By admin: March 30, 2023

Launch of 'Captive Employment' initiative under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana

Tags: Government Schemes National News

 Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) on 28 March.

Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh initiates ‘Captive Employment’ initiative under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) on 28 March.

An overview of the news

  • 19 captive employers have been included in the unique initiative.

  • 19 captive employers signed MoU with the Ministry of Rural Development to train and place over 31,000 rural youth in subsidiary companies under the DDU-GKY scheme.

  • Captive employers will train rural poor youth and provide employment to the trained youth in their company or subsidiary.

  • 10 candidates being trained under the DDU-GKY program and undergoing on-the-job training were handed over the appointment letters during the event.

  • Two candidates were awarded with appreciation letters for their performance during their current tenure of employment.

About Captive Employment

  • It aims to create a dynamic and demand-driven skilling ecosystem that caters to the needs of industry partners ensuring sustainable placements for rural poor youth.

  • The initiative is an initiative for the DDU-GKY scheme, which assures placement after training the candidates for at least six months with a minimum CTC of Rs 10,000.

Captive Employer

  • A captive employer is any employer or industry which offers employment to candidates in its own company or its subsidiaries and provides suitable in-house training facilities.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana 

  • DDU-GKY is a placement linked skilling program of the Ministry of Rural Development under the aegis of National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

  • It was launched on 25 September 2014.

  • It is funded by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRG), Government of India.

  • The scheme is currently being implemented in 27 States and 4 Union Territories with emphasis on placement for rural poor youth.

  • Under this, demand based skill training is provided to rural poor youth in the age group of 15 to 35 years.

  • The upper age limit for female candidates is 45 years.

  • It is mandatory that one-third of the total candidates to be trained under this scheme should be women.

  • The emphasis is on career progression rather than just training.

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan appointed as Vice-President of UAE

Tags: Person in news International News

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan appointed as Vice-President of UAE

The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has appointed Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his brother, as the Vice President of the country.

An overview of the news

  • The appointment is approved by the UAE Federal Supreme Council. 

  • The incumbent Vice president Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will also continue in the same role.

  • Sheikh Mansour has been active in UAE politics since 2004, when he was appointed as Minister of Presidential Affairs.

  • He has overseen the Presidential Court and the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, as well as presiding over several government institutions, including the Ministerial Development Council and the Emirates Investment Authority.

  • He is also the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and a member of the Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council.

  • He has served on the boards of several investment institutions, including the National Archives, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority Board, and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

About UAE

  • Official Language    : Arabic

  • Capital of UAE : Abu Dhabi 

  • Currency : Emirati Dirham 

  • President of UAE : Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Mohammed ibn Rashid Al Maktoum

Central government abolishes basic customs duty on treatment of rare diseases

Tags: National News

The central government on March 30 exempted basic customs duty on all drugs and food for special medical purposes

The central government on March 30 exempted basic customs duty on all drugs and food for special medical purposes imported for personal use for treatment of rare diseases.

An overview of the news

  • The import duty exemption will be applicable from April 1, 2023.

  • The exempted drugs and food items are listed under the National Rare Disease Policy 2021.

  • To avail this exemption, the individual importer has to submit a certificate from the Central or State Director Health Services or Civil Surgeon of the district.

  • The government has fully exempted pembrolizumab (Keytruda), used in the treatment of various cancers, from basic customs duty.

  • Medicines generally attract a basic customs duty of 10 per cent, while certain categories of life saving drugs/vaccines attract a concessional rate of 5 per cent or nil.

What are Rare Diseases?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a rare disease as one with a frequency of less than 6.5–10 per 10,000 people.

  • According to one estimate, there are 7,000 known rare diseases with an estimated 300 million patients in the world.

  • About 95% of these patients have no approved treatment and less than 1 in 10 patients receive disease-specific treatment.

NASA to send 4 humans to live on Mars from June 2023

Tags: Science and Technology

NASA to send 4 humans to live on Mars from June 2023

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is training four people to live on Mars in June 2023.

An overview of the news

  • These four 'Martians' will be part of NASA's human exploration mission to Mars.

  • These four people will be a part of NASA's Human Exploration Journey to Mars.

  • In addition, NASA is sending a satellite, the InSight lander, a robotic helicopter and related systems to Mars, which will conduct comprehensive investigations of Mars.

  • NASA is working on a plan for three such trips to Mars.

  • The US space agency is planning three such missions to better understand Mars.

Living space on Mars

  • The 3D-printed habitat has private crew quarters, a kitchen and dedicated areas for medical, recreation, fitness, work and crop development activities, a technical work area and two bathrooms.

  • Crew members will perform a variety of mission activities, including simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, personal hygiene, exercise and crop growth.

About NASA 

  • NASA was formed under the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 19, 1948, in place of its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

  • NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • Headquarters- Washington D.C.

  • Administrator - Bill Nelson

Government identified 1275 railway stations under Amrit Bharat Station Scheme

Tags: Government Schemes National News

Government identified 1275 railway stations under Amrit Bharat Station Scheme

The government has identified 1275 railway stations under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme for the development of railway stations in India.

An overview of the news

  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav gave this information in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on March 29.

  • The scheme envisages development of stations on a sustained basis with a long term approach.

Amrit Bharat Station Scheme

  • Amrit Bharat Station Scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Railways in December 2022 

  • The objective of the scheme is to prepare a master plan for railway stations and implement the master plan in a phased manner to enhance facilities.

Facilities Planned under this Scheme

  • Provision for creation of Roof Plaza in future

  • Free Wi-Fi, 5G Mobile Tower

  • Widening of roads, removal of unwanted structures, properly designed signage, dedicated walkways, well planned parking areas, access to better lighting etc.

  • High level platforms at all stations with a length of 600 meters

  • Special facilities for the disabled.

New India Literacy Program

Tags: Government Schemes National News

New India Literacy Program

The government has recently launched a new centrally sponsored scheme named 'New India Literacy Programme' with a financial outlay of over Rs 1000 crore for implementation during the financial years 2022-23 to 2026-27.

An overview of the news

  • The scheme aims to cover five crore illiterates in the age group of 15 years and above.

  • Beneficiaries under this scheme are identified through door to door survey on mobile app by the surveyors in the States and Union Territories.

  • Illiterate can also avail the benefits of the scheme through direct registration from any place through mobile app.

About New India Literacy Program

  • The program has been launched for the period FY 2022-2027 to align with the National Education Policy 2020 and cover all aspects of adult education.

  • The scheme has been approved with a financial outlay of Rs 1037.90 crore, which includes central share of Rs 700.00 crore and state share of Rs 337.90 crore.

  • The center and state share for all states is in the ratio of 60:40 while for North Eastern Region (NER) and Himalayan states the share between center and state is in the ratio of 90:10.

  • The scheme will cover non-literates in the age group of 15 years and above in all the States/UTs of the country.

  • It aims to cover 1 crore learners per year (total target of 5 crore) using "Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS)" in collaboration with National Informatics Centre, NCERT and NIOS.

Five components of the scheme 

  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

  • Critical Life Skills

  • Vocational Skills Development

  • Basic Education

  • Continuing Education 

Objectives of the Scheme

  • To impart basic literacy and numeracy.

  • Promoting important life skills such as financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, health care and awareness, child care and education and family welfare.

Defence Ministry signs three contracts worth about 5400 crore rupees to bolster defence capabilities

Tags: Defence

Defence Ministry signs three contracts worth about 5400 crore rupees to bolster defence capabilities

The Defense Ministry has signed three contracts with domestic manufacturers at a total cost of about Rs 5400 crore to enhance the country's defense capabilities.

An overview of the news

First Contract

  • The first contract has been signed with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which pertains to the procurement of Project Akashtir, an automated air defense control and reporting system worth Rs 1982 crore for the Indian Army.

Second Contract

  • The second contract with BEL pertains to the acquisition of Sarang Electronic Support Measure System for the Indian Navy at a total cost of Rs 412 crore.

  • Sarang is an advanced electronic support measure system for helicopters of the Indian Navy.

  • Both will empower the air defense units of the Indian Army to operate effectively in an integrated manner.

Third Contract

  • The third contract with New Space India Limited pertains to procurement of GSAT 7B, an advanced communication satellite for the Indian Army at a total cost of Rs 2963 crore.

  • The satellite will significantly enhance the communications capability of the Indian military by providing mission-critical beyond-line-of-sight communications for troops and formations as well as weapon and airborne platforms.

International Day of Zero Waste - 30 March

Tags: Important Days

The United Nations General Assembly has announced that March 30 will be observed as the International Day of Zero Waste every year from 2023 and the day aims to encourage sustainable consumption and production practices and help achieve the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. To increase understanding of ways to help waste efforts.

An Overview of the News

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri organised the "Swachhotsav - 2023: Rally for Garbage Free Cities" in New Delhi.

  • The theme of International Zero Waste Day 2023 – 'Achieving sustainable and environmentally sound practices to reduce and manage waste'.

  • The United Nations has provided data indicating that approximately 2.24 billion tons of municipal solid wasteis produced each year, of which only 55% is disposed of in management facilities. In addition, an estimated 931 million tons of food is wasted annually, and 14 million tons of plastic waste enter aquatic ecosystems each year.

  • The International Day of Zero Waste provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the negative effects of waste on the environment, including landfills, pollution and resource depletion.

  • The proposal to establish an International Day of Zero Waste was co-sponsored by Turkey and 105 other countries, and is part of a series of proposals dealing with waste.

About United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

  • It is a global organisation focused on protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development.

  • It addresses a wide range of environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and sustainable consumption and production.

  • UNEP works in more than 150 countries and is committed to promoting environmental justice and the rights of marginalised communities.

  • Some of UNEP's major achievements include the development of the Montreal Protocol, the creation of the Global Environment Facility, and the establishment of the IPCC to assess the science of climate change.

Pranav Haridasan appointed as new MD & CEO of Axis Securities

Tags: Person in news

Pranav Haridasan appointed as new MD & CEO of Axis Securities

Pranav Haridasan has been appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Axis Securities for the next three years.

An Overview of the News

  • B Gopakumar, currently MD & CEO of Axis Securities, has been transferred to Axis Asset Management Company as MD & CEO.

  • Pranav Haridasan is currently serving as the Managing Director and Co-Head of Equity at Axis Capital.

  • Pranav Haridasan has over 20 years of experience in financial markets, having served as Citigroup Director Global Markets and Head of India/ASEAN Execution Services prior to joining Axis Capital.

  • Axis Securities is a subsidiary of Axis Bank which operates retail broking services through Axis Direct.

  • Axis Capital provides investment banking and institutional equity services.

About Axis Bank

  • It is a leading private sector bank in India.

  • It was established in 1993 as UTI Bank, and later renamed as Axis Bank in 2007. The headquarter of this bank is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

  • It provides personal banking, corporate banking and international banking services and this bank is focusing on digitization and innovation to improve its services.

  • It has launched digital initiatives such as Axis Mobile App and Axis Direct for online trading.

  • Axis Bank is involved in several Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives through the Axis Bank Foundation.

  • Amitabh Choudhary is the MD and CEO of Axis Bank.

First G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group meeting begins in Gujarat

Tags: Summits National News

First G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group meeting begins in Gujarat

The first G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group meeting was held under India's G20 chairmanship in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India from 30 March.

An Overview of the News

  • The meeting was inaugurated by Dr PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Devsingh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications.

  • Five priority areas have been identified for the meeting, including an early warning system for all, resilient infrastructure and reform of the national system for financing disaster risk reduction.

  • The meeting serves as a call to the global community to come together and work towards a stronger future against the devastation caused by disasters.

  • Around 100 delegates from G20 member states, invited countries and nine international organisations participated in the three-day event.

  • Two side programs have been planned on "Early Warning System" and "Disaster Resilient Infrastructure".

  • The event also provides an opportunity to the delegates to experience the cultural heritage of Gujarat.

About the G20

  • It is an international forum of the world's leading economies established in 1999.

  • Its primary objective is to promote international financial stability and sustainable economic growth.

  • The G20 serves as a forum to discuss and coordinate policies related to a wide range of economic and financial issues such as trade, investment, employment, energy and climate change.

Member Secretary of National Disaster Management Authority - Kamal Kishore

Ajay Singh takes over as President and Sanjay Nair as Senior Vice President of ASSOCHAM

Tags: Person in news

SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh has been appointed as the new president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

An Overview of the News

  • He succeeds Sumant Sinha, who recently completed his tenure as Managing Director of Renew Power.

  • Sanjay Nair, Founder and Chairman of Sorin Investment Fund, has been appointed as the new Senior Vice President of ASSOCHAM.

  • Ajay Singh is also the President of Boxing Federation of India and Vice President of International Boxing Association.


  • It is one of the leading trade associations in India.

  • It is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation that represents the interests of Indian businesses and industry.

  • ASSOCHAM works to promote economic growth and developmentand to create a conducive environment for businesses to flourish in India.

  • The organisation provides a platform for businesses to network and engage with policy makers, regulators and other stakeholders, and provides a range of services and programs to support its members.

  • It also conducts research and analysis on a wide variety of economic and industry issues, and publishes reports and publications to disseminate its findings.

Formation - 1920

Headquarters - New Delhi, India

Secretary General - Deepak Sood

Saudi Arabia's cabinet approves joining Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner

Tags: International News

On March 29, 2023, Saudi Arabia agreed to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner. The cabinet approved the decision in a meeting chaired by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

An Overview of the News

  • As a dialogue partner, Saudi Arabia will participate in SCO meetings and activities, but will not be a full member of the organisation. This status allows increased cooperation between Saudi Arabia and SCO members on issues such as security, economic development and cultural exchange.

  • The decision to join the SCO has been taken by Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on oil exports. The country has announced several initiatives aimed at boosting economic growth and attracting foreign investment, including its Vision 2030 plan.

  • King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been a strong advocate of increasing Saudi Arabia's relations with other countries. During his reign, he has worked to strengthen ties with countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa, with a focus on promoting economic development and cultural exchange.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • It is a regional intergovernmental organisation established in 2001.

  • The organisation consists of eight member states, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan.

  • The primary objective of the SCO is to promote regional cooperation among its members in various fields such as security, economy, culture and education.

  • The main objective of the SCO is to enhance regional security through joint efforts to combat terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organised crime.

  • The SCO holds annual summits and meetings of heads of state, as well as regular meetings of its various working groups and committees.

Japan to provide USD 1.24 billion line of credit to Bangladesh for road, railway and port projects

Tags: Economy/Finance International News

Japan to provide USD 1.24 billion line of credit to Bangladesh for road, railway and port projects

Japan will provide an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of USD 1.24 billion to Bangladesh for infrastructure and connectivity projects and the second tranche of the 43rd Japanese Yen loan package was signed at the exchange of notes between the two countries.

An Overview of the News

  • The loan package includes three projects: Chattogram-Cox's Bazar Highway Improvement Project, construction of a dual gauge rail line between Joydebpur-Eshwardi section, and Matarbari Port Development Project, Phase 2.

  • The first tranche of loan was almost the same amount, making the total package around US$ 2.48 billion.

  • Japan has been the largest bilateral donor to Bangladesh since 2012, assisting various mega-infrastructure projects.

About Official Development Assistance (ODA)

  • It is financial aid provided by developed countries to developing countries to support economic growth and reduce poverty.

  • It can be given in the form of grants or loans, and is provided by governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

  • It can be used for a variety of purposes, including building infrastructure, promoting economic development, and providing emergency relief.

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) monitors and reports on ODA flows between its member countries.

  • ODA is important for supporting economic growth and reducing poverty in developing countries.

About Japan

Prime Minister- Fumio Kishida

Capital- Tokyo

Currency - Yen

Ambassador- Iwama Kiminori

About Bangladesh

Prime Minister- Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh currency - Bangladeshi taka

Capital- Dhaka.

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