Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 17:52 PM IST

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases       

1. India will be in a position to introduce cervical cancer vaccine for girls aged 9-14 years in 2023.

  • Indigenously developed HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer will become available by April-May 2023.
  • The government will launch a nationwide immunisation drive for the girls age group of 9-14 years by mid-2023.
  • The indigenous vaccine ‘Cervavac’ has been developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII). It will give protection against four strains of HPV — 16, 18, 6, and 11.
  • The current market price of the vaccines is Rs 2,500-3,300 per dose. For the nationwide immunisation drive, the price will be Rs 200-Rs 400 per dose.
  • As per DBT officials, the new vaccine is based on VLP (virus like particles) like the hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Earlier, the Sikkim government had rolled out a similar programme. It has vaccinated around 97% of the girls between the ages of 9 and 14 in a campaign mode.
  • Delhi government had also rolled out an HPV immunisation programme.
  • Cervical cancer:
    • It is the cancer of the cervix, the lower-most part of the uterus (womb).
    • It is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
    • The virus is mainly transmitted through sexual contact.

Topic: National News

2. Tandur Redgram of Telangana gets GI tag.

  • With this, the number of GI registrations in Telangana increased to 16.
  • 09 new items from various states of India have been given the GI Tags.
  • These items include Gamosa of Assam, Tandur Redgram of Telangana, Raktsey Karpo Apricot of Ladakh, Alibag White Onion of Maharashtra etc.
  • With this, the total number of GI Tags in India has come to 432.
  • Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala are the top states holding maximum number of GIs.
  • Tandur Red Gram is a local variety of pigeon pea. It is mainly grown in the rainfed areas of the Tandur and nearby places in the state.
  • It contains about 24 percent protein, which is almost three times that of cereals.
  • 'Gamusa' or 'gamosa' is Assam's traditional textile. It is a traditionally woven handloom product that is identified by its characteristic red border and floral motifs.  
  • Raktsey Karpo Apricot of Ladakh is known for its pure organic sweetness.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

3. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat inaugurated the 7th India Water Impact Summit (IWIS 2022).

  • He inaugurated IWIS 2022 at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi on 15 December 2022.
  • This year, the theme of the summit is “Restoration and Conservation of Small Rivers in a Large Basin”.
  • The focus of the summit will also be on the select aspects of Mapping and Convergence of 5Ps - People, Policy, Plan, Programme and Project.
  • The summit is a three-day-long event. It is being organized from 15th to 17th December, 2022 by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga).
  • Its aim is to give an insight into the potential causes for divergence and formulate a strategy to achieve convergence.
  • It will also host a finance forum to bring together international financial institutions and investors who are interested in river conservation and restoration programmes.
  • 6th Edition of the India Water Impact Summit was concluded on 14th December 2021.

Topic: International News

4. European Union Countries have agreed to grant Bosnia "candidate status" to join the European Union.

  • European affairs ministers meeting in Brussels gave permission to Bosnia becoming a candidate.
  • European Union’s executive arm (European Commission) in October recommended launch of the membership process.
  • Bosnia will join seven other nations with candidate status.
  • These seven other nations are Turkey, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Moldova and Ukraine.
  • The process to join the European Union can take many years.
  • This is because candidates implement reforms that have to be rigorously evaluated by European Union.
  • Ukraine and Moldova were the most recent countries to be given candidate status.
  • They were given the status in June, four months after Russia launched its war on Kyiv.
  • Kosovo has announced that it plans to apply for membership in European Union before the end of the year.
  • Dayton Agreement reached in 1995 by the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia. It ended the war between the former Yugoslav republics.
  • Bosnia:
    • Bosnia–Herzegovina is often known informally as Bosnia. It is located in Balkans.
    • It borders Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest.
    • Sarajevo is its capital.
    • Zeljka Cvijanovic is currently chairman of Presidency. Zoran Tegeltija is current chairman of Council of Ministers.

Topic: State News/Maharashtra

5. Maharashtra has set up “Intercaste/ Interfaith marriage-family coordination committee (state level)”.

  • The panel has been set up to gather detailed information about couples in Intercaste/ Interfaith marriages.
  • The panel will also gather information about the maternal families of the women involved.
  • The committee will also oversee district-level initiatives for women in such marriages who may be estranged from their maternal families so that assistance can be provided, if needed.
  • The committee will be headed by the state’s Women and Child Development Minister and BJP leader Mangal Prabhat Lodha.
  • The committee will have 12 other members. They will be drawn from government and non-government sectors.
  • The committee will review work on seven parameters, mainly to collect information on registered and unregistered intercaste and interfaith marriages.
  • It will collect information on such marriages that have taken place in religious places of worship and on those that have taken place after elopement of the couple.
  • The committee will contact newly married women involved and their maternal families and find if they are in touch with each other.
  • It will take the addresses of the women’s maternal families in cases where they are estranged and contact the parents in such cases.
  • It will take the help of counsellors for parents who are unwilling to resume contact.

Topic: International News

6. New Zealand has passed world’s first law to prohibit smoking for future generation.

  • It became first country in the world to ban smoking for future generations.
  • As per the new law, anyone who is born after 2008 will not be able to buy a packet of cigarettes or tobacco products.
  • Because of this law, each year fewer people will be able to purchase tobacco.
  • As per the government data released in November, only 8% adults are smoking on a daily basis in New Zealand.
  • Smokefree Environments Bill would reduce the number to fewer than 5%.
  • The bill aims to reduce the number of retailers able to sell smoked tobacco products from 6000 to 600 nationwide.
  • The focus of the bill is also on reducing the level of nicotine in products to make them less addictive.
  • Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said that the law might reduce the difference in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori citizens.
  • Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand.
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Topic: Defence

7. India-Kazakhstan joint military exercise "KAZIND - 2022" started at Umroi, Meghalaya.

  • The 6th edition of the India-Kazakhstan joint military training exercise, "KAZIND-22" is being conducted from December 15 to 28, 2022.
  • The joint annual training exercise with the Kazakhstan Army was started as “Exercise Prabal Dostyk” in 2016.
  • The exercise was later upgraded to a company-level exercise and renamed “Exercise KAZIND” in the year 2018.
  • Troops from the Kazakhstan Army, including troops from the Southern Regional Command, along with troops from the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army, participating in the exercise.
  • The objective of the exercise is to build positive military-to-military relationships, imbibe each other's best practices, and enhance the ability to work together while conducting counter-terrorism operations in semi-urban/jungle scenarios.
  • This joint exercise will enable both armies to train, plan, and execute a series of joint tactical exercises to neutralize potential threats to UN peacekeeping operations.
  • The exercise comprises a Command Post Exercise (CPX) at the Battalion level and a Company level Field Training Exercise (FTX) on sub-conventional operations.
  • During the training exercise, soldiers from both armies will engage in various missions ranging from joint planning, joint tactical exercises, special weapon skills, HADR, and assault on hostile targets.
  • The “Exercise KAZIND” will raise the level of defense cooperation between the Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army which will further boost bilateral relations between the two countries.

KAZIND - 2022

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: International News

8. 'Nevada wildflower' declared as endangered species by U.S. wildlife officials.

  • The only place where a rare Nevada wildflower is known to grow is on a high-desert ridge.
  • A lithium mine is planned at this place to help meet the growing demand for batteries for electric cars.
  • The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has formally listed Tiehm’s buckwheat and its accompanying area of 910 acres.
  • The FWS concluded that Tiham's buckwheat is on the verge of extinction with an estimated remaining population of about 16,000 plants.
  • The FWS said that rodent attack wiped out about 60% of its estimated population in 2020.
  • The Australian mining company, Ioneer, has developed a protection plan for the plants.
  • The mining company said that safety plan will allow the flowers and the project to co-exist.
  • On 15 December, FWS’s final listing rule will be published in the Federal Register.
  • The flowers are found on a total of just 10 acres (4 hectares) spread across about 3 square miles (7.8 square kilometers).
  • Federal agencies are prohibited from approving any activity on federal land that could destroy, modify, or adversely affect the critical habitat of any listed species.

Nevada wildflower

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National News

9. India will be the first country to auction spectrum for satellite communication.

  • The auctioning of spectrum for satellite communication will attract investments in the Telecom sector.
  • TRAI will come out with a model for the auction of the space spectrum.
  • TRAI is in discussion with the experts and regulators of the world for a suitable model. TRAI will also release a consultation paper after the discussion.
  • Telecom operators have proposed to allocate spectrum through an auction for satellite communication while satellite industry leaders are opposing it.
  • TRAI has received a reference from DoT for the spectrum required for auction and aspects related to satellite-based communication.
  • Satellite communication:
    • It refers to any communication link that involves the use of an artificial satellite in its propagation path.
    • There are more than 2000 artificial satellites are being used in Satellite communication.

Topic: Indian Economy

10. Wholesale inflation has declined to 21-month low in November.

  • After the reduction in the prices of food, fuel and manufactured items, Wholesale inflation has declined to 5.85%.
  • The decline in the rate of Inflation is primarily due to the fall in the prices of food articles, basic metals, textiles, chemicals and paper products.
  • The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation was declined to 8.39 per cent in October after remaining in double digits for 19 months.
  • In November, Inflation in the ‘Fuel and power’ basket was 17.35 per cent and in manufactured products, it was 3.59%.
  • The Reserve Bank of India uses retail inflation for formulating monetary policy.
  • Recently, retail inflation has dropped to 5.8 per cent for the month of November.
  • The inflation has declined to below RBI's upper tolerance level of 6 per cent for the first time in 11 months.

Topic: Space and IT

11. First commercial moon lander launched by Japan's ispace.

  • On December 11, a Japanese space startup launched a lander to the moon, first for the country and a private company.
  • The mission named Hakuto-R M1 has been launched by a Japanese startup ispace. Hakuto-R refers to white rabbit that Japanese folklore suggests lives on the moon.
  • The successful landing of Hukato-R on moon would be world’s first to be achieved by a privately funded mission.
  • The explorer aims to touch down on the Atlas Crater (lies in northeastern section of Moon’s near side) in April 2023.
  • The ispace craft aims to place a small NASA satellite into lunar orbit to search for water deposits before touching down in Atlas Crater.
  • The mission was launched from SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • The M1 lander will deploy two robotic rovers, a two-wheeled baseball-sized device from Japan's JAXA and the four-wheeled Rashid Rover of UAE.
  • ispace has a contract with NASA to send payloads to the Moon from 2025 and aims to have a permanently staffed lunar colony by 2040.
  • Earlier, only the national space agencies of US, Russia, and China were able to successfully soft land on the moon.
  • India had attempted this under the Chandrayaan-2 mission but Vikram Lander lost contact just few minutes before soft-landing on the lunar surface.

Topic: State News/ Haryana

12. Second Biodiversity Park will be built in Gurugram.

  • The second Biodiversity Park of the district will be created in four phases in the next 10 years around Damdama Lake.
  • The Biodiversity Park will be developed on approximately 420 acres in three villages of the Gurugram district: Damdama, Khedla, and Abheypur.
  • Damdama lake will also be renovated in about 80 acres. The entire work will take 10 years.
  • This will be the second such facility after the Aravalli Biodiversity Park located near Guru Dronacharya Metro Station.
  • The project was announced in 2020.
  • The Gurujal, Haryana CSR Trust, and EY Foundation will jointly develop the project.
  • EY Foundation will spend Rs 70 crores for the development of Biodiversity park and lake.
  • The Chief Minister said that there is also a proposal to create Jungle Safari in about 10,000 acres in the Aravalli hills in Gurugram and Nuh districts.

Topic: National Appointments

13. Dr. P C Rath elected as President of Cardiological Society of India.

  • Dr. PC Rath, Senior cardiologist from Hyderabad, has been elected as President of CSI for the year 2023-24.
  • CSI will celebrate its 75th anniversary in December 2023 at Kolkata.
  • Cardiological Society of India (CSI):
    • It is a national body of cardiologists of India and Indian cardiologists settled abroad.
    • It was founded in 1948.
    • It is an active member of the International Society & federation of Cardiology and Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology and also SAARC society of Cardiology
    • It is jointly working with European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and American College of Cardiology (ACC).
    • Dr B.C. Roy was the founder President of CSI.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

14. Forest Department of HP will create “Nagar Van” in Kullu.

  • Ministry of Environment has cleared proposal submitted by Himachal Pradesh Forest Department for the establishment of a “Nagar Van” in Kullu.
  • Later on, in 2023, this Nagar Van will be extended up to Mohal Nature Park along the Beas.
  • The total area of the nagar van will be 10 hectares.
  • A small portion of the total area had already been transformed into a “Sangam Swarnim Vatika” in March 2021.
  • Thematic forests such as ‘arogya van’, Miyawaki plantation zones, birding trails, oriental zone and butterfly breeding zone, etc, would be developed.
  • In 2020, the government announced implementation of the Nagar Van Scheme to develop 200 Urban forests in India in next 5 years.
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