Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 2nd October 2023


National News

1. With the approval of the President, ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Act’ became the 106th Amendment

  • President Draupadi Murmu has approved the Women’s Reservation Bill passed by both the Houses in the special session of Parliament on 29 September 2023. The Central Government has issued a gazette notification for the Act, which is also being called the Nari Shakti Vandan Act.
  • The Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, 2023, passed by the Houses of Parliament, has been signed for assent by the President under Article 111 of the Constitution. Now, it will be officially known as the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act. 
  • Under this, Article 239AA of the Constitution has been amended for the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and Article 330A for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
  • After the implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill, the number of women members in the Lok Sabha will increase from the present 82 to 181. The bill was introduced by Meghwal in the Lok Sabha on 19 September by 454 votes (2 votes were in opposition) and passed unanimously by the Rajya Sabha on 21 September (214 votes).
  • Prima facie, the Women’s Reservation Bill should have been approved by 50 percent of the states, however, it is clear that there is no one to oppose the Bill on this basis and hence, the government has decided to proceed without attempting state ratification.

Nari Shakti Vandan Act 

  • This law will take some time to be implemented because the next census and the subsequent delimitation process – redrawing of Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies – will find out the special seats to be earmarked for women.
  • The quota for women in the Lok Sabha and Assemblies will continue for 15 years and Parliament can subsequently extend the period of benefit. Data shows that the number of women MPs in the Lok Sabha is around 15 percent, while their representation in many state assemblies is less than 10 percent. 
  • The bill was officially introduced in the Lok Sabha on 12 September 1996 by the UPA government. This bill was waiting for approval from the Parliament for the last 27 years. The Upper House then passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA government, but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and later lapsed in the Lower House. 

2. Dr Jitendra Singh launches Capacity Building Plan for Govt employees 

  • Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh has launched the Capacity Building Plan for Government Employees at the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Headquarters in New Delhi.
  • The Capacity Building Scheme is a new initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to train officers and rationalize the deployment of officers and staff based on skills and acquired competencies.
  • The Minister called for updating and revising various training modules under this Scheme as Artificial Intelligence is going to impact work culture. The Capacity Building Commission Chairman, Adil Zainulbhai informed the Minister that 700 courses have been introduced on the iGOT platform.

3. Over 9.2 lakh sites host cleanliness drive; PM appeals for swachhata

  • More than 9.2 lakh sites across the country hosted a mega cleanliness drive on Sunday in which people from across the spectrum, including politicians, celebrities and students, participated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took part in this cleanliness drive along with Ankit Baiyanpuria, who is a fitness influencer.
  • “Today, as the nation focuses on Swachhata (cleanliness), Ankit Baiyanpuriya and I did the same! Beyond just cleanliness, we blended fitness and well-being also into the mix. It is all about that Swachh and Swasth Bharat (clean and healthy India) vibe,” Mr Modi posted on X (formerly Twitter).
  • The post was accompanied by a video which shows Mr. Modi and Mr. Baiyanpuriya wielding brooms and cleaning and picking up trash. 
  • The one-hour cleanliness drive, organized to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, saw NGOs, market associations, self- help groups, faith groups, trade bodies and private sector companies, volunteering for shramdaan (labour) in more than 22,000 market areas, 10,000 water bodies, 7,000 bus stands/toll plazas, 1,000 gaushalas, 300 zoos and wildlife areas and various other locations in rural and urban India, according to officials.
  • The Prime Minister had in an episode of Mann Ki Baat last week appealed for “one hour of shramdaan (voluntary labor) for swachhata” on Sunday by all citizens as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of his birth anniversary on October 2.
  • An array of Union Ministers and high-ranking officials also participated in the cleanliness drive. 
  • Urging people to join the drive, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, posted on X: “Come, let’s create a new history! At 10 AM today, let’s volunteer for an hour, paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi through cleanliness.” 

4. Erring medical colleges to face monetary penalty soon 

  • The latest announcement by the National Medical Commission (NMC) of introducing a monetary penalty, for the first time in India, against medical colleges that fail to comply with statutory provisions, regulations, and minimum standards set by the commission could instantly reflect in an escalation in the fee structure in private medical colleges, warn experts, stating that any monetary punishment ultimately means that the student’s pockets get emptied out. 
  • Currently, the average tuition fee for an MBBS student in a private medical college begins at 160 lakh (excluding other expenses like hostel, examination fee and others) and goes up to 1.15 crore. Additionally, a private seat for post graduation for an in demand subject also costs multiple crores (the going fee for MD Radiology is over 12 crore).
  • As per the latest notification, the NMC has brought in 1 crore as fine for defaulting medical colleges while doctors, department heads or institute heads could also face penalties of up to 25 lakh for submitting false documents, according to the Maintenance of Standards of Medical Education Regulations, 2023’.
  • Also, any attempt to pressure the NMC or controlling Board will incur an immediate halt of the processing of all applications/ requests by the medical institution and colleges have also been asked to provide the annual disclosure report (ADR) and other documents required by boards to verify whether they are following the norms. 
  • Experts such as Rajeev Jayadevan of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Kochi said the move was needed to uphold the standards and, in the long run, minimize disparities in quality among individual medical colleges. 
  • Dr. Arun Kumar, former director and Vice-Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna (Bihar), noted that though strict punishment is welcome for defaulters, “Monetary penalties really l doesn’t serve as a punishment or deterrent for the private colleges which are in the medical education business.” 
  • RTI activist KV. Babu said: “This doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. No medical college manage- ment will pay the penalty from its own pocket and it will translate into a fee hike for students and contributions from the parents under various heads
  • Meanwhile, as per the latest notification, the punishments include with holding accreditation of medical colleges, with drawing accreditation for up to five years, halting admission to one or more courses, and even criminal proceedings for false information or documents.

International News

5. J&J not to enforce patents on TB drug 

  • The U.S.-based drug maker Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will not enforce patents for Sirturo, its brand name for bedaquiline, which is used in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 134 low- and middle-income countries.
  • The decision follows global pressure on the company against pursuing secondary patents on its breakthrough tuberculosis drug, including the Indian Patent Office’s rejection of J&J’s secondary patent application for the fumarate salt of bedaquiline. 
  • Bedaquiline is the first drug for tuberculosis, or TB, to be globally approved in over 40 years, and is less toxic and more effective than traditional TB treatments. 
  • “The announcement will finally pave the way for unfettered access to affordable generic versions of bedaquiline for all people living with drug-resistant tuberculosis who need the drug in low- and middle-income countries. This success is a testament to the persistent efforts of TB activists, civil society and also countries prioritizing public health over corporations’ interests,” said the Access Campaign, which is part of Médecins Sans Frontières, a medical humanitarian organization.

6. India-U.S. relation now on a different plane: Jaishankar 

  • The India-U.S. relationship is at an all- time high and the two nations have moved to I said a position where they see each other as very desirable, optimal and comfortable partners, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar Guru has said, stressing that like the Chandrayaan, bilateral ties will go to the moon and maybe even beyond. 
  • Mr. Jaishankar made the remarks while addressing several hundred Indian- Americans who had gathered at the India House U.S. from various parts of the United States to attend the “Celebrating colors of Friendship” event organized by the Embassy of India here on Saturday.
  • There is one clear message today that our relationship is at an all-time high. But as they say in America, you ain’t seen anything yet. So, we are going to take this relationship to a different level, to a different place,” he said at the largest-ever gathering of Indian-Americans at the India House. 
  • Mr. Jaishankar said that the success of the G-20 could not have happened without the support of the U.S.
  • “As the host, when things go well, the host India-U.S. always gets the credit. It’s reasonable. But, the G-20 could not have come together if all the members of the G-20 did not work for its success “he said”. 
  • The contribution, the support and the understanding that we got from the U.S. to make a successful G-20, I think that is something I would certainly unique. Like to recognize in public in Washington DC,” Mr. Jaishankar said amidst applause from Indian Americans. 
  • “So, it may have been our success in a literal way, but I think it was the G-20 [nations] success. To me, it was also a success of the In- partnership… Please keep giving this partnership the support it needs. And I can promise you that this relationship, like the Chandrayaan, will go to the moon, maybe even beyond,” he said.
  • Mr. Jaishankar said that the human bond between the two countries makes the bilateral relationship 
  • He said the people remember Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to the United States in 1985, Mr. ManmohanSingh’s visit in 2005 and Prime Minister Narendra two pm Modi’s several visits. 
  • “But I have to say that quiry this one (PM Modi’s recent Ac state visit) was different, it comm was different in optics, and perin if you ask me what has changed, I would say India “dee and the U.S. earlier used to deal with each other and 21-0 now they work with each other,” he said.
  • He recalled the recent Sandhu with the Indian diaspora and others, in Washington. Collaborative endeavors between the two countries, all starting with the letter ‘I. These initiatives lin include the India-Middle East Economic Corridor, 12U2 (India, Israel, the U.S., the UAE), Indo-Pacific cooperation, and the initiative on Critical and Emerging technologies (ICET).
  • He said the contribution of the diaspora in building the bilateral relationship is something fantastic.
  • If there is something unique about our relationship, it is the human bond that we have. The commitment of the diaspora to the India-U.S. relationship is commendable,” he added. The Minister said the India of today is different from what it was earlier. 

State News

7. The permanent campus of ‘National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research-NIPER was inaugurated in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated the permanent campus of ‘National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research’-NIPER Ahmedabad at Palej, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Shri Amit Shah said that institutions like NIPER will play an important role in making India selfreliant through research and development in the pharmaceutical sector of the country.
  • The NIPER campus at Gandhinagar will revolutionize the field of pharmaceutical education and research and create vast opportunities for the young generation in biomedical research in the state. It is spread over 8 buildings on approximately 60 acres of land.
  • Today NIPER has become a big name in the field of technical and higher education across the country, about 8,000 students have graduated and become successful in the professional field, more than 380 patents are registered in the name of NIPER and more than 7,000 research papers have been published. 
  • NIPER has also made its mark among the pharmaceutical industries and more than 270 MoUs have been signed between the industries and NIPER, which shows that NIPER has the skills to link knowledge to business. 
  • Gandhinagar also has Law University, National Forensic Science University, Raksha Shakti University, Deen Dayal Petroleum University. Presently there are 7 NIPERs in India, out of which Mohali, Guwahati and Gandhinagar are fully functional, besides construction work of NIPERs at Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Rae Bareli is in progress.

8. Ayush Board to be formed in Uttar Pradesh 

  • During a meeting of the Ayush department, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath provided directions for the formation of an integrated Ayush Board in the state.
  • The board is for the management of institutions related to Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy, Siddha, Naturopathy, and Yoga practices, as well as the registration of doctors associated with these methods. 
  • At present three separate boards are operating regarding Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathy medical practices. It is now necessary to integrate all these under one board, giving them a unified look.
  • This will not only streamline the establishment and development of new institutions but will also simplify the registration process for qualified doctors. 

9. Bihar to get second tiger reserve in Kaimur district

  • After the Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in West Champaran district, Bihar is set to get a second tiger reserve in Kaimur district (Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary) by the end of the year or early 2024.
  • The total tiger count in the State currently is 54. 
  • A report from the NTCA said that the tiger population in the Valmiki reserve has increased from 31 in 2018 to 54. 

About Bihar

  • Capital – Patna
  • Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
  • Governor – Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar

10. Manipur to refund farmers hit by clash with relief package

  • Manipur’s Agriculture Department has come up with a crop compensation package of 38.06 crore as relief for the farmers affected by the ethnic conflict that broke out on May 3. 
  • The ethnic violence between the tribal Kuki and the non-tribal Meitei communities has claimed more than 200 lives and displaced about 60,000 people. The turmoil also prevented farmers in the violence-prone areas from tending to their fields, resulting in crop loss
  • Officials said the package was estimated on the basis of an independent survey conducted by Loumi Shinmee Apunba Lup, a farmers’ body which estimated that paddy crop on a total of 9,719 hectares of land on the periphery of Imphal Valley could fail as farmers are afraid to go to the fields because of sporadic firing by armed miscreants from higher grounds. 
  • The total income loss for the State in the farm sector during the violence was estimated at 226.5 crore, with rice accounting for 93.36% of the total agriculture, followed by livestock farming.
  • State Agriculture Commissioner R.K. Dinesh Singh said that the department approached the Ministry of Home Affairs for funding a crop compensation package as relief for the farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by the ethnic violence. 

Defence News

11. AFSPA extended in 4 districts of Assam 

  • The Assam Police on Sunday said the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been extended in four districts of the State for six more months. 
  • At the Assam Police Day celebrations here, Director-General of Police Gyanendra Pratap Singh said the “disturbed area” tag, which allows enforcement of the AFSPA, has, however, been withdrawn from four other districts.
  • “From today, only four districts in Assam will have AFSPA. These are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar and Charaideo,” Mr. Singh said.
  • The AFSPA has been withdrawn from Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao will be operated with effect from October 1, the DGP added.
  • The Assam government had last extended the “disturbed area” notification under the AFSPA for another six months with effect from April 1 in these eight districts.
  • “Assam has reached a peaceful stage after passing through a volatile phase during the last 30 to 40 years,” Mr. Singh said.
  • On September 9, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that the Cabinet approved recommendation for withdrawal of the “disturbed area” tag from the eight districts.
  • The AFSPA was first imposed in Assam in November 1990.

12. Defence Ministry tightens rules of entitlement for disability compensation 

  • The Defence Ministry has issued new entitlement rules (ER) for grant of disability pensions to military personnel, tightening some of the provisions and introducing a new ‘impairment relief’ (IR) in lieu of the ‘disability element’ to cover lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
  • The development comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) asked the Ministry early this year to carry out an analysis of the disability among soldiers based on its report, which said that almost 40% of officers and 18% of personnel below officer rank (PBOR) who retire every year were drawing disability pensions.
  • The move comes after the CAG asked the Ministry early this year to carry out a disability analysis and Disability Compensation Awards to Armed Forces Personnel’ stipulates the conditions for the award of death/disability compensation to military personnel with effect from September 21. The new rules drew flak from several veterans and veterans’ organizations who alleged tweaking of the terms to cut down on disability pensions. 
  • The new IR is defined as a monthly disability compensation, calculated as a defined percentage of the last reckonable emoluments, awarded to armed forces personnel who are retired or discharged from service voluntarily or otherwise with a disability sustained under circumstances accepted as Category B or C and assessed not less than 20%. 
  • The All India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, a Chandigarh-based veterans organization, issued a statement against the “regressive changes” made in the award of disability and death benefits admissible to disabled soldiers and widows of defense services.
  • Similarly, several veterans pointed out discrepancies in the new rules on social media platform X. 
  • In the past, a Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services in a letter to the Defence Secretary had expressed alarm at the “alarming trend” evolving with regard to claims for disability pension. 

Economy News

13.Oil firms raise ATF and commercial LPG prices

  • Oil companies on Sunday raised the price of commercial cooking gas by a sharp 209 per 19-kg cylinder. And, in the fourth straight monthly increase since July, the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, was raised by 5%.
  • The price of a 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder through remains unchanged.
  • The increase in prices of commercial LPG may add ST to the expenses of commercial establishments T such as hotels and restaurants. A 19-kg cylinder now costs 1,731.50 in Delhi, 21,684 in Mumbai, and *1,898 in Chennai.
  • The latest increase largely reverses the cut of ₹157.5 a cylinder made on September 1 and the 100 cut on August 1. 
  • The 200 reduction in the price of domestic cylin- der made in August is ap- plicable to beneficiaries enrolled in the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), meaning a total subsidy of ₹400 for every 14.2-kg LPG cylinder. The Union Cabinet had approved approximately 75 lakh new LPG connections under the Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana in September. The initiative aims to provide these connections over the next three years at an estimated cost of ₹1,650 crore.
  • The revision in rates of ATF is expected to lead to a rise in airfares ahead of the festive season. Airlines attribute approximately 40% of the ticket price to fuel costs. ATF prices are notified on the first of every month by state-owned fuel retailers. They are revised based on the average international price in the previous month. The ATF price has now increased to 1,18,199.17 a kilolitre (kl) in Delhi, 1,22,423.92 in Chennai, and 1,10,592.31 in Mumbai for domestic airlines. ATF prices had seen their steepest-ever hike of 14.1% in September, an 8.5% hike in August and 1.6% in July. After Sunday’s increase, jet fuel prices have gone up by a whopping 29,391.08 per kl. 

14. Gross GST revenue growth slowed to 10.2% in Sept.

  • Growth in India’s gross goods and services tax (GST) revenues slowed to a 27-month low of 10.2% in September, from around 10.8% in the previous two months. However, collec tions improved 2.3% over August revenues to touch *1,62,712 crore. 
  • Revenues from domestic transactions, including services imports, were 14% higher than the tax collected from these sources during September 2022. This is the fourth time that the gross GST kitty has crossed the 1.60 lakh crore mark in 2023-24, the Finance Ministry said.
  • GST inflows from goods imports had recovered from two months of contraction to grow 3% in August, but shrank again in September, albeit by a fraction. While the Finance Ministry did not specify the extent of the decline in its statement, back-of-the-envelope calculations show that GST revenues from goods imports dropped 0.11% from last September. 
  • The last time that GST revenues grew at a slower pace was in June 2021, when collections rose a mere 2% amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The revenues in that month were based on domestic transactions between June 5 and July 5, since taxpayers were given various relief measures in the form of waivers and reduction in interest on delayed filings for firms with an aggregate turnover up to 25 crore. 
  • Last month’s GST reve mues, based on transactions carried out in August, included Central GST (UAT) collections of 729,818 crore, State GST (SGST) of 137,657 crore, and Integrated GST (CST) of 183,623 crore, which included 241,145 crore collected on goods imports. 

Schemes and Committees News

15. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel launched the scheme to give pensions to construction workers

  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge launched the ‘Chief Minister Construction Workers Pension Assistance Scheme’. Under this initiative, construction workers registered for ten years and completing 60 years of age will get pension assistance of Rs 1,500 per month for life.
  • Under this scheme, monthly pension will be deposited directly into the bank accounts of workers through direct benefit transfer.
  • Chhattisgarh government has directly transferred Rs 1,895 crore to the accounts of beneficiaries under Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana. Under this scheme, 40 lakh people have been brought out of poverty in the state in the last five years. 
  • During the ‘Farmers-cum-Labour Conference’, an amount of Rs 5.16 crore was also given to cow dung sellers under the ‘Godhan Nyaya Yojana’. Besides this, incentives worth Rs 57.18 crore were given to 33,642 sugarcane growers in the poll-bound state. 

Appointment and Resignation News

16. Saugata Gupta appointed as ASCI Chairman

  • Saugata Gupta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Marico Ltd, has been appointed new Chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
  • Gupta’s association with ASCI spans several years, including two years on the Board of Governors and four years as a special invitee on the Board of Governors. 
  • Partha Sinha, president of response, Bennett Coleman & Company Limited, was elected vice chairman, and Sudhanshu Vats, deputy managing director, Pidilite Industries Ltd, was appointed honorary treasurer. 

About the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) 

  • The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a voluntary self-regulatory organization of the advertising industry in India. Established in 1985, ASCI is registered as a non-profit company under section 25 of the Company Act.
  • ASCI is committed to the cause of self-regulation in advertising, ensuring the protection of the interest of consumers. 
  • ASCI seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful, and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition.

Banking and Financial News

17. RBI’s Swaminathan J chairs 28th Advisory Committee meeting in Lucknow 

  • 28th Meeting of the Standing Advisory Committee to review the flow of credit to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – MSME sector was held under the chairmanship of RBI Deputy Governor Swaminathan J, in Lucknow.
  • Emphasizing the significant role of the MSME sector, particularly in the context of the goal of attaining developed economy status by 2047, the RBI Deputy Governor stressed the need for collaborative efforts on the part of all stakeholders to unlock the full potential of MSMEs.
  • He also highlighted various initiatives taken by the Reserve Bank such as the Account Aggregator framework, the digital Public Tech Platform to enable delivery of frictionless credit and the regulatory sandbox on MSME lending.
  • The meeting was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of MSME, Ministry of Finance, Senior Management of major banks and NABARD, senior executives of Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises, National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Indian Banks’ Association and MSME Associations.

18. SIDBI to launch app-based ‘invoice financing’ loans platform 

  • With an aim to enhance the economic and financial sustainability of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is in the process of launching an app-based ‘invoice financing’ loans platform ‘GST Sahay’.
  • The MSMEs are vital for the economic growth and development of India. They (MSMEs) create jobs and contribute enormously to the socio-economic development of the country.
  • Although several measures for the MSMEs have been taken in the past few years by the government, the crunch in working capital credit is one of the major issues for them. Now, SIDBI is in the process of launching an app-based ‘invoice financing’ loans platform for them.

About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) 

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

Science and Technology News

19. Indonesia set to launch China-funded high-speed u rail, first in Southeast Asia

  • Indonesia is set to launch Southeast Asia’s first high- speed railway on Monday, a delayed multibillion-dollar project backed by China that will cut travel between capital Jakarta and another major city by hours. 
  • The Chinese-made bullet train named “Whoosh” is built to take more than 600 people to and from Jakarta and the Javan city of Bandung in 45 minutes and is part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative comprising multiple countries in Asia. 
  • President Joko Widodo has lauded the project for the fast ride it will provide between the two cities on Indonesia’s most populous island is Java, and he will inaugurate it on Monday.
  • The train can reach speeds up to 350 kmph and has cost a joint Chinese-Indonesian venture more than $7 billion to build.
  • It was set to cost less than $5 billion and be built by 2019 but delays due to construction issues and the COVID-19 pandemic saw costs spike.
  • Authorities have been running public trials of the new high-speed journey of 142 km before its opening. 

20. D Pradhan launch Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav and Technology Summit 

  • Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan has launched Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav and Technology & Bharatiya Bhasha Summit in New Delhi.
  • The summit will focus on the integration of technology in promoting Bharatiya Bhasha, including its role in teaching, examination, and translating educational materials. 
  • The government has proposed to celebrate the birthday of renowned Tamil poet and freedom fighter Mahakavi Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati as Bharatiya Bhasha Divas on 11th December. 
  • The Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav which began on 28th September will conclude on 11th December making it a 75-day-long celebration.
  • The summit, organized as part of the Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav encompasses three thematic sessions first is Technology ‘FOR’ Bharatiya Languages, Technology ‘IN’ Bharatiya Languages, and Technology ‘THROUGH’ Bharatiya Languages.

Miscellaneous News

21. No copyright claim on public service videos: Prasar Bharati officials

  • The Prasar Bharati does not make copyright claims on any public service content, which includes the parliamentary proceedings reproduced by it, said -1- officials of the broadcaster on Sunday, following an allegation that it had sent copyright infringement notices to YouTube vloggers on parliamentary proceedings. 
  • The issue was raised by Congress leader Gurdeep Singh Sappal, a former chief executive officer/editor of the Rajya Sabha TV, facial. Through his X handle.
  • “Prasar Bharti has sent notices to YouTubers invoking copyright on it. This is wrong. Parliamentary proceedings are national assets of historical value. They are not a commercial product that can be used for profiteering under the garb of copyright. In fact, any attempt to limit the access to parlia- mentary proceedings amounts to censorship and is an infringement of the rights of citizens (to) be informed of the happenings in the Parliament,” Mr. Sappal said.
  • Stating that Prasar Bharati had never issued such a notice, a senior official said its public servicerelated contents were copyright-free. “We always strive for maximum dissemination of public service contents,” said the official.
  • Another official said that copyright violation notices on identical content may get generated automatically, given the platform’s algorithm. “However, as and when we receive information about such notices, which involve public service contents, we take measures to get the issue resolved at the earliest. If the affected person does not pursue the matter with YouTube, it may not even seek any clarification from us,” said the official.

22. DGCA may bar pilots from using perfume to avoid false-positive alcohol tests

  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) may soon bar pilots from using perfume as it has alcoholic content and could cause a breath analyzer test to show positive results. 
  • The aviation regulator has called for comments from stakeholders on amending the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), issued under provisions of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, as regards safety regulations 
  • The proposed clause reads: “No crew member shall consume any drug/ formulation or use any substance such as mouthwash/tooth gel/perfume or any such product which has alcoholic content. This may result in a positive breath analyzer test. Any crew member who is undergoing such medication shall consult the company doctor before undertaking the flying assignment.” 
  • Going by CAR guidelines prescribed for all operators operating scheduled/ charter/non-scheduled flights originating from India, each flight crew member and cabin crew member shall be subjected to a preflight breath-analyser examination at first departure airport during a flight duty period.
  • The norm that all scheduled and non-scheduled operators shall ensure breath-analyser examination is recorded on camera and recordings preserved for six months would also be extended to the State government. 
  • The air safety guidelines say that even when the blood alcohol levels are zero in the body, there could be some effect of hangover, which is mainly due to congeners. A new amendment proposed is to advise aircraft operators to make available at least two serviceable fuel-cell technology-based breath analysers capable of giving accurate digital value up to three decimal places with a memory to store at least the last 1,000 records. 

Sports News

23. Aditi Ashok becomes the first Indian female golfer to win a silver medal in the 19th Asian Games 

  • Golfer Aditi Ashok created history on 1 October 2023 by becoming the first Indian woman golfer to win a silver medal in golf at the Asian Games. Top Indian golfer Aditi Ashok won the silver medal in the individual women’s golf event with a score of 17 under par at the Asian Games 2023. 
  • Thailand’s Arpichya Yubol got the gold medal and Korea Republic’s Hyunjo got the bronze medal. 
  • India has so far won 49 medals in the 19th Asian Games. This includes 13 gold, 19 silver and 17 bronze. India ended its shooting campaign at the Asian Games with its best performance so far with 22 medals (7 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze). After shooting, India has got the most medals in athletics (9). 

Other Gold Medals

  • In the men’s trap team shooting competition, Kinan Chenai, Zorawar Singh and Prithviraj Tondiman scored 361 and won the gold medal, leaving Kuwait and China behind.
  • India’s Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale won gold in mixed doubles. The pair won the gold medal after winning the third set tie-breaker against Chinese Taipei.
  • Indian men’s squash team has won the gold medal by defeating Pakistan. For the first time since 2014, the Indian team has won this medal in the Asian Games. 
  • Avinash Sable won India’s first track and field gold medal in the men’s 5000 meters steeplechase.
  • Tajinder Pal Singh Toor won the gold medal in the men’s shot-put final, his second consecutive Asian Games gold medal.

24. Nepal cricket team became the first cricket team in the world to cross the 300 mark in an international T20 match

  • Nepal men’s team created history during the Asian Games group match against Mongolia at the Pingfeng Cricket Field of Zhejiang University for Technology in Hangzhou. Nepal scored an incredible score of 314/3 in 20 overs and became the first team to cross the 300 marks in T20 cricket. 
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) had already confirmed that the Asian Games matches would be given international T20 status. Earlier in the year 2019, Afghanistan had scored 278/3 against Ireland. 
  • Nepal also hit a total of 26 sixes in their innings, the most by any team in a T20I innings, breaking Afghanistan’s record. 
  • For Nepal, Kushal Malla scored unbeaten 137 runs with the help of 12 sixes and eight fours in 50 balls, while Deependra Singh scored unbeaten 52 runs with the help of eight sixes in 10 balls.
  • Additionally, Deepender Singh Airi broke Yuvraj Singh’s long-standing record of the fastest T20 half- century in 12 balls in the year 2007. In the same innings, he hit six sixes in one over. Whereas Deependra Singh Airi completed his half- century in just nine balls. 
  • Kushal Malla also broke the record of Indian captain Rohit Sharma and South African star batsman David Miller for the fastest T20 century in 35 balls. Malla completed his century in just 34 balls. 

Indian Polity 

25. At Delhi rally seeking OPS, protesters get support from Kejriwal, Congress 

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said he has requested the Union government to implement the old pension scheme (OPS) for Delhi government employees. He voiced his support on a day when thousands of protesters gathered at Ramlila Maidan in the capital for an agitation against the new pension scheme (NPS). Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely also participated in the rally and offered his support to the protesters.
  • The ‘Pension Shankhnaad Rally’, organized under the banner of the National Movement for Old Pension Scheme saw the participation of Central and State government employees from more than 20 States. The protesters are demanding a restoration of the OPS as those employees who joined government service after January 2004 have been forced into the NPS, which they fear will be detrimental to post-retirement. Them 
  • In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Kejriwal said, “We strongly support the demand of [government] employees to bring back OPS. NPS is an injustice against employees. We have implemented OPS in Punjab and have written to the Centre for implementing it for [Delhi government] employees.”
  • ‘NPS is anti-employee’ Addressing the rally, Mr. Lovely said that the NPS was an anti-employee scheme and this protest had sounded the bugle for Narendra Modiled government’s exist in 2024. “When Congress comes to power in Delhi, its top-most priority would be to implement the old pension scheme. Regularization of guest teachers and others on ad hoc rolls will also be the top priority of the Congress government,” Mr. Lovely said.
  • The Congress, he said, has been backing the demands of government employees.
  • “If government employees rise in revolt, it means it is time for the rul ing party to exit,” he said.

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