Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 and 18 September 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 16:28 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. Sahel security pact has been signed by military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

  • The military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger signed a mutual defence pact.
  • Ministerial delegations from these three Sahel countries announced this pact in Mali's capital Bamako.
  • The Liptako-Gourma Charter established the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).
  • Its main objective is to establish an architecture of collective defence and mutual assistance.
  • The Liptako-Gourma region is a region where the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet.
  • This alliance is a combined military and economic effort between the three countries.
  • The three countries are struggling to contain Islamic insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
  • With this pact, all three West African Sahel countries will help each other in case of any rebellion or external aggression.
  • All three countries are members of the France-supported G5 Sahel alliance joint force to tackle Islamist groups in the region.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. Dharmendra Pradhan and Om Birla launched the 'Skills on Wheels' initiative.

  • Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla launched the 'Skills on Wheels' initiative in Delhi.
  • Under the initiative, 60,000 youth will be empowered in next five years.
  • This initiative has been launched to create awareness about the government's skill development mission, opportunities and support system available for youths.
  • It will improve the livelihood of rural households by providing relevant skills training to youth population.
  • 'Skills on Wheels’ is a unique experiment to promote digital literacy and digital skills with the help of NSDC.
  • Under the collaboration, a customized bus with retrofitted tools will promote the 'Skill India Mission’ initiative through 'Skills on Wheels'.
  • This bus and experimental laboratory will initially go to villages of Rajasthan. Later it will go to other parts of the country.
  • It will improve theoretical as well as practical knowledge of youths and help them in securing a better livelihood.

Skills on Wheels' initiative

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Sports

3. India won the Asia Cup 2023 title on 17 September.

  • India won the Asia Cup 2023 title by defeating Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in Colombo.
  • This was India's eighth Asia Cup title and also their biggest win in ODIs in terms of balls remaining (263 balls).
  • Opting to bat, hosts Sri Lanka were bundled out for a paltry score of 50 runs in just 15.2 overs.
  • India's Mohammed Siraj brought Sri Lanka down to their knees with a six-wicket haul.
  • He was followed by Hardik Pandya who took three wickets, along with one wicket by Jasprit Bumrah.
  • This was India's first title in a multi-nation competition after winning the Asia Cup 2018.



Man of the Match

Mohammad Siraj

Man of the Series

Kuldeep Yadav

Catch of the Match

Ravindra Jadeja

Asia Cup 2023

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Sports

4. India's Elavenil Velarivan won the gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle event at ISSF World Cup Shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • Velarivan defeated Oceane Muller of France by scoring 252.2 in the final. A total of eight shooters qualified for the finals.
  • This is Velarivan's second individual World Cup medal. In 2019, she won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle in Rio.
  • Earlier, Velarivan stood ninth in the qualification round with 630.5 points.
  • The Rio competition is the last rifle and pistol ISSF World Cup until 2023.
  • After the ongoing event in the Brazilian city, the final will be held in Doha, Qatar from 18 to 27 November.
  • India has sent a 16-member team for the ISSF World Cup.

women's 10m air rifle event at ISSF World Cup Shooting

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

5. National List of Essential Assistive Products (NLEAP) released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

  • NLEAP has been released to prioritize essential assistive products towards making a difference in the lives of people with functional disabilities, breaking down barriers for a more inclusive future.
  • Assistive products (APs) play an important role in enhancing quality of life and promoting independence among individuals with functional disabilities.
  • However, accessing and obtaining these products can pose significant challenges, particularly for economically disadvantaged populations.
  • NLEAP is a list of 21 APs and technologies that are considered essential for individuals with functional disabilities to improve their quality of life and participation in society.
  • In 2020, ICMR conducted an extensive exercise to develop NLEAP.
  • It includes inputs from subject matter experts, end users, policymakers, NGOs, manufacturers, academics, standardization professionals, and international agencies, as well as supporting product lists developed by various agencies and countries.
  • The NLEAP serves as a reference for government agencies, health providers, and rehabilitation services to prioritize the provision of AP to individuals with functional disabilities.
  • The purpose of the list is to ensure that the most important assistive products are available, affordable, and accessible to people with functional disabilities to enhance their ability to live full and independent lives.

Topic: Important Days

6. World Bamboo Day 2023: 18 September.

  • Every Year on 18 September, World Bamboo Day is celebrated.
  • It has been celebrated by the World Bamboo Organization since 2009 to increase the awareness of bamboo globally.
  • The day serves as a platform to raise awareness about the importance of bamboo and to promote its role in sustainable development, poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and cultural preservation.
  • UN has announced 2021 to 2030 as a Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. World Bamboo Organization has endorsed this initiative.
  • The Kew Declaration on Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods to Protect and Restore the World’s forests has also been signed by the World Bamboo Organisation.
  • The 8th World Bamboo Congress, held in Bangkok in 2009, had declared September 18 to be World Bamboo Day.

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Topic: State News/Telangana

7. Shri Amit Shah hoisted the national flag in Secunderabad on the occasion of Hyderabad Liberation Day on 17th September 2023.

  • On the occasion, he addressed the people of Telangana.
  • He said the Narendra Modi government decided to celebrate Liberation Day every year officially.
  • He paid tributes to martyrs at the Veerula Smarakam in Secunderabad.
  • Cultural groups from Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Telangana enthralled the people on the occasion.
  • On 17 September 1948, the state of Hyderabad got its independence from Nizam’s rule.
  • The liberation of Hyderabad was possible due to the action by the first Minister of Home Affairs of India, Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel under Operation Polo.
  • The state of Hyderabad under the Nizam included the whole of current-day Telangana.
  • It also included the Marathwada region in Maharashtra that included the districts of Aurangabad, Beed, Hingoli, Jalna, Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad, Parbhani and districts of Kalaburagi, Bellary Raichur, Yadgir, Koppal, Vijayanagara and Bidar in current day Karnataka.
  • September 17 is officially observed as the Liberation Day by the state governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Topic: Art and Culture

8. UNESCO has included Shantiniketan in its World Heritage list.

  • During the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee, the decision to include Santiniketan in the list was taken.
  • The 45th session of the World Heritage Committee is currently underway in Saudi Arabia.
  • Shantiniketan was established in 1901 by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, father of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Shantiniketan is located in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
  • The centre first tried to get a World Heritage tag for Shantiniketan in 2010.
  • Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan is the only central university of Bengal. The Prime Minister is the chancellor of this university.
  • ICOMOS had recommended the inclusion of Shantiniketan in the UNESCO World Heritage List a few months ago.
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a France-based international non-governmental organisation.
  • Shantiniketan has become 41st UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.
  • It has become third UNESCO World Heritage Site in West Bengal after the Sundarbans National Park and the Darjeeling Mountain Railways.
  • Last year, West Bengal’s Durga Puja was placed in “Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity” under UNESCO.
  • A ‘world university’ – Visva Bharati – was set up at Shantiniketan in 1921.
  • Other sites placed on the list on 17 September 2023 are given below.
    • Ancient Jericho in Palestine
    • Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor of Silk Roads in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
    • Gedeo Cultural Landscape in Ethiopia
    • Cultural Landscape of Old Tea Forests of the Jingmai Mountain in China’s Pu’er

Shantiniketan in UNESCO World Heritage list

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Assam

9. Assam government launched the 'Sarpanch Samvad' app.

  • Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria has launched the 'Sarpanch Samvad' app. It is a mobile application app of the Quality Council of India (QCI).
  • The Governor said that the Sarpanch Samvaad initiative will help to propel the growth of India and will support in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of making India a developed nation by 2047.
  • The main aim of the 'Sarpanch Samvad' initiative is to connect approximately 2.5 lakhs Sarpanchs across India.
  • It serves as a holistic platform for networking, knowledge dissemination, and collaboration.
  • Under this initiative, Sarpanchs can spotlight developmental activities in their villages, learn about best practices, and foster connections nationwide.
  • Quality Council of India:
    • It was established in 1997 as an apex body for establishing and operating the third-party national accreditation system and improving quality across different sectors.
    • It also advises government and other stakeholders on all matters related to quality.
    • It has established constituent Boards which offer accreditation in respective areas.

Topic: International Appointments

10. Qazi Faez Isa becomes the 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan.

  • Justice Qazi Faez Isa sworn in as the 29th Chief Justice of Pakistan in a ceremony held at Aiwan-i-Sadr in Islamabad.
  • The oath of office was administered by President Arif Alvi.
  • His term as Chief Justice in the Supreme Court will be 13 months, which will end on 25th October 2024.
  • His appointment has come at a time when Pakistan is facing serious constitutional, legal, and political challenges.
  • His initial challenge will be to hold the general election transparently within 90 days of the dissolution of Parliament.
  • The biggest task for the Chief Justice will be to restore the prestige and neutrality of the apex court.
  • Another main challenge for Justice Isa will be to resolve more than 56,000 pending cases in the Supreme Court.
  • Recently, he was in the news for his protest against the non-implementation of the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act, which was created during the Shahbaz Sharif term of government.
  • Justice Isa was born on October 26, 1959, in Quetta. He began his legal career as an advocate in the Balochistan High Court in 1985 and later became an advocate of the Supreme Court in 1998.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. Vishwakarma scheme will be launched by PM Modi on September 17.

  • The Centre's new scheme for artisans, PM Vishwakarma, will be formally launched on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti.
  • The scheme was mentioned by PM Modi on Independence Day and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had recently allotted ₹13,000 crore for the scheme.
  • The scheme will be available to traditional craftsmen and artisans for five financial years from 2023-24 to 2027-28.
  • This scheme's focus is driven to financially support the artisans and craftsmen and keep the age-old tradition, culture, and diverse heritage alive and thriving through local products, arts, and crafts.
  • Under the scheme, artisans can register in the PM Vishwakarma portal using biometrics.
  • They will be provided recognition through the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card and skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training.
  • It also includes a toolkit incentive of ₹15,000, collateral-free credit support up to ₹1 lakh (first tranche) and ₹2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5%, an incentive for digital transactions, and marketing support.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Patient Safety Day 2023: 17 September

  • Every year on 17 September, World Patient Safety Day is observed.
  • It aims to increase public awareness and engagement, increase global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by Member States to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm.
  • The theme of Patient Safety Day 2023 is "Engaging patients for patient safety".
  • On 29 May 2019, the 72nd World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to observe 17 September as World Patient Safety Day every year.
  • The first World Patient Safety Day was observed on 17 September 2020.

Topic: State News/ Odisha

13. Odisha CM launched the "Mukhyamantri Sampoorna Pushti Yojana".

  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched 'Mukhyamantri Sampoorna Pushti Yojana' to fulfil the nutritional needs of mothers, adolescent girls and children.
  • Under the scheme, nutritional supplements to all adolescent girls between the ages of 15 to 19 years and additional dry food for pregnant women and expecting mothers will be provided.
  • Every woman and child of the state will become healthy with the help of this scheme.
  • Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik also launched the 'Pada Pushti Yojana'.
  • Under the 'Pada Pushti Yojana' children in remote and tribal areas will be provided with high-quality-cooked food in their enclaves and villages.
  • Odisha is the first state in India to design a nutrition budget for 2020-21.
  • Odisha government had earlier launched the Mamata Yojana to take care proper health of pregnant women and newborns in the state.

Topic: Defence

14. India has decided to procure 12 Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs.

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved proposals worth Rs 45,000 crore, including procurement of 12 Su-30MKIs for the Indian Air Force.
  • 12 Su-30MKIs for the Indian Air Force would be manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • Su-30MKIs will be equipped with more than 60 per cent indigenous content.
  • These will be the most modern Su-30 MKI aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
  • The Indian Air Force will also get an upgraded version of the Dornier aircraft to improve the accuracy and reliability of operations.
  • Dhruvastra Short Range Air-to-Surface Missile will be used in indigenously built ALH Mk-IV choppers.
  • DAC also approved proposals to procure Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting Systems (ISAT-S).
  • DAC approved the procurement of Next Generation Survey Vessels for the Indian Navy.
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