Current Affairs - Miscellaneous

‘SMILE-75’: An Initiative to make 75 Municipalities “Begging-Free”

On 12th August 2022, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 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 has been 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.

Padang: Where Netaji gave ‘Delhi Chalo' call becomes National Monument

During its 57th national Day celebration, Singapore has declared Padang (meaning field in Malay), a site of countless events in the country's history and from where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose gave his 'Delhi Chalo' slogan in 1943, as its 75th national monument.

  • The Padang has special significance for the Indian community in Singapore. It was here that Indian sepoys first established their campsites when the British established their outpost on the island.
  • This was also the place where Netaji delivered several speeches to the tens of thousands of INA soldiers and the local Indian population.
  • It was here that he gave the ‘Delhi Chalo’ slogan, set up the Rani of Jhansi regiment, and called for the total mobilisation of Indian resources to free India from British rule.
  • Just before the war ended Bose established the INA memorial at the southern edge of the Padang.
  • The victory parade of the Japanese surrender on September 12, 1945, was also held on the Padang.

IOC: First Corporate to support ‘Project Cheetah’

Indian Oil Corporation has become the first corporate to support ‘Project Cheetah’ under Corporate Social Responsibility.

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Oil Corporation for the trans-continental relocation of cheetahs from Africa to India.
  • The IOC will contribute Rs 50.22 crore over four years for the project. The total cost of the project is currently Rs 75 crore.

India-Namibia Agreement

  • Recently, on 20th July 2022, the Indian and Namibian governments signed an agreement on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India.
  • The cheetah brought from Namibia will be introduced at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

About the Species

  • The subspecies of cheetah which got extinct in India was Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) and the subspecies being introduced in the country is the African Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus).
  • Researches have shown that the genes of these two subspecies are the same.

Special Rupee Vostro Account

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a new trade mechanism to settle international trade in rupees.

  • To settle these trade deals, authorised Indian banks need to open and maintain Special Rupee Vostro Accounts of the partner trading country's banks.
  • Rupee Vostro Accounts keep the foreign entity's holdings in the Indian bank, in Indian rupees.
  • When an Indian importer wants to make a payment to a foreign trader in rupees, the amount will be credited to this Vostro account.
  • Similarly, when an Indian exporter has to be paid for goods and services in rupees, this Vostro account will be deducted and amount credited to the exporter's regular account.

Mainstreaming Millets in Asia and Africa

On 19th July, 2022, NITI Aayog and the World Food Programme (WFP), India, have launched the ‘Mapping and Exchange of Good Practices’ initiative for mainstreaming millets in Asia and Africa on 19 July 2022.

  • NITI and WFP will prepare a compendium of good practices for scaling up the production and consumption of millets in India and abroad.

Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities), (Second Amendment) Rules, 2022

On 14th July 2022, the Department of Consumer Affairs notified the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities), (Second Amendment) Rules 2022.

  • These amendments have been brought under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

About the Amendment: QR Code – Use of Technology

  • In the case of an electronic product which is manufactured or packed or imported after July 15, the package of such product shall, for a period of one year from such date, declare the name of the manufacturer or packer or importer, as the case may be, on the package itself and such declaration shall also inform the consumers to scan the QR code for the address and other related information.
  • Similar provisions have been mentioned for the size and dimension of the commodity, and for declaring the telephone number and e-mail address on the package itself.

Note: Earlier, all the prepackaged commodities including the electronic products are required to declare all the mandatory declarations as per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities), Rules, 2011 on the package.

‘Hyderabad Declaration’ on Human Trafficking

Recently, an Inter-State Declaration of Intent to collaborate in the fight against human trafficking was signed by six States — Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

  • The two-day Southern Regional Consultation to Combat Human Trafficking was hosted by the Telangana Government in collaboration with the nonprofits Prajwala and Shakti Vahini.
  • The first of its kind agreement emphasises on cooperative efforts in intelligence gathering and sharing, witness and legal protection, and rehabilitation and care for survivors.

Canada: First Country to ratify Protocol for Finland, Sweden to join NATO

Canada became the first country to formally ratify Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO in an accelerated process completed shortly after member nations signed off on the nuclear-armed alliance's expansion.

  • The accession protocol needs to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organization members before Finland and Sweden can be protected by the NATO defense clause - that an attack on one member is an attack against all.

India’s Largest Floating Solar Power Project

Tata Power Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power has commissioned India’s largest floating solar power project of 101.6 Megawatt Peak (MWp) in Kerala backwaters.

  • The project is installed on a 350-acre water body in Kayamkulam, Kerala.
  • This project is the first in the Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV) through power purchase agreement category.
  • The project reinforces to India's transition towards a greener future and achieving the collective vision of realizing 500 GW of energy through solar power by 2030.

First Private Train under ‘Bharat Gaurav Scheme’ Launched

The Indian Railways’ Southern Railway zone began the maiden service of privately-run ‘Bharat Gaurav Trains’ from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to Shirdi in Maharashtra.

  • South Star Rail is the registered service provider that operates the train and the Coimbatore-based company is registered company and it is part of the conglomerate group, Future Gaming & Hotel Services Pvt. Limited.

Bharat Gaurav Trains

  • Indian Railways had launched the operation of theme-based Bharat Gaurav train in the month of November 2021. The objective of this theme is to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world, through Bharat Gaurav Trains. This scheme also aims to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of the tourism sector to run theme-based trains to tap the vast tourist potential of India.
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