Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 August 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 Aug 2022 17:03 PM IST

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Topic: Space and IT

1. Indian scientists developed a model to trace exomoons.

  • Indian scientists Sujan Sengupta and Suman Saha have developed an analytical model with the help of data from the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • According to Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru) scientists, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is sufficient to detect the transit signal of exomoons in moon-hosting exoplanets.
  • This model has been developed by using the radius and orbital properties of the host planet as well as its moon.
  • In this model, co-alignment or non-coalignment of the planet’s orbit and the moon have been used as parameters.
  • This model will help in finding further more exomoons with the help of photometric transit light curves of exoplanets.
  • Exomoons are natural satellites that revolve around exoplanets. With the help of ground-based and space telescopes, scientists have discovered around five thousand exoplanets.
  • Indian Institute of Astrophysics is an autonomous Research Institute under the department of Science and Technology.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

2. HAL’s first overseas marketing office to be opened in Malaysia for Tejas.

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed an MoU to open its first international marketing and sales office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • This office will help HAL in signing the deal with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for other services like the upgradation and servicing of the Russian Su-30s and British Hawk trainer aircraft.
  • Su-30 is a multi-role combat aircraft with twin engine. BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft.
  • HAL is also looking into supplying spare parts to the RMAF for the Su-30s.
  • In 2021, HAL had submitted a proposal for supplying 18 FLIT LCAs in a global tender issued by the Malaysian Ministry of Defence.
  • HAL’s office in Kuala Lumpur will act as a centre to expand the services of HAL in the South-East Asian region.
  • HAL’s office in Kuala Lumpur will be the first one dedicated solely to focus on marketing and business development.
  • HAL has already offices in London and Moscow. Recently, India has also offered to set up a production facility for LCA Tejas in Egypt.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
    • It was formed on 1 October 1964.
    • It is a government-owned corporation involved in the design, fabrication, and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, and helicopters.
    • Its headquarters is located in Bengaluru.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

3. 9th Governing Body meeting of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) was held in New Delhi.

  • Minister of Fisheries Parshottam Rupala chaired the governing body meeting.
  • Parshottam Rupala published a book titled “Super Success Stories from Indian Fisheries” on this occasion.
  • In addition, he launched the "Aqua Bazar" app, an online marketplace application.
  • The app will help fish farmers and stakeholders in locating inputs such as fish seed, feed, and medicines, as well as services.
  • It will bring various stakeholders involved in the aquaculture sector to one place.

Topic: National News

4. Indore will host the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in January 2023.

  • An MoU has been signed by Madhya Pradesh's Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains and Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary of the Consular, Passport, and Visa Division to host the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • It provides an opportunity to connect with overseas Indians.
  • The 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention was organised on 9th January 2021.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:
    • It is celebrated on 9 January to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.
    • It is being celebrated since 2003.
    • On this day in 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa.
    • From 2015 onwards, it is celebrated once every two years.

Topic: Important Days

5. World Humanitarian Day 2022: 19 August

  • Every year on August 19, World Humanitarian Day is observed.
  • The purpose of this day is to spread awareness about the need for humanitarian aid around the world.
  • The theme of World Humanitarian Day 2022 is "It takes a village."
  • World Humanitarian Day is a campaign by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Humanitarian Partners.
  • In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.
  • In 2022, World Humanitarian Day is focusing on urging world leaders to take meaningful action on the climate crisis for the world's most vulnerable.
  • According to data projected by the United Nations, 274 million people will need humanitarian aid and protection in 2022.

World Humanitarian Day 2022

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh

6. Tribal-dominated Mandla region of Madhya Pradesh has become the first "functionally literate" district in the country.

  • According to a survey in 2011, the literacy rate in the district was 68 percent.
  • Another report in 2020 stated that more than 2.25 lakh people in the district were not literate and most of them were tribals living in forest areas.
  • Tribals often complained to the authorities about fraudsters taking money from their bank accounts, and the root cause was that they were not functionally literate.
  • A person can be said to be functionally literate, when he is able to write his name, count, and read and write in Hindi.
  • A major campaign was launched from Independence Day 2020 to make women and senior citizens functionally literate, involving the Department of School Education, Department of Women and Child Development, Anganwadi and social workers.
  • Within two years, the entire district has become functionally literate and Mandla has become the first district in the country to achieve this feat.
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Topic: Sports

7. Paralympian Rahul Jakhar won gold medal in 2022 WSPS Shooting World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.

  • Rahul Jakhar has won Gold medal in 25 metre competition in 2022 WSPS Shooting World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.
  • Avani Lekhara won Silver medal in 10 metre event in 2022 WSPS Shooting World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.
  • Pooja Agarwal won Bronze medal in 25 metre competition in 2022 WSPS Shooting World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.

Paralympian Rahul Jakhar won gold medal

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

8. SEBI has relaxed norms on alternate investment fund (AIF) and venture capital fund (VCF) investments in overseas firms.

  • SEBI has allowed India-registered AIFs and VCFs to invest in foreign entities without having an India connection.
  • Earlier, such overseas investments were allowed in only those companies that have a connection to India or at least a back-office in India.
  • AIFs and VCFs are still not allowed to invest in companies incorporated in countries not following global money laundering norms.
  • They are not allowed to invest in companies incorporated in countries that don’t have bilateral MoU with SEBI.
  • They are not allowed to invest in companies incorporated in jurisdictions which are blacklisted or face restrictions by FATF.
  • AIFs and VCFs are allowed to invest in a company, which is incorporated in a country whose securities market regulator is a signatory to the International Organization of Securities Commission's Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding.
  • AIFs and VCFs are allowed to invest in a company, which is incorporated in a country whose securities market regulator is a signatory to the bilateral pact with SEBI.
  • SEBI has asked all AIFs and VCFs to disclose in a specified format all overseas investments sold/divested by them till date, within 30 days.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. A National Seminar on ‘Introspection: Armed Forces Tribunal’ held in New Delhi.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the National Seminar on ‘Introspection: Armed Forces Tribunal’.
  • It was organized by the Armed Forces Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association on 20 August.
  • Its main objective is to examine the functioning of the Armed Forces Tribunal, which was set up for speedy and inexpensive justice to Ex-Servicemen, their families and War-Widows.
  • The recommendations for remedies for any shortcomings were also given. It also aims to resolve problems and difficulties faced by the litigants.
  • Armed Forces Tribunal:
    • It was established under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act 2007.
    • Its Principal Bench is in New Delhi while regional benches are at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Jabalpur, Srinagar and Jaipur.
    • It has original jurisdiction in service matters relating to the Army, Air Force and Navy and appellate jurisdiction in court martial cases.
    • Rajendra Menon is the current Chairperson.

Introspection: Armed Forces Tribunal

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National Appointment

10. FSIB recommended Mohammad Mustafa’s name for the NABARD Chairman post.

  • The Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) has recommended the name of Mohammad Mustafa from 15 candidates.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet will take the final decision on the recommended name.
  • Mohammad Mustafa has served as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
  • He had also worked as CMD of the National Housing Bank from 2014-15.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
    • It was founded in July 1982 and is headquartered in Mumbai.
    • It is an apex regulatory body for the regulation of regional rural banks and apex cooperative banks in India.
    • It also looks after the development of the cottage industry, small-scale industry and village industry, and other rural industries.
    • It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.

Topic: National News

11. Government has revised guidelines on monetary limits for arrest, prosecution and bail under the Customs Act.

  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued revised guidelines on 16 August.
  • As per the new guidelines, for baggage and outright smuggling, Rs 50 lakh would be the monetary threshold and it will be Rs 2 crore for commercial fraud.
  • The previous threshold for baggage and outright smuggling and commercial fraud was Rs 20 lakh and Rs 1 crore respectively.
  • The Customs Act doesn’t specify any value limits for exercising powers of arrest.
  • A more comprehensive list of situations in which offences can result in arrest has also been provided by CBIC.
  • Duty evasion and misdeclaration of goods worth Rs 2 crore or above can lead to arrest.
  • Similarly, the smuggling of high-value goods like gold and the unauthorised import of goods worth more than Rs 50 lakh could lead to prosecution and arrest.
  • Customs Act of 1962 deals with the import and export procedures, Prohibitions on the importation and exportation of goods, penalties, and offences.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

12. A draft of the pandemic treaty will be ready for negotiation within 18 months.

  • Article 19 of the WHO Constitution empowers World Health Assembly to adopt conventions or agreements related to health.
  • The first round of negotiations for the pandemic treaty was held on 24 February 2022.
  • The international pandemic treaty will help in resolving many health challenges, including equitable distribution of vaccines and health services among countries, knowledge and data sharing, etc.
  • The World Health Assembly (WHA) held in December 2021 formally started the process of drafting the pandemic treaty.
  • Under the provisions of Article 19 of the WHO Constitution, the WHA established an International Negotiating Body (INB) to draft and negotiate the terms of the pandemic treaty.
  • The pandemic treaty will also cover aspects like the genome sequencing of emerging viruses and research. It will help in preventing future global health disasters.
  • The European Union has made the demand to include a ban on wildlife markets in the treaty.
  • EU wants to make this treaty legally binding.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

13. Kritsnam Technologies will get financial support from the government to develop smart water management technologies.

  • Kritsnam Technologies, an IIT Kanpur incubated startup company, will get financial support of Rs 3.29 crore from the government to develop smart water management technologies.
  • The Technology Development Board (TDB) and Kritsnam Technologies Private Limited, Ranchi, have also signed an MoU for the production and commercialisation of the Dhaara Smart Flow Meter.
  • Dhaara Smart Flow Meter could help in monitoring and controlling groundwater exploitation in the country.
  • ‘Dhaara Smart Flowmeter’ is an online monitoring system that uses two-beam ultrasonic flowmeters to track water distribution in real time.
  • It collects data with the help of sensors and stores it in the device, and transmits it to the online cloud servers. The server analyses the data and displays it on the dashboard.
  • It is battery-operated and does not require external power.
  • It can be used at commercial places like hotels, hospitals, malls, IT parks, schools, etc. for monitoring water consumption.
  • Dhaara Smart Flow Meter will greatly benefit Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal).
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana is a Rs 6,000 crore World Bank aided Central Sector Scheme for sustainable management of groundwater resources with community participation.
  • The scheme is being implemented in 80 water-stressed districts and 8,565 Gram Panchayats of seven States viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from 1 April 2020 for a period of five years.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

14. Megalodon was present in oceans around 23 million to 2.6 million years ago.

  • According to a study, a giant transoceanic predator, Megalodon was living in oceans around 23 million to 2.6 million years ago.
  • This new study has been published in the journal Science Advances.
  • Megalodon was around 50 feet long and its weight was around 70 tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 10 elephants.
  • As per the study, Megalodon’s speed was more than the sharks today. They had the ability to migrate across multiple oceans.
  • The Skelton of Megalodons was made of soft cartilage. The fossils and teeth of Megalodons are present in the Belgium Museum.
  • Researchers have reconstructed the entire body of Megalodons with the help of computer modelling.
  • Megalodon means "big tooth", and it is a member of the extinct Otodontidae family. Its main prey were whales, seals, and sea turtles.
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