Daily Current Affairs and GK | 30 March 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 31 Mar 2023 18:00 PM IST

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Topic: Space and IT

1. For the first time, Scientists observed the piezoelectric effect in liquids.

  • Scientists have observed the piezoelectric effect in pure 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium bisimide and 1-hexyl-3-methyl imidazolium bisamide.
  • These are both ionic liquids at room temperature. The piezoelectric effect in solids has been known for 143 years.
  • The liquids also displayed the inverse piezoelectric effect. The liquid get distorted when an electric charge was applied.
  • The piezoelectric effect was discovered in quartz in 1880.
  • Quartz is silicon dioxide (SiO2), a crystal consisting of silicon and oxygen atoms at the four vertices of a three-sided pyramid. It is used in analog wristwatches and clocks.
  • When an object compresses, it produces an electric current, which is known as the piezoelectric effect.
  • According to the study paper, the magnitude of the piezoelectric effect in the first liquid was 16 millivolts per newton (mV/N) and in the second 17 mV/N.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh started the captive employment initiative under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY).

  • This initiative paves the way for increased industry participation in skilling rural poor youth.
  • It is an initiative by the Ministry of Rural Development to provide livelihoods to rural youth under the DDU-GKY program.
  • 19 captive employers signed MoU with the Ministry of Rural Development under the DDU-GKY program.
  • They have signed MoU for training and placing over 31,000 rural youth in their own establishment or subsidiary companies.
  • Giriraj Singh put emphasis on the idea that the Captive Employer scheme will bridge the gap between job seekers and job providers.
  • Captive employment initiative assures post-training placement of candidates for a minimum of six months with a minimum CTC of Rs 10,000/-.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY):
    • It is a program of the Ministry of Rural Development.
    • It is a placement-linked skilling program under the aegis of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
    • It was launched on 25 September 2014. It caters to rural poor youth.
    • It is currently being implemented in 27 States and 4 UTs.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Important Days

3. International Day of Zero Waste: 30 March

  • UN is observing the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste on 30 March 2023.
  • The day aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  • It also aims to raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • On 14 December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution at its 77th session to proclaim March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste.
  • The day will be observed annually. The resolution was put forward by the Turkiye.
  • The resolution “End plastic pollution: towards an internationally legally binding instrument” was adopted at the United Nations Environment Assembly on March 2, 2022.
  • The observance of International Day of Zero Waste is jointly facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme:
    • It was set up in 1977. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
    • It is the United Nations programme for human settlements and sustainable urban development. 

Topic: National Appointments

4. Salima Tete has been appointed as AHF Athletes Ambassador from India.

  • She is an Indian woman hockey player. She has been appointed for a two-year term, started from 25 March.
  • She accepted the position during the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Congress in Mungyeong, Korea.
  • She is among the four players from Asia to be appointed for the position.
  • Asian Hockey Federation:
    • It is the governing body for field hockey in Asia.
    • It now has 33 member associations. Its current president is Fumio Ogura. It is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

5. Three contracts worth about Rs 5400 crore signed by Ministry of Defence to enhance defence capabilities.

  • To promote 'Aatmanirbharta' in the defence sector, the Ministry of Defense signed three contracts worth about Rs 5,400 crore on March 29, 2023.
  • Two of these contracts have been signed with Ghaziabad-based Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and one with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
  • The objective of these contracts is to enhance the defence capability of the country.
  • The first contract with BEL pertains to the procurement of 'Project Akashteer', an automated air defense control and reporting system, for the Indian Army at a cost of Rs 1,982 crore.
  • The second contract with BEL pertains to the acquisition of Sarang Electronic Support Measure System for the Indian Navy at a total cost of Rs 412 crore.
  • In addition, the contract with NSIL - a Bengaluru-based Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Department of Space pertains to the procurement of an advanced communication satellite - GSAT-7B at a total cost of Rs 2,963 crore.
  • It will provide services to the Indian Army with high speed. All these projects are under the Buy {Indian-IDMM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)} category.
  • Project Akashteer:
    • 'Project Akashteer' is an automated air defense control and reporting system.  
    • It will empower the air defense units of the Indian Army with an indigenous and state-of-the-art capability to operate effectively in an integrated manner.
    • Akashteer will be able to monitor the low altitude airspace in the battle areas of the Indian Army and effectively control ground based air defense weapon systems.
  • Sarang systems:
    • Sarang is an advanced Electronic Support Measure system for helicopters of the Indian Navy.
    • It has been indigenously designed and developed by the Hyderabad-based Defense Electronics Research Laboratory under the Samudrika programme.
    • The scheme will generate employment of about two lakh man-days over a period of three years.
  • Advanced Communication Satellite:
    • The satellite will significantly enhance the communication capability of the Indian military by providing beyond-line-of-sight communication access to troops and formations as well as weapon and air platforms.
    • The ISRO will indigenously develop this geospatial satellite, which is the first of its kind in the five-tonne category.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Government has launched a new scheme named “New India Literacy Program” (NILP).

  • It will be implemented over five years from FY 2022-23 to 2026-27 with a financial outlay of Rs 1037.90 crore, of which Rs 700.00 crore is central share and Rs 337.90 crore is state share.
  • The aim of the scheme is to cover a target of 5.00 crore non-literates in the age group of 15 years and above.
  • The Scheme has five components:
    • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
    • Critical Life Skills
    • Vocational Skills Development
    • Basic Education
    • Continuing Education
  • Surveyors in the States/UTs identify beneficiaries under the scheme through a door-to-door survey on the mobile app.
  • The non-literate can also take advantage of the scheme by registering directly from any place through mobile app.
  • The scheme is mainly based on volunteering for teaching and learning. Volunteers can also register through the mobile app for this purpose.
  • The scheme is technology driven and mainly implemented through online mode.
  • Teaching-learning materials and resources are made available on the Diksha platform of NCERT and can be accessed through mobile-apps.

New India Literacy Program

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Miscellaneous

7. Regional Search And Rescue (SAR) Exercise was conducted by the India Coast Guard during 28-29 March 2023 at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

  • The exercise aimed to simulate a real-time maritime distress scenario.
  • It also aimed to highlight the functioning of the Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation for a mass rescue operation.
  • All the stakeholders were involved in the exercise with effective use of available resources towards M-SAR (Maritime Search and Rescue) contingency efficiently.
  • The sea area off Kakinada was selected as the venue for the exercise due to the large-scale production and exploration activities in the Krishna Godavari basin.
  • Large-scale production and exploration activities make the area potential to emergencies necessitating large-scale SAR response.
  • The exercise promoted coordination and cooperation amongst member agencies for a Mass Rescue Operation (MRO).

Topic: Personality in News

8. Girish Bapat passed away recently.

  • He was a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Member of Parliament (MP) from Pune.
  • He represented the Kasba Peth assembly constituency for five consecutive terms from 1995 to 2019.
  • He was elected as Pune MP in 2019 general elections. He served as MP in the 17th Lok Sabha.
  • He was elected to Lok Sabha from Pune, Maharashtra in the 2019 general elections.

Topic: International News

9. United Arab Emirates launched National Genome Strategy.

  • The National Genome Strategy’s main aim is to provide a comprehensive legislative and governance framework to support the development and implementation of genomic programs.
  • National Genome Strategy will focus on delivering public health priorities and improving well-being.
  • The Emirates Genome Council will oversee the National Genome strategy. The council was established in 2021.
  • The Emirati Genome Program is one of the most comprehensive genomic initiatives in the world. It will help in improving preventive and personalized healthcare.
  • Under this program, one million samples will be collected across the country.
  • The National Genome Strategy will support the healthcare sector through preventive medicine programmes.
  • Genome programmes will also help create new economic opportunities in the UAE by attracting partnerships in fields such as artificial intelligence, advanced medical care, and pharmaceuticals.
  • It will also support doctors in taking proactive steps to reduce certain disease, enable early intervention, and help to identify the most effective treatments.
  • National Genome Strategy launched programme was attended by President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President.

National Genome Strategy

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Rajasthan

10. Rajasthan celebrated its statehood day on 30 March.

  • March 30 is observed every year as Rajasthan Diwas or Rajasthan Statehood Day.
  • This year, Rajasthan celebrated its 73rd foundation day.
  • Rajasthan was formed on March 30, 1949, after the merger of Rajputana with the Dominion of India.
  • Maharaja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur became the Rajpramukh on 30th March 1949 AD. Heera Lal Shastri was the first Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
  • It was formally inaugurated by Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
  • Rajasthan:
    • It is the largest Indian state by area and the seventh largest in terms of Population.
    • It shares border with Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Jaipur is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan.
    • Rajasthan means literally "The Land of Kings".
    • Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve and the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve are situated in Rajasthan.
    • Ashok Gehlot is the current CM while Kalraj Mishra is the Governor of the state.
    • Thar Desert (also known as the Great Indian Desert) covers around 61% area of Rajasthan.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. A special literary award conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

  • The award has been conferred on him by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL).
  • He has been conferred the award for his trilogy- The Unfinished Memoirs, The Prison Diaries and the New China 1952.
  • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:
    • He was the founding leader of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
    • He initially served as titular President of the Provisional government of Bangladesh between 1971 and January 1972.
    • He then served as Prime Minister of Bangladesh from the Awami League.
    • In 2011, the constitutional amendment in Bangladesh referred to him as the Father of Nation who declared independence.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/Meetings/Conferences

12. Meeting of NSAs of SCO member countries was held in New Delhi.

  • On 29 March 2023, India hosted the meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
  • The meeting was chaired by NSA Ajit Doval.
  • He said that terrorism in all its forms and its financing are the most serious threats to international peace and security.
  • India is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the inclusion of Chabahar Port within the framework of INSTC.
  • International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7200 km long multi-mode network of rail, road and ship for moving freight between India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia. It aims to increase trade connectivity.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation comprises eight member countries- China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • The member countries of SCO represent around 42% of the world population and 25% of the global GDP.
  • India became a member of SCO in June 2017.      
  • India has assumed the SCO Chairship for 2023.
  • Currently, SCO has four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership. These are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

13. Education Ministry selected 9000 schools for Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) scheme.

  • 9,000 schools from across India have been shortlisted for the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) programme.
  • These schools have been selected from 2.5 lakh government schools, including Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas.
  • The schools have been selected on six parameters, which are given below:
    • Curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment
    • Access and infrastructure
    • Human resources leadership
    • Inclusive practices and gender equity
    • Management, monitoring, and governance
    • Beneficiary satisfaction
  • PM SHRI scheme’s main aim is to develop more than 14,500 schools for the cognitive development of students.
  • The effective implementation of this scheme will help in the proper implementation of the New Education Policy.
  • Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) scheme:
    • It was approved by Union Cabinet on 5 September 2022.
    • PM-SHRI schools will impart education through a modern, transformational and holistic method.
    • These schools will become model schools and in these schools emphasis will be given to the discovery-oriented and learning-centric way of teaching.

Topic: State News/ Telangana

14. Telangana will start distribution of fortified rice through PDS in 11 districts.

  • Telangana government will distribute fortified rice through the Public Distribution System (PDS) to every ration card holder in 11 districts.
  • The fortified rice will be distributed to welfare hostels, residential schools, ICDS, and mid-day meal schemes across the State.
  • This decision has been announced by State Civil Supplies Minister G. Kamalakar during a review meeting.
  • The fortification will increase the micronutrients, especially iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid in rice.
  • It will help in resolving the problems like Anaemia and micronutrient deficiency among the people of state.
  • The government has taken steps to distribute fortified rice to other districts in a phased manner till March next year.
  • G. Kamalakar said that blending units have been set up in almost all the mills of the state.
  • 35 lakh metric tonnes of fortified rice has been provided to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
  • Fortification of rice is the process of adding micronutrients (Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12) as prescribed by FSSAI to normal rice (custom milled rice) in the ratio of 1:100.
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