Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 August 2022
- 1. Researchers of IIT Hyderabad and CCMB developed India’s first 3-D printed cornea.
- 2. US President Joe Biden signed the landmark climate change and health care bill.
- 3. A three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) will look after the daily affairs of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
- 4. Bihar Chief Minister expanded his cabinet after taking oath as the Chief Minister for the eighth time.
- 5. Beta version of DigiYatra app launched by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).
- 6. Former Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain passed away at the age of 59.
- 7. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh handed over indigenously-developed equipment to the Indian Army in New Delhi on August 16, 2022.
- 8. 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting held in Bangkok on 17 August 2022.
- 9. Indian Railways launched Operation ‘Yatri Suraksha’ to improve the security of passengers.
- 10. NHA announces performance-based funding to states and UTs for implementing Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
- 11. UK becomes the first country to approve the Omicron vaccine.
- 12. William Ruto wins the Presidential election of Kenya.
- 13. IAS Piyush Goyal appointed as CEO of NATGRID.
- 14. A study published in Nature journal claim that meteorite impacts led to the formation of continents.
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Topic: New Developments
1. Researchers of IIT Hyderabad and CCMB developed India’s first 3-D printed cornea.
- IIT Hyderabad and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) jointly developed a 3D-printed artificial cornea and transplanted it into a rabbit eye.
- It is the first made-in-India 3-D printed human cornea, which is optically and physically suitable for transplantation.
- It is completely natural and contains no synthetic components. It doesn’t have any animal residues and is completely safe for use.
- To develop this 3D-printed artificial cornea, IITH and CCMB used decellularized corneal tissue matrix and stem cells derived from the human eye.
- The 3D-printed cornea comprises the human corneal tissue, so it is biocompatible and natural.
- This innovation will help in treating diseases like corneal scarring.
- The cornea is the outer layer of the eye that covers the pupil and anterior chamber. It is composed of proteins and cells.
Topic: International News
2. US President Joe Biden signed the landmark climate change and health care bill.
- The Bill has been introduced to lower the prices of prescription drugs; increase the Medicare benefits; encourage the development of renewable energy and reduce the impact of climate change.
- The bill will change the way medicine is priced. It would cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients.
- The new legislation will also help around 13 million Americans in paying their healthcare insurance.
- It will also increase taxes on some corporations. There will be a minimum 15 percent tax on corporations.
- It will decrease the federal deficit and give more power to the Internal Revenue Service to catch wealth tax evaders.
- The bill will incentivize clean electricity and increase grants, loans, and tax credits for manufacturing clean energy technology.
- The government will invest around 375 billion dollars over the next decade to counter climate change.
- The Inflation Reduction Act aims to reduce deficits by around $275 billion in the next 10 years.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Committees/ Commissions/ Taskforces
3. A three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) will look after the daily affairs of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
- The Delhi High Court has directed to set up a three-member committee to look over the administration of the Indian Olympic Association.
- Justice Anil R. Dave, Dr SY Quraishi, and Vikas Swarup will be the members of the CoA.
- Shooter Olympian Abhinav Bindra, Long Jump Olympian Anju Bobby George, and Archer Olympian Bombayla Devi Laishram will assist the members of the CoA.
- The Committee of Administrators will prepare and adopt the constitution of IOA within 16 weeks.
- Delhi High Court has said that the CoA shall prepare the electoral roll for conducting the elections.
- Delhi High Court directed that the maximum term for the President and members of the Executive Committee will be 3 tenures.
- IOA is recognised as the National Olympic Committee for India by the International Olympic Committee.
Topic: State News/ Bihar
4. Bihar Chief Minister expanded his cabinet after taking oath as the Chief Minister for the eighth time.
- Based on the 243 members of the legislature, the Bihar cabinet has room for 36 ministers, of which 31 ministers took their oaths on August 16.
- There were 16 from the RJD, 11 from Nitish Kumar's JDU, two from the Congress, and one from former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular).
- Nitish Kumar kept the home ministry, General Administration, Cabinet Secretariat, and Elections departments by himself.
- Tejaswi Prasad Yadav was given the portfolios of Health, Road Construction, Urban Development, and Rural Works.
- Vijay Kumar Chaudhary received the finance ministry, while RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav is appointed minister of the environment, forests, and climate change.
- Afaque Alam and Murari Gautam of Congress also became ministers.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
5. Beta version of DigiYatra app launched by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).
- The app will help passengers to check in quicker at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
- Under Digi Yatra, a passenger will pass through airport checkpoints via paperless and contactless processing, with facial recognition system (FRS) connected to the boarding pass.
- DIAL had installed and operated it at Terminal 3 of Delhi airport, and around 20,000 passengers had a smooth and safe travel experience after using the facility during the trial.
- Presently, the beta version of the DigiYatra app is available on Playstore (for Andriod platform) and will be available in the App Store (for IOS).
- It is a Facial Recognition Technology-based Biometrically Enabled Seamless Travel experience (BEST).
- It aims to provide passengers with a paperless and seamless travel experience.
- This is a unique initiative of the Government of India coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Topic: Personality in News
6. Former Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain passed away at the age of 59.
- He passed away after fighting a battle with cancer for nearly five years.
- He joined Deutsche Bank's Management Board in 2009 and handled the Corporate and Investment Bank division from 2010.
- He was Co-CEO of Deutsche Bank from 2012 to 2015.
- He was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award twice, in 2010 and 2012, by Risk magazine.
- In 2012, the Economic Times of India named him Global Indian of the Year.
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7. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh handed over indigenously-developed equipment to the Indian Army in New Delhi on August 16, 2022.
- These include Future Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) and new generation anti-personnel mine ‘Nipun’.
- These also include rugged and automatic communication system with enhanced capabilities, upgraded sights system for tanks and advanced thermal imagers.
- Raksha Mantri virtually handed over state-of-the-art high mobility Infantry Protected Vehicles and Assault Boats.
- Indian Army have jointly developed the equipment in collaboration with Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Industry.
- Future Infantry Soldier as a System is equipped with three primary subsystems. It is capable of further upgradation by incorporating real-time data connectivity.
- For a long time, the Indian Army has been using vintage NMM 14 mines.
- With the efforts of Indian industry and Armament Research and Development Establishment, Pune, a new Indian mine named ‘Nipun’ has been developed.
- It is more potent and effective than the existing anti-personnel mine.
- A solar photo-voltaic plant has been installed to obviate dependence on fossil fuels. This plant at Partapur (near Siachen) was virtually dedicated to the Nation by the Raksha Mantri.
- There are boats operating in Pangong Tso Lake (Eastern Ladakh), however, they have limited capabilities. Landing Craft Assault (LCA) has enhanced the capability to operate across the water obstacles in Eastern Ladakh.
- It has been indigenously developed by M/s Aquarius Ship Yard Limited, Goa.
8. 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting held in Bangkok on 17 August 2022.
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attended the meeting.
- India and Thailand are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.
- The 8th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held on 10 October 2019 in New Delhi.
- The 7th round of JCM was held on 29 June 2015 in Bangkok. The 6th JCM was held in New Delhi in December 2011.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
9. Indian Railways launched Operation ‘Yatri Suraksha’ to improve the security of passengers.
- The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will take several steps under ‘Yatri Suraksha’ operation to provide more security to passengers.
- RPF will ensure the security of passengers through CCTV at stations, checking on active criminals, escorting the train, identifying black spots, etc.
- For the security of passengers, regular coordination will be conducted by all the stakeholders.
- In July 2022, the RPF had launched a month-long pan-India drive against criminals. The RPF caught 365 suspects for illegal activities.
- Under the Seva Hi Sankalp initiative, RPF maintains the safety of passengers with the help of drive, quick response to queries and technology.
- Railway Protection Force:
- Railway Police was formed in 1854 and was given legal status under Police Act 1861.
- It was established as RPF under Railway Protection Force Act 1957.
- The force has the task to ensure the protection of railway property and to protect against related crimes.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
10. NHA announces performance-based funding to states and UTs for implementing Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
- National Health Authority (NHA) will allocate funds to States/UTs on the basis of their performance in recording data in the Health Facility Registry (HFR) and Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR).
- The performance-based fund allocation will help in the structured implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
- For meeting the objective of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, the population of the Health Facility Registry (HFR) and the Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) is necessary.
- According to earlier guidelines, Rs. 500 crores had been allocated for the setting up of ABDM offices at the State/ UT level over 5 years.
- NHA has decided to allocate funds to states/ UTs based on the number of doctors, nurses, etc. and health facilities like hospitals, clinics, and health & wellness centres.
- NHA has defined new parameters for fund allocation, which are given below:
- Rs 100 for each verified entries in HFR & HPR till 31st December 2022.
- Rs 50 for each verified entries in HFR & HPR between 1st January 2023 till 31st March 2023.
- No funds will be allocated for entries verified in HFR & HPR after 31st March 2023
Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
11. UK becomes the first country to approve the Omicron vaccine.
- The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority of the United Kingdom has granted conditional authorization to Moderna’s “bivalent” vaccine.
- It will target both the original strain of the virus and Omicron BA.1 and provide more immune responses than the original vaccine.
- It will be used for people aged 18 and above. The UK is planning to accelerate its booster dose programme for more than 50 years aged people and high clinical patients.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus is continually mutating in order to evade the immunity provided by vaccines.
- As per the Lancet, COVID-19 vaccines have prevented almost 20 million deaths in their first year of use.
- The Omicron is a variant of the COVID-19 virus that has emerged due to mutation in the generic structure of the virus.
Topic: International News
12. William Ruto wins the Presidential election of Kenya.
- Deputy President William Ruto has been elected as the next President of Kenya.
- He received 50.49% of the vote and defeated former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
- William Ruto will be the fifth President of Kenya after independence.
- Ruto's Kenya First coalition party has won the majority of seats in Kenya's senate, the second highest in the National Assembly.
- William Ruto served as deputy president for 10 years. It was the first time that he contested the presidential election.
- It is located in Eastern Africa.
- Its capital is Nairobi, and its currency is the Kenyan shilling.
- It is bordered by South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Indian Ocean.
- It is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa.
- It is a presidential representative democratic republic.
Topic: National Appointments
13. IAS Piyush Goyal appointed as CEO of NATGRID.
- Piyush Goyal was currently serving as an additional secretary (AS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- The post of CEO of NATGRID was vacant after Ashish Gupta was appointed as an additional director general in the Border Security Force (BSF).
- Ashok K K Meena has been posted as the CMD of the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
- Chandra Bhushan Kumar has been appointed as the additional secretary in the department of agriculture and farmers’ welfare.
- National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID):
- It was first conceptualised in 2009 after the 26/11 attacks. It was approved in 2010.
- It acts as a single platform for security and intelligence agencies to access the database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details of suspects, air and train travel details, etc.
- It acts as a link between intelligence agencies and investigation agencies.
- It is available to 11 central agencies such as the CBI, ED, IB, RAW and police of all states.
14. A study published in Nature journal claim that meteorite impacts led to the formation of continents.
- According to a study published in Nature Journal, continents were formed by gigantic meteorite impacts during the first billion years of the Earth.
- These meteorite impacts produced massive energy, which led to the formation of oceanic plates, and later they developed as continents.
- As per the researchers, a giant meteorite hit Earth and melted its outer shell. The impact released the pressure underlying the mantle which created an oceanic plateau.
- Zircon crystal is the key element of the study; it helps scientists in determining the age of rocks.
- Scientists searched for evidence in zircon crystals ingrained in rocks from the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia.
- Scientists found oxygen-18 and oxygen-16 isotopes within these crystals.
- The composition of oxygen isotopes in these zircon crystals indicates the ‘top-down’ process, which began with the melting of rocks near the surface and progressed deeper.
- The continental drift theory, given by German scientist Alfred Wegener, at present explains the phenomenon of continent formation.