Daily Current Affairs and GK | 26 July 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 23:40 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Polity

1. Lok Sabha passed Biological Diversity Amendment Bill.

  • The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has been passed by Lok Sabha.
  • It will amend the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 is being amended to promote research and cultivation of medicinal plants.
  • The Bill will exempt users of codified traditional knowledge and AYUSH practitioners from sharing benefits with local communities.
  • The modifications would exempt AYUSH manufacturing companies from needing approvals from the NBA.
  • The Bill has decriminalized a range of offences under the Act and replaced them with monetary penalties.
  • The bill has been drafted after receiving complaints from traditional Indian medicine practitioners, the seed sector, and industry and researchers.
  • They claimed that the current Biological Diversity Act put a heavy compliance burden and makes research and investments difficult.
  • It was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 16, 2021.
  • A Joint Parliamentary Committee was also formed in December 2021 to analyse the Amendment Bill.

Topic: Indian Economy

2. India's FY24 GDP growth forecast has been raised by IMF by 20 basis points to 6.1%.

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also revised the upward growth forecast for the global economy by 20 basis points for 2023 to 3%.
  • IMF raised India's FY24 GDP growth forecast citing its stronger-than-expected growth momentum in the March quarter of FY23.
  • India’s economic growth increased by 6.1% in the March quarter of FY23.
  • Last month, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revised upward its forecast to 6% for FY24.
  • RBI expects the Indian economy to expand at 6.5% in FY24.
  • IMF has forecasted an inflation of 4.9% for FY24.
  • IMF also revised upward its growth forecasts for the US by 20 basis points and for the UK by 70 basis points.
  • IMF said world trade growth will decline from 5.2% in 2022 to 2% in 2023. It will then rise to 3.7% in 2024. It will remain below the 2000-19 average of 4.9%.

Topic: National News

3. PM Modi dedicates International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) complex to the nation.

  • This IECC complex is in Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
  • It was developed as a National project at a cost of approximately 2700 crore rupees.
  • It has a campus area of approximately 123 acres.
  • It has been developed as India’s largest MICE - Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions - destination.
  • Its multi-purpose hall and plenary hall have a combined capacity of 7,000 people.
  • This capacity is larger than the seating capacity of the famous Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Shirish Kanekar passed away due to heart attack.

  • He was a veteran journalist-author-columnist.
  • He worked at Marathi and English language publications. Some of them are Loksatta, Indian Express, Samana, and Free Press Journal.
  • His collection of stories ‘Lagaon Batti’ was awarded the Maharashtra Literary Parishad Award for Best Comedy.
  • He was also famous for his books on cricket, Bollywood movies such as ‘Nut Bolt Bolpat’, ‘Kanekari’, and ‘Cricket Vedh’.

Shirish Kanekar

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Space and IT

5. A ransomware operation dubbed Akira is reportedly active in cyberspace, said the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

  • CERT-In said this in the latest advisory to Internet users. It said Akira first steals the information from victims, then encrypt data on their systems.
  • It then conducts double extortion to force the victim into paying the ransom.
  • If the victim does not pay, they (attackers) release their victim's data on their dark web blog, said the CERT-In.
  • CERT-In said the ransomware is famous for accessing victim environments via VPN [virtual private network] services.
  • The ransomware has also utilized tools such as AnyDesk, WinRAR, and PCHunter.
  • The advisory recommended that virtual patching can be used for protecting legacy systems and networks.
  • Ransomware is a computer malware. In a ransomware attack, users are blocked from using their own data and system through encryption and a ransom payment is demanded for the decryption key.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking  

6. Madhya Pradesh is the state with the highest crime rate against Scheduled Castes (SCs) in 2021 as per NCRB data.

  • Madhya Pradesh also had the highest crime rate against SCs in 2020. However, it was ranked second after Rajasthan (1st) in 2019.
  • The rate at which charge sheets were filed was higher in MP than in most other states.
  • Crime rate against SCs is defined as the number of crimes per 100,000 SC population.
  • National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) reports still use the 2011 Census population data.
  • The crimes includes all crimes/atrocities committed against SCs. They do not just include those which were filed under the Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act.
  • In 2021, 50900 incidents of crime against SCs were reported in the country. This number was 7,214 for Madhya Pradesh.
  • The number of cases registered under the Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act was 45,610 in India. This number was 7,211 for Madhya Pradesh.
  • In case of Madhya Pradesh, crime rate against SCs was 63.6 in 2021. The national average was 25.3.
  • The crime rates against SCs in Madhya Pradesh were 60.8 and 46.7 in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
  • The all-India crime rates against SCs were 25 and 22.8 in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
  • Rajasthan was ranked 2nd in terms of crime rate in 2021 and 2020.
  • In the list of crime rate against Scheduled Tribes (STs), Kerala was ranked at the top in all three years between 2019 and 2021. Rajasthan got 2nd rank in all three years.
  • Madhya Pradesh got 5th rank in 2019, 4th rank in 2020 and 3rd rank in 2021.
  • Assam had the lowest charge-sheet rate in crimes against SCs in 2021.
  • Madhya Pradesh performed better than most other states when it came to filing charge sheets in crimes against STs and SCs.

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Topic: International Appointment

7. Wang Yi has been appointed Foreign Minister of China.

  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping has removed the country's recently appointed Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, after only seven months in office.
  • Wang Yi, the foreign affairs chief of the Communist Party, has been re-appointed as foreign minister in place of Qin Gang.
  • Wang Yi has been a professional diplomat and also knows Japanese. He was the foreign minister between 2013 and 2022.
  • Qin Gang was last seen in public on June 25. No clear reason has been given for his removal.
  • Xi Jinping appointed him as foreign minister only last December and a month ago he met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

8. 4th ECSWG & Environment and Climate Ministers meeting began in Chennai on 26 July.

  • The 4th Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) and Environment and Climate Ministers meeting will be held from July 26 to 28, 2023.
  • The three-day meeting will bring together around 300 delegates from G20 member states, invitees, and several international organizations.
  • The meeting will conclude on the third day with a meeting of the G-20 Environment and Climate Ministers.
  • The outcome of the meeting and the Chairmanship document will be released later.
  • The fourth meeting is scheduled to further discuss the outcome documents under the two broad themes of environment and climate.
  • The last three meetings and virtual sessions of the ECSWG were held in May, June, and July this year in which three themes were discussed extensively under the Indian Presidency.
  • The focus was on three thematic priorities was:
    • 1. Arresting and degradation, enriching biodiversity, and accelerating ecosystem restoration
    • 2. Promoting a sustainable and climate-resilient blue economy
    • 3. Resource efficiency and circular economy.

4th ECSWG & Environment and Climate Ministers meeting

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Polity

9. Parliament passed Constitution (STs) Order (5th Amendment) Bill.

  • To include some communities in STs Category in Chhattisgarh, the Parliament passed Constitution (STs) Order (5th Amendment) Bill.
  • The Bill will amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950.
  • The Bill proposed to include Dhanuhar, Dhanuwar, Kisan, Saunra, Saonra, and Binjhia communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Chhattisgarh.
  • The Bill also proposes to include Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, and Bhuyan communities as synonyms of the Bharia Bhumia community.
  • It will include three Devanagari versions of the name of the Pando community.
  • It was passed in Lok Sabha in December 2022.
  • Oraon, Kanwar, Munda, Nagesia, Korwa, Bhuinhar, and Bhumia are some major tribes of Chattisgarh.
  • As per Article 342 (2), Parliament may include or exclude any tribe or tribal community from the list of Scheduled Tribes.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Government will organize nationwide events under the ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ campaign in August.

  • The Union government has launched the ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ campaign as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
  • Under this campaign, soils will be collected from different parts of the country in August and these soils will be used to develop a garden along the Kartavya Path.
  • The soils will be brought from different parts of the country to Delhi to pay homage to brave persons who sacrificed their lives.
  • Events will be organized at the panchayat, village, block, urban local body, and State and national levels.
  • The panchayat-level events will be organized from 9-15 August.
  • Under Mitti Yatra, soil from each village will be collected in a pot and taken to Delhi by youths.
  • Families of defence/security personnel who sacrificed their lives will be felicitated under the Viro ne Vandan programme.
  • All villagers will be encouraged to take a pledge for the country's unity and sovereignty as part of Panch Pran Pratigna.
  • The names of people who sacrificed their lives for the country will be inscribed on a stone panel as part of the Shila-falakam programme.

Topic: State News/ Rajasthan

11. Honour of Dead Body Bill, 2023 passed by Rajasthan.

  • Rajasthan Legislative Assembly has passed the Rajasthan Dead Body Respect Bill, 2023 to prevent protests with dead bodies.
  • The bill seeks to penalize such acts that can attract imprisonment for up to five years.
  • The bill aims to make protests with dead bodies a punishable offense and ensure the dignity of the body of the deceased.
  • Now, anyone found protesting with a dead body on the road, outside police stations, or in any other public place can be punished with a jail term of six months to five years, along with a fine.
  • Apart from prohibiting the use of a person's remains for protests, the Bill seeks to ensure that every dead person has the right to the last rites.
  • This makes the family liable to perform the last rites of the deceased member as soon as possible.
  • If the family refuses to do so despite an order from an executive magistrate or local police officer, the last rites will be performed by a public authority.
  • The Bill also provides for the maintenance and security of data on unclaimed dead bodies.
  • The bill has been brought in view of the rise in incidents where families protest with the body of the deceased for "unreasonable demands".
  • Between 2014 and 2018, there were 82 such incidents where the family protested by sitting with the dead body, leading to 30 police cases.
  • The number of such incidents increased to 306 between 2019 and 2023, where 91 police cases were registered.

Topic: Important Days

12. Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023: 26 July

  • Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on 26 July in India.
  • On Kargil Vijay Diwas, the nation honors the martyrs and remembers its wartime heroes.
  • On this day, in 1999, under Operation Vijay, the Indian Armed Forces repelled the insurgents supported by the Pakistan Army from the high posts in the Kargil sector.
  • The Kargil War was fought for over 60 days and ended with India gaining control of all the territories.
  • During the war, the Indian Army recaptured strategic peaks including Tololing, Tiger Hill, and Point 4875.
  • The victory at Tiger Hill was one of the significant achievements in the 60-day-long conflict.
  • The Kargil War took place between May 3 and July 26, 1999, in the Kargil district of Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LOC). India lost more than 500 military soldiers in the Kargil war.

Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

13. Jammu will lead India's first Cannabis Medicine Project.

  • CSIR-IIIM Jammu initiated the ‘Cannabis Research Project’. It is a first-of-its-kind project in India in Private Public Partnership with a Canadian firm.
  • CSIR-IIIM and IndusScan had signed the scientific agreement for this project.
  • This project of CSIR-IIIM is also important from the perspective of becoming self-reliant in producing quality drugs for neuropathies, diabetic pains etc.
  • This kind of project will spread awareness about the medicinal benefits of Cannabis for patients suffering from malignancies and other diseases.
  • This project will attract huge investment in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Union Minister Jitendra Singh emphasized the importance of using the latest technology and cultivation practices for Cannabis.
  • He also stressed developing newer indigenous varieties.
  • After the J&K government approved a permit for the growing of cannabis for scientific purposes, CSIR-IIIM finished its exploratory research.
  • CSIR-IIIM is the oldest scientific research institute in India. It is the centre of the purple revolution.

Topic: Banking System

14. Sberbank will set up Information Technology (IT) centre in Bengaluru.

  • Sberbank is Russia’s largest lender. Its branch in India has received RBI’s permission to set up an IT unit in Bengaluru.
  • Sberbank is already having a branch in New Delhi since 2010.
  • Bengaluru office will focus on developing information technologies.
  • It would house Sberbank’s in-house data processing centre. It would also handle the technological needs of Indian branch.
  • Sberbank is a Russian majority state-owned banking and financial services company. It is headquartered in Moscow.
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