Current Affairs - Miscellaneous

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.

India Achieves 10% Ethanol Blending

India has achieved the target of 10% ethanol blending in petrol five months ahead of schedule - November, 2022. This is up from 1.5% in 2014.

There are three clear benefits of achieving this goal:

  • first, it has led to a reduction of 27 lakh tonnes of carbon emission;
  • second, it has saved foreign exchange worth Rs.41,000 crore and;
  • thirdly, farmers of the country have earned Rs. 40,600 crore in the last eight years due to increase in ethanol blending.

Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme

  • The Centre promotes the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme with the aim of enhancing energy security, reducing import dependency on fuel, saving foreign exchange, addressing environmental issues and giving a boost to agriculture.
  • The ‘National Policy on Biofuels’ notified by the government in 2018 envisaged an indicative target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2030.
  • Given the encouraging performance and various interventions made by the government since 2014, the 20% target was advanced to 2025-26

IOC launches first OVEP in India

On 24th May 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched the first Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) in India, with the Olympism-themed curriculum being integrated into the school education system in the state of Odisha.

  • In its first year, the programme aims to impact 32,000 children enrolled in 90 schools in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela and, once in full swing, it will reach around 7 million children.

About OVEP

  • The Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) is based on the Olympic philosophy that learning takes place through the balanced development of body and mind.
  • The Olympic Values Education Programme is a series of free and accessible teaching resources created by the IOC, to complement academic curricula using the context of Olympic sports and the core principles of Olympism.
  • Participants are encouraged to experience values-based learning and to assume the responsibilities of good citizenship. OVEP communicates the long-term benefits of sport and physical activity through an understanding of Olympism and its impact on individual health, enjoyment, and social interaction.

Swachh Survekshan-2023 Launched

Union Government has launched the Eighth Edition of Swachh Survekshan – SS-2023 under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0.

  • Designed with the theme of ‘Waste to Wealth’ as its driving philosophy, Swachh Survekshan- 2023 is curated towards achieving circularity in waste management.
  • The survey would give priority to the principle of 3 Rs- Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
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