Topic: International News
1. In a referendum, voters of Uzbekistan approved constitutional changes.
- Uzbekistan President wins the referendum on extending power. It will allow Shavkat Mirziyoyev to remain President until 2040.
- Shavkat Mirziyoyev became President in 2016 after the death of dictator Islam Karimov.
- The voters of Uzbekistan have approved to increase the Presidential term from five to seven years and allow Mirziyoyev to serve two more terms.
- These changes have been approved by 90.21% of voters.
- Shavkat Mirziyoyev has presented himself as a successor of Karimov. He served as a loyal Prime Minister under Karimov’s rule.
- Now, Uzbekistan wants to join the World Trade Organization after being cut off from the world for many years.
- The constitutional changes include a ban on capital punishment and guarantees human rights.
- It is a Central Asian country.
- It is surrounded by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
- Its capital and largest city is Tashkent.
- Islam is the predominant religion in Uzbekistan.
- Shavkat Mirziyoyev is the current President of Uzbekistan.
2. A binding term sheet has been signed by Axiata & Airtel to combine operations in Sri Lanka.
- Dialog Axiata Plc, Axiata Group Berhadm and Bharti Airtel signed a binding term sheet to combine the operations of Bharti Airtel Lanka.
- Bharti Airtel Lanka is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel.
- Under the proposed transaction, Airtel will be granted a stake in Dialog, representing the fair value of Airtel Lanka.
- Upon the completion of the transactions, Airtel will accordingly be issued new shares in Dialog.
- The proposed transaction is subject to the execution of definitive agreements and the fulfilment of all closing conditions, including regulatory and shareholder approvals.
- Recently, Bharti Airtel has partnered with Bridgepointe Technologies under Global Channel Partners Programme.
3. Air Carrier Go First Airways filed application for insolvency resolution proceedings in the National Company Law Tribunal.
- The Wadia Group-owned air carrier Go First has taken this decision due to a severe fund crunch.
- Go First has grounded 25 aircraft due to non-supply of engines by Pratt & Whitney (P&W).
- The non-supply of engines from P&W resulted in an income loss of ₹10,800 crore.
- Voluntary insolvency means that the company has accepted that its business has become insolvent. Under this process, the company accepts that it cannot pay debts and needs help from someone to sort it out.
- It has to be completed within 270 days after the date of commencement of Voluntary Liquidation.
- The voluntary insolvency process of a company proceeds after approval from shareholders and creditors.
- After Jet Airways filed for bankruptcy in 2019, it is the first major airline to collapse in India.
- The Director General of Civil Aviation has issued notice to Go First for the violation of Aircraft Rules 1937.
- In the arbitration, Go First has sought compensation of around ₹8,000 crores.
- Go First's grounded aircraft percentage has decreased from 7% in December 2019 to 31% in December 2020 and 50% in December 2022.
Topic: Space and IT
4. PSLV Orbital Experiment Module (POEM-2) has successfully been carried by PSLV-C55 mission.
- Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had created this module.
- It was especially created with the aim of providing a platform, in which Non-Governmental Entities (NGEs) and research institutions working in space technology can test their experiments in orbit.
- On April 22, PSLV-C55 was launched successfully from Sriharikota.
- It was a dedicated commercial mission through NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), with TeLEOS-2 as the primary satellite and Lumelite-4 as the co-passenger satellite.
- The satellites weigh 741 kg and 16 kg respectively and both are from Singapore.
- The TeLEOS-2 satellite has been developed under a partnership between the DSTA (representing the Government of Singapore) and ST Engineering.
- It will be used to support the satellite imagery requirements of various agencies within the Government of Singapore.
- TeLEOS-2 carries a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload.
- TeLEOS-2 will be capable of providing day and night coverage in all weather, and will be capable of imaging at 1m full-polarimetric resolution.
- This is the second mission of PSLV carrying POEM, the first POEM was carried in PSLV-C53 mission.
Topic: National Appointments
5. On 1 May, Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN).
- He has succeeded Lt Gen Ajay Singh.
- Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) is the only joint-services command in India that serves as a model for the country's theater commands with capabilities from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.
- Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan, an alumnus of the National Defense Academy Khadakwasla, was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force in 1986.
- He is an accomplished fighter pilot and has over 3200 accident-free flying hours on various variants of MiG-21 and Kiran aircraft.
- Air Marshal Saju has held several key positions during his illustrious career, which include the CO of Bison Squadron, the first Commanding Officer of an AWACS Squadron and the Air Commanding Officer at the prestigious Air Force Station, Jodhpur.
- Prior to taking over the command of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, he was the Senior Air Staff Officer at the Training Command of the Indian Air Force at Bengaluru.
- For his distinguished service, he has also been awarded the Presidential Award of Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal.
6. India became number one Test team in ICC rankings.
- On 2 May, Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team became the number one Test team by overtaking Australia in the latest rankings released by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
- Australia’s reign at the top of the men's Test rankings ended after 15 months with India surpassing the Aussies ahead of next month's ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final.
- India is currently on top with 121 points, while Australia is at the second position with 116 points.
- Earlier this year, India registered a 2-1 series win against Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy for the fourth time in a row.
- On June 7, India will take on Australia in the WTC final at the Oval in London.
India (121 points)
Australia (116 points)
England (116 points)
South Africa (104 points)
New Zealand (100 points)
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7. An MoU has been signed by India and Israel on 2 May.
- An MoU has been signed by India and Israel on industrial research and development cooperation with a focus on several key technology areas.
- It includes aerospace, Electronics Instrumentation, Civil, Infrastructure and Engineering, Environment, Mining, Chemicals, and Petrochemicals and Agriculture.
- India and Israel will enhance partnership in areas such as innovation and start-ups, ushering in a new phase of deeper bilateral cooperation.
- CSIR and Directorate of Defense Research and Development, Ministry of Defense of Israel signed the Multi-Sectoral Agreement in New Delhi.
8. Indian Naval Ships participated in the inaugural ASEAN India Maritime Exercise.
- Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Delhi are participating in the Inaugural ASEAN India Maritime Exercise (AIME-2023) from May 2 to May 8 in Singapore.
- On 01 May 2023, Indian Naval Ships under the command of RADM Gurcharan Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, arrived in Singapore.
- The harbor phase of the exercise is being conducted from May 2 to May 4 at the Changi Naval Base.
- The Sea Phase will be conducted in the South China Sea from May 7 to 8.
- The Indian Navy would have an opportunity to collaborate with the ASEAN Navies and carry out seamless maritime operations under AIME 2023 exercise.
- INS Delhi, India's first indigenously built guided missile destroyer and INS Satpura, an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate, are a part of the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam.
- Both the ships function under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.
- These ships are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors.
- These ships will also participate in the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and International Maritime Security Conference organized by Singapore.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: Awards and Prizes
9. Russia’s Maria Stepanova wins Leipzig Book Prize.
- A Russian-Jewish author Maria Stepanova won the prestigious Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding in 2023.
- She has been awarded Leipzig Book Prize for the volume of poetry, Girls Without Clothes.
- The poet described the hidden violence against the female body and the power imbalance that drives this oppression.
- The award has been presented at the opening of the 30th Leipzig Book Fair on April 25.
- Earlier, she was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2021. She is a powerful contemporary voice in Russian literature.
- In 2019, another Russian journalist Masha Gessen had won this prize for her book “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia”.
- Leipzig Book Prize:
- It is being given since 1994 for promoting reconciliation in Europe.
- It is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Germany.
- The prize money is 20,000 euros.
Topic: State/ Odisha
10. After Bihar, Backward Classes Survey started in Odisha.
- The other backward classes (OBCs) survey was started across Odisha on 1 May 2023. It will continue till May 27.
- It is being conducted by the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes in both online and offline modes.
- It will be carried out in all 314 blocks and 114 urban local bodies of the state.
- Odisha is the second state after Bihar to conduct OBC survey.
- The survey comprises various indicators of backwardness such as occupation, educational qualification, type of educational institutions attended by members of the households, and educational conditions of the backwardness in Odisha.
- The Odisha State Commission will open centres in all the Anganwadi kendras.
- During the survey, information on the social and educational conditions of 208 OBC communities will be gathered.
- The survey is being carried out under the provisions of section 9 of the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) Act, 1993 and OSCBC (Amendment) Act, 2020.
- Under the survey, families will have to give details of their ration and Aadhaar cards or voter identity cards of their members.
Topic: Important Days
11. World Press Freedom Day 2023: 3 May
- Every year on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day is observed across the world.
- It is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of freedom of the press in any democracy.
- It is also celebrated to mark the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration.
- The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2023 is "Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for all other human rights."
- In December 1993, World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.
- In 2022, India's ranking in the World Press Freedom Index has fallen from 142nd rank (2021) to 150th position.
- Norway (1st) Denmark (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Estonia (4th) and Finland (5th) grabbed the top positions in the World Press Freedom Index 2022.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Indian Economy
12. GST revenue collection is the highest ever at Rs 1.87 lakh crore for April 2023.
- In the month of April, 2023, the gross GST revenue collected is Rs 1,87,035 crore.
- It includes CGST Rs 38,440 crore, SGST Rs 47,412 crore, IGST Rs 89,158 crore (including Rs 34,972 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess Rs 12,025 crore (Rs 901 crore collected on import of goods).
- Amounts of Rs 37,959 crore and Rs 45,864 crore in SGST and CGST from IGST have been settled by the government.
- After regular settlement, the total revenue of the Center and the States for the month of April 2023 is Rs 84,304 crore for CGST and Rs 85,371 crore for SGST.
- The revenue for April 2023 is 12% higher than the GST revenue for the same month the previous year.
- Domestic transactions revenue for the month (including import of services) increased by 16% compared to the same period last year.
- Gross GST collection for the first time has crossed the Rs 1.75 lakh crore mark.
- The total number of e-way bills generated in the month of March 2023 was 9.0 crore, which is 11 percent higher as compared to 8.1 crore e-way bills generated in the month of February 2023.
- On 20 April 2023, the highest ever tax collection was done in a single day in this month.
- Rs 68,228 crore has been paid through 9.8 lakh transactions on 20th April, 2023.
- On 20th April, 2023, the highest single day payment last year was Rs 57,846 crore through Rs 9.6 lakh transactions.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
13. Ministry of Finance launches scheme “Vivad se Vishwas I-Relief to MSMEs”.
- As per the announcement made in Union Budget 2023-24, the government has launched the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme for relief to MSMEs for COVID-19 period.
- The scheme commenced on 17 April 2023 and the last date for submission for claims is 30 June 2023.
- Under the scheme, the ministries will refund performance security, bid security and liquidated damages forfeited/ deducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Under the scheme, the Ministry of Finance will give additional benefits to eligible MSMEs as given below:
- Refund of 95% of the performance security forfeited, Bid security and Liquidated damages deducted.
- Refund of 95% of Risk purchase amount realised.
- Revoking of debarment of a firm that has been debarred only due to default in execution of such contracts.
- No interest shall be paid on such refunded amount.
- The relief would be provided to those MSMEs which have registered as a Medium, Small or Micro Enterprise for any category of goods and services as per relevant scheme of Ministry of MSME on the date of claim by supplier/contractor.
- Also, the original delivery period/completion period mentioned in contract was between 19 February 2020 and 31 March 2022.
- Claims can be processed only through Government e-Marketplace.
Topic: MoUs/ Agreements
14. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs signed an MoU with RITES.
- The MoU has been signed for technical assistance of RITES for Solid Waste Management (SWM) and Used Water Management (UWM) under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0.
- Used Water Management (UWM) has been introduced under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 as a newly funded component for towns with less than 1 lakh population. It aims to ensure that no un-treated used water is discharged into water bodies thereby improving used water management ecosystem in Urban India.
- Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 was launched by the Prime Minister on 1 October 2021 with a vision to create ‘Garbage Free Cities’.
- SBM-U 2.0 further envisions to make all urban local bodies open defecation free+. It envisions making urban local bodies with a population of less than one lakh as open defecation free++.
- RITES will act as technical support agency for Swachhata for 3 years.
- Under UWM, RITES will give technical support for standards and specification in the field of sewage and faecal sludge management and reuse, engineering design and process of waste water treatment units.
- Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES Ltd) is an Indian Miniratna PSU and engineering consultancy corporation. It is headquartered in Gurugram. It was established in 1974. Rahul Mittal is its current Chairman and MD.
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