Current Affairs - Current News

‘Gulabi Meenakari of Benaras’ and India’s Soft Diplomacy

During his recent visit to the US, PM Narendra Modi gifted Kamala Harris (US Vice President) a copy of old notifications related to her grandfather, PV Gopalan, in a wooden handicraft frame (PV Gopalan was a respected government officer who served in various positions in India) and a gulabi meenakari chess set. Later, while meeting with other Quad leaders, he gifted Australian PM Scott Morrison a silver gulabi meenakari ship and a sandalwood Buddha statue to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. He also presented Joe Biden with documents that could help him if he had any relatives in India.

Taiwan Applies to Join CPTPP

  • Taiwan has formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) less than a week after China too had submitted an application.
  • Taiwan is excluded from many international bodies because of China's insistence that it is part of "one-China" rather than a separate country. China views Taiwan as its own territory.
  • Most recently, China sent 19 aircraft towards Taiwan on 23rd September amid rising tensions across the straits, in the latest messaging from Beijing to both Taipei and Washington on its posture on the Taiwan issue.

Plant Discoveries 2020: Western Ghats gives More New Species

Recently, the Botanical Survey of India released its new publication ‘Plant Discoveries 2020’. It has added 267 new taxa/ species to the country’s flora.

  • The 267 new discoveries include 119 angiosperms; 3 pteridophytes; 5 bryophytes, 44 lichens; 57 fungi, 21 algae and 18 microbes.
  • In 2020, 202 new plant species were discovered across the country and 65 new records were added.

JNPT starts Dwarf Containers Train Service

On 20th September 2021, the dwarf container train service started from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).

  • With this, the first consignment of laden Dwarf containers from Dwarf container depot (DCD) at the port was moved by train to ICD Kanpur.
  • The Indian Railways introduced first commercial service to run double-stack dwarf containers on trains in 2018 and the first freight train was flagged off on July 7 from Western Railway's Rajkot railway station.

Global Innovation Index 2021

The 14th edition of Global Innovation Index was released on 20th September 2021.

  • The Index is released annually by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • The Global Innovation Index 2021 captures the innovation ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.

State Food Safety Index 2020-21

The third State Food Safety Index was released on 20th September 2021.

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) releases the State Food Safety Index annually based on the overall performance on food safety indices.
  • The first such report was released on World Food Safety Day on June 7, 2019.
  • FSSAI’s State Food Safety Index (SFSI) measures the performance of States on five parameters of food safety:

KVIC launched ‘SPIN’ Scheme & “Kashi Pottery Cluster”

On 17th September 2021, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched a unique Scheme called SPIN (Strengthening the Potential of India) and set up “Kashi Pottery Cluster” under SFURTI Scheme in Varanasi to empower over 1100 people of the marginalized potters’ community on the occasion of “Sewa Diwas”, the birthday of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

  • On this occasion, 780 electric potter wheels were sanctioned to the participants of SPIN Scheme. Further, in Gujarat, KVIC distributed 50 charkhas to women artisans at Kevadia to engage them with self-employment and sustainable livelihood.

G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting & India

On 16th September 2021, the G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting was organized by Indonesia to discuss the Agricultural Priority Issues of G33 and the Way Forward for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC-12) scheduled to be held from 30th November to 3rd December 2021.

  • The Informal Ministerial Meeting was chaired by the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Muhammad Lutfi.
  • Director General of WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala delivered the Keynote Remarks.
  • Out of a total of 47 G-33 Members, representatives from 21 Member countries, including India, took the floor to make brief intervention.

‘Hathei Chilli’ & ‘Tamenglong’ Orange of Manipur got GI Tag

The famous Hathei Chilli and Tamenglong Orange of Manipur have received the Geographical Index (GI) tag.

  • Manipur has been promoting these two produce by celebrating the Orange Festival every December and Sirarakhong Hathei festival every August for over a decade now.

Gupta Era Temple found with Inscriptions in ‘Shankha’ Lipi

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered the remains of an ancient temple from the reign of the Gupta Empire in Bilsarh village in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh.


  • An ancient staircase bearing inscriptions in the Shankhalipi (conch script or shell script) script (used between the 4th and 8th centuries CE) was found.

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