Daily Current Affairs For BPSC as on 17.06.2023


1. "Abundance in Millets” Song

Why in news - PM Modi collaborated with Grammy-winning singer Falguni Shah for song on millets.

Key Points –

• Performed by - Falguni Shah (Mumbai-born singer-songwriter) and vocalist Gaurav Shah.

• 2023 – Declared as "International Year of Millets" by UN General Assembly at the request of India.

• Falguni Shah won the Grammy for Best Children's Album in 2022 for her album “A Colourful World”.

Value Addition –

• Consumed during the Indus Valley civilization.

• One of the first crops to be domesticated in India.

• Currently grown in more than 130 countries.

• Staple diet for more than 500 million people in Asia and Africa.


1. World Bank Road Safety Project

Why in news - The World Bank (WB) launched its first dedicated road safety project in South Asia.

Key Points –

• USD 358 million financing agreement was signed in Dhaka with the government of Bangladesh.

• Aim - to improve road safety and reduce fatalities and injuries from road crashes.

• Target - halve road crash deaths by 2030.

• Pilot Project - two national highways of Bangladesh

(a) Gazipur-Elenga (N4)

(b) Natore-Nawabganj (N6)

Value Addition –

• With just 10% of the world’s vehicles, South Asia accounts for over 25% of the world’s crash fatalities.

2. Honouring Fallen Peacekeepers

Why in news - The UN General Assembly has adopted a draft resolution to establish a memorial wall to honor fallen peacekeepers.

Key Points –

• Resolution title – “Memorial wall for fallen United Nations peacekeepers”.

• Introduced by – India.

• Co-sponsored by nearly 190 UN Member States and was adopted by consensus.

• In 2015, India launched a virtual memorial wall dedicated to the Indian peacekeepers who made the supreme sacrifice.

3. USA to rejoin UNESCO

Why in news - The United States of America announced its intention to rejoin UNESCO in July 2023.

Key Points –

• Reason for return - China filling the gap left by the US in UNESCO policy making.

• USA (along with Israel) left the UNESCO on December 31, 2018.

• UNESCO inducted Palestine as a member in 2011. USA halted the agency’s funding.

• USA previously pulled out of UNESCO under the Ronald Reagan administration in 1984. (rejoined in 2003).

About UNESCO (Hq - Paris) –

• UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

• Specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).

• Also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG).

• 3 UNESCO members but not UN members - Cook Islands, Niue, and Palestine.

• Director-General of UNESCO - Audrey Azoulay.

• USA was a founding member of UNESCO in 1945.


1. Mobile Air Pollution Monitoring

Why in news - IIT Madras researchers developed data science & IoT-based method for mobile air pollution monitoring.

Key Points –

• Pollution sensors mounted on public vehicles (incl 2 wheelers) can dynamically monitor the air quality of an extended area.

• Currently - air quality stations are at fixed locations and measure the air quality of a small geographic area.

• Features –

(a) Measure - PM1, PM2.5, PM10 and gasses such as NOx and SOx.

(b) Assess road roughness, potholes and UV index among others.

2. Betelgeuse

Why in news - Red giant star Betelgeuse is in its late carbon-burning stage (near the end of its life).

• It may explode as a supernova within a few decades.

• It is known as “Thiruvathirai” or “Ardra” in Indian astronomy.

• It is easily visible (naked eye) in the Orion constellation.

• A red giant star is a large, ageing star that has expanded and cooled down, causing it to appear red in colour.

Dying of Star –

• Stars exhaust their hydrogen fuel and transition to using helium to create carbon.

• The energy released during helium fusion is lower than that of hydrogen.

• Eventually, the helium is depleted, leading to the star’s progression through various burning stages, including carbon and silicon burning.


1. Elizabeth Longford Prize 2023

Why in news - Historian Ramachandra Guha’s book wins Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography 2023.

Key Points –

• Book - Rebels against the Raj: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom.

• Book is mainly about white Brits who were severely punished for going against the British establishment of their day to give their all for Indian independence.

• Published by William Collins.

• Guha also received a bound copy of Longford’s autobiography, The Pebbled Shore (1986).


1. 5th Global Slavery Index 2023

Why in news – The index was prepared by Walk Free, a human rights organization.

Key Points –

• It presents a global picture of modern slavery.

• Modern slavery - Forced labour, forced marriage, debt bondage, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery-like practices and exploitation of children.

• SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth. (Target 8.7 - end modern slavery and human trafficking).

• Prevalence (incidence per 1000 population) –

(a) Most - North Korea, Eritrea, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey.

(b) Least - Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden.

• Countries with maximum number of people living in modern slavery - India, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia.

• Data provided by - Global Estimates of Modern Slavery (data produced by ILO, Walk Free, and International Organization for Migration).


1. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Why in news – It is marked every year on June 17 to restore degraded land.

Key Points –

• Theme - "Her land. Her rights".

• By 2050 droughts may affect over 3-quarters of the world’s population.

• The number and duration of droughts has increased by 29% since 2000.

• More than 2.3 billion people already facing water stress.

• In India, 12 million hectares are lost (23 hectares per minute) due to drought and desertification each year.

Value Addition –

Global Efforts –

(a) United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD, 1994) - Only legally binding framework set up to address desertification and the effects of drought.

(b) Bonn Challenge - Global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

India’s Efforts –

(a) Aim - to achieve land degradation neutral status by 2030.

(b) To restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.


1. Palkhi Festival

Why in news – G20 delegates in Pune got a first-hand glimpse of the Warkari community’s Palkhi festival.

Key Points –

• Annual pilgrimage (yatra) to Pandharpur, the seat of the Hindu god Vithoba in Maharashtra.

• The whole process lasts a total of 22 days.

• Upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, these devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River before proceeding to visit the Vitthal temple.

Value Addition –

• 800-year tradition.

• Saints associated - Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Tukaram etc.

• Narayan Baba, the youngest son of Tukaram introducing the Palkhi in 1685.

• Warkari is a Hindu religious sect that worships Vithoba (or Vitthal), an incarnation of Krishna.


1. Ghariyal Hatchlings

Why in news – 125 gharial hatchlings were released in the Gandak River in West Champaran on World Crocodile Day (June 17).

Key Points –

• As per Wildlife Trust of India, 9 gharial nests were discovered in 2023 (2022 - 5).

• Gharial nests - West Champaran (8) and Kushinagar, UP (1).

• The Gandak River was identified as a nesting habitat of critically endangered gharials for the first time in 2016.

• Gandak has the 2nd largest gharial population after the Chambal River.

2. Governer – Government Tussle

Why in news – Government opposed Governer’s decree for 4-year degree course.

Key Points –

• Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, who is also the chancellor of state universities want to implement the 4-year graduation programme with choice based credit system (CBCS).

• None of the Bihar universities had managed to implement the CBCS and semester system at the undergraduate level.


• The first ever Hindu American Summit was held at which place - US Capitol (seat of the US government).

• Who addressed the plenary session of the 111th International Labor Conference in Geneva - Bhupendra Yadav.

• Wihu Kuh Festival was celebrated by which tribe - Angsa tribe.

• How many castes from six states are likely to be added to the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) - About 80.

• 22nd Law Commission sought opinion from public and religious organizations on which subject - Uniform Civil Code.

• Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off which country’s first Agri- SEZ project from New Delhi – Gabon.

• As per U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), the number of people forcibly displaced around the world has climbed to - 110 million people.

• India is participating at the Annecy International Animation Festival (AIAF) for the first time of which country – France.

• India has achieved an all-time high exports of seafood both in terms of volume and value worth what rupees during financial year 2022-23 - Over 63,969 crore rupees.

• Indian team comprising how many members has left for Berlin, Germany to compete at the Special Olympics Summer Games - 280 members (198 athletes).


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