Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 6th October 2023

National News

1. Indian IT firms set for 'washout' year, focus now on 2025'

  • J.P.Morgan analysts expect investors to parse upcoming second-quarter results and commentary from Indian IT companies for signs of recovery in deal signings in fiscal 2025 following a "washout" year. 
  • "We remain negative on the sector as we haven't seen a meaningful uptick in demand in our recent checks," analysts Ankur Rudra and Bhavik Mehta said in a note on Wednesday. "We think the overall setup is not as positive as last quarter," they added.
  • All major IT firms, including Infosys, TCS, Wipro and HCL Tech, have previously warned that clients, the majority of which are U.S.-based, have Wipro been lowering their IT spending, delaying and even canceling contracts, as economic growth slows and on fears of higher-forlonger interest rates.
  • "Investors have assumed FY24 is a washout and shifted focus to FY25, hoping for a rebound," the analysts said, adding this explained the Nifty IT index outperforming the bluechip Nifty 50 over the past three months. 

2. Shah calls for uniform anti-terrorism structure under NIA in all States 

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that along with a ruthless ap- proach, a uniform anti-ter- rorism structure should be politi- established under the pur- view of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in all into a the States. 
  • The Minister made the prece remarks at the inauguraconference hosted by the NIA, in New Delhi on Thursday. AMI tion of the two-day anti-ter ror conference organised by NIA. 
  • “A model anti-terrorism structure should be established under the purview of NIA, the hierarchy, structure, and standard operating procedure of in vestigation of all antiterrorism agencies in all States for better coordination between Central and State agencies. The task of NIA, ATS, and STP should not be limited to investigation but they should also think out of the box and take innovative measures to counter the terrorism,” Mr. Shah said. 
  • Mr. Shah said that the Central and State agencies had succeeded in firmly curbing all forms of terrorism in the country in the past nine years. Tough decisions taken by the Modi government have yielded very good results in handling challenges posed by cryptocurrencies, hawala, terrorfunding, organised crime syndicates and narco-terror links. Still more is to be done, he added. 
  • Mr. Shah stressed that all the agencies of the Centre and the State should make multidimensional and Artificial Intelligence-based use of the database in order to make the fight against terrorism successful. 

3. Centre bans separatist leader Shabbir Shah's outfit for 5 years 

  • The Centre has declared Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), founded by separatist leader Shabbir Ah- mad Shah as an "unlawful association" under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The ban is effective for five years. 
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the members of JKDFP have been at the forefront of secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and want to create a "separate Islamic State". 
  • The Ministry said that the outfit has been involved in anti-national activities since 1998 and its members have always promoted separatism and terrorist acts in India. Many criminal cases have been registered against the outfit under various sections of the UAPA, the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act and the Ranbir Penal Code.
  • The MHA, in a notification, said that JKDFP has been involved in raising funds through various sources for perpetrating unlawful activities and supporting terrorist activities. It added that JKDFP, its leaders or members, and particularly its founder Shabbir Ahmad Shah, have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, security and communal harmony of the country. Mr. Shah is presently in jail. 
  • The Ministry said it has several inputs showing links of the JKDFP with banned organizations. terrorist JKDFP and its members have been involved in the violent terrorist activities with an intent to create a reign of terror in the country, thereby endangering the security and public order of the State, and its anti national activities also show disrespect and disregard to the constitutional authority and sovereignty of the state, hence an immediate and prompt action is required against the organization," the notification said. 
  • The Ministry said if the Hurriyat faction is not declared an unlawful association it would continue advocating the secession of J&K from India. 

International News

4. Burevestnik Missile: Russia’s Nuclear Missiles Can Now Reach Targets In US

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced the successful testing of a new nuclearpowered missile called “Burevestnik” during a speech that covered various topics, including nuclear weapons and international relations.
  • The Burevestnik is a ground-launched, low-flying cruise missile with the capability to carry a nuclear warhead. What sets it apart is its nuclear propulsion, which allows it to remain airborne for an extended period and cover vast distances.
  • The International Institute for Strategic Studies suggested in 2021 that the Burevestnik missile could have a theoretical range of up to 20,000 kilometers, making it capable of striking targets in the United States from various locations in Russia. Additionally, the missile operates at a low altitude (50-100 meters), making it challenging for air-defense radar systems to detect.

5. Russia Delivers Uranium For Bangladesh’s Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant 

  • Bangladesh recently received its first shipment of uranium from Russia, which will be used to fuel the country’s Rooppur nuclear power plant. The plant, financed and constructed by Russia’s Rosatom, is a significant project aimed at enhancing Bangladesh’s electrical grid and supporting its growing economy.
  • The Rooppur power plant, located in Ishwardi, Bangladesh, will generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity when both units are fully operational. This capacity will provide electricity to approximately 15 million households in Bangladesh, making a substantial contribution to the nation’s energy needs. 
  • Russia has funded the construction of the Rooppur power plant with an $11.38 billion loan. Bangladesh will begin repaying this loan over a period of two decades, starting in 2027. Once the Rooppur plant begins production, Bangladesh will join the ranks of over 30 countries with operational nuclear power reactors. 

6. Russian missile strike kills 51 in Ukraine: Zelenskyy 

  • Struck a vilece and store in eastern Ukraine on Thursday and Billed at least St civils in one of the deadliest attacks in months, according to President Volodymyr zelinsky and other top offfcials in RVN 
  • The attack came as Mr. Zelenskyy attended a summit of about 50 European leaders in Spain to drum up support from Ukraine's allies. He denounced the attack in the village of Hroza as a "demonstrably brutal Russian crime" and "a completely deliberate act
  • Presidential chief of statt Andrii Yermak and Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said a 6-year-old boy was among the dead, adding that seven other people were wounded. Hrona, which had a population of about 500 before the war, is located in the northeastern Kharkiv region. 
  • About 60 people were in the cafe were attending a wake after a funeral, said Internal Affairs Minister thor Kymenlas, speaking on national TV 
  • According to preliminary information from Kyiv, the village was struck by an Iskander missile. Emergency crews were searching the rubble of damaged buildings. 
  • A Ukrainian prosecutor released pictures showing bloodied bodies and emergency workers combing through the building's smoldering debris. 
  • Gross and other parts were seized by Russia early in the war and recaptured by terrorists by Ukraine in September 2022. The village is located only 30 km west of Ku plansk. Mr. Zelenskyy had visited the area on Tuesday to meet with troops and inspect equipment supplied by the West. 
  • On Thursday, Mr. Zejen sky was at a sum of the munity in Granada, Spain, Where he asked for incre Western support, aving he stopped" 
  • "Russia needs this and only one thing to make its genocidal aggression the new norm for the whole don world, " he said in a statement posted on his Telegram channel. 
  • "Now we are talking with European leaders, in particular, about strengthening our air defense, strengthening our soldiers, ng our country prefer will respond to the 
  • "The key for us, especially before winter, is to strengthen air defense, and there is already a basis for new agreements with partners," he told the group. 

7. Bangladesh gets its first batch of uranium 

  • Bangladesh received the first uranium delivery on Thursday for its Russian- backed nuclear plant, a project aimed at bolstering its overstretched energy grid but complicated by sanctions on Moscow. 
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has courted Russian ties with renewed vigor after Western criticism of the government's record. 
  • Moscow is bankrolling the $12.65-billion plant with a loan for 90% of its cost, with hopes it will alleviate the chronic blackouts plaguing the South Asian nation.
  • "Bangladesh is our longtime friend and partner," Russian President Vladimir (C Putin said during a video-conference with Ms. Hasina to mark the handover. 
  • Mr. Putin also pledged assistance for uranium supply, maintenance and management of spent fuel. 
  • Construction on the nuclear plant at Rooppur, a village on the banks of the Ganges river 175 km west of the capital Dhaka, began in 2017. The first of its twin 1,200-megawatt units is slated to begin operations next year and both reactors should be fully online in 2025. 

8. At least 100 killed in attack on Syrian military academy 

  • An attack on Thursday on a Syrian military academy killed more than 100 people, a war monitor said, with state media blaming "terrorist organizations" for the drone strike in government-held Homs. 
  • Separately, Turkish air raids in the war-torn country's Kurdish-held north- east killed at least nine people, according to Kurdish forces, after Ankara had threatened raids in retalia- tion for a bomb attack. 
  • In the central Syrian city of Homs, "armed terrorist organizations" targeted "the graduation ceremony for officers of the military academy'', an Army statement carried by official news agency SANA said, reporting casualties. 
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor with a vast network of sources on the ground, reported "more than 100 dead, around half of them military graduates, and including 14 civilians", revising up a previous toll. It said at least 125 others were wounded. 
  • Injured individuals from the drone attack targeting a Syrian military academy receiving medical treatment in Homs. AFP 
  • The attack was carried out with "explosive-laden drones", according to the military statement, vowing to "respond with full force". 
  • The government declared three days of mourning starting on Friday, There were no immereported. state television 

9. Chinese firm sold satellites to Russia's Wagner' 

  • Russian mercenary group Wagner in 2022 signed a contract with a Chinese firm Beijing Yuan Ze Technology Co Ltd to acquire two satellites belonging to the Chinese space giant Chang Guang Satellite Technology (CGST) and use their images, aiding its intelligence work as the organization sought to push Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according document. 
  • The over $30 million contract was signed in November 2022, over half a year into Moscow's inva- sion of Ukraine in which the Wagner group under its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was playing a key role on the battlefield 

State News

10.Arunachal Pradesh’s Yak Churpi’ Receives GI Tag 

  • Slightly sour and salty churpi, a naturally fermented cheese prepared from the milk of Arunachali yak, nurtured in the high-altitude areas of Arunachal Pradesh, has recently received the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag. 
  • Churpi, a traditional cheese made from yak milk, has been a staple food for tribal communities in Arunachal Pradesh. Its nutritional profile, rich in protein, makes it a vital dietary source, especially in regions where fresh vegetables are scarce. 
  • Churpi is not just a food item; it holds deep cultural significance for the people of Arunachal Pradesh. It is considered an integral part of the tangible cultural and tribal heritage of the region. The cheese-making process, passed down through generations, is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of these tribes 

11.Madhya Pradesh government started 35 percent reservation for women in government jobs. 

  • Madhya Pradesh government has issued a notification to provide 35 percent reservation for women in all recruitments except the Forest Department. Madhya Pradesh Public Services (Special Provisions for Appointment of Women) Rules 1997 have been amended to provide 35 percent reservation to women in thestate. 
  • According to the notification,in case of direct recruitment, women will get 35 percent reservation on all posts in the state except the Forest Department. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had recently announced to recruit women on 35 percent vacancies in police and other governmentjobs. 
  • Madhya Pradesh was the first state to give 50 percent reservation to women in Panchayat and urban body elections. Exemption is also given on registration of property in the name of women. 
  • Earlier, CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan had also announced 35 percent reservation for women in police and other government jobs and 50 percent reservation for women in teachingposts. 
  • Women will be given priorityin other positions including Alderman in local bodies. The education fees of girls will be borne by the government, ensuring better education. 

12.Jammu and Kashmir’s popular Dogra dish ‘Kalari’ gets GI tag 

  • The popular Dogradish ‘Kalari’ from Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Kalari is made from milk, it is most preferred among the ethnicDogras. 
  • Kalari is a semi-soft cheese from Kashmir made from cow or buffalo milk following age-old processes that reflect the rich culinary heritage. In Kashmir, Kalari Paneer is used in a variety of dishes, ranging from street food to new inventions like Kalari Tikki and Kalari Paneer Kebab. 
  • It is a very thick cheese, cooked in its own fat, salted before being served hot with bun slices.Recently G20 delegates also enjoyed this dish inSrinagar. 
  • Earlier, during the week-long ‘GI Mahotsav’ at Kashmir Haat in Srinagar, Governor Sinha said that local products of Jammu and Kashmir like Bhaderwah Rajmash, Ramban Sulai Honey, Rajouri Chikri Wood Craft, Mushkabudji Rice, Basohli Painting will be given GI tag. 

13.Sarakka Central Tribal University Approved For Telangana

  • On October 4th, the Union Cabinet approved the establishment of a tribal university in Telangana, named The Sarakka Central Tribal University. This university, with a budget of Rs 889 crore, will be located in Mulugu district. 
  • The initiative was a commitment made by the Central government as a part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, which aimed to support both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in establishing tribal universities. 
  • Sammakka-Sarakka, a mother-daughter duo, holds a special place in the local tribal folklore. Sammakka, married to Pagididda Raju, a Kakatiya dynasty chief, played a pivotal role in protesting against oppressive taxes imposed by local rulers. Sarakka, one of her daughters, lost her life in the battle, and Sammakka disappeared into the hills, believed to have transformed into a vermillion casket. 

14.First public sector caravan park in Kerala to bring in more tourists to Bekal Fort

  • Soon tourists can feel the magnificence of the Bekal Fort in Kasaragod from the comforts of a caravan as Kerala has decided to set up a caravan park there. The well-protected fort on a hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea boasts a stunning architecture and lush green environs. 
  • The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) will develop the caravan park and camp shelter at Bekal, which has also been selected by the Tou- rism Department to be developed under cinema tourism, a project that seeks to showcase prime locations in the State featured in hit films, to attract tourists. The popular song Uyire... from Mani Ratnam's 1995-hit movie Bombay was shot at the fort. 
  • The KTDC has also submitted proposals to set up caravan parks at Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram and Bolgatty Palace in Kochi.
  • The caravan park at Bekal will be the first park in the public sector in the State. A sum of 1.53 crore has been sanctioned for the project. Though the ca to the ravan tourism received gal ad huge popularity in the beginning, the State failed to bring in sufficient private investment in the sector. 
  • At present, there is only one caravan park in the State, run by a private player at Vagamon. Though administrative sanction was given for starting five parks in various parts of the State, work on some parks got struck midway due to administrative reasons. With more parks coming up in the public sector, it is expected to improve the prospects of the sector, sources in the department. 

15.Govt asked to prepare Sop in 3 weeks for cases of child abuse

  • The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted the city government three weeks to formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed in cases of sexual assault of children. The high court's direction came while hearing a suomotu plea concerning the alleged rape of a minor girl by an of ficer of the Women and Child Development Department (WCD), and the public disclosure of the victim's identity.
  • Premoday Khakha, 51, allegedly raped the minor girl over several months and impregnated her. Mr. Khakha was placed under sus- pension after the incident came to light. 
  • During the hearing, the Women and Child Development Department said the process of consultation with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Delhi Com- mission for Women was still going on. A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said, "counsel for GNCTD prays for three weeks' time to conclude the deliberations towards formulating an SoP in terms of order dated August 28, 2023. She is granted three weeks' time". SYL canal issue takes B centre stage yet again f in Punjab, Haryana 
  • A day after the Supreme Court asked the Union government to conduct a survey of the land allocated for the construction of part of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal the focal point of a water-sharing dispute between Haryana and Punjab the emotive issue has yet again taken political center stage in the region.
  • The Punjab Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, said on Thursday that the State has no spare water to share with any other State, so there is no question of construction of the SYL canal.
  • The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), meanwhile, urged Punjabis to gather any Central teams wishing to conduct a survey of the SYL canal land in the State. 
  • According to a government statement, there was consensus at the Cabinet meeting that Punjab has no surplus water to share with Haryana, arguing that reassessment of the availability of water was required as per international norms. 
  • "It was also observed that Punjab's 76.5% blocks (117 out of 153) are overexploited where the stage of groundwater extraction is more than 100%, whereas in Haryana only 61.5% (88 out of 143) are overexploited," the statement said. 
  • Meanwhile, former Haryana Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the canal construction has been stuck till now due to the negative attitude of the BJP-JJP government. 
  • Underscoring the significance of the SYL canal for Haryana, Chief Minister Manohar Lal had said on Wednesday that the construction of the canal was the rightful entitlement of the people of Haryana 

16.Karnataka govt. to pay up to 7.5 lakh ex gratia in cases of unnatural death inside jails 

  • A policy has been framed for paying a compensation of 7.5 lakh to the next of kin of the prisoners in case of unnatural death of prisoner due to a quarrel among prisoners, and 25 lakh in case of other unnatural deaths, including suicide, within the prisons, the High Court of Karnataka was informed Thursday. on Thursday. 
  • The policy was framed on the directions issued by the Supreme Court and the High Court, which had in 2017 initiated a suo motu PIL on the top court's or ders to ensure that the State government formulated a scheme to identify petition. prisoners who died unnaturally while in prison since 2012, identify the next of kin of deceased prisoners, and pay reasonable compensation to them. 
  • A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prasanna occurs B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit, which took note of the policy, framed in October 2022, disposed of the petition while observing that the government had appropriately addressed and redressed the grievances raised in the petition. 
  • However, as per the policy, no compensation would be paid in case of natural death, including death due to illness of the prisoners. 
  • Also, no compensation would be paid if the death while escaping from prison or while on parole or lawful custody outside the prison; and if the death occurs due to natural disaster/calamity. 

17.Malayalam actor detained in Chennai airport in rape case

  • Malayalam actor and reality show celebrity Shiyas Kareem, 34, against whom a rape and cheating case had been registered, was detained at Anna International Airport, Chennai, on Thursday morning on his arrival from Dubai.
  • Woman from Kasaramising to marry her. She god filed a complaint and also complained that he was against him alleging that took 11 lakh from her. She was sexually abused by reported incidents with him multiple times at abuse took place between locations after pro2021 and March 2023. 
  • Based on her complaint, the Chandera police in Kasfarm Aragod registered a case for Tara and recorded the woman's statement. Mr. Kareem la- ter went absconding and the police issued a lookout for notice. 
  • On his arrival at the Chennai airport on Thursday, the immigration authorities detained him and alerted the Chandera police. 
  • Sources said a team from the Chandera police would reach Chennai to take him to Kerala 

18.HC orders further probe into death of violinist Balabhaskar

  • The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a further investigation into the death of violinist Balabhaskar in a road accident in Thiruvananthapuram in 2018, especially to identify wheth- er there was any conspiracy or connection between gold smuggling and the death of Balabhaskar. 
  • Thomas directed the CBI to complete the further investigation in three months. The court observed that the investigation conduct- Justice Bechu Kurian led by the CBI had not been Balabhaskar foolproof and the circumstances arising in the case needed to be probed further. 
  • The court passed the order on a petition filed by K.C. Unni, father of Balabhaskar, and Soby George against the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court, Thiruvananthapuram, rejecting their pleas for a further investigation. 
  • The violinist and his daughter had died in a road accident on September 25, 2018. His wife was seriously injured in the accident. 19.High court refuses to entertain PIL to ban 'dangerous' dog breeds
  • The Delhi High Court on Thursday declined to entertain a public interest litiga- tion (PIL) plea seeking a stop the registration of "dangerous" breeds of pet dogs such as pitbulls, terriers, American bulldogs, rottweilers etc., in the national capital.
  • The registration of pet dogs by their owners is mandatory, according to Section 399 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. 
  • A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula told the petitioner, a Delhi- based law firm, to first approach the government authorities with its griepets. vance instead of directly filing a plea before the court. 
  • "This is a wrong trend in PILS. This is a policy decision. Before filing, you make a representation to the government, but you have come straight to the court," the Bench remarked. 
  • The PIL sought to include certain breeds or cross-breeds of dogs in the list of "dangerous'' and a law to cancel the license for keeping them as pets. 
  • It said the authorities have failed to make any arrangements to date to prevent the loss of health due to dog bite incidents by "dangerous dogs" at public places across Delhi. 
  • The plea alleged that certain breeds are dangerous and banned in more than 12 countries, including India, but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was still registering them to be kept as Used as a weapon' 
  • The plea highlighted there was no government data or any public record that kept track of the increasing number of dogs belonging to the "dangerous" category. 
  • It argued that such dogs could also be used as a weapon to harm someone. And when such an attack takes place, the owner is only fined for a small amount, the plea said. 
  • The petition said it was the duty of the Centre and the State government to take pre-emptive action to save the lives of citizens from such canines. 

Defence News

20.Army says officer injured in grenade accident' 

  • The Army on Thursday evening said one officer has been injured in a likely "grenade accident" at a post in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri sector. 
  • "The officer was evacuated and stable post initial treatment. Further investigation is underway," the Army said in an official statement. 
  • Earlier, official sources said at least three Army officers were injured in Rajouri district of the Pir Panjal Valley. A Major-level officer involved in the incident was "overpowered and arrested", the sources added. 
  • Responding to the incident inside a camp in Thanamandi, an Army spokesman had said, "No terrorist attack has occurred. It is an unfortunate internal incident of the camp." 
  • Official sources had said a Major took his seniors hostage and later opened fire at them in a camp located close to the Line of Control (LOC) in Rajouri. Sources had said loud explosions were heard. Initial reports suggested three officers were injured in the incident. 

Economy News

21.RBI Revealed Its Fourth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revealed its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy on October 6. The central bank has decided to maintain the repo rate at 6.50% and has adopted a stance of ‘withdrawal of accommodation.’ 
  • The various rates are as under: 
    • Policy Repo Rate: 6.50% 
    • Standing Deposit Facility (SDF): 6.25% 
    • Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 6.75% 
    • Bank Rate: 6.75% 
    • Fixed Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35% 
    • CRR: 4.50% 
    • SLR: 18.00% 
  • The MPC is tasked with determining the policy repo rate, a crucial tool for achieving the inflation target set by the RBI. The MPC convenes a minimum of four times annually, with a quorum of four members required for the meeting to proceed. 

22.“India’s Services PMI Soars To 61 In September, Output Hits 13-Year Peak, Job Growth Steady”

  • In September, the services sector in India experienced a significant boost in both domestic and international demand, reaching a 13-year high, according to a survey-based index by S&P Global Market Intelligence. 
  • This index, known as the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), climbed to 61, up from 60.1 in August. Despite this growth, job creation was moderate. 
  • Business activity and new work intakes in the services sector surged to levels not seen in over 13 years. Both domestic and international sales to Asia, Europe, and North America contributed to this growth. The services sector accounts for 54% of Gross Value Added (GVA) in India’s economy. 

23.Sept. food inflation may have eased on cheaper tomato, LPG' 

  • Retail food inflation may have eased in September, thanks to a reduction in tomato and LPG cylinder prices, even as onion prices rose further during the month, a CRISIL study on food plate costs suggested. 
  • Retail inflation had dropped to 6.83% in August from a 15-month high of 7.44% in July, but food price inflation stood at about 10%. Official consumer price trends for September will be released next week. 
  • The cost of a vegetarian thali in September fell 1% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) and 17% from August levels, while tomato prices declined around 62% from 102 per kilogram (kg) in August to 139 per kg. The cost of a non-vegetarian thali declined at a slower pace of 9% from August due to a 2-3% estimated increase in the price of broiler, which accounts for comfort. 
  • More than 50% of the total thali cost, according to a monthly report from CRI- SIL Market Intelligence and Analytics. On a Y-o-Y basis, non-vegetarian thali costs were up 1%.
  • "Cost of fuel, which accounts for 14% and 8% of total cost of vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis, res- pectively, declined about 18% in September as the cost of a 14.2kg LPG cylinder fell to 903 from 1,103," CRISIL said. 
  • While onion prices rose about 12% between August and September, CRISIL analysts said a 31% decline in chili prices over the previous month offered some

Banking News

24.SBI Introduces ‘Mobile Handheld Device’ To Drive Financial Inclusion 

  • In a groundbreaking move aimed at enhancing accessibility and convenience in availing banking services, the State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced the ‘Mobile Handheld Device‘ for its Financial Inclusion (FI) customers. This pioneering initiative, unveiled by the Chairman of SBI, Shri Dinesh Khara, seeks to empower financial inclusion and extend essential banking services to the masses. 
  • The Mobile Handheld Device is set to revolutionize banking accessibility by bringing kiosk banking directly to customers’ doorsteps. It offers greater flexibility to Customer Service Point (CSP) agents, enabling them to reach out to customers wherever they are. 
  • The Mobile Handheld Device will initially provide five core banking services: 
    • Cash withdrawal 
    • Cash deposit 
    • Fund transfer 
    • Balance inquiry 
    • Mini statement 

25. RBI Forms External Working Group On Expected Credit Loss Framework 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a significant step by forming an external working group (WG) to address the expected credit loss (ECL) framework for loan loss provisioning. This initiative aims to gather independent insights into the intricacies of this substantial shift in the banking sector. 
  • The WG will be led by R. Narayanaswamy, former Professor at IIM Bangalore. It consists of eight experts, with representation from six banks and one member each from KPMG and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. 
  • The primary objectives of this working group include: 1)Defining Credit Risk Model Principles. 2)Addressing Credit Risk Elements. 3)Validation Methodology and 4)Prudential Floors. 

26.Centre Extends SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara’s Tenure Until August 2024

  • Centre has decided to extend the tenure of Mr. Dinesh Khara as the Chairman of the State Bank of India (SBI), the nation’s largest lender, until August of the following year. Mr. Khara’s tenure, which began on October 7, 2020, for a three-year term, is now set to continue until he reaches the age of 63. 
  • Mr. Khara has been the Managing Director and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund from November 2013 to August 2016. In August 2016, Mr. Khara was appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of the State Bank of India. Beyond his academic qualifications, Mr. Khara is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB). 
  • Dinesh Khara has a remarkable career trajectory within the State Bank of India. He embarked on his journey with the bank as a probationary officer in 1984. He has played a pivotal role in overseeing the merger of five associates and the Bhartiya Mahila Bank with SBI. 

27.HDFC Pension launches the first 'NPS Preference Index' 

  • HDFC Pension, one of India's leading pension fund managers, has launched a first-of-its-kind 'NPS Preference Index' using the National Pension System (NPS) on NPSDay1October2023torankthe preferenceofNPSamongdifferent consumergroups. 
  • NPS is a government-backed retirement savings program designed to provide financial security to Indian citizens during their retirement years. Any Indian citizen aged 18-70 years can voluntarily take membership of NPS. 
  • Despite being a relatively new instrument, with attractive features like ‘NPSPreference Index’ tax-free withdrawals, security (government regulation) and benefits for spouse, NPS ownership stands at24%. 
  • The appeal of tax benefits (80C/80CCD) is relatively higher (35%) among those enrolledfor NPS compared to all consumers (31%). 
  • HDFC Pension appointed Ipsos, an independent market research expert, to conduct the survey for the NPS Preference Index. The findings are based on a consumer market research study with 1,801 NPS aware consumers across Tier I/II/III locations in the age group of 30-40 years and 45- 55 years. 
  • The NPS Preference Index improves with increase in the income level of consumers. The Northern region has the highest NPS Preference Index (57) compared to other regions. 

Awards News

28.Dilip Nongmaithem Receives Bal Sahitya Puraskar In Manipuri Language 

  • The Sahitya Akademi, India’s premier literary institution, has once again recognized and celebrated outstanding literary contributions with the prestigious ‘Bal Sahitya Puraskar‘ for the year 2023. 
  • This time, the honor has been conferred upon Dilip Nongmaithem, an accomplished author in the Manipuri language, for his remarkable work titled “Ibemma Amasung Ngabemma.” This award is a testament to his profound storytelling and significant impact on children’s literature. 
  • The accolade consists of an engraved copper-plaque, symbolizing the recognition of the author’s literary achievement, and a monetary prize of ₹50,000, which further supports and encourages their creative endeavors. 

29.Nobel Peace Prize 2023 Awarded To Narges Mohammadi 

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023 to to Narges Mohammadi for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all. 
  • However, her brave struggle has come with tremendous personal costs. Altogether, the regime has arrested her 13 times, convicted her five times, and sentenced her to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes.
  • This year’s peace prize also recognises the hundreds of thousands of people who, in the preceding year, have demonstrated against Iran’s theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women. The motto adopted by the demonstrators – “Woman – Life – Freedom” – suitably expresses the dedication and work of Narges Mohammadi. 

30.Tamil writer C.S. Lakshmi honored with 'Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement Award'

  • Tamil writer Ambai, known as C.S. Lakshmi, has been awarded the prestigious Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement Award. Lakshmi, who writes under the pen name Ambai, has made notable contributions to Tamil fiction, especially the short story genre. 
  • Previous recipients include renowned authors such as Anita Desai, Mark Tully, Amitav Ghosh, Ruskin Bond and Girish Karnad. Ambai, an eminent feminist writer, is known for her courageous exploration of the stereotypes of women in society through her literaryworks. 
  • Herthought-provoking stories have challenged traditional norms and fostered conversations about gender roles and expectations. In 2021, Ambai received the Sahitya Akademi Award for her remarkable collection of short stories titled Shivappu Kazhuttudan Oru Pachaiparavai (ARedNecked GreenBird). 
  • Ambai published her first collection of short stories, Sirakukal Muriyam, in the year 1976. Throughout his career, he primarily focused on the art of short story writing, and enthralled readers with his concise but profound narratives. 
  • She co-founded SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women), India's first archive dedicated exclusively towomen. Sparrow has a vast collection of writings, visual records and oral histories, preserving diverse narratives of the women's lives. 

Science and Technology News

31.Nokia Opens 6G Lab Facility In Bengaluru 

  • Telecom giant Nokia has made a significant stride towards the future of wireless technology with the establishment of its state-of-the-art 6G lab at the company’s global R&D center in Bengaluru, India. 
  • This “first-of-its-kind” project is set to revolutionize the way we perceive and interact with the digital and physical worlds. The primary objective is to accelerate the development of fundamental technologies and innovative use cases that will shape the future of wireless communication.
  • One aspect of Nokia’s 6G lab is its research into “network as a sensor” technology which enables wireless networks to act as sensors, capable of perceiving objects, people, and movement without the need for traditional on-board sensors. Nokia’s 6G lab aims to fully integrate sensing capabilities into the wireless network infrastructure. 

Ranks and Reports

32.India got 47th position in Ookla's 'Speedtest GlobalIndex' 

  • According to Ookla data, India has jumped 72 places to 47th positionin the ‘Speedtest Global Index’ last year. Whereas UAE, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are included in thetop-4. 
  • This puts India ahead of its neighbours, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but also some G20 countries, such as Mexico (90th), Turkey (68th), UK (62nd), Japan (58th), Brazil (50th) and It is even ahead of South Africa (48th position). 
  • The country's speed performance has seen a 3.59x increase since the introduction of 5G, with the average download speedimproving from 13.87 Mbps in September2022 to 50.21 Mbps in August 2023. 
  • Jammu and Kashmir, located in the northernmost part of India, became the leader in mobile average download speed at 150.96 Mbps, leaving behind Bihar (73.00 Mbps) and Kolkata (66.47 Mbps). Jammu and Kashmir was one of the last states to launch mobile networks in2003. 
  • In nine telecom circles: Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata, North East, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Kerala and Uttar Pradeshby August 2023, the average 5G download speed exceeded 240 Mbps, Kolkata leading with averaging 385.50Mbps. 

Miscellaneous News

33.CBI books officials, others over actor Vishal's graft allegations against CBFC 

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted searches after registering a corruption case against three private persons and unknown officials of Mumbai-based Central Board of Film Certification. 
  • The development comes days after Tamil actor and producer Vishal had alleged that in Mumbai he paid about *6.5 lakh for the screening and certifica- tion of the Hindi version of his film Mark Antony. 
  • Those named as accused in the first information report (FIR) are Merlin Menaga, Jeeja Ramdas, and Rajan M. 
  • According to the CBI, in September, one of the accused persons conspired with the others to get *7 lakh in bribe for arranging a censor certificate from the CBFC for a movie dubbed in Hindi. 
  • "... in furtherance of the said conspiracy, she initially demanded a bribe on behalf of the CBFC Mumbai officials'' from the complai- nant and following negotiations accepted 76.54 lakh through the bank accounts intermediaries". of two other accused. 
  • Thereafter, on September 26, the required certificate was allegedly issued by the CBFC. "It was also alleged that in addition to the said amount, the accused obtained 20,000 in her bank account from the account of a private company as coordinating fees for herself. An amount of 16.5 lakh was allegedly withdrawn immediately in cash," said the agency on Thursday. 
  • On Wednesday, taking cognisance of the allegation, CBFC Chairman Prasoon Joshi had said that the processes would be further strengthened at the organizational level to eliminate any thirdparty interference. 
  • Mr. Joshi clarified that the persons mentioned by the complainant were not CBFC officials, but “unauthorised third-party included 
  • The CBFC chief said an aggressive digitisation process, automation, and minimal manual intervention was already in place, but now more measures would be taken. To start with, every document would have to be uploaded at the time of online application only. 

Sports News

34.Asian Games 2023: Dipika Pallikal, Harinder Pal Sandhu Clinch Gold In Squash Mixed 

  • India’s Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Sandhu won the gold medal in the mixed doubles squash tournament at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China. 
  • Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Sandhu defeated Malaysia’s Aifa Azman-Mohd Syafiq Kamal 2-0 (11-10, 11-10) in the mixed doubles final. This is the first time a squash mixed doubles tournament has featured at the Asian Games. 
  • India has made its mark at the Asian Games 2023, achieving its best-ever medal tally in the history of the tournament. As of October 5, India has won a total of 84 medals, with 21 gold medals, 31 silver medals and 32 bronze medals. 

Obituaries News

35.Veteran Communist Party Leader Anathalavattom Anandan Passed Away 

  • Veteran CPI(M) leader and former legislator Anathalavattom Anandan, who played a key role in building the trade union base for the party in the state, passed away at a hospital on Thursday. He was 86 years old.
  • Anathalavattom Anandan was born in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram district, in 1937. His journey in the world of politics began in 1954. In 1956, Anandan became a member of the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) and remained steadfast even after the party split in 1964. 
  • He was elected to the state assembly from the Attingal constituency three times, representing the people’s interests and championing the cause of the working class. His tenure in the legislative assembly, spanning 1987, 1996, and 2007, demonstrated his commitment to serving the people of Kerala. 

Agreement News

36.India looking to engage with the new Maldives govt, on all issues, says MEA 

  • India looks forward to engaging the new Maldives government on all issues", the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday, responding to the Maldivian President elect Mohamed Muirru's statement that Indian milk- tary personnel would be asked to leave the islands. 
  • On Wednesday evening, Indian High Commissioner to Male Munnu Mahawar met Mr. Muinn, and handed over a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulating him on his electoral victory 
  • "Our High Commissioner in Male called on us to have a good discussion on various aspects of our bilateral relationship including development cooperation, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. 
  • MEA officials did not comment on who would be sent to represent New Delhi at Mr. Muizzu swearing in ceremony. 
  • In an unprecedented gesture in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended President Ibu Solih's inauguration ceremony in Male. 
  • 'India Out' campaign election saw Mr. Muizzu, the former Mayor of Male, defeat incumbent Maldives President Mr. Solih by 19,000 votes, or an 8% margin. The results have been widely seen as an upset for India, which had close ties with the Solih administration. 
  • Changing hands: The election results have been widely seen as an upset for India, that had close ties with Ibu Solih administration Penal. 
  • Speaking at a public rally after the elections, Mr. Muiznu, who stood as the candidate for the PNC-PPM coalition that had cam- paigned on an "India Our" plank, had said that the "Sovereignty of the Mal 
  • "The people have decided and don't want Indian Maldives troops to stay in the Maldives. Therefore, foreign soldiers cannot be here against our sentiments, against our will," the President was quoted as saying by Maldivian news outlets on Tuesday. 
  • "So, I have to tell the dian] ambassador who is going to meet me that we will have a very good relationship with these values," he had added. 
  • While India has had a strong military presence in the Indian Ocean Region (TOR) for many years, naval and air force personnel have been stationed on the Addu and Lammu islands since 2013 in order to maintain and operate two helicopters and Dornier aircraft that India had loaned the Maldives for reconnaissance operations over the past decade. 
  • In February 2001, the Maldivian opposition protested an MoU or draft agreement on maritime security signed by External with the Maldives Defence Minister, in order to construct a Coast Guard harbor base at the Udurt Thila Falls and The construction was inaugurated during a visit by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in May this year, and this has been the focus of the PPM's India Our protests. 
  • While the MEA spokesperson did not specifically respond to Mr. Muizzu's threat to remove Indian military personnel move that could overturn an important component of India-Maldives strategic dies in the past few years he said that the two COUT tries needed to cooperate "closely
  • In November 2001, the Maldives National Defence Force told a Parliamentary Committee that a total of President-elect, and he Last Saturday's run-off dives was most important. 75 Indian military person ty building and working tonel were stationed in the MIA. 
  • "The focus of our partnership with the Maldives has always been on capaci together to address our shared challenges and priorities. As neighbors, we need to collaborate closely to address the challenges confronting our region such as transnational Affairs Minister S. Jaishan crimes and humanitarian assistance disaster relief Mr. Bagchi said

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