Daily Current Affairs and GK | 26 October 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 26 Oct 2023 17:27 PM IST

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

1. India-Japan chip supply chain partnership has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

  • A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan for developing a semiconductor supply chain partnership has been approved by the Union Cabinet.
  • This partnership will focus on research and development (R&D), manufacturing, design, and talent development for the industry.
  • This Memorandum of Cooperation was signed in July 2023, and the main aim is to enhance cooperation between India and Japan in the semiconductor supply chain.
  • India has implemented a $10 billion plan to boost local chip manufacturing. India in association with the United States is working on chip supply chains.
  • US chip company Microchip Technology has announced an investment of $300 million in India.
  • In the next five years, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) will invest $400 million in India and set up its biggest design facility in Bengaluru.

Topic: International News

2. India resumes visa services for some categories of Canadian citizens.

  • The visa services have been resumed in categories like Entry Visa, Business Visa, Medical Visa and Conference Visa.
  • The resumption of visa services has come into effect from 26 October 2023.
  • Indian visa services for Canadians were suspended on September 21, 2023.
  • Visa services were suspended after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had "credible" allegations about the potential involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
  • Tourism and e-visa services have not yet resumed.

Topic: Important Days

3. The 76th Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India celebrated on 26 October.

  • It was on this day in 1947 that Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession. Hari Singh was the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Accession Day is a public holiday in the Union Territory.
  • It became an official public holiday in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time in 2020 after articles 370 and 35A were abrogated on 5th August 2019.
  • The Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26th October 1947.
  • Maharaja Hari Singh was the ruler of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • By executing this document under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, of 1947, he agreed to accede to the Dominion of India.

Topic: Defence

4. Its first nuclear-powered guided missile submarines have been launched by China as per the latest report of the Pentagon on China’s military.

  • China has become the third country after the US and Russia to achieve this. 
  • The Pentagon report was published on October 20, 2023.
  • The report is the first confirmation that modified submarines in Chinese shipyards are Type 093 guided missile submarines.
  • During the Cold War, the Soviet Union constructed conventionally armed missile submarines, or SSGNs, with the intention of attacking American aircraft carriers.
  • The U.S. Navy developed its own version by converting ballistic missile boats to carry Tomahawk cruise missiles.
  • Cruise missiles are usually long-range, precision weapons. Unlike ballistic weapons, they fly at low altitudes or skim the surface of the sea.
  • The report notes that three of the new SSGNs could be operational by next year. Its submarine fleet (both nuclear and diesel-powered) could number 65 vessels in 2025.
  • The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

5. “National Symposium on Production of Improved and Traditional Seeds through Cooperative Sector” organized in New Delhi.

  • On 26 October, it was addressed by the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah.
  • It was organized by the Bharatiya Beej Sahakari Samiti Limited (BBSSL).
  • The logo, website, and Brochure of BBSSL were unveiled by Shri Amit Shah, and membership certificates were also distributed to BBSSL members.
  • The objectives of BBSSL, the importance of seed production through PACS, and the role of seeds in the productivity and nutrition of crops were discussed in the symposium.
  • BBSSL came into existence because of the need to set up a national-level multi-state cooperative society to act as an umbrella organization for advanced and traditional seed research and production through the cooperative sector.
  • It will provide assistance to cooperatives across the country in demand-based seed production, development of infrastructure for seed storage, processing, packaging, logistics support, and, marketing of the seeds produced.
  • BBSSL will also assist the cooperative societies in the multiplication and conservation of traditional seeds of various crops and varieties.
  • BBSSL has been promoted by three major cooperative societies of the country - Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO), and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).
  • It also included two major statutory bodies of the GoI - the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

Topic: Books and Author

6. ISRO Chairman S. Somnath wrote his autobiography.

  • The autobiography in Malayalam is titled Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal– translated as ‘Lions that Drank the Moonlight’.
  • This book focuses on the power of hard work and perseverance in the face of difficulties.
  • It is inspired by the massive success of ISRO's moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, under the chairmanship of Shri Somnath, which catapulted India into an exclusive league of countries.
  • The book will be published by Kerala-based Lipi Publications, which is scheduled to launch in the market in November 2023.
  • The ISRO chairman said the purpose of this book is not to teach my life story.
  • Its sole purpose is to inspire people to pursue their dreams while battling adversities in life.

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Topic: Banking System

7. RBI has asked private banks to make sure at least two Whole Time Directors, including the MD and CEO, are on their boards.

  • RBI has also asked wholly owned subsidiaries of foreign banks to ensure at least two Whole Time Directors, including the MD and CEO, on their boards.
  • As per RBI, the Board of the bank should decide the number of Whole Time Directors (WTDs) by taking into account factors like the size of operations, and business complexity.
  • The RBI circular said, "Banks that currently do not meet this minimum requirement are advised to submit their proposals for the appointment of WTD(s) within a period of four months from the date of issuance of the circular."

Topic: State News/Maharashtra

8. PM Modi visited Maharashtra and Goa on 26 October.

  • He reached Shirdi in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra.
  • In Shirdi, he performed pooja and darshan at Shri Saibaba Samadhi Temple.
  • He also inaugurated the new Darshan Queue Complex at the temple.
  • PM Modi laid the foundation stone of this new Darshan Queue Complex in October 2018.
  • He also performed the Jal Pujan of Nilwande Dam.
  • He dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth about 7500 crore rupees in sectors like health, rail, road and oil and gas.
  • He launched the ‘Namo Shetkari Mahasanman Nidhi Yojana’.
  • Over 86 lakh beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana in Maharashtra will gain from it. They will get an additional amount of 6,000 rupees per year.
  • In Goa, PM inaugurated the 37th National Games in Margao.
  • The National Games are being organized in Goa for the first time. They will be held from 26th October to 9th November.
  • Over 10 thousand athletes will compete in more than 43 sports disciplines across 28 venues.
  • Nilwande Dam are two associated gravity dams. They are situated in Maharashtra.
  • The upper Nilwande dam is on the Pravara River, a tributary of the Godavari River. The lower Nilwande dam is on the Shahi Nalla River.

PM Modi visited Maharashtra

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

9. The cabinet approved Rs 22,303 cr subsidy on P&K fertilisers for the Rabi season.

  • Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for the Rabi season have been approved by the cabinet for 2023-24.
  • The subsidy will be Rs 47.2 per kg for nitrogen, Rs 20.82 per kg for phosphorus and the potash subsidy will be Rs 2.38 per kg. The subsidy for sulphur will be Rs 1.89 per kg.
  • It shows a decline of 57% as compared to the previous year. Nutrient Based Subsidy was Rs 1.12 trillion for both the Kharif and Rabi seasons in 2022-23.
  • The expenditure on subsidy is expected to cost Rs 22,303 crore.
  • Di-ammonium phosphate will continue to be sold at the old rate of Rs 1,350 per bag.
  • In the 2022-23 rabi season, the subsidy for N, P, K and S fertilisers was Rs 98.2/kg. Rs 66.93/kg, Rs 23.65/kg and Rs 6.12/kg respectively.

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

10. India’s first Nano DAP plant has been inaugurated by Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah.

  • India’s first Nano DAP plant has been inaugurated by IFFCO near Kalol in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It has been set up in Rs 300 crore rupees.
  • This plant will help in reducing the imports of DAP and will also bring down the logistics and warehousing costs.
  • The plant will produce 5 crore bottles of Nano dap liquid equivalent to 25 tons of DAP.
  • Amit Shah said that natural farming adoption will reduce the use of fertilizers in agriculture.
  • The liquid nano DAP will not affect the nutrients in the soil and will have zero harmful metal particles.
  • The cost of one bottle of nano liquid DAP will be just Rs 600 while the cost of one bag of conventional DAP costs is around 1300 rupees.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh presented ANUBHAV AWARDS 2023.

  • On October 23, the Anubhav Awards 2023 ceremony was organized by the Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare in New Delhi to felicitate the award winners for their write-ups for the year 2023.
  • In March 2015, the Anubhav portal was launched by the Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare (DoPPW).
  • This portal provides an online mechanism for retiring/retired employees to submit and showcase their commendable work.
  • This includes sharing their experiences of working in a government department and giving suggestions for improving governance.
  • 96 Ministries/Departments/Organizations have registered on the Anubhav Portal of this Department and more than 10,000 write-ups have been published so far.
  • This year, an Anubhav Outreach Program was launched with the aim of presenting and highlighting the commendable works of soon-to-be-retired/retired employees.
  • The campaign has resulted in the publication of 1901 experience articles, the highest number since its launch in 2015.
  • The maximum number of articles published is from CISF.
  • After a reflective process, it has been decided to award 4 Experience Awards and 9 Jury Certificates. The awardees were from 8 different Ministries/Departments/Organizations.
  • In addition, 9 Jury Certificates were also awarded for the first time to encourage wider participation in the process.
  • Anubhav Award winners awarded a medal, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs 10,000/-. 
  • Jury Certificate winners awarded a medal and a certificate.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Polio Day 2023: 24 October

  • Every year on 24 October, World Polio Day is celebrated.
  • It is celebrated to highlight global efforts towards a polio-free world and to honor the contribution made by frontline health workers in the fight against polio. 
  • The theme of World Polio Day 2023 is “A healthier future for mothers and children.”
  • In 1985, Rotary International introduced World Polio Day to honor the contributions of Jonas Salk, the head medical researcher in the research team that created the first vaccine for polio.
  • This year, on January 13, India completed 12 years of being polio-free, which is considered a remarkable achievement.
  • The World Health Organization declared India polio-free in 2014.
  • The last case of polio in India was found in 2011.
  • India is vigilant to prevent the re-entry of poliovirus into the country from neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan.

World Polio Day 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

13. Union Minister Arjun Munda inaugurated Aadi Mahotsav at Ahmedabad.

  • On 25th October, the Aadi Mahotsav - the National Tribal Festival- was inaugurated by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda.
  • It is being organized by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED).
  • It will be organized from 25th October – 3rd November, 2023, at Ahmedabad Hat, Vastrapur.
  • More than 100 stalls would showcase India's tribal culture, craftsmanship, culinary artistry, and economic endeavours during the event.
  • Organic and craft items will be present on 74 stalls.
  • ‘Millets grown by Tribals’ and handicrafts, handloom, pottery, and jewellery will be also showcased.
  • 15 stalls dedicated to Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) products will present mushrooms, mahua flowers, nagali millets, mango pickles, bamboo articles and wild honey.

Topic: Reports and Indices

14. India’s solar module manufacturing capacity could cross 70 GW per year by 2027: IEA

  • According to IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook report, India’s solar module manufacturing capacity could exceed 70 GW per year by 2027.
  • The report added that it is expected India will meet its 2030 target to have half of its electricity capacity be non-fossil fuel well before the end of the decade.
  • India currently accounts for 3% of the global solar photovoltaic (PV) market.
  • Presently, solar module manufacturing is largely concentrated in just five countries.
  • Solar module manufacturing in these five countries accounts for more than 90% of global capacity.
  • China accounts for 80% of the world's manufacturing capacity. Vietnam (5% of the global market), India (3%), Malaysia (3%) and Thailand (2%) are the other four nations.
  • The US, Korea, Cambodia, Türkiye and Chinese Taipei are the other five leading solar manufacturers. Each of them account for about 1% of the global market.
  • In FY22, India imported solar PV modules worth $3.4 billion.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that as domestic production increases, solar PV module imports will decline.  
  • According to the IEA report, India will only be behind China and the US in terms of electricity consumption by 2050 under all scenarios due to an annual growth rate of roughly 5% in the demand for electricity.
  • The report projected air conditioner ownership in India has been steadily rising. It has tripled since 2010 and reached 24 units per 100 households.
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