By admin: Sept. 9, 2023

Goa Governor launches the Mashaal (torch) for the 37th National Games

Tags: State News Sports News

Goa Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai launches the Mashaal for the 37th National Games.

An Overview of the News

  • The launch took place at the Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Donapaula, in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa and the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs.

Torch relay to ignite enthusiasm and unity

  • Dr. Pramod Sawant announced Goa's readiness to host the National Games.

  • The 'Mashal' will travel through Goa and other states for four days, especially in rural areas to encourage enthusiasm and participation.

  • Sports Minister Govind Goude encouraged all Goans to participate and support the success of the Games.

National sports anthem with Amitabh Bachchan

  • Governor Pillai presented the National Games anthem, sung by legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan.

  • The anthem featured the traditional Goan instrument, the Ghumat, and featured a collaboration between Goan singers and other talented artists.

Important Points

  • Joint CEO of National Sports Organizing Committee - Dr. Geeta S. Nagvenkar

  • Sports Minister - Govind Gaude

  • Minister of State for Tourism - Shripad Naik

  • Chief Minister of Goa - Dr. Pramod Sawant

Indian and French navies conclude Phase II of Varuna-23

Tags: Defence

The second phase of the 21st edition of the India-France bilateral naval exercise 'Varuna' concluded successfully in the Arabian Sea.

An Overview of the News

  • Exercise 'Varuna' involved the participation of guided missile frigates, tankers, maritime patrol aircraft, and integral helicopters from both the Indian and French navies.

  • This phase of the exercise lasted for three days and included joint operations, underway replenishment, and various tactical maneuvers.

  • The primary objectives were to enhance and refine war-fighting skills, improve interoperability, and demonstrate the ability to promote peace, security, and stability in the region.

Previous Phase:

  • The first phase of 'Varuna-2023' took place off the western coast of India from January 16 to January 20, 2023.

Initiation of Varuna Exercise:

  • Bilateral naval exercises between India and France began in 1993.

  • It was officially named 'Varuna' in 2001.

Purpose of Varuna Exercise:

  • The exercise serves as a symbol of the strong strategic ties between India and France.

  • It provides an opportunity for both the navies to learn and adopt each other's best practices and procedures.

SBI launches 'Nation First Transit Card'

Tags: Economics/Business

State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest bank, launched the 'Nation First Transit Card' to improve commuting experiences and encourage the use of digital payments.

An Overview of the News

  • The innovative 'Nation First Transit Card' aims to simplify digital ticket fare payments within a single card for various transport modes including metro, buses, water ferries, parking, and more.

  • Apart from transport payments, the card can also be used for retail and e-commerce transactions.

  • The 'Nation First Transit Card' is powered by RuPay and National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) technology, making it a potential game-changer for millions of Indians in their daily commute.

NCMC Facility of SBI:

  • SBI's NCMC facility enables its customers to use their debit cards as travel cards in metro rail and buses in areas where this service is available.

  • NCMC was proposed by the Nandan Nilekani Committee constituted by RBI.

  • It aims to promote cashless transactions and integrate commuter payments.

  • NCMC was officially launched on March 4, 2019.

  • NCMC operates on the RuPay platform, which was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

  • NCMC provides a complete contactless transportation solution and it acts as an automated fare collection system.

  • It allows payments for metro, bus, and suburban railways.

Chairman of SBI - Dinesh Kumar Khara

World's tallest Nataraja statue unveiled at G20 Summit Venue

Tags: Popular Summits

The world's tallest Nataraja statue crafted by skilled artisans was unveiled at the G20 summit venue.

An Overview of the News

  • The G20 summit venue is now adorned with a stunning 27-foot tall statue of Nataraja, which depicts Lord Shiva in his cosmic dance.

  • This magnificent statue is carved from Ashtadhatu, an eight-metal alloy, and weighs a remarkable 18 tonnes. A trailer with 36 tires was required for transportation to Delhi.

  • The skilled artisans of Swamimalai, Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu are responsible for creating this masterpiece, which beautifully blends tradition with modernity, taking inspiration from the ancient Nataraja sculptures.

Master Sculptor of Swamimalai

  • The primary sculptors of this statue are Srikanda Sthapati (61 years old) and his brothers Radhakrishna Sthapati and Swaminath Sthapati. His family boasts an impressive lineage in sculpture, spanning 34 generations, with origins dating back to the Chola era.

  • The Sthapathi family received their training through the ancient Gurukul system passed down for generations. She was selected for the Nataraja Project based on stringent criteria outlined by the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, Ministry of Culture.

  • The project draws inspiration from three iconic Nataraja sculptures: the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, the Uma Maheswara Temple in Konerirajapuram, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur.

Traditional 'lost-wax' casting method

  • The crafting process adopted for this statue was the traditional 'lost-wax' casting method, an indigenous technique of the Chola era.

  • The process began with the creation of a highly detailed wax model adorned with intricate ornaments.

  • A unique alluvial clay paste, found exclusively in Swamimalai, was used to cover the entire mold, with Kaveri clay from a specific part of the river at Swamimalai playing a key role.

Investing in Artistry:

  • The construction of this remarkable Nataraja statue cost Rs 10 crore including GST.

India launches 'Hello UPI' and 'Bharat BillPay Connect' for voice-activated conversational payments.

Tags: Science and Technology

  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched two conversational payments initiatives: 'Hello UPI' and 'Bharat BillPay Connect.'

An Overview of the News

  • These initiatives were unveiled at the Global Fintech Fest with the goal of increasing user convenience and accessibility in digital transactions.

'Hello UPI':-

  • 'Hello UPI' enables users to make payments through interactive interactions using their smartphones.

  • It simplifies various payment tasks, including splitting restaurant bills, sending money to friends, and settling utility bills.

Multilingual Access: 

  • NPCI's 'Hello UPI' supports voice-enabled UPI payments in both Hindi and English.

  • There are plans to expand language support to include other regional languages, ensuring inclusivity for a wider user base.

Collaborative Development: 

  • NPCI collaborated with the Bhashini Program at IIT Madras and AI4India to jointly develop a payment language model in Hindi and English.

  • This collaboration promotes the advancement of indigenous technology and contributes to the success of these interactive payment initiatives.

Bharat BillPay Connect:-

  • Streamlining Bill Payments: BillPay Connect aims to streamline the bill payment process by enabling users to easily pay their bills using natural interactions with popular voice assistants like Alexa.

  • Accessibility for all users: This initiative is designed to cater to a wide range of users with different levels of technical proficiency. Whether individuals have access to a feature phone, smartphone, or merchant soundbox, digital bill payment has become accessible to all.

  • Instant Voice Confirmation: Users can easily retrieve and settle their bills through voice commands on smart home devices and receive instant voice confirmation. Additionally, this facility extends to bill payments made at physical collection centers through Payment Soundbox devices.

Odisha's Koraput Kalajeera rice gets GI tag status

Tags: State News

Koraput district of Odisha has successfully achieved the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) status for its famous rice variety 'Koraput Kalajeera Rice', often called the 'Prince of Rice'.

An Overview of the News

  • This aromatic rice variety has been cultivated by tribal farmers of Koraput district for generations and is prized for its nutritional value.

  • Koraput Kalajeera rice is distinguished by its black colour, exceptional aroma, pleasing taste and pleasing texture. Its appearance is often compared to coriander seeds.

  • Apart from its culinary appeal, this rice is associated with various health benefits, including memory enhancement, diabetes control, increasing hemoglobin levels, and improved metabolism, as suggested in ancient texts.

  • This fragrant rice is known for its medicinal properties, which include antispasmodic, carminative, carminative, antibacterial, astringent, and sedative.

What is GI tag?

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign given to products coming from a specific geographical location.

  • GIs certify that products are made using traditional methods or have specific qualities due to their origin.

  • It is used for food, handicrafts, and industrial products.

  • The GI tag ensures that only authorized users can use the product name.

Tamil Nadu's Salem Sago gets GI tag

Tags: State News

Salem Starch and Sago Manufacturers Service Industrial Co-operative Society Limited, also known as SagoServe, recently received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Salem Sago.

An Overview of the News

  • District Collector S Karmegam presented the GI certificate to Sagoserv Administrator Lalithaditya Neelam at an official program.

  • Salem district of Tamil Nadu has previously received the GI tag for raw silk and Malgoa mango, thereby contributing to the recognition of the region.

  • Other notable products from different regions, such as Tirupati Laddu and Palani Panchamirtham have also received the GI tag.

  • This recognition of Salem sago with a GI tag is expected to boost business opportunities for sago farmers and traders in the region.

  • Tamil Nadu contributes significantly to the national sago production, accounting for 40% of the total production.

  • Salem holds the leading position in sago production in Tamil Nadu.

  • Sagosarva, established in 1981, is a cooperative society with 374 members from various districts including Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Erode, Perambalur, Trichy, Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram.

What is a GI tag?

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign given to products coming from a specific geographical location.

  • GIs certify that products are made using traditional methods or have specific qualities due to their origin.

  • It is used for food, handicrafts and industrial products.

  • The GI tag ensures that only authorized users can use the product name.

Who awards and regulates geographical indications?

  • These are a type of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) recognized and protected under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) provides a framework for the protection of GIs at the international level.

  • In India, registration and protection of GIs is governed by theGeographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which came into effect in September 2003.

World Physiotherapy Day - 8 September

Tags: Important Days

World Physiotherapy Day is celebrated every year on 8 September.

An Overview of the News

  • The theme of World Physiotherapy Day 2023 is "Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis".

  • This theme emphasizes the role of physiotherapists in preventing and managing osteoarthritis and highlights two types of inflammatory arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis.

History of World Physiotherapy Day:-

  • World Physical Therapy Day was established in 1996 by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.

  • 8 September was specifically chosen to celebrate this day because of its historical significance. On this day in 1951, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy was born.

  • The name of the organization changed and is now called World Physiotherapy.

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