Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 June 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 21 Jun 2023 17:27 PM IST

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Current Affairs

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. A Knowledge Sharing Platform has been launched by NHAI for the inclusive development of National Highways.

  • This initiative of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will help it to collaborate with experts and citizens wanting to share knowledge and insights on different topics.
  • These topics are road design, construction, road safety, environment sustainability and related fields.
  • The Knowledge Sharing Platform will promote sharing of best practices from around the world.
  • The best practices can be uploaded on the NHAI web portal.
  • It will contribute towards the holistic development of the National Highway Infrastructure in the country.

Topic: National News

2. Ministry of AYUSH has planned the Ocean Ring of Yoga to commemorate International Day of Yoga (IDY) 23.

  • It is an event planned in coordination with the Ministry of Defence and other ministries.
  • It is an event symbolizing unity and solidarity. In support of the International Day of Yoga (IDY-23) initiative, Indian Navy ships are visiting various ports of friendly foreign countries.
  • They are spreading the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which is also the theme for IDY 23.
  • This year, port calls by Indian Navy ships are planned as per the following table.

Port

Indian Navy Ships

Chattogram, Bangladesh

Kiltan

Safaga, Egypt

Chennai

Jakarta, Indonesia

Shivalik

Mombasa, Kenya

Sunayna

Toamasina, Madagascar

Trishul

Muscat, Oman

Tarkash

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Vagir

Phuket, Thailand

Sumitra

Dubai, UAE

Brahmaputra

 

  • Under IDY 23 Ocean Ring of Yoga, about 3500 naval personnel have traveled over 35,000 Km as ambassadors of Yoga in both national and international waters.

Ministry of AYUSH has planned the Ocean Ring of Yoga

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: India and its neighbours

3. China and Pakistan signed a $4.8 billion deal to build a 1200-megawatt nuclear power plant.

  • On 20 June, China and Pakistan signed an agreement of $4.8 billion to set up a 1,200-megawatt nuclear power plant in Punjab province.
  • The Chashma-V nuclear plant will be set up at Chashma in the Mianwali district of Punjab.
  • It is a sign of increasing economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.
  • In this project, Pakistan will get an investment of $4.8 billion from China.
  • Pakistan currently has six operating nuclear power plants. Pakistan’s total nuclear energy production is 1400 MW.
  • Pakistan’s sixth nuclear power plant was opened two years ago in Karachi.
  • Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) is the first nuclear energy plant in Pakistan.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. Central Government discontinued the sale of rice and wheat under OMSS to state governments.

  • The Union Food Ministry discontinued the sale of rice and wheat under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to all state governments.
  • This decision can affect some states including Karnataka which are offering free grains to the poor.
  • The sale of rice under the OMSS will be continued for northeastern states, hilly states and states facing law and order issues, and natural calamities.
  • This decision has been taken for controlling the prices of wheat and rice.
  • Amid concerns over monsoon, FCI has to maintain enough stocks to keep prices under control.
  • The Central government has also imposed stock limits on wheat till March 31, 2024.
  • The government has decided to sell 15 lakh tonnes of wheat under the OMSS to flour mills, private traders and manufacturers of wheat products through e-auction.
  • Under the OMSS policy for 2023, States can buy both rice and wheat from the FCI for their own schemes by without participating in e-auction.
  • The main aim of the Open Market Sale Scheme is to reduce the excess stock of food grains held by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

5. IndiGo signed a $50bn deal for 500 aircraft with Airbus.

  • IndiGo team led by promoter & MD Rahul Bhatia and the Airbus team led by CEO Guillaume Faury signed the historic $50bn deal.
  • The order of 500 aircraft comprises a mix of A320 neo, A321 neo, and A321 xlr aircraft. The engine selection for this order will be done later.
  • IndiGo placed the largest order ever by an Indian airline at the Paris Air Show. IndiGo is the largest airline by market share in India.
  • The aircraft will be delivered between 2030 and 2035.
  • IndiGo has so far ordered a total of 1,330 Airbus aircraft since its establishment. It has currently 310 aircraft and it 60% domestic market share.
  • IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers said that the airline will double its fleet size by 2030.
  • Indigo’s earlier order of 480 aircraft is expected to be delivered by the end of 2030.
  • The Indigo airline is operating more than 1,800 daily flights connecting 78 domestic destinations.
  • Earlier, Air India had signed a deal with Airbus to buy 250 aircraft. Air India is owned by Tata Group.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

6. Drug Controller General of India approved GEMCOVAC-OM under emergency use guidelines.

  • GEMCOVAC-OM is India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine for the Omicron variant.
  • It is developed by Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Last year, the company received approval for GEMCOVAC-19, the country’s first m-RNA vaccine against COVID-19.
  • GEMCOVAC-OM and GEMCOVAC-19 are yet to be commercially available.
  • According to the Gennova officials, the vaccines were likely to be formally launched within next two to three weeks.
  • After the approval last year of its vaccine against the Wuhan strain, Gennova manufactured 70 million doses.
  • Out of these, 12 million were approved by the Central Research Institute, Kasauli.  
  • GEMCOVAC-OM is stable in 2-8 degree Celsius range. Therefore, it can be stored in ordinary refrigerators.
  • It can be administered into the skin via a needle-free PharmaJet system.
  • The vaccine has also been tested at the National Institute of Virology against the newest (Omicron subvariant), XBB 1.16, and it is found to be effective.
  • GEMCOVAC-OM generated more neutralising antibodies. Neutralising antibodies prevent the coronavirus from proliferating within the body.

Topic: Important Days

7. World Music Day: 21 June

  • World Music Day is observed every year on 21 June. It is celebrated in almost 120 countries all over the world.
  • The idea of celebrating a day of music was conceived by Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture, in 1981.
  • According to another theory, Joel Cohen gave the idea of an all-night music celebration in 1976 to mark the beginning of summer solstice and since then, World Music Day is celebrated on June 21.
  • The day is observed to honour musicians across the world and encourage them to showcase their work to people.
  • On this day, free public concerts are organised in parks, streets, stations and other public places.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Arundhati Roy has been awarded the European Essay Prize 2023 for lifetime achievement.

  • She has been awarded the prize for the French translation of "Azadi" (2021). It is her compilation of essays.
  • Charles Veillon Foundation has announced that she has been awarded the 45th European Essay Prize for lifetime achievement.
  • The foundation said Arundhati Roy uses the essay as a form of combat, analysing fascism.
  • The jury acknowledged her commitment to political action.
  • "Azadi" provides Roy’s reflections on the meaning of freedom in a world of "growing authoritarianism".
  • Her works include Booker Prize winning "The God of Small Things", "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness", and "My Seditious Heart".
  • She will receive the award and the prize money of CHF 20,000 (approx ₹18 lakh), at a ceremony on September 12 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • European Essay Prize is awarded since 1975. The award draws attention to authors whose work bears witness to and provides a commentary on current societies, their practices, and ideologies.

Topic: Defence

9. Multinational peacekeeping Joint Exercise "Ex Khaan Quest 2023" is being organized in Mongolia.

  • On 19 June, the multinational peacekeeping joint exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2023” with the participation of military contingents and observers from more than 20 countries began.
  • President of Mongolia Mr. Ukhnagin Khurelsukh inaugurated the exercise at a ceremony held at the exercise site.
  • The Indian Army Contingent is also participating in the multinational peacekeeping Joint Exercise.
  • A contingent of the Garhwal Rifles is representing the Indian Army.
  • The objective of the 14-day exercise is to enhance interoperability of the participating countries, share experiences and train uniformed personnel for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO).
  • The exercise will prepare participants for future UN peacekeeping operations, develop peacekeeping capabilities and enhance military preparedness.
  • The exercise includes Command Post Exercise (CPX), Field Training Exercise (FTX), combat discussions, lectures and demonstrations.
  • The military exercise will also help in further enhancing bilateral relations between India and participating countries.

Ex Khaan Quest 2023

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. First skin bank in North India opened in Safdarjung Hospital.

  • On 20 June, North India's first skin bank has been inaugurated at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.
  • There are 16 skin banks in the country, seven in Maharashtra, four in Chennai, three in Karnataka and one each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
  • A skin bank is a facility where skin from deceased persons can be donated.
  • Kidneys and Liver cannot be stored and need to be transplanted within hours of donation.
  • But in the scenario of skin, it can be stored for three to five years.
  • Skin grafting reduces mortality, increases survival rates in patients and helps them achieve better treatment outcomes.
  • It also reduces the overall cost of their hospital stay and treatment.
  • 7-10 million people suffer burn injuries every year in India, it is the second most common cause of injury after road accidents.
  • If a patient's skin is severely burned or damaged and the area is not covered with a skin substitute, they may get an infection.
  • Patients with skin infections, skin cancer treatments such as Mohs surgery, skin ulcers, and slow-healing or large wounds may benefit from skin grafting.

UP GK - Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge

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Topic: Important Day

11. International Day of Yoga 2023: 21 June

  • International Yoga Day is celebrated every year on 21 June.
  • It is celebrated to recognize the various benefits of yoga and to promote yoga as part of life.
  • This year, the ninth International Day of Yoga has been celebrated across the world.
  • The theme of the International Yoga Day 2023 is "Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam."
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on 11 December 2014 to mark 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.
  • 21st June was selected as Yoga day because the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and is of great significance for many people in the world.
  • The day was first celebrated in 2015 with the theme “Harmony and Peace”.
  • Yoga is an ancient practice that not only deals with physical and mental health but also emotional and spiritual health.
  • Yoga has been declared the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016.

International Day of Yoga 2023

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. ‘Dakshta’ course collection launched by central government on iGOT platform to enhance skills of young professionals.

  • On 19 June, a new curated collection of courses called “Dakshta" (Development of Attitude, Knowledge, Skill for Holistic Transformation in Administration) has been launched on the iGOT Karmayogi Platform.
  • This collection (comprising 18 courses) has been designed for young professionals and consultants working in government.
  • The aim of collection is to build functional, domain and behavioural competencies by acquainting learners with subjects crucial for discharging their duties, and responsibilities effectively.
  • NITI Aayog's 40 young consultants and professionals are currently undergoing induction training in a phased manner through this structured collection of courses on the iGOT Karmayogi platform.
  • IGOT Karmayogi platform is an online portal to provide guidance to government officials in their capacity building journey.
  • The portal connects 6 functional centers for online learning, competency management, career management, mentorship, events and networking.
  • Karmayogi Bharat is a government-owned non-profit SPV, set up by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • It is entrusted with the responsibility of owning, managing, maintaining and improving iGOT (Integrated Government Online Training), Karmayogi platform.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

13. Ministry of Environment released the National Working Plan Code-2023.

  • The “National Working Plan Code-2023” for scientific management of forests and evolving new approaches has been released by Chandra Prakash Goyal, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary.
  • It has been released on 17th June on the occasion of the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’.
  • National Working Plan Code was first adopted in 2004. It was later amended in 2014.
  • It is the main instrument for the scientific management of forests in India.
  • It will act as the guiding principle for State Forest Departments in forming working plans for different forest divisions.
  • In the National Action Plan Code-2023, the essentials of the Forest Management Plan have been explained in detail including the principles of sustainable management of forests.
  • It includes the extent and condition of forest and tree cover and maintenance, conservation and enhancement of biodiversity.
  • For the first time, the National Action Plan Code-2023 has mandated state forest departments to undertake continuous data collection and its updation in a centralized database.
  • The standards for Sustainable Forest Management are codified in the Indian Forest Management Standard based on the long-term experiences of scientific forest management.

National Working Plan Code-2023 released

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

14. Tajinderpal Singh Toor sets new Asian shot put record at Inter-State Championships in Bhubaneswar.

  • Punjab athlete Tajinderpal Singh Toor broke his own previous Asian record with a throw of 21.77 metres.
  • He broke his record of 21.49 metres, which he had set in 2021 in Patiala.
  • Tajinderpal Singh Toor has secured his spot in the upcoming World Championships with this feat.
  • He also qualified for the Asian Games by meeting the required distance of 19 metres.
  • With this outstanding performance, he reached ninth place on the list of the longest shot put distances recorded worldwide in this season.
  • The Inter-State championship is the qualifier for the Asian Games.
  • Shot Put:
    • It is a sport in which the participant stands inside a circle and attempts to throw a weighted ball as far as they possibly can.
    • The weight of a metal ball is 7.26kg/16lb for men and 4kg/8.8lb for women.
    • The men’s shot put remain part of every Olympics since 1896.

Tajinderpal Singh Toor sets new Asian shot put record

(Source: News on AIR)

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Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
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