Daily Current Affairs and GK | 31 October 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 18:29 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

1. International Energy Agency released World Energy Outlook 2023.

  • According to the World Energy Outlook 2023, Fossil fuel demand would reach its peak by 2030.
  • Under existing policies of governments, Global emissions are on track to raise temperatures by 2.4 degrees Celsius.
  • Oil and natural gas demand will reach its peak before 2030. The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) is contributing to the shift from fossil fuels.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand in 2050 will be 15 per cent lower than projected earlier.
  • At present, investments in clean energy and infrastructure are around $1.8 trillion as compared to $1 trillion in fossil fuels.
  • International Energy Agency recommended maintaining current investments in fossil fuels across all scenarios to fulfil current demand and prevent abrupt supply shortages.
  • The report emphasised the importance of ensuring a balanced mix of investments. It pointed out that investment should not be solely on solar, wind power, and electric vehicles.
  • The IEA emphasised the importance of political and commercial ties between energy producers and consumers in managing energy supply and demand.
  • World Energy Outlook 2023 report lauded the transformation in India’s energy landscape in the last few decades.
  • As the temperature increases, the number of households having air conditioners will increase ninefold by 2050 in India.

Topic: International News

2. India Pavilion has been opened at the B2B Food Exhibition at InFlavourExpo in Riyadh on 30 October 2023.

  • India Pavilion has been officially opened by Ambassador Dr. Suhel Khan.
  • The event is being held with the facilitation of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations.
  • Over 20 Indian exhibitors took part in the Indian Pavilion at the InFlavourExpo.
  • India is seeking to strengthen food security ties with Saudi Arabia.
  • InFlavour Expo is a global food and beverage (F&B) event. It is being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from October 29-31, 2023.
  • It is the first government-backed F&B event in Saudi Arabia.

Topic: International News

3. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed the Cayman Islands from its grey list.

  • It has added Bulgaria to the grey list in its review published on 27 October 2023.
  • FATF has also removed Panama, Jordan and Albania from the grey list.
  • The Cayman Islands was added to the grey list in 2021.
  • It was in the news during the investigation into charges made by Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group.
  • As per the National Securities Depository (NSDL) website, 385 foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) registered in India are based in the Cayman Islands.
  • Cayman Islands is seen as an important jurisdiction for both FPI and FDI flows into India.
  • The jurisdictions included in the grey list are placed under increased monitoring.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

4. UST has won the 2023 Mahatma Award for sustainable and impactful corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

  • UST has won award for CSR in areas like education, health, livelihood, environment, and disaster relief.
  • It is a leading digital transformation solutions company.
  • Smita Sharma, Global Programme Manager, CSR, UST, received the 2023 Mahatma Award from Amit Sachdeva, CSR man of India and Founder of the Mahatma Award.
  • The award is an initiative of Aditya Birla Group. It was given on Gandhi Jayanti.
  • Adopt-a-School programme is one of the many CSR initiatives of the company. 
  • It impacts over 32,000 students in India and Mexico.
  • UST has pledged $100,000 to support victims of the conflict in Ukraine.

Topic: State News / Gujarat

5. Several development projects worth Rs 5,900 crore inaugurated by PM Modi in Gujarat.

  • On 30 October, several development projects worth Rs 5,900 crore were inaugurated and laid the foundation stone by PM Modi in the Mehsana district of Gujarat.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the government is continuously working during Amrit Kaal to make the country a developed nation in every field by 2047.
  • The infrastructure projects inaugurated will strengthen connectivity in North Gujarat, boost tourism, and also bring prosperity and happiness to the people.
  • The government has ensured all basic facilities including water, and electricity to every household in this area and is now working on strengthening the dairy and agriculture-related sectors to increase the income of farmers and livestock farmers.
  • During the last two decades, the government has established more than eight hundred dairies at the village level in Gujarat.
  • Projects in the rail, road, drinking water, and irrigation sectors will benefit seven districts of North and Central Gujarat.
  • The Prime Minister also launched the new Bhandu-New-Sanand (North) section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC), the doubling project of the Viramgam-Samakhiyali rail line and the Katosan-Bechrajee rail project.
  • Shri Modi inaugurated lake recharge projects in various villages in Mehsana and Gandhi Nagar districts.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

6. International Workshop on 'Food Loss and Waste Prevention in the South Asian Region' inaugurated in New Delhi on 30 October.

  • It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Sushri Shobha Karandlaje.
  • It was jointly organized by The Indian Council of Agriculture Research and the Thünen Institute, Germany.
  • On the occasion, around 120 delegates from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, France, Germany, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were present.
  • Ms. Shobha Karandlaje appreciated the efforts made by ICAR and Thünen Institute of Germany to solve an important social and economic issue related to farmers and consumers.
  • Every year, around 3 billion tons of food is wasted worldwide.
  • She said appropriate technologies and practices from developed and developing countries should be brought forward to reduce food loss and wastage around the world using socially acceptable methods.
  • South Asia is a major producer as well as consumer of food grains and reducing food loss and wastage is a moral responsibility as well as an economic necessity.
  • Pandemics, climate change, and wars also have serious impacts on food loss and waste.
  • Only a few years remain to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving food loss by 2030.

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Topic: Important Days

7. Vigilance Awareness Week 2023: 30th October-5th November, 2023.

  • Vigilance Awareness Week 2023 is being observed by the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • This is observed every year to create awareness about the importance of ethics and integrity in public life.
  • This year’s theme is Say no to corruption; Commit to the Nation.
  • Central Vigilance Commissioner Praveen Kumar Srivastava and Vigilance Commissioner Arvinda Kumar administered the integrity pledge at Satarkata Bhawan in New Delhi to the officials of the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • With this administering of the integrity pledge, the observance of Vigilance Awareness Week commenced on 30 October.
  • The Commission invited all Central Government organisations and authorities to take part in a three-month campaign that ran from August 16 to November 15 with a focus on preventive vigilance operations.

Vigilance Awareness Week 2023

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

8. According to the Fairwork India 2023 report, BigBasket is the best organisation for gig workers in India.

  • The report ranks Zomato, Swiggy, Urban Company and BluSmart, all in second place. Porter, and Ola came in last in the ranking.
  • Professors Balaji Parthasarathy and Janaki Srinivasan were the Principal Investigators of the report.
  • In the report, each company is judged on the basis of five factors.
  • These factors are Fair Pay, Fair Contract, Fair Management, Fair Representation, and Fair Conditions.
  • Each factor carried two points. This implied a company could get 10 points maximum and 0 points minimum.
  • Ola has scored zero out of 10 points for the third year in a row.
  • The Fairwork India team noted that EV-based ride-hailing platform BluSmart operates on an “asset-light” model.
  • According to the report, the only platforms with a minimum wage policy are BigBasket, Flipkart, and Urban Company.

Topic: National News

9. The government will release the Vision India 2047 document very soon.

  • To make India a developed country by 2047, the government will release Vision India 2047 document.
  • This document will ensure that India doesn’t fall into a middle-income trap that several countries have fallen into at similar stages of development.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the document in the next three months.
  • India is aiming to become a $30 trillion economy by 2047 with a per-capita income of $18,000-20,000.
  • The Niti Aayog is preparing this document called ‘Vision India@2047’.
  • In November, leaders such as Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani, K.M. Birla, N. Chandrasekharan and Indra Nooyi will come together to give their thoughts on this document.
  • India’s share in the global GDP has tripled from 1.1% in 1991 to 3.5% in 2023.
  • The main purpose of the vision document is to avoid the middle-income trap and to take the country to the next level.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed Goa Maritime Conclave 2023.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that there is a need to accept the responsibility to cut emissions by investing in the green economy and sharing technology and capital.
  • The Defence Minister stressed the importance of mutual cooperation for security.
  • "Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean Region: Converting Common Maritime Priorities into Collaborative Mitigating Frameworks” was the theme of this year’s edition of the Goa Maritime Conclave.
  • Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy hosted the Chiefs of Navies/ Heads of Maritime Forces/ Senior Representatives from 12 Indian Ocean countries.
  • The 4th edition of Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) – 2023 was organized from 29 to 31 October by the Indian Navy under the aegis of Naval War College, Goa.
  • Visiting dignitaries witness India's Indigenous shipbuilding industry at the “Make in India Exhibition”.

Topic: State News/ Jharkhand

11. 8 lakh houses will be constructed by the Jharkhand Govt for the homeless under the 'Abua Awas Yojana.'

  • The state-supported Abua Awas Yojana (AAY) was approved in the meeting of the Council of Ministers under the leadership of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
  • Under AAY, 8 lakh houses will be built by the state government across Jharkhand and provided free of cost to the poor and needy.
  • This happened when the central government did not give approval for the construction of more than 8 lakh houses in the state.
  • The government has a target to construct eight lakh pucca houses for the homeless under the scheme.
  • In the first phase, 2 lakh houses will be built in the financial year 2023-24, 03 lakh 50 thousand in 2024-25, and 02 lakh 50 thousand in 2025-26.
  • The government will construct the housing in three phases at a cost of Rs 16 thousand 320 crore.
  • Under the Abua Awas Yojana, a three-room permanent house with an area of 31 square meters and a kitchen will be built.
  • The government will extend the benefit of the scheme to families living in kutcha houses, homeless and destitute families, families belonging to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), victims of natural calamities, and released bonded labourers.

Topic: Miscellaneous

12. The cricket icon MS Dhoni has become a brand ambassador of the State Bank of India.

  • Dhoni has been appointed by the State Bank of India as the official brand ambassador of the bank to strengthen its connection, especially with the youth population.
  • Dhoni will play a key role in various marketing and promotional campaigns of SBI.
  • Among public sector banks, currently, badminton players PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, and cricketer Shafali Verma are the brand ambassadors of Bank of Baroda.

Topic: Indian Polity

13. Ethics panel asked Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra to appear on November 2 in the Cash-for-query case.

  • Mahua Moitra has been asked to appear before the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee on November 2.
  • She had to appear before the ethics panel in the cash-for-query case on October 31 but got an extension of two days.
  • The ethics panel headed by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar said that no further extension will be granted.
  • The ethics panel is probing BJP MP Nishikant Dubey's allegations on Mahua Moitra of taking bribes and favours for asking questions in the Lok Sabha on the demand of businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
  • Ethics Committee of Parliament:
    • The Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha was established on March 4, 1997, by then Vice President (and Rajya Sabha Chairman) K R Narayanan.
    • The Committee of Privileges recommended the constitution of an Ethics Committee for Lok Sabha during the 13th Lok Sabha.
    • It reviews cases referred to it in relation to the ethical and other misconduct of members.
    • The members of the Ethics Committee are appointed by the speaker for a period of one year.
    • Each of the two Houses of Parliament has an ethics committee.
    • The Committee submits its report to the Speaker.

Topic: Important Days

14. National Unity Day: 31 October

  • National Unity Day is celebrated every year in India on 31 October. It is also known as 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas'.
  • It is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • Vallabhbhai Patel served as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India.
  • He was born in Nadiad, Kheda district on 31 October 1875.
  • National Unity Day has been celebrated since 2014.
  • 31 October is also celebrated as Rashtriya Sankalp Diwas or National Pledge Day. It is to mark the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
  • PM Narendra Modi launched the ‘Mera Yuva Bharat’ Organization on National Unity Day.
  • Union Defense Minister Rajnathsingh and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flag off “Run For Unity” on this occasion.
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