Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 April 2023
- 1. India and Russia are in talks over a free trade agreement (FTA).
- 2. India is planning to acquire 250 more Pralay ballistic missiles.
- 3. 'YUVA PORTAL' has been launched by Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh in New Delhi on 17 April.
- 4. “Marketing, Logistics Development for PTP-NER scheme” has been launched by Arjun Munda in Manipur.
- 5. AllA organized a National Conference on Infertility in Women 'SRIJNA'.
- 6. Rs 2.40 lakh crore record revenue registered by Indian Railways in the FY 2022-23.
- 7. World Heritage Day 2023: 18 April
- 8. PM Modi will inaugurate the first Global Buddhist Summit in New Delhi on 20th April.
- 9. Researchers of Central University Odisha found new freshwater edible fish species in Koraput.
- 10. Kenya launched its first operational earth observation satellite.
- 11. IIT Indore develops a low-cost camera setup that can provide multispectral imaging for 4 chemical species in a flame.
- 12. India-built Buzi Bridge inaugurated in Mozambique.
- 13. Global Conference on Compressed Biogas (CBG) started in New Delhi.
- 14. President Droupadi Murmu presented National Panchayat Awards.
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Topic: International News
1. India and Russia are in talks over a free trade agreement (FTA).
- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov address the India-Russia Business Dialogue 2023 in New Delhi.
- India and Russia are discussing on a free trade agreement (FTA) to strengthen their bilateral ties.
- External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said that FTA with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union will make a real difference into trade relationship.
- In the last fiscal year, India’s imports from Russia reached $46.33 billion.
- Russia became the top supplier of crude oil to India by replacing Iraq.
- Russia is looking to increase machinery imports from India to improve the trade balance.
- Russia is looking to import more than 500 products from India for key sectors including cars, aircraft and trains.
- India has supported the idea of using rupee currency for trade with Russia.
- India is also involved in FTA discussions with Britain, the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
- FTAs are arrangements between two or more countries or trading blocs to reduce or eliminate customs and non-tariff barriers to trade.
- India has signed 13 Regional Trade Agreements/ Free Trade Agreements with various countries/regions:
- India-ASEAN FTA
- India-Singapore CECA
- India-Malaysia CECA
- India-Thailand FTA - Early Harvest Scheme (EHS)
- India-Japan CEPA
- India-South Korea CEPA
- Agreement on SAFTA
- India-Sri Lanka FTA
- India-Nepal Treaty of Trade
- India-Bhutan Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit
- India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) (wef 10 April 2021)
- India-UAE CEPA (wef 1 May 2022)
- India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (Ind-Aus ECTA) (wef 29 December 2022)
(Source: News on AIR)
2. India is planning to acquire 250 more Pralay ballistic missiles.
- India is planning to acquire 250 more Pralay ballistic missiles for strengthening the capabilities of forces on the northern borders.
- The proposal for 250 Pralay ballistic missiles is at an advanced stage.
- The Indian Air Force would be the first to receive the missile.
- The Pralay missile will now be mass-produced and it is expected to be ready for operational service shortly.
- The Pralay missile was successfully tested twice in December 2021.
- Pralay Missile:
- It is a quasi-ballistic surface-to-surface missile.
- The Pralay ballistic missile has a range of 150 km to 500 km.
- It is propelled by a solid-propellant rocket motor and other novel technologies.
- It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The development project of the Pralay missile was started in March 2015 with a budget of ₹332.88 crore.
- It has been designed to target radar and communication installations, and command and control centres.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
3. 'YUVA PORTAL' has been launched by Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh in New Delhi on 17 April.
- The portal will help in connecting and identifying potential young start-ups.
- From 17-21 April, 2023, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is organising the One Week- One Lab program.
- The objective of the event is to create awareness among the potential stakeholders about the technologies and services available at NPL to provide solutions to societal problems.
- There will also be three days of Startup-MSME-Industry Meet from 18-20 April.
- The objective of the event is to showcase the various services provided by NPL to the industries.
- A one day skill convention will be organized on 21st April to create awareness/educate the public about the skilling program of CSIR-NPL and motivate the local people by hosting various expert lectures.
- On January 6, 2023, Mr. Singh had launched 'One Week-One Lab' campaign.
- Dr Jitendra Singh, highlighting India's global leadership in technology, innovation and start-ups, said that each of the 37 CSIR laboratories is dedicated to a different specialized area of work.
- The One Week - One Lab program will provide an opportunity to CSIR laboratories to showcase the work they are doing so that others can take advantage of it.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
4. “Marketing, Logistics Development for PTP-NER scheme” has been launched by Arjun Munda in Manipur.
- On 18 April, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda has launched a new scheme “Marketing and Logistics Development for Promotion of Tribal Products from North -Eastern Region (PTP-NER)” in Manipur.
- The people of the Scheduled Tribes of the North Eastern region will be benefited by this scheme.
- Its objective is to enhance the livelihood of tribal artisans by developing their procurement, conservation and market potential of tribal products of North Eastern States.
- This scheme will be applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
- The scheme will facilitate tribal artisans to take advantage of income generating opportunities through handholding, mobilization, skill and entrepreneurship development, sourcing and procurement, marketing, transportation and promotion.
- Under this scheme, from 18 April, 68 Tribal Artisan Fairs will also be organized in various districts of the North Eastern Region, which will be organized in the month of April-May.
- TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India), the nodal agency under tribal affairs, is striving to improve the quality of life of tribals by preserving their age-old traditions.
5. AllA organized a National Conference on Infertility in Women 'SRIJNA'.
- On 17 and 18 April, the All-India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), under the Ministry of AYUSH, has organized a two-day national conference 'SRIJNA' on infertility in women in New Delhi.
- Female infertility affects millions of people and affects their families and communities.
- According to the WHO report, in 37 percent of the cases of childless couples, the reason was the inability of women to have children.
- The incidence of infertility in women is on the rise in India and about 15 percent of couples are affected by it.
- To address this problem, AIIA is sharing clinical research and knowledge through a national conference followed by a panel discussion in which over 100 delegates have registered to attend.
- In this conference, many gynaecologists associated with modern medical science have been also invited to share the latest information on this subject.
Topic: Indian Economy
6. Rs 2.40 lakh crore record revenue registered by Indian Railways in the FY 2022-23.
- This amount is about Rs 49,000 crore more than the revenue received in the previous financial year, which shows an increase of 25%.
- During the financial year 2022-23, there was a strong increase in freight revenue and it reached Rs 1.62 lakh crore.
- There was an increase of about 15% in comparison to the previous financial year.
- Indian Railways has been able to pay its pension expenses in full after three years.
- Strong revenue growth and tight expenditure management have helped the Railways achieve an operating ratio of 98.14%.
- After meeting all revenue expenditure, the Railways was able to provide Rs 3,200 crore for capital investment from its internal resources.
- In terms of traffic revenue, Indian Railways received Rs 63,300 crore from passenger revenue in the financial year 2022-23, registering a 61% increase as against the revenue of Rs 39,214 crore received in 2021-22.
- Indian Railways has earned Rs 5,951 crore from coaching revenue in 2022-23. This amount was 21% more than the Rs 4,899 crore achieved in the previous financial year.
- The gross revenue of Indian Railways in the financial year 2022-23 was Rs 2,39,803 crore, which was Rs 1,91,278 crore in 2021-22.
- Similarly, gross traffic receipts were Rs. 2,39,750 crores in 2022-23 as against Rs. 1,91,206 crores in 2021-22.
- The total receipts of the Railways in 2022-23 were Rs 2,39,892 crore while in 2021-22 the total receipts of the Railways were Rs 1,91,367 crore.
- The total expenditure of Railways was Rs 2,37,375 crore in 2022-23 as against Rs 2,06,391 crore in 2021-22.
- In terms of capital expenditure, the capital investment during 2022-23 was Rs 1,09,004 crore as compared to Rs 81,664 crore in 2021-22.
- Rs 30,001 crore has been spent during 2022-23 as against Rs 11,105 crore during 2021-22 under the Railway Safety Fund.
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Topic: Important Days
7. World Heritage Day 2023: 18 April
- World Heritage Day is also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites.
- It is celebrated every year on 18 April to spread awareness about the protection and conservation of rich cultural heritage.
- World Heritage Day was suggested by the International Council on Monuments and Sites in 1982 and it was adopted at the 22nd session of the UNESCO Conference in 1983.
- The first World Heritage Day was celebrated in 1983.
- This year, the theme of World Heritage Day is “Heritage Changes”.
- International Council on Monuments and Sites:
- It is a non-governmental organisation. It was founded in 1965. It is headquartered in Paris, France.
- It advises UNESCO on matters related to cultural heritage.
Topic:Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
8. PM Modi will inaugurate the first Global Buddhist Summit in New Delhi on 20th April.
- The two-day summit will be hosted by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with International Buddhist Confederation.
- The conference will be attended by eminent scholars, Sangha leaders and Dharma practitioners from all over the world.
- “Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis” is the theme of the Global Buddhist Summit.
- According to Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy, for the first time, eminent Buddhist monks from various nations would visit India and participate in the Summit.
- The Minister said that delegates from almost 30 countries will take part in the event and 150 delegates from Indian Buddhist organizations will participate.
- The summit’s main vision is to look into the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha).
- International Buddhist Confederation is the biggest religious Buddhist confederation. It is based in Delhi. Lama Lobzang is its architect.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
9. Researchers of Central University Odisha found new freshwater edible fish species in Koraput.
- Researchers from the Central University of Odisha (CUO) and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have found a new freshwater species of fish in the Koraput district.
- The research findings have been mentioned in the international taxonomy journal ‘Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters’.
- The species has been named ‘Garra Laishrami’. The new species is a member of the proboscis species group.
- The species is named after Dr Laishram Koshyin of ZSI to mark his remarkable contribution.
- The length of the fish is 76 mm to 95.5 mm and has been found so far in Kolab River only.
- This fish is usually found under rocks, stones and boulders of torrential streams and rivers.
- This research is conducted by Supriya Surachita under the supervision of Prof. Sharat Kumar Palita.
- The finding of the research indicates the rich biodiversity of the Koraput and Kolab river.
Topic: Space and IT
10. Kenya launched its first operational earth observation satellite.
- Kenya's first operational earth observation satellite has been launched into orbit by a SpaceX rocket from California, USA.
- The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Taifa-1 satellite took off from Vandenberg Base in California.
- The launch rocket also carried 50 payloads from other countries under SpaceX’s rideshare programme.
- It has been designed and developed by a team of Kenyan researchers.
- It will collect agricultural and environmental data including floods, drought and wildfires.
- The Kenyan Ministry of Defence and the Kenya Space Agency (KSA) said that it is an important milestone.
- Earlier, Kenya had sent its first nano-satellite into space in 2018.
- Till 2022, more than 50 African satellites have been sent into space.
- Egypt was the first African country to send a satellite into space in 1998.
Topic: New Developments
11. IIT Indore develops a low-cost camera setup that can provide multispectral imaging for 4 chemical species in a flame.
- In collaboration with NASA-Caltech, US and University of Gothenburg, Sweden, IIT Indore has developed this low-cost camera setup.
- The low-cost DSLR camera device named “CL-Flam” has been developed after 3 years’ research. The cost of the development of the device was around Rs. 50,000.
- The set up can simultaneously capture multiple spectral 3D images of 4 chemical species in a flame using a single DSLR camera.
- Earlier, such scientific imaging required a complex system with four cameras.
- The device uses the method of Structured illumination that allows for simultaneous imaging of multiple species.
- This development can lead to improvement in combustion engines making them more efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
- It will help in achieving the target of India to become carbon-neutral by 2070.
Topic: National News
12. India-built Buzi Bridge inaugurated in Mozambique.
- During his visit to Mozambique, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar held meeting with President of Assembly Esperanca Bias.
- They both reiterated India’s support for sustainable development of Mozambique.
- S Jaishankar also virtually inaugurated the Buzi Bridge built by India as a part of 132 km Tica-Buzi-Nova-Sofala Road project.
- He also took a ride in a Made-in-India train from Maputo to Machava.
- India-Mozambique relations:
- Diplomatic relations between India and Mozambique were established as soon as Mozambique became independent in 1975 (independence from Portugal).
- India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic mission in Mozambique.
- Mozambique opened its mission in New Delhi in 2001.
- Through concessional lines of credit projects, India is supporting Mozambique in various sectors.
- Indian companies have invested heavily in the energy resources of Mozambique (almost a quarter of India’s total FDI in Africa).
- Apart from South Africa, Mozambique is the only second African country with whom India enjoys a strategic partnership.
- It is a country situated in southeastern Africa.
- It shares border with Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and South Africa.
- It is separated from the Comoros, Mayotte and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel.
- Capital of Mozambique: Maputo
- President of Mozambique: Filipe Nyusi
- Prime Minister of Mozambique: Adriano Maleiane
- Currency of Mozambique: Metical
13. Global Conference on Compressed Biogas (CBG) started in New Delhi.
- It is being organised by IFGE- CBG Producers Forum on the 17th and 18th April 2023.
- The theme of the conference is “Towards Progressive Policy Framework for a Robust CBG Foundation and Growth”.
- Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri inaugurated the conference.
- The conference aims to apprise the industry regarding the initiatives taken by the Central Government for the development of the Compressed Biogas Industry.
- The objective of the conference is also to identify areas where policy modifications are required.
- The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said that Compressed Biogas has also an important role in emission reduction.
- The ministry said Compressed Biogas is being promoted by the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Scheme.
- Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE) is an umbrella organization.
- It represents the interests of the national renewable energy sector.
- IFGE: CBG Producers Forum is a dedicated forum for CBG Producers.
- Compressed Biogas (CBG):
- When purified biogas is compressed, it is known as Compressed Biogas.
- It contains more than 90% of methane and can be used as green renewable automotive fuel.
- Its calorific value and other properties are similar to CNG.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
14. President Droupadi Murmu presented National Panchayat Awards.
- President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the five-day National Panchayat Awards Week.
- It began with the ‘National Conference on Incentivization of Panchayats-cum-Award Ceremony’ in New Delhi.
- Droupadi Murmu said that Villages are the basic units to develop the entire country.
- She also said that Panchayats are not just a means of implementing government programmes and initiatives but a place to encourage new leaders, planners, policy-makers, and innovators.
- She distributed National Panchayat Awards to best-performing panchayats selected from across the country.
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj is celebrating National Panchayat Awards Week from 17th April to 21st April 2023.
- The Theme of the National Panchayat Awards Week Celebrations is “Panchayaton ke Sankalpon ki Siddhi ka Utsav”.
- List of Awards is given below:
Best Gram Panchyats
MilakAmawti (Uttar Pradesh)
Best Block Panchyats
Kumarghat Bac (Tripura)
Best District Panchyats
Dadar and Nagar Haveli (Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu)
- The various categories of the National Panchayat Awards–2023 are:
- Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Satat Vikas Puraskar
- Nanaji Deshmukh Sarvottam Panchayat Satat Vikas Puraskar
- Gram Urja Swaraj Vishesh Panchayat Puraskar
- Carbon Neutral Vishesh Panchayat Puraskar