Current Affairs Daily Digest – 17 November 2023


Overview of PM Modi’s 2-day Visit to Jharkhand; Addresses Celebration of Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas 2023Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi paid a 2-day visit to Jharkhand from 15th to 16th November 2023. During his visit, PM Modi participated in the event organised to mark Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, 2023 in Khunti, Jharkhand.

  • He also greeted the people of Jharkhand on the foundation day of Jharkhand(15th November).

i.PM Modi laid the foundation stone for development projects worth Rs 7,200 crores in various sectors like rail, road, education, coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These projects aim to enhance infrastructure and services in Jharkhand.
ii.PM Modi launched two significant initiatives, namely the ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra‘ and the ‘PM Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM JANMAN)’ from Jharkhand.
iii.During the 3rd Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, PM Modi digitally released the 15th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme at Birsa College in Khunti, Jharkhand.
About Jharkhand
Chief Minister– Hemant Soren
Governor- C. P. Radhakrishnan
Capital– Ranchi
National Parks- Betla National Park

Dharmendra Pradhan Co-chaired 1st Australia India Education and Skill Council Meet at IIT GujaratUnion Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education(MoE) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) co-chaired the 1st Australia India Education and Skill Council (AIESC) meeting with Australian Ministers- Jason Clare, Education Minister and Brendan O’Connor, Skills & Training Minister.

  • The meeting was held at the Indian Institutes of Technology(IIT) Gandhinagar in Gujarat on 6th November 2023.

i.During the 1st AIESC meeting, 5 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) were exchanged between Indian and Australian Higher education institutions (HEIs) to facilitate greater research collaborations
ii.Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Australian Education Minister Jason Clare announced the opening of two Australian Universities campuses of Wollongong and Deakin University in GIFT City(Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
About Australia:
Prime Minister–  Anthony Albanese
Capital– Canberra
Currency– Australian Dollar

1st INDUS-X Investors Meet held in Delhi and Gurukul Initiative, an INDUS-X Educational Series LaunchedInnovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) under the Department of Defence Production(DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government of India and the United States Department of Defence  (USDoD), Government of the United States of America(USA) organised the 1st India-US Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS X) Investors Meet on 8 November 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The meet was organised as a pre-cursor of the 5th annual India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held on 10th November 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • The INDUS-X Educational Series (Gurukul) was also launched during the event.

Key People:
The US delegation was led by Mr Doug Beck, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)at the US DoD; and the Indian delegation was led by Mr Vivek Virmani, Principal Officer (G) & Chief Operating Officer (COO)/iDEX-DIO.

  • The event was coordinated by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), IndusTech, and, which is a part of Social Alpha.

About 1st INDUS X Investors Meet:
i.The first-ever INDUS-X Investors Event generated the interest of investors in the start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the defense sector.
ii.The meeting also clarified the growing opportunities under the INDUS-X initiative.
i.In June 2023, the India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) was inaugurated during the State Visit of Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi to the USA.
ii.This initiative aims to fortify the strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the two nations.
iii.INDUS X will be a defense innovation bridge that would inter-alia include Joint Challenges, Joint Innovation Fund, investment by private entities in defense projects, niche technology projects, etc.
Key Highlights:
i.The Investor-Start-up Connect session brought together prominent Indian and US investors, Venture Capitalists (VCs), and defense start-ups.
ii.Both the Director/DIU and COO/DIO invited the startups and innovators to apply in the joint IMPACT challenges and to participate in the Gurukul Educational Series.
Gurukul Initiative:
i.The INDUS-X Educational Series (Gurukul), aimed to help the innovators and startups navigate in the defense eco-system of the US and India.
ii.The Gurukul (Education) series will have sessions for the startups/innovators by experts from both sides including Govt Officials, Corporate Leaders, Industry Forums, Incubators/ Accelerators, etc.

Uzbekistan’s Samarkand Institute of Economics and Services & University of Delhi Established MoU to Enhance Academic Alliances
The Samarkand Institute of Economics and Services in Uzbekistan and the University of Delhi have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to create numerous opportunities for students, faculty, and researchers from Samarkand and Delhi.

  • This partnership endorsed by both institutions, aims to facilitate valuable experiences for both students and faculty, contributing significantly to global education and research.
  • Within this dynamic partnership, the 2 educational institutions are aspiring to initiate a transformative student exchange program.
  • This initiative is composed to provide students with invaluable experiences in both academic and cultural realms, elevating their educational pursuits.
  • This collaboration signifies a commitment to creating a robust educational environment to ignite innovation and contribute substantially to the progress of knowledge.
  • It also outlined to include workshops and seminars, aims to create a space for meaningful conversations and scholarly interactions, fostering intellectual dialogue.

Clean Energy Overtakes Fossil Fuels in Global Job Market: IEA WEE 2023 ReportOn November 15, 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released the ‘2nd edition of the World Energy Employment  (WEE 2023) report stating clean energy jobs surpassed fossil fuel jobs for the first time in 2021 at the global level.

  • Clean energy sectors added 4.7 million jobs globally between 2019-2022 and stand at 35 million, while fossil fuels jobs recovered more slowly after layoffs in 2020 and remain around 1.3 million below pre-pandemic employment levels, at 32 million.
  • Clean energy jobs now represent over half of all energy sector jobs.

The report was prepared by the World Energy Outlook Division of the Directorate of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks of IEA.
About International Energy Agency  (IEA):
Executive Director– Dr Fatih Birol
Headquarters– Paris, France
Establishment– 1974

Federal Bank Introduces UPI Lite for Small-Value Digital Payments
Federal Bank Limited has launched Unified Payment Interface (UPILite, a simplified version of the UPI system which allows users to make small-value digital payments offline without entering a UPI PIN.
UPI Lite:
i.The UPI Lite functionality was introduced by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2022.
ii.It is an ‘on-device wallet’ feature integrated into existing UPI mobile application.
iii.UPI Lite minimizes the burden on the core banking system (CBS) by enabling direct transactions between the user’s mobile device and National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
Transaction Limits in UPI Lite:

  • Per Transaction Limit is up to Rs 500
  • Maximum Cumulative Usage per Day is Rs 4,000
  • Maximum Balance in UPI Lite Account is Rs 2,000

InCred Holdings Ltd Becomes 2nd Unicorn of 2023
Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based InCred Holdings Limited, the parent company of fintech startup InCred Financial Services Ltd, has become the 2nd Indian startup to become an unicorn, valued at over USD 1 billion, in 2023. InCred became an unicorn after raising funding worth Rs 500 crore in its latest round (Series D) of equity funding.

  • The equity round has gathered interest from various investors, including a global private equity fund, corporate treasuries, family offices, and Ultra-High-Net-worth-Individuals (UHNIs).
  • InCred Finance plans to deploy the capital across core business verticals such as consumer loans, student loans, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) lending.
  • InCred Finance has built a loan book of Rs.7,500 crore within 6 years and has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 50% over the last 3 years.

In August 2023, Zepto, a quick commerce platform, became the India’s first unicorn of 2023. It raised USD 200 million in a Series E round of funding at a valuation of USD 1.4 billion.

IndusInd Bank, Suzlon Energy among 9 firms added to MSCI India IndexOn November 15, 2023, Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) added nine Indian stocks to its MSCI Global Standard Index w.e.f. November 30, 2023.
Additions on MSCI India Index:

Key Points:
i.Following the above addition, 46 stocks will be added to this index while 69 stocks will make an exit from this index.

  • No Indian stocks were excluded from the index.
  • Post rebalance, India’s stock count will rise to 131, and India’s weights are set to move close to 16.3%, compared to the current 15.9%.

ii.According to a report by Nuvama Alternative & Quantitative Research, the MSCI inclusions may bring up to $1.5 billion in passive inflows to India.

  • The maximum share of inflows will be led by IndusInd Bank at $290 million followed by Suzlon at $264 million and Persistent Systems at $254 million.

iii.Suzlon Energy, Persistent Systems and APL Apollo were earlier part of the MSCI Smallcap Index and will be removed from this index after the above implementation.
iv.The MSCI Global Standard Index is a collection of stocks of all the developed markets in the world.

  • It captures large and mid-cap representation across 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries.

15th Edition of FICCI Healthcare Excellence Awards 2023The 15th Edition of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Healthcare Excellence Awards was held in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The award is given to recognize and felicitate organizations and individuals for their outstanding contributions to the Indian healthcare sector.

Award Categories 2023:
i.The General Award is given on five different categories to recognize excellence in healthcare sector.

  • Excellence in Patient Service Delivery
  • Excellence in Patient Safety & Care
  • Excellence in Community Engagement
  • Digital Transformation Initiative of the Year
  • Training & Skill Development Initiative of the Year

ii.FICCI also gives Jury based Special Awards awards to recognize
the contribution of individuals in healthcare sector.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
President – Subhrakant Panda
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1927

IOC Awards Olympic Cup 2023 to Taekwondo Humanitarian FoundationThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the 2023 Olympic Cup to the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) in recognition of its long-term commitment to empowering refugee athletes and refugees worldwide through taekwondo.

  • Thomas Bach, IOC President, presented the Olympic Cup to World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue in a ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

About the Olympic Cup award:
i.The unique Olympic Cup award was created by the IOC’s founder Pierre de Coubertin in 1906.
ii.The Olympic Cup honors an organisation that promotes the ideals of the Olympic Movement.
About the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation(THF):
i.The THF was founded by World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue at the United Nations headquarters in New York(United States) in 2015.
ii.THF aims to empower refugees worldwide through taekwondo and helping them to improve their quality of life, develop their life skills, learn Olympic values, and pursue their dreams.
iii.THF is also one of the implementing partners of Terrains d’Avenir, a programme co-financed by the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) and the French Sports Ministry.

  • Terrains d’Avenir aims to provide 7,000 young displaced people in the Île-de-France region with access to sport by 2025.

THF – Partner of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team:
i.World Taekwondo has been a partner of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team since the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

  • As a part of the partnership, three taekwondo athletes – Kimia Alizadeh Zonouzi, Dina Pouryounes Langeroudi, and Abdullah Sediqi from World Taekwondo represented the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

ii.There are 14 taekwondo athletes among the 63 refugee scholarship-holders(As of November ‘23) aiming to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Taekwondo statue unveiled in Olympic Museum
The Taekwondo statue was unveiled in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland to commemorate the World Taekwondo’s Golden Jubilee year.
World Taekwondo (WT) is the International Federation (IF) governing the sport of Taekwondo and it was established in 1973.
Note –
The Olympic Cup 2022 has been awarded to the people of the People’s Republic of China in acknowledgment of their support for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
About International Olympic Committee (IOC):
President– Thomas Bach
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
Establishment– 1894

AAPA Aims for 5% SAF Usage by 2030
The Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has passed a resolution to adopt a collective target of 5%  sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use by 2030 among its 14 member airlines.

  • The resolution was made in it’s 67th Assembly of Presidents of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines which was held in Singapore.
  • This aims to reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, as SAF can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil-based jet fuels.
  • The adoption of SAF is a critical step in aviation industry’s journey towards net-zero emissions by 2050.

National Newborn Week 2023- November 15th to 21st National Newborn Week is annually observed across India from 15th to 21st November to create awareness about the newborn care importance for child survival and development.

  • The observance also aims to highlight the importance of newborn care for child survival and development.

The annual observance in India is led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The theme of National Newborn Week is “Safety, Quality and Nurturing care – Birth Right of Every Newborn”.
i.In 2000, at the request of the National Neonatology Forum (NNF), the Government of India agreed to observe a National Newborn Week from 15th to 21st November each year.
ii.The first ever Newborn Week was launched by the then Prime Minister (PM) Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 15th November 2000.
India Newborn Action Plan (INAP):
i.In 2014, India became the first country to launch the India Newborn Action Plan (INAP), in alignment with the Global Every Newborn Action Plan towards eliminating preventable deaths of newborns and stillbirths.
ii.This aims to reduce the preventable newborn deaths and stillbirth to single digit, less than 10 per 1000 live births by 2030, with intermediate targets for 2017(24 per 1000), 2020 (21 per 1000) and 2025(15 per 1000).
Importance of Newborn Care:
i.The neonatal phase, the first 28 days of life, is critical for infant survival, since it has the highest risk of death per day during infancy.

  • This is also a crucial time for long-term health and development.

ii.The first few months of life which is also known as the foundational period for health and development.
Child Mortality:
i.Every year, 26 lakh newborn child die within the first 28 days of life ( majority of these incidents occurs within the first week), and an additional 26 lakh stillbirths occur.
ii.The Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) has reduced from 44 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 20 per 1000 live births in 2020.
iii.About 35% of children die in the first month due to lack of proper physical development. 33% children die due to newborn infection, 20% due to intrapartum problems of respiratory arrest and hypoxia, and approximately 9% die due to congenital deformities.

International Day for Tolerance 2023- November 16 The United Nations (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed across the globe on 16 November to promote and raise awareness of tolerance, respect, and understanding among all the diverse cultures and communities across the globe.

  • The day also highlights the negative effects of intolerance and promotes policies that ensure equal rights and opportunities for all.

i.In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/51/95 and proclaimed the 16 November of every year as the International Day for Tolerance.
ii.The first International Day for Tolerance was observed on 16 November 1997.

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