Daily Current Affairs and GK | 31 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 31 Dec 2022 17:01 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Government launched National Geospatial Policy to promote startups and advance technology.

  • The Ministry of Science and Technology notified the National Geospatial Policy, 2022.
  • Its main aim is to develop a national framework to use data for improving services for citizens.
  • It aims to develop a high-resolution topographical survey and mapping, and a high-accuracy digital elevation model by 2030.
  • The National Geospatial Policy will lay down the framework for the holistic development of the geospatial ecosystem.
  • It will also work to promote innovation and strengthen arrangements for the generation and management of geospatial information.
  • By 2025, the government will improve the availability and accessibility of “better location data" for companies.
  • The government is also planning to establish an Integrated Data and Information Framework, under which a Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure (GKI) will be developed by 2030.
  • The policy will also lay an outline for the creation of a national-level apex body, the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC).
  • This apex body will give detail about the use of geospatial data in governance across specific ministries.
  • The policy will work for the development of 14 National Fundamental Sectoral Geospatial Data Themes. It will be used to support geospatial applications in various sectors.
  • The policy will make a positive impact on developing India’s commercial geospatial applications and business ecosystem.
  • India's geospatial economy is likely to reach Rs 63,000 crore by 2025 at a growth rate of 12.8%.

Topic: Sports

2. Cristiano Ronaldo will now play for the Arabian club Al Nassr.

  • Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo signed a contract worth over 200 million euros with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.
  • His contract with Manchester United has come to end.
  • He will play for the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr until 2025.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is five-time winner of Ballon d'Or awards and has won four European Golden Shoes.
  • He has scored over 800 goals for the club and country. He signed a contract with Manchester United for the first time in 2003.
  • Al Nassr Football Club:
    • It was formed in 1955.
    • It is a Saudi Arabian football club based in Riyadh.
    • Pedro Emanuel is the current Manager of the Al Nassr Football Club.

Arabian club Al Nassr

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

3. India’s Koneru Humpy won silver in the World Blitz championship.

  • On 30 December, Koneru Humpy won the silver medal in the women's section of the FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship.
  • Humpy defeated China's Tan Zhongyi, who had won the world's rapid title on 28 December.
  • She won the first silver medal for India in the World Blitz Chess Championship held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • She finished just half a point behind winner Bibisara Balabayeva of Kazakhstan with 12.5 points.
  • Humpy had finished sixth in the rapid championship, which preceded the blitz competition.
  • She is also a former winner of the World Rapid title.

Koneru Humpy

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

4. Madhya Pradesh Men's and Haryana Women’s U-18 Hockey team won Qualifiers- Khelo India Youth Games 2022.

  • On December 30, Madhya Pradesh Men's team defeated Odisha with 6-5 in Bhubaneswar.
  • Zameer Mohammad scored a hat-trick in the final, while Ali Ahmad, Mohammad Zaid Khan, and Captain Ankit Pal each had one goal.
  • Haryana defeated Jharkhand 2-0 in the third and fourth place clash to clinch the third spot in the competition.
  • The men's teams of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, and Jharkhand have qualified for the Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Madhya Pradesh in 2023.
  • On December 30, the women's Hockey Haryana won the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 Women's Under 18 Qualifiers at Bhubaneswar.
  • The women's hockey team won by defeating Madhya Pradesh with 2-0.
  • Odisha clinched the third position after defeating Hockey Jharkhand 2-1 in the third and fourth place match.
  • The women's teams of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have qualified for the Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Madhya Pradesh in 2023.

Khelo India Youth Games 2022

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National News

5. First underwater metro service in India will begin in Kolkata in December 2023.

  • On December 30, the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) stated that the East-West Metro Corridor project, which is India's first underwater metro service, is expected to be completed by December 2023.
  • The Kolkata Metro started its operation in 1984, and it is now growing to cover the whole city and its suburbs.
  • The underwater metro, running through the Hooghly River, will connect the Howrah and Kolkata.
  • The cost of building a tunnel is about ₹120 crore per kilometer, but the cost of building a tunnel underwater, which is deep in the Hooghly River, increases to about ₹157 crore per kilometer.
  • The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation has taken up the task of building the tunnel with the help of German machines and best experts.

Topic: Art and Culture

6. Largest open-air theatre performance 'Dhanu Yatra' started on 27 December.

  • The largest open-air theater festival 'Dhanu Yatra' festival began after a gap of two years at Bargarh in the Odisha.
  • The vibrant Dhanu Yatra is associated with the culture of Odisha.
  • The festival is being organized from December 27 to January 6, 2023.
  • During the festival, several artistes from 130 cultural troupes from across the country are scheduled to perform.
  • Dhanu Yatra Festival:
    • Dhanu Yatra was started in the year 1947-48 as a reflection of the atmosphere of joy in the society for the end of British misrule.
    • Since then, it is celebrated every year at the end of paddy harvesting, the locality's main crop.
    • During the 11 days, the entire area of Bargarh city and the sub-urban areas around Bargarh block turned into 'Mathura Nagari'.
    • The last Dhanu Yatra took place from 31 December 2019 to 10 January 2020.

Dhanu Yatra festival

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

7. Government has increased the interest rate of five year National Saving Certificate from 6.8% to 7%.

  • The government has raised interest rates on various small savings schemes for the 4th quarter of the current financial year (starting from 1st January 2023).
  • The interest rate on the senior citizen saving scheme has increased from 7.6% to 8%.
  • The interest rate on Kisan Vikas Patra has increased from 7% to 7.2%. It will now mature in 120 months instead of the earlier 123 months.
  • The interest rate on a small savings deposit of one year time period has been increased from 5.5% to 6.6%.
  • The interest rate on the Public Provident Fund scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, and Saving Deposit have been kept unchanged.

Topic: Indian Economy

8. The growth rate in core sector output in November increased to 5.4%.

  • The growth rate in the production of eight core sectors was 3.2% in the corresponding month last year (November 2021).
  • In October 2022, the growth of core sector output stood at 0.9%.
  • The production growth of eight infrastructure sectors stood at 8% during April-October this fiscal. It stood at 13.9% a year ago.
  • The final growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) for August 2022 has been revised from provisional level of 3.3% to 4.2%.
  • The cumulative growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries in April-November 2022 was 8% (provisional) as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
  • As per the data, production of coal (increased by 12.3%), fertilisers (increased by 6.4%), steel (increased by 10.8%), cement (increased by 28.6%) and electricity (increased by 12.1%) increased in November. 
  • The output of crude oil (declined by 1.1%), natural gas (declined by 0.7%) and petroleum refinery products (declined by 9.3%) declined in November.

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

9. Two lakh primary milk dairies will be opened at the Panchayat level in the next three years.

  • Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah announced that two lakh Cooperative Committees would be opened at the Panchayat level in the next three years.
  • He addressed the Cooperative convention in Bengaluru.
  • It will help the cooperative sector in growing by more than three times.
  • Amit Shah said that these Cooperative committees will have multidimensional roles like milk distribution, storage, fisheries, water, and gas supply.
  • He said that a multi-state cooperative society will be set up for exporting products supplied by cooperatives.
  • The cooperative society will focus on seed production and exports.
  • A database of all the cooperatives and a new Cooperative policy will be also launched.
  • A cooperative University will be also established to train the manpower required for the sector.
  • Siddanagouda Sanna Ramanagowda Patil, known as the father of the Cooperative movement in Karnataka, established the first co-operative society in India in 1905.

Topic: Personality in News

10. Indian-American Rajeev Badyal named to the National Space Council Advisory Group of US.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris has named Rajeev Badyal to the national space advisory group.
  • He is one of the 30 space experts of the National Space Council's Users Advisory Group (UAG).
  • US Air Force Rtd General Lester Lyles has been named as the chairman of the UAG.
  • The UAG provide advice and recommendations to National Space Council on issues related to space policy and strategy.
  • The 30 members named to UAG represent a section of companies and organisations that support large and highly skilled space workforce and users of space services in US.
  • Project Kuiper’s aim is to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites which will provide high-speed broadband connectivity in the world.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

11. India's first project to conserve Nilgiri Tahr has been approved.

  • India's first Nilgiri Tahr project to be launched at a cost of ₹25.14 crore for the conservation of the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • In the Tamil Nadu budget for 2022–2023, the finance minister had announced in the assembly to implement the Nilgiri Tahr project with an initial allocation of ₹10 crore.
  • The government will implement the Nilgiri Tahr Project to conserve it, expand its habitat and spread awareness among the public.
  • The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden sent a proposal to implement the project over a five-year period, from 2022 to 2027, based on the Budget announcement.
  • The Nilgiri tahr is the only ungulate in southern India out of 12 species present in India.
  • According to a report released by WWF India in 2015, its population in the wild is estimated at 3,122.
  • The animal is found throughout the entire stretch of the Western Ghats but in small fragmented areas.
  • The existing population is facing threat due to habitat loss and hunting.
  • IUCN Status of Nilgiri Tahr- Endangered

Topic: Indian Economy

12. India's current account deficit grew to 4.4% of GDP in the second quarter.

  • India's current account deficit increased from 2.2% of GDP in the April-June period to 4.4% of GDP in the quarter that ended in September.
  • On 29 December, the Reserve Bank of India released the data.
  • The deficit in India's current account balance increased from USD 18.2 billion (2.2%) in Q1:2022-23 to USD 36.4 billion (4.4%) in Q2:2022-23.
  • A deficit in India's current account balance was US$ 9.7 billion (1.3 percent of GDP) a year ago ie, Q2: 2021-22.
  • Services exports registered a growth of 30.2 percent on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, led by rising exports of software, trade and travel services.
  • The net foreign portfolio investment inflows were recorded at $6.5 billion, up from $3.9 billion during the second quarter of 2021-22.
  • In the first half of 2022-23, there was a shortfall of $25.8 billion from the foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis).
  • The forex reserves decreased by $30.4 billion in the July-September quarter of 2022-23, as against $31.2 billion in the year-ago period.

Topic: State News/ Odisha

13. Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi inaugurated Rs. 300 crore Angul-Balram rail link in Odisha.

  • With the launch of this rail link, coal from Talcher coalfields in Angul district of Kerala would be taken out easily.
  • The project will enable Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to increase its daily dispatch of coal by around 40,000 tonnes.
  • Mahanadi Coal Railway Ltd (MCRL), a joint venture of MCL, IRCON International Ltd and IDCO, has constructed the rail link.
  • IDCO is an industrial infrastructure development agency of Odisha government.
  • The rail link is the first phase of 68km inner corridor that will connect Angul with Putugadia, Jarapada and Tentuloi. MCRL is implementing the inner corridor in 2 phases.
  • IRCON is the implementing agency of the phase 2 of the corridor i.e. Balram-Putugadia-Jarapada-Tentuloi rail link.
  • Odisha has the second largest coal reserves in India after Jharkhand. Talcher Coalfield, Rampur-Himgir, Ib valley field are coalfields in Odisha.

Topic: Defence

14. Extended range version of Brahmos missile was successfully test fired from SU-30 MKI fighter in Bay of Bengal.

  • The test was conducted by Indian Air Force. Extended Range version has the capability of striking the targets located at 350 kms. The missile weighs 2.65 tonnes.
  • The initial version of Brahmos missile has the capability to strike the target located at around 290 kms as per the obligations of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  • India entered into MTCR in June 2016 following which officials stated that the range of the missile would be extended to 450 km and to 600 km later.
  • The first test launch of initial version Brahmos was conducted in 2001. The initial version of Brahmos Air launched missile was first tested in 2017. It was a major addition to IAF’s operational capabilities from stand-off ranges.
  • Stand-off range missiles are the ones which are launched at a distance sufficient to allow the attacking party to evade defensive fire expected from the target area.
  • Brahmos is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on SU-30 MKI, which was modified by HAL to carry such weapon systems.
  • Brahmos (combination of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers) missiles are designed, developed and produced by Brahmos Aerospace. Brahmos Aerosapce is a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Russia.
  • The missile can be launched from land, sea, sub-sea, air against surface and sea-based targets.
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