- 1. Chandrayaan-3 lander established a communication line with the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
- 2. Rahul Dravid has been named the brand ambassador of Bharat Petroleum.
- 3. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy notified Green Hydrogen Standard.
- 4. Uttar Pradesh topped the list for the second consecutive year in receiving bank funds for projects.
- 5. The foundation stone of Datia Airport has been laid by Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.
- 6. The new national security laws were refused to sign by Pakistan's President.
- 7. India and Samoa hold the first Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Apia on 21 August 2023.
- 8. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan will inaugurate Mukhyamantri Seekho-Kamao yojna.
- 9. India and the ASEAN countries agree to review their FTA by 2025.
- 10. As per a CVC report, the highest number of corruption complaints were registered against Union Home Ministry employees.
- 11. A new variety of lotus, ‘Namoh 108’, was unveiled by Jitendra Singh.
- 12. World Senior Citizen’s Day 2023: 21 August
- 13. Pink Bollworms attacked the cotton fields of Punjab.
- 14. Border Roads Organization begins the construction of the world’s highest motorable road in eastern Ladakh.
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Topic: Space and IT
1. Chandrayaan-3 lander established a communication line with the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.
- Chandrayaan-3’s lander module established communication with the Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter. It has opened up a new line of communication with the Earth.
- The orbiter greeted the lander with the message “Welcome, buddy”.
- Chandrayaan-2 had failed to land on the Moon’s surface but its orbiter is functioning normally and performing experiments as per the design.
- Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is in the lunar orbit for the last four years. Chandrayaan-2 orbiter would help the Chandrayaan-3 mission in different ways.
- The orbiter will play a key role in identifying a safe landing spot for Chandrayaan-3.
- It will facilitate communications between the Chandrayaan-3 lander and the ground stations.
- The Chandrayaan-3 lander is capable of communicating directly with the Earth.
- Chandrayaan-3 is set to make a soft and successful landing on the south-polar region of the Moon on 23 August.
- However, under "unfavourable conditions," the landing may be postponed to August 27.
2. Rahul Dravid has been named the brand ambassador of Bharat Petroleum.
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), an Indian Oil Marketing Company, announced to make Rahul Dravid its brand ambassador.
- Rahul Dravid will endorse BPCL’s Pure for Sure initiative and range of MAK lubricants.
- The company believes that the introduction of Rahul Dravid as the face of BPCL reaffirms its commitment to maintaining high-quality standards.
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is a refining and marketing company. Its headquarters are located in Mumbai.
- It operates three refineries in Bina, Kochi and Mumbai. It is India’s second-largest government-owned downstream oil producer.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
3. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy notified Green Hydrogen Standard.
- In a significant step to progress the National Green Hydrogen Mission, the Government has notified the Green Hydrogen Standard for India.
- The released standard outlines the emission limits that must be met for hydrogen produced from renewable sources to be classified as 'green'.
- The scope of the definition includes electrolysis-based and biomass-based hydrogen production methods.
- The ministry has decided to define green hydrogen as having well-to-gate emissions (i.e., including water treatment, electrolysis, gas purification, drying, and compression of hydrogen) not exceeding 2 kg CO2 equivalent/kg H2.
- The notification specified that a detailed methodology for measurement, reporting, monitoring, on-site verification, and certification of green hydrogen and its derivatives shall be specified by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
- The notification also specified that the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power would be the nodal authority for accreditation of agencies for monitoring, verification, and certification for green hydrogen generation projects.
- The notification of the Green Hydrogen standard will bring more clarity to the Green Hydrogen sector in India and the notification was widely awaited.
- India has become one of the first countries in the world to announce the definition of Green Hydrogen with this notification.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh
4. Uttar Pradesh topped the list for the second consecutive year in receiving bank funds for projects.
- According to the Reserve Bank of India, Uttar Pradesh continues to lead the charts in the total share of projects approved by banking and financial institutions.
- The state's share in 2022-23 was 16.2%, retaining its number-one position for the second year in a row.
- Under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh has won the trust of not only investors but also nationalized banks and financial institutions.
- The average percentage share of the state in the cost of the sanctioned projects from 2013-14 to 2020-21 was 4.4%.
- However, there has been a marked improvement in the last two financial years.
- In 2021-22, Uttar Pradesh had a 12.8% share in the total cost, which increased by 3.4% over the period from 2021-22 to 2022-23.
- The average growth rate in Gujarat between 2013-14 and 2020-21 was 14.3%, it has come down to 14% in 2022-23 with a decrease of 0.3%.
- Similarly, the average growth rate in Odisha from 2013-14 to 2020-21 was around 4.5%, which has come down to 2.2% in 2021-22.
Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh
5. The foundation stone of Datia Airport has been laid by Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.
- On 21 August, the foundation stone of Datia Airport in Madhya Pradesh was laid by Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.
- This airport is being developed at a cost of Rs 50 crore and is expected to be completed by February 2024.
- This includes renovation of the existing 1810-meter-long runway and the construction of an apron that can accommodate two 19-seater aircraft and a 750-square-meter terminal building and ATC tower.
- The terminal building will have the capacity to accommodate 100 passengers during peak hours.
- In Madhya Pradesh, the aircraft movements (per week) increased from 506 (in 2014) to 554 (in 2021), which currently stands at 956.
- This is a jump of 72.5% (compared to 2021) and 89 percent (compared to 2014).
- The development work at Datia airport to handle 19-seater aircraft will further enhance regional connectivity.
- This will also help in promoting tourism in the region.
Topic: India and Its Neighbour
6. The new national security laws were refused to sign by Pakistan's President.
- Pakistan's president has refused to sign into law two bills that would give authorities more power to prosecute people for acts against the state and the military.
- The two bills are: the Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 & Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023.
- Both houses of Pakistan's parliament have already passed the bills but Alvi is a member of former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which opposed the coalition government that passed the two bills.
- According to the Constitution of Pakistan, if the President does not sign the draft of a bill or does not return it with his comments or objections within 10 days after it is passed by both houses, it will become law.
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7. India and Samoa hold the first Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Apia on 21 August 2023.
- The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Saurabh Kumar and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Samoa Ms. Peseta Noumea Simi.
- India and Samoa discussed their bilateral relations and development partnership covering areas like health, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Education, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME), and capacity building.
- Both sides also talked about follow-up on the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) III Summit, and cooperation in the framework of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
- Samoa will host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 21st October 2024.
- Secretary (East) called on Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mata'afa.
- Both sides also agreed to organize FOC on a regular basis.
- Samoa is a Polynesian island country. Its capital and largest city is Apia. Tala is its currency. It is a unitary parliamentary republic.
Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh
8. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan will inaugurate Mukhyamantri Seekho-Kamao yojna.
- The implementation of the Mukhyamantri Seekho-Kamao yojna (Chief Minister's Learn-Earn scheme) is beginning on 22 August 2023.
- The scheme has facilitated on-the-job training along the lines of learn and earn along with skill development.
- Chief Minister will inaugurate the scheme by distributing contract letters to the youth.
- In the first phase of the 'Mukhyamantri Seekho-Kamao' scheme, One lakh youth is targeted to be included.
- However, over 8,69,000 youths have already registered themselves so far.
- The number of registered establishments is 16,450. A total of 69,000 posts have been published by these establishments for the registered youth.
- The contracts have been signed for more than 14,000 posts.
- Mukhyamantri Sikho-Kamao scheme:
- It has been started for the youth in the age group of 18 to 29 years.
- Under this scheme, training will be provided to the selected youth according to the requirement of industries.
- Along with training, the selected youth will also get an 8 to 10 thousand rupees stipend.
Topic: India and its neighbours
9. India and the ASEAN countries agree to review their FTA by 2025.
- India and the ASEAN countries agreed to review their free trade pact for goods by 2025.
- A Joint Committee of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) created a roadmap for the review of the pact and to finalize the terms of reference for the fresh negotiations.
- The AITIGA review will now take place at the India-ASEAN Leaders’ Summit scheduled in early September.
- The review of the AITIGA was a demand from Indian businesses for a very long time.
- The review of AITIGA will enhance and diversify trade while addressing the current issues in bilateral trade.
- ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was signed and entered into force on January 1, 2010.
- ASEAN and India signed the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods (TIG) Agreement in 2009.
- India and ASEAN are also working on increasing private-sector engagement.
Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
10. As per a CVC report, the highest number of corruption complaints were registered against Union Home Ministry employees.
- In 2022, the highest number of corruption complaints were registered against employees of the Union home ministry.
- It is followed by employees of railways and banks.
- Last year, the home ministry received 46,643 complaints against its employees.
- 10,580 complaints were received against railway employees and 8,129 against bank employees.
- A total of 1,15,203 complaints were received against all categories of officers and employees across central government departments and organisations.
- Out of these, 85,437 were disposed of and 29,766 were pending for more than three months.
- As per the report, the railways had disposed of 9,633 complaints while 17 were pending disposal.
- Banks had disposed of 7,762 corruption complaints and 367 were pending.
- 7,370 complaints were registered against the employees of the Government of National Capital Territory Delhi.
- As per the CVC report, 987 complaints were registered against those working in insurance companies.
Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sector
11. A new variety of lotus, ‘Namoh 108’, was unveiled by Jitendra Singh.
- On 19 August, a new variety of lotus flower with 108 petals, named “Namoh 108” was unveiled by Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh.
- The lotus named 'NBRI Namo 108' has been developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR- NBRI).
- CSIR- NBRI is a premier plant-based, multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art national R&D centre, which is located in Lucknow.
- The "NBRI Namoh 108" lotus variety blooms from March to December and is rich in nutrients.
- It is the first species of lotus to have its genome completely sequenced for its characteristics.
- Dr Jitendra Singh also released a garment made from lotus fibre and a perfume ‘Frotus’ extracted from lotus flowers.
- It has been developed by NBRI under Lotus Research Program in association with Fragrance and Flavor Development Center (FFDC), Kannauj.
- In another unique initiative of recycling, Dr Jitendra Singh also released herbal colours for various applications, which were extracted by NBRI from flower offerings made at temples.
Topic: Important Days
12. World Senior Citizen’s Day 2023: 21 August
- Every year on August 21, World Senior Citizen’s Day is observed.
- It is observed to increase awareness about the issues of elderly people.
- In 1988, Former US President Ronald Reagan officially founded the World Senior Citizen’s Day.
- On 14 December 1990, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) declared 21 August as World Senior Citizen’s Day.
- Senior citizens are an important part of any society. Health complications, loneliness, and lack of financial support are some common issues of senior citizens.
- The Government of India has launched several welfare schemes for senior citizens, including the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Scheme, National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE), Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, etc.
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
13. Pink Bollworms attacked the cotton fields of Punjab.
- The cotton fields of Punjab are facing the attack of Pink Bollworm.
- The state government has directed officials to send a status report to the headquarters daily after visiting the fields.
- In Punjab, the cotton belt is spread over eight districts in the Southwest region of the state. These are Bathinda, Mansa, Fazilka, Muktsar, Sangrur, Barnala, Moga, and Faridkot.
- The Malwa Belt of Punjab is known as the white gold belt.
- In 2021, a severe attack of pink bollworms on cotton crops had occurred. The total area under cotton in 2021 was 2.52 lakh hectares.
- Pink bollworm:
- It is one of the most destructive pests for cotton.
- The pink bollworm is native to Asia but has now reached to many other parts of the world.
- The larvae feed the seeds and destroy the fibers of cotton which reduce the quality and crop yield.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
14. Border Roads Organization begins the construction of the world’s highest motorable road in eastern Ladakh.
- The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has begun the construction of a high-altitude road in Ladakh at 19,400 feet near LAC.
- Likaru-Mig La-Fukche road will be 64 kilometres long. It will connect Likaru with Fukche.
- It will be the world’s highest motorable road.
- At present, the world’s highest road is Umling La road in Ladakh at a height of 19,024 feet. This 52-km road connects Chishumle to Demchok.
- The infrastructure construction along LAC is crucial for security reasons due to the ongoing standoff with China.