borrowing limit, thereby preventing default on its debt.

An Overview of the News

  • The bipartisan measure passed through the Senate with a vote of 63-36 after the US House of Representatives approved it.

  • President Joe Biden committed to turning the measure into law to protect the US from a catastrophic default on its $31.4 trillion debt.

United States House of Representatives

  • It is the lower house of the United States Congress.

  • It, along with the Senate, forms the national bicameral legislature of the United States.

  • Its structure and functions are established by Article One of the United States Constitution.

  • It provides proportional representation based on the population of each state.

  • It has a total of 435 representatives.

Founded - 1789

Headquarters - Washington, D.C., United States

Speaker - Kevin McCarthy 

Majority Leader - Steve Scalise 

Minority Leader - Hakeem Jeffries 

World Bicycle Day - 3 June

Tags: Important Days

World Bicycle Day is an annual event celebrated on 3 June.

An Overview of the News

  • The day recognizes the bicycle as a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally sustainable means of transportation.

  • The theme for World Bicycle Day 2023 is "Riding together for a sustainable future".

  • The theme emphasises the collective efforts needed to promote a sustainable future through the use of bicycles.

History of World Bicycle Day

  • The day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of theinvention of the bicycle by Karl von Drais on 3 June 1817.

  • World Bicycle Day was established on June 3, 2018, following the adoption of a resolution during the 72nd regular session of the United Nations General Assembly in April.

  • The United Nations recognizes the bicycle as a direct, cost-effective, reliable, eco-friendly and sustainable means of transportation.

Important Days and Theme 2023:

May 28, 2023 - International Day of Action for Women's Health - Theme: "Our Voices, Our Actions, Our Demands: Uphold Women's Health and Rights Now"

May 31, 2023- World No Tobacco Day - Theme: "We need food, not tobacco"

June 1, 2023 - World Milk Day - Theme: "Showcasing how dairy is reducing its environmental footprint, while also providing nutritious foods and livelihoods."

Araku coffee and black pepper get organic certification

Tags: State News

Araku-coffee-and-black-pepperAraku Valley coffee and black pepper from Andhra Pradesh have received organic certification.

An Overview of the News

  • The organic certification was granted by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), a central government sector organisation.

  • Tribal Cooperative Societies Girijan Sahakari Nigam gets organic certification for coffee.

  • Organic certification was provided to over 1300 tribal farmers from Gondiparla, Lambasingi and Kappalu clusters in Chintapalli division of Visakha Agency.

  • The organic certification covers coffee and pepper crops grown in about 21,104 acres of land.

  • The process of obtaining an NPOP certificate started four years back.

  • Organic certification will enable tribal farmers to command higher prices for their coffee and black pepper.


  • It is an Indian apex-export trade promotion active government body.

  • It is a premier organisation promoting the export of fresh vegetables and fruits.

  • It works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

  • It acts as the apex body for promotion and development of export trade of agricultural and processed food products.

  • It establishes and enforces quality standards, packaging requirements and other specifications for agricultural exports.

Establishment - 13 February 1986

Latvian parliament elects Edgars Rinkevics as new president

Tags: Person in news International News

Latvian-parliament-elects-Edgars-Rinkevics-as-new-presidentIn 2011, Edgars Rinkevics, Latvia's foreign minister, was elected as the new president by the 100-seat Saimaa legislature.

An Overview of the News

  • In a close vote, Edgars Rinkevics secured 52 votes, more than the minimum needed to win the election.

  • Edgars Rinkevics, aged 49, has previously held positions such as State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense and worked as a journalist with Latvian Radio in the 1990s.


  • It is a country on the Baltic Sea, situated between Lithuania and Estonia.

  • The capital of Latvia is Riga, known for its remarkable woodwork and Art Nouveau architecture.

  • Riga's mediaeval Old Town contains St. Peter's Church is a popular tourist destination.

Capital - Riga

Prime minister - Krišjānis Kariņš

Official language - Latvian

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