Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 12th October 2023

National News

1. South Asia's first aircraft recovery training school started in Bengaluru 

  • Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) has set up South Asia's first Aircraft Recovery Training School (ARTS) on the premises of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Bengaluru.
  • According to BIAL, the institute is completely dedicated to providing practical training for aircraft recovery and is equipped with state-of-the-art Crashed Aircraft Recovery Equipment (DARE). 
  • Through a strategic partnership with KUNZ GmbH Aircraft Equipment, Germany, BIAL will provide aircraft recovery training to the crash under the TrainAir Plus programme, which is recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 
  • In the event of an aircraft accident on the runway, quick, accurate and safe recovery is paramount to restoring normal airport operations. The absence of trained personnel and equipment can inadvertently cause operational delays and even risk secondary damage to the aircraft. 
  • Mumbai Airport - 'Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kit' 
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai has become the first airport in Asia to operationalize 'Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kit' (DARK). DARK is a facility that can quickly recover large commercial and transport aircraft involved in runway excursions or other incidents.
  • This is a more efficient and faster recovery process than traditional methods, requiring less trained personnel. CSMIA's aircraft rescue and firefighting team participated in a five-day training program to operate DARK. 
  • DARK can instantly recover large commercial and transport aircraft, Including the world's largest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER. 

2. Jitendra Singh addresses 10th “India-Sweden Innovation Day” meeting 

  • Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has addressed the 10th ” India-Sweden Innovation Day” meeting.
  • Both countries are commemorating the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the fifth anniversary of the Sweden-India Joint Declaration on Innovation Partnership. 
  • The partnership covers several areas, including smart cities, transportation and eMobility, energy, clean technologies, new materials, space, circular and bio-based economy, and health and life sciences. 
  • The India-Sweden Innovation Partnership bridges institutions, R&D-intensive industries and creative entrepreneurs to address global challenges in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

3. Operation Ajay set to evacuate Indian nationals from Israel 

  • India has launched Operation Ajay to facilitate the return from Israel of its citizens who wish to return. 
  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar announced this operation, emphasizing the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of Indian nationals abroad. 
  • Special charter flights and other arrangements are being organized to bring back Indian citizens from Israel. 
  • The Indian Embassy in Israel has initiated contact with registered Indian citizens, starting with the first group, for the special flight. Subsequent flights will follow, and communication will be made accordingly. 

About Israel

  • Capital – Jerusalem
  • Currency – Sheqel
  • President – Isaac Herzog 
  • Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu

4. Govt Launches Month-Long Celebration Drive For 8th National Ayurveda Day

  • Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, announced a month-long celebration drive regarding the 8th National Ayurveda Day. This year, Ayurveda Day falls on November 10, 2023, and it serves as a platform to address specific health issues through Ayurveda.
  • The month-long Ayurveda Day celebrations are designed to create awareness and educate students, farmers, and the general public about the benefits of Ayurveda. This day is observed as a tribute to Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda, and coincides with Dhanteras, a day dedicated to seeking blessings for good health. 
  • The theme, “Ayurveda for One Health,” resonates with India’s G20 Presidency theme, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which means the world is one family. Ayurveda Day 2023 carries the tagline “Ayurveda for everyone on every day,” emphasizing its applicability to every aspect of life, from humans to animals, plants, and the environment.

5. Union Cabinet Approves Setting Up Of ‘Mera Yuva Bharat’ Autonomous Body For Youth Development 

  • The Union Cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the establishment of an autonomous body named “Mera Yuva Bharat” (MY Bharat). 
  • MY Bharat aims to enable equitable access for young individuals to realize their aspirations and contribute to the holistic development of the nation across various government sectors. This body is designed to serve as a pivotal mechanism for youth development, with a strong emphasis on technology-driven solutions.
  • This initiative aligns with the National Youth Policy and targets individuals between the ages of 15-29, with a subset of programs catering to those aged 10-19. Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) will be officially launched on 31st October, 2023, which coincides with National Unity Day. 

6. Dr. Jitendra Singh Launches The Intelligent Grievance Monitoring System (IGMS) 2.0 Public Grievance Portal And Automated Analysis In Tree Dashboard 

  • On 29th September 2023, Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, inaugurated the Special Campaign 3.0 in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). 
  • This campaign, themed “Digital DARPG,” is aimed at enhancing service delivery, utilizing emerging technologies, and ensuring efficient management within government offices. 
  • Under the “Digital DARPG” initiative, DARPG initiated a comprehensive approach towards unified service delivery portals. Collaborating with 27 Senior Officials, including Right to Service Commissioners from States/UTs, DARPG identified 164 services for pan-India e-service delivery, in addition to the 56 mandatory e-services.

7. Anurag Thakur Unveils Trailer For Animated Series “Krish, Trish, And Baltiboy – Bharat Hain Hum” 

  • Union Minister Shri Anurag Thakur has launched the trailer of “Krish, Trish, and Baltiboy – Bharat Hain Hum”, an animated series consisting of two seasons, produced by Central Bureau of Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Graphiti Studios. 
  • The series is an effort to educate the youth about the lesser known but significant contributors of the freedom struggle, contributors who were forgotten by the educations system of the past. 
  • The series consists of 52 episodes, 11 minutes each, featuring stories from Indian Freedom struggle from 1500s to 1947. The series is hosted by the iconic animated characters Krish, Trish and Balti boy. The series has been created by the creator duo of Munjal Shroff and Tilakraj Shetty from Graphiti Studios. 

International News

8. Ozone hole over Antarctica is three times the size of Brazil 

  • Observations from the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show that the ozone hole will reach an area of about 10 million square miles (26 million square kilometers) in September 2023. 
  • This year, the ozone hole has been expanding "rapidly" since mid- August, "becoming one of the largest ozone holes on record," Antje Innes, senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said in a statement. 
  • The actual largest ozone hole occurred in 2000, when the hole reached an area of approximately 11 million square miles (28.4 million square kilometers). Ozone is a naturally occurring gas, and there is a layer of it in the stratosphere that protects us from the sun's ultraviolet, or UV, rays. 
  • In 1985, a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was discovered – and later linked to human use of carbon-reducing substances. Since then, we have banned the use of those substances and are monitoring the size of the holes.
  • Ozone hole over Antarctica Hanga Tonga giant volcano inside the ocean in January 2022 may be responsible for this. The ozone hole still grows and shrinks seasonally. 
  • However, due to temperature changes and wind conditions in the stratosphere, the maximum is reached between mid-September and mid-October. Montreal Protocol 
  • The Montreal Protocol, adopted on September 16, 1987, is a worldwide agreement to prevent the production of ozone-depleting substances. It has phased out 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products. India is a party to the Montreal Protocol since June 1992. Kigali Amendment 
  • The Kigali Amendment aims to phase out the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It aims to reduce HFCs consumption by more than 80% by 2047. 
  • Under this, developed countries will reduce the consumption of HFCs from the year 2019. Most developing countries will see consumption stabilize in 2024. Some developing countries, including India, with unique circumstances will see consumption stagnate in the year 2028. 

9. On October 11, 1987, Indian Peace Keeping Force launched ‘Operation Pawan’ in Sri Lanka

  • The first major battle under 'Operation Pawan' began with the attack on Jaffna University on 11 October 1987 by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to help the Tamils in the Sri Lankan civil war. 
  • Some people have called this military intervention of the Indian Army in Sri Lanka as India's Vietnam. Even though Jaffna was captured by IPKF from LTTE, it had to pay a heavy price. More than 200 Indian soldiers lost their lives in this operation. 
  • The civil war in Sri Lanka began in 1983 when the LTTE began its armed insurgency in the country with the intention of creating a separate independent country (called Tamil Eelam) for the Tamils in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka. 
  • The origins of the separatist movement can be traced to the discriminatory practices adopted by the Sinhalese government against Sri Lankan Tamils. Ethnic Sinhalese were given preference and Tamils were actively discriminated against from taking up jobs in the civil service and government. Violence was also targeted at Tamils. 
  • This inspired the Tamils to take up arms and the most important rebel group was the LTTE led by V Prabhakaran. The Sri Lankan Government and the Government of India signed the India-Sri Lanka Peace Agreement on July 29, 1987. 
  • Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President JR Jayewardene signed the agreement. In which it was agreed to give more autonomy to Sri Lankan provinces, merge the Northern and Eastern provinces into one province and give official status to the Tamil language. 

10. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the 'Padma Bridge Rail Link' project built under the BRI project

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the 82 km long 'Padma Bridge Rail Link' connecting Dhaka and Jashore, executed under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 
  • Padma Bridge Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project in Bangladesh financed under Chinese preferential loan, the estimated cost of the project is 39,246.80 crore Takka, out of which Exim Bank of China has provided a loan of 21,036.70 crore Takka. 
  • China's Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen stressed the importance of the project under the BRI. 
  • He said this historic initiative will directly benefit 80 million people and potentially boost Bangladesh's economic growth by 1.5%. 
  • This inauguration ceremony took place at Mawa railway station in Munshiganj. According to project officials, the remaining part of the project connecting Jessore will be launched in June next year, Dhaka Tribune reports. 

11. India, China Hold 20th Round Of Military Talks In Ladakh

  • India and China held their 20th corps commander-level meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border in Ladakh. Both countries engaged in a series of diplomatic discussions to address the persisting issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. 
  • These talks, held at the Corps Commander level, aimed to foster an open and constructive atmosphere, fostering an early and mutually acceptable resolution. While these discussions did not yield a clear breakthrough, they emphasized the commitment of both nations to peaceful dialogue and negotiation. 
  • One of the key takeaways from these recent talks is the importance of a frank, open, and constructive dialogue between the two nations. Despite historical differences and geopolitical competition, maintaining a diplomatic channel is crucial to finding a mutually acceptable resolution. 

12. Chinese crew not allowed to come ashore at Vizhinjam port 

  • Though the Chinese ship carrying container-handling cranes is allowed to dock at the under construction Vizhinjam International Seaport developed by Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Limited (AVPPL) in Kerala, the Chinese crew on board the ship are not allowed to come ashore. 
  • According to sources, the ship that has been waiting at the outer anchorage of Vizhinjam since Wednesday night will be allowed to berth only on October 14, a day ahead of the reception to be accorded by the State administration to the ship and its consignment. 
  • Since the engineers from China are not granted visas, a delegation of service engineers brought by the Chinese company from Mumbai would coordinate the installation and testing works on the cranes at the berth here, sources said. 
  • Upon completion, the Vizhinjam International Seaport is expected to cater to 75% of India's con- tainer transshipment needs, with the port having an installed capacity to handle container vessels of up to 24,000 TEU. 
  • The first phase of the over 7,500 crore port project is scheduled to be commissioned in May 2024. 

13. Israel forms emergency govt. for duration of war 

  • As Israel kept bombing Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a political rival announced an emergency government for the duration of the conflict. 
  • The veteran right-wing leader was joined by the centrist Benny Gantz, a former Defence Minister, in the government and war Cabinet as both put aside more than 1,000 people bitter political divisions that have roiled the country and sparked mass protests. Their joint announcement came after Israeli soldiers sweeping battletorn southern towns said they had found 1,200 victims five days after the Isla- mist militants' onslaught, the worst attack in Israel's 75-year history. 
  • killed in Israel's withering campaign of air and artillery strikes on the crowded Palestinian enclave. 
  • Israel has massed forces, tanks and other heavy armour around Gaza in its retaliatory operation against what Mr. Netanyahu labelled "an attack whose savagery... we have not seen Holocaust". since the commercial.
  • Amid the crisis that has been labelled "Israel's 9/ 11", Mr. Netanyahu struck the political deal with Mr. Gantz and pledged to freeze for now his government's flashpoint judicial overhaul plan that has sparked mass protests. 
  • Mr. Netanyahu's extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies will remain in government, however. Opposition leader Yair Lapid has not joined the temporary alliance, although the joint statement said a would be reserved for him in the war Cabinet. seat 
  • As the war has raged, fears have been intense in Israel for the fate of at least 150 hostages mostly Israelis but also including foreign and dual nationals being held in Gaza by Hamas. 
  • Concern has mounted over the worsening humanitarian crisis in wartorn Gaza, where Israel had levelled over 1,000 buildings and imposed a total siege, cutting off water, food and energy sup- plies for 2.3 million people. 
  • More than 2,60,000 Gaza residents have been forced from their homes, a UN aid agency said, while the EU called for a "humanitarian corridor" to allow civilians to flee the enclave's fifth war in 15 years. 

14. Most EU nations want to continue funding the Palestinian Authority' 

  • The "overwhelming majority" of EU countries supported continuing aid payments to the Palestinian Authority, according to the bloc's top diplomat Josep Borrell.
  • "The overwhelming majority was against the idea or the proposal of suspensioning the payments to the Palestinian Authority," Mr. Borrell said in Muscat, where he had been for a meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council. Mr. Borrell said the payments, about €600 million a year, would be reviewed and not suspended. The EU is the top international funder of the Authority. 
  • The clarification came late on Tuesday, a day after Large-scale bombing the EU declared that it was not suspending development aid to the Palestinian territories. The confusion had arisen after European Commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, had stated publicly that payments would "immediately" stop following Hamas's bloody attack on Israel over the weekend. Over 1,200 people, including children and the elderly, were killed and over 150 were kidnapped by Hamas from Israeli sites. 
  • In retaliation, Israel began bombing Gaza on a large scale and stopped food, water, medicine and fuel from entering the strip of land, home to 2.3 million Palestinians. 
  • Palestinian authorities reported that 1,055 have died since Saturday in the bombing. 
  • Mr. Borrell said Israel's response to the attack, shows "like cutting water, cutting electricity and food to a mass of civilians" was against international law. Israel had a right to defend itself against the Hamas at- the EU. tack but its response had to be within the limits of in- ternational law, he said. 
  • Several EU countries, including France, Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg had, on Monday, privately or publicly opposed the move to suspend payments to the Palestinian territories, bilateral Foreign Ministers of countries on Tuesday met informally via video link and in Muscat and discussed how they could continue engaging the Palestinian Authority, as per Mr. Borrell, and they drew a clear distinction between Hamas, the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority 
  • "We consider Hamas a terrorist organisation and what they have done certainly that they behave like this." Mr. Borrell said in a televised press briefing, as he reiterated that the Palestinian Authority was a partner
  • Mr. Borrell said "collective punishment against all Palestinians will be unfair and unproductive and "against our interests, and against the interests of the peace". Collective punishment is prohibited under international humanitarian law.with some orier Austria and Germany had temporarily ended their 

State News

15. UK CM launches ‘Rozgar Prayag Portal’ at Uttarakhand Youth Mahotsav

  • Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami has launched the ‘Rozgar Prayag Portal’ in the Uttarakhand Youth Mahotsav-2023 program organized at Parade Ground in Dehradun.
  • The portal has been developed by the government for the youth with the aim of providing employment opportunities in the state on a single portal. 
  • Uttarakhand CM also launched ‘Yuva Uttarakhand App’ and also inaugurated self-employment centres in the employment offices of Dehradun and Udham Singh Nagar.
  • The app has been developed by ITDA to make the schemes run by various departments available at one place. 
  • The development of employment centres in employment offices in all the districts for the youth to get more information and applications related to the schemes.
  • Dhami provided appointment letters to 17 candidates selected through employment fairs and also visited the exhibitions organized by various departments. 

About Uttarakhand

  • Capital – Dehradun (Winter), Gairsain (Summer)
  • Chief Minister – Pushkar Singh Dhami
  • Governor – Gurmit Singh 

16. SC firm on transfer of Manipur HC judge 

  • The Supreme Court Collegium on Wednesday stood firm by its resolve to recommend the transfer of Manipur High Court judge, Justice M.V. Muralidharan, to the Calcutta High Court for "better administration of justice". 
  • The Collegium headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had proposed to shift Justice Muralidharan to the Calcutta High Court on October 9. 
  • The very next day, on October 10, Justice Muralidharan requested the Collegium to either transfer him back to his parent High Court of Madras or let him stay on in the Manipur High Court. 
  • The Collegium said that it did not find merit in the requests made by Justice Muralidharan. 

17. EOW probe against jail officers for aiding Sukesh's crime nexus 

  • Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has granted permits' to Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to launch an investigation against eight prison officers accused of helping 'conman' Sukesh Chandra- sekhar run an organised crime syndicate from Rohini jail, a Raj Niwas source said on Wednesday. 
  • The proceedings under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, come a year after Mr. Saxena approved a similar probe against 81 other jail officers. 
  • A Raj Niwas source said the eight accused are Group B officers who have been arrested for providing Mr. Chandrasekhar access to mobile phones and a separate barrack in exchange for 1.5 crore each month. 
  • Chandrasekhar was moved from the Tihar jail to the Mandoli jail in August 2022. 
  • According to a Tihar official, Mr. Chandrasekhar has been shifted among all three city prison complexes between 2021 and 2022. 
  • "All personnel have been instructed to wear body cameras so that his movements and conversations can be recorded at all times," he added. 
  • The official said the alleged con man has not been restricted from making phone calls or meeting his advocate and relatives. 
  • "However, Chandrashekhar is not allowed to interact with other inmates in his cell since there are chances of him manipulating them." 
  • Old CCTV footage from Mr. Chandrashekhar's cell shows him living a lavish life. lifestyle, wearing expensive jeans, and Gucci slippers, the official said. "On one occasion, 1.5 lakh in cash was confiscated from his cell during a raid." 
  • On October 18, 2022, the Supreme Court had rejected a plea by Mr. Chandrasekhar's lawyers requesting that he be shifted out of Delhi's prisons. 
  • The next month, he wrote to the L-G requesting that he be shifted to a jail outside the city due to a threat to his life. 
  • In addition to the Rohini jail crime syndicate case, Mr. Chandrasekhar is being investigated in multiple cases, which include extortion and money 
  • He has been booked for duping several people to the tune of 200 crore, including the spouse of Shivinder Mohan Singh, the former promoter of Ranbaxy, who is now in jail. 

18. Repeated passenger train cancellations emerge as an electoral issue in poll-bound Chhattisgarh 

  • Unlike most election cycles which see divisive social issues at the fore, railways, or specifically, repeated passenger train cancellations, have emerged as an election issue in Chhattisgarh for a change. 
  • With less than a month to go until the first phase of voting, the ruling Congress identifies these cancellations that it alleges are a deliberate move to accommodate the passage of more goods trains carrying coal on the tracks as a fundamental issue. 
  • The party plans to turn up the heat on BJP which rules the Centre and is the main challenger in the State-over these cancellations. 
  • Congress spokesperson Sushil Anand Shukla says the issue is State-specific as the mineral-rich region is more affected than other issues. He adds how most of these cancellations are continuous and most of these announcements are sudden. 
  • "In the past 20 days, 64 trains have been cancelled and in the past three years, 64,000 trains have been cancelled. On most occasion, not even a proper explanation is given or passengers are told that it's because of track maintenance despite good wagons carrying coal running on the same tracks. We will definitely take these issues to the people in the coming days as it affects the common man," said Mr. Shukla. The figure of 64,000 (or 67,000 as the party's official press notes) comes from a Right to Information (RTI) reply filed by Raipur-based RTI activist Kunal Shukla. Mr. Shukla says that the rail stretch from Raipur to Nagpur is crucial as it connects much of the Central-Eastern regions of the country to South and North India. 
  • On Tuesday, Mr. Shukla posted another tweet in which he has posted the image of another RTI reply on transport of coal that showed the number of rakes 
  • Santosh Kumar spokesperson for the South East Central Zone of Indian railways which is headquartered in Bilaspur says the figure of 67,000 includes the cancellations during the COVID-19 where transportation of all kinds had come to a halt. The cancellations, he says, are necessitated because of adding infrastructure.
  • "Cancellations happen from time to time but not on a regular basis, we do it on an alternate basis. We ensure that if trains are cancelled on a certain route, the weekly ones take priority over the daily ones. And in all cases, we ensure that there are at least some alternatives available," he states. 

19. 4 killed, over 60 injured as train derails in Bihar

  • Four persons were killed and over 60 injured when six coaches of the Assam bound North East Superfast Express derailed in Buxar district of Bihar late on Wednesday, an official said. 
  • The 23-coach train (No. 12506) left the Anand Vihar terminal in Delhi at 7.40 a.m. on Wednesday and was route to Tinsukia. The incident occurred at 9.53 p.m. near the Raghunathpur railway station. A quick response team from the Danapur division of the East Central Railway rushed to the spot
  • Speaking to The Hindu, Buxar District Magistrate Anshul Agarwal confirmed the casualties. 
  • Due to the derailment, the upline and downline of the route has been affected and trains plying on the stretch have been diverted to other routes. 
  • The Railways, has issued helpline numbers for the public to reach out for information: Patna station (PNBE)-9771449971, Dana- pur station (DNR) 8905697493, and Ara station (ARA)-8306182542. 
  • Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who is currently in Kerala, spoke to the officials concerned in Buxar and directed them to ensure speedy rescue work. He also instructed the health department to provide all possible support to the injured. (With PTI inputs) 

20. EC raps Telangana govt. ahead of polls, transfers many IAS, IPS officers 

  • Are you go to com duct Assembly elections or shall we hold it ourselves was the wet massage bed by the Election Commission of India (BC) sum, led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar during its tour of Telangana in the the week of October to re view poll prey success 
  • Since that interaction with Chief Secretary A. Suubi Kumar, PCP Anjan Kumar and top bureaucrats of the State, it be cape crystal clear for LAS and WPS officers in Telangana that serious trouble was about to brew ahead of the Assembly elections as hinted the BC cracked the whip on Wednesday night and took the Telangana government by surprise by transferring 13 officers and Collectors by four districts. The Excise Commissioner, TranSport Commissioner and Commercial Taxes Commissioner too, faced the wrath of the EC. 
  • Top government soure es told The Hindu that the EC team was in a real foul mood at the state of affairs in Telangana.
  • It appears that the Com mission was completely disappointed with what it perceived as blatant misuse of authority by the State government in posting conferred IAS and non- cadre officers as SP's. 
  • DGP Anjani Kumar is said to have been picked up for "special treatment". "Don't you have a sufficient number of directly recruited IPS officers in Telangana? Why are nine non-cadre officers posted as Superintendents of Police?" is how the EC officials confronted the DGP. 

Defence News

21. Mastermind' of Pathankot attack killed in Pakistan 

  • Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Shahid Latif, believed to be the mastermind of the 2016 attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, was gunned down on Wednesday by unidentified assailants in a mosque in Sialkot district of Pakistan, officials said. 
  • Two of his associates by three gunmen. He had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley in 1993 and was arrested a year later. He was in Jammu jail with Masood Azhar, founder of the JeM, till 2010, officials said. He was deported to Pakistan in 2010 after his release. Latif, alias Bilal, a designated terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, is learnt to have been shot dead. 
  • "This is the biggest blow to JeM on Pakistan soil," an official said. 
  • Seven IAF personnel were killed when four JeM terrorists sneaked into the Air Force Station in 2016. 

22. India, China agree to continue dialogue and negotiations' 

  • India and China held the 20th round of corps commander-level talks at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side over the past two days, but failed to make any headway to end the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
  • The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of "dialogue and negotiations" while also committing to "maintain" peace and tranquillity on the ground, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
  • "The two sides exchanged views in a frank, open and constructive manner for an early and mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in the western sector, in accordance with the guidance provided by the national leadership of the two countries, and building on the progress made in the last round of corps commanders' meeting held on August 13-14, 2023," the Ministry said. 
  • The two sides also com- mitted to maintain peace and tranquillity on the ground in the border areas in the interim, it added. At the 19th round of talks, which came before the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation virtual summit and ahead of the G-20 Summit hosted by New Delhi, there were high expectations of a breakthrough on the stalemate at Depsang Plains and Demchok in eastern Ladakh. Following the talks between the Corps Commanders, several rounds of Major General-level talks were held, as reported by The Hindu earlier. 

Business News

23. SEBI Said To Probe Adani- Gulf Ties 

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has launched an investigation into the relationship between the Adani Group, a prominent Indian conglomerate, and the Gulf Asia Trade & Investment fund based in the British Virgin Islands.
  • The Gulf Asia fund, reportedly owned by Dubai-based businessman Nasser Ali Shaban Ali, allegedly invested in Adani’s listed companies after SEBI’s directive in June 2013, which required companies to increase public shareholding to at least 2 percent of their total floats.
  • SEBI officials are closely examining whether the Adani Group and the Gulf Asia fund acted “in concert,” potentially violating regulations. The probe aims to determine whether there have been violations of share ownership regulations, following allegations of accountancy fraud and stock manipulation made against the Adani Group. 

24. Bharti Group To Acquire French Insurer AXA’s 49% Stake In Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co. 

  • The Bharti Group has announced its acquisition of French insurer AXA’s 49% stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co. This move marks the consolidation of a venture that was jointly run for nearly two decades. 
  • The acquisition by Bharti Group, conducted through its Bharti Life Ventures arm, is expected to conclude by December this year, subject to regulatory approvals. 
  • This development positions Bharti Group to compete more effectively with established players like HDFC Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, SBI Life Insurance, and LIC in a market that ranks ninth in the world, according to the latest annual report by the insurance regulatory body. 

Economy News

25. IMF Maintains 2.5% Growth Forecast For Pakistan 

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to keep Pakistan’s economic growth forecast at 2.5%. This figure remains consistent with the IMF’s previous report and is in line with official projections, although it falls short of the official target by 1%. 
  • Among international financial institutions, the IMF’s 2.5% growth projection is the highest. In contrast, the World Bank has forecasted 1.7% growth, the Asian Development Bank predicts 1.9%, and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) anticipates growth around 2%. 
  • The IMF’s report projects that Pakistan’s economic growth may reach 5% by the year 2028, with this forecast subject to change due to rapid economic developments within the country. 

26. TCS Q2 net profit rises 8.7%, firm says headwinds remain 

  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) said consolidated net profit grew 8.7% to 11,342 crore for the quar- ter ended September 30, in the backdrop of continued headwinds leading to softening of demand for technology services.
  • Revenue rose 7.9% to *59,692 crore from a year earlier. While Constant Currency revenue growth was 2.8%, operating margin expanded 0.3 percentage points to 24.3%. The company also announced a share buyback 
  • Clients tend to pause/prioritise projects due to uncertainty, says TCS. But it points out Q2 deal momentum was strong valued at 1,700 crore 14,150 apiece. The board also announced a dividend of 19 per share. In the quarter, hiring I did not witness momentum considering large at scale recruitment had taken place over the last 18 months. The hiring count amounted to less than the number of people who left the company during the quarter. The firm said the attrition rate was at 14.9%, but did not provide any boa outlook for future hiring.
  • "Strong deal momentum delivered [for] us a very large order book in our second highest TCV [total contract value] ever in a quarter, and a good pipeline," said . Krithivasan, CEO and MD. 
  • Asked if headwinds continued in the quarter, he said, "It is obvious, because of the uncertainties, clients are focused on optimisation which results in older projects getting optimised... some of them getting paused or reprioritised, resulting in muted or moderated premium." 

Appointment News

27. Bani Verma becomes director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited 

  • On her appointment as Director on the Board of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Ms Bani Verma, 55, has taken charge as Director (Industrial Systems and Products) of the public sector engineering and manufacturing enterprise. 
  • Earlier, Ms Verma was heading BHEL's transportation business segment as well as the company's Electronics Division (EDN) manufacturing unit in Bengaluru. 
  • Ms. Verma is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and started her career with BHEL in 1990 as an Engineer Trainee in the Industry sector of the company. 
  • During her 33 years of holistic, diverse and practical experience in the energy, industry and transportation sectors, she has developed a comprehensive set of competencies in the areas of strategic management, business development, project execution, change management and human resource management. 
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) 
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited was formally incorporated on 13 November 1964. Earlier the Government of India signed an agreement with Associated Electrical Industries (AEI), UK on November 17, 1955 for a factory at Bhopal for the manufacture of heavy electrical equipment in India. 
  • The company was registered as Heavy Electricals (India) Limited (HE(I)L) in the public sector under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce on August 29, 1956. 

Banking and financial News

28. BOB To Raise 10,000 Crore Rupees To Fund Affordable Housing, Infra

  • On October 11, the Bank of Baroda’s board approved a plan to raise up to Rs 10,000 crore through long-term bonds. These funds will be used to support infrastructure development and affordable housing.
  • The bank’s statement mentioned that this fundraising could be done in single or multiple tranches during the fiscal year 2023-24 and beyond, depending on the need. 
  • Bank of Baroda reported a 17 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth in total advances, reaching Rs 10.3 lakh crore, with domestic advances up by 16.6 percent YoY. The international book also saw a 21 percent YoY increase (6.4 percent quarter-on-quarter). 

29. RBI plan to include PM Vishwakarma Scheme beneficiaries in PIDF Scheme 

  • Reserve Bank Governor has decided to include PM Vishwakarma under the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme as well as extend the tenure of the scheme by another two years. 
  • It is now proposed to extend the PIDF Scheme by a further period of two years, that is up to December 31, 2025, the RBI said while announcing a bi-monthly monetary policy. 
  • Operationalized in January 2021, the PIDF Scheme aims at incentivizing the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure such as physical Point of Sale (PoS), Quick Response (QR) codes in tier-3 to tier-6 centres, north-eastern states and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 
  • As per the original plan, the tenure of the PIDF scheme was fixed for three years till December 2023. 
  • Governor Das said, beneficiaries of PM SVANidhi Scheme in Tier-1 and 2 centres were later included in August 2021 under the PIDF scheme. 
  • This decision to expand the targeted beneficiaries under the PIDF scheme will provide a fillip to the Reserve Bank’s efforts towards promoting digital transactions at the grassroots level. 
  • PM Vishwakarma scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month proposes to offer up to 8% subsidy for loans given to artisans.
  • The scheme provides collateral-free loans up to ₹Rs 3 lakh to artisans at a very affordable interest rate of 5%.
  • The scheme covers artisans related to 18 fields, including carpenter, goldsmith, blacksmith, mason, stone sculpture, barber and boatmakers.
  • Initially, ₹1 lakh loan will be given and the beneficiary would be eligible for an additional ₹2 lakh after repayment schedule of 18 months.
  • The components of the scheme will include not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, brand promotion, linkage with local and global markets, digital payments, and social security. 

30. Axis Bank and Fibe Partner to launch India’s First Numberless Credit Card 

  • To reduce the risk of identity theft and unauthorized access, private lender Axis Bank and fintech firm Fibe have launched India’s first numberless credit card. 
  • The card will not display any card number, expiry date, or CVV number. These details will be available on the Fibe app.
  • The Fibe Axis Bank Credit Card is powered by RuPay and allows customers to link their credit card to the United Payments Interface (UPI). It also offers a tap-and-pay feature for all offline retail stores across the country.
  • This numberless Axis Bank card will prioritize the security of our customers while offering a robust financial solution that empowers the smart and ambitious youth of our nation. 
  • The card offers a flat 3 per cent cashback on online food delivery across all restaurant aggregators, local commute on leading ride-hailing apps, and entertainment on online ticketing platforms. 

About Axis Bank 

  • Founded – 1993 
  • Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman – Rakesh Makhija 
  • MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhary
  • Tagline – Badhti Ka naam Zindagi

Important day

31. 12 October 2023 – World Sight Day 

  • World Sight Day is observed across the globe on the second Thursday of October every year and this year was celebrated on12 October. 
  • Objective – To raise awareness about blindness and vision impairment.
  • Theme 2023 – Love your eyes at work 
  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has organized several events to create awareness about visual impairment among the masses.
  • World Sight Day has been observed since the year 2000 and is now coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness alongside the World Health Organization. It was initially observed as part of a SightFirst campaign by the Lions Club International Foundation. The occasion has had an associated theme for most of its 22-year history. 

Awards News

32. MRPL Secured ‘Best Innovation In Refinery’ Award For 2022-23 

  • Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has once again clinched the prestigious ‘Best Innovation in Refinery‘ award for the year 2022-23, bestowed by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at the 26th Energy Technology Meet 2023. 
  • One of the pivotal aspects of the patent was the development of a hydrocarbon gas composition that could effectively replace energy-intensive stripping steam in the distillation process. This breakthrough not only reduced energy consumption but also contributed to environmental sustainability by minimizing resource usage.
  • The ‘Best Innovation in Refinery’ award was presented to a team led by MRPL’s Managing Director, Sanjay Varma. This recognition ceremony took place at the Energy Technology Meet 2023, a prestigious event held in New Delhi. The Union     Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, had the honor of presenting the award to MRPL’s accomplished team. 

Rank and Report News

33. 21 lakh appeals pending with Information Commissions: report

  • More than three lakh appeals and complaints are pending in 27 State Information Commissions across the country and the backlog has been steadily increasing, according to a new report. 
  • Of the 3,21,537 pending appeals, the number was reported in Maharashtra (1,15,524) followed by Karnataka (41,047). Tamil Nadu declined to provide the information. 
  • The Report Card on the Performance of Information Commissions in India, 2022-23' said that the 2019 assessment had found that as of March 31 that year, a total of 2,18,347 appeals/ complaints were pending in the 26 Information Com missions from which data was obtained, which climbed to 2,86,325 as of Case backlog.
  • The time taken to dispose of a complaint filed was computed using the average monthly disposal rate and the pendency June 30, 2021 and then crossed three lakh as of June 30, 2022. 
  • Four Information Commissioners-Jharkhand, Telangana, Mizoram and Tripura are defunct as no new Information Commissioners were appointed upon incumbents demitting office. Six Information Commissions are currently headless the Central Information Commission, and the State Information Commissioner of Manipur, Chhattis garh, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Punjab. 
  • formance of Information Commissions across the country, and on information accessed under the Right to Information (KTT) Act by the Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), a cititzens' group working to promote transparency and accountability governance. 
  • October 12, 2013 marks 18 years of implementation of the RTI Act in India.
  • The report says that 2,20,382 appeals and complaints were registered between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 by the 28 Information Commissions for whom relevant information was available. 
  • During the same time period, 2,14,698 cases were disposed of by 29 Information Commissions for which information could be obtained. Under the RTI law, Information Commissions are the final appellate authority. 

Sports News

34. Shubhi Gupta wins U-19 Girls National Chess Championship 

  • Shubhi Gupta has won the U-19 Girls’ National Chess Championship 2023 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 
  • Shubhi is an integral member of the Cohort sponsored and supported by the esteemed Pravaha Foundation as part of their laudable Initiative, “64 Squares.”
  • The “64 Squares” initiative encompasses a group of immensely talented chess players, spanning various age groups and levels of expertise.

35. Manikanta H Hoblidhar Sets New National Record In 100m Sprint

  • The 62nd National Open Athletics Championships 2023 kicked off with a bang in Bengaluru, as Manikanta Hoblidhar from Services etched his name in the record books by smashing a new national record in the men’s 100m category. 
  • In the semi-finals of the Men’s 100m, Manikanta Hoblidhar sprinted from the third lane, with extraordinary speed and determination. He powered his way to victory, crossing the finish line in first place with a remarkable timing of 10.23 seconds. Earlier in the day, Manikanta had showcased his remarkable speed with a time of 10.50 seconds in the preliminary heat. 
  • The podium for the men’s 100m at the 62nd National Open Athletics Championships 2023 featured other talented athletes as well. Elakkiyadasn K from Railways secured the second position with a time of 10.49 seconds. Saisiddharth R claimed the third spot on the podium with a timing of 10.55 seconds, displaying his sprinting prowess. 

36. Rohit Sharma Smashes India’s Fastest World Cup Century 

  • India captain Rohit Sharma smashed his 31st ODI century and put India on course for a mammoth win against Afghanistan in their World Cup 2023 tie at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium. 
  • Rohit Sharma completed his hundred off 63 balls, fetching him the record for the fastest century ever by an Indian in the history of World Cup. Before Rohit, the milestone belonged to Kapil Dev off 72 balls against Zimbabwe in 1983, the India captain bested the former all-rounder’s accomplishment by nine balls as India dominated Afghanistan in their chase of 273 and won by 8 wickets.
  • Earlier during his innings, Rohit knocked down two more impressive milestones. First, he completed 1000 runs in World Cup, becoming only the fourth Indian to the landmark after Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly and then struck three sixes to become the leading six-hitter in international cricket, surpassing ‘Universe Boss’s Chris Gayle. 

37. 11th Sultan Of Johor Cup To Be Held In Johor, Malaysia In November 2023 

  • The 11th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2023 is scheduled to be held in Johor, Malaysia. This prestigious tournament is set to take place from October 27 to November 4. Notably, this year’s edition will feature eight teams, expanding from the customary six. 
  • In this year’s Sultan of Johor Cup, India has been placed in Pool B. They will face tough competition from Malaysia, Pakistan, and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Pool A will consist of Germany, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain. 
  • This tournament also serves as an opportunity to assess and understand the competition, as six nations participating in the Sultan of Johor Cup will head to the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023. Furthermore, the tournament provides a platform for players to adapt to the climate conditions expected at Kuala Lumpur in December, where the World Cup will be held.

Indian Polity

38. ED questions Abhishek's wife in jobs scam case

  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday interrogated Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Baney jee's wife Kujira for over eight hours in connection with its ongoing probe in the alleged irregularities in the cash for jobs scam, an officer said. 
  • The questioning began around 11 am, at the ED office at the Central Government Office Complex in the Salt Lake area and was over at 7.35 p.m. 
  • Ms. Rujira entered the ED's office a little before 11 a.m. as a large posse of policeman stood on guard. 
  • "We questioned her on the basis of our findings in the jobs scam. We asked her about the specific roles of the directors of two companies involved in the alleged scam. She held an important position in both the companies at one point of time. She was interrogated about that too," the ED official said. 
  • The probe body conducted search operations in several rice mills in the State's Nadia district in connection with its ongoing investigation, the official said. 

39. Akhilesh scales locked gate to pay tribute to JP, slams BJP deploying police to stop him 

  • Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wed im? The newsday targeted the ruling area for allegedly denying him access to the Jay PraKash Narayan International Centre to pay his respects to socialist leader Jayapra resident kash Narayan on the latter's birth anniversary. 
  • The event witnessed ungallop precedent scenes for the M. Yadav scaling the people will be a foot-high looking gate at the Once we convention centre to gare BJP). land the state after SP workers unwrapped it
  • We told mediapersons that he was saddened by the efforts to stop them from entering the centre by deploying the police.History does not forgive those who do not respect history. Now, will we have to call for "Total Revolution' like Jayaprakash Naravanji even for garlanding his statue? If this is acceptable to BJP, then it is okay, the SP chief said. 
  • "The entire country and the State should see what damage the BJP government has done to the statue and museum of Lok nayak Jayaprakash Narayanji. This is an insult to a freedom fighter as well as a socialist thinker. How can the BJP, which did not participate in the freedom struggle, know the value of the struggle for freedom," wrote Mr. Yadav on X. 
  • The SP chief said the "autocratic tendencies" of the ruling party had come to the fore on the socialist stalwart's birth anniversary and that he countered it like a "true socialist",
  • The BJP hit back at Mt. Ya day for "betraying the ideas'' for which JP stood all his life. This was clear with the SP joining hands with the Congress to forge the India National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance bloc, the party said. 
  • "What Mr. Yaday did today was undignified for a former CM. He is betraying the ideas of JP by allying with the same party that imprisoned the socialist leader and against whose dictatorship he led a movement to restore democracy," said Rakesh Tripathi, State BJP spokesperson. 

Obituaries News

40. Karthyayani Amma, poster girl for Kerala's adult literacy programme, passes away at 101

  • Karthyayani Amma, an inspirational poster girl of Kerala's adult literacy programme, passed away at her home in Cheppad, Alappuzha on 11 October 2023 at the age of 101.
  • In 2018, she came into limelight by becoming the top scorer in ‘Akshara Laksham’, the flagship adult literacy program of the State Literacy Mission. At the age of 96, Karthyayani scored 98 out of 100 in an examination that tested writing and mathematical skills.
  • Seeing her passion for learning, the Government of Kerala gifted him a laptop after she expressed her intention to learn English. Also received Nari Shakti Award from former President Ram Nath Kovind on Women's Day in March, 2020. In 2019, she became the Commonwealth of Learning Goodwill Ambassador. 
  • Karthyayani was then among the 60,000 people in the state who had entered the world of letters through more than half a dozen literacy schemes run by the mission. Karthyayani Amma 
  • Karthyayani never went to school as she worked as a domestic help and sweeper. Her husband, Krishna Pillai, died in 1961. Her 51-year-old daughter Amminiamma, who had dropped out of school, inspired her mother to join classes.
  •  Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his condolence message, said Karthyayani was the pride of Kerala and an ideal person. Vijayan said, he inspired hundreds of school dropouts.
  • In 2020, Karthyayani's record as the oldest student of the State Literacy Mission was replaced by 105-year- old Bhagirathi Amma, who passed the 4-tier examination with 74.5 per cent marks. 

Agreement News

41. IGNOU & ICAI Ink MoU For Academic Collaboration 

  • The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has recently renewed and restructured its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). This MoU provides ICAI students with an opportunity to acquire academic qualifications without compromising their practical knowledge during their articleship. Both ICAI and IGNOU will play a pivotal role in providing students with a balanced blend of academic and practical exposure. 
  • The significance of this agreement is underscored by its alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and the curriculum and credit framework set forth by the University Grants Commission (UGC)

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