Daily Current Affairs and GK | 1 April 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 05 Apr 2023 16:58 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Tamil Nadu

1. Tamil Nadu plans to celebrate centenary of Vaikom Satyagraha.

  • Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced that the Tamil Nadu government is planning to commemorate the year-long celebration of Vaikom Satyagraha.
  • A ‘Vaikom Award’ would be given to eminent personalities or organisations who had worked for the welfare of the oppressed sections. It would be presented on Thanthai Periyar’s birth anniversary.
  • TN government will also issue a commemorative stamp to mark the centenary of the Vaikom Satyagraha.
  • Pazha Adhiyaman's book 'Vaikom Protest' in Tamil will be translated into Malayalam. It will be also published in Telugu, Kannada and English.
  • A book on the movement will be also published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.
  • Vaikom Satyagraha:
    • It was a movement started in Kerala from 30 March 1924 to 23 November 1925 for the upliftment of depressed classes.
    • It was launched against the oppression of people of the lower caste and untouchability in a place near Travancore known as Vaikom.
    • After the intervention of Mahatma Gandhi, the movement ended in 1925.
    • Venkatappa Ramasamy was also associated with this movement. He is also known as the 'Father of the Dravidian movement’.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. Sagar-Setu app of National Logistics Portal (Marine) has been launched in New Delhi.

  • Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has launched the app.
  • The app has features like a Login Module, Service Catalogue, Common Application Format, Letter of Credit, Bank Guarantee, Certification, and Track and Trace, etc.
  • The app will provide real-time information on different activities that are usually not within reach of the exporter, importer and customs broker.
  • The app also enables digital transactions for payments like container freight station charges, shipping line charges, and transportation charges.
  • National Logistic Portal Marine was envisioned by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping Waterways, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in January 2023.
  • SAGAR-SETU app has been launched within two months of this.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Space and IT

3. NASA scientists have found a massive black region on the Sun.

  • This massive hole is 20 times larger than Earth.
  • US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has raised an alert for a geomagnetic storm due to the appearance of the coronal hole.
  • It is releasing 1.8 million mile-per-hour solar winds toward Earth.
  • The situation is being closely monitored by scientists to see if the winds will impact the magnetic field of the Earth.
  • This was the second hole to be captured in one week. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured both holes.
  • The hole is not actually a hole. It is a large region much cooler than the rest of the Sun. It appears black.
  • Coronal holes are magnetically open areas. They are a source of high-speed solar wind. They are most prevalent at the solar north and south poles.     
  • According to NASA, these polar holes can expand to lower solar latitudes.

Topic: Books and Authors

4. A book titled War & Women was released recently.

  • Dr MA Hasan is the author of the book.
  • The book was released during the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
  • It documents the atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army on women during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
  • Bangladesh Freedom Fighters in Europe organized the event for book launch.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

5. A letter of intent signed between Prasar Bharati and French public broadcaster for content exchange.

  • In a continuous endeavor to increase the viewership of DD India channel, Prasar Bharati has collaborated with France's public broadcaster France Medias Monde.
  • On March 31, 2023, a Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed between Prasar Bharati and France Medias Monde in New Delhi.
  • Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO of Prasar Bharati, on behalf of Prasar Bharati and Marie Christine Saragosse, President and CEO of FMM, on behalf of France Medias Monde has signed the the LOI.
  • The collaboration aims to increase Doordarshan viewership to highlight the country's vibrant and colourful heritage to the world.
  • It will also help in developing and strengthening mutual and friendly relations between the two countries and enhance cooperation in the field of broadcasting.
  • With the signing of the LOI, both the public broadcasters of the country will be able to cooperate in various areas of broadcasting.
  • This includes exchange of radio and TV programmes, distribution of DD India channel in France, co-production of programmes, capacity building/training etc.
  • A broadcasting licence for France 24 English was issued by the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is an English-language international news channel by FMM.
  • In January 2023, India and Egypt also signed an MoU to facilitate content exchange, capacity building and co-production between Prasar Bharati and the National Media Authority of Egypt.

Topic: Banking System

6. Government hiked interest rates on small savings schemes for April-June quarter.

  • The government has increased the interest rates for post office savings schemes for the quarter April to June in 2023.
  • The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance has informed that the maximum interest rate has been increased on National Savings Certificate-NSC.
  • It has increased from 7 % to 7.7 %.
  • The interest rate on Sukanya Samriddhi Savings Scheme has now become 8%, it was earlier 7.6 %.
  • The interest rates on PPF and Savings Deposit Scheme are 7.1 % and 4 %.
  • Savings scheme for senior citizens will get 8.2 % interest instead of 8 %.
  • Interest rate on Kisan Vikas Patra has been increased from 7.2 % to 7.5 %.
  • The maturity period of Kisan Vikas Patra has been reduced from 120 months to 115 months.
  • The interest rate on one-year fixed deposits in post offices will increase from 6.6 % to 6.8 %. For two-year fixed deposits, it will be 6.9 %.
  • The interest rate on the five-year recurring deposit, which was 5.8 % in the previous quarter, will be 6.2 % in the new quarter.
  • The interest rate on Monthly Income Scheme has been increased from 7.1 % to 7.4 %.
  • Interest rates were hiked in the last quarter as well. Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified quarterly.
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Topic: International News

7. A 15.6 billion US dollar support package has been approved by IMF for Ukraine.

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved this package to help Ukraine in economic recovery.
  • The 15.6 billion US dollar support is part of a broader 115 billion US dollar international support package to help Ukraine meet its funding needs.
  • Out of the total support approved by IMF, 2.7 billion dollar is made available to Ukraine immediately.
  • The remaining amount will be released over the next four years.
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF):
    • IMF is an international organization. It is designed to promote global monetary cooperation.
    • Its headquarters is located in Washington DC. It was established in 1945.
    • The Managing Director of IMF is Kristalina Georgieva.

Topic: Important Days

8. Utkal Diwas: 01 April

  • Odisha celebrates Utkal Diwas on 01 April.
  • On 01 April 1936, Odisha was established as a State during British rule.
  • This day is celebrated as the foundation day of Odisha. Odisha is celebrating its 88th foundation day on 01 April 2023.
  • Odisha Day is also called Vishuva Milan. Kalinga, Utakal, Udra, Toshali and Kosala are names of Odisha in ancient history.
  • Odisha is named after the Odra tribe living in its central region.
  • 113th Amendment Bill 2011 changed the name of Orissa to Odisha.

Utkal Diwas

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

9. Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended setting up an overarching apex body for glacier management.

  • Considering the “strategic” role of glaciers as a vital national resource, Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended setting up an apex body for glacier management.
  • At present, ministries/departments/institutions with different mandates are dealing with hydro-meteorological and hydro-geological hazards of Himalayan glaciers.
  • The Geological Survey of India surveys glaciers and maintained detailed inventory.
  • The Department of Science & Technology is involved in conducting research on glaciers.
  • The Committee recommends to formulate new strategies for combating the challenges posed by climate change and global warming in glacier management.
  • The Committee recommend that there is a need to set up a single nodal agency for bringing out synergies among various government departments/ministries involved in glaciological research and monitoring.
  • The Committee recommended that a single nodal agency has to be established to coordinate the various government departments/ministries involved in glaciological research and monitoring.
  • Committee urged that the Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation to play key role in this regard.

Topic: National News

10. PNRGB notified unified tariffs for interconnected gas transmission pipelines.

  • The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has amended PNGRB (determination of natural gas pipeline tariff) under the mission of “One Nation, One Grid and One tariff".
  • PNGRB has notified a tariff of Rs 73.93/MMBTU and created three tariff zones for a unified tariff.
  • The zonal unified tariffs have become effective from April 1, 2023.
  • The tariff will be apportioned over three zones, Zone 1 to Zone 3, with the tariff of Rs 39.45/ MMBtu, Rs 74.97/ MMBtu and Rs 99.90/ MMBtu respectively.
  • The national gas grid covers all pipeline networks owned and operated by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), GAIL (India) Limited, and Pipeline Infrastructure Limited.
  • Now, with the commissioning of newer interconnected pipelines, the national gas grid will keep expanding for the Unified tariff.
  • This reform will benefit consumers located in far-flung areas.

Topic: International News

11. Trump became the first former president of US to be criminally charged.

  • Former US President Donald Trump has been accused of secretly paying a porn star just before the 2016 presidential election.
  • He has become the first US President to face criminal charges.
  • He has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following an investigation into secretly paying porn star Stormy Daniels.
  • It is alleged that Trump had paid $ 1,30,000 to the porn star to keep her mouth shut and not make public the matter of having an affair with him.
  • The specific charges are not yet revealed, as the indictment remains under seal.
  • The criminal case could affect the presidential election in 2024.
  • Mr. Trump is currently the front-runner among all declared and potential Republican presidential candidates.
  • More than 30 cases related to business fraud are also registered on Trump.
  • Donald John Trump served as the 45th President of the United States from 2017 to 2021.

Topic: Sports

12. India's Jyoshna Sabar and Dhanush Loganathan won bronze medals in the World Youth Weightlifting Championships.

  • India's Jyoshna Sabar and Dhanush Loganathan won bronze medals in their respective weight categories at the World Youth Weightlifting Championships in Durres, Albania.
  • Fourteen-year-old Jyoshna finished third in the girls' 40 kg category with a total lift of 115 kg.
  • In the boys' 49kg category, 16-year-old Dhanush lifted a total of 200kg to finish third.
  • Filipinos Prince K Delos Santos and Eron Borres finished first and second in this category.
  • Dhanush also won a silver medal in the snatch category.
  • The 2023 Youth World Weightlifting Championships was held in Durrës, Albania from 25 March to 1 April.
  • The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) organizes the IWF Youth World Championships.
  • In May 2009, the first competition was held.

Topic: Defence

13. Ministry of Defence and BEL signed a contract for 13 Lynx-U2 fire control systems for Indian Navy.

  • The defence ministry signed a contract worth Rs 1,700 crore with Bharat Electronics Limited for the procurement of 13 Lynx-U2 fire control systems for the Navy under the Buy {Indian – IDMM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured)} category.
  • The Lynx-U2 system is an indigenously designed and developed Naval Gun Fire Control System.
  • It has the ability to accurately track air and surface targets. It can produce data for locating weapon aiming points and can attack targets.
  • It will be installed on New Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels, which will be built indigenously at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers and Goa Shipyard Limited.
  • The new fourth-generation technically upgraded Lynx-U2 fire control systems will eliminate the dependency on foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
  • In December 2022, the Ministry of Defence signed a deal with BEL for the supply of ten Lynx U2 Fire Control systems for the Indian Navy.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. Union Minister Piyush Goyal released Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2023.

  • Ministry of Commerce has unveiled Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2023 to raise India’s goods and services exports to two trillion dollars by 2030.
  • India is likely to end this fiscal year with total exports of $760-770 billion as against $676 billion in 2021-22.
  • It will replace Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 and will become effective from 1 April 2023.
  • The Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 was extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and volatile geo-political. The last extension was given in September 2022 till March 31, 2023.
  • Earlier the duration of foreign trade policy was of five years. The latest policy has no end date and will be updated as per the need.
  • Foreign Trade policy is based on 4 pillars, which are given below:
    • Incentive to Remission
    • Export promotion through collaboration - Exporters, States, Districts, Indian Missions
    • Ease of doing business, reduction in transaction cost and e-initiatives.
    • Emerging Areas – E-Commerce Developing Districts as Export Hubs and streamlining SCOMET policy.
  • The FTP 2023 will encourage recognition of new towns through the “Towns of Export Excellence Scheme” and exporters through the “Status Holder Scheme”.
  • The FTP 2023 has identified four new Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) — Faridabad, Moradabad, Mirzapur and Varanasi. These towns will be in addition to the already existing 39 TEEs.
  • Battery electric vehicles (BEV) of all types, vertical farming equipment, wastewater treatment and recycling, rainwater harvesting system and rainwater filters, and green hydrogen will be now eligible for reduced Export Obligation requirements under the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme.
  • Special outreach and training activities for small e-commerce exporters will be provided to promote e-commerce exports.
  • The government is aiming to increase e-commerce exports to $200-300 billion by 2030.
  • India's overall exports including services and merchandise exports is expected to cross 760 Billion dollars in 2023.
  • The new FTP will try to make the Indian rupee a global currency and allow international trade settlement in the domestic currency.
  • The new FTP is introducing a one-time Amnesty Scheme for exporters to close the old pending authorizations.
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