Daily Current Affairs and GK | 27 and 28 August 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 28 Aug 2023 18:31 PM IST

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Topic: Defense

1. A contingent of IAF is participating in the BRIGHT STAR-23 Exercise.

  • BRIGHT STAR-23 is a biennial multilateral tri-service exercise scheduled to be held at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt from 27 August to 16 September 2023.
  • Indian Air Force is participating in this exercise for the first time. America, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Qatar contingent are also participating in the exercise.
  • Indian Air Force contingent consists of five MiG-29s, two IL-78s, two C-130s and two C-17 aircraft. Personnel from the IAF's Garud Special Forces and members of 28, 77, 78 and 81 Squadrons are participating in the exercise.
  • The main objective of the exercise is to practice planning and execution of joint operations.
  • India and Egypt have enhanced their defence relation with regular exercises between their Armed Forces.
  • India and Egypt share a cordial relationship and deep cooperation. They jointly undertook development of aero-engine and aircraft in 1960s.

BRIGHT STAR-23 Exercise

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

2. A renowned English poet Jayanta Mahapatra passed away in Cuttack.

  • A noted English poet Jayanta Mahapatra passed away at the age of 95 in Cuttack.
  • He has left an imprint in Indian English poetry with his writings spanning over 50 years.
  • He was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Award for his poem ‘Relationship’ in 1981 and Padma Shri in 2015.
  • He is famous for the vivid imagery of his writings about daily life, particularly drawn from Cuttack.
  • He elevated the reach of Odia literature to more people.
  • His poetries ‘Close the Sky Ten by Ten’ catapulted him to the top league of writers.
  • Svayamvara and Other Poems, A Father's Hours, and A Rain of Rites are the other notable works of Jayanta Mahapatra.

Topic: International Appointment

3. Emmerson Mnangagwa re-elected as the president of Zimbabwe for a second and final five-year term.

  • On 26 August, the results were announced much earlier than expected after voting in the southern African country with a history of violent and disputed elections.
  • A spokesman for the opposition party said within minutes of Mnangagwa being declared the winner that they would reject the hastily drawn results without proper verification.
  • Mnangagwa's ZANU-PF party has retained government leadership for all 43 years of Zimbabwe's history since the nation was renamed after independence from white minority rule in 1980.
  • The 80-year-old Mnangagwa won 52.6% of the votes and the 45-year-old main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, got 44%.
  • The South African nation of 16 million has a history of election irregularities, and such tactics helped former President Robert Mugabe, a liberation leader-turned-dictator, retain power for nearly four decades.

president of Zimbabwe

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

4. Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win gold at the World Athletics Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.

  • In a historic moment for Indian athletics, Neeraj Chopra has won the gold medal in the men's javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championships.
  • On 28 August, the 'Golden Boy of Indian Athletics' etched his name in history by becoming the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal at this prestigious championship.
  • Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal with a throw of 88.17 meters and Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem won the silver medal with a throw of 87.82m.
  • Czech player Jakub Vadlejch got bronze with a throw of 86.67 meters.
  • In the women's 3000m steeplechase event, India's Parul Chowdhary finished 11th and qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win gold at the World Athletics Championships

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

5. India handed over the presidency of B20 to Brazil to host G20 in 2024.

  • Under the G20 Presidency, India's B20 Presidency worked under the theme of Vasaudeva Katumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future).
  • The B20 Summit is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community.
  • India hosted the three-day summit from 25th to 27th August with the theme R.A.I.S.E – Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable and Equitable Businesses.
  • B20 India Chair N Chandrasekaran said that more than 1500 global business delegates and experts from 55 countries participated in it.
  • During this period, India worked on nine important themes which included the empowerment of women and youth, the transition towards an Artificial Intelligence world, building a global resilient supply chain, and financing for the global economic recovery.
  • India's B20 presidency has been recognized for its effective process, participation, and consensus-building in formulating 54 policy recommendations over the past nine months.
  • B20 was established in 2010, and is among the most prominent Engagement Groups in G20, with companies and business organizations as participants.
  • The B20 aims to provide concrete actionable policy recommendations on priorities to promote economic growth and development.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

6. A climate change and health hub will be set up by India, and Asian Development Bank (ABD) in Delhi.

  • The new Center for Climate Change and Health will promote knowledge sharing, partnerships, and innovations and help countries beyond the G-20, especially developing countries.
  • Climate change has affected the whole world and this centre will give the opportunity to discuss this important issue with a variety of partners and learn from each other.
  • The world is facing new challenges, and all countries must be united for resources, learning, and innovation to deal with the consequences of change in time.
  • In the recently released G-20 outcome document, India also noted that climate change will continue to fuel health emergencies.
  • At the recently concluded G-20 Health Ministers' meeting, senior officials also expressed their concern about the increasing cases of zoonotic spillover and the consequent emerging and re-emerging diseases.

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Topic: Sports

7. Indian men's 4x400m relay team has qualified for the World Championships final for the first time.

  • The Indian team of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal Variyathodi and Rajesh Ramesh finished second behind the USA.
  • Indian men's 4x400m relay team gave a great performance at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
  • The Indian team completed the race in 2 minutes 59.05 seconds to qualify for the final round of the World Championships.
  • Indian team broke the previous Asian record. The previous Asian record of 2:59.51 was made by Japan in 2021.
  • India’s team finished behind the USA in the overall list. It was ahead of others like Great Britain (3rd; 2:59.42) and Jamaica (5th; 2:59.82).
  • Botswana, France, Italy and Netherlands are other teams to make for the World Championships final.

Topic: Important Days

8. PM Modi gave the idea of an International Customer Care Day to strengthen the relationship between businesses and consumers.

  • He also emphasized the need to promote ethical Artificial Intelligence.
  • PM Modi called for International Customer Care Day while addressing the B20 summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • He highlighted that 13.5 crore Indians have come out of poverty in just 5 years.
  • He cautioned global businesses against treating countries only as a market.
  • He pointed to the “irreversible disruptions in the global supply chain” after the COVID-19 pandemic. He presented India as a solution to such disruptions.
  • He was addressing the closing session of the B20 India Summit.
  • March 15 is designated as World Consumer Rights Day.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. Ministry of Jal Shakti released the 6th Census Report on Minor Irrigation (MI) Schemes.

  • According to the report, 23.14 million minor irrigation (MI) schemes have been reported.
  • Out of the total, 21.93 million (94.8%) are Ground Water (GW) and 1.21 million (5.2%) are Surface Water (SW) schemes.
  • Uttar Pradesh runs the most minor irrigation (MI) schemes followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and Jharkhand have the highest share in the Surface Water (SW) schemes.
  • The Surface water schemes comprise surface flow and surface lift schemes.
  • Minor Irrigation (MI) Schemes have increased by about 1.42 million in the 6th MI census compared to the 5th Census.
  • At the national level, both GW and SW schemes have increased by 6.9% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab are the leading States in shallow tube wells, medium tube wells and deep tube wells, respectively.
  • The census was conducted under the “Irrigation Census” scheme.
  • This report will be useful for planners, policymakers, researcher scholars, and agricultural and groundwater scientists.
  • Around 60.2% of schemes have a single source of finance whereas 39.8% of schemes have more than one source of finance.
  • So far, five censuses have been conducted in 1986-87, 1993-94, 2000-01, 2006-07 and 2013-14 respectively.

6th Census Report on Minor Irrigation (MI) Schemes

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Space and IT

10. NASA and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft carried four astronauts to the International Space Station.

  • The Dragon spacecraft carried by a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • American Jasmin Moghbeli is commanding the Crew-7 and it includes Andreas Mogensen of Denmark, Satoshi Furukawa of Japan and Konstantin Borisov of Russia.
  • It is the eighth crewed flight on Elon Musk’s Dragon spacecraft.
  • This crew will spend six months on the International Space Station.
  • They will conduct a number of science experiments, including collecting samples during the spacewalk to determine whether the station releases microorganisms through its life-support system vents.
  • The main objective of this mission is to understand whether microorganisms can survive and reproduce in space.
  • Scientists will also conduct another experiment to assess the physiological differences between sleep on Earth and in space.
  • A total of seven people are currently on the ISS. The International Space Station is about 400km (249 miles) above the Earth.

Topic: Indian Economy

11. 20% export duty imposed by the Government on parboiled rice.

  • With an aim to maintain sufficient local stocks and keep domestic prices under check, the government has imposed a 20% duty on exports of parboiled rice.
  • On August 25, the export duty has been imposed and will remain effective till October 16, 2023.
  • Duty exemption will be given on parboiled rice lying in ports, i.e. export duty order will not be applicable on rice stocks that have not been given LEO (Late Export Order) and are supported by a valid LC (Letter of Credit) before 25 August 2023.
  • With these restrictions, India has now banned all varieties of non-basmati rice.
  • Non-basmati white rice accounts for about 25% of the total rice exported from the country.
  • In July, the government banned exports of non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supplies and keep retail prices under control during the upcoming festive season.
  • The export of broken rice was banned in September 2022.
  • About 15.54 lakh tonnes of non-basmati white rice was exported in the April-June period of the current financial year, as against only 11.55 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
  • Annual retail or consumer price inflation rose to a 15-month high of 7.44% in July from 4.87% in June amid a sharp rise in food prices.
  • India's total basmati rice exports in 2022-23 stood at $4.8 billion in value terms, while it stood at 4.56 million tonnes in volume terms.
  • Non-basmati exports stood at $6.36 billion in the last financial year and in terms of quantity, it was 177.9 lakh tonnes.

Topic: National News

12. The landing site of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon will be known as Shiv Shakti Point.

  • On 26 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the point where Chandrayaan-3's lander landed on the moon will be known as Shiv Shakti.
  • PM said Shiva has a resolution for the welfare of humanity and Shakti gives us the power to fulfil those resolutions.
  • This Shiva Shakti point of the moon also gives a feeling of connection from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari.
  • The point where Chandrayaan-2 left its footprints will now be called Tiranga.
  • It will serve as an inspiration for India's every endeavour and remind us that failure is not the end.
  • August 23 will be celebrated as National Space Day to mark the landing of the Chandrayaan-3 lander on the Moon.
  • National Space Day will celebrate the spirit of science, technology and innovation and inspire us till eternity.

Topic: Space and IT

13. Meta launched a multilingual AI translation and transcription model named 'SeamlessM4T’.

  • Meta, earlier known as Facebook, has launched an advanced multilingual multimodal AI translation and transcription model named 'SeamlessM4T.'
  • It can perform various tasks including speech-to-text, speech-to-speech, text-to-speech, and text-to-text translations.
  • It supports around 100 languages and facilitates speech recognition, translation, and synthesis for diverse linguistic needs.
  • It can perform speech-to-speech translation in around 100 input languages and around 35 output languages.
  • In 2022, Meta launched a text-to-text translation model, No Language Left Behind (NLLB). It supports 200 languages and is integrated with Wikipedia as a translation provider.
  • Additionally, Meta also launched ‘Hokkien’, the first speech-to-speech translation system for languages without widely used writing systems.
  • In 2023, Meta also launched its Massively Multilingual Speech model that offers the facility of speech recognition, speech synthesis, and language identification of more than 1,100 languages.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

14. Six more countries will become members of BRICS.

  • The 15th BRICS summit concluded on August 24, 2023, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • It was the first hosted in-person summit since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Argentina and Ethiopia will become new members of BRICS from 1 January 2024.
  • The last BRICS expansion was held in 2010 with the inclusion of South Africa.
  • BRICS members reached an agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the expansion process.
  • Other outcomes of the summit are given below:       
    • During the summit, it was agreed that the BRICS Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors will consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms.
    • BRICS members appreciated the progress made in the fields of media, culture, education, sports, arts, youth, civil society and academic exchanges.
    • The 10th anniversary of the establishment of the BRICS Business Council was celebrated.
    • Members reaffirmed the importance of people-to-people exchanges in enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation.
    • Foreign Ministers have been given the task of further developing the BRICS partner country model and creating a list of prospective partner countries.
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