Current Affairs 16th June

National Affairs

1. MSDE Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated ‘Project Gajapati to Gabon’, Gabon’s 1st Agri-SEZ Project

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, along with representatives from the Ministries of Education (MoE) and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), launched Gabon’s first Agriculture Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Project and Power Transformers (T&D) Project on June 14, 2023, from New Delhi, Delhi.


Gabon’s food security and self-sufficiency will improve as a result of the Agriculture and Food Processing Special Economic Zone’s establishment.


Concerning the Gabon Project Gajapati:


The government of Gabon, the AOM Group, and Centurion University of Technology and Management collaborated on the international outreach project known as Project Gajapati to Gabon for the Education, Industry Skilling, and Agri Skilling Project.


Concerning the T&D and SEZ projects in agriculture:


The Agriculture SEZ Project and the Technology and Development Project are joint ventures (JV) between the Government of Gabon, Africa’s AOM Group, and Odisha’s Centurion University of Technology and Management as partners in knowledge, training, and technology.


Key Points:


It was opened at an event in New Delhi with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, MSDE as Chief Guest and Gabon’s Minister of Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnerships, Hugues Judicael Mbadinga Madiya as Guest of Honor; Minister of Agriculture of Gabon Mve Ellah Charles; Minister of Higher Education in Gabon, Mouguiama Daouda Patrick Taofick.


30 farmers and 20 B.Sc./M.S. students participated in the program’s initial phase. As agri-technical and technical consultants for the aforementioned Agri-SEZ, students from Odisha’s Gajapati district, an aspirational district, will travel to Gabon.


Notably, India’s African policy is built on the development partnership. India has provided Africa with concessional loans totalling more than US$ 12.3 billion and grant assistance totalling US$ 700 million for various development projects.

2. CBIC released the National Time Release Study 2023 Report

The National Time Release Study (NTRS) 2023 report, which provides the port-category-wise average release time for 2023, was released on June 15, 2023, by Vivek Johri, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).


The sample period for the NTRS 2023 is the first week of January, from January 1 through January 7, 2023 (both dates are included).


Time of Import Release: The arithmetic mean of the time between “Arrival of Goods” and “Out of Charge” by Customs.


Time of Export Release: The time between the cargo’s arrival at the port and its actual departure from the port or customs station is represented by the arithmetic mean.


NTRS 2023:


At 15 customs ports across 9 states, NTRS 2023 was tested.


The automated customs systems operated by the CBIC’s General Directorate of Systems and Data Management served as the study’s data source.


To evaluate progress toward the goals of the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP), NTRS 2023 makes a comparison between the average release time and the performance in 2021 and 2022.


To determine the effects of a variety of trade facilitation initiatives, particularly “Path to Promptness.” to identify obstacles to reducing release time more quickly.


The NTRS’s ports include seaports, integrated check posts (ICPs), inland container depots (ICDs), and air cargo complexes (ACCs).


These records for around 80% of the bills of section and 70% of transportation bills documented in India.


Summary of NTRS:


The study indicates that the average import release time will increase in 2023 in comparison to 2022. reducing ICD release time by 20 per cent; an 11% decrease for ACCs; and a decrease of 9% for seaports.


Seaports, ICDs, ACCs, and ICPs all have import release times of 85:42 hours (Hrs), 71:46 hours (Hrs), 44:16 hours (Hrs), and 31:47 hours (Hrs), respectively.


The standard deviation has decreased, indicating that imported cargo will most likely be released quickly.


The “three-fold path to promptness” as outlined in NTRS 2023 is the risk-based facilitation of cargo benefits provided by Authorised Economic Operators in conjunction with the advance filing of import documents.


In all port categories, the NTFAP release time target is met by the cargoes with all three features combined.


Key Results:


In almost all port categories, the NTFAP release time targets were met by adopting the benchmark of regulatory clearance.


By putting the trade facilitation measures into action, several stakeholders, including Customs, port authorities, Customs Brokers, and Participating Government Agencies (PGAs), contributed to the reduction in the release time.

3. MoD Approved Deal to Acquire MQ-9 Reaper Drone from the USA

The deal to acquire MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) drones from the United States of America (USA) has been approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the Ministry of Defence’s highest decision-making body.


The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is expected to make the deal’s final decision.

The arrangement was supported during the gathering of DAC headed by Safeguard Priest

Rajnath Singh on fifteenth June 2023. Other “Made in India” defence deals have also been approved during the meeting by the DAC.


Note: All the high-worth acquisitions require the last endorsement from the CCS.


Concerning the Deal:


Agent in charge of the deal: The Indian Navy


The Indian Navy will get 15 drones as part of the deal to use for surveillance in its area of responsibility.




India had previously planned to rationalize its purchase of MQ-9 drones and reduce the number from 30 to 18 or less.


India is currently planning to acquire 30 drones, ten for each of the three services.

India’s three armed forces—the Army, Navy, and Air Force—have planned to acquire similar long-range, medium-altitude drones from indigenous manufacturers.


Extra data:


India currently leases two American predator drones from General Atomics. These drones have been helping the Indian Navy monitor activities in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).


The proposal to acquire 60 Made in India utility helicopters (Maritime) and BrahMos Supersonic cruise missiles for the Indian Navy was previously approved by the DAC in March 2023; The Indian Army has 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) howitzers, and the Indian Coast Guard has nine Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Choppers.


Note: This choice comes in front of the State head (PM) Narendra Modi’s visit to

the USA from 21st to 24th June 2023. In his nine years as India’s prime minister, this will be his first state visit to the United States.

4. IFS launches the revamped website of PPPININDIA & online portals for IIPDF

The revamped website of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in India (PPPININDIA) has been launched on June 14, 2023, by the Infrastructure Finance Secretariat (IFS), which is part of the Ministry of Finance and is part of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). The website’s purpose is to provide stakeholders in PPP (Public–Private Partnership) projects with more value.


This launch is part of IFS’s efforts to create an environment that supports the creation and delivery of infrastructure projects and encourages private investment in infrastructure.


Website for PPPININDIA:


It is a one-stop solution that brings together government agencies, private companies, investors, and entrepreneurs for sustainable growth and promotes and facilitates PPP projects and knowledge exchange in India.


The newly released Reference Guide for Setting Up of State PPP Units, which assists States in creating dedicated units for promoting PPP policy, program, and projects, and the Reference Guide for PPP Project Appraisal, which assists Project Appraisal Authorities (PSAs) in quality evaluation of PPP Projects, are two examples of policies, guidelines, and model bidding documents that it houses.


Additionally, a Best Practices Portal that showcases successful infrastructure projects and guidance materials are provided.


The Best Practices Portal contains the most effective methods for the states’ and central ministries’ successful implementation of infrastructure projects. On, you can find it.




The IFS also launched the IIPDF (India Infrastructure Project Development Fund) Portal for submitting applications for consideration under the IIPDF Scheme to promote the Government of India’s Digital India initiative.


The IIPDF Scheme, which will go into effect in 2022, is intended to help the development of high-quality PPP projects by providing the necessary funding support to the authorities that are sponsoring the projects. Key Points: GoI Notifies IIPDF Scheme for Funding Development of PPP Projects


Under the IIPDF scheme, PSAs will be able to submit online applications, which will help them obtain expedited and time-bound approvals for submitted projects and will reduce processing time and paperwork.


Similar online application portals for the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) and the VGF (Viability Gap Funding Scheme) are currently being developed on this website by the IFS.

5. Google and MeitY join hands to Enhance G20-Stay Safe Online Campaign

Google announced on June 15, 2023, a partnership with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to improve MeitY’s “G20-Stay Safe Online” campaign: a “Campaign for Cyber Safety” to educate Indian citizens about online security.




India will be in charge of the G20 for a year, beginning on December 1, 2022, and ending on November 30, 2023.


The MeitY is running a campaign called “Stay Safe Online” during India’s G20 presidency to educate citizens, including people with disabilities, on how to stay safe online in light of the widespread use of social media platforms and the rapid adoption of digital payments.


Key Points:


Google and MeitY will collaborate to amplify the “Stay Safe Online” campaign through literacy programs on cyber safety, multilingual digital content on online safety to help people identify common online scams, and educational content on how to navigate information online.


MeitY and Google are collaborating to raise user awareness of cyber fraud and implement security best practices. Google will make people more aware of the fundamentals of online safety through the program called “Be Internet Awesome.”


Note that YouTube also offers a digital literacy program called “Hit Pause” to help people think critically about information found online, become aware of online scams, and avoid being scammed.

International Affairs

1. UNGA adopts resolution introduced by India, to honour fallen peacekeepers

India’s proposal to construct a memorial wall to honour fallen peacekeepers was approved by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on June 14, 2023.


At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, presented the draft resolution titled “Memorial Wall for fallen United Nations peacekeepers.”


Out of 193 UN member states, nearly 190 co-sponsored the resolution, which was unanimously approved.


It will be funded by contributions from individuals. On the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the wall will be a part of the ceremonies.


Note that India submitted a resolution in 2014 to declare June 21 International Yoga Day at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). With the support of 177 UN member states, the resolution was approved within 75 days.


India’s UN peacekeepers:


India is the third-largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping, contributing more than 6,000 military and police personnel to Abyei, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, and Western Sahara.


In the largest UN peacekeeping mission to date, approximately 177 Indian peacekeepers gave their lives.


The resolution had been submitted by 18 nations, including Bangladesh, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, Rwanda, and the United States.

2. India to Overtake China in Oil Demand Growth by 2027: IEA Report

India will surpass China as the primary driver of global oil demand growth by 2027, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s “Oil 2023” Analysis and forecast to 2028 report, as consumption expands in rapidly expanding developing economies and decreases in developed nations.


Key Points:


After a significant rise in 2023, China’s demand will continue to fall consistently from 2024. In that order, India, China, and the United States of America (US) are the three largest oil consumers worldwide.


In 2022-23, India used 10.2% more petroleum products, using 222.30 million tonnes.

The report identifies India as the world’s fastest-growing economy and projects GDP growth of 4.8 per cent in 2023, 6.3% in 2024, and an even stronger 7% in 2025-28.


Analyse of the World:


The world’s oil demand is expected to rise to 102.3 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2023 by 2.4 million mb/d.


Due to record runs of production in Asia iii, global crude output reached an estimated 82.3 million barrels per day until April 2023. According to the report, global oil demand will rise by 6% between 2022 and 2028 to reach 105.7 million barrels per day (mb/d) due to strong demand from the aviation and petrochemical industries.


It is anticipated that annual demand growth will decrease from 2.4 mb/d in 2023 to just 0.4 mb/d in 2028, despite this cumulative increase.


With the growth of electric vehicles (EVs), the amount of oil used for transportation will decrease after 2026.


Oil demand will decrease globally as a result of this: by 2028, from 2.4 million barrels per day at present to 400,000 barrels per day.


Worldwide upstream interests in oil and gas investigation, extraction and creation

are on course to arrive at their most significant levels beginning around 2015, developing 11% year-on-year to USD 528 billion by 2023.


The Report:


It looks at upcoming obstacles and how a stronger government push for a low-emissions future and shifts in behaviour will affect the fundamentals of the oil market in the coming years.

3. Bangladesh: World Bank launches its first road safety project in South Asia

With a $358 million financing agreement with the government of Bangladesh, The World Bank (WB) launched its first South Asian road safety project on June 14, 2023. At the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Road Safety Project (BRSP) was officially launched.


In some cities, high-risk highways, and district roads, the goal of this project is to increase road safety and lessen the number of people killed and injured in crashes.


This project will be carried out on the two National Highways, Natore-Nawabganj (N6) and Gazipur-Elenga (N4), which go through the five divisions of Bangladesh: Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Mymensingh.


By providing facilities for pedestrians, speed enforcement, emergency care, and improved engineering designs, this project will increase road safety.

Banking and Finance

1. Max Life Insurance launched a non-linked life insurance savings plan – Smart Wealth Advantage Growth Par Plan

The Smart Wealth Advantage Growth Par Plan, a four-income variant non-linked individual life insurance savings plan, was introduced on June 8, 2023, by Max Life Insurance Company Ltd. People would be able to save money and protect their finances through the savings plan.


The Smart Wealth Advantage Growth Par Plan’s Information:


There are four variations of the plan: Future Income, Insta Income, Balanced Income, and Lifetime Income


Life coverage throughout the policy term is included in each of these variations, as are cash bonuses (if declared) and built-in guarantees.


Key advantages:


The plan combines savings with the advantages of life insurance.


Additionally, they provide death benefits that provide beneficiaries with financial security in the event of the policyholder’s death.


Policyholders would have the opportunity to participate in insurance company profits through bonuses because non-linked plans are not tied to market investments or returns.


The benefits of the plan include improved protection benefits, increased liquidity, guaranteed income, cash bonuses, retirement income planning, flexibility in income options, and income options.


Income for retirement: After 65 years, the plan provides an increased income with a minimum guarantee.


Flexibility: The arrangement offers adaptability to pick from 4 pay plans with the choice

to get paid on exceptional days.

2. SEBI Revised Rules Relating to Minor’s Investment in Mutual Fund by Parent/Guardian

The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) revised the rules for Asset Management Companies (AMCs) regarding MF scheme investments made in the name of a minor (i.e., children approximately 10 to 18 years of age) through a parent or guardian in May 2023, based on the recommendation of the Mutual Fund (MF) Advisory Committee.


With effect from June 15, 2023, all AMCs are urged to implement the necessary modifications to facilitate the aforementioned changes to MF transactions.


Revisions to the Rules:


The new rule allows for investment payments to be made to the MF scheme (in any form for subscription) from any bank account owned by the minor, their parents or legal guardians, or a joint account owned by the minor and their parents or legal guardians.


The case at hand: Until now, SEBI has allowed MF scheme investment payments to be made from a minor’s bank account or a joint account held by the minor and their parents or legal guardian.


For this particular investment purpose, there will no longer be a need to open joint accounts or accounts for a minor child; instead, it can be done from any of three accounts—the minor’s, the parents, or guardians.


Redemption: However, once all Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures have been completed, any redemptions from investments made in the minor’s name in the MF scheme will be credited to the verified bank account of the minor alone (which may also be a joint account).


The main goal of the change was to invest in small accounts more consistently across all MF houses.


Note that the changes in the exercise of powers granted by Section 11(1) of the SEBI Act of 1992 and Regulation 77 of the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations of 1996 are issued by SEBI.

Economy and Business

1. Tata Steel signs MoU with Germany’s SMS group to cut carbon emissions

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on June 14, 2023, by SMS Group GmbH of Germany and Tata Steel Ltd, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, to collaborate on the decarbonization of the steelmaking process. The EASyMelt (electric-assisted syngas smelter) technology that SMS Group developed will be demonstrated in a joint industrial demonstration as part of this MoU between Tata Steel and SMS Group.


The objective of the demonstration, which will be carried out at Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur plant’s “E” blast furnace, is to reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by more than 50% from the blast furnace’s baseline operation.


EASyMelt is an ironmaking solution that can be used to accelerate decarbonization in integrated steel plants that already exist. By 2045, Tata Steel intends to emit no carbon at all.




According to the World Steel Association, steel production accounts for 9% of global carbon emissions. India is the world’s second-largest steel producer, after China. China is

likewise, the biggest supporter of fossil fuel byproducts is because ‘Impact Heater

Ovens used in Chinese steel plants.


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