By admin: Nov. 22, 2022

Yogi Adityanath inaugurates the UNESCO-India-Africa Hackathon 2022 at Noida

Tags: place in news Science and Technology State News

UNESCO-India-Africa Hackathon 2022 at Noida

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the UNESCO-India-Africa Hackathon 2022 at the Gautam Buddha University in Greater Noida on 22 November 2022.

The Hackathon has been organized by the Union Ministry of Education and students from 22 African countries are participating in the Hackathon.

What is a Hackathon? 

A hackathon, also known as a codefest, is a social coding event that brings computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software. In the present Hackathon students will engage themselves in coding for 36 hours non-stop to find technology-based solutions for issues in education, agriculture, health, energy and drinking water, among others. They will also try to figure out smart solutions for global issues such as climate change, environmental issues, and renewal energy.

The students participating in the Hackathon have come from countries, including Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The U.P. CM also invited participating African students to travel to ancient cities like Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ayodhya, and others in the state.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) 

  • It is a specialised agency of the United Nations.
  • It was set up on 16 November 1945.
  • Its Headquarters : Paris, France

S.Jaishankar met the visiting UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in New Delhi

Tags: Person in news

S.Jaishankar met UAE foreign minister

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met the visiting foreign minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in New Delhi on 22 November 2022.  Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan is on two days (21 and 22 November) visit to India.

Both the leaders discussed bilateral and regional and global issues. The meeting was also attended by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE on June 28 and met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Jaishankar visited the UAE from October31- September 2 to co-chair a Joint Commission Meeting and the Strategic Dialogue with Sheikh Abdullah.

The UAE is a key energy supplier and one of India’s most important strategic partners in West Asia. The UAE is also home to more than three million Indians, one of the largest concentrations of expatriates in the region.

Capital of UAE: Abu Dhabi 

Currency: Emirati Dirham

President of UAE: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Zorba, the first dog of anti-poaching dogs squad K9 is no more

Tags: State News

Zorba, the first dog of anti-poaching

The first dog of the anti-poaching dog’s squad K9 Zorba died in Guwahati, Assam on 22 November 2022 due to old age .He was 12 years old. He was given a warm farewell by wildlife activists.

India’s first dog squad named K9, raised to combat poaching of wildlife, was set up in Assam under the initiative of biodiversity organisation ‘Aaranyak’ in 2011.

The Zorba of Belgian Malinois breed was mainly deployed in Kaziranga National Parks and retired from service in 2019.  He helped the authorities in tracking down the poachers of wildlife. 

The K9 dog squad, comprising six Belgian Malinois dogs along with their handlers, has been actively assisting forest and police officials in Kaziranga and Manas National Parks as well as other rhino-inhabited areas in Assam resulting in the arrest of many poachers by law enforcement agencies. 

Kaziranga National Park 

  • It is spread in 430 sq.Km in the Golaghat and Nagaon district of Assam .

  • It was created in 1908 as a reserved forest area.

  • It was declared as a National Park in 1974 and as a Tiger Reserve in 2006 .

  • In 1985, the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

  • Around two-third of the world's one horned Rhino population is found in Kaziranga National Park. As per the 14th Rhino census there are 2613  rhinos in the park.

OECD cuts India growth rate forecast to 6.6 %in 2022 and warns of slow world economic growth

Tags: Reports Economy/Finance

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has cut the expected growth rate of the Indian economy in 2022 to 6.6% from its earlier forecast of 6.9% but it has retained its earlier forecast of   5.7% in 2023. 

 In its latest Economic Outlook report released on 22 November 2022 the OECD expects the world Economy to grow by 3.1% down sharply from 5.9% growth in 2021. It expects the growth to be 2.2 % in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024.

The report says that Europe has been hit hardest due to the Russia -Ukraine war and the consequent high energy prices. The 19 country’s Eurozone is expected to grow by 3.3% this year then slow to 0.5% in 2023 before recovering to grow by 1.4% in 2024.

The biggest European economy Germany is expected to contract by -0.3% in 2022.

World’s largest economy, the U.S. is expected to grow by 1.8this year, 0.5% in 2023 and 1.0% in 2024. 

China, which is not an OECD member, was one of the few major economies expected to see growth pick up next year.  Growth there was seen rising from 3.3% this year to 4.6% in 2023 and 4.1% in 2024. 

Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

It was set upon 16 December 1960 by 18 European countries and the United States, Canada. It is a think tank which supports the free market economy.

The OECD publishes economic reports, statistical databases, analyses, and forecasts on the outlook for economic growth worldwide.

At present it has 38 member countries from Europe, South America, Asia and North America.

India, China are not members of OECD.

Headquarters: Paris, France.

Assam government to organise a 3 day Lachit divas in New Delhi

Tags: Festivals Person in news State News

3 day Lachit divas in New Delhi

The Assam government will organize Lachit Divas in New Delhi from 23-25th of November 2022. Lachit Divas is observed in Assam on 24th of November every year as a tribute to the Ahom General Lachit Borphukan who defeated a large Mughal Army on the banks of Brahmaputra in the Battle of Saraighat in 1671 to defend Guwahati. He was born on 24 November.

The 400th Birth Anniversary of great warrior of Ahom Dynasty Lachit Borphukan will be held with a grand programme with an exhibition on 600-year-old history of Ahom dynasty at Vigyan Bhawan.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will inaugurate the exhibition on November 23 with Union Home Minister Amit Shah gracing the occasion as chief guest on November 24.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the function of the 400th birth anniversary of Ahom General Lachit Borphukan in the national capital on November 25.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju will inaugurate a cultural program at Sunder Park on November 23.

In order to popularize Assamese culture the government of Assam has decided to organise Lachit divas in various parts of the country starting this year in New Delhi. 

Ayush Ministry to set up an Academic Chair in Ayurvedic Science at Western Sydney University, Australia

Tags: National International News

Ayush Ministry to set up an Academic Chair

The Union ministry of Ayush announced the setting up of an Ayurveda Academic Chair based at Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, with tenure for a period of three years

Dr. Rajagopala S., Associate Professor & Head (Department of Kaumarabhritya) All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi has been selected for the post of Academic Chair in Ayurvedic Science at Western Sydney University, Australia.

In order to promote Ayurveda and Yoga the Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 16 foreign countries for the setting up of Ayush Chair.

The Academic Chair will undertake academic and collaborative research activities in Ayurveda, including herbal medicine and yoga, as well as design academic standards and short-term/medium-term courses and educational guidelines. It will provide academic leadership in demonstrating and fostering excellence in teaching, research and policy development related to Ayurveda.

Union Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy)

  • The Ministry of AYUSH was set up on the 9th of November 2014 to revive the knowledge of traditional Indian systems of medicine. 
  • It focuses on education and research in the fields of Ayurveda, Yoga Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy. 
  • Minister of AYUSH: Sarbananda Sonowal

Former Indian football captain Babu Mani dies aged 59

Tags: Sports Person in news

 Babu Mani dies aged 59

Former Indian football captain Babu Mani, who was an integral part of the Indian football team in the 1980s, died after a prolonged battle with liver-related issues. He was 59.

Babu Mani made his India debut against Argentina in Kolkata during the 1984 Nehru Cup and went on to play 55 matches for the country. He was also a part of the first Indian squad to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 1984 and went on to play in the tournament in Singapore.

Mani was also a member of the Indian team which won gold medals at the 1985 and 1987 editions of the South Asian Games.

Babu Mani, also part of the Bengal Team which won Santosh Trophy in 1986 and 1988.

He also played for and won various domestic football cups like Federation Cup, IFA shield, Durand Cup, Rovers Cup trophies for Kolkata's top three clubs, Mohammedan Sporting, Mohan Bagan and East Bengal. 

Change in rules for Shisham based items by CITES to benefit Indian exporters

Tags: Environment Summits

Change in rules for Shisham based items

In a major relief to the handicraft exporter from India the 19th Conference of Parties (CoP 19) to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) has agreed that any numbers of Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo, North Indian rosewood) timber-based items can be exported as a single consignment in a shipment without CITES permits if the weight of each individual item of this consignment is less than 10 kg.

The 19th meeting of the Conference of Parties to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and flora (CITES) is being held in Panama City, Panama from 14th to 25th of November 2022.

Earlier every consignment of furniture or handicrafts weighing above 10 Kg required CITES permission which badly affected Shisham exports from India.  This change in rule is expected to boost export of furniture or handicrafts made of Shisham from India and will benefit 50,000 artisans who work on it.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was set up in 1973 to help protect wild flora and fauna from extinction by requiring government permits for international trade in threatened wildlife and wildlife products.

 At present 184 countries are its members.

The first meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was held in Berne, Switzerland in 1976.

The 18th meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019.

India, China leads as Global intellectual property filings reached new records in 2021: WIPO

Tags: Reports Economy/Finance

India, China leads as Global intellectual

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation Indicators report published by the  World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO on 21 November 2022,Global intellectual property filings  of patents, trademarks, and designs, reached record levels in 2021 driven largely by increases from Asian countries of India, China, and South Korea.

The WIPO's World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report showed that innovators around the world filed 3.4 million patent applications in 2021, up 3.6 per cent from the previous year with offices in Asia receiving 67.6 percent of all applications worldwide.

According to the report the growth in registering new brands coincided with a boom in entrepreneurial activity and venture capital deals prompted by the corona pandemic's disruptions. Industrial design filing activity rose by 9.2 per cent. The largest growth in designs was also from offices in Asia.

Asia leads while US declines 

According to the report, local filings of patents in India grew by 5.5%, in China it grew by 5.5%, and in South Korea by 2.5%. More than two-thirds of the patents filed were from Asia.

According to the report, in 2021 the local patenting activity declined by -1.2 percent in the US, -1.7 percent in Japan and Germany-3.9% in Germany. 

World Intellectual Property Rights Organisation (WIPO) 

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation.

World Intellectual Property Rights Organisation (WIPO) is a United Nations agency. 

It was set up in 1967 and 193 countries are its members.

 Geneva Switzerland is the Headquarters of WIPO.

Director General of WIPO: Daren Tang

World Intellectual Property Rights Day is observed on 26 April every year.

Canada’s Brampton city gets first turbaned Sikh Harkirat Singh as deputy mayor

Tags: Person in news International News

Canada’s Brampton city

Brampton city in  the Canadian province of Ontario got its first turbaned Sikh deputy mayor with the appointment of Harkirat Singh .A release by the Brampton City Council said that Harkirat Singh, who represents wards 9 and 10, has been appointed deputy mayor from 2022-26. The deputy mayor presides at council and other committee meetings and assumes ceremonial and civic event duties on behalf of the mayor if the mayor is absent or unavailable.

Prior to his role as councillor, he served a four-year term as school trustee at the Peel District School Board.

In the present Canadian Parliament there are 18 Sikhs members.Currently Harjit Sajjan, Bardish Chagger are the two Sikhs who are ministers in the Justin Trudeau government in Canada.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh co chair the first India ASEAN defence ministers meeting in Cambodia

Tags: place in news Defence Summits

first India ASEAN defence ministers meeting

Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Cambodia on 21 November 2022 to participate in the  to co-chair the first  India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting and attend the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus).This year, India and Cambodia are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties. 

On 22 November he along with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Cambodia General TEA Banh co-chaired the first India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting to commemorate the 30 years of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations. Also the year 2022 is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year to commemorate the 30 years of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations.

He will also attend the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) to be held on 23 November 2022. 

Cambodia is the current chairman of the ASEAN (Association of South East Nation) and all ASEAN related summits and conferences are being hosted by it. Both the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting will be held at Siem Reap, Cambodia. Siam Reap is the second largest city of Cambodia after its capital Phnom Penh.

Angkor Wat

Siem Reap province of Cambodia is home to Angkor Wat. It is a world heritage site and is the world's largest religious structure, covering some 400 acres. It is dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is helping in the preservation of the Temple.

ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) 

The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States (collectively referred to as the "Plus Countries"), to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region. 

The first ADMM-Plus was convened in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 12 October 2010.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 

It is an association of 10 countries of SouthEast Asia. They are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The headquarters of ASEAN: Jakarta, Indonesia.

Prime Minister Modi launches Karmayogi Prarambh module for new government employees at the Rozgar Mela

Tags: National Economy/Finance

Karmayogi Prarambh module

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 November 2022 virtually launched an online orientation course ‘Karmayogi Prarambh module’ for all new appointees at Rozgar Mela via video conference. The module was launched at the Rozgar mela where 71,000 appointment letters were issued to newly inducted recruits by the Prime Minister online.

The module will include a code of conduct for Government servants, workplace ethics and integrity, human resource policies and other benefits and allowances that will help them to get acclimatized to the policies and transition smoothly into the new roles. It will also help to enhance their knowledge, skills and competencies.

The Central government launched Rozgar mela on 22 October 2022 as part of the central government commitment to provide 10 lakh new jobs in the various central government departments and public sector undertakings.

Earlier in October, appointment letters were handed over to 75,000 newly inducted appointees under Rozgar Mela.

Australian Parliament approves trade deal with India

Tags: National Economy/Finance

Australian Parliament approves trade deal with India

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on 22 November 2022 announced that the country's Free Trade Agreement with India has been passed by the Australian Parliament.

India and Australia signed an historic trade agreement on 2 April 2022 to give a boost to trade and investment between the two countries. The  India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (“IndAus ECTA”)  was signed virtually in the presence of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morison .

The agreement was to be implemented after the Parliament of Australia passed it. However a parliamentary election was held in Australia on 21 May 2022 in which Scott Morison lost the election and Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Australia on 24 May 2022.

Trade deal 

It is an interim trade deal which will be gradually converted into a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA). This is the second such agreement signed by India with a foreign country after a similar agreement was signed with the United Arab Emirates in March 2022.    

Highlights of the trade deal

  • More than 95% of roughly 12,000 Indian goods will get duty-free access to the Australian market.
  •  In the next five years the agreement will be expanded to cover 100% Indian goods. 
  • About 70% of Australian products will get duty-free and concessional access to the Indian market. This will be increased to cover 85% of goods in 10 years.
  • Indian exporters in critical sectors, especially labour-intensive ones like agriculture, textiles & garments and pharmaceuticals will get duty-free access to the Australian market. 
  •   The deal also ensures freer movement of skilled professionals from India. 
  • India has allowed import of premium Australian wine at a concessional rate. 
  •  India has kept the dairy sector out of the trade deal.

India Australia Trade 

  • India had a merchandise trade deficit of $7.2 billion with Australia in the first ten months of 2021-22. Its exports were $6.3 billion, while its imports from Australia stood at $13.5 billion. 
  • The major items imported by India from Australia are coals, pearls, precious stones, woods and its products.
  • Major exports by India to Australia include petroleum products, gems and jewellery, textiles and apparels, engineering goods, leather, chemicals.
  • Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India and India is Australia’s 9th largest partner.
  •  Bilateral trade in goods and services stood at USD 27.5 billion in 2021.

Russia replaces China to become the biggest supplier of fertilizers to India

Tags: Economy/Finance

Russia biggest supplier of fertilizers to India

Russia has emerged as the biggest supplier of fertilizers to India in the first half of the 2022-23 financial year replacing China. According to a report of the news agency Reuters the Russians offered its fertilizers to India at a steep discount after the global fertilizer prices jumped during the Russia -Ukraine war and western countries refused to buy Russian fertilizers.

India's fertilizer imports from Russia increased by 371% to a record 2.15 million tonnes in the first six months of the year (April-September 2022). The increase in Russian supply have led to the decline in India’s import from traditional sources like China Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

In the 2021/22 financial year Russia's share in Indian imports was around 6%, while China was around 24%.

India's total fertilizer imports in the first half of 2022/23 fell 2.4% from a year ago to 10.27 million tonnes, although in value terms imports during the period surged 59% to $7.4 billion. 

India, which is a major importer of Urea, aims to become self-sufficient by 2024 and is trying to improve its domestic production.

Russia and Belarus were a major exporter of fertilizers in the world.  They both accounted for more than 40% of global exports of potash last year. Russia accounted for about 22% of global exports of ammonia, 14% of the world's urea exports and about 14% of Monoammonium phosphate (MAP). However due to the Russian attack on Ukraine the supply of fertilizers in the world market was disrupted leading to its shortage and increase in prices.

RBI allows HDFC Bank and Canara Bank to open special Vostro rupee account for trade with Russia

Tags: Economy/Finance

"Vostro account" for trade in rupees with Russia.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed India’s largest private sector bank HDFC Bank and the public sector bank Canara Bank to open a special "Vostro account" for trade in rupees with Russia.

Vostro is a type of a bank account where a bank holds an account on behalf of other banks in local currency. Normally here the other bank is a foreign bank.

In July 2022 RBI introduced a mechanism for international trade settlements in rupees, aiming to promote exports and facilitate imports.

This was done to promote trade and investment with Russia which was facing sanction from western countries over its invasion of Ukraine.

Russian energy major Gazprom has opened an account with UCO Bank while VTB Bank and SberBank have opened accounts with their own India-based branch offices.

HDFC Bank is the largest private sector bank in India with its headquarters in Mumbai.

Canara Bank is a Public sector bank with its headquarters in Bengaluru.


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