Current Affairs - News Crux

Shri Kalki Dham

On 19th February, 2024, PM laid the foundation stone at Shri Kalki Dham in Sambhal district.

  • Puja rituals conducted as part of the ceremony.
  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Acharya Pramod Krishnam present at the event.
  • Construction led by Shri Kalki Dham Nirman Trust under Acharya Pramod Krishnam.
  • PM to launch 14,500 projects worth over Rs10 Lakh crore in Lucknow following ceremony.

MILAN 2024

On 19th February, 2024, USS Halsey and IRIS Dena join MILAN 2024 despite tensions in Red Sea.

  • India hosts MILAN exercise, welcoming USS Halsey to Visakhapatnam.
  • Iran-US relations strained amidst Red Sea conflicts and Houthis' involvement.
  • India's role as mediator showcases growing diplomatic-defense prowess.
  • MILAN 2024 begins with over 50 countries participating, emphasizing maritime cooperation for a secure future.

National e-Governance Webinars

DARPG conducts National e-Governance Webinars showcasing initiatives awarded for excellence.

  • 4th webinar (5th Jan 2024) focused on District Level Initiatives in e-Governance.
  • 5th webinar (16th Feb 2024) highlighted Government Process Re-engineering for Digital Transformation at State/UT Level.
  • Gang Canal Computerization Project showcased real-time canal information aiding farmers.
  • OTP and Feedback Based Public Grievance Redressal System enhances citizen interaction with RMC authorities.
  • MINE MITRA in UP and Kutumba in Karnataka exemplify digital solutions for efficient governance.

58th Jnanpith Award

Renowned poet Gulzar and Sanskrit scholar Jagadguru Rambhadracharya honored with the 58th Jnanpith Award.

  • Gulzar, known for his contributions to Urdu poetry and Hindi cinema, receives recognition for his versatile works.
  • Jagadguru Rambhadracharya, a prolific writer and spiritual leader, awarded for his extensive literary contributions in Sanskrit and other languages.
  • The Jnanpith selection committee highlights Gulzar's significant impact on poetry, literature, and cinema.
  • Rambhadracharya's remarkable linguistic skills and literary achievements earn him this prestigious accolade.

Global Pulses Conference Urges India to Boost Production to Meet Nutritional Needs

At the Global Pulses Conference on 15th February, Union Ministers emphasized the imperative for India to enhance pulses production to address nutritional requirements, highlighting collaborative efforts and policy measures to bolster cultivation.

Key Points

  • The Global Pulses Conference emphasizes the need for India to increase pulses production to meet nutritional demands, with Union Ministers outlining measures to enhance cultivation.
  • GPC President highlighted the Centre's efforts, including regular increments in Minimum Support Price (MSP), ensuring an attractive return on investment for farmers, with MSP now exceeding 50% of the production cost.
  • GPC President outlined India's progress towards self-sufficiency in pulses, with focus on chickpeas and efforts to address deficiencies in pigeon peas and black gram by 2027 through enhanced seed supply and expanded cultivation.
  • GPC President stressed on the importance of global collaboration at the conference.
  • This facilitates exchange of best practices and technological advancements in pulses cultivation, benefiting Indian and global stakeholders.

Digital India futureSKILLS Summit 2024: Shaping India's Talent Future

On 15th February, the Ministry of Electronics & IT hosted the inaugural Digital India futureSKILLS Summit in Guwahati.

Key Points

  • The summit aims to convene leading minds from various sectors to strategize on talent development for India's future.
  • Union Minister inaugurated the summit, joined by a diverse group of stakeholders, including young Indians, thought leaders, industry experts, policymakers, educators, and technology enthusiasts.
  • The summit will delve into the impact of rapid digitization on global opportunities, particularly focusing on emerging technologies like AI, ML, Semiconductors, Robotics, and CyberSecurity.
  • The discussions aim to identify avenues for harnessing these opportunities for India's youth.
  • More than 20 strategic collaborations are expected to be announced during the summit, fostering partnerships between industry leaders, academic institutions, and government bodies.
  • These collaborations aim to align educational curricula with industry demands and standards.
  • Four panel discussions will cover key themes such as Semicon India, IndiaAI, Cyber Security & Emerging Technologies, and Digital futureSKILLS for India's global workforce.
  • Each panel will feature esteemed panelists and moderators, fostering in-depth discussions and knowledge exchange.

Collaboration between C-DOT and IIT, Kharagpur

Recently, a collaboration between C-DOT and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-K) aims to develop prototypes for 10-Gigabit-capable symmetric Passive Optical Network (XGS-PON) Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and Optical Network Unit (ONU).

  • These prototypes will enable the creation of state-of-the-art technology solutions for 10 Gbps upstream and downstream access networks.

Key Points

  • Funding Support: The project is supported by the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF) scheme of the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
  • This scheme provides funding support to domestic companies and institutions engaged in the design, development, and commercialization of telecommunication products and solutions.
  • Role of IIT Kharagpur: IIT Kharagpur will lead the development of the prototypes for the XGS-PON OLT and ONU.
  • The institution's expertise in research and development will contribute to the creation of cutting-edge telecommunications technology.
  • Impact: The development of these prototypes is expected to pave the way for affordable broadband and mobile services in rural and remote areas of India.
  • By enhancing access network technology, the project will support the growth of telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
  • Commitment:Their combined efforts aim to drive innovation, development, and commercialization of advanced telecommunications solutions.

IREDA and IIT Bhubaneswar Ink MoU to Boost Renewable Energy Research and Innovation

On 12th February, 2024, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar have forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance innovation and research in the renewable energy sector.

Key Points

  • Collaboration Objective: The MoU, inked during the 100 Cube Start-up Conclave at IIT Bhubaneswar, aims to foster joint research endeavors, facilitate technology transfer, and nurture the start-up ecosystem in renewable energy.
  • Scope of Collaboration: The partnership will encompass various initiatives, including joint research projects, technology dissemination, and support for start-ups in the renewable energy domain.
  • Comprehensive Support: IREDA and IIT Bhubaneswar will also focus on capacity-building endeavors such as training programs, seminars, and workshops to enhance the skills and knowledge of officials involved in renewable energy initiatives.
  • Significance: Leveraging the expertise and resources of both entities, the collaboration aims to propel impactful research initiatives and sectoral growth.
  • Shared Vision: The collaboration reflects a shared vision to advance renewable energy technologies, address sustainability challenges, and contribute to India's energy transition towards cleaner and greener alternatives.
  • Commitment to Innovation: By combining resources and expertise, the partnership underscores a commitment to fostering innovation, promoting entrepreneurship, and catalyzing positive change in the renewable energy landscape.
  • Government Support: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy expressed its support for the collaboration, acknowledging its potential to drive transformative change and accelerate India's renewable energy goals.

India Launches "SWATI" Portal to Promote Women in STEMM

A pioneering online platform, "Science for Women- A Technology & Innovation (SWATI)" Portal, was unveiled on 11th February, 2024, aiming to facilitate policy-making to tackle gender disparity in STEM fields.

Key Points

  • Comprehensive Database: The "SWATI" Portal, developed, hosted, and maintained by the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), offers a comprehensive interactive database. It is the first-of-its-kind initiative in India dedicated to women in STEMM.
  • Dynamic Growth: The objective is to compile data on all women scientists in the country, providing easy access to valuable information for policy-makers and researchers.
  • Inauguration: Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, inaugurated the portal at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). The launch underscores the commitment to address gender parity and promote inclusivity in scientific endeavors.
  • Advocating for Equality: President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), emphasized the importance of education as a tool for achieving gender parity. The event highlighted the need to empower women in all sectors, including STEM fields.
  • Objectives of SWATI Portal: The SWATI portal aims to amplify efforts to include every Indian woman in science, spanning academia and industry. It seeks to facilitate long-term research on equality, diversity, and inclusivity, promoting emerging opportunities for women in S&T endeavors.

QCI and ONDC Launch DigiReady Certification Portal

On 8th February, 2024, the Quality Council of India (QCI) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) have jointly announced the launch of the DigiReady Certification (DRC) portal, aiming to enhance digital inclusion in the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

Key Points

  • Purpose of the Initiative: The DRC portal is introduced to assess and certify the digital readiness of MSME entities, enabling them to seamlessly integrate into the ONDC platform as sellers.
  • This initiative aims to enhance the digital capabilities of MSMEs and expand their business potential.
  • Streamlined Seller Journey: The portal is designed to facilitate a smooth seller journey, ensuring MSMEs can integrate into existing digitized workflows effortlessly.
  • It evaluates various aspects of digital readiness, including documentation, technology proficiency, workflow integration, and order management.
  • Support from QCI and ONDC: Chairperson of QCI highlighted the initiative's alignment with the Prime Minister's vision of promoting digital transactions and sensitizing villages.
  • Empowering MSMEs: DRC aims to accelerate the integration of MSMEs into the digital network, fostering their growth and empowerment in the digital economy.
  • It reflects the commitment of QCI and ONDC to promote digital inclusion and create a more robust future for all stakeholders.
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