By admin: March 25, 2023

India participates in the 2nd Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) negotiating

Tags: International News

InMay 2022, the United States launched IPEF.An inter-ministerial delegation from India led by the Department of Commerce participated in the 2nd Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Negotiations Round from March 13-19, 2023 in Bali, Indonesia.

An overview of the news

  • Negotiators from 13 other countries, including, the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam also participated in the Bali negotiating round.

  • During the Bali Round, discussions covered all the four pillars of the IPEF.

  • India participated in the discussions related to Pillars II to IV. 

  • The first IPEF round was held in Brisbane, Australia on December 10-15, 2022 and the Special Negotiations round in New Delhi on February 8-11, 2023.

About Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF)

  • In May 2022, the United States launched IPEF.

  • It has 14 member states - Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.

  • The 14 IPEF partners represent 40 percent of global GDP and 28 percent of global goods and services trade.

  • It has four pillars -Trade (Pillar I), Supply Chains (Pillar II), Clean Economy (Pillar III), and Fair Economy (Taxation & Anticorruption) - (Pillar IV).


  • To bring together its allies in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance economic cooperation.

Mansukh Mandaviya chairs 36th Board Meeting of Stop TB Partnership

Tags: National National News

Stop TB Partnership in New Delhi

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya chaired the 36th Board Meeting of the Stop TB Partnership in New Delhi on 25 March. 

An overview of the news

  • India has identified 3 important health priorities under the G20 Presidency.

  • All of these focus on universal health coverage and are relevant to the response to TB elimination.

  • A lot of extraordinary work is being done on the ground through innovations in TB case finding, mathematical modelling, digital interventions and surveillance.

  • Efforts are being made to bring innovative strategies like Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, which will be a unique campaign of its kind in the world.

  • He pointed out that the TB vaccine is needed urgently for which its fast-track development is important.  

About Stop TB Partnership

  • Stop TB Partnership was founded in 2001. 

  • This is a United Nations-hosted organisation that amplifies the voices of the people, communities, and countries affected by TB.

  • It aims to eliminate tuberculosis as a public health problem.

  • Secretariat - Geneva, Switzerland.

Luis A. Caffarelli awarded the 2023 Abel Prize

Tags: Awards

Luis A. Caffarelli awarded the 2023 Abel Prize

Luis Caffarelli of Argentina has been awarded the 2023 Abel Prize.

An overview of the news

  • The 74-year-old Caffarelli has been awarded the prize for his contributions to the field of nonlinear partial equations and free-boundary problems in mathematics.

  • Caffarelli was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, making him the first Abel Prize laureate from South America.

  • Currently, he is a professor at the University of Texas, Austin.

About Abel Prize

  • First awarded in 2003, the Abel prizerecognises pioneering scientific achievements in mathematics”

  • It is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802-29), who in his short life made pioneering contributions in a multitude of fields. 

  • It is often considered to be an equivalent of the Nobel prize.

  • The award carries a monetary prize of 7.5 million kronor (about $720,000) and a glass plaque designed by Norwegian artist Henrik Haugen.

  • The prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

Amit Shah inaugurated Vedic Heritage portal

Tags: National National News

Amit Shah inaugurated Vedic Heritage portal

Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the Vedic Heritage Portal on 23 March 2023 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi.

About Vedic Heritage portal 

  • The portal aims to communicate message enshrined in the Vedas. 

  • It will help common people to have a general understanding about the Vedas. 

  • The portal will be a one-stop solution for the user, who would like to search any information regarding the Vedic heritage.

  • The audio visual recording  of four vedas have been uploaded on the Vedic Heritage portal. 

  • The portal has over 18 thousand mantras of the four vedas with a duration of over 550 hours. 

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)

  • It was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture. 

  • It is a center for research, academic pursuit, and dissemination in the field of the arts.

Tamil Nadu assembly readopts bill against online gambling

Tags: State News

Tamil Nadu assembly readopts bill against online gambling

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly unanimously re-passed the online gambling ban bill on March 23.

An overview of the news

  • The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has re-adopted the Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022.

  • Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi had earlier returned it saying it was against the decisions of the courts.

  • The bill was adopted in the assembly for the first time after the government commissioned a survey of the school education department in 2022 to find out the impact of online games on students.

What is Online Gambling?

  • Online gambling refers to participating in gambling activities over the Internet.

  • It can be played on a variety of devices including computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones and involves the use of virtual chips or digital currencies instead of cash.

  • The global online gambling market size in 2022 is estimated to be US$63.53 billion.

  • The Asia-Pacific region is the largest online gambling market, with China and Japan accounting for the largest share.

  • Online gambling is regulated with varying degrees of restrictions and laws in most countries including India.

Types of online games

  • Casino games, Sports betting, Poker,Lottery. 

WHO calls for intensified actions to eradicate Tuberculosis in South East Asia region

Tags: International News

On World Tuberculosis Day (24 March) the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for intensified actions to eradicate the disease in the South East Asian region which bears the world’s highest TB burden.

An overview of the news

  • WHO highlighted the urgent need to advance innovations, better address social and economic determinants, and improve multi-sectoral collaboration.

TB burden in Southeast Asia

  • In 2021, the region is expected to account for more than 45 percent of global TB incidence and more than half of global TB deaths.

  • According to WHO, the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated key social and economic determinants of TB such as poverty and malnutrition, pushing millions of people in the region into extreme poverty.

  • An estimated 7 million additional TB cases and 1.5 million additional TB deaths could occur between 2022 and 2026 across the region.

  • In 2022, the budget allocation for TB programs in the region is set to reach approximately US$1.4 billion.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

  • The World Health Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations which was founded on 7 April, 1948.

  • Headquarters of WHO : Geneva, Switzerland

  • Members : 194 countries

  • Director General of WHO:  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  of Ethiopia.

Gordon Moore passed away at the age of 94

Tags: Person in news

Gordon Moore passed away at the age of 94

Intel co-founder and pioneer in the microprocessor industry, Gordon Moore, has died at the age of 94 in Hawaii.

An Overview of the News

  • Gordon Moore was an American engineer and entrepreneur.

  • He co-founded Intel Corporation, one of the world's largest semiconductor chip makers.

  • Moore's Law, named after him, states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles approximately every two years, while the cost of the chips remains the same.

  • Moore has made significant contributions to the development of many important technologies, including the integrated circuit and the semiconductor industry.

  • He has received numerous awards and honours for his work, including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

About Intel Corporation

  • It is a multinational technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, United States.

  • This company was established in 1968 and is known for developing and manufacturing computer processors, motherboard chipsets and other hardware components for personal computers and data centres.

  • Intel is one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers and has a significant market share in the computer processor industry.

  • Intel has made significant contributions to the technology industry, including the development of the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, in 1971.

Ministry of Defence inks Rs 3,700 crore contracts with BEL

Tags: Defence National News

 Indian Air Force (IAF),

To enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Defense Ministry on March 23 signed two separate contracts with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) at a total cost of over Rs 3,700 crore.

An overview of the news

  • The first contract, worth over Rs 2,800 crore, pertains to the supply of Medium Power Radar (MPR) 'Arudhra' to the IAF.

  • The second contract, at a total cost of about Rs 950 crore, pertains to 'Radar Warning Receivers' (RWR).

  • Both the projects are under the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured-IDMM category.

  • The radar has been designed and developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and will be manufactured by BEL.

  • The RWR has been designed to also enhance the capabilities of Su-30 MKI aircraft.

About Arudhra Radar

  • This 4D radar is capable of automatic detection and tracking of slow moving aerial targets ranging from fighter jets.

  • The system has an instrumented range of 400 km.

  • It is capable of detecting RCS targets with a range of 300 km with altitudes ranging from 100 m to 30 km.

  • The radar operates in either Staring or Rotation mode.

Tamil Nadu's 18th wildlife sanctuary opened in Erode

Tags: State News

Tamil Nadu's 18th wildlife sanctuary opened in Erode

The Tamil Nadu government declared Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary as the 18th wildlife sanctuary in the state.

An Overview of the news

  • The sanctuary covers an area of 80,567 hectares in Anthiyur and Gobichettipalayam taluks of Erode district and includes reserve forest areas in Anthiyur, Bargur, Thattakarai and Chennampatti.

  • Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to various wild animals including tigers, elephants, leopards, wild boars, gaurs and deer.

  • The sanctuary will facilitate the placement of additional poaching inspectors and camps, efforts to remove invasive species, reduce conflicts between humans and animals, and promote the conservation of Asian elephants.

About Forest Rights Act (FRA)

  • It was enacted in India in 2006 to recognize and vest forest rights and forestland tenure in forest-dwelling communities, including Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.

  • The FRA recognizes the rights of forest-dwelling communities to access, use and manage forest resources and to protect and conserve forests and wildlife.

  • The purpose of FRA is to correct the historical injustice caused by the colonisation of their lands by forest-dwelling communities and the subsequent creation of protected areas and forest reserves.

About Tamil Nadu

  • Chief Minister - M.K. stalin

  • Capital - Chennai

  • Governor - R. N. Ravi

Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurates real-time performance monitoring dashboard 'Sagar Manthan'

Tags: National News

Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurates real-time performance monitoring dashboard 'Sagar Manthan'

The real-time performance monitoring dashboard of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), known as 'Sagar Manthan' was recently inaugurated by the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal.

An Overview of the News

  • 'Sagar Manthan' is a digital platform designed to hold all the integrated data related to the Ministry and other subsidiaries.

  • This is a step towards digitization and transparency in the maritime transport sector.

  • The platform was developed internally under the guidance of Sudhanshu Pant, Secretary, MoPSW and was efficiently completed in less than 1.5 months.

  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways showcased its commitment to promote the growth of India's maritime transport sector by launching the 'Sagar Manthan' dashboard.

About Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW)

  • It is a department of the Government of India and is responsible for the development and regulation of ports, shipping and inland waterways.

  • It was earlier known as the Ministry of Shipping and was renamed in November 2020.

  • MoPSW develops and maintains ports, promotes coastal shipping and modernizes inland waterways.

  • It implements measures to improve safety and security at ports and on ships.

  • It is headed by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) and works closely with other government departments and private sector companies.

Mata Sharda Devi Temple inaugurated near Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir

Tags: State News

Mata Sharda Devi Temple inaugurated near Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir

On March 22, Home Minister Amit Shah e-inaugurated the Mata Sharda Devi Temple near the Line of Control in Karnah sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

An Overview of the News 

  • The architecture and construction of the temple is done according to Hindu scriptures under the aegis of Sharda Peeth, and the idol of Sharda Maa donated by Sringeri Math is installed.

About Maa Sharda Devi Temple:

  • Location: Maa Sharda Devi Temple is located in Teetwal village of Karnah tehsil of Kupwara district in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located near the Line of Control (LoC) that separates India and Pakistan.

  • History: The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Maa Sharda, who is believed to be an incarnation of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. According to legend, the temple was built by the Pandavas during their exile. It is believed that the temple was later renovated by King Lalitaditya Muktapida, who ruled the region in the 8th century.

  • Significance: Maa Sharda Devi Temple is considered a sacred pilgrimage site for Hindus, especially those from the Kashmiri Pandit community. The temple attracts devotees from all over India, who come here to seek blessings and worship the Goddess.

  • Architecture: The temple has a typical Kashmiri style of architecture, with wooden pillars and intricate carvings. The inner sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the idol of Maa Sharda, which is made of black stone.

  • Festivals: The temple is especially popular during the Navratri festival, which is celebrated twice a year in the months of March–April and October–November. During this time, the temple is decorated with flowers and lights and special prayers and rituals are performed in honour of the Goddess.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

Indian Army and Air Force conduct 'Vayu Prahar' exercise in Eastern Sector

Tags: Defence National News

Indian Army and Air Force conduct 'Vayu Prahar' exercise in Eastern Sector

The Indian Army and Air Force conducted a 96-hour multi-domain air and land exercise named 'Vayu Prahar' in the eastern sector.

An Overview of the News

  • The exercise took place in the second week of March amid the ongoing standoff between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

  • Its main objective was to draw up plans that could coordinate multi-domain operations and enhance the combat capabilities of the Indian Army and Air Force in the eastern sector.

  • The exercise involved the use of various combat assets including fighter jets, transport aircraft, helicopters and ground forces.

  • The Indian Army and Air Force jointly executed complex operational scenarios during the exercise, which included deployment of troops and equipment, air strikes and air-to-ground warfare operations.

  • The exercise was conducted to test the readiness and interoperability of the Indian Army and Air Force in a joint operational environment.

About Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)

  • Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) is a military strategy that involves coordination of activities in various domains such as air, land, sea, cyber and space.

  • It aims to achieve convergent results by synchronising and integrating capabilities across various branches of the military.

  • MDO emphasises the importance of information sharing, communication, and cooperation between the various branches of the military.

  • MDO involves the use of advanced technologies and systems to facilitate joint operations across various domains.

About Vayu Prahar Exercise

  • Exercise Vayu Prahar is a joint military exercise conducted by the Indian Army and Air Force and aims to enhance coordination and rehearsal between various agencies for rapid mobilisation, transport and deployment of forces.

  • Its scope is to test the readiness and interoperability of the Indian Armed Forces in a joint operational environment, to prepare them to respond effectively to any potential threat or security challenge in the region.

About Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs)

  • Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) in India are military airstrips primarily used by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army for tactical or logistical purposes.

  • They are located in remote and high altitude areas near the borders with China and Pakistan.

  • ALGs are simple, single runway strips used for safe landing and take-off points for military aircraft.

  • The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is responsible for undertaking contingency operations in these high altitude areas.

Cabinet approves 4% hike in dearness allowance to central government employees

Tags: Economy/Finance National News

Cabinet approves 4% hike in dearness allowance to central government employees

The cabinet has announced a 4% increase in dearness allowance for central government employees and pensioners.

An Overview of the News

  • With a four per cent increase in DA, the total DA becomes 42 per cent of the basic pay.

  • The increase in dearness allowance will benefit over 47 lakh central government employees and over 69 lakh pensioners.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the release of additional instalment of Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners with effect from January 1, 2023.

  • The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both dearness allowance and dearness relief would be more than Rs 12 thousand 815 crore per annum.

  • The increase in Dearness Allowance is as per the approved formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.

About Dearness Allowance (DA)

  • Dearness Allowance (DA) is compensation given to employees to offset the effects of inflation and is calculated as a percentage of an employee's basic salary.

  • The rate of inflation varies depending on the location, job profile and policies of the organisation.

  • Dearness Allowance is revised from time to time to keep it relevant and effective.

  • It aims to provide relief to the employees who are struggling to face the rising cost of living, maintain their standard of living and meet the day to day expenses.

  • DA is paid in addition to basic pay and is subject to income tax.

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