Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 27th September 2023


National News

1. RK Singh inaugurated ‘India Energy Summit 2023’ in New Delhi 

  • The Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, has inaugurated the ‘India Energy Summit 2023′ at FICCI Federation House in New Delhi. 
  • The two-day Summit aims to focus on the development of an enabling Green Hydrogen ecosystem in the country.
  • He stressed that India is committed to living behind healthy and safe plants for the next generation.
  • During the inauguration session of the summit, Ambassador of Kindom of Belgium Didier Vanderhasselt and Germany Ambassador Dr Philipp Ackermann along with senior dignitaries were also present. 

2. Mumbai hosts global turmeric conference 

  • Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde has inaugurated the first Global Turmeric conference in Mumbai. 
  • Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), traders, processors, exporters, researchers, and other stakeholders of the turmeric ecosystem will come together to discuss various issues related to the crop. 
  • The conference is being organized by NICR, an arm of the NCDEX Group company in collaboration with Tefla. 
  • The conference is expected to be an important event, concentrating on various aspects of the turmeric industry, such as production, marketing, and international trade.
  • It will investigate new developments in agricultural practices, present an overview of the Turmeric Export industry, and investigate global quality standards. 

3. Chhattisgarh’s "Chalk Project" gets approval from the World Bank and the Government of India 

  • Keeping in mind the changing scenario of school education in the state of Chhattisgarh, the CHALK project was approved by the World Bank and the Government of India on 22 September 2023 for the improvement of school education with the aim of bringing rapid changes. 
  • The project documents were officially signed by the World Bank, Government of India and Government of Chhattisgarh. It has been decided to improve the quality of education as well as rejuvenate the schools with the help of the World Bank, under this a provision of Rs 400 crore has been made by the Chhattisgarh government in the first phase.
  • Through this project, a total assistance of $ 300 million (approximately Rs 2500 crore) will be received by the World Bank in the next 5 years (July 2023 to September 2028).
  • Through this project, the main objective is to improve the achievement of children based on the demand of parents, start new schools giving excellent results on the lines of Swami Atmanand, improve the infrastructure of schools running in remote areas of the state. Various works will be done in this direction.
  • The project includes training related to teaching-learning as per class level, opportunity for teachers to choose their suitable training (on-mode training), remedial teaching for each subject. 

International News

4. Taliban Seeks Economic Support and Recognition From India Ahead of Moscow Format Meeting

  • Ahead of the upcoming Moscow format meeting in Kazan, Russia, the Taliban has called upon India for economic support and recognition. This development is significant in light of China’s increased engagement with the Taliban and the recent appointment of a new Chinese Ambassador to Kabul. 
  • The Taliban, represented by Suhail Shaheen, the head of the Political Office of the Taliban administration in Kabul, has expressed a desire for positive traditional relations with India. They seek India’s support for economic stability and international recognition.
  • India has previously refused to recognize the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” and has emphasized the importance of respecting human rights and protecting minority communities. However, India is reported to be sending representatives to the Kazan meeting, but the External Affairs Ministry has not provided official confirmation at the time of this report. 

5. Canada accuses India based on 'Five Eyes Alliance’ report 

  • The Canadian Prime Minister alleged that the Indian government may have “potential relations” in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader and the proposer of the Khalistan movement in Canada, causing tension between the two countries. His allegations have the support of Five Eyes Alliance reports.
  • US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen has said that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s charge against India was based on “Shared Intelligence among Five Eyes Partners”. 
  • The Canadian government has collected “Human and Signal Intelligence Information” associated with Indian officials, including Indian diplomats present in Canada. Hardeep Singh Nijjar Khalistani leader was on the United States No-Fly list in the year 2019. India declared Nijjar a terrorist in 2020. 
  • India has dismissed Trudeau’s allegations as absurd and motivated. It also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in exchange for Ottawa in exchange for an Indian officer in the case. Five Eyes Alliance 
  • Five Eyes is an intelligent alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA. These countries are parties to the multilateral UK-USA agreement, which is a treaty for joint cooperation in signal intelligence.
  • These partners make the wide exchange of intelligence within one of the world’s most intimate multilateral agreements as part of national cooperation. Following its origin, the agency later extended its main group to ‘Nine Eyes’ and 14 Eishes alliances. 
  • The ‘Nine Eyes’ group has expanded to the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and Norway, while the 14 eye blocks include Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Sweden. 

State News

6. Haryana govt banned on 'Hookah bars’ in state 

  • The Haryana government has announced that all hookah bars in the state will be shut.
  • The ban includes serving hookah to customers in hotels, restaurants, bars, and commercial establishments across the state.
  • However, this will not apply to traditional hookahs used in rural areas. 
  • He announced it during a state-level "Cyclothon", organized as part of a drug de-addiction campaign in Karnal. 

About Haryana

  • Capital – Chandigarh 
  • Chief Minister – Manohar Lal Khattar
  • Governor – Bandaru Dattatreya 

Defence News

7. The first tripartite maritime exercise took place between India-Indonesia Australia

  • Mission deployed by the Indian Navy’s indigenous warship INS Sahyadri, Indo-Pacific from 20 to 21 September 2023 participated in the first tripartite maritime partnership exercises with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Indonesian Navy ships and aircraft.
  • The tripartite exercise encourages three marine countries to strengthen their partnership and promote collective efforts to enhance stability, peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. 
  • The exercise also provided an opportunity to participate in navies to benefit from each other’s experience and expertise. Cross-deck landing of complex strategic and maneuvers practice, cross-deck tours, and integral helicopters were held to increase crew’s training and intercourse. 
  • INS Sahyadri, indigenously designed and built in Project-17 category Multirol Stealth Frigates, was built in Majhgaon Dock Limited, Mumbai and is commanded by Captain Rajan Kapoor. 

8. 13th Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference In New Delhi: Key Highlights 

  • The 13th Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) took place from September 26 to 27, 2023, at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi. This biennial event, co-hosted by the Indian Army and the US Army Pacific, brought together army chiefs from 30 Indo-Pacific nations to deliberate on security cooperation, collective strategies, and pressing regional issues.
  • The primary objective of the IPACC was to foster security cooperation among participating nations in the Indo-Pacific region. Army chiefs discussed and formulated collective strategies to address regional security challenges. A crucial focus of the conference was the role of military diplomacy in mitigating crises within the Indo-Pacific region. 
  • Moreover, Indian vendors showcased a wide array of locally-produced weapons and systems to representatives from 30 countries. The exhibition featured advanced drones, artillery guns, unmanned ground vehicles, surveillance equipment, and armored personnel carriers, highlighting India’s advancements in defense manufacturing. 

Business News

9. All-In-One Affordable Insurance Cover, Bima Vistaar, To Be Rolled Out Soon 

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has introduced "Bima Vistaar". This all-in-one insurance product, encompassing life, health, and property coverage, is poised to revolutionize the insurance landscape in the country. 
  • The brainchild of Debashish Panda, Chairman of IRDAI, Bima Vistaar represents a significant step towards realizing the authority’s vision of making insurance accessible to every Indian citizen by 2047. The product’s development has reached its final stages after extensive consultations with the Life and General Insurance Councils and industry experts.
  • One of the primary objectives of Bima Vistaar is to provide affordable insurance coverage to a wide range of customers. Pricing discussions have progressed considerably, and insurance companies have shown enthusiasm in offering this product at an affordable cost. This commitment to affordability is aligned with the regulator’s vision of making insurance a reality for everyone.

Economy News

10. Afghani Currency Has Emerged As The Best Performing Currency In The Current Quarter 

  • The Afghani, the currency of conflict-ridden Afghanistan, has taken the financial world by surprise by emerging as the best-performing currency of the September quarter in 2023. As of September 26th, the Afghani was trading at approximately 78.25 against the US dollar.
  • This unexpected surge is attributed to a combination of factors, including massive dollar inflow in the form of humanitarian aid and currency control measures imposed by the ruling Taliban. This influx of foreign currency has played a pivotal role in stabilizing the Afghan economy.
  • Another factor bolstering the Afghani is Afghanistan’s vast natural resources, including significant reserves of lithium. The Taliban has expressed its intent to tap into these resources to attract foreign investments. Additionally, Afghanistan’s inclusion under China’s Belt and Road Initiative in May 2023 has further enhanced the prospects of increased foreign investment, particularly for infrastructure development projects. 

11. India Maintains Unchanged Borrowing Plan And Introduces 50-Year Bond 

  • The Indian government has chosen to keep its borrowing plan unchanged for the second half of the fiscal year 2023-2024 (H2FY24). The government’s projected gross market borrowing for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, stands at Rs 15.43 lakh crore. Between April and September, the government successfully borrowed Rs 8.88 lakh crore. 
  • In a significant move, India has introduced a new security with a 50-year tenure, aiming to raise Rs 30,000 crore through this instrument. The government’s borrowing strategy involves issuing bonds with various tenures, including three, five, seven, 10, 14, 30, and now 40 years. As part of the borrowing plan for the second half of the fiscal year, the government will issue government green bonds worth Rs 20,000 crore, which will include a new 30-year security.
  • Despite the increased borrowing, the government is targeting a fiscal deficit of 5.9% for the current fiscal year, a decrease from the 6.4% recorded in the previous year. Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth emphasized the government’s commitment to sticking to this fiscal deficit target. 

Appointment and Resignation News

12.Amit Khare gets extension as advisor to PM Modi

  • Former bureaucrat Amit Khare has been given extension as advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension in Khare’s tenure beyond 12 October 2023, for a period co-terminus with the term of Prime Minister.
  • He was appointed to the post for two years in October 2021. Khare, a 1985-batch (retired) Indian Administrative Service IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre, had superannuated on 30th September 2021. 
  • He also served as the higher education secretary.
  • In another order, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has also approved the extension in tenure of Rajesh S Gokhale as secretary, Department of Biotechnology, for a period of two years, with effect from 1st November 2023. 

Recent Appointment

  • CEO of Penguin Random House – Nihar Malviya (replace Marcus Dohle) 
  • Chairman of Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA) – Dhananjay Joshi (replace Akhil Gupta)
  • Vice Chairman of Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA) – Sandeep Girotra
  • 1st Woman Army Surgeon in Para Commando – Payal Chhabra 

13. RBI Deputy Governor M. Rajeshwar Rao Gets One-Year Term Extension 

  • The Central government has granted a one-year extension to M Rajeshwar Rao’s term as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The announcement was made via an official statement from the Reserve Bank, indicating that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved this re-appointment. 
  • M Rajeshwar Rao was originally appointed as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank in October 2020, with a term of three years. His initial assignment was to oversee financial regulation within the central bank. However, this new extension will allow him to continue his vital role for an additional year, starting from October 9, 2023, or until further orders are issued, whichever comes first.
  • He had also led the Risk Monitoring Department, a critical area responsible for ensuring financial stability and minimizing risks in the banking and financial sector. His contributions to the RBI extended beyond its headquarters in Mumbai. Rao has also served as the Banking Ombudsman in New Delhi, showcasing his commitment to resolving customer grievances and promoting transparency and fairness in the banking industry. 

Banking and Financial News

14.SBI General Insurance certified as ‘Great Place To Work’

  • SBI General Insurance, one of India’s leading general insurers, has been recognized as a Great Place To Work Certified in India from September 2023 to September 2024 period.
  • The Company was certified after a comprehensive evaluation and assessment process. Great Place To Work is the global authority on workplace culture. 
  • It reflects the brand’s values and belief that a happy workforce leads to more creativity, ensures customer satisfaction, and drives business success. 
  • Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust.
  • The Institute serves businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in more than 60 countries and has conducted pioneering research on the characteristics of great workplaces for over three decades. 
  • The Great Place to Work Certification serves as a confirmation of SBI General’s s commitment to supporting its workforce and delivering top-notch service to its customers. 
  • In India, the institute partners with more than 1400 organizations annually across over 22 industries to help them build High-Trust, High-Performance Cultures designed to deliver sustained business results. 
  • Chairman of Audit Bureau of Circulation – Srinivasan K Swamy 

15. RBI Cancels Licence of Kapol Co-Operative Bank Over Inadequate Capital 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a significant step by cancelling the license of The Kapol Co-operative Bank Limited, a Mumbai-based cooperative bank. This decision was made primarily due to concerns regarding the bank’s inadequate capital and earning prospects, which raised questions about its ability to fulfill its commitments to depositors. 
  • According to the central bank, this cancellation means that the cooperative bank is prohibited from conducting banking activities, which encompass functions such as accepting deposits and repaying deposits. This decision was made effective immediately, leaving the bank unable to perform its core functions. 
  • The RBI has assured that every depositor will be entitled to receive a deposit insurance claim amount of their deposits, up to a monetary ceiling of ₹5 lakh, from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC). 

16. RBI Approved by Poonawalla Fincorp To Issue Credit Cards With IndusInd Bank 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted its approval for Poonawalla Fincorp’s collaboration with IndusInd Bank to issue a co-branded credit card. This initiative is expected to have a profound impact on the financial landscape in India. 
  • The co-branded credit card is primarily designed to cater to customers who possess a favorable credit history. This focus on creditworthiness ensures that the cardholders enjoy a range of privileges and benefits. 
  • The co-branded credit card’s application and approval process will be fully digital, offering convenience and efficiency to applicants. This aligns with the broader trend of digitization in the financial sector. The credit card is slated for a grand launch within the next three months. This eagerly anticipated offering is expected to set new standards in the credit card industry. 

Important Days

17. 27 September – International Day for Universal Access to Information

  • International Day for Universal Access to Information is observed every year on 27 September. 
  • This day emphasizes the significance of an informed citizenry and highlights the theme of the online space’s pivotal role in ensuring access to information. 
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) took a significant step on 17 November 2015, by declaring September 28 as the International Day for Universal Access to Information. 
  • This declaration recognized the global importance of access to information and paved the way for international cooperation on this vital issue. 

18.World Maritime Day 2023 

  • World Maritime Day will be celebrated on the last Thursday of every September, on September 28 this year, to honor the tireless work of the international maritime industry workers. 
  • The word ‘maritime’ comes from the Latin word ‘maritimus,’ which means ‘of the sea.’ The day illuminates the role that every maritime officer, service agent, and seafarer plays in our individual lives. 
  • This year’s World Maritime theme is “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”. The theme reflects the organization’s long history of protecting the environment from the impact of shipping via a robust regulatory framework and emphasizes its ongoing commitment to this important work. 

19.World Rabies Day 2023 

  • World Rabies Day (WDR), observed every September 28, serves as a global initiative to raise awareness about rabies, a deadly zoonotic disease that claims the lives of thousands of people each year. 
  • Established by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), this day aims to promote efforts to combat rabies and highlight the importance of prevention.
  • This year’s theme, “All for 1, One Health for All,” underscores the need for a collaborative, intersectoral, and multidisciplinary approach to combat rabies effectively. It emphasizes the pivotal roles played by professionals in the human, animal, and environmental health sectors in preventing the spread of rabies. 

Award News

20.AIIMS New Delhi bags first prize for creation of ABHA ID tokens

  • The Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission (ABDM) celebrated its second anniversary with the institution of the Arogya Manthan platform.
  • The National Health Authority honoured AIIMS, New Delhi with an award for “Top facility” in generating the highest number of ABHA Scan and Share tokens. 
  • AIIMS New Delhi has contributed significantly to the cause of ABDM by generating 6 lakh scan and share tokens till date. This makes AIIMS the forerunner in scan and share generation all over India. 
  • This award was presented by MOS for Health, SP Singh Baghel to M Srinivas at the inaugural ceremony of Arogya Manthan 2023 organized by the NHA. 
  • This recognition underscores AIIMS’ pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare. These achievements stand as testimony to its unwavering dedication in advancing healthcare technology and improving patient healthcare. 

Science and Technology News 

21. Sikkim Chief Minister Inaugurates the "Chatten Hydropower Plant" Project 

  • Sikkim Chief Minister P S Tamang inaugurated the "Chatten Hydroelectric Plant" developed by Sikkim Power Development Corporation Limited at Chatten Lachen in Mangan district on 25 September 2023. This project will generate additional annual revenue of Rs 6 to 7 crore to the Sikkim government.
  • The Chatten Hydroelectric Project, with a capacity of 3 MW, is a run-of- the-river project, using water from the Chagyachu River. Situated at an altitude of approximately 8 thousand feet, this project has been built at a cost of approximately Rs 35.30 crore. 
  • The Chatten Hydro Electric Project has had a tumultuous history as it was halted in 2008. However, it was restarted by Sikkim Power Development Corporation Limited in the year 2019. This hydropower project has now been completed after a pause of about 16 years.
  • Operated under Public Private Partnership mode, the project has been collaboratively developed by Sikkim Power Development Corporation Limited and M/s Athena Projects Pvt. Ltd. ‘Khamri Mo Sikkim’ Outreach Program 
  • Maruti Suzuki has partnered with the Indian Navy for the North East outreach program ‘Khamri Mo Sikkim’. The aim is to create awareness about career opportunities among the youth of North East India through this outreach programme. 
  • A remarkable operation was launched from the Indian Naval Base at Lonavala on 24 September 2023. The journey, covering a staggering distance of 6,500 kilometres, is scheduled to last for several weeks and involves the participation of 45 naval officers. 
  • The main goals are to educate and inspire youth about the diverse opportunities within the Navy, as well as foster and strengthen relationships with local communities in the region. 

22.‘2018’ Is India’s Official Entry In Oscars 2024 

  • The Film Federation of India has announced that the Malayalam movie “2018: Everyone is a Hero,” based on the Kerala floods, will represent India as its official entry at the Academy Awards or Oscars in 2024. 
  • The film, directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, delves into the harrowing tales of survival during the devastating floods that struck the state. Its selection was attributed to its poignant portrayal of climate change issues and the societal misconceptions about development.
  • "2018: Everyone is a Hero” boasts a multi-talented ensemble cast including Tovino Thomas, Kunchako Boban, Tanvi Ram, and Aparna Balamurali, who contributed significantly to the film’s success. Its selection among fierce competition highlights its potential to leave a lasting impact on the global stage. 

Miscellaneous News

23. Google’s Celebrates Its 25th Birthday 

  • Google, the search engine giant, is commemorating its 25th birthday with a special Google Doodle. 
  • Throughout its 25-year journey, Google’s mission has remained steadfast: to organize the world’s information and ensure its universal accessibility and utility. This mission has driven the company’s innovations, from search algorithms to the development of products like Google Maps, Gmail, and Google Drive.
  • In the late 1990s, Sergey Brin and Larry Page shared a common dream: to make the World Wide Web more accessible and user-friendly. From the confines of their dorm rooms, Brin and Page worked tirelessly on a prototype for a superior search engine. As their project gained momentum, they relocated to Google’s first official workspace – a rented garage. On September 27, 1998, Google Inc. was formally founded. 

Sports News

24.Asian Games 2023, Sift Kaur Samra Shoots Gold

  • Indian shooter Sift Kaur Samra made history with a spectacular performance, clinching gold in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position event. She not only won the gold but also shattered world, Asian, and Games records along the way. This remarkable achievement marks a significant moment in her shooting career.
  • Samra achieved a world and Games record score of 469.6 points. She shattered the previous world record held by Seonaid McIntosh, surpassing it by 2.6 points. China’s Qiongyue Zhang secured the silver medal with a score of 462.3, narrowly edging out India’s Chouksey who finished in the third position with 451.9 points. 

25.India’s Neha Thakur bags silver medal in sailing 

  • India’s Neha Thakur bagged a silver medal in the girl’s dinghy sailing event at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China. While Eabad Ali claimed a bronze. 
  • This is India’s 1st medal in Sailing in this edition. The 17-year-old finished with a net score of 27.
  • India’s second medal came in the men’s windsurfer RS:X event where Ali with a net score of 52 points came third behind Natthaphong Phonoppharat of Thailand and gold medallist Wonwoo Cho of Korea. 

Agreements News

26.REC With Punjab National Bank To Lend Up To ₹55,000 Crore To Power, Infra Projects 

  • State-run REC Ltd. has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Punjab National Bank (PNB) to explore collaborative opportunities for funding projects in these sectors under a consortium arrangement. This partnership aims to co-finance loans amounting to a substantial ₹55,000 crore over the next three years, according to an official statement released by REC. 
  • While expressing confidence in REC, the Ministry of Power has granted the company permission to diversify its lending portfolio beyond the power sector. Notably, REC can now finance up to 33% of its outstanding loan book in the power sector. 
  • REC has traditionally provided long-term loans and other financial products for the power-infrastructure sector, encompassing generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy, and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, battery storage, and green hydrogen. However, it has recently diversified into the non-power infrastructure sector, expanding its loan book to above ₹4.54 trillion. 

27.Infosys And Microsoft Collaborate For Adoption Of Generative Artificial Intelligence 

  • Infosys, one of India’s leading IT majors, has announced a strategic collaboration with tech giant Microsoft. The partnership aims to develop cutting-edge solutions harnessing the combined prowess of Infosys Topaz, Azure OpenAI Service, and Azure Cognitive Services. 
  • The goal is to assist enterprise customers in transitioning from traditional digital solutions to AI-powered innovations. The resulting integrated solutions are poised to boost operational efficiency, reduce turn-around time, future-proof investments, and pave the way for new business models. 
  • This collaborative effort seeks to bring AI capabilities to the forefront of enterprise functions across various industries, promising to enhance productivity and drive new revenue growth.

28.Arogya Manthan 2023: Celebrating 5 Years Of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY And 2 Years Of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

  • The National Health Authority (NHA), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), is set to host a two-day event known as ‘Arogya Manthan’ in New Delhi. This event is being organized to commemorate two significant milestones in India’s healthcare sector: the 5th anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) and the 2nd anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).
  • Arogya Manthan 2023, taking place on September 25th and 26th, promises to be an engaging forum filled with insightful discussions and deliberations on various aspects of these two transformative healthcare schemes.
  • The event will facilitate in-depth discussions on the challenges faced in implementing these healthcare schemes and finding solutions. Furthermore, Participants will analyze emerging healthcare trends and their implications for the future of Indian healthcare and finally Best practices from various stakeholders will be shared, promoting knowledge exchange and synergy. 

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