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Oct 2022

Mar 15, 2023

TDP Powers BJP Win in Port Blair

  • In positive signals for the BJP, the N. Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) emerged the kingmaker in Port Blair Municipal Council elections as it backed the BJP to form the council in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The BJP won 10 seats in the 21-member MC House, while the Congress-DMK alliance won 11. But the TDP, with two councillors, emerged the kingmaker and threw its weight behind the BJP. The BJP-led alliance now has 13 councillors (including one Independent), while the DMK-Congress is trailing at 11. The TDP decided to back the BJP after a series of deliberations.
  • The turn of events led to talks of possibilities of the TDP and the BJP regrouping in Andhra Pradesh for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the state Assembly elections.

AAP to Contest Polls in all 230 Assembly Seats in Madhya Pradesh

  • Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that his party will contest the upcoming assembly elections in all 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kejriwal made this announcement while addressing a large gathering of AAP workers in Bhopal.
  • Meanwhile, he also claimed that winning of Singrauli mayoral seat was just a trailer, and the AAP will show a real picture after winning assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh.

India and Sweden Sign MoC to Promote Research Networking

  • A Memorandum of Cooperation, MoC was signed between India and Sweden to strengthen cooperation and promote research networking between research institutions from both countries. It was signed between Science and Engineering Research Board and the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, Stockholm, Sweden. The MoC aims to promote mobility funding opportunities in both countries. It will facilitate academic cooperation through mobility activities as well as through seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Secretary, Department of Science and Technology S. Chandrasekhar said that the partnership between India and Sweden will take forward joint Science and Technology efforts particularly in smart cities, artificial intelligence, quantum computer, transportation, and many more futuristic technologies. The MoC will enable a smooth exchange of activities between India's young scientists and Swedish researchers.

Country's First 100% Methanol-powered Prototype Truck flagged off in Bengaluru

  • In an environment-friendly move, the country's first 100 per cent methanol-powered prototype truck was unveiled by Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari in Bengaluru.
  • Calling the development a giant leap in methanol economy being piloted in BMTC buses and Ashok Leyland trucks, NITI Aayog said that it is a joint initiative by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Ashok Leyland and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
  • The technology of converting diesel, petrol and CNG engines into operating on 100 percent methanol (M100) is an initiative under a developmental programme undertaken by the NITI Aayog along with Ashok Leyland and IISc with financial assistance from the department of science and technology.

First International Conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage in New Delhi

  • The first international conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage was held in New Delhi. It was organised with a focus on India's civilisational connect with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) nations 2023. The two-day conference aimed at re-establishing trans-cultural links and seeking out commonalities, between Buddhist art of Central Asia, art styles, archaeological sites and antiquity in various museum collections of the SCO countries.
  • The event, under India's leadership of SCO, brought together Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian and Arab countries on a common platform and discussed Shared Buddhist Heritage. The SCO countries comprise of Member States, Observer States and Dialogue Partners, including China, Russia and Mongolia. The two-day programme was being organised by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of External Affairs and the International Buddhist Confederation.

Mar 14, 2023

ICAR Announces 1st International Conference with World Bank

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture, and World Bank announced the first International Conference on 'Blended Learning Ecosystem for Higher Education in Agriculture' in India under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).
  • The three-day event to be held from March 21-23 in New Delhi will be hosted by ICAR-IASRI (Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute), which is a multi-partner global forum to support collaboration for development of state-of-the-art blended education system for higher agricultural education. The conference and exhibition will be inaugurated by Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
  • The aim of this conference is to facilitate the development of a global ecosystem of partners from academia, industry, government, and multilateral and bilateral organizations who would provide critical insights towards design and full-scale implementation of all aspects of the Resilient Agricultural Education System (RAES) under National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), that is, learning management system, content repository, and system-wide capacity building.

First Supreme Audit Institution 20 Senior Officers Meeting Held in Guwahati

  • As part of the G20 summit, the first Supreme Audit Institution 20 (SAI20) Senior Officers Meeting (SOM) was held in Guwahati with the themes -'Blue Economy' and 'Responsible Artificial Intelligence'. The SAI20 is aimed at bringing together an ecosystem wherein SAIs are active partners in governance, promoting transparency and accountability.
  • SAI20 meeting was chaired by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Girish Chandra Murmu.
  • The delegates from G20 member countries, guest countries and other International Organisations attended the SAI20 event. SAIs of Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Oman, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, and UAE participated in person.
  • Blue Economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of our ecosystem.
  • Responsible AI is a governance framework aimed at what data can be collected and used, how AI models should be evaluated, and how to best deploy and monitor models. The framework can also define who is accountable for any negative outcomes of AI.
  • The SAI20 Engagement Group of G20 was established in 2022 during Indonesia's Presidency of the G20 to enhance economic governance through collaborative oversight.

Mar 13, 2023

Pramod Tewari is Congress Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha

  • Three time MP and former Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Pramod Tewari was named Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha.
  • Two-time MP and party in charge of Jammu and Kashmir Rajani Patil was appointed party's whip, in the Lower House.
  • Patil is currently suspended from RS over unruly behaviour during the first part of the session.
  • The post of deputy leader had been vacant since the retirement of Anand Sharma from Rajya Sabha.
  • The position of one whip was also vacant since the demise of Rajeev Satav who held the position.

NITI Aayog Releases Task Force Report Titled Production and Promotion of Organic & Bio Fertilisers

  • NITI Aayog released the Task Force report titled "Production and Promotion of Organic and Bio fertilisers with Special Focus on Improving Economic Viability of Gaushalas".
  • The Task Force was constituted by NITI Aayog to suggest measures to make Gaushalas economically viable, address the problem of stray and abandoned cattle, and effective utilisation of cow dung and cow urine in the agriculture and energy sectors. The report provides a factual estimate of operating costs and fixed costs and other issues in respect of Gaushalas and the cost and investments involved in setting up the Bio-CNG plant and PROM plant in Gaushalas.

India to Host 3 more SCO Ministerial Meetings this Month

  • India, as the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), will host three important ministerial meetings this month (March).
  • The first meeting of Energy Ministers is scheduled for March 14 and will be held virtually.
  • The Sports and Youth Affairs Ministers' Meeting will be held on March 15 in New Delhi. While the Tourism Ministers' Meeting is set to take place in Kashi, also known as Varanasi, on March 17.
  • Kashi is the first-ever SCO world cultural and tourism capital for 2022-23, adding to the significance of the Tourism Ministers' Meeting.
  • On March 29, India will host the highly anticipated SCO National Security Advisers' meeting, the format of which is yet to be determined. The meeting will be chaired by India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Kochi Metro Becomes the First to Accept Digital Currency for Parking

  • Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) became the first metro to accept the central bank digital currency issued by the RBI. Kochi Metro prepared a system to pay parking charges in e-rupees. The programme was inaugurated by KMRL MD Loknath Behera at Thykoodam Metro Station.
  • Technology start-up Anantham Online made this service available at Kochi Metro Parking in collaboration with IDFC First Bank. This initiative came as a pilot programme launched by the Reserve Bank of India. RBI also announced the launch of Central Bank Digital Currency for retail users.

Modi Inaugurates World's Longest Railway Platform in Karnataka

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world's longest railway platform of 1.5 kilometres at Siddhaarooda railway station in Hubballi in the Indian state of Karnataka.
  • The second-longest platform is in Gorakhpur city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh measuring 1,366.33 metres. Meanwhile, the third-longest platform is at Kollam Junction in Kerala measuring 1,180.5 metres.

CEC & Members of ECI Inaugurate Vote Fest 2023 in Bengaluru

  • In Karnataka, the Chief Election Commissioner and other members of ECI inaugurated Vote Fest 2023 to create awareness on the election process in Bengaluru.
  • The Full Commission from the Election Commission of India was on a three-day visit to the city. The Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel inaugurated the Fest to create awareness of the election process and educate the voters. They also inaugurated Electhon 2023, a 30-hour hackathon for securing the electoral future. This is an exercise to seek people's suggestions on improving voter turnout, ensuring the registration of new voters, and how to ensure the involvement of urban youth in the democratic process.

Mar 12, 2023

Assam Sets Guinness World Records for most Essays about Single Person (12)

  • Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma received a certificate from the Guinness World Records for the maximum number of essays written about a single person.
  • The BJP-led government in the state had received a total of 42,94,350 lakh handwritten essays on Ahom general Lachit Borphukan to mark his 400th birth anniversary. The year-long celebration was launched by former President Ramnath Kovind from Guwahati in February 2022.
  • Handing over the certificate to the Chief Minister, a Guinness representative said no other occasion or historical entity has generated almost 43 lakh handwritten notes. The essays were written by people in Assam and elsewhere across the globe.
  • The government had received more than 57 lakh essays but the Guinness authorities considered 42.94 lakh images of the handwritten essays.

Mar 11, 2023

Atishi Gets Education & Power, Saurabh Bhardwaj Health

  • Aam Aadmi Party MLAs Saurabh Bhardwaj and Atishi were sworn in as ministers by Delhi Lt Governor V. K. Saxena in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
  • While Atishi will handle the Education, PWD, Power and Tourism Departments, Bhardwaj will look after Health, Urban Development, Water and Industries. Atishi and Bhardwaj replaced jailed ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, respectively.

PM Modi Inaugurates Third Session of NPDRR

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the third session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) in which stakeholders shared know-how and experiences as well as discussed the latest developments and trends in disaster risk reduction.
  • The main theme of the session is 'Building Local Resilience in a Changing Climate'.
  • During the event, the Prime Minister felicitated recipients of the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar.
  • The winners of the 2023 puraskar were Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and the Lunglei Fire Station, Mizoram.
  • The NPDRR, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is a multi-stakeholder platform constituted by the government to facilitate dialogue and share experiences, views, ideas, action-oriented research and explore opportunities in the area of disaster risk reduction.
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