Current Affairs- 23rd September

National

Defence Ministry Places ₹ 7,523 Crore Order For 118 Battle Tanks

Defence Ministry Places ₹ 7,523 Crore Order For 118 Battle Tanks
  • Ministry of Defence today placed an order with Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi in Chennai for supply of 118 Main Battle Tanks, MBTs Arjun Mk-1A for the Indian Army. The order worth seven thousand five hundred 23 crore rupees will provide further boost to the Make in India initiative in defence sector and is a big step towards achieving Aatmanirbhar Bharat envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • It may be recalled that the Prime Minister had handed over the Main Battle Tank Arjun Mk-1A to Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Naravane in Chennai on 14th of February this year.

SC to set up technical expert panel to probe Pegasus snooping row

  • The Supreme Court today orally observed that it would be setting up a technical expert committee to inquire into the Pegasus snooping matter. The apex court also said that an order will be passed next week on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the issue.
  • A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said, the order, which was to be pronounced earlier, will now be delivered next week. The bench said that they will be able to finalise the members of the technical expert team by next week and then pronounce the orders.

Indian Army to organise cultural fest to showcase linkages with Bangladesh during the liberation War

  • The Indian Army will organise a festival from September 26-29 at Kolkata to showcase the cultural linkage between India and Bangladesh during the liberation war of 1971. The festival named ‘Bijoya Sanskritik Mahotsav’ is being organised by the Eastern Command of the Indian Army.
  • The programme will include film screenings, plays, musical concerts and band performances, said a press release of the Indian army on Thursday.
  • A display of vintage vehicles and equipment of Eastern Command, and guided tours of Fort William Military Station has also been scheduled during the festival.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal Launches National Single Window System

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal soft launched the National Single Window System for businesses and said the portal will usher in freedom from the legacy of running to government offices for approvals and registrations.
  • The portal as of today hosts approvals across 18 central departments and 9 states, and another 14 central departments and 5 states will be added by end-December, he said.
  • “This is freedom from bureaucracy and from windows within windows. This is a big step towards Ease of Doing Business. Nobody wants to be a detriment to doing business. This is a giant leap towards making India truly Aatmanirbhar,” the minister said.

International

PM Modi interacts with top CEOs of American companies in Washington DC

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presently meeting top Chief Executive Officers of big multinationals of United States. The series of meetings began a short while ago.
  • The CEOs meeting with the Prime Minister is one of its kind. Each meeting will last for 20 minutes with a five minute briefing and 15 minutes’ interaction. In all, there are five CEOs from diverse fields. The focus will be on Make in India and enhancing trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
  • India is looking to boost exports through trade relationships.

Somalia hosts first public film-screening in 30 years

  • Somalia has hosted its first public film-screening in 30 years – raising hopes of a cultural revival in the war-ravaged country. Two short films by Somali director Ibrahim C.M. were shown at the National Theatre in the capital Mogadishu, where heavy security was in place.
  • The theatre has been a suicide bomb target and a base for warlords. Theatre director Abdikadir Abdi Yusuf said, it was a historic night for the Somali people. It’s a platform that provides an opportunity to Somali songwriters, storytellers, movie directors and actors to present their talent openly, he added.

WHO revises air quality guidelines for first time since 2005

WHO revises air quality guidelines for first time since 2005
  • The World Health Organisation today revised its air quality guidelines for the first time since 2005. According to WHO, through tightened guidelines, it hopes to spur countries toward clean energy and prevent deaths and illness caused by air pollution.
  • The new recommendations particularly target pollutants including particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, both of which are found in fossil fuel emissions.
  • WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that air pollution kills at least seven million people prematurely each year.

UN chief appoints Nobel laureate K. Satyarthi as SDG Advocate

UN chief appoints Nobel laureate K. Satyarthi as SDG Advocate
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate ahead of the start of the 76th UN General Assembly.
  • Guterres appointed Satyarthi, STEM activist Valentina Munoz Rabanal, Microsoft President Brad Smith and K-pop superstars BLACKPINK as new SDG Advocates, a press release issued by the UN said.
  • “We are at a pivotal moment. The choices we make now could put us on a path towards breakdown and a future of perpetual crisis; or breakthrough to a greener and safer world,” Guterres said.

Awards and Honours

President Kovind to confer National Service Scheme Awards for 2019-20

  • President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the National Service Scheme Awards for 2019-20 tomorrow from Rashtrapati Bhawan through virtual mode. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur and Minister of State Nisith Pramanik will attend the ceremony from Sushma Swaraj Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • The National Service Scheme, NSS Award for the year 2019-20 will be given to 42 awardees in three different categories like University, 2 Councils, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers.
  • The ideological orientation of the NSS is inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. Very appropriately, the motto of NSS is “NOT ME, BUT YOU”.

Days and Dates

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment celebrates Sign Language Day

  • Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre, an autonomous body of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment celebrated Sign Language Day today in New Delhi.
  • Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar and Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik and A. Narayanswami attended the programme.
  • Dr. Virendra Kumar mentioned that Persons with Disabilities are an integral part of human resource and to provide them maximum accessibility is the utmost priority of the government.

Other Important Affairs

  • The foreign ministers of G4 countries – India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have underlined the urgency of reforming the United Nations Security Council in order to make it more legitimate, effective and representative.
  • Federal Bank has announced a tie-up with OneCard for a mobile-first credit card that targets the country’s young, tech-savvy population.
  • The Commerce Ministry has decided to celebrate ‘Vanijya Saptah’ from 20 to 26 September.
  • The 2021 Campaign Award, which celebrates a campaign that has raised awareness or built a community by inspiring action and creating change, recognizes Satta Sheriff of Liberia for her work to promote gender equality (SDG 5).
  • Rajiv Bansal, a 1988 batch lAS officer of Nagaland cadre, will replace Pradeep Singh Kharola, upon his retirement this month-end. Rajiv Bansal, current Air India Chairman, was appointed the new aviation secretary as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle by the Centre.