Current Affairs 15 & 16 August 2023

Welcome to our platform where we bring you the latest and most relevant Current Affairs for August 15 and 16, 2023. Our updates encompass a unique blend of information sourced from prominent newspapers including The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard, and official government websites.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

AIM Collaborates with ISRO & Navars Edutech to Launch National Space Innovation Challenge 2023

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship endeavor of NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), has joined forces with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Navars Edutech Private Limited to introduce the National Space Innovation Challenge 2023 (NSIC 2023).

The NSIC 2023 is an esteemed nationwide initiative designed to bridge the gap within India’s space economy and its future space workforce. This challenge seeks to inspire aspiring space entrepreneurs and enhance the country’s space sector. NSIC 2023 is active from August 11, 2023, to September 20, 2023.

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Key Highlights:

  • Navars Edutech, a prominent space education company headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana, is an essential partner in this initiative.
  • NSIC 2023 is accessible to all school students (class 5 to class 12) across India.
  • Participants from Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and non-ATL schools can submit their entries through Navars Edutech’s automated technology platform.
  • The challenge encompasses diverse topics for different grade categories:
    • Category 1 (Grade 5-8): Space Junk collection robot design and Reusable Rockets design
    • Category 2 (Grade 9-12): Satellite design for Global warming studies and Indian Spaceship design for Planet Mars

Prime Minister Inaugurates Development Projects in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh

On August 12, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated several noteworthy development projects in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. These projects aim to bolster the region’s infrastructure and contribute to its progress.

  1. Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas ji Memorial:
    • The memorial will be erected in Badtuma village, Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh, at a cost exceeding Rs 100 crores.
    • It will span over an expansive area of more than 11.25 acres and will follow the Nagar architectural style.
    • The memorial features an art museum and gallery, aimed at showcasing the life, teachings, and philosophy of Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas ji.
    • It will offer devotee-centric facilities like Bhakt Niwas and Bhojanalay.
    • Notably, the construction will incorporate soil from over 20,000 villages and 300 rivers.
  2. Road Projects:
    • The foundation stone was laid for two road projects with a combined budget exceeding Rs 1580 crores.
    • These projects involve the development of a four-laning road connecting Morikori – Vidisha – Hinotiya and another road linking Hinotiya to Mehluwa.
  3. Doubling of Kota-Bina Rail Route:
    • The Kota-Bina rail route project, constructed at a cost of over Rs 2475 crores, has been dedicated to the nation.
    • This rail line traverses through districts in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, enhancing mobility, train speed, and capacity.

Additional Developments:

  • The ongoing construction of the Global Skill Park in Govindpura, Bhopal, named after Saint Ravidas, remains a significant project.
  • Various sites associated with Baba Saheb are being developed as Panch-Teerth.
  • Lord Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary is now celebrated as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas.
  • Renaming of MP’s Habibganj railway station after Queen Kamlapati and Patalpani station after Tantya Mama is part of these developments.

Notable attendees during the occasion included Governor of MP Mangubhai Patel and Chief Minister of MP Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

DPIIT and MoRD Collaborate to Unveil ODOP Wall at SARAS Ajeevika Store

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) have joined hands with Sale of Articles of Rural Artisans Society (SARAS) Aajeevika to introduce the One District One Product (ODOP) Wall at the SARAS Ajeevika Store in New Delhi. This collaborative effort aims to celebrate India’s rich heritage of craftsmanship while integrating innovative features for enhanced engagement.

SARAS Aajeevika Store:

  • SARAS Aajeevika champions women’s empowerment and emphasizes the elevation of women artisans and Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
  • The platform serves as a dedicated marketplace for meticulously crafted goods, fostering self-reliance among women and empowering them to emerge as entrepreneurs.

One District One Product (ODOP) Initiative:

  • The ODOP initiative, a pillar of national self-reliance, focuses on promoting equitable regional progress in every district.
  • This initiative involves highlighting a unique product from each district, spanning diverse sectors like handlooms and handicrafts.
  • To enhance its reach and impact, ODOP collaborates with various governmental and private entities, aligning with its vision of transforming India into a hub of distinctive artistry and entrepreneurship.

Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Rural Development:

  • The Ministry of Commerce & Industry is led by Union Minister Piyush Goyal, with Ministers of State Shri Som Prakash and Anupriya Singh Patel.
  • Giriraj Singh is the Union Minister of Rural Development, with Ministers of State Faggansingh Kulaste and others contributing to the ministry’s efforts.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Launches DBT in NAPS to Strengthen Apprenticeship Ecosystem

On August 12th, 2023, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, along with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), unveiled the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) within the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). This initiative aims to promote apprenticeship training in India by encouraging both corporations and young individuals to participate actively. The launch event took place in New Delhi, Delhi.

As part of this DBT launch, a sum of around Rs. 15 crores was disbursed to 100,000 apprentices. Under NAPS, the Government of India (GoI) reimburses 25% of the stipend, up to a maximum of Rs. 1500/- per month per apprentice engaged by employers. The introduction of DBT is expected to increase the number of apprentices, extending the coverage beyond the initial 30% target set by NAPS 2.0.

Analysis:

  • Over 25 lakh apprentices have been engaged since NAPS’s inception in 2016 until July 31st, 2023. Additionally, around 2.6 lakh apprentices completed training during the financial year 2023-2024.
  • Proactive government initiatives to promote quality training have resulted in a significant increase in the number of active establishments offering apprenticeships, growing from 6,755 in 2018-19 to 40,655 in 2023-24.

Key Highlights:

  • Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan highlighted that this initiative perfectly aligns with the Government of India’s vision of promoting aspirational skilling and the concept of “earning while learning” outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP).
  • The introduction of DBT in NAPS enhances transparency and efficiency.
  • The robust strategy, policy evolution, and industry collaboration underscore the importance of a skilled workforce in India’s growth.
  • There has been an impressive 488% increase in the number of establishments offering apprenticeship training since the inception of NAPS.

Several organizations, such as the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture (MCCIA) in Pune, Maharashtra, the Baddi Cluster from Himachal Pradesh, and the North Malabar Consortium Industry Cluster in Kannur, Kerala, have been active participants.

Chintan Shivir:

  • The MSDE organized a “Chintan Shivir” on “Enhancing Apprenticeship Engagement” to promote apprenticeship programs across stakeholders.
  • The core objective was to foster collaboration among central and state governments, industry bodies, and the private sector.
  • The event had three breakout sessions focusing on stakeholder convergence, strategies for quality apprenticeship, and creating an inclusive apprenticeship ecosystem.
  • The discussions revolved around dialogue, increasing apprenticeship uptake, enhancing quality, and ensuring equal opportunities for marginalized communities.

Key Achievements of NAPS:

  • Approximately 2.6 lakh apprentices successfully completed training in FY 2023-24.
  • The number of women apprentices increased from 22,427 in 2018-19 to 1.48 lakh in FY 2022-23, marking a nearly 7-fold increase in 5 years.
  • The number of active establishments increased from 6,755 in 2018-19 to 40,655 in 2023-24.
  • States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana have excelled in apprenticeship engagement.
  • This inclusive approach extends to regions like the North Eastern Region, aspirational districts, and tribal districts.

About United Kingdom:

  • Capital: London
  • Prime Minister: Rishi Sunak
  • Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)

“Champaran Mutton” India’s Only Movie in Oscar’s Semi Final List

The film “Champaran Mutton,” directed by Ranjan Umakrishnan, a student from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, Maharashtra, has advanced to the semifinals of the Student Academy Awards category of the Oscars.

This movie is competing against 17 other films, a notable achievement considering the rigorous selection process from an initial pool of 2400 films. The award is bestowed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

About Champaran Mutton:

  • The movie draws from the “Bajjika dialect,” primarily spoken in regions encompassing Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, and Begusarai, as its linguistic foundation.
  • This accomplishment marks the first time in 40 years that an Indian film has secured a spot in this award category. Previously, Vidhu Binod Chopra achieved this distinction.

Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023: Indian Men’s Hockey Team Triumphs Over Malaysia

The Indian Men’s hockey team clinched the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2023 Title by defeating Malaysia with a score of 4-3 in the finals held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

This victory signifies India’s 4th win in the tournament, including victories in 2011, 2016, 2018, and 2023. This achievement makes India the most successful team in the tournament, surpassing Pakistan’s wins in 2012, 2013, and 2018.

In the same tournament, Japan’s men’s hockey team secured the Bronze Medal (3rd place) by defeating South Korea.

The 7th edition of the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 took place from August 3rd to 12th in the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Obituary: Padma Shri Recipient and Former President of JNCASR MRS Rao Passes Away

Professor Manchanahalli Rangaswamy Satyanarayana Rao, popularly known as MRS Rao, and former President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bengaluru, Karnataka, passed away. He was born in 1948 in Mysuru, Karnataka.

MRS Rao served as the JNCASR president from 2003 to 2013. Before that, he held the position of Chairman in the Department of Biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru.

Awards & Recognitions:

  • He received the Padma Shri Award in 2010 for Science and Engineering.
  • He was awarded the Goyal Prize by Kurukshetra University in 2012-13 to honor eminent scientists.
  • He received the Year of Science (YoS) Chair Professor award for 2019-24 from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB).
  • MRS Rao was also honored with the FICCI Award 2004-05 for his significant work in the category of Research & Development in Life Sciences.
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