Daily Current Affairs and GK | 13 December 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 13 Dec 2023 18:15 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Polity

1. Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced redrafted criminal Bills.

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented three redrafted Bills in the Lok Sabha to replace the existing British-era criminal laws.
  • The new bills incorporate the changes recommended by a parliamentary committee.
  • The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill (BNSS), 2023 will take the place of the Indian Penal Code of 1860.
  • Under the new bill, the definition of the terrorist act has been expanded.
  • The “economic security” and “damage or destruction of any property in India or in a foreign country used or intended to be used for the defense of India” have been included in the definition of terrorist.
  • Damage to the monetary stability of India by way of production or smuggling or circulation of counterfeit Indian paper currency, coin or of any other material has also been included under the terrorist offence.
  • The Bill retains the death penalty as punishment. It proposes that an officer above the rank of Superintendent of Police will decide whether a case will be registered under the UAPA or not.
  • In the rape case, printing or publishing of any matter relating to court proceedings without permission has been made a punishable offence.
  • The Bill replaced the “mental illness” with “unsound mind”. It also included causing harm to mental health of a woman as a crime under Section 85 of the Bill.
  • The Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 and the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023 will also replace the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, respectively.

Topic: Indian Polity

2. The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

  • This bill replaces the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.
  • The bill makes provision for the appointment, salary and removal of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs).
  • As per the provisions of the Bill, the President will appoint the CEC and ECs upon the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
  • The Selection Committee will include the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition or leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha.
  • Law and Justice Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the earlier bill brought in August this year had no such provision.
  • In the bill, a clause has been added regarding the protection of CEC and ECs.
  • If the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner give orders during duty, the court cannot take action against them.
  • During the discussion on the bill, the opposition walked out from Rajya Sabha.

Topic: Banking System

3. Bank of India launched the 'Nari Shakti Savings Account'.

  • It has been launched with personal accident insurance cover.
  • It caters to women aged 18 and above with an independent source of income.
  • It also offers discounted health insurance and wellness products, and rebates on locker facilities for gold and diamond account holders.
  • In addition, it offers a concessional rate of interest on retail loans, and a waiver of processing charges on retail loans.
  • It also offers free issuance of credit cards, and a higher usage limit of up to ₹5 lakh on Point of Sale (PoS).
  • For each New Nari Shakti Account opened, the bank will make a contribution of ₹10/- towards the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund.
  • Bank of India:
    • It is an Indian public sector bank. It was founded in 1906. Rajneesh Karnatak is its MD and CEO.
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Its tagline is Relationship Beyond Banking.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

4. Kabir Bedi has been honored with the highest civilian honour of Italy.

  • He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Merito della Repubblica Italiana).
  • Niccolo Fabi gave a unique live musical performance following the occasion in Mumbai.
  • Order of Merit is Italy’s highest honour. It’s even higher than Cavaliere (Knight).
  • Kabir Bedi recalled his journey of being Sandokan began at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where he met the director and Producer of the Sandokan series for the very first time.
  • The scroll of honour was signed by President Mattarella and counter-signed by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Topic: National Appointment  

5. Bhajanlal Sharma will be the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

  • On December 12, BJP elected first-time MLA Bhajanlal Sharma from Sanganer seat in Jaipur district as the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
  • Mr. Sharma will take oath as Chief Minister in the swearing-in ceremony to be held on December 15.
  • Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who herself was considered in the race for the top post, proposed Mr Sharma's name.
  • His name was also supported by Sawai Madhopur MLA Kirori Lal Meena and some other senior leaders.
  • Mr Sharma, a resident of Nadbai in Bharatpur district, was fielded as the BJP candidate from Sanganer, where he defeated Congress's Pushpendra Bhardwaj by a margin of 48,081 votes.
  • The new BJP government in the state has selected two deputy chief ministers - Vidyadhar Nagar (Jaipur) MLA Diya Kumari and Dudu MLA Prem Chand Bairwa.
  • Ajmer North MLA Vasudev Devnani, who was the education minister in the previous Vasundhara Raje government, would be the new Assembly Speaker.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

6. Annual Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit inaugurated by PM Modi.

  • On 12 December, the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit was inaugurated at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi.
  • Mr Modi said Artificial Intelligence is for social development and inclusive growth and the government has drafted its policies and programs with the spirit of AI for All.
  • GPAI is a multi-stakeholder initiative with 29 member countries.
  • Its goal is to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and practical activities on AI-related priorities.
  • India is the lead chair of GPAI in 2024.
  • India is hosting the Annual GPAI Summit from December 12-14, 2023.
  • During the summit, a number of sessions will be organized on diverse topics such as AI and Global Health, Education and Skills, AI and Data Governance, and ML Workshops.
  • Other highlights of the summit include the Research Symposium, AI Gamechanger Awards, and India AI Expo.
  • More than 50 GPAI experts and 150 speakers from across the country will participate in the summit.
  • Additionally, top AI game-changers from around the world will participate in various events, including Intel, Reliance Jio, Google, Meta, AWS, Yota, NetWeb, Paytm, Microsoft, MasterCard, etc.
  • The winning students under the Youth AI Initiative and Start-ups will also showcase their AI models and solutions.
  • Canada and France first proposed the GPAI at the 2018 44th G7 summit.
  • GPAI was officially launched in June 2020 with fifteen founding members.
  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosts GPAI.
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Topic: Indian Economy

7. India’s industrial production growth increased to a 16-month high level in October.

  • In October, India’s industrial production growth increased to 11.7%.
  • India’s industrial production growth had shown a contraction of 4.1% in the same period last year.
  • According to the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the output of the manufacturing sector grew by 10.4% in October 2023.
  • At the same time, mining production increased by 13.1% during October 2023. Power sector output rose 20.4%.
  • The IIP increased by 6.9% in April-October 2023 compared to 5.3% growth a year ago.
  • Factory output is measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production.

Topic: Art and Culture

8. The 29th Kolkata International Film Festival ended on 12 December 2023.

  • Israeli film 'Children of Nobody' won the Best Film Award under International Competition in Innovation Moving Images. It is directed by Erez Tadmor.
  • 219 films from 39 countries were screened at different locations across Kolkata.
  • Carlos Daniel Malave won the Best Director award. Anjan Dutta's 'Chalchitro Ekhon' won the Special Jury Award.
  • Director duo Sharmistha Maity and Rajdeep Paul's 'Mon Potongo' won the award for the best film under the Bengali Panorama category.
  • In addition to these, Hiralal Memorial Trophy, and Netpack Award were also given.
  • 29th Kolkata International Film Festival was organized by the Information and Cultural Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal.
  • It was held from 5 - 12 December, 2023 in Kolkata. It is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers' Association or FIAPF.
  • The Kolkata International Film Festival started in the year 1995.

Topic: National News

9. In the first nine months of 2023, India welcomed 6.43 million foreign tourists.

  • Around 6.43 million foreign tourists arrived in India between January and September 2023.
  • In this period, foreign exchange earnings worth 1,66,660 cores were transacted.
  • Tourists come to India for various purposes ranging from religious and medical interests to cultural exploration.
  • The Ministry of Tourism actively positioned India as a holistic destination in key tourism-generating markets.
  • India’s participation in international travel fairs, including FITUR 2023, ITB Berlin, and Arabian Travel Market 2023 shows India’s commitment to boosting tourism.
  • In recent times, the Ministry of Tourism implemented Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification Programme. It has also launched 24x7 Toll-Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Helpline.
  • Ministry of Tourism also announced the "Incredible India! Visit India Year 2023" to boost visitor arrivals.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

10. Global River Cities Alliance has been launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

  • The Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA) led by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has been launched at COP28 in Dubai.
  • India, Egypt, Netherlands, Denmark, Ghana, Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Japan and river cities like The Hague (Den Haag) from the Netherlands, Adelaide from Australia, and Szolnok of Hungary entered into a partnership.
  • International funding agencies like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and knowledge management institutions like KPMG also entered into the partnership.
  • Global River Cities Alliance covers more than 275+ global river cities in 11 countries.
  • It is an important step towards river conservation and sustainable water management.
  • The collective commitment of GRCA is to propel sustainable initiatives, knowledge sharing, and collaborative efforts for a resilient global water future.
  • This alliance has been built upon the existing River Cities Alliance (RCA).
  • The existing River Cities Alliance (RCA) was formed by NMCG in association with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in 2021.

Topic: International Appointments

11. Donald Tusk has been elected as new Prime Minister of Poland.

  • After current leader Mateusz Morawiecki loses confidence vote in parliament, Donald Tusk has been elected as new Prime Minister of Poland.
  • Donald Tusk received 208 votes in favour while 201 voted against him.
  • He is elected as prime minister nearly two months after a national election that was won by a coalition of parties ranging from left-wing to moderate conservative.
  • The incoming administration will be sworn in at the presidential palace by President Andrzei Duda.
  • The reign of the outgoing right-wing populist Law and Justice (PiS) party witnessed numerous disputes with the EU over many issues.
  • Donald Tusk said that he will try to unblock about 110 billion euros ($118bn) of European Union funds earmarked for Poland.

new Prime Minister of Poland

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

12. India’s first Six Lane Steel Slag based Road has been constructed.

  • India’s first Six Lane Steel Slag based Road Connecting NH-6 to Hazira Port has been constructed.
  • Steel Slag is produced as a solid waste during steel production. Around 180 - 200 kg of steel slag is generated on per tonne of steel production.
  • Ministry of Steel has funded a R&D project on “Development of Design Guidelines and Specifications for utilization of steel slag in road construction”.
  • Under this R&D project, India's first six-lane steel slag based road connecting National Highway-6 to Hazira Port was constructed at Surat Hazira in May, 2022.
  • Under this scheme, processed steel slag is used as a substitute for the natural component in all layers of bituminous pavement.
  • The draft guidelines for construction of steel slag based roads have been prepared by CSIR-CRRI.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

13. 1st pair of Siberian tigers in India reached Darjeeling after 12 years.

  • Two endangered Siberian tigers reached at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling, West Bengal.
  • Siberian tigers Lara and Akamas reached Darjeeling after 12 years in two special ambulances from the Kolkata airport.
  • The last Siberian tiger died at the Nainital Zoo in November 2011 due to age-related problems.
  • The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park has the highest altitude in India. It hosted Siberian tiger until 2007.
  • They arrived Darjeeling from Cyprus as a part of an animal exchange programme.
  • India sent Red Pandas to Cyprus’s Pafos Zoo as part of the animal exchange programme.
  • The first ex-situ snow leopard conservation breeding programme was started at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in 1986.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

14. Writer Pushpa Bharati’s memoir has been selected for Vyas Samman award.

  • Pushpa Bharati’s 2016 memoir ‘Yaadein, Yaadein aur Yaadein’ has been selected for the 33rd Vyas Samman.
  • The award is presented to an outstanding Hindi literary work by an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years. 
  • A selection committee headed by eminent litterateur Prof Ramji Tiwari picked Bharati’s Yaadein, Yaadein aur Yaadein for the Vyas Samman award.
  • The award carries a cash prize of ₹4 lakh, a citation and a plaque.
  • Vyas Samman award was instituted in 1991. It is given by the KK Birla Foundation.
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