Current Affairs Oct 16, 2023

Current Affairs Oct 16, 2023

DAILY-CURRENT-AFFAIRS-BY-EDUSPRINT

Appointments:

1. Amit S Telang Assumes Dual Role as Indian Envoy to CARICOM and High Commissioner to St Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, and Barbuda.

  • Amit S Telang, currently serving as the High Commissioner of India to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, has been appointed as the Indian Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
    • Additionally, he has been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner to the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda.
    • The Ministry of External Affairs has expanded Amit S Telang’s diplomatic responsibilities by entrusting him with a dual role, reflecting India’s commitment to strengthening ties with the Caribbean region.
    • Amit S Telang’s appointment as the Indian Ambassador to CARICOM signifies India’s focus on fostering closer relations and collaboration with the member countries of the Caribbean Community.
    • Anil Kumar Rai, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been named as the next Ambassador of India to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
    • Anil Kumar Rai’s assignment as the Ambassador to Ethiopia highlights India’s diplomatic engagement with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, emphasizing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two nations.
    • These appointments underscore India’s commitment to strengthening diplomatic ties with countries in the Caribbean region and Africa, as reflected in the assignments of Amit S Telang and Anil Kumar Rai to key ambassadorial roles.

National news:

2. Union Minister Parshottam Rupala Emphasizes Animal Welfare as Integral to Indian Culture at WOAH Conference

Ministerial Emphasis: Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, responsible for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, stressed the importance of animal welfare.

  • Ethos of Indian Culture: Rupala highlighted that the welfare of animals is deeply ingrained in the ethos of Indian culture.
  • Valedictory Address: The remarks were made during the valedictory function of the Conference of the WOAH Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific in New Delhi.
  • Cultural Significance: Rupala emphasized the rich tapestry of Indian tradition and culture, underscoring the cultural significance of animal welfare.
  • Harmonious Coexistence: The Union Minister underscored the need for harmonious coexistence and interconnectedness among humans, animals, and the environment.
  • Global Platform: The conference provided a platform for discussions on animal health, reflecting India’s commitment to global cooperation in this domain.
  • WOAH Regional Commission: The event involved discussions and deliberations related to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

3. Union Minister Narayan Rane Inaugurates Khadi Theme Pavilion at IITF 2023, Showcasing Diverse Craftsmanship

  • Inauguration by Minister Rane: Union Minister Narayan Rane, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister, inaugurated the Khadi Theme Pavilion at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) in New Delhi.
  • Location and Venue: The IITF is currently taking place at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, where the Khadi Theme Pavilion has been set up.
  • Pavilion Features: The pavilion boasts 214 stalls exhibiting diverse and traditional craftsmanship from different parts of the country.
  • Key Attractions: Notable exhibits at the pavilion include a spinning wheel (charkha), khadi garments, handicrafts, wooden toys, and ayurvedic cosmetics.
  • Promotion of Vision: Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Manoj Kumar, mentioned that the pavilion is designed to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the Vocal for Local initiative.
  • Symbol of Heritage: The stalls within the pavilion symbolize the prosperity of India’s rich heritage, artistry, and craftsmanship, aligning with the government’s emphasis on promoting indigenous products and self-reliance.

Important days:

 4. National Press Day 2023 Highlights Role of Media in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

Significance of the Day: National Press Day, observed annually on November 16th, commemorates the establishment of the Press Council of India, emphasizing the importance of a free and responsible press.

  • Press Council’s Role: The Press Council of India functions as a moral watchdog, ensuring high standards in journalism and safeguarding press freedom from undue influence or threats.
  • 1997 Commemoration Tradition: Since 1997, the Press Council has marked the day with seminars addressing relevant themes to promote responsible journalism.
  • Theme for 2023: The theme for National Press Day 2023 is “Media in the Era of Artificial Intelligence,” reflecting the evolving role of media in the technological landscape.
  • Chief Minister’s Greetings: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio extended greetings to the press and media fraternity, acknowledging the role of a free press as a pillar of democracy.
  • Support for the Fourth Estate: Chief Minister Rio emphasized the importance of supporting the Fourth Estate, recognizing its role in keeping society informed, holding the powerful accountable, and ensuring diverse voices are heard.
  • Press Clubs’ Initiatives: Press Clubs in Nagaland are organizing various programs, including seminars and workshops, to mark the occasion and promote discussions on the evolving dynamics of media in the age of Artificial Intelligence.

International news:

5. US and China Agree to Resume Military-to-Military Communications to Ease Tensions

  • Diplomatic Development: The United States and China have reached an agreement to resume military-to-military communications in an attempt to de-escalate rising tensions.
  • Announcement by President Biden: US President Joe Biden made the announcement following a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping in California.
  • Direct Line of Communication: President Biden revealed that both leaders have agreed to establish a direct line of communication, fostering a more direct and immediate channel for dialogue.
  • Previous Disruption: China had severed military-to-military communications last year in response to a visit by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, a move that escalated tensions between the two nations.
  • Diplomatic Efforts: The decision to resume military communications reflects diplomatic efforts to address and mitigate growing tensions between the US and China.
  • Strategic Communication Channel: The agreement to establish a direct line of communication signifies a commitment to open and direct dialogue between the leadership of both countries, potentially contributing to stability in the region.

6. Indian Chamber of Commerce Companies Showcase Expertise at ‘WETEX and Dubai Solar Show’ for Bilateral Trade Opportunities

  • Participation of Indian Companies: Thirty Indian companies affiliated with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) participated in the ‘WETEX and Dubai Solar Show’ from November 15th to 17th, 2023.
  • Sectors Represented: The Indian companies, operating in sectors like power, energy, water, solar, and engineering, explored bilateral trade opportunities with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the exhibition.
  • Inauguration of India Pavilion: Mr. Sunil Kumar, Consul at the Consulate General of India in Dubai, inaugurated the India Pavilion at the event.
  • Visitor Interest: The exhibition drew a significant number of visitors, indicating strong interest and potential for future collaborations between Indian companies and businesses in the UAE.
  • WETEX Overview: ‘WETEX’ stands for Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition, and is a prominent international exhibition and conference focused on water, energy, sustainability, and green technologies.
  • Organizer: The exhibition is organized by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and serves as a platform for showcasing the latest innovations in sustainable technologies.
  • Global Industry Interaction: WETEX brings together industry leaders, policymakers, and experts worldwide to discuss and share best practices in the fields of water, energy, technology, and the environment.
  • Indian Global Relevance: The participation of Indian companies underscores the nation’s diverse industrial capabilities and highlights its global relevance in the field of sustainable technologies and innovations.

7.IDF Discovers Hamas Command Center, Weapons, and Tech Assets in Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital Operation

IDF Operation Update: Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) provide an update on their operation at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

  • Discoveries Inside Hospital: The IDF uncovered an operational command center, weapons, and technological assets belonging to Hamas inside the MRI building at Al-Shifa hospital.
  • Contents Found: Military and combat equipment, technological assets, and an operational command center were found in different sections of the hospital.
  • Transfer of Assets: Technological assets and intelligence information discovered are being transferred for comprehensive review by relevant authorities.
  • Engagement with Hamas Members: IDF soldiers engaged with and killed a number of Hamas members as they entered the hospital complex.
  • Ongoing Operation: The IDF continues its operation in the hospital complex, focusing on extracting intelligence information and ensuring the safety of medical teams and civilians.
  • Media Documentation: The IDF has shared images and video footage depicting weapons discovered during the operation.
  • Preventing Harm: The statement emphasizes the commitment to preventing harm to medical teams and civilians seeking shelter in the hospital complex.

Environment:

8. ICAR Researchers Uncover Two New Seer Fish Species, Expanding Indian Waters’ Count to 6

Discovery by ICAR-CMFRI: Researchers from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) have identified two new seer fish species in Indian waters.

  1. Newly Discovered Species:
    1. Scomberomorus avirostrus: Arabian Sparrow seer fish, an entirely new species to science, identified by its bird beak-like snout. It primarily inhabits the Arabian Sea coast north of Mangaluru, extending up to the Arabian Gulf.
    1. Scomberomorus leopardus: Russell’s Spotted Seer Fish, a resurrected species, found along the Bay of Bengal coast north of Nagapattinam, including the Andaman Seas and China Sea.
  2. Background on Spotted Seer Fish:
    1. Prior to this discovery, the spotted seer fish (Scomberomorus guttatus) was thought to be a single species.
    1. Researchers found it to be a complex of three distinct species, including the newly discovered Arabian Sparrow and the resurrected Russell’s Spotted Seer Fish.
  3. Total Seer Fish Species in Indian Waters: The discovery increases the total number of seer fish species in Indian waters from four to six.
  4. Distribution and Size:
    1. The three identified seer fish species are smaller in size compared to their counterparts and are mostly found in nearshore waters.
    1. Scomberomorus avirostrus primarily inhabits the Arabian Sea coast north of Mangaluru, while Scomberomorus leopardus is found along the Bay of Bengal coast.
  5. Research Team and Findings:
    1. Led by Principal Scientist E M Abdussamad, the research team identified a total of five new species of marine fish, including the two seer fish species.
    1. Other discoveries include a new species of barracuda, a new species of chub mackerel, and a new species of queen.

Awards:

9. Salman Rushdie Honored with Inaugural ‘Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award’ by Vaclav Havel Center

  • Award Presentation: Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born British-American author, received the first-ever “Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award” from the Vaclav Havel Center in Manhattan, New York, USA.
  • Literary Achievements: Salman Rushdie is acclaimed for his contributions to literature, including the novel “Midnight’s Children,” which earned him the Booker Prize in 1981.
  • Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II: In 2008, Salman Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his significant services to literature.
  • About Vaclav Havel Center:
    • Founded in 2012 as the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation.
    • Named after Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright, and dissident who served as the last president of Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Communist regime.
  • Significance of the Award: The “Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award” is a recognition of Salman Rushdie’s impactful contributions to literature and his role in challenging societal norms through his work.
  • Legacy of Vaclav Havel: The Vaclav Havel Center, inspired by the legacy of Vaclav Havel, aims to promote human rights, democracy, and cultural understanding through various initiatives.

Obituary:

10. Founder & Chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, Subrata Roy (‘Saharasri’), Passes Away at 75

  1. Demise of Subrata Roy: Subrata Roy, the Founder and Chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, passed away at the age of 75 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  2. Birth and Nickname: Born on June 10, 1948, in Araria, Bihar, Subrata Roy was popularly known as ‘Saharasri.’
  3. Sahara India Pariwar:
    1. In 1976, Subrata Roy took charge of Sahara Finance, transforming it into Sahara India Pariwar in 1978.
    1. Diversified business into various sectors, including media, with the launch of Hindi-language newspaper Rashtriya Sahara in 1992.
  4. Television Industry Presence:
    1. In 2000, the Sahara group expanded into the television industry with Sahara TV, later rebranded as Sahara One.
  5. Recognitions and Rankings:
    1. In 2004, Time Magazine named Sahara Group as the 2nd largest employer in India, following the Indian Railways.
  6. Sports Sponsorship and Ownership:
    1. Under Subrata Roy’s leadership, Sahara sponsored the Indian cricket and hockey teams and owned a Formula One (F1) racing team.
  7. Global Acquisitions:
    1. In 2010, Sahara acquired London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, and in 2012, it acquired New York City’s Plaza Hotel.
  8. Literary Contributions:
    1. Authored books including “Shanti, Sukh: Santushti, Essays on peace of mind and happy living” (1994), “Life Mantras” (2016), and “Think With Me” (2016).
  9. Legacy and Contributions: Subrata Roy leaves behind a legacy of entrepreneurship, business diversification, and significant contributions to the Indian media and sports industries.

11. Padma Vibhushan Awardee and Doyen of Indian Hospitality, PRS Oberoi, Passes Away at 94

  1. Demise of PRS Oberoi: Padma Vibhushan Awardee Prithvi Raj Singh (PRS) Oberoi, the Chairman Emeritus of The Oberoi Group, passed away at the age of 94.
  2. Birth and Nickname: PRS Oberoi was born in New Delhi, Delhi, on February 3, 1929. He was widely known as the ‘doyen of Indian hospitality.’
  3. Leadership in The Oberoi Group:
    1. PRS Oberoi, popularly known as “Biki,” served as the Executive Chairman of EIH Limited, the flagship company of The Oberoi Group, a prominent luxury hotel chain in India.
    1. He also held the position of Chairman of Oberoi Hotels, the major shareholder of EIH Limited.
  4. Stepping Down and Legacy:
    1. PRS Oberoi stepped down from his role as Executive Chairman of EIH Ltd and EIH Associated Hotels Ltd in May 2022.
    1. He took over as the Chairman of EIH Ltd in 2002 following the death of his father, Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, the founding chairman of The Oberoi Group.
    1. PRS Oberoi remained the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EIH Ltd until 2013.
  5. Chairman Emeritus Role:
    1. He served as the Chairman Emeritus of EIH Limited, a position he held from June 22, 2022.
  6. Awards and Honors:
    1. Padma Vibhushan: PRS Oberoi was honored with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, for Trade and Industry in 2008.
    1. Forbes India Leadership Awards: He received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
    1. AIMA Lifetime Achievement Award: In 2013, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Management by The All India Management Association (AIMA).

Sports:

12. Australia Beats South Africa by Three Wickets, Secures Spot in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final Against India

  • Semi-Final Victory: Australia secured a three-wicket win over South Africa in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semi-final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
  • Chase Success: Chasing a target of 213 runs, Australia reached 215 for the loss of seven wickets in 47.2 overs.
  • Final Clash Set: The victory sets up a summit clash between Australia and India in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
  • South Africa’s Batting Performance: Opting to bat after winning the toss, South Africa posted a total of 212 runs, getting bowled out in 49.4 overs.
  • India’s Entry into Finals: In the first semi-final, India defeated New Zealand by 70 runs, securing their place in the finals.
  • Final Venue: The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final is scheduled to take place on Sunday in Ahmedabad.

13. PM Modi Applauds Virat Kohli’s Exceptional Performance, Surpassing Tendulkar’s ODI Century Record

  • Record-Breaking Century: Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises cricketer Virat Kohli for achieving his 50th ODI century, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries.
  • Spirit of Excellence: PM Modi commends Kohli not only for his century but also for exemplifying the spirit of excellence and perseverance in sportsmanship.
  • Enduring Dedication: The Prime Minister highlights Kohli’s enduring dedication and exceptional talent, considering the milestone as a testament to his commitment.
  • Benchmark for Future Generations: PM Modi expresses a wish for Virat Kohli to continue setting benchmarks for future generations in the world of cricket.
  • Social Media Post: The appreciation and congratulatory message from Prime Minister Modi are conveyed through a social media post recognizing Kohli’s remarkable achievement in ODI cricket.

Business and Economy:

14. RBI Tightens Norms for Unsecured Personal Loans, Increases Risk Weights for Banks and NBFCs

  • Regulatory Action: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened norms for unsecured personal loans provided by both banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
  • Risk Weight Increase: RBI has decided to increase the risk weights for consumer credit exposure, including personal loans (excluding housing loans, education loans, vehicle loans, and loans secured by gold and gold jewelry). The risk weights have been raised by 25 percentage points to 125 percent for both outstanding and new loans.
  • Credit Receivables: The central bank has also raised the risk weights on credit receivables by 25 percentage points to 150 percent for banks and 125 percent for NBFCs.
  • Governor’s Concerns: Recently, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das expressed concerns about the high growth in certain components of consumer credit. He advised banks and NBFCs to strengthen internal surveillance mechanisms, address risk build-up, and institute suitable safeguards to mitigate risks.
  • Focus on Certain Components: The regulatory action appears to target specific segments of consumer credit that have experienced notable growth, emphasizing the need for prudential measures to manage associated risks.

15. India’s October 2023 Exports Reach USD 62.26 Billion, Showing 9.43% Growth YoY

  1. Export Performance: India’s overall merchandise and services export in October 2023 is estimated at USD 62.26 billion, indicating a growth of 9.43 percent compared to the same period last year.
  2. Import Estimate: The overall import for October 2023 is estimated at USD 79.35 billion.
  3. Breakdown of Exports:
    1. Merchandise export: USD 33.57 billion.
    1. Services export: USD 28.70 billion.
  4. Performance for April to October 2023:
    1. Merchandise exports during this period totaled around USD 245 billion.
    1. Services exports for April to October 2023 were estimated at over USD 192 billion.
  5. Sector-wise Growth:
    1. Among the 30 key sectors, 22 exhibited positive growth in merchandise exports for October 2023.
    1. Notable sectors with positive growth include Iron Ore, Ceramic Products and Glassware, Processed Items, Cotton Yarn, Handloom Products, among others.
  6. Ministry’s Statement: The Commerce and Industry Ministry provided the export data and highlighted the positive growth in key sectors, indicating a diversified and robust export performance.

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