16.2.23 UKPSC Daily Current Affair

Cabinet nod for promoting MSME sector in Uttarakhand
To boost the MSME sector of Uttarakhand, the state cabinet approved a proposal to provide customised packages to individuals and firms that aim to invest over Rs 200 crore and give employment to 500 locals in the state.
The cabinet approved another proposal encouraging private investment in the MSME sector. Under the project, SIDCUL would club hands with land owners to create a ‘land bank.’ The involvement of SIDCUL is expected to boost the confidence of investors from other states, who would be allowed to purchase 2 acres of land in the hills and 30 acres in the plains.
The cabinet also approved a total of 31 posts for the Uttarakhand Real Estate Regulatory Authority. The important budget session would be held in the Bhararisain area of summer capital Gairsain from March 13 to 18.
Besides this, the cabinet granted permission to give 3,000 square meter land in the Purukul area to open a school for specially-abled children. The cabinet will also recruit 285 Special teachers for those unable to attend school.
The cabinet also gave a nod to an industry department proposal recommending bringing down the district mining trust amount from 25% to 15%.
Russia-China and South Africa starts joint military exercise
South Africa is beginning a joint military drill with Russia and China. The 10-day naval exercises, which will go on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, have drawn criticism from the US as well. The South African government, however, insists that it is still impartial in the conflict and that it frequently hosts such exercises with other nations, such as France and the US.
The South African government, however, insists that it is still impartial in the conflict and that it frequently hosts such exercises with other nations, such as France and the US.
Off the coast of South Africa, in the Indian Ocean, are the Mosi II naval drills.
Japan, Philippines agree to sharply boost defence ties
The leaders of Japan and the Philippines agreed to sharply boost their defence ties, allowing Japanese troops greater access to Philippine territory, as tensions rise in Asia amid China’s growing influence. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is visiting Japan shortly after he and U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin reached an agreement on allowing the USA more access to Philippine military bases to keep China’s ambitions in check.
The defence arrangement signed by Marcos and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will allow Japanese troops to join training exercises to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian needs in the Philippines.
The agreement is seen as a step toward broader military cooperation and could lead to similar agreements between Japan and other Southeast Asian nations.
Soon, disabled people can own vehicles in their names
Come April, persons with disabilities (divyangjan) will be able to own a vehicle in their name and register it as a divyangjan vehicle.
Earlier, only persons with disabilities such as locomotor and hand or leg impairment could get a driving licence and register a vehicle in their name. Since these vehicles have a special mention of invalid carriage (IC) on the numberplate, persons with visual impairment were not allowed to get a vehicle in their name as they would have to use the service of a driver. And, if a driver has been hired, s/he was not allowed to drive a vehicle with the IC logo.
The Union government has notified the states of these changes in the policy, and it will be implemented in Gujarat from April.
10% of ration shops double up as ‘common services centres’
At least one in every 10 ration shops in the country are also functioning as Common Services Centres (CSC), offering a range of services to people and many ration shop owners are earning Rs 50,000 per month. A ration shop owner, not providing common services, usually earns about Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 a month. While Jharkhand leads among states and Union territories with a maximum of 6,632 ration shops providing these services, in addition to the distribution of foodgrains under the National Food Security Act, Maharashtra and Gujarat have 6,574 and 6,188 such ration shops respectively.
Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra said currently nearly 60,000 out of the 5.3 lakh ration shops are providing services to people like the CSCs. The services provided include applying for government documents, payment of utility bills and sale of insurance policies as well. On the impact of ration shops functioning as CSC as well, the food secretary said this is giving good results in Gujarat where the ration shop owners are earning almost Rs 50,000 per month.
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