Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 January 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 17:18 PM IST

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

1. Indian Army organized ‘Sainya Ranakshetram 2.0’ workshop cum seminar on Cyber-security Threats.

  • The second edition of the ‘Sainya Ranakshetram’ is being organized from October 2022 to January 2023 under the aegis of HQ Army Training Command (ARTRAC).
  • ‘Sainya Ranakshetram’ is a Hackathon to identify cyber security challenges and to develop innovative solutions.
  • Indian nationals under the individual and team categories participated in the Hackathon.
  • The event was divided into four further sub-events to cater different aspects of Cyber Threat Analysis. This included the following activities:
    • Secure Software Coding
    • ESMO- Customised Indian Army-Specific Stack for Wi-Fi 6
    • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning- NLP Processing and Decoding of Radio Intercepts
    • Cyber Deterrence- Capture the Flag (CTF)
  • Sainya Ranakshetram 2.0 has given an opportunity to individuals, academia and organisations to show their talent in the field of Cyber Security.
  • The selected talent via the seminar will be utilised to ensure fast-track development of cyber security tools and techniques.
  • Army Chief General Manoj Pandey felicitated the award winners of the event during a virtual ceremony on 17 January 2023.

Sainya Ranakshetram 2.0

(Source: PIB)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. IPA and RIS signed MoU for setting up the Centre for Maritime Economy and Connectivity.

  • Research & Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and the Indian Ports Association (IPA) have signed an MoU for setting up a Centre for Maritime Economy and Connectivity.
  • Various other dignitaries were also present during the signing of the agreement.
  • The proposed project of Transhipment Port at Galathea bay at Greater Nicobar in Andaman & Nicobar Islands will be very useful for the BIMSTEC Nations.
  • Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary (PSW) said that the GatiShakti initiative of the Prime Minister will go beyond the shores of India and neighbouring countries ports will also get benefit of the initiative.
  • Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal states that the RIS should also give their expertise in Policy Formulations.
  • Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS):
    • It is an autonomous policy research institute located in New Delhi.
    • It is specialise in issues related to international economic development, trade, investment and technology.
  • Indian Ports Association (IPA):
    • It was constituted in 1966 under Societies Registration Act.
    • It is responsible for the growth and development of all Major Ports under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
    • It is a think tank for the Major Ports with the goal of integrating the maritime sector.

IPA and RIS signed MoU

(Source: PIB)

Topic: State News/ Karnataka

3. PM Modi launched several development projects in Karnataka's Yadagiri district.

  • PM inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for projects worth Rs 10,863 crore in Kodekal under Karnataka’s Yadgir district.
  • On 19 January, PM inaugurated Narayanpur's left bank canal with a modern irrigation system at Yadgir in North Karnataka.
  • The project has been implemented at a cost of Rs 4699 crore and will help irrigate more than five lakh hectares in the backward areas of Yadgir, Raichur, and Kalaburagi.
  • He also inaugurated Yadgir multi-village drinking water scheme worth Rs 2,054 crore.
  • He also laid the foundation stone for constructing a six-lane greenfield highway from Akkalkot to Kurnool worth Rs 4109 crore.
  • Mr Modi said rural household tap water connectivity has increased from 3 crore households to 11 crore households in the country through Jal Jeevan Mission, and 50 out of 99 long-pending irrigation projects in India have been completed.
  • Mr Modi said the government has increased procurement of agricultural crops at MSP, introduced Nano Urea, and initiated revenue generation activities through animal husbandry, fisheries, and beekeeping.
  • The government has provided equipment and drones for farming and has started organic farming as well.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Rock singer David Crosby passed away at the age of 81.

  • David Crosby was one of the most influential rock singers of the 1960s and 1970s, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with two different groups.
  • Crosby was a founding member of two rock bands, first was the country and folk-influenced Byrds, for whom he co-wrote the hit song "Eight Miles High".
  • Second band was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY), which defined the spontaneous side of the Woodstock generation's music.

Topic: Agriculture and Allied sectorS

5. A record over 5,000 lakh metric tonnes of sugarcane has been produced by India in the sugar season 2021-22.

  • During the season, the country recorded a record sugarcane production of over 5,000 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), of which about 3,574 LMT was crushed in sugar mills.
  • This resulted in production of 394 Lakh MT sugar (sucrose), of which 36 Lakh MT sugar was used in ethanol production and 359 LMT sugar was produced by sugar mills.
  • During the year 2021-22, sugar mills earned an income of more than Rs 20 thousand crore from the sale of ethanol.
  • In the year 2021-22, between October and September, the highest sugar production and consumption in the world took place in India.
  • India is also the second largest sugar exporter in the world after Brazil.
  • In every sugar season, around 320-360 LMT of sugar is produced as against 260-280 LMT of domestic consumption.
  • Due to high availability of sugar in the country, ex-mill prices of sugar remain low.
  • In order to prevent the cash loss of sugar mills due to the reduction in sugar prices, the GoI implemented the system of Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of sugar in June 2018 and fixed the MSP of sugar at Rs 29 per kg.
  • Later, it was revised to Rs.31 per kg and the new rates became effective from 14.02.2019.
  • Ethanol production capacity of molasses/sugar based distilleries has increased to 683 crore liters per annum and progress is still on to meet the target of 20% blending by 2025 under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme.
  • In the new season, the production of ethanol from sugar is expected to increase from 36 LMT to 50 LMT, which will generate revenue of about Rs 25,000 crore to sugar mills.

Topic: International News

6. Vietnam's President Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave his resignation amid anti-corruption scandals.

  • President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given his resignation amid an ongoing anti-corruption drive in Vietnam.
  • The anti-corruption drive has led to the sacking of several ministers in Vietnam.
  • Prior to this, two Deputy Prime Ministers who served under President Phuc had quit.
  • Mr Phuc had assumed the office of president in 2021.
  • Seventy-nine years old Phuc served as the Prime Minister of Vietnam from 2016 to April 2021.
  • The president's resignation requires approval from the National Assembly.
  • Two former deputy prime ministers, two ministers and other officials are facing criminal charges in the country.
  • The party's general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong tried to consolidate his authority by removing senior officials, which is being seen as more pro-Western and pro-business.
  • Trong started his third term last year.

Vietnam's President

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

7. Rare orange bat seen in Kanger Valley National Park of Bastar, Chhattisgarh.

  • The orange bat has already been seen in the Western Ghats, Kerala, Maharashtra and Odisha.
  • It has now been seen at a banana plantation in Parali Bodal village of Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Valley National Park in Bastar.
  • These bats have been known to roost in pairs. These are often found in unusual roosting sites like nests of weaver finches and sunbirds, and banana leaves.
  • Orange-coloured bat is also known as painted bat. It is also known as the butterfly bat.
  • It is characterised by bright orange and black wings. Its scientific name is ‘Kerivoula picta’.
  • It is generally found in Bangladesh, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Kanger Valley National Park is famous for its limestone caves. They also provide suitable habitats for bats.
  • There are about 131 species of bats in the country. Out of these, 31 are found in central India.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

8. 1st Global Tourism Investors’ Summit will be hosted by Tourism Ministry in April 2023 in New Delhi.

  • The central government will organize India’s first Global Tourism Summit in New Delhi from 10-12 April 2023 under the aegis of India’s G20 Presidency.
  • All G-20 member countries will be invited to participate in the summit.
  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the Industry Partner for this event.
  • A roadshow was held ahead of the summit at St Regis Hotel, Mumbai.
  • At the Global Tourism Investor’s Summit, India will showcase investment opportunities in various sectors of tourism such as theme parks, adventure tourism, and wellness tourism.
  • It is expected that the tourism sector will contribute USD 56 Billion forex, creating around 140 million jobs in tourism by 2030.
  • The Maharashtra government is exploring opportunities in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism and responsible tourism. 
  • Maharashtra has reduced the number of licenses to 10 only for Ease of Doing Business.
  • Mumbai is the Cruise Capital and Tadoba is the Tiger Capital. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is Maharashtra's oldest and largest national park.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. India is on the fourth position in the Global Firepower Index.

  • The Global Firepower Index gives a ranking to a country based on the potential defence capability across land, sea and air.
  • India’s has a Power Index score of 0.1025 in the Military Strength Ranking of Global Firepower.
  • In this ranking, a country with a low score is considered to be more powerful.
  • Global Firepower Index gives ranking to 145 countries. The "PowerIndex" score is used to give ranking to countries.
  • The United States is at the top of the Index with a score of 0.0712.
  • It is followed by Russia with a score of 0.0714. China is in the third position with a score of 0.0722.
  • Bangladesh is in the 12th position on the GFP review's list of 'Powers on the Rise'. Bangladesh has a PowerIndex score of 0.5871.
  • The 'Powers on the Rise' for the 2023 annual defence review includes 53 nations.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

10. Government launched a new technology system to monitor air quality.

  • Electronics and information technology secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma has launched the technology for Air Quality Monitoring System (AI-AQMS v1.0). It has been developed under MeitY-supported projects.
  • The C-DAC Kolkata in association with TeXMIN, ISM, Dhanbad has developed an outdoor air quality monitoring station under the national programme on electronics and ICT applications in Agriculture and Environment (AgriEnIcs).
  • It will monitor environmental pollutants including PM 1.0, PM 2.5, PM 10.0, Sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), oxygen (O2), etc.
  • The technology for Air Quality Monitoring System (AI-AQMS v1.0) was transferred to JM EnviroLab for further commercialisation.
  • For the transfer of technology, an agreement has been signed between Debasis Mazumdar, senior director and centre head, C-DAC, Kolkata, and Deepa Taneja, CEO, JM EnviroLab.
  • The unwanted substances that contaminate the air are called air pollutants. Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen oxides, Carbon dioxide, Smoke, CFCs, etc. are the main air pollutants.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Bahrain's ISA award given to Nepali ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit for service to humanity.

  • Dr Sanduk Ruit, the co-founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project, has won the ISA Award for Service to Humanity, a top Bahraini civilian award.
  • The award consists of a USD 1 million cash prize, a certificate of merit, and a gold medal.
  • Dr Ruit provides high-quality microsurgical procedures in remote eye camps.
  • He made modern eye care affordable and accessible to Asian, African, and Latin American countries.
  • He is known as the "God of Sight" because he has saved the sight of 1,20,000 people who would have gone blind if they had not received treatment.
  • He has received the Padma Shri Award from the GoI, The National Order of Merit of Bhutan as well as the Ramon Magsaysay Award. 
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain confers the prestigious ISA award every two years in 11 categories, including disaster prevention and relief, education, and human tolerance.

Dr Sanduk Ruit

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Reports and Indices

12. Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022 has been released by NGO Pratham on 18 January.

  • The report found that student enrollment has increased compared to pre-pandemic levels but fundamental learning skills in reading and arithmetic have decreased.
  • Despite school closures during the pandemic, overall enrollment figures for the 6–14 age group increased from 97.2% in 2018 to 98.4% in 2022.
  • ASER conducted a survey in 616 rural districts. It surveyed 6.9 lakh children aged 3 to 16 to record their schooling status and assess their basic reading and arithmetic skills.
  • The report has been brought out after four years and documents the impact of school closures in 2020 and 2021 as well as children returning to school in 2022.
  • Important Highlights of this survey:
    • The number of children enrolled in government schools has increased from 65.6% in 2018 to 72.9% in 2022.
    • The percentage of Class 3 children in government or private schools who were able to read at the Class 2 level fell from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022.
    • States showing a decline of more than 10 % points from 2018 levels include states that had higher reading levels in 2018.
    • Such states are: Kerala (from 52.1% in 2018 to 38.7% in 2022), Himachal Pradesh (from 47.7% to 28.4%), and Haryana (from 46.4% to 31.5%), Andhra Pradesh (22.6% to 10.3%) and Telangana (18.1% to 5.2%).
    • Nationally, the proportion of children in Class 5 in government or private schools who can read at least a Class 2-level text declined from 50.5% in 2018 to 42.8% in 2022.
    • The report found that the percentage of girls in the age group of 11-14 years who were out of school decreased from 4.1% to 2%.
    • The proportion of girls not enrolled in school reduced from 13.5% in 2018 to 7.9% in 2022.

Topic: Defence

13. Indo-Russian joint venture begun production of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles.

  • Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) has started the manufacturing process of AK-203 assault rifles at Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi.
  • It made India the first country outside Russia to start the manufacturing of AK-200 series assault rifles.
  • It will be used by Indian Army and later it may be given to paramilitary forces of India.
  • Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited is a joint venture of Russia and India. Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Concern subsidiaries of the Rostec State Corporation are part of this venture.
  • The joint venture company is planning to increase production as well as modernizing the facilities to manufacture advanced rifles.
  • The first batch of 5000 rifles (AK-203) will be received in March 2023 with five per cent indigenous content.
  • Another 65000 rifles with 17 percent indigenous content will be delivered in the next 32 months.
  • Later, the rifles will be made in India with 100 percent indigenous content. 
  • Ak 203 has unique features like a special capability barrel and compatibility with many systems.

Topic: Personality in News

14. Noted Assamese poet Nilamani Phookan passes away.

  • Assamese poet and recipient of the Jnanpith Award, Nilamani Phookan died at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at the age of 89.
  • He was a recipient of the 56th Jnanpith for the year 2021.
  • ‘Xurjya Henu Naami Aahe Ei Nodiyedi’, ‘Kabita’, and ‘Gulapi Jamur Lagna’ are some notable works of him.
  • He was born on 10 September 1933. He received the 1981 Sahitya Akademi Award in Assamese for his poetry collection, Kavita (Kobita).
  • He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1990 and received the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.
  • He was selected for the 'Emeritus Fellowship' for two years in 1998.
  • He was conferred 'Sahityacharya' by Assam Sahitya Sabha.
  • He has made remarkable literary contributions to the Assamese society.

Assamese poet Nilamani Phookan

(Source: News on AIR)

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