Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 18:25 PM IST

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Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

1. Supreme Court gives 3 month time to center to set up the Pennaiyar river water dispute tribunal.

  • Supreme Court has given an order to the Central government to constitute a Pennaiyar River Water Tribunal within three months to resolve the dispute over the sharing of water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • A bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar has given this order.
  • Tamil Nadu had filed a case against Karnataka for constructing a reservoir on Markandeyanadhi river.
  • Tamil Nadu argued that an 1892 agreement over the river water is “valid and binding” on the party States.
  • Tamil Nadu argued that the agreement also covers the tributaries and streams of the river.
  • Markandeyanadhi is a tributary of Pennaiyar. It has a catchment area both in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • On January 20, 2020, the Centre constituted the negotiations committee to resolve the water dispute.
  • The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal formed in 1969 was the first inter-state water disputes tribunal in India.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

2. India will commission 20 new nuclear power plant units by 2031.

  • The 20 new nuclear power plant units will add 15,000 MW power generating capacity.
  • A 700 MW unit of the nuclear power plant is expected to be commissioned in 2023 at Kakrapar in Gujarat.
  • The 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor at Kalpakkam will get operational in 2024.
  • Two 1,000 MW units at Kudankulam will get operational by 2025.
  • Two 700 MW units at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan will get completed by 2026.
  • Another two units of 1000 MW will get completed at Kundankulam by 2027.
  • Two 700 MW units are expected to be completed at Gorakhpur in Haryana by 2029.
  • In addition, the government has given approval for building 10 atomic power units.
  • Between 2017-18 and 202-22, the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project (units 1&2) contributed 48,382 Million Units of electricity.

Topic: Defence

3. India successfully conducted night trial of Agni-5 missile.

  • On December 15, India successfully conducted a night test of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-5.
  • This missile is capable of hitting targets up to five thousand kilometers with a very high degree of accuracy.
  • This latest night trial was conducted by A.P.J. Done from Abdul Kalam Island.
  • The test was conducted to validate new technologies and equipment on the missile which is now lighter than before.
  • In 2021, China cited a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1172 to raise concerns about the launch of the Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile by India.
  • Agni-5:
    • It is an advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missile developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
    • It is a fire-and-forget missile, which cannot be stopped without an interceptor missile.
  • Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP):
    • It is the brainchild of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who aimed to make the country self-reliant in the field of missile technology.
    • The five missiles in the program were P-A-T-N-A, Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Nag, and Akash.

Agni-5 missile

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Government schemes and Initiatives

4. Namami Gange recognized by the UN as one of the world's top 10 restoration initiatives.

  • The United Nations (UN) has recognized India's Namami Gange initiative to rejuvenate the holy river Ganges as one of the world's top 10 restoration flagship initiatives to revive the natural world.
  • Shri G. Ashok Kumar, the Director General of Namami Gange, received the award on the occasion of World Conservation Day on December 14, 2022.
  • He received the award at a function organized at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal (Canada).
  • Namami Gange has been selected from over 150 such initiatives from 70 countries across the world.
  • These initiatives were selected under the United Nations Ecosystem Restoration Decade banner, a global movement coordinated by the UNEP and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • It is designed to conserve and restore natural places around the world.
  • All recognized initiatives, including Namami Gange, will now be eligible to receive UN assistance, funding or technical expertise.
  • The Ganges is important to India, as it is home to 40 percent of India's population, and 2500 species of flora and fauna.
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga has also previously won the "Public Water Agency of the Year" award by Global Water Intelligence 3 at the Global Water Awards, 2019.
  • The documentary ‘Ganga: River from the Skies’ was co-produced with National Geographic India.
  • It received awards under 3 categories- Best Documentary, Best Current Affairs, and Best Natural History or Wildlife Programme in the Asian Academy Creative Awards, 2022.
  • Namami Gange:
    • The project was launched in June 2014 to make Ganga clean and continuous.
    • Its main objective is the effective abatement of pollution and the rejuvenation of the Ganga.
    • It is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and its state-equivalent organizations.
    • Under this program, 1,632-gram panchayats on the banks of the Ganga will be made open defecation-free by 2022.

Namami Gange

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National News

5. IEX became India's first carbon-neutral power exchange.

  • On 14 December, Indian Energy Exchange Limited (IEX) stated it had become the country's first carbon-neutral power exchange using market-based tradable instruments to offset its carbon emissions.
  • To reduce its carbon footprint, IEX voluntarily canceled Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from clean projects registered under the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • CER is a certificate issued by the United Nations to member countries for preventing one ton of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The global GHG emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, according to the recent UNEP 2022 report.
  • Total global GHG emissions were projected to be around 53 GTCO2eq in 2021.
  • The recently concluded COP27 reiterated the need to reduce GHG emissions.
  • In November 2021, at the COP26 Glasgow summit, PM Modi announced that India has set a national target of net zero emissions by 2070.
  • Becoming net zero or carbon neutral simply means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere.

Topic: State News/ Assam

6. 'Orunodoi 2.0' scheme launched by the Assam government to benefit over 10 lakh people.

  • On 14 December, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the second edition of the state government's flagship scheme 'Orunodoi'.
  • The total financial outlay of Rs 4,142 crore per annum for Orunodoi makes it one of the largest DBT schemes in the country.
  • Its objective is to provide financial security to financially weak families.
  • 'Orunodoi' is the largest social-sector scheme in the state's history with the potential to fundamentally transform the lives of millions of its residents.
  • Under the first phase of this social sector scheme, so far around 17 lakh, women are receiving an amount of Rs 1,250 through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) method on the 10th of every month.
  • With the addition of 10.5 lakh new beneficiaries since December 14, this will bring the total number of beneficiaries to over 27 lakhs.
  • A minimum cash flow guarantee of Rs 1,250 to the state's underprivileged families will go a long way in helping the government's goal of poverty alleviation.
  • All the existing beneficiaries of the Deen Dayal Divyangan Pension Yojana and Indira Miri Widow Pension Scheme will be subsumed under Orunodoi 2.0 from April 2023.
  • Under the 'Orunodoi' scheme, divyangs and transgenders will also be included.
  • Orunodoi was launched on December 1, 2020.
 
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September Monthly Current Affairs August Monthly Current Affairs

Topic: Defence

7. 16th edition of Indo-Nepal joint army training exercise started on 16 December 2022.

  • The exercise “SURYA KIRAN” will continue up to 29 December 2022.
  • It will be conducted at Nepal Army Battle School, Saljhandi.
  • Nepal Army soldiers of Shree Bhawani Baksh Battalion are participating in the exercise.
  • Indian Army soldiers from the 5 GR are taking part in the exercise.
  • It is conducted annually between India and Nepal with the aim to enhance inter-operability in jungle warfare and counter-terrorism operations in mountainous terrain.
  • It also aims to enhance inter-operability in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief under UN mandate.
  • The 15th edition of Indo-Nepal Joint Military Training Exercise Surya Kiran was conducted from 20 September 2021 at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand.

Topic: International News

8. A group of nine nations has approved 15.5 billion US dollar deal with Vietnam to help it cut climate-damaging pollution.

  • The Group of Seven major economies, along with Norway and Denmark, said that the aim is to help Vietnam reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050.
  • The group of nine nations has approved the deal to provide Vietnam with 15.5 billion US dollars to help it move faster from coal power to renewable energy.
  • Developing and rich nations are discussing a number of agreements.
  • Just Energy Transition Partnership with Vietnam is one of them.
  • The first such deal was signed with South Africa in 2021.
  • A similar agreement was reached with Indonesia in November 2022.
  • Group of Seven (G7):
    • G7 is an international intergovernmental economic organization of the world’s seven advanced economies.
    • Members- Canada, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom
    • Its headquarters is located in Taormina, Italy.

Topic: India and its neighbours

9. Indian and Chinese troops clashed along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • On December 9, Indian and Chinese troops clash in the Yangtse area of the Tawang sector resulted in minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides.
  • Both sides immediately disengaged from the area. Indian commander of the area held a flag meeting with his Chinese counterpart.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that Chinese soldiers tried to “transgress” the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and “unilaterally change the status quo” in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector.
  • Since August 2020, it is the first major clash between the Indian and Chinese armies. Indian and Chinese troops clashed near Yangtse in October last year.
  • India and China clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020 was the most serious military clash between both sides in decades.
  • The border between India and China is 3488 km long and has 25 points of dispute.
  • During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, Tawang came under Chinese control, but China withdrew its troops at the end of the war.
  • Tawang is one of the districts of Arunachal Pradesh. It was formed in 1989.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. Second edition of India Internet Governance Forum 2022 was held from 9-11 December.

  • The Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship addressed the concluding ceremony of IIGF 2022.
  • He said that India is the largest connected nation with more than 800 million broadband users.
  • The theme for IIGF2022 is ‘Leveraging Techade for Empowering Bharat’.
  • The government, business, civil society, and academia participated in the event.
  • It was focused on India's digitization roadmap, opportunities and possibilities, and challenges.
  • India emphasized its role and importance in the development of the International Internet Governance Policy.
  • India is aiming to provide internet connectivity to the remotest areas through major initiatives of connectivity.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

11. As per a report, three-fourths of India’s land conflicts happen over community-owned spaces.

  • The report titled ‘Land Locked: Investments and Lives in Land Conflicts’ has been released by Land Conflict Watch (LCW).
  • After analysing more than 607 land conflicts, Land Conflict Watch arrived on the conclusion that 75.94% of all the existing and resolved land-related conflicts are over community-owned spaces.
  • As per the report, a fourth of the total land-related conflicts occurs in Fifth Schedule districts.
  • Fifth Schedule districts are home of 23.71% of the conflict-affected population.
  • Non-implementation of Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) and violation of free prior informed consent are the main reasons for the land conflicts.
  • Common land such as forests, pastures, ponds and wastelands are those natural resources, which are commonly used by a community.
  • As per the report, around 41% of the conflicts occur exclusively over common land while 35% are spread over common and private lands.
  • Around 37.31% of conflicts occur on non-forested common land areas, while 23.42% conflicts occurred on forest common land.
  • 36.66% of the conflicts involve forested and non-forested common lands.
  • Forced evictions and dispossession of land are the most common issues in conflicts over non-forest common land.
  • Among all conflicts, the most common complaint is procedural violations. In 41% of cases, communities allege that authorities have not followed proper procedures.
  • In 34% of the cases, communities are fighting to retain or protect their rights over the commons lands and resources.
  • As per the report, the most preventable conflicts are related to infrastructure, conservation and forestry.
  • Land Conflict Watch is a network of researchers studying land conflicts, climate change and natural resource governance in India.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

12. Cold and frozen conditions in the Arctic are rapidly changing as it warms.

  • More rainfall is now being seen in the Arctic. River and lake ice is being thinner. Ship traffic is increasing in the Arctic.
  • The Greenland ice sheet is raising the global sea level.
  • Precipitation in the Arctic is increasing across all seasons. These seasons are shifting.
  • Rain is the main form of this new precipitation. It falls sometimes during winter and frozen times of the year.
  • The precipitation affects daily life for humans, wildlife, and plants.
  • The risk of river flooding events increases. Reindeer cannot access vegetation beneath the snow because of the impenetrable ice layer created due to winter rain.
  • As a result, indigenous reindeer herding communities are affected.
  • The reason for the increase in Arctic precipitation is the transfer of moisture into the atmosphere from water coming from the rapid decline of sea ice.
  • The speed of warming of the Arctic atmosphere is twice faster as the rest of the globe.
  • The wetter and rainier Arctic has increased the thaw of permafrost. Most Arctic communities are built upon permafrost. 
  • 2022 was the Arctic’s 6th-warmest year on record. The Arctic snow season is shrinking.
  • Greenland ice sheet lost its ice for the 25th consecutive year in 2022.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

13. “National Energy Conservation Awards” were presented by President of India.

  • National Energy Conservation Awards, National Energy Efficiency Innovation Awards and National Painting Competition Awards were presented by President Draupadi Murmu.
  • On December 14, the awards were presented on the occasion of National Energy Conservation Day in New Delhi.
  • Indian Railways received nine National Energy Conservation Awards for the year 2022 on this occasion.
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency organized a function under the aegis of the Power Ministry at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, where the awards were presented.
  • These awards were announced for the best energy management during the year 2022.
  • In railway station category, South Central Railway got first and second prize for energy conservation measures.
  • Railways is continuously implementing various energy conservation initiatives like energy efficient LED lighting and other measures.
  • The award details are given below:

Transport Category / Railway Stations Sector

Buildings Category / Government Buildings Sector

Kacheguda Railway Station won the First Prize.

Ajmer Workshop of North Western Railway won the First Prize.

Guntakal Railway station won the Second Prize.

Railway Hospital / Guntakal (SCR) won the certificate of Merit.

Kanpur Central Railway Station won the certificate of Merit.

Electric Traction Training Centre (ETTC), Vijayawada (SCR) won the certificate of Merit.

Tenali Railway Station won the certificate of Merit.

Divisional Railway Hospital, Pratapnagar (WR) won the certificate of Merit.

Rajahmudry Railway Station (SCR) won the certificate of Merit.

 

Topic: Important Days

14. Vijay Diwas 2022: December 16

  • Every year on 16 December, Vijay Diwas is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the Indian Army over Pakistan during the 1971 war.
  • This year, the 51st anniversary of the 1971 war and Indo-Bangladesh friendship is being celebrated.
  • On 16 December 1971, the independence of East Pakistan, and Bangladesh was created as a new nation.
  • The war began when Pakistan carried out airstrikes on 11 Indian airbases on 3 December 1971.
  • India won the war against Pakistan after fighting for 13 days.
  • Pakistani Army Chief General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrendered along with his soldiers while kneeling before the Indian forces.
  • During the historic war of 1971 between Pakistan and India, Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India.
  • Vijay Diwas is also celebrated in Bangladesh as 'Bijoy Dibos' or Bangladesh Liberation Day.
  • Southern Command is organising “Southern Star Vijay Run 22” on Vijay Diwas at Pune and 15 other cities. It is based on the theme “Run for Soldier- Run with Soldier”.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
Major sources of Indian Constitution President of India
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