Daily Current Affairs and GK | 19 July 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 24 Jul 2022 19:23 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. A new census workstation has been inaugurated at IIT Delhi.

  • Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Dr Vivek Joshi inaugurated the Census Data Workstation at the Economics Lab of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of IIT Delhi.
  • It will facilitate access to census microdata for academicians and researchers.
  • It will provide information about the data collected during the Census operations.
  • Directorate of Census Operations, Delhi, and IIT Delhi has also signed an agreement.
  • IIT Delhi will undertake research on census data and census operations.
  • The potential use of advanced data science, machine learning, and AI techniques in the digital census was also discussed.
  • Note:

Topic: National Appointments

2. Manipur Governor La. Ganesan has been given the additional charge of the West Bengal Governor.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s resignation.
  • National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has nominated Jagdeep Dhankhar as the vice presidential candidate.
  • Governor La. Ganesan will discharge the functions of the governor of West Bengal from the date he assumes charge of the office until regular arrangements are made.

Topic: Geography

3. Researchers have attributed the phenomenon called ‘Karakoram Anomaly’ to the recent revival of western disturbances (WDs). 

  • The glaciers of central Karakoram have remained unchanged or slightly increased in the last few decades. This is called Karakoram Anomaly.
  • This phenomenon is just opposite to the loss of glacier mass across the globe, due to impacts of global warming.
  • A recent study conducted under Dr. Pankaj Kumar of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal has postulated a new theory to explain this defiance of the impacts of global warming in certain pockets.
  • As per the study, the recent revival of western disturbance has been instrumental in triggering and sustaining the Karakoram Anomaly since the advent of the 21st century.
  • Climate Change Programme of the Department of Science and Technology supported the study.
  • The study has for the first time brought forth the importance that enhanced WD-precipitation input during the accumulation period plays in modulating regional climatic anomaly. 
  • Earlier studies have highlighted the role of temperature in establishing and sustaining the anomaly over the years.
  • It is for the first time that the impact of precipitation in feeding the anomaly has been highlighted.
  • Western Disturbances are the storms originating in the Mediterranean Sea or Caspian Sea and bringing sudden winter rain, snow and fog to northern India.

Topic: Sports

4. In Shooting, Mairaj Ahmad Khan won the gold medal in the men’s skeet event at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.

  • Mairaj Ahmad Khan has become the first Indian shooter to win the gold medal in the men’s skeet event at ISSF World Cup.
  • South Korea’s Minsu Kim won the silver medal while Ben Llewellin of Great Britain won the bronze medal.
  • India also won a bronze in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions team event.
  • Anjum Moudgil won individual silver. She combined with Sift Kaur Samra and Ashi Chouksey to win the bronze medal.

gold medal in the men’s skeet event at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Committee/Commission/Taskforce

5. Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation discussed the 'Digi Yatra' project.

  • The meeting of the Ministry of Civil Aviation's Consultative Committee was conducted to discuss the topic "DIGI YATRA" in New Delhi.
  • MPs, who are members of the committee, participated in the meeting and gave some valuable suggestions regarding the project.
  • It is a project designed to offer contactless, seamless passenger processing at airports by using Facial Recognition Technology (FRT).
  • In the first phase, it is proposed to launch Digi Yatra at two airports- Varanasi and Bengaluru in August 2022.
  • It will be launched at five airports- Pune, Vijayawada, Kolkata, Delhi, and Hyderabad by March 2023.
  • Digi Yatra Foundation (DYF):
    • It was established as a Joint Venture (JV) company in 2019 under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
    • Its shareholders are AAI (26% shares) and BIAL, DIAL, GHIAL, MIAL, and CIAL equally hold the remaining 74% shares.
    • It was formed with the aim of creating the Digi Yatra Central Ecosystem (DYCE).

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Initiative on Mainstreaming Millets in Asia and Africa will be launched by NITI Aayog and WFP.

  • On July 19, 2022, NITI Aayog and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched the 'Mapping and Exchange of Good Practices' initiative for mainstreaming millets in Asia and Africa in an event.
  • NITI Aayog and WFP will create a collection of good practices for increasing the production and consumption of millets in India and abroad.
  • Suman Bery, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, inaugurated the event.
  • Last year, India initiated a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly that 2023 will be observed as the International Year of Millets.
  • It aims to raise awareness about the health benefits of cereals and their suitability for cultivation in changing climatic conditions.
  • Millets are one of the important crops in Asian and African countries. Millets are a rich source of protein, micronutrients and fibre.
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Topic: Indian Economy

7. New GST rates have become effective from 18 July 2022.

  • GST Council decided on new GST rates in its 47th meeting held in Chandigarh last month.
  • Banks will charge 18% GST as a fee for issuing cheques. Hotel accommodation costing up to 1,000 rupees per day will be taxed at a rate of 12%.
  • GST on solar water heaters has been increased from earlier 5% to 12% now. GST on e-waste has increased from earlier 5% to 18% now.
  • The tax on transport of goods and passengers by ropeways will be lowered from 12% to 5%.
  • The GST exemption on air travel to and from the northeastern states and Bagdogra will be limited to economy class only. Electric vehicles are eligible for the 5% GST rebate.
  • No GST will be levied on single packages of unbranded pre-packed and labelled food items like cereals, pulses, and flour weighing in excess of 25 kilograms.
  • Several packages for retail sale to ultimate consumers, like 10 packages of 10 kilograms each, are sold in a larger pack, then GST would be applied.    
  • A rice package containing 50 kilograms in one package would not be considered a pre-packaged and labelled commodity for the GST.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. Government has formed a National Action Plan for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem- NAMASTE scheme for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

  • The scheme is a joint venture of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The scheme aims to achieve the following outcomes.
    • Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India
    • All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers
    • No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter
    • All Sewer and Septic tank sanitation workers have access to alternative livelihoods
    • Sanitation workers are collectivized into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises
    • Increased awareness among sanitation services seekers
    • Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at national, state and Urban Local Body (ULB) levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work
  • Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore said that the skill development and training of Safai Mitras is being taken up with the support of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Safai Mitras are workers engaged in sewer maintenance and desludging operations.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. Only 50% of farmers received benefits from the farm loan waivers scheme since 2014: State Bank of India (SBI) study.

  • According to a study by the State Bank of India (SBI), only half of the beneficiaries have received farm loan waivers announced by nine states.
  • Till March 2022, out of 3.7 crore eligible farmers, only 50% of farmers have received the loan waiver amount.
  • The farm loan waiver schemes were not implemented properly in Telangana (5%), Madhya Pradesh (12%), Jharkhand (13%), and Punjab (24%).
  • 100% of eligible farmers of Chhattisgarh in 2018 and 91% of farmers of Maharashtra in 2020 received the benefits of the farm loan waiver scheme.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, 92% of eligible farmers got the benefit of the announced farm loan waiver.
  • This study is based on the outcomes of ten farm loan waivers worth about ₹2.53 lakh crore announced by nine States.
  • Rejection of farmers’ claims by State Governments, fiscal limits for loan waiver schemes and changes in Governments are the main reason for the poor implementation of the farm loan waiver scheme.
  • The report also raised concerns that whether these loan waivers actually help farmers in genuine distress.
  • The proportion of standard accounts is high in Jharkhand (100%), Uttar Pradesh (96%), Andhra Pradesh (95%), and Punjab (86%).
  • The report concluded that loan waivers destroy the credit culture which can harm farmers in long term.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) bagged Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institute Award 2021.

  • National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) received the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institute Award 2021 in the Large Institute Category for its overall performance.
  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar gave the award at a function to observe the 94th Foundation Day of the ICAR.
  • Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award:
    • It is given to recognize outstanding performance by the ICAR institutes, DUs of ICAR, CAU and State Agricultural Universities.    
    • It consists of Rs. 10,00,000 in cash, a citation and a plaque.
  • National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM):
    • It was set up in 1976 in Hyderabad to address issues related to agricultural research and education management.
    • It was established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

11. 52nd BGB-BSF DG level conference begins in Dhaka.

  • Both sides discussed issues related to border management, smuggling of arms and ammunition, drugs, trafficking of women and children.
  • They also discussed the joint initiatives to implement the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP).
  • Both the countries discussed ways to enhance cooperation between BGB and BSF.
  • The conference will conclude with the signing of the Joint Record of Discussions (JRD) on 21st July.
  • Bangladesh delegation is being led by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed while the Indian side was led by DG, Border Security Force (BSF) Pankaj Kumar Singh.
  • The Indian delegation will also visit Padma Bridge and Cox’s Bazar for improving relations between both countries.

Coordinated Border Management Plan

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

12. US Congress voted to exempt India from sanctions on the S-400 missile deal with Russia.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a legislative amendment to approve wavier to India against the CAATSA sanctions for the purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.
  • The legislative amendment has been passed during floor consideration of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA).
  • This bill has been introduced by Ro Khanna and it urged to provide a CAATSA waiver to help deter aggressors like China.
  • In 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to purchase five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems.
  • S-400 is the most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
  • Under the CAATSA, the US has imposed sanctions on Turkey for purchasing S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.
  • Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA):
    • It was passed in 2017.
    • Under it, the US imposes sanctions on countries that do military trade with countries like Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

Topic: Important Days

13. International Nelson Mandela Day: 18 July

  • International Nelson Mandela Day is observed every year on 18 July in the memory of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
  • UN General Assembly adopted 18 July as International Nelson Mandela Day in November 2009. 
  • The theme of International Nelson Mandela Day 2022 is “do what you can with what you have and where you are”.
  • Nelson Mandela:
    • Nelson Mandela fought against racial discrimination and human rights abuses.
    • He is known for empowering people regardless of their religion and ethnicity and promoting dialogue and solidarity for justice and peace.
    • Nelson Mandela is also called Gandhi of South Africa. He considered Mahatma Gandhi as his 'political guru' and a 'role model’.
    • He led the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and was released from jail after 27 years on February 11, 1990.
    • He was South Africa's first black President from 1994 to 1999.

International Nelson Mandela Day

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

14. Murali Sreeshankar becomes the first Indian to qualify for the men's long jump final at World Athletics Championships.

  • Murali Sreeshankar from Kerala finished second in qualification round Group B and overall seventh.
  • He jumped 8 meters in the qualification round but he could not touch the automatic qualification mark of 8.15 meters.
  • MP Jabir will also compete in the men's 400-meter Hurdles qualification round.
  • World Athletics Championships is being held in Oregon, USA. The 10-day event will conclude on 24th July.

Murali Sreeshankar

(Source: News on AIR)

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