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


Wrestler and Category


Mohit Kumar (Men's freestyle 61kg)

Priya Malik (Women's 76kg)


Sagar Jaglan (Men's freestyle 79kg)


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.

UP GK - Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge

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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


Doubling of the existing line


Doubling of existing line




  • 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.
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