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Oct 2022

May 29, 2023

Modi Inaugurates New Parliament Building

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's new Parliament building. It is a modern complex built as part of the government's grand plan to give a makeover to the British colonial-era architecture in the nation's capital. Several religious leaders lauded the Prime Minister for the inauguration of the new building, which also houses the historic 'Sengol'.
  • The inauguration of the new Sansad Bhavan coincided with the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue V. D. Savarkar. Several opposition parties targeted the government, with the Congress calling it a complete insult to the country's founding fathers.
  • Besides modern technology, the new parliament has a total of 1,272 seats in two chambers, nearly 500 more than the old building, and at least three times as much space to accommodate new lawmakers in the world's most populous nation.
  • The triangular-shaped parliament complex is just across from the old, circular heritage building built by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1927, two decades before India's independence.
  • The old parliament will be converted into a museum.

Suman Sharma Sworn in as UPSC Member

  • Senior bureaucrat Suman Sharma was sworn in as the member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • Sharma is a 1990-batch Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) officer.
  • UPSC Chairman Manoj Soni administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed member.
  • Sharma was working as Managing Director of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) Ltd. under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to her parent cadre.
  • During her stint as MD, SECI, the company witnessed significant growth in its revenue and profits and also received 'Mini Ratna' status during her tenure.
  • Sharma, in her illustrious career of more than 30 years, has held several important positions and has been closely involved with the subject matters of international taxation, transfer pricing, power trading agreements and new foreign trade policy in India.

Siddaramaiah Keeps Key Departments, D. K. Shivakumar Gets Two

  • Members of the newly expanded Karnataka Cabinet, comprising 34 ministers, were assigned their portfolios with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah keeping five ministries, including Finance, with himself.
  • His deputy D. K. Shivakumar was assigned the ministries of Irrigation and Bengaluru Development.
  • Besides Finance, the CM kept the ministries of Cabinet Affairs, Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Intelligence, Information, and other unallocated portfolios. Senior Congress leader G. Parameshwara, a Dalit who remained the Deputy Chief Minister, was given the Home Ministry while Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's son Priyank Kharge was given the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

PM Presides over 8th NITI Aayog Governing Council Meeting

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the eighth governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog.
  • Themed on 'Viksit Bharat @2047: Role of Team India', the meeting was held at the new Convention Centre in the national capital's Pragati Maidan.
  • As the chairman of NITI Aayog, PM Modi presided over the meeting, which deliberated on issues related to health, skill development, women empowerment and infrastructure development, with an aim to make India a developed nation by 2047.
  • Chief Ministers of several states participated in the council meeting that was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

May 28, 2023

Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Inaugurates International Conference on India Pharma, India Medi...

  • Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandviya asked the pharma and medical device industries to focus on the manufacturing of affordable and quality products.
  • Inaugurating the international conference on the pharma and medical device sector in New Delhi, he said that quality cannot be compromised in this competitive industry and the government is taking measures to ensure it.

Giriraj Singh Launches SAMARTH Campaign to Promote Digital Transactions at Gram Panchayat Level

  • The Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh launched the 'SAMARTH Campaign on Promoting Digital Transactions in 50,000 Gram Panchayats' under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in Lucknow. This campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Rural Development, aims to promote digital transactions in rural areas, with a particular focus on empowering women. The launch event witnessed the participation of various dignitaries, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

Sushil Gupta is AAP Haryana Unit President

  • The Aam Aadmi Party constituted its Haryana unit and appointed Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Gupta as its president with an eye on the assembly elections in the state next year.
  • Ashok Tanwar, former state Congress chief who joined the AAP after a brief association with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in April 2022, was appointed as the party's campaign committee chairman.
  • Journalist-turned-politician Anurag Dhanda was named as senior state vice president and Balbir Singh Saini as state vice president.
  • The announcement of the new office bearers by the AAP's Haryana unit comes at a time when the party is looking to further strengthen its base in the state, where polls are due next year (2024).

May 27, 2023

Harsh Jain New Chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)

  • Harsh Jain, co-founder, and CEO of Dream Sports, was elected the chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) for 2023-25. He replaced Sanjay Gupta, vice president and country manager of Google India.
  • A new 24-member governing council and a new executive council will take charge at the upcoming annual general meeting of IAMAI, which represents top technology companies. The IAMAI governing council election is held every two years. As many as 83 IAMAI members contested the elections this year (2023), after the end of the two-year tenure of the previous council.
  • IAMAI announced that Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group CEO of MakeMyTrip, and Satyan Ganjwani, vice chairman of Times Internet, were elected the vice chairman and the treasurer of the association. The two replaced Shivnath Thukral, Meta's director and head of India public policy, and Harshil Mathur, CEO and co-founder Razorpay, respectively.
  • Jain, Magow and Ganjwani would form the association's executive council, along with Subho Ray, who is president of IAMAI.

Kerala is India's First Fully E-Governed State

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared the southern state as India's first fully e-governed state where an entire range of government services were digitised so that they can be provided to the citizens promptly and transparently.
  • The Chief Minister, after declaring the state as totally e-governed, said that it would not only create a network of government offices and citizens, but would use technology for Kerala's development and empower the people by bridging the digital divide.

Bhagwanth Khuba Inaugurates International Conference on Chemicals and Petrochemicals

  • Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals organised a B20 conference for the global business community, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with focus on the Chemicals & Petrochemical sector in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers & New and Renewable Energy Bhagwanth Khuba in the presence of Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and various representatives of G20 member countries.
  • More than 500 delegates from India and Oversees from Industry/Association/Federation across B20 Nations, Government representatives participated in the conference. Industry representatives from Germany, Mexico, Russia, Hungary, United States of America, Belgium, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and South Korea participate in the conference.
  • The aim of the Conference was to improve the safety and sustainable ecosystem for chemicals and petrochemicals industry across the four pillars of De-carbonization, Circular Economy, Biodiversity and Water Conservation. The conference was an effort to promote sustainable development in chemical and petrochemical sector and to deliberate upon sustainable solutions of various issues being faced by the industry. The conference facilitated in identifying potential opportunities, exchange of knowledge amongst G20 countries on sustainability and circularity.

May 26, 2023

India and Australia Sign Agreements on Migration and Green Hydrogen Task Force

  • In a significant development highlighting the strengthening ties between India and Australia, the two nations signed crucial agreements on migration and mobility partnership, as well as on the establishment of a Green Hydrogen task force. The Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were exchanged following a bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in Sydney.
  • Prime Minister Modi emphasised that the India-Australia relationship is built upon mutual trust and confidence. During their constructive discussions, both leaders focused on enhancing strategic cooperation in the mining and critical minerals sector. The talks centered around taking the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to new heights. In a friendly gesture, Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Prime Minister Albanese and all Australian cricket fans to visit India for the upcoming Cricket World Cup this year.

U.T. Khader is Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly

  • Former Minister and five-time Congress MLA U. T. Khader was unanimously elected as the new Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Khader is the first Muslim leader to serve as Speaker of Karnataka Assembly.
  • Chief Minister Siddaramaiah proposed Khader's name for the post of Speaker and it was seconded by Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar.
  • As there was no other contender for the post, Protem Speaker R. V. Deshpande put the proposal made by the Chief Minister to vote, and it was unanimously adopted by the House.
  • Khader had served as Deputy Leader of Opposition in the previous Assembly and also as a Minister in the past.

G20: Second Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group Meeting Concludes in Mumbai

  • G-20 Council's Second Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group (DRRWG) meeting concluded in Mumbai, with the technical and functional level officials coming to an understanding of the importance of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and Financing for Disaster Risk Reduction as the central theme of any discussion on Disaster Risk Reduction. The Member Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority said that India received enthusiastic support on all priority areas from the G 20 countries.
  • The delegates deliberated that an institutional framework that supports investments in infrastructure projects, avoids fragmentation, and promotes the execution of such infrastructure projects is desirable and should be encouraged in the national legal framework of G-20 countries. Additionally, the role of social protection systems in mitigating the impact of disasters on the most vulnerable population groups was a key topic of discussion.
  • The meeting concluded with a side event on Eco-Based Approaches for Disaster Risk Reduction by NDMA, which was organized in collaboration with knowledge partners like United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Major Group on Children and Young People, UNEP, and others. The third and final meeting of the Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group under India's G-20 Presidency will be held in Chennai from July 24 to 26, 2023.

May 25, 2023

Nineteen Opposition Parties to Boycott Inauguration of New Parliament Building

  • Nineteen opposition parties, including the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiv Sena (UBT), the Trinamool Congress (TMC), and Janata Dal (United), issued a joint statement they will boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The 19 parties who will boycott the inauguration are -- Congress, DMK, AAP, TMC, Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party (SP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Kerala Congress (Mani), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), JD(U), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), National Conference (NC), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).
  • In the joint statement, a copy of which was uploaded on the Twitter handle of the Congress's communication department, the opposition parties said that PM Modi's move to inaugurate the new Parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response.

Sengol', a Symbol of Fair Governance, to be Installed in New Parliament

  • 'Sengol', a historical sceptre from Tamil Nadu, which was given by the British to first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to represent the transfer of power and was kept in a museum in Allahabad will be installed in the new Parliament building to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Shah said that 'Sengol' symbolises the transfer of power from British to India, just as it was originally used to mark the handing over power from one king to another during the Chola dynasty in Tamil Nadu.
  • On August 14, 1947, 'Sengol' was accepted by Nehru, the then Prime Minister, in presence of Rajendra Prasad, who later became India's first President.
  • The word 'Sengol' derived from the Tamil word 'Semmai', meaning 'righteousness.' The historical sceptre was made of silver, coated with gold, and crowned with the sacred Nandi, with its unyielding gaze. The Nandi on top of the 'Sengol' is symbol of 'nyaya.'
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