Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 22 Dec 2022 17:10 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. 10 Asian Giant Tortoises have been released into Nagaland protected area.

  • Before the release, they were conserved and bred for five years at the Nagaland Zoological Park, Dimapur.
  • The Nagaland Forest Department, Turtle Survival Alliance and Wildlife Conservation Society India conducted the soft release of the juvenile tortoises.
  • The soft release is a process of gradually releasing the captive-breeding species into the forest.
  • These Asian Giant Tortoises juveniles were born in 2018 with an average weight of 2.4 kg.
  • The Nagaland Zoological Park has the highest number of Asian Giant Tortoises.
  • Over-exploitation and unsustainable use for consumption by local communities are the main threats to this species.
  • The Asian Giant Tortoises population is on the brink of extinction. It is listed as ‘critically endangered’ under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The release of Tortoises is the first step to increasing the population of species.
  • The long-term plan to protect the Asian Giant Tortoises population includes engaging local communities and creating awareness about the conservation of species.

Topic: Miscellaneous

2. Gujarati film Chhello Show and RRR’s Naatu Naatu have been shortlisted for the Oscar 2023.

  • Oscars 2023 has unveiled its shortlisted films list. Four Indian films have found a place in the list.
  • Gujarati film Chhello Show is India’s official entry for the 95th Academy Awards.
  • Chello Show has been shortlisted in the International Feature Film category.
  • RRR’s song Naatu Naatu has been shortlisted in the Music (ORIGINAL SONG) category.
  • The documentary ‘All That Breathes’ found a place in the Documentary Feature Film category list.
  • ‘Elephant Whisperers’ has been shortlisted in the Documentary Short Film category.
  • The Shortlisted films for 10 categories have been announced.
  • The Oscars winners receives a copy of the golden statuette (The Academy Award of Merit).
  • The first Academy Awards were presented in 1929.
  • Bhanu Athaiya is the first Indian to win an Academy Award for designing the costumes in the film ‘Gandhi’ in 1982.

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

3. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced three new projects on 21 December.

  • These include - Holistic Development of Agriculture & Allied Sectors, Aspirational Towns, and Aspirational Panchayat for J&K Union Territory.
  • These projects have been approved by the Administrative Council chaired by the Lieutenant Governor.
  • The projects with an outlay of Rs 5013 crore is for the overall development of agriculture and allied sectors.
  • Over the next five years, these projects would bring J&K's agriculture economy on a new growth path by doubling output and making sectors sustainable and financially viable.
  • Agriculture production of Rs 37,600 crore will increase from Rs 28,142 crore to more than Rs 65,700 crore per annum, resulting in an increase of 11 per cent in the sectoral growth rate.
  • Under aspirational panchayat development programme, J&K will to select the most backward 285 panchayats - one panchayat in each block - for their overall development.
  • Under the project, additional financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh will be provided for the future development of the selected panchayats.
  • Under the Aspirational Towns Development Programme, the Urban Reforms Incentive Fund (URIF) will encourage reforms in municipalities.

Topic: Sports

4. Asian Wrestling Championship 2023 will be held in New Delhi.

  • United World Wrestling (UWW) has announced that the 2023 Senior Asian Wrestling Championships will be held in New Delhi from March 28 to April 2.
  • The championships will have men's freestyle, women's freestyle, and men's Greco-Roman divisions.
  • Also, during the ranking series competitions will be held from next year, wrestlers will be given a relaxation of up to two kilograms in their weight.
  • On 19 December, the two kg relaxation was approved by the UWW bureau in a meeting organized to finalize the 2023 calendar.
  • Wrestlers will receive ranking points in Asian Wrestling Championship, which will be used to determine their seeding for the September World Championships.
  • According to the Olympic website, five quota places for each of the 18 weight categories at the Paris 2024 Olympics will be available at the World Championships, which are planned to take place from September 16 to 24 in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • The Asian Championship will be held twice in three years in New Delhi. New Delhi hosted the tournament in February 2020 as well.
  • Asian Championship will be hosted in the Indian capital for the seventh time.
  • In 1979, India hosted the first Asian Wrestling Championships in Jalandhar. In 1987, it was also held in Mumbai.
  • In 2021, Asian Championships were held in Mongolia. Indian wrestlers earned 17 medals including one gold, five silver, and eleven bronze.

Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh

5. India's first Infantry Museum inaugurated at Mhow.

  • On December 16, the country’s first infantry museum was inaugurated in Mhow cantonment in the Indore district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The museum showcases the history of the Infantry Corps from 1747 to 2020, preserving the valor and sacrifice of the gallant soldiers in statues, murals, and photo galleries.
  • The museum has been built in three phases, which is a three-story building spread over two acres of land.
  • The history of Plassey, Saragarhi, Buxar, and Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 as well as the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Subhash Chandra Bose, etc. have been preserved.
  • In the Kargil War Room built on the second floor, the stories of the heroes are displayed through photographs and the Fateh gallery.
  • This room depicts the history of 27 regiments of the army.
  • In 2009, the construction of the research center and the museum was started and completed in 2019.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

6. Punjab ranked second in average monthly income per agricultural household.

  • During the ongoing Rajya Sabha session, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar revealed this information.
  • According to the information, Meghalaya (Rs 29,348) topped the country with the average monthly income per agricultural household.
  • Punjab (Rs 26,701) is second followed by Haryana (Rs 22,841), Arunachal Pradesh.
  • If we consider the states with maximum dependence on cash crops, then Punjab would be at the first position but Meghalaya is at the top position due to the major share of horticulture and fruits.
  • Major crops produced in Punjab include rice, wheat, maize, millet, sugarcane, oilseeds, and cotton, but rice and wheat account for 80 percent of the total gross cropped area.
  • Currently, sugarcane is cultivated on 1.25 lakh hectares in Punjab.
  • The following states are ranked by average monthly income per agricultural household:

State

Average monthly income per agricultural household

Meghalaya

Rs 29,348

Punjab

Rs 26,701

Haryana

Rs 22,841

Arunachal Pradesh

Rs 19,225

Jammu and Kashmir

Rs 18,918

Mizoram

Rs 17,964

Kerala

Rs 17,915

Uttarakhand

Rs 13,552

Karnataka

Rs 13,441

 
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Topic: Indian Polity

7. Parliament has passed the Maritime Anti-Piracy Bill 2022.

  • Rajya Sabha approved the bill on 21 December 2022. Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill.
  • With the help of the Bill, Indian authorities will be able to take action against piracy on the high seas.
  • The Bill applies to the sea beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • Exclusive Economic Zone is 200 nautical miles from India’s coastline.
  • In the bill, piracy has been defined as any illegal act of violence, detention, or destruction against a ship, aircraft, person, for private purposes, by the crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft.
  • The bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019.
  • It was then referred to the Standing Committee on External Affairs for examination.
  • The bill addresses the issue of the death penalty as an exceptional case.
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the quantum of punishment envisaged is in line with the gravity of offences.
  • The government has included provisions for the death penalty and life imprisonment for those convicted of maritime piracy. 
  • The bill provides a punishment of up to 14 years of imprisonment and a fine in cases of participating, organising, aiding, supporting, attempting to commit, and directing others to participate in an act of piracy.
  • More than 90% of India’s trade takes place by sea routes. Over 80% of the country’s hydrocarbon requirements were sea-borne. So, the security of sea lanes of communication is critical.
  • There is no specific law or legal provision in the Indian Penal Code or Criminal Procedure Code on piracy.
  • External Affairs Minister said the bill would enable us to discharge our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which we had signed in 1982 and ratified in 1995.

Topic: International News

8. US would provide its key Patriot missile defence system to Ukraine.

  • This system can be used as a shield against short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and incoming jets.
  • This will be first-ever handover of such a defence system to Ukraine.
  • Till now, US has provided a pair of National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to Ukraine.
  • Patriot missile system would be part of another 1.85 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine.
  • Military vehicles, ammunition for HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems), mortars, and small arms are also included in the package.
  • Patriot- Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target- is a theater-wide surface-to-air missile defense system built by Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX.N). It is one of the most advanced air defense systems in the U.S. arsenal.
  • It was first used in combat during the 1991 Gulf War and later was used during invasion of US in Iraq in 2003.
  • It is a mobile system that usually includes powerful radar, a control station, a power generator, launch stations and other support vehicles.
  • Its capability depends on the type of interceptor used.

Topic: International News

9. Benjamin Netanyahu secured a deal to form the new government.

  • After weeks of negotiations, Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, secured a deal to form a new government.
  • He will form a government backed by ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and an extreme-right bloc.
  • Previously, Netanyahu has served as Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999 and 2009 to 2021.
  • Netanyahu is currently facing corruption allegations in court.
  • Aryeh Deri, leader of the Shas ultra-Orthodox party, is a key leader in the new Parliament.
  • In the 120-seat parliament, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party won 32 seats, while his alliance won 64 seats overall.
  • Israel:
    • It is a Middle Eastern country located on the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Its capital is Jerusalem and the currency is the Israeli shekel.
    • It shares borders with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National Appointment

10. Dinesh Kumar Shukla has been appointed as AERB chairperson.

  • Nuclear scientist Dinesh Kumar Shukla has been appointed as the chairperson of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for three years.
  • Dinesh Kumar Shukla has taken the place of G Nageswara Rao.
  • He worked on several positions including the superintendent of the Dhruva Research Reactor and the head of the Reactor Operations Division (ROD) at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
  • He was also a member of the Management Committee for the Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT).
  • He served as a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for matters associated with the safety of research reactors.
  • Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB):
    • It was established on 15 November 1983 under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
    • Its main aim is to ensure the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India doesn’t cause health and environmental damage.
    • Its headquarters is located in Mumbai.       
    • The AERB consists of a full-time Chairman, an ex officio Member, three part-time Members and a Secretary.

Topic: Art and Culture

11. Sun Temple of Modhera, Vadnagar town and Unakoti sculptures included in tentative list of UNESCO heritage sites.

  • On 20 December, Vadnagar and the Modhera Sun Temple of Gujarat have been added to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS).
  • Unakoti rock-cut sculptures of Tripura are the third site to be included in the list.
  • India now has 52 sites on UNESCO's tentative list. UNESCO tentative list is an inventory of those properties that each country aims to consider for nomination.
  • The World Heritage Centre publishes Tentative Lists on its website and in working documents to provide transparency, access to information, and regional and thematic harmonisation.
  • Sun Temple of Modhera:
    • It is situated on the left bank of the Pushpavati, a tributary of the Rupan River, in the Mehsana district.
    • The description of the temple states that it is built in the Maru-Gurjara architectural style. This east-facing temple is made of bright yellow sandstone.
    • It is dedicated to Sun God and represents the Solanki style at its best.
    • It was built during the reign of Bhima I of Chalukya Dynasty.
  • Vadnagar:
    • It is a municipality under the Mehsana district of Gujarat.
    • Vadnagar is a multi-layered historic town, whose history stretches back to nearly the 8th century BCE.
    • The city still has various historical buildings of religious and residential nature.
  • Unakoti rock-cut relief sculptures:
    • Unakoti in Tripura is known to be an ancient holy place associated with Shaiva worship.
    • The site is a vast gallery set in a forested area that displays a number of towering images in a unique style.

Topic: Important Days

12. National Mathematics Day 2022: 22 December

  • Every year on December 22, National Mathematics Day is celebrated across the country.
  • It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, who gave 3500 mathematical formulas to the world.
  • The main objective of this day is to raise awareness among people about the importance of mathematics for the development of humanity.
  • In 2012, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 22 December as National Mathematics Day on the 125th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan:
    • He was born on 22 December 1887 in Tamil Nadu.
    • He was the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College.
    • He is also known as the “man who knew infinity”.
    • He had contributed to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fraction.
    • He was one of the youngest people to receive the fellowship of the Royal Society.

Topic: Defence

13. Indian forces to acquire “Pralay” ballistic missile capable of hitting targets from 150 to 500 kms.

  • Amid the ongoing conflict with China, Indian armed forces have moved the proposal to acquire Pralay missile.
  • The proposal is at an advanced stage and is likely to get clearance at a high level meeting.
  • Pralay, powered with solid propellant rocket motor, is a quasi-ballistic surface-to-surface missile.
  • It is an advanced missile that has been developed in a way to beat interceptor missiles.
  • It also has the ability to change its path after covering a certain range midair.
  • It is believed to be the Indian version of Dongfeng 12, 9K720 Iskander and Hyunmoo 2 missiles.
  • It has been developed by DRDO.
  • Pralay missiles and BrahMoS supersonic cruise missiles would be the longest-range tactical weapon system in Indian defence forces.
  • In December 2021, DRDO successfully conducted the testing of Pralay missile.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. Mobile phone exports crossed 40,000 crore rupees during the current year up to Nov 2022.

  • As per the information provided by NITI Aayog, exports of mobile phones from India has doubled compared to the same period in 2021.
  • Mobile phones production has increased from 6 crores in 2014-15 to around 31 crores in 2021-22.
  • The PLI Scheme for Large-Scale Electronics Manufacturing, under the Ministry of Electronics and IT has led to the advancement in electronic manufacturing.
  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing was notified on 1 April, 2020. PLI Scheme extends an incentive of 6% to 4% on incremental sales (over base year) of goods under target segments that are manufactured in India to eligible companies, for a period of 5 years (FY 2019-20 to 2024-25).
  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware was notified on 3 March, 2021. The PLI Scheme extends an incentive of 4% to 2% / 1% on net incremental sales (over base year) of goods under target segments that are manufactured in India to eligible companies, for a period of 4 years (FY 2021-22 to FY 2024-25).
  • Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) was notified on April 1, 2020. The scheme provides financial incentive of 25% on capital expenditure for the identified list of electronic goods that comprise downstream value chain of electronic products.
  • Steps taken by government to expand electronics manufacturing as well as their exports:
    • Setting up of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Electronic Hardware Technology Park (EHTP)
    • Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) was put into effect from 1 January 2021.
    • Setting up of Electronics Fund Development as a “Fund of Finds”.
    • 100% FDI under the automatic route in electronics manufacturing except from countries sharing border with India.
    • Rationalisation of tariff structure
    • Exemption from Basic Customs Duty on capital goods for manufacture of specified electronic goods.
    • Relaxing the ageing restriction from 3 years to 7 years for specified electronic goods manufactured in India and re-imported into India for repairs or reconditioning.
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