Daily Current Affairs and GK | 28 March 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 17:31 PM IST

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Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2023 , Detailed)
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Current Affairs

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Topic: Awards and Prizes

1. Assam’s NGO ‘Tapoban’ wins Children’s Champion Award 2023.

  • Students’ Welfare Mission, popularly known as Tapoban, has won the Children’s Champion Award 2023.
  • Tapoban is working for special needs and autistic children.
  • The award has been presented by Justice S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court to Kumud Kalita, founder-President of Tapoban.
  • Tapoban, established in 2005, has received award in the health and nutrition category award for its efforts to provide quality care to children with special needs.
  • DCPCR had received 1100 nominations from organisations and individuals.
  • Children’s Champion Award:
    • It was instituted by the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) in 2022.
    • It recognises individuals and institutions who worked for the cause of children in education, justice, health, nutrition, sports, and artistic expression.
    • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 75000, a certificate and a plaque.

Topic: Personality in News

2. EC has chosen Manjamma Jogati as a poll icon to motivate the transgender community to vote.

  • For the first time, Election Commission (EC) has chosen a transgender as a poll icon in Karnataka.
  • Transgender folk artist Manjamma Jogati has been chosen to motivate the transgender community to get enrolled and come out to vote.
  • Manjamma Jogati is the former chairperson of Karnataka Janapada Academy and a Padma Shri awardee.
  • Apart from her, Rahul Dravid, Chandrashekar Kambar, Ashwini Angadi and Girish Gowda have been also selected as a poll icons for the state.
  • As per the data, the number of transgender voters has increased from 4,552 in 2018 to 42,756 in 2023.
  • 11.49% of the registered 4,839 transgenders turned up to vote in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
  • Most transgenders are uneducated and there is no way through which they can prove their transgender status
  • The lack of valid documents and discrimination are the main factors for their low voter enrolment.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. A new fish species discovered by ICAR in Cuddalore.

  • A Moray Eel fish of the Genus Gymnothorax has been discovered by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) from the Cuddalore coast, Tamil Nadu.
  • The fish has been named after Tamil Nadu as - "Gymnothorax Tamilnaduensis" with a common name as "Tamil Nadu brown moray eel".
  • P Kodeeswaran and G Kantharajan, marine researchers from ICAR's National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), conducted an exploration survey along the coast in the Parangipettai and Mudasalodai fish landing centres in the Cuddalore district.
  • The team, after extensive morphological analysis, skeletal radiography and advanced molecular markers, concluded that the species found is the moray eel, a typical species of the genus Gymnothorax.
  • With this, the number of new fish species of Gymnothorax has increased to 29.
  • The discovery is of paramount importance, as this new species is the first to be found in the Bay of Bengal, off the south-east coast of India.
  • The holotype of this new species is registered at the National Fish Museum and Repository, ICAR-NBFGR, Lucknow.
  • Fish species name are registered in ZooBank, the online registration system for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).
  • ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR):
    • In December 1983, it was established under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research at Allahabad to conduct research related to conservation of fish germplasm resources of the country.
    • The objective of the institute is intellectual property protection, assessment and conservation of fish genetic resources for sustainable use and posterity.

Topic: International News

4. Israel's Prime Minister announced the suspension of judicial reforms after nationwide protests.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to postpone planned judiciary reform until the next parliament session following nationwide protests.
  • Mr Netanyahu made the announcement after two days of massive protests against the plan.
  • Israel's Prime Minister said he wanted to give himself and his political opponents time to decide on the controversial reform.
  • The controversy stems from a number of bills amending Israel's "Basic Laws".
  • This law would give members of parliament, or the Knesset, control over judicial appointments, eliminate judicial review of legislation, and allow parliament to overrule Supreme Court decisions.
  • These changes would mean that there will be no legal limit to the government.
  • This plan would give the government more power to choose judges, including Netanyahu's corruption trial judge.

Topic: Books and Authors

5. Ghulam Nabi Azad's autobiography "Azaad" will be released on April 5 in New Delhi.

  • 'Azaad' published by Rupa Publications India will be a candid autobiography about the life and career of one of the most powerful leaders of India and the world as well.
  • In "Azaad," he will provide description of his interactions with the Gandhi Parivar, which includes former Prime Ministers Rajiv and Indira Gandhi, Sanjay, Maneka, Sonia Gandhi, and her children Rahul and Priyanka.
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad:
    • He is an Indian politician who served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha between 2014 and 2021.
    • From 2005 to 2008, he was the Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • On 26 September 2022, Azad announced his own political party as Democratic Progressive Azad Party, where he is the Chief Patron cum Founder.

Topic: Personality in News

6. Malayalam actor and former Lok Sabha MP, Innocent passed away at the age of 75.

  • On 26 March, Innocent Vareed Thekkethala passed away due to Covid.
  • He was known mostly as a comedian for his unique style and dialogue delivery in a career spanning four decades and over 500 films.
  • Innocent was also a former member of the Lok Sabha from 2014–19, winning the seat from Chalakudy constituency in Kerala as a Left-backed independent candidate.
  • In 1972, Innocent had entered the film industry with the movie 'Nrityashala'.
  • He also served as the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), a body of Malayalam artistes, for 12 consecutive years.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. J&K’s Aaliya Mir gets Wildlife Conservation Award.

  • She is J&K’s only female wildlife rescuer. She is best known for her work with snakes.
  • She has rescued Asiatic black bears, Himalayan brown bears, birds, leopards and other mammals.
  • She works as a project manager with Wildlife SOS, a non-governmental organisation.
  • She got the award from LG Manoj Sinha on the International Day of Forests (21 March) event.
  • Her works include treatment of injured animals, rescue and release of wild animals, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, and managing two bear rescue centres in Kashmir.
  • Wildlife SOS team led by Mir earlier rescued a Levantine viper – a highly venomous snake – from the chief minister’s residence.
  • She took part in the Hangul (Kashmir Stag) census and the annual Asian Waterbird census.

Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

8. EPFO has fixed 8.15% interest rate on employees’ provident fund deposits for 2022-23. 

  • The decision has been taken by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT).
  • CBT’s decision requires ratification by Ministry of Finance.
  • After ratification, interest rate on EPF for 2022-23 will be credited into the accounts of over 5 crore subscribers of EPFO.
  • In March 2022, interest rate on EPF deposits for 2021-22 was lowered to four decade low level of 8.1% from 8.5% in 2020-21.
  • This was lowest rate since 1977-78. In 1977-78, EPF interest rate stood at 8%.
  • In March 2020, interest rate on provident fund deposits was lowered to a seven year low of 8.5% for 2019-20.
  • Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):
    • EPFO is a statutory body that was established under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
    • The organization works under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
    • It helps the central board of trustees in the administration of the Provident Fund Scheme, Pension Scheme and Insurance scheme for the organized sector workers.

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

9. Government constituted a committee to monitor stock disclosure of Tur.

  • The committee will be formed under the chairmanship of Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • This committee will monitor the stock of Tur held by entities such as importers, millers, stockists and traders in association with the state governments.
  • The decision has been set up to form a panel after the report of not releasing of stocks by market players.
  • The formation of the panel shows the government’s intention to deal with hoarders and unscrupulous speculators in the market.
  • It also indicates that the government is committed to keeping prices of Tur under control. The government also keeps an eye on the stock position of other pulses in the domestic market.
  • In August 2022, the central government had issued an advisory to state governments for stock disclosure in respect of Tur under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
  • For smooth and seamless import, the government has removed the 10% import duty for Tur from non-LDC countries.
  • The import duty creates procedural hurdles even for zero-duty imports from the LDCs.

Topic: Space and IT

10. World’s first 3D-Printed Rocket has been successfully launched.

  • Terran 1, World’s first 3D-printed rocket, has successfully launched in its third attempt.
  • It was launched from Complex 16 at Canaveral's US Space Force Station.
  • Terran 1’s engines are powered by liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas.
  • It hasn’t carried any payload in its first flight but it can carry a payload of 2,755 pounds (1,250 kilograms) into low Earth orbit.
  • Despite sustained efforts, it failed to achieve orbit during second-stage separation. It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The rocket is 110 feet (33.5 meters) tall with a diameter of 7.5 feet (2.2 meters).
  • 85% of its mass is 3D printed with metal alloys. It is made with the world’s largest 3D metal printers.
  • 3D printing builds the shapes of objects with the layers of aluminium powders or beads. It also allows for the rapid iteration of designs and reduced the wastage of raw materials.

Topic: Indian Economy

11. Maximum GST cess ceiling fixed by Center on Pan Masala, Tobacco.

  • In order to limit the maximum rate of GST compensation cess on pan masala, cigarettes, the government has made amendments to the Finance Bill.
  • Among other items, GST Compensation Cess has been linked to a ceiling rate of their retail selling price.
  • This rule issued by the government will be implemented from the 1 April 2023.
  • The maximum GST compensation cess rate for pan masala will be 51% of the retail sale price per unit, which is currently levied at 135% ad valorem. [according to the estimated value of the goods being taxed]
  • Similarly, the rate for tobacco has been fixed at Rs 4170 per thousand sticks plus 290% ad valorem or 100% of retail sale price per unit.
  • The highest rate so far is 290% ad valorem with Rs 4,170 per thousand sticks.
  • The cess is levied over the highest GST rate of 28%.
  • In February, the GST Council, headed by the Union finance minister and comprising state finance ministers, approved the recommendations of a group of ministers to prevent tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Theatre Day 2023: 27 March

  • Every year on March 27, World Theatre Day is celebrated.
  • It is celebrated with an aim to recognize and celebrate the value and importance of the art form "theatre".
  • The theme of the World Theatre Day 2023 is "Theatre and a Culture of Peace."
  • In 1961, the International Theatre Institute (ITI) established World Theatre Day.
  • The proposal for World Theater Day was made by ITI founder Arvi Kivima at the organization's ninth global congress in Helsinki, Finland.
  • The proposal was unanimously approved and the first World Theater Day was celebrated on March 27, 1962.
  • Since 1962, ITI Centres and the international theatrical community have been commemorating World Theatre Day.
  • On World Theatre Day, French playwright Jean Cocteau wrote the first message in 1962.
  • The first ITI conference was held in Helsinki, Finland, and the second in Vienna, Austria.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

13. First Citizens Bank will buy all deposits and loans of SVB.

  • First Citizens Bank & Trust Co will buy all deposits and loans of Silicon Valley Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • FDIC and First Citizens Bank have signed a purchase and assumption agreement.
  • The 17 former branches of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank will open as First–Citizens Bank & Trust Company.
  • The depositors of Silicon Valley Bank will automatically become depositors of the First–Citizens Bank. All deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC up to the insurance limit.
  • Till March 10, the Silicon Valley Bank had total assets of $167 billion and about $119 billion in total deposits.
  • Around $90 billion in securities and other assets will remain in the receivership for disposition by the FDIC.
  • Recently, Silicon Valley Bank was shut down by United States regulators due to irregularities.

Topic: International Appointment

14. Dilma Rousseff became the new President of New Development Bank.

  • Former Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff has been elected as the new President of the New Development Bank.
  • She has taken place of Marcus Troyjo.
  • The board of Governors unanimously elected Dilma Vana Rousseff as the President of the Bank.
  • Dilma Rousseff was the President of Brazil from January 2011 to August 2016. She was elected as the President of Brazil for two consecutive terms.
  • New Development Bank is also known as the BRICS bank.
  • It is a financial institution established by the five BRICS countries including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
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