Daily Current Affairs and GK | 7 September 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 08 Sep 2023 15:59 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. 13 Crore Rural Households received tap connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) has achieved a milestone of providing tap connections to 13 crore rural households.
  • The tap connections number has increased from 3.23 crore households in August 2019 to 13 crores in 2023.
  • Goa, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, have achieved 100% coverage.
  • Bihar and Mizoram have coverage of 96.39% and 92.12% respectively.
  • 145 districts and 1,86,818 villages reported 100% coverage under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • An average of 87,500 tap connections have been provided since 1 January 2023.
  • Uttar Pradesh is on the top with 61.05 lakh Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) in the current fiscal year.
  • 9.15 lakh (88.73%) schools and 9.52 lakh (84.69%) Anganwadi centres across the country got tap water connections.
  • In the 112 aspirational districts, the tap water connection coverage has increased from 7.86% to 66.48%.
  • Jal Jeevan Mission:
    • It was announced by the Prime Minister on 15th August 2019.
    • The Ministry of Jal Shakti is the nodal agency for this mission.
    • The main objective of the mission is to provide piped water supply to all rural households by 2024.

13 Crore Rural Households received tap connections

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. Government has launched G20 India mobile app.

  • The app provides complete information about the G20 India’s Presidency.
  • It supports 10 languages including five UN official languages other than Hindi, German, Japanese, and Portuguese.
  • PM Modi said that the app would help the Ministers to interact with foreign delegates seamlessly.
  • It will help delegates, officials, media personnel, and people to get information about the Summit.
  • The app has a special Yoga Break feature. Using this feature, users can practice yoga whenever they need a break.
  • G20 India app is developed by the Ministry of External Affairs. The app is now available for both Android and iPhone users.
  • G20 Summit is scheduled to take place on 9-10 September at the state-of-the-art Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Topic: National News

3. Bharat Drone Shakti - 2023 will be organised at the Indian Air Force airbase in Hindan Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh from the 25th September.

  • It will be co-hosted by Indian Air Force (IAF) and Drone Federation of India.
  • According to the Defence Ministry, the usage of drones in India is increasing both in the military and civil domain.
  • The two-day Bharat Drone Shakti will present the prowess of the Indian drone industry.
  • Bharat Drone Shakti will give a fillip to India's commitment to becoming a global drone hub by 2030.
  • Representatives from central government, state departments, public and private industries, armed forces, paramilitary forces, and representatives from friendly countries will attend the event.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Arun Kumar Sinha passed away at the age of 61.

  • Mr Sinha was the director of the Special Protection Group (SPG).
  • He was Kerala cadre IPS officer of the 1987 batch.
  • In Kerala, he was the additional director general of police (Special Service and Traffic).
  • In 2016, Centre asked him to head the SPG, which handles the security of the Prime Minister.
  • Sinha also worked with the Border Security Force (BSF).
  • SPG was started in 1986. It was raised for the protection of India’s Prime Minister, former PMs, and their immediate family.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. The Scheme titled Viability Gap Funding approved by the cabinet for the development of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS).

  • The approved plan envisages the development of 4,000 MWh BESS projects by 2030-31 with financial assistance of up to 40% of the capital cost in the form of budgetary support under Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
  • This is a significant step in the list of eco-friendly measures taken by the government, which is expected to reduce the cost of battery storage systems and increase their practicality.
  • Its initial outlay is approximately Rs 9,400 crore which includes budgetary support of Rs 3,760 crore.
  • Five installments will be distributed in different phases for the implementation of BESS projects in the Government Assistance Scheme.
  • To ensure that the benefits of the scheme reach the consumers, a minimum of 85% of the project will be made available to distribution companies (discoms).
  • The Government is committed to promoting clean and green energy solutions and the BESS scheme is an important step towards achieving this.
  • This will not only enhance the integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid but also reduce wastage while optimizing the use of the transmission network.
  • In another decision, the Center approved one thousand 164 crore rupees as an additional amount under the Industrial Development Scheme 2017 for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • This amount will help in meeting the liabilities under the scheme till 2028-29.
  • The total financial outlay under this scheme was Rs 131 crore ninety lakh which ended in the financial year 2021-22.
  • With this, direct employment opportunities for about 48 thousand 607 people will be created by 774 registered units.

Viability Gap Funding approved by the cabinet

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

6. The average time for processing income tax returns reduced to 10 days in the Assessment Year 2023-24.

  • The average processing time of ITR was 82 days in the assessment year 2019-20, and 16 days in the assessment year 2022-23.
  • Out of 6.98 crore ITRs filed for Assessment Year 2023-24, 6.84 crore ITRs have been verified till 05 September.
  • Out of the total ITRs verified till 05 September, more than 6 crore ITRs for AY 2023-24 have been processed resulting in processing of more than 88% verified ITRs.
  • More than 2.45 crore refunds have already been issued for the assessment year 2023-24.
  • The efforts of the Department to provide taxpayer services in a seamless and prompt manner are being continuously strengthened.
  • There are about 14 lakh ITRs for Assessment Year 2023-24 which have been filed but are yet to be verified by the taxpayers as of 04 September.
  • There are about 12 lakh such verified ITRs in which additional information has been sought by the department, for which requisite communication or information has been sent to the taxpayers through their registered e-filing accounts.

processing income tax returns reduced to 10 days

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

7. NPCI launched new payment options on payment platforms UPI.

  • Newly launched payment options include conversational transactions.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced the launch of the products by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) at the ongoing Global Fintech Festival in Mumbai on 06 September 2023.
  • The products will help UPI achieve the target of 100 billion transactions per month.
  • NPCI has partnered with AI4Bharat at IIT Madras to co-develop Hindi and English payment language models.
  • Hello! UPI is one of the products. It will make possible voice-enabled UPI payments via apps, telecom calls, and Internet of Thing (IoT) devices in Hindi and English.
  • The credit line on UPI facility will allow customers to access pre-sanctioned credit from banks via UPI.
  • Users will be able to send and receive money offline using LITE X product.
  • The UPI Tap & Pay facility will allow customers to simply tap Near Field Communication- (NFC-) enabled QR codes to complete their payments.
  • Global Fintech Fest (GFF) is the largest fintech conference.
  • It is jointly organized by the NPCI, the Payments Council of India (PCI), and the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC).

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. The One Week One Lab programme of CSIR will be organised from the 11th to the 16th of September 2023.

  • During this programme, each of the 37 CSIR laboratories will showcase their research outcomes and achievements.
  • The Science and Technology Ministry said it will open its doors to the public.
  • It will invite them to visit its departments and witness its academic and research initiatives.
  • Lectures, workshops, puppet shows, Vigyan Kavi Sammelan, Quizzes and exhibitions on various topics related to science are also part of the programme.
  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR):
    • It is India’s largest research and development organization.
    • Its current Director-General is Dr Nallathamby Kalaiselvi. It was established on September 26, 1942.

One Week One Lab programme of CSIR

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

9. SC panel on prison reforms submitted its recommendations.

  • Supreme Court-appointed committee presented its recommendations for Prison reforms.
  • Less than 40% of prisons in the country provide sanitary napkins to female inmates.
  • About 75% of female wards in prisons have to share kitchens and common facilities with male wards.
  • Female prisoners of only Goa, Delhi, and Puducherry are allowed to meet their children without any bars or glass separation.
  • Access to basic facilities ranging from medical care and medical staff, legal aid and counsel is more difficult for women than men.
  • On August 29, the Supreme Court sought the views of the Centre and the states on the Justice Amitava Roy Committee report submitted on December 27, 2022.
  • The population of female prisoners between 2014 and 2019 in India has increased by 11.7%. Women prisoners’ population is around 4.2% of the total prison population.
  • Only 18% of women prisoners are allotted exclusive women’s prison facilities. 15 states and UTs have only functional women’s prisons.
  • The panel recommended to use of telemedicine and virtual consultation to provide medical facilities for women prisoners.
  • It also recommended to provide vocational training to prisoners in collaboration with NGOs.
  • It recommended women prisoners suffering from psychological disorders should get proper counselling.

Topic: Sports

10. Indian men’s team wins bronze medal at the Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023.

  • The bronze medal is won by the Indian men’s team at the Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023.
  • The Indian men’s table tennis team comprising Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost by 0-3 in their final four match.
  • The Indian men’s team defeated Singapore by 3-0 to seal a spot in the final four.
  • In the mixed doubles, the Indian pair of Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost to Thailand’s Phakpoom Sanguansin and Orawan Paranang.
  • China won the gold medal at the Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023 while Chinese Taipei won the Silver medal.
  • The Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023 is also a qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
  • The 2023 Asian Table Tennis Championships was held at Yongpyong Dome from 3 to 6 September 2023.

Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Miscellaneous

11. World’s First Rapid-Response Disaster Hospital unveiled by Indian Scientists.

  • In an unprecedented achievement, a unique disaster hospital unveiled by Indian scientists that can be fully operational in just 8 minutes and provide immediate medical care to patients in need.
  • The hospital has been named 'Aarogya Maitri', which not only has an operating theatre but also a mini-intensive care unit (ICU) to treat critically injured patients.
  • The aim of the ‘Aarogya Maitri Hospital' is to provide services in remote and underserved areas, where resources are scarce or access to medical aid is challenging.
  • During a medical emergency, the hospital will be equipped with ventilators for patients requiring respiratory support.
  • In addition, essential medical equipment, including diagnostic equipment and X-ray machines, will be readily available for intensive screening.
  • The development of this quick-response disaster hospital is estimated to cost around Rs 1.5 crore.
  • In addition to medical facilities, the disaster hospital will have a station to prepare meals, ensuring that patients and medical staff are fed.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

12. Rajya Chayan Aayog will be set up in Himachal Pradesh.

  • On 4 September, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced the setting up of a 'Rajya Chayan Aayog' within the next two months.
  • It will be set up in place of the now-disbanded Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission at Hamirpur to ensure fairness in the selection criteria of candidates.
  • Under the 'Rajya Chayan Aayog', 6,000 teachers will be recruited soon and the state government will conduct exams to recruit more than 10,000 this year.
  • In February 2023, the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission was dissolved, two months after the paper leak was unearthed on December 23, 2022.
  • The Mukhya Mantri Sporting Abilities, Rebuilding Aspirations and Livelihood Scheme (SABAL) was also launched by Himachal Pradesh CM from his home assembly segment Nadaun.
  • The objective of the SABAL scheme is to take care of specially-abled children in about 400 schools in Hamirpur, Solan, and Shimla districts.
  • The state government has made a provision of 2% reservation in government jobs for specially-abled persons and the recruitment process for this is set to start soon on a mission mode.

Topic: International Appointments

13. Sato Kilman elected as Prime Minister of Vanuatu.

  • Vanuatu’s parliament elected Sato Kilman as the new Prime Minister.
  • Sato Kilman leader of the People’s Progressive Party has been elected prime minister with 27/23 vote in a secret ballot by lawmakers.
  • In this year’s August, a political crisis emerged in Vanuatu after opposition parties brought a no-confidence proposal.
  • The no-confidence petition was brought to criticise Ishmael Kalsakau for his actions including signing a security pact with Australia.
  • As per Opposition lawmakers, the security pact with Australia is compromise with the “neutral” status of Vanuatu.
  • Vanuatu has been at the centre of a strategic rivalry between China and Western countries in the region.
  • Sato Kilman had earlier served as prime minister, in 2012 and in 2015 for eight months.
  • Vanuatu:
    • It is an island country in Melanesia, located in the South Pacific Ocean.
    • It is 1,750 km (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia and 540 km (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia.
    • Vatu is the currency and the capital is Port Vila.
    • It was first inhabited by Melanesian people.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

14. Paytm launched a card soundbox to transform merchant payments.

  • Paytm launched a soundbox device that lets merchants accept both mobile and card payments across networks.
  • The Paytm Card Soundbox is equipped with a built-in ‘tap and pay’ functionality.
  • It allows the merchants to accept card payments of up to ₹5,000.
  • Paytm Card Soundbox is India’s first Soundbox that will also accept contactless card payments.
  • Paytm Card Soundbox addresses the two challenges faced by merchants- the acceptance of card payments and receiving instant audio alerts for all transactions.
  • It provides both audio and visual payment confirmations via a LCD display.
  • It harnesses 4G network connectivity for payment alerts. It offers alerts in 11 languages.
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