Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 September 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 14 Sep 2023 16:57 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Bihar

1. Patna Municipal Corporation launched a Cash for Waste scheme for common people.

  • The Patna Municipal Corporation has started a Cash for Waste scheme for common people at the recently established Material Recovery Facility (MRF).
  • Under this scheme, people will be paid for their dry waste as per a prescribed price list for each item.
  • This is called the Pink Material Recovery Facility as it is run by women workers.
  • This facility has a capacity of processing 2 tonnes of dry garbage and 1.5 tonnes of wet waste per day.
  • Pink MRF has been set up by Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) in association with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, German institution GIZ and other organizations.
  • Now, People will not have to wait for the trash vans to come and dump the garbage.
  • With the help of this scheme, the Patna Municipal Corporation is looking forward to having a clean and sanitized city and encouraging people not to throw away waste.

Cash for Waste scheme

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. Union Cabinet has given approval to the signing of a MoU between India and Armenia.

  • The MoU is on cooperation in the field of sharing successful Digital Solutions implemented at the Population Scale for Digital Transformation.
  • Union Cabinet has approved the signing of the MoU on 12th June 2023 between India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Armenia’s Ministry of High-Tech Industry.
  • The MoU comes into effect from the date of signature of the Parties. It shall remain in force for three years.
  • The MoU envisages better cooperation promoting employment opportunities in the field of IT.
  • The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation and exchange of experiences in the implementation of digital transformational initiatives of both the country.
  • It also intends to promote the exchange of digital technologies-based solutions (viz. INDIA STACK).
  • India Stack Solutions are Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) developed & implemented by India at a population scale to provide access & delivery of public services.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, launched Skill India Digital (SID).

  • Skill India Digital (SID) is a comprehensive digital platform.
  • It is aimed at synergizing and transforming the skills, education, employment, and entrepreneurship landscape of India.
  • SID is the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for the skilling, education, employment, and entrepreneurship ecosystem of India.
  • It is also a comprehensive information gateway for all government skilling and entrepreneurship initiatives.
  • The SID platform aligns with the vision articulated in the G20 framework for building DPI and the digital economy.
  • Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Electronics, IT also attended the launch event.
  • Skill India Digital has introduced Digitally Verified Credentials, which is a secure way to showcase skills and qualifications.
  • Skill India Digital also offers Digital CVs through personalized QR Codes.
  • The SID platform also integrates government training programmes from both Central and State governments. Thus, it creates a unified hub for skill development initiatives.

Topic: National Appointments

4. Joshit Ranjan Sikidar has assumed charge as Director (Finance) of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

  • He was working as Group General Manager (Finance) and the Company Secretary of RITES Ltd.
  • He joined SECI on 12 September 2023. The SECI is a miniratna company.
  • He has worked with RITES for more than four years.
  • He has worked for over 16 years in NSPCL, a joint venture of NTPC & SAIL.
  • Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI):
    • It was founded on 9 September 2011 to promote solar energy in India.
    • It was set up to facilitate the implementation of the National Solar Mission (NSM).
    • It is the only PSU dedicated to the solar energy sector.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

5. A case of Nipah virus has been reported from Kozhikode, Kerala.

  • Another 24-year-old health worker from a private hospital in Kozhikode has been infected with Nipah virus.
  • With this, the total number of persons found infected with the deadly virus has increased to five.
  • On September 14, 13 persons were admitted to the isolation ward of Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, where 75 isolation beds have been earmarked for the treatment of Nipah patients.
  • The number of people who came in contact with people infected with the virus has risen to 789, of which more than 150 were health workers.
  • ICMR has also sent the monoclonal antibody medicine to the state on September 14.
  • In view of the Nipah infection, district authorities in Kozhikode have issued instructions to stop all public gatherings for the next ten days.
  • Nipah virus (NiV):
    • Nipah virus (NiV) is classified as a “highly pathogenic paramyxovirus”. Its natural reservoirs are large fruit bats of the Pteropus genus.
    • The virus may pass on to pigs if pigs eat fruits that are bitten on by infected bats. The virus takes from 6 to 21 days to incubate and manifest as a disease.
    • Two main modes of spread of the virus are- drinking of raw date palm sap contaminated with NiV and close physical contact with Nipah-infected patients.
    • The main associated symptoms are fever, delirium, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion, and diarrhoea.
    • In infected people, the virus causes severe illness characterized by inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or respiratory diseases.
    • Currently, there is no known treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals.
    • Ribavirin, an antiviral may have an important role in reducing the mortality of patients with encephalitis caused by Nipah virus disease.
    • Immunotherapeutic treatments (monoclonal antibody therapies) for the treatment of NiV infections are in the development phase.

Nipah virus

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh launched a special campaign 3.0 Portal on 14 September.

  • A dedicated web portal-https://scdpm.nic.in launched at the National Media Centre, New Delhi for monitoring the Special Campaign 3.0.
  • The government has announced Special Campaign 3.0 from October 2 to 31 this year.
  • It is being launched to focus on cleanliness and reduce the pendency of cases in government offices with a saturation approach.
  • An initial phase will be launched from 15 September to 30 September 2023 before Special Campaign 3.0. During this period, the Ministries/Departments will identify the pending cases in the selected categories and finalize the campaign sites.
  • Special Campaign 3.0 will focus on Ministries/Departments and their attached/subordinate offices as well as regional/field offices having service delivery or public interface.
  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal department for the implementation of this campaign.
  • The Special Operations 3.0 Guidelines and Special Operations Progress for December 2022-July 2023 and Monthly Report on Secretariat Reforms for June- July 2023 were also released.

UP GK - Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

7. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Bharat Electronics Limited have signed a MoU.

  • The purpose of the MoU is to develop an indigenous Communication Based Train Control System. 
  • This partnership is in line with the Make in India initiative. It will transform rail transportation in India.
  • It will foster self-reliance in the field of train control signaling systems.
  • The Communication-Based Train Control System will optimise train operations, and enhance passenger services.
  • Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL):
    • It is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence.
    • It was established in 1954. It is headquartered in Bengaluru. 

Topic: Space and IT

8. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope discovered the presence of carbon dioxide and methane.

  • James Webb Space Telescope discovered carbon dioxide and methane in its study of K2-18 b, an exoplanet.
  • This shows that K2-18 b could be a Hycean exoplanet, one that has the potential to have an atmosphere rich in hydrogen and a surface covered in water oceans.
  • Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars, other than our sun.
  • Planet K2-18 b is 120 light years from Earth. It orbits the cool dwarf star K2-18 a.
  • It is 8.6 times as massive as Earth. Its size lies between Earth and Neptune.
  • The idea that there might be a water ocean beneath a hydrogen-rich atmosphere is supported by the planet's abundance of methane and carbon dioxide and lack of ammonia.
  • James Webb's observations also led to the potential detection of the chemical dimethyl sulphide (DMS).
  • Dimethyl sulphide can only be created by life on Earth.
  • Marine phytoplanktons emit the majority of the DMS that is present in the Earth's atmosphere.
  • NASA now plans to carry out more analysis using the telescope's MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) spectrograph in an effort to further validate their findings.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Union Cabinet approved the expansion of Ujjwala Yojana to 7.5 mn more connections.

  • The Union government has decided to expand the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) till the financial year 2026.
  • 7,500,000 new Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections will be allocated in three years.
  • This expansion will increase the total number of PMUY beneficiaries to 103.5 million with a cost of 1650 crore.
  • It will increase the total number of PMUY beneficiaries to 103.5 million.
  • The government has recently reduced the price of cooking gas by Rs 200 across all markets.
  • A Subsidy of Rs 200 per 14.2 kg cylinder was sent to 90 million PMUY beneficiaries till May 2022.
  • This subsidy was later extended for another year in March, costing an additional Rs 7,680 crore.
  • According to the data from the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell LPG penetration has reached 99.9 per cent in 2022.
  • There were 314 million households in India with LPG connections as of 1 April 2023.
  • In FY23, 29.34 million metric tonnes of LPG were sold by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016.
  • The main objective of the scheme is to provide deposit-free LPG connections to women from poor households.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the Government of India will collaborate to strengthen the One Health Approach for Pandemic Preparedness.

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, India and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) successfully organized a multi-sectoral workshop "Risk-based management of spillover events in wildlife in India" in Hyderabad from 11-12 September.
  • The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Abhijit Mitra, Animal Husbandry Commissioner and Dr. Hirofumui Kugita, Regional Representative of the World Organization for Animal Health for Asia Pacific.
  • 25 participants from the Animal Husbandry, Human Health, and Wildlife sectors representing six Indian states have participated in the event.
  • Observers from WHO, FAO, USAID Rise, and the One Health Support Unit (OHSU) also participated in the event.
  • The workshop was focused on enhancing stakeholder knowledge about wildlife-origin disease risk analysis, conducting a thorough gap analysis of India's risk assessment and management, simulating disease spillover scenarios, and fostering communication and awareness among relevant stakeholders.
  • The workshop concluded with discussions on emphasizing the importance of a One Health approach, cross-sectoral collaboration, and pandemic preparedness.
  • One Health approach will ensure a safer and more sustainable future for wildlife, ecosystems, and human and domestic animal health.

World Organization for Animal Health

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Summits/Conference/Meetings

11. The 12th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) is being organized from 13 to 14 September 2023 in Sharjah.

  • It is being organized under the theme Today's Resources, Tomorrow's Assets.
  • Former US Chief Justice Frank Caprio, author and motivation guru Robin Sharma, and Indian environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva are among the prominent speakers at the forum.
  • Former Chief Justice of America Frank Caprio is famous across the world as the ‘The Nicest Judge in the World.’
  • This program will discuss the important role of media in raising awareness about sustainability issues and finding solutions to it.
  • As part of the event there will be an insightful panel discussion on media coverage and the role of media in highlighting issues of climate change and sustainability and a media seminar with leading media personalities.
  • Prominent media personalities are in favour of exclusive coverage.
  • The media symposium is being attended by media experts including Venkatesh Ramakrishnan, managing editor of The Adam, and South African Broadcasting Corporation-SABC TV news and current affairs presenter Moshoeshoe Gagga Monare.
  • Sharjah's International Government Communications Forum provides a platform for leaders and experts to discuss best government communications practices.

12th International Government Communication Forum

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

12. Hindi Diwas 2023: 14 September

  • Every year, Hindi Diwas is observed on 14 September.
  • On 14 September 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language of Indian union (Article 343).
  • Since 1953, it was announced to celebrate 14 September every year as Hindi Diwas throughout the country.
  • The day also marks the birthday of Beohar Rajendra Simha. He was born on 14 September 1900.
  • He played a crucial role in getting Hindi in the Devanagari script approved as an official language of India.
  • Hindi is one of the most spoken languages and is spoken by 600 million people globally.

Hindi Diwas 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence

13. Indian Air Force received its first C-295 transport aircraft from Airbus at Seville in Spain.

  • Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhari attended the formal handing over ceremony of the first C-295 transport aircraft at Seville in Spain.
  • The aircraft is the first of the 56 such planes ordered by the Indian Air Force under a ₹21,935-crore project.
  • India is acquiring 56 Airbus C-295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force AVRO fleet.
  • Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in fly-away condition as per the contractual agreement.
  • The second C-295 will be delivered in May 2024 followed by seven aircraft in 2024 at the rate of one per month.
  • As part of an industrial partnership forty aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems in India.
  • The partnership between Airbus and Tata Advanced System will help in the development of the industrial ecosystem in the aviation sector in India.
  • All the C-295 aircraft will be handed over in transport configuration and will be equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
  • Manufacturing, assembly, testing, qualification, delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft will attract investment and create more jobs.
  • In September 2021, the Cabinet Committee on Security had approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.
  • C-295 Aircraft:
    • It is a new-generation tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment.
    • It has a capacity of 9 tonnes and can carry up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers.
    • It can conduct logistic operations to locations that are not accessible for heavier aircraft.

Indian Air Force received its first C-295 transport aircraft

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market 

14. India’s factory output grew 5.7% in July 2023 and retail inflation declined to 6.8% in August 2023.  

  • India’s industrial growth increased to a five-month high level of 5.7% in July.  
  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew by 3.7% in June 2023. It was 2.2% in July 2022. 
  • According to the IIP data, output of manufacturing sector grew 4.6% in July 2023 against 3.1% a year ago.  
  • Mining output increased 10.7% in July 2023 against a 3.3% contraction a year ago. Electricity output grew by 8% for July 2023. 
  • According to the use-based classification, capital goods output increased 4.6% in July 2023.  
  • Consumer durables output declined by 2.7%. Consumer non-durable goods output increased by 7.4%.  
  • Retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined from 7.4% in July to 6.8% in August.  
  • The prices of vegetables and edible oil have fallen. However, cereal prices are still high.  
  • Core inflation came down to around 5% from 5.1%. It recorded 3rd consecutive month of decline.  
  • Rural areas saw a slightly higher inflation rate at 7.02% than urban areas at 6.59%.  
  • The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) for August 2023 stood at 9.94%. It stood at 11.51% in July 2023. 
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