Ukraine’s Defence Ministry Apologises For Offensive Tweet Depicting Hindu Goddess Kali
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry faced online backlash after posting an offensive tweet depicting the Goddess Kali in a distorted manner. The tweet was later deleted and an apology has been issued.
Ukraine’s Defence Ministry Apologises For Offensive Tweet Depicting Hindu Goddess Kali:
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry faced online backlash after posting an offensive tweet depicting the Hindu Goddess Kali in a distorted manner. The tweet was later deleted and Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova issued an apology.
The Offensive Tweet: On April 30, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry tweeted a picture of a blast with an improvised picture by Ukrainian artist Maksym Palenko. The picture depicted the blast in a unique yet offensive blend of famous American actress Marilyn Monroe in her ‘flying skirt’ pose with the face and detailing resembling Hindu Goddess ‘Maa Kali’.
The controversial tweet and its immediate backlash:
The tweet triggered massive online outrage, with users calling for an apology and the tweet to be taken down. Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova issued an apology, stating that Ukraine “regrets” the defence ministry’s depiction of goddess Kali in a “distorted manner” and that the country “respects unique Indian culture and highly appreciates support from India”.
Ukrainian minister’s recent visit to India:
Ms Dzhaparova had recently visited India, the first visit by a Ukrainian minister to India since the start of the Ukraine war in February last year. During the visit, the Ukrainian minister held talks with Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi.
Here are some key points about Ukraine:
Ukraine is a country located in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west, and Romania and Moldova to the southwest.
The capital of Ukraine is Kyiv (also spelled Kiev), and Ukrainian is the official language.
The population of Ukraine is approximately 44 million people.
Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The current President of Ukraine is Volodymyr Zelensky, who was elected in April 2019.
Prior to his political career, Zelensky was a comedian, actor, and producer.
Ukraine has a parliamentary system of government, with a unicameral legislature known as the Verkhovna Rada.
The economy of Ukraine is the 27th largest in Europe and relies heavily on exports, particularly in the areas of steel, agriculture, and energy.
Ukraine has been involved in a conflict with Russia since 2014, which began with the annexation of Crimea by Russia and has escalated into a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.
UAE Government Launches ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit
The UAE government recently launched the ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit, an international conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) held at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.
UAE Government Launches ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit:
The UAE government recently launched the ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit, an international conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) held at the Museum of the Future in Dubai. The event was held in partnership between the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office and ‘Machines Can See’ company.
Aim of the Summit:
The main objective of the conference was to bring together experts from around the world to discuss the future of AI and its potential in contributing to the UAE’s vision of creating the next Silicon Valley. The summit aimed to explore the current advancements of AI, its applications, and its future in the UAE and the rest of the world.
The conference was attended by policymakers from the public sector, businesses, and academia. The summit featured presentations and panel discussions from various experts in the field of AI. One of the panel discussions was titled ‘Government, Business, and Science’ where the experts conversed about the future of AI in the UAE and its potential to become the next Silicon Valley.
Collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Dubai Future Foundation:
The ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit was hosted in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Dubai Future Foundation. The partnership aimed to explore the possibilities of AI and its potential in transforming the visions of the UAE, solidifying its global status as a hub of advanced technologies, particularly in AI.
State-level AI Programme:
The UAE is the only country with a state-level AI programme, which is a testament to its commitment to supporting the progress of AI technology. The ‘Machines Can See 2023’ Summit is one of the many initiatives taken by the UAE government to promote AI and establish the country as a global leader in the field.
About UAE, key points:
The UAE, or the United Arab Emirates, is a federation of seven emirates located in the southeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia.
Here are some key points about the UAE:
Geography: The UAE is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the west and south, Oman to the east, and the Persian Gulf to the north. The capital city is Abu Dhabi.
Population: As of 2021, the population of the UAE is estimated to be around 10.5 million. The official language is Arabic, but English is also widely spoken.
The UAE is a federal presidential elected monarchy, which means that the country is ruled by a president who is elected by the members of the Federal National Council (FNC), which is a legislative body that is composed of representatives from each of the seven emirates.
The current ruler of the UAE is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been the President of the UAE since 2004. He is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, which is the largest and wealthiest emirate in the country.
Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the founder of the UAE and served as its first President from 1971 until his death in 2004. Sheikh Khalifa is widely respected for his leadership and his efforts to modernize and develop the UAE.
Adani Ports completes sale of Myanmar port for $30 million
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) announced that it has completed the sale of its Myanmar port, Coastal International Terminals Pte Limited, for $30 million.
Adani Ports completes sale of Myanmar port for $30 million
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) announced that it has completed the sale of its Myanmar port, Coastal International Terminals Pte Limited, for $30 million. The decision to exit the project was made based on recommendations by the Risk Committee in October 2021. The sale was initially announced in May 2022, following a military coup in Myanmar and subsequent crackdown on mass protests that drew international condemnation and US sanctions.
Delays in the approval process and completion of the project:
The Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) had certain Condition Precedents (CPs), including completion of the project and relevant approvals for smooth conduct of business by the buyer. However, the deal was delayed due to challenges in meeting certain conditions including completion of the project. APSEZ obtained an independent valuation on an “as is where is” basis, leading to a renegotiation of the sale consideration to $30 million.
Revised sale price and payment terms:
APSEZ had originally aimed to complete the exit between March and June 2022, but the delays led to a renegotiation of the sale price with the buyer, Solar Energy Ltd. The buyer will pay the said amount to the seller within three business days on completing all the necessary compliance by the seller. On receipt of the total transaction value, APSEZ shall transfer the equity to the buyer and its exit will stand concluded.
APSEZ’s investment in the project and key drivers of the decision:
Filings from May 2021 showed that APSEZ invested $127 million in the project, including a $90 million upfront payment to lease land. Inputs from key minority shareholders were a key driver in the company’s decision to exit the project, Adani Ports previously said, reiterating it would not engage with a sanctioned entity.
India’s First International Multimodal Logistics Park Coming at Jogighopa, Assam
The construction of India's first International Multimodal Logistics Park in Jogighopa, Assam, is well underway, and the jetty is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
India’s First International Multimodal Logistics Park Coming at Jogighopa, Assam:
The construction of India’s first International Multimodal Logistics Park in Jogighopa, Assam, is well underway, and the jetty is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The park, which is being built at a cost of Rs 693.97 crore, will provide direct connectivity to waterways, road, rail, and air, and is expected to be completed in 2023. Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, visited the site recently to review the progress and expressed satisfaction at the pace of work.
Assam Realizing Vision of Transformation Through Transportation:
The development of the first International Multimodal Logistics Park is in line with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of transformation through transportation. The project aims to revamp the transportation network in the Northeastern region of India, including neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Bangladesh. The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is a key component of this vision, which aims to revive and rejuvenate the transportation system and make it an efficient and effective agent of change.
Connecting the Northeastern Region to Waterways, Road, Rail, and Air:
The International Multimodal Logistics Park is being developed under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Government, and is the first such project of its kind. The park is being constructed by NHIDCL in Jogighopa of Assam, and will be connected to road, rail, air, and waterways. Spread over 317 acres of land along the Brahmaputra, the park will have all the necessary facilities such as a warehouse, railway siding, cold storage, custom clearance house, yard facility, workshops, petrol pumps, truck parking, administrative building, boarding lodging, eating joints, and water treatment plant.
Improving Connectivity in the Region:
To improve connectivity in the region, a 4-lane road will be built on the 154-km stretch between Jogighopa and Guwahati. A 3-km rail line will connect Jogighopa station to the MMLP, while another 3-km rail link will connect it to the IWT. The road to the newly developed Rupsi airport will also be upgraded to 4-lanes for easier connectivity.
Unlocking Huge Potential for the Region:
The construction of the International Multimodal Logistics Park is likely to unlock huge potential for the Northeastern region of India, including neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Bangladesh. The park will not only facilitate faster and more efficient transportation of goods but also create job opportunities and boost economic growth in the region. The success of this project will depend on the cooperation of all stakeholders, and the government has called upon everyone to join this wonderful initiative and make it a grand success.
Here are some key points about International Multimodal Logistics Park:
International Multimodal Logistics Park is a large-scale facility designed to provide integrated logistics solutions through multiple modes of transportation, including rail, road, air, and water.
It allows efficient movement of cargo between different modes of transportation, thereby reducing transportation costs, transit time, and improving supply chain management.
The park usually comprises of various facilities such as warehouses, container yards, custom clearance houses, cold storages, administrative buildings, parking spaces, and other infrastructure needed for the handling and storage of cargo.
The development of such a park is often part of a country’s broader transportation and infrastructure development plans to facilitate trade and economic growth.
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG): An Overview
Learn about the objectives and initiatives of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the way forward towards a cleaner Ganga.
Why the scheme is in the news?
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) jointly held the ‘River-Cities Alliance (RCA) Global Seminar: Partnership for Building International River-Sensitive Cities’ in New Delhi. The seminar aimed to facilitate discussions and exchange of best practices on urban river management among member cities and global stakeholders.
What is National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)?
Established as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, of 1860, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is implemented by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga, also known as the National Ganga Council, since August 12, 2011.
The mission strives to maintain the river’s natural flow throughout the year while considering seasonal variations.
The mission aims to restore and maintain the natural flow of both surface water and groundwater.
The mission seeks to regenerate and preserve the natural vegetation in the region.
The mission is committed to conserving and revitalizing the aquatic and riparian biodiversity of the Ganga River basin.
The mission aims to involve the public in the process of protecting, rejuvenating, and managing the river.
What are the Initiatives Related to Ganga?
The Namami Gange Programme is a ‘Flagship Programme’ approved by the Union Government in June 2014 to effectively abate pollution and conserve and rejuvenate the National River Ganga.
The Ganga Action Plan, initiated in 1985 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, was the first River Action Plan to improve water quality through interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage. The National River Conservation Plan is an extension of the Ganga Action Plan and aims to clean the Ganga River under the Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
The Government of India established the National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA) in 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. In 2008, Ganga was declared the ‘National River’ of India.
The Clean Ganga Fund was established in 2014 to clean up the Ganga, set up waste treatment plants, and conserve the biotic diversity of the river.
The Bhuvan-Ganga Web App ensures public involvement in monitoring pollution entering the river Ganga.
In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned waste disposal in the Ganga.
The Namami Gange Programme, through the ‘Arth Ganga’ initiative, aims to link people with the Ganga River by monetizing sludge and treated water.
The Ganga Clean initiative emphasizes the importance of creating awareness and community-led efforts. It highlights the economic benefits of the river alongside its cultural and spiritual significance.
Effective communication is crucial to bring about social and behavioral change in the younger generation, which is necessary for the success of the Namami Gange Programme.
Targeted dissemination of information is essential to achieve the desired change. The ultimate goal is to create a generation with a consciousness of cleanliness, which will lead to the automatic improvement of other aspects.
RBI Mandates Complete Information for Money Transfers to Curb Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing
RBI has issued new instructions to all banks and financial institutions in the country to ensure that all wire transfers contain complete information about the originator and beneficiary.
RBI Mandates Complete Information for Money Transfers to Curb Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued new instructions to all banks and financial institutions in the country to ensure that all wire transfers, whether domestic or international, contain complete information about the originator and beneficiary. The move is aimed at preventing wire transfers from being used as a channel for money laundering and financing terrorism. The updated instructions are part of the Master Direction on Know Your Customer (KYC) and are aligned with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Complete Information for Cross-border Wire Transfers:
As per the updated instructions, all cross-border wire transfers must be accompanied by accurate, complete, and meaningful originator and beneficiary information. This information must be available to appropriate law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities, as well as the Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) on receiving such requests with appropriate legal provisions.
Domestic Wire Transfers:
The RBI has also mandated that all domestic wire transfers, where the originator is an account holder of the ordering regulated entity, must contain originator and beneficiary information. Domestic wire transfers of ₹50,000 and above, where the originator is not an account holder of the ordering RE, shall also be accompanied by originator and beneficiary information as indicated for cross-border wire transfers.
Ordering Regulated Entity (RE):
The term ‘ordering RE’ refers to the financial institution that initiates the wire transfer and transfers the funds on behalf of the originator. These REs are now required to make all information on the wire transfers available to appropriate authorities on receiving such requests with appropriate legal provisions.
The RBI has clarified that the latest instructions are not intended to cover any transfer that flows from a transaction carried out using a credit card, debit card, or Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) for the purchase of goods or services. These transactions will continue to follow the existing norms.
PM Gati Shakti: India’s Integrated Infrastructure Connectivity Plan for Economic Growth
Discover how PM Gati Shakti aims to boost India's infrastructure and economy.
Why the scheme is in the news?
The Indian government is pushing to onboard social sector ministries onto the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) platform for socio-economic development. Special Secretary of Logistics Division, DPIIT, Sumita Dawra highlighted the potential for NMP adoption in social sector planning during a high-level meeting on PM Gati Shakti NMP adoption.
What is PM Gati Shakti?
The Gati Shakti digital platform aims to integrate the planning and execution of infrastructure connectivity projects by bringing together 16 ministries, including railways and roadways. It seeks to resolve long-standing issues such as disjointed planning, lack of standardization, clearance problems, and timely creation and utilization of infrastructure capacities. The portal provides over 200 layers of geospatial data, including existing infrastructure information, allowing different government departments to track the progress of various projects in real-time at one centralized location. The scheme is expected to boost last-mile connectivity, reduce logistics costs, and prevent overlapping of works by addressing the issue of government departments working in tandem.
The Gati Shakti initiative subsumes the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which was launched in 2019 with an investment of Rs 110 lakh crore. The platform’s aim is to incorporate infrastructure schemes under various ministries and state governments, including Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN, economic zones, textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, and agri zones. This integration will prioritize projects through cross-sectoral interactions and reduce implementation overlaps, making Indian businesses more competitive.
To ensure project progress, a monitoring group under the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will oversee key projects in real-time and report any inter-ministerial issues to a group of ministries responsible for resolving them. The Gati Shakti platform is expected to improve connectivity, resolve infrastructure-related problems, and help India achieve its infrastructure development goals.
Targets under the PM Gati shakti Scheme:
Gati shakti has set targets for infrastructure ministries to achieve by 2024-25 targets include
The development of 11 industrial corridors and two new defence corridors.
The scheme aims to achieve a turnover of 1.7 lakh crore in defence production.
The development of around 38 electronics manufacturing clusters and 109 pharma clusters is also planned.
The total cargo handled at Indian ports is targeted to increase to 1759 MTPA.
Over 200 airports, helipads, and water aerodromes will be added.
The scheme also aims to extend 4G connectivity to all villages.
Additionally, adding 17,000 km to the gas pipeline network is being planned.
Six pillars of PM Gati Shakti:
Centralization: The Gati Shakti platform will integrate all current and future initiatives from various Ministries and Departments, providing a centralized portal. This will enable critical data sharing and comprehensive project execution planning.
Prioritization: Through cross-sectoral interactions, Ministries will be able to prioritize projects based on critical gaps identified in the National Master Plan.
Optimization: The platform will assist in selecting the most cost and time-effective route for transportation, improving project planning and execution.
Coordination: By synchronizing the activities of each department, the platform will ensure coordination and cooperation between different layers of governance, preventing project delays caused by siloed working.
Analysis: The GIS-based spatial planning and analytical tools of the platform, which incorporate over 200 layers, will provide better visibility to executing agencies.
Real-time Monitoring: Ministries and Departments can monitor the progress of cross-sectoral projects using the GIS platform’s satellite imagery, and project progress will be regularly updated on the portal. This will enable the identification of critical interventions to enhance and update the master plan.
What is the need for the scheme?
Lack of coordination and advanced information sharing leads to a gap between macro planning and micro implementation, with departments working in silos.
Logistics costs in India are estimated to be around 13-14% of GDP, which is high compared to developed economies and reduces the competitiveness of India’s exports.
The scheme aims to create quality infrastructure for sustainable development, leading to increased economic activities and employment opportunities.
The Gati Shakti scheme is in synergy with the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) and will provide a framework for monetization to generate investor interest.
The integrated transport connectivity strategy will support the ‘Make in India’ initiative and connect different modes of transport.
The scheme aims to address issues such as lack of demand in the post-Covid-19 scenario and slow implementation of projects due to land acquisition delays and litigation issues.