By admin: Dec. 5, 2022

ESIC can invest up to 15 per cent surplus funds in equity through ETFs

Tags: place in news National Economy/Finance

ESIC can invest up to 15 per cent surplus funds in equity

The Government of India has  allowed Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to invest up to 15 per cent of its surplus funds into equity through exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The decision was taken at an ESIC meeting chaired by the Union labour minister Bhupender Yadav at the corporation's headquarters in New Delhi on 4 December 2022.

A labour ministry statement said that the decision to invest surplus funds into equity was taken due to the low returns on debt instruments and the need to diversify the corporation's portfolio. The initial investment shall start at 5% and increase up to 15% gradually, after review of two quarters. The investment will be confined in Exchange Traded Funds i.e., Nifty50 and Sensex. It will be managed by Fund Managers of AMCs.

New hospital in Agartala and in Idukki  

ESIC approved the proposals for setting up a new 100 bedded ESIC Hospital at Shyamlibazar, Agartala, Tripura and 100 bedded ESIC Hospital at Idukki, Kerala. 

Nirman se Shakti initiative 

The Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav said that the ‘Nirman Se Shakti’ initiative has been started to strengthen and modernize the infrastructure of hospitals and dispensaries in a phased manner.


The Employees State Insurance (ESI) Scheme is one of the largest social security schemes in the world which comes under the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) under the Union Labour and Employment Ministry.

The ESIC was set up in 1952 under the ESI act 1948.

It provides medical benefits to the insured employees and their dependents under the scheme. There is no limit on the medical expense.

Who are eligible?

It is applicable on factories employing 10 or more workers.

It is applicable on shops, establishments, insurance, Non-Banking Financial Companies etc employing 20 or more persons.

Wage Limit 

It provides medical insurance facility to workers earning up to Rs.21, 000/- per month (Rs.25, 000/- per month in the case of Persons with Disability).


The insured employee has to contribute   1% of his monthly wages per month to the scheme and the employer is required to contribute 3% of the employee’s wages to the Scheme.

11th edition of Admiral's Cup Regatta to begin in Kerala from 6 December 2022

Tags: place in news Sports Defence

11th edition of Admiral's Cup Regatta

The 11th edition of the Admiral's Cup Regatta will be held at the Ettikulam Bay in the Kannur district of Kerala from 6-10 December 2022.  The Regatta is organised as a fleet race in a single crew Olympic class Laser Radial sailboat.

Teams from 27 nations, including Australia, Germany, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UK, the USA, Japan, and Myanmar are participating in the annual sailing event.

It is hosted by the Indian Naval Academy situated in Ezhimala, Kannur district of Kerala.

Admiral's Cup Sailing Regatta

The Admiral's Cup Sailing Regatta was instituted in 2010 under the burgee of Yachting Association of India as a forum for competition in sailing in a regatta format amongst the officer trainees of friendly foreign navies. 

The last Admiral's Cup was held in 2019 and a total of 25 countries participated in the event. 

NDDB, Amul to provide technical support to enhance milk production in Sri Lanka

Tags: National National News

NDDB, Amul to provide technical support to enhance milk production in Sri Lanka

According to the Sri Lankan President's office statement released on 5 December 2022 , India will provide technical support to Sri Lanka to enhance its dairy industry and milk output. India is the largest producer of Milk in the world and National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) played a crucial role in it.

The Sri Lankan government is being assisted by the officials of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets milk under the Amul brand. They will provide necessary technical support for the production of milk in Sri Lanka.

India’s success in increasing the production of milk and dairy products is result of a cooperative dairy model pioneered by NDDB and its marketing done by the GCMMF which is also a cooperative . 

National Dairy Development Board(NDDB)

It was  set up in 1966  as a society under the Societies Act 1860. The first chairman of NDDB was Verghese Kurien . Kurien is also called as the father of White Revolution in India .

It comes under the Ministry of  Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Headquarters: Anand, Gujarat 

It  launched operation flood in India which has made India,largest producer of milk in the world. 

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF)

It is the largest food marketing organization in the country.

 It was set up in 1973 and is the owner of the Amul brand. 

Nagpur Metro creates record for constructing longest Double Decker Viaduct in the world

Tags: place in news State News

Nagpur Metro creates record for constructing longest Double Decker Viaduct in the world

The Maha Metro which is implementing the Nagpur metro project in Maharashtra has created a Guinness World Record by constructing the longest Double Decker Viaduct (3.14 KM) with Highway Flyover and Metro Rail Supported on a single column in Nagpur.

According to the Guinness World Records, London “the double-decker viaduct of 3.14 km on the Wardha Road in Nagpur, Maharashtra was commissioned by Metro Rail traffic on 5 March 2019 and for Highway traffic, on 13 November 2020, is the Longest Double Decker Viaduct on any Metro Rail system”.

On the Wardha road in Nagpur there is a three tier transportation system.  There is a Double decker viaduct carries highway flyover at the first level and Metro Rail at second level making it a three-tier transportation system with the existing highway at ground level.

A viaduct is a type of long bridge or series of bridges, usually supported by a series of arches or on spans between tall towers. The purpose of a viaduct is to carry a road or railway over water, a valley, or another road.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has congratulated National Highway Authority of India and Maharashtra Metro for its achievement.

India, Germany sign Migration and Mobility Agreement to make access to study, research and work easier in both countries

Tags: Person in news

India, Germany sign Migration and Mobility Agreement to make access to study

India and Germany signed a Migration and Mobility Agreement on 5 December 2022 which will facilitate easier access for people to study, research and work in both countries. The agreement was signed in New Delhi in the presence of the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the Indian External Affairs minister S.Jaishankar.

The German foreign minister is on a 2 day (5-6 December) visit to India.

During the meeting, both leaders reviewed bilateral relations and shared their views on a number of important regional and global issues.  Mr. Jaishankar welcomed Germany's decision to join the Indian-Pacific oceans initiative.

Speaking on this occasion, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, India and Germany share a close bond. She thanked India for assuming the G-20 presidency terming it a very special task. 

Federal Republic of Germany 

Germany is also known as Deutschland.

Capital : Berlin

Currency : Euro

President : Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Chancellor : Olaf Scholz

The German Chancellor is equivalent to the Prime Minister in India.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates the National Conference on Soil Health Management for Sustainable Farming in New Delhi

Tags: Summits Person in news

Soil Health Management for Sustainable Farming

On the occasion of the World Soil Day, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the National Conference on Soil Health Management for Sustainable Farming on 5 December 2022 in New Delhi. Every year 5 December is observed as World Soil Day.

The Conference was organized by the NITI Aayog in collaboration with GIZ affiliated to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.

In the conference, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Suman Berry, CEO Parameswaran Iyer were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union minister said that due to chemical farming and other reasons, soil fertility is getting eroded and to meet this serious challenge the government is promoting natural farming. 

He said that the Central government has launched the National Mission on Natural Farming as a separate scheme with an expenditure of Rs 1,584 crore

An additional area of 4.78 lakh hectares has been brought under natural farming in 17 states.

Under the Namami Gange programme, the project of natural farming is going on along the banks of the Ganges.

To promote soil management the government has issued more than 22 crore Soil Health Cards to the farmers. Soil Health gives information to farmers about the health of the soil they are using for cultivation of crops. It tells them which types of crops are suited for their soil. It was launched in February 2015.

G7 price cap on Russian oil comes into force, Indian not to be affected: Hardeep Singh Puri

Tags: Economy/Finance International News

G7 price cap on Russian oil comes into force

The Group of 7 countries (G7) price cap of $60 per barrel on the Russian seaborne oil came into effect on 5 December 2022.  Seaborne oil means petroleum crude oil which is transported through tankers. It doesn't include Russian oils transported through pipelines. Russia however has refused to accept the decision of the G7 countries.

The G7( The United States of America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy ,United Kingdom and Japan) attempt to target Russian oil supplies  is seen as an attempt by the western countries to limit the Russian ability to finance its war on Ukraine .

Russia which is the world’s second largest exporter of petroleum oil in the world after Saudi Arabia  attacked Ukraine on 24 February as it accused Ukraine of genocide in the Eastern part of Ukraine . Western countries are supporting Ukraine and in an effort to cripple the Russian war effort, have imposed a series of sanctions on Russia.

Oil Price Cap 

The G7 countries, Australia and the European Union have agreed to impose a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian crude oil transported through sea. 

The G7 agreement allows Russian oil to be shipped to third-party countries using G7 and EU tankers, insurance companies and banks, only if the cargo is bought at or below the $60 per barrel cap.

However Industry players and a U.S. official said in October that Russia can access enough tankers to ship most of its oil beyond the reach of the cap, underscoring the limits of the most ambitious plan yet to curb Russia's wartime revenue.

Impact on India

The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the decision of the G7 countries will not impact India.

 He said that ‘Russia is not our top supplier of oil; our traditional top suppliers are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE”.  In 2021-22, India imported 53 percent of its oil from these countries.  In 2022-23, between April and September, 52 percent of India’s crude oil imports came from these countries,”

He said that if Russia refuses to sell crude oil at the capped price or cuts down production, it will affect the global supply chain. It will put pressure on producing countries to meet the energy demand, resulting in a spike in crude prices.

India Jumps to 48th Rank in Global Aviation Safety Ranking


India Jumps to 48th Rank in Global Aviation Safety Ranking

India has jumped to the 48th position — its highest ever spot in the global aviation safety ranking released by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

Important facts 

  • Four years ago, India was at 102nd position.

  • India’s score in terms of effective implementation of key safety elements has improved to 85.49%, putting it ahead of China (49), Israel (50) and Turkey (54).

  • India’s score in the 2018 Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme was 69.95%.

  • India and Georgia are at the 48th position in the ranking with a score of 85.49 per cent.

  • Neighbouring country Pakistan ranks 100th with a score of 70.39 per cent.

Assessment of ICAO 

  • Under the ICAO standards, the Effective Implementation (EI) of six areas were assessed. They are LEG, ORG, PEL, OPS, AIR and AGA.

  • LEG is Primary Aviation Legislation and Specific Operating Regulations.

  • ORG is Civil Aviation Organisation.

  • PEL is Personnel Licensing and Training.

  • OPS is Aircraft Operations.

  • AIR is Airworthiness of Aircraft.

  • AGA is Aerodrome and Ground Aid.

Global Scenario

  • In the ranking, Singapore is at the top, followed by the UAE and South Korea at the second and third positions, respectively.

  • Others in the top ten are France (4th), Iceland (5th), Australia (6th), Canada (7th), Brazil (8th), Ireland (9th) and Chile (10th).

About International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

  • It is a specialised agency of the United Nations.

  • It coordinates the principles and techniques of international air navigation.

  • It fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.

  • Headquarters are located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

SBI crosses Rs 5 lakh crore personal banking loan advances

Tags: Economy/Finance

SBI crosses Rs 5 lakh crore

State Bank of India (SBI) on 5 December 2022 announced that its personal banking advances excluding high value home loans have crossed the Rs 5 lakh-crore mark as on 30 November 2022. SBI is the only bank in India which has crossed this milestone.  SBI is the largest home loan provider in India. 

The Personal Banking advances mainly comprise personal loans, pension loans, auto loans, education loans, gold loans, and other Personal loan products.

The Bank reached the 1 lakh crore personal loan mark in January 2015, Rs 2 lakh crore in January 2018, Rs 3 lakh crore in August 2020, and Rs 4 lakh crore in November 2021.

SBI has 22,309 branches, over 65,000 automated teller machines and also 66,757 business correspondent outlets, which drive the entire retail banking franchise.

Retail Banking and Wholesale banking 

Wholesale banking 

When banks provide banking services to Government, companies, and other banks, it is called wholesale banking. 

For eg if Reliance Industries  Ltd. has an  account with SBI then the banking services provided to it will be classified under the wholesale banking  business of SBI .

Retail Banking

It is the banking service provided by the banks to individuals. It means the banking services like saving account, credit cards loans etc which the bank provides to an individual like us will be called retail banking.

 For example, if Mukesh Ambani has an account with SBI then the banking services provided to Mukesh Ambani will be classified under the retail banking business of SBI.

State Bank of India 

  • It is the largest bank in India and is owned by the Government of India.
  • It has over 22,309 branches, 65,000 ATMs/ADWMs, 71,968 Banking Correspondents outlets.
  • It has 229 offices/branches in 31 foreign countries. Amongst all the Indian banks, SBI has the largest number of branches/offices outside India.

Chairman of SBI: Dinesh Kumar Khara 

Headquarters: Mumbai

Important full forms 

ATM: Automated Teller Machines 

ADWM: Automated Deposit cum Withdrawal Machines

Virat Kohli is the new brand ambassador of Noise

Tags: Person in news

Virat Kohli is the new brand ambassador of Noise

Noise, India’s consumer tech brand has roped in the youth icon cricketer- Virat Kohli as its new brand ambassador for their smartwatch series on 2 December. 

Important facts

  • The new partnership will bring together the two domains together which is said to exemplify the brand. 

  • The partnership will further help in deepening consumer trust and allegiance.

  • Noise and Virat Kohli- both are leaders in the smart connected lifestyle industry and the cricket world respectively. 

  • Noise signed Kohli because of his super-athlete fitness, which makes him a role model for the brand.

  • Noise has staked claim to emerge as one of the strongest Indian brands in the smartwatch segment.

  • Over the tenure, Virat will be involved in a robust campaign that entails all touchpoints related to the smartwatch segment of the company.

City of Joy' author Dominique Lapierre dies at the age of 91

Tags: Books and Authors Person in news

Dominique Lapierre dies at the age of 91

The Author of the bestselling books on India like "Freedom at Midnight" and "City of Joy" Dominique Lapierre died on 4 December 2022. He was 91 years old.

The French author Dominique Lapierre in partnership with the American writer Larry Collins wrote six books which have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.

Books co -authored by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins 

  • Is Paris Burning?
  • O Jerusalem, 
  • The Fifth Horseman, 
  • Is New York Burning?
  • City of Joy  and
  •  Freedom at Midnight.

Or I'll Dress You in Mourning", was authored by Dominique Lapierre only.

City of joy was about the hardships of a rickshaw puller in Kolkata.  The book Freedom at Midnight was on the Independence movement in India.

World Soil Day

Tags: Important Days

World Soil Day

World Soil Day is observed every year on 5 December to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems by addressing the challenges posed by soil management.

Important facts

  • The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being. 

  • The theme of World Soil Day, 2022 is 'Soils: Where food begins'. 

Background of the day

  • International Soil Day was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences in 2002.

  • The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013 and requested its official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. 

  • In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.

  • The date of 5 December was chosen because it is the official birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event.

  • The King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award and the Glinka World Soil Award are presented by FAO on this occasion.

Air Pollution second largest cause of death & disability in Bangladesh: World Bank

Tags: Reports International News

Air Pollution second largest cause of death & disability in BangladeshAccording to a World Bank report released on 4 December, 2022, air pollution is the second largest cause of death and disability in Bangladesh and costs about 3.9 to 4.00 percent of the country’s GDP.

Important facts

  • According to report air pollution caused the death of between 78,000 to 88,000 thousand people in Bangladesh in 2019.

  • Bangladesh was ranked as the most polluted country in the world, and Dhaka as the second most polluted city each year between 2018 and 2021.

  • The report found that major construction sites and traffic in Dhaka have the highest levels of pollution.

  • In these places, particulate matter (PM2.5), which is considered the most dangerous to health, exceeds WHO air quality guidelines (AQG) by an average of 150 percent, which is equivalent to smoking about 1.7 cigarettes per day.

  • The second highest concentration of PM2.5 levels is found near brick kilns in Greater Dhaka, which is 136 percent above the WHO AQG – equivalent to smoking 1.6 cigarettes per day.

  • In Bangladesh, Dhaka is the most polluted division while Sylhet is the least polluted. 

  • The western regions (Khulna and Rajshahi) are more polluted than the eastern ones (Sylhet and Chattogram).

  • Exposure to high levels of air pollution increases the risk of difficulties in breathing, cough, respiratory tract infections, depression, and other health conditions.

  • The World Bank report said children under five, the elderly and people with diabetes, heart or respiratory disease are most vulnerable.

Only CNG and Electric autos to ply in Delhi NCR from 1 January 2027; Air Quality Panel

Tags: Environment National

Only CNG and Electric autos to ply in Delhi NCR from 1 January 2027

The Central government’s air quality panel has directed Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana to register only CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and electric autos from 1 January 2027 and to completely phase out the diesel autos in the National Capital Region by the end of 2026.

The Commission for Air Quality Management has said that only CNG and e-autos will ply in the NCR from January 1, 2027.

The NCR covers Delhi, 14 districts of Haryana, eight districts of Uttar Pradesh and two districts of Rajasthan.

Delhi had launched a programme in 1998 to convert its fleet of diesel auto rickshaws into CNG ones. No diesel-run auto is registered in Delhi at present.

In 1998, Delhi introduced a campaign to transfer its fleet of diesel auto rickshaws to CNG vehicles. At the moment, no diesel-powered vehicle is registered in Delhi. In October of last year, the Delhi Transport Department launched a program for the enrollment of 4,261 e-autos.

Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR)

The Delhi National Capital Region was set up in 1985 under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act 1985 by the Central government.

Delhi NCR was set up to deal with uncontrolled migration of people to Delhi. It aims to develop surrounding areas of Delhi so that people’s migration to Delhi can be controlled.

Delhi NCR includes Delhi (all 11 districts), areas of Uttar Pradesh (8 districts), Haryana (14 districts) and Rajasthan (2 districts).


Name of Districts

Areas in sq. Km


Faridabad, Gurugram, Nuh, Rohtak, Sonepat, Rewari, Jhajjhar, Gurugram, Panipat, Palwal, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh, Jind and Karnal (fourteen districts).


Uttar Pradesh 

Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Baghpat, Hapur, Shamli and Muzaffarnagar (Eight districts).



Alwar and Bharatpur (two districts).



Whole of NCT Delhi.


55,083 sq. kms.

Jindal Shadeed Group to set up a $3 billion green steel plant in Oman

Tags: Economy/Finance International News

Jindal Shadeed Group to set up a $3 billion green steel plant in Oman

The Jindal Shadeed Group has announced that it will invest more than $3 billion to set up a green steel plant in a special economic zone in the southern port city of Duqm, Oman. The hydrogen-ready steel project will have a capacity to produce 5 million tonnes of steel a year.  The proposed new green steel plant will use natural gas for the production of steel. 

Jindal Shadeed Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) Company. It also has a 2 million tonnes steel per annum steel plant at Sohar in Oman.

What is Green Steel?

Green steel is the manufacturing of steel without the use  carbon intensive fossil fuels. The steel is produced by using low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, natural gas, coal gasification, or electricity instead of the traditional carbon-intensive manufacturing route of coal-fired plants.

Why the need for Green steel?

Steel is one of the most used metals in the modern Industrial sectors. It is used to make household items, cars, defence equipment etc.  The Steel Industry is one of the major contributors to global warming. Around 75 per cent of steel globally is made in coal-fired blast furnaces, which releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contributing to global warming.

To reduce the carbon emission the government is encouraging the steel companies to use hydrogen or low carbon energy sources for production of steel.

Green Steel and India 

The iron ore and steel industry globally accounts for around 8 percent of total CO2 emissions on an annual basis, whereas in India, it contributes 12 percent to the total CO2 emissions.

India has committed itself  to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070 and if India has to achieve that target then the Indian  steel industry needs to reduce its emissions to net-zero by 2070. 

Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta  company has signed an agreement with IIT-Bombay to develop technology for producing green steel using hydrogen.

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) plans to develop its Odisha plant into the largest and greenest facility in the world. The company claims to be the first steelmaker in the world to build coal gasification to produce steel using clean coal technologies.

Millets- Smart Nutritious Food Conclave held in New Delhi

Tags: Summits National News

Millets- Smart Nutritious Food Conclave

To promote the export of millets, a one-day 'Millets-Smart Nutritive Food' conclave was organised by the government on 5th December in New Delhi.

Important facts

  • Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was the chief guest of the conclave.

  • It was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry through its apex agricultural export promotion body, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

  • Its purpose is to promote the export of millets. 

  • This is the first conclave to be held in the pre-launch program of the International Year of Millets - 2023 (IYOM - 2023).

  • In the Conclave, Farmer Producer Organisations, startups, exporters, producers of millets based value added products participated.

  • In the conclave, exhibition and B2B meetings were also organized to showcase Indian millets and millet based products.

  • Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel was the guest of honour at the conclave.

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced on March 5, 2021 that 2023 will be observed as the International Year of Millets (IYOM).

  • The government is currently organising IYOM-2023 at domestic and international level to popularise Indian millets and its value added products across the world and make it a mass movement.

Dr Jitendra Singh led the Indian delegation at the Abu Dhabi Space Debate

Tags: International Relations International News

Dr Jitendra Singh led the Indian delegation at the Abu Dhabi Space Debate

Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, led the Indian delegation to the Abu Dhabi Space Debate, which began in the United Arab Emirates on 5 December. He addressed the inaugural session along with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Important facts

  • In this two-day international meeting, Dr. Jitendra Singh participated in the Ministerial level meeting on 'Role of Foreign Policy in Enabling Space Diplomacy and International Cooperation'.

  • He also discussed ways to strengthen bilateral space cooperation with Sarah Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency.

  • During the conversation, Dr. Singh also discussed the joint startup venture between India and UAE on cutting edge and emerging space technology.

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) signed an MoU in 2016 regarding cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.

  • UAE's first nanosatellite- 'Nayif-1' was launched by PSLV from Sriharikota to collect environmental space data.

UAE's achievements in the space sector

  • The UAE is an emerging space power and has made rapid progress in the last 25 years of its space journey.

  • In July 2020, the UAE sent its Mars mission into space named 'Hope Probe', which entered Mars orbit in February 2021.

  • The UAE is the first Arab country and the sixth country in the world to achieve this feat.

  • UAE is planning to launch Rasheed Rover or Emirates Lunar Mission soon.

  • In September 2019, Hanzala Al Mansoori from the United Arab Emirates became the first astronaut to go into space when he went to the International Space Station (ISS) for eight days via a Russian spacecraft from Kazakhstan.

  • This year, another astronaut from the United Arab Emirates was selected to travel to the ISS aboard NASA's crew rotation flight, SpaceX Crew-6, for a period of six months.

About UAE

  • Capital : Abu Dhabi 

  • Currency: Emirati Dirham

  • President : Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Parakram Diwas celebrated in Rajasthan on the occasion of 51st anniversary of Longewala battle

Tags: Important Days

Parakram Diwas celebrated in Rajasthan on the occasion of 51st anniversary of Longewala battle

To mark the 51st anniversary of India's victory in the Longewala battle during the 1971 war, Parakram Diwas celebrated at Jaisalmer Military Station and Longewala War Memorial in Rajasthan on December 5.

Important facts

  • Several programs were organised at the Sagat Singh Stadium on the occasion. It included a band display, daredevils motorcycle stunts, mixed martial arts, mallakhamb, show jumping, musical performance, parachute free fall etc.

About Longewala battle between India and Pakistan

  • The Battle of Longewala was one of the biggest and most decisive battles fought between India and Pakistan in 1971.

  • The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 began on 3 December, with the main thrust of the Indian Army focused on East Pakistan (erstwhile Bangladesh).

  • The Battle was fought between 120 Indian soldiers and 4 Hawker Aircraft and around 2000 to 3000 Pakistani military forces and 30-40 tanks.

  • This battle is famous as the Battle of Thermopylae in India, which describes the victory of a small army against a much larger military force.

  • This battle caused heavy losses to the Pakistani army, where around 200 soldiers were killed.

  • The Pakistani commanders made several questionable decisions which made them surrender the war and lose the battle.

  • The Thar Desert of Rajasthan became a battleground between the Indian Armed Forces and the Pakistani Army in the Battle of Longewala.

  • The Battle of Longewala broke out on 3 December and was fought between 4 and 7 December 1971.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated 65th Foundation Day celebrations of DRI in New Delhi

Tags: Economy/Finance Important Days

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated 65th Foundation Day celebrations of DRI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the two-day long 65th Foundation Day celebrations of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in New Delhi on December 5. 

Important facts

  • The current edition of "Smuggling in India Report 2021-22" was released by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on the occasion.

  • The report deals with the trends in the area of anti-trafficking and commercial frauds and the performance and experience of DRI in the last financial year.

  • As many as 22 Customs administrations covering the Asia-Pacific region along with international organisations are invited to the event this year. 

About Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) 

  • DRI is the principal intelligence and enforcement agency on anti-smuggling matters under the aegis of the Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of the Government of India.

  • It was established on 4 December 1957.

  • It is headquartered in New Delhi and has 12 zonal units, 35 regional units and 15 sub-regional units, employing approximately 800 officers.

  • It is tasked with curbing the smuggling of goods including drugs, gold, diamonds, electronics, foreign currency, and counterfeit Indian currency.

  • It serves to prevent smuggling of goods including drugs, gold, diamonds, electronics, foreign currency, and counterfeit Indian currency.

  • It also works to combat commercial frauds and evasion of customs duties related to international trade.

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