Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 June 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 17:45 PM IST

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Topic: Geography

1. As per a study, Groundwater extraction has tilted Earth’s spin.

  • As per a study, the pumping out of ground water has further tilted Earth’s axis.
  • The study predicts that shifts in the Earth’s axis of rotation can impact the earth’s climate.
  • This study has been published in Geophysical Research Letters, the journal of the American Geophysical Union.
  • Between 1993 and 2010, groundwater pumping has tilted the earth approximately 80 cm east.
  • Scientists have claimed that between 1993 and 2010, people pumped 2,150 gigatons of groundwater.
  • The Geographic poles are the place where the axis of rotation intersects its surface. However, they are not fixed.
  • Previously, the poles’ drift has occurred due to natural forces like ocean currents and the convection of heated rock deep beneath the Earth.
  • But this time, researchers claim that the redistribution of groundwater is the main cause of the drift.
  • The polar shift of several metres will not affect the seasons but can impact the climate.
  • Water’s role in changing the Earth’s rotation was discovered in 2016.
  • In the last 50 years, humans have extracted 18 trillion tonnes of water from aquifers and haven’t replaced it.

Topic: Sports

2. Indian Shuttlers Rankireddy and Shetty wins Indonesia Open.

  • The Indian duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty creates history by winning the men's doubles title at the Indonesia Open.
  • They have become the first doubles pair from India to win the Super 1000 event.
  • They defeated Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yika of Malaysia by 21-17, 21-18 to clinch the Indonesia Open Men's Double Title, in Jakarta.
  • This pair has also won the gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and bronze at the world championships.
  • It was also their first win over the Malaysian pair in the ninth meeting.
  • Saina Nehwal (2010, 2012) and Kidambi Srikanth (2017) have won the tournament in singles events.
  • The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels — World Tour Finals, Super 1000, Super 750, Super 500, and Super 300 and Super 100.
  • V. Axelsen won the Men’s Singles title while Y.F. Chen won the Women’s Single title at the Indonesia Open.
  • S.H. Lee and H.N. Baek won the Women’s doubles title.

Rankireddy and Shetty wins Indonesia Open

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. First-ever treaty to protect marine life in high seas has been adopted by United Nations.

  • On 20 June, Members of the United Nations have adopted the first treaty to protect marine life in the high seas.
  • Representatives of 193 member countries approved the treaty without any objection.
  • The treaty comes at a critical time when the oceans are facing threats on many fronts. The treaty is vital to address these threats.
  • The sea outside national boundaries are called the high seas. It covers about half of the Earth's surface.
  • The negotiations for a treaty to protect biodiversity have been ongoing for more than 20 years, but efforts to reach an agreement have repeatedly stalled.
  • The new treaty will be presented for signature on September 20 during the annual meeting of world leaders at the UN General Assembly.
  • It will come into effect after 60 countries have ratified it.
  • The new treaty is under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, which came into effect in 1994.

First-ever treaty to protect marine life

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

4. Olympian Bhavani Devi created history by winning a bronze medal at the Asian Fencing Championships in Wuxi, China.

  • On 19 June, Bhavani Devi defeated reigning world champion Misaki Emura in the quarterfinals of the Asian Fencing Championships.
  • This is India's first medal in this competition.
  • In the semi-finals of the women's sabre event, she lost 14-15 to Uzbekistan's Zeynab Dayibekova.
  • In the pre-quarterfinals, Bhavani pulled off an upset by defeating third seed Ozaki Seri 15-11.
  • The next challenge for Bhavani will be the World Championships to be held in Milan from July 22 to 30.
  • Asian Fencing Championships:
    • It is a fencing zonal championship organized by the Asian Fencing Confederation for the Asia-Oceania region.
    • The first Asian Fencing Championships were held in Tehran in 1973.
    • The tournament resumed in 1989 and has been held annually since 2007. It provides points for the Fencing World Cup.

Olympian Bhavani Devi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

5. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) license will be mandatory for 24 footwear products from July 1.

  • On 20 June, Pramod Kumar Tiwari, Director General of BIS, emphasized the importance of quality control orders (QCO) issued by the government recently for footwear and other products.
  • The quality control orders for 24 footwear products falling under footwear made of leather and other materials will come into effect from July 1, 2023.
  • The QCO for 24 footwear and related products was notified in October 2020 and subsequently extended three times before making it mandatory for large and medium scale industries.
  • BIS license will be mandatory for manufacturing, importing or selling the products.
  • The standards are formulated in consultation with trade and industry bodies, consumer organizations and representatives of various stakeholder groups to ensure the standards, quality and authenticity of footwear products.
  • The standards also set for the raw materials to be used in the manufacturing of footwear such as leather, PVC and rubber.
  • The 24 footwear products on which the quality standards will apply include rubber gum boots, PVC sandals, rubber hawai chappals, slippers, footwear used for municipal scavenging work and sports footwear, derby shoes and anti-riot shoes, and heels, among others.
  • The date of implementation will be January 1, 2024 to facilitate compliance for small and micro enterprises.
  • The government recently announced an 80% reduction in the testing fee for footwear products under quality control orders for certified start-ups and micro enterprise units.

Topic: Important Days

6. World Refugee Day 2023: 20 June

  • World Refugee Day is observed every year on 20 June to honor refugees around the world.
  • The day is an attempt to understand the plight of refugees and to recognize their resilience in building their lives.
  • The theme of World Refugee Day 2023 is “hope away from home.”
  • The day was first observed on 20 June 2001 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention that help protect refugees.
  • It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day. But after UN General Assembly recognized the day in December 2000, it came to be known as World Refugee Day.
  • India is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol and does not have a national refugee protection framework.

World Refugee Day 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: International News

7. UAE and Qatar have reopened embassies in Abu Dhabi and Doha, respectively.

  • The reopening of embassies marks the restoration of diplomatic ties between UAE and Qatar.
  • The diplomatic ties between them had been severed in 2017.
  • Al-Ula agreement forms the basis for the reopening of the embassies.
  • It was signed by the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in January 2021.
  • Al-Ula agreement marked the conclusion of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit held in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council:
    • It is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union.
    • It comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
    • It was established on 25 May 1981. It is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  

Topic: International News

8. PM Modi has called for full membership of G20 for African Union.

  • He has written about the same to his counterparts among the Group of 20 (G20) members.
  • India will host the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September.
  • PM Modi has made the proposal in line with a request from the African Union.
  • African Union is made up of 55 countries of the African continent. It was founded in 2001 to replace the Organisation of African Unity.
  • It has the status of a permanent observer at the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Its headquarters are located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • G20 was established in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis. It comprises the 20 largest economies. Its members are given below.

Members of G20

Argentina

Australia

Brazil

Canada

China

France

Germany

India

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

South Korea

Mexico

Russia

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

Turkey

UK

US

European Union

Topic: International News

9. PM Narendra Modi started his five-day visit to US and Egypt.

  • PM Narendra Modi said that this visit will deepen India-US partnership. The USA is India’s largest trade partner in goods and services.
  • The visit will commence from New York, where the PM will lead the celebrations of International Yoga Day at the United Nations on June 21.
  • On June 22, PM Modi will travel to Washington DC and meet President Biden at the White House.
  • PM Modi will address a joint sitting of the US Congress on June 22.
  • India and the United States will enhance collaboration in different fields like science & technology, education, health, defence and security fields.
  • The initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies has added new dimensions. It has added defence industrial cooperation, space, telecom, quantum, Artificial Intelligence and biotech sectors.
  • Modi will be on visit to Egypt on 24 and 25 June. For the first time, he is visiting as Prime Minister to Egypt.
  • India and Egypt have agreed to upgrade their relationship as strategic partners.
  • India and Egypt relations are based on ancient trade and economic linkages.

Topic: International News

10. Indigenously-built warship INS Kirpan has been gifted by India to Vietnam.

  • India gifted an indigenously-built in-service missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam to enhance its Navy capabilities.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Gang agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation.
  • They also identified areas of collaboration in the field of defence industry cooperation, maritime security and multinational cooperation.
  • Both leaders reviewed the full range of India-Vietnam Defence ties during the meeting.
  • Vietnam is an important ally of India’s Act East Policy and the Indo-Pacific region.
  • INS Kirpan was     built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers. It was commissioned on 12 January 1991.
  • It has 2 diesel engines with 14,400hp 2 shafts. Its speed is 25 knots (50 km/h).
  • Recently, the 3rd India-Vietnam Maritime Security Dialogue was organized in New Delhi on 31st May 2023.
  • India-Vietnam relations:
    • India established full diplomatic relations with Vietnam in January 1972.
    • In 2016, bilateral relations between India and Vietnam were elevated to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.
    • In FY 2021-22, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam registered a growth of 27 % and reached US$ 14.14 billion.
    • Indian exports to Vietnam reached US$ 6.70 billion (increase of 34%) while Indian imports from Vietnam amounted to US$ 7.44 billion (increase of 21%).

Topic: National News  

11. Government appointed IPS officer Ravi Sinha as RAW chief.

  • On 19 June, senior IPS officer Ravi Sinha has been appointed as the new chief of India's external intelligence agency RAW.
  • Presently, Shri Sinha is working as Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat.
  • Sinha will succeed Samant Kumar Goel, who will complete his tenure on June 30, 2023.
  • The Cabinet Appointments Committee has approved the appointment of Sinha as Secretary, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for a tenure of two years.
  • Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is India’s foreign intelligence agency. It is headquartered in New Delhi.  It was founded in 1968.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. The three new categories will be added to the Grammy Awards.

  • Recently, the Recording Academy has announced the addition of three new categories in Grammy Awards including Best African Music Performance, Best Pop Dance Recording, and Best Alternative Jazz Album.
  • The decision to include the Best African Music Performance category was made after African artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid and Thames, who gained popularity at the global level.
  • Subgenres like Afrobeats, Afro-fusion, Afro pop, Bongo Flava, Ethio jazz, Kizomba, High Life, Fuji, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian drill, Afro-house, and South African hip-hop will be eligible for the consideration of award.
  • The inclusion of the Best Pop Dance Recording category is intended to reward pop stars who release dance-flavoured music with a dedicated space.
  • Best Alternative Jazz Album category is designed to acknowledge genre-blending and envelope-pushing music that combines jazz with other genres.
  • This includes R&B, hip-hop, classical, contemporary improvisation, experimental, pop, rap, electronic/dance music, and spoken word.
  • The eligibility period for the 66th Grammys, which now has 94 categories, will be from October 1, 2022, to September 15, 2023.
  • In November, nominations will be announced, and the award ceremony will take place in early 2024.

Topic: Sports

13. Goa CM Pramod Sawant launched the upcoming National Games mascot.

  • Moga, the 37th National Games mascot, has been launched by the Chief Minister of Goa Dr Pramod Sawant.
  • MOGA, a bison representing the distinct identity of Goa and represent the strong connection between the Games and the state's heritage.
  • The launch ceremony was held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigao.
  • It was organized by the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Sports Authority of Goa.
  • It has been organized on the occasion of the Goa Revolution Day.
  • Sports Minister of Goa, Govind Gaude, President of the Indian Olympic Association Dr P.T Usha and Olympic medalist MC Mary Kom were present at the launching ceremony.
  • Goa will hosting National games for the first time in October of this year.

National Games mascot

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

14. Nusrat Choudhury is set to become America's first Muslim female federal judge.

  • US Senate confirmed that Nusrat Choudhury is set to become the judge of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
  • She will be the first Bangladeshi-American and female Muslim federal judge in the United States.
  • She received 50 vote in her favour while 49 votes were casted against her.
  • She is the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois.
  • She was deputy director of the organization's racial justice program from 2018 until 2020.
  • She was nominated by US President Joe Biden to the federal bench in January 2022.
  • She spent most of her professional career with the national ACLU where she worked on racial justice and national security issues.
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