Daily Current Affairs and GK | 13 January 2023
- 1. World Economic Forum released the 18th edition of the Global Risk Report.
- 2. Uttarakhand Governor has approved a bill to grant 30% reservation for women in government jobs.
- 3. 13th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) was held in Washington, DC on January 11, 2023.
- 4. 3.4 million tonnes (MT) of plastic waste is generated in India in a year.
- 5. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) increased 7.1% for November 2022.
- 6. Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launched the book titled “Braving A Viral Storm: India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Story”.
- 7. Former Union Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav passed away at the age of 75.
- 8. FSSAI notified comprehensive regulatory standards for Basmati rice for the first time.
- 9. Gujarat government announced a new policy for unauthorized construction in industrial estates.
- 10. Government approved Rs 154.84 crores to National Mineral Exploration Trust for Exploration & Enhancing Capabilities.
- 11. AC Charania, Indian-American space expert, appointed as new chief technologist of NASA.
- 12. Defense Acquisition Council approved three Defense Capital Acquisition proposals worth Rs 4,276 crore.
- 13. Tripura government launched “Saharsh” initiative in all government schools.
- 14. World Bank has maintained growth forecast for India at 6.9% for FY23 and 6.6% for FY24.
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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
1. World Economic Forum released the 18th edition of the Global Risk Report.
- The 18th edition of the Global Risk Report is based on the Global Risk Perception Survey of 2022-2023.
- The survey indicates that the cost of living crisis, food supply crisis, energy supply crisis, rising inflation and cyberattacks on critical infrastructure are the top risks for 2023.
- Apart from these risks, the report mentions that the weakening of human rights, Net Zero targets, failure of non-food supply chains and debt crisis are other major risks.
- As per the report, 2025 will be dominated by social and environmental risks.
- WEF’s this year report ranked the ‘cost of living crisis’ at the first place among all global risks on the basis of severity.
- “Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse” is one of the fastest deteriorating global risks over the decades.
- Six environmental risks will be in the top 10 risks over the next decades.
- In the GRPS results, “Natural disasters and extreme weather events” has been considered the second-most severe risk over the next two years.
- “Geoeconomic confrontation” is the third most severe risk for the next two years.
- “Geoeconomic confrontation” and “Erosion of social cohesion and societal polarisation” risks are the two new entries in the top 10.
- The report has also mentioned that protests have broken out in 92 countries due to an increase in fuel prices.
- The disruption has occurred in the energy supply due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis which has increased inflation in many countries.
Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand
2. Uttarakhand Governor has approved a bill to grant 30% reservation for women in government jobs.
- The bill approved by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh provides 30% horizontal reservation to domiciled women of the state in government jobs.
- Uttarakhand assembly passed Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) Bill, 2022 in November 2022. The bill has now become an Act.
- Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had said that the bill seeks to provide 30% reservation to women in government jobs in order to ensure social justice, equality of opportunity, improvement in living standards and gender equality in public planning.
- Horizontal reservation refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories. The horizontal quota is applied separately to each vertical category, and not across the board.
3. 13th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) was held in Washington, DC on January 11, 2023.
- The meeting was co-chaired by Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.
- Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal visited Washington DC between 10-11 January 2023 to take part in the meeting.
- Commerce and Industry Minister also participated in a one-to-one meeting with United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai.
- Ministers appreciated that bilateral trade in goods and services reached about $160 billion in 2021.
- Ambassador Tai welcomed India’s G20 Presidency. Ambassador Tai said the US looks forward to working together in the Trade and Investment Working Group.
- The Ministers welcomed the finalization of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) design.
- The India and US collaboration to expedite the TED trials will make sure that the TEDs are effective in reducing the negative effects of fishing on sea-turtle populations.
- India expressed its interest in the restoration of its beneficiary status under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program.
- The Ministers recognized the constructive participation of the Services Working Group under the Trade Policy Forum.
- The Ministers acknowledged discussions on a Social Security totalization agreement. They supported intensifying the work to achieve early outcomes in the matter.
- The Ministers launched a new working group on “Resilient Trade” to deepen bilateral dialogue on a range of issues.
- Commerce and Industry Minister also held a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. He also attended a reception hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
- India-United States Trade Policy Forum:
- It is a forum to resolve trade and investment issues involving India and the US.
- It has five focus groups: Agriculture, Investment, Innovation and Creativity, Services, and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.
Topic: Reports and Indices
4. 3.4 million tonnes (MT) of plastic waste is generated in India in a year.
- Out of this, only 30% is recycled. The rest of the plastic waste is sent to landfills or aquatic dumps.
- Plastic consumption in India has increased at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% from 14 MT in the financial year 2016-17 to 20 MT in 2019-20.
- Marico Innovation Foundation said this in a report released recently.
- The report titled 'Plastics, The Potential and Possibilities' said that India’s plastic waste output also doubled between 2016-17 and 2019-20.
- The report has been prepared in association with the Indian Institute of Science and Praxis Global Alliance.
- According to the report, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu together contribute 38% to the total plastic waste that is generated in India.
- The report suggested levying landfill and incineration taxes to encourage recycling rather than dumping.
Topic: Indian Economy
5. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) increased 7.1% for November 2022.
- This is the highest in five months. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation data, IIP recorded positive growth after contracting by 4% in the preceding month.
- IIP grew by 1% in the same period in 2021. In November, the manufacturing sector recorded a growth of 6.1%.
- The mining sector recorded a 9.7% growth. The electricity sector recorded 12.7% growth.
- Overall industrial production so far (from April to November) this fiscal has been 5.5%.
- Growth of 17.6% was seen in the corresponding period of the previous year.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Books and Authors
6. Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launched the book titled “Braving A Viral Storm: India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Story”.
- Aashish Chandorkar and Suraj Sudhir have co-authored the book.
- The book's launch coincides with India's second anniversary of starting its COVID-19 vaccination drive in January 2021.
- The Health and Family Welfare Minister said that India set an exemplary pro-vaccination Covid management model with the public partnership.
- He said that over 15 lakh air passengers were screened for COVID-19, out of which over 200 passengers were found positive.
- He also said that BF.7 variants were also found at the time of the genome sequencing of many samples.
- He said that India’s vaccines are effective against this variant as well.
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Topic: Personality in News
7. Former Union Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav passed away at the age of 75.
- He reconciled with both the Congress and arch-political rival Lalu Yadav and was instrumental in forming the Grand Alliance after the 2015 assembly elections in Bihar.
- Sharad Yadav was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s Atal Bihari Vajpayee and 1989 VP Singh governments.
- He was elected to the Lok Sabha seven times and a three-time member of the Rajya Sabha.
- He was the first National President of Janata Dal (United) from 2003 till 2016.
- He launched his own party, Loktantrik Janata Dal in 2018, but merged it with Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal two years later.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: National News
8. FSSAI notified comprehensive regulatory standards for Basmati rice for the first time.
- For the first time, FSSAI has specified the identification standards for Basmati rice through the Food Safety and Standards First Amendment Regulation, 2023.
- These basmati rice include brown basmati rice, milled basmati rice, parboiled brown basmati rice, and milled parboiled basmati rice.
- As per these standards, Basmati rice should have the natural aroma characteristic of rice and shall be free from artificial colors, polishing agents, and artificial flavorings.
- The standard also specifies various identification and quality parameters for basmati rice such as average grain size and elongation ratio after cooking, optimum moisture content, uric acid, defective/damaged grains, etc.
- These standards will come into effect from August 1, 2023.
- The objective is to promote fair practices in the trade of basmati rice and to protect consumer interests both domestically and globally.
- Basmati rice is an improved variety of rice grown in the foothills of the Himalayan region of the Indian sub-continent and has wide domestic and global consumption.
- India accounts for two-thirds of the global supply of basmati rice.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: State News/ Gujarat
9. Gujarat government announced a new policy for unauthorized construction in industrial estates.
- This new policy will cover around 70,000 industrial units across 220 GIDC estates.
- This policy will regulate the unauthorized constructions in the industrial estates that fall under Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).
- Any unauthorized construction by owners of MSME units on their allotted plots inside GIDCs can be legalized by paying a specific fee.
- This policy announcement has been made after the bill was passed by Gujarat Assembly to regularize unauthorized construction in urban areas.
- The government will charge a fee of Rs 3,000 to Rs 18,000 for regularising unauthorised residential-type construction between 50 square meters to 300 square meters.
- If there is a “change of use” the policy will not offer any relief to the factory owners.
- The policy makes no provision for regularizing floors built on existing structures without permission or unauthorized construction done outside the estate's allotted plot.
Topic: National News
10. Government approved Rs 154.84 crores to National Mineral Exploration Trust for Exploration & Enhancing Capabilities.
- The Executive Committee (EC) meeting of the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) was held under the chairmanship of Sh Vivek Bharadwaj.
- The mineral exploration project aims to boost exploration of Graphite, Iron, Coal, Zinc, Bauxite, etc. in the country.
- The government has also approved financial assistance for enhancing mineral exploration and institutional capabilities of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and State DGMs/DMGs.
- National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET):
- It was established in 2015 under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
- It is a non-profit body of the Central Government.
- It was set up for the regional and detailed exploration of minerals.
- The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 was amended in March 2021.
Topic: International Appointments
11. AC Charania, Indian-American space expert, appointed as new chief technologist of NASA.
- Charania will serve as principal advisor to Administrator Bill Nelson on technology policy and programs.
- On January 3, AC Charania joined NASA in his new role.
- He replaced fellow Indian-American scientist Bhavya Lal, who was serving as acting chief technologist.
- This position works within NASA's Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy.
- In his role, Charania will coordinate technological engagement with other government agencies, the private sector, and external stakeholders while coordinating NASA's agency-wide technology investments with mission needs across six mission directorates.
12. Defense Acquisition Council approved three Defense Capital Acquisition proposals worth Rs 4,276 crore.
- A meeting of the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) was held on January 10, 2023 under the chairmanship of Defense Minister Shri Rajnath Singh.
- During this, Approval as Required (AoN) was approved for three capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 4,276 crore.
- Of these three defense deals, two deals for the Indian Army and one purchase for the Indian Navy (under the Indian-IDDM category) are proposed.
- DAC has given its consent for the procurement of Anti-Tank Guided Missile – HELINA, Launcher and other related accessories, all of which will be integrated into the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
- DAC has also approved the deal for procurement of Very Short-Range Air Defense System - VSHORAD (IR Homing) Missile System designed and developed by DRDO.
- This weapon system can be brought and transported anywhere on a human level and can be rapidly deployed in the country's rugged areas and sea areas.
- DAC has also approved the procurement of BrahMos Launcher and Fire Control System (FCS) for the Shivalik class ships and Next Generation Missile Carrier Warships (NGMVs) for the Indian Navy.
- The induction of these lethal weapons will carry out maritime attack operations, intercept and destroy enemy warships and intercept unwanted merchant vessels.
- In addition, India had also been in talks with Russia since 2018 to procure the Igla-S air defence missiles under the VSHORAD programme.
- In December 2020, the contract was signed and the equipment was delivered by December 2021. This includes 24 launchers, 216 missiles, and test equipment.
Topic: State News/ Tripura
13. Tripura government launched “Saharsh” initiative in all government schools.
- In August 2022, the initiative was launched in 40 schools in Tripura on a pilot basis.
- Now, the government has launched this special education program “Saharsh” in all government and government aided schools.
- The initiative aims to encourage social and emotional learning. It aims at empowering children to learn with happiness.
- The school education department of Tripura has introduced 36 reforms in the last 5 years and the higher education department has introduced 19 reforms, the highest in India.
- 204 schools in the state have already been trained for the “Saharsh” initiative.
- 30 assistant headmasters from different districts of the state have been selected to work as Saharsh implementation ambassadors.
- Tripura ranks among Grade 1 category in Performance Grading Index.
Topic: Indian Economy
14. World Bank has maintained growth forecast for India at 6.9% for FY23 and 6.6% for FY24.
- Recently released Global Economic Prospects report said that India is expected to be the fastest growing economy of the seven largest EMDEs (Emerging Markets and Developing Economies).
- The report said that global economy is projected to grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024.
- The report mentioned any adverse development could push the global economy into recession.
- This would be the first time in more than 80 years that two global recessions have occurred within the same decade.
- The report said that India’s growth expanded by 9.7% on an annual basis in the first half of fiscal year 2022/23.
- As per the report, India used its international reserves to curb excess exchange rate volatility. This helped it to limit rupee depreciation.