Daily Current Affairs and GK | 24 January 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 24 Jan 2023 19:23 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Jharkhand

1. The trial operation of the 1st unit of the 660 MW North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Project in Jharkhand has been successfully completed.

  • With the successful completion of the trial operation, NTPC Group’s capacity has crossed 71 Giga Watt.
  • North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Project will ensure affordable power to Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha.
  • Then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation of this NTPC project in Jharkhand.
  • North Karanpura Thermal Power Station is a coal-based thermal power plant located in Tandwa in the Simaria subdivision of the Chatra district, Jharkhand.

Other thermal power plants in Jharkhand

Koderma Thermal Power Station

Maithon Power Plant

BPSCL Power Plant

Matrishri Usha Jayaswal Mega Power Plant

Chandrapura Thermal Power Station

Patratu Thermal Power Station

Godda Thermal Power Station

Tenughat Thermal Power Station

Jojobera Power Plant

Bokaro Thermal Power Station B

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

2. Two children in the Ernakulam district of Kerala tested positive for Norovirus.

  • About 62 children and a few parents have shown symptoms of the infection.
  • Authorities in Kerala have stepped up efforts to limit the spread of Norovirus.
  • Norovirus is highly contagious. It causes diarrhea and vomiting. It affects people of all ages.
  • It is also known as the stomach flu or stomach bug. However, it is not related to the flu. Influenza virus causes flu.
  • Norovirus is transmitted through close contact or contaminated food and water. It can also be transmitted through faeces of the infected person. 
  • Its less common symptoms are fever, headache and stomach pain.
  • According to World Health Organisation (WHO), norovirus is a virus that is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis globally.
  • As per WHO, 685 million cases of norovirus are found annually. They include 200 million cases amongst children under 5.
  • Norovirus is sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting disease. There is no vaccine available for norovirus.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

3. Eighteen national highway projects have been inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari at Orchha in Madhya Pradesh.

  • The projects with a total length of 550 km worth 6800 crore rupees were launched in presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other dignitaries.
  • Union Minister Gadkari said that the connectivity of Orchha, Jhansi, and Tikamgarh will improve with the construction of 2-lane paved shoulder bridge.
  • He said that connectivity will be easy to reach tourist places of Madhya Pradesh – Orchha, Khajuraho, Panna, Chitrakoot, Tikamgarh, and Sanchi.
  • He also said that the construction of the Bhopal-Kanpur Economic Corridor will reduce logistic costs.
  • He also announced the construction of a 4-lane greenfield road of 105 km length from Bamitha to Satna at a cost of 2000 crore rupees.
  • Orchha town is located on the banks of river Betwa. It was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chief Rudra Pratap. In Orchha, river Betwa splits into 7 channels called Satdhara.

Topic: Art and Culture

4. A three-day Torgya festival of Monpa tribe celebrated at Tawang Monastery.

  • The Indian Army took part in the festival, which was celebrated from 20 to 22 January in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The festival begins on the twenty-eighth day of the eleventh lunar month.
  • The Torgya festival is celebrated to pay homage to Lama Tsongkhapa and to ward off evil spirits that lead to diseases, misfortune and natural disasters.
  • The main attraction of the festival is the Cham dance, performed by the lamas of the monastery dressed as the warrior Arpu.
  • The Indian Army participated in the event at the gracious invitation of Gyalsi Rinpoche of Tawang Monastery.
  • The Indian Army donated gifts and clothing items to the Monastery and reaffirmed its commitment to the security of Indian borders and its people.

Torgya festival of Monpa tribe

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/ Agreements

5. Ayush Ministry and India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) have signed an MoU.

  • Both have signed an MoU to work together to promote medical value travel in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.
  • The MoU was signed by Dr. Shashi Ranjan Vidyarthi, Director, Ministry of AYUSH and Shri Piyush Tiwari, Director (Commercial & Marketing), ITDC.
  • As per the MoU, the Ministry of Ayurveda will provide training to ITDC officials to make them aware of the medical value travel has in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.
  • It will identify tourism circuits with a high potential for promoting medical value travel in Ayurveda and other traditional medical systems.
  • In recent years, Medical Value Travel has seen significant growth in India.
  • According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) report 'The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond Covid', the global wellness economy will grow at a rate of 9.9% annually.
  • The Ayush-based healthcare and wellness economy is expected to reach $70 billion by 2025.

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

6. Uttar Pradesh celebrated its 73rd foundation day on 24 January 2023.

  • The state's foundation day is being celebrated for three days since 24 January 2018 with the participation of all government departments.
  • This year, the main theme of 'Uttar Pradesh Day' 2023 is 'Investment and Employment'.
  • The state-wide events will be organized from January 24 to 26.
  • The state-level event will be organised in 'Awadh Shilp Gram', Lucknow, and 'Noida Shilp Gram', Noida, while district-level events will be held in all district headquarters across the state.
  • The celebration of "Uttar Pradesh Day" was initiated by then-Governor of UP Ram Naik.
  • Uttar Pradesh was earlier known as United Provinces and it was recognized as Uttar Pradesh on January 24, 1950.

73rd foundation day of Uttar Pradesh

(Source: News on AIR)

 
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Topic: National News

7. PM interacted with 11 winners of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar on January 24.

  • On January 23, President Draupadi Murmu honoured the children at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar.
  • This year, 11 children from all over India have been selected for PMRBP-2023 under different categories of Bal Shakti Puraskar.
  • The awardees include 6 boys and 5 girls from 11 states and union territories.
  • The award was conferred for their exceptional achievement in the field of Art and Culture (4), Bravery (1), Innovation (2), Social Service (1), and Sports (3).
  • In 2022, 29 children were selected for PMRBP-2022 under different categories of Bal Shakti Puraskar.
  • Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar:
    • The award is given as recognition to children between 5 and 18 years of age who reside in India.
    • The Government presents the award to children for their exceptional achievements in six categories of innovation, social service, academics, sports, art and culture and bravery.
    • Each awardee receives a medallion, a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a certificate.

NO.

NAME OF THE WINNER

CATEGORY

STATE

1.

Aadithya Suresh

Art & Culture

Kerala

2.

M. Gauravi Reddy

Art & Culture

Telangana

3.

Sambhab Mishra

Art & Culture

Odisha

4.

Shreya Bhattacharjee

Art & Culture

Assam

5.

Rohan Ramchandra Bahir

Bravery

Maharashtra

6.

Aditya Pratap Singh Chauhan

Innovation

Chhattisgarh

7.

Rishi Shiv Parsanna

Innovation

Karnataka

8.

Anoushka Jolly

Social Service

Delhi

9.

Shauryajit Ranjitkumar Khaire

Sports

Gujarat

10.

Kolagatla Alana Meenakshi

Sports

Andhra Pradesh

11.

Hanaya Nisar

Sports

Jammu and Kashmir

 

Topic: Miscellaneous

8. Three-day B20 (Business 20) India meet held from 22-24 January 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

  • Top business executives from India and other G20 member countries discussed inclusive growth and global economic priorities at B20 India meet.
  • Other 14 meetings will be held in cities including Ahmedabad, Surat, Statue of Unity at Kevadiya, and Dhordo in Kutch.
  • The theme for B20 India is RAISE, which is an acronym for Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable and Equitable Businesses.
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been designated the B20 Secretariat by the government.
  • The mandate of B20 is to represent the voice of the international business community on global economic issues.
  • Senior representatives and CEOs from the companies including Tata Sons, MasterCard, Bajaj Finserv, Citigroup, Volkswagen, TVS, Amazon Web, HCL and ITC attended B20 India Inception meeting on January 22-24 hosted by CII.
  • Few union ministers, Gujarat CM and India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant also participated in the meeting.
  • India is holding the G20 presidency for 2023. India will host 18th G20 Summit in September, 2023.
  • G-20:
    • It is the global forum for the governments and central bank governors that was founded in 1999.
    • G20 includes 19 countries and the European Union. There is no permanent secretariat of G20.

Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh

9. The Himachal Pradesh government aims to make Himachal Pradesh as the first Green Energy State by 2025.

  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the government intends to do so by harnessing hydro, hydrogen and solar energy.
  • Chief Minister Sukhu directed Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd (HPSEBL), HIMURJA, HPPCL and the Department of Energy to take action in this direction.
  • He also directed these departments to make policy changes, wherever required.
  • He directed the officers to open all the solar projects up to 5 MW capacity for allotment.
  • Himachal Pradesh government will install 500 MW solar projects during the year 2023-24.
  • Out of this, 200 MW would be installed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL).
  • Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA) would install solar projects up to 150 MW capacity through private participation.
  • CM Sukhu directed HIMURJA to make sure a 5% premium for Himachal Pradesh in solar power projects up to 5 MW and a 10% share with solar power projects having over 5 MW capacity.
  • CM also asked HPPCL to expeditiously complete power projects like Kashang II and III, Shongtong and Karchham.
  • He reviewed the progress of the Kishau Dam Project. In this project, the Government of India and the State are financing the water component in a ratio of 90:10.
  • Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will share the power component on a 50:50 basis.
  • The CM said that a pilot plant on Green Hydrogen Generation was being carried out at Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station (NJHPS), Jhakri.
  • Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) would establish a solar module manufacturing plant at Parwanoo.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

10. National SC-ST Hub Conclave inaugurated by Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane in Mumbai.

  • Union Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises has organised the day-long conclave in Mumbai on 23rd January 2023.
  • The conclave has been organized to increase awareness of the National SC-ST Hub (NSSH) and various schemes of MSME Ministry.
  • The conclave has also been held to empower and promote entrepreneurs among Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Communities.
  • The primary objective of the conclave is to assist in achieving the sub-target of 4% annual procurement from MSEs owned by SC/ST entrepreneurs.
  • The share of public procurement from SC/ST entrepreneurs has increased from 0.07% of public procurement in 2015-16 to 0.86% of public procurement in 2021-22.
  • The Hub provides support to entrepreneurs of the SC and ST communities in capacity building, market linkages etc.
  • MSMEs account for 30% of India's GDP and 50% of exports. 45% of national manufacturing output comes from MSMEs.  
  • National SC-ST Hub (NSSH):
    • It was launched by PM Modi on October 18th, 2016. It is being implemented by the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC).
    • It has been set up to provide professional support to SC and ST entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises.

Topic: International News

11. A new initiative has been launched by USA to cut visa wait time.

  • The US has launched new initiatives to reduce visa processing delays in India, including scheduling special interviews for first-time applicants and increasing consular employee strength.
  • On January 21, the US embassy in Delhi and consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad held "special Saturday interview days" as part of a multi-pronged approach to reduce the visa backlog.
  • These interview days are for applicants who require an in-person visa interview.  
  • In the coming months, the mission will continue to open "additional slots" for interview on select Saturdays.
  • Dozens of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies will arrive in India between January and March 2023 to improve visa processing capacity.
  • More than 2,50,000 additional B1/B2 appointments were released by the US mission in India.
  • B-1 is a business visa, while B-2 is a tourist visa.
  • By 2023, the US expects that India would be the second-largest country for visa operations after China.
  • The number of applications for all types of visas in India will increase to about 100,000 per month or about 1.2 million annually.

Topic: National news

12. Exercise "Ops Alert" has been carried out by the BSF ahead of Republic Day.

  • Exercise 'Ops Alert' has been carried out by the BSF to step up security along the Indo-Pak border with Gujarat and Rajasthan ahead of the Republic Day.
  • The exercise will enhance security along the India-Pakistan border in Kutch district of Gujarat and Barmer in Rajasthan.
  • On January 21, the exercise has been started to "thwart any ill designs of anti-national elements" during the Republic Day celebrations.
  • The exercise will continue till January 28 along the Indo-Pak International Border from Sir Creek (swampy area) to Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and Barmer district of Rajasthan.
  • Official data show that in 2022, the BSF apprehended 22 Pakistani fishermen and seized 79 fishing boats, 250 crore rupees worth of heroin, and 2.49 crore rupees worth of charas from this region of Gujarat.
  • A fund of Rs 50 crore has been approved by the Union Home Ministry for the construction of eight multi-storied bunker cum observation posts in this area.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

13. Odisha State Disaster Management Authority and Lunglei Fire Station, Mizoram have been selected for Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-2023.

  • In the Institutional category, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Lunglei Fire Station (LFS), Mizoram have been selected for Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar for the year 2023.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar was instituted in 2022 to recognize the effort of an individual and organization in the field of disaster management.
  • Every year, winners of the award are announced on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • For an individual, the award comprises a cash prize is Rs 5 lakh and a certificate. In the case of an institution, the cash prize is Rs 51 lakh and a certificate.
  • The government received a total of 274 valid nominations for the award from institutions and individuals.
  • Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA):
    • It was established in 1999.
    • It has started many initiatives including raising the Odisha Disaster Response Action Force (ODRAF) and Multi-hazard Early Warning Service (MHEWS) framework.
    • It organized disaster preparedness initiatives in building community resilience in 381 tsunami prone villages/wards and 879 multi-purpose cyclone/ flood shelters near coastline.
  • Lunglei Fire Station, Mizoram:
    • It efficiently and effectively controlled a massive forest fire reported on 24 April 2021.
    • Lunglei Fire Station personnel worked continuously for more than 32 hours.

Topic: National Appointment

14. Vikram Dev Dutt will be the new director general of DGCA.

  • The appointment of Vikram Dev Dutt as the new director general of the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
  • He will take the place of Arun Kumar on 28 February 2023.
  • Vikram Dev Dutt is currently serving as the chairman and managing director of Air India Asset Holding Ltd (AIAHL).
  • Vikram Dev Dutt has served in various positions including principal secretary for finance in the government of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, secretary of tourism in the government of Goa, etc.
  • Directorate of General of Civil Aviation (DGCA):
    • It is a regulatory body in the field of Civil Aviation. It became a statutory body under the Aircraft (Amendment) Act, 2020.
    • It is mainly responsible for dealing with safety issues in the Civil Aviation sector.
    • It regulates air transport services in or from India. It coordinates all regulatory functions with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
    • It also issues licences related to aviation like Private Pilot Licence and Commercial Pilot Licence.
    • It works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
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