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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 11th Sep 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 11th Sep 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

One Sun, One World, One Grid Initiative:

A day-long conference on “Transnational Grid Interconnections for One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG)” was recently held in New Delhi.

  • The idea for the OSOWOG initiative was put forth by the Prime Minister of India, at the First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in October 2018.
  • The initiative aims at connecting energy supply across borders.
  • It aims to connect different regional grids through a common grid that will be used to transfer renewable energy power and, thus, realise the potential of renewable energy sources, especially solar energy.
  • The project is being spearheaded by the governments of India and the UK in partnership with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the World Bank Group.
  • It will bring together a global coalition of national governments, international financial and technical organisations, legislators, power system operators and knowledge leaders to accelerate the construction of the of the new infrastructure needed for a world powered by clean energy.
  • When will it be completed? The grid is expected to be set up over the next few years by the ISA. Once operational, it will transport solar power to different countries.

International Solar Alliance (ISA):

  • The ISA is an intergovernmental organisation that was launched in 2015 by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France at the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris.

Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme : RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced the issue price for the upcoming Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Tranche 2.

  • Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme were introduced by the Government of India in 2015 under the Gold Monetization Scheme.
  • SGBs are government securities issued by the RBI on behalf of the Government of India.
  • They are substitutes for holding physical gold.
  • SGBs are denominated in grams of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
  • Investors have to pay the issue price in cash, and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity.
  • The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities, including individuals (in his capacity as an individual, or on behalf of the minor child, or jointly with any other individual), HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
  • The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with an exit option in the 5th, 6th and 7th year, to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
  • Investment Limit:
    • Minimum: 1 gram of gold.
    • Maximum: 4 KG for individuals, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts.
    • Interest: 2.5% per annum, paid on a half-yearly basis.

Akshardham Temple : UK Prime Minister Visit

UK Prime Minister recently visited the Akshardham Temple in Delhi.

  • The Akshardham Temple, officially known as the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, is a Hindu temple complex located in Delhi, India.
  • It is Located on the banks of the Yamuna River.
  • It was officially opened to the public on 6th November 2005.
  • It was inaugurated by the then President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
  • Akshardham Temple God is Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830). However, it is also dedicated to great saints, devas and averts of Hindu Gods.
  • It comprises of the main temple, beautifully laid out gardens, exhibitions, open courtyards and water bodies, each section presenting an intriguing aspect of Hindu religion and spirituality.
  • Constructed with pink sandstone and marble, Akshardham Mandir is the centre of the Akshardham Temple complex.
  • It is built in the traditional Hindu architectural style.

WTO Dispute Settlement System : G20 Summit

The G20 leaders recently expressed their commitment to conduct discussions for having a “fully and well-functioning” dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by 2024.

  • WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism is the main WTO agreement on settling disputes.
  • The General Council of WTO convenes as the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)to deal with disputes between WTO members.
  • The DSB has the authority to:
    • establish dispute settlement panels;
    • refer matters to arbitration, adopt panel, Appellate Body and arbitration reports;
    • maintain surveillance over the implementation of recommendations and rulings contained in such reports;
    • authorise suspension of concessions in the event of non-compliance with those recommendations and rulings;
  • Ideally disputes are resolved through negotiations.
  • If this is not possible, WTO Members can request the establishment of a panel to settle the dispute.
  • The panel will issue a report, which can subsequently be appealed before the WTO’s Appellate Body on questions of law.
  • Appeals are handled by the permanent seven-member Appellate Body which is set up by the DSB and broadly represents the range of WTO membership.
  • It hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought by WTO members.
  • The Appellate Body can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel.
  • If a WTO member does not comply with recommendations from dispute settlement, then trade compensation or sanctions, for example in the form of increases in customs duties, may follow.

Morocco : Powerful Earthquake

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck central Morocco, 72 kilometres southwest of Marrakesh.

  • Morocco is a mountainous country in western North Africa that lies directly across the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • It retains much of its ancient architecture and even more of its traditional customs.
  • Morocco’s largest city and major Atlantic Ocean port is Casablanca, an industrial and commercial centre.
  • Capital: Rabat
  • It borders Algeria to the east and southeast, the Western Sahara to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north.
  • It is the only African country with coastal exposure to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Two small Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, are situated on the country’s northern coast.
  • Major mountain ranges: Atlas and Rif

Global Biofuels Alliance:

The Prime Minister of India announced the launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance.

  • Global Biofuels Alliance is an India-led Initiative to develop an alliance of Governments, International organisations and Industry to facilitate the adoption of biofuels.
  • A total of 19 countries and 12 international organisations have so far agreed to join the alliance, including both G20 members and non-member countries.
  • India, Brazil and the US is the founding members of the alliance.
  • This Alliance will be aimed at facilitating cooperation and intensifying the use of sustainable biofuels, including in the transportation sector.
  • It will place emphasis on strengthening markets, facilitating global biofuels trade, developing concrete policy lesson-sharing and providing technical support for national biofuels programs worldwide.
  • It will support worldwide development and deployment of sustainable biofuels by offering capacity-building exercises across the value chain, technical support for national programs and promoting policy lessons-sharing.
  • It will facilitate mobilising a virtual marketplace to assist industries, countries, ecosystem players and key stakeholders in mapping demand and supply, as well as connecting technology providers to end users.
  • It will also facilitate the development, adoption and implementation of internationally recognised standards, codes, sustainability principles and regulations to incentivise biofuels adoption and trade.

Igai semkhu : Species Of Titanosaurian Dinosaur

A new genus and species of titanosaurian dinosaur being named Igai semkhu has been recently described by researchers from Midwestern University, USA.

  • Igai semkhu belongs to a diverse group of long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs called Titanosauria.
  • Igai semkhu roamed the earth during the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous epoch, approximately 75 million years ago.
  • The group is known for large body sizes, long necks and wide stance. It includes species ranging from the largest known terrestrial vertebrates to ‘dwarfs’ no bigger than elephants.
  • Igai semkhu constitutes one of the most informative dinosaurs yet recovered from the latest Cretaceous of Afro-Arabia.

India-Middle East-Europe Mega Economic Corridor : Launch

The Prime Minister of India announced the launch of the India-Middle East-Europe mega economic corridor.

  • India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor project includes India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, France, Italy, Germany and the US.
  • The project will aim to enable greater trade among the involved countries, including energy products.
  • The IMEC comprises of an Eastern Corridor connecting India to the Gulf region and a Northern Corridor connecting the Gulf region to Europe.
  • It will include a railway and ship-rail transit network and road transport routes.
  • The corridor will include a rail link as well as an electricity cable, a hydrogen pipeline and a high-speed data cable.
  • In the coming times, it will be a major medium of economic integration between India, West Asia and Europe.
  • The rail and shipping corridor is part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII)
  • It would increase prosperity among the countries involved through an increased flow of energy and digital communications.
  • The project would help deal with the lack of infrastructure needed for growth in lower- and middle-income nations.

Bharat Drone Shakti 2023:

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is teaming up with the Drone Federation of India to co-host ‘Bharat Drone Shakti 2023’

  • Bharat Drone Shakti 2023 event will take place at the IAF’s airbase in Hindan (Ghaziabad) and feature live aerial demonstrations by the Indian drone industry.
  • These demonstrations will encompass a diverse range of drone applications, including survey drones, agriculture drones, fire-fighting drones, tactical surveillance drones, heavy-duty logistics drones, loitering munition systems, drone swarms, and anti-drone solutions.
  • The event will also witness the active participation of more than 75 drone start-ups and corporate entities.
  • The event promises to showcase the capabilities of Indian drones and provide a platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and collaboration among industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts.

A400M Atlas:

Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer globally, responds to the Indian Air Force’s Request for Information (RFI) for a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) with the A400M Atlas.

  • A400M Atlas is a multi-national four-engine turboprop.
  • The aircraft is manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the European aerospace and defence firm Airbus.
  • It is a multi-role aircraft that serves as both a tactical airlifter and a strategic airlifter.
  • It can be used for transport, air-to-air refueling, and paratroop missions.
  • The A400M’s normal operating speed is 555km/h, but it can reach a maximum speed of 780km/h.
  • The aircraft weighs approximately 76,500kg, and the maximum take-off weight is 141,000kg.
  • It stands out for its ability to carry oversized cargo, including vehicles and helicopters.
  • The A400M cockpit is fully night-vision compatible and provides accommodation for two pilots and an additional crew member.
  • It can be converted into a tactical tanker that has the ability to refuel a range of aircraft and helicopters.

Bharat: The Mother Of Democracy Portal

On the eve of the G20 leadership summit, the Ministry of Culture launched a portal of the mega exhibition—‘Bharat: The Mother of Democracy’.

  • “Bharat: The Mother of Democracy” Portal showcases the content on the history of democracy in India, showcasing 7,000 years of democratic ethos starting from the Sindhu-Saraswati civilisation to 2019.
  • It is available in 16 languages, including German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, and Russian besides English and Hindi.
  • The portal is divided into five sections and 22 sub-sections starting from Sindhu-Saraswati Civilisation (6000-2000BCE), Mahajanapada and Gantantra (7-8 BCE), Vijaynagar Empire (14-16 century), and Mughal emperor Akbar reign (1556-1605) to Constitution of India (1947) and Elections in Modern India (1952 onwards).