Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 April 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 14 Apr 2023 17:33 PM IST

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Current Affairs

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

1. India’s rank improved by six spots in the global Business Environment Rankings.

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the latest Business Environment Rankings (BER).
  • Vietnam, Thailand, Belgium, Sweden, India and Costa Rica have shown the biggest improvements over the past year. Vietnam is the overall biggest mover which climbed 12 spots in the rankings.
  • In the latest Business Environment Rankings (BER), India’s rank has improved from 52nd to 46th position.
  • India’s rank has improved due to improved scores in parameters like technological readiness, political environment, and foreign investment.
  • Out of the 17 economies in the Asian region, India has been ranked 10th for the 2023-27 forecast period. India was in 14th position in 2018-22.
  • China, Bahrain, Chile and Slovakia showed the biggest fall in the rankings over the past year. China has fallen by 11 spots in the latest rankings.
  • According to the EIU’s latest business environment Rankings, Singapore, Canada and Denmark will be the three countries with the best business environment over the next five years.
  • The United States and Switzerland are in the fourth and fifth spot respectively.
  • Business Environment Rankings measure the attractiveness of the business environment in 82 countries based on 91 indicators.
  • As per the forecast, India’s working-age population will react to 100 million by 2030.
  • India’s regional BER ranking for infrastructure has improved to 10th for the 2023-27 period.
  • India is in the top 10 in technological readiness due to a more conducive environment for e-commerce and the enhancement of information technology-ready government services.

Stanford University’s annual AI Index report

(Source: EIU)

Topic: Indian Economy

2. India’s overall exports have registered a growth of 13.84% in the financial year 2022-23 over 2021-22.

  • India’s overall exports are estimated to have reached 770.18 US billion dollars in the last financial year.
  • India's overall exports were more than 676 US billion dollars in the fiscal year 2021-22.
  • Merchandise exports have reached an annual high level of over 447 billion US dollars, with a 6% increase in the fiscal year 2022-23.
  • As per the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, services exports lead the overall export growth.
  • For the previous fiscal year, services exports are expected to set a new record worth 322.72 billion US dollars, with a growth rate of 26.79%.
  • China's share in the country's merchandise imports has declined from 15.43% in 2021-22 to 13.79% in the financial year 2022-23.
  • Imports of electronic goods from China have also declined from 48.1% in 2021-22 to 41.9% in 2022-23.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

3. India is ranked 5th in the list of countries with the most AI investment as per Stanford University’s annual AI Index report.

  • The total amount of investments in AI startups in India was $3.24 billion in 2022.
  • US, China, UK and Israel are placed ahead of India. India is placed ahead of South Korea, Germany, Canada and Australia.
  • As per the report, AI startups in India received a total funding of $7.73 billion during 2013-2022.
  • India is ranked 6th in the list of countries with the most AI investments during 2013-2022.
  • As per the Stanford report, 54% of researchers working on large language models were from American institutions.
  • Researchers from Canada, Germany and India made contributions to the development of large language models for the first time last year.
  • According to Tracxn, investments in AI startups in India increased from $1.7 billion in 2020 to $5.2 billion in 2022. 

Top countries with the highest investments in AI (in $ billions)

Countries

2013-2022

2022

US

248.9

47.36

China

95.11

13.41

UK

18.24

4.37

Israel

10.83

3.24

Canada

8.83

1.83

India

7.73

3.24

Germany

6.99

2.35

France

6.59

1.77

South Korea

5.57

3.1

Data Source: Stanford Artificial Intelligence Index Report 2023

Topic: Important Days

4. Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary observed on 14 April 2023.

  • On the occasion, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, and union ministers, Dr. Virendra Kumar and G. Kishan Reddy flagged off Baba Saheb Ambedkar Yatra Bharat Gaurav Tourist train from New Delhi.
  • The train will cover main sites associated with the life of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar under the Dekho Apna Desh initiative.
  • The journey by train will end at Gaya. It will halt at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, the birthplace of Baba Saheb and halt at Nagpur. It will also visit Deekshabhoomi, Sanchi and Varanasi.
  • In April 2021, government announced 14 April as a public holiday.
  • Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar:  
    • He was born in the year 1891. He was the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution.
    • He is also known as the “Father of the Constitution of India”.
    • He is the first Law Minister of India. He was conferred the Bharat Ratna award in 1990.

Topic: Defence

5. Indian Air Force contingent reached France to participate in “Exercise Orion” on 14 April.

  • The exercise is being conducted at the Air Force Base of the French Air and Space Force Mont-de-Marsan.
  • This exercise will be conducted from 17th April to 5th May.
  • The IAF contingent will include four Rafale aircraft, two C-17, two IL-78 aircraft and 165 air warriors.
  • This will be the first foreign exercise for Rafale aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
  • The air forces of Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Spain and the US will participate in Exercise Orion.

Exercise Orion

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Art and Culture

6. Vishu, Rongali Bihu, and Puthandu Pirappu festivals celebrated in different parts of the country.

  • On 14 April, Vaisakhi, Vishu, Rongali Bihu, Naba Barsha, Vaisakhadi, Meshadi, and Puthandu Pirappu festivals have been celebrated in different parts of the country. 
  • These are the name of the New Year festivals in the different parts of the country.
  • The President said that these farmers' festivals celebrated in different parts of our country provide a glimpse of India's rich cultural heritage and diversity.
  • Rongali Bihu:
    • It is observed as the first day of the Assamese New Year.
    • It is also called Bihu and Bohag Bihu.
    • Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu, Magh Bihu or Maghar Domahi and Kati Bihu are three types of Bihu festivals in Assam.
  • Vaisakhi:
    • It is a festival for the harvest season.
    • It is celebrated as the beginning of the Hindu solar New Year.
    • It is mainly celebrated in the state of Punjab.
  • Naba Barsha:
    • It is the first day of the Bengali Calendar.
    • It is celebrated as the Bengali New Year.
    • It is celebrated in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

New year Festivals

Region

Puthandu Pirappu

Tamil Nadu

Rongali Bihu

Assam

Naba Barsha

West Bengal and Bangladesh

Vaisakhadi

Punjab

Vishu

Kerala

Vishu, Rongali Bihu, and Puthandu Pirappu festivals

(Source: News on AIR)

 
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March Monthly Current Affairs February Monthly Current Affairs
January Monthly Current Affairs December Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: Indian Economy

7. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation declined to 5.66% in March 2023.

  • In February 2023, Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation stood at 6.44%.
  • Retail inflation has come below the upper tolerance level of RBI’s inflation range of 2-6% because of the strong base effect and decline in vegetable and oil prices.
  • As per Statistics Ministry data, the prices of vegetables and oils continue to be in the negative zone.
  • Core inflation has also declined to 5.8% for March 2023 from 6.1% in February 2023.

Retail Inflation (in %)

Item

February 2023

March 2023

Vegetable

-11.61

-8.51

Oils

-0.49

-7.86

Milk

9.65

9.31

Cereals

16.73

15.27

Spices

20.2

18.21

Food

5.95

4.79

Headline inflation

6.44

5.66

  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP)-based industrial growth moved up slightly to 5.6% in February 2023. In January 2023, it stood at 5.4%.
  • The output of consumer durables goods has contracted for the third straight month.
  • Mining sector output increased by 4.6% and power generation increased by 8.2% in February 2023.
  • The output of the manufacturing sector increased by 5.3% in February 2023.

Industrial growth (in %)

Sector

January 2023

February 2023

Manufacturing

4

5.3

Mining

8.8

4.6

Electricity

12.7

8.2

Overall

5.4

5.6

Topic: State News/ Assam      

8. PM Modi will inaugurate Northeast’s first AIIMS in Guwahati.

  • In addition to AIIMS Guwahati, PM will dedicate three other medical colleges to the nation.
  • He will also lay the foundation stone of the Assam Advanced Health Innovation Institute (AAHII).
  • He will also dedicate to the nation and lay the foundation stone of various projects worth over Rs 3,400 crore.
  • PM Modi will formally launch the 'Aapke Dwar Ayushman' campaign in Assam.
  • PM Modi laid the foundation stone of AIIMS Guwahati in 2017. It is built at a cost of Rs 1,120 crore.
  • It has a capacity of 750 beds, including 30 AYUSH beds. It will have an annual capacity of 100 MBBS students every year.
  • PM Modi will also inaugurate Nalbari Medical College, Nagaon Medical College and Kokrajhar Medical College.
  • PM Modi will lay the foundation stone of a bridge over the Brahmaputra River connecting Palashbari and Sualkuchi.
  • PM Modi will also inaugurate a 500 Tons Per Day (TPD) capacity methanol plant at Namrup in Dibrugarh.
  • PM Modi will also lay the foundation stone of the project related to beautification of Rang Ghar in Sivasagar.
  • It was built by the Ahom king Swargadeo Pramatta Singha in the 18th century.
  • PM Modi will also observe a huge Bihu dance. Artists from 31 districts of the state will participate in this programme.
  • More than 10,000 Bihu artists will participate in the event and will attempt to create a new Guinness World Record in the category of world's largest Bihu dance performance at one place.   
  • The Prime Minister will also attend a function to mark the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Guwahati High Court at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati.
  • The Prime Minister is also scheduled to dedicate five railway projects to the nation. The railway projects that will be inaugurated are as follows.
    • Doubling of Digaru-Lumding section, Gauripur – Abhayapuri section, New Bongaigaon – Dhup Dhara section
    • Electrification of Raninagar Jalpaiguri-Guwahati section
    • Electrification of Senchoa-Silghat Town and Senchoa-Marabari section

Topic: Space and IT

9. Elena Geo Systems launched Indigenous NavIC chip to reduce dependence on GPS.

  • An Indigenous chip for the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) has been unveiled at the Defence Space Symposium.
  • Chip has been formally handed over by Lt. Col. V.S. Velan (retd.), founder and Chief Technology Officer of Elena Geo Systems, to Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan.
  • The chip has many cores that will fulfil the requirements of signal acquisition, regeneration, processing and the output interface. It has been named the NavIC processor.
  • This processor will help both the government and private sector to move their dependence on the Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Around 10,000 chips will be manufactured in the first batch.
  • The company has been pursuing advanced technologies to manufacture these chips and modules.
  • The chips will enable high precision and accuracy for all three types of applications such as navigation, positioning and timing.
  • Elena Geo Systems was incubated at IIT-Kharagpur in 2012. Now, it is a member of the Delhi-based Indian Space Association (InSA).

Topic: Indian Economy

10. India's economy is projected to grow at 6% in 2023: UNCTAD

  • UN Trade and Development Conference (UNCTAD) has released its latest Trade and Development Report.
  • UNCTAD projected India’s growth will decline to 6 per cent in 2023 from 6.6 per cent in 2022. The growth will decline because of the weakening of government spending.
  • It projected that global growth in 2023 will decline to 2.1% from its earlier projection of 2.2%.
  • South Asia registered a growth of 5.7 % in 2022. It will grow at a pace of 5.3% in 2023.
  • South Asian region will remain vulnerable to inflationary pressures due to strong dependence on extra-regional fossil imports.
  • As per the report, South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka or Bangladesh will face pressures from external creditors to cut public spending.
  • China grew at 3% last year and will accelerate to 4.8% in 2023.
  • In 2022, 81 developing countries (excluding China) have lost USD 241 billion international reserves. More than 20 countries lost more than 10% of their Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
  • As per the report, the combined impact of higher interest rates and increased energy and food prices will further weaken household spending. Business investment will also contract further.
  • The annual growth of most of the global economy will be less than the performance registered before the pandemic.
  • UNCTAD recommended that the weakness of productive investment would require policymakers to focus on corporate governance and the way profits are generated, managed and distributed.

Topic: Sports

11. Indian women wrestlers won a total of seven medals at the Asian Wrestling Championships.

  • A total of seven medals have been won by Indian women wrestlers at the Asian Wrestling Championships held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • These include two silver and five bronze medals.
  • With this, India has secured the third position in the women's team rankings.
  • Antim Panghal has won silver in 53 kg weight category and Nisha Dahiya in 68 kg weight category.
  • In the previous edition of this championship, India had won 5 medals and finished fourth.
  • Japan ranked first and China ranked second position in the women's team rankings.
  • The 36th edition of the Asian Wrestling Championships was held in Astana, Kazakhstan from April 9 to 14, 2023.
  • India’s seven medallists:

Players

Medals

Antim Panghal (53kg)

Silver Medal

Nisha Dahiya (68kg)

Priya Malik (76kg)

Bronze Medal

Anshu Malik (57kg)

Sonam Malik (62kg)

Manisha (65kg)

Reetika Hooda (72kg)

Asian Wrestling Championships

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. The “Animal Epidemic Preparedness Initiative (APPI)” will be launched by Purushottam Rupala.

  • On 14 April, the “Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative (APPI)” will be launched by Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Parshottam Rupala.
  • Shri Rupala will also launch the World Bank funded Animal Health System Support for One Health (AHSSOH) project.
  • Both will be launched under the aegis of National One Health Mission at India Habitat Center, New Delhi.
  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has signed a collaborative project on AHSSOH with the World Bank.
  • It aims to create an ecosystem for a better animal health management system using the One Health approach.
  • The project will be rolled out in five states with the aim of enhancing the capacity building of stakeholders engaged in animal health and disease management.
  • The project aims to cover 151 districts in the five participating states, in which it targets upgradation of 75 district/regional laboratories, upgradation/strengthening of 300 veterinary hospitals/dispensaries.
  • In addition, it aims to train 9000 para-veterinarians/clinical professionals and 5500 veterinary professionals.
  • Apart from this, awareness campaign on prevention and epidemic preparedness of zoonotic diseases will also be conducted at the community level by reaching six lakh households.
  • Over the next five years, the collaborative project will be implemented as a Central sector scheme, with a budget of Rs 1228.70 Cr.
  • The main activities under APPI which are at various stages of execution are as follows:
    • Defined joint investigation and outbreak response teams (National & state)
    • Design an overall integrated disease surveillance system (built on National Digital Livestock Mission)
    • Strengthening the Regulatory system (e.g., Nandi online portal and Field trial guidelines)
    • Creating disease modelling algorithms and early warning systems
    • Strategizing Disaster Mitigation with National Disaster Management Authority
    • Initiate targeted R&D to develop vaccines/diagnostics/therapies for priority diseases
    • Build genomic and environmental surveillance methods to improve the timeliness and sensitivity of disease detection

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

13. Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh has for the first time recorded photographic proof of tigers.

  • As per the latest Census released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Suhelwa sanctuary is the new area where photographic evidence of tigers has been recorded.
  • Suhelwa and Sohagi Barwa wildlife sanctuaries have been added to tiger detected grids.
  • 3 tigers were spotted in Ranipur Tiger Reserve, but they were commonly seen between Ranipur area and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The latest tiger census data showed 804 camera trapped tigers in the Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains landscape, while in 2018 census, the data showed 646 tigers.
  • The tiger reserved situated in Uttar Pradesh are linked through the forests of Nepal, cross-border cooperation is important to conserve the natural heritage of both countries.
  • As per tiger census 2018, 173 tigers were projected in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Tiger Reserves in Uttar Pradesh:
    • Amangarh Tiger Reserve
    • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
    • Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
    • Ranipur Tiger Reserve

Topic: Banking System

14. Canara Bank and Bharat BillPay announced partnership for cross-border bill payments for Indians in Oman.

  • The launch of cross-border inward bill payment services for Indians in Oman has been announced by Canara bank and NPCI Bharat Bill Pay Ltd.
  • NRIs can now use Bharat Bill Payment System’s platform for bill payments on behalf of their families through the Musandam Exchange.
  • Canara Bank is the first public sector bank in India to offer inbound cross-border bill payments via Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).
  • Musandam Exchange is managed by Canara Bank. It is the 1st exchange in Oman to go live on cross-border inbound bill payments.
  • Another country in which cross-border bill payment service is already live is Kuwait. NRIs in Oman will now get these benefits for the first time.
  • Canara Bank:
    • It was founded in July 1906. It is headquartered in Bengaluru.
    • K Satyanarayana Raju is its MD & CEO.
    • Recently, the government has merged Syndicate bank with Canara bank.
  • Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS):
    • It is an RBI conceptualised ecosystem driven by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
    • NPCI functions as the authorized Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU). BBPS Pilot was launched in the year 2016.
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