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Current Affairs 23 August 2023

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NBRI Namoh 108: MoST Minister Dr Jitendra Singh unveils new variety of Lotus flower developed by CSIR-NBRIDr Jitendra Singh unveils new variety Lotusi.On August 19, 2023, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST), unveiled “NBRI Namoh 108”, a unique variety of Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) with 108 petals, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh(UP).

  • NBRI Namoh 108 was developed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research- National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI), Lucknow(UP)-based institute of national importance which engaged in research in the classical botanical disciplines.

ii.The MoST Minister also introduced apparel made from lotus fibre and perfume ‘Frotus’. The perfume is extracted from lotus flowers and was developed through the collaborative efforts of NBRI, and the Fragrance & Flavour Development Centre (FFDC) located in Kannauj, UP.
iv.An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between CSIR-NBRI & M/s Nucleome Informatics, Hyderabad, Telangana for collaborative research on Cotton.
About CSIR– National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI):
It is an institute of National Importance under CSIR.
Director – Dr Ajit Kumar Shasany
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Science & Technlogy(MoST)
Location– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
>> Read Full News

Highlights of 4th G20 DEWG & G20 DIA Summit held in BengaluruThe 4th G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) is organized by MeitY on August 16-17, in Bengalurui.The 4th and the Final meeting of the G20 (Group of Twenty) Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG), organized by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as a part of the India’s G20 Presidency, was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka from August 16-17, 2023.

  • It was formally opened by the Chair of G20 DEWG Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, MeitY, and was addressed by co-chair of G20 DEWG Sushil Pal, Joint Secretary, MeitY.

ii.Detailed deliberations on the draft “G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration” were held regarding the priority areas: Digital Public Infrastructure, Security in the Digital Economy, and Digital Skilling.
iii.MeitY and the MeitY Start-up Hub have organized the G20 Digital Innovation Alliance (DIA) Summit at the Bangalore Palace in Bengaluru (Karnataka) from August 17th to 19th, 2023.
About Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY):
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha- Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Rajya Sabha- Karnataka)
>> Read Full News

BRICS Nations Agree to Launch New University Ranking System
BRICS Education Ministers recently assembled in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa and reached an agreement to establish a new autonomous university rating system. BRICS nations comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

  • Objective – It aims to take a significant step toward bringing excellence in higher education, encouraging cross-border academic collaborations, and advancing the collective educational objectives of these nations.

i.The primary agenda of the BRICS Education Ministers’ meeting was addressing the need for modern, accountable education and training. Leaders from various educational departments collaboratively recognized the limitations of current university ranking methodologies.
ii.This prompted a decision to create a new ranking system, demonstrating commitment to enhanced, accurate evaluation of higher education institutions globally. Ministries of Education from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa wholeheartedly lent their support for this proposal.
iii. Konstantin Mogilevsky, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education in Russia, emphasized the necessity for a new evaluation framework in the global education community. He stressed the importance of objectivity and universal acceptance in this framework.
iv.CHEN Jie, Deputy Minister of Education from People’s Republic of Chinahighlighted that the upcoming rating system’s need to rely on qualitative benchmarks, not just quantitative ones.


CBDT Notifies New Rules for Tax Exemption of Life Insurance Premiums Exceeding 5 LakhCBDT Notifies Rules For Tax Exemption On MaturityCentral Board for Direct Tax (CBDT) under Department of Revenue in Ministry of Finance issued notification(No. 61/2023) regarding the Income Tax Amendment (Sixteenth Amendment) Rules, 2023 is a set of rules introduced as part of the Finance Act, 2023. The new guidelines for tax exemptions under the amended section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, state that the maturity sum received from life insurance policies will be subject to taxation if the annual premium exceeds Rs.5 lakh.
i.Under the previous rules specified in section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the maturity sum of a life insurance policy, along with any bonuses, was not subject to taxation.

  • However, the amendment to Clause (10D) of section 10 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, stipulated that the maturity sum received from life insurance policies issued on April 1, 2023, or after, will be taxable if the yearly premium exceeds Rs 5 lakh.

ii.The insertion of a new clause (xiii) in sub-section (2) of section 56 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, is related to the amendment mentioned in the Income Tax Amendment (Sixteenth Amendment) Rules, 2023.

  • This new clause (xiii) introduces a specific provision that addresses the tax treatment of sums received under a life insurance policy.The tax treatment of life insurance policies refers to how the proceeds or benefits received from these policies are treated for taxation purposes

iii.Rule 11UACA provides the methodology for computing the income chargeable to tax under clause (xiii) of sub-section (2) of section 56 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Note – The Finance Act is an annual legislation in India that outlines the amendments, modifications, and changes to various tax laws, including the Income Tax Act, 1961.
>> Read Full News

SBI Life Insurance becomes the first Indian private life insurer to launch ’24X7 inbound contact centreSBI Life Insurance becomes the first Indian private life insurer to launch a 24X7 inbound contact centreState Bank of India (SBI) Life Insurance became the first private life insurance company in India to provide 24X7 inbound contact centre via toll-free number 18002679090 to address before and after purchase queries with the aim to offer real time solutions to queries related to policies and insurance solutions.

  • The contact centre is available to both existing and new consumers, throughout the year.
  • This is aligned with the goal of ‘Insurance for all by 2047’ set by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
  • This initiative aims to address both pre and post-purchase inquiries, offering real-time solutions for policy and insurance-related queries.

Current Capacity:
The current capacity of the customer care support enables it to manage approximately 13 lakhs calls annually. Additionally, the company operates an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) featuring 13 self-service options.
Insurance for all by 2047-IRDAI:
i.IRDAI committed to enable ‘Insurance for all by 2047’ with an aim to provide every citizen with life, health and property insurance cover and every enterprise with appropriate insurance solutions.
ii.The three pillars of the entire insurance ecosystem are insurance customers (policyholders), insurance providers (insurers) and insurance distributors (intermediaries).


1st Maharashtra Industry Awards 2023: Padma Awardee Ratan Tata honoured with first-ever ‘Udyog Ratna‘ AwardRatan Tata honoured with Udyog Ratna award by CM Eknath ShindePadma Awardee and former Chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata was honoured with the first-ever ‘Udyog Ratna Award for his outstanding contribution to Maharashtra’s industrial development. The Udyog Ratna Award is one of the category awards presented in the 1st Maharashtra Industry Awards 2023, instituted by the Maharashtra government.

  • The award was presented to Ratan Tata by Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister (CM) of Maharashtra, and Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, Deputy CMs at Ratan Tata’s home in Colaba in south Mumbai,Maharashtra.
  • During the award ceremony, on behalf of Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Sons N. Chandrasekharan was presented with a memento of the Udyog Ratna award by the Governor.
  • The honour comprised a shawl, a citation, and a commemorative memento along with a cheque of Rs. 25 lakhs from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).

Note: The contribution of Tata Group in all sectors, from salt to steel, operates in over 100 countries across 6 continents. In the fiscal year 2021-22, the combined revenue of Tata Companies amounted to USD 128 billion.
Other Awards:
Apart from Udyog Ratna Award, there were other 3 awards presented in the ceremony namely

  • Udyog Mitra Award (Young Entrepreneur Award) – Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India was honoured with the Udyog Mitra Award
  • Udyogini Award (Best Women Entrepreneur) –  Gauri Kirloskar of Kirloskar Group was honoured with this award
  • Utkrusht Marathi Udyojak Award (Outstanding Marathi Entrepreneur) -Vilas Shinde, Chairman and MD (CMD) of Sahyadri Farms was honoured with this award

Maharashtra Industry Awards 2023:
i.It is an annual award instituted by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) of the Government of Maharashtra in 2023 to to acknowledgethe entrepreneurs who have contributed substantially to the industrial sector of Maharashtra on the lines of Maharashtra Bhushan from 2023.
ii.The Maharashtra government has decided to start the awards Maharashtra Bhushan Award instituted in 1995 is the highest award given by the Maharashtra government to people who have contributed to the social life of Maharashtra in the disciplines of literature, art, sport, science, public administration, journalism, social work, and healthcare.
iii.The ‘Udyog Rozgar Mitra’ (U R Mitra) initiative was also launched on the occasion.
About Ratan Tata:
i.Ratan N Tata was the chairman of major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power and so on.
ii.He is also associated with various organisations both inside and outside India and he is on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation and JP Morgan Chase.
iii.The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and Padma Vibhushan in 2008 for Trade and Industry.
About Maharashtra:
Chief Minister– Eknath Shinde
Governor– Ramesh Bais
Zoological Parks– Balasaheb Thackeray Gorewada International Zoological Park and Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park (Peshwa Park)        


BPCL Announces Rahul Dravid as its Brand AmbassadorBPCL announces Rahul Dravid as Brand Ambassador Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), a Maharatna Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG), has named Rahul Dravid, Former Indian Cricketer and the current Head Coach of Indian Cricket Team, as its new brand ambassador.

  • Rahul Dravid will represent BPCL’s ‘Pure for Sure’ initiative and its range of MAK lubricants, and his association with BPCL will serve to emphasise BPCL’s promise of quality and dependability to consumers across India.
  • The introduction of Rahul Dravid as the face of BPCL reflects its commitment to quality, excellence, integrity, reliability, and authenticity.

MAK Lubricants:
i.MAK Lubricants from BPCL has been established as a trusted brand in lubricants and greases both in India and international markets.
ii.In 2003, BPCL re-strategised all its three brands (MAK, GLIDE, AUTOMOL) and unified them into one umbrella brand called ‘MAK’.
About Rahul Dravid:
i.Rahul Dravid, popularly referred as “The Wall”, represented Indian from 1996 to 2012. He has played 500 games and scored more than 24,000 runs with nearly 50 centuries across all formats.

  • He is the 4th highest run scorer in Test cricket with 13,288 runs. The list is topped by Sachin Tendulkar (India) follwed by Ricky Ponting (Australia) and Jacques Kallis (South Africa).

ii.He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2004 and Padma Bhushan in 2013 in Sports field.
iii.He was honoured with Arjuna Award in 1998 (Cricket)
About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL):
It is India’s second-largest oil and gas company and also one of the world’s biggest corporations. BPCL ranks number 233 in the Fortune Global 500 ranking list of 2023.
Chairman & MD (CMD) – G Krishnakumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded in– 1952

Bernardo Arevalo Wins Guatemala’s Presidential ElectionArevalo wins Guatemala presidency in landslide amid hopes for changeCésar Bernardo Arévalo de León, an anti-corruption candidate, won  Guatemala’s presidential election. He secured 58% of votes against his opponent, the former first lady (2008 to 2011) Sandra Torres, of the National Unity of Hope who secured 37%.

  • Arevalo will succeed the current President Alejandro Giammattei, a leader of the right-wing party Vamos.
  • He will be sworn in on 14th January 2024.

About Bernardo Arevalo:
i.Bernardo Arevalo is the son of  Juan José Arévalo, the country’s first democratically elected President(1945–51).
ii.He is the leader of the social democratic Movimiento Semilla Party.

  • Movimiento Semilla – a political party that emerged in response to demonstrations against widespread corruption uncovered by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

iii. Bernardo was appointed as the Director of the Regional Office for Latin America, moving to Geneva in 2005 to become the Director of the Joint Programme Unit for United Nations/Interpeace Initiatives (JPU) – a unique partnership Interpeace has with the UN.
Additional Info:
Guatemala ranked 150th out of 180 in Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International in 2022.
About Guatemala:
Guatemala is a Central American country, south of Mexico.
Capital – Guatemala City
Currency – Guatemalan Quetzal

Neelkanth Mishra Appointed as Part-time Chairman of UIDAI
Neelkanth Mishra has been appointed the Part-time Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). He has been serving as the Chief Economist at Axis Bank Limited and Head of Global Research at Axis Capital Limited since May 2023.

  • The Chairman post was vacant for almost 4 years. Previously, J. Satyanarayana served as the part-time Chairman of UIDAI from July 12, 2016, to April 15, 2019.
  • He will be the second non-bureaucrat after Nandan Nilekani (2009 to 2014) to chair UIDAI.

Other Appointments:
Nilesh Shah, Managing Director (MD), Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company (AMC) Limited, and Prof Mausam, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, were appointed as part-time members of UIDAI.
Note: The appointments of the Chairperson and the Members are for a period of 3 years or up to the age of 65 years whichever is earlier, from the date on which they assume office.
About Neelkanth Mishra:
i.Prior to joining Axis bank, Neelkanth Mishra served as the co-head of Asia-Pacific (APAC) Strategy, India Equity Strategy Head, and Head of Research, in India at the Zürich (Switzerland)-based Credit Suisse, a financial services company.
ii.Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he was a Senior Technical Architect with Infosys Technologies. He has also worked with Hindustan Lever Limited and has been an entrepreneur.
iv.He is also a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister (PM-EAC).
v.He is part of the Advisory Council to the 15th Finance Commission and has been an advisor to committees appointed by the Government of India (GoI) such as the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) Committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Review Committee.
vi.He is also one of the members of the advisory committee of the India Semiconductor Mission (Semicon India).
Organisational Structure of UIDAI:
i.UIDAI board structure encompasses a Chairperson, 2 part-time Members, and a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is also the Member-Secretary within the Authority.
ii.In June 2023, Amit Agrawal, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), has been appointed as the CEO of UIDAI
About Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI):
UIDAI is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016 by the Government of India under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
It was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India.
Chairman (Part time)– Neelkanth Mishra
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi


China Launches New Satellite for Earth Observation
China has launched a new Earth observation satellite,named Gaofen-12 04, atop a Long March-4C carrier rocket, into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China.
The satellite has been positioned in the designated orbit around the Earth as originally intended for its mission.

  • This launch represents the 484th flight mission of the Long March series carrier rockets.
  • The satellite’s capabilities will be utilized in diverse applications such as land surveys, urban planning, road network design, crop yield estimation, and disaster relief efforts.


India Wins 14 medals in World Under-20 Wrestling Championships 2023World Under-20 Wrestling Championships 2023India won 14 medals(4 golds, 3 silver and 7 bronze) in the World Under-20 Wrestling Championships 2023 held from 14th to 20th August 2023 in  Amman, Jordan.

  • India also claimed its first women’s team title at the World Under-20 Wrestling Championships 2023 with seven medals(3 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze).

About United World Wrestling (UWW):
President – Nenad Lalović
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
Established – 1921
>> Read Full News


Emmy-Winning American Actor Ron Cephas Jones Passed Away
Ron Cephas Jones, a renowned American actor who won Emmy Award twice, has passed away. He was born on January 8, 1957, in Paterson, New Jersey, United States of America(USA).

  • He won widespread recognition for his performance in the hit television series “This Is Us.” He portrayed the character, William Hill.
  • Ron Cephas Jones won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor for his role in the drama series “This Is Us” in both 2018 and 2020.
  • In 2020, Ron Cephas Jones’ daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, earned her first Emmy Award. This achievement made them the first-ever father-daughter winners in Emmy history. Jasmine won the Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her role in “#FreeRayshawn.”
  • He earned a nomination for a Tony Award and achieved victory by winning a Drama Desk Award in 2022.
  • Ron Cephas Jones was involved in various films, including “Half Nelson,” “Glass Chin,” “Dogfight,” and “He Got Game.”He also lent his voice to animated projects like “The Croods” and its sequel “The Croods: A New Age.”


World Senior Citizen’s Day 2023 – August 21World Senior Citizen's Day - August 21 2023 World Senior Citizen’s Day is annually celebrated across the globe on 21st August to honour the efforts, contributions, and achievements made by elderly people to society, families, and communities. The day also recognises the issues that an elderly individual faces in old age.

  • The day also aims to recognise and appreciate their participation in society in order to promote their skills and knowledge.

i.The observance of World Senior Citizen’s Day was started in 1988, when Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America (USA) signed the Proclamation of 5847 on August 19, 1988, and declared the 21st of August every year as the “National Senior Citizens Day”.
ii.The Proclamation of 5847, which was signed on 19th August 1988 initially appeared as National Day of the Third Age on 21st August.

  • On 14th December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution declaring 1st October as the International Day of Older Persons.

>> Read Full News

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief 2023 – August 22International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief - August 22 2023The United Nations (UN)’s International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief is annually observed across the globe on 22nd August to condemn the violence and acts of terrorism against individuals of religious minorities, on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief.

  • 22nd August 2023 marks the observance of the 5th International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

On 28th May 2019, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/73/296 and proclaimed the 22nd of August of every year as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.

  • The first-ever International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief was observed on 22nd August 2019.

About United Nations (UN):
Secretary General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, the United States of America(USA)
Established in 1945
>> Read Full News

World Water Week – 20 to 24 August 2023World Water Week - 20 to 24 August 2023World Water Week is annually observed across the globe during the last week of August with an aim to examine the pivotal role of water in addressing several pressing global challenges such as water crisis, global warming, biodiversity loss, and so on.
World Water Week 2023 takes place from 20-24 August 2023.
World Water Week 2022 was observed from 23 August – 1 September 2022
World Water Week 2021 was observed from 23-27 August 2021

  • World Water Week is annually organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

The Theme of World Water Week 2023 is “Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World

  • The theme aims to encourage people to rethink the ideas and innovations needed to manage water and explore solutions to water-related challenges globally.

i.World Water Week was initially started as the Stockholm Water Symposium in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden.
ii.In 2001, the Stockholm Water Symposium was officially renamed the World Water Week in Stockholm.
About Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI):
Acting Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer– Karin Gardes
Headquarters– Stockholm, Sweden
Established in– 1991
>> Read Full News


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

Current Affairs 23 August 2023
NBRI Namoh 108: MoST Minister Dr Jitendra Singh unveils new variety of Lotus flower developed by CSIR-NBRI
Highlights of 4th G20 DEWG & G20 DIA Summit held in Bengaluru
BRICS Nations Agree to Launch New University Ranking System
CBDT Issued New Guidelines to Calculate Income from Life Insurance Policies with Premiums Exceeding Rs. 5 Lakh
SBI Life Insurance becomes the first Indian private life insurer to launch ’24X7 inbound contact centre
1st Maharashtra Industry Awards 2023: Padma Awardee Ratan Tata honoured with first-ever ‘Udyog Ratna’ Award
BPCL Announces Rahul Dravid as its Brand Ambassador
Bernardo Arevalo Wins Guatemala’s Presidential Election
Neelkanth Mishra Appointed as Part-time Chairman of UIDAI
China Launches New Satellite for Earth Observation
India Wins 14 medals in World Under-20 Wrestling Championships 2023
Emmy-Winning American Actor Ron Cephas Jones Passed Away
World Senior Citizen’s Day 2023 – August 21
International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief 2023 – August 22
World Water Week – 20 to 24 August 2023

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