Daily Current Affairs and GK | 23 May 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 23 May 2023 18:44 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. The United States and Papua New Guinea have signed a new security pact.

  • The new security pact provides a framework to improve security cooperation and increase regional stability.
  • It also provides a framework to enhance the capacity of Papua New Guinea’s defense force.
  • According to Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, the pact is mutually beneficial.
  • PM James Marape said it secures our national interests in becoming a robust economy.
  • The pact sparked protests by students in the second-largest city in Papua New Guinea, Lae.
  • Lae is also known as the Garden City. It is the industrial hub of Papua New Guinea. It is situated near the delta of the Markham River.  
  • Papua New Guinea is strategically significant because of its location just north of Australia.
  • It’s the most populous Pacific Island nation. It has a population of nearly 10 million people.

Topic: National News

2. Newly built Janganana Bhawan inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on 22 May 2023.

  • Home Minister also launched a web portal for birth and death registration.
  • He also launched an upgraded SRS Mobile Application with Geofencing.
  • In Geofencing, GPS technology is used to make a virtual geographic boundary and a software is enabled to trigger a response at the time a mobile device enters or leaves an area.
  • He also launched a web portal for the online sale of Census Publications.
  • He also released the Census compendium from 1981 to the upcoming Census.
  • He said that Government will now undertake the census electronically.
  • In this census, every person will have the right to fill in the data. It will be verified and audited.
  • It will have over 35 parameters of socio-economic status.
  • The foundation stone of Janganana Bhawan was laid in September 2019.
  • Census in India:
    • The first census was carried out in different parts of India in the year 1872.
    • The first complete census was taken in the year 1881.
    • Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for the Census.
    • The Census in India is carried out once a decade. The census was last time carried out in 2011.
    • Census 2021 was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Janganana Bhawan

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh

3. Madhya Pradesh has become India’s first State to send elderly people on pilgrimage by air under the Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana.

  • On 21 May 2023, the first batch of pilgrims departed from the Bhopal airport to visit Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The batch had 32 pilgrims, including 24 men and eight women. They left for Prayagraj by an Indigo flight.
  • The Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana is one of the flagship schemes of the Madhya Pradesh government.
  • Over 7.80 lakh elderly persons have undertaken pilgrimage by special trains so far.
  • Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana was introduced in the year 2012.
  • In this scheme, senior citizens of the state are made to travel to the identified pilgrimage sites of the country free of cost.
  • Eligibility conditions for application under Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana:
    • Must be a domicile of Madhya Pradesh. Should not be an income taxpayer.
    • Must have completed 60 years of age. Relaxation of 2 years in the case of women i.e. completed 58 years of age.
    • There is no age limit for disabled citizens whose disability is more than 60%.
    • If the husband and wife want to travel together, then if one of the spouses is eligible, the life partner can also go on the journey, even if his age is less than 60 years.
    • The application can be made for pilgrimage by forming a group, the head of the group will be the main applicant, but such a group will not exceed 25 persons.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

4. Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav released a young tigress from Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand.

  • He released the young tigress from Corbett National Park to the Motichur range of Rajaji Tiger Reserve in the Haridwar district.
  • This step comes under a long-term plan to augment the Tiger population in the low-density area of Rajaji.
  • Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami and Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal were also present on the occasion.
  • On April 20, Bhupender Yadav released two cubs in the arena of a white tiger enclosure at Delhi's National Zoological Park.
  • These two cubs are eight months old. He has named the female cub “Avani” (meaning earth) and the male cub “Vyom” (meaning universe).
  • Rajaji National Park:
    • It is an Indian national park and tiger reserve. It was established in 1983.
    • It was named after C. Rajgopalachari popularly known as "Rajaji".
    • It is spread over 3 districts of Uttarakhand. These districts are Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal.

Topic: Sports

5. Women's Volleyball tournament has been inaugurated in Kathmandu on 22 May.

  • The Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Women's Volleyball Challenge Cup inaugurated PM of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.
  • The tournament will be organized by the Nepal Volleyball Association in collaboration with the National Sports Council from 22 to 28 May.
  • Volleyball was declared the country's national sport during the second term of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal.
  • A total of eight countries are participating in the tournament including India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, including host Nepal.
  • Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan are in Group 'A' and Sri Lanka, Maldives, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are in Group 'B'.

Women's Volleyball tournament

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

6. Pro-EU rally for EU membership held in Moldova's capital Chisinau.

  • In Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, a huge pro-EU rally has taken place led by the country's President Maia Sandu.
  • An estimated 75,000 people attended to support Moldova's push to join the European Union.
  • Her pro-Western government has accused Russia of stoking tensions by supporting Moldova's pro-Russian opposition Sor party.
  • Moscow has denied meddling in the country's affairs.
  • Ms. Sandu told the protesters that her country no longer wanted to be an outsider.
  • She pledged that Moldova would become a member state of the European Union by 2030.
  • Moldova, a former Soviet republic with a population of about 2.6 million, applied to join the EU last year and became a candidate country in June 2022, along with Ukraine.
  • The country, which is located between Ukraine and Romania, is also dependent on Russian gas.
  • Moldova:
    • It is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe.
    • It shares its borders with Romania and Ukraine.
    • Capital of Moldova: Chisinau and Currency of Moldova: Moldovan leu
    • Its President is Maia Sandu and its Prime Minister is Dorin Recean.
    • It became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991 and adopted its constitution in 1994.
    • It is a parliamentary republic with President as head of state and Prime Minister as head of government.

Pro-EU rally for EU membership

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. Union Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate the 44th edition of the ISO COPOLCO Plenary.

  • The 44th edition of the coveted annual consumer policy forum - ISO COPOLCO Plenary will be organized from 23 to 26 May.
  • The topics of deliberations at the plenary included challenges related to involving consumers, protection of their rights and legal modalities.
  • This year's plenary is very important for India and the international community.
  • Many leaders from government and business sectors will participate in the summit and an international delegation of eminent stakeholders will mark their presence.
  • Different Workshops and addresses by several high-level speakers will be part of this ISO COPOLCO Plenary.
  • International Standards Organisation (ISO):
    • It was founded on 23 February 1947.
    • It is an international body with 168 countries as members.
    • It develops and publishes international standards in all technical and nontechnical fields except electrical and electronic engineering.
    • It has published more than 24,500 international standards covering all aspects of technology and manufacturing.

44th edition of the ISO COPOLCO Plenary

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Miscellaneous

8. A record 500 people have successfully climbed Mount Everest this spring.

  • During this year’s spring, around 500 mountaineers and guides from different corners of the world have successfully climbed Mount Everest.
  • It included 103 women and 376 men from 47 mountaineering teams.
  • Permits are mandatory for every new person who is qualified to climb Mt Everest. Permits are not required for guides, who are permanently authorised.
  • So far, 12 climbers, four Nepalese, one Indian and one Chinese died have died during their expedition to Mount Everest.
  • Hari Budhamagar becomes the first person to scale Mount Everest with an artificial leg.
  • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Its height is 8,848 meters.
  • Note:
    • Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first persons to climb Mount Everest on 29 May 1953.
    • Junko Tabei is the first woman to climb Mount Everest peak in 1975.
    • Colonel Avtar Singh Cheema was the first Indian to climb Mount Everest.
    • Bachendri Pal is the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.

Topic: Banking System

9. In 2022-23, Canara Bank becomes the largest buyer on the GeM portal.

  • Canara Bank has made a purchase of ₹592.82 crore from the GeM portal.
  • The data showed SBI was slow in procuring goods and services from the portal in 2022-23.
  • Punjab National Bank was the second largest with a purchase of ₹164.57 crore.
  • It was followed by Indian Overseas Bank (₹159.82 crore), State Bank of India (₹158.22 crore), and Indian Bank (₹111.59 crore).
  • Government e Marketplace (GeM) portal:
    • It was launched on 09 August 2016. It was launched for online purchasing of goods and services by all the ministries and departments of the central government.
    • It has over 63,000 government buyer organisations, over 6 crore sellers and service providers.
    • Presently, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and central armed police forces are permitted to conduct transactions through this portal.
  • Other banks and their purchases are given in the following table.

Bank Name

Purchase Made on GeM Portal in 2022-23

Bank of India

₹63.81 crore

Bank of Baroda

₹48.63 crore

Union Bank of India

₹37.03 crore

Bank of Maharashtra

₹10.26 crore

Punjab and Sind Bank

₹9.98 crore

UCO Bank

₹5.30 crore

Central Bank of India

₹4.54 crore


Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. France's highest civilian award Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur has been awarded to N. Chandrasekaran.

  • N. Chandrasekaran, Tata Group Chairman, received the Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur award.
  • He has received the award for his contribution to strengthening the trade relationship between India and France.
  • French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna gave him the award on behalf of the French President on May 16.
  • Earlier this year, Air India had signed a deal with Airbus to buy 250 aircraft from Airbus.
  • Air India is owned by Tata Group. Airbus is headquartered in France.
  • In December 2022, Tata Technologies inaugurated its innovation centre in Toulouse, France.
  • Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur:
    • It is the highest civilian award given by France government.
    • It was started by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.
    • It is given for outstanding contribution service to France.
    • The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.

Topic: State News/ Odisha

11. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reshuffled his Cabinet.

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik included three new ministers in his cabinet.
  • Three senior MLAs Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sudam Marndi, and Sarada Nayak have been appointed as Ministers in the Odisha government.
  • Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office and secrecy to these ministers at Lok Seva Bhawan.
  • Bikram Keshari has been allotted the Finance Ministry while Sarada Nayak received the Labour portfolio and School and Mass education to Sudam Marndi.
  • The positions were vacant after the resignation of the two ministers and the assassination of Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das.
  • Article 164 (1A) states that the strength of a council of ministers headed by the CM cannot exceed 15% of the strength of the assembly (the total number of MLAs) but it can't be less than 12 members either.
  • Odisha Legislative Assembly has 147 members. The number in Odisha’s Council of Ministers has increased to 22.

Topic: Sports

12. Daniil Medvedev wins first title on clay court of his career.

  • Daniil Medvedev wins Italian Open by defeating Denmark's Holger Rune in the final. It is his maiden claycourt title.
  • Daniil Medvedev defeated Holger Rune by 7-5, 7-5 in the finals. It is the fifth title for Daniil Medvedev in 2023.
  • Daniil Medvedev has overtaken Novak Djokovic to reach second place in the world rankings. Daniil Medvedev has won total of 20 titles in his career.
  • In the men's doubles title, Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski won the title by defeating Robin Haase and Botic van de Zandschulp. It is their maiden ATP Masters 1000 title.
  • Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens won the women's doubles title by defeating Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula.
  • Elena Rybakina won the women's singles final by defeating Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina.

Topic: Defense

13. INS Tarkash and INS Subhadra are participating in AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2023 Naval Exercise in Saudi Arabia.

  • Al-Mohed-Al Hindi is a joint Naval Exercise between India and Saudi Arabia. This is the second edition of the AL-MOHED AL-HINDI exercise.
  • The exercise is scheduled to be conducted from 21 - 25 May 2023 off Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
  • The first edition of this exercise was successfully conducted in 2021. This year, maritime patrol aircrafts are also participating in the exercise.
  • This exercise will deepen defence ties between India and Saudi Arabia.
  • 'AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2023’ comprises a series of exercises conducted on land and at sea.
  • INS TARKASH was commissioned in 2012 and is a state-of-the-art stealth frigate of the Talwar class. It is equipped with advanced weapon-sensor technology.
  • INS TARKASH has actively participated in many humanitarian missions such as Operation Raahat, Operation Kaveri, etc.
  • INS SUBHADRA is a patrol vessel of the Sukanya class. It served as a test bed for Dhanush ballistic missiles.
  • This exercise will enhance maritime security, and enhance interoperability between the Indian and Saudi naval forces.

AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2023 Naval Exercise

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Kerala

14. Vice President Dhankhar inaugurated the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Kerala Legislative Assembly building.

  • Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar was on a two-day visit to Kerala.
  • He inaugurated the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Kerala Legislative Assembly building in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • He also released a souvenir of the Kerala Legislature International Book Festival.
  • The Vice President also visited the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala and interacted with the cadets.
  • He also visited the famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Legislative Assembly of Kerala:
    • It is also known as ‘Niyamasabha’. It is a five stories building.
    • It was inaugurated by K.R. Narayanan on 22 May 1998. It is located in Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram.
    • The Assembly complex is spread over an area of 61760 sq Km.
    • It is constructed in the classical style of Architecture of Kerala. It has strong influences of many contemporary styles.

Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Kerala Legislative Assembly building

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

15. World Turtle Day 2023: 23 May

  • Every year on May 23, World Turtle Day is observed.
  • Since 2000, World Turtle Day is being celebrated and it is sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue.
  • The theme of World Turtle Day 2023 is 'I love Turtles'.
  • Turtles play a significant role in the Earth's ecological design.
  • Turtles are the reptiles of the order Testudines. They can reside inside freshwater or saltwater.
  • The biggest threat facing turtles in India is smuggling. They are smuggled into the East Asian and Southeast Asian markets in large numbers every year.
  • IUCN status of Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Loggerhead is 'Vulnerable'. IUCN status of Hawksbill turtle is 'Critically Endangered' and that of Green Turtle is 'Endangered'.
  • They are protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. 
  • American Tortoise Rescue is a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle.
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