Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 21st September 2023

National News

1. ECI Ropes In Chacha Chaudhary & Sabu To Educate And Motivate Young Voters

  • Given the immense popularity of Chacha Chaudhary comics, a unique initiative, a comic book titled “Chacha Chaudhary aur Chunavi Dangal,” was launched by CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) Shri Rajiv Kumar and ECs (Election Commissioners) Shri Anup Chandra Pandey and Shri Arun Goel today at Nirvachan Sadan.
  • The comic book is a joint initiative of ECI (Election Commission of India) & Pran Comics designed to inspire the youth to enroll and participate in the festival of democracy. It features the iconic cartoon characters Chacha Chaudhary, Sabu, and Billoo brought to life by the renowned Cartoonist late Shri Pran Kumar Sharma. 
  • This comic book serves as a multifaceted tool, addressing various critical aspects of voter awareness. Its primary focus is to encourage young eligible voters to register themselves, ensuring their active participation in forthcoming elections. In the comic, Chacha Chaudhary also plays a pivotal role in introducing readers to various apps developed by the Election Commission of India like cVigil and KYC, thereby empowering them to become an active and informed participant in the election process.


2. Delimitation debate: gender vs regional, caste identities 

  • An accelerating shift of political power from the southern States to the region above the Vindhyas was to be the central debate around the delimitation of Lok Sabha constituencies which is to follow the first census after 2026, but the proposed reservation of one-third of the seats in Parliament and Assemblies for women has added another to the mix. power shift 
  • The next delimitation of Lok Sabha constituencies will hence involve two shifts from the southern to northern and eastern States, and from men to women across the country. In the process, the serious concerns regarding the diminishing say of States that have stabilized their populations in the affairs of the Union could possibly be overshadowed by the countrywide unanimity on women's empowerment. 

  • If Lok Sabha seats were to be redistributed according to current distribution of the population, the north- ern States might have as many as 32 seats more, while the southern States might have up to 24 seats fewer. Kerala could lose six of its current 20 Lok Sabha seats and Tamil Nadu 11 of its 39, according to some calculations. 
  • Delimitation of Lok Sabha constituencies was kept on hold until 2026 through a constitutional amend-. ment in 2002 in the hope that population growth across the country will be even by then. "NorthernStates like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have decennial growth rates of 12% to 15%, whereas, in the southern States, the decen- nial growth rates range between 6% and 10%. From 2011 to 2021 there was no leveling" former 
  • Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat points out. It also happens that the population is growing faster in States that are BJP strongholds. 
  • National parties such as the Congress, the BJP and the Left parties are less adept at handling mobilisa-tions around caste and re- gional identities which fuel regional parties. They try to rely on pan-Indian identi ties such as religion, class and gender. 
  • In fact, women's reservation is one question that has had the BJP, the Congress, and the Left on the same side for the past two de- cades or more. OBC politics-driven parties in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that sought caste quotas within the proposed quota for women considered the entire move as an upper caste, upper class scheme to curtail their political power. That line of resistance to women's reservation had limited logic, considering the fact that OBC represen tation is not dependent on reserving seats at all. 
  • Though the Congress has now raised the demand it had rejected when in power, no party appears serious about pressing a demand for OBC quota within the women's quota.
  • So the proposed expansion of women's represen tation in lawmaking will weaken not only politics around regional identity, but also autonomous OBC politics in the Hindi heartland. The BJP had already subsumed caste identity politics within its Hindutva umbrella to a significant extent in the heartland. By championing women's empowerment, it is seeking further reinforcement of its social base. The panna tional category of gender complicates the dynamics of caste and regional iden tity politics. For the BJP it is an additional layer to its politics of Hindu religious identity which also cuts across regions, caste and even gender.

3. PM Modi to lay foundation stone for Lord Shiva-themed Stadium in UP 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for an upcoming international cricket stadium in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The spiritual city is set to become a cricketing powerhouse with a state-of-the-art stadium, equipped with cutting-edge facilities.
  • An approximate sum of ₹350 crore will be spent on the construction of the stadium which will be built on a wide campus of about 31 acres and will have seven pitches. The venue is expected to accommodate 30,000 spectators at a time. 
  • The infrastructure of the facility will depict the city’s devotion to Lord Shiva. The entire stadium will have a crescent-shaped roof – that crowns the Indian God, and the floodlights designed like a trident. 
  • The entrance and the lounge will resemble Lord Shiva’s damru while the exterior of the arena will feature huge motifs of wood apple leaves in metallic frames.

PM Modi in News 

  • PM Modi laid foundation of Sant Ravidas temple in Madhya Pradesh
  • PM Modi launched ‘Bhartiya Vastra Evam Shilp Kosh’ E-Portal 
  • PM Modi launched “Urea Gold” in Rajasthan 
  • PM Modi inaugurates Semicon India 2023 conclave in Gujarat
  • PM Modi inaugurates 6 Eklavya Model Residential Schools in Rajasthan 
  • PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate ‘Semicon India 2023’ in Gandhinagar 

4. NIA declares 10 lakh reward for info on BKI-linked operatives

  • Stepping up its crackdown on pro-Khalistan terrorists, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday announced a reward of 10 lakh each for information leading to the arrest of designated terrorist Har- winder Singh Sandhu, alias Rinda, and Lakhbir Singh Sandhu, alias Landa, who are allegedly linked to the banned outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). 
  • A cash reward of ₹5 lakh each has also been declared on their three associates named Parminder Singh Kaira from Ferozepur and Satnam Singh and Yad- vinder Singh from Tarn Taran in Punjab. All the five accused are wanted by the agency in a case registered this year to probe the BKI's activities.Originally from Tarn Taran, former "gangster" Rinda is a Pakistan-based BKI terrorist. He earlier lived in Nanded (Maha- rashtra) and had fled to Pakistan illegally in 2018-19. The NIA has accused him of smuggling of arms, am- munition, explosives, and drugs into India from Pa- kistan and recruiting oper- atives for the BKI.
  • In November last year, some media reports claimed that Rinda had died in a Lahore military hospital from a suspected drug overdose. However, the agencies later found that he was alive. 
  • Rinda has allegedly been involved in several terrorist activities, includ- ing a rocketpropelled gre- nade (RPG) attack on the Punjab police intelligence headquarters (Mohali) in May 2022. He was declared an "individual terrorist" through a Ministry of Home Affairs notification in February this year. 
  • Landa, a close aide of Rinda, as alleged, was initially into criminal and gangster-related activities. In 2017, he left for Canada and has been operating from there.
  • He is the main accused in multiple terror cases, including the RPG attack on the Punjab police intelli- gence headquarters. 

5. Constitution Bench to examine validity of extending quota 

  • Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Wednes- ial day decided to examine if the clockwork extensions of a grant to reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes (SCS) and Scheduled Tribes (STS) in the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies were constitutionally valid. 
  • Originally, the Constituent Assembly had meant reservation for SC/STS only for a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution in 1950. 
  • However, Article 334 of the Constitution, which dealt with the time period to cease reserving seats for SC/STS and Anglo-Indians, was amended multiple times over the decades. The deadline to stop the reservation was extended by 10 years or so. Starting with the Constitution (8th Amendment) Act in 1969 and all the way up to the Constitution (104th Amendment) Act in 2019, alive. the deadline was stretched over and over again. 
  • The 2019 Act terminated the reservation for the Anglo-Indian community and fixed 2030 as the deadline to end the reservation for SC/STS in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. By 2030, the SC/ ST communities would have enjoyed reservation for 80 years since the adoption of the Constitution. 
  • On Wednesday, the Constitution Bench decided to examine whether Parliament can use its constituent power to repeatedly amend Article 334 merely in order to keep reservation of seats for the SC/ST communities in the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of the States 
  • "Whether the exercise of the constituent power of amendment to extend the period prescribed for the expiration of reservation under Article 334 of the Constitution is constitutionally valid," the five- judge Bench framed the cardinal question. The court clarified that it would be examining the validity of the 104th Constitution Amendment Act of 2019 only to the extent of its application to the SC/ST communities, and would not go into the termination of quota for the Anglo-Indian community after 70 years of enjoying the benefit.
  • Senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, appearing for petitioner Ashok Kumar Jain, said the relentless and repeated extensions of re- servation granted to certain communities had deprived the electorate of a choice in candidates and rendered them unable to even freely cast their votes.
  • The Union of India, re-introduced by Attorney- General R. Venkataramani and SolicitorGeneral Tushar Mehta, have contended that the 104th Constitution Amendment Act was valid. The Bench, including Justices A.S. Bapanna, M.M. Sundresh, J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra fixed the date of hearing on November 21.


6. President Murmu inaugurated first Uttar Pradesh International Trade Show

  • President Droupadi Murmu has inaugurated the first Uttar Pradesh International Trade Show in India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida. The trade show will be held from September 21 to 25.
  • Over 2000 exhibitors will showcase their products across a wide spectrum of sectors, including automobiles, handicrafts, healthcare, food processing, pharmaceuticals, dairy, electronics, and ecommerce. 
  • State government departments and institutions, along with Mumbai Dabbawala, will conduct informative sessions on various business activities. Additionally, 108 new startups will also participate in the show.
  • The five-day event will be held at the India Expo Mart in Knowledge Park, Greater Noida. It is expected to work as a platform for the products, specialties, cuisine and culture of state to get international exposure and market opportunities. 
  • So far, around 400 participants from more than 60 countries have registered for the event. Over 2000 exhibitors will showcase their products across a wide spectrum of sectors, including automobiles, handicrafts, healthcare, food processing, pharmaceuticals, dairy, electronics, and ecommerce.

7. SC to hear challenge to Section 6A of Citizenship Act from Oct. 17 

  • A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Wed- nesday decided to hear from October 17 a series of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. 
  • Section 6A is a special provision inserted into the 1955 Act in furtherance of a Memorandum of Settlement called the 'Assam Ac- cord' signed on August 15, 1985 by the then Rajiv Gandhi government with the leaders of the Assam Movement to preserve and protect the Assamese culture, heritage, linguistic and social identity. The Union government insisted that the Section is valid and urged the court to dismiss the petitions, filed after nearly 40 years since its enactment. 
  • Under Section 6A, foreigners who had entered Assam before January 1,, 1966, and been "ordinarily resident" in the State, would have all the rights and obligations of Indian citizens. Those who had entered the State between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 would have the same rights and obligations, except that they would not be able to vote for 10 years.


International News

8. UAE's 'Sultan Al Neyadi' becomes the first Arab astronaut to stay in space center for the longest time

  • UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi returned home after completing a historic six-month mission at the International Space Station. He was given a grand welcome at Abu Dhabi International Airport. 
  • Alneyadi has become the first Arab astronaut to spend the most days on the International Space Station. He stayed in the center for 186 days. Neyadi is the first Arab astronaut to walk in space. He also took part in scientific experiments and educational activities. Alneyadi also explained the benefits of yoga by sharing his picture on social media while doing Padmasana at the Space Center on International Yoga Day this year. Sultan Alanyadi has been awarded the title of 'Sultan of Space'. 
  • He was welcomed and met at the airport by President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other senior officials. 
  • On March 2, 2023, it took off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, along with its Crew-6 team members. Sultan Al Neyadi, along with his NASA colleagues Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoberg and Russian astronaut Andrey Fadeyev returned to Earth on 4 September 2023 aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

  • UK PM Rishi Sunak Delays Ban On New Petrol And Diesel Cars By 5 Years In Net Zero Reset 
  • British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a shift in the UK’s strategy for achieving its Net Zero climate action targets. This strategy includes a significant delay of five years in implementing the proposed ban on petrol and diesel cars, pushing the deadline to 2035. 
  • Despite this delay, Sunak emphasized that the UK remains steadfast in its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and achieve its Net Zero target by 2050. The core objective is unchanged, but the approach is evolving to be more practical, proportionate, and realistic, particularly in light of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. 
  • In addition to delaying the ban on petrol and diesel cars, Sunak’s plan includes: The ban on installing oil and LPG boilers, as well as new coal heating, for off-gas-grid homes by 2035 and Exemption for Fossil Fuel Boilers including gas, in 2035, allowing a transition to low-carbon alternatives. Policies that compelled landlords to upgrade property energy efficiency will also be scrapped.

9. Women face tougher penalties as Iran MPs pass dress code Bill 

  • Iranian women who flout the strict Islamic dress code mandating head coverings and modest cloth- ing would face up to 10 years' prison under a Bill passed on Wednesday. 
  • The push to step up penalties comes a year after a wave of protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly breaching the rules.
  • Iran's legislature approved "the 'Support for the Culture of Hijab and Chastity' Bill for a trial period of three years," the official IRNA news agency reported. The Bill still requires approval by the Guardian Council.
  • Under the Bill, violations would be punished most severely if they are A considered linked to what THE Iran regards as hostile foreign forces. Women breaching the in dress rules "in cooperation with foreign or hostile governments, media, groups or organizations" could face five to 10 years' prison. 
  • Those seen "half-naked in public spaces" would also face lengthy jail terms. 
  • Women driving cars without a hijab or wearing "inappropriate clothing" would be fined five million rials, or around $10. 
  • The draft law also im- poses fines against anyone "promoting nudity" or "mocking the hijab" in the media. Business owners whose women staff break the dress rules could be banned from exiting the country.


10. Invitation To U.S. President Biden For Republic Day Celebration 

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation to U.S. President Joe Biden to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26 next year. U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti confirmed the invitation, stating that it is under consideration by the U.S. government. President Biden is also scheduled to visit India in 2024 for the Quad Summit, and efforts are being made to align the summit with his visit.
  • This marks the third time the Modi government has invited a U.S. President to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. In 2015, President Barack Obama was the first American President to attend Republic Day as the chief guest. President Donald Trump declined the invitation for January 2019 due to scheduling conflicts in the U.S. Congress

11. Escalation In Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Azerbaijan Launches Military Operation 

  • Azerbaijan’s military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh has ignited concerns of a renewed conflict in the region. This long-standing dispute revolves around an ethnic Armenian region within Azerbaijani territory. The recent attacks have escalated tensions and raised international alarm. 
  • Azerbaijan has initiated a military operation backed by artillery strikes in NagornoKarabakh. The operation was triggered by landmine incidents, attributed to Armenian saboteurs, resulting in casualties. Azerbaijan’s defense ministry aims to disarm Armenian forces, secure their withdrawal from Azerbaijani territories, and neutralize their military infrastructure. They have reported the capture of over 60 military posts and destruction of numerous military vehicles.
  • Armenia’s foreign ministry condemned Azerbaijan’s actions as “large-scale aggression” and accused them of pursuing ethnic cleansing. Casualty figures remain unverified, but a separatist Armenian human rights official reported 25 casualties, including civilians.

12. White House backs probe into 'serious allegations': John Kirby 

  • U.S. President Joe Biden was "mindful of the serious allegations" made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the White House's strategic communications chief, John Kirby, has said, as he urged India to cooperate in the investigation. 
  • Mr. Trudeau alleged on Monday that Indian government agents were involved in the June 18 killing of the separatist leader in Canada, an allegation that New Delhi has rejected. 
  • "Certainly the President is mindful of these serious allegations... and they are very serious... and we sup- port Canada's efforts to investigate this," Mr. Kirby told CNN's Jake Tapper. 
  • "We believe a fully transparent, comprehensive investigation is the right approach so that we can all know exactly what happened and of course we encourage India to cooperate with that." 
  • Asked if the U.S., as a 'Five Eyes' intelligence Job sharing partner of Canada, knew what the allegations par were based on, Mr. Kirby da demurred, saying he wanted to respect the sanctity of the investigation. In terms of the fallout, if the ga allegations were true, Mr. Kirby said once the facts were available "you can start to look at recommendations or behaviors you might want to pursue". 
  • The U.S. is going to stay in touch with both its partners, India and Canada, about this issue, Mr. Kirby told CBS News. 
  • The U.S. was "deeply concerned" about the allegations, U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson had said on Tuesday, adding it was critical that "the perpetrators be brought to justice". 
  • On Wednesday, the White House defended its approach, with Ms. Watson responding to a Washington Post remark on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), by denying that the U.S. had snubbed Cana- da over the incident. 
  • "Reports that we rebuffed Canada in any way on this are flatly false," Ms. Watson wrote, adding that the U.S. and Canada were coordinating closely on the issue. "This is a serious matter and we support Canada's ongoing law enforcement efforts. We are also engaging the Indian government," she said, countering suggestions that Washington was rebuffing Ottawa because it had to court India as a counterweight to China. 
  • In conducting its probe into Nijjar's death, the Government of Canada had used "energetic, quiet diplomacy" with the Modi government over the past few weeks, according to Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae. He alleged that the government was not engaging with the Canadian side adequately, prompting Mr. Trudeau to publicize the issue. 
  • "I don't think anybody who really looked at this objectively would say that Canada has anything to gain from making the statement that the Prime Minister made yesterday. It was not a partisan statement, it was a statement about [sic] deep concern." Mr. Rae told CBC News on Tuesday. "We didn't see much coming from the other side," he said, adding this prompted Mr. Trudeau to go public. 

14. Strip Russia of veto power, Zelenskyy says in UN address 

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday confronted Russia directly at the UN Security Council, denouncing the Kremlin's invasion of his country as "criminal" and urging the United Nations to strip Moscow of its veto power. 
  • Clad in his trademark military fatigues, Mr. Zelenskiy for the first time since the February 2022 invasion sat in the same room as a Russian official, who responded by scrolling through his smart- phone with a look of conspicuous disinterest.
  • "Most of the world recognises the truth about this war," Mr. Zelenskyy said. "It is a criminal and unprovoked aggression by Russia against our nation aimed at seizing Ukraine's territory and resources." 
  • He called on the United Nations to vote to end Russia's veto power on the Security Council.
  • He said the move could be among wide-ranging reforms at the Security Council that would include permanent representation for developing nations where support for Ukraine has been lukewarm. 
  • "Veto power in the hands of the aggressor is what has pushed the UN into a deadlock," Mr. Zelen skyy said. 
  • "It is impossible to stop the war because all efforts are vetoed by the aggressor or those who condone the aggressor," he said.
  • Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov defended his country's use of its veto power at the UN Security Council as a "legiti mate tool" of international relations.

15. U.S.Attorney-General denies 'politicization' of Justice Department 

  • U.S. Attorney-General Mer- rick Garland strongly denied on Wednesday that politics steered his investigative decisions, pushing back on Republican allegations that he has "weapo- nised" the Justice Department against President Joe Biden's top rival Donald Trump. With a Garland-appointed special counsel, Jack Smith, now pursuing two criminal prosecutions of Mr. Trump, the justice chief said in prepared testimony for a House Judiciary Committee hearing that he was neither Mr. Biden's at- torney nor Congress's prosecutor. "Our job is not to take orders from the President, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate," he said. "Our job is to follow the facts and the law, wherever they lead. And that is what we do." 
  • Mr. Garland was expect- ed to come under scathing criticism from Republicans for prosecuting Mr. Trump while allegedly soft-pedal- ing an investigation of Mr. Biden's son Hunter. 
  • Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has accused Mr. Garland is doing Democratic President Biden's bidding by going after his likely opponent in next year's White House race.  

State News

16. Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde launches '11-point development programme' 

  • A day after announcing projects worth Rs 45,000 crore for the Marathwada region at a special cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced the implementation of the "NaMo 11- point program" across the state on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 73rd birthday. 
  • Each of the 11 schemes announced by the state government is aimed at different sections of the society. Addressing a press conference in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Shinde said the projects will be implemented across the state and will be aimed at overall development. The 11-point program includes the following- 
  • Namo Women Empowerment Mission - 73 lakh women benefited from government schemes
  • Namo Construction Workers Welfare Mission – Providing safety kits to 73,000 workers 
  • Namo Farm Pond Mission – Creating 73,000 farm ponds 
  • Namo Self-reliant and Solar Energy Village Campaign – Making 73 villages self-reliant 
  • Namo Garib and Backward Classes Samman Mission - Holistic Development of the Poor and Backward Classes 
  • Namo Gram Sachivalaya Mission - Construction of 73 Gram Panchayat Offices 4 
  • NaMo Smart Tribal School Mission – Creation of Smart Schools and 73 Science Centers 
  • Namo Divyang Shakti Abhiyan – Construction of rehabilitation centers for disabled people 
  • NaMo Play Grounds and Gardens Mission – Construction of play grounds and gardens 
  • NaMo City Beautification Project – Beautification in 73 cities Namo Tirtha and Fort Conservation Mission - Renovation of 73 historical pilgrimage sites

18. OBC outfits intensify stir over fear of sharing quota with Marathas 

  • Even as pro-Maratha quota groups staged demonstra cons across Maharashtra, a parallel protest by the Rashtriya OBC Mahasangh, representing the interest of the other backward classes, continued in Nagpur on Wednesday, with OBC community leaders remaining firm on their objection to granting OBC Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community 
  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BIP) leader and former MLA Ashish Deshmukh, in a bid to defuse the situation, met the OBC protes tors on Wednesday, and invited them to hold talks with the government. 
  • The Mahasangh leaders have made it clear that they will not cease their protest until the State government holds a dialogue and offers written commitment to their demands. 
  • Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe, too, joined the OBC protestors who have been insisting that their benefits should not be sacrificed by the government for the sake of giving the Marathas a quota. 
  • "This protest [Rashtriya OBC Mahasangh] has been going on for 11 days now. Deputy CM Devendra Fad- navis, too, had called on the agitators and assured that the OBC quota would remain intact. It is my request to the protestors that as CM Eknath Shinde and both Deputy CMs are willing to discuss the matter, they ought to accept the government's invite and participate in the talks Mr. Deshmukh said. 

19.Kurmi community in Jharkhand started 'Rail Roko Movement' indefinitely 

  • An indefinite Rail Roko movement has been started by the Kurmi community in Jharkhand from 20 September 2023. Members of the Kurmi community are demanding to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes. 
  • The Kurmi community had withdrawn this movement in West Bengal after the Calcutta High Court banned this movement. But the agitators have gathered in large numbers near Gomo, Muri and Neemdih railway stations in Jharkhand. 
  • Kurmi communities demanding ST status had planned a railway blockade at nine stations in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. In Jharkhand, blockade will be imposed at Muri railway station in Ranchi district, Gomo railway station in Dhanbad district and Ghaghra railway station in West Singhbhum district. 
  • National President of Totemic Kurmi Vikas Morcha Sheetal Ohdar said that the Rail Roko movement in Jharkhand is being carried out as per the pre-determined schedule. He claimed that the ban imposed on the movement by the Calcutta High Court does not apply to Jharkhand. More than 50 trains will be affected in Jharkhand due to the rail blockade. 
  • Four trains have been canceled due to protests in Jharkhand. These include Raxaul-Secunderabad Express, Bhagalpur-Ranchi Express, Gorakhpur-Hatia Express and Kamakhya-Ranchi Express.

Business News

20. Volvo To End Diesel Car Production By 2024, To Become All-Electric Carmaker 11 

  • Volvo Cars, a prominent name in the automotive industry, has recently made a groundbreaking announcement. The Swedish car manufacturer has declared its intention to cease the production of diesel-powered vehicles by early 2024, marking a significant step toward its goal of becoming an all-electric carmaker. This decision aligns with Volvo’s commitment to transitioning fully to electric vehicles by 2030. 
  • Volvo’s bold move to discontinue diesel vehicle production is a proactive response to the evolving landscape of the automotive industry. According to the company’s official statement, the last diesel-powered Volvo car will roll off the assembly line in just a few months. This decisive action places Volvo among the pioneers in the automotive world, as one of the first legacy car manufacturers to completely eliminate diesel from its lineup.

Schemes News

21. Education Scheme For Medical Devices Sector Approved 12 

  • The Indian government has taken a significant step towards strengthening the country’s medical devices industry by approving a ₹480 crore scheme aimed at developing a skilled talent pool. This three-year initiative is poised to provide essential financial support to government institutions for the implementation of various courses related to medical devices, with the goal of upgrading these institutions to global standards. 
  • One of the primary objectives of this scheme is to ensure a steady supply of skilled professionals across the medical device sector. To achieve this, the Department of Pharmaceuticals is poised to leverage the available resources within the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. 
  • Under the new scheme, dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices will be introduced in existing institutions. This initiative is designed to guarantee the availability of a highly skilled workforce capable of addressing the demands of futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing, and cutting-edge research. 

22. Assam Government To Launch A New Scheme Named Mukhyamantrir Atmanirbharshil Asom Abhiyan 13 

  • The Assam government is set to usher in a new era of empowerment and self-reliance for its youth with the launch of the “Mukhyamantrir Atmanirbharshil Asom Abhiyan.” This ambitious scheme aims to provide financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh each to two lakh deserving young individuals, paving the way for a brighter and more self-sufficient future for the state’s youth. 
  • Over the span of two years, the government intends to extend financial assistance to a total of 200,000 eligible applicants, complemented by subsidies and an interest-free loan that carries a five-year repayment period.
  • Selected beneficiaries are required to engage in a month-long training program, during which they will receive a stipend of Rs. 10,000. This training initiative focuses on enhancing skills related to management, accounting, and entrepreneurship. Successful candidates must also meet the prerequisite of attending classes at their designated educational or skill training institutions.


Defence News

23. Indian Naval ship, Submarine & LRMP aircraft reach Singapore to participate in SIMBEX 23

  • The 30th edition of the Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) has commenced, marking another milestone in the strong and enduring partnership between the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
  • This annual naval exercise, which began in 1994, stands as a testament to the deep-rooted maritime cooperation between the two nations. Indian Naval Ships Ranvijay and Kavaratti, alongside the submarine INS Sindhukesari, have arrived in Singapore to participate in SIMBEX-2023. The exercise also sees the inclusion of the Long-Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I.
  • SIMBEX has etched its name in history as the longest continuous naval exercise conducted by the Indian Navy with any other country. Over nearly three decades, this bilateral exercise has evolved, providing a robust framework for maritime cooperation and partnership. It has not only strengthened the ties between the Indian Navy and RSN but has also contributed to regional stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Sports News

24. ‘Mondo Duplantis’ breaks world record in pole vault for the seventh time in Eugene Diamond League Final 2023

  • Swedish pole vault sensation and reigning world and Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis cleared 6.23m in his first attempt at the 2023 Diamond League Final in Eugene on 17 September 2023, bettering his own world best of 6.22m set in Clermont-Ferrand in February 2023. 
  • He navigated through the competition with only three attempts, successively clearing 5.62 m, 5.82 m and 6.02 m with remarkable ease. Philippines' EJ Obiena finished second with 5.82 and American Sam Kendricks was third with 5.72. 3 
  • This remarkable feat marked the seventh time Duplantis has broken the world record in the pole vault, and notably, the second time he has accomplished the feat – both times in Eugene, before clearing 6.21m at the 2022 World Championships.
  • The 23-year-old athlete's passion for pole vaulting was evident as he took the sport to new heights and captured the attention of a global audience. 
  • Apart from this, Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia set a new world record for women's 5,000 meters race with a run of 14 minutes 00.21 seconds. 6. Indigenously manufactured self-inactivating anti-tank mines 'Vibhav' inducted into Army 
  • The Indian Army has inducted indigenously developed self- deactivating anti-tank mines named "Vibhav". Made of new age plastic, these mines are designed to provide mobility against enemy armored vehicles.
  • Developed by Kalyani Group, a joint venture with the Defense Research and Development Organisation, the mines have safety and activation mechanisms to ensure operator safety. "Vibhav" is a point-attack anti-tank ammunition.

25. "Vibhav" has been inducted into the Army to provide mobility against all enemy armored vehicles

  • Made of plastic, these mines provide sufficient strength and durability to withstand the requirements of storage, handling and operation in varying field conditions. 
  • The munition also includes an electronic anti-handling and anti- lift device (EAHALD) that remains active for 120 days once weaponized. It now has mechanical timers. Due to this, after 120 days, it will self-deactivate. It was not available in the earlier mines. Its storage period is 10 years and there is no special storage requirement. 
  • DRDO was established in the year 1958 by combining the Technical Development Establishments (TDEs) and Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTDP) of the Indian Army with the Defense Science Organization (DSO).

26. What Is World Cup ‘Golden Ticket’ Given To Indian Celebrities And Who Are The Recipients? 

  • Jay Shah, the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has handed out “Golden Tickets” to several iconic figures in India ahead of the hosting of the OneDay International (ODI) World Cup. 
  • These Golden Tickets, bestowed by the BCCI, are aimed at promoting and publicizing the World Cup. Recipients of these exclusive tickets will not only have the privilege to witness all World Cup matches from the ground zero but will also be treated to VIP services. 
  • The Golden Ticket is part of the “Golden Ticket for India Icons” program initiated by the BCCI. It is designed to honor India’s greatest personalities. This ticket grants its holders the opportunity to watch all Cricket World Cup matches live from the stadium. Some of the recipients of this ticket are legendary Amitabh Bachchan, followed by cricketing maestro Sachin Tendulkar and most recently, the enigmatic superstar of Indian cinema, Rajinikanth.

27. BCCI Announces SBI Life As Official Partner For 2023-26 Season 

  • Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced SBI Life as the official partner for the BCCI Domestic and International Season 2023-26 on September 20, 2023. This is a three-year deal, and the partnership will begin with the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia, starting September 22, 2023. 
  • The BCCI is one of the most powerful and influential sports organizations in the world, and SBI Life is a leading life insurance company in India. his partnership will help to promote and support cricket at all levels in India. SBI Life’s commitment to excellence aligns perfectly with BCCI’s vision for cricket. This collaboration reflects the commitment of promoting and supporting the sport of cricket at all levels.

28. Harmanpreet, Lovlina To Be Flag-Bearers At Asian Games Opening Ceremony

  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to have not one, but two flag-bearers: Harmanpreet Singh and Lovlina Borgohain, to lead the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the upcoming Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China. 
  • Harmanpreet Singh is widely regarded as one of the best drag-flickers in the world. He was an integral part of the Indian Hockey team that made history by winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Lovlina Borgohain, the Olympic medallist boxer, is another shining star in India’s sporting constellation. She clinched a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 69kg category.
  • The Asian Games 2023 will see a record-breaking Indian contingent with a total of 655 athletes representing the nation. This marks the largest Indian contingent ever to participate in the Asian Games, reflecting the country’s growing prominence in the field of sports.

29. ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Anthem Is Released

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has unveiled the official theme song for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, set to be hosted in India. Titled ‘Dil Jashn Bole,’ this musical composition by Pritam is a vibrant celebration of cricket and the spirit of India. 
  • The music video features the renowned Bollywood star Ranveer Singh in a leading role, alongside a star-studded cast of celebrities and content creators, including Dhanashree Verma, the wife of Indian cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal. 
  • The song, ‘Dil Jashn Bole,’ captures the essence of excitement, enthusiasm3, and the festive atmosphere that the tournament is expected to bring. With lyrics penned by Shloke Lal and Saaveri Verma, the song boasts a dynamic ensemble of vocal talent, including Nakash Aziz, Sreerama Chandra, Amit Mishra, Jonita Gandhi, AKASA, and features a rap performance by Charan.

30. New York, Dallas, And Florida To Host T20 Cricket World Cup Matches In 2024

  • In a significant announcement, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially designated three prestigious venues in the United States for hosting the ICC Men’s T20 17 World Cup 2024. This marks a historic moment as the tournament makes its debut on American soil, with Dallas, Florida, and New York being selected as the host cities. 
  • To ensure the success of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, preparations are in full swing, including infrastructure development. Notably, a groundbreaking agreement has been reached for the construction of a cutting-edge, 34,000-seat modular stadium in Eisenhower Park, Nassau County, New York.
  • Moreover, the existing venues in Grand Prairie and Broward County will undergo expansions through modular stadium solutions. These upgrades will enhance seating capacity, media facilities, and premium hospitality areas, subject to final agreement.  

31. Pakistan captain Babar Azam wins ICC Men’s Player of Month Award for August

  • Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for August 2023 for his exceptional showing in ODIs against Afghanistan and Nepal. 
  • Babar won the honour for the 3rd time in his career as the World No. 1 batter continued to dominate the 50-over format of the game.
  • Babar Azam was part of the 3-man shortlist for the award along with his teammate Shadab Khan and West Indies big-hitter Nicholas Pooran and he beat them both for the award. 
ICC Men’s Player of the Month 
  • January 2023 – Shubman Gill (India) 
  • February 2023 – Harry Brook (England) 
  • March 2023 – Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 
  • April 2023 – Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan) 
  • May 2023 – Harry Tector (Ireland) 
  • June 2023 – Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) 
  • July 2023 – Chris Woakes (England) 
  • August 2023 – Babar Azam (Pakistan) 3 Times winner

Economy News

33. Increasing Regular Jobs But Lingering Unemployment Concerns: Report 

  • In a recent report titled “State of Working India 2023: Social Identities and Labour Market Outcomes,” a group of economists and researchers from Azim Premji University shed light on the employment landscape in India. 
  • This report highlights the dynamics of job creation, the prevalence of regular wage jobs, caste-based segregation, gender-based earnings disparities, and the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on unemployment rates. 
  • The report reveals that from 2004 to 2017, India witnessed an annual creation of three million regular jobs. However, between 2017 and 2019, this figure surged to five million jobs, indicating a positive trend in employment opportunities. One concerning aspect is that only 6% of these regular jobs provide any form of social security, including health insurance or accidental care insurance. This raises questions about the stability and wellbeing of the workforce. 

Important Days News

34. International Day Of Peace 2023 

  • Each year on 21 September, the world comes together to observe the International Day of Peace (IDP). This day, established by the United Nations (UN), serves as a reminder of our commitment to peace, non-violence, and conflict resolution. 
  • The theme for the 2023 International Day of Peace is “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.” This theme underscores our individual and collective responsibility in fostering peace.
  • The history of the International Day of Peace dates back to the United Nations General Assembly passing Resolution 36/67 on September 30, 1981. This resolution called for a global ceasefire and the cessation of all hostilities on that day. Subsequently, the third Tuesday of September each year was declared as the International Day of Peace. 

35. World Alzheimer’s Day 2023 

  • World Alzheimer’s Day, observed on September 21 every year, is a global initiative aimed at increasing awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and reducing the stigma associated with it and other forms of dementia.
  • Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent type of dementia, accounts for 60-70% of dementia cases. It is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, cognitive function, and behavior, gradually impacting an individual’s daily life. 18 
  • The entire month of September is dedicated to World Alzheimer’s Month, and for 2023, the theme is “Never too early, never too late.” This theme emphasizes the importance of identifying risk factors for dementia and adopting preventive measures to delay or mitigate its onset. 

36. International Week Of The Deaf 2023: September 18 To 24 

  • Every year, the full week ending on the last Sunday of September is observed as the International Week of the Deaf (IWD). In 2023, IWD is being observed from September 18 to 24. The last Sunday of the month of September is celebrated as the World Day of Deaf or International Day of the Deaf. (September 24, 2023). 
  • IWDP aims to call for unity from the rest of the world through consistent, coordinated, and widespread mobilisation to ensure that the campaigns are visible through sufficient media coverage. 
  • The theme of 2023 IWD

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