Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 October 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 21 Oct 2023 16:48 PM IST

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Topic: Awards and Prizes

1. REC Limited received Golden Peacock Award in Risk Management.

  • A Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise, REC Limited, has been awarded Golden Peacock Award for its exceptional performance in risk management.
  • The award has been given by the Institute of Directors (IOD).
  • The Golden Peacock Award in Risk Management has been given to REC Limited for its commitment in implementing effective risk assessment strategies.
  • Effective risk assessment strategies contributed in the growth of REC Limited and make it resilient in a competitive business environment.
  • REC Limited has been selected by a jury panel headed by former Chief Justice of India, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah.
  • The Golden Peacock Award was established by the Institute of Directors (IOD) in 1991.
  • It has emerged as an internationally acclaimed standard for corporate excellence.
  • REC Limited:
    • It was established in 1969 which focus on Power Sector Financing and Development across India.
    • It provides financial assistance to state electricity boards, state governments, and central and state power utilities.
    • It is engaged in projects related to Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Renewable Energy.

Golden Peacock Award in Risk Management

(Source: PIB)

Topic: International News

2. European Commission (EC) issues notice to Meta under the Digital Service Act (DSA) of the European Union (EU).

  • EC has requested information from Meta about the actions it has taken to adhere to its obligations related to risk assessments and mitigation strategies to protect election integrity.
  • European Commission has also issued notice to TikTok under DSA.
  • European Commission has also asked Meta and TikTok to share the actions they have taken regarding the amplification and dissemination of disinformation and illegal content after the terrorist attacks by Hamas.
  • Meta and TikTok are required to provide the Commission with the requested information by 25 October 2023 for inquiries on crisis response.
  • Meta and TikTok are required to provide the Commission with the requested information by 8 November 2023 for inquiries about preserving election integrity and minors online.
  • The European Commission is part of the executive of the European Union. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Meta (formerly Facebook) is an American multinational technology conglomerate. It is based in Menlo Park, California.
  • TikTok is a short-form video hosting service owned by ByteDance, a Chinese internet technology company. Its Chinese counterpart is Douyin.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

3. Pakistan and China have signed 20 agreements and MoUs.

  • These agreements and MoUs were signed during the first China visit of interim Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar.
  • Pakistan’s interim PM Kakar visited China from 16 October to 20 October.
  • PM Kakar participated in the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • Kakar met President Xi, Premier Li Qiang and other leaders.
  • Pakistan and China recognized that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has yielded fruitful outcomes in the 10 years since its inception.
  • Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation:
    • It is an international political and economic forum of the Belt and Road Initiative.
    • The first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (Belt and Road Forum or BRFIC) was held in May 2017 in Beijing.
    • The second Belt and Road Forum was held in April 2019 in Beijing.
    • The 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. Vidya Samiksha Software- Saagar se Saraansh has been developed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

  • It has been developed as part of the Vidya Samiksha Kendra for amplifying data-based decision-making.
  • The software aims to leverage data and technology to bring a big leap in decision making and governance.
  • The software covers data from over 28 thousand CBSE schools, more than 13 lakh teachers and approximately three crore students.
  • The data will be utilized for effective analysis of academic enrichment projects in schools to improve the overall monitoring of the CBSE education system.
  • The software is compliant with the National Digital Education Architecture. National Digital Education Architecture was launched by PM Modi in 2021.
  • The software mainly has three datasets, which are comprehensive school data, academic skill training and sports data and examination results data.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. United Nations World Tourism Organization awarded Dhordo village in Kutch district of Gujarat as one of the Best Tourism Villages.

  • On October 19, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, announced this achievement.
  • This recognition reflects the village’s exemplary contribution to sustainable and responsible tourism.
  • Dhordo is a small village located next to the White Rann of Kutch and is known for hosting the annual Rann Utsav in winter.
  • Dhordo has been developed as a sustainable rural tourism destination and it came on the global tourism map.
  • Recently, Dhordo hosted the first Tourism Working Group meeting under the G20 India initiative.
  • This important event further underlines the growing importance of the village in the international tourism ecosystem.
  • In 2021, UNWTO launched the Best Tourism Villages award.
  • This initiative is part of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Program.
  • The program works to promote growth and inclusion in rural areas, tackle population decline, advance innovation and value chain integration through tourism, and encourage sustainable practices.

Dhordo village the Best Tourism Villages

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defense

6. Third stealth destroyer of Project 15B ('Imphal') handed over to the Indian Navy.

  • The third stealth destroyer of Project 15B Class Guided Missile Destroyer i.e. Yard 12706 (Imphal) was handed over to the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
  • On 20 October, Shri Sanjeev Singhal, MD of MDL, and RAdm Sanjay Sadhu signed The Acceptance Document.
  • The warship is constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is one of the largest destroyers built in India.
  • Its total length is 164 meters and its displacement is more than 7500 tons.
  • It is equipped with supersonic surface-to-surface 'BrahMos' missiles and medium-range surface-to-air missiles 'Barak-8'.
  • The warship is equipped with indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons, and sensors for undersea warfare capability.
  • This mainly includes sonar Hamsa NG, heavy-weight torpedo tube launcher, and ASW rocket launcher.
  • The warship can accommodate a crew of 312 personnel, has a range of 4,000 nautical miles, and can conduct a typical 42-day mission with extended mission time outside the warship area.
  • The P15B class destroyers have 72% indigenous content, which is higher than their predecessors P15A (59%) and P15 (42%) class destroyers.
  • On 21 November 2021, the first frigate of P15B (Visakhapatnam) was commissioned.
  • On 18 December 2022, the second frigate (Mormugao) was commissioned.
  • The fourth warship was launched on 17 May 2022 at (Surat).

Third stealth destroyer of Project 15B

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Space and IT

7. Government aim is to establish the Bharat Semiconductor Research Centre in 2024.

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced its establishment by next year, in collaboration with industry experts and academia.
  • The research facility will be created in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
  • The Ministry made the announcement after the India Semiconductor R&D Committee (ISRC) submitted the report on the India Semiconductor Research Centre (ISRC).
  • The committee handed over the report on ISRC to the Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
  • Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said this institution will be a core institution in India’s growing capabilities in semiconductors.
  • It will be the Indian equivalent of IMEC, NanoTech, ITRI and the MIT Micro-electronic labs.
  • IMEC is a Belgium-based non-profit organisation in the field of advanced semiconductor R&D activities.
  • Taiwan-based ITRI is known to have incubated companies like TSMC, Taiwan Mask Corp and others.
  • MIT and Nano Tech are researching nanoscale science and technology.

Topic: Important Days

8. Police Commemoration Day: 21 October

  • It is observed every year on 21st October to honor the loyalty and supreme sacrifice of police personnel for the nation.
  • Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah paid homage to the martyrs on Police Commemoration Day at the National Police Memorial in New Delhi on 21st October 2023.
  • On this day in 1959, 10 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred during patrol duty at Indo- China border in an ambush laid by heavily armed Chinese troops.
  • The Director General of Police (DGP) / Inspector General of Police (IGP) Conference held in 1962 decided to observe October 21 every year as Police Commemoration Day in order to honour the memory of these ten valiant Policemen.
  • PM Modi dedicated the National Police Memorial, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi to the nation on Police Commemoration Day-2018.
  • The Memorial comprises a Central Sculpture, the ‘Wall of Valour’ and a Museum.
  • The Central Sculpture is a 30 foot high granite monolith cenotaph. It stands for strength, resilience and selfless service of Police personnel.
  • The names of martyrs are engraved on the Wall of Valour. It stands as a steadfast acknowledgment of the bravery and sacrifice of Police personnel.

Police Commemoration Day

Topic: Indian Polity

9. Supreme Court directed states to appoint District Officers under law against sexual harassment in workplaces.

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013, or POSH Act has a provision to appoint an officer in every district.
  • The officer appointment will play a key role in the implementation of the POSH Act.
  • A bench headed by Justice S.R. Bhat said that many states had not notified District Officers.
  • States that have notified the post as District Officer have not provided any specific details of the officers and their contact information.
  • The failure to notify District Officers has adversely affected the appointment of Local Complaints Committees and nodal officers.
  • The court ordered the Principal Secretaries of the Ministry of Women and Child in States to personally ensure the appointment of a district officer in each district.
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013.
  • It defines sexual harassment and also laid the procedures for a complaint and inquiry.

Topic: Space and IT

10. ISRO successfully launched the crew module of Gaganyaan from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota.

  • Gaganyaan’s First Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) has been lifted off from Sriharikota.
  • The crew module attained an altitude of 17 km and then safely splashed in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The main aim of the test flight is to demonstrate and evaluate the sub-systems of the test vehicle, crew escape systems including various separation systems.
  • The launch was earlier aborted and then rescheduled after an anomaly was found before the planned launch.
  • TV-D1 Vehicle is a liquid propelled single stage Test Vehicle that uses a modified VIKAS engine. The Crew Module (CM) and Crew Escape System (CES) mounted at its fore end.
  • Gaganyaan is India’s first human spaceflight mission. It will carry a crew of three members to an orbit of 400km for a three-day mission and bring them back safely.

Gaganyaan’s First Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ New Delhi

11. Anti-industrial pollution campaign will be started by the Delhi Government.

  • On 18 October, a month-long anti-industrial pollution campaign was announced by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai to keep a watch on polluting industrial elements.
  • The decision was taken at the joint meeting of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC).
  • This campaign will run from October 20 to November 20 because pollution in the city is at its peak during this time.
  • 66 teams have been formed under this campaign.
  • Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav demanded an immediate meeting with the surrounding states on Delhi's pollution, arguing that NCR states account for 69 per cent of the city's pollution.
  • Meanwhile, hotspot-specific pollution plans are also underway in the national capital to keep a check on air pollution levels ahead of winter.
  • Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Phase-I is also implemented across the city as per the directions of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
  • CAQM is a statutory body to manage air quality in NCR.

Topic: Personality in News

12. A bust of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in Tao Dan Park in Vietnam on 17 October.

  • The External Affairs Minister was on a four-day official visit to Vietnam from 15-18 October 2023.
  • He said that Mahatma Gandhi has served as an inspiration for diplomacy in today's world plagued by conflict and violence.
  • Mahatma Gandhi's contribution to truth, non-violence and the freedom and independence of people has been recognized by the United Nations by declaring his birthday (2 October) as the International Day of Non-Violence.
  • Dr. Jaishankar said that his thoughts today are a very powerful inspiration for human dignity, social values, spirituality, environment, sustainability, cleanliness, and many other areas.
  • The bust is a symbolic moment of friendship between India and Vietnam and underlines the message of independence, self-reliance, and human dignity.

Tao Dan Park in Vietnam

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

13. Union government is planning to cover more area under palm oil plantations in northeastern states.

  • As part national mission on edible oils (palm oil), the Union government is planning to cover an area larger than the entire state of Sikkim with palm oil plantations in six northeastern states.
  • National Mission on edible oils (palm oil) (NMEO-OP) is being implemented in six northeastern states, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • As per the re-assessment of potential areas for oil palm cultivation, a total area of 840,344 hectares has been identified in the northeastern states.
  • The estimated plantation area includes 133811 ha in Arunachal Pradesh, 375428 ha in Assam, 66652 ha in Manipur, 51297 ha in Nagaland, 66792 ha in Mizoram, and 146364 ha in Tripura.
  • Palm oil plantations have had devastating consequences on the biodiversity in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), there is a direct relationship between the growth of palm oil estates and deforestation.
  • Palm oil is a very water-intensive crop which can create an imbalance for the environment.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

14. Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has received a UN award.

  • It has won the award for its contribution to sustainability reporting. Its Sustainability Initiative got the highest score among 70 initiatives from around the world.
  • UNCTAD working group on International Standards for Accounting and Reporting has awarded the ISAR Honours 2023 to ICAI for its initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards Board.
  • During the 8th World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi on October 17, the winners of the 6th edition of ISAR Honours were announced by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
  • ICAI has set up the Sustainability Reporting Standards Board in 2020 to formulate standards that are in sync with the Indian economy.
  • ISAR Honours are aimed at raising awareness and facilitating the dissemination of national and international best practices on sustainability and SDG reporting.
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
    • It was established on 01 July 1949 as a statutory body by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.
    • It regulates the Chartered Accountancy profession in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Aniket Sunil Talati is its president.
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