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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - May 2022

May 2022

Aug 18, 2022

Kerala Govt's Own E-taxi Service App

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the LDF government's own e-taxi service app, named 'Kerala Savari', which is considered to be the first such initiative by any state in the country.
  • Vijayan also flagged off, at the app launch event, the auto rickshaws which would be operating under the new online taxi hiring service that was rolled out by the state Labour Department.
  • Under the new initiative, the objective is to link the existing auto rickshaw-taxi networks in Kerala with an aim to ensure safe and dispute-free travel for the public at affordable rates prevailing in the state.

Medicine from Sky: Arunachal Gets Drone-based Healthcare Services

  • Arunachal Pradesh successfully launched the first flight of drone service - 'medicine from the sky' from Seppa to Chayang Tajo in East Kameng district.
  • Chief Minister Pema Khandu said "Drone Services Launched: Guided by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India the world's drone hub, the government of Arunachal Pradesh has decided to conduct a pilot project of using drones in healthcare, agriculture and disaster management in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF)".
  • The pilot project funded by USAID and executed by Redwings Labs shall provide a clear picture on operational issues, financial feasibility and regulatory issues, based on which our govt shall make a policy and take steps for phased adoption of this emerging technology.

PM Modi Announces 'Panch Pran' Goal for the Next 25 Years

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the nation from the Red Fort for the ninth time in a row on August 15, 2022. PM Modi, in his 88-minute speech, outlined his "Panch Pran Targets" (Five Resolves) to make India a developed country by the time it celebrates its 100th Independence Day in 25 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the Panch Pran Goal.
  • Panch Pran: India's developed standards
  • Cleanliness campaigns, vaccinations, electrical connections, the elimination of open defecation, and the usage of solar energy are all examples of established India standards according to the Panch Pran.
  • A prime illustration of "liberation from the concept of servitude" is the New National Education Policy.
  • Women's rights, gender equality, and India First are national emblems of solidarity and unity.
  • India would advance if its citizens carry out obligations like saving power, practising chemical-free agriculture, and making the most of the available irrigation water.

India's First Portal on Arrested Narco Offenders 'NIDAAN' Gets Operational

  • A first-of-its kind database of arrested narcotics offenders was made operational for use by various central and state prosecution agencies tasked to enforce anti-drugs laws in the country.
  • The portal--NIDAAN or the National Integrated Database on Arrested Narco-offenders--has been developed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
  • The NIDAAN platform sources its data from the ICJS (inter-operable criminal justice system) and the e-Prisons (a cloud-based application) repository and it is planned to integrate it in the future with the crime and criminal tracking network system or CCTNS.
  • NIDAAN is a one-stop solution for all narcotics offenders' related data and will help investigative agencies as an effective tool to connect the dots while probing narcotics cases.

Govt. Extends Tenure of DCGI Chief V.G. Somani by Three Months

  • The Centre extended the tenure of Drug Controller General of India V. G. Somani by three months. His term was set to end on 14 August 2022.
  • During the pandemic, the incumbent DCGI played a key role from approval of covid-19 vaccines to approval of lifesaving drugs and ensuring its quality in combatting the covid-19 pandemic.
  • The union government is looking for a new candidate for the post of DCGI which works to ensure the quality of drugs and cosmetics sold in the country gives approval for new drugs and regulates clinical trials.
  • In 2019, the government had appointed Somani as DCGI for a period of three years to head India's apex drug regulatory agency Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

Shivraj Chouhan, Gadkari Dropped from BJP Parliamentary Board

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reconstituted its top decision-making body, the parliamentary board, dropping Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and Maharashtra's Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis — the three mass leaders of the BJP who were widely expected to make it to the top body – were also left out.
  • However, Fadnavis has been made a member of the party's Central Election Committee which selects candidates during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • Chaired by BJP president JP Nadda, the newly constituted board has 11 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister and former Assam CM Sarbanand Sonowal and former Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa.
  • Telangana BJP leader K Laxman, Iqbal Singh Lalpura from Punjab, Sudha Yadav from Haryana, Satyanarayan Jatiya from Madhya Pradesh and BJP national general secretary (organization) BL Santosh are also part of the parliamentary board. Santosh, who is from Karnataka, was named the board's secretary.

Aug 17, 2022

Kolkata to Host India International Seafood Show in 2023 after a Gap of 16 Years

  • The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), in association with the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), will host the 23rd edition of India International Seafood Show in Kolkata from February 15 to 17 in 2023, after a gap of 16 years.
  • As per MPEDA Chairman Dr. K N Raghavan, the biennial showpiece event in the seafood sector, to be held at the sprawling Biswa Bangala Mela Prangan in Kolkata, will provide an ideal platform for interaction between Indian exporters and overseas importers of the country's marine products.
  • The event would also provide a huge scope for tapping new avenues and introducing various technologies and products to the global market. Another objective is to highlight the country's commitment towards sustainability in the entire value chain of seafood products such as primary production, processing and transportation.
  • There would also be technical sessions by national and international experts who will brainstorm on chalking out measures that would give a further impetus to seafood exports from the country.

Bihar Cabinet Expansion: Nitish Kumar Keeps Home Dept., Tejashwi Yadav Gets Health

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar allocated portfolios and retained the all-important home department, giving him direct control over the state police. The JD(U) chief also kept with himself general administration, cabinet secretariat, election and 'any other departments not assigned to others'. His Deputy and RJD's Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was also given key portfolios like health, road construction, urban housing and development and rural works. Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav has been given environment, forestry and climate change.
  • Besides the CM and the deputy CM, only Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (finance, commercial tax and parliamentary affairs) and Bijendra Yadav (power and planning and development) have got more than one portfolio.

S. Jaishankar in Thailand for 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meet

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar attended the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.
  • The 8th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Thailand was held on October 10, 2019, in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Jaishankar and the Thai side was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai.

Aug 16, 2022

Punjab Government Notifies Pension for Former MLAs for Only 1 Term

  • The Punjab government issued a notification giving pension to former MLAs only for one term following an assent by the Punjab governor to a Bill in this regard.
  • The Punjab Assembly had passed the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2022 in June.

Jitendra Singh Launches India's First Saline Water LED Lantern 'Roshni'

  • Union Minister Jitendra Singh launched India's first saline water lantern, which uses seawater to power LED lamps.
  • According to the Ministry of Earth Science, Singh unveiled the first-of-its-kind lantern named "Roshni" during a visit to SAGAR ANVESHIKA, a Coastal Research Vessel, operated and used by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai for coastal research.
  • Saline Water Lantern will bring "Ease of Living" to the poor and needy, particularly the fishing community living along the 7500 Kilometres long coastal line of India.
  • Roshini Lamps along with Power Ministry's schemes like Solar Study Lamps would drive a vibrant renewable energy programme aimed at achieving energy security, energy access and reducing the carbon footprints of the national economy.

Defence Forces, RBI and PM Office most Trusted Institutions

  • Defence forces, RBI and Prime Minister of India are the three most trusted institutions in the country, according to a survey by Ipsos India.
  • The Supreme Court of India came fourth and it was followed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • Defence Forces with at least 2 in 3 (65 per cent of respondents) reposing faith in them was ranked first, followed by Reserve Bank of India with 1 in 2 (50 per cent). Prime Minister of India as an institution was at the third spot with 49 per cent citizens having trust in it, the survey said.
  • Smack in the middle was the Parliament (33 per cent) ranked 7th, ranked 8th was the media (32 per cent) and placed 9th was the Election Commission of India (31 per cent).

Centre Reinstates Shah Faesal as Deputy Secretary in Tourism Ministry

  • The Central government reinstated controversial IAS officer Shah Faesal and appointed him as Deputy Secretary in the Tourism Ministry.
  • The Centre's move came four months after it accepted Faesal's application for withdrawing his resignation and reinstated him in the service in April.
  • Faesal, a 2010 batch IAS topper of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre, now AGMUT, had resigned from the services in January 2019 and joined politics, which he later quit in August 2020.
  • Faesal floated the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM) party soon after submitting his resignation. He was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act immediately after the abrogation of special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

NID Foundation, Chandigarh University Create Guinness World Record for Largest Human Formation of...

  • Students of Chandigarh University, in association with NID foundation, set a new Guinness World Record for the world's largest human formation of a waving national flag at Chandigarh cricket stadium, Sector 16 on Saturday to mark 75 years of India's independence.
  • The feat was achieved by breaking the previous record made by an institution in the United Arab Emirates.
  • A total of 5885 students from Chandigarh University and other schools and colleges along with volunteers of the NID Foundation took 2 hours and 45 minutes to make the human image of a waving national flag and break the record internationally. At least 25,000 people from various walks of life had gathered to witness the event, which the organisers said was their attempt to do something unique to mark the country's Independence Day.

ITBP Sets Unique Record by Hoisting Tricolour Simultaneously on 75 Peaks to Mark Independence Day

  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) set a unique record by hoisting the Tricolour simultaneously on 75 peaks to mark 75 years of Independence.
  • The 'Amritarohan' summit mission was organised by the border guarding, mountain-trained force under the aegis of the government's Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign.
  • The ITBP identified 75 peaks near 75 border outposts (BOPs) located along the India-China border for the mission and hoisted the National Flag at 7 am on them.
  • Out of these, 33 peaks are located in Ladakh, 16 peaks in Uttarakhand, 11 in Sikkim, 10 in Himachal Pradesh and 5 in Arunachal Pradesh.

SBI to Run Indian Visa Centres (IVAC) in Bangladesh

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) will manage the Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) in Bangladesh for two more years. The agreement to extend the operations for two more years was signed between the officials of the SBI and the High Commission of India in Dhaka. The IVAC will also be starting a few additional services soon which include facilitation for online form filling and submission of forms, slot booking and launching of a mobile app. A priority lounge was also inaugurated at the IVAC centre in Dhaka.
  • Currently, SBI runs a total of 15 IVACs across Bangladesh. The IVAC centre at the Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka was opened in 2018. It is the largest Indian visa application centre. The first IVAC was started by SBI in 2005 in Dhaka.

Aug 15, 2022

Initiative 'SMILE' to Make Cities, Towns and Municipal Areas Begging-free

  • The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Friday launched the 'SMILE-75' initiative for comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in begging in 75 identified municipalities as a part of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence.
  • The initiative is part of the Ministry's ongoing SMILE project (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) for which Rs. 100 crore was allocated till 2025-2026.
  • Under the SMILE-75 initiative, 75 municipal corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other government welfare programmes etc.

Aug 14, 2022

Amit Shah Inaugurates National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated a one-day National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks organised by the Ministry of Cooperation and the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks (NAFSCOB).
  • Union Minister of State for Cooperation BL Verma addressed the valedictory session of the conference.
  • Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation Gyanesh Kumar, NAFSCOB Chairman Konduru Ravinder Rao and NAFSCOB Managing Director Bhima Subrahmanyam were also present.
  • The short-term cooperative credit structure in India comprises 34 State Cooperative Banks, 351 District Central Cooperative Banks and 96,575 PACS.
  • The National Federation of State Cooperative Banks was established on May 19, 1964, with the broad objective to facilitate the operations of state and central cooperative banks and the development of a short-term cooperative credit structure.
  • Amit Shah also presented Performance Awards to selected State Cooperative Banks, District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and PACS, and felicitated a few short-term cooperative credit institutions for 100 years of service.
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