Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 28th September 2023


National News 

1. Central government extends AFSPA deadline by six months in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland 

  • The central government has extended AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for six months from October 1, 2023. The government has issued two separate notifications, these decisions have been taken after reviewing the law and order situation in both the states.
  • According to a notification, AFSPA has been extended for the next six months in the entire eight districts of Nagaland and in the areas of 21 police stations in five other districts.
  • The Home Ministry said the AFSPA law has been extended for the next six months in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and will also be effective in areas under the jurisdiction of Namsai, Mahadevpur and Choukham police stations in Namsai district. 
  • On April 1, 2022, the Home Ministry substantially decongested "disturbed areas" in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. AFSPA is in force throughout Nagaland since 1995. Both state and central governments can issue notifications regarding AFSPA. 
  • The Home Ministry issues "Disturbed Area" notifications from time to time to extend AFSPA only to Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Notification for Manipur and Assam is issued by the state governments. 


  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act empowers the armed forces and the Central Armed Police Forces deployed in "disturbed areas" to kill any person violating the law, to arrest and search any premises without warrant and to protect them from prosecution and legal protection.
  • Tripura repealed the Act in 2015 and Meghalaya remained under AFSPA for 27 years until it was repealed by the ministry on April 1, 2018. 

2. PM Attends 20th Anniversary Celebration Of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit Event 

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, graced the occasion commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit. This prestigious event took place at Science City in Ahmedabad, a city that has witnessed the remarkable transformation of Vibrant Gujarat over the past two decades. 
  • The inception of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit occurred two decades ago, precisely on September 28, 2003, under the forward-thinking guidance of the former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. As years passed, it evolved into an internationally recognized event, establishing itself as one of India’s foremost business summits.
  • Vibrant Gujarat emerged as a means to uplift the state’s spirits and engage with the world. It showcased Gujarat’s decision-making prowess and the nation’s potential in various sectors. The summit also presented opportunities, talent, and India’s cultural richness on a global stage. The summit grew from a few hundred participants in 2003 to over 40,000 participants from 135 countries in recent editions. 

3. Chhattisgarh bags three national awards for Ayushman Bharat 

  • Chhattisgarh state has received three national awards for its outstanding execution of the Ayushman Bharat scheme under the ‘big states’ category, achieving 100 percent utilization of allocated funds and ensuring 90 percent of families possess an Ayushman card. 
  • Chhattisgarh has introduced several innovative schemes to enhance access to high-quality healthcare services in the past five years and the initiatives gained national acclaim.
  • One such initiative is the Mukhyamantri Haat Bazar Clinic Yojana, which extends free healthcare services to residents in remote forest areas of the state. This scheme has benefited over 1.4 crore people by providing free medicines, health check-ups, and treatment. 
  • Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) equipped with teams of doctors regularly visit 1814 Haat Bazar across the state to attend to the health needs of rural villagers, ensuring that essential medical care reaches those who need it most. 
  • The Dai-Didi clinic initiative, exclusively for women and adolescent girls, offers free health checkups and treatments, boasting an all-female medical team to eliminate any apprehensions. 
  • Chhattisgarh stands alone in offering up to Rs 25 lakh in support for severe illness treatment under Mukhyamantri Vishesh SwasthyaSahayata Yojana.

About Chhattisgarh 

  • Capital – Raipur 
  • Chief Minister – Bhupesh Baghel 
  • Governor – Biswabhusan Harichandan 

4. Air India enters into codeshare pact with AIX Connect

  • Air India has entered into a codeshare agreement with AIX Connect (formerly known as Air Asia India). 
  • A codeshare agreement allows one airline to sell seats on a flight operated by another airline, with each airline using its own flight number. 
  • Through this agreement, Air India will add its code to over 100 flights a day operated by AIX Connect on 21 routes. More routes under the codeshare agreement will be added progressively. 
  • The scope of the agreement between the two airlines enables guests to receive their boarding passes at the first point of departure for all the travel sectors on a single ticket and have their baggage checked in through to their final destinations. 
  • With the implementation of the codeshare agreement, Air India has expanded its domestic route network to 4 new destinations in India, namely Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, and Surat, in addition to the common destinations between the two airlines’ route networks. 
  • AIX Connect is a 100 percent subsidiary of Air India, which is in the process of being integrated with Air India Express (another 100 per cent subsidiary of Air India) to ultimately form a single low-cost carrier within the Tata group’s airline business
  • After 69 years as a government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022. 

International News

5. Sri Lanka’s IMF Bailout Faces Delay Amidst Ongoing Debt Restructuring

  • Sri Lanka is facing delays in receiving the second tranche of its $2.9 billion IMF bailout package due to unresolved issues with its external debt restructuring. This crisis comes as the nation grapples with its worst economic downturn in history, characterized by dwindling foreign exchange reserves and public protests over shortages of vital commodities.
  • In March of this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted Sri Lanka a 48- month extended arrangement worth $2.9 billion under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The aim was to bolster Sri Lanka’s economic policies and promote essential reforms. 
  • The IMF Executive Board demands that financing assurances reviews be completed to ensure that adequate progress is being made in debt restructuring. This is crucial for gaining confidence that debt targets will be met in a timely manner as part of the program. 

State News

6. Protesters assaulted policeman in PMLA Manipur and torched vehicle: police 

  • Several people were injured in the valley district of Chhat in Manipur on Wednesday ts peti as Protests continued for legal the second day after the photos of bodies of two Laun Meitel students who went missing in July surfaced on social media earlier this week.
  • The Manipur Police said an unruly crowd tried to attack the house of a political leader and the joint security forces repelled the crowd by firing tear gas shells. It said that protesters assaulted a policeman, snatched his weapon and said. torched the police vehicle.
  • "Manipur Police condemns such action and will take stern steps to deal with such miscreants. Combining operations are being carried out to aid in the recovery of arms and catching miscreants," a statement
  • It added that there were several protests and rallies in connection with photos of the bodies of the said.
  • There were two missing students but the police used minimal force. "Miscreants in the crowd used iron pieces and stones against security forces. In retaliation, security forces used minimal force to disperse the congregation," the police
  • The statement came amid allegations that the Rapid Action Force (RAF), the Centre's anti-riot police force, used pellet guns against the protesters.
  • A senior government official said the RAF is not using pellet guns for crowd control measures in Manipur and only tear gas guns and tear-gas grenades were being used. 8. Chief Minister N. Biren Singh met student union leaders and "concerns regarding the alleged Harsh actions by the police during recent protests were discussed," said a statement. It said the The state government will take responsibility for the medical treatment of all students who were injured during the protests.

7. 'Chief Minister Minority Entrepreneur Scheme' will be started in Bihar

  • On September 25, 2023, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's cabinet approved the 'Minority Entrepreneur Scheme' to promote entrepreneurship and increase self- employment among the minority youth of the state. Rs 100 crore has been made available for this entrepreneur scheme. 
  • Under this scheme, people belonging to minority community will be given Rs 10 lakh for setting up industries. 
  • Out of this, 50 percent amount will be in the form of loan (maximum Rs 5 lakh) and 50 percent amount will be in the form of grant (maximum Rs 5 lakh). Under this scheme, funds will be given only for setting up new industries.
  • This scheme will be effective from the date of issue of the resolution. Women belonging to the minority category will be eligible to apply for either the Chief Minister Minority Entrepreneur Scheme or the Chief Minister Mahila Entrepreneur Scheme as per their wish.
  • Almost the same pattern of the new Mauwai scheme, Mukhyamantri Mahila Shekharwai (M Akhariwai) and Mukhyamantri Yuva Pratibha Yojana, created for the minority community, will be applicable. 

8. India Smart City Conclave 2023 held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh 

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India has organized the India Smart Cities Conclave 2023 on 26-27 September 2023 at the Brilliant Convention Centre, Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The conclave saw participation from all 100 smart cities.
  • The event provided a platform for cities to showcase their exemplary work done under the Mission to help articulate the roadmap for the future of urban transformation in the country. 
  • President Smt. Draupadi Murmu honored the winners of the fourth edition of India Smart Cities Award Competition (ISAC) 2022 on 27 September 2023. ISAC has been organized under the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India since 2018.
  • One of the most important activities undertaken under this mission is to recognize leading cities strategies, projects and ideas to reward exemplary performance, enable peer learning and disseminate best practices. 

India Smart City Conclave 2023 

  • 5 States/UTs 31 unique cities and 7 partner organizations were honored with awards under the ISAC 2022 Awards. There are a total of 66 winners of the ISAC Awards. 
  • Additionally, the Smart Cities Mission will release four reports, namely, ISAC 2022 Awards Compendium, Report by UN-Habitat: Smart Cities Mission – Localization of Sustainable Development Goals: Compendium of SCM's Newsletters and ISAC 2023 Awards Booklet also launched during the Conclave. ISAC saw three editions in 2018, 2019 and 2020. 

9. Manipur Government Extends AFSPA In Hill Districts For 6 Months

  • The Manipur government has decided to extend the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for an additional six months in the entire state, except for specific areas within the Imphal Valley. 
  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is a controversial law that grants extensive powers to the armed forces and the Central security forces in “disturbed areas.” These powers include the authority to use force, arrest without a warrant, and legal immunity from prosecution without the Union government’s approval. 
  • The “disturbed area” status under AFSPA will continue to apply in all hill districts of Manipur but has been gradually lifted from the valley districts, mainly inhabited by the Meitei community, due to improvements in the security situation. 

10. Uttarakhand Govt Signs MoU With Ropeway Construction Firm Poma Group In London

  • In London, The Uttarakhand government made a significant stride in boosting its tourism and infrastructure sector by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Poma Group, a renowned French ropeway construction company. The MoU, valued at a substantial Rs 2,000 crore, was officially inked by Vinay Shankar Pandey, the Secretary of Industries on behalf of the Uttarakhand government.
  • Poma Group, a global leader in ropeway construction, has made significant contributions to the development of Uttarakhand’s transportation infrastructure. Notably, the group has previously worked on the Auli ropeway project in Chamoli district, enhancing connectivity and accessibility to one of Uttarakhand’s premier tourist destinations. Currently, Poma Group is providing crucial technical support for ongoing ropeway projects in Dehradun-Mussoorie and Yamunotri. 

Banking and Financial

11. RBI cancels licence of Mumbai-based ‘The Kapol Co-operative Bank’

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Mumbai-based “The Kapol Cooperative Bank Limited.
  • The bank with its present financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full; and public interest would be adversely affected if the bank is allowed to carry on its banking business any further.
  • On liquidation, every depositor would be entitled to receive deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of ₹5 lakh from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) subject to the provisions of DICGC Act, 1961.
  • As per the data submitted by the bank, 96.09 per cent of the depositors are entitled to receive full amount of their deposits from DICGC.
  • As on July 24, 2023, DICGC has already paid ₹230.16 crore of the total insured deposits under the provisions of Section 18A of the DICGC Act, 1961 based on the willingness received from the concerned depositors of the bank, according to the central bank. 

Appointment and Resignation News

12. Banmali Agarwal appointed as the new chairman of Tata Advanced Systems 

  • Tata Sons has appointed Banmali Agarwal as the new chairman of the group’s aerospace and defense solutions unit Tata Advanced Systems (TASL). 
  • He has been appointed in place of Vijay Singh, who has retired. 
  • He is also a senior advisor to Tata Sons and chairman of Tata Electronics. 
  • Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is the strategic aerospace and defense arm of the Tata Group. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Secretary of Dept. of Biotechnology – Rajesh S Gokhale 
  • Advisor to PM Modi – Amit Khare (reappointment) 
  • 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 

Sports News

13. Sifat Kaur Samra won gold medal in 50 meter rifle 3-P individual event in the 19th Asian Games

  • India's Sifat Kaur Samra won the gold medal in the women's 50m rifle 3-P individual event in shooting at the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Aashi won the bronze medal in this competition. 
  • Sift Kaur Samra won India's first individual gold medal at the Asian Games 2023 with a world record score of 469.
  • Isha Singh won the silver medal in the women's individual 25 meter pistol event. 
  • Earlier, in the 25m pistol team event, Manu Bhaker, Isha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan won the gold medal with a score of 1759. China (1756) and South Korea (1742) won silver and bronze respectively. 
  • The Indian team also targeted silver and won the silver medal in the 50m 3P team event. Whereas in the men's team, Anant Naruka, Gurjit Singh and Angad Bajwa won the bronze medal in skeet and secured the 19th medal for India. 
  • Indian shooters have so far won three gold, four silver and five bronze with four days of shooting events still to go. India finished the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta with nine medals, including two gold. 
  • In sailing, Vishnu Saravanan won the men's dinghy ILCA. Won bronze medal with a net score of 34 in 7. The women's hockey team has achieved a big victory in its very first match today and defeated Singapore by a margin of 13-0. 

14. India’s World Cup Squad Announced 

  • India has announced its 15-member squad for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which will be held in India from October 11 to November 12. The squad is a good mix of experience and youth, and it includes some of the best players in the world in all three departments. 
  • Rohit Sharma will lead the team, and he will be assisted by vice-captain Hardik Pandya. Other experienced players in the squad include Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami.
  • The younger players in the squad include Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav. These players have all been in good form in recent months, and they will be hoping to make a big impact at the World Cup. 

15. Nepal creates history with the highest-ever T201 score of 314

  • Nepal batters smashed three world records to become the first team to amass a 300-plus total in T20Is, in men’s cricket event in the Asian Games 2023. 
  • Nepal wrote the history T20 Internationals record books by posting the highest-ever total with Kushal Malla scoring the fastest hundred and Dipnedra Singh Airee hitting the fastest fifty in the format’s history.
  • They accomplished this during their match against Mongolia. This match also kickstarts the men’s cricket competition at the continental meet.
  • While batting first against Mongolia in a Group A match of the Asian Games, Nepal piled up 314- 3 in 20 Overs, overtaking Afghanistan’s 278/3 against Ireland in 2019.
  • During the run-fest, Dipendra Singh Airee broke Yuvraj Singh’s record fastest fifty off 12 balls, which he recorded against England at the 2007 T20 World Cup. 
  • Dipendra reached his fifty-run mark against Mongolia in just 9 balls. He remained unbeaten on 52 off 10 balls, hitting eight sixes with no fours. His strike rate of 520 is also the best in a T20I innings. 
  • They also smashed a total of 26 sixes in their innings, the highest by a team in the format’s history in a single inning. They went past Afghanistan’s record of 22 sixes that helped them make 278/3 back in 2019.
  • Kushal Malla also went past T20I giants like India’s Rohit Sharma and South Africa’s David Miller to hit the fastest T20I century ever, in just 34 balls. Malla ended with 137 in 50 balls, with eight fours and 12 sixes.
  • Notably, Rohit and Miller have 35-ball centuries to their names, but Malla has now shattered these records by smashing a helpless Mongolia bowling attack all over the park.
  • India’s men’s cricket campaign will start on October 3 in the quarterfinals. The title clash will be played on October 7. 

Highest team score in T20I cricket 

  • Nepal – 314/4 vs Mongolia (2023) 
  • Afghanistan – 278/3 vs Ireland (2019)
  • Czech Republic – 278/4 vs Turkey (2019) 
  • Australia – 263/3 vs Sri Lanka (2016)
  • Sri Lanka 260/6 vs Kenya (2007) 

Fastest fifty by a batter in T20I cricket 

  • Dipendra Singh Airee (Nepal) – 9 balls vs Mongolia in 2023 Asian Games
  • Yuvraj Singh (India) – 12 balls vs England in 2007 ICC T20 World Cup 

Fastest hundred by a batter in T20I cricket

  • Kushal Mall (Nepal) – 34 balls vs Mongolia in 2023 Asian Games
  • Rohit Sharma (India) – 35 balls 

Most number of Sixes hit in an T20I innings

  • Nepal – 26 SIXES 
  • Afghanistan – 22 SIXES 

Important day

16. World Heart Day 2023 

  • Every year on September 29th, people around the world come together to observe World Heart Day. This global initiative aims to raise awareness about heart disease and promote preventive measures to combat cardiovascular diseases.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide, and this day serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of heart health. In 2023, the theme “Use Heart, Know Heart” emphasizes the use of emojis to convey the significance of the day and the importance of heart knowledge.
  • The concept of a global World Heart Day was introduced by Antoni Baie de Luna, former President of the World Heart Federation. With collaboration from the World Health Organization, World Heart Day was officially established in 1999. The first official celebration took place on September 24, 2000. For over a decade, World Heart Day was observed on the last Sunday of September. 

17. Ganesha Visarjan 2023 

  • Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten-day festival celebrated with immense devotion and fervor, culminates in the grant event of Ganesh Visarjan. This year, Ganesh Visarjan falls on Anant Chaturdashi, 28th September 2023. Devotees bid farewell to Lord Ganesha, hoping for his swift return in the following year. 
  • Ganesh Visarjan, also known as Vinayaka Nimajjanam in Telugu-speaking regions, holds immense spiritual significance. It is believed that on this day, Lord Ganesha returns to his heavenly abode after ten days of festivities and worship. Thousands of Ganesha idols are immersed in rivers, lakes, seas and even home tubs or buckets to mark the occasion. 

18. International Day of Awareness of Food Loss And Waste 2023 

  • On September 29th, the world comes together to observe the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of food loss and waste, and to promote actions to reduce it. 
  • Food loss and waste is a major global problem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes of food, worth approximately US$1 trillion. 
  • The theme for the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste in 2023 is “Reducing food loss and waste: Taking Action to Transform Food Systems.” This theme highlights the shared responsibility of governments, businesses, and individuals in addressing food loss and waste. 

Defence News

19. 13th Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference was held in New Delhi 

  • The 13th Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Staff Conference was held on 26-27 September 2023 at the Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi. The US Army has co-hosted the conference. The event saw participation from 30 countries.
  • 18 countries were represented by their chiefs of armies and 12 countries were represented by heads of delegations. As part of the 13th IPACC, a major roundtable on the theme “Together for Peace: Sustaining Peace and Stability in the Indo-Pacific Region” was held. 
  • Established as a biennial event in 1999, the conference considers security cooperation and collective strategies in the region. Issues of mutual interest and the role of military diplomacy in crisis resolution in the Indo-Pacific region were also discussed. 
  • An exhibition of India's indigenously developed weapons, military systems and platforms has also been organized on the occasion of this event. Along with the 13th edition of IPACC, the Indian Army also hosted the 47th Indo Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) and Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum (SELF). 

13th Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Staff Conference 

  • Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pandey also invited Bangladesh Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed to participate in it. The 12th Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference/Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum was held on September 14, 2021, at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, USA. 
  • The 13th edition of the bi-annual conference saw participation from army officers from around 30 countries such as Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand. 

20. IAF Receives First Dornier Do-228 Aircraft From HAL 

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has recently celebrated the arrival of the first of six state-ofthe-art Dornier Do-228 aircraft, exclusively manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). This upgraded version of the aircraft is set to bolster the IAF’s operational capabilities with its advanced features, marking a significant milestone in the modernization efforts of the Indian defense forces.
  • The foundation for this crucial development was laid in March when the Ministry of Defence inked a deal with HAL for the procurement of six Dornier-228 aircraft, allocating a budget of Rs 667 crore. This deal represents a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts to modernize and upgrade the Indian Air Force’s fleet. 
  • These upgraded Dornier-228 aircraft come equipped with a range of advanced features that set them apart. The inclusion of new engines, composite propellers, advanced avionics, and a modern glass cockpit significantly enhances their performance and usability. 

Ranks and Reports News

21. India Slips Four Spots To 56th Position In 2023 World Talent Ranking 

  • The 2023 World Talent Ranking, released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) on September 27th, has brought both good news and areas of concern for India. While the nation has shown improvements in infrastructure, it has slipped four spots to the 56th position (Out of 64 economies) compared to its 52nd position in the 2022 ranking. 
  • The IMD World Talent Ranking considers various factors, including the quality of life, statutory minimum wage, and primary and secondary education. India performs reasonably well in terms of future readiness, ranking 29th globally. However, the report points out a critical issue: India’s educational system ranks second to last (63rd) in quality. 
  • In the IMD World Talent Ranking for 2023, Switzerland secured the top position, followed by Luxembourg in second place, and Iceland, Belgium, and the Netherlands rounding out the top five. 

22. India Ageing Report 2023

  • India is set to experience a rapid aging of its population in the coming decades, with the elderly projected to comprise over 20% of the total population by the year 2050. 
  • This significant demographic shift is highlighted in the India Ageing Report 2023, jointly released by the International Institute for Population Sciences and the United Nations Population Fund. 
  • This report sheds light on various aspects of this aging trend, including the changing ratio of elderly to working-age individuals, gender disparities in life expectancy, and its implications for social and economic policies. 
  • The report reveals that India’s elderly population has been steadily increasing over the years, with a medium-to-high rate of growth since 1961. While the pace of this increase was relatively slow until 2001, it is expected to accelerate significantly in the coming decades.

23. Times Higher Education (THE) Releases World University Rankings 2024 

  • The 20th edition of the World’s Best Universities by the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings has been unveiled, showcasing the top higher education institutions globally. 
  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has made history by securing the top position among Indian universities. This achievement marks the first time since 2017 that IISc has claimed the top spot, underscoring its dedication to research and academic prowess.
  • Oxford University in the United Kingdom has clinched the coveted first place for an unprecedented eighth consecutive year, with Stanford University in the United States securing second place. 
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is third in the rankings. The 2024 edition is the largest to date, featuring 1,904 universities from 108 countries and regions, evaluated across 18 performance indicators reflecting their core missions. 

24. India Ranks 40th in Global Innovation Index 2023

  • India retains 40th ranking out of 132 economies in the Global Innovation Index 2023 The rankings were published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. India is on a rising trajectory, over the past several years in the Global Innovation Index (GII), from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 40 in 2023. 
  • This year, NITI Aayog, in partnership with the CII and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), is hosting, virtually, the India Launch of the (Global Innovation Index) GII 2023 on 29th September 2023.
  • For the 13th year in a row, Switzerland is the most innovative economy in 2023 followed by Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore. Discover how other economies are performing in the Global Innovation Index 2023 rankings.

25. Bengaluru Leads In Green Office Space As India Witnesses A 36% Increase Since 2019 

  • Bengaluru has emerged as the city with the highest green-certified office space. This achievement is part of a broader trend showcased in the ‘Indian Real Estate: Taking Giant Strides – 2023 Mid-Year Outlook’ report jointly released by real estate consultant CBRE and industry body CII during the CII Realty conference. 
  • The report highlights a remarkable 36% growth in green-certified office space across six major Indian cities over the past three and a half years. In 2019, the total green-certified office stock stood at 251 million square feet, but it has now surged to an impressive 342 million square feet. 
  • The report emphasizes the substantial expansion of green-certified office space from 2019 to 2023, reflecting a strong industry response to environmental concerns and evolving global and domestic Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) regulations. 

Science and Technology News

26. PhonePe launches 'Indus App Store' to challenge Google's Play Store monopoly 

  • Walmart-backed fintech company PhonePe, a digital payments platform in India, has launched its own app store called 'Indus Appstore Developer Platform' to challenge Google's Play Store monopoly. 
  • The App Store will offer localized experiences in 12 languages and give developers an alternative to Google's platform fees and commission fees. App listing on the Indus Appstore developer platform will be free for the first year, thereafter a "nominal annual fee" will be applicable.
  • Google's Play Store has been under scrutiny in India for some time. Many high-profile apps and  developers have raised questions on this. Google, at the moment, charges developers 15-30% for in- app purchases. This has been a point of contention between Google and app developers. 
  • Sameer Nigam founded PhonePe in 2015 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

‘Indus App Store’ 

  • The Indus Appstore is introducing new features that Google currently doesn't. For startups and new app launches, Indus Appstore will have a dedicated destination called "Launch Pad" to provide better visibility as well as search optimization to these new apps. 
  • It will also provide a number of developer tools and features that will solve the challenges faced by most Android developers, with a dedicated round-the-clock customer support team based in India. 
  • However, PhonePe's app store is not the first to offer alternatives to the giant app store. Several other apps were launched, including Paytm Mini App Store, Samsung Galaxy Store and GetApps. (Xiaomi's app store) and Aptoide, but have met with limited success. 

27. Google Introduces Earthquake Alerts System For Android Users In India

  • Search giant Google has unveiled its Earthquake Alerts System for Android smartphones users in India. Developed in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC), this system offers early warnings of seismic activity and are available in multiple Indian languages. 
  • Earthquake Alerts System harnesses the power of the tiny accelerometers present in Android smartphones. These accelerometers are typically used to detect the orientation and movement of the device, but Google has repurposed them to detect seismic activity. 
  • Google has announced that the Earthquake Alerts System will be fully operational in India within the next week. This means that Android users across the country will soon have access to this potentially life-saving technology. 

28. NASA’s Psyche Mission 

  • The Psyche mission represents an ambitious venture to explore a distinct metallic The asteroid is positioned in orbit between Mars and Jupiter. The exceptional feature of this asteroid, named Psyche, is its composition, believed to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an ancient planet – a fundamental building block of our solar system. 
  • While the metallic cores of rocky planets like Earth are concealed deep beneath layers of Rock and crust: Psyche offers a rare opportunity to directly investigate one such core. By Study Psyche: Scientists aim to gain insights into the tumultuous history of planetary formation through collisions and accretion. 
  • The mission is spearheaded by Arizona State University, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory overseeing mission management, operations, and navigation. The spacecraft’s solar-electric propulsion system will be constructed by Maxar (formerly SSL), complemented by a suite of scientific instruments. 

29. NASA’s Perseverance Rover Sets Speed Record On Autopilot 

  • NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has accomplished an impressive feat by traversing a massive boulder field at a record speed, taking only a third of the time it would have taken its predecessor, Curiosity.
  • Perseverance’s ability to navigate through this challenging terrain is largely attributed to its advanced AutoNav system, which equips the rover with self-driving capabilities. Unlike its predecessors, which had more limited auto-navigation capabilities, Perseverance possesses a unique advantage. 
  • Thanks to AutoNav, it holds the single-day drive distance record of an astounding 1,140.7 feet (347.7 meters), which is slightly less than a quarter mile. Moreover, it claims the record for the longest Martian navigation without human assistance, covering 2,296.2 feet (699.9 meters). 

Obituaries News

30. Father Of India’s Green Revolution, MS Swaminathan Passes Away At 98 

  • Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, fondly known as M.S. Swaminathan, a legendary,A figure in the field of agriculture and a true humanitarian, passed away at the age of 98. Born on August 7, 1925, in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district, he dedicated his life to improving the lives of India’s low-income farmers and revolutionizing the nation’s agricultural landscape. 
  • During a critical juncture in India’s history, when the country was on the brink of a mass famine and faced severe food shortages, Swaminathan collaborated with fellow scientists Norman Borlaug and others to develop high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice. This marked the inception of the Green Revolution. 
  • In 1987, he was honored with the first-ever World Food Prize for his role in introducing high-yielding wheat and rice varieties to India. His dedication also led him to establish the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1971 and the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986. 

Miscellaneous News 

31. 'Jhaadu Daan’ Initiative Earns Place in India Book of Records 

  • SP Singh, the principal of the UPSRTC Model Driving Training and Research Institute, has earned a remarkable distinction by securing a place in the prestigious India Book of Records.
  • This recognition is a testament to his exceptional contributions, particularly through his Innovative "Jhaadu Daan" (broom donation) initiative, which aligns with the nationwide Swachh Bharat Campaign. To date, over 1 lakh brooms have been distributed across 80 different locations. 
  • SP Singh initiated the "Jhaadu Daan" initiative in 2014, coinciding with the launch of the Swachh Bharat campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The primary objective of this initiative is to provide essential tools for maintaining cleanliness in various surroundings. Singh recognized that access to basic cleaning tools, such as brooms, is crucial for individuals, particularly those in underprivileged communities.

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