Daily Current Affairs and GK | 25 and 26 June 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 18:45 PM IST

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Topic: Sports

1. Sutirtha and Ayhika clinched WTT Contender tournament title in Tunis.

  • The Indian women's doubles pair of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee defeated the Japanese pair of Miyuu Kihara and Miwa Harimoto by 3-1.
  • The Indian pair had reached to final after beating the Korean duo of Shin Yubin and Jeon Jihi 3-2 (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).
  • This pair also became the first Indians to win a Contender title this year.
  • Indian duo Manika Batra and G Sathiyan and Manav Vikash Thakkar and Manush Utpalbhai Shah lost their respective semifinal matches.

Sutirtha and Ayhika clinched WTT Contender tournament title

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

2. World Bank approved USD 255.5 million loan to improve quality of technical education in government-run institutions.

  • World Bank approved USD 255.5 million loan will support 275 selected government-run technical institutions over the next five years.
  • This investment is part of the World Bank's commitment to support educational development in India.
  • The Multidisciplinary Education and Research Improvement in Technical Education Project will mainly focus on improving student skills and employability.
  • This project will improve research capabilities, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
  • As per the initiative, students will gain access to upgraded curricula. It will benefit more than 350,000 students annually.
  • The project will also facilitate improved internship and placement services.
  • This project is aligned with the National Education Policy 2020 of the government of India.
  • This project will also help participating institutions in organizing outreach programmes.
  • India has one of the largest and fastest-growing tertiary education systems in the world.
  • Tertiary education in India has grown steadily from 29 million enrolled students in 2011-12 to 39 million enrolled students in 2019-20.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Egypt's highest civilian award "Order of the Nile" conferred to PM Modi.

  • On 25 June, PM Narendra Modi has been conferred the award by President of Egypt Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at a special ceremony held at Cairo.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the first Indian to receive this award.
  • The ‘Order of the Nile’ was instituted in 1915.
  • It is conferred upon heads of states, crown princes, and vice presidents who offer Egypt or humanity invaluable services.
  • It is the 13th highest state honor given to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • This was the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Egypt in 26 years.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. A strategic partnership pact signed by PM Modi, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi between India and Egypt on 25 June.

  • During the visit on June 24–25 of the honourable Prime Minister, the four agreements were signed.
  • The first, most important, and landmark development in the history of the bilateral relationship was the signature of the “Strategic Partnership” between India and Egypt.
  • Three MoUs were also signed in the fields of agriculture, archeology and antiquities and competition law.
  • PM said thata green and renewable cooperation will be an important part of the future partnership with Egypt as both sides attach importance to clean energy.
  • The Both sides discussed multilateral cooperation in the G-20 and other topics such as food, energy security and climate change.
  • Egypt is a "guest country" at the upcoming G-20 summit in September.

Topic: Sports

5. Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first male player to play 200 international matches.

  • Ronaldo has been honored by Guinness World Records for playing 200 matches for Portugal after 20 years of his debut.
  • On 20 June, he reached the milestone against Iceland in European Championship qualifying.
  • During Portugal's match against Liechtenstein in March, Ronaldo overtook the previous record holder of 196 international appearances, Badr Al-Mutawa of Kuwait.
  • He is also Portugal's all-time record scorer with 123 international goals.

Topic: Important Days

6. International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2023: 26 June

  • Every year on 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day is celebrated.
  • It is observed to raise awareness about drug abuse and the illegal drug trade.
  • The theme of this day in 2023 is “People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention."
  • In 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) produces the World Drug Report every year on the current state of the drug problem.

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Topic: International News

7. Greece’s conservative New Democracy party has won the parliamentary election.

  • This will give reformist Kyriakos Mitsotakis another four-year term as the Prime Minister.
  • Centre-Right New Democracy party was ahead with 40.5% of the vote. It was ahead with 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
  • It was ahead of Syriza, which is a radical leftist party. Syriza won the elections in 2015. It ran the country till 2019.
  • On 25th May 2023, elections were held in Greece for the second time in five weeks.
  • No single party received an absolute majority in Parliament in the first poll held on 21 May under a different electoral system.
  • Kyriakos Mitsotakis served as the prime minister of Greece from July 2019 to May 2023.
  • Greece:
    • Greece is a country in Southeast Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas.
    • It is officially the Hellenic Republic. Its capital is Athens, and the currency is the Euro.
    • It is located on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula.

Topic: State News/Jammu and Kashmir

8. The foundation stone of ‘Balidan Stambh’ has been laid by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The foundation stone of the ‘Balidan Stambh’ was laid at Pratap Park in Srinagar.
  • J&K LG Manoj Sinha was also present at the park, which is near the Lal Chowk city centre – the commercial hub of Srinagar city.
  • The memorial is a project under the Srinagar Smart City.
  • It is a tribute to the martyrs who gave their lives for the sake of the nation.
  • Home Minister Shah also visited the Karan Mahal – the residence of the last Yuvraj of Jammu and Kashmir, Karan Singh.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. As per BOB report, 14 states have achieved less than 75% of capex targets in FY23.

  • Many states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, UP and Kerala have failed to meet the target of actual capital expenditure (capex) on various fronts.
  • Only four states-Karnataka, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar have over achieved and crossed the 100% mark.
  • Two others states Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh attain 98% mark.
  • Eleven states achieved 80% of capex targets in FY23. The other states have registered lower-than-average achievement rates.
  • UP and Maharashtra had an outlay of Rs 2.19 lakh crore which is 29.2% of the total capex of these 25 states.
  • Andhra Pradesh with 23% performed worst. Tripura, Nagaland and Haryana had less than 50% achievement rate.
  • Andhra Pradesh and Punjab were the only states which had exceeded their fiscal deficit target.
  • The states have to improve their record to push forward the investment cycle.
  • In the last few years, the Capex of the government is considered to be the prime driver of capex in the economy.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Central government amends electricity rules and introduces ToD tariff.

  • The Central government amended the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. It makes two important changes in the current power system.
  • These changes are: the introduction of Time of Day (ToD) Tariff system and the rationalisation of smart metering provisions.
  • Under the ToD Tariff system, the Tariff during solar hours of the day would be 10%-20% less than the normal tariff. The tariff during peak hours will be 10 to 20 percent higher.
  • ToD tariff would be applicable for Commercial and Industrial consumers having Maximum demand of 10 KW from 1 April 2024.
  • Time of Day tariff will become effective immediately after the installation of smart meters.
  • The TOD tariffs will be different for peak hours, solar hours and normal hours. It will help in the effective utilization of electricity.
  • It will reduce the electricity bills of consumers. Now consumers can plan their consumption to reduce their power costs.
  • The ToD mechanism will also ensure better grid integration of Renewable Energy sources. It will also improve the management of renewable generation fluctuations.
  • Most of the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have already implemented TOD tariffs for large Commercial and Industrial (C&I) category.
  • The government has also simplified the rules of smart metering. The penalties for the increase in consumer demand beyond the maximum sanctioned load have been reduced.
  • The load revision procedure has also been rationalized. Smart meters shall be read remotely at least once a day and the data shall be shared with Consumers
  • The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 were notified by the government on December 31, 2020.

Topic: Important Days

11. On 27th June, ‘UDYAMI BHARAT – MSME DAY’ to be celebrated at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

  • On the occasion of International Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Day, ‘UDYAMI BHARAT – MSME DAY’ will be organized by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • In this programme, Union Minister for MSME, Shri Narayan Rane, will be the Chief Guest and Union Minister of State (MSME), Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma will be the Guest of Honour.
  • During this programme, various initiatives for the growth and development of MSME will be launched by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • These include the launch of Champions 2.0 portal and mobile app for geo-tagging of cluster projects and technology centres.
  • Results of 'MSME Idea Hackathon 2.0' will also be announced during the programme and 'MSME Idea Hackathon 3.0' for women entrepreneurs will also be launched.
  • Apart from this, certificate distribution to Gold and Silver ZED certified MSMEs and digital transfer of Rs 400 crore and margin money subsidy distribution program to 10,075 PMEGP beneficiaries will be held.
  • The Ministry of MSME aims to take several initiatives for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises through its schemes and activities.
  • These include improving the business environment, encouraging innovation and development of new products and services, promoting regional development, and eliminating regional disparities, etc.

Topic: State News/ Telangana

12. India's largest private rail coach factory was inaugurated in Kondakal village, Telangana.

  • On June 22, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao inaugurated the rail coach factory.
  • It has been set up by Hyderabad’s Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd in a joint venture with Swiss railway rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail.
  • With an investment of over Rs 805 crore, the first phase of the factory has been set up in about 100 acres.
  • It has an annual production capacity of 500 coaches and 50 locomotives.
  • The plant has reportedly provided employment to over 550 people so far and 1,000 more will be added soon.
  • In 2017, the company signed an MoU with the State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation to set up a private rail coach factory and its foundation stone was laid in 2020.
  • Medha Servo Drives is the largest propulsion equipment supplier to the Indian Railways.
  • The Medha Servo Drives designs and manufactures electrical and electronic railway products.
  • It is also only Indian firm with in-house research and development (R&D) facilities.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

13. NTPC gets the prestigious "Most Preferred Workplace of 2023-24" title.

  • NTPC Ltd has been honoured with the prestigious title of "Most Preferred Workplace of 2023-24" by Team Marksmen.
  • This award has been given to recognize NTPC's exceptional performance in various key areas, including Organizational Purpose, Employee Centricity, Growth, etc.
  • Sital Kumar along with other officials received the award on behalf of NTPC.
  • This award reflects NTPC’s commitment to achieve excellence in the development and management of its human resources through continuous improvement, engagement and learning opportunities.
  • NTPC’s progressive and "People before PLF" (Plant Load Factor) approach has made it a preferred workplace.
  • Team Marksmen in association with India Today and Business Standard has conducted the award.
  • NTPC Limited:
    • It is India’s largest power generation company.
    • It is under the ownership of the Ministry of Power.
    • It was founded in 1975.
    • Gurdeep Singh is its Chairman and MD.

NTPC Most Preferred Workplace of 2023-24

(Source: PIB)

Topic: International News

14. India and US agreed to end six trade disputes at WTO.

  • India and the US have agreed to end six trade disputes at the WTO through mutually agreed solutions.
  • India will remove customs duties on 28 American products such as almonds, walnuts, and apples.
  • India agreed to remove retaliatory tariffs which it had imposed in response to the Section 232 national security measures on steel and aluminium.
  • The US had imposed 25 per cent and 10 per cent import duties on certain Indian steel and aluminium products on the grounds of national security in 2018.
  • After that, India had imposed customs duties on 28 American products in 2019.
  • Now, US has agreed to provide market access to certain Indian steel and aluminium products.
  • Both countries have agreed to terminate six outstanding disputes at the WTO. The six cases are as follows:
    • Countervailing measures on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India
    • Certain measures relating to solar cells and modules
    • Measures relating to the renewable energy sector
    • Export-related measures
    • Certain measures on steel and aluminium products
    • Additional duties on some products from the US
  • The US is the largest trading partner of India. In 2022-23, the bilateral goods trade increased to USD 128.8 billion as compared to USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22.
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