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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 13th Oct 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 13th Oct 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Bima Vahak : IRDAI

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has announced that the guidelines for the women-centric insurance distribution channel called “Bima Vahak” will become effective upon the launch of “Bima Vistaar,” an all-in-one standard insurance product currently under development.

  • The primary objective of Bima Vahak is to establish a dedicated distribution channel focused on enhancing insurance inclusion and awareness in every village/gram panchayat, thereby increasing the accessibility and availability of insurance throughout the country.
  • IRDAI stands for the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. It was established on April 19, 2000 to regulate the insurance industry in India.
  • IRDAI’s responsibilities include:
    • Regulating and licensing the insurance and re-insurance industries in India
    • Protecting the interests of policyholders
    • Promoting the orderly growth of the insurance industry in India

Operation Ajay:

India has initiated “Operation Ajay” to assist its citizens who wish to return from Israel. Special charter flights and arrangements are being organized for their safe repatriation.

  • A 24-hour Control Room has been established in the Ministry of External Affairs to monitor the situation in Israel and Palestine and provide information and assistance.
  • The announcement was made concurrently with Israel’s ongoing military operations targeting Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
  • These actions were undertaken in response to a severe and violent attack that occurred within the borders of Israel.

Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan Birth Anniversary:

The Prime Minister of India has paid tributes to Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan on his birth anniversary.

  • Jayaprakash Narayan born on 11th October 1902, in Sitabdiara, Bihar, popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak (People’s Leader), was an Indian Independence activist, social reformer and political leader.
  • Influenced by both Marxist ideas in the US and Gandhian ideology.
  • Joined the Indian National Congress in 1929 and participated in the civil disobedience movement and Quit India Movement.
  • Devoted his life to the Bhoodan Yajna Movement, advocating land redistribution to the landless, inspired by Vinoba Bhave.
  • He led the movement against the Indira Gandhi Regime in response to electoral law violations, promoting a program of ‘Sampoorna Kranti’ or total revolution in 1974.
  • The ‘Total Revolution’ had seven components: political, social, economic, cultural, ideological, educational, and spiritual.
  • His objective was to bring about societal change in line with the ideals of Sarvodaya, a Gandhian philosophy emphasizing progress for all.
  • Jayaprakash Narayan was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1999. Died: 8th October, 1979.

Asian Games 2023 : India’s Medals Tally

The 19th Asian Games (of 2022, held in 2023) came to a close at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium (also called Big Lotus) in China. Hockey player PR Sreejesh was India’s flagbearer at the parade of athletes.

India’s Medals Tally:

  • With 107 medals (28 gold, 38 silvers and 41 bronze), India set a new benchmark for themselves at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China.
  • At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, India performed well and returned with 70 medals, including a haul of 16 gold medals.
  • It was the first time in Asian Games history that India’s medals tally crossed the three-figure mark. By doing so, they became the only fourth country after China (383), Japan (188) and the Republic of Korea (190) to win 100 or more medals in a single edition of the Asian Games.
  • Athletics turned out to be the most productive sport with a total of 29 medals – six gold, 14 silver and nine bronze.
  • The India men’s hockey team won an Asian Games gold and booked a Paris Olympics berth with a 5-1 thrashing of Japan.

India Tanzania Investment Forum:

India welcomed the President of Tanzania at the India Tanzania Investment Forum in New Delhi.

  • India and Tanzania have upgraded their bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership.
  • Both nations inked six agreements to strengthen cooperation across various vital domains.
  • It encompasses cooperation in the digital domain, culture, sports, maritime industries, and white shipping information sharing.
  • These agreements lay the foundation for fostering technological and cultural exchange between the two nations.
  • Both nations are promoting trade between the Indian Rupee and Tanzanian Shilling by enabling authorized banks in India to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts of correspondent banks in Tanzania.
  • Efforts to address concerns and ensure the sustainability of this currency trade mechanism are underway.
  • The newly established five-year defense roadmap sets the stage for expanded cooperation in military training, maritime collaboration, capacity building, and the defense industry.
  • Both nations expressed their intent to enhance cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The success of the first-ever India-Tanzania joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance exercise in July, 2023 was a positive step in this direction.
  • Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan received an honorary doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
  • The Government of Tanzania also announced that they would be joining the International Big Cat Alliance and the Global Biofuel Alliance.

Deception Island : Picture By NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently posted a birds-eye-view picture of Deception island on its Instagram handle.

  • Deception Island is part of a line of islands called the South Shetland Islands, lying northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • It is an active volcano.
  • It was formed by a massive volcanic eruption, which caused the central part of the volcano to collapse and allowed seawater to flood the center, or caldera.
  • It has a unique landscape of barren volcanic slopes, steaming beaches, and ash-layered glaciers that form a distinctive horseshoe-shaped opening to the sea through a narrow channel at Neptune’s Bellows.
  • The island surrounds Port Foster, one of the safest harbours in the Antarctic.
  • It is one of the only places in the world where vessels can sail directly into the centre of a restless volcano.
  • It’s one of two active volcanoes around Antarctica, and it has erupted more than twenty times since the 19th century.
  • Three volcanic eruptions took place on the island between 1967 – 1970, destroying the Chilean and the British stations.
  • At present, Argentina and Spain maintain summer scientific stations there.

Sayeret Matkal : Israel Operation

Israel’s most elite special operations force, Sayeret Matkal, is being prepped for extremely dangerous hostage-rescue missions in the Gaza Strip.

  • Sayeret Matkal, also called General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269, is an elite commando unit of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
  • The unit was established in 1957 at the initiative of its first commander, Avraham Arnan.
  • It is modelled on the UK’s Special Air Service, or SAS, a Special Forces unit of the British army, taking the unit’s motto “Who Dares Wins”.
  • Sayeret Matkal is a field intelligence-gathering unit that conducts deep reconnaissance behind enemy lines and is also tasked with counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond Israel’s borders.
  • It is directly subordinate to the Special Operations Branch of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence.
    Israel only acknowledged its existence in the 1980s.
  • They have been known to work in conjunction with other elite Israeli units such as Sayeret Tzanhanim, Flotilla 13, and Sayeret Golani.

Rasmussen’s Encephalitis:

The special surgery operation was performed by doctors at Loma Linda University Health in California by switching off half of the brain of an ailing girl in order to save her life who was suffering from Rasmussen’s encephalitis .

  • Rasmussen’s encephalitis is a very rare, chronic inflammatory neurological disease that usually affects only one hemisphere (half) of the brain.
  • It most often occurs in children under the age of 10 but can also affect adolescents and adults.
  • Symptoms:
    • Frequent and severe seizures
    • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
    • Mental deterioration
    • Progressive loss of neurological functions including motor skills, speech, and eventual paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis)

Mera Yuva Bharat : Approved

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister of India has approved the establishment of an autonomous body Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat).

  • Mera Yuva Bharat is an autonomous body will benefit the youth in the age group of 15-29 years, in line with the definition of ‘Youth’ in the National Youth Policy.
  • In case of programme components specifically meant for the adolescents, the beneficiaries will be in the age group of 10-19 years.
  • It will help in Setting the focus of the Government on Youth Led development and to make the Youth “active drivers” of development and not merely “passive recipients”.
  • It will be launched on 31st October, 2023 on National Unity Day.
  • The primary objective of Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) is to make it a whole of Government platform for youth development.
  • Under the new arrangement, with access to resources & connection to opportunities, youth would become community change agents and nation builders allowing them to act as the Yuva Setu between the Government and the citizens.
  • It seeks to harness the immense youth energy for nation building.

Goan Cashew : GI Tag

Goan cashew (kernel) got the geographical indication (GI) tag.

  • Cashew is one of the most important plantation crops in India
  • Cashew was native to northeast Brazil in Latin America and was introduced to Goa by the Portuguese in the 16th century (1570).
  • At the time of its introduction on Indian coasts, cashew was known mainly as a crop for afforestation and soil conservation.
  • In the state of Goa, it occupies the largest area among horticultural crops.
  • The cultivation of this crop is being extended to non-traditional areas in the plains of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and some parts of North East hill region.