Daily Current Affairs and GK | 23 March 2022

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 22:03 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand

1. Pushkar Singh Dhami takes Oath as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.

  • Pushkar Singh Dhami is the 11th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He takes oath as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand for a second consecutive term.
  • In the recently held Assembly election, the BJP won 47 out of 70 seats. Congress won 19 seats.
  • The BJP became the first ruling party to be voted back to power in the state.
  • Congress candidate Bhuwan Chandra Kapri defeated Pushkar Singh Dhami at the Khatima seat by a margin of 6,579 votes.
  • Note:
    • According to the Indian Constitution, a non-member of the Legislature assembly can also become Chief Minister for six months. He/ She has to get elected within those six months to continue on the post.
    • Article 164(4) of the Constitution states: “A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.”

Pushkar Singh Dhami Chief Minister of Uttarakhand

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Art and Culture

2. Narasinghapettai Nagaswaram has been given GI tag.

  • It is a traditional wind instrument of Tamil Nadu made by village artisans of Kumbakonam.
  • The registration certificate has been issued by the GI registry on the basis of the application filed in January 2014.
  • Artisans based in Narasinganpetti village make this instrument.
  • Nagaswaram used by artists now is called pari naggeswaram. It is longer than Thimiri.
  • Narasinghapettai Nagaswaram’s major portion is made from traditional wood “acha” or Hardwickia binata.
  • Wood from parts of old houses is used to make the instrument.
  • The instrument is cylindrical and is bell shaped at the bottom. Its length is two and half feet.
  • Hardwickia binata is a tree locally known as Anjan, Kamara and Aacha. It is also known as Indian Black wood.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Union Cabinet has given approval to continuation of National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NACP, Phase-V).

  • The programme will continue for five years from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2026 with an outlay of Rs 15471.94 crore.
  • In the five years of NACP Phase-V, over 27 crore HIV tests would be performed, including around 14 crore tests among pregnant women.
  • Twenty-one lakh HIV infected people will be on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) by end of the NACP Phase-V.
  • Initiatives like HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act (2017), Mission Sampark, transition to Dolutegravir-based Treatment Regimen have contributed to success of NACP.
  • Annual new HIV infections in India have decreased by 48% against the global average of 31%.
  • Annual AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 82% against the global average of 42%.
  • HIV prevalence in India remains low with adult HIV prevalence of 0.22%.
  • United Nations’ SDG 3.3 targets to end HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
  • National AIDS and STD Control Programme:
    • It is a Central Sector Scheme fully funded by the Government of India.
    • Government of India had launched first phase of the National AIDS and STD Control Programme in 1992.
    • Since then, four phases of NACP have been successfully completed. The Phase-IV (Extension) of NACP ended on 31st March 2021.

Topic: State News/Kerala

4. Kerala will become first state in India to introduce carbon-neutral farming methods in selected locations.

  • For this purpose, the Kerala government has kept aside ₹6 crores in the 2022-23 Budget.
  • While carbon-neutral farming will be implemented in 13 farms in the first phase, model carbon-neutral farms will be established in all 140 Assembly Constituencies in the second phase.
  • Steps are being taken to change the State Seed Farm at Aluva into a carbon-neutral farm.

Topic: Important Days

5. Martyrdom Day/ Shaheed Diwas 2022: 23 March

  • Every year on March 23, Martyrdom Day is commemorated to honour the sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev.
  • On March 23, 1931, the British rulers hanged them for their revolutionary activities against British rule.
  • Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru were executed for the assassination of British officer John Saunders.
  • In protest of the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Dispute Bill, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw bombs into the Central Legislative Assembly on April 8, 1929.
  • On the occasion of Shaheed Diwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Biplobi Bharat Gallery at Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata.
  • The aim of this new gallery is to present a holistic view of the events leading up to 1947, highlighting the Revolutionaries' crucial role.
  • The Biplobi Bharat gallery showcases the political and intellectual background that gave impetus to the revolutionary movement.
  • Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has declared 23 March as a state holiday.

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

6. Gulf Countries Investment Summit has been organized in Srinagar.

  • Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha while addressing the Gulf Countries Investment Summit emphasized the potential to transform Jammu and Kashmir into the world's most beautiful investment destination.
  • The 36-member delegation from the Gulf countries will also visit tourist destinations of Kashmir to explore the investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector.
  • Manoj Sinha has pledged “global standard end-to-end facilities” for businesses in the union territory.
  • A business event was also organized at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Center (SKICC) in Srinagar.
  • During the Dubai-Expo held in January 2022, Manoj Sinha signed six MoUs to attract investments for the industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gulf Countries Investment Summit

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. Three days international seminar on strengthening cooperation among the neighbouring countries started in Tripura on 22 March 2022.

  • The seminar is titled ‘Development Cooperation between India and Neighbouring Countries: Possibilities and Challenges’.
  • Academicians from different Indian states and neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan are participating in the seminar.
  • Department of Economics of Tripura University is organizing the seminar in collaboration with Research & Information System for Developing countries, (RIS), New Delhi.
  • The seminar is being organized with the support of a special assistance program of the University Grants Commission.
  • The seminar was inaugurated by Director General of RIS, Prof Sachin Chaturvedi.
  • Research & Information System for Developing countries is an autonomous policy research institute based in New Delhi.

Topic: Reports and Indices

8. Swiss-based air quality technology company IQAir has released its latest World Air Quality Report on 22 March 2022.

  • As per the report, New Delhi was world’s most polluted capital city for the fourth consecutive year. New Delhi’s PM 2.5 level was 85.1 in 2021.
  • Dhaka was second most polluted capital city in the world with a PM 2.5 level of 78.1.
  • The report says that India’s air pollution worsened in 2021. Its average air pollution stood at PM 2.5 level of 58.1 micrograms per cubic metre.
  • Globally, Delhi was ranked at 4th place in terms of air pollution. World's most polluted place is Rajasthan's Bhiwadi. Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad is second most polluted city.
  • Ten of the top 15 most polluted cities are in India. Out of the 100 most polluted cities, 63 are Indian cities.
  • All six metro cities except Chennai recorded increase in air pollution (PM 2.5) levels last year. Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu has the cleanest air.
  • As per the report, smoke from crop burning is responsible for up to 45% of pollution in Delhi.
  • As per the report, Bangladesh was most polluted country in the world with an average PM2.5 level of 76.9 micrograms per cubic metre in 2021.
  • Chad, Pakistan, Tajikistan and India are also among the top five most polluted countries in the world. 
  • Bangladesh was also most polluted country in the world in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
  • As per the report, no country managed to meet WHO’s air quality standard (PM 2.5 level of 5 micrograms per cubic metre) in 2021.
  • Total 93 cities reported PM 2.5 levels at 10 times the recommended level.
  • In 2021, Central and South Asia was home to world’s 50 most polluted cities.
  • Air pollution is now considered the world's biggest environmental health threat, causing 7 million deaths worldwide each year.
  • About IQAir’s latest World Air Quality Report:
    • The report analysed PM 2.5 data from 6475 cities across 117 countries for air quality in 2021.
    • The report is first major global air quality report based on updated guidelines of WHO for PM 2.5.
    • These guidelines were released in September 2021 to reduce recommended maximum permissible level of PM 2.5 from 10 micrograms per cubic metre to 5 micrograms per cubic metre.

World Air Quality Report on 22 March 2022

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

9. Rating agency Fitch slashed India’s growth forecast for next fiscal.

  • Fitch has estimated that the Indian economy will grow by 8.5% in FY 2022-2023. It had earlier forecasted a 10.3% growth.
  • Rating agency Fitch said that high energy price (due to the Russia-Ukraine war) and increasing inflation has increased the challenges for the Indian Economy.
  • Fitch has revised its GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal by 0.6 percent to 8.7%.
  • Fitch has also reduced its forecast of world GDP by 0.7% to 3.5%.
  • Last week, global rating agency Moody’s has also reduced India’s growth rate prediction from 9.5% to 9.1% for the 2022 calendar year.
  • International oil prices had reached $140 per barrel earlier this month after the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • The raised Oil price has increased the challenge for the Indian economy because India import 85% of its oil requirement.

Topic: Appointments

10. Jayati Ghosh becomes a member of the UN's high-level Advisory Board on multilateralism.

  • Indian economist Jayati Ghosh has been appointed by General Antonio Guterres as a member of a newly formed high-level advisory board on effective multilateralism.
  • She will be a member of the 12-member board, which will get support from the Centre for Policy Research of the United Nations University.
  • She is also a member of the UN's high-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs.
  • She is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and previously was a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
  • Last week, the UN has announced the establishment of the Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism. It will be co-chaired by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Stefan Lofven.
  • This high-level advisory board will give recommendations to the UN Secretary-General for resolving current and future socio-economic challenges.
  • The advisory board will give suggestions for more effective multilateral arrangements over key global issues.

Topic: Indian Polity

11. Indian Constitution translated into Ol Chiki script for the first time.

  • Professor Sripati Tudu has translated the Constitution of India into Ol Chiki script for the first time.
  • Sripati Tudu is an assistant professor of the Santhali language at the Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University in Purulia, West Bengal.
  • He started this initiative to make the constitution more accessible for people knowing the Santhali language.
  • According to the 2011 Census of India, around 70 lakh people speak Santhali across India. Santhal tribe is the third largest tribe of India and they mainly reside in Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, etc.
  • Santhali has been added to Schedule VIII to the Constitution of India through the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 2003.
  • A Kolkata-based publisher Taurean Publications has published the translation of the Constitution in Ol Chiki script.
  • The Ol Chiki script is also known as Ol Ciki, Ol, and Santali alphabet.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

12. BBNL merger with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to be completed this month. 

  • The government has decided to merge BBNL with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) by the end of this fiscal year.
  • With the merger, BSNL will get 5.67 lakh kilometers of the optical fiber network. BSNL already has 6.8 lakh kilometers of optical fiber cable network. 
  • BSNL will gain access to Rs 60000 crore worth of universal service obligation fund (USOF) with this merger.
  • Bharat Broadband Nigam Ltd (BBNL)
    • It was formed in February 2012.
    • It was handed over the task of implementing the Bharat Net project.  
    • It has to set up optical fiber network across 2.5 lakh village panchayats across the country using Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL):
    • It was founded in 2000. It is a Public Sector Undertaking wholly owned by the Government of India.
    • Pravin Kumar Purwar is its chairman & MD.  It is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • It provides telecom services all over India except Delhi and Mumbai.

Topic: National News

13. Ministry of Civil Aviation to organize ‘WINGS INDIA 2022’ from 24th- 27th March 2022 in Hyderabad.

  • ‘WINGS INDIA 2022’ is the largest event on Civil Aviation in Asia. Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is organizing this event in association with FICCI.
  • The theme of the event is “India@75: New Horizon for Aviation Industry”.
  • It will focus on new business acquisition, investments, policy formation, and regional connectivity.
  • During this event, the “WINGS INDIA AWARDS 2022” will be presented to Aviation-related Companies/ Institutions/ Organizations.
  • It will be formally inaugurated by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M Scindia.
  • Exhibition, discussions, and Flying Display by SARANG Team will be part of this event.

Topic: Important Days

14. World Meteorological Day 2022: 23 March

  • World Meteorological Day is observed every year on 23 March.
  • The theme of World Meteorological Day 2022 is ‘Early Warning and Early Action’.
  • It is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which was established on March 23, 1950.
  • It is also observed to make people aware about their role in protecting Earth’s atmosphere.
  • In the last 50 years, more than 11,000 weather, climate, and water-related disasters were reported.
  • World Meteorological Organization:
    • It is an intergovernmental organization with 193 members.
    • It promotes international cooperation in atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology, and geophysics.
    • Its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.





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