Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 February 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 18:36 PM IST

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Topic: Miscellaneous

1. World's highest altitude weather station has been rebuilt on Mount Everest.

  • World's highest weather station was destroyed due to hurricane- winds on Mount Everest.
  • A team of mountaineers and scientists have placed a new weather station at 8,810 metres, just 39 metres (128 ft) below Everest’s summit.
  • The team reached with different components at Bishop Rock on May 9 in the chilly winter.
  • The reinstallation work of the world's highest weather station was launched as a part of National Geographic and Rolex's ‘Return to Everest Expedition’ in May 2022.
  • Tenzing, Matthews, and Perry with the help of 12 other Sherpa worked to install this weather station.
  • Earlier, the weather station was located around 400 metres below than the present weather station location.
  • The information from weather station will make an impact on the lives of around 1.6 billion people.
  • The world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest (known as Sagarmatha in Nepal) is located between Nepal and Tibet. Its total height is 8,849 meters.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. mPassport Police App has been launched by the Ministry of External Affairs for speedy police verification for passports.

  • With the help of the app, police personnel can submit digital and paperless verification reports through mobile tablets.
  • This will cut verification time from 15 to five days. This will reduce passport issuance time by nearly 10 days.
  • The app has been launched for the Delhi Police jurisdiction only.
  • The integration of DigiLocker with the Passport Seva Programme will permit citizens to submit their documents in paperless mode.
  • This will end the need to take original documents to the Passport Kendra.
  • Department of Posts has set up Post Office Passport Seva Kendra across the country.
  • Presently, there are 555 Passport Kendras across the country.
  • They include 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendra, and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra.

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

3. Government sets up a panel to monitor the implementation of the Mission Karmayogi programme.

  • The panel will be headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
  • The panel comprises a senior official from the Prime Minister’s Office, seven secretaries, and others.
  • The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Karmayogi Bharat and secretary of the Capacity Building Commission will be permanent invitees to this 12-member panel.
  • Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary (Training), Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will be the Member Secretary.
  • Recently, the government has given approval to setting up of a Cabinet Secretariat Coordination Unit (CSCU) as part of the institutional framework under the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) or Mission Karmayogi.
  • The members of CSCU will be a nominee of Prime Minister's Office (PMO), secretary (Coordination), cabinet secretariat, DoPT secretary, home secretary, expenditure secretary, Environment, Forest & Climate Change secretary, Higher Education secretary and revenue secretary.
  • The implementation of NPCSCB will be monitored by CSCU. CSCU will oversee the formulation of the National Capacity Building Plan (NCBP) and place it before Prime Minister's Human Resource Council (PMHRC) for approval.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

4. UAE will host the first vice-ministerial meeting of the I2U2 in Abu Dhabi this week (20-26 February 2023).

  • Senior officials from India, Israel, the United States, and the UAE will attend the meeting.
  • It is the first vice-ministerial meeting since the grouping (I2U2) was jointly announced by President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Lapid, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez will lead the U.S. delegation at the meeting.
  • During the meeting, opportunities to advance regional cooperation will be discussed.
  • Investment opportunities to build partnerships addressing the region's most pressing issues, including management of the energy crisis and food insecurity will also be discussed.
  • The I2U2 grouping was conceptualised during the meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries held on October 18, 2021.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Learning-Teaching Material for Foundational Stages has been launched by Dharmendra Pradhan.

  • On 20 February, Learning-Teaching Material called 'Jaadui Pitara' has been launched for Foundational Stages as envisaged under National Education Policy 2020 in New Delhi.
  • This unique initiative of the government will help foundational stage students to learn easily through play-way method under the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage - 2022.
  • 'Jadui Pitara' is a play-based teaching-learning material designed for children in the age group of 3-8 years.
  • The 'Jadui Pitara' includes playbooks, activity books, flash cards, posters depicting different stories, games, puzzles, puppets and many more items.
  • Developed under the National Curriculum Framework, the 'Jadui Pitara' is available in 13 Indian languages.
  • The minister urged NCERT to leverage technology to translate the content in the 'Jadui Pitara' in all Indian languages.
  • These resources would be made available digitally on the DIKSHA platform - portal and mobile app.
  • Initially, this initiative will be started as a pilot project in only 50 Central schools, but later, for the next academic session, it will be launched in 1200 Central schools across the country.
  • Following are the main points of the ‘Jadui Pitara':-
    • CORE transformative aspect of NCF-FS - 'learn through Play'
    • Research from fields as diverse as Neurosciences to Education
    • Applies to Class 1 & 2 also (age 6-8) - huge shift - children will learn through play, have fun, and FLN will be addressed.
    • Learning and Development in 5 domains: Physical Development, Socio-emotional and Ethical Development, Cognitive Development, Language and Literacy Development, Aesthetic and Cultural Development, Positive Learning Habits has been included as another domain of development at this stage.
    • A wide range of resources to be used for learning and teaching NOT only books.
    • Flexibility to accommodate variety and local resources

Topic: Defence

6. INS Sumedha participated in IDEX and NAVDEX 23 exercises in Abu Dhabi.

  • On 20 February, Indian Naval Ship Sumedha has participated in NAVDEX 23 (Naval Defense Exhibition) and IDEX 23 (International Defense Exhibition) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • The exercise will be held from 20 to 24 February 2023.
  • INS Sumedha is the third ship of the indigenously built Saryu class Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV) and was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 7 March 2014.
  • Indigenously built at Goa Shipyard Limited, INS Sumedha is equipped with an impressive array of weapons and sensors.
  • It can carry a helicopter and can be operational for a long time. INS Sumedha is a highly potent warship, which can be deployed for various operational missions.
  • Its excellent capability reflects the capabilities of the Indian naval shipbuilding industry.
  • The defence ties between the two countries were elevated to the level of 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership' during the visit of Sheikh Mohamed, the current President of UAE, as the chief guest on the occasion of Republic Day celebrations in January 2017.
  • The inaugural edition of the bilateral Exercise Zayed Talwar between the Indian Navy and the UAE Navy was also conducted in March 2018 with an aim to enhance interoperability between the two navies.
 
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Topic: National News

7. Cross-border connectivity between the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and PayNow of Singapore launched on 21 February.

  • PM Modi and his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the launch of cross-border connectivity between UPI of India and PayNow of Singapore through video conferencing.
  • The launch was done by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • The linkage of UPI and PayNow will make it possible for citizens of both nations to send remittances across borders more quickly and affordably.
  • A quick and inexpensive money transfer from Singapore to India will benefit the Indian community in Singapore, particularly migrant workers and students.
  • PhonePe has earlier launched facility for cross-border UPI payments, under UPI International.
  • This allows apps’ users to use their Indian bank accounts to pay at merchant outlets in the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • RBI has proposed to allow all inbound travelers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments while they are in the country.
  • Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have bank accounts in India and reside abroad will soon be able to use UPI platforms with the help of their international mobile numbers.
  • NPCI has permitted UPI platforms to onboard non-resident accountholders from ten countries with international mobile numbers with certain restrictions.

Cross-border connectivity

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National Appointments

8. BVR Subrahmanyam has been appointed as the new CEO of NITI Aayog.

  • His appointment has been approved by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet for a period of two years from the date of assumption of the charge of the post.
  • BVR Subrahmanyam will replace Parameswaran Iyer.
  • Parameswaran Iyer has been appointed as Executive Director, World Bank headquarters, Washington DC, USA. Mr. Iyer will replace Rajesh Khullar.
  • Parameswaran Iyer was 3rd CEO of NITI Aayog. He became CEO of NITI Aayog in July 2022.
  • BVR Subrahmanyam is a Chhattisgarh cadre Indian Administrative Service officer.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog is appointed by Prime Minister for a fixed tenure.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Space and IT

9. India’s first hybrid rocket by private players has been launched from Pattipulam, Tamil Nadu.

  • It has been launched in the presence of Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
  • The Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Satellite Launch Vehicle Mission- 2023 has been launched by Martin Foundation in association with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation and Space Zone India.
  • 5,000 students were involved in the project. The selected students designed and constructed a student satellite launch vehicle (rocket).
  • The student team included 200 from the fishermen’s community in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
  • The students have learnt not about satellite technology but also learnt about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
  • The reusable rocket made by selected 100 students can be used for research in weather, atmospheric conditions and radiation.
  • A hybrid-propellant rocket is a rocket with a rocket motor. It uses rocket propellants in two different phases: one solid and the other either gas or liquid.

Topic: National News

10. India’s first indigenous developed ATS system has been launched for DMRC.

  • India’s first Indigenous-Automatic Train Supervision (i-ATS) system has been launched by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on its Red line.
  • India has become the sixth country which has its own i-ATS products after France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and China.
  • The i-ATS (Indigenous-Automatic Train Supervision) has been launched from the Operations Control Centre (OCC) located at Shastri Park.
  • i-ATS system is launched in the presence of Several senior officers of both DMRC and BEL.
  • DMRC and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) have jointly developed i-ATS system.
  • DMRC and BEL have signed MoU in November 2022 for the development of this system. A full-fledged i-ATS Lab has been set up at DMRC’s IT Park.
  • Delhi Metro is planning to install i-ATS system for operations on other corridors.
  • The i-ATS system will be used later in the operations of other rail-based systems including Indian Railways.
  • This technology has been developed to work with different Signalling vendors’ systems with suitable changes.
  • The ATS is a computer-based system which manages the operations of trains.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Austin Butler wins BAFTA Awards 2023 for Best Actor and Cate Blanchett for Best Actress.

  • The winners of 76th British Academy Film Awards- BAFTA Awards have been announced in London’s Royal Festival Hall.
  • ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ has won a maximum of seven awards, that includes Best Film and Director. It is a German anti-war drama which is based on the 1928 novel by Erich Maria Remarque.
  • Films- ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ and ‘Elvis’- have won four BAFTA awards.

BAFTA Awards 2023 for Best Actor

(Source: BAFTA)

  • The list of winners of BAFTA Awards 2023 is given below:

Category

Winners

Best Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Film not in the English Language

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Director

Edward Berger for All Quiet on the Western Front

Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front

Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front

Outstanding British Film

The Banshees of Inisherin

Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin

Leading Actress

Cate Blanchett for Tar

Leading Actor

Austin Butler for Elvis

Best Casting

Elvis

Best Costume Design

Elvis

Best Special Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Animate Film

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

British Short Animation

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

British Short Film

An Irish Goodbye

EE Rising Star

Emma Mackey

Best Documentary

All That Breathes

Topic: Awards and Prizes

12. Karthik Subramaniam wins Picture of the Year award.

  • National Geographic has announced the winners of its annual Picture of the Year awards.
  • Indian origin Karthik Subramaniam has been declared winner for his photo titled “Dance of the Eagles”.
  • The photo was selected from various entries across 4 categories- Nature, People, Places and Animals.
  • Karthik’s photo will be featured in the May issue of the National Geographic magazine. He clicked the photo during his week-long photography trip in Alaska.
  • At Chiklat Bald Eagle Preserve, he witnessed the chaos of bald eagles near the shore.
  • He titles the image as “Dance of the Eagles” to pay homage to a dragon war in George R R Martin’s novel A Dance with Dragons.

Topic: Miscellaneous

13. Ayushmann Khurrana became the National Ambassador of UNICEF India.

  • On 18 February, UNICEF-India has appointed Hindi film actor Ayushmann Khurrana as its National Ambassador for child rights.
  • As a national ambassador, he will help UNICEF to ensure the rights of every child to survive, thrive, and to raise their voice.
  • He has been honored to advance advocacy for the rights of children as the National Ambassador of UNICEF India.
  • In September 2020, Ayushmann was appointed as UNICEF India's Celebrity Advocate to promote for ending violence against children and a broader child rights agenda.

Topic: Art and Culture

14. Khajuraho dance festival has been started in Madhya Pradesh from 20 February.

  • The excellence of the art form at the 49th Khajuraho Dance Festival will be shown at the Amphitheater of Khajuraho from 20 February.
  • Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel inaugurated the Khajuraho Dance Festival 2023.
  • This festival will be concluded on 26 February.
  • The Madhya Pradesh Rupankar Kala Puraskar will be presented at the function and an exhibition of artefacts has also been set up.
  • Under the Department of Culture, the festival is being organized with the joint efforts of Ustad Allaudin Khan Academy of Music and Arts, Department of Tourism, Archaeological Survey of India, World Dance Alliance and Chhatarpur District Administration.
  • Under the chairmanship of India in G-20, the first meeting of Culture Working Group is also being held in Khajuraho from 23 to 25 February.
  • Art exhibitions from various countries including India, art-marts, interactions between artists and craftsmen and national exhibitions of terracotta and ceramics as well as a fair of traditions and skills will be major attractions during the dance festival.

Khajuraho dance festival

(Source: News on AIR)

 
 

 

 

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