Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 3rd October 2023


National News

1. Country’s first ‘Solar Roof Cycling Track’ inaugurated in Hyderabad

  • Urban Development and State Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao has inaugurated the country’s first and world’s second solar roof cycling track ‘Healthway’ in Hyderabad, Telangana on October 1, 2023.
  • The 23 km long cycle track on the Outer Ring Road between Hyderabad’s main carriageway and service roads will be open 24 hours a day, giving a big boost to the cycling community in the city 
  • The track is unique because it has 16,000 solar panels installed on its roof, which are capable of generating 16 megawatts of electricity. This substantial energy production is equivalent to powering 32,000 streetlights or lighting 800 km of city streets. ‘Healthway’ 
  • The Healthway cycling track, which has a global design, is divided into two parts. The first section stretches from TSPA to Nanakramguda, covering a distance of 8.5 km. The second section is from Narsingi to Kollur, covering a distance of 14.5 km.
  • According to Hyderabad Cycling Revolution (HCR), a cycling community with over 10,000 members, the track will have five access points – Narsingi, Kollur, TSPA, Vattinagulapalli and Nanakramagua.
  • Under the leadership of Hyderabad Growth Corridor Limited (HGCL), a branch of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), this track is expected to become a major hub with facilities like ample parking space, surveillance cameras, food courts, drinking water, first aid and are supposed to. 

2. 4th edition of Indo-Latin America Cultural Festival organized by ICCR 

  • The fourth edition of Indo-Latin America Cultural Festival organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) began in New Delhi. 
  • Total 34 artists of three countries – Colombia, Ecuador and Chile are participating in the two-day festival. 
  • The festival is bringing together key stakeholders from India and Latin America to deliberate on the prospects of cultural and educational collaborations.
  • This celebration of culture and art is on a mission to spotlight the incredible cultural heritage of Latin America.

3. India to host PATA Travel Mart 2023 in New Delhi 

  • India will host the 46th edition of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart at Pragati Maidan in Delhi from October 4-6.
  • The physical version of the event is being held after a hiatus of three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The PATA Travel Mart 2023 will be held at the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC).
  • The event in Delhi will bring together tourism professionals and business stakeholders from across the world, offering a unique platform for networking, learning and collaboration. 
  • Headquartered in Bangkok, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which was founded in 1951, is a renowned not-for-profit association recognized internationally for its role as a catalyst in the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.

4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Mehsana-Bhatinda-Gurdaspur gas pipeline in Rajasthan 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of various development projects worth about Rs 7 thousand crore in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. During this, Mehsana- Bhatinda-Gurdaspur gas pipeline was inaugurated, which has been built at a cost of about Rs 4500 crore. 
  • Apart from this, PM Modi dedicated railway projects in Rajasthan, they include projects related to doubling of Chittorgarh-Neemuch railway line and Kota-Chittorgarh electrified railway line.
  • During this time, he also inaugurated HPCL’s LPG plant in Abu Road. The plant is designed to bottle and distribute 86 lakh cylinders annually. PM Modi also inaugurated additional storage at IOCL’s Ajmer bottling plant.
  • The Prime Minister inaugurated the tourism facilities developed in Nathdwara under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. 
  • The Prime Minister inaugurated the 4-lane road on NH-12 (now NH- 52) on the DarahJhalawar-Tindhar section. Built at a cost of over Rs 1480 crore, the road aims to simplify transportation of mining products from Kota and Jhalawar districts.
  • In the field of education, the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Kota was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.

5. E-auction of mementoes received by PM begins

  • An array of gifts and mementos received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during grammatical events across the country has been put up for e-auction, which began on Monday, The 912 Items are on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here. 
  • The proceeds of the e-auction, which will continue till October 31, will go to the Namami Gange program, a flagship program of the government. 
  • In a post on X, Mr. Modi said these gifts and mementoes were a testament to the rich culture, tradi- tion and artistic heritage of India. “Starting today, an exhibition at the @ngma delhi will display a wide range of gifts and mementoes given to me over the recent past,” he said. 

International News

6. Indonesia Launches ‘Whoosh,’ Southeast Asia’s First High-Speed Railway 

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially inaugurated Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway on Monday, marking a significant milestone for the nation’s infrastructure development. 
  • The ambitious project, known as the “Whoosh” high-speed railway, is a key component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and is poised to dramatically reduce travel times between two vital Indonesian cities: Jakarta & Bandung
  • “Whoosh”,’ which stands for ‘Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal‘ in the Indonesian language, translates to ‘timesaving, optimal operation, reliable system.’ This name reflects the project’s commitment to efficiency and reliability.

7. Pakistan’s Inflation Soars To 31.4%: A Deep Dive Into The Economic Crisis

  • Pakistan’s inflation rate surged to 31.4% year-on-year in September, driven by soaring fuel and energy prices. This alarming increase followed a high of 27.4% in August, highlighting the severe economic challenges faced by the nation. 
  • To curb inflation, Pakistan increased interest rates to a staggering 22%. The country’s currency, the rupee, hit all-time lows in August but rebounded in September, becoming the bestperforming currency due to authorities’ crackdown on unregulated FX trade.
  • The Ministry of Finance anticipates inflation to remain high at 29-31% in the coming months. Despite this, the government recently reduced petrol and diesel prices after consecutive hikes, citing international petroleum prices and an improved exchange rate.

8. China launches ‘Yaogan 33 (04)’ spy satellite

  • China has launched another new reconnaissance satellite ‘Yaogan 33 (04)’ on a Long March 4C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center located in the Gobi Desert. Yaogan 33 (04) has been placed in a near-polar, 422 by 428 miles high (680 by 688 kilometers) orbit. 
  • As with previous Yaogan missions, no details of the spacecraft were revealed. Chinese state media said the satellite would be used for “scientific experiments, land resource surveys, crop yield estimation and disaster prevention and relief.” 
  • Earlier reporting suggests that the Yaogan 33 constellation is a series of space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites. SAR satellites can obtain detailed images of the ground through clouds and during night.
  • Yaogan satellites, in general, are classified Chinese remote sensing satellites that are believed by Western observers to be for military purposes. This launch was China’s 45th launch of 2023. Earlier, commercial outfit Galactic Energy’s Ceres-1 solid rocket had failed in a launch. 

9. Turkiye hits targets in Iraq after Ankara bombing 

  • Turkiye said it unleashed airstrikes on militant targets in northern Iraq and detained suspects in Istanbul overnight, hours after Kurdish militants said they orchestrated the first bomb attack in the capital Ankara in years. 
  • On Sunday morning, two attackers detonated a bomb near government buildings in Ankara, killing them both and wounding two police officers. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group claimed responsibility. 
  • The Defence Ministry said many militants were “neutralized” in air strikes that destroyed 20 targets caves, shelters and depots used by the PKK in Iraq.
  • Iraqi President Abdul- Latif Rashid said that Iraq rejected repeated Turkish air strikes or the presence of Turkish bases in its Kurdistan region and hoped to come to an agreement. 

10. WHO approves use of malaria vaccine with adjuvant tech

  • The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India, levering Novavax’s adjuvant technology, was recommended for use by the World Health Organization (WHO), after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards, on Monday.
  • Following a detailed scientific review by the WHO’s independent advisory body, the Strategic Ad- visory Group of Experts (SAGE), and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG), the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine has been recommended for use, noted a release issued by the Serum Institute of India. With the approval and recommendations by the WHO, additional regulatory approvals are expected to follow shortly and vaccine doses could be ready to begin wider roll-out as early as next year. The Serum Institute has already established production capacity for 100 million doses a year, which will be doubled over the next two years. This scale of production is critical be- cause vaccinating those at high risk of malaria will be important in stemming the spread of disease and protecting the vaccinated. 
  • The Matrix-M component is a proprietary saponin-based adjuvant from Novavax, which is licensed to the Serum Institute for use in endemic countries, while Novavax retains commercial rights in non-endemic countries. The vaccine was opened by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and the Serum Institute of India with support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Wellcome Trust, and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

State News

11. Kerala Government launches ‘Thirike Schoolil’ campaign organized by "Kudumbashree"

  • Kudumbashree, the poverty alleviation and women empowerment program of the Government of Kerala, has launched “Thirike Schoolil” or Back to School to enable knowledge acquisition for its 46 lakh members. Minister of State for Local Self Government MB Rajesh has launched the statewide program at Thrithala in Palakkad district on 1 October 2023.
  • Thirike Schoolil or Back to School is probably the biggest campaign ever organized by Kudumbashree in Kerala. It aims to strengthen the three-tier organizational system of Kudumbashree and enable its women members to take up new ventures with the changing times. 
  • It aims to strengthen the micro-economic livelihood activities of neighboring groups, create awareness about digital technology and create an approach that will help in uplifting the status of women. 
  • The activities are designed in a way that is reminiscent of school days. Classes will be held in more than 2000 government schools on holidays. 
  • 20,000 Area Development Committees, 1070 Community 
  • Development Committees, 15,000 resource persons besides members of various training groups are participating in this initiative. The campaign will end on December 10. Kudumbashree
  • Kudumbashree was established in 1997 in Kerala with the aim of eradicating poverty and empowering women following the recommendations of a government-appointed task force. This mission was launched in collaboration with the Government of India and NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development). Kudumbashree means ‘family prosperity’ in Malayalam language.

12. HC rules against quota in minority institutions 

  • In a significant judgment, the Madras High Court has ruled that educational institutions run by religious and linguistic minorities need not follow the rule of reservation with respect to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and Other Backward Class students.
  • The court has also held that the government cannot compel such institutions to provide reservation to such candidates. 
  • Partly allowing a couple of cases filed by Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women in Chennai, the first Division Bench of Chief Justice S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu wrote in the September 29 judgment: “We have no hesitation to hold that the concept of communal reservation or reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes of citizens would not apply to minority institutions.” 
  • The judges also ruled that the State government would not have any right to restrict the minority status of an institution to a particular period.

13. KVIC Inaugurated A New Khadi India Outlet At IIT Delhi 

  • In a bid to bridge the generational gap and ignite a renewed interest in the age-old fabric, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) inaugurated a revamped Khadi India outlet at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Campus in Delhi on October 2. 
  • Recognizing the need to adapt to contemporary fashion preferences, a new range of Khadi apparel has been crafted. This collection is designed to appeal to young audiences with vibrant colors and contemporary silhouettes.
  • Khadi Institutions, under the guidance of the (Centre of Excellence for Khadi) CoEK team, have standardized the production of nine distinct styles of Khadi apparel. The IIT outlet will serve as a trailblazer, setting the stage for a fresh narrative around Khadi fashion.

14. Tamil Nadu Govt. Fetes 9 ISRO Scientists, Announces Award Of ₹2.25 Crore 

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin recently celebrated the achievements of nine eminent space scientists from the state, including renowned figures like K Sivan and Mylswamy Annadurai, for their remarkable contributions to India’s space program.
  • In a special event held in Chennai on 2nd October 2023, Chief Minister Stalin announced cash awards of Rs.25 lakh for each of the scientists and unveiled plans for a scholarship program to encourage scientific innovation among postgraduate engineering students.
  • CM Stalin made two significant announcements during the ceremony. First, a cash award of Rs.25 lakh would be granted to each of the nine scientists as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Second, the government would establish a scholarship program in the name of renowned scientist, benefiting nine postgraduate engineering students. A corpus of Rs.10 crore would be allocated for this purpose, covering all expenditures, including tuition and hostel fees.

15. Master Training Of Football For Schools (F4S) Kicked Off At Sambalpur, Odisha 

  • On October 2, 2023, a two-day master training program for capacity-building within the F4S program was launched in Sambalpur, Odisha. This event saw the participation of 95 Physical Education Teachers/Trainees from various States/UTs, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), and AIFF. 
  • The primary goal of this training was to equip these educators with the skills and knowledge needed to promote football as an integral part of physical education. Football for Schools (F4S) is an ambitious program spearheaded by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). F4S aims to revolutionize physical education in Indian schools. 
  • At its core, F4S aims to empower approximately 700 million children by integrating football into their education. This initiative recognizes the potential of sports, particularly football, in fostering holistic development. It emphasizes accessibility for both boys and girls, collaborating with relevant authorities and stakeholders to make football an integral part of the education system.

16. RTI queries reveal several irregularities in MGNREGS execution in West Bengal

  • The allegation of corruption in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in West Bengal remains vague since the communication between the State government and the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Ministry is out of public domain. 
  • Response to Right to Information (RTI) queries obtained by activists, however, shed light on the allegations of corruption. From no trace of work which was described as completed under the scheme to existing works fraudulently shown as MGNREGA works, jobs cards not being updated, DPRS not made, tendering process fraught with irregularities, the allegations are many. An RTI response obtained by activist Biswanath Goswami earlier this year points out “works relating to earth work have many shortcomings’ ‘. Serious 
  • “Existing works fraudulently shown to be created under MGNREGA, procurement systems not followed, tendering not as per norms, work executed within 15 days of sanction,” the response said. 
  • The other points raised were that works which were not permissible under the MGNREGA were taken up, such as metallic fencing, placing sand-filled bags for flood protection and planting ornamental plants. 
  • In a response to the RTI query field by Chakradhar Buddha, a member of the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, the Ministry revealed, “In some cases, no trace of work was found in case of plantation and wasteland development work.” It said the CIB (Citizen Information Board) was not available at work sites. 
  • The Ministry said responses of 15 Central teams have been shared with the State government and it has been asked to submit ATR (action taken report) by September 2022. The T response to Mr. Goswami’s RTI pointed out that a Central team as early as 2019 inspected 63 works of which 32 were found to be satisfactory and remaining 31 had shortcomings. 
  • The response the Ministry had at several places emphasized that the action-taken report sought by the Centre has not been provided and the State government has not worked on the recovery of funds which have been spent without following the norms. 
  • The activists said that the replies have shown that CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) has not taken up an audit of MGNREGA, despite allegations of corruption. 

17.Trio took oath of allegiance’ to carry out terror strikes 

  • A mining engineer, a PhD scholar from Jamia Millia Islamia and a computer science graduate were the three persons arrested by a special cell of the Delhi police on Monday for allegedly running an Islamic State terror module to carry out multiple strikes in southern and western India.
  • They were identified as NIA’s wanted and suspected Islamic State (IS) terrorist Mohd. Shahnawaz and Mohd. Arshad Warsi, both natives of Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh resident Mohd. Rizwan Arshad. 
  • Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said the three accused, who took an “oath of allegiance” to carry out terror strikes, were highly educated and trained.
  • Mr. Shahnawaz was a tive graduate from NIT Nagpur. With a B.Tech degree in mining. He had read radi- cal literature extensively while his wife Basanti Patel said. 
  • Shahnawaz, one of the accused, learnt bomb-making from academic material on mining, police said had converted to Islam, and was now known as Mariyam, the officer said. 
  • Mr. Shahnawaz learnt about bomb-making from academic material on minIng, an officer said. 
  • “Apart from having a professional degree, he had the understanding of religious teachings and is fully radicalized,” Mr. Dhaliwal said.
  • The accused were also given training on how to increase the potency of a bomb, he said, adding that they were radicalized at different stages. 
  • An officer said Mr. Shahnawaz’s father is a retired schoolteacher.
  • He had come to Delhi in November 2016 for the preparation of a competi examination and stayed at Abul Fazal Enclave. He was influenced by the Islamic State from his college days, the police.
  • “He followed several social media accounts and news channels, which professed the IS ideology. He also met Rizwan Ali, who is currently absconding,” the police said, adding that they became friends since Dinak they had several social me NEW accounts in support of the Islamic State. 
  • On the other hand, has p Mohd. Arshad Warsi had a PB.Tech degree in mechanical engineering from Ali Astra garh Muslim University. He (BVR) was pursuing PhD in Islam- the firic Principles and Manage to be ment from Jamia Millia Isle of the mia, Mr. Dhaliwal said.
  • He said Mr. Warsi also gave tuitions to schoolchildren on science and mathematics. 
  • Arshad’s father works as a government high school cond teacher in Garhwa of Jhark The hand. He had also studied ceive marketing at Jamia Millia clear Islamia, the police said, adding that earlier he worked as a physics teacher at an institute in Jamia Nagar. 
  • Mr. Dhaliwal said the third accused, Mohd. Rizwan Ashraf, was a practicing maulana (religious teacher).

18. Bihar caste survey may throw a challenge to 50% quota limit

  • Findings of the caste survey undertaken by the Bihar government Back ment which were made public on Monday may open the door to a challenge to the 50% ceiling on reservations in jobs and educational institutions and a recalibration of the Mandal politics of the 1990s, say observers. 
  • The survey report, released by Bihar Development Commissioner Vivek Singh, showed the census report in Patna on Monday. PTI is Other Backward Classes and the Extremely Backward Classes together constituted 63% of the State’s population the EBCs con- stituted 36% and the OBCS 27.13%. 
  • This survey is important simply because it can open the door for challenging the ceiling of 50% reservations currently in place,” said political scientist Ashwani Kumar of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). 
  • The 50% ceiling on reservations in jobs and educational institutions was accepted by the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney vs Union of India case in 1992, a few years after the V.P. Singh government announced the implementation of the Mandal Commission report, which recommends reservation for OBCs. 
  • This will also lead to a recalibration of the Mandal politics of the 1990s,” Mr. Kumar said. “If in the 1990s you saw the Mandal parties, such as the Rash- triya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party commanding the support of an umbrella OBC bloc, post 2014, the Mandal 2.0 version of the BJP, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, carved out the support of the non-Yadav OBCS from this larger bloc, and also some sections of the EBCs. Now we may see a Mandal 3.0 of demands for proportional representation within this bloc as well as the lifting of the 50% ceiling,” he added. 
  • In the recently concluded Special Session of Parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah had recounted just how much Mandal 2.0 had diffused into the BJP’s system. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, in response to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s allegations that the BJP-led government had overlooked the claims that 29% of BJP MPs were from the OBC category and the Union government had 29 Ministers from the category. As many as 365 (27%) of 1,358 BJP MLAs and 65 (40%) of 163 MLCs too were from the OBC category. 
  • Mr. Shah will see a challenge from the Opposition Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc parties, according to political scientist Sanjay Kumar of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). “Now the Opposition has a tool in their hand to speak to voters that OBC reservations were kept stagnant, that the OBCs did not get what was due, and even within the reservations given to OBCs the creamy layer was attached. That is the Bihar government with this caste survey that quantified the matter into hard numbers,” he said. 
  • “The caste survey may in fact be also used to blunt the BJP’s charge on the women’s reservation Act and the Opposition’s demand that OBC reservation be granted within that. The effect of this survey as a political weapon will all depend on how well it is communicated to the voter.”
  • In realpolitik terms, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also got a fillip in asserting his leadership within the INDIA bloc parties, where he reportedly tried and failed to get the convener’s position. With It is, in fact, this assertion the EBCS accounting for 36% of the State’s population, and Mr. Kumar being credited for fashioning a support base from this category in the past two decades, his claims to the top chair in the INDIA bloc will be hard to ignore. 

Defence News

19.‘One Force, One District’ policy will be implemented in Manipur

  • The Manipur government will adopt a “one district, one force” arrangement for better coordination and operations by security forces as part of its efforts to restore normalcy in the ethnic violence-hit northeastern state from May 3, 2023. 
  • Under this, BSF is being deployed in Churachandpur, Tengnoupal, Ukhrul, Imphal East and Kakching districts, while CRPF has got Kangpokpi, Imphal West and Bishnupur districts. Two other CAPFs, ITBP and SSB are being deployed in Churachandpur and Bishnupur. 
  • Under the arrangement, personnel of a paramilitary force will be responsible for maintaining law and order in a district, according to a security official in Delhi, adding that the move is aimed at ensuring accountability and reducing the possibility of clashes between forces. ‘One Force, One District’ policy 
  • Having a force to look after a particular district will help in coordination and also ensure accountability. The force will be responsible for everything that happens in a particular district. Since the CRPF has more personnel, there is a possibility that they may be deployed in more than one district. 
  • Currently, 214 companies of CAPFs are deployed in the state, with the CRPF being the largest force with 121 companies, including four companies of women CRPF and 10 companies of RAF. 
  • The country’s five paramilitary forces – CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CISF – along with Assam Rifles and the Army are working closely with the state police to restore peace and normalcy in the area.

20.Indian Navy To Unveil Weaponized Boat Swarms And Underwater Vessels At Swavlamban 2.0 

  • The Indian Navy is preparing to host the second edition of the Naval Innovation and Indigenization Seminar, known as Swavlamban, scheduled to take place on October 4th and 5th in the vibrant city of New Delhi. 
  • The Indian Navy is set to unveil two remarkable platforms at this event: the Autonomous Weaponized Boat Swarms and the Autonomous Vessel Underwater (AUV).
  • The Indian Navy has entered into a significant agreement with the Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd for the development of these autonomous systems. With the implementation of an integrated autonomous system, the foremost objective is to address India’s maritime security needs by executing diverse naval and security missions.

21. Indian Air Force Set To Induct Astra BVR Air-To-Air Missile 

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is making significant strides towards enhancing its air defense capabilities with the impending induction of indigenous Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air-toAir Missiles. The IAF has entered into contracts with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for these advanced missiles, marking a crucial step towards reducing import dependency and bolstering national security.
  • The first batch of Astra-MK1 missiles, developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) among other DRDO laboratories, is slated for induction by the end of 2023. BDL has already received Bulk Production Clearance for AstraMK1 missiles, signifying a significant milestone in indigenous missile production.

Economy News

22. India’s GST Revenue Growth Slows To 10.2% In September

  • In September 2023, India’s Gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues witnessed a significant slowdown, growing at the slowest pace in 27 months. The growth rate dropped to 10.2% from the previous months’ approximately 10.8%. This decline, although notable, was coupled with some intriguing state-wise variations in GST collections. 
  • Components of GST included Central GST (CGST) collections of ₹29,818 crore, State GST (SGST) of ₹37,657 crore, and Integrated GST (IGST) of ₹83,623 crore. GST compensation cess inflows were ₹11,613 crore, which included ₹881 crore collected on the import of goods. Pending dues from businesses, especially since the initiation of GST in 2017-18, might have contributed to the rise in September’s revenues. 

23. Revision to July fuel shipments value lifts H overall exports figure 

  • India’s goods exports value for July has been sharply revised upwards by about $2.3 billion to $34.52 billion, driven by a 51% jump in the petroleum exports tally from the month’s initial estimates. 
  • This is the sharpest revision in export figures since March and implies that July’s revised yyear-on year decline in goods exports of 9.95% was the lowest since April, breaking a three-month streak of double-digit contractions. Quick estimates had pegged July’s exports at a ninemonth low of $32.25 billion, translating a 15.9% YoY slump. 
  • The revised July tally also puts August’s initial exports tally of $34.5 billion, which were reckoned to be a three-month high, in the shade. Moreover, with no substantive changes in the $52.9 billion merchandise import bill for July, the trade deficit has also narrowed to a three-month low of $18.4 billion, from the $20.7 billion estimate.
  • Earlier, June’s exports had been revised higher by $1.4 billion, reviving a spate of such data revisions that began in late 2021 and peaked in the last six months of 2022-23, when the final tallies for exports were raised by almost $3 billion a month. Import numbers were also revised 
  • The sharpest revision in exports since March, implies that July’s revised YoY drop in exports of 99% was the least since April
  • July’s revised figure also puts August’s Initial export tally of $34.5 bn in the shade
  • Negligible revision In import tally narrows trade deficit to three-month low of $18.4 bn, from the $20.7 bn estimate
  • Last year, with October to March seeing an average change of $1.8 billion, albeit with upward as well as downward revisions.
  • The latest upward revisions for June and July, after negligible changes in April and May, assume sig special economic zones. Nificance as economists expect the current account deficit, which rose sequentially in the first quarter of this year, to widen in the coming quarters owing to exports shrinking faster than imports thus broadening the trade shortfall. However, the final picture may turn out to be healthier than currently estimated, if such positive revisions to the initial trade data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry extend over the rest of the fiscal year.
  • Petro products exports, earlier reckoned to have slid 43.7% in July to just $4.6 bn, ended up close to $7 bn 
  • As per the revised data, petroleum products exports, which were earlier reckoned to have dropped 43.7% in July to just $4.6 billion, ended up close to $7 billion, reflecting only an 18.8% drop from July 2022. Officials had earlier attributed the unusually high revisions to delays in the reporting of some petroleum exports, particularly from units located in
  • Over the past two months, the ministry has emphasized that the decline in India’s exports was “disproportionately” driven by a fall in the value of petroleum exports. Almost half of the drop in exports this year has been driven by the decline in, petroleum prices, with these products’ export volumes rising 6% during April to July, while prices were 27% lower than a year earlier.
  • As per the quick estimates for August, overall merchandise exports declined 6.9%, while petroleum exports were reckoned to have slumped 30.6% to $5.88 billion. 

Appointment and Resignation News

24. Lt Gen Raghu Srinivasan takes over as DG of BRO

  • Lieutenant General Raghu Srinivasan has assumed charge as the 28th director general (DG) of the Border Roads Organization (BRO).
  • His appointment to the top post in the BRO follows the superannuation of Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry.
  • Before the appointment, Srinivasan was holding the appointment of Commandant, College of Military Engineering, Pune. 
  • Mr Srinivasan is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in 1987.
  • The BRO was raised on May 7, 1960 with an aim to secure India’s borders by developing infrastructure in remote areas of the north and northeastern states. 
  • Since its raising, the BRO has constructed and dedicated to the nation more than 63,000 km of roads, 976 bridges, six tunnels and 21 airfields.
  • In the last one year, it has completed a record 193 projects, at a cost of Rs 5,400 crore, across eight border states and three Union Territories. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) – Saugata Gupta 
  • Vice Chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) – Partha Sinha
  • As Member of UPSC – Dinesh Dasa
  • Chairman of Media Research Users Council India – Shailesh Gupta
  • Vice Chairman of Media Research Users Council India – Shashank Srivastava 

25. Govt. extends tenure of CBDT Chairman Nitin Gupta

  • The Union government has extended the tenure of Nitin Gupta, the incumbent chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), till 30 June 2024. 
  • The nine-month extension for Gupta came on the day when he was scheduled to retire and demit office. 
  • Gupta, a 1986-batch IRS officer of the Income-tax department, was appointed CBDT head in June last year.
  • The CBDT is the apex policy-making body for the Income-tax department. It is headed by a chairman and can have six members who are in the rank of special secretary. 

Recent Appointment 

  • President of Intel India – Gokul Subramaniam (replace Nivruti Rai) 
  • 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)

26.RBI appointed KN Madhusudanan as part-time chairman of Dhanalakshmi Bank 

  • KN Madhusudanan has been appointed part-time chairman of Dhanalakshmi Bank by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after a vacancy of 21 months.
  • This comes after a period of 21 months during which the company was without a chairman, following the resignation of G Subramonia Iyer in December 2021 for personal reasons. 
  • Prior to this role, KN Madhusudanan served as an independent director on the board of the bank with effect from November 9, 2022.

About Dhanlaxmi Bank 

  • Established – 14 November 1927
  • Headquarters – Thrissur 
  • CEO & MD – J. Of. Shivan 

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • Country head of Wholesale Banking at Yes Bank – Manish Jain (replace Ravi Thota) 
  • Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Yes Bank – Pankaj Sharma 
  • Deputy Governor of RBI – M. Rajeshwar Rao (reappointment for 1 year) 
  • MD and CEO ICICI Lombard – Sanjeev Mantri (replace Bhargav Dasgupta)
  • Vice-president for Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Market Solutions – Bhargav Dasgupta

27. PR Seshadri appointed as MD & CEO of South Indian Bank 

  • South Indian Bank has appointed P R Seshadri as its MD & CEO effective from October 1. 
  • He has succeeded Murali Ramakrishnan who served a successful tenure from October 1, 2020, till September 30, 2023. 
  • With nearly 25 years of banking experience spanning domestic and international markets, Seshadri has held senior leadership positions at various institutions, including Karur Vysya Bank Limited and Citigroup. 
  • Prior to joining SIB, Seshadri was associated with the Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) in a similar role.

About South Indian Bank 

  • Founded – 1929
  • Headquarters – Thrissur, Kerala 
  • Chairman – Salim Gangadharan 
  • MD & CEO – PR Seshadri 
  • Tagline – Experience Next Generation Banking.

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • Vice-president for Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Market Solutions – Bhargav Dasgupta 
  • MD and CEO of HDFC Bank – Sashidhar Jagdishan (reappointment for 3 year) 
  • Chairman of Mastercard India- Rajnish Kumar (Former SBI Chief) 
  • Statutory auditor of Paytm – S.R. Batliboi 
  • MD & CEO of ICICI Bank – Sandeep Bakshi (reappointment for 3 year)

Important Days

28. World Nature Day 2023 

  • World Nature Day, established by the World Nature Organization (WNO) on October 3, 2010, serves as a crucial platform to raise awareness about the challenges our environment faces, particularly due to climate change. 
  • This annual celebration unites individuals, groups, and organizations worldwide in their commitment to spreading information about climate change and advocating for its mitigation. 
  • The initiative aims to combat ignorance about climate change, ensuring that people across the globe understand the urgency of the situation. It also encourages eco-friendly practices such as recycling, reducing plastic usage, and adopting sustainable lifestyles.

29. World Space Week (WSW) 2023: October 4 To 10 

  • AWorld Space Week (WSW) is a global celebration that highlights the significance of space science and technology in enhancing human life. Established in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly, this annual event takes place from October 4 to 10.
  • The choice of October 4 as the starting date of WSW is a tribute to the day when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made Earth satellite, marking the beginning of the Space Age and the first Space Race. 
  • The theme for World Space Week 2023 is “Space and Entrepreneurship.” This theme underscores the evolving landscape of the commercial space industry and its growing influence.

30. International Coffee Day 2023 celebrated on 1 October

  • International Coffee Day is celebrated every year on 1 October. On this day, coffee lovers around the world come together to appreciate the rich and diverse world of coffee.
  • International Coffee Day was established by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and was first celebrated on 1 October 2015 to recognize and promote the global coffee industry.
  • It also serves as a platform to raise awareness of the issues faced by coffee growers and promote sustainable coffee production.
  • In fiscal year 2023, Karnataka had the largest share in coffee production in India with 72.5 percent. Kerala stood second, while Tamil Nadu stood third during the same period. Coffee production in India is dominated by Robusta cultivars, representing about 70.4 percent of the coffee production in the country. 
  • Due to the immense economic importance of coffee, the ICO was established in London in 1963 under the auspices of the United Nations. It administers the International Coffee Agreement (ICA), an important instrument of development cooperation. The latest agreement, ICA 2007, came into force on 2 February 2011. 
  • For the first time in Asia, the 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC) was organized in Bengaluru, India from 25 to 28 September 2023 with the theme ‘Sustainability through Circular Economy and Regenerative Agriculture’. Its brand ambassador was Rohan Bopanna. 

Award News

31. Nobel Prize In Physics 2023 Awarded To Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz And Anne L’Huillier 

  • This year Nobel Laureates in Physics 2023, Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier were recognised “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter”. 
  • Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy.
  • The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded 116 times to 222 Nobel Prize laureates between 1901 and 2022. John Bardeen is the only laureate who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice, in 1956 and 1972. This means that a total of 221 individuals have received the Nobel Prize in Physics. Click on the links to get more information.

32. Sudha Murty, The First Woman To Get Global Indian Award 

  • Renowned author, philanthropist and the wife of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, Sudha Murthy, was honored with the prestigious Global Indian Award by the Canada India Foundation (CIF) at a grand Indo-Canadian gala in Toronto. 
  • The award, which carries a value of $50,000, is presented annually to an outstanding Indian personality who has left an indelible mark in their respective field. Sudha Murty’s exceptional contributions to literature, philanthropy and her dedication to giving back to society made her a fitting recipient for this esteemed award.
  • In a touching and generous gesture, Sudha Murthy donated $50,000 award money to The Field Institute at the University of Toronto. The institute is renowned internationally for its efforts in strengthening collaborations, innovation and learning in mathematics and various other disciplines. 

Sports News

33. ICC, BCCI and UNICEF launch ‘CRIIIO 4 GOOD’ initiative 

  • The International Cricket Council, Board of Control for Cricket in India, Ministry of Education, Government of India and UNICEF have launched ‘CRIIIO 4 GOOD’, a new online, life skills learning module to promote gender equality with 1000 children.
  • The event organized at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad was attended by Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Education Minister of the Government of India; Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, Board of Control for Cricket in India, Smriti Mandhana, Indian cricketers and UNICEF have participated.
  • Capitalizing on the popularity of cricket and the game's emotional connection with young audiences through #Criiio4Good, ICC and UNICEF have released eight online learning modules aimed at teaching children and young people important life skills and the importance of gender equality.
  • India's vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana delivered the first learning module to over 1000 school children at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the same venue where the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup will begin in just a week's time. 
  • Each animated film part of the CRIIIO 4 GOOD initiative focuses on a specific life skill, namely leadership, problem-solving, self- confidence, decision-making, negotiation, empathy, teamwork and goal setting and is viewed through a state-of-the-art. 
  • It can be viewed in three languages, English, Hindi and Gujarati. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, which will promote the module to over 1.5 million schools across India through the Diksha platform, ensuring a legacy beyond the Cricket World Cup.

34. Indian Men’s Football Team Wins SAFF Under-19 Championship

  • India won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under-19 Championship after defeating Pakistan 3-0 in a dominating display in the finals at the Dashrath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was India’s eighth youth title in the SAFF championships, a clear testimony of their regional supremacy.
  • Most Valuable Player was Manglenthang Kipgen (IND). Best Goalkeeper was Lionel Daryl Rymmei (IND). Top Scorers of the Tournament (all 3 goals) are: 1. Gwgwmsar Goyary (IND) 2. Jigme Namgyal (BHU) 3. Samir Tamang (NEP) 45.Ajay Jadeja Appointed As Mentor For Afghanistan Cricket Team In ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 
  • On Monday, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) appointed former India captain Ajay Jadeja as the team mentor for the upcoming ODI World Cup, scheduled to be held in India from October 5 to November 19.
  • Ajay Jadeja, a former Indian captain and middle-order batter, has a distinguished cricketing career to his name. He played 15 Test matches for India from 1992 to 2000, amassing 576 runs at an impressive average of 26.18, with four half-centuries to his name, and a highest score of 96. He has been an integral part of 111 First-Class matches and 291 List A games, showcasing his versatility and proficiency across different formats of the game
  • Ajay Jadeja’s new role as the mentor of the Afghanistan National Cricket Team for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 signifies the trust and expectations placed upon him by the team management. His extensive experience, both as a player and as a coach, makes him a valuable addition to the Afghan cricket setup.

35. Murali Sreeshankar wins silver medal in men’s long jump at Asian Games 2023 

  • India’s Murali Sreeshankar won a silver medal in the men’s long jump event at the Hangzhou Asian Games with a best jump of 8.19 meters. 
  • Wang Jianan of China won the gold medal with a jump of 8.22 meters.
  • Murali Sreeshankar’s personal and season’s best jump is 8.41 meters, which ranks him fourth globally and second among Asian athletes. 
  • Jesswin Aldrin remains the season leader among Asian athletes and is ranked third in the world. 
  • Another Indian athlete Jesswin Aldrin finished eighth in the same event with a best jump of 7.76 metres. 

36. Indian men’s, women’s teams bag bronze in roller skating 

  • Indian roller skaters clinched two bronze medals in men’s and women’s 3000m team relay events to match their best ever performance at the Asian Games 2023.
  • The women’s team of Sanjana Bathula, Karthika Jagadeeswaran, Heeral Sadhu and Aarathy Kasturi Raj opened India’s account on the ninth day of competitions, finishing with a timing of 4:34.861s. 
  • The Indian quartet finished behind gold medallists Chinese Taipei (4:19.447) and South Korea (4:21.146). 
  • Aryanpal Singh Ghuman, Anandkumar Velkumar, Siddhant Kamble and Vikram Ingale then sealed a second bronze with a timing of 4:10.128 in men’s team relay.
  • Chinese Taipei (4:05.692) and South Korea (4:05.702) took the top-two spots. 
  • Indian roller skaters had won two bronze medals at the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games in men’s free skating and pairs skating events.

Indian Polity

37. Trinamool begins stir over denial of funds; Minister flags misuse 

  • Escalating their ongoing power tussle with the BJP over alleged denial of funds to West Bengal by the Union government, Trinamool Congress leadment ers began their two-day protest in the national capital on Monday, while Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh alleged that the Trinamool government had created 25 lakh fake job cards to siphon off Central funds, and a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could be ordered.
  • Both sides marshaled statistics to support their case. Mr. Singh said that under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, West Bengal got only *58,000 crore while under the Modi government in the past nine years, the State has got 2 lakh crore for various rural welfare not schemes.
  • The Trinamool, on its tion part, said the Centre had P wilfully withheld 15,000 of crore in dues to the State under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employ Guarantee Act Be (MGNREGA) and PM Awas Ga Yojana. The party also P. countered the allegation of th 25 lakh fake job cards under the MGNREGA, saying the problem was not unique to West Bengal and in Uttar Pradesh, 23.8% of the cards were deleted as they were found to be fake.
  • At a press conference in Patna, Mr. Singh said that the West Bengal government refused to cooperate with investigations into complaints of corruption.
  • In Delhi, Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee, along with party workers and leaders, sat on a dharna at the Rajghat

38. Exiting BJP-led NDA was two crore party cadre's decision: AIADMK leader

  • Days after exiting the BJP-led NDA, AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday said it was the decision of the "two-year-old AIADMK cadre". He also urged the minorities to support his party.
  • Addressing members of the party's booth committee at Suramangalam in Salem, he said the AIADMK would form a grand alliance for the upcoming parliamentary election. "Understanding the feelings of two crore AIADMK cadre, we severed ties with the BJP and came out of the NDA. This is not the decision of the general secretary; this is the decision of the cadre. I want to put an end to the claim being made in television debates that I am maintaining silence on this issue," he said.
  • Alluding to the assertion that it would be difficult for the AIADMK to face the Lok Sabha election without projecting a prime ministerial candidate, he said political parties in Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra were facing elections without announcing a PM candidate.
  • "The AIADMK will fight the parliamentary election to protect the State's rights. Sometimes, we have alliances for the benefit of the people. We will reflect the people's demands in Parliament," Mr. Palaniswami said. 
  • Earlier, addressing the Salem urban and district booth committee members at a wedding hall near Hasthampatti, Mr. Palaniswami said the AIADMK was protecting people belonging to minority communities. He alleged that the DMK had come to power. by making false promises, and that it had betrayed the people in the name of the "Dravidian model" of governance. 
  • He urged the booth committee members to work for the victory of the party and the candidates of its [proposed] alliance. "The booth committee is the base for a political party. Its members should explain to the people why the DMK's policies are wrong," he said. 
  • According to him, the DMK had fulfilled only 10% of its election promises, but "Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has claimed that 95% of election promises have been fulfilled".

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