Current Affairs Daily Digest – 13 November 2023


PM Modi Inaugurated the 2nd Edition of ‘World Food India’ in New DelhiPrime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2nd edition of World Food India (WFI 2023), the biennial Mega Food Event, on November 3, 2023, at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

  • The event held from November 3-5, 2023 was organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industry(MoFPI).
  • PM Modi also inaugurated Food Street as part of World Food India 2023.

Mascot: MillInd, a probot/foor processing robot, is the Mascot for WFI 2023.
i.During the inaugural event, PM Modi announced a seed capital aid of Rs 380 crore to support over 1 lakh Self-Help Group (SHG) members.
ii.The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce, GoI, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lulu Hypermarket LLC, a global retail giant, to enhance the export of Indian agricultural products, including millets, to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCCs).
iii.Ahmedabad, Gujarat-based HyFun Foods has signed a MoU with Lulu Group International to produce and supply an exclusive range of frozen food products under the private label brand ‘Lulu.’
About Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MOFPI):
Union Minister– Pashupati Kumar Paras (Constituency – Hajipur, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS)– Prahlad Singh Patel

India hosts the 6th Assembly of the International Solar AllianceOn 31st October 2023, India hosted the 6th Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Bharat Mandapam, in New Delhi, Delhi. Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh (RK Singh) Ministry of Power (MOP) and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy(MNRE), President of ISA presided over the 6th Assembly of ISA.
i.Chile has officially joined the ISA as its 95th member.
ii.ISA released 3 flagship reports to provide insights into the current state of solar energy: World Solar Technology Report 2023; World Solar Market Report 2023 and World Solar Investment Report.
iii.The ISA announced that the Global Solar Facility (GSF), a payment guarantee fund formed by ISA to stimulate investments into solar power projects, is set to receive a capital contribution of USD 35 million.
iv.The 6th Assembly of ISA has decided to increase the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for solar projects across its member countries to 35% from the existing 10%.
About International Solar Alliance(ISA):
Director General– Ajay Mathur
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
Formed in 2015
Member– 95 Members and 116 signatories

REC signs MoU with RailTel, to Finance Infrastructure Projects in Telecom, IT and Railway Signalling REC Limited (Formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RailTel to provide financial assistance upto Rs 30,000 crore for infrastructure developmental projects in next 5 years.

  • These projects encompass a wide range of areas, including Data Center products and services, Telecom & IT products and services, Railways & Metro projects, and the KAVACH Train Collision Prevention System.

It was signed by TSC Bosh, Executive Director (Infra & Logistics), REC and Jasmeet Singh Marwah, Company Secretary, RailTel in the presence of Vivek Kumar Dewangan, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), REC Limited.

  • Other senior officers who were present on the occasion were Sanjai Kumar, CMD, RailTel; Ajoy Choudhary, Director Finance, among others.

Key Points:
i.The MoU will also explore possibility of financing overseas ventures related to High-Speed Rail, metro, IT network, and the Upgradation of Railway Network, as part of bilateral country discussions and Infrastructure Projects in Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa where RailTel is currently focusing.
ii.During the signing, discussions were held on the opportunities for collaboration and explored new areas of renewable energy, smart metering where RailTel and REC (through its wholly owned subsidiary REC Power Development and Consultancy Limited /RECPDCL) can join hands.
About REC Limited:
It is a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE)
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Power
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1969
About RailTel Corporation of India Limited:
It is a “Mini Ratna (Category-I)” PSU and one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers.
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
Established – 2000

DAY-NRLM and SIDBI Signed MoU to Promote Women Enterprises The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote women-led enterprises in India. The MoU is set to span 2 years.
Note: DAY-NRLM functions under the Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD).
The MoU was signed by Charanjit Singh, Charanjit Singh, Additonal Secretary of Rural Development, MoRD, (on behalf of DAY- NRLM) and  S. S. Acharya, the Chief General Manager of SIDBI in the presence of Shailesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of Rural Development, MoRD and Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman & Managing Director(CMD) of SIDBI.
About MoU:
i.Under this MoU, the expertise of DAY-NRLM and SIDBI will be utilised to develop a transformative initiative to promote women-led enterprises among experienced members of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
ii.The partnership aims to demonstrate on-the-ground activities that establish a reliable and sensitive support structure for the capacity enhancement of women entrepreneurs (WEs).
iii.This also aims to establish a standard protocols, systems, and procedures for streamlined access to formal finance and to develop a comprehensive framework for new financial products and schemes.
Note: This is in line with Government’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, with focus on making an inclusive and supportive entrepreneurial landscape for women-led businesses.
Expected Outcomes:
i.Improved capacity of State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLM) teams to help SHG members become micro-entrepreneurs
ii.Establishment of a reliable and responsive support system for women-led businesses
iii.Implementation of standardized protocols to support women-led enterprises
iv.Partnerships with financial institutions to provide women entrepreneurs with access to finance.
v.Design and implementation of new financial schemes(such as credit guarantees and interest subventions) for women entrepreneurs.
vi.Creation of scalable models for promoting women-led enterprises.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Chairman & Managing Director(CMD) – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Established in – 1990

IIS Kanpur signed MoUs with IIT Kanpur, HAL & DASI  to Empower India’s Youth On 9th November 2023, Indian Institute of Skills (IISKanpur (Uttar Pradesh-UP) has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Indian Institute of Technology (IITKanpur; Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); and Dassault Aircraft Services India Private Limited(DASI).

  • These MoUs aims to empower and prepare the youth of UP for the aerospace and defence sector, particularly to support the Defence Industrial Corridor in UP.

Key People:
The MoUs were exchanged in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, in New Delhi, Delhi.
Point to note: This collaboration between education, skilling and leading industries to build the capabilities of IIS Kanpur is in line with the vision of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Details of the MoUs:
i.Under this partnership, best-in-class infrastructure along with modern training methodology to build a strong foundation for the youth(particularly in UP) will be established.
ii.Youths associated with IIS Kanpur will benefit through the high-quality education in new-age courses, defence and aviation sectors offered by IIT Kanpur, HAL and Dassault.
iii.The planned modules will offer knowledge on Industry 4.0 courses like Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning(ML), Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Advance Manufacturing, Krishi 2.0 Smart Agriculture, Robotics and Automation and more.
Key Points:
i.Under the partnership with Dassault Aviation, a course in Aeronautical Structure and Equipment Fitter (AS&EF) will be started at IIS.

  • This will offer long-term training in the aviation sector in Kanpur.
  • Under this partnership, Dassault Aviation Centre of Excellence is being established in the IIS Kanpur Campus to offer Aeronautical Vocational Training.

ii.Under a strategic partnership, HAL will develop a training infrastructure for a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lab at IIS Kanpur.

  • This is a part of HAL’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  • This aims to offer IIS Kanpur’s faculties and trainees exposure to advanced CNC machining technology.

About Indian Institute of Skills:
i.In 2019, the government of India approved to set up IISs in 3 locations across India – Mumbai(Maharashtra), Kanpur(Uttar Pradesh ) and Ahmedabad(Gujarat).
ii.This aims to build world-class skill training centres by learning from and imbibing best practices from internationally renowned existing skill institutions.

A Joint Release of WHO and ILO: Working under the Sun Causes 1 in 3 Deaths from Non-melanoma Skin CancerThe 2 United Nations (UN) agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly released research in the journal Environment International, estimating that approximately 1 in 3 non-melanoma skin cancer deaths are attributed to occupational sun exposure.

  • The joint release highlights the burden caused by non-melanoma skin cancer due to occupational exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • It also underscores the need for implementing better preventative measures.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director-General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Established on– 7 April 1948

RBI Governor Released CAFRAL 1st Report: Fintech can emerge as Substitute for Traditional Bankingi.On November 7, 2023, the Shaktikanta Das, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), released the 1st flagship publication of the Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL) titled India Finance Report 2023 (IFR 2023). The report stated that India’s fintech sector could replace traditional banking in the near future.
ii.The theme of the report is ‘Connecting the Last Mile: Non-Banking Financial Companies in India’.
iii.CAFRAL, promoted by RBI, is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2011 to promote research and learning in banking and finance.
PayGlocal gets RBI nod for Payment Aggregator License
PayGlocal, a cross-border payments platform, receives in-principle approval from RBI for Payment Aggregator (PA) license. This will allow PayGlocal to onboard merchants for online payment processing.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Swaminathan Janakiraman, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

DFC Offers USD 553 Million to Adani Ports-led CWIT The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced an offer of USD 553 million to Adani Ports-led Colombo West International Terminal Private Limited (CWIT) to support the development of the deepwater shipping Container Terminal in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
About Colombo West International Terminal Private Limited CWIT: 
i.CWIT is a joint venture (JV) developed by a consortium led by Adani Ports & Special Economic Zones Limited (APSEZ) (51% stake), Sri Lankan conglomerate John Keells Holdings (34% stake), and the Sri Lankan government-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) (15%).

  • In 2021, Adani Ports signed a USD 700-million deal with SLPA and John Keells Holdings to jointly develop the terminal project in a Build-Operate-Transfer(BOT) arrangement spanning 35 years.

ii.CWIT’s new terminal will help to increase the operational capacity of the port of colombo which has been operating at more than 90 percent utilization since 2021.
iii.When completed, CWIT would be Sri Lanka’s largest and deepest container facility with a 1,400-meter quay length and a 20-meter alongside depth.
Key People:
DFC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott Nathan, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, Srilankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and APSEZ CEO Karan Adani were the attendees.
About DFC offer to CWIT:
The DFC’s loans to the new terminal reflects its commitment to financing high-quality infrastructure that supports its partner’s development needs, invests in local communities, and is respectful of local financial conditions.
This investment also enhances the United States’ enduring commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic growth and its regional economic integration, including with India.

About U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC):
The DFC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, which provides financial solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Scott Nathan
Headquarters – Washington DC, the United States of America(USA)
Established – 2019

Flying Wedge is First Company to Secure DGCA Certification for UAS
Bengaluru(Karnataka) based Flying Wedge Defence and Aerospace Technologies Private Limited has become the first Indian private company to receive a type certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

  • The type certificate was given for their indigenous Unmanned Aircraft System(UAS) called “FWDA10”.
  • FWDA10 was certified for its proper design, material, specification, construction and performance for safe operations.
  • The certification of this UAS is based on the recommendation of UL India Private Limited.

i.The DGCA Type Certification is issued under the provision of Rule 8 and Rule 9 (3) of the Drone Rules 2021.
ii.This certificate is valid until it is revoked or suspended.

Venkat Nageswar Chalasani Appointed as New Chief Executive of AMFI The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for the Mutual Fund (MF) industry in India appointed Venkat Nageswar Chalasani, former Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of the International Banking Group of State Bank of India (SBI), as its new Chief Executive.

  • He will replace N.S. Venkatesh, who has served 2 consecutive terms of 3 years each since October 2017.
  • As a new Chief Executive, Venkat Nageswar Chalasani would focus on the MF industry’s growth aspects and AMFI 2.0 strategy.

About Venkat Nageswar Chalasani:
i.Venkat Nageswar Chalasani has over 4 decades of experience was in various board positions and actively participated in committees by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Ministry of Finance.
ii.He served as the Chairman of the Fixed Income Money Market and Derivatives Association of India (FIMMDA) and the Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India (FEDAI).
iii.In 2022, RBI appointed him a member of the Advisory Committee of Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited and Srei Equipment Finance Limited (SEFL).
iv.He has been appointed as an Independent Director of Apitoria Pharma Pvt. Ltd in 2023.
About Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI):
Chairman– Mr. Navneet Munot
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
AMFI is the association of all the Asset Management Companies of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-registered MFs in India and was incorporated on August 22, 1995, as a non-profit organisation.

  • As of November 2023, 45 Asset Management Companies that are registered with SEBI, are its members.

Taeniogonalos dhritiae: A New Species of Wasp Discovered in Kerala
Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of Taeniogonalos Schulz (wasp – a winged insect) named Taeniogonalos dhritiae, in the Western Ghat Ranipuram Hills area of Kerala. The species is named after Dr Dhriti Banerjee, a noted entomologist and the 1st Woman Director of ZSI.

  • The new species Taeniogonalos dhritiae belongs to the genus Taeniogonalos, which is a genus of wasps in the family Trigonalyidae.
  • Trigonalyidae is a small family of Hymenoptera, a large order of insects, comprising sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants.
  • There are approximately 122 known species of Trigonalyidae, distributed across 16 genes worldwide of which 8 species are from India.
  • These insects are hyperparasitoids (parasites of parasites)where females lay eggs on other parasitic wasps.
  • The research was conducted by P Girish Kumar and VD Hegde, scientists of Western Ghats Regional Centre, ZSI, Kozhikode (Kerala), and was published in the international journal ‘Zootaxa’ on 3 November 2023.

National Ayurveda Day 2023- November 10  National Ayurveda Day is annually observed across India aimed at generating awareness among people about health issues as well as the potential role of Ayurveda in their prevention and treatment.

  • The day aligns with Dhanvantari Jayanti, to honour Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda, and coincides with Dhanteras, seeking blessings for robust health.

The National Ayurveda Day 2023 falls on 10 November 2023 and marks the observance of the 8th National Ayurveda Day.

  • The focal theme for Ayurveda Day 2023 is, “Ayurveda for One Health” .

i.The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) announced Dhanvantari Jayanti as national Ayurveda day in 2016 intending to further promote Ayurveda into the mainstream.
ii.The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Ayush, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
iii.The first ever National Ayurveda Day was observed in India on the 28th October 2016.
About Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal (Rajya Sabha Assam)
Minister of State– Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)

World Science Day for Peace and Development 2023 – November 10The United Nations (UN)’s World Science Day for Peace and Development is annually observed across the globe on November 10 to highlight the important role of science in society and the need to engage the general people in discussions about rising scientific concerns.

  • 10th November 2023 marks the observance of the 22nd edition of World Science Day for Peace and Development.

i.The theme of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2023 is ‘Building Trust In Science’
ii.The first World Science Day for Peace and Development was observed on 10th November 2002.
About the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): 
Director-General- Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters- Paris, France
Establishment- 1945 (came into force in 1946)
Members – 193 Members and 11 Associate Members

Chandigarh Smart City launches AI-driven Chatbot ‘BIRBAL’ 
Anindita Mitra, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL), launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven chatbot “BIRBAL” to provide a one-stop platform for citizens to access information and services.

  • The BIRBAL is developed using, a generative AI-powered conversational AI platform.
  • The chatbot provides accurate information and guide citizens to the appropriate resources.
  • It is incorporated with various features such as voice assistance, live agent support, and AI-based response updates.

Meghalaya CM Launches ‘Water Smart Kid Meghalaya’ Campaign and Awards the Water Guardians
Meghalaya Chief Minister (CM) Conrad K Sangma launched the ‘Water Smart Kid Meghalaya‘ campaign, an initiative under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), which focuses on educating children about water conservation and protection and aims to instill a sense of responsibility as Water Conservation Ambassadors.

  • During the event, the CM and Marcuise Marak, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister recognised and awarded the “Water Guardians,” for inspiring efforts in the conservation of water bodies.
  • The recipients of this award were the Lumshyiap Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) in Ri Bhoi District, Darechikgre VWSC, and Dura Kantragre VWSC in West Garo Hills District.
  • The Meghalaya government has addressed water conservation and sustainability through various interventions, supported by Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) and the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The PHE Department has secured substantial funding, nearing 8,000 crore, under JJM and EAPs.
  • Under JJM, Meghalaya has been awarded as “best performer” by the Ministry of Jal Shakti with additional incentives sanctioned.
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