Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 May 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 May 2023 17:58 PM IST

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Topic: State News/Odisha

1. First-ever direct international flight service from Bhubaneswar to Dubai has been started.

  • IndiGo’s direct flight service shows the growing importance of Bhubaneswar as a major destination.
  • The inaugural flight, carrying a delegation of representatives from the Government of Odisha, civil society, and members of the business & sports community and self-help groups reached at Dubai International Airport.
  • The travel to Dubai by the delegation coincides with the upcoming Odisha Dibasa program.
  • The Odisha Dibasa program is scheduled to be held on May 16 and 17.
  • The launch of first international flight from Bhubaneswar to Dubai reduces the flying time from 12 to 4 hours.

Topic: Indian Economy

2. WPI inflation declined to minus 0.92% in April 2023.

  • It stood at 1.34% in March 2023 and 15.38% in April 2022.
  • The WPI inflation has declined into negative for the first time since July 2020.
  • The decline in prices of basic metals, food products, mineral oils, textiles, non-food articles, chemical and chemical products, rubber and plastic products, and paper products has mainly contributed to the decline in inflation in April 2023.
  • The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation has been declining continuously for the last 11 months.
  • The month-over-month change in WPI for April 2023 over March 2023 remained unchanged at 0.0%.
  • The food price inflation in April 2023 declined from 2.32% in March to 0.17%.
  • In the manufactured products, the inflation rate declined from (minus) 0.77% in March 2023 to (minus) 2.42% in April 2023.
  • The inflation rate declined from 2.40% in March 2023 to 1.60% in April 2023 for the primary articles segment.
  • Fuel and power segment inflation declined from 8.96% in March 2023 to 0.93% in April 2023.
  • Earlier, Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation declined to 18-month low level of 4.7% in April.

Topic: Indian Economy

3. Centre reduces windfall levy on domestically produced crude to nil. 

  • Windfall gain levy will not be applied to domestically produced crude oil with effect from 16 May 2023.
  • Before this change, rate of windfall gain levy was Rs4,100 per tonne.
  • Government may again impose the duty with increase in demand and consequent rise in prices.
  • The reduction in windfall gain levy will benefit companies like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
  • Windfall gain levy is technically known as Special Additional Excise Duty (SAED).
  • SAED is not applied to entities whose annual crude oil production is less than 2 million barrels in the previous financial year.
  • India first imposed windfall profit tax last July. The tax rates are reviewed every fortnight on the basis of the average oil prices in the previous two weeks.
  • The total collection of SAED for FY23 is estimated at ₹25,000 crore.

Topic: National News

4. Integrated Biological Control Laboratory launched by Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister in Hyderabad.

  • On May 15, 2023, the Integrated Biological Control Laboratory (BC Lab) has been launched at the National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), Hyderabad in Telangana.
  • The new Integrated BC Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory set up at NIPHM, with facilities to provide hands-on experience on production methods for biopesticides. biocontrol agents, Bio fertilizers, NPV, Pheromone and Botanicals.
  • Use of bio-control agents, bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers will help in reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
  • As a result, the adverse impact on the environment and human health can be minimised, and this will help in carrying out activities to improve soil and plant health.
  • The Laboratory will also have an Insect Museum, Weed Museum, Exhibition Hall, Natural Farming Cell, etc., where specimens of agriculturally important insects and weeds will be displayed in the best preserved or live forms.
  • NIPHM promotes sustainable agricultural practices like Agro Ecosystem Analysis (AESA) and Ecological Engineering (EE) for pest management with increased use of various biological agents, bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers.
  • NIPHM is conducting regular training programs on various aspects of pest and disease management in various crops.

Integrated Biological Control Laboratory

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence

5. Visit of Indian Navy ships to Sihanoukville, Cambodia concluded on 14 May.

  • As a part of the Indian Navy's deployment to ASEAN countries, Indian Naval Ships Delhi and Satpura were on a visit to Sihanoukville, Cambodia from 11 to 14 May 2023.
  • The Indian Navy ships were on a visit under the command of Rear Admiral Gurcharan Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
  • The three-day port call showcased India's cordial relations and rapidly growing cooperation with the Kingdom of Cambodia.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and firefighting training sessions were also conducted.
  • India-Cambodia Relations:
    • Indian diplomatic ties with Cambodia were established in 1952.
    • The ties disrupted after the Khmer Rouge regime infamously called genocidal regime took control in 1975.
    • Bilateral defence cooperation between two countries has been continuing with the conduct of annual training capsule for Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Peacekeeping and Demining modules.
    • It also includes defence training programmes under ITEC and ship visits by Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. 
    • In November 2016, Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Samrat’ had visited Sihanoukville on a goodwill visit and Indian side gifted 15 mine sniffer dogs to Cambodian side. 
    • In September 2016, both sides signed an MoU to jointly promote human resource development through the exchange of experiences, knowledge, expertise, and study visits.

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

6. Gram Vikas Yojana Distribution program organised in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh.

  • Under Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Shri Manoj Kumar, Gram Vikas Yojana Distribution program has been organized in Nanpur village of Garh Mukteshwar tehsil, Hapur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It was conducted by the KVIC's Divisional office Meerut.
  • In this event, 300 bee boxes and bee colonies were provided to 30 beekeepers under the Honey Mission.
  • Under the Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, 100 potters were provided with electric pottery wheel and 75 leather artisans were given footwear repairing toolkits.
  • The Divisional Office of KVIC at Meerut covers 25 districts of 6 divisions of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Khadi institutions produced Khadi worth around Rs 29,996 lakhs in the year 2022-23, and achieved sales of approximately Rs 47,385 lakhs.
  • In addition, under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Program (PMEGP), 10,960 units have been set up during the last three years, providing employment to about 87,680 people.

Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Sikkim

7. Sikkim celebrated its 48th statehood day on 16 May 2023.

  • Namgyal dynasty founded the kingdom of Sikkim in 17th century.
  • It became a princely state of British Indian in 1890.
  • Sikkim became 22nd state of India on 16 May 1975.
  • As part of celebrations, a book titled Skill Gap Assessment Study of Sikkim was released by the state skill development department.
  • Sikkim:
    • Sikkim shares its border with Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet Autonomous region of China and West Bengal.
    • It is close to Siliguri corridor which borders Bangladesh.
    • Sikkim is nicknamed as “Valley of Rice”.
    • Capital of Sikkim: Gangtok
    • Districts in Sikkim: 6
    • Governor of Sikkim: Lakshman Prasad Acharya
    • Chief Minister of Sikkim: Prem Singh Tamang
    • Rajya Sabha seat: 1, Lok Sabha Seat: 1
    • Sikkim Legislative Assembly seats: 32
    • UNSECO World Heritage Site Khangchendzonga National Park is located in Sikkim.

Sikkim celebrated its 48th statehood day

(Source: News on AIR)


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Topic: Art and Culture

8. The 76th Cannes Film Festival started on 16 May 2023 in France.

  • The festival officially started with the world premiere of the Johnny Depp starring film Jeanne Du Barry.
  • Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Dr L Murugan is leading the Indian delegation at the 12-day event.
  • Filmmaker Guneet Monga of The Elephant Whisperers fame, Indian actresses Manushi Chillar, Esha Gupta and Manipuri actor Kangabam Tomba are accompanying him.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur addressed the inaugural session through a video message.
  • The National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad has conceptualized and designed the Indian Pavilion with the theme - ‘Showcasing India’s Creative Economy’ to the global community.
  • Cannes Film Festival:
    • It is an annual film festival. It is held in Cannes, France. It is one of the "Big Three" major European film festivals.
    • It reviews new films of all genres, including documentaries from all over the world.

Topic: State News/Assam

9. 67th Foundation Day of Regional News Unit (RNU) of Akashvani Guwahati was celebrated on 15 May 2023 in association with Oil India Limited.

  • Dr. Vasudha Gupta, Director General, Akashvani News attended the 67th Foundation Day celebration of the Regional News Unit of Akashvani Guwahati.
  • On the occasion of the 67th foundation day of RNU, Dr. Vasudha Gupta released the souvenir "Akashibarta".
  • The Regional News Unit of Akashvani Guwahati started broadcasting news on the 15th of May 1957.
  • Resident Chief Executive of Oil India Limited, Duliajan, Prasanta Borkakoty said that Akashvani played an important role for Oil India Limited during the Baghjan incident.
  • The Baghjan incident refers to the gas and oil leak that happened in Oil India Limited's Baghjan Oilfield in Tinsukia district, Assam, India on 27 May 2020.

Topic: Important Days

10. National Dengue Day 2023: 16 May

  • Every year on 16 May, National Dengue Day is celebrated.
  • It is an initiative to spread awareness about dengue among people by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • It encourages governments and people to take necessary precautions against dengue.
  • Haryana, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi & Jammu & Kashmir are the main infected state by this disease.
  • Dengue:
    • It is a viral disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV, 1–4 serotypes DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4).
    • It transmits through the bite of Aedes aegypti female mosquito (which also transmit yellow fever, Zika viruses, and chikungunya) infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.
    • High fever, Headache, Pain in muscles, bones, and joints are some common symptoms of Dengue.
    • The first dengue vaccine Dengvaxia is developed by Sanofi Pasteur.

National Dengue Day 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

11. Former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Bahadur Rayamajhi arrested from Kathmandu.

  • On 14 May, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and absconding Communist Party (UML) leader Bahadur Rayamajhi was arrested from Budhanilkantha in Kathmandu.
  • Rayamajhi has been arrested for his alleged role in a lakhs of rupees fraud by duping Nepalese nationals with promises of sending them to the US in the guise of Bhutanese refugees.
  • He was on the run after authorities issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with the Bhutan refugee scam.
  • Prior to him, Bal Krishna Khand, a prominent member of the Nepali Congress and a former home minister, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the scam.
  • Previously, the former Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa's advisor, Indrajit Rai was arrested for allegedly being involved in the scam.
  • So far 13 people have been arrested in the scam.

Prime Minister of Nepal Bahadur Rayamajhi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. A mobile app "Meri LiFE" launched by Bhupender Yadav.

  • A mobile app called Meri LiFE (My life) has been launched by Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav in New Delhi.
  • The app is inspired by the concept of LiFE envisioned by the Prime Minister at COP 26, which emphasizes on conscious and deliberate use rather than mindless and wasteful consumption.
  • On October 20, 2022, the Prime Minister launched Mission LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) at Kevadia, Gujarat.
  • It focused on bringing about a change in the behavior of each individual through simple actions.
  • The nodal ministry for implementation of Mission LIFE is the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.
  • To further catalyze pan-India support and awareness about LiFE, a month-long mass mobilization campaign is currently underway and will culminate on World Environment Day (5 June 2023).
  • Two dedicated portals for LiFE have been developed by the Ministry, to create a structured reporting format that can track the progress being made on LiFE.
    • The Mission Life Portal is open access and can be used to download 100+ creatives, videos and knowledge materials.
    • To upload event reports and capture the progress of the mass mobilisation drive, the Meri LiFE Portal has been developed for ministries and institutions.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

13. On 16 May 2023, the first ministerial meeting of the India-EU Trade and Technology Council will be held in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Union Minister of External Affairs (EAM), Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology (Meity) and Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry will be present as co-chairs.
  • It will be co-chaired by Executive Vice President Mr. Dombrovskis and Ms. Vestager from the EU side.
  • PM Modi and President of the European Commission Ms. Ursula von der Leyen had announced the formation of TTC in April 2022 in New Delhi.
  • It has been formed with the aim of creating a high-level coordination platform to deal with strategic challenges in alliances related to trade, reliable technology and security.
  • On 15 May 2023, Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal had a bilateral meeting with EVP Dombrowskis, followed by Working Group-3 stakeholder consultations in the presence of business leaders from both EU and India.
  • The WG3 meeting focused on trade, technology and resilient supply chains and was attended by six business leaders from the EU and India.
  • Union Minister Piyush Goyal will attend the stakeholder event for Working Group 1 and 2 on 16 May.
  • Group 1 focuses on digital governance and connectivity, whereas, Group 2 deals with clean and green energy technologies.

India-EU Trade and Technology Council

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

14. First ASI Govind Swarup Lifetime Achievement award conferred to Jayant V. Narlikar.

  • Prof. Jayant Vishnu Narlikar received the first Astronomical Society of India Govind Swarup Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • President of the ASI, Prof. Dipankar Banerjee presented the award to Prof. Jayant Vishnu Narlikar.
  • The award was announced at the 41st meeting of the ASI held at IIT Indore.
  • Prof. Narlikar has dedicated his life to the study of the Universe and contributed to understand various aspects of Astrophysics including the Narlikar-Hoyle theory.
  • He was one of the first who started cosmology research in India. He gave the idea to introduce the astronomy curriculum and research in Indian Universities.
  • He played a key role in the formation of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).
  • Govind Swarup Lifetime Achievement Award:
    • It was instituted by the Astronomical Society of India (ASI) in 2022 to honour eminent Indian astronomers for their valuable contributions.
    • The award carries a citation and plaque, and a cash prize.
    • The award is named after Prof. Govind Swarup.
    • Govind Swarup is considered as the founder of Indian radio astronomy. He was also the founding director of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune.

First ASI Govind Swarup Lifetime Achievement award

(Source: PIB)

Topic: National News

15. All medical practitioners will now be covered under a common National Medical Register.

  • National Medical Commission (NMC) released a notification titled “Registration of Medical Practitioners and Licence to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023”.
  • As per the notification, the passing of the National Exit Test (NEXT) has become mandatory for both Indian and foreign medical graduates for registration with the National Medical Register.
  • There will be a common national medical register for all the registered medical practitioners of the country.
  • It will contain all the entries of the registered medical practitioners of all State Registers, which are maintained by the State Medical Councils.
  • The license to practice medicine will be granted for five years.
  • After five years, the medical practitioner will have to renew the license through the State Medical Council.
  • The NMC has also laid down the process of denial of the license, transfer of license, removal and restoration of registration, etc.
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