Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 25th September 2023

National News

1. Senco Gold launches India’s 1st virtual jewellery showroom on Metaverse 

  • Senco Gold & Diamonds has launched India’s “first virtual jewellery showroom” on the metaverse, christened ‘Sencoverse’. 
  • The initiative offers a new and immersive way for customers to shop for jewellery from the comfort of their homes, the company said. 
  • Metaverse is a virtual-reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and each other. 
  • The showroom provides 360-degree views of jewellery items in stunning 3D detail, along with interactive features for zooming in on details and learning more about the products. 
  • The virtual space features a collection of over 100 jewellery products. 

2. India’s first lighthouse festival starts in Goa 

  • The Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has inaugurated India’s first Lighthouse Festival from Fort Aguada Lighthouse in Panaji, Goa.
  • The three-day festival, starting September 23 until September 25, will be celebrated across all lighthouses in the country to transform these historical places as tourist destinations. 
  • Mr. Sonowal had earlier launched the "Lighthouse Heritage Tourism" campaign to convert 75 historic lighthouses into tourist destinations. Historic lighthouses are being renovated with adequate facilities to function as tourist destinations.
  • The festival is a logical outcome of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MOPSW) campaign to convert 75 historic lighthouses across India into tourist destinations. 
  • It will be a three-day grand event in carnival style featuring local artistes, dance troupes, food and culinary stalls, music concerts, and so on. Historians, archaeologists, cultural anthropologists and many others interested in history, culture, and society will also participate in interesting discussions about our maritime history during the event. 

3. The 31st meeting of the Northern Zonal Council will be held under the Chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah in Amritsar, Punjab

  • Home Minister Amit Shah will chair the 31st meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC) in Amritsar, Punjab on 26 September 2023. The Northern Zonal Council includes Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh. It also includes the Union Territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and Chandigarh.
  • The Inter-State Council Secretariat of the Ministry of Home Affairs is organizing the meeting in collaboration with the Government of Punjab. The meeting of the Northern Zonal Council will be attended by members, Chief Ministers of the states, and two senior ministers from each state and the Lieutenant Governor or Administrator of the Union Territories. 
  • Chief Secretaries, other senior officials of the States and Union Territories, and senior officials of the Central Government will also participate in the meeting. Apart from the security situation, the issue of drug trafficking is expected to figure prominently in this meeting.

Regional Council: 

  • Regional councils are statutory, not constitutional) bodies. These are established by an Act of Parliament, i.e., the States Reorganization Act 1956. This Act divided the country into five regions – Northern, Central, Eastern, Western, and Southern and provided a regional council for each region. The Union Home minister is the chairman of all these councils. 
  • In addition to the above-mentioned Regional Councils, a North-Eastern Council was created by a separate Act of Parliament, the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971. Its members include Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim. 
  • Northern Regional Council: Headquarters: New Delhi 
  • Central Regional Council: Headquarters: Allahabad 
  • Eastern Regional Council: Headquarters: Kolkata 
  • Western Regional Council: Headquarters: Mumbai 
  • Southern Regional Council: Headquarters: Chennai 

4. India Celebrates Milestone With 75% Of Villages Declaring ODF Plus Status

  • India’s Jal Shakti minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, recently announced a significant achievement in the country’s sanitation efforts. He reported that 75% of Indian villages, totaling about 4.4 lakh, have attained the coveted ‘Open Defecation Free Plus’ (ODF Plus) status. This milestone signifies a crucial step toward fulfilling the goals of the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin by 2024-25. 
  • An ‘ODF Plus’ village is one that has not only maintained its Open Defecation Free (ODF) status but has also successfully implemented either solid or liquid waste management systems. 
  • Out of the 4,43,964 ODF Plus villages, the breakdown is as follows: 2,92,497 villages are categorized as ‘ODF Plus Aspiring’ with arrangements for either solid waste or liquid waste management systems. 55,549 villages fall under ‘ODF Plus Rising’ with arrangements for both solid and liquid waste management. 96,018 villages have achieved the status of ‘ODF Plus Model,’ demonstrating comprehensive waste management systems. 

5. SC grants protection to rape accused, asks to cooperate in probe 

  • The Supreme Court has granted interim protection to a man accused of rape, returning the focus to its earlier decisions that consensual sex following a ‘genuine but unfulfilled promise to marry does not amount to rape. 
  • A Bench, headed by Justice Vikram Nath, recently ordered the Maharashtra Police not to take any “coercive measures against the petitioner, provided he extends all cooperation in the investigation”. 
  • “The present case is based on a promise to marry and the subsequent break-up of the relationship. Every breach of promise to marry cannot be said to be cheating or rape,” argued an anticipatory bail plea filed by the man, who is represented by advocates Sana Raees Khan, M.S. Vishnu Shankar, and Sriram Parakkat. “A couple in love with each other may have a sexual relationship and later on realize they are not compatible with each other. Their earlier physical contact cannot be called rape, the plea said.
  • The petition reasoned that the complainant was a “27-year-old educated woman”. The Bench gave six weeks for Maharashtra to respond to the contention.
  • In August last year, the Supreme Court had held in its order in Mandar Deepak Pawar vs State of Maha- Rashtra that it was not raped if a consensual physical relationship was based on a genuine promise of marriage that could not be fulfilled.
  • The court had then distinguished between “a false promise of marriage and breach of a promise made in good faith but sub- sequently not fulfilled”. It was dealing with an FIR in which a woman had accused a man of rape and cheating. They had pre- viously been in a consensual relationship before falling apart. 

6. India Gets Its 54th Tiger Reserve “Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve” In MP 

  • The Madhya Pradesh Government has unveiled the Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve, becoming the seventh tiger reserve in the state and the 54th in India. 
  • It is spread across Sagar, Damoh and Narsinghpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. It circumscribes an area of 2,339 square kilometres. It will encompass areas within the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary and Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary. A green corridor linking Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) with Durgavati will be developed for the natural movement of the tiger to the new reserve.
  • About 1,414 square kilometres in the tiger reserve has been included in the core area and 925.12 square kilometres in the buffer zone, the official said. MP retained the “tiger state” status in the 2022 census with the number of big cats in the state rising to 785 from 526 in 2018. 

7. Multiple entry and exit options in higher studies may not suit India: House panel  

  • After several organizations of students and teachers raised objections to the option of multiple entry and multiple exits (MEME) in the National Education Policy (NEP), the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, headed by BJP MP Vivek Thakur, has advised the Centre to hold discussions with all stakeholders.
  • The panel, in a report titled “Implementation of the National Education digital Policy, 2020 in higher education”, said Indian institutions were likely to face a report that was tabled in both The Houses of Parliament during options for several issues in implestudents menting this system. The education 
  • The panel said that while the MEME looked like a flexing of the recently concluded system, which was to be a Special Session. The NEP operated by Western proposes multi-entry and educational institutions effectively, it might not work 
  • National Education Policy, 2020 promises multiple entry and multiple exit (MEME) for students, offering ‘greater attention to life aspirations and greater flexibility' for students 
  • NEP says it removes "rigid boundaries" and creates new possibilities for life-long learning. 
  • Students can opt for it at graduate, Master’s, and doctoral levels 
  • A certificate will be provided after completing one year of study, a diploma after two years, and degree after a three-year programme 
  • An academic bank of credit will digitally store the academic credits earned by a student
  • Kerala government had decided not to implement MEME in the State 
  • State will allow multiple entry, but exit will be allowed either after three years with a degree or after four years with an Honors degree in the country. 
  • Citing the high population, it said the estimated intake of students in higher education every year was high. 

8. Aadhaar unreliable in ‘hot, M humid’ India: rating agency 

  • Global rating major Moody’s Investors Service has flagged concerns about security and privacy vulnerabilities in centralized identification systems such as India’s Aadhaar programme. The unique ID system often results in “service denials’ ‘, and using biometric technologies in humid conditions is unreliable, it noted. 
  • The Aadhaar system enables access to public and private services, with verification through fingerprint or iris scans and alternatives such as one-time, it “faces hurdles, including the burden of establishing authorization and concerns about biometric reliability”, Moody’s said. 
  • “The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) administers Aadhaar, aiming to integrate margi pass codes (OTPs), How Nalized groups and expand welfare benefits access…. The system often results in service denials, and the reliability of biometric technologies, especially for mafare schemes, and in particular, the diktat to man- After date Aadhaar-based payments for laborers under the Mahatma Gandhi in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme the (MGNREGS). 
  • Last month, the government extended its deadline for switching to a Aadhaar- based payment system (ABPS) for MGNREGS beneficiaries for the fifth time, pushing it to December 31 this year. 
  • In a report on “Decentralized finance and digital Pol assets” issued on Saturday, cat Moody’s acknowledged Aadhaar as “the world’s largest digital ID program” that assigns unique numbers to over 1.2 billion Indian residents. 

International News

9. ‘Free From Food’ Dubai event concluded

  • The ‘Free From Food’ Dubai event concluded at the Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre.
  • Organized by Expo Business Communications in partnership with the UAE Food & Beverage Business Group, this edition of the event left a lasting mark on the Middle East’s Healthy, Organic, Vegan, Plant-Based, Functional, and Free-From food sectors.
  • Over the course of two days, the B2B event provided a valuable platform for international food manufacturers, importers, traders, and retailers to connect, share knowledge, and explore opportunities in the thriving Middle Eastern food industry. 

10. World’s oldest wooden structure discovered in Zambia

  • Archaeologists have discovered what is thought to be the world’s oldest known wooden structure near the border of Zambia and Tanzania. 
  • Found along a riverbank in Zambia, the simple structure consists of two interlocking logs of a large-fruited willow tree. One log lies on top of the other and is held in place by a notch in its underside.
  • Marks on the wooden structure show that the logs were carved, chopped, and shaped with sharp stone tools. The structure predates modern humans and probably served as a walkway for human ancestors who lived along the Kalambo River nearly half a million years ago.
  • The structure dates back at least 476,000 years, well before the evolution of Homo sapiens, according to a study describing the find in the journal Nature. The earliest evidence of Homo sapiens is from around 300,000 years ago.
  • It is possible that the structure was the work of Homo heidelbergensis, thought to have lived in that region between 700,000 to 200,000 years ago.
  • A collection of wooden tools, including a wedge and a digging stick, were also discovered at the site. 

About Zambia 

  • Capital- Lusaka
  • Currency- Zambian Kwacha
  • Official language- English 

11. World’s Second Largest Hindu Temple Outside India To Be Inaugurated In US

  • In a historic moment for devotees of Hinduism and lovers of art and culture, the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, is set to be inaugurated on 8th October 2023, under the guidance of its spiritual head, Mahant Swami Maharaj. 
  • This monumental temple, constructed outside of India, is poised to become the second-largest Hindu temple in the world, following the majestic Angkor Wat in Cambodia. With its intricate design, spiritual significance and commitment to sustainability, the Swaminarayan Akshardham stands as an evident to human dedication, tradition and artistry. 
  • Measuring an impressive 255ft x 345ft x 191ft, the New Jersey Akshardham temple is possibly the second largest temple globally, only surpassed by Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. The temple complex boasts one main shrine, 12 sub-shrines, nine shikhars (spire-like structures) and nine pyramidal shikhars, with the largest elliptical dome of traditional stone architecture ever constructed. 

State News

12. Arunachal Pradesh To Gain Three New Air Routes By October 

  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia recently announced the imminent launch of three additional air routes in Arunachal Pradesh, set to be operational by October of this year. 
  • These new routes will connect Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, to Rupsi, Jorhat, and Delhi as part of the UDAN-5 scheme. Arunachal Pradesh is set to benefit significantly from the expansion of air routes, making travel more convenient for its residents. The Tezu airport, now equipped with upgraded facilities, will play a pivotal role in facilitating these new air connections. 
  • UDAN, or Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik, is a regional connectivity initiative designed to enhance accessibility to aviation services for the common citizens. The development comes after the inauguration of enhanced infrastructure at the Tezu airport in Lohit district. 

13. Goa Has Approved A New Beach Shack Policy To Promote Local Tourism Within The State 

  • Goa, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient,” is a coastal paradise in India known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history. Recently, the government of Goa has approved a groundbreaking policy named “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” to enhance the beach experience for tourists while promoting sustainable tourism and economic opportunities for the local community. This policy is set to redefine the beach scene in Goa. 
  • One of the most exciting aspects of the “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” is the provision for the creation of seasonal structures along the beaches. These structures, including deck beds, umbrellas, and beach shacks, are designed to elevate the beach experience for visitors during the upcoming tourist seasons. This innovative approach aims to strike a balance between enhancing tourism and preserving Goa’s natural beauty. 
  • In an effort to enforce the policy’s guidelines and maintain quality standards, penalties have been introduced. For instance, the penalty for subletting a shack has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Additionally, there is a provision for imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 in case a toilet facility is found to be unhygienic, emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and sanitation on the beaches.

14. Doctors at the new Kalaignar hospital in T.N. not paid for three months

  • Nearly three-and-a-half months after the Kalaignar Centenary Super Speciality Hospital was inaugurated, doctors and other staff members are yet to be paid their salaries.
  • While hospital authorities cite a long-drawn-out process for mapping employees who had migrated from various hospitals to the new facility for initiating salary disbursal, a section of doctors says a three month delay is unacceptable.
  • It was on June 15 that the Chief Minister inaugurated the 1,000-bed facility at Guindy in Chennai. Doctors who were posted there through special online transfer counseling held on June 13, were told to join duty the next day. They included those working in hospitals in various districts.
  • This being a new facility, some doctors anticipated a delay in salary disbursal, and were prepared to manage without pay for a month. But there has been no sign of payment even after three months.
  • “We have several financial commitments, including house rent and children’s education. How can we manage without a salary,” à doctor asked. Whenever we enquire with the hospital administration about the payment of salary, they give us many excuses, indirectly indicating that it will be delayed further,” he added.
  • A number of doctors pointed out that the delay was mainly due to the pro- cessing for the Integrated Financial and Human Resources Management System [of the Finance Department] that involves the provision of the DDO (Drawing and Disbursing Officer) Code. “This is a massive task as the details of all staff from different parts of the State should be consolidated. But the code has not come so far, and the three- month wait is definitely not acceptable,” a doctor said. 

15. In Kolkata, a judge’s passion for heritage es brings a forgotten past into the light 

  • On September 22, an exhithan bition of rare photographs, mostly developed from glass negatives, depicting Kolkata from 1870 to 1920, khi was opened to the public at the city’s Town Hall.
  • Some of the photographs in the exhibition, titled “The City of Kolkata and its Life, 1870-1920’, including an airplane landing at Eden Gardens, and women performing final rites at a crematorium at Kalighat, offer a never-before peek into history, and also an understanding of society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • It’s not only the photographs that make this exhibition stand apart from other such presentations on the city, but the story behind their discovery, and the transformation of a judge into a heritage conservationist
  • A cannon with a Persian inscription dating to the pre-Mughal period can be found outside the office of Biplab Roy, Administrator General and Official Trustee (AGOT), West Bengal, on the tenth floor of the New Secretariat building in Kolkata’s Dalhousie area.
  • There are scores of old guns, and Mr. Roy is surrounded by dozens of stone and metal sculptures recovered from various parts of West Bengal over the past two years.
  • It was the opening of one of the store rooms of the Office of the on the ground floor of the New Secretariat building that got the 53-year-old judge interested in heritage conservation. 
  • At the time of its opening on October 30, 2021, the store had been kept locked for decades. 
  • Mr. Roy recalls finding not only the glass negatives but old weapons, uniforms with gold buttons, and some paintings. 
  • “If it was not for Biplab Roy these photographs I would never have found,” Saikat Dutta, who restored the glass negatives, said. 
  • Suresh Nambath (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). 

16. Land around Assam monastery to be reserved for indigenous people: CM 

  • The Assam government is working on a law to create an indigenous-only zone around Batadrava, the
    birthplace of 15th -16th century saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva who propounded vism. Neo-Vaishnav 
  • Batadrava, which is in Nagaon district, is about 130 km east of Guwahati. 
  • “We shall soon come up with a law to throw a protective ring of 8 km radius around Batadrava Than (holy spot alongside a satra or monastery),” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. 
  • Mr. Sarma said that the land within this zone will be conserved for khilonjia (indigenous people) only. 
  • He was speaking at a programme marking the 575th birth anniversary of the saint-reformer Sunday. 
  • Batadrava is to the followers of neo-Vaishnavism what Vatican City is to the Roman Catholics. 
  • Freeing land belonging to this monastery and 912 others from alleged encroachment by migrant Muslim is a BJP poll promise 
  • “Will beautify 21 places’ “We have also decided to develop and beautify a total of 21 places where Srimanta Sankaradeva stayed even for a night during his spiritual journey,” the Chief Minister said.
  • He added, “A modern namghar (prayer hall) will be built in these places and a 15-day circuit will touch these 21 places.”
  • On December 25, 2020, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, laid the foundation stone of a 22 crore project to develop and beautify Batadrava. 
  • The redevelopment project entails a park, an auditorium, and a tourist guest house. 

17. Amid rift with BJP’s T.N. unit, EPS to chair A meeting of party functionaries today 

  • Amid a rift with the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has called a meeting of its headquarters functionaries, district secretaries, MPs and MLAs on Monday 
  • The meeting will be chaired by AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami at the party headquarters.
  • Organization secretary D. Jayakumar on Sunday said there was no change in the party’s position that the BJP was no longer an ally. “I don’t want to make any further comments be- fore tomorrow’s meeting. Let us wait and watch,” Mr. Jayakumar said. 
  • The announcement of the meeting comes amid friction between the AIADMK and BJP State president K. Annamalai. The AIADMK has declared that the BJP is no longer its ally, while Mr. Annamalai has said there is no rift between the two parties.
  • A delegation of former AIADMK Ministers met BJP national president J.P. Nadda last Friday and briefed him on the state of the AIADMK’s ties with the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit
  • Meanwhile, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Sunday said that the BJP and the AIADMK were feigning a farcical strain in their political ties.
  • ‘A semblance of clash birthp “The BJP and the AIADMK are indulging in a farce by projecting a semblance of a pound clash since they will otherwise be seen as putting up with corruption and communalism respectively,” Mr. Stalin said. 
  • He added that AIADMK ‘Pro general secretary’s recent “We one-on-one meeting with Union Home Minister Amit tecti Shah was to plead for protection in view of the Supreme Court’s impending hearing in a corruption case against him [Mr. Palaniswami]. 

18. Plea to consider Deepam scheme beneficiaries in A.P., Telangana for LPG subsidy

  • Nearly 85 lakh households across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections issued under the Deepam scheme are not getting the subsidy of ₹200 per cylinder as the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
  • According to Telangana LPG Distributors Association president K. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Deepam beneficiaries were also.economically weak but have been deprived of the subsidy. He was part of a delegation of LPG trade leaders that met Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy over the issue. 
  • “If they had not taken Deepam [cooking gas connections] then they would have been covered under the Ujjwala connections since they meet the norms,” Mr. Jagan said.
  • The Deepam scheme, launched in 1999, intended to provide clean, energy- efficient cooking fuel to the below poverty line house- holds. Though the objective was the same, the PMUY was different in terms of additional benefits and extending the Scope to beneficiaries. 

19. More support pours in for Bengaluru bandh tomorrow 

  • More support poured in for the Bengaluru bandh called by the Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samithi on Tuesday, with several organizations announcing their decision to back it after a meeting on Sunday. The bandh is expected to disrupt life in the city. A faction of activists, led by Vatal Nagaraj, have also called for a State-wide bandh on September 29
  • The bandh was called to protest over the ongoing Cauvery water dispute with Tamil Nadu. 
  • The call comes as Karnataka is releasing water to Tamil Nadu as per directions of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), after the Supreme Court refused to intervene on an appeal by the State 
  • It was earlier decided that the protest rally would commence from Town Hall at 11 a.m. and culminate at Mysore Bank circle, following police instructions, but now members are thinking about ending the rally at Freedom Park. The decision is expected to be made on Monday. 
  • While the Karnataka Associated Management of Schools (KAMS) had said In that it was left to the discretion of the schools to declare a holiday on Tuesday, the Recognised Unaided Private School Association (RUPSA) announced on Sunday that all private schools coming under the association would be S closed on the day. 
  • Members of IT Kannadigara Balaga, a group of more than 3,500 IT employees, will take out a motorbike rally on Tuesday, said Shivanand, president of the association. With BMTC and KSRTC employees declaring complete support for the bandh, public transport, including airport services, is likely to take a hit. 

20. Kerala to decide soon on Cr socio-economic, caste census to revise OBC list 

  • The Kerala government will shortly take a call on conducting a socio-economic caste census in the State for updating the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) even as it faces the prospect of contempt of court in the Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court for not initiating the process. 
  • The government needs to take a policy decision on holding the SECC, State Backward Classes Minister K. Radhakrishnan said. A decision will be taken shortly in consultation with the Chief Minister, he said. Regarding the court cases, the State will file affi- davits seeking time since a decision on holding the SECC involves a policy decision of the government, Mr. Radhakrishnan said. 
  • The Kerala High Court, in June 2020, asked the State government and other stakeholders to finalize the socio-economic study of the Socially and Educationally Backward Class within six months from the date of the judgment.
  • Later, the Supreme Court asked the authorities in September 2020 to complete the process in a year. 

21. M.P. govt. to provide Hakh as retirement benefit to kotwars 

  • With an eye on the upcoming State Assembly election, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced an increase in honorariums and retirement benefits for kotwars. 
  • Addressing a state-level convention in Kotwars, he said the government would provide 1 lakh to kotwars at the time of their retirement. Kotwars are appointed at the village level to assist revenue officials and provide them with information. 
  • Mr. Chouhan said kotwars, who do not own land, will get 18,000 per month instead of the earlier 4,000, while those with less than 3 acres of land will get 2,000, and those owning service land up to 7.5 acres will receive *1,200, and those with 7.5 
  • Shivraj Singh Chauhan acres to 10 acres will get *1,000 per month. Apart from this, their annual income will be increased by *500 every year, he said.
  • Terming kotwars the backbone of the revenue administration, Mr. Chouhan said the information shared by them is important while dealing with calamities. He further said that kotwars will get the benefit of health insurance and will be provided closed user group SIM cards and recharge for their mobile phones. 

22. East Delhi has suffered due to apathy of govt.: L-G

  • Lieutenant-Governor V.K Saxena visited several spots in east Delhi on Sunday and conducted a comprehensive review of infrastructure, such as roads, pavements, parks, and drainage systems. 
  • Expressing regret that no civic authority had paid attention to east Delhi for the past several years, Mr. Saxena instructed offidals to begin the repair and beautification works in east Delhi “on a war footing”
  • The L-G asked agencies, such as the MCD, PWD, DDA, and DJB, “to sort out jurisdictional issues and ensure that there is no delay in the works”. He said he would go through daily updates about the progress of the works in these areas, “which have suffered due to the 
  • Government’s apathy”, a Raj Niwas official said. “No progress report from any agency will be accepted unless it is supported by before and after photographs of the same,” the L-G told officials. 
  • It was the L-G’s second inspection visit since the conclusion of the G-20 Summit. On September 17, he visited Dwarka and asked the civic agencies to start the revamp work in the subcity without delay. Mr. Saxena had earlier said the redevelopment projects in the city would continue even after the summit, which was held in Bharat Mandapam from September 9-10.
  • Starting from Yudhishthir Setu at ISBT Kashmere Gate, which connects north and central Delhi with east and north-east Delhi, the L-G went on to visit several areas, include- ing Shastri Park, Mansaro- var Park, Seelampur, Shyam Lal College, Dilshad Garden, and Karkardooma court complex, where he found heaps of garbage, overflowing drains, and encroachment on public spaces, Raj Niwas said. 

23. Fadnavis visits flood-hit Nagpur; says govt. will build better infrastructure 

  • Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the flood-hit areas of Nagpur city on Sunday and said the damage caused by the rain could have been minimized had older structures been repaired. 
  • At least four people were killed and hundreds had to be rescued as the city received 109 millimeters of rain in barely three hours on Saturday. 
  • Mr. Fadnavis, who hails from Nagpur, directed officials to take immediate measures. 
  • “The situation is very bad. The people have suffered a lot due to water entering their homes and causing significant damage to property. While it is true that we do not have the carrying capacity to cope with showers of such intensity, we could have minimized the damage if some measures, like removing older structures or repairing them, had been taken Earlier,” Mr. Fadnavis said. 
  • The Deputy Chief Minister said the government would henceforth work in a way to ensure that water did not overflow into people’s homes in future. 
  • “The walls of the Nagriver would be repaired and the State government will be repairing and laying out new infrastructure to prevent such occurrences in the future. While the flooding on Saturday, with water spilling over Nagpur’s famous Ambazari lake and the walls of The Meteorological Department had given an orange alert, it could not predict that so much rain would fall on the Nag river. Fall in such a short period. There is always something to be learnt from such disasters,” he said. 
  • It is estimated that nearly 10,000 homes were affected by the flooding on Saturday, with water spilling over Nagpur’s famous Ambazari lake and the walls of The Nag river. 
  • The Congress and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) accused Mr. Fadnavis of behaving arrogantly and insensitively towards affected citizens seeking recompense for rain-related damages. 

Defence News

24. India Introduces A Policy To Uphold Dignity Of Border Roads Workers 

  • India, on a mission to enhance its infrastructure along the country’s remote frontiers, has recently unveiled a groundbreaking policy aimed at dignifying the lives of casual workers employed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). 
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved this policy, which not only addresses the preservation and transportation of mortal remains but also raises funeral expenses. This move emphasizes the perilous nature of the work undertaken by these individuals in challenging terrains.
  • Until now, the facility for preserving and transporting mortal remains at government expense was exclusively available to BRO’s General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel. However, recognizing the invaluable contribution of casual laborers, this policy extends this privilege to them as well. 

25. Inauguration Of Bharat Drone Shakti-2023 Exhibition By Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to inaugurate the Bharat Drone Shakti-2023 exhibition at Hindan Air Base in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. In addition to the exhibition, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will formally induct the C-295 transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force.
  • This acquisition follows a Rs 21,935-crore deal between New Delhi and Airbus Defence and Space, which was signed two years ago. Airbus is responsible for delivering the initial 16 C-295 transport aircraft in a ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, with completion expected by 2025.
  • An industrial partnership between Airbus and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India will oversee the manufacturing and assembly of the subsequent 40 aircraft.

26. “Yudh Abhyas-23” will start today between the armies of India and USA

  • The 19th edition of “Yudh Abhyas” will be held at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, USA from 25 September to 8 October 2023. It is an annual exercise conducted jointly by the Indian Army and the United States Army.
  • The previous edition of this exercise was conducted in Auli, Uttarakhand, India in November 2022. An Indian Army contingent of 350 personnel will participate in this edition of the exercise. On the Indian side, the lead battalion is attached to the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment. 
  • From the US side, 1-24 Infantry Battalion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team will participate. Both sides will practice a series of tactical exercises to enhance interoperability in the conduct of UN peacekeeping operations. 
  • Personnel from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experiences and best practices. The theme of the exercise is ‘Deployment of an Integrated Battle Group in Mountainous/Extreme Climate Conditions’ under Chapter VII of the United Nations Mandate.
  • The exercise will also include exchange of ideas and best practices in exercises on a wide spectrum of warfare skills including combat engineering, obstacle avoidance, landmine and improvised explosive devices warfare. 

India-US joint exercises: 

  • Vajra-Pharar (Army) 
  • Cope India (Air Force)
  • Red Flag (US multilateral air exercise)
  • Malabar Exercise (trilateral exercise between India, US and Japan) 

Business News

27. Apple Plans To Boost Production In India Fivefold To $40 Billion Over Next 4-5 Years 

  • Apple, the renowned iPhone maker, is gearing up to significantly expand its manufacturing operations in India. Government sources report that the company aims to increase its production in the country by over fivefold, reaching approximately $40 billion (about 3.32 lakh crore) within the next 4-5 years. 
  • This ambitious move follows Apple’s successful crossing of the $7 billion production mark in the previous fiscal year. In addition to iPhones, Apple is poised to commence manufacturing AirPods in India. However, it appears that the company currently has no immediate plans to produce iPads, laptops, or participate in IT hardware Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes.
  • According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple holds a commanding 59 percent market share in the ultra-premium smartphone segment (phones priced above Rs 45,000) during the first quarter of 2023. India has emerged as one of the top-five markets for Apple, indicating its growing influence and market presence. 

 Banking and Financial News

28. ICICI Lombard CEO Bhargav Dasgupta resigns, ADB appoints him as VP for market solutions 

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Bhargav Dasgupta as vice-president for Market Solutions for three years. 
  • This development follows Dasgupta’s resignation as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company. 
  • Having joined ICICI Lombard in May 2009 as Managing Director and CEO, Dasgupta served the general insurance company for over 14 years. 
  • Dasgupta also spearheaded ICICI Lombard’s initial public offering, making it India’s first listed general insurance company.
  • Initially, Dasgupta had been scheduled to step down from his position at ICICI Lombard in April 2024 after completing a 15-year term. 

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • MD and CEO of HDFC Bank – Sashidhar Jagdishan (reappointment for 3 year)
  • Chairman of Mastercard India- Rajnish Kumar (Former SBI Chief) 
  • Statutory auditor of Paytm – S.R. Batliboi
  • MD & CEO of ICICI Bank – Sandeep Bakshi (reappointment for 3 year) 
  • Managing Director of SBI – Vinay M. Tonse (recommended) 

Important News

29. 24 September 2023 – World Rivers Day 

  • World Rivers Day is observed every year on the fourth Sunday in September. 
  • This year, it marked on September 24. 
  • This annual event also advocates for the conservation and sustainable management of these vital natural resources. 
  • The first World Rivers Day was observed in 2005, following the launch that year of the Water for Life Decade by the United Nations. The proposal for such a celebration was initiated by renowned Canadian river advocate Mark Angelo. 

30. 25 September – World Pharmacist Day

  • World Pharmacist Day is celebrated each year on September 25. 
  • The primary objective of World Pharmacist Day is to promote and support initiatives that raise awareness of and advocate for the vital contributions made by pharmacists worldwide. 
  • Theme 2023 – Pharmacy Strengthening Health Systems 
  • The history of World Pharmacist Day dates back to its inception at the 2009 International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Congress held in Istanbul, Turkey. 
  • This special day was established to underscore the vital significance of pharmacists and pharmacy professionals in the realm of healthcare. 

31. International Day For The Total Elimination Of Nuclear Weapons 2023

  • The United Nations observes 26 September every year as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This day provides an opportunity to educate the public and their leaders about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them. 
  • In 2013, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) declared September 26 to be the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Nuclear Abolition Day). The aims of the day are to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. 
  • September 26 is also the anniversary of the incident in 1983 when a nuclear war was almost launched due to malfunctions in the Soviet nuclear weapons early warning system, which erroneously detected a US ballistic missile attack against Moscow. The incident is graphically portrayed in the award-winning docu-drama ‘The Man who Saved the World.’ 

32. Antyodaya Diwas 2023 

  • Antyodaya Diwas is an annual celebration in India that commemorates the birth anniversary of the revered Indian leader, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. This day serves as a tribute to his life and enduring legacy, honoring one of the most influential figures in India’s political history. 
  • Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was not only a co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) but also a profound thinker associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). His relentless efforts to uplift the marginalized and less fortunate in society are at the core of this celebration, which takes place every year on September 25th .
  • Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, born in Mathura on September 25, 1916, holds a significant place in India’s history. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Modi declared this day a national holiday in his honor. Tragically, he passed away in 1968 near the Mughalsarai Junction railway station. In recognition of his contributions, the Uttar Pradesh government renamed the station as ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction’ in 2018. 

Science and Technology News

33. NASA Capsules With Largest Sample Ever Lands in Utah Desert 

  • The climactic end of a seven-year voyage comes to an end when a NASA capsule landed in the Utah desert, carrying to Earth the largest asteroid samples ever collected. Scientists have high hopes for the sample, saying it will provide a better understanding of the formation of our solar system and how Earth became habitable.
  • Four years after its 2016 launch, the Osiris-Rex probe landed on the asteroid Bennu and collected roughly nine ounces (250 grams) of dust from its rocky surface. Even that small amount, NASA says, should “help us better understand the types of asteroids that could threaten Earth” and cast light “on the earliest history of our solar system.” 
  • Scientists believe Bennu, which is 1,640 feet in diameter, is rich in carbon — a building block of life on Earth — and contains water molecules locked in minerals. 

Miscellaneous News

34. House panel asks govt. to monitor the activities of ESIC 

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Labour, headed by veteran Biju Janata Dal (BID) MP Bhartrihari Mahtab, has asked the Union government to strictly monitor the activities of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), so that social security benefits reach more workers.
  • In a report submitted in Parliament during the Special Session last week, the Security. The panel reviewed the ESIC’S applicability and benefits under the Employees State Insurance Scheme (ESIS), functioning of ESI Hospitals, management of the corpus, and recommended guidelines for organizing special awareness campaigns about the scheme 
  • The panel said there is a need for reviewing the provisions relating to coverage, contribution, entitlement of wages, and the wage limit for coverage. Der the ESIS. With the passage of time, the committee said, wages have increased and the last revi sion of the wage ceiling was affected from January 1, 2017. The prevailing wage limit of 176 per day for exemption from paying contribution was effected from September 6, 2019. 
  • The panel recommended the setting up of an expert committee for suggesting the changes required in the provisions so that the coverage and the number of insured persons could be increased. The panel expressed concern that both the Labour Ministry and the ESIC are not fully geared to provide extended coverage as envisaged under the Code on Social
  • The Committee are of the considered view that preparatory work for implementation of the plan of action already identified by ESIC viz conduct of extensive surveys, collection of data from Government Departments; identification of common business identifiers for establishments by the ESIC in consultation with EPFO; use of Aadhaar for identification of members/insured persons, etc. need to be undertaken in right earnest,” the report
  • Considering the shortage of manpower and lack of proper infrastructure in the ESIC, the panel asked the Centre to fill up the vacancies in hospitals and dispensaries. 
  • The ESIC had accorded approval for initial investment starting at 5%, and gradual increase up to 15% in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). The panel noted that the expansion of the ESIC requires a substantial amount of funds. 

35. 244 held during drive against ‘drug dealers’

  • A total of 244 persons were arrested across Kerala in the police’s Operation D- Hunt special drive as part of a crackdown on drug dealers on Saturday. 
  • MDMA, hashish oil, brown sugar and several kilograms of ganja estimated at several lakhs were seized from the arrested persons. Ahead of the drive, the police had cast a surveillance net on drug dealers and local-level distributor networks, before moving in to nab them. 
  • The highest number of persons were arrested from Kochi city – 61. The largest quantity of MDMA, 37.41 g, was seized from Kollam city while 22.85 g was seized from Thiruvananthapuram rural. 
  • The police had checked 1,373 persons suspected of possessing drugs, out of which 244 were arrested 

Sports News

36. ICC confirms venues of 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup to be co-hosted by USA 

  • The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 will be co-hosted by the USA and West Indies, with matches taking place in major cities like Dallas, Florida, and New York.
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed as many as 10 venues in the West Indies and the USA between June 4 and 30.
  • The West Indies will have 7 venues while the USA will have 3 for the showpiece T20 international tournament. 
  • The ICC confirmed Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and St Vincent & The Grenadines as the seven Caribbean venues that will host matches during the T20 World Cup 2024 from 4 to 20 June. 
  • Meanwhile, the USA is also set to co-host the event for the first time, with Grand Prairie in Dallas, Broward County in Florida, and Nassau County in New York. 
  • A total of 20 teams will contest for the big prize in the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup. 15 teams have already been confirmed, with the Americas, Asia and Africa Qualifier set to determine the remaining five spots in the coming months.
  • Australia, England, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka will be part of the tournament after finishing in the top 8 in the 2022 edition.
  • Modular stadium technology will be used to increase facilities for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
  • The previous edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022 was hosted by Australia. 

37. Redfern became first woman to stand as an umpire

  • Sue Redfern became the first woman to stand as an umpire in a men’s first-class cricket match in England and Wales.
  • Redfern, who played 21 times for England from 1995-99, has been appointed for the County Championship fixture between Glamorgan and Derbyshire. 
  • Two years ago, she was the first woman to officiate at a home England men’s match — as the fourth official for the T20 international against Sri Lanka. 
  • She was the first woman to umpire a T20 Blast game when Gloucestershire played Middlesex in Bristol this season. 
  • Redfern was the first woman to be awarded a full-time contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board last year. 

38. 19th Hangzhou Asian Games begins 

  • The 19th Asian Games, which was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was officially inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Parade of Nations of 45 countries started from Afghanistan. Host nation China, which will field 887 athletes, was the last contingent to appear in the parade of nations. 
  • A breathtaking performance titled Water in Autumn Glow opened the festivities at the Big Lotus. 
  • Chenchen, Kangkong and Lianlian – the official mascots of the Asian Games 2023 were presented.
  • These three mascots, all robots, have been collectively named ‘Memories of Jiangnan’. The name is a parody of a poem by Bai Juyi, a recognized poet of the Tang Dynasty. 
  • These robots; Chenchen, Congcong and Lianlian represent the vibrant culture and heritage of the host city. These futuristic yet cultural robots individually represent various heritage sites of the host city. 

India won five medals on the first day

  • India has so far won three silver and two bronze medals in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on 24 September 2023. In shooting, India’s team of Mehuli Ghosh, Ramita and Aashi Chowksey won the silver medal in the 10 meter airrifle event. China won the gold medal of the competition and Mongolia won the bronze medal. Ramita won the bronze medal in the women’s 10 meter air rifle individual competition. 
  • In rowing, India’s Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh won the silver medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls event. India also won the silver medal in the men’s eight rowing event. In rowing, India won the bronze medal in the men’s pair event.
  • Around 100 Indian athletes and officials received a thunderous applause as the Indian contingent, led by flag bearers Harmanpreet Singh and Lovlina Borgohain, marched into the stadium. The Indian contingent came out for the parade of athletes in eighth place.

40. Antim Panghal won bronze medal in Serbia World Championship 

  • Indian young wrestler Antim Panghal won the bronze medal in the women’s 53 kg category at the ongoing World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. India also secured quota for Paris Olympics 2024. 
  • The 19-year-old Antim Panghal defeated two-time European champion Emma Jona Denise Malmgren 16-6 in the bronze medal match. This is India’s first medal in the current edition of the tournament. 
  • Antim Panghal has won India’s 23rd medal so far in the World Championships, which includes one gold, five silver and 17 bronze medals. The Indian wrestler registered a win over Poland’s Roksana Marta Zasina in the round of 16 before registering a 9-6 win against Russia’s Natalia Malysheva in the quarterfinals.
  • However, Belarus’s Vanessa Kaladzinskaya defeated Panghal in the final by a 5-4 margin in the women’s 53kg freestyle semi-final at the World Championships 2023. 
  • Indian wrestlers are competing in the tournament under the United World Wrestling (UWW) flag as the country’s wrestling federation – Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is suspended. 

Obituary News

41. Former President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano passed away 

  • Former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano passed away at the age of 98.
  • His passing marks the end of an era in Italian politics, as he was not only the longest-serving president but also a central figure in shaping the country’s post-war history. 
  • Giorgio Napolitano, who served as the President of Italy from 2006 until 2015, was a pivotal figure in he nation’s political landscape.
  • He holds the distinction of being the first president in Italian history to be reelected to the office, a testament to his widespread popularity and the trust placed in him by the Italian people.  

42. National Award Winning Malayalam Filmmaker K G George Passed Away At 78 

  • The world of Malayalam cinema mourned the loss of veteran filmmaker K G George, who passed away at the age of 78 in an old age home near Kakkanad. The filmmaker had been battling health issues for the last five years, following a stroke that significantly impacted his life. 
  • Throughout his career, he explored a wide range of themes in his films, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Some of his most acclaimed works include “Ulkaddal” (1979), “Onappudava” (1978), “Yavanika” (1982), and “Adaminte Variyellu” (1984). These films not only won him critical acclaim but also secured numerous state film awards. 
  • In 1976, K G George received the National Award for Best Feature Film for “Swapnaadanam,” a testament to his exceptional storytelling abilities. Additionally, his dedication and influence in the Malayalam film industry were recognized in 2015 when he was selected for the J C Daniel Award, the Kerala government’s highest honor for outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema.

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