Daily Current Affairs and GK | 29 November 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 30 Nov 2023 17:03 PM IST

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. The measles and rubella vaccine "Mabella" launched by Vaccine maker Indian Immunologicals (IIL) for children.

  • This live-attenuated MR vaccine has been developed in an exclusive partnership with the Polyvac Institute of Vietnam.
  • Mabella was launched as part of the 25th celebrations of the IIL division Human Biologicals Institute (HBI) in Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Tamil Nadu.
  • The vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective through extensive human clinical trials.
  • It will addresses the urgent need to control the deadly measles and rubella that kill nearly a million children globally.
  • In 1998, the Human Biological Institute (HBI), a division of IIL, was established at a time when the need for indigenous vaccines was paramount.
  • It developed India's first safe vero-cell rabies vaccine – Abhayrab in 1998, which paved the way for phasing out painful nerve tissue vaccines.

Topic: Sports

2. Khelo India Para Games 2023 logo and Mascot Ujjwala launched by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur.

  • On 26 November, the logo and mascot Ujjwala (a sparrow) of the first Khelo India Para Games 2023 was launched in New Delhi.
  • This little sparrow is a symbol of the pride of Delhi and its uniqueness reflects determination and empathy.
  • Ujjwala as the mascot of Khelo India-Para Games 2023 is a reminder of the fact that strength comes in many forms and the human spirit is unbreakable.
  • A total of 11 Khelo India Games have been successfully organized since 2018.
  • These include 5 Khelo India Youth Games, 3 Khelo India University Games, and 3 Khelo India Winter Games.
  • During the last four years, the budget approved by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for Khelo India was Rs 3,000 crore and for the next five years, this budget has been increased to more than Rs 3300 crore.
  • More than 1400 participants from 32 states and union territories, including the Services Sports Control Board, are expected to participate in the first Khelo India Para Games.
  • In this Para Games, Para athletes will compete for honours in seven events including Para Athletics, Para Shooting, Para Archery, Para Football, Para-Badminton, Para Table Tennis, and Para Weight Lifting.
  • These events will be held in three SAI stadiums – IG Stadium, Shooting Range at Tughlakabad and JLN Stadium.

Khelo India Para Games 2023 logo

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Government launched the National Outreach Programme on Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang Children.

  • Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani launched the National Outreach Programme on Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang Children.
  • This protocol is a social model for Divyangjan Inclusive Nutrition Care.
  • It is an important commitment under the Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi program of Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.
  • Screening for early disability signs, inclusion in community events, and referral support through ASHA and ANM teams are part of this protocol.
  • The main objective of the protocol is to ensure overall improvement in children's well-being through early intervention, specialized support and services for infants and young children with disability, and educating and supporting families.
  • For the first time, Anganwadi workers will help in the screening of children with any kind of disability.
  • Around 1 lakh children will benefit from this programme. The government will make child care socially acceptable and affordable.
  • The Anganwadi eco-system will reach more than eight crore children from birth to six years on a daily basis.

Topic: National Appointments

4. HDFC Bank appointed former NABARD chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala as an additional independent director.

  • The board of the HDFC Bank has appointed Harsh Kumar Bhanwala as an additional independent director.
  • The board in its meeting also approved the appointment of V Srinivasa Rangan as chief financial officer of the Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd.
  • Harsh Kumar Bhanwala has been appointed for a period of three years from January 25, 2024, to January 24, 2027.
  • HDFC Bank:
    • HDFC Bank is India's largest private-sector bank. It is India’s second-largest lender after the State Bank of India.
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai. It was founded in 1994.
    • The CEO of HDFC Bank is Sashidhar Jagdishan.

UP GK - Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge

Topic: National News

5. Vikshit Bharat Sankalp Yatra is being organized in different parts of the country.

  • Under the Yatra, Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) vans are reaching every corner of the country.
  • Its objective is to disseminate information and create awareness about the major welfare programs and policies of the Central Government.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the yatra on the 15th of November.
  • All stakeholders in Maharashtra are making every possible effort to make the Yatra a success.
  • Active participation of people from all walks of life can be seen after the launch of Vikassheel Bharat Sankalp Yatra in five districts of the state in the initial phase.
  • On November 28, this yatra was started in Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Sambhaji Nagar, and Satara districts.
  • 17 central welfare schemes including Ujjwala Yojana, and Ayushman Bharat were displayed on the vehicle and pamphlets and brochures containing information about the schemes were distributed among the general public.

Topic: Space and IT

6. A joint microwave remote sensing satellite will be launched by India & US for Earth observation.

  • The name of the satellite will be NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar).
  • On November 28, Science and Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh gave this information during a meeting with a high-level delegation of NASA led by its Administrator Bill Nelson in New Delhi.
  • In the meeting, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, space sector startups are growing rapidly in India.
  • He said that in a short period of about four years, the number of space startups has increased from just a single digit to more than 150.
  • NISAR is targeted to be launched from India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
  • NISAR’s data will be highly suitable for studying land ecosystems, solid Earth deformation, mountain and polar cryosphere, sea ice, and coastal oceans from regional to global scales.

Topic: National News

7. Government launched the first tranche auction of critical and strategic minerals.

  • Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi launched the first-ever critical minerals auction process.
  • Twenty blocks of critical and strategic minerals spread across different parts of the country will be auctioned.
  • It will also help boost India's economy, enhance national security and transition to a clean energy future.
  • The auction will be held online in two stages.
  • Royalty rates of critical minerals have been rationalized to encourage greater participation in these auctions.
  • The eligible bidder will be selected based on the highest percentage of the value of the mineral dispatched quoted by them.
  • Critical minerals fulfil the needs of sectors like renewable energy, defence, agriculture, pharmaceutical, high-tech electronics, telecommunications, transport, etc.
  • In August 2023, the Government notified 24 minerals as Critical and Strategic minerals.

Topic: International News

8. New Zealand's newly elected government repealed the ‘Smoking ban' decision.

  • New Zealand's newly-elected government has reversed the decision to ban smoking for the new generation.
  • The smoking ban in New Zealand was started to save lives and prevent youths from taking up smoking.
  • The anti-smoking law prohibited the sale of tobacco to individuals born on or after January 1, 2009. It was scheduled to be implemented from July 2024.
  • The law includes fines of up to NZD 150,000 (NZD 96,000) for violations.
  • The initial smoking ban in New Zealand received global acclaim from public health officials.
  • The smoking rate in New Zealand is the lowest in the world and is declining continuously.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. 19th Working Party on Data Collection and Statistics (WPDCS19) of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) has been inaugurated in Mumbai.

  • The Department of Fisheries is organizing the 19th Working Party on Data Collection and Statistics (WPDCS19) of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) from 28th November to 2nd December 2023.
  • It is an important meeting organized by the IOTC and the Department of Fisheries.
  • It has brought together the renowned Scientists and Experts in the field of Tuna fisheries from all around the world.
  • Tuna fish and other large pelagic species, such as billfish, sharks and shellfish, are very important economically.
  • The estimated annual value of the trade of tuna is US$41 billion (in 2018).
  • Representatives from Indonesia, France, and Spain, other countries of the European Union (EU), Seychelles, Tanzania, Iran, Thailand, Japan, Sri Lanka, Oman and India have participated in the meeting.
  • IOTC and scientific organizations participants are attending the meeting in Virtual Mode.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. Suganthy Sundararaj received the PRSI National Award for Outstanding Contributions to Healthcare Communications.

  • She received the honour for Outstanding Contributions to the Public Relations Society of India and the public relations industry.
  • He played a key role in the strategic management of public relations in the healthcare sector.
  • Suganthy Sundararaj received the Award at the International Public Relations Festival in New Delhi.
  • This event has brought together professionals and young minds from the PR space to facilitate knowledge exchange.
  • For more than 40 years, Suganthy Sundararaj executed PR mandate for Apollo Hospitals.
  • She launched many initiatives during her career to build relationships with the media.

Topic: National News

11. After 17 days, rescue operation inside the Silkyari tunnel ended.

  • All the 41 construction workers trapped in the Silkyari tunnel have been safely evacuated after 17 days.
  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Uttarakhand State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams evacuated the workers on wheeled stretchers.
  • The workers were treated by medical professionals at the site after coming out of the tunnel.
  • The rescued workers were provided warm clothes and medical and psychological counselling.
  • In the rescue operation, 47 meters were dug by the Auger machine.
  • The 6-inch-wide pipeline was laid for sending food and other essential items.
  • Rat-hole miners played a key role in digging 10 metres in less than 24 hours.
  • National Green Tribunal in 2014 imposed a ban on coal mining using the rat-hole mining technique in Meghalaya.
  • Rat-hole mining was used for digging narrow tunnels, usually three to four feet high, for extracting coal.
  • These workers were trapped since November 12 after debris had fallen in a 60-metre stretch in the Silkyara tunnel.
  • 15 of these 41 workers are from Jharkhand, eight from Uttar Pradesh, five each from Odisha and Bihar, and the rest from Assam, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • The Silkyara Bend–Barkot tunnel in Uttarakhand is part of the Char Dham all-weather road project. It is being constructed by Navayuga Engineering Construction Limited.
  • The tunnel is planned to be 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) long. It will connect Dharasu to Yamunotri.

Topic: Defence

12. Crest of Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyer Imphal unveiled by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

  • On 28 November, the crest of Yard 12,706 (Imphal), a stealth destroyer of Guided Missile Destroyer under Project 15B category unveiled in New Delhi.
  • This ship is decorated with 'Kangla Palace' and 'Kangla-sa' on the top.
  • It is a tribute to the sacrifices of the people of Manipur for the independence, sovereignty, and security of India.
  • The design on the top of the ship depicts 'Kangla Palace' on the left and 'Kangla-sa' on the right.
  • Kangla Palace is an important historical and archaeological site of Manipur.
  • This palace used to be the residence of the Meitei kings of Manipur in ancient times.
  • The 'Kangala-Sa', adorned with the figure of a dragon's head and a lion's body, is a mythological creature from the history of Manipur, and is known as the protector of its people.
  • 'Kangla-Sa' is also the state symbol of Manipur.
  • The warship has been designed by the Indian Naval Warship Design Bureau and built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai.
  • The ship is a hallmark of indigenous shipbuilding and is one of the most technologically advanced warships in the world.
  • This ship was handed over by MDL to the Indian Navy on October 20, 2023.
  • The draft of this ship is 7,400 tons, and the length is 164 meters.
  • The destroyer is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and systems, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes.
  • It is capable of achieving a speed of more than 30 knots (56 km per hour).

Topic: Art and Culture

13. Angkor Wat became the eighth wonder of the world.

  • Angkor Wat is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, located in the northern province of Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  • Angkor Wat holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest religious structure in the world, covering approximately 400 km square.
  • Located in Cambodia, it is one of the most visited attractions in the world.
  • Now, Angkor Wat has become the eighth wonder of the world, beating Italy's Pompeii.
  • This achievement is of much greater importance than the huge tourist influx that Pompeii receives each year.
  • Angkor Wat was built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century and was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu.
  • However, over time, it turned into a Buddhist temple.
  • The transition from Hinduism to Buddhism is evident in the intricate carvings adorning the temple walls, which depict scenes from Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

14. An MoU has been signed between Nasscom and NRW Global to establish a launchpad in Germany.

  • The MoU has been signed to promote innovation, investment, and technological exchange between North Rhine-Westfalia (NRW) in Germany and India.
  • The state-owned foreign trade promotion agency NRW Global Business is the partner for all companies to investment projects and settling in North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • It also works for the development of foreign markets for North Rhine-Westphalian companies and networking with international business partners.
  • NASSCOM is the apex body for the $245 billion technology industry in India, with over 3,000 member companies that account for 90% of the industry's revenue.
  • The MoU will promote the establishment of the first NASSCOM Launchpad in Germany following its success in the UK.
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