- 1. Government orders a probe after Opposition leaders cite iPhone hacking alert.
- 2. Index of Eight Core Industries recorded 8.1% growth in September 2023 on an annual basis.
- 3. Three units of S-400 missiles have been deployed by the Indian Air Force along borders with China and Pakistan.
- 4. Aitana Bonmati and Lionel Messi have been named the 2023 Ballon d'Or winners.
- 5. The “AI Security Summit 2023” is being held at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, UK on 1-2 November.
- 6. Uttar Pradesh's Priyanka Goswami created a new record in women's 20 km race walk at the National Games in Goa.
- 7. Three Indian-assisted development projects were jointly inaugurated by Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh on 01 November 2023 via video conferencing.
- 8. 1.68 lakh people died in road accidents in 2022, as per a report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- 9. Government of Maharashtra accepted the Shinde panel report to grant Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas.
- 10. UNESCO named Kozhikode as the City of Literature and Gwalior as the City of Music.
- 11. A new mushroom species identified by Researchers from the Western Ghats.
- 12. Rajaji Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation will be established Uttarakhand Government.
- 13. Four Special Operations received the Union Home Minister’s “Special Operation Medal” for 2023.
- 14. 6th session of the International Solar Alliance Assembly is being held in New Delhi.
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Topic: National News
1. Government orders a probe after Opposition leaders cite iPhone hacking alert.
- Some Opposition leaders received a hacking alert from iPhone maker company ‘Apple’.
- The alert was warning them about the “State-sponsored attackers”.
- Opposition leaders blame the government is hacking their phones.
- Union Communications and Information Technology (IT) Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw ordered a probe into this matter.
- The government has also asked Apple to join the investigation with real and accurate information.
- The investigation will be done by the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In). It is a nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents.
- Hacking is a punishable offence in India with imprisonment of up to 3 years, or with a fine of up to two lakh rupees.
- Hacking is the unauthorized access to or control over computer network security systems for some illicit purpose.
Topic: Indian Economy
2. Index of Eight Core Industries recorded 8.1% growth in September 2023 on an annual basis.
- In August 2023, the Index of Eight Core Industries had grown 12.1%.
- Index of Eight Core Industries grew 7.8% YoY during April and September 2023-24.
- In September 2023, positive growth was recorded in the production of coal, steel, electricity, natural gas, refinery products, cement and fertilisers over the corresponding month of last year.
- In September 2023, coal sector output grew 16.1%. It was higher than 12.1% in September 2022. It was lower than the 17.9% output of the coal sector in August 2023.
- The output of the crude oil sector declined marginally by 0.4% in September 2023. A decline of 2.3% was recorded in September 2022. In August 2023, the output of the crude oil sector grew by 2.1%.
- The output of natural gas and refinery products increased 6.5% and 5.5%, respectively, in September 2023.
- The output of fertilisers grew 4.2%. The output of steel and cement increased 9.6% and 4.7% each.
- Electricity sector output declined from 15.3% in August 2023 to 9.3% in September 2023.
3. Three units of S-400 missiles have been deployed by the Indian Air Force along borders with China and Pakistan.
- The process for starting delivery of the other two units will begin soon.
- India and Russia officials are expected to begin discussing the delivery of the remaining two units.
- The purchase of S-400 missile units was impeded by the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
- In 2018-19, India reached an agreement with Russia to procure S-400 missiles worth Rs 35,000 crore (approx).
- Indian Defence Acquisition Council has approved the procurement of the Indian Long Range Surface Air Missile system under Project Kusha.
- This has been done after approval of the project by the Cabinet Committee on Security.
- The Indian Air Force and DRDO are also working to expedite the delivery schedule of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM).
- The three-layered LRSAM defence system can strike down enemy aircraft and missiles at about 400 Km ranges.
- S-400 is a mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by Russia.
4. Aitana Bonmati and Lionel Messi have been named the 2023 Ballon d'Or winners.
- Lionel Messi has won the eighth Ballon d’Or. Messi is now three Ballons d’Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Aitana Bonmati has won the Women’s Ballon d’Or Award 2023.
- Erling Haaland of Manchester City has won the Gerd Muller Trophy.
- Haaland won this trophy for scoring the most number of goals in all competitions -56.
- Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy award for 2023.
- Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football.
- The 2023 Ballon d'Or was the 67th annual ceremony of the Ballon d'Or.
- The Ballon d’Or 2023 ceremony took place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France. The complete list of Ballon d’Or 2023 winners is given below.
Ballon d’Or 2023 winners
Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Argentina)
Ballon d’Or Feminin
Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona Femení, Spain)
Kopa Trophy for the best male U-21 player
Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid, England)
Yachine Trophy for the best male goalkeeper
Emiliano Martínez (Astona Villa, Argentina)
Gerd Müller Trophy for the highest-scoring male striker
Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway)
Socrates Award to acknowledge humanitarian work
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Brazil)
Club of the Year
Manchester City and FC Barcelona Femeni
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
5. The “AI Security Summit 2023” is being held at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, UK on 1-2 November.
- Union Minister of State for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Shri Rajeev Chandrashekhar is participating in the summit.
- The two-day summit is being organized by the UK government, bringing together ministers and representatives from different countries.
- This includes the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom.
- Leading global think tanks, AI experts, renowned academic institutions and government representatives from like-minded countries are participating in the summit.
- Shri Rajeev Chandrashekhar addressed the plenary session on the first day of the conference.
- The focus of his address was on India's vision and commitment to harness the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence to improve the lives of its citizens.
- On the second day, Shri Rajeev Chandrashekhar will engage in a fruitful dialogue with his counterparts from across the world, focused on the theme of “AI for Good”.
- He said AI, like any other technology, will be disruptive, and it can also be misused by criminals.
- At least more than 1 billion Indians will be online by 2025-2026.
- He said that, therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that they are protected from the misuse of AI on all social media.
(Source: News on AIR)
6. Uttar Pradesh's Priyanka Goswami created a new record in women's 20 km race walk at the National Games in Goa.
- 37th National Games is being organized from 25 October to 9 November 2023 in Goa.
- On October 30, Maharashtra's Tejas Ashok Shirse achieved an incredible feat by completing the men's 110m hurdles in 13.80 seconds, setting a new national sports record.
- Priyanka also created a new national sports record in the women's 20km race walk with an impressive timing of 1 hour 36 minutes 35 seconds.
- Palak Sharma of Madhya Pradesh won the gold medal in the women's 3M Springboard competition, while H London Singh of Services won the gold medal in the men's competition.
- Adhya Singh of Madhya Pradesh won the gold medal in the women's modern pentathlon, while Mayank Chaphekar of Maharashtra won the gold in the men's modern pentathlon.
- Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal dominated in men's hockey, while in women's hockey, Haryana and Jharkhand showed dominance over their opponents.
- In the 2023 National Games, Maharashtra tops the medal tally with 114 medals, including 47 gold.
- While, Haryana was second with 50 medals, and the defending champions, the Services Sports Control Board, are third with 33 medals.
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Topic: National News
7. Three Indian-assisted development projects were jointly inaugurated by Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh on 01 November 2023 via video conferencing.
- The three projects are the Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link, Port Khulna-Mongla Rail Line, and Unit-II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant.
- The Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link is 12.24 km long with a 6.78 km Dual Gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura.
- It has been executed under the Government of India grant assistance of 392.52 crore rupees extended to Bangladesh.
- The total project cost of the Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line is USD 388.92 million.
- It has been implemented under the Government of India’s concessional Line of Credit.
- With this, Mongla Port will be connected to the broad-gauge railway network. Mongla is the second largest port of Bangladesh.
- The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project is a 1320 MW Super Thermal Power Plant. It is located in Rampal in Khulna Division of Bangladesh.
- It has been implemented by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited.
- Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited is a 50:50 Joint Venture company between NTPC Ltd and Bangladesh Power Development Board.
Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
8. 1.68 lakh people died in road accidents in 2022, as per a report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- In 2022, India has seen a sharp increase in road accidents. The report is titled 'Road accidents in India -- 2022'.
- The total number of road accidents in 2022 stood at 4,61,312. The number of fatalities and injuries stood at 1,68,491 and 4,43,366, respectively.
- This is an 11.9% year-on-year increase in accidents and a 9.4% increase in fatalities.
- There was a 15.3% increase in the number of people getting injured in 2022.
- Out of a total of 4,61,312 accidents, 1,51,997 (32.9%) occurred on the national highways (NH), including expressways.
- Out of total accidents, 1,06,682 (23.1%) took place on state highways (SH) and the remaining 2,02,633 (43.9%) took place on other roads.
- Out of the total fatalities in 2022, 61,038 (36.2%) were on national highways, 41,012 (24.3%) were on state highways and 66,441 (39.4%) were on other roads.
Topic: State News/ Maharashtra
9. Government of Maharashtra accepted the Shinde panel report to grant Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas.
- The first report of a committee headed by retired High Court Judge Sandeep Shinde has been accepted by the Maharashtra government.
- The committee was formed to decide the procedure to grant Kunbi caste certificates to the Marathas in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
- The Sandeep Shinde committee report stated that around fifty-two crore records have been checked in all the eight districts of Marathwada and 13 thousand 498 old Kunbi records have been found.
- The state government has also approved to translation and preservation of these documents and given orders to digitize them and issue Kunbi caste certificates.
- The state cabinet also decided that OBC would gather fresh data in order to evaluate the Maratha community's social and educational backwardness.
- What is the Maratha reservation issue?
- Maratha quota protests intensify in Maharashtra. Marathas are a group of castes comprising peasants and landowners.
- Maratha are around 33 per cent of the state’s population. The first protest for the Maratha reservation was held 32 years ago by Mathadi Labour Union leader Annasaheb Patil in Mumbai.
- Maharashtra passed a Bill proposing a 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for the Maratha community in 2018.
- This bill was challenged in court and in 2019, the Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Maratha quota under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018.
- The HC reduced the reservation to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in government jobs. The HC said that the reservation ceiling should not exceed 50%.
- In 2021, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court struck down the Maratha quota. The total reservation in the state was going above the 50 per cent ceiling.
Topic: Art and Culture
10. UNESCO named Kozhikode as the City of Literature and Gwalior as the City of Music.
- 55 cities have been designated by UNESCO in seven creative fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.
- The designation was approved by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on World Cities Day. World Cities Day is observed on October 31.
- Kozhikode in Kerala has been designated as the City of Literature while Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh has been named the ‘City of Music.’
- Tansen, a renowned Hindustani classical musician, was born in Gwalior in a Hindu Gaur Brahmin family.
- Kozhikode has many institutions which are taking care of its literary life and its ability and experiences to organize different kinds of literary events.
- These cities are known for their strong commitment to harnessing culture and creativity as part of their development strategies and human-centred urban planning.
- UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) has now 350 cities spread across over 100 countries.
- The new ‘Creative Cities’ have been invited to participate in the 2024 UCCN annual conference. It will held from July 1 to 5, 2024 in Braga, Portugal.
- “Bringing Youth to the table for the next decade” will be the theme of the summit.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
11. A new mushroom species identified by Researchers from the Western Ghats.
- A small, delicate-looking mushroom with a honey-yellow 'cap' was found in the premises of the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI). It has been identified as a new species.
- The researchers described the new species as belonging to the genus Candoleomyces, a relatively small genus with only 35 species recognized worldwide.
- Phytotaxa, a scientific publication, has published a paper outlining the findings of C K Pradeep, Principal Scientist, Microbiology Division, and P K Nayana, Research Student, JNTBGRI.
- The new species has been named Candolleomyces albosquamosus.
- Albosquamosus means for the white woolly scale-like structures on its pileus or cap.
- It is delicate in structure, and the mushroom grows to a height of approximately 58 mm.
- The 'cap' or pileus of mature Candolemyces albosquamosus is 12 mm to 38.5 mm in diameter and bell-shaped.
- The honey-yellow coloured pileus turns grayish-brown or brownish-beige with age.
- The 'step' – the stem or stalk of the mushroom – is white in color and cylindrical.
Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand
12. Rajaji Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation will be established Uttarakhand Government.
- On 30 October, the state government decided to establish the Foundation to accelerate the ecological, economic, social and cultural development of the landscape in and around the reserve.
- The key objectives of the Foundation are to protect the natural environment in and around the reserve and provide alternative livelihood opportunities to local communities to reduce their dependence on forests.
- This will also help the local communities living in the Rajaji landscape to benefit from eco-tourism and deal with human-wildlife conflict.
- In addition, the government also decided to make amendments to the new tourism policy with a view to implementing it through a single window system to simplify the procedures for businesses.
- This will promote 'ease of doing business' and investment.
- In addition, the Municipal Council of Muni Ki Reti-Dhalwala from category-2 to category-1 will also be upgraded as it is a popular destination for tourists, yoga and adventure sports enthusiasts.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
13. Four Special Operations received the Union Home Minister’s “Special Operation Medal” for 2023.
- The “Union Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal” for the year 2023 has been granted to 4 Special Operations.
- The award is conferred for Special Operations in counter-terrorism, border action, arms control, prevention of narcotics smuggling and rescue operations.
- The Union Home Minister’s “Special Operation Medal” is announced every year on 31st October.
- Usually, 3 Special Operations are considered for this award. It may be given up to 5 Special Operations to encourage State/UT Police.
- This award was constituted in 2018. Its main objective is to recognize operations, which have a high degree of planning and are significant for the security of the state/ Country.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
14. 6th session of the International Solar Alliance Assembly is being held in New Delhi.
- The Sixth Assembly of the International Solar Alliance is scheduled to be organized from October 30 - November 2, 2023.
- Ministers, missions and delegates from 116 countries are participating in the event.
- President of the ISA Assembly, RK Singh, inaugurated four solar Demonstration Projects completed under the ISA grant initiative.
- These demonstration Projects were inaugurated in Malawi, Fiji, Seychelles and Kiribati.
- The main focus of the 6th session of the International Solar Alliance Assembly are:
- Universalisation of energy access through solar mini-grids
- Mobilising Finance for accelerated solar deployment
- Diversifying supply chains and manufacturing for solar
- The sixth assembly of ISA will discuss ISA initiatives that impact energy access, energy security and energy transition.
- International Solar Alliance is working to increase access to affordable solar energy for communities around the world.
- India and France jointly launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 30 November 2015 at COP21 in Paris, France.
- ISA is an intergovernmental organization whose headquarters is located in Gurugram, Haryana.
(Source: News on AIR)