Rapid Fire Current Affairs | 21 Aug 2023

India's Foreign Exchange Reserves

India's foreign exchange reserves have increased by USD 708 million to USD 602.16 billion for the week ended 11th August 2023, according to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India.

  • Foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank in foreign currencies, which can include bonds, treasury bills and other government securities.
  • India’s Forex Reserve include:
  • The country's forex reserves reached an all-time high of USD 645 billion in October 2021.

Read more: Forex Reserves

Hurricane Hilary

  • Hurricane Hilary is a major Category 4 hurricane that formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean on 16th August 2023.
  • Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed.
    • Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are classified as major hurricanes.
  • It is the first tropical storm to hit Southern California since 1939.
    • Hurricane Hilary is heading towards California because of a combination of factors, such as a high-pressure system over the western U.S., a low-pressure system over the eastern Pacific, and an El Niño event that warms the ocean water near the equator.
    • These factors create a favorable environment for tropical cyclones to form and move northward along the coast of Mexico and Central America.
  • However, most of these storms weaken or turn westward before reaching California, because of the cold water, cold currents, and unfavorable winds along the U.S. West Coast.
  • Hilary is an exception because it has maintained its strength and followed a more northerly track than usual.

Spain Clinches Women FIFA World Cup 2023

The Women FIFA World Cup 2023 jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, featuring 32 teams concluded recently.

  • The final match was held on 20 August 2023 where Spain defeated England 1-0 to lift their first-ever World Cup trophy. With this win, Spain also became only the second nation to clinch both the men’s and the women’s World Cups after Germany.
  • The competition has seen four past champions: USA, Germany, Japan and Norway.

Read more: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022


The exciting and colorful Onam festival has started in Kerala, bringing happiness, unity, and a lot of cultural beauty. The festival spans 10 days, commencing on Atham (the first day of Onam) and culminating on Thiruvonam (the final day).

  • It is a major harvest festival in Kerala and is celebrated to honour the home-coming of Asura king Mahabali who brought about peace and prosperity in Kerala.
  • It is also one of the three major festivals of Kerala, celebrated during the month of Chingam, the first month in the Malayalam calendar, Kollavarsham.
    • The other two major festivals of the state are Vishu and Thiruvathira.
  • A central aspect of Onam involves crafting Pookkalam, intricate flower rangolis. Alongside, a variety of rituals enrich the festivities, including Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Kummattikali (mask dances), and Onathallu (martial arts), among other captivating traditions.

Read more: Onam