- 1. A contract has been signed between Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on June 22.
- 2. Alibaba announced new Chairman and CEO as part of a major change.
- 3. Umesh Kumar has been appointed as chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
- 4. India joined the Artemis Accords for space exploration.
- 5. The submersible vessel Titan imploded near the site of the sinking of the British passenger liner, the Titanic, in 1912.
- 6. Ruby Sinha has been appointed as President of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRICS CCI) women vertical for three years.
- 7. India and UAE signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement for authorised economic operators (AEOs) of both countries.
- 8. "Bharat in Paris" campaign has been flagged off by Union Minister Anurag Thakur at JL Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
- 9. BIS released standards for agricultural by-product utensils.
- 10. Sahitya Akademi has announced the winners of Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar for 2023.
- 11. Apple has plans to launch its credit card, Apple Card, in India.
- 12. IIT Kanpur successfully carried out a test flight for cloud seeding.
- 13. US chip maker Micron will invest $825 million to build chip assembly and test facility in Gujarat.
- 14. 8th Global Pharmaceutical Quality Summit 2023 organized in Mumbai on June 22 and 23.
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Topic: MoUs and Agreements
1. A contract has been signed between Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on June 22.
- This contract has been signed for realisation of two Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System Modules for Kalvari Class of submarines of the Indian Navy.
- The AIP module enhances the endurance of conventional submarines and is an exclusive technology possessed by only a few countries.
- These modules form the core of the fuel cell-based AIP system, which has been indigenously developed by DRDO's Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) along with L&T as a prime industry partner.
- Energy Modules (EMs) consisting of fuel cells produce the required electricity along with on-board hydrogen production.
- L&T has received Transfer of Technology (TOT) for the AIP system from DRDO and the ToT documents were handed over to L&T during Aero India 2021.
- In January, DRDO and the French Naval Group signed an agreement to fit an indigenous fuel cell-based AIP system on INS Kalvari.
- Subsequently, it is planned to install AIP modules on all Scorpene submarines.
- Six Scorpene submarines are being built by MDL under Project-75 under transfer of technology from French Naval Group under a $3.75 billion deal signed in October 2005.
Topic: International Appointments
2. Alibaba announced new Chairman and CEO as part of a major change.
- Joseph Tsai, executive Vice President and co-founder of Alibaba (BABA), has been appointed as the Chairman.
- Joseph Tsai will succeed Daniel Zhang as chairman.
- The chairman of e-commerce unit Taobao and Tmall Group, Eddie Wu will succeed Zhang as chief executive officer of Alibaba.
- In September, both the appointments will be effective and Zhang will continue to serve as chairman and CEO of cloud unit of Alibaba.
- In March, the company announced that they were splitting into six separate units including cloud, e-commerce, logistics, media and entertainment.
- Each unit is now overseen by its own CEO and board of directors.
- It is China's largest e-commerce company, with more than 900 million annually active users on its Taobao and Tmall platforms.
- It also operates the country's largest cloud computing and digital payments platform.
- It was founded on 28 June 1999.
Topic: National Appointments
3. Umesh Kumar has been appointed as chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
- President Droupadi Murmu appointed Justice (Retired) Umesh Kumar of Allahabad High Court as the chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
- Earlier, the name of Justice (Retd) Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava of the Madhya Pradesh HC was proposed by the AAP government.
- This is the first appointment after the promulgation of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023.
- AAP government claimed that ‘Electricity’ is a subject under the jurisdiction of the state government.
- The AAP government will move the Supreme Court (SC) against the appointment of Umesh Kumar as chairperson of DERC.
- The Government of National Capital Territory (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, was promulgated on May 19, 2023. It amends the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.
- Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023:
- It was promulgated after SC ruled that the Delhi government has the power to legislate and manage civil services.
- It has provision of forming a National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA) comprising Chief Minister as chairperson, and the Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary as Member and Member Secretary
- National Capital Civil Service Authority will control civil servants except working public order, police, and land.
Topic: International News
4. India joined the Artemis Accords for space exploration.
- On 22 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the Artemis Accords to make India a global space power.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have also agreed to launch a joint mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024.
- By signing the Artemis Accords, India can collaborate with the US in future Moon missions. It will also enable the sharing of knowledge and expertise.
- The Artemis Accords are a set of principles for cooperation in space exploration and the use of the moon, mars, comets, and asteroids for peaceful purposes.
- The principles are non-binding multilateral arrangements between the US government and other governments.
- The Artemis program of NASA is mainly focused on new scientific discoveries and expanding the exploration of the lunar surface.
- Artemis program is also aiming to land the first astronauts on Mars and to other planets and celestial bodies.
- Additionally, the Artemis Accords aims to create a foundation for peaceful and cooperative space exploration. It ensures that space exploration should be done while upholding ethical and responsible practices.
- The principle of the Artemis program includes conducting all activities in space peacefully and with full transparency, sharing findings, registering space objects, and releasing scientific data.
- Artemis Accords was established in 2020 by NASA in association with the US Department of State. It is the agreement between the United States and seven other founding member nations.
- Israel, Romania, Bahrain, Singapore, Colombia, France, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Nigeria, and the Czech Republic have joined the accords in 2022.
Topic: International News
5. The submersible vessel Titan imploded near the site of the sinking of the British passenger liner, the Titanic, in 1912.
- All five members onboard the vessel Titan have been declared dead.
- The Titan set out on an expedition to the Titanic shipwreck site, nearly 13,000 feet below sea level.
- The names of five members onboard the vessel Titan are given below.
- Founder and CEO of US-based firm OceanGate Expeditions, Stockton Rush
- British billionaire Hamish Harding
- Renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet
- Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman
- The submersible vessel was owned by US-based firm OceanGate.
- Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron has completed 33 dives to the wreck.
- James Cameron is the director of the 1997 Oscar-winning film Titanic.
- OceanGate made two expeditions to the Titanic site in 2021 and 2022.
- Titanic sank in 1912 on its first trip from England to New York.
Topic: International Appointments
6. Ruby Sinha has been appointed as President of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRICS CCI) women vertical for three years.
- Ruby Sinha is the founder of SheAtWork. She takes over from Shabana Nasim.
- Shabana Nasim has become the Executive Director of BRICS CCI and Chief Patron of BRICS CCI WE.
- BRICS CCI WE is the women’s vertical of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRICS CCI).
- SheAtWork is a knowledge hub for women entrepreneurs.
- BRICS CCI:
- It promotes commerce and industry in the BRICS and other friendly nations.
- It was founded in 2012. It is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation. It is empaneled with Niti Aayog.
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Topic: International News
7. India and UAE signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement for authorised economic operators (AEOs) of both countries.
- The agreement has been signed on the sidelines of the 141st/142nd sessions of the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Customs Co-operation Council meeting held in Brussels.
- The Mutual Recognition Arrangement establishes a framework for the recognition of Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) from both countries.
- By signing the agreement, India and UAE will streamline and expedite customs procedures. It will help in reducing administrative burdens and costs for authorized businesses.
- It will reduce clearance time and increase efficiency in cross-border trade.
- This agreement will foster cooperation between India and UAE and support the growth of bilateral trade.
- It is in line with improving the ease of doing business, and encouraging investments between both countries.
- The Mutual recognition arrangement is the continuation of the historic India-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed on 18 February 2022 by both countries.
(Source: News on AIR)
8. "Bharat in Paris" campaign has been flagged off by Union Minister Anurag Thakur at JL Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
- The "Bharat in Paris" campaign has been launched by Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
- Its main objective is to spread awareness and promote sports across India before the Paris Olympics games.
- Union Minister Anurag Thakur said that the Target Olympic Podium Scheme was launched in 2014-15. Under this scheme, government bear all expense of top athletes lodging and training.
- The 2024 Olympics will be organized from 26 July to 11 August in France, at Paris.
- The name of the Paris Olympic 2024 mascot is Olympic Phryge. It is based on Phrygian cap.
- “Games Wide Open” is the official slogan of the 2024 Olympics.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
9. BIS released standards for agricultural by-product utensils.
- To reduce plastic pollution and promote sustainability, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has released standards for agricultural by-product utensils.
- The newly-developed Indian Standard (IS 18267:2023) will be for Agri By-Product Utensils.
- IS 18267: 2023 standard covers various aspects, including raw materials, manufacturing techniques, performance, and hygiene requirements for the production of biodegradable utensils.
- It specifies the use of agricultural by-products like special leaves and sheaths as the preferred material for making utensils like plates, cups, bowls etc.
- The use of biodegradable agri by-product utensils will contribute to environmental safety, conservation of natural resources and promotion of a circular economy.
- It also recommends to use of appropriate parts of plants and trees and provides manufacturing techniques like hot pressing, cold pressing, moulding, and stitching.
- It also emphasizes the use of smooth surfaces, without sharp edges, and restricts the use of chemicals, resins, and adhesives.
- These utensils will be free from harmful additives and ensure consumer well-being. It will also help in creating economic opportunities for farmers and supports sustainable agricultural practices.
- In 2020, the Disposable plate’s market size was valued at USD 4.26 Billion and is expected to reach USD 6.73 Billion by 2028.
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):
- It is an Indian national standard body that works under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- It is a statutory body that was established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
10. Sahitya Akademi has announced the winners of Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar for 2023.
- The number of recipients of Bal Sahitya Puraskar is 22 and the number of winners of Yuva Puraskar this year is 20.
- Suryanath Singh won the Bal Sahitya Puraskar in the Hindi language category for his collection of short stories, ‘Kotuk App’.
- Eknath Avhad has won the Bal Sahitya Puraskar in the Marathi language category for his ‘Chhand Dei Aanand’.
- Vishakha Vishwanath is the recipient of the Yuva Puraskar for ‘Swatahala Swataviruddh Ubhe Kartana’.
- Sudha Murty is the recipient of Bal Sahitya Puraskar for her collection of stories titled ‘Grandparents’ Bag of Stories’.
Other winners of Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2023
Rothindranath Goswami (Assamese)
Shyamalkanti Das (Bengali)
Pratima Nandi Narzaree (Bodo)
Balwan Singh Jamoria (Dogri)
Rakshabahen Prahladrao Dave (Gujarati)
Vijayashree Haladi (Kannada)
Tukaram Rama Shet (Konkani)
Akshay Anand ‘Sunny’ (Maithili)
Priya AS (Malayalam)
Eknath Avhad (Marathi)
Madhusudan Bisht (Nepali)
Jugal Kishore Sarangi (Odia)
Gurmeet Karyalvi (Punjabi)
Kiran Badal (Rajasthani)
Radhavallabh Tripathi (Sanskrit)
Mansing Majhi (Santali)
Dholan Rahi (Sindhi)
DK Chaduvula Babu (Telugu)
- Other prominent Yuva Puraskar awardees include Anirudh Kanisetti for ‘Lords of the Deccan: Southern India from Chalukyas to Cholas' and Atul Kumar Rai for the novel ‘Chandpur ki Chanda’.
- The Sahitya Akademi will later announce the recipients of the Yuva Puraskar for Manipuri, Maithili and Sanskrit.
- The recipient of Bal Sahitya Puraskar for Manipuri will also be announced later.
- Sahitya Akademi did not announce any Yuva Puraskar winner for Odia and Bal Sahitya Puraskar for Kashmiri language.
- The recipients of both awards will get a copper plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000 each at a ceremony to be held later.
Other recipients of Yuva Puraskar 2023
Jintu Gitartha (Assamese)
Hamiruddin Middya (Bengali)
Mainaosri Daimary (Bodo)
Sagar Shah (Gujarati)
Manjunayak Challur (Kannada)
Nighat Nasreen (Kashmiri)
Tanvi Kamat Bambolkar (Konkani)
Ganesh Puthu (Malayalam)
Vishakha Vishwanath (Marathi)
Naina Adhikari (Nepali)
Devilal Mahiya (Rajasthani)
Bapi Tudu (Santali)
Monika J Panjwani (Sindhi)
Ram Thangam (Tamil)
Johny Takkedasila (Telugu)
Dheeraj Bismil (Dogri)
Tauseef Bareilvi (Urdu)
11. Apple has plans to launch its credit card, Apple Card, in India.
- It is planning to partner with HDFC Bank to bring Apple Card to India.
- According to the sources, CEO Tim Cook met with HDFC Bank CEO and MD Sashidhar Jagdishan in April.
- Apple Inc executives have also held talks with the RBI about the legalities of the card.
- Apple card is presently available in the USA. It was launched in joint collaboration with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. It is made up of titanium metal.
- Features of Apple Card:
- A user gets 1% cashback on making regular purchases with the physical card by using the Apple Card.
- Cashback increases to 2% if payment is carried out using Apple Pay.
- Apple does not charge late fee to Apple card holders. It does not charge on foreign transaction, returned payment, or annual credit card fees.
- Apple card owners can open savings account without any minimum balance limit to deposit their daily cash.
- Apple Inc:
- It is an American multinational technology company.
- It is the largest information technology company by revenue.
- Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple Inc.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
12. IIT Kanpur successfully carried out a test flight for cloud seeding.
- The project is headed by Prof. Manindra Agrawal from the Computer Science and Engineering Department.
- The experiment was carried out with due approval from the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation).
- The test flight reached an approximate height of 5000 ft.
- After successfully completing the test ride, the flight returned back to the IIT Kanpur Flight Lab airstrip.
- In the IIT Kanpur’s experiment, a Cessna aircraft was flown from the IIT Kanpur’s Flight Laboratory with cloud seeding attachments.
- The cloud seeding attachments were procured from a manufacturer in the US.
- The test flight spread the chemical agents using a flare.
- Cloud seeding is the use of chemical agents like silver iodide, dry ice, common salt, and other elements for improving the probability of precipitation.
(Source: News on AIR)
13. US chip maker Micron will invest $825 million to build chip assembly and test facility in Gujarat.
- The combined investment by Micron and the Central and Gujarat governments will be $2.75 billion.
- Phased construction of the new assembly and test facility in Gujarat is expected to begin in 2023.
- During Phase 1, 5 million square feet of planned cleanroom space will be included, which will be operational in late 2024.
- Micron will get financial support of 50% of the total project cost from the Government of India and 20% incentive of the total project cost from the Government of Gujarat.
- The move will create 5,000 new direct jobs and 15,000 community jobs over the next several years.
- India-US partnership on key emerging technologies including semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum and high-performance computers will create at least 80,000 jobs.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/Meetings
14. 8th Global Pharmaceutical Quality Summit 2023 organized in Mumbai on June 22 and 23.
- On 23 June, the 8th Global Pharmaceutical Quality Summit was addressed by Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Health & Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya.
- He said that during COVID-19, India played the role of pharmacy to the world by ensuring uninterrupted supply of quality medicines and vaccines to the world.
- The Indian pharmaceutical industry has proved itself in terms of both quality and quantity.
- During Covid, India not only developed vaccines for itself but also provided vaccines to 150 other countries and no country has complained about the quality of Indian vaccines.
- He said that the world wants India to manufacture medicines and vaccines and we should take advantage of this opportunity by using our brand power and manpower.
- On 23 June, the 8th Global Drug Quality Conference concluded successfully.
- During the two-day conference, key players in pharmaceutical manufacturing, regulators and experts discussed ways to reshape pharmaceutical manufacturing in India with patient centricity in mind.