Daily Current Affairs and GK | 30 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 30 Dec 2022 17:56 PM IST

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Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

1. A Triple test survey will be carried out in Uttar Pradesh for the first time.

  • This decision has been taken by the UP government after the verdict of the High court regarding urban local body elections.
  • High Court ordered Uttar Pradesh government and the state election commission to conduct urban local body elections without reserving seats for OBCs as the state had not followed the triple-test formula.
  • The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court said that the seats reserved of OBCs should be notified as general seats.
  • Uttar Pradesh government has decided to form a Commission for providing reservations to the other backward casts on the basis of a triple test for urban local body elections.
  • For the first time, the triple test exercise will be carried out in Uttar Pradesh. The law department and the urban development department will form the guidelines for the process.
  • What is the triple test?
    • It is a test that requires the government to complete three tasks for the reservation of OBCs in the local bodies.
    • These tasks are given below:
      • To set up a special commission to collect data on the conditions, nature and impact of backwardness of OBCs in local body elections in the state.
      • To ensure that reservations for SCs/STs/OBCs should not exceed 50 per cent of the total seats.
      • Based on recommendations, the state government should give reservations on a proportional basis in municipal and municipal elections.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. India and Cyprus have signed several agreements in various fields.

  • Both countries have signed agreement on defence and military cooperation. 
  • Two countries also signed a Letter of Intent on Migration and Mobility Partnership.
  • This was signed to provide a common framework of arrangement and cooperation to facilitate the mobility of students, academics, professionals and business people.
  • The agreements were signed after talks between External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Foreign Minister of Cyprus.
  • Dr Jaishankar is on an official visit to Cyprus and Austria from 30 December 2022 till 3rd January 2023.
  • The External Affairs Minister reiterated India's position on the Cyprus issue.
  • He expressed commitment to the bi-communal bi-zonal Federation on the basis of UN Resolutions as a solution to the issue.
  • He also welcomed the Signing of the Framework Agreement on International Solar Alliance by Cyprus.
  • Dr Jaishankar’s visit to Austria will be the first External Affairs Minister-level visit from India to Austria in the last 27 years.
  • He will also meet with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi.
  • Cyprus:
    • It is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
    • It is located north of Egypt, east of Greece, south of Turkey, and west of Lebanon and Syria.
    • Its capital is Nicosia. Nicos Anastasiades is its current president.

Topic: Defence

3. Indian army inaugurated the first 3D-printed house (dwelling unit) in Ahmedabad.

  • It is a disaster-resilient structure. It complies with Zone-3 earthquake specifications and green building norms.
  • It is located at Ahmedabad Cantt. It has been constructed by the Military Engineering Services (MES) in collaboration with MiCoB Pvt Ltd.
  • It incorporates the latest 3D Rapid Construction Technology.
  • The construction work of the dwelling unit measuring 71 sqm with garage space was completed in 12 weeks by using the 3D printed foundation, walls and slabs.
  • Ahmedabad-based Golden Katar Division of the Indian Army has played a key role in pursuing the project.

Topic: Agriculture

4. Government has extended the free import policy for key pulses (tur and urad) by a year till March 31, 2024.

  • In March 2022, the government had extended the free-import policy for two varieties of pulses by a year.
  • Under the free-import policy, specified pulses are allowed to be imported without any quantitative restrictions.
  • This policy was introduced in May 2021. Inflation in pulses in November, 2022 stood at 3.15%.
  • According to the department of consumer affairs data, modal retail prices of tur and urad on 28 December 2022 increased to Rs 110/kg and Rs 115/kg respectively from Rs 100/kg for both pulses six months back.
  • India’s pulse production increased by nearly 9% to 27.75 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) as against the previous year.
  • India is self-sufficient in chana production. Chana production has a share of 50% of total pulses production.
  • India imports around 15% of annual pulses consumption. India imported around 2 Million Tonne (MT) of pulses in FY22.
  • India will import 0.25 MT of urad and 0.1 MT of tur annually from Myanmar between 2021-22 and 2025-26.
  • In 2016, an agreement was reached between India and Mozambique to import 0.2 MT of tur each year for five years. It was extended for another five years in September 2021.
  • In 2021, India signed a MoU with Malawi for the import of 0.05 MT tur per annum, till 2025.

Topic: Government schemes and Initiatives

5. A mobile app 'Prahari' and the manual of the Border Security Force launched by Amit Shah.

  • On 29 December, Union Minister for Home and Cooperation Shri Amit Shah launched the Border Security Force (BSF) 'Prahari' mobile app, and a revised version of 13 manuals in New Delhi.
  • Now jawans can get information related to personal and service-related information, accommodation, lifespan-CAPF, and leave on their mobile.
  • Along with this, the awaited revision and update of 13 manuals will enhance a better understanding of operations, administration and training tasks and speed up the work.
  • This will facilitate the work of BSF jawans and officers of all levels.
  • BSF Prahari App is a great example of Proactive Governance.

Border Security Force (BSF) 'Prahari' mobile app

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National News

6. Election Commission has proposed ‘remote voting’ for interstate migrants.

  • 'Remote Voting' will be introduced using a multiple-constituency Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), which will retain all the security features of the EVMs currently in use.
  • Up to 72 different constituencies can be handled by this modified EVM from a single remote polling booth.
  • The initiative, if implemented, can lead to a social transformation for the migrants and connect with their roots.
  • Migrants are unable to enroll themselves at their place of work due to various reasons like frequent change of residence.
  • The Commission has invited all Recognised National and State Political Parties to demonstrate the multi-constituency prototype Remote Electronic Voting Machine on January 16, 2023.
  • Members of the Technical Expert Committee will also be present in the meeting.
  • The Poll Panel also requested written views from recognized political parties by January 31 on subjects like changes required in legislation, changes in administrative procedures, and voting method for domestic migrants.
  • The laws and rules that would require an amendment to implement remote voting include the Representation of the People Act of 1950 and 1951, the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960.
  • The idea is to implement 'Remote Voting' as a pilot project in the assembly elections to be held in nine states in 2023.
  • This means that if the pilot is successful, 'Remote Voting' can be fully implemented in the 2024 general elections.
  • The RVM has been designed by the Department of Atomic Energy and ECIL (one of the two PSU makers of the EVM), with the assistance of the EC's Technical Expert Committee.
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Topic: Personality in News

7. Brazilian football legend Pele has passed away at the age of 82.

  • Pele won a record three World Cups. Pele is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 games during a 21-year career.
  • Pele was named Fifa's Player of the Century in 2000.
  • In 1999, International Olympic Committee named him Athlete of the Century.
  • He is the only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
  • He was nicknamed O Rei (The King) after the 1958 tournament.
  • Edson Arantes do Nascimento is popularly known as Pele. Pele had been battling cancer.
  • He is credited with connecting the phrase "The Beautiful Game" with football.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

8. National Health Authority (NHA) has released the beta version of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS).

  • The beta version of HMIS is light i.e. small size, robust and the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission-compliant.
  • It envisions providing a digital platform for healthcare providers.
  • It particularly focuses on private clinics and small health facilities.
  • This beta version will enable doctors to generate and fetch Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts for patients.
  • It will also enable them to manage their calendars, appointments, and patient details in a single window.
  • It will also facilitate e-prescription services. It will also facilitate viewing of previous health records and prescriptions for registered patients
  • NHA is also inviting healthcare providers to participate in its beta-testing and share their feedback.
  • National Health Authority (NHA):
    • It is the apex body responsible for implementing Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
    • National Health Agency was reconstituted as the National Health Authority on 2nd January 2019.
    • It is an attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

9. India-assisted built 720 Mw Mangdechhu hydro project handed over to Bhutan's Druk Green Power Corp.

  • On 27 December, Mangdechhu hydro project was handed over in a ceremony held in Thimphu.
  • It was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering in 2019.
  • Mangdechhu hydro project has increased Bhutan's Electrical Power Generation Capacity by 44 per cent and it is now at 2,326 Mega Watts.
  • Since its commissioning, it has generated more than 9000 million units of energy. It reduced 2.4 million tons of emissions annually.
  • The Mangdechhu Hydropower Project increased the hydropower revenue of Bhutan by 31 percent.
  • It has exported electricity worth Rs 12.13 billion to India in 2021.
  • The Institute of Civil Engineers, London had awarded the project with Brunel Medal 2020 for its excellence in civil engineering and social and environmental credentials.
  • India and Bhutan have completed four mega hydroelectric power projects.

Topic: International Appointment

10. Benjamin Netanyahu sworn-in as Prime Minister of Israel.

  • Benjamin Netanyahu becomes the Prime Minister of Israel for the sixth time.
  • He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Israel. He has the support of 63 members in the 120-member Knesset (Israeli parliament).
  • During the confidence vote, 54 lawmakers voted against his government.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu said that his government has three “national goals”- Preventing Iran from getting nuclear power, launching a bullet train and to bringing more Arab countries under the Abraham accords.
  • He promised to improve the personal safety of citizens and reduce the cost of living.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of 31 ministers and three ministers.
  • Defence, education and welfare will have two ministers at the same time. Only five women got the ministerial posts, which is the new low of their representation.
  • MK Ohana is the Knesset’s first openly gay speaker.
  • Political System of Israel:
    • The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy.
    • Prime Minister heads the government and Executive power is exercised by the government.
    • Knesset (Israeli parliament) has Legislative power.
    • Israel does not have a written constitution.

Topic: Defence

11. Indian Army’s Fire and Fury Corps will continue Ladakh Ignited Minds Project for academic year 2022-23.

  • For the second consecutive year, Ladakh based Fire and Fury Corps of Indian Army will continue Ladakh Ignited Minds Project.
  • An MoU has been signed between Fire and Fury Corps with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and National Integrity and Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) for continuing the project.
  • Under the MoU, Ladakhi students will be mentored to build their professional career through value-based education, soft skill training, wellness program, vocational training, etc.
  • The project was started in academic year 2021-22. Under the project, Ladakhi students are mentored and guided for entrance exams of various Medical and Engineering colleges by providing full-time residential programme.
  • Fire and Fury Corps or XIV Corps is part of Indian Army’s Udhampur based Northern Command. It looks after military development along Leh-Kargil and guards the borders with China, Pakistan and Siachen Glacier.

Topic: Summits/Meetings/Conferences

12. Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired Conference of LG and Administrators of UTs.

  • On 29 December 2022, Union Home Minister chaired the conference on Development work in UTs in New Delhi.
  • The conference was attended by Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of UTs from Delhi, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar, Puducherry, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In a different programme, Amit Shah launched Border Security Force App and BSF Manuals.
  • Union Territories in India are administered by the President through an administrator appointed by him. India currently has 8 union territories:
    • Delhi
    • Andaman and Nicobar
    • Chandigarh
    • Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
    • Jammu and Kashmir
    • Ladakh
    • Lakshadweep
    • Puducherry

Topic: Personality in News

13. Guru Gobind Singh Ji's birthday was observed on 29 December.

  • The 356th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj was celebrated with religious fervor and gaiety across the country.
  • According to the Hindu calendar, Guru Gobind Singh Ji was born on the Saptami Tithi of Shukla Paksha Samvat 1723 in the month of Pausha.
  • Therefore, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti was celebrated on 29 December 2022.
  • Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th and last Sikh guru.
  • In Bihar, the birth anniversary celebrations known as Prakash Parv were celebrated at Gurudwara Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib in Patna Sahib, the birthplace of the tenth Sikh Guru.
  • Gobind Singh Ji was born on December 22, 1666 in Patna Sahib, Bihar to Ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur and Mata Gujri.
  • Gobind Singh was proclaimed the tenth Guru of the Sikhs on the day of Baisakhi in 1676, when he was 9 years old.
  • Guru Gobind Singh Ji formed the sacred khalsa Vani, "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh."
  • In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji founded the Khalsa, a Sikh military community, and established the Five Ks, which are extremely important to Sikhism.
  • The Five Ks of Khalsa Sikhs:
    • Kesh (uncut hair)
    • Kangha (wooden comb)
    • Kara (an iron or steel bracelet)
    • Kirpan (a sword or dagger)
    • Kacchera (short breeches)

356th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National Appointments

14. Praveen Kumar Srivastava has been appointed as acting CVC.

  • On 28 December, Vigilance Commissioner Praveen Kumar Srivastava has been appointed as the acting Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).
  • He succeeded Suresh N Patel, whose tenure completed on December 24.
  • On January 31, 2022, Srivastava retired as Secretary (Coordination), Cabinet Secretariat.
  • Arvind Kumar, the former head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), is the other Vigilance Commissioner.
  • Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):
    • It is an apex anti-corruption government body in India.
    • It was established on the recommendation of the K. Santhanam Committee.
    • It was granted statutory status in 2003 under the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003.
    • The central vigilance commissioner heads the Central Vigilance Commission, which can have up to two Vigilance Commissioners.
    • A CVC and vigilance commissioner is appointed for a four-year term, or until he/she attains the age of 65.
    • The Central Vigilance Commissioner is appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
    • Nittoor Srinivasa Rau was the first Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.
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