Current Affairs Oct 15, 2023

Current Affairs Oct 15, 2023


National News:

1.Seventh Consecutive Month of Contraction: India’s Wholesale Inflation Declines by 0.52% in October

  • Duration of Negative Territory: India’s wholesale inflation remained negative for the seventh consecutive month in October.
  • WPI Decline: The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) recorded a decline of 0.52 percent in October compared to the same month in the previous year.
  • Contraction Trend: This followed a contraction of 0.26 percent in wholesale inflation recorded in September.
  • Reasons for Negative Inflation: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry attributed the negative inflation in October to a decline in prices across various sectors, including chemicals, electricity, textiles, basic metals, food products, paper, and paper products, compared to the same month in the previous year.
  • Key Sectors Affected: The statement highlighted specific sectors such as chemicals, electricity, textiles, basic metals, food products, paper, and paper products as contributing to the negative inflation trend.

2. Indian Railways and IRCTC Launch Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train: Circular Route Highlights Cultural and Religious Heritage

  • Initiatives and Collaboration: Indian Railways, in collaboration with IRCTC, is launching the Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train to promote the “Dekho Apna Desh” and “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” initiatives.
  • Departure and Route: The tourist train will depart from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and follow a circular route covering Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Guntakal, Renigunta, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kochuveli, and back to CSMT.
  • Date of Departure: The train is scheduled to depart on the 25th of the current month.
  • Tourist Train Options: The Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train will offer three options for travelers – Economy, Comfort, and Deluxe.
  • Objective: The train aims to showcase India’s rich cultural and religious heritage to both domestic and international tourists.
  • Boarding and Deboarding Halts: Major stations like Thane, Pune, Solapur, Kanyakumari, and more will serve as halts for boarding and deboarding.
  • All-Inclusive Package: The IRCTC tourist train package is all-inclusive, covering train fare, meals, stay, and transport.
  • Promotion of National Tourism: The initiative aligns with the promotion of domestic tourism and the exploration of India’s diverse cultural and heritage sites.

3. Shital Mahajan Makes History: First Woman to Skydive from 21,500 ft Near Mt Everest

  • Historic Feat: Shital Mahajan, an Indian skydiver, achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first woman to skydive from the height of 21,500 ft near Mt Everest.
  • Jump Details: Mahajan performed the daring jump by leaping off a helicopter in front of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest.
  • Landing Location: After the thrilling skydive, Mahajan safely landed at Kalapatthar peak, situated at an altitude of 17,444 ft.
  • Accomplished Skydiver: Shital Mahajan is a well-known figure in the field of skydiving, boasting several records that showcase her expertise and courage in the sport.
  • Recognition: Mahajan received the Padma Shri in 2001, the fourth-highest civilian award in India, further highlighting her contributions and achievements in the realm of skydiving.
  • Social Media Announcement: The achievement was shared and celebrated on social media, with AIR (All India Radio) tweeting about Shital Mahajan’s groundbreaking accomplishment.

4. Indian Railways Operates 1,700 Special Trains, Creates Record 26 Lakhs Additional Berths for Festival Season

Festival Season Rail Services: Indian Railways is operating approximately 1,700 special trains across India during the festive season.

  • Record Number of Berths: A record number of 26 lakhs of additional berths have been created for travelers during this festive season.
  • Initiatives for Comfort: The railways have implemented various initiatives to ensure maximum comfort for travelers without compromising on service quality.
  • Crowd Control Measures: Elaborate crowd control arrangements have been established at major and important railway stations to manage the anticipated heavy footfall during festive travel.
  • Safety Measures: Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force staff have been deployed at foot-over bridges to regulate crowds and prevent stampede-like situations during peak rush periods.
  • Travel for Festivals: The special trains aim to facilitate travel for people celebrating festivals, providing a convenient and efficient mode of transportation across the country.
  • Enhanced Capacity: The addition of 26 lakhs berths reflects a proactive approach by Indian Railways to enhance capacity and accommodate the increased demand during the festive season.
  • Quality Service Delivery: Despite the surge in demand, the railways prioritize maintaining the quality of service delivery to ensure a positive travel experience for passengers.

5. PM Modi Launches Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, Emphasizing India’s Development Pillars

  1. Amrit Mantras for Development: Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlines four Amrit Mantras to propel India towards development over the next 25 years during the Amrit Kaal.
    1. Amrit Pillars: Emphasizing the importance of strengthening the four Amrit Pillars of a developed country for India’s progress.
    1. Launch of Schemes: PM launches the Pradhan Mantri Janjaatiya Aadivasi Nyaya Mahabhiyaan (PM Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan) and PM JanMan on the occasion of third Janjaatiya Gaurav Diwas in Khunti, Jharkhand.
    1. Budget Increase: Announces a 24,000 crore rupee scheme to benefit tribal families, highlighting a sixfold increase in the budget for tribal welfare.
    1. Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra: Launches the ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’ to ensure the saturation of flagship government schemes, employing Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) vans to create awareness.
    1. PM-KISAN Samman Nidhi: Releases the 15th installment of approximately 18,000 crore rupees under PM-KISAN Samman Nidhi, benefiting over 8 crore farmer beneficiaries.
    1. Development Projects: Dedicates and lays the foundation stone for multiple development projects worth around 7200 crore rupees under Education, Railway, Coal, Roads, and Petroleum Ministry in Jharkhand.
    1. Women Empowerment: Highlights the government’s continuous focus on women empowerment through various schemes, including the Lakhpati Didi scheme, aiming to make 2 crore women lakhpati.
    1. Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam: Announces the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam by the central government, emphasizing its commitment to empowering women in the country.
    1. Tribute to Bhagwan Birsa Munda: Pays homage and offers prayers to Bhagwan Birsa Munda on his 148th birth anniversary at his ancestral village in Ulihatu, Khunti; meets descendants of Birsa Munda’s family.

6. TRAI Warns Public: Beware of Fraud Calls Threatening Mobile Disconnection

  • TRAI Denies Disconnection Authority: TRAI emphasizes that it does not have the authority to block or disconnect any individual telecom customer’s mobile number and never sends disconnection messages.
  • Fraudulent Calls in TRAI’s Name: TRAI alerts the public to be cautious of calls falsely claiming to be from TRAI, stating that all such calls are potentially fraudulent.
  • Incidents of Fraud Noticed: The cautionary statement follows several incidents where companies, agencies, and individuals fraudulently inform customers about impending mobile number disconnection.
  • False Claims of Unsolicited Messages: Scammers falsely inform customers that their mobile numbers will be disconnected for allegedly sending unsolicited messages.
  • Misuse of Aadhar Numbers: Fraudulent entities claim that Aadhar numbers were misused for obtaining SIM cards and engaging in illegal activities using customers’ mobile numbers.
  • Skype Video Call Scam Warning: TRAI warns about scammers attempting to trick customers into Skype video calls, falsely claiming it can prevent the disconnection of their mobile numbers.
  • Action for Affected Persons: TRAI advises affected individuals to contact their service providers directly through Customer Service Center numbers and report incidents on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal.

Banking and Finance.

7. India’s Exports Soar by 6.21% to $33.57 Billion in October; Merchandise Exports April-Oct at $245 Billion

  • 1.  Export Growth: India’s exports increased by 6.21 percent in October 2023, reaching $33.57        billion, compared to $31.6 billion in the same month the previous year.
  • 2. Import Rise: Imports also saw an uptick, reaching $65.03 billion in October 2023, compared to $57.91 billion in October 2022.
  • 3. April to October Export Performance: Merchandise exports for the period of April to October 2023 amounted to approximately $245 billion, while services exported during the same period were estimated at over $192 billion.
  • 4. Sector-wise Growth: Among the 30 key sectors, 22 exhibited positive growth in merchandise exports in October 2023. Notable sectors include Iron Ore, Ceramic Products and Glassware, Processed Items, Cotton Yarn, and Handloom Products.
  • 5. Commerce and Industry Ministry Statement: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry released this information, indicating the positive trends and growth in India’s trade sector.

8. ADB Commits $400-Million Policy-Based Loan to Support India’s Urban Reform Agenda

  • Financial Support: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $400-million “policy-based loan” to the Indian government.
  • Purpose: The loan aims to support India’s urban reform agenda, focusing on the development of quality urban infrastructure, improvement in service delivery, and the promotion of efficient governance systems.
  • Agreement Signing: The agreement for the policy-based loan was signed on Friday between Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary in the finance ministry, and Takeo Konishi, the Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.
  • Urban Reform Agenda: The loan specifically addresses “sub-programme 2 of the Sustainable Urban Services Program.”
  • Focus Areas: The initiative emphasizes creating high-quality urban infrastructure, enhancing service delivery standards, and implementing efficient governance systems in urban areas.
  • ADB’s Role: The Asian Development Bank plays a crucial role in supporting and financing development projects in various countries, and in this case, aids India in its urban development initiatives.
  • Long-term Impact: The financial support is expected to have a positive and lasting impact on urban areas, contributing to sustainable urban services and overall development.

Sports news:

9. India Storms into ICC Men’s World Cup Final, Defeats New Zealand by 70 Runs

Match Result: India qualifies for the ICC Men’s World Cup final by defeating New Zealand by 70 runs in the first semi-final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

  • Chasing Target: New Zealand, chasing a target of 398 runs, was all out for 327 in 48.5 overs.
  • Bowling Performance: Mohammed Shami was the star performer for India, taking 7 wickets.
  • Top Scorers: Daryl Mitchell was the highest scorer for New Zealand with 134 runs, followed by captain Kane Williamson with 69 runs.
  • Toss and Batting: India won the toss and elected to bat, posting a formidable total of 397/4 in 50 overs.
  • Historic Moments: Virat Kohli created history at Wankhede Stadium, becoming the first player to claim 50 ODI hundreds, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record.
  • Fastest World Cup Semi-Final Century: Shreyas Iyer scored the fastest century in a World Cup semi-final, making 105 runs off 70 balls.
  • Player of the Match: Mohammed Shami was declared the player of the match, holding the best bowling figures by an Indian in ODIs.
  • Record-breaking Sixes: Captain Rohit Sharma surpassed Chris Gayle for hitting the most number of sixes in a single World Cup edition.
  • Winning Streak: This victory marked India’s 10th consecutive win in the World Cup.
  • Upcoming Semi-final: Australia is set to face South Africa in the second semi-final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata today.

International news :

10. India and Russia Sign Contract for Igla-S Anti-Aircraft Missiles, Including Licensed Production in India

  • Igla-S MANPADS: The Igla-S is a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) capable of taking down enemy aircraft, designed for use by an individual or crew.
  • Licensed Production in India: Moscow grants a contract allowing the licensed production of Igla-S in India, with a joint effort between Russian entities and an undisclosed Indian private company.
  • Procurement Details: The Indian Army, seeking new man-portable air defence systems, had previously procured a small number of Igla-S systems from Russia under emergency procurement. Larger contracts were expected under the Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORAD) deal.
  • Russian-Indian Collaboration: Alexander Mikheyev, head of Rosoboronexport, confirms the signed contract and joint production efforts in India with an unnamed private Indian entity.
  • Favorable Destination: Despite criticism of Russian military actions in Ukraine, India continues to favor Russia for defence purchases. SIPRI data reveals that Moscow supplied nearly 45% of India’s defence requirements between 2018 and 2022.
  • Igla-S Induction: The Indian Army had inducted Igla-S systems last year, and the latest contract signifies a significant step in meeting the broader requirements for such air defence systems.
  • Strengthening Defense Ties: The contract further solidifies the defense ties between India and Russia, with Moscow’s ongoing role as a major supplier of defense equipment to India.

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