Daily Current Affairs and GK | 11 April 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 11 Apr 2023 18:05 PM IST

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Topic: Science and Technology

1. UIDAI joined hands with IIT Bombay to develop a touchless biometric capture system.

  • A robust touchless biometric capture system for easier use will be developed by IIT Bombay in association with UIDAI.
  • UIDAI and IIT Bombay will jointly conduct research to create a mobile capture system for fingerprints with a liveness model integrated with the capture system.
  • The National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security (NCETIS) a collaboration between UIDAI and IIT Bombay, will lead this joint research and development.
  • When this touchless biometric capture system becomes operational, it will also enable fingerprint authentication like facial authentication from home.
  • This touchless biometric capture system will capture multiple fingerprints at one go and will help in improving the authentication success rate.
  • This system will use a combination of signal/image processing and machine learning/deep learning. It is a step towards making Universal authenticator a reality.
  • National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security (NCETIS):
    • It is a joint initiative under the Digital India Programme by the IIT Bombay and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
    • Its main aim is to develop indigenous technology solutions for Internal Security forces in the field of Electronic System Design and Manufacturing.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Sports

2. Priyanshu Rajawat won the men’s singles trophy at the Orleans Masters Super 300 tournament.

  • Priyanshu won the tournament by defeating Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen in France on 09 April 2023.
  • This is the first Super-300 final for Priyanshu Rajawat.
  • Priyanshu was part of the India team that won the 2022 Thomas Cup.
  • Priyanshu is the first Indian to win a singles title on Badminton World Federation (BWF) tour in 2023.
  • Priyanshu Rajawat is an Indian badminton player born in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Orleans Masters Super 300 tournament took place in Orleans, France from 4 to 9 April 2023. It was the tenth tournament of the 2023 BWF World Tour. 

Priyanshu Rajawat

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

3. Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has successfully tested kamikaze drone with 50-kg warhead.

  • Kamikaze drone is an indigenous long-range and high-precision drone.
  • The domestically-build suicide drone developed by IRGC can destroy targets within a range of 450 kilometers.
  • As per IRGC General Kouhestani, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), called Me’raj 532, has a one-way range of 450 kilometers.
  • The kamikaze drone can fly up to a height of 12,000 feet for 3 hours.
  • It can hit the desired targets with high accuracy. It is designed and manufactured by young Iranian experts.

Topic: Indian Economy

4. Foreign capital flows into Indian capital markets from Mauritius fell the most sharply in FY23 as per National Securities Depository data.

  • Total assets under custody from Mauritius fell about 42% to Rs 6.66 trillion at the end of March 2023. 
  • Total assets under custody (AUC) from Norway and Singapore saw a 13% and 5% increase, respectively during FY23.
  • Singapore is presently the second largest jurisdiction for FPI flows behind the United States.
  • Mauritius' ranking has fallen to 4 (from 2) at the end of 2021-22.
  • Overall, foreign portfolio investor (FPI) AUC declined 4.44% in FY23.
  • Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI):  It is an investment in a foreign country's financial assets, either stocks or bonds.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranks

5. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan and Telangana lead in the State Energy Efficiency Index.

  • On 10 April, Energy Minister R.K. Singh released the SEEI report in New Delhi.
  • The SEEI was released during the RPM (Review, Planning and Monitoring) meeting of states and state utility companies in New Delhi.
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE) have jointly developed the State Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22.
  • The index assesses the annual progress of states and union territories in energy efficiency implementation for the financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
  • Program-specific indicators have been included this year to monitor the outcomes and impacts of state-level energy efficiency initiatives.
  • In the SEEI 2021-22, 5 states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan and Telangana – are in the top category (>60 points).
  • While 4 states – Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra and Punjab – are in the achiever’s category (50-60 marks).
  • Besides, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Chandigarh are the top performing states in their respective state-groups.
  • Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have registered the most improvements since the last index.
  • SEEI improves data collection, enables cross-state collaboration and develops energy efficiency program ideas.
  • It helps states identify areas for improvement, learn from best practices and adopt an economy-specific approach to energy efficiency implementation.
  • By prioritizing energy efficiency, it aims to drive carbon reduction efforts and achieve a more sustainable future.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE):
    • The Government of India established the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) on 1 March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
    • The mission of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency is to assist in developing policies and strategies under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 with an emphasis on self-regulation and market principles.
    • Its primary objective is to reduce the energy intensity of the Indian economy.

Topic: Important Days

6. National Safe Motherhood Day 2023: 11 April

  • Every year on 11 April, National Safe Motherhood Day is celebrated in India.
  • It is observed to raise awareness about the proper health care and maternity facilities for pregnant and lactating women.
  • The Government of India declared Kasturba Gandhi's birthday, April 11, as National Safe Motherhood Day in 2003 at the request of the White Ribbon Alliance.
  • India was the first country to declare 11 April as National Safe Motherhood Day.
  • India is making significant progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to 70 per lakh live births by 2030.
  • The Indian government has launched several initiatives, including Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) and Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA).

Priyanshu Rajawat

(Source: News on Air)

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Topic: Indian Polity

7. Election Commission of India has given national party status to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

  • It withdrew the national party status of the three parties.
  • These parties are the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Communist Party of India and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
  • According to Election Commission, AAP has become a recognized state party in four states (Delhi, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat).
  • It has fulfilled the eligibility conditions for recognition as a national party.
  • Election Commission withdrew the state party status of All India Trinamool Congress in the States of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It also withdrew state party status NCP in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya.
  • The state party status of the Communist Party of India in West Bengal and Odisha has also been withdrawn by the Election Commission.
  • Tipra Motha Party got recognition as a state party in Tripura.
  • Election Commission has granted recognition to Voice of the People Party as a state party in Meghalaya.
  • It also granted recognition to Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) as a state party in Nagaland.
  • Bharat Rashtra Samithi has been de-recognised as a state party in Andhra Pradesh. It was formerly known as Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
  • Rashtriya Lok Dal's state party status has been withdrawn. State party recognitions of following parties have also been withdrawn.

Pattali Makkal Katchi in Puducherry

Revolutionary Socialist Party in West Bengal

People’s Democratic Alliance in Manipur

Mizoram People’s Conference in Mizoram

Topic: National News

8. Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has released the draft ‘Sagarmala Innovation and Start-up Policy’ for Stakeholder Consultation.

  • The draft policy aims at nurturing start-ups to co-create the future of India’s growing maritime sector.
  • It also aims to harness new technology developed by Indian Start-ups.
  • The draft policy proposes a digital portal based selection of startups to ensure a transparent process.
  • It also proposes grants to create a minimum viable product and creation of Launch pads at ports.
  • These Launch pads will be for conducting trials, facilitating pilot projects, etc.
  • As part of the draft policy, government has also proposed annual Start-up Awards in the maritime sector.
  • As per the draft policy, buyer-Seller Meetings will be organized and Non Registered Start-ups and Individuals with promising ideas in Maritime Sector will be provided guidance.
  • According to the draft policy, start-ups will be provided legal and accountancy back up for IP-Patent filing.
  • The draft policy proposes promotion of start-ups through development of Maritime Innovation Hubs (MIH).
  • MIH shall develop incubators and accelerators with state of the art facilities. It shall develop centralized repository containing all pertinent information to assist emerging entrepreneurs.
  • MIH shall also attract investment, perform the function of entrepreneur development and collaborate with stakeholders for mentorship, knowledge sharing, etc.

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

9. Government is planning to launch a comprehensive livestock insurance scheme.

  • The government is planning to rehaul the livestock insurance scheme and will launch a comprehensive livestock insurance scheme just like Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana.
  • At present, less than 1% of India’s cattle population is insured and the average yearly premium is 4.5% of the insured amount.
  • Recently, a Parliamentary Standing Committee raised concern in front of the Animal Husbandry Ministry for zero insurance coverage of livestock in 2022-23.
  • According to the report of the panel, 174,061 animals were insured in 2021-22 while not a single livestock insurance was done in 2022-23.
  • The central government is planning to launch the scheme before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
  • The government is considering waving premiums of cattle rearers from Scheduled Caste (SC)-Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities.
  • The main focus of the revamped scheme will be to reduce the premium to attract more farmers to enroll in the insurance scheme.
  • The current Centrally-sponsored livestock insurance scheme is functional in 100 districts. It is managed by the respective State Livestock Development Boards. 

Topic: Space and IT

10. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope revealed "never-before-seen" detail of Cassiopeia A.

  • James Webb Space Telescope captured an image of the remnant of a massive star that exploded around 340 years ago.
  • Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a supernova remnant located about 11,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.
  • Scientists would learn more about the origins and production of cosmic dust by studying Cas A.
  • The investigation of the Webb program was led by Danny Milisavljevic of Purdue University. He is responsible for the mid-infrared image.
  • Cas A is the youngest remnant of a massive star in our galaxy known to mankind.
  • Cas A is a prototypical type of supernova remnant. It has been studied by many ground-based and space-based observatories.
  • This new image by Webb Space Telescope has now inspired scientists and researchers to solve more mysteries of star explosions.
  • Supernova phenomenon occurs when a star has reached at the end of its life and explodes with burst of light.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Bharat Biotech has won an award at the World Vaccine Congress.

  • The award has been given for the "Best Production/Process Development" category as part of the Vaccine Industry Excellence (ViE) awards at the World Vaccine Congress 2023.
  • Bharat Biotech is a leading biotechnology company based in Hyderabad.
  • The World Vaccine Congress was held in Washington, USA, from April 3-6.
  • Among the various categories of awards at the ViE, Bharat Biotech was the only Indian company in the list of VIE awards.
  • It includes the best clinical trial company, the best clinical trial network, the best central/specialty laboratory award, the best contract research organisation, and the prestigious best production/process development award.
  • Bharat Biotech, a pioneering biotechnology company, has developed the world's first intranasal COVID-19 vaccine called iNcovacc.
  • Bharat Biotech's intramuscular COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, has been an integral part of India's public vaccination program and has also been exported to other countries.
  • The World Vaccine Congress is recognized as the largest global conference solely dedicated to vaccines.
  • It encompasses all aspects of the vaccine value chain, ranging from basic research to commercial manufacturing.
  • In addition to uniting vaccine professionals, the World Vaccine Congress has been instrumental in sharing groundbreaking knowledge and insights in the ongoing global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. C.R. Rao awarded a top international prize for theory of vital statistics.

  • Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao, a renowned Indian-American statistician, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 International Prize in Statistics.
  • He was born in Karnataka in 1920 and now he is 102 years old.
  • The prize is often referred to as the Nobel Prize in Statistics.
  • The prize is awarded biennially in association with the five major international statistical organizations and recognizes a major achievement by an individual or a team.
  • In July, at the biennial International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress in Ottawa, Canada, Rao will be honored with the prize, which includes a cash award of $80,000.
  • In a research paper published in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society in 1945, Rao demonstrated three fundamental results that have had a significant impact on the modern field of statistics.
  • These results have provided statistical tools that are widely used in science today.
  • In 1968, he was conferred with the Padma Bhusan and Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
  • Rao received the SS Bhatnagar prize in 1963 and was elected as “fellow of the Royal Society” in 1967.
  • He also received the American Statistical Association's Wilkes Medal in 1979 and the US National Medal of Science in 2002.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

13. Himachal Pradesh launched project Sanjeevani to support dairy farmers.

  • The Himachal Pradesh government has launched a project named Sanjeevani to empower the livelihood of small dairy farmers and livestock owners.
  • This project will help in improving the lives of farmers by providing them convenient and quality care for livestock at their doorsteps.
  • Telemedicine and technology will help in reducing the turnaround time of services. It will also help in controlling the outbreaks of diseases.
  • The Animal Husbandry Department has signed an agreement with Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd. (BFIL) in this regard.
  • This collaboration under National Animal Disease Control Programme-Mobile Veterinary Van (NADCP-AHD-MVU) will improve the delivery of livestock care at doorsteps at just a phone call.
  • The toll-free telephone number for livestock care will become operational very soon.
  • The doorstep veterinary services will be provided in 44 blocks of all 12 districts.
  • This initiative will save additional expenses for farmers. The doctor and the farmer can connect through a mobile app.
  • Apart from veterinary services, farmers will also be given guidance on nutrition care for the livestock.

Topic: Banking System

14. Disbursement under MUDRA reached 98.65% in FY23.

  • The gap between sanctioned and disbursed under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) has declined to an all-time low level of 1.35% at end of FY23.
  • Earlier, the gap between sanctioned and disbursed under PMMY stood at 2.2% and 3.3%.
  • As on 31 March 2022, NPA (Non-Performing Assets) in MUDRA stood at 3.17%.
  • During FY23, sanctions were made amounting to ₹4.48-lakh crore.
  • Out of this, ₹4.42-lakh crore were disbursed. This is 98.65% of the total sanctions.
  • As per Finance Ministry, about 41 crore loans amounting to ₹23.2-lakh-crore were sanctioned under PMMY in the last eight years.
  • Under the scheme, no collateral is required. Loans are extended to eligible micro units under the scheme.
  • On April 8, the scheme completed eight years since its launch. It was launched on April 08, 2015.
  • According to Finance Minister, Nearly 68% of the accounts under the scheme belong to women entrepreneurs.
  • The aim of the scheme is to facilitate easy collateral-free micro credit of up to ₹10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small and micro- entrepreneurs.
  • It aims to fulfill one of the three pillars of financial inclusion — ‘Funding the Unfunded’.
  • ‘Banking the Unbanked’ and ‘Securing the Unsecured’ are other two pillars.
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