Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 March 2023
- 1. World Water Day 2023: 22 March
- 2. PM Modi inaugurated the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Area office & Innovation Centre in India.
- 3. Manmeet K Nanda has been made MD & CEO of Invest India until a full time regular appointment.
- 4. Gandhamardan Hill Range has been declared as Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) by Odisha government.
- 5. Asia's largest 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope inaugurated in Uttarakhand.
- 6. Bihar Diwas 2023: 22 March
- 7. Fourteen guidelines for mitigation of human-wildlife conflict has been released by centre.
- 8. India and Jordan discussed military and defence related issues during the second Consultative Meeting on Defence Cooperation.
- 9. A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region.
- 10. 2nd Anti-Submarine warship ‘INS Androth’ has been launched in Kolkata.
- 11. India ranked 126th in World Happiness Report 2023.
- 12. World Down Syndrome Day 2023: 21 March
- 13. Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched ‘City Finance Rankings 2022’.
- 14. DPIIT will set up a taskforce for creating a logistics cost framework.
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Topic: Important Days
1. World Water Day 2023: 22 March
- World Water Day is celebrated on every year 22 March since 1993.
- World Water Day is observed to raise awareness and to promote action to tackle the water and sanitation crisis.
- The main objective is to inspire people to sustainably manage freshwater resources and learn more about water-related issues.
- The theme for the 2023 World Water Day is “accelerating the change to solve the water and sanitation crisis”
- The UN 2023 World Water Conference will be organized in New York from 22-24 March.
- The idea behind celebrating the day is to support SDG 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
- The resolution of World Water Day was first adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 22, 1992.
- The first World Water Day was observed in 1993.
- According to the UN, one in four people is facing the issue of safe drinking water.
- Around 1.4 million people die annually due to diseases related to poor water, and hygiene.
Topic: National News
2. PM Modi inaugurated the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Area office & Innovation Centre in India.
- He also unveiled Bharat 6G Vision Document and launched 6G R&D Test Bed.
- He also launched ‘Call before you dig’ App. ITU Area Office is fully funded by India.
- It is located on the 2nd floor of the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) building at Mehrauli, New Delhi.
- It will serve India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran.
- In March 2022, India signed a Host Country Agreement with ITU for establishment of Area Office.
- Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G) prepared Bharat 6G vision document. TIG-6G was formed in November 2021.
- 6G Test bed will provide a platform to test and validate the evolving ICT technologies.
- The Call Before You Dig (CBuD) app is a tool for preventing damage to underlying assets like optical fibre cables due to uncoordinated digging and excavation.
- CBuD is a mobile app. It will connect excavators and asset owners through SMS/Email notification and click to call.
- The App signifies ‘Whole-of-government approach’ under PM Gati Shakti.
- It will avoid potential business losses and lessen people' suffering due to less disruption in key services.
- ITU is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was formed in May 1865.
Topic: National Appointments
3. Manmeet K Nanda has been made MD & CEO of Invest India until a full time regular appointment.
- Manmeet K Nanda has been given additional charge of MD & CEO of Invest India.
- Manmeet K Nanda is an IAS officer of West Bengal Cadre (2000 Batch).
- Manmeet K Nanda takes over after the resignation of Mr Deepak Bagla.
- Invest India has received the Great Place To Work Certification, which is a rare achievement for any government funded organization.
- The Board of Invest India is chaired by Mr. Anurag Jain, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
- Invest India:
- It is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India.
- It was established in 2009 as a non-profit venture.
- It works under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Topic: State News/Odisha
4. Gandhamardan Hill Range has been declared as Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) by Odisha government.
- An area of 18,963.898 hectare of Gandhamardan Hill (Gandhamardan Reserve Forest) including 12,431.8 ha (Bargarh) and 6,532.098 ha (Balangir) has been declared as BHS of Odisha.
- Gandhamardan Hill Range in Bargarh and Balangir district is the 3rd BHS of Odisha after Mandasuru Gorge in Kandhamal district and Mahendragiri Hill Range in Gajapati district.
- One angiosperm, Ficus conccina var dasycarpa is endemic to this hill.
- One spider, Peucetia harishankarensis, is endemic to this hill.
- Nrusinghanath Temple is located on the northern slope of the foot hills of Gandhamardan.
- Harishankar Temple is situated on the southern slope of the foot hills of Gandhamardan.
- Hiuen Tsang had described the hill shrine as a Buddhist heritage site named Parimalagiri.
- In 1980s, people protested against bauxite mining in the Gandhamardan Hill.
Topic: Science and Technology
5. Asia's largest 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope inaugurated in Uttarakhand.
- On 21 March, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh has inaugurated Asia's largest 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope at Devasthal.
- Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (AREES) announced that the world-class 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope (IMLT) is now ready to explore the distant and deep celestial space.
- It received its first light in the second week of May 2022.
- This telescope is located at an altitude of 2450 meters in the observatory complex at Deosthal in Nainital district of Uttarakhand (India), AREES.
- AREES is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
- Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) Corporation and the Center Spatial de Liège in Belgium designed and built the telescope.
- ILMT uses a 4-meter diameter rotating mirror made of a thin layer of liquid mercury to collect and focus the light.
- Metallic mercury is liquid at room temperature and is also highly reflective and, therefore, it is ideally suited to make such a mirror.
- ILMT is designed to detect transient or variable celestial objects such as supernovas, gravitational lenses, space debris and asteroids.
- The ILMT is the largest aperture telescope currently available in the country and is also the first optical survey telescope in India.
- This telescope will generate about 10-15 gigabytes of data while scanning a strip of sky every night.
- A liquid mirror telescope consists mainly of three components:
- A bowl containing a reflecting liquid metal (essentially mercury)
- An air bearing (or motor) on which the liquid mirror sits
- A drive system
Topic: Important Days
6. Bihar Diwas 2023: 22 March
- Bihar Day is celebrated every year on March 22 to mark the foundation of Bihar.
- This year is the 111th anniversary of the establishment of Bihar.
- On March 22, 1912, the state of Bihar was carved out of the Bengal Presidency.
- The theme of the foundation day event 2023 is "Yuva Shakti Bihar ki Pragati".
- On this occasion, Prabhat Pheri has been organized in more than 70 thousand government and non-government schools in the state.
- A three-day program has been organized on this occasion.
- Various departments of the state government will organize cultural programs on the occasion.
- It is located in the eastern part of India.
- It shares its boundary with Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, West Bengal, and Jharkhand.
- It is divided into two parts by the river Ganga.
- It is the third-largest state by population and the twelfth-largest by territory.
- It has 40 Lok Sabha seats, 16 Rajya Seats, and 243 Legislative assembly seats.
- Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar is the Governor and Nitish Kumar is the Chief Minister of Bihar.
- Madhubani painting is a famous painting of Bihar.
- It has the second-lowest Urban Population in India.
(Source: News on Air)
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Topic: Environment and Ecology
7. Fourteen guidelines for mitigation of human-wildlife conflict has been released by centre.
- The guidelines are advisory in nature. They will facilitate further development of site-specific Human-Wildlife Conflict mitigation measures.
- These guidelines include 10 species-specific guidelines for mitigating human-elephant, human-gaur, human-leopard, human-snake, human-crocodile, human-rhesus macaque, human-wild pig, human-bear, human-blue bull and human-blackbuck conflict.
- Remaining guidelines are on the following cross-cutting issues.
- Cooperation between the forest and media sector in India
- Occupational health and safety in the context of Human Wildlife Conflict mitigation
- Crowd management and addressing health emergencies and potential health risks arising out of Human Wildlife Conflict
- These guidelines will be reviewed every five years from 2023 onwards.
- These guidelines are developed under the Indo-German cooperation project on Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation.
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is implementing this project together with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusannenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and state forest departments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
8. India and Jordan discussed military and defence related issues during the second Consultative Meeting on Defence Cooperation.
- The meeting was held in New Delhi on 21 March 2023.
- During the meeting, India and Jordan discussed military training and courses, Cyber Security, military exercises, military medicine and capacity building in various areas.
- India and Jordan also exchanged their respective capabilities in defence industry and research.
- Delegation from Jordan also interacted with the representatives of defence industry.
- It is a country in West Asia. Its capital is Amman. Its currency is Jordanian Dinar.
- It shares its border with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Dead Sea.
- It has a 26 km coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the southwest.
9. A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region.
- According to the National Centre for Seismology, the epicentre of the earthquake was near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan at a depth of 156 kilometres.
- Strong tremors were also felt in northern India including the National Capital Region.
- Northern India lies near fault lines and is prone to tremors from quakes originating in Central Asia.
- There has been no loss of life or property in India.
- According to scientists, an earthquake of more than 8 on the Richter scale can hit the 2500-km stretch from the Hindu Kush Mountains to Arunachal Pradesh.
- Earthquake generally occurs due to the movement of tectonic plates.
- Shallow earthquakes are generally more devastating because they carry more energy when they came out on the surface.
- Deeper earthquakes are less devastating as they lose much of their energy by the time they come to the surface.
- Western Himalayas is one of the most dangerous seismic zones in the world.
10. 2nd Anti-Submarine warship ‘INS Androth’ has been launched in Kolkata.
- Indian Navy's second anti-submarine warfare (ASW) warship named ‘INS Androth’ has been launched at Garden Reach Ship Builders in Kolkata.
- Vice admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, commanding-in-chief, Western Naval Command was the chief guest at the occasion.
- Former Indian cricketer Arun Lal was the guest of honour at the ceremony.
- The contract for building eight ASW warships was signed between the Ministry of Defence and the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in April 2019.
- These are designed to undertake anti-submarine, low-intensity maritime and mine-laying operations.
- It has been built by M/s GRSE for Indian Navy.
- It will be fitted with weapons, machinery and sensors before it can be commissioned next year.
- The ship has been named after ‘Androth’, an island located about 170 Nm north-west of Kochi.
- Arnala class of ships will replace the Abhay class ASW Corvettes of the Indian Navy.
- The ASW SWC ships will have over 80% indigenous content and have a displacement of 900 tons with a maximum speed of 25 knots.
Topic: Ranks and Reports/Indices
11. India ranked 126th in World Happiness Report 2023.
- United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network has released 11th edition of World Happiness Report on the occasion of International Day of Happiness 2023.
- Finland has topped the ranking for the sixth year in a row with a score of 7.8, and Denmark and Iceland are in the second and third places, respectively.
- In 2023, India has been ranked 126th among 137 countries.
- According to the UN World Happiness Report 2022, India was ranked 136th among 146 countries.
- Afghanistan has been ranked as the unhappiest nation, followed by Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, respectively.
- The World Happiness Report is based on two key ideas – happiness or life evaluation.
- The World Happiness Report ranks countries based on several factors such as real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, etc.
Topic: Important Days
12. World Down Syndrome Day 2023: 21 March
- Every year on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated to raise awareness about Down syndrome disease.
- The theme of World Syndrome Day 2023 is "With Us Not For Us".
- The first World Down Syndrome Day was observed in 2006.
- The UN General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011 but it came into effect in 2012.
- On occasion of World Down Syndrome Day, a painting and pottery workshop organized by National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA).
- The day helps educate the public about what Down syndrome is and how to encourage people with Down syndrome to participate in daily activities so that they can live a fulfilling life and play an important role in their community.
- March 21 was chosen to reflect the specificity of the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome.
- It is a disorder that affects about 6,000 babies at birth every year.
- Down Syndrome:
- It is also known as Trisomy 21.
- It is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of the third copy of chromosome 21.
- This syndrome typically causes physical developmental delay, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and distinctive facial features.
- The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, which is equivalent to the mental ability of an eight- or nine-year-old child, but it can vary widely.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
13. Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched ‘City Finance Rankings 2022’.
- Under the ‘City Finance Rankings 2022’, the urban local bodies will be evaluated on the basis of their financial health.
- The participating urban local bodies will be evaluated on 15 indicators across three key parameters — resource mobilisation, expenditure performance and fiscal governance.
- The main of the ranking is to evaluate, recognise and reward municipal bodies based on their financial performance and current financial situation.
- The cities will be ranked under four population categories based on their score. The categories are given below:
- Above 40 lakh
- 10 lakh-40 lakh
- 1 lakh – 10 lakh
- Below 1 Lakh
- In each category, award will be given to the top three cities. The last date for participation in ranking is 31 May.
- The ‘City Finance Rankings 2022’ portal has become live on 20th March 2023.
- The ranking will give critical insights to policymakers about the state of finances of urban local bodies.
Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces
14. DPIIT will set up a taskforce for creating a logistics cost framework.
- The government will form a task force for formulating a framework, which will determine logistics costs in India.
- This decision has been taken in a workshop organized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on the logistics cost framework.
- The representatives from NITI Aayog, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), etc. would be the members of this task force.
- The workshop on logistics cost framework was organized in association with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- Recently, the government has released a national logistics policy to cut logistics costs.
- The need for a National Logistics Policy was felt because of the high logistics costs in India as compared to other developed countries.
- The government is aiming to bring down the logistics cost from 13 % of the GDP to 7.5 % of the GDP.