Daily Current Affairs and GK | 4 August 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 04 Aug 2023 19:36 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. AYUSH Visa has been introduced by the government for foreign nationals coming for AYUSH medical treatment in India.

  • The “Ayush Visa” category has been introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs for foreign nationals coming for medical treatment like therapeutic care, wellness and yoga in India,
  • The main aim of the “Ayush Visa” is to promote Ayurvedic and other traditional forms of treatment of India in the world.
  • In the Visa Manual, a new chapter 11A has been added after Chapter 11.
  • It is a significant step towards increasing Medical Value Travel in India.
  • Ayush Visa was announced by PM Narendra Modi in 2022 as part of the roadmap for Heal in India initiative of the government.
  • The Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare are developing a one-stop Heal in India portal for promoting India as a medical tourism destination.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) for promoting Medical Value Travel in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.

Topic: State News/Kerala

2. The ninth edition of the Malabar River Festival started at Thusharagiri in Kozhikode, Kerala.

  • It is a three-day event. It is organised by the Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society and the Kozhikode District Tourism Promotion Council.
  • It will be held at Iruvanjhipuzha and Chalipuzha rivers at Thusharagiri.
  • Paddlers from ten countries are taking part in the event. These ten countries include the US, the UK, Israel, Kazakhstan and South Africa.
  • The competition will be organised in Kayak Slalom, Boardercross and Down River events.
  • As part of the Malabar River Festival this year, the National Whitewater Kayaking Championship will also be organised.

Malabar River Festival

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Assam

3. Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the Amrit Brikshya Andolan web portal/mobile application.

  • Amrit Brikshya Andolan web portal/mobile application belongs to the Department of Forest & Environment.
  • Assam CM also launched the Wood-based Industry registration web portal.
  • Amrit Brikshya Andolan is an initiative aimed at planting 1 crore (10 million) commercially-viable saplings across the state by individuals on 17 September 2023.
  • On 17 September 2023, nearly 40 lakh members of women self-help groups from across the state would be planting two commercially-viable saplings each. In this way, a total of 80 lakh saplings would be planted.
  • People belonging to various walks of life such as anganwadi workers, tea garden workers, and government officials would plant the remaining (20 lakh or more).
  • Rs 100 would be credited to the bank account of those who register with the Amrit Brikshya Andolan app/portal and upload geo-tagged photographs of them planting the saplings.
  • If the sapling would survive for three years, the individual would be paid Rs 200 more.
  • CM said that next year, the target would be to plant 3 crore commercially-viable saplings. In 2025, the target would be to plant 5 crore saplings.
  • The Assam Wood-based Industries (Promotion & Development) Rules 2022 have replaced Assam Wood-based Industries (Establishment & Regulation) Rules of 2000.
  • It divides the State's wood-based industries into primary, secondary and composite.
  • The license would be mandatory for operating a primary wood-based industry.
  • Only registration would be sufficient for a secondary wood-based industry like agar-wood-based industries, etc.

Topic: Science and Technology

4. India will have its 1st polar research vessel (PRV) in five years.

  • The estimated cost of the vessel is ₹2,600 crore.
  • Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju said the proposal for the ship is likely to go for Cabinet approval during the current financial year.
  • In 2014, ₹1,051 crore was approved to acquire the vessel and a tender was floated for this purpose. However, the project was later abandoned.
  • Union Earth Sciences Minister said the government is talking with other countries which have expertise in making such ships.
  • Currently, India is having three research base stations in the polar region.
  • Maitri and Bharati are two research stations in Antarctica. Indian Arctic station ‘Himadri’ is located at Ny Alesund, Spitsbergen Island, Norway.
  • A polar research vessel (PRV) performs research and logistics in the polar region. It also serves as a research platform for scientists to conduct research in the ocean realm.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Study in India portal has been launched by Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar.

  • On 3 August, this portal was launched in New Delhi for international students.
  • This portal is a one-stop platform that will make it easier for foreign students to pursue education in India.
  • Comprehensive information about higher education institutions in India will be available on the portal.
  • The portal will also provide an integrated one-stop solution for the student registration and visa application process.
  • Guided by the National Education Policy the Study in India portal reflects the Government's commitment to making India a preferred education destination.
  • The portal will provide information on academic programs covering undergraduate (UG), postgraduate (PG), and doctoral level programs as well as courses in Indian knowledge systems such as Yoga, Ayurveda, classical arts, etc.
  • The Study in India program will partner with educational institutions that meet one of the following criteria:
    • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) Ranking (<=100)
    • National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) Accreditation Score (>=3.01)
    • Institute of National Importance (INI)

Topic: National Appointment

6. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba got another one-year extension.

  • On 3 August, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Rajiv Gauba's extension as Cabinet Secretary for a further period of one year beyond August 30, 2023.
  • Shri Gauba has been given an extension for the third time in this post.
  • The Appointments Committee has extended the appointment of Mr. Gauba in relaxation of AIS (DCRB) Rules, 1958 and Rule 56(d) of the Fundamental Rules.
  • He is a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre. He has earlier served as Union Home Secretary.
  • Prior to him, BD Pandey was the longest-serving Cabinet Secretary from 2 November 1972 to 31 March 1977.
  • In 2019, Gauba was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for a period of two years. He got an extension twice, first in 2021 and then in August 2022.
  • Cabinet Secretary:
    • Cabinet Secretary is the Government of India’s top-most executive official and senior-most civil servant.
    • Cabinet Secretary is the ex-officio head of the Civil Services Board, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), and all civil services under the rules of business of the government.

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Topic: National News

7. Central government has imposed restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers and ultra-small form factor computers and servers.

  • The restrictions have been imposed on 03 August 2023 with immediate effect.
  • The import of these items would now be allowed against a valid licence for restricted imports.
  • However, the import of one laptop, tablet and all-in-one personal computer has been exempted from the import licensing requirement.
  • One laptop, tablet and all-in-one personal computer purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier, has also been exempted from the import licensing requirement.
  • Exemption from import licencing requirement has been given for upto 20 items per consignment for Research and Development, Testing, Repair, and return.
  • The exemption is also available where the item is an essential part of a Capital Good, like a machine embedded with a computer.
  • According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification, Import of Laptops, Tablets, All-in-one Personal Computers, and Ultra small form factor Computers and Servers falling under HSN 8741 shall be ‘Restricted’.
  • The notification stated, “Their import would be allowed against a valid Licence for Restricted Imports.”
  • The restrictions will also be there on microcomputers, large or mainframe computers, and certain data processing machines.
  • These curbs are not applicable to imports under baggage rules. This indicates travellers can bring one of these products back with them from overseas without penalties.
  • These steps are expected to reduce imports from countries like China.
  • Electronics imports form 7% to 10% of India's total merchandise imports.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. New logo of NMDC has been unveiled by Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.

  • Union Minister said the new logo of NMDC represents how India’s largest iron ore producer is all set for mining at the global scale.
  • He highlighted the achievements of NMDC. He said NMDC has achieved a record-breaking production for the period up to July 2023.
  • He said NMDC has already crossed 40 metric tonnes of annual production last year.  
  • In the new logo, the blue cog representing the mineral mining cycle has been retained.
  • At the center of the logo, a hand cradles the earth. It represents NMDC's commitment to sustainable and responsible mining and global aspirations.
  • The vibrant green color symbolizes growth, renewal, and harmony with nature.
  • National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is the country’s largest Iron Ore producer. It is a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Steel. It is headquartered in Hyderabad.

New logo of NMDC

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Indian Economy

9. Morgan Stanley upgrades the Indian market rating to ‘overweight’.

  • The brokerage firm Morgan Stanley upgraded India's markets to the ‘Overweight’ rating from ‘equal weight’.
  • Morgan Stanley believes that India's reform and macro-stability support a strong capex and profit outlook.
  • The overweight rating of Morgan Stanley means that the Indian economy will perform better in the future.
  • The Indian market was upgraded to equal weight from underweight on March 31 2023.
  • Morgan Stanley said that the Indian economy is on track to achieve GDP growth of 6.2 per cent.
  • India has become the most-preferred market among emerging markets due to foreign inflows, macro stability and a positive earnings outlook.
  • Morgan Stanley predicts that the BSE benchmark index, Sensex, will reach 68500 points by December.
  • Morgan Stanley has down downgraded China’s rating due to the economic slowdown. China’s rating has been cut down to ‘equal weight’.
  • United States has also lost its status AAA rating.

Indian market rating upgraded by Morgan Stanley

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

10. Indian Organ Donation Day: 3 August

  • Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, addressed the 13th Indian Organ Donation Day ceremony on 3rd August 2023.
  • The ceremony was organized to felicitate deceased donor families, who had decided to donate the organs of their loved ones.
  • Heads of two Non-Transplant Human Organ Retrieval Centres (NTHORCs) were also honoured on this occasion.
  • This day is celebrated to spread awareness about organ donation and to honour the contribution of medical professionals working in the field of organ donation.
  • Indian Organ Donation Day (IODD) is being observed since 2010 to spread awareness about brain stem death and organ donation.
  • A person after death can give life to eight people by donating his organ.
  • The number of people donating their organs has increased from tripled between 2013 to 2023 in India.
  • The government has also increased the leave duration for organ donors from 30 days to 60 days and the age limit of 65 years has been also removed for organ donation.

Topic: Indian Polity

11. On 1 August, Rajya Sabha passed the Mediation Bill 2021.

  • According to the Bill, a person could try to settle civil or commercial disputes through arbitration before approaching any court or tribunal.
  • A party may withdraw from the mediation after two mediation sessions.
  • The mediation process must be completed within 180 days, which can be extended by the parties for another 180 days.
  • The Bill has a provision for the establishment of the Mediation Council of India. This will be a neutral third party.
  • Its functions will include registering mediators and recognizing mediator service providers and mediator institutions.
  • The Bill makes the process a time-bound mechanism which saves time and money for the parties.
  • The Bill makes pre-litigation mediation voluntary rather than mandatory.

Topic: Geography

12. Typhoon Khanun hits power lines in Okinawa in Japan.

  • The slow-moving Typhoon Khanun is approaching the Japan’s southwestern islands.
  • The high-speed winds of the typhoon hit power lines in Okinawa leaving more than two lakh households without electricity.
  • Due to this typhoon, officials have confirmed the injuries of 25 people and the death of one.
  • The authorities have advised about seven lakh people to move to safer places.
  • In some places on Okinawa, wind gusts of up to 200 kilometers per hour and more than 250 mm of rain fell in the past 24 hours.
  • Typhoon:
    • These develop between 180° and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere.
    • It is a giant, rotating storm that brings wind, rain, and destruction.
    • Hurricanes and typhoons are kinds of tropical cyclones.

Typhoon Khanun

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Space and IT

13. Debris of an Indian rocket has been found on the shores of Australian beach.

  • A large object has been found on a beach in Western Australia. It is the debris of an ISRO rocket.
  • It is around six feet in height and has cables dangling from the top.
  • ISRO has agreed and said that it could be the debris of one of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rockets.
  • The object is most likely the unburnt part of the PSLV rocket that was launched to carry a navigation satellite for the IRNSS constellation.
  • It could be one of the parts of the rocket that did not burn while returning to the atmosphere and fell into the ocean.
  • It is not the first time space junk has been found in Australia.
  • According to NASA, more than 23,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball are orbiting the Earth.
  • The PSLV is a four-stage rocket that is powered by solid and liquid fuels.
  • What are the United Nations guidelines on space debris?
  • Spacecraft and launch vehicles that have terminated their operational phases in orbits that pass through the LEO region should be removed from orbit in a controlled manner.
  • The recovery and return of space debris is a central part of the 1968 Rescue Agreement. This agreement came into force on 3 December 1968.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. India’s services PMI reached to a 13-year high in July.

  • Services PMI increased to the 13-year high level of 62.3 in July 2023 due to strong demand.
  • S&P Global’s India services purchasing managers’ index rose to 62.3 in July from June’s 58.5,
  • It is the highest index reading since June 2010.
  • About 29% of survey participants reported higher intakes of new business.  
  • India's services sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. It contributes more than 50% in India's GDP.
  • Manufacturing PMI declined slightly from 57.8 in June 2023 to 57.7 in July 2023. 
  • Manufacturing has a share of around 18% in GVA.
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