Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 23rd December 2023

National News 

1.Rajasthan is the top state in the country with 3065 MW solar park capacity

  • According to New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh, solar projects with a total capacity of 10,401 MW have been developed in the states under Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects. Out of 10,401 MW capacity, Rajasthan has commissioned 3065 MW capacity so far. 
  • While Andhra Pradesh has commissioned 3050 MW capacity, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have commissioned 2000 MW and 1000 MW capacity respectively. As of November 30, 2023, 50 solar parks with a cumulative capacity of 37,490 MW have been sanctioned, of which 11 parks (8,521 MW) have been completed, and 8 parks (4,910 MW) have been partially completed. 
  • Among the States, approval has been given for 9 parks (8,276 MW), 8 parks (4,180 MW), 7 parks (3,730 MW), 7 parks (12,150 MW) and 5 parks (4,200 MW) in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh respectively. 
  • The initiative, launched in December 2014 with an initial capacity of 20,000 MW, was later expanded to 40,000 MW in March 2017, with the aim of setting up at least 50 solar parks by 2023–24. 
  • Solar parks typically have capacities of 500 MW and above, although smaller parks (up to 20 MW) are considered in states facing shortage of non-agricultural land. 
  • Under the Solar Park Scheme, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and project milestones. 
  • The total central grant sanctioned for this scheme is ₹8,100 crore, which is managed by the Solar Energy Corporation of India and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency 

2.India's rise in Global M South marks a pivotal C point, says IAF Chief 

  • Pitching for greater military-to-military cooperation between India and countries in the Global South, Air Chief Marshal (ACM) V. R. Chaudhari said on Friday that the Indian Air Force (IAF) might easily act as a catalyst for progress, fostering strategic partnerships and contributing to the collective advancement of the Global South. These engagements were crucial for tackling shared security challenges and ensuring regional stability, he noted. "We have increased the footprint of training and cooperation with these nations and IAF conducts regular training programmes for these partner nations sharing best practices in the fields of operations and maintenance," he said speaking on 'India and the e Global South: opportunities and challenges' as part of the 20th Subroto Mukerjee memorial lecture. 
  • "In the past nine years, the IAF alone has trained more than 5,000 trainees from countries of the Global South and this number is only increasing." The Air Chief also released two books Indian Air Force: contemporary and future dynamics authored by Air Marshal D. Choudhary (retd.) and Aeroengine fundamentals and landscape in India authored by Air Vice Marshal Suresh Singh. 
  •  "The world is at a pivotal juncture and winds of change are blowing strongly in our favor. India's rise in the Global South marks a pivotal point in international affairs," the Air Chief noted. The roles played by the Indian military advisory teams and courses offered through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme paved the way for increased cooperation, adding such programmes focused on human resource development 

3.Government aims to set up 17,000 creches across India 

  • The Women and Child Development Ministry on Friday said it aimed to establish 17,000 creches in angan wadis across the country, The Ministry added that 5,222 creches had been approved until now, and it planned to depute two additional creche workers in each anganwadi. 
  • These initiatives are being taken under the 'Palna' scheme to address the need for quality daycare facilities or creches for children of working women by providing a safe and secure environment for the nutritional, health and cognitive development of the children, thereby enabling more women among all socio-economic groups to take up gainful employment in the organized and unorganized sector. On Thursday, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani released a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for anganwadi-cumcreche centers being set up under the 'Palna' scheme. They outline a comprehensive framework for the administration and implementation of the scheme, including administrative hierarchy, roles, and responsibilities of the workers and monitoring checklist 
  • According to government data, participation of women in the workforce has increased to 37% by 2022. As of March 31, 2021, 13.87 lakh anganwadi and mini-anganwadi centers are operational across the country. 

4.Macron accepts PM's invite, to be the chief guest at R-Day fet 

  • French President Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations next January, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Friday. Mr. Macron has acknowledged India's invite and announced that he will be here on January 26 for the festivities. 
  • "As Strategic Partners, India and France share a high degree of convergence on a range of regional and global issues. This year, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership," said the MEA in the announcement. 
  • Accepting the invite from the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Macron said in a social media post, "Thank you for your invitation, my dear friend Narendra Modi. India, in your Republic Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. 
  • Day, I'll be here to celebrate with you." 
  • France has emerged as one of the key defense partners of India in recent years and the two sides have maintained consistent high-level contacts. Mr. Modi was Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day parade in Paris on July 14. 
  • The French President visited New Delhi during the G-20 Summit on September 9 and 10 when he had also traveled to Dhaka for a short visit. 

5.Central Railways To Add Panic Switches At 117 Stations 

  • Central Railway general manager Ram Karan Yadav has recently announced a significant step towards enhancing passenger safety. In his first news conference after assuming office, Yadav disclosed plans to install panic switches at 117 railway stations under the Central Railway network. 
  • The Central Railway has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RailTel for the implementation of this safety feature. The Central Railway envisions completing the installation of panic switches within a year. 
  • The installation of panic switches at railway stations is a proactive measure to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers. These panic switches will serve as a direct communication tool for passengers facing emergencies, allowing them to promptly seek assistance from RPF personnel 

6.Textiles Ministry Unveils ‘Paat-Mitro’ App For Jute Farmers 

  • The Ministry of Textiles, in its continuous efforts to support and empower jute farmers, has introduced the “Paat-Mitro” mobile application. 
  • Developed by The Jute Corporation of India Limited (JCI), this application is a significant step towards providing essential information about Minimum Support Prices (MSP) and agronomy to jute farmers. 
  • Apart from MSP and agronomic practices, the application includes information on Jute Gradation Parameters, Farmer-centric schemes like ‘Jute-ICARE,’ weather forecasts, JCI’s Purchase Centres’ locations, and Procurement Policies. 
  • Farmers can track the status of payments for the raw jute they sell to JCI under the MSP Operation. Incorporating the latest technology, the application includes a Chatbot to address farmers’ queries and provide real-time assistance. 

International News 

7.World Health Organization declared the new form of Corona virus 'JN-One' as 'Variant of Interest' 

  • The World Health Organization has declared the new form of Omicron strain of Corona virus 'JN-One' as a 'Variant of Interest' due to its rapid spread. Meanwhile, WHO has said that this new form of Corona currently poses no threat to people and the existing vaccines will provide protection from it. 
  • JN.1 was first reported in August. This variant has evolved from BA.2.86, which is a descendant of Omicron, the variant of the coronavirus that wreaked havoc in early 2022. 
  • BA.2.86 did not spread widely, but it worried experts because it had dozens of mutations on its spike protein. JN.1 is similar to an additional spike protein mutation. 
  • The spike protein acts like a key to enter the cell, and vaccines train the body to strengthen the lock. 
  • When the spike protein changes into a very different enemy, it becomes harder for neutralizing antibodies to recognize and fight it. 
  • ‘JN-One’ has been found in many countries of the world including China, Britain, India and America. The World Health Organization is monitoring several Omicronrelated variants, including JN-One. 
  • WHO said it accounted for about 3 percent of all coronavirus cases in early November, but rose to 27.1 percent globally a month later. 

Variant of concern 

  • This variant of the virus may result in increased infectivity, more severe disease (e.g. hospitalization or death), significant reduction in antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatment or vaccine, or failure of clinical therapy. 

8.New sea spider species 'Austropaline halanichi' with 1.2 inch legs and 4 eyes discovered in Antarctica 

  • According to a study published in the journal ZooKeys, researchers have discovered a spider called Austropaline halyanichi in the Ross Sea, a vast bay 200 miles from the South Pole. 
  • The study said it was much larger than other sea spiders, with legs measuring about 1.2 inches long, four dark eyes, a small swollen abdomen and hair around the mouth. 
  • One of its most distinctive features is its arm-like appendages, called cheliceous, which are "powerful" and "relatively large". 
  • They also have a "rectangular" scape and a paw, which consists of two fingers, one fixed and one movable. Both fingers are closed, so "there is no space between the fingers." The ends of his claws have turned black. 
  • Like other sea spiders, Austropaline halanichi's vital organs are in their legs. They also use their legs to breathe. Sea spiders mate through pores in their legs, and the specimen had "large" ovipositors, the organ of the male sea spider that carries eggs released by females. 
  • The creatures eat through a long proboscis, and Austropaline halanichi is .1 inches long, similar to a straw. The newly found specimen was named after Kenneth M. Halanich, a "prolific marine invertebrate scientist". 

State News 

9.Gujarat will permit liquor consumption in GIFT to attract financial institutions 

  • The Gujarat government has decided to allow alcohol consumption in GIFT City to attract global financial institutions. 
  • The State government announced on Friday that alcohol would be allowed at hotels, restaurants and clubs offering "wine and dine" in Gujarat Interna- tional Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) near the State capital, Gandhinagar. 
  • Officials, employees and owners working from GIFT City will be exempt from the prohibition law, which makes alcohol consumption illegal across the State 
  • A liquor access permit will be provided to all employees, owners and officials working in GIFT City. 
  • The new rules for GIFT City also allow visitors to consume liquor in hotels, restaurants, clubs that have temporary permits in the presence of permanent employees of a company. 
  • Accordingly, hotels, restaurants and clubs located in GIFT City will be able to obtain wine and dine facility licenses there. Employees of GIFT City and visitors can consume liquor in them. 
  • However, these outlets cannot sell liquor bottles, the State government said in a release. 
  • Gujarat has been a dry State since it was carved from Mumbai State and created in 1960. 
  • CFirst, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) set up in the State were allowed exemption from the State's law pertaining to liquor consumption. 
  • Second, as part of its tourism policy, the Gujarat government has allowed licensed liquor stores in some hotels where only tourists can purchase alcohol from the licensed shops. 
  • According to sources, there are around 60 hotels and clubs that have been given permission for liquor shops to serve tourists.
  • These licensed liquor stores can also cater to nearly 48,000 local permit holders, who have been issued permits by the State government based on their health requirements. 

Defence News 

10.IAF & USI Host Inaugural Arjan Singh Annual Lecture 

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United Services Institution of India (USI) recently collaborated to host the inaugural Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Annual Lecture at USI, Shankar Vihar. 
  • The first Arjan Singh Annual Lecture was delivered by Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria, marked the beginning of an annual tradition that aims to inspire and educate the audience about the dedication, vision, and leadership exemplified by Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. 
  • On August 1, 1964, Arjan Singh assumed the role of Chief of the Air Staff as an Air Marshal, demonstrating his ascent to a key leadership position. His pivotal leadership was instrumental in the Indian Air Force’s victory in the 1965 Indo-Pak War, showcasing his strategic acumen. 

Business News 

11.CAG audit funds govt gave widow pension to men in Jharkhand 

  • Several irregularities have been found in the implementation of government schemes in Jharkhand. These were revealed when the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) report of the financial year 2021-22 was tabled on the last day of the Assembly Session on Thursday. 
  • The State government has given widow pension to men. Many students have received more than one scholarship despite the fact that they were entitled for only one scholarship. 
  • The CAG report found lack of social audit and monitoring in the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes in which fake beneficiaries were given the scholarship, 
  • During the audit, it was found that payment of ₹9.54 lakh was made to 16 men under the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme and the Rajya Vidhwa Samman Protsahan Yojna. 
  • In the audit, irregularities were found in pre-and post-matric scholarships in which ₹1.17 crore were paid to fake students. Apart from this, ₹9.99 crore of payments were done to fake students under the scholarship given to the minorities. Irregularities have also been found in the scholarship given to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Backward Class (BC). 

Economy News 

12.Foreign Exchange Reserves Soar To 20-Month High, Reaching $616 Billion 

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves witnessed a remarkable surge, reaching an impressive $616 billion in the week concluding on December 15. This milestone marked the highest level since March 25, 2022, as per data disclosed by the Reserve Bank of India. 
  • During this week, the reserves experienced a notable upswing, recording a substantial increase of $9 billion. This surge stands as the second-highest weekly increment in the current financial year. The primary contributor to this surge was the augmentation of foreign currency assets, witnessing an increase of $8 billion during the week. 
  • The Indian rupee appreciated by 0.4% in the preceding week, attributed to the decline in the dollar index following the outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting. 

13.Center Releases Additional ₹72,961 Crore In Tax Devolution To States 

  • Continuing its commitment to empower state governments, the central government has disbursed an additional instalment of Rs 72,961.21 crore as tax devolution to states on December 22, 2023.
  • This comes as a follow-up to a similar transfer earlier in the month on December 11, according to an official statement from the finance ministry. 
  • With the recent transfer, the cumulative amount transferred to states in December stands at an impressive Rs 1.46 lakh crore. 
  • Uttar Pradesh leads the states in receiving the largest share, accounting for Rs 13,089 crore, followed by Bihar at Rs 7,338 crore. The distribution of funds among states is determined by various factors, including population. 

14.India’s Coking Coal Imports Surge To A 5-Year High; Russia Emerges As Top Three Supplier 

  • India’s coking coal imports have soared to a five-year high, registering 38.14 million tonnes for the April-November period of the current fiscal year. This reflects a marginal year-on-year increase, with nearly 38.12 million tonnes imported during the corresponding period last year. 
  • Traditionally, India has imported a substantial amount of coking coal, primarily used in steelmaking, from Russia, alongside Australia as another key supplier. Russia, previously the sixth-largest coal supplier to India, has now ascended to the third spot, surpassing countries like Canada and Mozambique. 

15.Innovative All-In-One Insurance Product, Bima Vistaar, To Debut In Q1 FY25

  • Bima Vistaar, a groundbreaking all-in-one insurance product encompassing life, health, and property coverage, is poised for launch in the first quarter of the upcoming financial year. 
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) reports that the product design and crucial rollout aspects are nearing completion, with a keen focus on leveraging technology for a seamless launch. 
  • Bima Vistaar holds strategic importance as part of the “Insurance Trinity,” a trio featuring Bima Sugam (a digital platform), Bima Vistaar, and Bima Vahak (a women-led field distribution force). 
  • Aligned with IRDAI’s vision to achieve universal insurance coverage by 2047, these components aim to address existing gaps in product design, pricing, and distribution. 

Schemes and Committee News 

16.Himachal Pradesh started the first phase of 'Rajiv Gandhi Self Employment Start-up Scheme 

  • In Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has launched the first phase of 'Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Start-up Scheme' worth Rs 680 crore, which is one of the 10 guarantees of the Congress government. 
  • The first guarantee was to give the old pension scheme to the government employees, which has been completed. The second guarantee was to launch a startup scheme of Rs 680 crore to provide employment to unemployed youth and its first phase was launched. 
  • Apart from this, under the second phase of Rajiv Gandhi SelfEmployment Start-up Scheme, youth will be encouraged to set up solar energy projects which will also be a good source of income for the youth. 
  • Under the third phase of the scheme, subsidy will be provided to the youth for agriculture related work. He said that a plan is also being prepared to provide 90 percent subsidy to the youth for fish farming. Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu launched the e-taxi scheme under the first phase of the scheme along with the website of the transport department to provide online registration facility for e-taxi.
  • The state government will also provide e-taxi to government departments in a phased manner to provide assured source of income to unemployed youth. The government is also giving 50 percent subsidy to the youth on purchasing e-taxi. 
  • He said that the state government is also giving 50 percent subsidy on the purchase of e-buses and etrucks. The state government had also issued 24 permits to private bus operators for e-buses. 

17.Ministry holds meet with CMS of northeast States over lag in DevINE scheme 

  • With a little over 10% of funds under the Prime Minister's Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE) sanctioned so far, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) convened a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the States in the region on Friday, asking for "feasible concept notes". 
  • The meeting comes in the wake of a review by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that found that the scheme was yet to take off despite adequate funds. 
  • On Friday, Union Minister ef G. Kishan Reddy held a virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the northeast States to discuss the implementation of all pronic jects including those under DevINE. 
  • On December 7, DONER Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the total approved outlay for PM-DevINE scheme for the period 2022-23 to 2025-26 is 26,600 crore. It said that nine projects worth 1855.85 crore had been approved so far. 
  • The scheme was announced in the 2022-23 Union Budget with an initial allocation of ₹1,500 crore.
  • The scheme is "aimed at rapid and holistic development" of the northeast region by "funding infrastructure and social development projects, based on felt needs of the States." It will strive to fill the gaps in various sectors and will not be a substitute for existing Central and State Schemes". 

Important Day News 

18.National Farmers Day 2023 

  • National Farmer’s Day 2023, also known as Kisan Diwas, is celebrated on December 23 in India to honor and recognize the invaluable contribution of farmers to the country’s socio-economic fabric. 
  • This day marks the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a former prime minister of India and a dedicated advocate for the welfare of farmers. 
  • During his political career, Charan Singh introduced several welfare schemes for farmers. Notably, in 1939, he proposed the Debt Redemption Bill, a crucial step towards liberating farmers from the burden of moneylenders. 
  • His advocacy extended to reshaping land reforms in Uttar Pradesh, where he served as the chief minister twice. Charan Singh’s multifaceted efforts included writing extensively on zamindari abolition and land reforms, leaving an indelible mark on India’s agricultural history. 

Award News 

19.UNESCO honored Rambagh Gate and Ramparts of Punjab with 'Award of Excellence 

  • UNESCO, the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of the United Nations, has presented the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Conservation Awards for efforts to conserve and maintain buildings of heritage and cultural importance. 
  • The jury selected a total of 12 projects from China, India and Nepal for these awards this year. This year, the jury reviewed 48 project entries from 8 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Every year since 2000, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards are given for cultural heritage conservation programmes. 

Major awards 

  • Award of Excellence – Rambagh Gate and Ramparts of Punjab. 
  • Award of Distinction – Karnikara Mandapam, Kunnamangalam Bhagavathi Temple, Kerala, India, Fanling Golf Course in Hong Kong SAR, China and Dongguan Garden Residence in China. 
  • Award of Merit – Church of the Epiphany, Haryana, David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, Mumbai, and Yan Nan Yuan Pan Family Residence at Bikaner House, New Delhi, Peking University, Beijing, China. 
  • New Design Award – Erlitou Site Museum of the Xia Capital in Luoyang, China. 
  • Awards for Sustainable Development – Karnikara Mandapam at Kunnamangalam Bhagwati Temple in Kerala, India, Peepal Haveli, Punjab, and Sikami Chhen in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

20.Poet Sukrita Paul Kumar honored with 'Tagore Literary Award' 

  • The sixth edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Award was presented to poet-critic Sukrita Paul Kumar for her book 'Salt and Pepper: Selected Poems'. Kumar was given a sum of US$5,000, a Tagore statuette and a certificate for contribution to literature at the award ceremony held at the India International Center in New Delhi.
  • Apart from this, Rabindranath Tagore Literary Award for Social Achievement was awarded to Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee for his contribution to social welfare. 
  • Established in 2018 by US-based publisher Peter Bundalo, the award is a platform for world peace, literature, arts, education and human rights. It also recognizes work done towards human rights and world peace with social achievement awards. 

21.The Sahitya Akademi must do more to promote Indian literature 

  • Literary borders should be porous and the Sahitya Akademi awards, which have been honoring writers of 24 Indian languages down the years, should be seen in that light. This year the Akademi has picked nine books of poems, six novels, five short stories, three essays and one literary study in Dogri, Guj- arati, Kashmiri, Manipuri, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Santali and others. It is a prize to be welcomed just for the sheer linguistic diversity it acknowledges in a country where there is a change in dialect every few square kilometers, and no dearth of marginalized communities or languages facing extinction. 
  • However, it is a pity that the Sahitya Akademi awards, first conferred in 1955, do not have top- of-the-mind recall such as the Booker Prize or the Pulitzer. The National Academy of Letters was es- tablished in 1954 and its stated goal was to be "the central institution for literary dialogue, publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English''. To that end, the Sahitya Akademi does hold lectures, readings, discussions, exchange programmes, and workshops, including all communities, but it is so woefully promoted that few get to know of the programmes. Though the Sahitya Akademi award is the pinnacle, there are other awards such as the Bal Sahitya award, the Yuva Puraskar and the Bhasha Samman or translation prize. But not enough is being done to promote its activities. The Academy's website is not updated and is bristling with grammatical errors; its social me- dia presence is abysmal. It has brought out thousands of books, but the fact is that the publications, though affordable, are hard to come by. At a time when children particularly are glued to screens and losing their reading habits, the Sahitya Akademi with its extensive network should do more to spread the word about India's rich literary tradition. 

22.Malayalam film '2018' not in final 15, out of Oscar race 

  • The Malayalam film 2018: Everyone is a Hero, India's official entry in the international feature film category at the 2024 Academy Awards, is out of the Oscar race. The Jude Anthany Joseph-directed film failed to make it to the shortlist of 15 films for the category announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday. 
  • The shortlist includes "Amerikatsi" (Armenia), "The Monk and the Gun" (Bhutan), "Fallen Leaves" (Finland), "The Taste of Things" (France), "The Teachers' Lounge" (Germany), "Godland" (Iceland), "lo Capitano" (Italy), "To tem" (Mexico), "The Mother of All Lies" (Morocco), "Society of the Snow" (Spain), "Four Daughters" (Tunisia) and "20 Days in Mariupol" (Ukraine). 

23.SASTRA Ramanujan Awards 2022 And 2023 Announced 

  • In a prestigious ceremony at the SASTRA campus in Kumbakonam, the SASTRA-Ramanujan Awards for 2022 and 2023 were bestowed upon mathematicians Yunqing Tang and Ruixiang Zhang, both affiliated with the University of California in Berkeley. 
  • The SASTRA-Ramanujan Awards, with a commendable cash prize of USD 10,000 and a citation, are presented annually on the birthday of the legendary Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan. The awards, instituted by SASTRA in 2005, honor individuals under the age of 32 who have made remarkable contributions to the field of mathematics. 

Sports News 

24.Sakshi Malik Quits After Election Of New Wrestling Federation Chief 

  • Acclaimed Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, declared her retirement in protest of the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) recent leadership change. 
  • The move follows allegations of sexual abuse against the ousted president, Brij Bhushan Singh, and the controversial election of his close ally, Sanjay Singh. Charges filed in June accused Singh of harassing six athletes, including a minor, during his tenure as WFI chief. 
  • Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik made history as the first Indian women wrestler to secure a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, breaking barriers and serving as a role model for future generations. In 2013, Sakshi Malik secured a bronze at the Commonwealth Championships, paving the way for her participation in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she claimed a silver medal in the 58kg category. 

25.Indian chess player Dommaraju Gukesh won the title of 'Chennai Grand Masters-2023 

  • Indian chess player Dommaraju Gukesh has won the title of Chennai Grand Masters-2023 tournament. Gukesh played a draw with Pantala Harikrishna of India. Indian players remained in the top three positions. 
  • Dommaraju Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi both scored 4.5 out of 7. Gukesh won the tournament on tiebreak. Pantala Harikrishna got third position with 4 marks.
  • With this victory, Dommaraju Gukesh has reached the first position in the FIDE circuit. 
  • If Gukesh maintains his lead till January 1, 2024, he will qualify for the prestigious Candidates Chess Tournament-2024. 
  • Earlier, R Praggnanand and Vidit Gujarati have also qualified for the Candidates Chess Tournament. The winner of the 2023 Chennai Grand Masters received ₹1,500,000 ($18,000) in prize money. 

26.Vita Dani becomes the first Indian to join the International Table Tennis Federation Foundation as a member

  • Sports entrepreneur Vita Dani has become the first Indian to join the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Foundation as a governing board member. The foundation was set up by ITTF in 2018 to attract more people to the sport. 
  • Petra Sörling, President of ITTF and ITTF Foundation, said, “I am delighted to welcome Ms. Vita Dani to the ITTF family as a new member of the ITTF Foundation Governing Board. 
  • Vita and her organization (Dani Foundation) have played a big role in shaping the upward trajectory of Indian table tennis. She is also the co-owner of Chennaiyin Football Club, which is involved in the Indian Super League. 
  • The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), founded in 1926, is the world-governing body of the sport of table tennis with 226 member federations in the world. The current headquarters of ITTF is in Lausanne, Switzerland. 
  • Ms. Dani will join ITTF President Petra Sorling, ITTF Group CEO Steve Denton, HRH Princess Zeina Rashid of Jordan, Bruce Burton, Stefano Bossi and ITTF Foundation Director Leandro Olvech on the prestigious ITTF Foundation Governing Board. 

Agreement News 

27.Ministry Of Rural Development Collaborates With JioMart To Expand Reach Of Self-Help Groups’ Products 

  • The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has entered
  • The MoU facilitates the onboarding of SHGs as sellers on into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JioMart, a venture of Reliance Retail. 
  • This partnership aims to amplify the reach of products crafted by Self-Help Groups (SHGs) associated with the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), empowering rural artisans.  the JioMart e-commerce platform. JioMart will assist SHGs in setting up and navigating their accounts on the platform. The partnership also extends opportunities for SHGs to participate in marketing promotions on the JioMart platform. 

Obituaries News 

28.Dr. V Mohini Giri: A Champion For Women’s Rights Passes Away At 86 

  • Dr. V Mohini Giri, a well-known advocate for women’s rights, passed away at the age of 86 after a brief illness. She made significant contributions to empowering women and was recognized for her efforts. 
  • Dr. Giri served as the Chair of the National Commission for Women (NCW) from 1995 to 1998 and led the Central Social Welfare Board. She was also the head of the Guild of Service, an organization in New Delhi that supports women’s and children’s rights, focusing on education, employment, and financial security. 
  • In 1972, Dr. Giri founded the War Widows Association, dedicated to supporting women who lost their spouses in wars. Her commitment to women’s rights earned her the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2007.

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