Everything You Need To Know About 23 September 2023 : Daily Current Affair
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23 September 2023 : Daily Current Affair

Daily Current Affairs

23-September-2023

Daily Current Affairs For UPSC ,Daily Current affairs of The hIndu and Indian Express.


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1. Lok Sabha adjourned sine die, registers 160% productivity.

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity

Context:

  • Special Session of Lok Sabha adjourned sine die on September 21.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla mentioned the session had four sittings lasting around 31 hours.
  • The House achieved a productivity rate of 160%.
  • The key highlight was the passage of the Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, which grants 33% reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and Assemblies.

What is adjournment sine die:

  • In the context of the Indian Parliament, adjournment sine die means the formal and indefinite adjournment of a session.
  • It is a decision made by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • This adjournment occurs when all scheduled parliamentary business and legislative activities for the session have been completed.
  • There is no specific date set for the reconvening of the session after adjournment sine die.
  • It marks the formal conclusion of that particular session of Parliament.
  • Various factors, including the completion of legislative tasks and government priorities, can influence the decision to adjourn sine die.

2. Quad Ministers hold talks on rules-based order, UN reform

Topic: GS2 – International relations.

Context:

  • The Foreign Ministers of the Quad nations (India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S.) met during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

More about the news:

  • They reaffirmed their commitment to a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region and resolving disputes based on international law.
  • The Quad also expressed its commitment to the principles of the UN charter and discussed a new initiative to respond to terror attacks.
  • The Quad Counterterrorism Working Group conducted a Consequence Management Exercise to study how the Quad could assist countries that had experienced terror attacks.
  • The group emphasized its dedication to countering terrorism, including terror financing, cross-border movement of terrorists, and the use of emerging technologies for terror purposes.
  • Regarding Ukraine, the Quad expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict and called for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law.
  • The statement also called for comprehensive UN reform, including expanding representation on the UN Security Council.

About Quad Grouping:

  • The Quad, short for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is a strategic forum comprising four major Indo-Pacific nations: India, Australia, Japan, and the United States.
  • The Quad is an informal grouping aimed at enhancing regional security and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Formation: The Quad was originally established in 2007 but was relatively short-lived due to concerns from some member countries. It was revived in recent years as a response to growing geopolitical challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Objectives: The Quad’s primary objectives include promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, ensuring regional stability and security, fostering economic growth and development, and addressing common challenges such as terrorism, cyber threats, and climate change.
  • Meetings: Quad meetings take place at various levels, including summit-level meetings of heads of state or government, foreign ministerial meetings, and working-level dialogues. These meetings facilitate discussions on a wide range of regional and global issues.
  • Focus Areas: The Quad’s focus areas include maritime security, infrastructure development, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and promoting democratic values in the Indo-Pacific.

3. Panel calls for revising rules of construction around protected ASI monuments

Topic: GS2 – Indian art and culture.

Context:

  • A parliamentary panel has raised concerns about the provision of 100-metre prohibited areas and 300-metre regulated areas around Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected monuments.

What is in the news?

  • These rules, introduced in 2010 through an amendment to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958, have led to difficulties for local communities in carrying out necessary repair work for their residential spaces.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport Tourism and Culture has recommended that the government revise these rules to make them more realistic and take into account the historical significance of the monuments.
  • It pointed out that the same rules currently apply to both significant and insignificant monuments, causing issues for communities living in proximity to these sites.
  • Additionally, the committee suggested that the list of all 3,691 ASI-protected monuments be rationalized and categorized based on their national significance, unique architectural value, and specific heritage content.

4. ‘Oil price a concern but no alarm yet’

Topic: GS3 – Indian economy

Context:

  • The Finance Ministry of India expressed concern about the recent increase in global crude oil prices but stated that it does not warrant alarm.

Additional information about the news:

  • The ministry noted that prices of some food items, which had contributed to inflation exceeding 7% in July, are now “on the retreat.”
  • The ministry identified the monsoon deficit as another risk to the economic outlook, which could impact both kharif and rabi crops.
  • Despite these concerns, the ministry maintained a positive economic outlook, with a baseline estimate of 6.5% real GDP growth for the year.
  • High-frequency indicators such as record e-way bills and electronic toll collections indicate healthy economic activity, and there are signs of a new private sector formation cycle.
  • The ministry noted a 4.2% increase in capital goods imports in the first quarter, suggesting higher public capital spending crowding in private investment.
  • It acknowledged potential risks from a global stock market correction and geopolitical developments but believes their impact on India’s economic activity should be relatively contained.

5. China’s Stapled Visas

Topic: GS2-IR

Context:

  • Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur called off his trip to China on the eve of the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in protest after three athletes, all wushu martial arts players from Arunachal Pradesh were denied accreditation cards and instead offered stapled visas.

What is a ‘stapled visa’?

  • A ‘stapled visa’ is a visa that is attached to a separate piece of paper instead of being stamped directly in the passport.
  • The Chinese government began issuing ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh in 2009.
  • The Chinese government says that it issues ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh because it does not recognize India’s claim over the state.
  • The Indian government says that the ‘stapled visa’ issue is a political tool that China uses to assert its claim over Arunachal Pradesh.

Why did China issue ‘stapled visas’ to the three Wushu players?

  • The Chinese government did so in order to send a message to the Indian government about its claim over Arunachal Pradesh.

Issue

  • The ‘stapled visa’ issue is a sensitive one for both India and China.
  • The Indian government has expressed its displeasure at China’s decision to issue ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Chinese government has said that it will continue to issue ‘stapled visas’ to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh until India recognizes China’s claim over the state.
  • The ‘stapled visa’ issue is a reminder of the ongoing dispute between India and China over Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The dispute has the potential to escalate into a conflict between the two countries.

6. No signal yet from Chandrayaan-3, ISRO says trying

Topic: GS3-Science and Tech

Context:

  • Chandrayaan-3 Lander and rover have so far not given any indication of having woken up after the lunar night, but Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it was not giving up hope yet.

Details:

  • The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover of Chandrayaan 3 spacecraft, which landed on the Moon on August 23, had a mission life of one lunar day only, equivalent to about 14 days on Earth.
  • That was because the on-board instruments and electronics were not equipped to survive the extremely frigid lunar night when temperatures drop well below -200 degree Celsius.
  • Electronics not specifically designed to withstand extreme temperatures usually become non-functional.
  • The lunar day had come to an end in the first week of September.
  • The possibility of the lander and rover surviving the lunar night was never certain.
  • It is also possible that even if the instruments do “wake up” and show signs of some activity, they might not be fully functional.
  • In any case, most of the science objectives from the Chandrayaan-3 mission have been achieved, and the instruments have already collected a wealth of valuable data.

3) India’s imports of Saudi oil in September slump to a multi-year low.

Topic: GS3- Mobilization of resources, Growth and development

Context:

  • India’s Oil imports from Saudi Arabia in September slumped to a multi-year low of around 5,00,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Possible Reasons:

  • Due to Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) impending maintenance shutdown of some units at its Jamnagar refinery complex
  • Also Saudi Arabian crudes becoming relatively more expensive than competing grades in the wake of production cuts by Riyadh.

Details:

  • Currently, Saudi Arabia is the third-biggest supplier of crude oil to India, behind Russia, the top supplier, and Iraq.
  • Traditionally, Riyadh used to be New Delhi’s second-biggest source of crude after Baghdad.
  • But after the war in Ukraine broke out, Russia displaced Iraq and Saudi Arabia as India’s largest oil supplier by offering deep discounts on its crude.
  • RIL is the biggest Indian buyer of Saudi Arabian crude, accounting for around 35 per cent of the oil imports from that country.

India’s Import Dependence

  • India’s Dependence on OPEC Countries: India’s imports from OPEC countries constitute 85% of our total crude imports and 94% of the gas imports.
  • India’s Rising Crude Oil Import: According to the World Energy Outlook 2021 data, India ranks 3rd globally in crude oil imports after China and the U.S. The demand for oil is growing at 3-4% a year in India.
  • India ranks a distant 21st in crude oil production and 26th in natural gas production.
  • Russia has continued to be the single largest supplier of crude oil for India, which is converted into petrol and diesel at refineries.
  • Russia’s share of India’s imports rose to 1.64 million barrels per day in March 2023, taking a 34% share.
  • Saudi Arabia was India’s second largest supplier and Iraq was the third biggest supplier of crude oil in March 2023.
  • India is the 4th largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • Crude oil imports in India in April 2022-January 2023 rose 9.4% year on year to 192.4 million tonnes.
  • Vulnerable Indian Economy: Heavy reliance on oil imports make the Indian economy vulnerable to volatility in international oil prices, in addition to having a significant bearing on the country’s trade deficit, foreign exchange reserves, rupee’s exchange rate, and inflation.

8) US and China launch economic, financial working groups in attempt to cool down tensions

Topic: GS2- Effect of policies and politics pf countries on India’s interests

Context:

  • The US Treasury Department and China’s Ministry of Finance launched a pair of economic working groups in an effort to ease tensions and deepen ties between the nations.
  • The working groups will establish a durable channel of communication between the world’s two largest economies.

Details:

  • China is one of the US’s biggest trading partners, and economic competition between the two nations has increased in recent years.

Reasons for Tension between US and China

  • The appearance of a Chinese high-altitude balloon over the US, which the Pentagon mentioned as a spying device.
  • US-China tensions have been high for some time.
  • China harbours suspicions that the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue aims to confine its influence within the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The proactive US positioning on Taiwan
  • But over the last couple of months, the US has made efforts to thaw relations between the two nations.
  • President Biden’s suggestion of a change in approach during the G7 meeting, using the term “de-risk” instead of “decouple” in economic engagement with China.

US-China Relations – Implications for India

  • India and the US have strengthened their ties due to shared concerns about China’s rise. 
  • India’s participation in the Quad and US Indo-Pacific strategy followed conflicts with China.
  • However, an improvement in US-China relations could affect India’s position as the country with the longest border with China. 
    • The emergence of a US-China G2 for global stability, where each side indirectly accepts the other’s spheres of influence, would be a major concern and a significant source of anxiety for India in the coming years.
  • Experts warn that accepting a China-centric regional order would be counterproductive to India’s interests
  • They suggest India needs a counterbalancing strategy, working with the US and others while managing expectations and defining limitations.

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