Daily Current Affairs and GK | 27 April 2023
- 1. Union Cabinet approved National Medical Devices Policy, 2023.
- 2. 6th edition of Advantage Healthcare India concluded in New Delhi.
- 3. Third in-person Quad Summit will be held in Australia on May 24.
- 4. Microsoft India’s Anant Maheshwari appointed as chairperson of the NASSCOM.
- 5. Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab CM, passed away at the age of 95 on 25 April in Mohali.
- 6. Sixth edition of Exercise Cope India 2023 concluded on 24 April.
- 7. Shankaracharya Jayanti was celebrated this year on 25th April.
- 8. PM will participate in an event to mark the 20 years of completion of the SWAGAT initiative.
- 9. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL) has won Global Gold Award by The Green Organization.
- 10. West Stand at Sharjah cricket stadium has been renamed the Sachin Tendulkar Stand.
- 11. IndusInd Bank is planning to enter the insurance and mutual fund business.
- 12. Gold-pegged digital currency will be launched by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
- 13. World military spending hit new record high as European spending rises.
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Topic: National News
1. Union Cabinet approved National Medical Devices Policy, 2023.
- The medical devices sector is an important component of the Indian healthcare sector. It is growing at a fast pace in India.
- The market size of the medical devices sector in India was around 90 thousand crore rupees in 2020 and its share in the global medical device market is estimated to be around 1.5 per cent.
- The National Medical Devices Policy 2023 will facilitate the growth of the medical device sector to achieve the objective of accessibility, affordability, quality and innovation.
- Salient Features of National Medical Devices Policy, 2023 are given below:
- It lays down a road map for accelerated growth of the medical devices sector.
- It will help Medical Devices Sector to reach $50 billion by 2030.
- It will help India to emerge as a global leader in the manufacturing and innovation of medical devices over the next 25 years.
- The policy envisages promoting Research & Development in India.
- The policy encourages private investments and also promotes Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
- Large medical device parks and clusters equipped with world-class common infrastructure facilities will be developed under the National Industrial Corridor Program and the proposed National Logistics Policy 2021.
- To ensure the availability of skilled manpower, the policy will support dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions.
- The policy envisages the creation of a dedicated Export Promotion Council for the sector.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
2. 6th edition of Advantage Healthcare India concluded in New Delhi.
- This two-day summit event has been organized by Health Ministry from 26th-27th April.
- Health Ministers from ten countries took part in this event. More than 470 foreign delegates participated in the event.
- It was also attended by Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, and Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha.
- During the event, 100 Memorandums of Understanding were signed by the stakeholders.
- The event includes an exhibition, B-2-B Meetings, a two-day Conference on Medical Value Travel, Hospital Visits, Wellness Pavilion, Dedicated Start-Up Pavilion etc.
- Advantage Healthcare India (AHCI) is the leading event in South East Asia. It is focused on the medical value travel industry.
- It is an event which brings thought leaders from across the country and around the world at one platform.
- It created opportunities for healthcare collaborations between the participating countries.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
3. Third in-person Quad Summit will be held in Australia on May 24.
- Australia will host the third in-person Quad Summit on May 24 in Sydney.
- US President Joe Biden, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend this summit.
- The leaders will discuss how the Quad can work alongside partners and regional groupings including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Islands Forum, to strengthen cooperation.
- The main aim of the summit is to deepen cooperation in various fields such as critical and emerging technologies, high-quality infrastructure, global health, climate change, etc.
- The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.
- Its main aim is to develop a strategy to keep the critical sea routes free from any influence.
- The first in-person meeting of Quad leaders was hosted by US President Joe Biden in 2021.
- It was formalised by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007.
Topic: National Appointments
4. Microsoft India’s Anant Maheshwari appointed as chairperson of the NASSCOM.
- President & CEO of Microsoft India Anant Maheshwari has been appointment as chairperson of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) for 2023-24.
- Earlier, Maheshwari was the Vice Chairperson of NASSCOM.
- He succeeds Krishnan Ramanujam, who served as the Chairman for the year 2022-23.
- Rajesh Nambiar, Chairman and MD, Cognizant India has also been appointed as its Vice Chairperson for 2023-24.
- Also, NASSCOM has announced its new Executive Council for 2023-2025.
- The newly formed Executive Council will collaborate with government bodies to develop policies that will further assist the expansion of the Indian IT sector in order to meet the $500 billion growth target by 2030.
Topic: Personality in News
5. Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab CM, passed away at the age of 95 on 25 April in Mohali.
- In 2022, Badal was the country's oldest candidate in the fray for the state polls, but lost to AAP's first candidate, Gurmeet Singh Khudian.
- This was Badal's 13th assembly election.
- In 1952, he had become the youngest sarpanch when he was elected from Badal village.
- In 1970, he had become the youngest CM of the state also, he became the oldest CM in 2012.
- He also holds the record of becoming CM five times till 1970-71, 1977-80, 1997-2002, 2007-12 and 2012-17.
- In addition, he once became a member of the Lok Sabha, as well as serving as the Union Agriculture Minister for a short stint.
- In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, which he returned in 2020 in protest against three controversial farm laws.
- In addition, in 2011, he was awarded the Path Ratan Faqar-e-Qoum (Jewel of community's Panth Pride).
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6. Sixth edition of Exercise Cope India 2023 concluded on 24 April.
- On 24 April, the bilateral air exercise Cope India 2023 between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) exercise culminated.
- Japan was the observer country for this exercise.
- The main aim of the exercise is to enhance the interoperability between the air forces of both countries.
- The objective of the exercise is to strengthen the sense of friendliness among the air warriors.
- The exercise was conducted at Air Force Stations Kalaikunda, Panagarh and Agra.
- IAF’s frontline aircraft like Rafale, Tejas, Su-30MKI, Jaguar, C-17 and C-130 took part in the exercise.
- F-15 ‘Strike Eagle’ fighter, C-130, MC-130J, C-17 and the B1B strategic bomber aircraft from USAF participated in the exercise.
- During the first phase, elements of transport aircraft and Special Forces were involved.
- Pacific Air Force Commander General Kenneth S Wilsbach also visited Air Force Station Kalaikunda.
- The exercise has provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn best practices through combined operations.
- Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C), AWACS, and aerial refuelling aircraft from the IAF also participated in the last phase of the exercise.
Topic: Personality in News
7. Shankaracharya Jayanti was celebrated this year on 25th April.
- Every year the Shankaracharya Jayanti is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Adi Shankaracharya.
- PM Narendra Modi paid tributes to Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya on his birth anniversary.
- Adi Shankaracharya was a great Indian philosopher and religious leader in the 8th century CE.
- Shankaracharya Jayanti is an important event for the followers of Advaita Vedanta.
- Adi Shankaracharya:
- He was born at Kalady in Kerala in 788 CE.
- Adi Shankaracharya was one of the earliest social reformers in India to fight caste discrimination.
- He is considered as the founder of the Advaita Vedanta School of philosophy. It emphasises the unity of the individual soul and the supreme soul.
- He established four major mathas in four directions. These mathas are located in Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, and Sringeri.
- He died at the age of 33 years.
- Shankarabhasya, Anandalahari, Soundaryalahari, and Shivanandalahari were written by Adi Shankaracharya.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
8. PM will participate in an event to mark the 20 years of completion of the SWAGAT initiative.
- On 27th April, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will participate in a programme to mark the 20 years of completion of the SWAGAT initiative in Gujarat.
- The state government of Gujarat is celebrating SWAGAT Saptah to celebrate the successful completion of 20-year of the initiative.
- SWAGAT (State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology) initiative was launched by Narendra Modi in April 2003.
- It is a first-of-its-kind tech-based grievance redressal programme. The main aim of the programme is to bridge the gap between the citizens and the government by using technology.
- It helps in solving day-to-day grievances in a quick, efficient and time-bound manner.
- SWAGAT became an effective tool to solve issues in a paperless, transparent and hassle-free manner.
- State SWAGAT, District SWAGAT, Taluka SWAGAT and Gram SWAGAT are the four components of the SWAGAT Online Programme.
- The SWAGAT Online Programme has received various awards including the United Nations Public Service Award in 2010.
- The uniqueness of 'Swagat' is that it helps the common man to convey his grievances directly to the Chief Minister.
- Under this programme, it is ensured that each applicant is informed about the decision. Proceedings of all applications are available online.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
9. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL) has won Global Gold Award by The Green Organization.
- The award was received by Dr. V. K. Singh, Director (Personnel), POWERGRID on behalf of the organization.
- The award provides a recognition of POWERGRID’s CSR work in 10 villages of Jaipatna Block of Kalahandi District in Odisha.
- POWERGRID’s CSR work involved improving Agriculture Productivity and Rural Livelihood through watershed management, community participation and better crop management practices in these villages.
- The Green World Awards 2023 function was held at Miami in the USA on 24 April 2023.
- Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL):
- It is a Maharatna CPSU of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
- It was incorporated on 23rd October 1989. It is headquartered in Gurgaon.
- Kandikuppa Sreekant is its chairman and MD.
10. West Stand at Sharjah cricket stadium has been renamed the Sachin Tendulkar Stand.
- The renaming was done in a special ceremony to coincide with Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday.
- It also marks the 25th anniversary of the back-to-back centuries Sachin Tendulkar scored against Australia in 1998.
- Sachin Tendulkar scored 143 runs against Australia at Sharjah cricket stadium in April 1998 in a One-Day International (ODI) dubbed ‘Desert Storm’.
- He had scored 134 in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup, a triangular series between India, Australia and New Zealand.
- The Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia also paid tribute to Tendulkar on the occasion of his 50th birthday.
- At Sydney Cricket Ground, set of gates has been named after him and West Indies batsman Brian Lara.
- Sharjah Cricket Stadium holds the Guinness record for most One-Day internationals played (244). It is located in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- Sachin Tendulkar took retirement from professional cricket in 2013. He scored 100 international centuries in a 24-year career. He scored 49 hundreds in ODIs. He played across 34 stadiums.
Topic: Banking System
11. IndusInd Bank is planning to enter the insurance and mutual fund business.
- IndusInd Bank is planning to move beyond its core banking services.
- It is also planning to enter into the broking business.
- The bank is likely to approach the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and other regulators to get the necessary licences.
- IndusInd Bank is also planning to launch its own digital bank ‘Indie’.
- The bank is likely to complete the necessary approvals for the expansion plans in about 2 years.
- On 24 April, IndusInd Bank reported a 46% jump in its March quarter net profit at Rs 2,043 crore.
- IndusInd Bank:
- It is headquartered in Mumbai. It was started in 1994.
- Sumant Kathpalia is its MD & CEO. Its tagline is We make you feel richer.
Topic: Banking System
12. Gold-pegged digital currency will be launched by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
- A gold-pegged digital currency will be launched by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and legalize them in the country.
- It is believed that the move was taken by the government to stabilize the local currency after continuous devaluation of the local currency against the US dollar.
- This initiative will allow the exchange of Zimbabwe Dollars with digital gold tokens and protect Zimbabweans from currency volatility.
- Zimbabwe’s money trades at 1,001 ZWL against one dollar and in Harare, it is exchanged for 1,750 ZWL.
- Zimbabwe's annual consumer price inflation in March 2023 was approximately 87.6%.
- Hyperinflation has plagued Zimbabwe's economy for more than a decade. It devastated the country's currency, which has weakened sharply against the greenback since early 2022.
- From 2020, the use of foreign currencies including the US dollar and the Chinese yuan has been allowed to the government.
- In 2022, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced gold coins as an alternative legal tender.
- The central bank is planning to launch digital tokens alongside "mosi-o-tunya" gold coins.
Topic: Reports and Indices
13. World military spending hit new record high as European spending rises.
- On 24 April, new data on global military spending has been published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
- Total global military spending in 2022 increase by 3.7% in real terms to a new high of $2240 billion and spending grew for the eighth consecutive year in 2022.
- In the last 30 years, Military spending in Europe saw the fastest year-on-year increase.
- The United States, China and Russia were the three biggest spenders in 2022, accounting for 56% of the world's total spending.
- In 2022, Military expenditure by states in Central and Western Europe totalled $345 billion in 2022.
- In real terms, spending by these states surpassed 1989 spending for the first time since the Cold War was coming to an end, and was 30% higher than in 2013.
- Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, several countries drastically increased their military spending, while others announced plans to increase spending levels over a period of up to a decade.
- Some of the fastest increases were seen in Finland (+36%), Lithuania (+27%), Sweden (+12%) and Poland (+11%).
- In 2022, Russian military spending increased by an estimated 9.2% to about $86.4 billion.
- This was equivalent to 4.1% of Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, up from 3.7% of GDP in 2021.
- In 2022, Ukraine's military spending reached $44.0 billion, an increase of 640%.
- This was the highest one-year increase in the country's military spending ever recorded in SIPRI data.
- In 2022, US military spending reached $877 billion, accounting for 39% of total global military spending and more than three times the amount spent by China, the world's second-biggest spender.
- In 2022, US financial military aid to Ukraine totaled $19.9 billion, accounting for only 2.3% of total US military spending.
- Other Important developments:
- India's military expenditure of $81.4 billion was the fourth highest in the world. This was 6.0% more than in 2021.
- In 2022, military spending by Saudi Arabia, the fifth biggest military spender, rose by 16 % to reach an estimated $75.0 billion, its first increase since 2018.
- Nigeria’s military spending fell by 38% to $3.1 billion, after a 56% increase in spending in 2021.
- In 2022, Military spending by NATO members totalled $1232 billion, which was 0.9% higher than in 2021.
- The United Kingdom had the highest military expenditure in Central and Western Europe at $68.5 billion, of which an estimated $2.5 billion (3.6%) was financial military aid to Ukraine.
- In 2022, Turkiye’s military spending fell for the third year in a row, reaching $10.6 billion, a decrease of 26% from 2021.