Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 and 17 April 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 17:12 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Economy

1. US became India’s largest trading partner in FY23.

  • Bilateral trade between both countries has increased by 7.65% to $128.55 billion in 2022-23 as against $119.5 billion in 2021-22 as per provisional data of the commerce ministry.
  • Bilateral trade between India and US was $80.51 billion in 2020-21.
  • Exports to the US increased by 2.81% to $78.31 billion in 2022-23. Exports to the US were $76.18 billion in 2021-22.
  • Imports to the US grew by about 16% to $50.24 billion. In 2022-23, India had a trade surplus of $28 billion with the US. 
  • During 2022-23, India’s bilateral trade with China declined by about 1.5% to $113.83 billion as against $115.42 billion in 2021-22.
  • Exports to China declined by approximately 28% to $15.32 billion in 2022-23. Imports increased by 4.16% to $98.51 billion in the last fiscal.
  • China was India’s top trading partner from 2013-14 till 2017-18. It was also India’s top trading partner in 2020-21.
  • During 2022-23, the UAE was India‘s third largest trading partner with $76.16 billion.
  • UAE was followed by Saudi Arabia ($52.72 billion) and Singapore (USD 35.55 billion).
  • India is the world’s 3rd largest consumer market.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

2. India hosted first meeting of the India-Central Asia Joint Working Group on Chabahar in Mumbai.

  • Ministry of External Affairs released a joint statement after the meeting.
  • At the meeting, a presentation was made on the ongoing cooperation between India and the UN World Food Programme (UNWFP) in Afghanistan for the delivery of wheat assistance.
  • India and Iran are developing Chabahar port to improve connectivity and trade ties. It is located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the Iran’s southern coast.
  • Dammu Ravi, the Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, chaired the 1st meeting of the India-Central Asia Joint Working Group on Chabahar port.
  • Deputy Ministers and senior officials from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended the meeting.
  • The country representative of the UNWFP, the deputy foreign minister of Iran and the consul general of Afghanistan were special invitees to the meeting.
  • India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) is currently operating the Shahid Behesti terminal at the Chabahar port.

Topic: India and its neighbours

3. High Commission of India’s 16th Visa application centre has been opened in Kushtia town of Southwestern Bangladesh.

  • High Commissioner Pranya Verma inaugurated the new Indian Visa Application Centre.
  • The Centre will provide more ease and convenience to the residents of Kushtia seeking visa services for visiting India.
  • It will serve as a new platform for promoting tourism, trade and people-to-people exchanges between India and Bangladesh.
  • The Indian High Commission operates its largest visa operation centre in the world in Bangladesh.
  • The highest number of foreign tourists to India come from Bangladesh.
  • In the year 2019-20, over 16 lakh visas were issued in Dhaka.

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

4. CM of Uttarakhand launched ‘A-HELP’ programme in the state.

  • The ‘A-HELP’ (Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production) programme has been launched by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Mr. Pushkar Singh Dhami.
  • Under this programme, women will be selected to strengthen livestock-related activities in remote rural areas.
  • Trained A-HELPs workers will help in preventing the spread of various infectious diseases in animals, artificial insemination under Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM), and tagging of animals.
  • A-HELP workers will also help in the implementation of the Livestock Insurance Scheme.
  • A-HELP will serve as the link between the livestock farmers and veterinary services and will be the "first point of contact" for the farmers in times of need.
  • The main responsibility of an A-HELP worker is to take care of the needs of the livestock population in a village.
  • A-HELP:
    • This initiative was launched by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) through an MoU with the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
    • It has been formulated to bridge the gap between local veterinary institutions and livestock owners and provide primary services.
    • It was earlier launched on a pilot basis in Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Important Days

5. World Hemophilia Day: 17 April

  • World Hemophilia Day is observed every year on 17 April.
  • It is observed to celebrate the birth anniversary of Frank Schnabel, who founded the World Federation of Hemophilia.
  • On this occasion, awareness about hemophilia and other bleeding disorders is spread across the world.
  • World Hemophilia Day was first celebrated in 1989 to advocate diagnosis and accessible care for individuals.
  • "Access for All: Partnership. Policy. Progress. Engaging Government, Integrating Inherited Bleeding Disorders into National Policy" is the theme of World Hemophilia Day 2023.
  • Hemophilia:
    • It is a genetic bleeding disorder that impairs the body's ability to make blood clots which is needed to stop bleeding.
    • Hemophilia A and B are the most common severe hereditary hemorrhagic disorders.
    • Hemophilia is caused by a mutation or change, in one of the genes located on the X chromosome, that provides instructions for making the clotting factor proteins needed to form a blood clot.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

6. G7 Ministers’ meeting on Climate, Energy, and Environment held in Japan.

  • The 2023 Group of 7 (G7) Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment was held on 15-16 April in Sapporo, Japan.
  • The meeting considered priority issues in the areas of climate, energy, and the environment.
  • Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav attend the plenary session of the G7 minister's meeting.
  • The Climate and Environment Ministers of the G7 have agreed on a joint statement to tackle global nature loss.
  • The G7 members committed to the effective implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
  • G7 ministers also agreed to dedicate a significant amount of international climate finance to nature-based solutions.
  • G7 members commit to quitting fossil fuels faster but failed to agree on any new deadlines. Last year G7 pledged to largely end fossil fuel use in their electricity sectors by 2035.
  • G7 members agreed to reduce gas consumption and increase electricity generation from renewable sources.
  • The global goal of reaching net zero by 2050 required enhanced emission descaling by developed countries.
  • As per the "Global Carbon Budget Report - 2022", China, the US and European Union are responsible for more than half of the world's CO2 emissions.
  • The G-7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Topic: Defence

7. DRDO Industry Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA-CoE) has been inaugurated at the IIT Hyderabad (IITH) on 16 April 2023.

  • This is the biggest such facility in India. The facility was inaugurated by DRDO Chairman Dr Samir V Kamat at the campus of the IIT-Hyderabad at Sangareddy in Telangana.
  • He said the DIA CoE IITH is the largest centre among all 15 CoEs in India.
  • The research cell has been transformed into a Centre of Excellence (CoE).
  • The CoE will have seven verticals of technology projects that will be carried out at DIA-CoE at IITH.
  • Aeronautics Research and Development Board approved the First Centre of Excellence in the field of Computational Dynamics at IISc, Bengaluru.

Topic: Personality in News

8. Nandini Gupta of Rajasthan has been crowned as the Femina Miss India World 2023.

  • She has been crowned in the 59th edition of Femina Miss India 2023 Grand Finale held at Imphal, Manipur.
  • Shreya Poonja from Delhi was announced as the first runner-up.
  • Thounaojam Strela Luwang from Manipur became the second runner-up.
  • Nandini Gupta, Shreya Poonja and Thounaojam Strela Luwang were chosen as the top three among the 30 state winners.
  • The winner Nandini Gupta will represent India in Miss World 2024 contest.
  • The event was held at the Indoor Stadium of Khuman Lampak Sports Stadium.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

9. India inked MoU with World Food Programme for sending wheat to Afghanistan.

  • India has signed an MoU with World Food Programme for sending 10,000 metric tonnes of wheat to the people of Afghanistan.
  • The officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the United Nations WFP signed MoU in Mumbai.
  • WFP assured speedy delivery of wheat to the most vulnerable sections of the Afghan population.
  • Recently, the India Central Asia Joint Working Group on Afghanistan announced to send 20,000 MT of wheat through the Iranian port of Chahbahar.
  • According to WFP, nine out of 10 Afghan families could not afford enough food and 20 million people are facing the threat of starvation.
  • India has yet not recognised the Taliban government of Afghanistan.
  • World Food Programme (WFP):
    • It was founded in December 1961 and is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
    • It is the world’s largest humanitarian intergovernmental organization that focuses on hunger and food security.
    • Cindy McCain is the head of WFP.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. First edition of biannual Army Commanders conclave 2023 begins in hybrid format.

  • The biannual Army Commanders Conclave 2023 will be organized in a hybrid format from 17 to 21 April 2023.
  • It is for the first time that commanders' conference is being conducted in a hybrid format.
  • Army Commanders and other senior functionaries will meet virtually on the first day of the conference.
  • The physical meetings on matters that require detailed deliberations will be held in Delhi.
  • The regional security situation and geopolitical implications of the Russia-Ukraine war will be also discussed during the conference.
  • The meeting will also review the activities carried out as part of the ‘Year of Transformation-2023’. It will also review the Agnipath Scheme and digitisation and automation initiatives.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff, and the Chief of the Air Staff will also address the Army Commanders conference.
  • The Army Commanders' Conference is an apex-level biannual event, which is organized in April and October every year.

Topic: Space and IT

11. Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, JUICE, launched on 14 April 2023 by European Space Agency.

  • JUICE Probe of European Space Agency has been launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from spaceport of Europe in Kourou, French Guiana in the second attempt.
  • Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is a mission to explore icy, ocean bearing moons of Jupiter.
  • It plans to take a long and winding path to the Jupiter which is 628 million kms from Earth.
  • The probe will finally enter into Jupiter’s orbit in July 2031 and its instruments will analyse the planet as well as its three icy moons- Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
  • Jupiter moons were first discovered by Galileo Galilei.
  • JUICE will mainly focus on the largest moon of the Solar system- Ganymede. Ganymede has its own magnetic field that protects it from radiation.
  • NASA is planning to launch Europa Clipper Mission in October 2024 that will focus on Jupiter’s Europa.
  • Jupiter has many moons. Four of these are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto which are like Earth’s Moon, but relatively large.
  • NASA’s Galileo mission orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 and led to geological discoveries on all four large moons.
  • NASA’s Juno mission is still orbiting Jupiter. It has given information regarding the composition, structure and space environment of Jupiter.
  • Jupiter:
    • It is the largest planet in our solar system.
    • It is more than twice as massive as all the other planets combined.
    • It rotates once about every 10 hours but takes about 12 Earth years to complete one revolution.
    • Its atmosphere is made up mostly of Hydrogen and Helium.
    • It has more than 75 moons.
    • It has big storms like the Great Red Spot, ongoing for hundreds of years.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) have collaborated to promote innovation in the agricultural sector.

  • AIM, NITI Aayog and MoA&FW have come together to encourage innovation in the agricultural sector among school students across India.
  • Under the initiative, they have agreed to link Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) and Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMAs).
  • KVKs, in partnership with ATMA, will work with nearby ATLs to encourage agricultural-related innovation.
  • During the first phase, one KVK under each of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) will be involved.
  • After assessing the positive outcomes after two years, the pilot project will be extended.
  • Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Scheme was launched during 2005-06.
  • It aims at making extension system farmer driven and farmer accountable by way of new institutional arrangements for technology dissemination in the form of an Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) at district level.
  • Atal Tinkering Labs is a major initiative under Atal Innovation Mission to promote a creative, innovative mindset in schools.

Topic: Important Days

13. World Art Day 2023: 15 April

  • Every year on April 15, World Art Day is celebrated.
  • In 2019, 15th April was proclaimed as World Art Day at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference.
  • In 2012, the first World Art Day was celebrated.
  • It is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Italian painter, sculptor, architect Leonardo da Vinci.
  • UNESCO celebrates this day together with the International Association of Art to promote creative activity around the world.
  • There are seven official categories of the arts which includes Architecture, painting, sculpture, music, literature, cinema and dance.

Topic: Geography

14. Mapping of the seismic zones of the Himalayas will be done by NISAR satellite.

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has jointly developed the NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite.
  • The forthcoming satellite will map the most earthquake-prone regions in the Himalayas with unprecedented regularity.
  • The data it will generate could potentially provide advance warning of landslides, as seen recently in Joshimath, Uttarakhand, as well as pinpoint locations most at risk from earthquakes.
  • The cost of the NISAR satellite is expected to be around $900 million (with ISRO contributing about one-tenth).
  • It will use two frequency bands: L-band and S-band to photograph the seismically active Himalayan region, creating a "deformation map" every 12 days.
  • These two frequency bands will simultaneously provide high-resolution, all-weather data from the satellite, which is expected to follow a Sun-synchronous orbit.
  • NISAR was envisioned by NASA and ISRO in 2014 for the powerful demonstration of the capability of radar as a science tool.
  • It will be launched in January 2024 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
  • NISAR:
    • NISAR will be the first radar of its kind in space to systematically map Earth.
    • NISAR will provide data and information to manage natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
    • It will also provide data for infrastructure monitoring and management such as monitoring of oil spills and urbanization.
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