Current Affairs 26th June

National Affairs

1. National Energy Data: Survey and Analysis 2021-22 Report, Released by MNRE

During the current Paris Air Show 2023 in Paris, France, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which has its headquarters in Bengaluru and is based in Karnataka, and Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), which is based in Argentina, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to investigate the possibility of collaborating in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft components, systems, and structures.


The partnership contributes to the expansion and development of the aerospace industry in the Latin American (LATAM) region and aims to strengthen ties between HAL and Argentina’s aviation industry.


Note that FAdeA is an aircraft manufacturer that is owned by the Argentine government and is run by the Ministry of Defense of the South American nation. The National Energy Data report will be released on June 23, 2023. Raj Kumar Singh, Union Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), presented the Survey and Analysis 2021–22 at Shram Shakti Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi.


The Energy Data Management Unit of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, and NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) collaborated on the production of this report, which provides in-depth insights into the patterns of energy supply and consumption in various Indian economic sectors.


The report’s key highlights include:


Value Enhancement:


For each sector, detailed fuel-wise energy consumption data are provided in the report, making it possible to comprehend their energy profiles.


A realistic picture of the country’s coal-based energy supply and consumption is provided by the use of distinct conversion factors for domestic and imported coal based on distinct calorific values.

2. Women and Child Development Ministry discontinued its Autonomous Bodies RMK & CSWB

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) dissolved its internal division, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), as well as its two autonomous bodies, Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) and Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB).


This decision is part of the rationalization process that the Ministry of Finance is using to get rid of departments and sections that no longer make sense in the current situation.


About RMK:


It was founded in 1993 and registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 to provide collateral-free credit to women working in the informal sector. The Chief Economic Adviser (then Krishnamurthy Subramanian)’s “Rationalisation of Government Bodies” report recommended its closure in November 2020, citing the availability of alternative credit options like microcredit programs like the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and PM Mudra Yojana. The action will assist in preventing duplicity.




It was one of the first efforts by the Indian government to establish a body based on voluntarism and was established in 1953 as a charitable organization with the intention of functioning like an NGO. It was established under the Indian Companies Act of 1956 to support Panchayati Raj institutions, study their requirements, and promote social welfare organizations. It has largely remained inactive for some time.


The FNB:


The MWCD’s attached office was established in 1964. As a technical support wing, the FNB moved from the Ministry of Food to MCWD in 1993. Along with 43 Community Food & Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUs) in 29 states and UTs, it has four regional offices and quality control laboratories in Delhi, Mumbai (Maharashtra), Kolkata (West Bengal), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), and other locations.


Key Points:


RMK and CSWB are two of the six independent agencies that fall under the WCD ministry; The National Commission for Women (NCW), the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) are the remaining organizations.


In the fiscal year 2023-2014 (FY24), CSWB received Rs 40.06 crore in funding. In FY24, Rs 18 crore was set aside for the FNB. RMK has not received any funding in FY24.

3. India’s first, Hydrogen-Powered Trains to run from Jind district of Haryana

The first hydrogen train from Indian Railways is expected to run between the Jind-Sonipat (Haryana) Section of Northern Railway in the fiscal year 2023-2024. The train is expected to begin operating in March 2024 from the Jind district in Haryana.


In order to lend support to this initiative, India’s first hydrogen plant is being constructed in the Jind (Haryana) district near the railway junction.


The hydrogen plant is currently in its final stage of construction, and it is anticipated to be finished by December 2023.


The hydrogen plant will use water to produce hydrogen, which will power the hydrogen trains.


Note: In India, trains use diesel and electricity at the moment, and it is said that hydrogen-powered trains have only been operating in Germany.


Key Points:


In place of diesel engines, hydrogen trains make use of hydrogen fuel cells, which combine hydrogen and water to generate electricity that powers the train’s motor.

A little heat and water are the byproducts.


Because hydrogen fuel does not emit harmful emissions, the eight-bogie train powered by hydrogen fuel will be good for the environment.


Not only will the introduction of trains powered by hydrogen lead to a decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but it will also pave the way for a cleaner and greener future.


Note: In addition, high-ranking officials have paid a visit to the location to evaluate the prerequisites for setting up an infrastructure for a hydrogen pump in Jind (Haryana).

4. India and UAE signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Authorized Economic Operators

On the sidelines of the 141st and 142nd sessions of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Customs Co-operation Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for their respective authorised economic operators (AEOs).


The goal of signing the agreement is to make it easier for the two countries to do business and facilitate more trade.


India and the United Arab Emirates hope to speed up and streamline customs procedures by recognizing AEO status, thereby lowering the administrative burden and costs for authorized businesses.




The continuation of the historic India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed on February 18, 2022, officially came into effect on May 1, 2022, which coincides with the signing of the MRA.


Within five years, bilateral trade in services and goods is expected to reach over USD 15 billion and over USD 100 billion, respectively, thanks to CEPA.


Note: India and the United States signed an MRA AEO in September 2021.

International Affairs

1. World Bank unveils debt payment pause, IMF touts $100 bn for poorest

The World Bank made the announcement of a new and expanded toolkit on June 22, 2023, at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, France, to assist nations in crisis preparedness, response, and recovery.


The tool kit consists of providing the most vulnerable nations with a pause in debt repayment during times of crisis or disaster.


Redirecting financing: Providing nations with more freedom to swiftly redirect a portion of their resources for emergency response.


Establishing a link between financing and crisis preparedness to enable a greater number of nations to construct emergency systems and to have quick-distribution financing available during times of crisis supporting development projects with support from the private sector.  


Businesses will be able to maintain operations and safeguard jobs as a result of this, fostering resilience and long-term viability. Improving catastrophe insurance in order to provide resources without increasing debt.


Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the announcement at the summit that the IMF had accomplished its goal of providing vulnerable nations with special drawing rights (SDRs) worth USD 100 billion.


Key Points:


The wealthy nations made the decision in 2021 to transfer their unused IMF special drawing rights (SDRs), an international reserve currency, to the less fortunate nations.


The intention was to lend the SDRs back to the IMF, which would then be able to lend the funds to low-income nations at rates below the market. This would make USD 100 billion available.


One of the most important announcements made at the Paris Summit was this goal, which aimed to help poor countries deal with debt while increasing climate financing.


About the Summit for a New Financial Pact in the World:


A fresh global finance agenda is the goal of the summit.


The Summit aims to get top-level consensuses like the G20 (Group of 20), COP (Conference of the Parties), IMF-World Bank, and UN (United Nations) on how to promote a number of initiatives in order to increase crisis financing for low-income states, reduce their debt, reform post-war financial systems, and free up funds for the fight against climate change.

2. Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023: Bengaluru ranked 20th & Silicon Valley Topped the Global List

Policy advisory and research firm Startup Genome released the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 (GSER 2023) in which Indian ecosystems continue to rise. Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem moved up two places from 2022 to the 20th spot, while Mumbai’s startup ecosystem moved up five places to the 31st position and Delhi’s startup ecosystem moved up two places to the 24th position, respectively, in the Global Startup Ecosystem list 2023.

Pune (Maharashtra) has moved up into the 31-40 range among the emerging ecosystems in 2023, from 51-60 in 2022.


In the GSER 2023, Silicon Valley will continue to be the best ecosystem, followed by New York City and London, which are tied for second. From 2020, they will remain in the top three spots.


Key Points:


Boston and Beijing came in at number six and seven, respectively, while Tel Aviv and Los Angeles came in at number four.


Miami, ranked 23rd, has made impressive progress by climbing 10 places to the top 30 ecosystems from 2022.


Banking and Finance

1. LIC – launched a close-ended ‘Dhan Vridhhi’ plan and Sold a 2.07% stake in NMDC for Rs 649 crore

The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) launched the single-premium, non-linked, individual savings, close-end life insurance plan dubbed “Dhan Vridhhi” on June 23, 2023, to provide both protection and savings.


From June 23 to September 30, 2023, the plan would be available for purchase.

In the event of the unfortunate death of the life insured during the policy term, the plan provides financial assistance to the family.


There is no obligation to pay future premiums and no lapsing because the plan only requires a single premium. LIC Sold a 2.07% stake in NMDC for Rs 649 crore


LIC sold over 6.06 crore shares or 2.07% stake in iron mineral maker NMDC Restricted

(previously Public Mineral Improvement Company) between Walk 14 and June 20

for around Rs 649 crore at a typical cost of Rs 107.59 an offer by means of open market



The LIC’s stake in NMDC has now decreased to 9.62 per cent from 11.69 per cent.

2. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance launches ‘Nishchit Pension Plan

The launch of Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited (ABSLI), the life insurance division of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL), a comprehensive retirement plan, has been announced. It is a retirement individual pension plan that is not linked and does not participate.


It contributes to the accumulation of 100% guaranteed corpus, ensuring a steady income.


Key points:


With options for Premium Payment Term (PPT) and Policy Term (PT), ABSLI’s Nishchit Pension Plan lets policyholders tailor their plans to their retirement objectives.


If the policy is in effect and all outstanding premiums have been paid, it will offer loyalty additions and returns on invested premiums, depending on the premium and the term.




The PPT options available to policyholders range from 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12 years to Regular Pay options.


The minimum age to join the ABSLI Nishchit Pension Plan is 30, and the maximum age to join is 65.


The annualized minimum premium is Rs. 20,000, and the maximum premium you can pay is unlimited.


The minimum vesting age is 45 years, while the maximum age to receive the vesting benefit is 75 years.


The Vesting: The term “vesting age” refers to the age at which an insured person begins to receive a pension. The policy begins to release the annuity payout amount at the frequency specified in the policy when the vesting age is reached.

3. Manipal Technologies partners with Indian Bank to offer Customised Banking Solutions 

Manipal Technologies Limited (MTL), a multi-business enterprise, and Indian Bank, a public sector bank, formed a partnership on June 22, 2023, to provide individualized banking products to empower millions of underserved Indians.


As a feature of this affiliation, MTL will work intimately with Indian Bank to offer tailor-made

banking items in country areas and open their financial development potential.




The partnership aims to establish a long-term network of Corporate Business Correspondents (CBCs) that will increase financial services’ availability, affordability, and accessibility, particularly in rural and underserved markets.


The alliance’s characteristics:


The initial focus will be on providing services to more than 600 locations, with the goal of eventually expanding into newer regions in states like Kerala, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu (TN).


The Indian Bank’s partnership with MTL will further enable the bank to serve India’s underbanked and unbanked customers by expanding beyond its current branch network.


The Indian bank also wants to give people easy access to financial services like opening accounts, withdrawing money, depositing money, generating leads, opening FDs, and applying for loans.


Indian Bank will be able to reach out to people in remote areas and ensure that they have easy access to financial services thanks to the extensive network of trained Field Business Correspondents (FBCs) from MTL.


Fintech, financial inclusion, doorstep banking, fraud risk management, gold loans, digital solutions, print management, cards, commercial print, and secure solutions are all part of MTL’s business portfolio across all domains.


Additional Details:


A decrease in bad loans and an increase in interest income contributed to the Indian Bank’s 47% increase in net profit for the March quarter (the three months beginning on January 1, 2023) to Rs.1,447 crore.


Note: The Indian Bank’s profit for the fiscal year that ended in March 2023 increased by 34 per cent to Rs 5,282 crore, from Rs 3,945 crore in FY2022.

Science and Technology

1. IIT Kanpur successfully conducts Test Flight for Cloud Seeding/Artificial Rain

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K), in Uttar Pradesh (UP), successfully carried out a test flight and experiment as part of their cloud seeding project on June 21, 2023.

It was a test of cloud seeding to create rain. The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) gave the experiment its okay.


Using a variety of chemical agents like dry ice, salt, silver iodide, and other elements, cloud seeding increases the likelihood of precipitation.


Note: Professor Manindra Agarwal of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering is in charge of the IIT-K Cloud Seeding Project, which was started in 2017.


About the Test:


After successfully completing the test ride, a Cessna aircraft from IIT-K with cloud-seeding attachments was flown from the Flight Laboratory’s airstrip to the Flight Lab’s airstrip in the experiment.


The test flight reached a height of about 5000 feet.


As is customary, a flare was used to spread the agents during the test flight.


Note: According to Prof. Manindra Agrawal, they did not launch the flares into the clouds, and the experiment was only a test of the equipment.


The manufacturer of the cloud seeding attachments used in the experiment was located in the United States of America (USA), and both the DGCA and the US-based Cessna approved the necessary aircraft modifications. The test flight safely returned to the IIT-K Flight Lab airstrip after the procedure was finished.


Key Points:


This achievement makes it possible to generate rainfall in drought-prone parts of Uttar Pradesh, most notably Bundelkhand, which would be beneficial to agricultural communities struggling with a lack of water.


For one hour of cloud seeding, it costs between Rs 2 and Rs 5 lakh.

2. SpaceX launches 47 Starlink satellites, lands rocket at sea

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) used a Falcon 9 rocket to launch 47 Starlink internet satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, United States of America, on June 22, 2023.


The first stage of the Falcon 9 flew back to Earth and landed on the SpaceX drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Pacific Ocean.


Over 4,600 Starlink satellites have been launched by SpaceX thus far, the majority of which are operational.


Note: Starlink satellites are outfitted with optical space lasers to build a global broadband internet network that connects people at high speeds even to the farthest reaches of the planet.


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