Daily Current Affairs and GK | 25 July 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 17:55 PM IST

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

1. India and Argentina have agreed to a bilateral exchange of young researchers and startups, especially in the fields of biotechnology and agriculture.

  • Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh met with the Governor of Santa Fe Province of Argentina, Omar Angel Perotti, accompanied by a high-level delegation in New Delhi.
  • The two countries have also decided to hold an extensive dialogue between delegations from academia, R&D institutions, and industry in the fields of science and technology, and biotechnology.
  • Dr. Jitendra Singh said that a new India-Argentina call for joint proposals was launched during the meeting with the Argentine Minister Mr. Daniel Filmes on February 7, 2023, in New Delhi.
  • There is an inter-governmental agreement between India and Argentina signed in 1985 to promote technical and scientific cooperation.
  • India is Argentina's fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade touched a peak of US$ 6.4 billion in 2022 by registering a growth rate of 12% over 2021.
  • India's exports to Argentina during this period stood at US$ 1.84 billion (a growth rate of 31%), while India's imports from Argentina stood at US$ 4.55 billion.
  • According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, the India-Argentina bilateral trade during the financial year 2022 -23 was US$ 4.16 billion.
  • During this, India's exports to Argentina were US$ 961 million and Argentina's exports to India were US$ 3.20 billion.
  • On 14 October 2020, a bilateral business chamber, the India-Argentina Business Council (IABC), was formally launched.
  • Conceived as a non-profit organization consisting of the leading investors, exporters and importers in Argentina, the Council is currently made up of more than 30 companies.
  • On 25 March 2021, IABC organized the first Business Forum in association with the Mission of India.

India and Argentina have agreed to a bilateral exchang

(Source: PIB)

Topic: State News/ Odisha

2. Mission Shakti Scooter Yojana approved by Odisha cabinet.

  • On July 21, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik led the Odisha Cabinet, where Mission Shakti Scooter Yojana was approved.
  • Under the scheme, interest subvention will be provided to the beneficiaries on bank loans up to Rs 1 lakh for the purchase of scooters.
  • Under the new scheme, around 75,000 SHG community support workers and around 1,25,000 SHG federation leaders will be benefited.
  • The state government has made a budgetary provision of Rs 528.55 crore for the implementation of the scheme over a period of the next five years.
  • The cabinet approved a budget of Rs 1001.14 crore for the expansion of comprehensive cancer services across the state with an aim to provide cancer care facilities closer to the doorstep of the patients.
  • The cabinet has decided to set up 11 Comprehensive Cancer Care Units within a period of 2 years.
  • A provision of Rs 500 crore has also been approved for the implementation of the price support scheme (PSS) by the State Cooperative Marketing Federation for the procurement of oilseeds and pulses on behalf of NAFED.
  • Odisha will introduce an interest subvention scheme to provide short-term credit to farmers at a subsidized interest for their farming operations.
  • Rs 5,700 crore has been approved for the implementation of the scheme for five years.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. Bombay High Court directed the Goa government to notify Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve.

  • On 24 July, the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court directed Goa government to notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) and its surrounding areas as a tiger reserve within three months.
  • The Division Bench of Justices M.S. Sonak and Bharat Deshpande directed this decision while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Goa Foundation.
  • As per the 2023 Tiger census, 3,167 lives in India. In less than 76 years, the tiger population has decreased by almost 92%.
  • The court also directed the State government to take all steps to form a tiger conservation plan as contemplated by the Wildlife Protection Act and forward it to the NTCA within three months.
  • The court also directed the Goa government to set up anti-poaching camps within six months at strategic locations in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
  • The court further ordered the state administration to investigate and resolve the rights and claims of Scheduled Tribes and other forest inhabitants.
  • Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary:
    • It is located in the North-east of Goa, in the taluka of Sattari.
    • It is controlled by the Goa State Forest Department.
    • Bengal tigers have been spotted in this Sanctuary.
    • It was declared as a wildlife preserve in 1999.

Topic: International News

4. Russia banned sex change and transgender marriages.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill which has banned sex change and transgender marriages.
  • The bill passed by both houses of parliament bans any medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person.
  • The only exception will be medical intervention to treat congenital anomalies.
  • This bill has also banned transgender people from becoming foster or adoptive parents.
  • The bill outlawed the expression or depiction of LGBT culture in any public places.
  • Individuals can be fined up to 400,000 roubles (£5,400) and organisations 5m roubles (£68,500) for supporting non-traditional sexual relations.
  • Kremlin passed a legislation in 2013 that had banned any public endorsement of “nontraditional sexual relations” among minors.

Topic: Sports

5. Sumit Nagal wins Tampere Open title.

  • Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal wins the Tampere Open title by defeating Dalibor Svrcina from the Czech Republic.
  • He defeated Dalibor Svrcina by 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 44 minutes.
  • It is his fourth ATP Challenger title and second title of the year.
  • In April, he had clinched the Garden Open in Rome.
  • Szymon Kielan and Piotr Matuszewski won the Men's doubles title by defeating Vladyslav Orlov and Adam Taylor.
  • The Tampere Open is a tennis tournament played on clay courts. It is played in Finland.

Topic: State News/ Delhi

6. Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated Delhi’s first RO ‘Water ATM’.

  • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated Delhi’s first RO ‘water ATM’ in Mayapuri Phase 2.
  • It will provide drinking water treated with the reverse osmosis (RO) process.
  • Delhi government is planning to establish four such water ATMs as part of a pilot project. Later, a network of 500 water ATMs will be created across the city.
  • The Water ATM card will be issued by the Delhi Jal Board. A cardholder can draw up to 20 liters of water daily from these ATMs free of cost.
  • Water drawn after the daily quota will be charged at the rate of ₹1.60 per 20 liters.
  • It is a step toward providing clean and pure water to every citizen of Delhi at their doorstep.
  • Now residents of areas without piped water will no longer have to depend on water tankers.

UP GK - Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

7. The government has increased the interest rate on deposits under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme to 8.15%.

  • The increased interest rate is for the financial year 2022-23.
  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment has conveyed to EPFO the approval of the Central government to credit interest at the rate of 8.15% per annum.
  • Last year, the interest rate for EPF accounts was 8.10%.
  • Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) runs the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme.
  • EPF scheme was launched in India in 1952. It is a retirement benefit scheme in which a certain amount is contributed by both the employer and employee every month.

Topic: Companies/Corporates

8. American social media platform Twitter has launched a new logo.  

  • It has dropped the blue bird from its website. Twitter’s site showed its new logo, a white X on a black background.
  • The new logo was unveiled by Twitter owner Elon Musk and its Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino.
  • Last year, Elon Musk bought the social media platform Twitter for 44 billion dollars.
  • Twitter is an American communications company headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA.
  • It was founded in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. The company went public in November 2013.

Twitter has launched a new logo

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Gujarat

9. Gujarat’s first Greenfield Airport will be inaugurated by PM Modi at Hirasar near Rajkot on July 27.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a visit to Gujarat on July 27 and July 28.
  • The Prime Minister will also address a rally in Rajkot and attend various programs in the state.
  • 'Semicon India 2023' will also be inaugurated by PM, which is an event in Gandhinagar to highlight investment opportunities in India's semiconductor sector.
  • Built in an area of 1500 acres at a cost of Rs. 1405 crores, the name of this airport has been changed to Rajkot International Airport.
  • The greenfield airport at Hirasar is 30 km from Rajkot City, the commercial capital of the Saurashtra region.
  • The airport has a 45-meter wide runway which can park 14 aircraft at any point.
  • During peak hours, the passenger terminal can manage over 1200 travelers per hour at the airport.
  • The greenfield airport is equipped with a solar power system, green belt, and rainwater harvesting system.
  • The air connectivity to the international market will lead to industrial development, especially benefiting the ceramic industry in Morbi and creating new employment opportunities in the area.
  • In 2017, PM Modi had laid the foundation stone for the construction of the international airport near Rajkot.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. On 24 July, National Geoscience Awards-2022 was presented by President Draupadi Murmu in New Delhi.

  • The award was given to 22 geoscientists including two women.
  • The Ministry of Mines has instituted the National Geology Awards.
  • The award is given with the objective of honoring individuals and teams for exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions in various fields of Geology.
  • 22 Geologists including working professionals and academicians from across the country were honored under three categories.
  • It includes one National Geology Award for Lifetime Achievement, one National Young Geologist Award, and eight National Geology Awards (3 Team Awards + 3 Joint Awards + 2 individual Awards= 20 awardees) in different fields of Geology.
  • The National Geosciences Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Dr. Om Narayan Bhargava, who is known for his work in the Himalayas over the last four decades.
  • The National Young Geoscientist Award was presented to Dr. Amiya Kumar Samal, who is an assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University.
  • The field of geology is very broad and includes the study of natural disasters like landslides, earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis.
  • These subjects are called public good geosciences because they are useful in protecting a large number of people.
  • National Geoscience Awards (NGA):
    • The NGA was instituted in 1966.
    • The award is a symbol of respect and appreciation for exceptional people and organizations who have demonstrated excellence, dedication, and innovation in the field of geosciences.
    • These awards are given in the fields of Mineral Exploration and Exploration, Basic Geology, Applied Geology and Mining, Mineral Refining, and Sustainable Mineral Development.

National Geoscience Awards-2022

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

11. Income Tax Day 2023 (Aaykar Diwas): 24 July

  • Every year on 24 July, Income Tax Day is celebrated.
  • It is celebrated to spread awareness around the importance of taxes and encourage more and more people to pay taxes for the development of the nation.
  • On the occasion of the 164th Income Tax Day celebrations, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the celebration on July 24 in New Delhi.
  • On 24 July 1860, Sir James Wilson introduced income tax in India to compensate the British government for the losses incurred at the time of the First War of Independence in 1857.
  • In 2010, Income Tax Department decided to mark 24 July as Income Tax Day.
  • Income Tax Department works under Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance. It is headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Income tax is a direct tax.
  • This year, the Income Tax Department surpassed its previous year's target of filing 3 crore ITRs just a few days before the deadline.
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT):
    • It is a statutory body under the Central Revenue Act, 1963. It is the administrative body of the Income Tax department.
    • It deals with matters related to levy and collection of direct taxes like personal income tax, corporate tax, etc.
    • CBDT is headed by Chairman and comprises six members. Its headquarters are in New Delhi.
    • Current Chairman: Nitin Gupta

Income Tax Day 2023 (Aaykar Diwas)

(Source: Ministry of Finance)

Topic: Miscellaneous

12. Shah Rukh Khan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the ICC World Cup 2023.

  • The ICC World Cup 2023 campaign 'It takes one day' launched by Shah Rukh Khan in his iconic voiceover.
  • The video has been organized by Meta, the official digital content licensee of the ICC.
  • In India, the World Cup will be held from 5 October to 19 November 2023.
  • India will start its World Cup journey against Australia on 8 October.
  • The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will be the venue for the opening and closing games.

Topic: Important Days

13. World Drowning Prevention Day: 25 July

  • World Drowning Prevention Day is celebrated every year on the 25th of July.
  • The General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2021 to declare 25 July as World Drowning Prevention Day.
  • All stakeholders – governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, and academia observe this day to create awareness about Drowning Prevention.
  • Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. Around 236,000 deaths occur due to drowning.
  • In the last ten years, drowning was the cause of 25 lakh deaths.
  • “Anyone can drown, no one should” is the theme of this year’s World Drowning Prevention Day.
  • WHO worked with health ministries in low- and middle-income countries to install barriers, control access to water, and provide early childhood nursery facilities to avoid drowning.

Topic: National News

14. Union Home Minister Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shri Ram in Kurnool.

  • The grand statue of Lord Shri Ram will be built at Mantralayam village in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh at a cost of more than Rs 500 crore.
  • 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shri Ram in Mantralayam will give the message of Sanatan Dharma to the entire world.
  • It will also help in strengthening the Vaishnava tradition in the country and the world.
  • This project is spread over an area of 10 acres in Mantralayam village on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
  • Mantralayam village is famous for the Raghavendra Swamy temple.

108 feet tall statue of Lord Shri Ram in Kurnool

(Source: News on AIR)

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