Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 26th September 2023


National News

1. India Gets Its First Green Hydrogen-Run Bus That Emits Just Watera

  • The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) achieved a significant milestone in India’s transition to clean energy by unveiling the nation’s first green hydrogen-powered bus. This groundbreaking initiative marks a crucial step towards reducing the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels while promoting eco-friendly transportation alternatives.
  • IOC is leading the charge in harnessing the power of green hydrogen, produced through the electrolysis of water using electricity from renewable sources. This green hydrogen will be utilized to fuel two buses, which are slated for trial runs in the national capital region. 
  • Hydrogen is hailed as the fuel of the future and holds immense potential in aiding India’s decarbonization efforts. Globally, the demand for hydrogen is expected to surge, with estimates ranging from four to seven times current levels, reaching 500-800 tonnes by 2050. Domestically, India’s demand for hydrogen is projected to quadruple, from the current 6 tonnes to 25-28 tonnes by 2050. 

2. Monsoon’s Late Retreat In India: 13th Consecutive Delay

  • In a continuation of a concerning trend, the monsoon in India has once again exhibited a delayed withdrawal for the 13th consecutive year. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the southwest monsoon began its retreat on Monday, 25 September, a full eight days behind the usual withdrawal date of September 17.
  • Traditionally, the southwest monsoon enters Kerala by June 1 and covers the entire country by July 8. It usually starts retreating from northwest India around September 17 and completes its withdrawal by October 15. The monsoon season officially concludes on September 30.
  • The delayed monsoon retreat holds significant implications for India’s agricultural sector, particularly in northwest India. The monsoon’s withdrawal from this region typically marks the start of the Rabi crop season. Any delay in the retreat extends the rainy season, which can impact crop planning and agricultural production. 

3. MP CM unveils 108-ft statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar 

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has unveiled the 108-foot-tall ‘Statue of Oneness’ of Adi Shankaracharya at Omkareshwar on a poll-bound basis.
  • The statue depicts Shankaracharya as a 12-year-old child when he is said to have visited Omkareshwar. 
  • The government has invested Rs 2,200 crore to develop the temple town located on the Mandhata island of the Khandwa district, which will form an important tourism circuit, along with Ujjain, Maheshwar and Mandu religious towns. 

Who was Adi Shankaracharya? 

  • Adi Shankara, who is believed to have lived between 788 and 820 AD, was born in Kerela’s Kaladi, situated on the bank of the Periyar River.
  • He became a sanyasin at an early age and left his Brahmin household, where he is said to have made his way to Omkareshwar. 
  • Here, he studied under his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada and soon became a proponent of Advaita Vedanta, challenging prevailing philosophical traditions – including Buddhism and Jainism. 

International News

4. India, UN launch capacity building initiative to promote development in the Global South 

  • The Global South broadly includes the regions of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia (except Israel, Japan, and South Korea), and Oceania (except Australia and New Zealand), which generally have relatively low levels of economic prosperity. 
  • It was defined as the North-South divide based on per capita GDP by former German Chancellor Willy Brandt in the 1980s. 
  • India and the United Nations have jointly launched ‘India-United Nations Capacity Building Initiative’, an initiative aimed at capacity building of countries in the Global South. It aims to share India’s development experiences, best practices and expertise through capacity building and training programmes. 
  • Its official announcement was made during an event titled ‘India- UN for the Global South: Delivering for Development’ in New York, USA, which was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The event saw the participation of Denis Francis, President of the 78th General Assembly. 

‘India-United Nations Capacity Building Initiative’ 

  • A UN release said the ‘India-UN Capacity Building Initiative’ builds on the success of India’s G20 presidency, which has prioritized the inclusion of voices from the Global South on the G20 agenda. 
  • Under this capacity building effort, the UN-India team and the Gates Foundation will collaborate using India’s platform for technical and economic cooperation to share India’s development experiences and best practices across the world. 
  • The initiative will also implement the development goals established during India’s G20 Presidency, including the G20 Action Plan to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enhance technology and digital infrastructure. 

5. Israel unveils its state-of-the- art battle tank, ‘Merkava Mark 5’

  • Israel unveiled its state-of-the-art main battle tank, the ‘Merkava Mark 5’, known as “Barak”, which translates to “lightning” in Hebrew.
  • The development of the Barak tank involved collaboration between the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Armored Vehicles Directorate, the IDF’s Ground Forces, Armored Corps, and several Israeli defense companies, including Elbit Systems, Rafael, and Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.
  • The Israeli Defense Ministry said that after a five-year development period, they have handed over the first models of the “5th Generation Merkava Battle Tank” to the 52nd Armored Battalion belonging to the 401st Brigade. 

‘Merkava Mark 5’ 

  • This 5th generation tank builds on the legacy of earlier Merkava models, incorporating cutting-edge technologies and innovations. It has improved armor, a state-of-the-art missile defense system (windbreaker), and increased firepower.
  • The tank commander will be equipped with a helmet called IronVision, developed by Elbit, similar to those used by fighter jet pilots. This advanced helmet offers a complete view of the tank’s surroundings and provides essential information regarding ongoing combat operations. 
  • The Barak tank features the advanced Windbreaker missile defense system developed by Rafael, which is currently used on older Merkava tank models and the Namer armored personnel carrier. 
  • The Barak tank is equipped with a network of sensors designed to detect targets. This sensor data can be shared seamlessly with other military units, improving enemy detection and coordination on the battlefield. 

6. Concerns Raised Over Chinese Research Vessel’s Visit To Sri Lanka 

  • Following India’s lead, the United States has expressed concerns regarding the planned visit of a Chinese research vessel to Sri Lanka in October. The Chinese vessel, named Shi Yan 6, is set to undertake scientific research projects during an 80-day operation in the Indian Ocean, with 13 research teams on board. 
  • This planned visit follows a series of notable events involving Chinese vessels in Sri Lanka. Last year, a Chinese warship docked at Colombo port, causing tensions between India and Sri Lanka. In August of the same year, Chinese military ship Yuan Wang 5 arrived at Hambantota port, despite strong reservations expressed by India and the U.S. China has consistently maintained that such concerns are unfounded. 
  • The Chinese research vessel, Shi Yan 6, is part of a geophysical scientific research expedition organized by the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It will operate in the eastern Indian Ocean for 80 days, conducting 28 scientific research projects spanning more than 12,000 nautical miles. 

7. Nepal-China Sign 12 Agreements: A Closer Look At The Visit’s Outcome 

  • Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, recently concluded his week-long visit to China, which was expected to address critical issues such as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, cross-border energy trade, and past agreements. However, the agreements signed during this visit did not cover these key areas. Instead, they focused on various other aspects of bilateral cooperation. 
  • The agreements were the result of delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Dahal and Chinese Premier Li Qiang. While some of the expectations and commitments made by the Nepali Prime Minister were not included in the agreements, they may find their way into a joint communiqué. 
  • The discussions comprehensively reviewed the state of bilateral relations, expressing satisfaction with the close ties between the two nations. The emphasis was on strengthening economic, trade, and people-to-people cooperation. 

State News

8. ‘Karma Puja Festival’ celebrated in Jharkhand 

  • ‘Karma Puja’ is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Jharkhand related to crops, worship of nature, bond of love between brother and sister and importance of Karma tree. During this festival, Karma dancers sing and dance by lifting the branch of the Karma tree. 
  • In this tradition, a branch of the Karma tree soaked in milk and rice is placed in the center of the venue where a group dance is performed. 
  • Karma Puja is a famous festival of Jharkhand and Bihar region of India. On this day sisters pray for their brothers. This year in 2023, this festival has been celebrated on 25 September 2023. This festival is celebrated in the month of Bhado and on the 11th day of Bhadrapada. 
  • Baiga, Oraon, Binjhwari and Majhwar tribes of Jharkhand celebrate Karma Puja. Karma festival is celebrated with great pomp not only in Jharkhand but also in places like Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bengal, Assam etc 

Karma Puja 

  • A few days before the Karma Puja, keeps sand or miti in the river or pond and then sows seven types of grains in it. On the day of Karama Puja, a bamboo made is decorated and kept in the middle of the courtyard of the house.
  • Along with this, the tree of Karam tree is also buried in the courtyard of the house and the women of the house sit around it and worship their brother’s happiness and happiness. There is also a tradition of awakening overnight in Karma festival. 

9. ZSI discovered a new species of Marine fish ‘C-Robins’ in West Bengal 

  • Recently, scientists of the Indian Zoological Survey (ZSI) have discovered a new species of lively orange colored sea fish in deep water from Digha Mohana in West Bengal that belongs to the triglide family.
  • With bonely head and pointed rostral spine, similarly, similar to the species of Petigotrigla Hemistics, it is commonly known as Gernards or C-Robins. 
  • The fish name is pasterygotrigla intermedica, its symptoms are quite similar to species such as pasterygotrigla hemistictus. There are a total of 178 species of the triglide family worldwide. 
  • On the inner surface, there are a specific pectoral-side, back white edge and three small white spots at the core of the feather. The newly found marine fish represents the fourth species of genus “Paterigotrigue” reported in India. 

Zoological survey of india (ZSI) 

  • The ZSI, a subordinate organization of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, was established in 1916. 
  • It is headquartered in Kolkata and 16 regional stations are located at various geographical places in the country.
  • New Marine Tardigrade species – ‘Batitips Kalami’ Researchers at Cochin University of Science and Technology (Kusat) have identified a new species of marine tardigrade, Is named after former President and scientist APJ Abdul Kalam. 
  • The new species of tardigrads named ‘Ballipps Kalami’ found in the inter -coastline of the Mandapam coast, close to the birthplace of Kalam in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. 
  • The batialips Kalami is the 37th species under the Genus Ballips.Tardigrade, often called water bears, are microscopic animals with eight legs found in water. They are known for extraordinary flexibility and survival abilities under high environmental conditions. 

10. West Bengal Governor CV Anand Bose launched the Kala Kranti Mission 

  • West Bengal Governor CV Anand Bose unveiled an initiative ‘Kala Kranti Mission’ dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore and also flagged off a bicycle march from Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on the occasion of World Car Open Day.
  • Kalakranti Mission is an initiative dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore for the development of soft power, which is now considered as a framework and opportunity to promote art, culture and heritage. 
  • This mission is for the development of art and culture in the country. It will not be limited to West Bengal, it will also be extended to other states. 
  • Additionally, as a part of the Kala Revolution Mission, 108 awards, which will be called ‘Durga Bharat Samman’, will be given on the eve of Durga Puja (33 percent of the total awards will be received by women). 

Defence News

11. India’s First C-295 Aircraft Formally Introduced Into IAF 

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally inducted the first C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft into the IAF’s arsenal. This landmark event took place in the presence of Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other top military officials in Ghaziabad. The C-295 aircraft represents a significant upgrade for the IAF, offering versatility and modern capabilities for a wide range of missions. 
  • The new generation C-295, manufactured by Airbus, is a highly versatile tactical transport aircraft designed to meet the evolving needs of modern military operations. This aircraft is tailored for a variety of missions, including troop and cargo transport, maritime patrol, signals intelligence, and medical evacuation. Its flexibility and adaptability make it a valuable asset for the Indian Air Force. 
  • The C-295 aircraft boasts impressive payload capacity, capable of carrying up to nine tonnes of cargo or accommodating as many as 71 troops. This remarkable capacity ensures that the IAF can efficiently transport both personnel and equipment to various locations, enhancing its operational capabilities significantly. Furthermore, the aircraft can cruise at a maximum speed of 260 knots, ensuring rapid response in critical situations. 

Business News

12. Maruti Suzuki Partners With Indian Navy For Northeast Outreach Programme 

  • Maruti Suzuki India, the leading automobile manufacturer in the country, has teamed up with the Indian Navy to create awareness about career opportunities among the youth of Northeastern India through the ‘Khamree Mo Sikkim‘ outreach programme. 
  • This partnership embodies a collaborative effort aimed at advancing progress and enhancing the well-being of Northeast India. The main goal is to educate and inspire young individuals about the diverse opportunities within the Navy, while also fostering and reinforcing connections with the local communities in the region. 
  • On the 24th of September 2023, a remarkable expedition was launched from the Indian Navy base in Lonavala. Covering a staggering distance of 6,500 kilometers, this journey is set to span several weeks and involve the participation of 45 Navy officials. 

13. Amazon To Invest Up To $4 Billion In AI Startup Anthropic 

  • E-commerce giant has announced a strategic investment of up to $4 billion in Anthropic, an AI startup, marking a significant move to enhance its presence in generative artificial intelligence. 
  • In addition to the financial investment, this partnership will have a significant impact on Amazon’s in-house chipmaking efforts. With the collaboration, Anthropic will leverage AWS chips to build and train foundational models for future AI applications. This marks a synergistic approach to advancing both companies’ AI capabilities. 
  • Anthropic, founded by veterans from OpenAI, aims to create chatbots and AI applications that prioritize safety and reliability while performing tasks such as summarization, search, questionanswering, and coding. Notably, Google, a major player in the tech industry, previously invested nearly $400 million in Anthropic, demonstrating the widespread interest in the company’s vision for AI safety. 

14. India Allows Export Of 75,000 Tons Of Non-Basmati White Rice To The UAE 

  • The Government of India has recently made a significant decision to permit the export of 75,000 tons of non-basmati white rice to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This move comes at a time when India had imposed restrictions on the export of non-basmati white rice. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) made this announcement on Monday, signaling a shift in India’s export policies. 
  • The export of non-basmati white rice to the UAE will be facilitated through the National Cooperatives Exports Limited (NCEL). NCEL plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth execution of India’s export initiatives, and its involvement in this endeavor underscores the government’s commitment to balancing domestic and international demands for essential food commodities. 
  • While India has temporarily halted non-basmati white rice exports for domestic reasons, it continues to prioritize its commitments to food security in vulnerable countries and neighboring nations. The Indian government remains dedicated to providing the necessary quantity of rice or wheat when requested by food-insecure countries.

Economy News

15. S&P Global Ratings Retain India’s Growth Forecast At 6% For Current Fiscal 

  • S&P Global Ratings has reaffirmed India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal year at 6 percent, citing several factors affecting the economic landscape. This announcement comes amid a backdrop of global economic challenges, concerns over subnormal monsoons, and the delayed effects of interest rate hikes. 
  • Concerns about subnormal monsoons, which can adversely affect agriculture, a critical sector in India, have played a role in the assessment. India’s economy posted robust growth of 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2023, bolstered by strong demand in the services sector and sustained capital expenditure by the government. 
  • S&P Global Ratings maintains a positive outlook, projecting India’s economy to grow at 6.9 percent in both the fiscal years 2024-25 and 2025-26. This demonstrates confidence in India’s economic prospects despite the global headwinds. 

Appointment and Resignation News

16. Vivek Bhasin appointed to the post of BARC Director 

  • Senior nuclear scientist Vivek Bhasin took charge as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). He succeeds Ajit Kumar Mohanty, who was appointed as Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission earlier this year.
  • Bhasin was the director of Nuclear Fuel Group of BARC. In a career spanning over three decades, Bhasin has made significant contributions to a number of programs and activities to ensure the longevity of the nuclear power reactor fleet. 
  • Which includes rehabilitation and structural integrity assessment of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station-1, Tarapur Atomic Power Station Units 1 and 2. Bhasin played a key role in setting up facilities to manufacture fuel for the Apsara-U reactor and a novel plant for the production of fission-moly, a radioactive isotope with wide applications in health care. 
  • He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Indian Nuclear Society Medal, the DAE Science and Technology Award, and the Homi Bhabha Science and Technology Award. Bhasin is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and has published over 300 publications in the field of nuclear science and engineering. 


  • Dr. Bhabha established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1945 to conduct nuclear science research. Dr. Bhabha established the Atomic Energy Establishment in Trombay (AEET) in January. After Bhabha’s tragic demise in 1966, AEET was renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). 

Nihar Malviya – Permanent CEO of Penguin Random House 

  • Nihar Malviya has been named as the permanent CEO of Penguin Random House, nine months after being appointed interim chief executive. Malviya has replaced Marcus Dohle. 
  • Penguin Random House is the world’s largest publisher of consumer books, with more than 300 different imprints and publishing houses in more than 20 countries. It was formed in 2013 through the merger of Penguin Group and Random House. 

17. Katrina Kaif Named As Uniqlo India’s Brand Ambassador 

  • Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo has announced its partnership with Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif, marking her as the brand’s first ambassador in India. This collaboration is part of Uniqlo’s strategy to expand its presence in the Indian market and promote its Fall-Winter 2023 campaign. 
  • Katrina Kaif, a prominent figure in the Indian film industry will feature in campaign films, showcasing Uniqlo’s fashion offerings across various media channels, including digital and offline platforms. Katrina Kaif joins the ranks of other global brand ambassadors for Uniqlo, such as tennis legend Roger Federer, who has been representing the brand since 2018. This diverse selection of ambassadors aligns with Uniqlo’s commitment to global appeal.
  • The collaboration between Uniqlo and Katrina Kaif is set to last for one year, focusing on promoting the brand’s Fall-Winter 2023 collection. This campaign will span multiple mediums, including print, digital, outdoor advertising, and in-store promotions. 

Banking News

18. Indian Banks Attracting Increasing Global Investment: S&P Global Report 

  • S&P Global Market Intelligence has released a report indicating that Indian banks are becoming more appealing to global investors seeking higher returns. Factors such as robust credit growth, improved margins, and stable asset quality have enhanced the outlook for these financial institutions. 
  • According to S&P Global, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have been increasingly investing in Indian banks, with their total holdings reaching ₹8.36 trillion as of June 30, up from ₹7.71 trillion the previous year. This marks a significant growth from ₹6.73 trillion in June 2020. 
  • Among the preferred choices for FIIs, the top three investees are ICICI Bank Ltd., HDFC Bank Ltd., and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. These banks have been particularly appealing to foreign investors, contributing to the growth in FII holdings. 

19. RBI Imposes Monetary Penalty On State Bank Of India, Indian Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed penalties on three prominent state-owned banks, State Bank of India (SBI), Indian Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank, for their non-compliance with various regulatory norms. These penalties serve as a stern reminder of the importance of adherence to banking regulations and directives issued by the RBI.
  • The RBI imposed a monetary penalty of ₹1.30 Crore on the State Bank of India (SBI) for its failure to comply with certain directives issued by the RBI. Specifically, the bank was found to be in violation of the guidelines pertaining to ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions‘ and ‘Guidelines on Management of Intra-Group Transactions and Exposures.’
  • Punjab & Sind Bank faced a penalty of ₹1.00 Crore for non-compliance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 26A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Indian Bank faced a substantial penalty of ₹1.62 Crore for its non-compliance with various RBI directives, including those related to ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions,’ ‘Reserve Bank of India [Know Your Customer (KYC)] Directions, 2016,’ and ‘Reserve Bank of India (Interest Rate on Deposits) Directions, 2016.’ 

20. JP Morgan to add India G-Secs to its emerging market bond index 

  • JP Morgan Chase & Company will include Indian government bonds to its emerging markets bond index from June 2024. 
  • The move can potentially attract about $25 billion into the country, as per analyst estimates. 
  • India, which will be included in the GBI-EM Global Index suite starting June 28, 2024, is expected to reach the maximum weight of 10 percent in the GBI-EM Global Diversified Index (GBI-EM GD).
  • Currently, 23 Indian government bonds with a combined notional value of $330 billion are index-eligible. Inclusion of the bonds will be staggered over 10 months through March 31, 2025 (i.e., inclusion of 1 percent weight per month). 

21. SIDBI signs with DLAI to boost fintech sector 

  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed an agreement with the Digital Lenders Association of India (DLAI) to boost the country’s fintech sector. 
  • The MoU aims for collaborations with SIDBI to develop standard protocols to expedite the adoption of digital lending partnerships including alliances between banks and Lending Service Providers (LSPs). 
  • SIDBI will also provide resource support to eligible DLAI member NBFCs and also explore Assignment and Securitization transactions. 
  • Under the agreement, SIDBI and DLAI will explore partnerships for its “Prayaas” Scheme for informal enterprises, co-lending, GST Sahay, Express loan, green financing, and other direct credit schemes. 
  • Both organizations are committed to leveraging our combined expertise and resources to put the sector on a high growth trajectory with responsible lending with innovation embedded therein. 

About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)

  • Founded – 2 April 1990
  • Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • Chairman & MD – Siva S Ramann 

Recent MoU in Banking Sector 

  • IREDA partners with Bank of Maharashtra to promote renewable energy adoption 
  • Yes Bank partners with Juspay to offer merchant in-app UPI payments 
  • IIT Kanpur partners with ICICI Bank to foster startup innovation 
  • SIDBI partners with Tata Power for MSME solar rooftop financing 
  • BriskPe introduce BriskPe A2A with Yes Bank to enable seamless cross-border payment 

22. Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Leads the Way ICCW 

  • Utkarsh Small Finance Bank (USFB) Limited announced the launch of Interoperable Cardless Cash Withdrawal (ICCW) Using UPI on ATMs
  • It is an innovative service, set to revolutionize cash withdrawal experiences.
  • It is dedicated to offering process-centric, technology-driven, and customer-oriented services that lead to a reliable, scalable, and sustainable institution, driving socio-economic change.
  • The Bank is pleased to announce the launch of the Interoperable Cardless Cash Withdrawal (ICCW) service, which utilizes UPI (Unified Payments Interface) on its ATM networks. 
  • This is In line with the Reserve Bank of India’s directive in May 2022, urging all banks to provide Interoperable Cardless Cash Withdrawal (ICCW) options at their ATMs, and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank has taken the lead in fulfilling this mandate.
  • The ICCW service empowers bank customers who are active on UPI to conveniently withdraw cash from Utkarsh Small Finance Bank ATMs designated for UPI-ATM – ICCW transactions, all without the need for a physical debit card. 

Recent Facilities Launched in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • Axis Bank Launched.NEO For Business’ Ban Platform for MSMEs
  • Ujjivan SFB launched Maxima Savings Account & Business Maxima Current Account
  • ACKO Insurance introduced the . Platinum Health Plan. 
  • SBI introduces digital opening of NRE/NRO account setup through YONO 

IndusInd Bank Launches a Virtual Commercial Credit Card 

Agreement News

23. UPNEDA and SIDBI join hands to promote green projects 

  • Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) has signed an MoU with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for the solarization of residential units at Ayodhya and for bio-energy and renewable project financing. 
  • The MoU between UPNEDA and SIDBI is expected to help in promoting solar energy. This initiative will encourage innovations for environment-friendly projects. 
  • Members of both organizations threw light on the initiatives taken by SIDBI to support the Government of India’s project to install solar rooftop panels in 2,500 MSMEs to take care of their captive consumption. 
  • The bank has been working to support the electric vehicles sector with the objective of achieving the Government of India’s vision for 30% electrification of vehicles by the year 2030, under the EV30@30 mission. 
  • Other programmes in which SIDBI is involved include projects for mobilizing energy efficiency investments in the MSME sector. These projects are leading to reduction in greenhouse emissions. 
  • SIDBI is also supporting technology interventions for transforming waste to wealth and for promoting innovative technologies. 

About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)

  • Founded – 2 April 1990 
  • Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 
  • Chairman & MD – Siva S Ramann 

Important day

24. World Tourism Day 2023 

  • World Tourism Day 2023 is observed on 27 September globally. This day is celebrated every year to focus on promoting tourism in various parts of the world. It was initiated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). 
  • This day is celebrated to promote tourism and understand its importance. World Tourism Day aims to make people understand the joy of exploring the world. The first World Tourism Day was held in 1980. 
  • This World Tourism Day 2023, the UNWTO, under the theme “Tourism and green investment” highlights the need for more and better-targeted investments for the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN roadmap for a better world by 2030. 

25. World Environmental Health Day 2023 

  • Every year on September 26, World Environmental Health Day is celebrated to highlight the intricate relationship between humans and their environment. This annual observance emphasizes the profound impact of our surroundings on our well-being and aims to promote healthier and safer communities worldwide.
  • This day has 2 main objectives – Fostering Healthy Communities: Environmental Health endeavors to create communities that are not only safe but also conducive to promoting overall human and environmental well-being. Promoting Human Health: By addressing environmental factors, it contributes significantly to improving human health and ensuring a better quality of life for all.
  • The theme for this year’s World Environmental Health Day is “Global Environmental Public Health: Standing up to protect everyone’s Health each and every day” underscores the collective responsibility to safeguard the health of every individual by addressing global environmental challenges consistently. 

Award News 

26. Waheeda Rehman To Receive Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award 

  • Today on September 26, 2023, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, announced that the seasoned and accomplished actor, Waheeda Rehman, will be honored with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award, India’s highest recognition in the world of cinema. 
  • Waheeda Rehman’s journey in cinema spans over five glorious decades. She has portrayed her roles with finesse and dedication, earning critical acclaim for her exceptional performances. Notably, she was honored with a National Film Award for her portrayal of a clanswoman in “Reshma and Shera.” Additionally, she holds the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards, further underscoring her exceptional contributions to Indian culture and cinema. 
  • As India celebrates her accomplishments, the timing of this award is significant. Parliament’s recent passage of the historic Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam underscores the achievements of women in various fields. Waheeda Rehman’s recognition is a fitting tribute to one of the leading ladies of Indian Cinema. Her dedication to philanthropy and the betterment of society after her retirement from films reflects her commitment to the greater good. 

Science and Technology News

27. Chandrayaan-3’S Vikram, Rover Pragyan Gives No Signals

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has faced a setback in its Chandrayaan-3 mission as they strive to re-establish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover on the lunar surface.
  • Chandrayaan-3 was designed to operate for one lunar daylight period, which comprises approximately 14 Earth days. During this time, the lander, rover and payloads were set to conduct a series of experiments and studies on the Moon’s south pole. This region holds great scientific significance and ISRO had high hopes for the mission’s success. 
  • The lunar night poses extreme challenges for the lander and rover. The temperature on the lunar surface plummets to as low as 200 degrees Celsius when the sun sets, subjecting the equipment to frigid conditions. These harsh temperatures can be detrimental to the systems onboard. 

28. The Next Pandemic: Disease X Looms As A Potential Global Threat 

  • Health experts from around the world are sounding the alarm about a potential global pandemic referred to as “Disease X,” which could surpass the lethality of COVID-19 and claim over 50 million lives. They warn that COVID-19 might be just a precursor to more devastating pandemics in the future.
  • Dame Kate Bingham, who chaired the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, issued a grim warning about the severity of Disease X. She emphasized that the world has been fortunate that COVID-19 was not more lethal and cautioned that the next pandemic could be exponentially more deadly. 
  • In response to the threat of Disease X, UK scientists have initiated vaccine development efforts targeting this unidentified but potentially deadly pathogen. More than 200 scientists are involved in this research, conducted at the high-security Porton Down laboratory complex in Wiltshire. 

Ranks and Reports News

29. Moody’s Concerns About India’s Aadhaar Biometric System

  • Moody’s Investors Service, a global rating agency based in New York, recently issued a report on “Decentralized Finance and Digital Assets” on September 23, in which it raised concerns about the security and privacy vulnerabilities associated with biometric technologies, particularly India’s Aadhaar program.
  • Moody’s expressed doubts regarding the reliability of biometric technologies, specifically in humid climates, citing concerns about the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) administered Aadhaar system. They noted that the Aadhaar system often leads to service denials, particularly for manual laborers operating in hot and humid conditions, which raises questions about the effectiveness of biometric authentication.
  • The report also raised concerns about the potential misuse or exploitation of certain categories of digital ID systems, especially those under central or federated control. Moody’s emphasized that these concerns become more critical when sensitive biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition information, is involved. 

Sports News

29. India won its first gold medal in shooting in the 19th Asian Games

  • India has won its first gold medal in shooting in the 19th Asian Games. In shooting, the Indian trio of Rudranksh Patil, Divyang Panwar and Aishwarya Tomar created a world record by scoring 1893.7 points in the men's 10-meter air rifle event and won the country's first gold medal.
  • It broke the previous world record of 1893.3 set by Chinese shooters at the ISSF World Championships in August 2023. Republic of Korea won the silver medal with 1890.1 points while China won the bronze medal with 1888.2 points.
  • India's Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar has also won the bronze medal in the men's 10 meter rifle individual event. India won the bronze medal in the men's 25-meter rapid fire pistol team event. 
  • His was India's 10th gold medal in shooting at the Asian Games, but their first in the rifle event. Shooting events at the Asian Games 2023 will be held till October 
  • A total of 33 gold medals are up for grabs in the rifle, pistol and shotgun categories. 

Second gold 

  • The Indian women's cricket team won the gold medal in its maiden Asian Games campaign. Under the leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur, India defeated Sri Lanka by 19 runs in the final. While Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues took India to a competitive score of 116 with the bat, Titas Sadhu was India'sstar with the ball. The 18-year-old fast bowler took three wickets at an economy rate of just 1.50 and restricted Sri Lanka to 97/8. 

30. India Women’s Cricket Team Wins Gold Medal By Defeating Sri Lanka

  • India emerged victorious against the formidable Sri Lankan team, securing the gold medal with a 19-run victory in a remarkable debut appearance in the Asian Games 2023. This triumph marks a significant milestone for India, who had chosen not to participate in the two previous editions of the continental Games that included cricket as a sport.
  • India’s path to gold began with their impressive batting performance. After winning the toss, they chose to bat first and managed to reach a total of 116-7 in their allotted 20 overs. The key partnership of Smriti Mandhana, who contributed with 46 runs, and Jemimah Rodrigues, who added 42, played a pivotal role in setting up a competitive target for Sri Lanka. 
  • In the bronze medal match, Bangladesh emerged victorious by restricting Pakistan to a meager total of 64-9. They then successfully chased down their target of 65 runs in 18.2 overs, securing the bronze medal. Pakistan, who had previously won gold in the Asian Games cricket competition, returned home empty-handed, pointing to their inability to set challenging scores as a significant contributor to their disappointing showing. 

31. Asian Games 2023, India Wins Gold After 41 Years In Horse Riding

  • India clinched the gold medal in dressage at the Asian Games 2023, marking a historic moment for the nation. The Indian equestrian team, consisting of Anush Agarwal, Hriday Vipul Kheda, Sudipati Hazel, and Divyakriti Singh, achieved this victory with a stellar score of 209.205. This triumph comes after a 41-year-long wait for India, as the country had previously won gold in horse riding during its debut appearance at the Asian Games in 1982.
  • Since their remarkable debut, India has steadily made its presence felt in equestrian events at the Asian Games. The country has accumulated a total of 15 medals over the years, comprising four golds, four silvers, and seven bronzes.
  • In the previous edition of the Asian Games held in Jakarta, the Indian equestrian team, featuring Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Malik, Jitender Singh, and Fouaad Mirza, secured a silver medal in the team event. Fouaad Mirza, an exceptional equestrian talent, also claimed a silver medal in the individual event, further cementing India’s position among the equestrian elites in Asia. 

32. Italy’s Marco Bezzecchi wins MotoGP Bharat 2023 

  • Marco Bezzecchi won the maiden Indian GP at the Buddh International Circuit in 
  • While, Spain’s Jorge Martin and France’s Fabio Quartararo finished second and third, respectively. 
  • Pole-sitter Bezzecchi lost out on a sprint podium after a collision with teammate Luca Marini, eventually finishing fifth. 
  • Bezzecchi, riding for Mooney VR46 Racing Team, had to overcome tight competition from Jorge Martin and the championship leader, Francesco Bagnaia, before taking the victory at the Buddh International Circuit.
  • The race was held at a reduced distance of 21 laps to ease the stress on the riders.
  • The total number of teams in each of the MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 races were 11, 16, and 14, respectively. 

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