Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 August 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 18 Aug 2023 18:23 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. The government has made biometric verification of mobile sim card dealers mandatory.

  • It has discontinued bulk connection mechanisms.
  • Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said that registration of all SIM card dealers would also be mandatory.
  • The government has taken these steps to check the practice of cyber fraud, fraudulent calls and protect the users.
  • He talked about the Sanchar Sathi Portal and informed that 52 lakh fraudulent connections have been detected and deactivated.
  • He also informed that 67 thousand SIM card dealers have been banned.
  • If a Point of Sale engages in illegal activity, it will be closed and blacklisted for three years.
  • Scanning of QR code of Aadhaar has been made mandatory to prevent misuse of Aadhaar.

Topic: Sports

2. Priya Malik won a Gold medal at the 2023 U20 World Wrestling Championships in Jordan.

  • She became the 2nd Indian woman wrestler to win the U20 world championship.
  • Last year, Antim Panghal became the first Indian woman to win a junior world title in wrestling in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • Priya is from Haryana. She defeated Laura Celine Kuehn of Germany in the women's 76kg freestyle wrestling final.
  • Priya has now won both the U17 2021, and 2022 and U20 world titles.

U20 World Wrestling Championships 2023: Indian Medalists

Medal

Wrestler and Category

Gold

Mohit Kumar (Men's freestyle 61kg)

Priya Malik (Women's 76kg)

Silver

Sagar Jaglan (Men's freestyle 79kg)

Bronze

Jaideep, Deepak Chahal, Rajat Ruhal, Arju

 

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Central Water Commission launched the mobile app ‘Floodwatch’.

  • Central Water Commission Chairman Kushvendra Vohra launched the mobile app "Floodwatch".
  • It will help in providing information related to the flood situation and forecasts for up to 7 days on a real-time basis.
  • This user-friendly app has readable and audio broadcast and information is available in two languages i.e. Hindi and English.
  • The app uses real-time river flow data from various sources. It also provides flood forecasts at the nearest location.
  • Forecast with Interactive Map is one of the key features of the App.
  • Users can check the CWC Flood Forecast (up to 24 hours) or Flood Advisory (up to 7 days) either by directly selecting the station from the map or can also search for the name of the station in the search box.
  • The app is available for download on Android devices, providing widespread accessibility to users globally.
  • This app uses advanced technologies such as satellite data analysis, mathematical modelling, and real-time monitoring to deliver accurate and timely flood forecasts.
  • The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

4. Andhra Pradesh emerged as the top-performing State in capex spending in the first quarter of FY 23-24.

  • Andhra Pradesh has spent ₹12,669 crore as capital expenditure in the April-June period.
  • It accounts for 41 per cent of the State’s capex budget of ₹31,061 crore for FY24.
  • Andhra Pradesh had spent only ₹6,917 crore or 23 per cent of its budgeted capex in FY23. It was the worst performer in FY 23.
  • Telangana’s capital expenditure also reached 27 per cent of its FY24 budget.
  • Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan capex spending achieved over 20 per cent of its annual target in Q1.
  • Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh together accounted for 56.4 per cent of the aggregate capex in the first quarter.
  • Till the first quarter, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh achieved less than 10 per cent of their annual capex target.
  • In 2023, Karnataka was the top performer state in capital expenditure.

Topic: Science and Technology

5. Indian scientists developed a new method to improve the accuracy and precision of nanomechanical testing technology.

  • A new method to test the nanomechanical properties of materials has been developed by an Indian scientist in collaboration with two international institutions.
  • This method will test the properties of materials with high precision and accuracy.
  • This method will not only improve the precision and accuracy of the nanoindentation technique or testing of mechanical strength but also enables testing at much higher rates.
  • Conventional testing methods are not always feasible at nanoscales.
  • The nanoindentation technique was invented by Dr Warren Oliver (KLA Corp) and Dr John Pethica (Oxford University) in the 80s.
  • It is mainly used to measure the strength of semiconductor devices and structural materials. It has been used for identifying cancerous cells to find out how meteorites are formed in deep space.
  • Dr Sudharshan Phani of the Advanced Nanomechanical Characterization (ANC) Centre, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad, collaborated with Dr Warren Oliver at KLA and Prof. George Pharr of Texas A & M University for developing this new method.
  • This technique involved a combination of extensive modeling and simulation to understand material response during indentation testing, and subsequent optimization of the methodology to improve accuracy and precision.

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. INCOIS has launched a new mobile application for seafarers and the fishing community.

  • The mobile application ‘SAMUDRA’ (Smart Access to Marine Users for Ocean Data Resources and Advisories) offers comprehensive information on all ocean-related services.
  • The mobile app disseminates Potential Fishing Zone advisories which will guide fishers to the probable fish aggregation locations.
  • It empowers users with alerts on oceanic disasters such as tsunamis, storm surges, high waves, and swell surge alerts. It also empowers users with real-time updates.
  • It is currently available in English. It will soon be available in eight coastal languages also.
  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is located in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Topic: Space and IT

7. Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander successfully gets separated from spacecraft.

  • Vikram is expected to reach the lunar South Pole on 23 August. It will release the rover Pragyan for further exploration.
  • ISRO announced that Lander Module (LM) of Chandrayaan-3 Mission is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module (PM).
  • The 26-kg rover is equipped with solar panels. It will move at the speed of 1 cm/sec.
  • Both Vikram and Pragyan will function for one lunar day or 14 earth days.
  • After that, the mission will lose power due to the lack of sunlight.
  • The Vikram lander carried several payloads. Some of them are given below.
    • Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) to measure the thermal conductivity and temperature
    • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) to measure seismic activities around the landing site
    • Langmuir Probe (LP) to estimate the moon’s surface plasma density and its variations
  • A passive Laser Retroreflector Array from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will carry out lunar laser ranging studies.
  • The propulsion module carries the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload.
  • It will orbit the moon for several months and look for signs of potentially habitable exoplanets.
  • Chandrayaan-3 was launched on 14 July, 2023. Chandrayaan-1 was launched in 2008. It successfully identified the signatures of water on the lunar surface.
  • Chandrayaan-2 was launched in 2019. It failed to soft-land on moon.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. India has signed MoU with Trinidad and Tobago on sharing of India Stack.

  • They also agreed for cooperate in the areas of digital transformation by means of capacity building, training programmes, exchange of best practices, etc.
  • Since June 2013, India has signed MoUs with other countries to share India Stack. These countries are Armenia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, and Antigua & Barbuda.
  • Many countries like Mauritius, Saudi Arabia are at an advanced stage of finalizing cooperation on India Stack.
  • Last month, a similar MoU was signed with Papua New Guinea.
  • India Stack is a collection of open APIs and digital public goods. These aim to facilitate identity, data, and payment services on a large scale.
  • India Stack is the name given to a collection of different technology products and frameworks. Its components are owned by different agencies.
  • Aadhaar products like e-auth and e-KYC are owned by the Unique ID Authority of India.
  • Digilocker is owned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • UPI is owned by the National Payments Corporation of India.

Topic: India and its Neighbour

9. Universal Pension Scheme rolled out by Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.

  • On 17 August, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina launched the Universal Pension Scheme, which aims to bring citizens above the age of 18 years under pension coverage.
  • She launched the pension scheme by attending a virtual ceremony from his official residence in Dhaka.
  • Out of the total six planned packages, four different packages—Pragati, Surokkha, Samta, and Prabashi—were initially introduced under the universal pension scheme.
  • The remaining two packages will be launched later.
  • The schemes will ensure a lifelong pension facility for the participating citizens.
  • The Pragati package will cover private job holders, while the Surokkha is designed for self-employed individuals.
  • The Samta package will cover low-income people and the Prabashi package for migrant Bangladeshis.
  • Any citizen above the age of 18 years can participate in the Universal Pension Scheme by paying installments till the age of 60 years, to get a pension facility during retirement life.
  • A person above the age of 50 years can also join this scheme but the person will have to pay the installments continuously for 10 years.

Topic: Sports

10. The first-ever night street racing circuit has been made in India.

  • On 16 August, a new street circuit was launched in Chennai by the Government of Tamil Nadu and RRPL, in which night races will also be held.
  • The state government has partnered with Racing Promotion Private Limited (RRPL) for the project.
  • RRPL is also the promoter of the Indian Racing League and F4 Indian Championship.
  • Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin inaugurated the circuit.
  • As far as the track is concerned, it is 3.5 km long, based around the Island Ground located in the heart of the city.
  • It will also become the first street circuit in India and South Asia to host a night race. The track will be extended to Napier Bridge.
  • The newly launched track will host a few events like the F4 Indian Championship and the Indian Racing League on December 9-10.

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. The expansion of the Digital India program has been approved by the Government with an outlay of Rs 14,903 crore.

  • The Digital India program was launched on 1st July 2015 and has made a difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor.
  • The expansion of the Digital India program will have the following benefits:
  • Under the Future Skills Prime program, 6.25 lakh IT professionals will be re-skilled and up-skilled.
  • Under the Information Security and Education Awareness Phase (ISEA) program, 2.65 lakh persons will be trained in the field of information security.
  • Under the Unified Mobile Application for New Age Governance (UMANG) app/platform, 540 additional services will be available.
  • Currently, over 1,700 services are already available on UMANG, the free mobile app of the Government of India.
  • 9 more supercomputers will be added under the National Super Computer Mission. This is in addition to the 18 supercomputers already deployed.
  • Artificial intelligence-enabled multi-language translation tool (currently available in 10 languages) Bhashini will be launched in all 22 schedules and 8 languages.
  • The National Knowledge Network (NKN) will be modernized. 1,787 educational institutions will be added to this.
  • A digital document verification facility will be provided under DigiLocker. Now this facility will also be available for micro, small, and medium enterprises and other organizations.
  • 1,200 startups will be supported in Tier 2/3 cities.
  • New initiatives will be launched in the field of cyber security including the development of tools and integration of over 200 sites with the National Cyber Coordination Centre.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

12. An MoU approved by Cabinet between India and Australia on cooperation in the field of sports.

  • An MoU approved on Cooperation in Sports between the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports of the Republic of India and the Department of Health and Aged Care of the Government of Australia.
  • Bilateral exchange programs in the field of sports between India and Australia, and will help to expand knowledge and expertise in the field of sports science, technology, and infrastructure.
  • Under this bilateral exchange program, initiatives such as athlete and coach training and development, sports administration and loyalty, etc. will result in improved performance of our sportspersons in international tournaments.
  • This will also strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Australia.
  • The benefits arising out of bilateral cooperation in the field of sports with Australia shall be equally applicable to all sportspersons.

Topic: State News/ West Bengal

13. President Droupadi Murmu launched Addiction Free Bengal Campaign in Kolkata.

  • President Droupadi Murmu launched the 'My Bengal, Addiction Free Bengal' Campaign under the 'Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan'.
  • ‘My Bengal, Addiction-Free Bengal’ campaign has been organized by the Brahma Kumaris.
  • She said that the central and state governments were working hard on various aspects to curb the problem.
  • Droupadi Murmu said that this menace can be stopped through a spiritual awakening, medication, social solidarity and political will.
  • She appreciated organisations like Brahma Kumaris for discussing such issues and working to solve them.
  • Around 15.8 million children aged between 10 and 17 years are addicted to Drugs substances in India.
  • Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) was launched on 15th August 2020 by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in the 272 most vulnerable districts.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

14. Government approved seven Indian Railways projects of Rs 32,500 crores.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved seven multi-tracking projects with an investment of Rs 32,500 crore.
  • The main objective of these projects is to propel the Indian Railways into a new era of efficiency and capacity expansion.
  • These projects will add 2,339 kilometres to the existing rail network. It will increase connectivity and accessibility.
  • These projects are spread in 35 districts in states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
  • These projects will augment freight capacity significantly and 200 million tonnes of additional freight traffic will generate annually.

Name of the Project

Nature of the Project

Gorakhpur-Cantt-Valmiki Nagar

Doubling of existing line

Nagar-Andal Multi tracking Project

Multi Tracking

Nergundi-Barang and Khurda Road-Vizianagaram

3rd Line

Mudkhed-Medchal and Mahbubnagar-Dhone

Doubling of the existing line

Guntur-Bibinagar

Doubling of the existing line

Chopan-Chunar

Doubling of existing line

Samakhiali-Gandhidham

Quadrupling

 

  • The projects are the result of the PM-Gati Shakti National Master Plan for Multi-model connectivity.
  • These routes will foster the transportation of foodgrains, fertilizers, coal, cement, flyash, iron and finished steel, clinkers, crude oil, etc.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
Major sources of Indian Constitution President of India
Ramsar sites of India 2022 Classification of Rocks
Interior of the Earth Tax system in India
 
 

 

 

 

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