Daily-Current-Affairs--September-22,-2023 (2) (1)
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PM Modi visits Uttarakhand, inaugurates development projects

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a one-day visit to the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, where he will launch several development projects and interact with the locals and security personnel.
  • Modi will perform darshan and puja at Parvati Kund, a sacred lake near the Adi Kailash peak, and Jageshwar Dham, a temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Modi will also address a public meeting in Pithoragarh, where he will be welcomed by cultural troupes along a renovated 6-km road decorated with murals and paintings.
  • Modi said his government is committed to the welfare and rapid development of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, and he looks forward to visiting the spiritually significant places in the state.

Key Highlights of the P20 Summit

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P20) on Friday at Yashobhoomi.
  • The summit is being hosted by Parliament of India under the broader framework of India’s G20 presidency.
  • The theme of the 9th P20 Summit is “Parliaments for One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
  • The event will be attended by Speakers of Parliaments of G20 members and invitee countries.
  • The Pan-African Parliament will take part in the P20 Summit for the first time after the African Union became a member of G20 at the New Delhi G20 Leaders’ Summit on 9-10 September 2023.
  • The thematic sessions during this P20 Summit will focus on the following four subjects – Transformation in People’s Lives through Public Digital Platforms; Women-led development; Accelerating SDGs; and Sustainable Energy Transition.
  • A pre-summit Parliamentary Forum on LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) will also be held on 12 October 2023 to deliberate upon initiatives towards a greener and sustainable future in harmony with nature.
  • Delhi Police has issued a traffic advisory ahead of the P20 Summit which is being held at the India International Convention and Expo Centre in Dwarka, from today.

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World Sight Day 2023: Theme, History and Significance

  • World Sight Day is celebrated on 12 October every year to raise awareness about vision problems and eye care services.
  • The theme of World Sight Day 2023 is “Love Your Eyes at Work” which aims to promote eye health initiatives and habits at workplaces.
  • World Sight Day was established in 1998 by LCIF and WHO to advocate for high quality vision care services and international collaborations for addressing vision problems and blindness.
  • World Sight Day also highlights the causes, effects, and prevention of visual impairment, and the importance of inclusion and accessibility for people with visual disabilities.

China to host third Belt and Road summit amid criticism and challenges

  • China announced that it will hold the third Belt and Road Forum (BRF) on October 17 in Beijing, with President Xi Jinping delivering a speech.
  • The BRF is a platform for promoting China’s ambitious global infrastructure plan, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which marks its 10th anniversary this year.
  • The BRI has faced criticism from some countries for its lack of transparency, environmental and social impacts, and debt risks. China has defended the initiative as a win-win cooperation for mutual development.
  • Russia’s President Putin is expected to attend the BRF, along with leaders from Asia, Africa and Latin America. India is likely to skip the summit, as it has opposed the BRI over sovereignty concerns.
  • China has also scaled back its investments in some BRI projects, such as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), due to security and financial issues.

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What is Jericho missile system? Israel’s potential ‘doomsday’ nuclear option

  • Revital “Tally” Gotliv, a member of the Knesset from Likud Party, tweeted that Israel should use a “doomsday” weapon against Hamas and Palestine.
  • She mentioned “Jericho”, a name for Israel’s ballistic missile program that started in the 1960s and has developed three models of nuclear-capable missiles.
  • The Jericho-3, the latest and most advanced model, has a range of up to 6,500 kilometers and can carry a 1,300-kilogram warhead. It is unclear if it has been deployed in the current offensive.
  • Gotliv’s tweets have sparked controversy and criticism, as they suggest the use of nuclear weapons in a densely populated area. Israel has never officially confirmed or denied having nuclear weapons.

World Bank President warns of rising interest rates and investment challenges

  • The World Bank President, Ajay Banga, spoke at the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Morocco on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.
  • He predicted that interest rates will increase in the next few years due to inflationary pressures and monetary policy tightening in major economies.
  • He said that higher interest rates will complicate the financing and implementation of development projects in low- and middle-income countries, especially those affected by the pandemic and climate change.
  • He urged the international community to provide more support and cooperation to help these countries overcome their challenges and achieve their development goals.

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The Power of an Attosecond: Nobel Prize-winning Research Explained

  • The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists for their work on attosecond pulses.
  • Ferenc Krausz, Pierre Agostini, and Anne L’Huillier developed methods to create laser pulses that last only an attosecond, revolutionizing the study of electrons.
  • An attosecond is an extremely short unit of time, represented as 10^(-18) seconds. There are approximately as many attoseconds in one second as there are seconds in the age of the universe.
  • Prior to this, scientists could study the motion of atomic nuclei with femtosecond (10^(-15) seconds) light pulses. However, the movement of electrons couldn’t be observed at this scale.
  • The development of attosecond pulses has opened up new possibilities for studying chemical reactions and the nature of matter at a much finer scale.

IMF Annual Meetings Recap: October 10, 2023

  • The IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook report, which shows a slowdown and divergence in global growth, with the US outperforming the euro area and China facing headwinds.
  • The IMF also published its Global Financial Stability Report, which warns of the risks of higher interest rates and debt burdens for borrowers, especially in emerging markets and developing economies.
  • The IMF launched the Resilience and Sustainability Trust, a new facility to provide low-cost financing to vulnerable countries to cope with climate change and other shocks. Several finance ministers praised the initiative and shared their experiences.
  • The IMF and the World Bank hosted a panel on capacity development in Africa, where they discussed how to empower African economies through policy advice, technical assistance, and training. Speakers highlighted the importance of revenue mobilization, human capital development, and regional integration.
  • The IMF and the World Bank also organized a seminar on how countries can deliver low-carbon and resilient growth, with innovative policies and partnerships. They explored ways to attract more private sector investment and climate finance.

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KPI Green Energy to Buy 99.9% Stake in Solar Developer KPark Sunbeat

  • KPI Green Energy, a renewable energy solutions provider, is acquiring a majority stake in KPark Sunbeat, a solar power developer, for ₹1.26 billion (~$15.1 million).
  • The acquisition will consolidate the solar projects of the KP Group into a single entity and help KPI Green achieve its target of 1 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2025.
  • KPI Green will issue and allot equity shares to KPark and pay the remaining amount in cash. KPark has 2,11,367 sq. meters of land in Gujarat for solar projects and plans to set up a 100 MW solar park there.
  • KPI Green has also won a 100 MW solar project at Khavda Solar Park in Gujarat and received an order for a 33 MW solar project under the captive power producer segment.

Nikhil Kamath, India’s Youngest Billionaire, Launches “WTF Fund” for Entrepreneurs

  • Nikhil Kamath, the co-founder of Zerodha and India’s youngest billionaire, announced a new fund called “WTF Fund” on his LinkedIn account on October 11.
  • The fund aims to support emerging entrepreneurs in the sectors of fashion, beauty, and home brands2. The fund size is Rs 80 lakh (~$15.1 million), with each of the four investors contributing Rs 20 lakh.
  • The other investors are Kishore Biyani, the founder of Future Group, Ananth Narayanan, the founder of Mensa Brands, and Raj Shamani, a content creator and founder of House of X and the Figuring Out Podcast.
  • The fund was inspired by the story of Zepto, a startup founded by two young entrepreneurs – Aadit Palecha and Kaivalya Vohra – who created a platform for online shopping using WhatsApp.

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Wipro invests in renewable energy company FPEL Ujwal

  • Wipro, an IT services company, has subscribed to a 9.5 percent stake in FPEL Ujwal, a renewable energy company, for Rs 6.3 crore.
  • FPEL Ujwal is a special purpose vehicle formed by Fourth Partner Energy to set up a captive solar power project in Karnataka.
  • Wipro signed the agreement to increase the usage of renewable energy for their offices in Karnataka and to achieve their goal of becoming Net Zero by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2030.

MCX to launch new commodity derivatives platform on October 16

  • MCX, a leading commodity exchange in India, has announced that it will go live with its new commodity derivatives platform from October 16, 2023.
  • The new platform will offer more features and functionalities for traders and investors, such as improved order execution, enhanced risk management, and better user interface.
  • The launch of the new platform was delayed due to a temporary suspension by SEBI, the market regulator, till the first week of October. SEBI has now given its approval for the new platform.
  • MCX has also arranged a mock session for its members on October 15, 2023, to test and familiarize themselves with the new application interface. The details of the mock session are available on MCX’s website.
  • MCX’s stock price has surged to a 52-week high of Rs 2,179.45 on October 11, 2023, after the announcement of the new platform. The stock was trading at Rs 2,168.75 at 11.49 am on October 12, 2023.

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Bharti Group buys out AXA’s stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance

  • Bharti Group, a diversified conglomerate, has acquired the 49% stake of French insurer AXA in Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co., a joint venture that was running for nearly 20 years.
  • The deal, whose value is undisclosed, will give Bharti Group full ownership of the insurance company and enable it to explore new partnerships and scale up its business in the Indian insurance market.
  • The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by December 2023. It is part of Bharti Group’s strategy to increase its presence in the insurance sector and compete with other players like LIC, HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential, and SBI Life.
  • AXA’s exit from the joint venture raises questions about its future plans in India, where it also has a stake in Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Bharti Group owns India’s second-largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, and has interests in realty, food, and other businesses.

Union Cabinet approves setting up of ‘Mera Yuva Bharat’ autonomous body for youth development

  • Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) is a new autonomous body that will be launched on October 31, 2023, coinciding with National Unity Day.
  • MY Bharat aims to empower youth, foster leadership, and leverage technology for national development. It targets individuals between the ages of 15-29, with some programs for those aged 10-19.
  • MY Bharat will offer various features and functionalities for youth and government agencies, such as improved order execution, enhanced risk management, and better user interface.
  • MY Bharat will create a “phygital” ecosystem, combining physical and digital elements, to connect and empower young individuals34. It will also establish a centralized database for youth-related information and resources.
  • MY Bharat aligns with the National Youth Policy and the vision of “Amrit Bharat” by 2047. It recognizes the crucial role that India’s youth will play in shaping the nation’s future.

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Indian junior men’s hockey team to participate in 11th Sultan of Johor Cup

  • The 11th Sultan of Johor Cup is a junior men’s hockey tournament that will be held in Johor, Malaysia from October 27 to November 4, 2023.
  • Hockey India has announced the 20-member squad that will represent India in the tournament1. The team is led by captain Uttam Singh and vice-captain Rajinder Singh.
  • The tournament will feature eight teams divided into two pools. India is in Pool B along with Malaysia, Pakistan, and New Zealand. Pool A consists of Germany, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain.
  • The tournament is a preparatory event for the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup 2023, which will also be held in Malaysia in December. Six teams from the Sultan of Johor Cup will also participate in the World Cup.
  • The tournament will also help the players to adapt to the climate conditions and assess the competition in Malaysia. The Indian team aims to showcase its talent and skills on the international stage.

Government launches month-long celebration drive for 8th National Ayurveda Day

  • The Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated a month-long celebration drive for the 8th National Ayurveda Day, which will be observed on November 10, 2023.
  • The theme of the celebration is “Ayurveda for One Health”, which highlights the interdependence of human, animal, plant, and environmental health. The tagline is “Ayurveda for everyone on every day”, which emphasizes the applicability of Ayurveda to every aspect of life.
  • The celebration aligns with India’s G20 Presidency theme, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, which means the world is one family. It also reflects the principles of “Jan Sandesh, Jan Bhagidhari, and Jan Andolan for Jan Arogya”, which stress community participation and healthcare awareness.
  • The celebration will include various activities such as exhibitions, research dissemination, medical camps, public lectures, distribution of medicinal plants to farmers, and competitions to promote Ayurveda. The focus areas are Ayurveda for Farmers, Ayurveda for Students, and Ayurveda for the Public.
  • The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Science (CCRAS) will serve as the coordinating agency for the Ayurveda Day programs in 2023, with 30 units spread across the country. The Ministry of Ayush seeks to explore Ayurveda’s potential not only for human health but also for the well-being of the environment, plants, and animals.

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