Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2023

Sep 08, 2023

Current Affair 1:
About the African Union


The African Union (AU) was officially launched in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, following a decision in September 1999 by its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity to create a new continental organisation to build on its work.

The AU structure promotes participation of African citizens and civil society through the Pan-African Parliament and the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).

To ensure the realisation of its objectives and the attainment of the Pan African Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, Agenda 2063 was developed as a strategic framework for Africa’s long term socio-economic and integrative transformation.

The AU is made up of 55 Member States which represent all the countries on the African continent. AU Member States are divided into five geographic regions.

One exercise you will do:

I want all 55 countries to be located toughly on map (special attention to land locked and coastal states).

Current Affair 2:
India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)


India, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, European Union (EU), Italy, France and Germany came together Saturday to launch an ambitious infrastructure plan — the ‘India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor’ — that seeks to reshape the trade route between the Gulf, Europe and South Asia, connecting them by rail and sea links.

The proposed IMEC will consist of railroad, ship-to-rail networks (road and sea) and road transport routes (and networks) extending across two corridors, that is, the east corridor – connecting India to the Gulf, and the northern corridor – connecting the Gulf to Europe.

It would enable the transportation of goods and services from India to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Europe, and back. All in all, it is expected that the corridor would increase efficiency (relating to transit), reduce costs, enhance economic unity, generate jobs, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

How does this relate to the Israel and Gulf relationship?

Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic ties —primarily because of differences of opinion about the Israel-Palestine conflict. In fact, Israel has official ties with only Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco in the Arab region. In this light, the transit network which seeks integration on multiple fronts assumes particular significance.


It has often been believed that China is utilising the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from the Indo-Pacific to West Asia to further their economic and political influence, For the U.S., the project could also serve to counter Beijing’s influence “at a time when Washington’s traditional Arab partners, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are deepening ties with China, India and other Asian powers”.

Current Affair 3:
NASA’s Oxygen-Generating Experiment MOXIE



The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE, is helping NASA prepare for human exploration of Mars.

Recently, MOXIE has generated oxygen for the 16th and final time aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover.

Since Perseverance landed on Mars in 2021, MOXIE has generated a total of 122 grams of oxygen – about what a small dog breathes in 10 hours. At its most efficient, MOXIE was able to produce 12 grams of oxygen an hour – twice as much as NASA’s original goals for the instrument – at 98% purity or better. On its 16th run, on Aug. 7, the instrument made 9.8 grams of oxygen. MOXIE successfully completed all of its technical requirements and was operated at a variety of conditions throughout a full Mars year, allowing the instrument’s developers to learn a great deal about the technology.


Why it was important?

MOXIE served as the first-ever demonstration of technology that humans could use to survive on, and leave, the Red Planet. An oxygen-producing system could help future missions in various ways, but the most important of them would be as a source of rocket propellant, which would be required in industrial quantities to launch rockets with astronauts for their return trip home.

Rather than bringing large quantities of oxygen with them to Mars, future astronauts could live off the land, using materials they find on the planet’s surface to survive. This concept – called in-situ resource utilization, or ISRU – has evolved into a growing area of research.

Current Affair 4:
How is hallmarking being implemented?



BIS has been successful in implementation of Mandatory Hallmarking in 256 districts of the country with effect from 23 June 2021, in the first phase and in the additional 32 districts with effect from 04 April 2022, in second phase wherein more than 4 lakh gold articles are being hallmarked with HUID every day.

The Government of India has made hallmarking of gold jewellery mandatory in the country. It is now being implemented by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in a phased manner.

With an aim to bring transparency in the jewellery trade and increase trust among consumers, the Government has also made it mandatory for the introduction of a Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number in every piece of jewellery.

What is HUID?

HUID is a six-digit alphanumeric code, or one that consists of numbers and letters. It is given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking and is unique for each piece.

Jewellery is stamped with the unique number manually at the Assaying & Hallmarking (A&H) centre. The hallmark consists of three symbols which give some information about the jewellery piece.

The first symbol is the BIS logo; the second indicates purity and fineness; and the third symbol is the HUID.

Why is it being introduced?

  1. HUID gives a distinct identity to each piece of jewellery enabling traceability. It is critical to the credibility of hallmarking and to help address complaints against adulteration.
  2. In HUID-based hallmarking, registration of jewellers is an automatic process with no human interference.
  3. In addition to its role in authentication, it also helps check malpractice by members of the trade.
  4. According to the Government, it is a secure system and poses no risk to data privacy and security. Jewellers’ trade bodies, however, say it’s cumbersome to number each piece of jewellery and HUID cannot be engraved in tiny pieces and also that it will increase cost for consumers.

The Government has made it mandatory to sell hallmarked jewellery in the first phase in 256 districts of the country, each of which has at least one Assaying & Hallmarking centre. HUID numbers are engraved at these centres.

What does this mean for the consumer?

Given that gold plays a big role in the lives of Indians, mandating gold hallmarking is aimed at protecting consumer interests.

In an introductory note on the mandated procedure, the Department of Consumer Affairs said hallmarking of gold jewellery provides ‘third-party assurance’ to consumers on the purity of gold jewellery. Under the scheme, jewellers are granted certificate of registration to sell hallmarked jewellery and A&H centres “are recognised to assay the purity of the jewellery submitted by the registered jeweller along with declaration of purity…”


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