Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 September 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 19:14 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Economy

1. Government to set up 31 Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals (GSTAT) benches.

  • The Central government has issued a notification for establishing 31 benches of Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals (GSTAT).
  • This decision will help businesses efficiently resolve various disputes.
  • In February 2023, the GST Council had recommended setting up one Principal Bench and several State Benches of GSTAT.
  • The Principal Bench in New Delhi and the regional Benches in states will create a unified structure for Tribunals.
  • It will help in resolving thousands of matters speedily by the tribunals.
  • Three GSTAT branches will be set up in Uttar Pradesh. Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra will have two benches each.
  • The Principal Bench in New Delhi will look at matters related to inter-State disputes and Benches in States will look at other issues, including rates.
  • GST Tribunals are important for resolving tax cases as they provide an impartial, expert and efficient forum to settle tax disputes.
  • They play a key role in ensuring fairness, accountability, and the rule of law in tax administration.

Topic: Books and Author

2. Filmfare Awardee Lenaa Kumar released her debut book on self-realisation.

  • Lenaa Kumar has written a book titled "The Autobiography of God".
  • This book will be published by Beeja House.
  • The questions in this book will make anyone introspect to decipher a deeper meaning of life.
  • This book promises to be a transformative experience for readers seeking to embark on a path of self-discovery and enlightenment.
  • The book is a roadmap to self-discovery and a journey to self-realization.

Topic: State News/ Chhattisgarh

3. The railway projects worth over Rs 6,400 crore dedicated by PM Modi in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh on 14 September.

  • In addition, the PM laid the foundation stone of 50 bedded ‘critical care blocks’ in 9 districts of Chhattisgarh.
  • He also distributed 1 lakh sickle cell counseling cards to the screened population. These cards have been distributed as part of the National Mission to Eradicate Sickle Cell Anemia.
  • The railway projects include:
  • Phase-I of the Chhattisgarh East Rail Project is being developed at a cost of approximately Rs 3,055 crore and includes a 124.8 km rail line from Kharsia to Dharamjaygarh.
  • The third rail line between Pendra Road to Anuppur is 50 km long and has been built at a cost of approximately Rs 516 crore.
  • The 98 km long third line between Champa and Jamga rail section has been built at a cost of approximately Rs 796 crore.
  • The 65 km long electrified MGR (Merry-Go-Round) system has been built at a cost of over Rs 2070 crore. It will provide low-cost transportation of high-grade coal from NTPC's Talaipalli coal mine to the 1600 MW NTPC Lara Super Thermal Power Station in Chhattisgarh.

Topic: International News

4. India became the 13th country in the world to issue an internationally recognized International Organization for Legal Metrology (OIML) certificate.

  • India has now become the internationally recognized authority to issue OIML certificates for selling weights and measurement instruments anywhere in the world.
  • India now becomes part of an elite group of countries that includes Australia, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovakia.
  • OIML Model Approval Certificate is mandatory for selling weights or measures in the international market.
  • This can now be provided by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • India follows OIML recommendations and procedures for testing and calibration of weights and measures.
  • Reports prepared by regional reference standard laboratories of Legal Metrology are now acceptable to OIML issuing authorities.
  • Domestic manufacturers can now export their weighing and measuring instruments across the world without any additional testing charges resulting in significant cost savings.
  • India can now also support foreign manufacturers by issuing approval certificates having OIML format from Regional Reference Standards Laboratories (RRSLS).
  • By issuing OIML certificates of weights and measures to foreign manufacturers, India will now be able to earn foreign exchange from duties, etc.
  • Now India can influence the policies of OIML and also give its suggestions in the strategy of OIML.

Topic: Indian Polity

5. Supreme Court came under the National Judicial Data Grid Platform.

  • Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud has announced that the Supreme Court has been integrated with the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) platform.
  • It serves as an online repository of data related to pending cases and also shows the speed with which courts at various levels from taluka to national resolve cases.
  • This unique and informative platform has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and an in-house team of the Supreme Court.
  • The inclusion of the data in the NJDG will establish "transparency and accountability within the scope of the judiciary".
  • Till now, the platform was collecting data only up to the level of high courts, and now the Supreme court will also upload the cases on the platform in real-time.
  • In 2020, the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) was established as part of the "eCourts Project".
  • The platform contains records of orders, judgments, and case details of 18,735 district and subordinate courts as well as high courts across India.
  • The NJDG's data is updated in near real-time by the district and taluka courts, ensuring that the information is current and up-to-date.
  • As per the latest available data, it involves more than 23.81 crore cases and more than 23.02 crore orders and judgments.
  • Moreover, in the context of land disputes, NJDG has integrated land records data of 26 states to track related cases.

National Judicial Data Grid Platform

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

6. Engineer’s Day 2023: 15 September

  • Every year on September 15, Engineer’s Day is celebrated.
  • It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s greatest engineer Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.
  • The theme of National Engineers Day 2023 is 'Engineering for a sustainable future'.
  • On 15 September, Visvesvaraya's great works are celebrated as Engineer's Day in India as well as in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
  • Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya:
    • He was born on September 15, 1861, and passed away in 1962.
    • He played a crucial role in dams, reservoirs, and hydro-power projects in India. He was the Chief Engineer for the Krishna Raja Sagar dam project located in Karnataka.
    • He was one of the committee members who had planned the Indian Economy in 1934.
    • He was conferred the Bharat Ratna award in 1955. He also received the title of Knight Commander from the British Government.
    • He designed the automatic barrier water floodgates of the Khadakvasla reservoir.

UP GK - Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

7. Visakhapatnam Port is ranked in third place in cargo handling.

  • The Visakhapatnam Port Authority has obtained the 3rd rank among all major ports in cargo handling.
  • The performance of the major ports for the period between April 2023 and July 2023 was reviewed by the Union Ministry of Ports and ranks were given to the ports accordingly.
  • Cargo volume, pre-berthing detention (PBD) time, turnaround time (TRT), output per ship berth day (OSBD) and Idle time at berth were the performance parameters for the review.
  • The Visakhapatnam Port performed well in all these parameters.
  • The Visakhapatnam Port recorded a 3% improvement in cargo volume during the period when compared to that of the previous year.
  • It recorded a 65% improvement in PBD during the period when compared to that of the previous year.
  • It recorded a 16% improvement in TRT and a 14% improvement in OSBD during the period when compared to that of the previous year.
  • It recorded a 4% improvement in idle time at berth during the period when compared to that of the previous year.

Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh

8. UP Government has launched a special Gift Deed Scheme.

  • Yogi Government has launched this scheme in an attempt to foster harmony and alleviate property-related family disputes.
  • The scheme has benefitted more than 43,574 people from 5 August 2023 to 12 September, 2023.
  • Under this scheme, the public got a benefit of Rs 1807.31 crore.
  • Under the new scheme, stamp duty for property donations to blood relatives has been reduced to Rs 5,000.
  • Earlier, individuals used to pay stamp duty equivalent to the prevailing circle rate when executing a gift deed. 
  • Last year, over 2.56 lakh people took advantage of the scheme, which was implemented from June 2023 to December 2023.

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

9. Centre curbs stock limit of wheat amid rise in prices.

  • The central government has decided to reduce the wheat stock limit from 3,000 metric tonnes (MT) to 2,000 MT for traders, wholesalers, and big chain retailers.
  • The stock limit of wheat will be 10 MT for each big chain retailer outlet.
  • For other categories, stock limits have not been changed.
  • All wheat stocking entities are required to register on the wheat stock limit portal and update the stock position every Friday.
  • Any entity registered on the portal violating the stock limits will be subject to suitable punitive action under Sections 6 & 7 of the Essential Commodities Act,1955.
  • The Food Ministry stated that if stocks held by these entities are higher than the prescribed limit, they have to bring them down to the prescribed stock limits “within 30 days of issue of the notification”.
  • The government issued the Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock Limits and Movement Restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs (Amendment) Order, 2023 on 12 June 2023.
  • On 12 June, the wheat stock limit was fixed at 3,000 MT for traders and big chain retailers.

Centre curbs stock limit of wheat

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Bihar

10. ICCR organized the ‘Vaishali Festival of Democracy’ at Nalanda University in Bihar.

  • The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) organized the ‘Festival of Democracy’ at Bihar’s Nalanda University to show India’s rich democratic traditions.
  • The festival – ‘Vaishali Festival of Democracy’ held on 15 September, which is also celebrated as International Day of Democracy.
  • ICCR chose the university as the venue due to its great significance and the presence of an international audience.
  • Vaishali in Bihar is believed to be the first republic in the world. It is the place where the roots of democracy can be traced.
  • The old Nalanda University was one of the first universities in the world. It was founded by Kumar Gupta in the 5th Century BC and destroyed by General Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1190.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR):
    • It is an autonomous organization that was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
    • It is the governmental organization responsible for cultural and academic engagement with the world.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. Phase 3 of e-Courts Project has been approved by the Cabinet on 13 September.

  • The project has been approved with a financial outlay of ₹7,210 crore to upgrade the digital infrastructure of the lower judiciary.
  • The aim of the third phase is to introduce maximum ease of access to justice by moving towards digital, online, and paperless courts through the digitization of entire court records.
  • This central scheme will be implemented over the next four years. 
  • Phase 3 of the project will digitize the entire court records, both legacy and pending cases, at an estimated cost of ₹2,038.40 crore.
  • A total of 3,108 crore documents will be digitized.
  • Under Phase 3, the system will be migrated to cloud technology, and the estimated cost of providing 25 petabytes of cloud storage is ₹1,205.20 crore.
  • The state governments, the Center, and 25 high courts will sign a tripartite agreement.
  • Under the agreement, maintenance, upkeep, and replacement of the equipment will be the responsibility of the respective states while the Centre will provide funds and necessary hardware.
  • Under this, setting up 1,150 virtual courts is estimated to cost ₹413.08 crore.
  • The project involves the integration of courts, jails, police stations, and forensic laboratories with the Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS).

Topic: Important Days

12. International Day of Democracy 2023: 15 September

  • Every year on 15 September, International Day of Democracy is observed. It is also known as Democracy Day.
  • Its aim is to encourage youth to get involved in democratic processes so that they can make their voices heard.
  • The theme of International Day of Democracy 2023 is 'Empowering the Next Generation.'
  • In 2007, the International Day of Democracy was adopted by a resolution of the UNGA.
  • On 15 September 2008, the first International Day of Democracy was observed.
  • International Democracy Day provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

Topic: State News/ Gujarat

13. President Murmu launched the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) Digital House project of the Gujarat legislative assembly.

  • President Murmu launched the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) Digital House project in Gandhinagar.
  • Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel were also present during the launch.
  • The National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) Digital House project is inspired by the vision of 'One Nation, One Application'.
  • It is a significant step towards making the Assembly proceedings entirely paperless.
  • National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) is a Unicode-compliant software. It has been developed to make all legislative body work and data available online for usage.
  • NeVA allows simple access to documents such as the list of questions, list of businesses, and reports.
  • Prime Minister Modi proposed a 'One Nation, One Legislative Platform' in November 2021.
  • As of now, 21 State legislatures have signed Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the NeVA.
  • 9 Legislatures have already become fully digital and are live on the NeVA platform.

Topic: Sports

14. Kuldeep Yadav becomes the fastest Indian bowler to take 150 ODI wickets.

  • Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav becomes the fastest Indian bowler to take 150 ODI wickets in the match against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup.
  • Kuldeep played a key role in India's 41-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo.
  • Kuldeep is the fourth fastest spinner overall to take 150 wickets in ODIs after Saqlain Mushtaq (78 matches), Rashid Khan (80) and Ajantha Mendis (84).
  • He is also the second-fastest Indian bowler to take 150 wickets after pacer Mohammed Shami.
  • This year, he has taken 31 wickets in 15 ODIs, highest by an Indian bowler.
  • Anil Kumble has picked the most wickets for India in ODIs (334 wickets).
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