Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 March 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 Mar 2023 16:32 PM IST

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Topic: Geography

1. 7.1 earthquake hit Kermadec Islands in New Zealand.

  • According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the origin of the earthquake was at a depth of 10 km (6.21 miles).
  • The US Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami warning after this earthquake.
  • Tsunami waves are possible for coasts within 300 kilometres of the epicentre.
  • Kermadec Island is situated in the northeast of Wellington.
  • New Zealand lies at the boundary of two of the world’s major tectonic plates- the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate.
  • New Zealand is very prone to earthquakes. It is part of the Pacific Basin Ring of Fire.
  • The New Zealand earthquake comes just a day after an earthquake of magnitude 4.7 came in China.
  • The point on the Earth’s surface above where the earthquake originated is called epicentre.
  • The Hypocentre of the earthquake is the point where energy is released.

Topic: Space and IT

2. NASA has released a new generation of spacesuit.

  • The spacesuit has features to help astronauts when they carry out scientific experiments on the lunar surface.
  • The spacesuit will be a better fit for female space travelers.
  • According to NASA, the suit should get ready for the Artemis III mission to the Moon in 2025.
  • NASA has earlier promised to send the first woman to the lunar surface.
  • Earlier plans to send woman astronauts to space had failed due to the lack of spacesuits of their size.
  • Artemis III mission:
    • It will be the first crewed moon landing mission of the Artemis program.
    • It will also be the first crewed flight of the Starship HLS lander.
    • It is scheduled for launch in December 2025.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. Denmark has launched a project to store carbon dioxide 1,800 metres beneath the North Sea.

  • It will become world’s first nation to bury carbon dioxide imported from abroad.
  • Project Greensand is being led by German oil major Wintershall Dea and British chemical firm Ineos.
  • The project will store eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2030.
  • The project has 23 Danish and international partners. Danish and international companies, research institutes, universities and start-ups are its members.
  • The project is presently in the pilot phase, called phase 2.
  • Carbon dioxide will be shipped from Antwerp in Belgium to the Nini platform in the North Sea.

Topic: Reports and Indices

4. Delhi has been ranked fourth on the list of the world’s 50 most polluted cities.

  • Delhi is ranked 4th in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2022 according to IQAir’s World Air Quality Report.
  • In 2022, the average PM2.5 level in Delhi was 92.6 μg/m3. Delhi stood fourth in 2021 as well.
  • According to the report, Lahore was the world’s most polluted city.
  • Lahore was followed by Hotan in China, and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan.
  • Bhiwadi had an average PM2.5 level of 92.7 μg/m3. The annual average PM2.5 level of New Delhi is 89.1 μg/m3.
  • New Delhi is the second most polluted capital city of the world on a list of 116 capital cities.
  • N’Djamena in Chad topped this list. It has a marginally higher PM2.5 level of 89.7 μg/m3.
  • 39 Indian cities have found a place on the list of the world’s 50 most polluted cities.
  • Cities like Noida, Gurgaon, Bulandshahr, Meerut, Charkhi Dadri, Jind, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and Greater Noida are included in these cities.
  • As per IQAir, Delhi’s annual average PM2.5 level was 84μg/m3 in 2020, and 98.6μg/m3 in 2019.
  • Delhi’s average PM2.5 level was highest in November 2022.
  • Among 131 countries, India is ranked eighth. Its population-weighted average PM2.5 level was 53.3μg/m3 in 2022.
  • On this list, India is behind Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Kuwait.  
  • IQAir is a Swiss air quality technology company. It makes annual world air quality reports on the basis of data from government monitoring stations.
  • The 2022 report is based on PM2.5 data from 7,323 cities and 131 countries.

Topic: International News

5. America recognized McMahon line as an international border between India and China.

  • The McMahon Line has been recognized by the United States as the international boundary between India's Arunachal Pradesh and China.
  • It has rejected Beijing's claim that Arunachal Pradesh falls within Chinese territory.
  • A bipartisan proposal to this effect was first introduced in the US Senate last month.
  • In this resolution on 14 March, Arunachal Pradesh was considered an integral part of India and India's sovereignty and territorial integrity were also supported.
  • Apart from recognizing the McMahon Line, the resolution also condemned China's provocative activities in the region.
  • The resolution states that China is using military force to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, building villages in disputed areas and publishing maps with Mandarin language names for cities in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • At the same time, China is also making its claims on Bhutan.
  • The resolution, titled ‘Reaffirmation of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian Territory and Condemnation of China's provocative activities in South Asia’, came after a major clash between Indian and Chinese forces in Arunachal's Tawang in December last year.

Topic: International Appointment

6. Eric Garcetti appointed as the US ambassador to India.

  • Eric Garcetti, a former mayor of Los Angeles and Democratic Party operative, has been appointed as the US ambassador to India.
  • US President Joe Biden's decision to appoint Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India was approved by the Senate.
  • The Senate voted 52-42 to confirm the nomination of Garcetti, 52.
  • This key diplomatic position had been vacant for more than two years.
  • Since July 2021, when Biden nominated him for the prestigious diplomatic post, the former Los Angeles mayor's nomination has been pending before the US Congress.
  • After the change of government in America, Kenneth Juster, the last occupant of the ambassadorial residence of the US in New Delhi, stepped down in January 2021.
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Topic: Personality in News

7. Actor Sameer Khakhar passed away recently.

  • He is known for his roles in TV shows like Nukkad and Circus.
  • He died due to multiple organ failure. His most memorable role was Khopdi in the TV serial Nukkad.
  • His other notable works include the TV show 'Shrimaan Shrimati'.
  • His notable works also include films 'Parinda', ‘Jai Ho’, 'Hasee Toh Phasee', ‘Serious Men', and the web series 'Sunflower'.

Sameer Khakhar

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence

8. Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023 has been introduced in Lok Sabha.

  • The government has introduced the bill to strengthen tri-services commanders' powers.
  • The bill has been introduced by Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt on 15 March 2023.
  • It empowers the Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of Inter-Services Organisation in respect of service personnel for the purpose of discipline and proper discharge of their duties.
  • According to the bill, the central government may constitute an Inter-services Organisation by notification.
  • This Inter-services Organisation may include a Joint Services Command, having units or service personnel who are subject to any of the Service Acts.
  • The bill empowers the Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of Inter-services Organisations in respect of service personnel who are subject to the Navy Act 1957, the Air Force Act 1950, and the Army Act, 1950.
  • As per the bill, Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command shall be the head of the Inter-services Organisation.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. One-third of people surveyed are suffering from freshwater shortage.

  • As per a study published, 58 per cent of people from 31 countries are facing freshwater shortages.
  • The report has been published before the UN 2023 Water Conference to be held in New York from March 22-24, 2023.
  • The conference aim is to raise awareness, define a roadmap and advance the water agenda.
  • 58 per cent of the population of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil raised serious concerns about access to water.
  • People in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea did not consider freshwater shortages a “very serious” issue.
  • Among 17 countries, freshwater shortages have increased from 49 per cent in 2014 to 61 per cent in 2022.
  • Fears from climate change have also increased from 45 per cent in 2014 to 65 per cent in 2022.
  • In the past few years, people in Argentina, South Korea, Vietnam, Colombia, Germany and Peru reported the largest increases in water shortages.
  • In Urban areas (32 per cent) people are most likely affected by a lack of freshwater while in rural areas (28 per cent) people face a shortage of freshwater.
  • The global survey was conducted among samples of 1,000 adults in 31 countries.

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

10. Uttarakhand government presented a Budget of Rs 77,407.08 crores for 2023-24.

  • Uttarakhand Finance Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal presented a budget of Rs 77,407 for the financial year 2023-24.
  • This year’s total budget expenditure is 18.05% more than the previous year.
  • The budget is focused on startups, conservation of nature, self-reliance, good governance and self-employment.
  • The state government has allocated Rs 1,000 crore for any rescue operations in Joshimath and other land subsistence-prone areas.
  • Rs 101 crore has been allocated for metro service in Dehradun.
  • About Rs 40 crores have been allocated for Chief Minister Swarojgar Yojana for 2023-24.
  • 10459.55 crore rupees are allocated for education and youth welfare.
  • The largest allocation has been made to education, followed by the Health Department which has received an allocation of 4,217.87 crore rupees.
  • The Budget has a revenue surplus of 4,309.55 crore rupees.
  • The budget emphasizes on investment in human capital, capital expenditure and technology-based development, and coordination between ecology and economy.
  • The state's per capita income (provisional) in 2021-22 is estimated to be Rs 205,840.
  • Rs ₹1,294.15 crores has been allocated for agriculture, out of which ₹20 crores has been allocated for the promotion of local produce and ₹15 crores for the state's millet mission.
  • A total allocation of ₹1,251 crore has been made for the electricity department.
  • ₹1,300 crores has been proposed for the development of infrastructure.

Topic: Committee/Commission/Taskforce

11. Government formed committee to fast-track China border projects.

  • On 14 March, The Central Government has constituted a committee to review the construction works.
  • This high-level committee will now monitor various infrastructure projects going on in the northern border areas with China.
  • Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review the construction of various infrastructure projects in the northern border areas.
  • The meeting was attended by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Railways, Communications and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav and others.
  • Taking a 'whole of nation' approach in matters of national security, the defense minister said that all pending projects should be completed on top priority at the earliest.
  • The Committee of Secretaries will meet at regular intervals to fast track the pending projects.

Topic: Sports

12. IBA Women's World Boxing Championships started at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi from 15 March.

  • The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is hosting the prestigious tournament from March 15 to 26.
  • The championship is being held in India for the third time after 2006 and 2018, the most for any country in the championship's history.
  • International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlev said that India has become the capital of women's boxing and now together we are witnessing a historic moment.
  • Normally, 250 to 260 boxers participate in such championships but this year it is a big championship.
  • In 2023, more than 350 boxers from 74 different countries will participate in 13th edition of the tournament.
  • The current world champion in the 50kg category, Nikhat Zareen, and 2020 Tokyo bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), are both on the Indian team of 12 boxers participating in the tournament.
  • The BFI has announced a prize pool of Rs 20 crore.
  • Gold medalists will receive prizes of Rs 10 crore, while silver and bronze medalists will receive prizes of Rs 5 crore.
  • IBA Women's World Boxing Championships:
    • The Championship is a boxing competition organized by the International Boxing Association (IBA), the sport's governing body.
    • The first women's championship was held in 2001.
    • The previous championship, which was the 12th edition of the championship, was held in Istanbul, Turkey from 8 to 20 May 2022.

IBA Women's World Boxing Championships

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

13. Uttarakhand becomes the first state to start an insurance scheme for sericulturists.

  • Uttarakhand government has started the 'Resham Keet Bima' scheme for protecting the sericulturists of the state.
  • In the first phase of the pilot project, 200 sericulturists from five blocks of four districts have been insured from the ill effects of climate change, scarcity of water and other hazards.
  • This scheme has been launched in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar, and Nainital districts of Uttarakhand.
  • This programme has been introduced in Dehradun in the presence of the director of the silk directorate, AK Yadav, and Ajeet Singh, the CMD of the Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited.
  • It is being managed by Saral Krishi Beema. It is an effort to encourage silk manufacturing in the state.
  • 12,000 families in the state and 6,000 stakeholders produce around 300 metric tonnes of silk fibroin every year.
  • Sericulture is the process of producing raw silk by breeding, rearing and domesticating caterpillars (larvae).

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

14. Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya addressed Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit 2023.

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit 2023 concluded on 15th March in New Delhi.
  • The 28th edition of the CII Partnership Summit has been organized by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • ‘One Health: Integrated, Collaborative and Multisectoral Approach to Optimal Health’ is the theme of the summit.
  • Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said that India can lead the “One Earth, One Health” vision with a holistic and integrative eco and nature-friendly policy-making environment.
  • He said that “the One Earth, One Health vision can become a reality only with active global collaboration.
  • He said that the CoWIN app developed by India for vaccination has been accepted by many countries.

Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

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