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October 3, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm



 Context: Growth in India’s gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues slowed to a 27-month low of 10.2% in September

  •  Revenues from domestic transactions, including services imports, were 14% higher than the tax collected from these sources during September 2022
  • GST inflows from goods imports had recovered from two months of contraction to grow 3% in August, but shrank again in September
  • The last time that GST revenues grew at a slower pace was in June 2021
  • Revenues in strife-torn Manipur, which recovered from a contraction in August, recorded the highest growth among States in September
  • Bihar was the only State to report an actual contraction in GST collections in September, with revenues down 5%



Context: Jet fuel prices hiked by 5% while commercial cooking gas gets costlier by ₹209

  •  The price of a 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder though remained unchanged.
  • The revision in rates of ATF is expected to lead to a rise in air fares ahead of the festive season
  • The increase in prices of commercial LPG may add to the expenses of commercial establishments such as hotels and restaurants.
  • The ₹200 reduction in the price of domestic cylinder made in August is applicable to beneficiaries enrolled in the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY),
  • The revision in rates of ATF is expected to lead to a rise in airfares



Context: For the first time in the 102 years of its manufacturing history in the Valley, the Kashmir bat will be used in 50-over World Cup matches

About the Kashmir Willow bat:

  • The bat after a century has gained international recognition as the number of cricket-playing nations picking up bats from the Kashmir Valley rose significantly.
  • Today it has become the biggest competitor of the famous English willow cricket bats. The Kashmir bats cost ₹10000- ₹12000 each while the English willow bats are around ₹1 lakh each.
  • The players of six international teams, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Oman, West Indies and UAE who would be competing in the 50-over cricket world cup to be played this year shall be playing with the Kashmir willow bat.
  • The GR8, a local company, has helped change the fate of the Kashmir willow bat industry.
  • The upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, being hosted by India, will see the willow in action at the international level after a boost in the last couple of years.
  • Kashmir’s bat industry is mainly concentrated in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Anantnag districts, with willow groves growing in the wet highlands nearby.
  • Around 75,000 willow trees are cut annually to keep the bat industry in the State ticking.
  • Manufacturers say the raw material is depleting now. “Only around 3,000 trees were available this season. The government needs to promote organized willow farming and maintain the supply as per the demand,

About the willow tree:

  • Both the English and Kashmir willow are made from the same tree, Salix Alba, found globally.
  • The physical properties of the trees vary according to location due to difference in physical factors like climate, rainfall, soil nutrients and moisture.
  • The Kashmir and England grown Salix alba are solid and durable with high rebound quality and low moisture content making them ideal against leather cricket bats.



 Context: Six young people from Portugal, aged 11 to 24, are suing 32 European governments (including the U.K., Russia and Turkey) at the European Court of Human Rights in France’s


The plaintiffs began arguing before 17 judges that their governments have failed to take sufficient action against the climate crisis, thus violating their human rights and discriminating against young people globally.

What is the lawsuit?

  • Duarte Agostinho and Others versus Portugal and Others was filed in September 2020, in the aftermath of the wildfires that consumed Portugal’s Leiria in 2017. Over 60 people died, and 20,000 hectares of forests were lost.
  • The Portuguese youths claim that European nations have faltered in their climate emission goals, blowing past their global carbon budgets consistent with the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming under 1.5°C.
  • The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change (ESABCC), a body which provides scientific advice to EU countries, said countries will have to target an emissions reduction of 75% below 1990 levels (as opposed to the EU’s current 55%

 How have governments responded?

  • It comes down to cause and effect: countries so far have rejected any relationship between climate change and its impact on human health.
  • For instance, Greece, in its submissions, maintained that the effects of climate change “do not seem to directly affect human life or human health



 Context: The two nations see each other as optimal and comfortable partners

  • External Affairs Minister said, stressing that like the Chandrayaan, bilateral ties will go to the moon and maybe even beyond.
  • As the host, when things go well, the host always gets the credit. It’s reasonable. But, the G20 could not have come together if all the members of the G20 did not work for its success,”
  • The contribution, the support and the understanding that we got from the U.S. to make a successful G20, I think that is something I would certainly like to recognise in public in Washington DC
  • The recent collaborative endeavors between the two countries, all starting with the letter ‘I.’ These initiatives include the India Middle East Economic Corridor, I2U2 (India, Israel, the U.S., the UAE), Indo-Pacific cooperation, and the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET).



Context: Indonesia is set to launch Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway that will cut travel between capital Jakarta and another major city by hours.

The Chinese-made bullet train named “Whoosh” is built to take more than 600 people to and from Jakarta and the Javan city of Bandung in 45 minutes and is part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

  • The train can reach speeds up to 350 kmph and has cost a joint Chinese-Indonesian venture more than $7 billion to build.





October 3, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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