Daily Current Affairs 18 June 2024 | Latest News | Download Free PDF

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CURRENT AFFAIRS : BANKING & FINANCE

Reserve Bank of India Receives Risk Manager of the Year Award 2024 from London-based Central Banking   

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been awarded the Risk Manager of the Year Award 2024 by London-based Central Banking.
  • RBI was recognized for improving its risk culture and awareness and for implementing a new enterprise-wide risk management (ERM) framework across the organisation.
  • Executive Director Shri Manoranjan Mishra received the award on behalf of the RBI.
  • Rolling out the new ERM framework was challenging due to RBI’s large size, with over 12,000 staff members.
  • The previous ERM framework dated back to 2012, making the update necessary.

What is ERM?

  • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the activities of an organization to minimize the harmful effects of risk on its capital and earnings.
  • ERM includes managing financial, strategic, and operational risks, as well as risks associated with accidental losses.
  • ERM is designed to identify and manage risks across an entire organization and its extended networks, using a holistic, company-wide approach rather than individual business units managing risk separately.

About RBI :

  • Established : 1 April 1935
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Governor : Shaktikanta Das
  • Deputy governors : Mahesh Kumar Jain,M. Rajeshwar Rao, Michael Patra and T. Rabi Shankar

Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund Introduces Baroda BNP Paribas Manufacturing Fund     

  • Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund has launched the Baroda BNP Paribas Manufacturing Fund, which is an open-ended equity scheme predominantly investing in manufacturing themes.
  • The NFO of the scheme is currently open for subscription and will close on June 24,2024.
  • After the initial offer period, the scheme will reopen for continuous sale and repurchase within 5 business days from the date of allotment.
  • The scheme will be benchmarked against Nifty India Manufacturing TRI.
  • It will be managed by Jitendra Sriram.

Key Highlights :

  • Investment Options:Minimum investment amount for lumpsum: Rs 1,000, with subsequent investments in multiples of Re 1.
  • Minimum application amount for SIP: Rs 500, with subsequent investments in multiples of Re 1.
  • Plan and Options Offered:The fund offers regular and direct plans with both growth and IDCW (Income Distribution cum Capital Withdrawal) options.
  • Exit Load Structure:Nil exit load for redemption or switching of up to 10% of units within 1 year from the date of allotment.
  • An exit load of 1% will be applicable if units of the scheme are redeemed or switched out in excess of the limit within 1 year from the date of allotment.
  • No exit load if units are redeemed or switched out after 1 year from the date of allotment.
  • Asset Allocation Strategy:The scheme's asset allocation includes:
  • 80-100% in equity and equity related instruments of companies with a manufacturing theme.
  • 0-20% in other equity and equity related instruments.
  • 0-20% in debt and money market instruments.
  • 0-10% in units of mutual funds.
  • 0-10% in units issued by Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs).
  • Investor Suitability:The fund is suitable for investors seeking growth opportunities with focused exposure to promising manufacturing companies.

About Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund :

  • CEO : Suresh Soni

Reserve Bank of India Broadens Overseas Portfolio Investment Opportunities    

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular regarding overseas investments, permitting resident individuals and listed companies to invest in offshore funds managed by regulated fund managers.
  • Purpose of Circular : To align India's overseas investment rules with the diverse fund structures available abroad, thereby facilitating more diverse and efficient investment opportunities for Indian investors.
  • Previously, Indian regulations allowed investments only in foreign funds that were regulated.

Key Highlights :

  • Amendment Details:The amended paragraph reads as follows: “The investment (including sponsor contribution) in units or any other instrument (by whatever name called) issued by an investment fund overseas, duly regulated by the regulator for the financial sector in the host jurisdiction, shall be treated as OPI [overseas portfolio investments].
  • Accordingly, in jurisdictions other than IFSCs [international financial services centres], listed Indian companies and resident individuals may make such investments.
  • Whereas in IFSCs, an unlisted Indian entity also may make such OPI in units or any other instrument (by whatever name called) issued by an investment fund or vehicle, in terms of schedule V of the OI Rules subject to limits, as applicable.
  • Impact of Amendment:Indian residents can now participate in a broader range of overseas funds, provided the fund manager is regulated, thereby expanding investment opportunities.
  • Flexibility Introduced:The amendment introduces flexibility in the choice of jurisdiction and the legal structure of the fund. It allows for investments not only in offshore fund units but also in various fund structures like limited partnerships, Limited Liability Company (LLCs), Variable Capital Company (VCCs) and corporations.
  • Expert Insights:Experts from Obhan & Associates highlight that in some countries such as the US and Singapore, it is the fund manager rather than the fund itself that is regulated.
  • Tax Efficiency and Opportunities:The amendment aims to enhance investment opportunities for Indian investors, particularly in jurisdictions like Singapore that offer attractive investment options and potential tax efficiency.

Banks to Urge Reserve Bank of India to Offer Incentives for Green Financing   

  • Banks plan to request the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to incentivise green financing, including considering this category of lending, irrespective of loan limit, as priority sector lending (PSL) or excluding infrastructure sector exposure from overall credit for the purpose of arriving at annual PSL target.

Definition of Green Finance:

  • According to the G20 Green Finance Synthesis Report, Green finance is defined as financing of investments that deliver environmental benefits in the broader context of environmentally sustainable development.

Key Highlights :

  • Environmental Benefits:Benefits include reduction in air, water, and land pollution, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and improved energy efficiency.
  • Current Cap on Renewable Energy Projects:Currently, there is a cap of ₹30 crore for the inclusion of renewable energy projects under PSL.
  • Challenges for Bigger Banks:Smaller banks can achieve PSL targets more easily as they are less involved in infrastructure financing.
  • Bigger banks, which finance large infrastructure projects, face challenges as their base for the annual PSL target increases each year.
  • Priority Sector Lending (PSL) Guidelines : PSL guidelines specify 8 categories of priority sectors viz., (i) Agriculture; (ii) MSME; (iii) Export Credit; (iv) Education; (v) Housing; (vi) Social Infrastructure; (vii) Renewable Energy; and (viii) Others.
  • Banks must achieve a PSL target of 40% of the previous year’s Adjusted Net Bank Credit or the credit equivalent amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher as of the previous year-end.
  • There are sub-targets within this overall PSL target for the aforementioned categories.

CAMS Insurance Repository Services Introduces insurance portfolio management platform - Bima Central   

  • CAMSRep (CAMS Insurance Repository Services), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and a leading Insurance Repository launches Bima Central, a revolutionary one-stop platform for simplifying insurance portfolio management.
  • Aim of Bima Central : To simplify insurance portfolio management by aggregating policy benefits, ensuring claim-readiness, and providing easy access to policy servicing.

Key Highlights :

Features of Bima Central :

  • Users can manage Life, Health, and Motor policies through their secure eInsurance Account (eIA) opened with CAMSRep.
  • Features include simplified policy information, renewals & reminders, profile management (personal data and nominee information), policy calendar, and more.
  • Access and Availability:Policyholders with an existing eInsurance Account (eIA) with CAMSRep can access Bima Central to manage their policies across various insurers.
  • New users can open an eIA instantly on Bima Central after completing KYC.
  • The platform is available in English and Hindi and accessible via Android, iOS, and Web portal.
  • Insurance Partners:SBI General is the anchor insurer partnering with Bima Central.
  • Other insurers like ICICI Prudential Life, Star Union Daichi, TATA AIA, and Aditya Birla Health are also in the process of integrating their services with the platform.
  • CEO of CAMSRep : Vivek Bengani

Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance and Mahindra Finance Form Partnership to Provide Life Insurance Products    

  • Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited (Kotak Life) has partnered with Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (Mahindra Finance) to offer life insurance solutions to customers.
  • The agreement was signed by Mahesh Balasubramanian, MD, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company, and Raul Rebello, Managing Director & CEO, Mahindra Finance.
  • The partnership aims to benefit over 10 million customers of Mahindra Finance by providing a wide range of tailor-made life insurance solutions from Kotak Life.
  • These life insurance offerings will be distributed by Mahindra Finance through its extensive network of more than 1,400 branches spread across all states and Union Territories (UTs).

About Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited :

  • Founded : 2001
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Managing Director : Mahesh Balasubramanian

About Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL) :

  • Founded : 1991
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Vice Chairman & President : Ramesh Iyer

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

Union Jal Shakti Ministry Unveils Real-Time Ecological Monitoring System

  • The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has introduced an innovative e-flow ecological monitoring system for real-time river quality monitoring of Ganga.
  • This system is expected to significantly enhance the planning and oversight of various projects, river water quality, and other essential parameters.

Development and Purpose

  • Developed by the National Mission for Clean Ganga, a branch of the Jal Shakti Ministry, the Environmental Flows (E-Flows) Monitoring System was inaugurated in the presence of Jal Shakti Minister C.R. Patil.
  • This advanced system not only facilitates real-time analysis of the water quality of the Ganga, Yamuna, and their tributaries but also oversees the activities of the Namami Gange programme at the central level.

Key Features and Functions

  • Key features include monitoring the performance of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to ensure they operate at their designated capacity.
  • The Namami Gange programme, a flagship initiative of the Ministry, initially focused on cleaning the Ganga and now extends to its tributaries.

Significance of the Launch

  • The introduction of the E-flow Monitoring System represents a major advancement towards maintaining a continuous and sustainable flow of the Ganga River.
  • By utilizing data from quarterly reports by the Central Water Commission, the system will monitor crucial parameters such as in-flow, out-flow, and mandated E-flow across 11 projects along the Ganga Main Stream.

47% of urban Indians faced financial fraud in last 3 years:

  • According to the survey, 47% of urban Indians reported being victims of financial fraud themselves or within their families over the past three years.
  • A recent survey by LocalCircles reveals alarming statistics about financial frauds in urban India.

Credit Card Fraud: A Common Concern

  • Among those affected, 43% experienced fraudulent activities involving their credit cards.
  • A significant number, 1 in 2 victims, encountered unauthorized charges from both domestic and international merchants and websites.

Challenges with UPI Transactions

  • Meanwhile, 30% of respondents faced fraud through UPI transactions. Shockingly, 4 in 10 victims reported that links or QR codes intended for payment acceptance instead resulted in unauthorized debits from their accounts.

Calls for Strengthening Safeguards

  • The survey underscores the urgent need for stronger safeguards by regulatory bodies such as RBI, as well as by UPI and credit card issuing banks. With over 23,000 responses across 302 districts, the study highlights the pervasive nature of these threats in the financial landscape.
  • This rephrased version organizes the information into clear sections with informative headlines to enhance readability and understanding.

PM Modi to release Rs 20,000 crore of PM-Kisan Samman fund into 9.26 crore bank accounts of farmers

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to release the 17th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in Uttar Pradesh.
  • This instalment, amounting to over Rs 20,000 crores, will be distributed through Direct Benefit Transfer to approximately 9.26 crore beneficiary farmers.

PM-KISAN: A Game-Changer for Farmer Welfare

  • Since its inception, the PM-KISAN scheme has disbursed a staggering Rs 3.04 lakh crore to more than 11 crore eligible farmer families, demonstrating its significant impact and extensive reach.

New Initiatives in UP and Bihar

  • During his visit to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on June 18-19, Prime Minister Modi will unveil several key initiatives.
  • Among them, he will confer certificates to over 30,000 women from Self Help Groups (SHGs), formally recognizing them as Krishi Sakhis.
  • These women will play pivotal roles in the Krishi Sakhi Convergence Program (KSCP), empowering them as Para-extension Workers and advancing rural transformation.

Empowering Women through the "Lakhpati Didi" Program

  • The certification aligns with the objectives of the "Lakhpati Didi" Program, aimed at fostering economic self-sufficiency among rural women.

Inauguration of Nalanda University's New Campus

  • Additionally, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the new campus of Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar.
  • The university, a collaborative endeavour involving India and East Asia Summit (EAS) countries, will feature state-of-the-art facilities and significant capacity.

About The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi

  • The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), a Central Sector Scheme, aims at providing financial assistance to all cultivable landholding farmer families across the country, subject to certain exclusion criteria.
  • The PM-KISAN Scheme was launched in Feb. 2019.
  • Under the Scheme, an amount of Rs. 6000/- is transferred annually in three equal instalments of Rs.2000/- directly into the Aadhaar Seeded bank accounts of the farmers.
  • The Government of India has disbursed over Rs 2.60 Lakhs Crores to more than 11 Cr farmers.
  • The state of West Bengal joined the Scheme from the 8thinstalment (April-July, 2021) as initially, the State desired that the funds under the PM-KISAN Scheme be transferred to the State Government for onward disbursement to the farmers through the State Government.

India Aims for 250 Vande Bharat Sleeper Trains by 2029

  • Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that trials for Vande Bharat sleeper trains will commence within the next two months, with operations expected to begin six months thereafter.
  • These self-propelled trains are set to provide enhanced features surpassing those of Rajdhani Express trains.

Expansion Plans

  • The minister outlined plans to introduce approximately 250 Vande Bharat sleeper trains by 2029, marking a significant expansion in India's rail network.

Government Subsidy and Operational Costs

  • Vaishnaw highlighted the financial dynamics of rail ticket pricing, noting that while a product costing Rs 100 might typically be sold for Rs 105-110, the government subsidizes Rs 55 per rail ticket.
  • This results in an annual subsidy burden of Rs 59,000 crore for the government.

Current Rail Operations

  • During his address, Vaishnaw mentioned that Indian Railways operated 19,837 trains during the recent summer season, transporting nearly 40 million passengers nationwide.

Advancements in Safety Technology

  • The minister also reported progress in railway safety technology, noting the installation of the automatic train protection (ATP) system named Kavach along a 6,000 km route.
  • Tenders for Kavach have already been awarded for the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors, enhancing safety measures across key routes.

Railway officials inspect the world's highest bridge, Chenab Rail Bridge in J&K

  • Indian Railway officials has conducted a comprehensive inspection of the newly constructed world's highest railway bridge over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • This engineering marvel, linking Sangaldan in Ramban district to Reasi, is set to launch train services soon, according to Northern Railway officials.

Successful Trial Run

  • Engineer Deepak Kumar from Konkan Railways confirmed that the first trial train completed its journey from Sangaldan to Reasi, marking a significant milestone in connecting the Valley with the rest of the country.
  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced the successful trial, highlighting its importance for the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project.

Project Overview

  • Currently, train services operate from Kanyakumari to Katra and from Baramulla to Sangaldan in the Kashmir Valley.
  • The USBRL project, including the crucial 48.1 km Banihal-Sangaldan section, is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the USBRL project on February 20, 2024, underscoring its strategic significance for regional connectivity and development.

About the Chenab rail bridge project

  • Phase I of the project, covering the 118 km long Qazigund-Baramulla section, was inaugurated in October 2009.
  • Subsequent phases saw the inauguration of the 18 km long Banihal-Qazigund section in June 2013 and the 25 km long Udhampur-Katra section in July 2014.
  • The Chenab Rail Bridge, constructed 359 metres (around 109 feet) above the Chenab River in the Jammu and Kashmir region, is some 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower.
  • The 1,315 metre-long bridge is part of a broader project which aims to make the Kashmir valley accessible by the Indian Railway network.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan to boost Agri and Rural Development coordination, eyes 90,000 Krishi Sakhis

  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan indicated his plan to build a synergy between the two ministries, which the previous ministers in the NDA government probably missed.
  • The initiative involves creating a team of 90,000 Krishi Sakhis, women associates in the agricultural sector, who will guide farmers in adopting new technologies and modern farming practices.
  • Currently, 34,000 Krishi Sakhis have already received training, to reach 90,000.

Collaboration with Self-Help Groups

  • Most Krishi Sakhis are recruited from self-help groups overseen by the Rural Development ministry.
  • Following a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the Agriculture ministry has been closely coordinating with the Rural Development ministry.

Financial Empowerment through Training

  • Upon completion of their training, Krishi Sakhis are expected to earn an additional income of Rs 60,000-80,000 annually by assisting farmers with various agricultural activities.

Rollout of the Krishi Sakhi Programme

  • The Krishi Sakhi programme has been initiated in 12 states: Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, and Meghalaya.
  • This initiative not only aims to empower women in agriculture but also promises to enhance agricultural productivity through the adoption of modern practices facilitated by trained Krishi Sakhis.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS

United Nations Lists Hamas and Israel for Violations of Children's Rights   

  • The United Nations has added Israel's military, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's armed wing for the first time to its list of offenders for violating children’s rights.
  • These three entities, along with Sudan's warring parties, have been identified for the killing and maiming of children.

Key Highlights :

  • Report on Children in Armed Conflict:The report titled "Children in Armed Conflict" highlighted that children were killed and maimed in unprecedented numbers.
  • UN Secretary-General's Statement:UN Secretary General António Guterres noted that the conflict between Israel and Palestinian groups has led to grave violations of children's rights on an unprecedented scale and intensity, especially in Gaza.
  • Increase in Violations:The conflict in Gaza has resulted in a 155% increase in "grave violations" against children.
  • Verified Violations:In 2023, the UN verified more than 8,000 grave violations against 4,247 Palestinian children and 113 Israeli children.
  • Annual Compilation:Each year, the Secretary-General compiles a global list of countries and militias that threaten and intimidate children.
  • This list includes entities from various conflicts, such as Myanmar's Kachin Independence Army and Russia during its war with Ukraine.
  • Submission to the Security Council:António Guterres sends this list to the Security Council, which then decides whether to take action based on the compiled information.

About United Nations (UN) :

  • Established : 1945
  • Headquarters : New York City, USA
  • Membership : 193 member states, 2 observer states

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

MIFF 2024 Launches Inaugural Documentary Film Bazaar

  • The 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024 witnessed the inauguration of its first-ever Documentary Film Bazaar, marking a significant milestone for the festival as the leading platform for non-feature films in South Asia.
  • The Documentary Film Bazaar, a pioneering initiative, aims to elevate the documentary film industry by providing filmmakers with a unique platform to connect with buyers, sponsors, and collaborators.
  • Held from June 16 to 18, 2024, at the NFDC complex, this groundbreaking event has attracted nearly 200 projects from 10 countries, spanning 27 languages.

Inauguration and Key Figures

  • Film Producer Ms. Apoorva Bakshi inaugurated the Doc Film Bazaar in the presence of Shri Prithul Kumar, Festival Director of MIFF and Managing Director of NFDC, and Ms. Smita Vats Sharma, ADG PIB (West Zone) and CEO of CBFC. Ms. Bakshi encouraged filmmakers to seize the opportunities of the Bazaar for effective collaboration and exploration of new ideas.

Curated Verticals

The Bazaar features three main verticals:

  • Co-production Market: Showcasing 16 projects to connect filmmakers with potential collaborators and financiers globally.
  • Work-in-Progress (WIP) Lab: Featuring 6 projects in rough-cut stages, providing crucial feedback and mentorship.
  • Viewing Room: Exhibiting 106 completed documentaries, short films, and animations to curated delegates for distribution and funding opportunities.

Additional Highlights

  • Apart from these segments, the Bazaar includes an 'Open Buyer-Seller Meet' facilitating collaborations across production, syndication, acquisition, distribution, and sales.
  • It also explores the intersection of documentary filmmaking and corporate branding, with sessions on CSR funding and societal impact.

Global Presence and Engagement

  • The Bazaar hosts stalls from diverse organizations such as Maharashtra Film, Stage and Cultural Development Cooperation Ltd., and features international representation from countries like Sri Lanka, Belarus, Iran, and Argentina, facilitated by the Union Ministry of Tourism.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Paytm in Discussions with Zomato to Divest its Movie and Ticketing Business          

  • Food delivery major Zomato is in advanced talks to acquire fintech player Paytm’s movie and event ticketing business, a potential deal that is pegged in the range of Rs 1,600 crore-2,000 crore.
  • The talks are taking place at a time when Paytm is focusing on its payments and financial services business.
  • Paytm is refocusing on its core payments and financial services, consolidating its movies business and insider vertical into a single team.

Key Highlights :

  • Zomato's Investment Strategy:Zomato plans to invest Rs 100 crore in its entertainment business, particularly in live events and ticketing, signaling its commitment to expand in this segment.
  • Financial Details:Paytm's broader marketing services segment, which includes ticketing and movies, recorded annual sales of approximately $208 million for the financial year ending March 2024.
  • Strategic Moves by Paytm:Paytm aims to reduce employee costs and anticipates annualized savings of Rs 400-500 crore, emphasizing profitability and scaling its larger business units.
  • Strategic Alignment for Zomato:The acquisition aligns with Zomato's strategy to bolster its presence in the entertainment sector and diversify its revenue streams beyond food delivery.
  • Comparative Acquisition:If finalized, this acquisition would be Zomato's second-largest after acquiring Blinkit in 2022 for $569 million in an all-stock deal.
  • Investment Confirmation by Zomato:Zomato reiterated its investment commitment of Rs 100 crore in Zomato Entertainment, underscoring its growth plans in the live events and ticketing domain.

About Paytm :

  • Founded : August 2010
  • Headquarters : Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Founder & CEO : Vijay Shekhar Sharma

About Zomato :

  • Founded : July 2008
  • Headquarters : Gurgaon, Haryana, India
  • MD & CEO : Deepinder Goyal

CURRENT AFFAIRS : DEFENCE NEWS

India to host its 1st multinational air exercise Tarang Shakti in August 2024    

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) will host its first multinational air exercise, Tarang Shakti-2024, in August 2024.

Participating Countries:

  • The exercise will likely see participation from 10 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Additional countries will participate as observers.

Purpose and Interoperability:

  • To invite friendly foreign countries with which the IAF has regular interactions and a certain degree of interoperability.

Scheduling and Phases:

  • Tarang Shakti-2024 was initially planned for the end of 2023 but got deferred.
  • It will be conducted in two phases:
  1. The first phase will be in southern India in the first two weeks of August.
  2. The second phase will be in the western sector from the end of August to mid-September.

Specific Contributions:

  • Germany will deploy fighter jets and an A-400M transport aircraft, which is a contender for the IAF's tender for medium transport aircraft.

About IAF : 

  • Established : 1932
  • Headquarters : New Delhi, Delhi
  • Chief of Defence Staff : General Anil Chauhan
  • Chief of the Air Staff :  Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari

Indian Air Force Contingent Participates In Exercise Red Flag 2024 Conducted At Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska    

  • An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent participated in the Exercise Red Flag 2024 conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska of the United States Air Force, from 04 June to 14 June 2024.
  • This was the 2nd edition of Red Flag 2024, an advanced aerial combat training exercise held 4 times a year by the US Air Force (USAF).

Key Highlights :

  • International Participants:Participating forces included the IAF, Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom, Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), German Luftwaffe, and the USAF.
  • IAF Deployment:The IAF contingent participated with the Rafale aircraft and personnel comprising aircrew, technicians, engineers, controllers and subject matter experts.
  • The transatlantic ferry of Rafale fighter aircraft was enabled by the IL-78 Air to Air Refuellers (AAR), while the transportation of personnel and equipment was undertaken by the C-17 Globemaster aircraft.
  • The contingent landed at Eielson, USAF base in Alaska on 29 May 2024.
  • Historic Participation:This was the first time IAF Rafale aircraft participated in Exercise Red Flag, operating alongside RSAF and USAF F-16s, F-15s, and USAF A-10 aircraft.
  • Exercise Missions : The missions included Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat exercises as a part of Large Force Engagements (LFE), in Offensive Counter Air and Air Defence roles.
  • The IAF crew were actively involved in mission planning and also assumed the role of Mission Leaders for designated missions during the exercise.
  • Key Takeaways:Insights on interoperability with international partners and collaborative understanding of employment philosophy in a multinational environment.
  • Experience in long-distance ferrying with Air to Air refuelling, providing valuable experience for the younger crew.
  • Undertaking their return journey, the contingent is planned to split enroute along with their mutual support elements and participate in exercise with Air Force elements of Greece and Egypt, before landing back in India on 24 June 2024.

About Exercise Red Flag :

  • Red Flag is an air combat exercise conducted with multiple scenarios designed to provide realistic combat settings.
  • A demarcation of forces is done for simulating the desired environment, with the Red Force simulating Air Defence elements, and the Blue Force simulating the Offensive Composite elements.

Note :

  • The first Red Flag exercise was conducted in compliance with General Dixon's schedule on 29 November 1975 and included 37 aircraft, supported by 561 personnel, flying some 552 sorties.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOUS AND AGREEMENT

MEA and SBI Join Forces to Enhance Digital Payments for Indian Migrant Workers

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the State Bank of India (SBI) have formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to integrate SBI’s payment gateway, SBIePay, with the eMigrate portal.
  • This collaboration aims to strengthen digital payment services for Indian migrant workers, recruiting agents, and portal users.

Facilitating Safe and Legal Migration

  • Launched in 2014, the eMigrate portal facilitates transparent emigration processes by connecting foreign employers, registered agents, and insurance providers.
  • This integration with SBIePay expands payment options for emigration-related fees, including UPI, credit/debit cards, and NEFT through net banking, with zero transaction charges.

Enhanced Efficiency and Compliance

  • The initiative aims to simplify financial transactions associated with overseas employment, promoting efficiency and compliance with emigration regulations.
  • Leveraging SBI’s robust payment infrastructure underscores MEA’s commitment to secure and lawful migration pathways for Indian workers.

Streamlined Financial Transactions

  • Following the integration, the enhanced digital payment service will streamline critical financial transactions, benefiting all stakeholders involved in the emigration process.
  • This collaboration marks a significant step towards enhancing transparency and convenience in emigration-related financial transactions, aligning with India's efforts to safeguard the interests of its migrant workforce.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

Autistic Pride Day 2024: June 18

  • Every year on June 18th, the globe celebrates Autistic Pride Day to raise awareness that autism is a condition, not a disease.
  • Aspies for Freedom established Autistic Pride Day in 2005 by Aspies for Freedom to improve public awareness and celebrate the similarities and differences among persons with autism.
  • It swiftly grew into a worldwide phenomenon that is extensively seen both online and offline.
  • Aspies For Freedom (AFF) is a grassroots advocacy and solidarity organisation dedicated to increasing public awareness of the autism rights movement.
  • AFF's mission is to inform the public that autism is not necessarily a handicap and that there are benefits as well as drawbacks.

Daily CA One-Liner: June 18

  • The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has introduced an innovative e-flow ecological monitoring system for real-time river quality monitoring of Ganga.
  • According to the survey, 47% of urban Indians reported being victims of financial fraud themselves or within their families over the past three years
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to release the 17th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in Uttar Pradesh
  • Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that trials for Vande Bharat sleeper trains will commence within the next two months, with operations expected to begin six months thereafter
  • Indian Railway officials conducted a comprehensive inspection of the newly constructed world's highest railway bridge over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan indicated his plan to build a synergy between the two ministries, which the previous ministers in the NDA government probably missed
  • The 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024 witnessed the inauguration of its first-ever Documentary Film Bazaar, marking a significant milestone for the festival as the leading platform for non-feature films in South Asia
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the State Bank of India (SBI) have formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to integrate SBI’s payment gateway, SBIePay, with the eMigrate portal
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been awarded the Risk Manager of the Year Award 2024 by London-based Central Banking.
  • Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund has launched the Baroda BNP Paribas Manufacturing Fund, which is an open-ended equity scheme predominantly investing in manufacturing themes.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular regarding overseas investments, permitting resident individuals and listed companies to invest in offshore funds managed by regulated fund managers.
  • Banks plan to request the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to incentivise green financing, including considering this category of lending, irrespective of loan limit, as priority sector lending (PSL) or excluding infrastructure sector exposure from overall credit for the purpose of arriving at annual PSL target.
  • CAMSRep (CAMS Insurance Repository Services), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company and a leading Insurance Repository launches Bima Central, a revolutionary one-stop platform for simplifying insurance portfolio management.
  • Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited (Kotak Life) has partnered with Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (Mahindra Finance) to offer life insurance solutions to customers.
  • The United Nations has added Israel's military, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's armed wing for the first time to its list of offenders for violating children’s rights.
  • Food delivery major Zomato is in advanced talks to acquire fintech player Paytm’s movie and event ticketing business, a potential deal that is pegged in the range of Rs 1,600 crore-2,000 crore.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) will host its first multinational air exercise, Tarang Shakti-2024, in August 2024.
  • An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent participated in Exercise Red Flag 2024 conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska of the United States Air Force, from 04 June to 14 June 2024.
  • Every year on June 18th, the globe celebrates Autistic Pride Day to raise awareness that autism is a condition, not a disease.
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