Daily Current Affairs and GK | 2 November 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 17:12 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

1. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) for 2023.

  • According to the index, 19 out of 20 big states' scores registered a decline in 2023 as compared to 2019.
  • Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh recorded a drop in their 2023 scores from 2019.
  • In the last five years, the steepest fall was seen in Maharashtra. Its score has decreased to 45 in 2023 as compared to 74 in 2019.
  • Bihar score has declined to 20.5 in 2023 as compared to 46 in 2019.
  • Gujarat scored 48.5 in 2023 as compared to 73 in 2019.
  • The average scores of all large states improved marginally to 56 points in 2020 from 52 points in 2019.
  • The average score dropped to 51 points in 2021 and 2022.
  • State Food Safety Index (SFSI) score is being given to states from 2019. It is given out of a total of 100 points that are calculated on the basis of five parameters with different weightage.
  • ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’, ‘Compliance’, ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’, ‘Training and Capacity Building’, and ‘Consumer Empowerment’ are the five parameters of the State Food Safety Index.
  • The most decline has been observed in the ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter.
  • The average score for all large states for this parameter has dropped 7 points out of 17 in 2023 from 13 points out of 20 in 2019.
  • The ‘Compliance’ parameter has the highest weightage (28%) in the Index. 
  • The ‘Consumer Empowerment’ parameter has the second highest weightage (19 per cent) in 2023.
  • The 2023 average compliance score for all large states was 11 points out of 28 in 2023.

State Food Safety Index (SFSI) for 2023

(Source: SFSI Report)

Topic: International News

2. Bhutan became the first country in the world to sterilize all stray dogs.

  • After a 14-year-long project, Bhutan became the first country to completely sterilize and vaccinate its entire stray dog population.
  • The completion of the National Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Project was announced by Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.
  • Under this project, 150,000 stray dogs were successfully sterilized and vaccinated. It includes microchipping of 32,000 pet dogs.
  • There are about 300 million stray dogs across Asia who are facing starvation, parasitic infections, untreated diseases, injuries from road traffic accidents and transmissible cancers.
  • Globally, 59,000 people die in a year from rabies and most rabies cases in humans are the result of a dog bite.
  • The United Nations organisations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) recommend oral vaccination of dogs against rabies.

Topic: National News

3. Women's participation in the country's workforce increased to 37%.

  • On October 28, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the participation of women in the country's workforce has increased to 37% in 2022–23.
  • During the 'Rozgar Mela', Pradhan said that in 2017-18 this figure was 23%.
  • He said that increasing participation of women in the workforce has led to balanced development in the society and women are working harder than men.
  • The Center is giving priority to women in policy-making and leadership roles.
  • The unemployment rate in the country has decreased from 6% in 2017-18 to 3.7% in 2022-23.
  • In the programme, the Minister distributed appointment letters of various central organizations like Railways and India Post to 172 people.
  • Apart from this, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Bishweshwar Tudu distributed appointment letters to 114 people at the 'Rozgar Mela' in Cuttack.

Topic: International Appointment

4. On 1 November, Bangladeshi Saima Wajed won the election to become the South East Asia regional director at WHO in New Delhi.

  • She put up a strong fight against Shambhu Prasad Acharya of Nepal, who lost by six votes.
  • She received 8 votes as regional director for a 4-year term starting next year.
  • Member States voted to nominate Saima Wajed during a meeting at the 76th session of the WHO Regional Committee.
  • Saima Wajed is the daughter of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
  • Saima has worked extensively on autism, updating the country's public health regulations, as well as implementing the Mental Health Act of 2018 and the National Mental Health Strategic Plan for 2020–25.
  • Poonam Khetrapal Singh of India is the current regional director.
  • She will hand over the charge to Wajed from 1 February 2024.
  • India was among those countries which had confirmed their support to the Bangladeshi candidate much before the elections.

South East Asia regional director at WHO

(Source: News on AIR)

 

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

5. On 1 November, 12th Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) conducted by India and Finland in New Delhi.

  • The Indian side was led by Sanjay Verma, Secretary for Western Affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Finnish side was led by Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • During the Foreign Office Dialogue, bilateral relations including political and cultural ties, trade and investment, education, digital partnership, sustainable partnership, and people-to-people contacts of the two countries were reviewed.
  • Multilateral cooperation, including the Arctic and UN Security Council reform were also discussed.
  • The dialogue included an exchange of views on developments in India and Finland, regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the Ukraine conflict.
  • Both sides agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Dialogue in Helsinki.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs said that India and Finland enjoy close and friendly relations.
  • The year 2024 will be the 75th year of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and both sides decided to celebrate it in a grand manner.

Topic: Banking System

6. RBI has prescribed norms for the closure of DCCB branches.

  • On October 30, the RBI said that district central cooperative banks are allowed to close their unprofitable branches without prior permission of the central bank.
  • However, approval from the Registrar of Cooperative Societies of the concerned state will be required.
  • In a circular, the RBI said the decision to close branches should be taken by the board after taking into account all relevant factors.
  • The Bank should give two months’ notice to all existing depositors/customers of the branch through a press release in local leading newspapers and also inform each constituent of the branch well in advance of the closure of the branch.
  • In addition, the District Central Cooperative Bank (DCCB) should return the original license issued for the closed branch to the concerned regional office of the Reserve Bank.
  • However, if restrictions have been imposed on the bank by the RBI, DCCB will not be allowed to close branches.

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Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. Nandini Das has won the 2023 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.

  • India-born author Nandini Das has won this prize for her book ‘Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire'.
  • The winning book is her debut. Critics have described it as the “true origin story of Britain and India told through England's first diplomatic mission to the Mughal courts”.
  • Nandini Das is a Professor of English literature at the University of Oxford.
  • In the book, Das presents a new perspective on the origins of the empire through the story of the arrival of Sir Thomas Roe in the early 17th century.
  • Sir Thomas Roe was the first English ambassador in India.

2023 British Academy Book Prize

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. India's Union Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister and Minister of Education for the United Arab Emirates signed the MoU in Abu Dhabi.

  • The MoU signed by Dharmendra Pradhan and Dr. Ahmad Al Falasi on 01 November 2023 aims to fortify educational cooperation between the two countries. 
  • The primary aim of this MoU is to facilitate student and faculty mobility.
  • The Ministers reviewed their bilateral engagements in education and skill development.
  • They particularly focused on the progress achieved after their previous meeting on the sidelines of the 4th Education Working Group (EdWG) as part of the G20 framework.
  • They also discussed ways to facilitate student exchange programmes between India and the UAE.
  • The MoU will lead to the creation of a Joint Working Group (JWG).
  • This will be chaired alternately by a representative from the Ministry of Education in India and the UAE

Topic: International News

9. International Solar Alliance’s Global Solar Facility is set to receive 35 million dollars as a capital contribution.

  • India is hosting the sixth assembly of the International Solar Alliance.
  • India is set to make a $25 million investment as a capital contribution to the Global Solar Facility.
  • International Solar Alliance will contribute $10 million to the Global Solar Facility.
  • The Global Solar Facility (GSF) is designed to increase solar investment in underserved and geographical areas of Africa.
  • The ISA Assembly approved the Global Solar Facility in 2022, which is expected to attract an inflow of private capital into off-grid solar projects, rooftop solar projects and productive use solar projects.
  • The GSF is aiming to expand its network to Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
  • GSF plans to invest in innovative technologies to enhance solar energy efficiency, support startups for faster solar energy implementation, and explore emerging solar energy sectors.
  • GSF is working towards crowdsourcing investments from various international donors.
  • GSF is aiming to raise 100 million USD to accelerate the transition to solar energy.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. PM Modi will inaugurate ‘World Food India 2023’ at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

  • The ‘World Food India 2023’ will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 3rd November. The event will be held from November 3-5 at Pragati Maidan.
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries is organizing this three-day event.
  • India’s rich food culture will be showcased to the world in this event.
  • More than 1200 exhibitors from 23 states and several countries will participate in the event.
  • Ministers of 6 countries will also attend this event. Before this, it was organized in 2017.
  • The Netherlands will be the Partner Country in this edition of World Food India. Japan and Vietnam are the Focus Countries.
  • B2B, B2G, and G2G meetings, and cultural programs will be part of this event.
  • The event will also celebrate the International Year of Millets 2023 with a monumental installation of 50,000 tetra-pack containers of millet beverages.

Topic: Defence

11. Another Rajasthan-based MiG-21 squadron phased out by Indian Air Force.

  • On 30 October, another squadron of MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft was phased out, bringing the active number of squadrons to two.
  • The Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter squadron replaced the MiG-21 Bison squadron in a ceremony held at Uttarlai Air Force Station in Barmer, Rajasthan.
  • During the ceremony, both the Su-30MKI and the Mig-21 Bison fighters fly past in the skies of Barmer.
  • The No. 4 Squadron (Orioles) of the Indian Air Force based at Uttarlai has been operating MiG-21 Bison fighters since 1966.
  • The Indian Air Force aims to phase out all squadrons of MiG-21 Bison by 2025.
  • In 1963, during the reign of then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the first supersonic fighter aircraft, the MiG-21 was inducted into the Indian Air Force's service.
  • Since its induction, the MiG-21 has participated in all major conflicts including the India-Pakistan wars of 1965, 1971 and the Kargil conflict of 1999.
  • The MiG-21 is a single-engine fighter aircraft that has also served as the backbone of the Indian Air Force for more than 40 years.

Topic: Important Days

12. On 1 November, the foundation day of 8 states and 5 union territories was celebrated at Raj Bhavan of Goa.

  • It was celebrated in the presence of former Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu and Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai.
  • On November 1, eight states— Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu— and five UTs— Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry— were formed .
  • As part of the "Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat" programme, the Goa Raj Bhavan celebrated the day in collaboration with the leaders of regional associations of various states and Union territories.
  • Cultural program held after the inauguration ceremony.
  • This is the third time that Goa Raj Bhavan is celebrating the foundation day of other states after Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal.

State/Union Territory

Foundation Day

Andhra Pradesh

November 1, 1956

Chhattisgarh

November 1, 2000

Haryana

November 1, 1966

Karnataka

November 1, 1956

Kerala

November 1, 1956

Madhya Pradesh

November 1, 1956

Punjab

November 1, 1966

Tamil Nadu

November 1, 1956

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

November 1, 1956

Chandigarh

November 1, 1966

Delhi

November 1, 1956

Lakshadweep

November 1, 1956

Puducherry

November 1, 1963

Topic: International News

13. Thailand announces visa-free entry for Indian tourists from Nov 10.

  • Thailand allowed visa-free entry for tourists from India and Taiwan for a period of six months.
  • It will be applicable for the time period from 10 November to 10 May 2024.
  • This decision was taken with an objective to attract more tourists.
  • According to the Thailand government, tourists can stay for 30 days. This scheme is expected to attract 1.4 million extra tourists.
  • It will give a boost to the economy of Thailand by generating 55 billion baht or $1.5 billion.
  • Indian and Taiwanese tourists have to apply for a 15-day visa on arrival at immigration checkpoints.
  • In 2022, Thailand had removed the visa requirements for Chinese people.
  • Thailand has become the second country to allow visa-free entry for Indians.
  • Between January to October, around 22 million tourists visited Thailand which generated a revenue of 927.5 billion baht or $25.67 billion.

Thailand announces visa-free entry for Indian

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

14. ‘One nation, One registration platform’ for doctors will be launched by the National Medical Commission.

  • The regulatory body for medical education and medical professionals, the National Medical Commission, has launched “one nation, one registration platform’‘.
  • The aim of the platform is to eliminate duplication and allow the public to get information about any physician working in India.
  • In the next six months, NMC will launch the National Medical Register (NMR) on a trial basis.
  • Under this pilot project, doctors will be allotted a unique identification number and they can apply for their license to work in any state.
  • “Registration of Medical Practitioners and Licence to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023” gazette notification was issued by the government.
  • A masked ID will be granted to undergraduate students on the NMR and when they complete their course the ID will get unmasked and allotted.
  • The data of 14 lakh doctors will be transferred to the National Medical Register.
  • National Medical Commission has also laid down the process of registration of additional qualifications, renewal of licence to practice medicine, transfer of licence to practice, etc.
  • The National Medical Commission has also inked an MoU with the Quality Council of India (QCI) to give ratings to medical institutions in India.
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