Current Affairs 26-31 Dec 2023

Daily Current Capsules

26 to 31 December 2023

Veer Baal Diwas

COMMEMORATION OF VEER BAAL DIWAS ON 26TH DECEMBER 2022 :: Consulate General  of India Birmingham

  • Prime Minister of India participated in the programme marking ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ on 26th December, 2023
  • To mark this day, the Government is organising participative programmes all over the country for informing and educating the citizens, especially the young children, about the story of exemplary courage of the Sahibzades.
  • On the day of the Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, on 9th January 2022, Prime Minister had announced that 26th December will be observed as ‘Veer Bal Diwas’, to mark the martyrdom of Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s sons Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji.

Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM-JANMAN)

MyGovIndia on X: "Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya  Maha Abhiyan (PM JANMAN) to uplift Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups  (PVTGs). With a focus on 11 critical interventions across 9 ministries,  including

  • With an aim of reaching out to 22000 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) majority tribal habitations and PVTG families in 200 districts across the country, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs has initiated an Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign for the Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM-JANMAN)
  • Prime Minister, launched the PM-JANMAN on Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas (November 15, 2023), from the Khunti District of Jharkhand.
  • This campaign is an effort aimed at saturating PVTG families with individual entitlements and habitations with basic facilities, by making these tribal communities aware about their entitlements.
  • This initiative will ensure to cover every PVTG household that has remained unreached because of distance, lack of road and digital connectivity and will provide facilities at their doorstep.

INS Imphal

INS Imphal | Guided missile destroyer - The Hindu

  • INS Imphal, a Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy
  • The event marks the formal induction of the third of four indigenous ‘Visakhapatnam’ class destroyers, being designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai.
  • The fourth Project 15B stealth-guided missile destroyer ‘Surat’ will be commissioned in 2024.
  • Prior to the commissioning of INS Imphal, two destroyers of the same class INS Visakhapatnam and INS Mormugao were commissioned into the Navy in 2021 & 2022 respectively.

INS Imphal – Highlights

  • It is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas & Gas configuration, and is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.
  • Brahmos Aerospace installed Brahmos missile on the ship.
  • Torpedo tube launchers are of Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
  • Rapid Gun Mount has been installed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), and Medium Range missiles by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
  • In addition, many start-ups and MSMEs are involved in its construction.
  • To counter piracy & drone attacks on merchant shipping, the Indian Navy has deployed four destroyers of Project 15B & 15A class deployed.
  • P8I Aircraft, Dorniers, Sea Guardians, Helicopters & Coast Guard Ships have all been deployed jointly to counter these threats.
  • INS Imphal has the unique distinction of being the first warship to be named after a city in the North-east, underscoring the importance and contribution of the region and Manipur to the Nation & the Indian Navy.
  • Its keel was laid on May 19, 2017 and the ship was launched on April 20, 2019.
  • The ship sailed for her maiden sea sortie on April 28, 2023, and underwent comprehensive trials in harbour & at sea, with its delivery on October 20, 2023 marking a record time frame of less than six months.
  • The time taken to build INS Imphal and undergo trials has been the shortest for any indigenous destroyer.
  • The ship successfully completed the first-ever test-firing of extended range Brahmos missile prior to its commissioning, making it ‘weapon-ready’.
  • INS Imphal has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section, achieved through efficient shaping of hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and use of radar transparent material on exposed decks.
  • It is armed with sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including Surface-to-Surface Missiles, Surface-to-Air Missiles, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) rocket launchers & Torpedo launchers, ASW helicopters, radars, sonar and Electronic Warfare systems.
  • The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare conditions.

Formalin detection in adulterated fish

  • A new low-cost sensor made of metal oxide nanoparticles–reduced graphene oxide composite can detect formalin adulteration in fishes at room temperature in a non-invasive way. The sensor shows long-term stability with a low detection limit.
  • Food adulteration is the practice of adding illegal or harmful substances to food to make it appear more appealing or to increase its shelf life.
  • Formaldehyde is a colourless, pungent gas that is used in a variety of industrial processes, including as a preservative in some foods, commonly in fish in developing countries. However, the use of formaldehyde in food is illegal in many countries, as it is a known carcinogen.
  • Commercial formalin sensors for fish are primarily electrochemical-based or colorimetric-based. Electrochemical sensors are extensively used but are expensive.
  • On the other hand, calorimetric sensors are less expensive. But both methods are invasive in nature. Moreover, low-level detection and selective detection are two major issues with these sensors.
  • The development of 2D materials-based gas sensors has created a new avenue of effective detection of toxic vapors at room temperature.
  • These sensors have the potential to detect the formalin evaporated from adulterated food products.

North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine (NEIAFMR)

  • The North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine (NEIAFMR), Pasighat was established to strengthen and develop traditional healthcare, with special focus on the Northeast.
  • It is functioning as the apex Research Centre for all aspects of Local Health Traditions (LHTs) and Ethno Medicinal Practices (EMPs).
  • The Institute has also been working as a common ground for traditional healers, Ayurvedic researchers as well as scientific community in order to scientifically prove & validate the efficacy of traditional medicine towards enrichment of human lives.
  • The Govt aims to further strengthen NEIAFMR with infrastructure like (Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) & Museum, Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility (SAIF)

National Conference of Chief Secretaries in Delhi

  • Prime Minister chaired the third National Conference of Chief Secretaries in Delhi on 28th and 29th December 2023.
  • This is the third such conference, the first was held in June 2022 in Dharamshala and the second in January 2023 in Delhi.
  • Driven by the vision of the Prime Minister of putting the principle of cooperative federalism in action, National Conference of Chief Secretaries are organised to encourage participative governance and partnership between the Centre and the State Governments.
  • More than 200 people comprising representatives of the Central Government, Chief Secretaries, and other senior officials of all States/Union Territories participated in the conference
  • The key focus of the National Conference of Chief Secretaries this year was ‘Ease of Living’.
  • The Conference emphasized the evolution and implementation of a common development agenda and blueprint for cohesive action in partnership with the States.

100th Jayanti of Justice Konda Madhava Reddy

  • Vice-President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar, released a special postal cover to commemorate the 100th anniversary of legal luminary late Justice Konda Madhav Reddy
  • Konda Madhava Reddy is a former Chief Justice of Hyderabad High Court and Bombay High Court, and former member of the Council of Smaller States, New Delhi.
  • Justice Reddy was an eminent personality in Indian judiciary at large and educational, cultural and social organizations in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Migration and Mobility Agreement between India and Italy

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal of Ministry of External Affairs to sign and ratify the Migration and Mobility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Italian Republic.
  • The Agreement would enhance people-to-people contacts, foster mobility of students, skilled workers, business people and young professionals and strengthen cooperation on issues related to irregular migration between the two sides.
  • The Agreement locks-in the current Italian visa regime including mechanisms for post study opportunities, internships, professional trainings assuring an advantage for India under the existing labour mobility pathways under the Flows Decree.

Cabinet approves opening of Consulate General of India in Auckland, New Zealand

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the proposal to open of a Consulate General of India in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Opening of Consulate General of India in Auckland would help in increasing India’s diplomatic footprint and strengthen India’s diplomatic representation in view of India’s increasing global engagement.
  • This will also help promote India’s strategic and commercial interests and better serve the welfare of Indian community in Auckland.

How embassy is different from consulate?

  • Embassies are generally larger than consulates and are staffed by a team of diplomats while consulates are smaller and have fewer staff members.
  • Embassies are usually located in the capital city of the host country and consulates are located in major cities.
  • The head of an embassy is called an ambassador. The head of a consulate is called a consul.
  • Embassies are responsible for representing the interests of their home country in the host country. Consulates primarily provide services to citizens of the home country who are living or traveling in the host country.
  • Embassies are involved in political and diplomatic affairs. Consulates focus on providing consular services such as issuing visas, helping citizens in emergencies, and assisting citizens who have lost their passports.
  • Ambassadors are usually appointed by the head of state of their home country. Consuls are appointed by the ambassador.
  • In some cases, a country may have both an embassy and multiple consulates in the same host country. Both embassies and consulates are important in maintaining diplomatic relations between countries and providing services to citizens living or traveling abroad.

50 years of Pandit Jasraj’s music festival – ‘Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroha

  • Union Home Minister released a commemorative Postal Stamp, to mark 50 years of Pandit Jasraj’s music festival – ‘Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroha’, in New Delhi
  • The commemorative stamp has been brought out by the Department of Post, Ministry of Communications, Government of India.

Know! about Pandit Jasraj ji

  • Pandit Jasraj ji has immortalised Indian classical, Pushtimargiya music and Bhakti Pad of Vaishnav tradition immortal for over 8 decades for the music lovers of whole world.
  • This music festival was started by Pandit Jasraj ji in 1972 to musically express love to the only memory he had of his Father, Sangeet Ratna Pandit Motiram ji, who passed away when Pt. Jasraj was only 4 years old and his elder brother and later his Guru, Sangeet Mahamopadhyay Pandit Maniram ji.
  • During his lifetime, for 47 years, without a single break, Pandit Jasraj ji hosted this annual Sangeet Samaroh himself. It is the oldest festival of Hyderabad, and this legacy is carried forward by Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation. For this unique contribution he was called “Son of Hyderabad”.

6 SAMARTH Curated Programs launched by Karmayogi Bharat and NITI Aayog on iGOT Platform for State Government officials

Current Affairs 26-31 Dec 2023 word image 24076 4 jpeg

  • Karmayogi Bharat, in association with NITI Aayog, has launched 6 SAMARTH Curated Training Programs on the iGOT Karmayogi Platform for State Government
  • The programs are- 1) SAMARTH Blocks, 2) SAMARTH Zila, 3) SAMARTH Rajya, 4) SAMARTH Rajya Sachiva, 5) SAMARTH Policy, and 6) SAMARTH Procurement.
  • These programs aim to elevate the skills and competencies of government officials, ensuring they are well-equipped to meet the evolving needs of governance.
  • SAMARTH Blocks: Tailored for citizen-facing officials and local administrators, SAMARTH Blocks, having 14 courses, focuses on building foundational skills crucial for effective local governance.
  • SAMARTH Zila: Aimed at district-level officials, SAMARTH Zila, comprising 14 courses, is designed to equip learners with the knowledge and tools required to address district-level challenges and drive effective service delivery.
  • SAMARTH Rajya: Targeting state-level officials, the 14 courses of SAMARTH Rajya seek to equip learners with advanced skills required for steering governance at the state level.
  • SAMARTH Rajya Sachiva: Tailored for senior officials and state secretaries, this program consisting of 14 courses, focuses on empowering learners with the expertise needed to navigate complex policy landscapes and drive transformative change.
  • SAMARTH Policy: The 5 courses of SAMARTH Policy delve into the intricacies of policy formulation, policy writing, insights, data analysis, and evaluation.
  • SAMARTH Procurement: Catering to officials involved in procurement processes, SAMARTH Procurement, having 9 courses, provides specialized training in procurement guidelines, rules, strategies, and considerations.

Know! about iGOT Karmayogi

  • It is a comprehensive online learning platform to guide government officials in their capacity-building journey. The portal combines six functional hubs for online learning, competency management, career management, discussions, events, and networking. 28 lakh+ learners from across the government spectrum are currently registered on the iGOT Platform having access to 840+ courses.

Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction)’/MLJK-MA

  • The Government of India has declared ‘Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction)’/MLJK-MA as an ‘Unlawful Association’ under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 1967.
  • Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction)’/MLJK-MA has been involved in anti-national activities and its members have been indulging in secessionist activities in the Jammu and Kashmir and supporting terrorist activities in India.

Know! about Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

  • It is an Indian law aimed at prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • The most recent amendment of the law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 (UAPA 2019) has made it possible for the Union Government to designate individuals as terrorists without following any formal judicial process.
  • The National Integration Council appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to look into the aspect of putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India.

Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA).

  • Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment implements Central Sector Scheme namely Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA).
  • The objective of SHRESHTA is to enhance the reach of development Intervention of the Government and to fill the gap in service deficient SCs dominant areas, in the sector of education through the efforts of grant-in-aid institutions (run by NGOs) and residential high schools offering high-quality education and to provide environment for socio economic upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Castes (SCs).
  • The Scheme is further modified to provide easier access to the meritorious SC students in the best schools in the Country for their Educational and Holistic Development, thereby securing their future opportunities.

The scheme is being implemented in two Modes :

Mode 1: SHRESHTA schools (Best CBSE/State Board affiliated Private Residential Schools)

  • Under this, each year a specified number of meritorious SC students in States/UTs will be selected through the National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS) to be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and admitted in the best private residential schools affiliated by CBSE/State Boards in classes 9th and 11th for completion of education till 12th standard.

Mode2: NGO/VO operated Schools/Hostels (EXISTING COMPONENT)

(Guidelines hereinafter applicable only for Mode 2 of the Scheme)

  • Schools/Hostels run by VOs/NGOs and other organizations having higher classes (upto class 12) and who have been receiving Grant-in-aid will be continued, subject to satisfactory performance.

Marine Energy Conversion Systems Sectional Committee

  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a statutory body functioning under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, has taken a significant stride towards promoting standardisation in the field of Marine Energy Conversion Systems.
  • To address the growing importance of marine energy projects undertaken by the Government of India, BIS has formed a dedicated technical committee, the Marine Energy Conversion Systems Sectional Committee under ETD 54.
  • The primary objective of the Marine Energy Conversion Systems Sectional Committee is to set comprehensive standards and guidelines for various aspects related to marine energy conversion systems.
  • By bringing together expertise from multiple domains, the committee aims to foster collaboration, innovation, and knowledge exchange in this emerging field.

MANJULA (YARD 786)

  • Contract for construction and delivery of 07 x 250 Men Ferry Craft was concluded with M/s Shalimar Works Ltd, Kolkata, in consonance with “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiatives of the Government of India.
  • Six out of Seven Ferrycraft have already been delivered to IndianNavy.
  • Seventh Ferrycraft, ‘Manjula’ (Yard 786), delivered to Indian Navy on 29 Dec 23
  • With a capacity to ferry 250 Men, Induction of ‘Manjula’ (Yard 786) would provide impetus to Operational Commitments of IN by facilitating Transportation of both Men and Material between Indian Naval Ports and Ships/Submarines at anchorage.

Achievements of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) during the year 2023

Project Tiger completes 50 years

  • The Centrally Sponsored Scheme – Project Tiger that has put the endangered wild tigers of India on assured path of recovery has completed 50 years of successful implementation. A commemorative event “Commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger” was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in Mysuru, Karnataka on 9th April 2023.

India is now home to more than 70% of world’s wild tigers:

  • As per the 5th cycle of All India Tiger Estimation 2022 summary report released by the Prime Minister of India during Project Tiger’s commemorative event, India has a minimum of 3167 tigers and now is home to more than 70% of wild tiger population of the world.

Launch of International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA)

  • International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) was launched for conservation of seven big cats namely Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Cheetah, Jaguar and Puma that inhabit our planet.
  • The alliance aims to reach out to range countries covering the natural habitats of Tiger, Lion, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, and Cheetah.
  • IBCA would further strengthen global cooperation and efforts to conserve the wild denizens, especially the big cats.

Successful reintroduction of cheetah

  • As part of the project, consultative bilateral meetings and negotiations were held with Republic of Namibia and Republic of South Africa.
  • Following the signing of MoU with Republic of Namibia, a first of batch eight cheetahs have been successfully translocated from Namibia to Kuno National Park and on 17th September 2022
  • Under the provisions of the MoU signed with South Africa,12 Cheetahs (7 males, 5 females) were translocated from South Africa to Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India on 18th February 2023.
  • As per the Action Plan, work is under progress at Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh for establishing the second home for cheetah meta population. At present there are 15 Cheetah in Kuno including a cub borne on the Indian soil.
  • Further, a conservation breeding program of cheetahs in Banni grasslands of Gujarat has also been approved.

Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Tiger Reserves

  • In order to assess the management effectiveness of tiger reserves, the NTCA has been undertaking “Management Effective Evaluation” (MEE) at an interval of 4 years. Adopted from the framework of the International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • and Natural Resources (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas, Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) has emerged as the most important tool to assist and improve the management perspectives of Tiger Reserves and their associated landscape connectivity.
  • The 5th cycle of MEE was carried out during 2022 for 51 tiger reserves the report was released during the ‘Global Tiger Day Event 2023’ in Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand on 29th July 2023.

Reintroduction of tigers

  • Under this active management initiative, tigers have been re-introduced in the western part of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve (Uttarakhand), Madhav National Park (Madhya Pradesh), Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve and Ramgarh Vishdhari (Rajasthan). Efforts are on to reintroduce tigers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve soon.

Declaration of new Tiger Reserves

  • With declaration of new tiger reserve “Rani Durgavati” in Madhya Pradesh, the total number of tiger reserves in the county has gone up to 54 with more than 78,000 Square KM area and covers more than 2.30% of geographical area of India.

Conservation Assured’ Tiger Standards (CA|TS) accreditation of Tiger Reserves in India

  • Conservation Assured) Tiger Standards (CA|TS) is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation as per the international standards.
  • In the current year, six tiger reserves namely Kali, Melghat, Navegaon – Nagzira, Pilibhit and Periyar have been awarded with CA|TS accreditation.

Bilateral co-operation with Tiger Range Countries

  • For fostering transboundary conservation of tigers across India and Bangladesh in Sundarban landscape, a bilateral meeting was held on 14th February 2023 at Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • For promoting tiger conservation in Cambodia, both India and Cambodia have signed a MoU on “Cooperation in biodiversity conservation and sustainable wildlife management recovery strategy of tiger and its habitat
  • As part of bilateral initiative, the Indian delegation visited Cambodia for assessing the field situation and the capacity building requirements for tiger reintroduction initiative in Cambodia.

International award to tiger reserves

  • During 2022-23, Pench Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh) and Pench Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra) jointly and Satpura Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh) have been awarded with Tx2 award, which is instituted  by a consortium of international organization namely GEF, UNDP, IUCN, WWF and GTF.

National Transit Pass System (NTPS)-One Nation-One Pass

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the National Transit Pass System (NTPS) pan-India to facilitate the seamless transit of timber, bamboo, and other forest produce across the country.
  • Currently, the transit permits are issued for transport of timber and forest produce based on state-specific transit rules.
  • The NTPS is envisioned as a “One Nation-One Pass” regime, which will enable seamless transit across the country.
  • This initiative will streamline the issuance of timber transit permits by providing a unified, online mode for tree growers and farmers involved in agroforestry across the country, contributing to the ease of doing business.
  • NTPS offers seamless transit permits, managing records for both inter-state and intra-state transportation of timber, bamboo, and other forest produce obtained from various sources like private lands, government-owned forest, and private depots.
  • NTPS is designed for user convenience, featuring desktop and mobile applications for easy registration and permit applications.
  • Transit permits will be issued for tree species which are regulated, while the users can self-generate No Objection Certificates for exempted species.
  • Presently, 25 States and Union Territories have embraced the unified permit system, streamlining interstate business operations for producers, farmers, and transporters.

United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)

  • In presence of Union Home Minister a Memorandum of Settlement signed between Government of India, Government of Assam and representatives of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)
  • More than 9000 cadres have surrendered and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been lifted from 85 percent area of Assam.
  • Due to the tripartite agreement between the Government of India, the Government of Assam and ULFA, the government has achieved success in eliminating all the violent groups in Assam.
  • Under this agreement, ULFA representatives have agreed to abjure path of violence, lay down all their arms and ammunition and disband their armed organisation.
  • ULFA has also agreed to vacate all camps occupied by its armed cadres, engage in the peaceful democratic process established by law and maintain the integrity of the country.
  • The government has signed NLFT agreement in 2019, Bru and Bodo in 2020, Karbi in 2021, Adivasi agreement in 2022, Assam-Meghalaya border agreement, Assam-Arunachal border agreement and agreement with UNLF in 2023

DIVYA KALA MELA-2023

  • Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) {DEPwD), MoSJ&E, GoI through National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC, an apex corporation under (DEPwD) is organizing a unique event showcasing the products and craftsmanship of Divyang entrepreneurs/artisans from across the country, ‘Divya Kala Mela’ from 29th December 2023 – 7th January 2024 in Surat, Gujrat.
  • The event would present an enthralling experience to the visitors as vibrant products from various parts of the country including Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern states, handicrafts, handlooms, embroidery works and packaged food etc. will be seen together.
  • This is a unique initiative towards the economic empowerment of PwD/Divyangjan.
  • The Divya Kala Mela presents a bigger platform for marketing and showcasing the products and skills of Divyangjan (PwD).

Know! about NDFDC

  • National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC) is an apex corporation under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India since 1997.
  • It provides financial assistance at concessional rate of interest upto Rs.50 Lakh for Self Employment ventures and pursuing higher education to Divyangjan/Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan/PwDs).
  • The assistance is channelized through various implementing agencies (State Channelizing agencies- SCAS, Partner Banks etc).
  • Loan assistance (upto Rs. 50 Lakh) for Professional/ Educational/Training courses is extended to students with disabilities for pursuing studies within India and abroad at nominal interest of 4% p.a.
  • The loan assistance may be availed by students with disabilities through Punjab National Bank, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, J&K Bank Ltd. and 17 Regional Rural Banks

National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI)

  • Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation laid the foundation stone of the headquarters of National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) Limited in Gandhinagar, Gujarat
  • India has reached first place in the world’s milk production with 24% share
  • Milk production in India has increased by about 51% in the last 8 years, which is the highest in the world.

Know! about NCDFI

  • National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) was registered on December 07, 1970 under the Bombay Cooperative Societies Act (VII of 1925) as extended to the Union Territory of Delhi with its head office in New Delhi.
  • However, it was only during the year 1984 that it started functioning as the apex body of the cooperative dairy industry.
  • In December 1986, to gain locational advantage, the NCDFI shifted its headquarters from Delhi to Anand — the milk capital of India.
  • In April 1987, the NCDFI bylaws were amended to bring it under the provisions of the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act.
  • The NCDFI has 19 Regular Members, 13 Associate Members, and National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) as its Institutional Member.

The NCDFI was registered with the following objects:

  • To promote the dairy and the oilseeds, vegetable / edible oil and vanaspati industries and other commodities on cooperative lines; and
  • To coordinate, help, develop, and facilitate the working of the dairy and oilseeds growers cooperatives and affiliated organizations dealing in commodities.

Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Central/ North Arabian Sea in NEWS

Current Affairs 26-31 Dec 2023 word image 24076 5

  • The last few weeks have witnessed increased maritime security incidents on merchant vessels transiting through international shipping lanes in Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Central/ North Arabian Sea.
  • The piracy incident on MV Ruen approximately 700 nautical miles from the Indian coast and recent drone attack on MV Chem Pluto, approximately 220 nautical miles South West of Porbandar indicates a shift in maritime incidents closer to Indian EEZ.
  • In response to these incidents, Indian Navy has substantially enhanced maritime surveillance efforts in Central/ North Arabian Sea and augmented force levels.
  • The overall situation is being closely monitored by Indian Navy in coordination with national maritime agencies.

Sixteenth Finance Commission Constituted

  • The Government of India, with the approval of the President of India, has constituted the Sixteenth Finance Commission, in pursuance to Article 280(1) of the Constitution.
  • Dr Arvind Panagariya, former Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, and Professor, Columbia University will be the Chairman.

The Sixteenth Finance Commission shall make recommendations as to the following matters, namely: —

  1. The distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or may be, divided between them under Chapter I, Part XII of the Constitution and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds;
  2. The principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India and the sums to be paid to the States by way of grants-in-aid of their revenues under Article 275 of the Constitution for the purposes other than those specified in the provisos to clause (1) of that article; and
  3. The measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State.
  • The Sixteenth Finance Commission may review the present arrangements on financing Disaster Management initiatives, with reference to the funds constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (53 of 2005), and make appropriate recommendations thereon.
  • The Sixteenth Finance Commission has been requested to make its report available by 31st day of October, 2025 covering a period of five years commencing on the 1st day of April, 2026.

Sagar Parikrama (Phase X)

  • Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying will participate in the Sagar Parikrama (Phase X) event being organized from 1st January 2024 to 6th January 2024 at various locations of Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.
  • Sagar Parikrama is a testament to the transformative power of visionary leadership for welfare of fishing community and coastal development.
  • It is an initiative taken by Government, with an aim to resolve the issues of the fishers, other stakeholders and facilitate their economic upliftment through various fisheries’ schemes and programs being implemented by the Government such as Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and Kisan Credit Card for Fisheries (KCC).

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