Daily Current Affairs and GK | 30 August 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 12:46 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways launched world’s first 100% ethanol-fueled based car.

  • The world’s first 100% ethanol-fueled based car was launched in New Delhi.
  • The world’s first BS-VI (Stage-II), electrified flex-fuel vehicle has been launched that can function fully on ethanol blended fuel.
  • The flex fuel is a technology that allows an engine to utilise ethanol-blended petrol or gasoline beyond 20%.
  • The aim is to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainable mobility and decrease India’s dependency on traditional fuel sources.
  • As per the minister, India needs to undertake strict measures to curb pollution and has to reduce its dependence on oil imports to become self-dependent.
  • He said that with the adoption of ethanol blended fuel, India’s agriculture sector will witness growth and a lot of job opportunities will be created.
  • With the implementation of 20% ethanol blending, India will save 35,000 crore rupees annually on import bill.
  • India has already achieved 10% sugarcane-extracted ethanol blending in petrol.
  • Ethanol Blending Program targets to achieve 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2025-26.
  • India is aiming to create a partnership for International Biofuel Alliance.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. Sports Minister launched National Sports Federations portal on 29 August.

  • On the occasion of National Sports Day, Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur launched the portal in New Delhi.
  • It is a unified online portal for the NSFs, which shall be a single window system for election of NSFs, annual renewal of recognition of NSFs, etc.
  • It will also help in better coordination between the Department of Sports and the National Sports Federations.
  • He also felicitated the 4x400 m men’s relay team that created an Asian record at the World Athletics Championships held at Budapest.
  • He also launched the third edition of the Fit India Quiz, India’s biggest sports and fitness quiz competition, having a total prize money of Rs 3.25 crores.

National Sports Federations portal on 29 August

(Source: PIB)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

3. An MoU signed between India and New Zealand to enhance cooperation in civil aviation.

  • The agreement covers scheduling of new routes, code share services, traffic rights and capacity entitlement.
  • Civil Aviation Secretary, Rajiv Bansal and the New Zealand High Commissioner David Pine signed the MoU in New Delhi.
  • As per the MoU, the designated airlines of New Zealand may operate any number of services with any type of aircraft, with third and fourth freedom traffic rights to and from six points in India, namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.
  • Similarly, the designated airlines of India may operate any number of services to and from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch. Three more points in New Zealand are to be named by the Indian Government.
  • The diplomatic relations between the India and New Zealand were established in 1952.

Topic: Space and IT

4. LIBS instrument onboard Pragyan rover confirmed presence of Sulphur on lunar surface.

  • The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) onboard Chandrayaan 3 rover carried out first ever in-situ measurements on the composition of lunar surface near south pole.
  • The in-situ measurements have confirmed the presence of Sulphur in the region.
  • Preliminary analysis has shown the presence of Aluminum (Al), Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), and Titanium (Ti) on the lunar surface.
  • Further measurements have also revealed the presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), and oxygen (O).
  • LIBS is a technique that analyzes the composition of material by exposing them to high energy laser pulse.
  • The laser pulse generates extremely hot and localized plasma. The collected plasma light is spectrally resolved and detected.
  • LIBS payload is developed at the Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS)/ISRO, Bengaluru.

Topic: National News

5. Union Cabinet approved reducing the price of LPG by Rs. 200 per cylinder.

  • The decision has been taken to provide the relief to the households.
  • The price cut would also be applicable to consumers enrolled in Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
  • The beneficiaries of PMUY will now get a subsidy of Rs 400 per 14.2 kg LPG cylinder.
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a flammable fuel gas. It contains a mixture of propane, propylene, butylene, isobutane and n-butane.
  • LPG is prepared by refining crude oil or extracted from petroleum or natural gas streams when they come out of the ground.
  • LPG was first produced in 1910 by Walter O. Snelling.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

6. Increasing air pollution can reduce life expectancy by more than 5 years in South Asian countries.

  • The University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) in its latest Air Quality Life Index report estimated that rising pollution can cut life expectancy by more than 5 years per person in South Asian countries.
  • More than half of the total life years lost globally from pollution are from South Asian countries comprising Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
  • As per the report, rapid industrialization and population growth have significantly contributed to declining air quality in South Asia.
  • Bangladesh, the world's most polluted country, will lose 6.8 years of life on average per person.
  • The United States will lose 3.6 months per person's life expectancy.
  • As per the report, since 2013, India has been responsible for about 59% of the world's increase in pollution.
  • In New Delhi, the average life span has decreased by more than 10 years due to pollution.
  • The report said that reducing PM 2.5 particles to the recommended levels of the World Health Organization (WHO) will raise average life expectancy by 2.3 years.
  • China has worked to reduce pollution by 42.3% between 2013 and 2021.
  • This report has been prepared with the help of satellite data to calculate the impact of an increase in airborne fine particles on life expectancy.

Topic: International News

7. India and Kenya agreed to further deepen cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

  • A bilateral meeting was held between Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Cabinet Secretary for Defence of Kenya Aden Bare Duale in New Delhi. 
  • India and Kenya agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region and joint training in counter-insurgency.
  • They also agreed to enhance cooperation in the defence industry and equipment.
  • In the field of capacity building and for collaboration in ship design and construction, a MoU was also signed between Goa Shipyard Limited and Kenya Shipyard Limited.
  • Rajnath Singh presented 15 pairs of parachutes manufactured by Gliders India Limited for the Kenyan Forces.
  • India will also support in setting up of an advanced CT scan facility in Kenya.
  • The Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence is on a three-day visit to India. He will also visit Indian shipyards and defence industries in Goa and Bengaluru.

India and Kenya agreed to further deepen cooperation in maritime security

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

8. Priyan Sain becomes Miss Earth India of 2023.

  • Rajasthan's Priyan Sain won the title of Miss Earth India 2023 during the Miss Divine Beauty 2023 l final held on August 26 in New Delhi.
  • She is a 20-year-old student, dancer, and taekwondo player from Jaipur.
  • She received the crown from the reigning Miss Earth from Korea Mina Sue Choi.
  • Earlier, Priyan participated in Miss Rajasthan 2022 where she finished as first runner-up.
  • Praveena Aanjna clinched the title of Miss International India 2023. Pema Choden Bhutia and Tejaswini Shrivastava were announced as runner-up.

Priyan Sain

(Source: DD News)

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Topic: State News/ Gujarat

9. Gujarat government proposed 27% reservation for OBCs in local bodies.

  • The Gujarat government has decided to give 27% reservation for OBCs in local bodies like panchayats, municipalities & civic corporations.
  • The reservation for OBC has been increased from existing 10% to 27% in the panchayats and urban local bodies.
  • The announcement has been made by Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel.
  • However, the reservation for OBCs in the PESA-notified areas will remain 10 per cent to protect the interest of tribals.
  • The existing reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will remain unchanged.
  •  This announcement will pave the way for elections in 7000 village panchayats, two district panchayats and 70 municipalities.
  • Earlier, the Gujarat government had appointed former Chief Justice of Odisha High Court K S Jhaveri as a one-man committee to fix reservations for OBC communities in the elections to local bodies.
  • The sub-committee was headed by Rushikesh Patel. Many state ministers were members of the sub-committee.
  • Earlier, out of the total 1.26 lakh seats in 14,562 gram panchayats, the reserved seats for the OBCs were 12,750.
  • The OBC population in Gujarat is about 52%.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Union Minister Arjun Munda launched the ‘Awareness Campaign and Training of Trainers for the Elimination of Sickle Cell Anaemia'.

  • As part of the ‘Mission for Elimination of Sickle Cell Anaemia', the Union Minister launched the Awareness Campaign and Training of Trainers for the Elimination of Sickle Cell Anaemia.
  • For maximum understanding among various tribes, all communication content and modules will be translated in local dialects of different regions.
  • The Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Tribal Affairs are collaborating to launch awareness generation initiatives for the Mission for the Elimination of SCD.
  • Three-layer training programme are being implemented at the State, District, and Village levels
  • In the budget of 2023-24, the Government declared a Mission to eliminate Sickle Cell anaemia by 2047.
  • The mission to eliminate Sickle Cell Anaemia was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on 1st July 2023 in Shahdol District of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The mission involves public awareness campaigns for screening of 7 crore individuals aged 0-40 in affected tribal areas and counselling.

Mission for Elimination of Sickle Cell Anaemia

(Source: PIB)

Topic: State News/Kerala

11. India’s first AI school launched in Kerala’s capital city, Thiruvananthapuram.

  • The school, Santhigiri Vidyabhavan, utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to improve the learning experience.
  • It offers resources, guidance and preparation for exams.
  • Former President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the school.
  • The AI school is a result of a partnership between iLearning Engines (ILE) USA and Vedhik eSchool.
  • The aim of AI school is to provide students with a technologically driven educational experience.
  • At first, the AI school will be for students in grades 8 to 12.

Topic: Important Days

12. National Small Industry Day: 30 August

  • National Small Industry Day is observed every year on 30 August.
  • It recognizes the contribution of small industries to the country’s growth.
  • It is an opportunity for the central and state governments to encourage and support small industries.
  • The central government formally declared 30 August as National Small Industry Day in 2001.
  • On 30 August 2000, a comprehensive policy package for small businesses was announced by the Ministry of Small-Scale Industries.

Topic: Indian Polity

13. Census Act empowers only the Central Government to conduct census: Government to the Supreme Court

  • The Central Government said in Supreme Court said that the Census Act, 1948, has only empowered the Central Government to conduct a Census.
  • The Central Government filed this affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Bihar caste survey matter.
  • In the affidavit filed before the top court, the Centre informed that the Census is a statutory process and is governed by the Census Act, 1948. It is covered under the Union List under Entry 69 in the Seventh Schedule.
  • The Central government also said that it is committed to taking all affirmative actions for the upliftment of SCS/STS/SEBCs and OBCs in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of India.
  • Supreme Court was hearing the petitions challenging the Patna High Court judgement upholding the caste survey ordered by the Bihar Government.
  • The appellants are claiming that the survey was carried out based on the executive order which is a violation of the Right of privacy without any law.
  • The petitioner said that the survey is against the Constitutional mandate of distribution of powers between the State and the Union legislature under Article 246 of the constitution.
  • The process of caste-based survey started in Bihar on January 7, 2023.
  • The Bihar government issued a notification on June 6, 2022, for conducting a caste survey in Bihar.

Topic: National News

14. A chapter on the National War Memorial will be included in the Class 7 NCERT book.

  • This year, a chapter on 'National War Memorial - homage to our brave soldiers' will be included in the NCERT curriculum of class 7.
  • The main objective of this initiative is to inculcate the values of patriotism, devotion to duty and courage and sacrifice.
  • The chapter highlights the history, significance, and concept of the National War Memorial (NWM).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National War Memorial on February 25, 2019, in New Delhi.
  • The names of armed forces personnel killed during different operations are inscribed on the memorial walls.
  • This monument is spread over 40 acres of land. It is designed by Chennai-based architectural firm WeBe Design Lab.
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