Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 April 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 15 Apr 2023 18:04 PM IST

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Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

1. India’s first underwater Metro trial has been started by Kolkata Metro.

  • Kolkata Metro conducted India’s first underwater Metro trial below the bed of the Hooghly River.
  • A Metro rake completed its journey through a tunnel of 32 metres under the Hooghly river bed.
  • The metro rake must cover a 520-meter distance under the Hooghly River in 45 seconds.
  • Metro trial is being conducted on the 4.8 km underground section from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade.
  • The trials will be conducted for the next seven months. This section is likely to become operational in 2023.
  • After the opening of this stretch, Howrah will become the deepest Metro station in India.
  • This underwater stretch is a part of the East-West Metro Corridor in Kolkata.
  • The Kolkata Metro started its operation in 1984, and it is now growing to cover the whole city and its suburbs.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

2. As per ADR report, Jagan Mohan Reddy is the wealthiest CM in India.

  • According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, a total of 29 chief ministers are crorepatis in India with average assets of ₹33.96 crore.
  • Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy is the wealthiest CM in India.
  • Arunachal Pradesh's Pema Khandu (over ₹163 crores), and Odisha's Naveen Patnaik (over ₹63 crores) are in second and third positions.
  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is in the last position with total assets of ₹15 lakh.
  • Kerala's Pinarayi Vijayan (over ₹1 crore), and Haryana's Manohar Lal (over ₹1 crore) are also among the CMs with the lowest declared assets.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal have assets of more than 3 crores.
  • This report is based on the self-sworn poll affidavits of all the 30 current chief ministers of states and union territories.
  • As per the ADR report, serious criminal cases including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, and criminal intimidation are on 13 (43%) CMs.
  • At present, there is only one female Chief Minister i.e. Mamta Banerjee.

Jagan Mohan Reddy is the wealthiest CM in India

(Source: ADR)

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

3. Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 75th anniversary of formation on April 15.

  • The main function on this occasion was organized at Kaza in the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti.
  • It was headed by Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu.
  • In the event, cultural troupes from the districts of the state presented a colorful program which also included the famous Cham dance of Spiti.
  • On this occasion, the Chief Minister also honored people for their excellent services in various fields.
  • Himachal Pradesh came into existence on 15th April, 1948.
  • It was declared a Union Territory on November 1, 1956.
  • In 1966, the hilly areas of Punjab were also included in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Himachal Pradesh was granted full statehood on January 25, 1971 and was the 18th state in the country.
  • Hence, Himachal Pradesh celebrates Statehood Day on 25th January.

75th anniversary of formation Himachal Pradesh

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. NHAI signs MoU with Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve.

  • NHAI incorporated company Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) signed an MoU with the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve to carry out Electronic Tolling.
  • Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is spread across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • Its objective is to provide the facility for collecting the Ecosystem Management Coordination Fee through FASTag at the entry points of the tiger reserve.
  • The FASTag system employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to enable automatic toll payments at toll plazas and affixation of FASTag on all 4-wheelers & above vehicles have been mandated across India.
  • With this system, people will get rid of long lines and delays.
  • This partnership between the IHMCL and the Forest Department is an important step towards promoting sustainable tourism.

NHAI signs MoU with Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. AIMA's 'Business Leader of the Decade' award presented to Kumar Mangalam Birla.

  • On 11 April, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla, has received the ‘Business Leader of the Decade Award’ at All India Management Association's (AIMA) 13th Managing India Awards ceremony.
  • Birla won the award for his contribution to Indian industry over the past decade.
  • 'AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership' award has been presented to the Tata Steel Chairman T V Narendran.
  • 'MNC in India of the Year' award has been presented to the leading engineering services company ABB India.
  • The contribution of several other leaders and institutions was also awarded at the annual event held in New Delhi.
  • In 2010, the AIMA Managing India Awards were instituted to promote management in every sphere of life.

Category

Awardee

Outstanding PSU of the Year

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

MNC in India of the Year

ABB India Ltd

Young Entrepreneur Award

Tarun Mehta & Swapnil Jain, Founders, Ather Energy

Outstanding Contribution to Media

Rahul Kanwal

Entrepreneur of the Year

Samir Mehta, Chairman, Torrent Group

Transformational Business Leader

Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman & Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd

Outstanding Institution Builder

Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus, TVS Motor Company

Business Leader of the Decade Award

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

6. Ghana became the first country to approve the use of the Oxford malaria vaccine.

  • The Oxford malaria vaccine, developed in the UK, has received regulatory approval for use in Ghana.
  • Ghana's Food and Drugs Authority has granted clearance for the use of R21/Matrix-M vaccine.
  • The vaccine has exceeded the World Health Organization's efficacy target of 75%, will be given specifically to children aged 5–36 months who are at highest risk of death from malaria.
  • According to the WHO, an estimated 619,000 people died from malaria in 2021, most of them were children in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Ghana, a country where malaria is both endemic and perennial, has reported an estimated 5.3 million cases and 12,500 estimated deaths due to the disease.
  • Phase 3 testing of the vaccine is ongoing, but earlier trials have shown efficacy levels of 77%.
  • The Serum Institute of India, a leading biotechnology company, has stated that it has the capacity to produce over 200 million doses of the R21 vaccine on an annual basis.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

 
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Topic: International News

7. US and the Philippines have launched joint military exercise.

  • This is the largest joint military exercise launched by the US and the Philippines.
  • More than 17,600 military personnel are participating in the drill.
  • The annual drill will run till April 28. It will involve live-fire exercises, which include a boat-sinking rocket assault in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.
  • The annual drill is called Balikatan. Balikatan is a Tagalog (a language) term for shoulder-to-shoulder. 
  • 12,200 US military personnel, 5,400 Filipino forces, and 111 Australian soldiers are included in the drills.
  • During the exercise, military helicopters will land on a Philippine island off the northern tip of the main island of Luzon, approximately 300 kilometers from Taiwan.
  • Before the drill, the US 7th Fleet deployed a guided-missile destroyer within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef.
  • Mischief Reef is a Manila-claimed coral outcrop that China seized in the mid-1990s.

Topic: National News

8. Millets Food Festival of the member countries of the SCO inaugurated in Mumbai.

  • Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Naik inaugurated the festival.
  • Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is organizing the seven-day festival at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace to commemorate the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023).
  • The Minister said that millet consumption can help the world meet at least six UN-mandated sustainable development goals.
  • He also congratulated Kazakhstan for the next Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Presidency.
  • India is hosting the Presidency of the SCO for the year 2023.
  • The Millet Food Festival is the fourth event being organised by the Ministry of Tourism to celebrate the Presidency.
  • It is also the last event being organised by the Ministry of Tourism to celebrate the Presidency.
  • Earlier, SCO Tourism Mart was organised from 9 to 11 February. SCO Expert Level Tourism Working Group Meeting and an SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meeting were also organised.

Topic: National News

9. UGC released new regulations for the grievance redressal of students.

  • The new regulation proposed the establishment of the Students Grievances Redressal Committee(s) (SGRC) in all Higher Education institutions (HEIs).
  • As per the regulations, the Universities are requested to appoint Ombudsperson within 30 days of notifications.
  • The Vice-Chancellors/ Principals have been requested to take necessary measures for the publicity of Regulations.
  • The regulations have a detailed mechanism for the constitution of SGRCs and their composition and the appointment of the Ombudsperson.
  • These regulations will be called the University Grants Commission (Redressal of Grievances of Students) Regulations, 2023.
  • The regulations will apply to all higher education institutions established under a Central Act or a State Act.
  • The main objective of the regulation is speedy redressal of grievances of the students enrolled in any institution.
  • University Grants Commission (UGC):
    • It was established in 1956.
    • It is responsible for maintaining higher education standards in India.
    • It is a statutory body set up under the UGC Act 1956.
    • Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar is the current chairman of the UGC.

Topic: State News/ Telangana

10. 125-ft-tall Ambedkar statue has been unveiled by Telangana Chief Minister.

  • India's tallest statue of BR Ambedkar has been unveiled by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
  • The statue has been unveiled on the 132nd birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar.
  • The statue is located at the Hussain Sagar Lake of Hyderabad.
  • The statue is made with more than 360 tonnes of steel and 100 tonnes of bronze. Its cost of construction is nearly 145 crores.
  • Dalits from all the 119 Assembly constituencies were invited to the event.
  • Telangana State Secretariat building’s name is ‘Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Telangana State Secretariat’.
  • Telangana government is also implementing many schemes for the SC communities.
  • The ‘Telangana Dalit Bandhu’ scheme was also launched on 16 August 2021 for the upliftment of Scheduled Caste people.

Topic: International News

11. A common platform announced by India, Japan and France for Sri Lanka creditors.

  • Japan, India and France have announced a common platform for dialogue between bilateral creditors to coordinate debt restructuring of Sri Lanka.
  • This will help in solving the debt crisis of middle-income economies.
  • It is historic to start the negotiation process with such a broad-based group of lenders. The committee is open to all the lenders.
  • As soon as possible, the group is ready to hold the first round of talks.
  • Sri Lanka last month took a 2.9-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund to deal with the huge debt burden.
  • Only low-income countries can apply for debt relief under the G-20's general framework.
  • Countries with middle income economies cannot take advantage of this arrangement.
  • This has put pressure on major economies to come up with an alternative plan, leading to the creation of new platform.
  • Sri Lanka owes 7.1 billion dollars in debt to bilateral creditors.
  • This includes $3 billion from China, $2.4 billion from the Paris Club and $1.6 billion from India.

common platform for Sri Lanka creditors

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National News

12. India's first 3D-printed post office will be set up in Bengaluru.

  • Soon, India's first post office will be built using 3D printing technology in Bengaluru.
  • Larsen & Toubro is implementing the project at Cambridge Layout in Ulsoor.
  • Larsen & Toubro has a lot of experience building 3D-printed buildings.
  • The construction work of the post office is expected to be completed in 30 days and its construction cost is about 30 to 40 percent less than the construction of a conventional building.
  • The post office constructed at a cost of Rs 23 lakh will be of about 1100 square feet.
  • In 3D printing, computer-aided designing is used to make prototypes or working models of objects by laying down successive layers of materials like plastic, resin, thermoplastic, metal, fiber or ceramic.

Topic: International News

13. Qatar and Bahrain announced to resume their diplomatic ties.

  • Qatar and Bahrain have decided to restore diplomatic relations.
  • The agreement came over two years after the AlUla Declaration in Saudi Arabia in 2021.
  • AlUla Declaration had ended the four-year boycott of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
  • The decision to resume diplomatic relations was taken at the second meeting of the Bahraini-Qatari Follow-up Committee in Riyadh.
  • The decision has been positively appreciated by foreign ministries of GCC countries, the Arab League, the United States, and Russia.
  • Recently, the fourth joint meeting between United Arab Emirates and Qatar was held to follow up on the implementation of the AlUla Declaration.
  • AlUla Declaration:
    • It was signed by Gulf countries on January 5, 2021 at the GCC Summit held in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.
    • It was signed to resolve the dispute with Qatar.
    • It called for unity and the strengthening of relations among GCC countries.
    • The declaration reaffirmed the GCC member states' commitment to achieving integration and coordination in all areas to form a federation of states.

Topic: Geography

14. A powerful Cyclone Ilsa hit the coast of Western Australia.

  • Cyclone Ilsa hit a remote stretch of coast in Western Australia near Port Hedland.
  • The speed of the wind was 218 kilometer per hour on Bedout Island just off the coast.
  • It is the strongest cyclone to hit the region in the last 14 years.
  • Australia uses a five-tier system to categorize cyclones. Cyclone Ilsa has been kept in category three.
  • Cyclones are common on the west coast of Australia. Tropical Cyclone Monica was the strongest cyclone to hit Australia.
  • A cyclone is a large air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure, counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
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