Home » Current Affairs Date: 26 November 2022

Current Affairs Date: 26 November 2022

National

Accelerator Program to support and accelerate XR technology startups across India

⇒ MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) in collaboration with Meta launch a accelerator program to support and accelerate XR technology startups across India on 13 September 2022. This collaboration is part of the Government’s efforts for skilling in emerging and future technologies.

Focus:

This initiative, XR Startup Program focuses on skilling and building technological capabilities for the metaverse, and will help shape the ecosystem for these emerging technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the country.

About Program:
    • The Accelerator Program will support 40 early-stage start-ups working in XR technologies with a grant of Rs 20 lakhs each. Further, the Grand Challenge will encourage early-stage innovators in sectors like Education, Learning and Skills, Healthcare, Gaming and Entertainment, Agritech & Climate Action and Tourism & Sustainability.
    • The innovators will be provided support to upscale from the R&D phase to developing workable products and services. At first 80 innovators will be shortlisted to attend a bootcamp, out of which, a total of 16 innovators will be provided grants of Rs 20 lakhs each and further support to help them develop Minimum Viable Product (MVP)/ prototypes.
    • The Accelerator and Grand Challenge will also support start-ups and innovators with establishing customer connections, partnership opportunities and fundraising among other things.
    • The XR Startup Program will be implemented by four institutions – International Institute of Information Technology – Hyderabad Foundation, Hyderabad, Telangana (CIE IIIT-H); AIC SMU Technology Business Incubation Foundation (AIC-SMUTBI), Rangpo, Sikkim; Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi, New Delhi. These institutions will strategically enable the startups across the length and breadth of the country creating a pan India movement in the XR technology space.
    • The XR Startup Program is supported by Meta’s XR Programs and Research Fund, a two-year $50 million investment in programs and external research with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions.
About MeitY Startup Hub:
    • MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
    • The MeitY Startup Hub is a national platform focused on promoting technology innovation, start-ups, and the creation of intellectual properties.
    • It has around 3000+ tech startups supported, with a vision to ramp it up to more than ten thousand startups in the next three to five years.

Kribhco Hazira, a bio-ethanol project of Krishak Bharti Cooperative Limited

⇒ Union Home and Cooperation Minister, Shri Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of Kribhco Hazira, a bio-ethanol project of Krishak Bharti Cooperative Limited in Surat, Gujarat, on 14 September 2022.

In his address, Shri Amit Shah said:

» KRIBHCO’s bio-ethanol project is a big leap in the direction of cooperative sector, environmental improvement, doubling of farmers’ income, increasing of India’s foreign exchange reserves and combating global warming challenge which are significant part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s multidimensional campaign.

    • With this project, a bio-ethanol plant with a daily capacity of 2.5 lakh liters will be set up at Hazira, which will produce 825 crore liters of bio-fuel. This will also provide a good market for 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of maize or alternative produce.
    • Maize is main crop in about nine districts of Gujarat and apart from this maize can be grown in ten districts of the State and farmers can benefit through this plant.
    • KRIBHCO’s bio-ethanol project will also provide raw material for high protein animal feed, fisheries and poultry, which will also benefit these sectors immensely.
» As a result of petroleum policy of PM Shri Narendra Modi, ethanol plants are being set up in the country.
    • India already has achieved target of 10% blending set by Shri Modi before November, 2022, five months before the deadline. Hence the target of 20% ​​ethanol blending by 2030 has been preponed to 2025.
» Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also taken many policy decisions to achieve 20% blending by 2025-26.
    • GST has been reduced from 18% to 5%, Government of India will pay 50% interest for a period of 6 years to those setting up ethanol plants under attractive interest subvention scheme.
    • Many plants are being set up across the country and the production of ethanol is going to change the economy of the petroleum sector of the country in the coming days, which will also save about Rs 1,00,000 crore in foreign exchange reserves.
    • Under the leadership of Shri Modi, Ministry of Cooperation has taken many new steps, which include computerization of PACS, making multi-dimensional PACS and giving FPO status to PACS.
    • Organizations like KRIBHCO, IFFCO and Amul are in the process of building an export house of Multi State Cooperative Society, which will export farmers’ produce on cooperative basis and profits will go directly into farmers’ bank accounts.
    • Government is also creating a multi-state cooperative society for seed promotion and a multi-state cooperative society for certification and marketing of organic products.

» Krishak Bharti Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO) is a well-known and multidimensional organization. KRIBHCO is a large and successful cooperative project which is known worldwide as the model of cooperative of the country.

36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference (TSCC) - South

⇒ 36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference (TSCC) – South was held at Port Blair on 12th & 13th September 2022 under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command.

Aim:

The conference was aimed at synergising collective strengths and capabilities of India’s littoral service and Integrated-Service commands.

    • It focused on addressing contemporary security paradigms while seeking ways to enhance combat capability and make operations more effective and efficient.
Discussion:

The senior leadership deliberated upon aspects various pertaining to the geostrategic situation and infrastructure development in the Indian Ocean Region, coordinating the actions of Regional Command of the three services as well as avenues of augmenting tri-services training and readiness of all components.

International

3 Indian cities in the list of UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

⇒ Telangana’s historic city of Warangal was named in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities’ (GNLC) list, along with Nilambur and Thrissur from Kerala on 05 September 2022.

This is the second UNESCO recognition for Telangana in a year’s time. Erstwhile Warangal’s 13th-century Ramappa temple, now in Mulugu district, last year became the first archaeologically-important site from the state to be inscribed in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.

Key Points:
    • Warangal in Telangana, Thrissur and Nilambur from Kerala are the 3 Indian cities out of 77 cities that have joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities’.
    • With the addition of 77 new members, the total number of cities in the UNESCO GNLC list has reached 294 in 76 countries.
About GNLC:
    • The GNLC is an “international policy-oriented network providing inspiration, know-how and best practice”.
    • Learning cities at all stages of development can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with other cities, as solutions for issues that arise as one learning city develops may already exist in other cities.
    • Through partnerships and providing capacity development, the network aims to support and improve policy dialogue and peer learning among member cities.
    • The Network supports the achievement of all seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 4 (‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’) and SDG 11 (‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’).

Learning City:

    • A learning city promotes lifelong learning for all. A learning city has to effectively mobilise its resources in every sector to promote inclusive learning from basic to higher education; revitalise learning in families and communities; facilitate learning for and in the workplace; extend the use of modern learning technologies; enhance quality and excellence in learning, and foster a culture of learning throughout life.
    • In doing so, the city enhances individual empowerment and social inclusion, economic development and cultural prosperity, and sustainable development.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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