Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 May 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 May 2023 17:57 PM IST

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Topic: Banking System

1. RBI withdraws Rs 2000 note from circulation, but Notes to remain legal tender.

  • Under the “Clean Note Policy”, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to withdraw 2,000 Rupees denomination banknotes from circulation.
  • In a statement issued on 19 May, RBI has clarified that Rs 2,000 notes will continue to be a legal tender.
  • Public can deposit these notes in their bank accounts or exchange them till September 30, 2023.
  • To ensure operational convenience and to avoid disruption of regular activities of bank branches, Rs 2,000 banknotes can be exchanged for banknotes of other denominations with effect from May 23 at any bank.
  • In addition, from May 23, the facility of exchange of Rs 2,000 banknotes up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time will be provided at 19 regional offices of the RBI.
  • The RBI official said the reason for the move was the issue of soiled Rs 2,000 notes lying with the RBI.
  • The second was that the Rs 2,000 notes are not popular and are just lying around.
  • RBI also said, the printing of Rs 2,000 notes was also discontinued in 2018-19.
  • In November 2016, the Rs 2,000 note was introduced under section 24(1) of the RBI Act, 1934.

RBI withdraws Rs 2000 note from circulation

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

2. Japan expressed its desire to adopt India's digital payment system, UPI.

  • Japan's Digital Minister Kono Taro has expressed keen interest in joining India's Unified Payments System (UPI), referring to the ongoing digital cooperation between the two countries.
  • He said that the objective of this initiative is to provide mutual recognition of e-IDs of both the countries and to expand digital transactions.
  • Japan and India aim to promote digital cooperation by creating interoperability through real-time funds transfer systems to facilitate digital payments.
  • Mr. Kono stated that UPI is a very convenient system of payment, where we can increase the interoperability of our payment system between Japan and India, or other countries like Singapore, Thailand.
  • Apart from Singapore, Thailand and UAE, other countries that have shown interest in UPI include Bahrain, Mauritius and Indonesia.    
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI):
    • It is an instant real-time payment system which has been developed by NPCI.
    • It allows users to make fund transfers from their bank account.
    • NPCI launched UPI with 21 member banks on 11th April 2016.

Topic: National News

3. NIA arrests two aides of Canada-based listed terrorist Arshdeep Dhalla.

  • On 19 May, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested two aides of Canada-based listed terrorist Arshdeep Dhalla.
  • These wanted accused were arrested from Indira Gandhi International Airport when they reached Delhi from Manila, Philippines.
  • Both of them have been identified as Amritpal Singh alias Amy and Amritak Singh. Both of them are residents of Punjab.
  • An NIA team was waiting at the airport for his flight to land.
  • The NIA Delhi Court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against the accused in a case related to illegal and violent activities of banned organizations in India.
  • Many criminal cases are also registered against them in Punjab.
  • On 20th August 2022, NIA had registered a suo moto case under various sections of IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
  • The NIA investigation has found that the accused were involved in a criminal conspiracy to raise funds for banned terrorist group Khalistan Tiger Force and to smuggle arms, ammunition and explosives from across the border.
  • Both these terrorists were working for terrorist Arshdeep Singh Dhalla to promote violent activities of Khalistan Tiger Force in India.

National Investigation Agency (NIA)

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Telangana

4. “SAHAS” initiative launched to make workplace safer for women in Telangana.

  • It was launched by State Home Minister Mahmood Ali.
  • The program aims to strengthen the system that protects women from sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • As a part of this initiative, SAHAS Microsite, SAHAS Sathi Chatbot, SAHAS WhatsApp Number, Forum and online support facilities were released in Hyderabad.
  • SAHAS is a collaboration between industry bodies and the Telangana Police.
  • Under the initiative, working women facing harassment at workplace can approach SAHAS.
  • The team, with the participation of NGOs, will approach the respective committees formed as employers to try to initiate action.

SAHAS WhatsApp Number

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

5. 100 kms of Ghaziabad-Aligarh Expressway completed in record 100 hours.

  • The Ghaziabad-Aligarh Expressway has created history by achieving a stupendous feat of laying bituminous concrete covering a distance of 100 lane kilometres in just 100 hours.
  • Shri Nitin Gadkari congratulated the team of Cube Highways, L&T and Ghaziabad-Aligarh Expressway Private Limited (GAEPL) for their stupendous achievement.
  • The 118 km Ghaziabad Expressway section of NH-34 plays an important role as a transport link between the densely populated Ghaziabad and Aligarh.
  • The project passes through various cities like Dadri, Gautam Budh Nagar, Sikandrabad, Bulandshahr, and Khurja.
  • It serves as an important trade route, facilitates movement of goods and contributes to regional economic development by connecting industrial areas, agricultural areas and educational institutions.
  • For sustainability and cost-effectiveness, the project has implemented the use of Cold Central Plant Recycling (CCPR) technology.
  • This innovative green technology involves the use of 90 percent milled material, which is equivalent to approximately 2 million square meters of road surface.
  • As a result, the consumption of virgin material is reduced by only 10 percent.
  • Adopting this approach has significantly reduced fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions, thereby contributing significantly to reducing the carbon footprint.

100 kms of Ghaziabad-Aligarh Expressway

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

6. India’s coal supply has reached 877.74 Million tonnes in the last nine years.

  • It has recorded 45.37% growth in the last nine years. India’s coal production has achieved 47% growth in the last nine years.
  • Overall coal production has increased up to 893.08 Million tonnes in Financial Year 2023. This is the highest in the history of the country.
  • The Coal Ministry said that according to the Action Plan for 2023-24, the coal production target for the financial year 2023-24 is 1,012 Million tonnes.
  • The coal Ministry has signed agreements for 23 coal mines having a cumulative peak-rated capacity of 33.224 MT per annum during the Financial Year 2022-23.
  • The Ministry said it is expected that 25 coal mines will be allocated during Financial Year 2023-24 for commercial mining.
  • The focus of the Ministry is on enhancing coking coal production from 52 Million tonnes (MT) in Financial Year 2022 to 140 MT in Financial Year 2030.
  • The government launched Mission Coking Coal in August 2021.
  • It was launched with a roadmap suggesting ways to augment the production and utilization of domestic coking coal in India by 2030.
  • Mission Coking Coal has the following objectives:
    • Enhancing coking coal production from 52 Million Tonne (MT) in FY 2022 to 140 MT in FY 2030.
    • Enhancing coking coal washing capacity from 23 MT in FY 2022 to 61 MT in FY 2023.
  • The main use of coking coal is in the manufacturing of steel via the blast furnace route.

Topic: International News

7. US Supreme Court ruled that Twitter and Google cannot be held liable for the content posted on their websites.

  • The content liability cases against Twitter and Google were filed by families of terror attack victims.
  • The claim of the families of terrorist attack victims was that Google and Twitter should be held accountable for aiding and abetting ISIS, which caused the death of their loved ones.
  • The family of one of the victims, Nawras Alassaf, moved the court against Twitter.
  • The family claimed the company did not do enough to combat the terrorist organisation when an ISIS-linked gunman opened fire at a Reina nightclub in Turkey, on 1 January 2017 and killed at least 38 people.
  • In the ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas noted that the family’s claims fell far short of plausibly alleging that the defendants aided and abetted the Reina nightclub attack.
  • The family of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed during an ISIS attack in Paris in 2015, asked the court to hold Youtube liable for recommending pro-ISIS videos. 
  • The family wanted to sue Google for YouTube videos. Google owns YouTube.
  • With the hearing of the Supreme Court, Section 230 has come into the spotlight. It is a law protecting tech platforms from liability for any third-party content.
  • The court has not addressed fully the question surrounding Section 230.

Topic: Defence

8. Cadets from the Royal Saudi Naval Force are in India for 24 days of afloat training with the Indian Navy.

  • This is a major move aimed at increasing cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal Saudi Naval Force.
  • 55 cadets from the King Fahd Naval Academy, Saudi Arabia reached Kochi as part of their first-ever training with the Indian Navy.
  • Kochi is the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command of India. 
  • They (55 cadets) arrived along with five Directing Staff onboard First Training Squadron (1TS) ships, INS Tir and INS Sujata.
  • Capt Sarvpreet Singh, Senior Officer, 1TS accorded a warm welcome to the international trainees.
  • The cadets would also onboard Sail Training Ship, INS Sudarshini during the 24 days of afloat training.
  • This would provide them with firsthand experience of life onboard a sailship.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

9. 32nd Summit of the Arab League held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 19 May 2023.

  • The primary focus of the summit was on the ongoing conflict in Sudan and on Syria’s return into the league.
  • Arab heads of state and government, including Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad, took part in the meeting.
  • The 32nd Summit concluded with the Jeddah declaration.
  • The members also emphasized the significance of "activating the Arab Peace Initiative," which was adopted by the Arab League at the Beirut summit in 2002.
  • In recent months, Saudi Arabia has restored diplomatic ties with Iran.
  • It has ended the war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. It has played a key role in advocating for Syria’s return to the Arab League.
  • In Syria, a power struggle is going on between its top generals.
  • A week ago, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the leader of the armed forces reached an agreement in Jeddah.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also attended the Arab League summit.
  • This was his first trip to the Middle East and Asia since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
  • Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011.
  • The Arab League or the League of Arab States is a regional organization formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945. It has 22 members. Its headquarters is located in Cairo, Egypt.

Topic: Indian Polity

10. Senior advocate K V Viswanathan and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra took oath as judges of the Supreme Court on 19 May 2023.

  • Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud, administered the oath of office to them.
  • Their names were recommended on 16th May by the Supreme Court Collegium headed by the Chief Justice.
  • The working strength of the Supreme Court is now equal to its sanctioned judge strength of 34.
  • After the retirement of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and M R Shah, Supreme Court was working with 32 judges.
  • KV Viswanathan is the tenth lawyer who has directly been appointed from the Bar to the Supreme Court bench.
  • Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra was serving as the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
  • The collegium noted that there is presently no representation of the High Court of Chhattisgarh in the Supreme Court.
  • Criteria for judge of the Supreme Court are as follows:
    • A person must be a citizen of India
    • He/ She must have been a Judge of a High Court for at least five years; or
    • He should have been an advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years; or
    • He should be a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the president.

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Topic: Indian Polity

11. A five-judge Constitution bench allowed Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.

  • Supreme Court upheld the amendments made by the legislatures of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka to The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
  • This Judgement has been given by the Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph.
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960 has allowed bull-taming sports like Jallikattu, Kambala, and bullock-cart races.
  • Tamil Nadu had amended the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act to allow Jallikattu in the state. 
  • The case, filed by PETA and other applicants, challenged a state order authorizing the sport of bull taming in Tamil Nadu.
  • Supreme Court also validated similar laws framed by the Karnataka governments allowing sports involving animals.
  • SC court dismissed all pleas challenging the validity of state government laws allowing bull-taming sport Jallikattu and bullock cart races.
  • Jallikattu:
    • It is also known as eruthazhuvuthal.
    • It is traditionally played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival.

Traditional games/sports played in India that involves animals




Tamil Nadu





Bullock cart race

Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu

Rooster Fight/Cock fight

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala

Camel Race


Bulbul fight


Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. Fifth phase of Sagar Parikrama begun in Raigad, Maharashtra.

  • Union Minister Parshottam Rupala launched the Sagar Parikrama Yatra Phase-V at Karanja (Raigad Dist.) on 17 May.
  • More than 6000 fishermen, fish farmers and other dignitaries participated in the program at Karanja (Raigad Dist.).
  • The fifth Phase of the Sagar Parikrama begins to resolve the challenges faced by fishermen and stakeholders.
  • The Sagar Parikrama fifth phase will be organized at Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg Districts in Maharashtra and Vasco, Mormugao, and Canacona in Goa.
  • The main aim of the Sagar Parikrama is to facilitate the economic upliftment of fishermen and stakeholders through various schemes and programs. 
  • Maharashtra has 720 km of coastline and it contributes 82 percent to the state’s fish production.
  • The coast of Goa is 104 km long and 90 percent of the population are dependent on fish for their diet.
  • Certificates/sanctions related to Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), Kisan Credit Card and state schemes will be awarded to fishermen during the journey.
  • The first phase of the “Sagar Parikrama” was started on 5th March 2022 from Mandvi and ended on 6th March 2022 in Porbandar.

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

13. Kalari from the Udhampur District will be served at the G20 Summit in Srinagar.

  • Kalari is a special Dogra culinary item, which will be served at the upcoming G20 Summit in Srinagar.
  • The Government of India and the Jammu and Kashmir government have taken this initiative. It will promote Kalari at the global level.
  • Kalari is being produced by women in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir for decades. Women use to sell it for their living.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (UMEED) is promoting Kalari. Now, women make money from their produce after joining the organization.
  • UMEED is sponsoring self-help groups in the Dheeran village. The women of this area are members of these self-help groups.
  • Kalari or Kaladi:
    • It is a ripened cheese product indigenous to the Udhampur District of the Jammu division. 
    • It is a very dense cheese which is made up of generally cow's or buffalo's milk. It can be also made up from goat’s milk.
    • Kalari Kulcha is a famous street food of Udhampur District.
    • It is generally served hot with tomatoes, onions, bread and cabbage.

Topic: Sports

14. Traditional game ‘Gatka’ will be included in the 37th national game.

  • Indian Olympic Association (IOA) approved the inclusion of Gatka in the 37th National Games-2023.
  • The traditional game Gatka and Lagori have been included as demonstration sports.
  • The 37th national game is scheduled to be held in Goa in October 2023.
  • A total of 43 games will be organized at the national game in collaboration with the Government of Goa.
  • For the first time, beach football, roll ball, golf, sepaktakraw, sqay martial arts, kalliyarapattu and pencak silat will be medal sports at the 37th National Games.
  • Yachting and taekwondo will also return in this edition after being excluded from the national games.



  • It is an ancient martial art form of 'stick-fighting' associated with the Sikh gurus.
  • It was started by Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib ji.
  • The word "Gatka" is of Indian origin and refers to a defensive weapon technique.
  • It became a compulsory part of a Sikh religion in the 17th century.
  • It is also known as seven stones or Pithoo.
  • It is a high-energy outdoor team game.
  • It originated from Southern part of India. 


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