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Current Affairs


6th & 7th August 2023


1)  IUCN SSC & WTI Sign MoU for India’s First Species Survival Center

On 2nd August 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)  to set up the first-ever regional Center for Species Survival (CSS) in India.

·         The MoU aims to enhance conservation efforts by wildlife experts and specialist groups and safeguard the rich biodiversity of India.

·         This will be the 10th CSS in the world and the first of its kind in South Asia.

·         The MoU was signed by Prof. Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of IUCN SSC and Vivek Menon, Executive Director and CEO, WTI.

Vision and purpose
i.CSS will act as a platform for conservation practitioners to share best practices, collaborate on species conservation efforts, and contribute to species status assessments using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
ii.It will also bridge the gap between national and international efforts to preserve and protect species
iii.The Center will study the impact of environmental changes on species survival, providing vital insights for conservation efforts.
iv.The center will address gaps in species assessments for species Red Lists and ensure the assessments are aligned between national and Global IUCN Red Lists.
v.The collaboration between IUCN and WTI will enable IUCN SSC members to coordinate their efforts for species conservation, amplifying the impact of species recovery initiatives.
i.CSS are partnerships between the SSC Chair’s Office and leading species conservation organisations.
ii.The IUCN SSC is a commission made up of over 8,300 conservationists worldwide.
iii.WTI is a conservation organization established in 1998 with a mission to conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.



2)  NHA extends DHIS for hospitals under Ayushman Bharat Till Dec 31, 2023

On August 5, 2023, the National Health Authority (NHA) extended its Digital Health Incentives Scheme (DHIS) under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) till the 31st of December, 2023.
About DHIS:
Launched w.e.f. January 1, 2023, DHIS offers incentives of upto Rs 4 crores to hospitals and diagnostic labs and Digital Solution Companies (DSCs) such as Hospital/ Health Management Information System (HMIS) and Laboratory Management Information System (LMIS) for adopting and enabling transformative digitization under ABDM.
Key Points:
i.For availing incentives the health facilities and DSCs should be registered with the ABDM’s Health Facility Registry (HFR) and should fulfil the eligibility criterion specified under the scheme.
ii.The incentives are based on the number of digital health records created and linked to Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) numbers of the patients.
iii.As of date, 1 205 health facilities have registered under this scheme with 567 public and 638 private hospitals. out of the 25 digital solution companies registered, 22 are from the private sector.
iv.Till June 2023, close to 120 health facilities and 7 health tech companies have received incentives totalling to Rs. 4.84 Cr.
v.The scheme is continuously monitored by NHS for its effectiveness.



3)  MNRE Extends Deadline For Self-Certification of SPV Inverters

On 27th July 2023, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has
issued a notification extending the deadline for self-certification of Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) inverters (items 4-5) under the SPV, Systems, Devices and Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2017.The extension is from 30th June 2023 to 31st December 2023 or till further orders.
i.This extension is subject to the condition that manufacturers comply with self-certification based on valid International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certificates corresponding to Indian Standards (IS) specified in the order and provide test reports from accredited test labs. The extension aims to ensure a smooth implementation of the order for SPV inverters.
ii.The ministry has provided this extension on account of the limited availability of test facilities and in order to provide additional time for compliance with the QCO.
iii.The government had previously extended the implementation of the QCO from 30th June 2022 to 31st December 2022 and further extended it from 31st December 2022 to 30th June 2023.
i.On 5th September 2017, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, issued the Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices, and Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order 2017. This order includes six products in the schedule.It aims to enforce quality control in Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Technology Power Projects including SPV modules, inverters, and battery storage.
ii.As per the order, no person shall manufacture or store for sale, import, sell or distribute goods, which do not conform to Indian Standards (IS) specified in the Order.



4)  PNGRB & World Bank Partners to develop roadmap for Hydrogen transmission in NG pipelines

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), a regulator of natural gas distribution network, collaborated with the World Bank to develop a roadmap for for Hydrogen transmission in Natural Gas (NG) pipelines and City Gas Distribution (CGD) networks.
PNGRB-World Bank Study:
The PNGRB-World Bank study, which is expected to be completed within 16 weeks analyses the following:

·         Mapping demand and supply of hydrogen

·         Technical assessment for the compatibility of the existing pipeline network

·         Commercial assessment of the pipeline sector

·         Recognizing any hindrances in the policy and regulatory framework

·         Framing roadmap milestones till 2040 for the expedited implementation of hydrogen blending in India.

Key Points:
i.On 4th August 2023, a significant presentation took place at the PNGRB Office in New Delhi, Delhi.
ii.During the presentation, the PNGRB Board emphasized the need for swift action in implementing Hydrogen Blending and optimising the use of existing energy infrastructure to achieve the National Energy Goal.
iii.The transportation of Hydrogen is best achieved through natural gas pipelines. The study aimed at developing the Technical and Commercial viability of hydrogen blending into NG pipelines authorised by the PNGRB Board
iv.Regulatory Frameworks are set to undergo important amendments to achieve the national target to reach 5 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) per annum of hydrogen consumption by 2030.
v.PNGRB has also permitted 3 City Gas Distributors (CGD) to undertake hydrogen blending in NG in their respective licensed areas and Hydrogen injection of up to 5% volume in NG has been achieved in low-pressure Medium density polyethylene (MDPE) network.

·         This move is aimed at integrating hydrogen into the existing NG infrastructure and gradually transitioning towards a greener and more sustainable energy solution.

About Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB):
PNGRB was constituted under The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006.
Chairperson– Dr. Anil Kumar Jain
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi



5)  UGC Constituted An Expert Committee To Review Anti-Discrimination in HEIs

Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha(the upper house of Parliament), Minister of State(MoS) for Education, Subhas Sarkar announced that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted an expert committee on 21st July 2023, to review its regulations and guidelines concerning anti-discrimination in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) for Scheduled Castes(SC), Scheduled Tribes(ST), Other Backward Classes(OBC), Persons with Disabilities(PwD), and other minority groups.

·         The primary objective of the expert panel is to undertake a comprehensive review of existing anti-discriminatory policies and to make campuses free of caste discrimination.

·         The committee formed as per the direction given by the Supreme Court of India on 6th July, 2023.

Why the Expert Committee?
The emergence of multiple suicides in the last six months, affecting students hailing from marginalized communities, within the campuses of Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) such as IIT-Madras(Chennai, Tamilnadu), IIT-Bombay(Mumbai, Maharashtra), and IIT-Delhi (New Delhi, Delhi)., has led to the formation of the Expert Committee.
Supreme Court’s July 6th direction:
During a Supreme Court hearing on 06 July 2023, the cases presented by the mothers of Rohith Vemula( a PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad , Telangana) and Payal Tadavi(a post graduate student in T N Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai, Maharashtra), both students who committed suicide due to casteism.

·         The court subsequently directed the UGC to provide a comprehensive account of the measures it has undertaken to combat caste-based discrimination within educational institutions.

Existing University Grants Commission (UGC) Regulations:
i.In 2012, the UGC released the UGC (Promotion of Equity in Higher Educational Institutes) Regulations, 2012 which encompassed various manifestations of discrimination.
ii.They established the role of liaison officers to monitor the fulfillment of reservation quotas and outlined the requirement for robust grievance redressal cells dedicated to resolving discrimination-related issues.
iii.Nevertheless, these directives have encountered incomplete adoption across numerous higher educational institutions, including a significant portion of the Indian Institutes of Technology(IIT).



6)  Project Tiger and Project Elephant Merged as PT&E

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) announced the merger of the two flagship conservation programmes namely Project Tiger (PT) Division and Project Elephant (PE) Division into a new division called Project Tiger and Elephant (PT&E) in April 2023 and the official order came up on June 2023.

·         By merging, both projects will be funded through a common allocation starting 2023-24. However, there remains uncertainty regarding the allocation of finances between these 2 projects.

·         The Additional Director-General of Forests (ADGF) – PT (ADG-PT) has been re-designated as ADGF (PT & E), with the Inspector General Forests and Project Director, PE  will be the divisional head of the PT&E division and will be reporting to the ADGF (PT&E), who is also the member secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

·         The merger will strengthen the conservation of both animals, as they often share the same landscapes in India, but the decision to cut funding for conservation efforts raises concerns, particularly regarding the conservation of signature animals like tigers.

·         In 2023-24, the combined budget of PT and PE schemes amounts to Rs.331 crore. This represents a decrease from the 2022 budget, which was Rs.335 crore, comprising Rs 300 crore for PT and Rs.35 crore for Project Elephant.

·         However, the combined budgets for PT and Project Elephant released in 2022-23 were Rs. 220 crore, which is only about two-thirds of the allotted amount.


·         The 50th anniversary of PT was observed on April 2023, and Project Elephant completed 30 years in 2022.

·         In 2011, the former Planning Commission proposed a significant initiative to merge 3 centrally sponsored schemes into one, which included PT, Project Elephant, and Integrated Development under Wildlife Habitat. But was objected by the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife.



7)  Jyotiraditya M. Scindia Unveiled The New Logo Of The NMDC

On 5th August 2023, Union Minister of Steel and Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia unveiled the new logo of the Navratna Public Sector Enterprise,  National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), India’s largest iron ore producer, in New Delhi, Delhi.

·         The new logo signifies NMDC’s commitment towards sustainable & responsible mining and also its global aspirations.

Features of the new logo:
i.The logo is a manifestation of NMDC’s vision of NMDC 2.0. 
ii.The blue cog has been retained to pay homage to our heritage by representing the mineral mining cycle which symbolizes the steadfastness and trust that NMDC has earned over the decades.
iii.At the center of the logo, a hand cradling the earth signifies NMDC’s commitment towards sustainable & responsible mining and also its global aspirations.
iv.The vibrant green color symbolizes growth, renewal, and harmony with nature.
Note – Its earlier logo symbolized the journey of India in the last 75 years, where India was growing with a focus on reducing its dependence and becoming self-reliant.




8)  India & Nepal Signed An MoU to Undertake 4 HICDPs in Nepal

On 4th August 2023, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration of Nepal signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)  for undertaking 4 High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal under the grant assistance of the Government of India.

·         A total of 170 million Nepalese rupees (NPR) are expected to be spent on the four projects, three of which will be in the education sector and one in the water supply and sanitation sector.

The project will provide better education facilities, water supply and sanitation facilities for the local community in Nepal.
Projects in the Education sector:
Construction of the School Building of

·         Shree Galainath Secondary School, Shailashikhar Municipality; Darchula district, Sudurpashchim Province of Nepal

·         Shree Himalaya Secondary School, Byas Rural Municipality in Darchula District, Sudurpashchim Province of Nepal

·         Diding Primary School,  Chichila Rural Municipality in Sankhuwasabha District, Koshi Province of Nepal.

Water Supply and Sanitation Project:
i.India will also help Nepal with a Water Supply and Sanitation project through the construction of the Shreepur Water Supply and Sanitation Project,  Triyuga Municipality in Udayapur District of Nepal
ii.The project will be implemented through the local authorities of Shailashikhar Municipality, Byas Rural Municipality (Darchula District of Sudurpashchim Province), Chichila Rural Municipality, and Triyuga Municipality.
Additional information:
i.Since 2003, India has taken up 546 HICDPs costing around 1220 crore Nepalese rupee in the areas of health, education, drinking water, connectivity, sanitation and creation of other public utilities across all 7 provinces of Nepal.
ii.Of these, 483 projects have been completed and the remaining 63 projects are under implementation.
iii.The total cost of all the projects is around NPR. 1220 Cr (INR. 762 Cr.) which are mostly implemented through local authorities of the Nepali Government.
About Nepal:
President- Ramchandra Paudel
Prime Minister- Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’
Currency- Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
Capital- Kathmandu



9)  World Rice Price Index jumps to near 12-year high in July 2023: FAO

 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) All Rice Price Index increased by 2.8% in July 2023 to 129.7 points as compared to 126.2 point in June 2023.

·         This is highest level in nearly 12 years as prices in key exporting countries rised on increased demand and India’s move to curb the rice exports.

·         The FAO’s July 2023 rice index is almost 19.7% higher than 108.4 points in July 2022, and the highest nominal value since September 2011.

Note: The FAO Food Price Index tracks monthly changes in the international prices of globally-traded food commodities. For rice tracking, the FAO monthly Rice Price Update provides monthly rice export prices from major origins.
Key Points:
i.FAO’s overall world food price index also rose in July 2023 to 123.9 points, up 1.3% from June 2023 while 11.8% below its July 2022 level.

·         It is driven by higher costs for rice and vegetable oil.

ii.The India Rice Ban: India is a big exporter of rice, sending 40% of the world’s rice exports, followed by Thailand (13% share) and Vietnam (9% share), among others. But in July 2023, the Indian government decided to stop exporting non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supply and to keep prices stable during the upcoming festive season.

·         Additionally, they also put a ban on exporting de-oiled rice bran (DORB) until November 30, 2023 which was previously allowed for export.

iii.India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan are among leading exporters of rice. China, Philippines, Benin, Senegal, Nigeria and Malaysia are key importers of the staple.
About United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO):
Director-General– QU Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
Establishment– 1945



10)       Iraq becomes 18th country recognised by WHO for eliminating Trachoma as a Public Health Problem

 On July 31, 2023, Iraq becomes the 18th country recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem. It is also the 5th country in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region to achieve this feat.  It is also acknowledged by the WHO as the 50th country for eliminating at least one Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD), globally.

·         This represents reaching the halfway mark to the 100-country target set for 2030 in the 2021–2030 NTD road map that targets the prevention, control elimination and eradication of 20 diseases and disease groups.

Efforts by Iraq in eliminating trachoma:
i.In 2012, Iraq launched its national trachoma program to eradicate the disease. They developed a surveillance system to detect and manage cases in eye care facilities, schools, and collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Thousands of healthcare staff, including refractionists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, and eye surgeons, contributed to these efforts.
ii.Post-elimination, Iraq and WHO will continue to closely monitor previously endemic areas to detect and if necessary, combat any resurgence of disease.
About Trachoma: 
i.It is a contagious bacterial eye infection caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It primarily affects the surface of the eye and the inside of the eyelid.
ii.It is transmitted through direct contact with the eye or nose secretions of infected individuals or from fomites and flies or indirectly through contaminated objects like towels or clothes.
iii.With time, it causes the eyelashes to be pushed inward into the eye. So with every blink, they brush against the eyeball. This form of trachoma is called trichiasis. If it’s not treated, trichiasis can lead to blindness.
iv.The SAFE strategy: It includes Surgery to treat the blinding stage (trachomatous trichiasis); Antibiotics to clear the infection, particularly the antibiotic azithromycin; Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement, particularly improving access to water and sanitation.
Key Points:
i.Trachoma remains endemic in six countries in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region. However, significant progress has been made in reducing the number of people requiring antibiotic treatment for trachoma elimination purposes, decreasing from 39 million in 2013 to 6.9 million as of April 2023.
ii.17 other countries that have eliminated trachoma as a public health problem are Benin, Cambodia, China, Gambia, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Togo and Vanuatu.
About Iraq:
Capital– Baghdad
Currency– Iraqi Dinar
Prime Minister– Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani




11)       NABARD sanctions Rs 1974 cr to Rajasthan under RIDF for 2023-24

National Bank for Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs 1,974.07 crore to the Government of Rajasthan under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for 2023-24. A budget of Rs.930.44 crore has been sanctioned for 3 rural drinking water supply projects in the districts of Rajasthan namely Ajmer, Jalore, and Kota.

·         Further, Rs.926.48 crore was sanctioned for the construction of 676 rural roads in the desert and tribal areas of Rajasthan. Earlier, Rs.117.15 was allocated for the establishment of 104 veterinary hospitals and 431 sub-centres in all the districts of Rajasthan.

·         The drinking water supply projects are expected to provide clean and potable water to 2.87 lakh households in 2,500 villages, whereas rural road projects will improve connectivity in 1,229 villages across 12 districts.

·         NABARD is also supporting the Rajasthan government to bring 4.28 lakh hectares under micro-irrigation with support of Rs.740 crore from the Micro Irrigation Fund.


·         NABARD’s Infrastructure Development Assistance has allocated Rs.623.38 crore for the construction of earthen canal linings covering 450 kilometers in the Kota and Bundi districts.

·         NABARD is India’s apex development bank, established in 1982 under an Act of Parliament to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development.



12)       Mastercard Introduces CVC Free Online Transactions for Its Customers

On 7th August 2023, Mastercard introduced Card Verification Code (CVC)-free online transactions for customers who have tokenized their debit and credit cards on merchant platforms.

·         The move aims to reduce the checkout time and make CVC-free payment to enhance the payment security.

Mastercard’s token-based transactions leverage 3 key factors that ensure a high degree of safety and security which includes
i.Enhanced Security Features
ii.Authenticated User Identity Check
iii.Domain Control
Tokenization of Card & CVC:
As per the Reserve Bank of India’s tokenization guidelines, merchants who implement tokenized payments will collect the CVC only once, during the initial tokenization of the card. For future transactions, cardholders select the tokenized card, verify One-time password(OTP), and complete the payment without re-entering CVC, streamlining the process while ensuring security.
Note: CVC is the 3-digit number printed on the back of debit and credit cards.




13)       Marketing Freedom regime: ONGC signed 1st-ever term contract with BPCL for sale of crude oil from Mumbai region

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), a Maharatna Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), has entered into a term contract with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a Maharatna PSU under MoPNG, for the sale of crude oil from the Mumbai region in Maharashtra. This agreement represents the first-ever term contract under the Marketing Freedom system of government.

·         The contract comes after the Government of India’s (GoI) decision to grant marketing and pricing freedom for domestic crude oil replacing the previous allocation mechanism.

Note: ONGC has adapted to the new regime and successfully conducted the first-ever e-auction of Mumbai (Maharashtra) Offshore crude oil.
Key Signatories:
The contract was signed by Sanjay Kumar, ONGC Executive Director (ED)- Chief Marketing, and Manoj Heda, BPCL ED (Information Technology (IT)) at ONGC NBP Green Heights, in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Key Points:
i.BPCL and ONGC have been in collaboration since 1976. BPCL processes ONGC’s crude oil at the Mumbai refinery.
ii.The refinery’s strategic location is connected by pipeline, facilitating seamless logistical operations for ONGC.
iii.The energy market is constantly changing, ONGC stands strong, driving innovation and achieving excellence in India’s oil and gas sector. As a key player, ONGC plays a vital role in shaping India’s energy future.
About Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC):
Chairman & CEO– Arun Kumar Singh
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in– 14th August 1956
About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL):
Incorporated in 1952 as a private limited company with the name Burmah Shell Refineries Ltd and renamed BPCL on August 1, 1977.
Chairman & MD (CMD) – G Krishnakumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra  




14)       Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla Gets 1-year Extension Up To 22 August 2024

On 4th August 2023, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved a further one-year extension for Ajay Kumar Bhalla as Union Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs beyond August 22, 2023, up to August 22, 2024. This is his 4th extension in the post.

·         This has been done in relaxation of FR 56(d) and Rule 16(1A) of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 19.

About Ajay Kumar Bhalla:
i.Bhalla born on 26th November 1960, a 1984-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, was first appointed as the Home Secretary on August 22nd 2019, succeeding Rajiv Gauba for a fixed two-year tenure till August 2021.
ii.Subsequently, his term was extended for one year each in 2021 and in 2022.
iii.Prior to joining Home Ministry, Bhalla held secretarial positions in the Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Department of Commerce, and Department of Shipping (ports) and also handled various assignments in the cadre in Assam and Meghalaya.
Roles & Responsibilities of Home Secretary:
Home Secretary is the administrative head of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and is the principal adviser to the Home Minister on all matters of policy and administration within the Home Ministry.All Central Forces including the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), CISF (Central Industrial Security Force), and BSF (Border Security Force) is under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

·         The Home Secretary serves as the sole and highest administrative authority in the Ministry of Home Affairs.The responsibility in this regard is complete and undivided.

·         The Home Secretary acts as the primary adviser to the Home Minister on all aspects of policy and administrative affairs.

·         The Home Secretary represents the Ministry of Home Affairs in front of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of India.

·         Among the secretaries in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Home Secretary holds the highest position and is considered the foremost in terms of authority and influence.




15)       Ambuja Cements acquires 56.74% stake in Sanghi Industries 

On 3rd August 2023, Adani Group-owned Ambuja Cements Ltd (ACL), acquired a 56.74 %  stake in Gujarat-based Sanghi Industries(SIL) at an enterprise value of around Rs 5,000 crore.The acquisition will be fully funded through internal accruals.
i.The deal will boost Ambuja Cements’ capacity to 73.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and help it reach its goal of 140 MTPA by 2028 .
ii.The deal marks the first major acquisition for the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate for 2023.
iii.The deal will help Ambuja Cement close the gap with market leader UltraTech Cement.




16)       Godrej Security Solutions Won A Project Of SDSC-SHAR

Godrej Security Solutions a division of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd and the flagship company of the Godrej Group has won a project to provide a comprehensive Key Management System to Satish Dhawan Space Centre-Sriharikota Range (SDSC-SHAR), the Spaceport of India.
i.The project undertaken by Godrej Security Solutions entails the implementation of sophisticated encryption protocols and the safeguarding of critical keys and the bolstering of the overall institutional security framework of SDSC-SHAR.
ii.The system will assist in compliance management by establishing a robust framework for key generation and distribution, ensuring adherence to the highest security standards.
Note: SDSC SHAR is one of the lead centres of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space (DOS), Government of India,located at Sriharikota in Andhrapradesh.It became operational on October 9, 1971 with the flight of ‘Rohini-125’, a small sounding rocket.




17)       England’s T20 World Cup 2022 Winner Alex Hales Retires From International Cricket

England’s Twenty20 International(T20I) World Cup 2022 winner Alexander Daniel Hales (Right-Handed Batsman) announced his retirement from international cricket on 4th August 2023. However he continues to play in domestic and franchise cricket.

·         Hales scored an unbeaten 86 runs, which lead England to win over India in the T20I World Cup2022 semi-finals in Australia.

About Alex Hales:
i.The right hand batter was born on 3rd January 1989 at Hillingdon, United Kingdom (UK).
ii.Debut:He made his debut in a T20I match against India in Manchester(UK) in August 2011.

·         He made his ODI debut against India in 2014, also played his last ODI against West Indies in 2019.

·         Also made his test debut against South Africa in 2015 and played last test in 2016 against Pakistan.

iii.Career:Hales represented England for 156 matches across all formats (T20I, ODI & Tests) and scored 5066 Runs.

·         He played 75 T20Is and scored 2074 runs with a century and 12 half-centuries.

·         He also played 70 One Day Internationals(ODI), and scored 2419 runs with 6 centuries and 14 half-centuries.

·         He scored 573 runs in 11 test matches with 5 half-centuries.

iv.Records:He was the second highest individual ODI scorer for England by scoring 171 runs against Pakistan at Nottingham, UK in 2016.




18)       National Bone & Joint Day 2023 – August 4

 National Bone and Joint Day is observed annually on August 4 across India to increase awareness about the importance of bone and joint health  and to educate people about preventive measures and early detection of various musculoskeletal disorders and conditions.

·         The Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA) had launched the 2023 campaign under the theme ‘Each One Train One Save One’.

i.The Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA) has been celebrating the National Bone & Joint Day across India since 2012. 
The first-ever National bone and joint day was observed on 4th August 2012..
ii.IOA was formed in 1955 and is one of the largest professional organizations which has more than 10000 active life members.
iv.The Founders day of the Indian Orthopaedic Association, 4th August shall be called the “Bone & Joint Day”, and the preceding week culminating with the 4th August, shall be called the “ Bone & Joint week”.
i.Bones serve as the foundation and protection for all organs in the body.
ii.During the growth period, children require sufficient vitamins and minerals to support their high metabolic activity.
iii.Peak bone mass is a crucial aspect of skeletal health achieved during adolescence, playing a significant role in preventing osteoporosis later in life.
Conditions affecting Bone & Joint Health:
Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are 2 distinct yet interrelated conditions that adversely affect bone and joint health, leading to pain and disability.
i.It is a progressive bone disease characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone tissue, making bones fragile and susceptible to fractures.
ii.It primarily affects older adults, particularly women after menopause, but can also occur in men and younger individuals with specific risk factors.
i.It is a degenerative joint disease caused by the breakdown of cartilage, leading to joint pain and stiffness.
ii.It most commonly affects weight-bearing joints like knees, hips, and spine and often develops with age or due to joint injury.
Source for healthy bones:
i.Vitamin D and Calcium are two crucial nutrients for bone health.

·         Vitamin D is produced by the body upon exposure to sunlight, so outdoor activities are recommended daily.

·         Consuming dairy products, green leafy vegetables, fish, soybeans, and almonds, are excellent sources of calcium.

ii.Engaging in physical activities like walking, jogging, and running can benefit overall bone and muscle health in all age groups.
Preventive measures:
Women are more prone to poor bone health, especially once they reach menopause age. Some preventive actions required to maintain healthy bones are,

·         Balanced diet; Regular exercise; Maintaining a healthy weight; Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake; Staying hydrated and so on.

Programs organised by Indian Orthopaedic Association:
i.On 4th August 2023, on the occasion of National Bone and Joint Day, IOA organised a Basic Life Support Training with the theme “Each ONE Train ONE Save ONE” to save the lives of victims of traffic accidents by spreading awareness about Strong Bone’s Stronger Nation.
ii.IOA also observed the Bone and Joint Week from 1st August to 6th August 2023.





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