Daily Current Affairs and GK | 10 January 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 10 Jan 2023 16:53 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. PM launched the Aspirational Block Programme for improving performance of blocks lagging on various parameters.

  • Aspirational Block Programme was launched during the 2nd National Conference of Chief Secretaries.
  • The government had announced the programme in the Union Budget 2022-23.
  • It will promote holistic development in those areas that require extra assistance. Initially, it will cover 500 districts across 31 states and Union Territories.
  • Half of these blocks will be in 6 states- Uttar Pradesh (68 blocks), Bihar (61), Madhya Pradesh (42), Jharkhand (34), Odisha (29) and West Bengal (29).
  • Later, states can add more blocks to the programme.
  • Aspirational Blocks Programme has been launched on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme that was launched in 2018.
  • PM Modi said that states should focus on pro-development governance, ease of doing business, ease of living and provision of robust infrastructure.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme:
    • It was launched for the development of under-developed districts across the country.
    • It focuses on the strength of each district and identifies sectors for immediate improvement.

Topic: National News

2. Government is planning to dismantle telecom body Digital Communication Commission.

  • Digital Communication Commission (DCC) is a multi-ministry apex decision-making body to oversee all critical telecom matters.
  • Its responsibilities will be transferred to the Department of Expenditure (DoE) under the Finance Ministry.
  • The government is taking this step at a time when the government is expanding and strengthening digital services across the country.
  • Telecommunication Commission was re-designated as the 'Digital Communications Commission' in 2018.
  • The Telecom Commission was set up by the Government through a resolution in 1989.
  • Digital Communication Commission is headed by Telecom Secretary. The CEO of Niti Aayog, and Secretaries of the Department of Economic Affairs and DPIIT are the other members of the commission.
  • Now, the Department of Expenditure (DoE) approval is required for any significant communications industry project that exceeds Rs 100 crores.
  • The government believes that DCC’s involvement in the clearance of any projects worth Rs 100 crore only leads to the duplication of work and delays the decision making.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

3. BPCL launched low-smoke superior kerosene oil (SKO) for the Indian Army operating at a high altitude.

  • BPCL became the first company to start the supply of the new LSLA grade SKO to the Army.
  • BPCL’s SBU in association with Corporate Research & Development Centre (CRDC) and Mumbai Refinery has developed this low-smoke superior kerosene oil.
  • Normal kerosene emits substantial smoke which is hazardous for the health of the Army personnel at higher altitudes.
  • The low-smoke kerosene is a step towards providing cleaner fuel to the Indian Army in tough terrain.
  • Currently, BPCL supplies 70TKL of petroleum products annually to the Indian Army. BPCL has partnered with Indian Army in the provision of over 100 consumer pumps.
  • Superior kerosene oil will be consumed as fuel in room heaters (Bukhari) at the high-altitude camps.
  • Northern command consumes about 45 TKL/A while 70 TKL/A is used by Northern and Eastern commands.
  • Kerosene oil is a flammable liquid which is used as a fuel in industries and homes.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. India and Panama inked an MoU to enhance cooperation for training of diplomats.

  • India’s External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Panama's Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo signed the MoU in a bilateral meeting in Indore.
  • They also discussed the ways to improve the economic, health, financial and people-to-people ties between India and Panama.
  • Both leaders have also shared their perspectives on global situations.
  • India–Panama relations:
    • The diplomatic relations between India and Panama were established in 1962
    • India established the resident embassy in Panama in 1973.
    • India and Panama’s relationship is from the time of the construction of the Panama Canal.
    • In 2019-20, trade between both countries was US$314.35.
    • Visa Exemption Agreement for Diplomatic & Official Passport holders was signed between both countries in 2018.

India–Panama relations

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

5. Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board and eight countries of GOPIO signed MoUs.

  • Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board and eight countries of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) signed MoUs in Indore.
  • The MoUs were signed on the occasion of the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention.
  • These MoUs were signed with France Metropole Paris, Reunion Island, Martinique, Sri Lanka, GOPIO International, Malaysia, and Mauritius.
  • Sheo Shekhar Shukla on behalf of the Tourism Board and presidents of eight countries of GOPIO signed the MoUs.
  • The objective of the MoUs is to promote cooperation in the development of the tourism sector of the state and to promote tourism destinations.
  • It also seeks to strengthen, promote and develop cooperation in research, promotion, and tourism development.

17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Sports

6. Chetan Sharma will continue to be the chairman of the BCCI's senior men's selection committee.

  • On 7 January, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the reappointment of Chetan Sharma as the chairman of selectors.
  • BCCI also announced four names for the Senior Men’s National Selection Committee.
  • The panel will consist of Shiv Sundar Das, Subroto Banerjee, Salil Ankola, and Sreedharan Sharath, with Chetan Sharma as the chief selector.
  • The Cricket Advisory Committee interviewed 11 candidates before finalizing the five-member panel.
  • The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consists of Ms. Sulakshana Naik, Mr. Ashok Malhotra, and Mr. Jatin Paranjpe.

Topic: Government schemes and Initiatives

7. NHA launched a new system to assess and grade the performance of empaneled hospitals.

  • The National Health Authority (NHA) is launching a new system to measure and grade hospital performance under its flagship scheme- Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).
  • It aims to assess the performance of hospitals on the basis of the value of health care services rather than the quantity of services provided.
  • This new system will introduce the concept of 'value-based care', where payment will be outcome based.
  • Hospitals will be paid commensurate with the quality of treatment provided.
  • Under the new model, service providers will be rewarded for helping patients improve their health, resulting in reducing the impact of the disease among people in the long term.
  • The move promises a significant increase in overall healthcare benefits and is expected to benefit all relevant stakeholders, from patients to healthcare providers, payers, and suppliers.
  • Patients will experience better health outcomes and greater satisfaction with the services they receive, and providers are set to achieve improved care capabilities.
  • NHA has implemented several measures to ensure that PM-JAY beneficiaries have access to cashless health benefits and quality care at each empaneled hospital.   
  • The performance of AB PM-JAY empaneled hospitals under “Value-Based Care” will be assessed on the basis of five performance indicators.
  • These are:
    • Beneficiary satisfaction
    • Hospital Readmission Rate
    • The extent of Out-of-Pocket Expenditure
    • Confirmed Grievances
    • Improvement in-patient’s Health-Related Quality of Life

Topic: Personality in News

8. Kashmir's famous poet Professor Abdul Rehman Rahi passed away.

  • On 9 January, noted academic, poet, and Kashmir's first Jnanpith awardee, Professor Rahman Rahi passed away at the age of 98 in Srinagar.
  • Rahi was born on May 6, 1925.
  • He wrote many poetry collections and translated the works of some famous poets into Kashmiri.
  • Rahi received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961 for his poetry collection Navroz-e-Saba.
  • In 2007, he was awarded the Jnanpith Award, the country's highest literary award for his collection "Siyah Rood-e-Jaerenn Manz" (In the black downpours).
  • In the year 2000, he was awarded the Padma Shri award for his works.

 

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October Monthly Current Affairs September Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: State News/ Kerala

9. Kerala became the first fully digital banking state in the country.

  • On 7 January, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced Kerala as the first state in the country to go completely digital in its banking service.
  • Vijayan said this achievement has been possible due to infrastructure development and technological advancement in the banking sector.
  • The CM also said that the state government's ambitious Kerala Fiber Optic Network (K-FON) project, which is almost 90% complete, would reduce the digital divide.
  • K-FON will ensure internet facilities for all in the state, and in this project, a 17,155-kilometer-long fiber-optic cable network has been laid.
  • Once the project is completed, internet will be available to everyone in the state either at affordable cost or free of cost.
  • Kerala also received three 'Digital India' awards for its advancement in the digital sector.
  • Kerala got Silver Medal for Ksheersree Portal, Platinum Award for Digital Workforce Management System and Gold Medal for District Administration of Kottayam.
  • The CM also warned the people to be alert about the rise in cyber-crimes, which may increase with the advancement in the banking sector.
  • To deal with such cyber-crimes, the government has also created an Economic Offenses Wing in the state police.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

10. First meeting of the G-20 'Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion' started in Kolkata on 9 January.

  • It has been attended by invited guests and dignitaries from around the world.
  • The meeting began with a discussion on the topic of opening up digital transactions to the underprivileged sections for financial progress and productivity.
  • The theme of this year's G-20 conference is "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam."
  • The three-day meet will focus on principles of digital financial inclusion, remittance costs and SME finance availability.
  • It will also include symposiums, exhibitions and a domestic outreach program on digital financial literacy involving over 1,800 students from various schools.
  • Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also attend the meeting and stated that her government is working with a humanitarian approach for the development of the people.
  • 12 international speakers, including senior officials from the World Bank, Singapore, France, and the Monetary Authority of Estonia participated in the discussion.
  • G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI):
    • It is a platform for all G20 countries, interested non-G20 countries and relevant stakeholders to carry forward work on financial inclusion.
    • It was officially launched on 10 December 2010 in Seoul.

Topic: National News

11. The census exercise has been postponed till September as of now.

  • The government has informed the States regarding extension of date of freezing of administrative boundaries till June 30, 2023.
  • According to the rules, census can be done only 3 months after freezing of administrative boundaries such as districts, sub-districts, tehsils, talukas and police stations.
  • The general elections are expected to be held in March-April 2024 and completing Census before that is nearly impossible. It would be possible only if some rules are changed and a shorter process is introduced.
  • The first phase of Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted from April-September 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The second phase and the main phase- the population enumeration- was to be concluded by March 5, 2021.
  • As per provisional data compiled by the RGI till June 2021, the number of districts have increased from 640 in 2011 to 736.
  • The delay in Census data would continue to deprive more than 10 crore people of subsidised food grains under the targeted PDS.
  • Census is significant for policy planning, budgeting and administration.
  • Census in India:
    • The first synchronous census was conducted in India in 1881.
    • It is conducted once every ten years.
    • Population Census is a Union subject.
    • It is conducted by the Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • 2021 Census is the eighth census since independence.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Hindi Day 2023/ Vishwa Hindi Diwas: 10 January

  • It is celebrated every year on 10 January to mark the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference organized in Nagpur on 10 January 1975.
  • It was celebrated for the first time on 10 January 2006.
  • Hindi was spoken for the first time in the United Nations General Assembly in 1949.
  • Its main aim is to create awareness and promote the Hindi language across the world.
  • Hindi is the third most-spoken language in the world.
  • In India, Hindi Diwas is observed every year on 14th September.
  • 12th World Hindi Conference will be held in Nadi, Fiji in February 2023.

Topic: National Appointments

13. Surinder Chawla has been appointed as MD & CEO of Paytm Payments Bank.

  • He was earlier Head of Branch Banking at RBL Bank. He replaces Satish Kumar Gupta. Gupta retired in October 2022.
  • Since then Deependra Singh Rathore has been serving as the interim CEO of Paytm Payments Bank.
  • One 97 Communications said his appointment as MD& CEO has been approved by RBI.
  • Paytm Payments Bank is an associate company of One 97 Communications, which owns the Paytm brand.

Topic: Banking System

14. ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ campaign has been launched by Bandhan Bank.

  • The campaign features cricketer Sourav Ganguly as its brand ambassador.
  • This is the first time that Bandhan Bank has appointed a pan-India brand ambassador.
  • Leo Burnett Orchard conceptualized the campaign. Leo Burnett Orchard was brought in as the bank’s creative agency in August 2022.
  • In the last seven years, Bandhan Bank has established its presence in 34 states and union territories.
  • Bandhan Bank:
    • It is a Kolkata based Indian banking and financial services company.
    • Dr. Anup Kumar Sinha is its current chairman. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh is its MD and CEO. It started operations on August 23, 2015.
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