- 1. China announced renaming of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
- 2. Parliament has passed the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
- 3. Basohli Painting from Jammu division’s Kathua district has received the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag.
- 4. 1st ministerial-level meeting of the joint working group between India and the Netherlands was held on 03 April 2023 in New Delhi.
- 5. In the financial year 2022-23, a growth of 25.90% registered in the gross collection of direct taxes.
- 6. Eravikulam National Park got Fernarium for the first time.
- 7. First India-Central Asia Culture Ministers’ Meeting hosted by Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region Shri G. Kishan Reddy on 3rd April, 2023.
- 8. Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated all over India on 04 April 2023.
- 9. France has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Bastille Day parade.
- 10. India-U.S. air exercise ‘Cope India’ will be conducted from April 10 to 21.
- 11. Neeraj Nigam has been appointed as executive director of RBI.
- 12. LIC, GIC Re, and New India designated as DSIIs by IRDAI.
- 13. Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck arrives in India for three-day visit.
- 14. WhatsApp Banking Service has been launched by India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) for its customers.
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Topic: India and its neighbours
1. China announced renaming of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Chinese government unilaterally renamed 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh and claimed it as South Tibet.
- It is the third time, China has unilaterally renamed places in Arunachal Pradesh. The first two such lists were released in 2018 and 2021.
- China also released a map which shows parts of Arunachal Pradesh inside the southern Tibetan region.
- The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs even included a town close to the Arunachal Pradesh capital of Itanagar in the map.
- The 11 places named include five mountain peaks, two more populated areas, two land areas and two rivers.
- The claimed geographical area is controlled and administered by India.
- The released map shows much of Arunachal Pradesh as Zangnan, in the south of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
- India rejected China’s decision of renaming 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh and said that Arunachal Pradesh will always remain an integral part of India.
- India and China:
- India shares 3488 Km border with China.
- Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh shares a border with China.
- The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) is the Border Guarding Force at Indo-China Border.
- India's bilateral trade with China reached a record $135.98 billion in 2022.
Topic: Indian Polity
2. Parliament has passed the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
- Rajya Sabha approved the bill on 03 April 2023 without discussion. Lok Sabha already passed the bill on 29 March 2023.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Competition Act, 2002. It will regulate mergers and acquisitions based on the value of transactions.
- As per the bill, the deals with a transaction value of over 2,000 crore rupees will require the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) approval.
- The bill proposes to cut down the timeline for the CCI to pass an order on such transactions from 210 days to 150 days.
- It also proposes a framework for settlement and commitment to faster resolution of investigations of anti-competitive agreements.
- It changes the nature of punishment from imposition of fines to civil penalties and decriminalises certain offences under the Act.
- These offences include failure to comply with orders of the CCI and directions of the Director General related to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position.
- The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2022. It was referred to the Standing Committee in August 2022. The Standing Committee submitted its report in December 2022.
Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir
3. Basohli Painting from Jammu division’s Kathua district has received the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag.
- Basohli painting is the first independent GI tag from the Jammu region.
- Basohli painting is included in the list of 33 products that received the GI tag on 31 March 2023.
- NABARD started the process of GI tagging these products in consultation with the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom in December 2020.
- This is the first time in the history of GI that the Jammu region got a GI tag for handicrafts.
- Earlier GI tags were given to Kashmir handicrafts.
- GI tags will prevent unauthorized use of these registered Geographical Indication goods by 3rd parties.
- Basohli paintings flourished under Sangram Pal and subsequently Kirpal Pal.
- The borders of these paintings are characterised by the use of vivid colors like red, yellow, and blue.
- The facial features, which included a prominent nose and lotus-shaped eyes, were the other distinctive characteristic. Flora was frequently depicted in Basohli art.
4. 1st ministerial-level meeting of the joint working group between India and the Netherlands was held on 03 April 2023 in New Delhi.
- The meeting was held in presence of the Union Minister for Jal Shakti Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Government of Netherlands, Mr. Mark Harbers.
- Strategic Water Partnership was launched in April 2021 during a virtual meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and the Netherlands.
- Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti and Mr. Mark Harbers, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management signed Strategic Water Partnership on 29th March 2022.
- The Strategic Water Partnership aims to further intensify and expand ongoing bilateral cooperation.
- Union Minister for Jal Shakti said that Indo-Dutch cooperation has progressed on various fronts since the signing of the ‘Strategic Water Partnership’.
- Both Ministers expressed hope about the outcomes of the interventions in the industrial pollution abatement project through the multi-stakeholder platform for the textile cluster in Panipat, Haryana.
- The Joint Working Group's work plan comprises three Action Plans on bilateral water cooperation with Ministry of Jal Shakti, specifically the National Mission for Clean Ganga, Kerala's Ministry of Irrigation, and West Bengal's Ministry of Irrigation and Waterways.
Topic: Indian Economy
5. In the financial year 2022-23, a growth of 25.90% registered in the gross collection of direct taxes.
- In the financial year 2022-23 till December 17, 2022, the figures of collection of direct taxes show that the net collection has been Rs 11,35,754 crore.
- In the same period of the last financial year i.e. FY 2021-22, the net collection was Rs 9,47,959 crore, showing an increase of 19.81%.
- Net direct tax collection of Rs. 11,35,754 crores (as on 17.12.2022) inclusive of Corporation Tax (CIT) of Rs. 6,06,679 crore (net of refund) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) which includes Securities Transaction Tax (STT) at Rs. 5,26,477 crores (net of refunds).
- The Gross collection of Direct Taxes (before adjusting for refunds) for the FY 2022-23 stands at Rs. 13,63,649 crores compared to Rs. 10,83,150 crores in the corresponding period of the preceding financial year, registering a growth of 25.90% over collections of F.Y. 2021-22.
- The gross collection of Rs 13,63,649 crore includes Corporation Tax (CIT) of Rs 7,25,036 crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT) including Securities Transaction Tax (STT) of Rs 6,35,920 crore.
- Advance tax of Rs 5,21,302 crore in 'small item' wise collections; TDS (tax deducted at source) of Rs 6,44,761 crore; self-assessment tax of Rs 1,40,105 crore; Regular Assessment Tax of Rs 46,244 crore; and tax of Rs 11,237 crore falling under other minor heads.
- The minor head wise collection includes advance tax of Rs. 5,21,302 crores; Tax deduction at source of Rs. 6,44,761 crores; Self-assessment tax of Rs. 1,40,105 crores; Regular assessed tax of Rs. 46,244 crores; and tax under other minor heads of Rs. 11,237 crores.
- The total advance tax collection in the first, second and third quarter of the financial year 2022-23 up to 17.12.2022 is Rs. 5,21,302 crores as against Rs. 4,62,038 crores in the same period of the immediately preceding financial year i.e. 2021-22 Advance tax collection was 12.83%.
- Advance tax collection of Rs.5,21,302 crore up to 17.12.2022 includes Corporation Tax (CIT) of Rs.3,97,364 crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT) of Rs.1,23,936 crore.
- There has been a significant increase in the speed of processing of Income Tax Returns filed during the current financial year, about 96.5% of duly verified ITRs have been processed till 17.12.2022.
- This has resulted in speedy issuance of refunds. The current financial year has registered an increase of about 109 per cent in the number of refunds issued.
- Refund amount of Rs. Rs.2,27,896 crore have been issued in FY 2022-23 up to 17.12.2022 as against refunds of Rs.1,35,191 crore issued during the same period in the previous FY 2021-22, an increase of over 68.57% showed.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
6. Eravikulam National Park got Fernarium for the first time.
- Eravikulam National Park (ENP), the natural habitat of Nilgiri Tahr of Munnar has established a new attraction "Fernarium" inside the park.
- This is the first time such a fern collection has been established in the hill station, according to officials.
- 52 varieties of ferns have already been planted in the new fernarium.
- According to statistics, there are 104 species of ferns in ENP.
- Soon the number of ferns inside the park will be increased to cover all the 104 varieties.
- Fern Park has been set up near the Orchidarium and will be opened for public on April 20.
- ENP is one of the rich biodiversity areas, and the new initiative aims to provide visitors with an awareness of the park's biodiversity.
- Eravikulam National Park is a national park located along the Western Ghats in Idukki and Ernakulam districts of Kerala, India. It was established in 1978.
- A fernarium is a specialized garden for the cultivation and display of ferns.
- Ferns are part of the epiphytic family. They grow naturally in soilless condition.
- Plants obtain water and nutrients through leaching from trees.
- There are a large number of ferns on the trees inside the park.
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7. First India-Central Asia Culture Ministers’ Meeting hosted by Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region Shri G. Kishan Reddy on 3rd April, 2023.
- The Culture Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting.
- G. Kishan Reddy spoke about the historical and cultural linkages between India and Central Asia.
- The Ministers shared their perspectives in order to carry through their leaders' commitment to further deepen regional cultural cooperation.
- The India-Central Asia Summit was hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27th January 2022.
- The summit focused on promoting cultural cooperation for a better understanding of culture between the Central Asian countries.
- The Indian side proposed a Joint Statement in testimony to the inaugural India-Central Asia Cultural Ministers Meeting at the end of the meeting.
Topic: Important Days
8. Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated all over India on 04 April 2023.
- It is an important religious festival of the Jain community.
- It is also known as Mahavir Janma Kalyanak. This day celebrates the birth of Lord Mahavir.
- Lord Mahavir was the twenty-fourth Tirthankara. Lord Mahavir was also the last Tirthankara of the present Avasarpini.
- In Jainism, Avasarpini is the falling half of the cosmic time cycle and the one in which the world is considered to be at the moment.
- Mahavir is also known as Vardhaman. He was the successor of the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanatha.
- He was born in the early 6th century BCE. His father’s name was Siddhartha and his mother’s name was Trishala.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: International News
9. France has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Bastille Day parade.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to Paris as a guest at the annual Bastille Day parade in July.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss many major agreements.
- Both countries will also mark the 25th year of their strategic partnership.
- First time in the last decade, any Indian Prime Minister will attend the annual military parade of France.
- Earlier, Manmohan Singh was invited to the Bastille Day parade as guest in 2009.
- Bastille Day military parade:
- It is also known as the 14 July military parade.
- The first Bastille Day parade was organized in 1780.
- It is organized every year on 14 July in Paris.
- It is also one of the oldest regular military parades in the world.
10. India-U.S. air exercise ‘Cope India’ will be conducted from April 10 to 21.
- The Air Forces of India and the U.S. will take part in the Cope India exercise from April 10 to 21 at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal.
- Japan will be the observer of the ‘Cope India’ exercise. The aim of the exercise is too intense air manoeuvres for improving interoperability.
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters SU-30MKI, Rafale and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft will take part in the exercise.
- U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets will participate in the exercise.
- The Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) participated in Cope India for the first time in 2018.
- Recently, the IAF for the first time participated in the multilateral Cobra Warrior exercise hosted by Royal Air Force in the U.K.
- In January 2023, India and Japan participated in the Veer Guardian air exercise.
Topic: National Appointment
11. Neeraj Nigam has been appointed as executive director of RBI.
- On April 3, the Reserve Bank of India appointed Niraj Nigam as Executive Director (ED), who will look after four departments including consumer education and protection.
- Before being promoted as ED, he was working as head of the Bhopal Regional Office of the RBI.
- Niraj Nigam has served in the Reserve Bank's Central Office as well as Regional Offices in the areas of regulation and supervision, human resource management, premises, currency management, bank accounts and other areas for more than three decades.
- As ED, he will look after the Department of Consumer Education and Protection, Department of Financial Inclusion and Development, Legal Department and Secretary Department.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
- RBI was established on April 1, 1935, under the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
- It was set up on the recommendations of the Hilton Young Commission.
- It is the central bank of India and regulates the banking system in India. It also regulates the monetary policy of India.
- The Reserve Bank of India was nationalised on 1 January 1949.
- The RBI Central Board consists of 21 members, including the Governor and four deputy governors.
- Shaktikanta Das is the current RBI governor.
Topic: Banking System
12. LIC, GIC Re, and New India designated as DSIIs by IRDAI.
- On March 31, regulator IRDAI has identified Life Insurance Corporation of India, General Insurance Corporation of India and New India Assurance Company would continue as domestic systemically important insurers (D-SIIs).
- Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) are perceived as insurers that are ‘too big or too important to fail’ (TBTF).
- Domestic systemically important insurer (D-SII) is used to describe insurance companies that are important to the domestic financial system because of their size, market importance, and connections within the country and globally.
- Failure or financial instability of these insurers could have serious implications for the stability of the domestic financial system.
- The functioning of D-SII is crucial for the uninterrupted availability of insurance services in the national economy.
- LIC was formed on 1 September 1956. It is headquartered in Mumbai, India. Its chairperson is Siddhartha Mohanty. Its slogan is yogakshemam vahamyaham (Your welfare is our responsibility).
- General Insurance Corporation (GIC) was formed in 1972. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
- New India Assurance was formed in 1919. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI):
- The IRDAI is an autonomous, statutory body of India.
- It aims to regulate and promote the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
- It was established in 1999.
- It is headquartered in Hyderabad.
- Chairman: Debasish Panda
Topic: India and its neighbours
13. Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck arrives in India for three-day visit.
- King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, arrived at the airport in New Delhi.
- He is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Dr. TandiDorji and senior officials of the Bhutan government.
- The king is scheduled to meet Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- He will also participate in several significant meetings of bilateral importance.
- India is looking into new avenues of bilateral cooperation with Bhutan in different sector such as Space Cooperation, Smart Agriculture, Youth and Sports, Start-ups, etc.
- India and Bhutan relationship:
- India is Bhutan's top trading partner and the leading source of investments.
- There has been significant cooperation between the two sides in the area of hydro-power projects.
- India and Bhutan enjoy unique ties of friendship and cooperation.
- The revised Bilateral Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan came into effect in 2017.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Banking System
14. WhatsApp Banking Service has been launched by India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) for its customers.
- IPPB has announced the launch of WhatsApp Banking Services in collaboration with Airtel.
- It enables IPPB customers to access banking services on their mobile phones.
- With the help of the newly launched IPPB WhatsApp Banking channel, customers can connect with the bank on WhatsApp.
- They will be able to avail a range of banking services including doorstep service requests, locating the nearest Post Office and much more.
- The service will be delivered to customers through Airtel IQ, a robust, intuitive and secure cloud communication suite.
- Airtel and IPPB are working to deliver as many as 250 million messages per month to the bank's customers.
- Airtel is the world’s first telecom company that serves as a Business Service Provider (BSP) for WhatsApp.