Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 October 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 18:48 PM IST

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Topic: Space and IT

1. CERT-In in association with Power-CSIRTs conducted Cyber Security Exercise “PowerEX-2022”.

  • The main objective of the exercise is to “Recognize, Analyse & Respond to Cyber Incidents in IT & OT Systems”.
  • The theme of the exercise was “Defending Cyber induced disruption in IT & OT infrastructure”.
  • More than 350 officials from various Power Sector Utilities participated in the exercise.
  • Exercise “PowerEX” was hosted by CERT-In on its exercise simulation platform.
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN):
    • It is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents like hacking and phishing in India.
    • It was established in 2004 under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
    • Sanjay Bahl is the current Director General of CERT-IN.

PowerEX-2022

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

2. India has moved up six places in the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) 2022.

  • India has been ranked 123 out of 161 countries in the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) 2022.
  • It has been prepared by Oxfam International and Development Finance International (DFI).
  • It measures government policies and actions in three areas: public services (health, education, and social protection), taxation, and workers' rights.
  • Norway tops the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII). Germany and Australia are in the second and third spots, respectively.
  • Through progressive spending, India’s rank has improved by six places from 129 in 2020 to 123 in 2022.
  • India ranks 16 in progressive taxation with an improvement of three places.
  • India has fallen 73 places due to the country being reclassified as not having a national minimum wage.
  • India has moved up 27 places in the 'Impact of public spending on reducing inequality’ indicator.
  • Along with India, twelve countries in the Index have no national minimum wage.
  • According to the Index, most countries’ governments have failed to take the necessary steps to fill the inequality created by COVID-19.

Topic: State News/ Tamil Nadu

3. India's first slender loris sanctuary has been notified by Tamil Nadu.

  • For the first time in the country, the Tamil Nadu Government notified the Kaduvur Slender Loris Sanctuary spread over 11,806 hectares in Karur and Dindigul districts on 12 October.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed the slender loris on its list of endangered species because it plays an important ecological role in terrestrial ecosystems.
  • In accordance with Section 26 (A)(1)(b) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the government notified the "Kadavur Slender Loris Sanctuary."
  • For the Dindigul and Karur forest reserves, a total of 5 crores has been allocated to create the sanctuary and manage it until 2026.
  • Slender Loris:
    • The species are beneficial for farmers, which act as a biological predator of insects in agricultural crops.
    • Slender loris, which is small nocturnal mammals, are arboreal in nature as they spend most of their lives on trees.
    • They have two species, the Red Slender Loris found in Sri Lanka and the Gray Slender Loris found in India.

Topic: Indian Economy

4. IIP declined by 0.8 % in August, compared to a growth of 2.4 % in July.

  • According to government data released on October 12, the country's index of industrial production (IIP) decreased by 0.8 % in August 2022.
  • It is the lowest level in the last 18 months.
  • According to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, IIP grew by 13.0 % in August last year.
  • During the 5 months from April to August 2022, the IIP has grown by 7.7 %, as compared to an increase of 29 % during the same period last year.
  • The power sector output grew by just 1.4 % in August 2022, while it grew by 16 % in August 2021.
  • IIP is an index that gives details of the development of various sectors in the economy.
  • The eight core industries comprise over 40 % of the weight of the items included in the IIP.
  • These industries are electricity, steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas, and fertilizers.

Topic: Space and IT

5. China launched the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S) on October 9.

  • It is nicknamed Kuafu-1 in Chinese. ASO-S has been launched to solve mysteries of the Sun’s eruptions.
  • The instruments on the ASO-S will provide insights into coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and other eruptions caused by the Sun’s magnetic field.
  • The instruments on board the observatory are:
    • A magnetograph: This will study the Sun’s magnetic field
    • An X-ray imager: This will study the high-energy radiations released by electrons accelerated in solar flares
    • A coronagraph: This will look at the Sun in the ultraviolet-visible range
  • ASO-S has instruments that look across different wavelengths at once.
  • This should make it easier to understand the relationship between the Sun’s magnetic field and eruptions.
  • ASO-S will carry out simultaneous observations of both solar flares and CMEs.
  • ASO-S can study the middle corona, which is an important region of the sun where solar storms brew.
  • Sun's surrounding atmosphere is composed of four distinct parts. They are the chromosphere, the transition region, the corona and the heliosphere.
  • Corona is seen during a total solar eclipse. It can be observed with coronagraph.
  • Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is the release of plasma and accompanying magnetic field from the corona of the Sun into the heliosphere. CMEs are often associated with solar flares.

Topic: National News

6. Indian Railways will operate freight versions of Vande Bharat trains.

  • The freight services will be introduced through new freight Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) rolling stock built on Vande Bharat platform.
  • The first service is being introduced between Delhi-NCR and Mumbai region.
  • Other potential routes for running the freight EMUs will be identified in consultation with potential customers.
  • It has been designed for palletised container transportation at a speed of 160 kmph.
  • In December this year, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai is expected to launch the first freight EMU rake on the Vande Bharat platform.
  • Some points about Vande Bharat trains:
    • Under the Make in India initiative, government has fixed a target to manufacture 400 Vande Bharat trains in the coming years.
    • In February 2019, the first Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi and Varanasi was flagged off. 
    • The Vande Bharat train is also operating between New Delhi to Katra route.
    • Recently, an upgraded version of Vande Bharat Express train between Gandhinagar and Mumbai was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
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Topic: Space and IT

7. Supercomputer facility ‘PARAM KAMRUPA’ inaugurated by President Droupadi Murmu at IIT Guwahati.

  • She also inaugurated SAMEER's high-powered active and passive components laboratory at IIT Guwahati.
  • Param Kamrup is one of its kind supercomputer in Northeast India.
  • It has been set up under the National Supercomputing Mission.
  • As of now, PARAM Siddhi-AI is the fastest supercomputer in India.
  • PARAM Shivay was the first supercomputer assembled indigenously and was installed in IIT (BHU).
  • Frontier of USA is the most powerful supercomputer in the world followed by Japan’s Fugaku.
  • The President also virtually inaugurated the Dhubri Medical College and Hospital and laid the foundation stone of regional institutes of the National Institute of Virology at Dibrugarh in Assam and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Efforts are being made to provide high-quality education and healthcare facilities to the people of the region.
  • The President said that the supercomputer Param Kamrup will solve many problems of the North-East region along with advanced computing, and healthcare technology.
  • The President said that the Central Government is improving the quality of education and training with the assistance of the State Government in the field of health services.

Topic: Important Days

8. International E-Waste Day 2022: 14 October

  • Each year on 14 October, International E-Waste Day is observed.
  • It is an opportunity to consider the effects of e-waste and the steps required to improve the circularity of e-products.
  • The WEEE Forum developed international E-Waste Day in 2018.
  • It is celebrated to encourage electrical and electronic equipment waste recycling.
  • The fifth International E-Waste Day was celebrated in 2022.
  • Under the slogan "Recycle it all, no matter how small!", International E-Waste Day in 2022 will focus on small items of e-waste.
  • Electronic waste like non-functional, obsolete electronic equipment-screen, monitors, lamps, small IT and telecom equipment, phone batteries, vacuum cleaners, and more- are referred to as e-waste.
  • Every year more than 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste is produced.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. As per WWF, World's wildlife population has declined by 69% since 1970.

  • As per the WWF and Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) biennial Living Planet Report 2022, in the last 50 years, the earth’s population has reduced by an average of 69%.
  • The report has used the 2018 data from ZSL on the status of 32,000 wildlife populations.
  • As per the report, the steepest decline in the average wildlife population has been witnessed in Latin America and the Caribbean (94%) region.
  • According to the report, the second largest fall has been found in the African region (66%). It is followed by Asia and the Pacific (55%) and North America (20%).
  • Europe and Central Asia experienced an 18% fall. The wildlife population is declining at a rate of about 2.5% per year.
  • Deforestation, human exploitation, pollution, diseases and climate change are the key factors for population loss.
  • One of the biggest demands is to increase the financing for global conservation efforts.
  • The Living Planet Report 2022 is the 14th edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication.
  • WWF also launched a campaign “Speak for the Planet”.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. All India Conference of Law Ministers and Law Secretaries begins at Ekta Nagar, Gujarat.

  • Law Ministers and Law Secretaries from States and Union Territories are participating in the three-day-long conference (14-16 Oct 2022).
  • The Ministry of Law and Justice is organizing an All India Conference of Law Ministers and Law Secretaries.
  • Various topics relating to India's legal system will be discussed during the conference.
  • It is a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices. It will also help in upgrading the overall legal system of the country.
  • Union Minister of Law and Justice- Shri Kiren Rijiju

Topic: State News/ Meghalaya

11. Meghalaya is hosting ‘Megha Kayak Festival’ from Oct 13 to 16.

  • Around 100 participants from 20 countries will participate in the four-day-long mega global adventure sports event- Megha Kayak Festival 2022.
  • It started on 13 October at the Umtrew River at Umtham Village.
  • It includes white water kayaking events in three competition categories – Downriver Time Trial, Extreme Slalom and Downriver Freestyle.
  • Many international kayak athletes like Beth Morgan, Nouria Newman, Sofia Reniso, Giovanni De Gennaro and Andi Brunner are taking part in the festival.
  • This event is being organized by Meghalaya Tourism. It is one of the biggest Kayaking events in the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Ziplining, rappelling, waterfall rappelling, canyoning, freshwater scuba diving, paddling, etc. are popular adventure sports activities in Meghalaya.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

12. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated various projects during his visit to Himachal Pradesh on 13 October 2022.

  • He flagged off the fourth Vande Bharat Express from Una in Himachal Pradesh to New Delhi.
  • Vande Bharat Express from Una in Himachal Pradesh to New Delhi will boost tourism in the region and provide a faster mode of travel.
  • The travel time will be reduced by two hours. It can reach a speed of 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 52 seconds and has a maximum speed of 180 km per hour.
  • The upgraded version of Vande Bharat Express will also have a Wi-Fi content on-demand facility. The air conditioners of the train are 15 percent more energy efficient.
  • A photo-catalytic ultraviolet air purification system has been installed in the Roof-Mounted Package Unit (RMPU) for air purification in this upgraded version.
  • It is equipped with the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System - KAVACH.
  • In Una, he laid the foundation stone of bulk drug park at Haroli that will be built at a cost of over Rs.1,900 crores.
  • He also dedicated the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Una to the country.
  • In Chamba, he laid the foundation stone of 2 hydropower projects- 48 MW Chanju-III hydro-electric project and 30 MW Deothal Chanju hydro-electric project.
  • Apart from these, he also launched Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-III for upgradation of around 3125 kms of roads in Himachal Pradesh.

Topic: Defence

13. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to launch ‘Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot’ website for citizens to contribute to Armed Forces fund.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will launch ‘Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot’ (MBKS) website for the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (AFBCWF) at a function in New Delhi on 14 October.
  • This fund will be utilized for granting immediate financial assistance to Battle Casualties of the Army, Navy and Air Force and their next of kins and dependents.
  • Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan will be the ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ of the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (AFBCWF).
  • On this occasion, ten families of martyred heroes and soldiers who were disabled in military operations will be honoured.
  • In recent years, the government has launched a large number of welfare schemes for soldiers killed or disabled during active military operations.
  • The Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (AFBCWF) is a tri-service fund.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

14. Meenakshi Lekhi attended the 6th Summit of the Conference of Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) at Astana, Kazakhstan.

  • Minister of State for External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi was on an official two-nation tour of Georgia and Kazakhstan.
  • India and Georgia are celebrating 30th anniversary of the establishment of relations.
  • Meenakshi Lekhi led the Indian delegation at the 6th Summit of the CICA.
  • The members of CICA affirmed their commitment that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation.
  • Meenakshi Lekhi also took part in bilateral meetings with senior dignitaries and ministers from Kazakhstan.
  • Conference of Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA):
    • It was proposed by Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992 at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
    • It is a forum for enhancing cooperation and promoting peace, security, and stability in Asia.
    • India is one of the founding members of this forum.
    • Presently, CICA has 27 members. Nine countries and five multi-national organizations have observer status.
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