Daily Current Affairs and GK | 31 August 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 17:38 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. Government has extended deadline for mandatory Aadhaar-based wage payments for MGNREGA till December 31.

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme is still not prepared for Aadhaar-based wage payments.
  • The government has decided to extend the mandatory Aadhaar-based wage payments for the MGNREGA scheme till the end of the year.
  • This is the fifth time Aadhaar-based wage payment date for MGNREGA has been extended.
  • Out of a total 14.33 crore active workers, Aadhaar has been seeded and authenticated for 13.34 crore.
  • This means that 81.89% of active workers are eligible for the Aadhaar-based wage payments system (ABPS).
  • About 88.51% of women received wage payments through the ABPS.
  • Aadhaar-based wage payments use a 12-digit Aadhaar number as their financial address.
  • Government is adopting ABPS to curb corruption and weeding out fake beneficiaries.
  • However, no worker will be denied work based on the non-availability of Aadhaar number.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):
  • It was passed on 23 August 2005.
  • It provides at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to a rural household.
  • It gives a guarantee of the 'right to work' in rural areas.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

2. India will host the first-ever global AI summit in October.

  • First-ever Global India AI 2023 Summit will be hosted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on October 14 and 15.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) players, researchers, startups, and investors from across the world will participate in the event.
  • India assumed the chairmanship of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) in 2022.
  • Global IndiaAI 2023 Summit will promote local innovation and AI-deployed public infrastructure tools will be showcased.
  • This conference will cover many topics including Next Generation Learning and Foundation AI models.
  • At the summit, global experts will showcase AI’s applications in healthcare, governance, and next-generation electric vehicles, future AI research trends.
  • Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, said that the main aim is to ensure a collaborative and participatory approach to use AI in governance and transforming lives.
  • The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) is an international initiative to guide the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Topic: Defence

3. The deals signed by the Army for 130 tethered drones and 19 tank-driving simulators.

  • The contracts signed by the Army for the procurement of 130 tethered drones and 19 tank-driving simulators under Emergency Procurement (EP). It will be delivered in 12 months.
  • Currently, the Armed Forces implemented the 4th tranche of EP sanctioned by the Ministry of Defence.
  • With an approximate value of ₹250 crore, the long-endurance tether drone systems will be acquired from Bengaluru-based NewSpace Research & Technologies Pvt Ltd.
  • Over the past few months, the Army has issued a number of tenders for various drones and technologies, including logistics, payload drones, anti-drone systems, and munitions, among others.
  • Noida-based start-up Rafe mPhibr Pvt Ltd also received two separate orders from the Army, for 48 mR-20 logistics drones and 100 quadcopter drones for the armored corps.
  • Earlier, the Army had contracted target attack drones with 5-10 kg of explosives from Bengaluru-based NewSpace Research and Technologies Pvt Ltd.
  • Under the fourth tranche of the EP, the Army has so far signed 49 contracts worth ₹7,600 crore, and another 34 contracts of similar amount are in the queue.

Topic: State News/ Assam

4. Assam’s Chokuwa rice has received a GI tag.

  • The Chokuwa rice, fondly called the "magic rice" of Assam, has recently bagged the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • This recognition highlights the exceptional qualities and historical legacy of rice, making it a culinary gem of the region.
  • In 2016, a group called Seuj Satirth of Dimow from Sivsagar submitted an application in order to get the GI tag for Chokuwa rice.
  • Magic rice has been the staple food of the soldiers of the powerful Ahom dynasty.
  • This unique and healthy rice is cultivated around the Brahmaputra region.
  • It is cultivated in many parts of Assam like Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon, Morigaon.
  • Chokuwa rice is basically semi-glutinous winter rice, which is known as Sali rice.
  • The sticky variety of rice is classified as bora and chokuwa based on their amylose concentration.
  • This can be consumed after soaking rice in cold or lukewarm water.
  • This variety of rice is widely used because of its nutritional value and is easy to cook.

Topic: Important Days

5. World Sanskrit Day 2023: 31 August

  • Every year, World Sanskrit Day is celebrated on Sawan Purnima, according to the Hindu calendar.
  • In the year 2023, the day has been celebrated on 31 August.
  • It is celebrated to raise awareness and revive the ancient Sanskrit language.
  • In 1969, this day was first celebrated.
  • Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language and belongs to the group of Indo-European languages. It is also called Dev Vani i.e. God language.
  • Sanskrit is the mother of all Indian languages and it was one of the first languages spoken in India.
  • It is believed that the Sanskrit language originated in India 3500 years ago.
  • Sanskrit language is divided into two parts which are Vedic and Classical.
  • 'Sudharma' is the only Sanskrit newspaper in the world. The Sanskrit language is the second official language of Uttarakhand.

Topic: Art and Culture

6. Sri Lanka hosted its first Karnataka cultural festival on 25 August.

  • The International Cultural Council of India organized the festival in collaboration with the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre and the M.E Global Peace Foundation.
  • The event featured a mesmerizing lineup of performances including dance, folk songs, multilingual poems, ballet, and captivating puppet shows by over 30 artists from Karnataka.
  • The program showcased the Karnataka's heritage, highlighting talented artists like Madhuri Bondre and her troupe.
  • The event celebrated cultural diversity and marked an important moment in the shared cultural heritage of India and Sri Lanka.

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

7. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has signed a MoU with the NSKFDC.

  • The purpose of the MoU is to enhance the socio-economic upliftment of Safai Karamcharis.
  • The MoU has been signed for the fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25.
  • The partnership also aims to enhance the socio-economic upliftment of Manual Scavengers, Waste Pickers and their dependents.
  • NSKFDC will collaborate with the Ministry to ensure the transparent and effective utilization of allocated funds.
  • National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC):
    • It is a wholly owned Government of India Undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
    • It was set up on 24th January 1997 as a "Not for Profit" Company. It has been in operation since October, 1997.

Topic: Defence

6. The warship ‘Mahendragiri’ will be launched on 01 September 2023.

  • It is being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai.
  • It is the 7th stealth frigate under Project 17A of the Indian Navy.
  • The warship will be launched by the wife of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, Dr Sudesh Dhankar.
  • Vice President will be the Chief Guest at the ceremony.
  • He will also visit Dharohar- the Heritage Museum of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
  • Mahendragiri is a technologically advanced warship.
  • On 17 August, President Droupadi Murmu launched Vindhyagiri, the sixth warship of Project 17A.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

9. NITI Aayog and UNDP signed MoU to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals.

  • NITI Aayog and UNDP India signed a MoU for fast-tracking progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The MoU has been signed to formalise a framework of cooperation in different areas including SDG localisation, data-driven monitoring, Aspirational Districts and Blocks.
  • The MoU has been signed in the presence of B. V. R. Subrahmanyam CEO, NITI Aayog.
  • The MoU has been signed for five years.
  • NITI Aayog is the nodal agency for coordinating the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national levels.
  • UNDP plays an important role in coordinating efforts to fast-track progress on the SDGs within the UN system.
  • UNDP will also provide support for NITI Aayog’s work on women's livelihoods, innovation, and Mission LiFE.

Topic: India and its neighbours

10. China included Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in its new map.

  • China has released the 2023 edition of its “standard map”.
  • China has included Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region in its official “standard map”.
  • In this map, Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea have also been included in the Chinese territory.
  • China’s Ministry of Natural Resources released the map during the celebration of Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week.
  • The map also included Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory.
  • This map is based on the drawing method of the national boundaries of China and various countries in the world.
  • Earlier this year in April, China released the name of Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese, Tibetan and Pinyin characters.

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

11. Bhaderwah Rajma & Ramban Sulai Honey of Jammu and Kashmir have been granted GI tags.

  • Bhaderwah Rajma & Ramban Sulai Honey, two world-famous local speciality products of Jammu and Kashmir, get the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag.
  • The process for getting GI Tagging of these products was started by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Jammu.
  • Bhaderwah Rajma is mainly cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also known as Kashmiri Rajma.
  • Ramban Sulai Honey is the honey of Sulai produced in Ramban district.
  • After the GI tag, only authorized users will have the exclusive rights to use the Geographical Indication of these products.
  • It will prevent the unauthorized use of these registered Geographical Indication goods.
  • It will also help in the export of the products and promotion of their brands at the international level.
  • GI tagging will also promote the economic development of the local people of the Jammu Kashmir region.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

12. Fifth Annual Defence Dialogue between India and Bangladesh held in Dhaka.

  • India and Bangladesh organized the fifth Annual Defence Dialogue on 28th August in Dhaka.
  • The Annual Defence Dialogue is the highest institutionalised interactive mechanism between India and Bangladesh.
  • Both countries have reviewed the ongoing defence cooperation activities. They also expressed satisfaction at the increasing defence cooperation engagements.
  • The talks between both countries covered the existing bilateral exercises and they also agreed to increase the complexity of these exercises.
  • The Armed Forces of both sides agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in multiple fields and increase engagements for the future of the relations of both countries.

Fifth Annual Defence Dialogue between India and Bangladesh

(Source: PIB)

Topic: State News/ Karnataka

13. Karnataka government launched the 'Gruha Lakshmi' scheme.

  • Under this scheme, a monthly assistance of Rs 2,000 will be provided to about 1.1 crore women who are heads of their households.
  • The Gruha Lakshmi scheme will ensure gender equality and empower women of Karnataka state.
  • The "Gruha Lakshmi" scheme is one of the five pre-poll 'guarantees' of the Congress government.
  • This scheme will initially cover beneficiaries in Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, and Kodagu districts. It will also be introduced in other districts.
  • The state of Karnataka has allocated a substantial Rs 32,000 crore annually.
  • The government has already implemented three of the five 'guarantees' (pre-poll promises).
  • Under the Yuva Nidhi (Youth Fund), Rs 3,000 and Rs 1,500 a month will be provided to the unemployed graduates and diploma holders, respectively. It will be launched in December.

Topic: International News

14. Australia will hold a national referendum on 14 October.

  • Australia is all set to hold a landmark national referendum in October.
  • The main aim of the referendum is to recognize Australia's Indigenous people in its constitution.
  • Around 17 million voters will vote to decide whether to amend the Constitution.
  • This historic referendum has been named as "Voice to Parliament".
  • If the referendum gets passed it would recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the country's constitution.
  • It will also establish a permanent body for them to advise on laws that relate to them.
  • This referendum will need support from a majority of Australians. For passing the referendum, at least four of six states majority will be required.
  •  Australia is the only Commonwealth country that has never signed a treaty with its Indigenous people.
  • About 3.2% of Australia's population are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Any constitutional amendment in Australia requires a national referendum. This will be the first referendum since 1999 in Australia.


Australia will hold a national referendum

(Source: News on AIR)

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