Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 17:27 PM IST

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Topic: Personality in News

1. PM Modi participated in the inaugural function of Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shatabdi Mahotsav in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

  • The year-long birth centenary year will culminate in the ‘Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shatabdi Mahotsav’.
  • It is will be hosted by BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Shahibaug in Ahmedabad.
  • It will be a month-long celebration from 15th December - 15th January 2023.
  • Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha has established the 600-acre huge festival site ‘Pramukh Swami Nagar’ to celebrate the centenary year of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
  • Lakhs of devotees from across the world and India will participate in the month-long celebrations.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj:
    • He was president of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a branch of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.
    • He is the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan.
    • During his tenure, BAPS emerged as a global Hindu Organization.

Topic: International Appointments

2. WHO has appointed Jeremy Farrar as Chief Scientist.

  • He will join WHO in the second quarter of 2023. He will replace Soumya Swaminathan.
  • As chief scientist, Dr Farrar will oversee the Science Division.
  • He worked for 17 years as Director of the Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Vietnam.
  • His research interests were in global health with a focus on emerging infectious diseases.
  • World Health Organization (WHO):
    • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
    • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
    • It was established on 7 April 1948.
    • Its current President is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Topic: Personality in News

3. Marathi Lavani singer Sulochana Chavan recently passed away.

  • She was awarded Padma Shri in March 2022. She was conferred the title of Lavani Samradnyi (Queen of Lavani).
  • She was honoured with the Lata Mangeshkar Award by the Government of Maharashtra.
  • She was also awarded Lokshahir Patthe Bapurao Puraskar and Ram Kadam Puraskar.
  • She contributed to the traditional Maharashtrian musical genre of Lavani. Lavani is associated with the folk theatre of Tamasha.
  • Lavani:
    • It is a musical genre popular in Maharashtra. It is noted for its powerful rhythm. It is a combination of traditional song and dance.
    • It originated from Maharashtra in 18th and 19th century. Dhangars or Shepherd living in Solapur, Maharashtra generally performed the Lavani dance.
    • It is performed by female performers wearing nine-yard long sarees in Maharashtra and southern Madhya Pradesh.

Topic: Miscellaneous

4. Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi launched the World Bank’s Gender Toolkit.

  • The Gender Toolkit was launched at a session conducted by the World Bank and the Chennai Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority.
  • It is based on “Enabling gender responsive urban mobility and public spaces”.
  • It aims at bringing under spotlight the gender issues surrounding mobility and city design.
  • It is a two-volume guide created by the World Bank with a four-pillar implementation framework for urban bodies.
  • Assessing the ground situation is the first pillar. Pillar two calls for strengthening planning and policies.
  • The third pillar aims at building awareness and capacity. The final and fourth pillar focuses on improving infrastructure.

Topic: Important Days

5. National Energy Conservation Day 2022: 14 December

  • Every year on December 14, National Energy Conservation Day is celebrated.
  • The day is dedicated to raising public awareness about global warming and climate change, as well as encouraging people to save energy.
  • National Energy Conservation Day is being celebrated on December 14 since 1991.
  • In 2001, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) implemented the Energy Conservation Act.
  • BEE is a constitutional entity that works under the Government of India and helps in the formulation of energy-saving policies and programs.
  • To showcase the country's achievements in energy efficiency and conservation, the Ministry of Power celebrated National Energy Conservation Day in New Delhi.
  • The chief guest of the event was President Draupadi Murmu.
  • She felicitated the winners of the National Energy Conservation and National Energy Efficiency Innovation Awards.
  • The President also launched the “EV Yatra Portal” and Mobile Application during the event.
  • The BEE has developed a mobile app for the convenience of electric vehicle drivers to locate the nearest public EV charger.
  • The bureau also created portal, which will give information about various schemes at the central and state levels to promote electric mobility.
  • Through EV Yatra Portal, the Charge Point Operators (CPOs) will be able to register their details in the National Online Database.

Topic: International News

6. USA made a historic breakthrough in the nuclear power process for clean and affordable energy. 

  • The United States has made a special breakthrough in the nuclear power process to fulfill the promise of 'near-limitless' clean energy.
  • This will also help in tackling the problem of climate change.
  • Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California demonstrated for the first time that more energy is produced in a fusion reaction than used to ignite it. It is called as net energy gain.
  • To achieve the reactions, researchers fire up to 192 giant lasers into a centimetre-long gold cylinder called a hohlraum.
  • Officials have pointed out that this achievement will pave the way for progress in national defense and a clean energy future.
  • 1 kilogram of fusion fuel, made up of heavy forms of hydrogen called deuterium and tritium, provides as much energy as 10m kilograms of fossil fuel.
  • Nuclear fusion:
    • Nuclear fusion is a man-made process.
    • Nuclear fusion occurs when two or more atoms join into a larger atom.
    • In this process, a huge amount of energy is generated in the form of heat.
    • Fusion only occurs when atoms are under extreme heat and pressure.

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

7. Government of Uttarakhand is planning for genetic enhancement of Badri cow.

  • The officials of state animal husbandary department during Chintan Shivir proposed to go for sex-sorted semen technology so as to increase the productivity of indigenous Badri cow.
  • The state aims to achieve its target in the next 10 years.
  • They also asked to adopt the embryo transfer technology for production of elite Badri bulls for semen production.
  • For this purpose, state had established a nucleus breeding bull mother farm of Badri cattle at the Nariyal village in Champawat district.
  • Badri cow is the first registered cattle breed of Uttarakhand certified by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR).
  • Badri cow’s milk production capacity is low. Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer (MOET), a conventional embryo flush procedure will be used to increase its production.
  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) proposed for the project to generate employment and entrepreneurship will cost ₹50 crore.
  • Hetha Organics sells Badri cow products online and Uttarakhand Cooperative Dairy Federation sells Badri Ghee under their brand name ‘Anchal’.
  • The Badri breed derived its name from Char Dham at Badrinath. It is small in size with long legs and varied body colours – black, brown, red, white or grey.
  • Badri breed is more resistant to diseases, mostly due to its eating habits.
  • Badri cow only eats medicinal herbs that is why its milk has rich medicinal content and high organic value. Its urine also has a high value due to the same reason.

Topic: International News

8. Singapore Declaration adopted at the 17th Asia and Pacific regional meeting of ILO.

  • The Singapore declaration was adopted in Singapore on 9 December 2022.
  • The declaration has set ten-point priorities of national action. The member countries are required to deal with the issue of lessening wages of workers, inflation, and unemployment.
  • The delegates representing various governments agreed that social dialogue is necessary to address labour market challenges and finding solutions in difficult situations like COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty.
  • The declaration asked the governments to ensure labour protection.
  • It also called for closing gender gaps by taking steps that increase women’s labour force participation, promote equal pay for equal work, balance work and responsibilities, and promote women’s leadership.

Topic: Art and Culture

9. India’s largest contemporary art exhibition is being organized in Kochi.

  • Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the 5th edition of art exhibition at Fort Kochi Parade ground.
  • 5th Kochi Muziris Biennale has started in Kochi, Kerala. It is the largest contemporary art exhibition in India.
  • It will showcase 200 major creative projects of 90 artists from different countries and will continue till April 10.
  • The exhibition titled “In our veins flow Ink and Fire” is curated by Indian origin artist Shubhugi Rao.
  • After a gap of 4 years, the exhibition has been organized. The last edition was held in 2018.
  • Kochi Muziris Biennale was launched in 2012 and this year marks the 10th anniversary of this art exhibition.

Topic: National Appointments

10. K V Shaji has been appointed as Chairman of NABARD.

  • He had served as Deputy Managing Director of NABARD till May 21, 2020.
  • Before joining NABARD, he worked with Canara Bank. He played a role in the merger of Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank.
  • He had also worked for National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • Indian Origin Sushmita Shukla has been named 1st Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Her appointment begins from March 2023. She will be the bank’s second-ranking officer after President and CEO, John C Williams.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was founded in July 1982. It is headquartered in Mumbai. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.

Topic: National News

11. India’s sixth Vande Bharat train was flagged off by PM Modi on the Nagpur-Bilaspur route.

  • PM Modi flagged off India's sixth Vande Bharat Express between Bilaspur (Chattisgarh)-Nagpur (Maharashtra) route.
  • Southeast Central Railways will operate the Bilaspur- Nagpur Vande Bharat Express.
  • It will operate six days a week. It will have stoppage at Raipur, Durg and Gondia.
  • It will complete one leg of the journey in about 5 hours and 20 minutes.
  • The maximum speed of the Vande Bharat Express can be up to 160 kmph.
  • Vande Bharat Express is India's first semi-highspeed train that is equipped with world-class passenger amenities.
  • PM Modi also launched phase-1 of the Nagpur metro. He inaugurated Phase-I of Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, connecting Nagpur and Shirdi.
  • He dedicated AIIMS Nagpur to the nation. He laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of Nagpur Railway Station and Ajni Railway Station.
  • PM Modi laid the foundation stone for the National Institute of One Health (NIO), Nagpur.
  • PM also laid the foundation stone of the project for pollution abatement of river Nag at Nagpur.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

12. The arrangement between India and South Korea regarding the EDCF loan of Korean Won 245.081 billion (approx. Rs. 1,495.68 crore) was signed.

  • The Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) loan is for the Establishment of an Intelligent Transport System on Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway Project.
  • The project aims to enhance efficiency in traffic management through the establishment of the Intelligent Traffic Management System.
  • It will also improve the efficiency of toll management by setting up the Toll Collection System.
  • South Korea was designated as India’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) partner for development cooperation in October 2016.
  • This is the first project funded by EDCF loan by the South Korean government.
  • The bilateral relationship between India and South Korea was upgraded to ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ in the year 2015.

Topic: National News

13. 8th India International Science Festival will be organized in Bhopal in January 2023.

  • 14 events will be organised from 21-24 January 2023 at the Maulana Azad Institute of Technology, Bhopal.
  • IISF is an initiative of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in association with 'Vijnana Bharati'.
  • It will be organized to mark the achievement of India in the field of science, technology and innovation.
  • The festival will give an opportunity to the people and the scientific fraternity to come together, work together and experience the joy of doing science.
  • More than 8,000 delegates from across the country will took part in this event.
  • IISF was started in 2015 and first and second edition IISF were held in New Delhi.
  • Students Science Village, Young Scientists’ Conference, Vigyanika, etc. will be the main attractions of the festival.
  • The International Science Film Festival of India (ISFFI) will be another highlight of the festival.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

14. Government will implement “New India Literacy Programme” (NILP) for five years.

  • “New India Literacy Programme” (NILP) will be implemented during the five years from 2022-23 to 2026-27.
  • It has a target of covering 5 crore learners during the five years under the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy component.
  • This programme has five main objectives, which are given below:
    • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
    • Critical Life Skills
    • Vocational Skills Development
    • Basic Education
    • Continuing Education
  • The objectives of the scheme are to impart critical life skills, basic education, and vocational skills development.
  • The main challenge in the implementation of the NILP is the opening and mapping of all Bank Accounts of Single Nodal Agencies (SNAs) and Implementing Agencies (IAs) in all States with the Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
  • The total financial outlay of NILP for five years (FYs 2022-23 to 2026-27) is Rs.1037.90 crores.
  • The Central and State shares are in the ratio of 60:40 for all States except the North Eastern Region (NER) and the Himalayan States.
  • The first step under this Programme is to identify the beneficiaries and Volunteer Teachers. The volunteer teachers are trained to carry out the learning modules in online mode.
  • According to the Census 2011, the number of non-literates of the country in 15 years and above age group is 25.76 crore.
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