Daily Current Affairs- October 17, 2023 (1)
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World Anaesthesia Day 2023: Celebrating the role of anaesthesia in healthcare

  • World Anaesthesia Day is observed on October 16 every year to commemorate the first successful demonstration of ether anaesthesia by W.T.G. Morton in 1846.
  • The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of anaesthesia in healthcare and to honour the anaesthetists who provide painless surgery and medical procedures for patients.
  • The theme of this year’s World Anaesthesia Day is “Anaesthesia and Cancer Care”, which focuses on the critical role of anaesthesia in improving outcomes for cancer patients.
  • The day also highlights the continuous improvements and advances in anaesthesia practice and the efforts of anaesthesiologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure the safety and comfort of patients.
  • World Anaesthesia Day is established by the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), which organises special events and conferences to mark this historic day.

Belt and Road Initiative turns 10: achievements, challenges and prospects

  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a global infrastructure and trade plan launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, comprising a land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and a Maritime Silk Road1.
  • The BRI aims to connect China with more than 140 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America through various projects such as railways, ports, pipelines and 5G networks.
  • The BRI has boosted trade and investment between China and its partners, but has also faced criticism over debt sustainability, environmental impact and geopolitical implications2.
  • The BRI is undergoing a shift from large-scale infrastructure projects to more strategic sectors such as renewable energy, digital technology and manufacturing.
  • The BRI is expected to face more challenges in the future amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the US-China rivalry and the changing global landscape.

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IORA: A regional grouping for cooperation and development in the Indian Ocean


  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a 23-nation organisation that aims to promote economic and social cooperation among the countries in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The IORA was formed in 1997, inspired by a speech by former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1995, who envisioned an Indian Ocean Rim of collaboration and peaceful endeavours.
  • The IORA has seven priority areas: maritime safety and security; trade and investment facilitation; fisheries management; disaster risk management; academic, science and technology; tourism and cultural exchanges; and gender empowerment.
  • The IORA also has 11 dialogue partners, including China, the U.S., the U.K. and Russia, who participate in its activities and projects.
  • The IORA is a consensus-based organisation that excludes Pakistan from its membership due to its non-recognition of India’s MFN status.
  • The IORA is seen as a “safe space” for India and other countries that wish to avoid the big power rivalries and the influence of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the region.
  • The IORA held its Council of Ministers meeting in Colombo on October 11, 2023, with the theme of “Reinforcing Indian Ocean Identity”5. India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stressed the importance of maintaining the Indian Ocean as a free, open and inclusive space

Supreme Court rules licence fee paid by telecom firms is capital expenditure

  • The Supreme Court dismissed the arguments of telecom companies like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea and sided with the Income Tax Department on the nature of the licence fee paid by them.
  • The court ruled that the licence fee, which is based on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), is a capital expenditure, not a revenue expenditure. This means that the telecom firms cannot claim tax deductions on the fee.
  • The court overturned previous rulings by the Delhi, Bombay, and Karnataka High Courts, which had favoured the telecom firms. The court also upheld the DoT’s calculations of the outstanding AGR dues of the telecom firms.
  • The ruling follows a 2019 directive by the Supreme Court that required telecom firms to pay their AGR dues within a 10-year timeline. Vodafone Idea has filed a review petition seeking to correct its payable dues.

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PM Modi to inaugurate Global Maritime India Summit 2023 and unveil ‘Amrit Kaal Vision 2047’

  • The summit will be held from 17th to 19th October at Mumbai and will discuss key issues of the maritime sector.
  • PM Modi will unveil ‘Amrit Kaal Vision 2047’, the long term blueprint for the Indian maritime blue economy, which outlines strategic initiatives for enhancing port facilities, promoting sustainable practices, and facilitating international collaboration.
  • PM Modi will also inaugurate, dedicate, and lay the foundation stone of projects worth more than Rs 23,000 crore in the maritime sector, including the Tuna Tekra all-weather deep draft terminal at Deendayal Port Authority in Gujarat.
  • The terminal, to be built at a cost of more than Rs. 4,500 crore, will handle next-gen vessels and act as a gateway for Indian trade via India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).
  • PM Modi will also dedicate more than 300 MoUs worth more than 7 lakh crore for global and national partnership in the maritime sector.
  • The summit will witness participation of Ministers from across the globe, Global CEOs, Business leaders, Investors, Officials, and other stakeholders from across the world.
  • The summit is the biggest Maritime Event in the country and will provide an excellent platform for attracting investment in the maritime sector of the country.
  • PM Modi also congratulated Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon for his party’s win in the New Zealand’s General election and expressed his desire to work together to strengthen India-New Zealand ties.

Isro to launch unmanned test flight for Gaganyaan mission on October 21

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has announced that it will launch a test vehicle for the Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission on October 21 from Sriharikota spaceport.
  • The test will demonstrate the performance of the crew escape system, which is a crucial part of the mission that will ensure the safety of the astronauts in case of an emergency.
  • The test will also involve launching a crew module to outer space and bringing it back to earth and recovering it after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal. Indian Navy personnel have already started mock operations to recover the module.
  • The Gaganyaan project aims to send three crew members to an orbit of 400km for a three-day mission and bring them back safely. Before the manned mission, there will be another test flight next year, which will carry Vyommitra, the female robot astronaut.
  • The test flights are part of the technology demonstration missions that will prove the reliability and readiness of all systems for the final human space flight mission. The project is expected to be completed by 2024.

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Former Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill Passes Away

  • M.S. Gill, a former chief election commissioner of India and a former union minister, passed away on October 16, 2023 at the age of 83.
  • He was known for his reforms in the electoral system, such as introducing electronic voting machines, voter identity cards, and limiting election expenses.
  • He also served as the minister of youth affairs and sports and the minister of statistics and programme implementation in the UPA government from 2009 to 2014.
  • He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from Punjab for two terms and was associated with the Congress party.
  • He was an IAS officer who held various positions in the central and state governments, including chief secretary of Punjab and secretary of agriculture.
  • He was also a writer and a scholar who authored several books on history, politics, and culture.

India and UK hold first 2+2 dialogue, discuss trade, defence and technology

  • The 2+2 dialogue is a mechanism to review all aspects of the India-UK comprehensive strategic partnership. It involves senior officials from the foreign affairs and defence ministries of both countries.
  • The dialogue was held in New Delhi on October 16, 2023. It was the first of its kind between India and the UK.
  • The two sides discussed possibilities for further collaboration in various areas, such as trade and investment, defence, critical and emerging technologies, civil aviation, health, energy, culture and people-to-people ties.
  • They also exchanged views on recent international developments, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, and reaffirmed their shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
  • They expressed satisfaction at the progress made under the India-UK Roadmap 2030, which was adopted by the prime ministers of both countries in May 2021.
  • They agreed to hold the second meeting of the 2+2 dialogue in the UK in 2024.

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International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: Why it matters

  • The day is celebrated on October 17 every year to raise awareness and dialogue about poverty and its impacts.
  • The day aims to end poverty by giving every person the opportunity to live with dignity and access basic human rights.
  • The day also calls for collaboration between people living in poverty and the wider society to find solutions and address the root causes of poverty.

EU to push for COP28 deal on phasing out fossil fuels

  • EU climate ministers agreed on the bloc’s position for the U.N. COP28 summit in Dubai, starting on Nov. 30.
  • EU will call for a phase-out of “unabated” fossil fuels, meaning those that do not capture their emissions.
  • EU stance is one of the most ambitious among nearly 200 countries that will negotiate efforts to fight global warming.
  • EU deal reflects a split among member states, some of which want a stronger phase-out and others that want to keep the option of abatement technologies.
  • EU faces resistance from fossil fuel producers and consumers, such as Saudi Arabia, that have blocked previous attempts to agree on a phase-out.

Government may shut down MMTC, STC and PEC

  • The commerce ministry will decide on the closure of three state-run entities: MMTC, STC and PEC on October 23.
  • The three entities were denotified last year as canalising agencies, meaning they lost their monopoly status for foreign trade of certain commodities.
  • The closure proposal is based on the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises on New Enterprise Policy.

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World Food Day: A Global Initiative for Food Security and Hunger Eradication

  • World Food Day is celebrated annually on October 16.
  • The day commemorates the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945.
  • The theme for World Food Day 2023 is: “Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind”.
  • The day serves to raise awareness about food security, hunger, and agricultural concerns on a global scale.
  • It provides a platform for advocating actions to combat worldwide hunger, enhance accessibility to nourishing food, endorse sustainable agricultural practices, emphasize the need to minimize food wastage, and underscore the importance of eradicating malnutrition.
  • A variety of events and initiatives are organized on this day, involving governments, organizations, and individuals, with the common goal of addressing food-related challenges and advancing food security.
  • The ultimate objective is to guarantee that every individual has access to safe, wholesome, and sustainable food while simultaneously preserving the planet’s resources.

Data Patterns acquires SAR technology from IN-SPACe

  • Data Patterns, an aerospace and defence electronics solutions provider, signed a licensing and transfer of technology (ToT) agreement with IN-SPACe, an autonomous nodal agency within the Department of Space (DoS).
  • The agreement enables Data Patterns to acquire miniature synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability, a technology that can generate high-resolution images from space in any weather condition and time of day.
  • The technology was developed at the Space Applications Centre within the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and serves as the precursor to Isro’s forthcoming high-resolution SAR satellite, NISAR.
  • The technology will be beneficial for satellites in various Earth orbits, such as low-Earth orbit, medium-Earth orbit, and high-Earth orbit, which are used for different purposes such as telecommunications and GPS services.
  • Data Patterns has a robust portfolio of electronic hardware, software, and firmware design and development and has contributed to projects like the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, Light Utility Helicopter, and the BrahMos missile.
  • IN-SPACe focuses on promoting the Indian space ecosystem and establishing a regulatory framework for space operations in the country.

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Malayalam film producer and media director PV Gangadharan dies at 80

  • PV Gangadharan: A renowned Malayalam film producer and media director who died on October 13, 2023 at the age of 80 in Kozhikode.
  • Film career: He produced many hit and award-winning movies in Malayalam, such as Sujatha, Ekalavyan, Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha, and Notebook. He also headed the Grihalakshmi productions and S Cube films.
  • Political and business activities: He was a member of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and contested in the 2011 assembly elections3. He was also the vice-president of the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations and the chairman of the Kerala State Film Development Corporation. He was involved in various ventures of the KTC group founded by his father.

UP launches cleanliness campaign for festive season

  • The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has launched a special cleanliness campaign, ‘Swachch Tyohar, Swasth Tyohar’ (Clean Festival, Healthy Festival), to ensure hygiene and sanitation in and around temples during Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali festivals.
  • The campaign calls for the active participation of municipal bodies and citizens to create a clean and welcoming environment for festival-goers3. It also aims to promote the idea that ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ and to provide a spiritually enriching and enjoyable festival experience for all.
  • The campaign covers various aspects of cleanliness, such as:
    • Thorough cleaning of roads and streets
    • Cleanliness in the vicinity of temples and other religious sites
    • Cleanliness of Durga Puja pandals
    • Repair and maintenance of street lights
    • Continuous supply of clean drinking water
    • Proper disposal of offerings made by devotees
    • Efficient garbage disposal and management
    • Immediate resolution of complaints related to cleanliness and infrastructure issues through the toll-free number 1533.

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Jharkhand first state to take steps to ensure minimum wages for workers

  • Jharkhand is the first state in India to form a committee to study and recommend minimum wages for gig workers, such as those in delivery and ride-hailing services.
  • The committee consists of representatives from the state labor department, industry, and trade unions. It will examine the working conditions and cost of living of gig workers in different areas of the state.
  • The state has also taken steps to promote local employment by reserving 75 percent of jobs in private companies for residents. It is also reviewing the minimum wages of contract workers in various sectors.
  • The initiative aims to improve the livelihoods and social justice of about 12 lakh gig workers in Jharkhand, who are often exploited and underpaid by their employers.

‘Gadkari’: A Biopic of India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister

  • The movie ‘Gadkari’ is based on the life and achievements of Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.
  • The movie will showcase his journey from a Jan Sangh activist to a BJP leader who has transformed India’s infrastructure sector.
  • The movie will highlight his major projects, such as the Mumbai-Pune expressway, the 55 flyovers in Mumbai, and the expansion of the road network by 59% in nine years.
  • The movie will also reveal his vision, determination, and no-nonsense approach to administration and development.
  • The movie, starring Rahul Chopda as Gadkari, is directed by Anurag Ranjan Bhusari and produced by Akshay Anant Deshmukh. It will release on October 27th.

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President Droupadi Murmu confers 69th National Film Awards 2023

  • The 69th National Film Awards 2023 were held on October 17th at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The awards were delayed due to the pandemic and honored the best of Indian cinema.
  • Allu Arjun won the Best Actor award for his role in “Pushpa: The Rise”. Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon shared the Best Actress award for their performances in “Gangubai Kathiawadi” and “Mimi”, respectively.
  • The Best Feature Film award went to “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect”, a biopic of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. The Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film on National Integration was given to “The Kashmir Files”, a film on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
  • “Sardar Udham”, a historical drama on the life of freedom fighter Udham Singh, swept multiple awards, including Best Hindi Film, Best Cinematography, Best Audiography, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design.

ADB Invests $181 Million to Improve Ahmedabad’s Peri-urban Areas

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $181 million loan to enhance urban living in Ahmedabad, India.
  • The project aims to control urban sprawl and improve urban services such as water, sewerage, drainage, and connectivity in the peri-urban areas around the city.
  • The project will benefit the urban poor, women, and migrant workers who often lack access to basic amenities in these rapidly growing areas.
  • The project will also build capacity and awareness of local authorities and communities on urban planning, environmental and social safeguards, gender equality, financial planning, and water conservation.
  • The project will also recycle treated sewage for industrial use through a public-private partnership.

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PM Modi Releases New Garba Song “Maadi”

  • The article reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a Garba song, titled ‘Maadi’, which celebrates the Navratri festival and the culture of Gujarat.
  • The song is composed by Meet brothers, Manmeet Singh and Harmeet Singh, and sung by Divya Kumar. It was released under the banner of Jjust Music, a music label founded by Jackky Bhagnani.
  • The article also gives some background information about the Navratri festival and the Garba dance, which are popular in Gujarat and other parts of India.
  • The article mentions another Garba song, titled ‘Garbo’, which was voiced by Dhvani Bhanushali and composed by Tanishk Bagchi. It was also released by Jjust Music and received over 240,000 views in 3 hours on YouTube.

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