Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 29th September 2023

National News

1. MoT recognizes Pembarthi and Chandlapur as Best Tourism Village 

  • In Telangana, Pembarthi in Jangoan district and Chandlapur in Siddipet district have been chosen by the Ministry of Tourism as the best tourism villages in Telangana for the year. 
  • Both the villages received awards on the occasion of World Tourism Day during a special function in New Delhi.
  • Central recognized the handicrafts and tourism places in Telangana and had recognized Bhoodan Pochampalli as a tourism village two years ago.
  • Pembarthi is known for brass and bronze products and home decorations, figurines of gods and goddesses, and other handicrafts, which are exported to countries like the U.S., Germany, Belgium, and Japan. About 25 thousand people visit the village annually.
  • Chandlapur village is renowned for the famous Ranganayaka Swamy temple, ‘Gollabama’ sarees, and other crafts of the region.
  • Central government actively promoted Telangana arts and crafts, especially during the recently concluded G-20 summit, where foreign delegates were presented with the Pochampally sarees and scarves.

2. RS Deputy Chairman leads parliamentary delegation to BRICS 

  • Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh led a parliamentary delegation to the 9th BRICS Parliamentary Forum held in Johannesburg. 
  • As the head of the delegation, he makes an Opening Statement and also chairs a session on Climate Change and Legislative Mobilization in BRICS Countries.
  • Members of the delegation Sumitra Balmik and Indra Hung Subba participated in a debate on the theme “Harnessing Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to Deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for Accelerated Implementation of the Africa Free-Trade Agreement and also in other sessions. 

3. PM To Launch ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ On 30th September

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch a week-long programme called ‘Sankalp Saptaah‘ on September 30, 2023. The overarching goal of this initiative is to enhance governance at the block level, ultimately improving the quality of life for citizens.
  • ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ is poised to be a pivotal moment in the journey of the Aspirational Blocks Programme. It will be observed across all 500 Aspirational Blocks from October 3 to October 9, 2023. 
  • The inaugural event at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 30, 2023, will be a momentous occasion. It will see the active participation of approximately 3,000 panchayat and block level people’s representatives and functionaries from all corners of the country. Additionally, to ensure widespread engagement, around two lakh individuals, including block and panchayat level functionaries, farmers, and members of various walks of life, will join the programme virtually. 

4. India’s Power Demand Surges To Five-Year High In September: CRISIL Report 

  • In a recent report by CRISIL MI&A (Market Intelligence and Advisory), India’s power demand for September 2023 reached an impressive five-year high. The report also offers insights into the factors driving this surge and the challenges faced by the power sector. 
  • India’s power demand in September witnessed remarkable year-on-year growth, reaching 140-142 billion units (BUs), marking a five-year high. Despite this, the demand in September was about seven percent lower than the previous month, primarily due to exceptionally dry conditions in August, one of the driest months in 122 years.
  • India experienced two consecutive months of all-time high peak power demand, with 238 GW in August followed by an even higher 240 GW in September. This surge in peak power demand reflects the need for reliable and efficient power generation and distribution. 

5. HC: growth of 'dummy schools' adversely impacting city students

  • The unchecked growth of "dummy schools" is adversely affecting the students who genuinely fulfill the local education criterion as it deprives them of the benefit of the State quota while applying for courses at higher education institutes, the Delhi High Court has observed.
  • The court made the observation on September 21 during a hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) 
  • Please challenge the eligibility criteria applied by the universities in the national capital for the grant of MBBS or BDS seats under the quota. 
  • According to the requirement, only students who have completed their Classes XI and XII from a recognised school located in Delhi are considered for the grant of seats under the Delhi state quota.
  • Under the prevalent practice, students who are domicile of other States secure admission at schools in the city just to fulfill the requirement while they keep preparing for competitive exams in other et ties without attending their school in person. 
  • A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula also issued a notice over the issue to the Delhi government, Central Board of Secondary Education, Directorate General of Health Services, Delhi University and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.

International News 

6. What Is The Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance?

  • The Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance, often referred to as simply “Five Eyes,” is a secretive international intelligence coalition comprising five English-speaking countries. 
  • The Five Eyes alliance originated as a post-war intelligence-sharing agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Formed in 1946, its primary objective was to share signals intelligence (SIGINT) to counter the emerging Soviet threat during the Cold War.
  • Established in the aftermath of World War II, this alliance has played a pivotal role in shaping global intelligence and security strategies. 

7. Record-Breaking US Visa Applications By Indians In 2023 

  • The US Mission in India exceeded its target by processing a staggering one million nonimmigrant visa applications in 2023. This milestone signifies the growing interest of Indians in visiting the United States.
  • Indians have emerged as a dominant force in the realm of US visa applications, constituting more than 10% of all visa applicants worldwide. This surge in interest reflects the enduring allure of the United States for Indian travelers.
  • Indian students have displayed a remarkable affinity for American education, with 20% of all student visa applicants hailing from India. In the professional arena, Indians constitute a whopping 65% of all H&L-category (employment) visa applicants. This reflects the strong economic ties and opportunities that the United States offers to Indian professionals. 

8. Taiwan Unveils ‘Haikun’, Its First Domestically Built Submarine 

  • Taiwan, a self-governing island in East Asia, has recently unveiled its first domesticallymade submarine, named the Haikun, in a move to bolster its defenses against the everpresent threat of a possible Chinese attack. 
  • The $1.54 billion diesel-electric powered Haikun submarine represents a significant step in Taiwan’s efforts to enhance its defense capabilities. Taiwan’s goal is to operate a fleet of 10 submarines, which includes two older Dutch-made boats, and equip them with missiles. 
  • This fleet expansion aims to deter any potential attempts by China to encircle Taiwan for an invasion or impose a naval blockade. It also provides a buffer until U.S. and Japanese forces can arrive to support Taiwan’s defense. Taiwan’s successful development of its submarine program has seen support from several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. 

State News

9. Country’s First Cartography Museum Inaugurated In Mussorie 

  • The Minister of Tourism and Culture of Uttarakhand, Satpal Maharaj, inaugurated the George Everest Cartography Museum in the picturesque town of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
  • The museum is situated in Park Estate, which used to be the residence of the famous surveyor Sir George Everest, known for whom Mount Everest is named. This estate can be found in the Hathipaon region of the hill town. 
  • The minister also named a helipad at the George Everest estate after the brilliant mathematician Radhanath Sikdar. Sikdar’s historic accomplishment was no less than calculating the height of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, for the first time in history. This remarkable feat laid the foundation for subsequent mountaineering and surveying endeavors in the Himalayas.

10. Chhattisgarh govt launches own housing scheme for state’s homeless families 

  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has launched the “Mukhyamantri Gramin Awas Nyay Yojana” with the aim of providing assistance for constructing houses to eligible beneficiaries of the scheme across the state.
  • The scheme includes beneficiaries who need housing but are not eligible for the scheme as per the survey list 2011 as the socio-economic and caste census was conducted by the Union government in 2011.
  • The Baghel government has decided to conduct the “Chhattisgarh State Socio-Economic Survey 2023” from April 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023. The survey included 5,979,000 families, out of which 1,076,545 families were found to be houseless and having kutcha houses. 
  • The Rural Housing Justice Scheme was announced in order to provide homes for such families. the Chief Minister in July this year. The state government will bear 100 percent cost of the implementation of the scheme. 
  • In the scheme’s first phase, 47,090 homeless families will benefit. Rs 1,30,000 and Rs 1,20,000 per family will be divided into IAP (hilly and inaccessible areas) and non-IAP (plain areas) districts, respectively. 

11. Bihar To Establish Second Tiger Reserve In Kaimur District 

  • Bihar is preparing to establish its second tiger reserve within the Kaimur district. With the growing tiger population and concerted efforts by the State Forest Department, this new reserve is expected to bolster tiger conservation efforts and enrich the state’s biodiversity.
  • The upcoming tiger reserve in Kaimur district will complement the existing Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) located in the West Champaran district of Bihar. The establishment of a second tiger reserve signifies a proactive approach to protect and conserve the majestic big cats and their habitat. 
  • As per recent reports, Bihar currently boasts a total tiger population of 54. This figure represents a remarkable growth in the tiger population within the state. The efforts of the State Forest Department have been instrumental in this positive trend. The dedication to tiger conservation has contributed significantly to this rise, and it bodes well for the future of these magnificent creatures in Bihar.


12. Mizoram not to collect data of Myanmar refugees 

  • The Mizoram government has decided against collecting the biometric and biographical data of 'refugees' from Myanmar.
  • Some 40,000 Chin people, fleeing a civil war in Myanmar since the February 2021 military coup, have taken shelter in Mizoram and Manipur. 
  • Over 35,000 Chin people of them are in Mizoram, apart from 700 KukiChin people from Bangladesh. 
  • The Chin, Kuki-Chin, Kuki-Zo and the dominant Mizo people of Mizoram belong to the same ethnic stock.
  • "The Centre advised us to carry out the exercise but we said it would not be possible since our officials would be busy with the preparations for the up- coming Assembly elections," a Mizoram Home Department official said, declining to be quoted. 
  • The elections to the 40- member Mizoram House are expected in December.

Defence News

13. Russia To Boost Its Defence Spending By 70% In 2024

  • Russia is poised to substantially increase its defense spending by nearly 70% in 2024. This financial shift, as revealed in a document published by the Russian Finance Ministry, comes as Moscow continues to allocate significant resources to support its extensive offensive operations in Ukraine.
  • The document in question outlines a staggering surge in defense spending, projecting an increase of over 68% compared to the previous year. This uptick will result in defense expenditure reaching nearly 10.8 trillion rubles, which translates to approximately $111.15 billion. Remarkably, this sum accounts for roughly 6% of Russia’s GDP, surpassing the funds allocated for critical social policies.

14. Indian, French Army chiefs share lessons from Ukraine war, discuss deepening ties

  • Pointing to the strategic partnership between India and France and the close cooperation between the two Navies and Air Forces, French Army chief General Pierre Schill said the two Armies were also looking to deepen cooperation with more exercises and sharing best practices among others. 
  • In his bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart, General Manoj Pande, he said they exchanged the lessons learnt from the war in Ukraine and how they could manage to increase their capabilities in the future looking at conclusions from the war. 

  • He was in India to participate in the 13th Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC) hosted by India jointly with the U.S. from September 25 to 27, 
  • General Pierre Schill as well as the 47th IndoPacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) and 9th Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum (SELF).
  • To a question on what the discussion was with Gen. Pande over China, Gen. Schill told The Hindu, "Once again, I think there is the strategic question of the position of our two countries to balance state power competition, including military but also technological, economic power and how this chang- es the situation in the area."
  • On the discussions at the IPACC over Chinese expansion, Gen. Schell said that at their level, as Army Chiefs, the question is not whether "to be against or with '' China. "But [it is] rather about the ability of our armies to increase de- terrence to preserve peace and regional stability, and also our ability to cooperate with partners in order to be able to have a multilateral approach to support and solve challenges and issues of this area, including the question of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief [HADR]." 
  • To questions on the kind of role that land forces of India and France can forge in the Pacific part of the Indo-Pacific, the French Army Chief referred to the importance of territory and with it the aspect of "sovereignty", which means "protecting, defending, but also promoting resilience."

Banking and Financial News

15. Kotak MF launches investor education program in partnership with CBSE 

  • Kotak Mutual Fund has launched an investor education and awareness program in partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). 
  • The program, Seekho Paiso Ki Bhasha, will pave the way for financial literacy aimed at empowering teachers across India.
  • To ensure a broad reach and accessibility for teachers across the country, investor education and awareness programs will be held in over 100 locations
  • By the end of the program, Kotak Mutual Fund intends to reach around 75,000 plus CBSE teachers, out of which 50% are expected to be women educators. 
  • This initiative aims to educate and create awareness, to around 75,000 educators with an aim to empower them and foster the growth of their financial understanding, and ultimately which can help contribute to India’s journey towards a potentially progressive future. 
  • The initiative will include around 1,000 financial literacy programs, scheduled between September and October 2023, ‘Seekho Paiso ki Bhasha’, aiming to shape a generation of financially informed citizens. 

Recent MoU in the Banking Sector 

  • SIDBI signed an MoU with the Digital Lenders Association of India (DLAI) to boost the country’s fintech sector. 
  • UP New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) signed MoU SIDBI to promote green project
  • SIDBI signs with Digital Lenders Association of India (DLAI) to boost fintech sector 
  • IREDA partners with Bank of Maharashtra to promote renewable energy adoption 
  • Yes Bank partners with Juspay to offer merchant in-app UPI payments 

16. RBI Imposed Monetary Penalties On Yet Another Three Co-Operative Banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed monetary penalties on three co-operative banks, namely Saraswat Co-operative Bank Limited, Bassein Catholic Co-operative Bank Ltd, and Rajkot Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd, which were found to have deficiencies in regulatory compliance. 
  • Saraswat Co-operative Bank Limited, headquartered in Mumbai, has been penalized with a monetary penalty of ₹23 lakh. The bank has contravene various provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (BR Act), and the directions issued by RBI on ‘Loans and advances to directors, their relatives, and firms/concerns in which they are interested.’ 
  • The RBI imposed a monetary penalty of ₹25 lakh on Bassein Catholic Co-operative Bank Ltd, based in Vasai, Maharashtra. This penalty was imposed for contravening the provisions of Section 20 read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The RBI also penalized Rajkot Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd., Rajkot, with a monetary penalty of ₹13 lakh for non-compliance with the directions issued by the RBI on ‘Interest Rate on Deposits.’

17. Outlook On Indian Bank Credit Growth: Insights From Crisil

  • Crisil, a leading research and ratings agency, has provided a comprehensive overview of the projected trends in India’s bank credit growth for the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24). Several factors have been identified that contribute to the anticipated decline in credit expansion. 
  • This year, it’s expected that the economy will grow by 6%, which is a bit less than the 7.2% growth we saw last year. When it comes to the growth of wholesale credit, which previously saw 15% growth, is predicted to slow down significantly this year, possibly growing by about 11-11.5%. 
  • In the previous year, retail credit showed a growth of around 19-20%. This year, it’s expected to continue growing at a similar steady pace, maintaining its momentum. As for agriculture credit, we predict it will grow by about 9-10% this year. This growth is expected to stay stable, depending on whether the monsoon season is favorable or not . Expected GDP Growth in FY25 is 6.9%.

Appointment and Resignation News

18. Intel India appoints Gokul Subramaniam as President 

  • Intel Corporation has appointed Gokul Subramaniam as the new President of Intel India, responsible for overseeing the company’s comprehensive engineering and design operations. 
  • He replaced Nivruti Rai, who resigned as Intel India country in June 2023. 
  • Santhosh Viswanathan, Vice President and Managing Director of Sales, Marketing, and Communications Group (SMG) for Intel India, will continue overseeing Intel’s overall business in the country, focusing on new revenue and growth opportunities
  • Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor producer by revenue, operates its second-largest design and engineering center in India, after the United States.
  • With advanced design facilities in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the company has invested over $9 billion in India and remains committed to expanding its research and development footprint. 
  • Subramaniam, who is based in Bengaluru, has been with Intel for over 11 years and has occupied various technical and business leadership roles. He currently serves as a vice president in the Client Computing Group (CCG) and is the general manager of the Client Platforms and Systems division. 

Recent Appointment

  • Chairman of Tata Advanced Systems – Banmali Agarwal
  • 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)

19. Banmali Agarwal Appointed Chairman Of Tata Advanced Systems 

  • Banmali Agarwal has assumed the role of Chairman at TASL, succeeding Vijay Singh, who has retired. This move comes as part of Tata Group’s continued commitment to bolstering its presence in the aerospace and defense sector.
  • Agarwal brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role, which includes his position as a senior advisor to Tata Sons and his role as Chairman of Tata Electronics.
  • Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) operates as the strategic aerospace and defense arm of Tata Sons, the parent company of the Tata Group. TASL holds a pivotal role in shaping the group’s defense-related endeavors, encompassing both operational and holding functions.

Sports News

20. Leander Paes, 1st Asian man nominated as player to Tennis Hall of Fame 

  • Multiple Grand Slam winner Leander Paes has emerged as the first Asian man to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the player category.
  • The 50-year-old Paes was one of the six nominees announced for the Class of 2024. He will be competing with Cara Black, Ana Ivanovic, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor and Flavia Pennetta in the Player Category.
  • Besides Paes, former India player Vijay Amritraj was also nominated in the contributor category. 
  • Li Na, the Chinese player who won the women’s singles title at the Australian Open and French Open, became the first Asian player to get nominated to the ITHF in 2019. 
  • Paes is a winner of 18 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles, besides being a former doubles world No. 1. 
  • In a career spanning three decades, he captured eight Grand Slams in doubles, 10 in mixed doubles and a career Slam in both disciplines.

21. Asian Games 2023, Palak Gulia Wins Gold In Women’s 10m Air Pistol 

  • During the sixth day of competition at the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, the young Indian shooters Palak Gulia and Esha Singh showcased their skills in the women’s 10m air pistol individual event, earning gold and silver medals, respectively.
  • Palak, a 17-year-old talent impressed everyone with her poise and composure. She quickly climbed to the top of the leaderboard during the final round. Ultimately, she secured an individual gold medal at the Asian Games, setting a new record for the event with 242.1 points. 
  • Esha Singh, another Indian shooter, secured the second position on the leaderboard with 239.7 points, trailing the winner by a margin of 2.6 points. The bronze medal went to Kishmala Talat from Pakistan, who achieved a score of 218.2 points.

22. Swapnil Kusale, Aishwarya Pratap And Akhil Sheoran Wins 7th Gold For India 

  • The Indian men’s shooting trio comprising Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar, Swapnil Suresh Kusale, and Akhil Sheoran secured a gold medal in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Team event. Their remarkable achievement didn’t stop there; they broke the world record with an extraordinary score of 1769 points.
  • As a result of this exceptional performance, India has climbed to the fourth position in the points table at the Asian Games 2023. In another notable event, the Indian women’s shooting team, comprised of Palak, Esha Singh, and Divya Subbaraju, clinched a silver medal in the 10m air pistol team event. 
  • With these recent victories, the Indian contingent at the Asian Games 2023 has amassed a total of 27 medals. The breakdown includes 7 gold, 9 silver, and 11 bronze medals. This remarkable achievement underscores India’s commitment to excellence in various sporting disciplines. 

23. Nepal Shatters Records With Historic Performance In Asian Games 2023 T20I Match 

  • Nepal cricket team rewrote the record books in the Asian Games 2023, achieving remarkable milestones in T20 International cricket. Nepal’s extraordinary performance in the tournament led them to become the first team ever to cross the 300-run mark in T20Is. 
  • In a breathtaking match, Nepal amassed an astonishing total of 314/3 in their allotted 20 overs. This feat overshadowed Afghanistan’s previous record of 278/3 against Ireland in 2019, highlighting Nepal’s dominance with the bat. 
  • At just 19 years old, Kushal Malla, a talented left-handed batter, etched his name in cricket history by smashing the fastest-ever T20I century. Malla achieved this remarkable feat in a mere 34 balls, surpassing the joint previous record held by David Miller and Rohit Sharma, which stood at 35 balls.
  • Nepal’s No. 5 batter, Dipendra Singh Airee with his explosive batting blazed his way to a nine-ball fifty, a feat that surpassed the 16-year-old record set by Yuvraj Singh, who had taken 12 balls to reach his half-century in a World T20 match against England in 2007. 

Important Days News

24. International Translation Day 2023

  • International Translation Day, observed on September 30 every year, serves as a global celebration of the invaluable contributions made by translators and language professionals. These individuals play a pivotal role in facilitating cross-cultural dialogue, contributing to global development, and fostering world peace. 
  • International Translation Day was first established in 1991 by the International Federation of Translators (FIT). FIT is a collective organization representing translators, interpreters, and terminologists worldwide, founded in 1953. The day was instituted to foster unity within the global translation community and to raise awareness about the significance of the translation profession.
  • International Translation Day is celebrated in honour of St. Jerome, a revered figure in the field of translation studies and is considered the patron saint of translators. He was a Christian scholar and priest known for his monumental task of translating most of the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew, making it more accessible to readers.

Schemes News

25. Remission Of Duties And Taxes On Exported Products (RoDTEP) Scheme Extended Till 30th June 2024 

  • The Central Government extended support for exports under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme till 30 June 2024. The decision to extend the RoDTEP scheme is a strategic move by the government to support the exporting community in navigating the uncertain international trade landscape.
  • Major economies around the world have been experiencing a slowdown, which has directly impacted the demand for Indian exports. By extending the scheme, the government aims to provide exporters with a better negotiating position for international contracts.
  • The government introduced the RoDTEP Scheme as a duty remission scheme on exports, officially launching it on 1 January 2021. The scheme serves as a mechanism for the reimbursement of duties, taxes, and levies. These are costs that export entities incur during the manufacturing and distribution process of exported products. Importantly, these costs are not typically refunded through other mechanisms at the central, state, or local levels. 

Ranks and Reports News

26. TCS Tops Kantar BrandZ Top Most Valuable Indian Brands Report 2023 

  • In the latest edition of the Kantar BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands Report for 2023, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has retained its prestigious position at the top of the list with an impressive brand value of $43 billion.
  • HDFC Bank, a stalwart in the Indian banking sector, retains its second-place ranking. while Infosys, a tech industry titan, maintains its third position in the rankings. Airtel, a leading telecom provider, secures the fourth spot and State Bank of India makes a notable entry into the top five, underscoring its significance as a financial institution in India.
  • The 2023 ranking is based on the opinions of over 127,634 respondents who evaluated 1,500 brands across 106 categories. This extensive survey provides valuable insights into the perceptions and preferences of Indian consumers. 

Agreements News

27. Google & HP Join Hands To Make Chromebooks In India 

  • HP has announced a partnership with Google to manufacture Chromebooks in India, with production set to commence on October 2. This collaboration aims to make it affordable computing devices accessible to Indian students and support the government’s “Make in India” initiative. 
  • The Chromebook devices will be manufactured at the Flex Facility near Chennai, where HP has been producing laptops and desktops since August 2020. The collaboration between HP and Google envisions supporting the digital education ecosystem in India by providing affordable, safe, and high-quality computing devices to education authorities, schools and institutions, allowing Indian students easy access to affordable PCs. 
  • Chromebooks, which run on Google’s ChromeOS, have played a pivotal role in transforming education in India and around the world. According to the statement, Chromebooks are the leading devices in K-12 education, benefiting over 50 million students and teachers globally. These devices are known for their affordability and userfriendly interface, making them ideal for educational institutions. 

Science and Technology News

28. International Scientists Make Refined Map Of World’s ‘8th Continent’ Zealandia 

  • A dedicated team of international geologists and seismologists has embarked on a mission to chart the depths of Zealandia, a relatively unknown landmass submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. Their efforts have resulted in the creation of an updated and highly detailed map that sheds light on the continent’s intriguing geological features.
  • Zealandia, often referred to as the eighth continent, remains shrouded in oceanic mystery, with a staggering 94% of its expanse concealed beneath the sea’s surface. The remaining 6% peeks above the waves, encompassing islands such as New Zealand and its neighboring isles. 
  • The geological history of Zealandia dates back approximately 83 million years when volcanic forces played a pivotal role in the separation of the supercontinent Gondwana, giving rise to the continents we recognize today.

29. I&B Ministry notifies key changes to TV network rules 

  • The Information and Broadcasting (1&H) Ministry has issued a notification amending the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, thereby introducing a procedure for the renewal of Multi-System Operator (MSO) registrations. 
  • In addition, an enabling provision has been inserted in the Rules for the sharing of infrastructure by the cable operators with the broadband service provid ers to promote Internet penetration to the last mile, the Ministry said on Tuesday. 
  • The salient features of the amended Rules, which were notified on Wednesday, provide that the cable operators will have to apply for the registration or renewal of registration online at the Ministry's Broadcast Seva Portal. The registrations will be granted or renewed for 10 years. The processing fee of 1 lakh applies for renewal of registration also. The application for it will be within a window of seven to two months before the expiry of registration. "The renewal procedure is in line with the government's commitment to ease of doing business as it will provide certainty to cable operators to continue their services without interruption," the Ministry said.

30. Can vaccines reduce respiratory illnesses among the elderly? 

  • Are the flu and pneumococcal vaccines effective in reducing the burden of respiratory infections and antimicrobial use in elderly populations? To answer this, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) the country's apex body for the formulation, coordination, and promotion of biomedical research has now invited an Expression of Interest from research institutions to conduct studies to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines for flu and pneumonia in reducing infections and subsequent antimicrobial use in susceptible population.
  •  The impact of vaccinating adults against vaccine preventable diseases in terms of health, social and economic benefits are being increasingly recognised. 
  • The population over 50 years is expected to represent 27% of the projected population in India in 2036.
  •  The council notes that upper respiratory tract infections are among the major causes of morbidity and mortality among the elderly and are responsible for a large number of deaths and hospitalizations.

Obituaries News

31. Actor Michael Gambon, Who Played Professor Dumbledore In Harry Potter Passed Away 

  • Michael Gambon, renowned for his portrayal of Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series, has passed away at the age of 82.
  • Born in Ireland on October 19, 1940, Gambon was raised in London. Gambon’s breakthrough in the world of acting came in 1980 when he delivered a mesmerizing performance in Bertolt Brecht’s “Life of Galileo” at London’s National Theatre. 
  • In films, he portrayed a wide range of characters, from the coarse and violent gangster Albert Spica in “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” to the beloved Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, a role he took over from Richard Harris in 2002. 

32. Co-Founder Of Asian Paints, Ashwin Dani Passed Away At 79 

  • Ashwin Dani, the Co-founder & non-executive director of Asian Paints, passed away on 28 September 2023 at the age of 79. Ashwin Dani’s contributions to Asian Paints and the global paint industry have left an indelible mark. 
  • Asian Paints was founded by his father and three others in 1942. Ashwin Dani joined Asian Paints in 1968, and under his leadership, the company witnessed unprecedented growth and expansion. He introduced groundbreaking innovations, including the first computerized color mixing program in India. His commitment to technological advancements set new industry standards and elevated the brand’s reputation. 
  • While Ashwin Dani was renowned for his business acumen, he had diverse interests beyond the corporate world. He was a dedicated yoga practitioner and had a passion for art collection. His multifaceted interests reflected his zest for life and creativity.

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