Daily Current Affairs and GK | 4 January 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 17:14 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. For the first time in last two decades, no rhino has been poached in Assam in 2022.

  • Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that no rhinos have been poached in Assam in 2022.
  • It is the first time since 2000 that no incident of rhino poaching has been reported in Assam.
  • The last poaching was reported on 28th December 2021 at Hilakunda in the Golaghat district.
  • Indian rhinoceros are mainly found in the Brahmaputra valley, parts of North Bengal, and southern Nepal.
  • According to the WWF, there are around 3,700 Indian rhinos in the forest. Kaziranga National Park (KNP) alone has 2,613 rhinos.
  • Rhinos are poached for their horns which are used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure a range of ailments.
  • The Assam government formed a Special Rhino Protection Force in 2019 to reduce the number of rhino poaching cases and related activities at Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
  • Since 2001, around 187 rhinos have been killed at Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park and Manas National Park.
  • Between 2013 and 2014, the maximum number of poaching cases of Rhinos have been witnessed in Assam.
  • The Indian rhino is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. It was earlier placed in the endangered category.
  • Assam government received compliments from Prime Minister for achieving this feat.

no rhino poached in Assam in 2022

(Source: Twitter)

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

2. China has become the second nation to start the hydrogen train.

  • This is Asia’s first train to run on hydrogen fuel. The world’s first hydrogen train was introduced in Germany.
  • The hydrogen train in Germany has been made by Alstom. Alstom is a rail transport company of France.
  • Fuel cells installed in this train generate energy by mixing hydrogen with oxygen and in return, only water and steam are emitted.
  • This train can go up to 1000 kilometres in one go and its maximum speed is 140 km/h.
  • All rail vehicles running on hydrogen fuel are known as hydrels. 
  • Only 1 kg of hydrogen is equivalent to about 4.5 kg of diesel.
  • Hydrogen trains will start in India by December 2023, according to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav.
  • Hydrogen cell fuel is cheaper than oil, electricity or coal. It is pollution free than oil, electricity or coal. Hence it is more economical and environment-friendly.

Topic: International News

3. India will take over the leadership of the APPU from January 2023.

  • Dr. Vinaya Prakash Singh, erstwhile Member (Personnel), Postal Services Board will assume the charge of Secretary General of the APPU for a tenure of four years.
  • This is the first time an Indian is leading an international organization in the postal sector.
  • Secretary General leads the activities of the APPU.
  • Secretary General is also the Director of the Asian Pacific Postal College (APPC) which is the largest intergovernmental postal training institute in the region.
  • Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU):
    • It is an intergovernmental organization of 32-member countries of the Asian-Pacific region. Its headquarters are in Bangkok, Thailand.
    • It aims to extend and improve postal relations between member countries.
    • It also aims to promote cooperation in the field of postal services.

Topic: Important Days

4. World Braille Day: 04 January

  • World Braille Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication for the human rights of blind and partially sighted people.
  • World Braille Day is celebrated since 2019. In November 2018, UN General Assembly decided to proclaim 4 January as World Braille Day.
  • Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number.
  • Braille is named after its inventor in 19th century France, Louis Braille.
  • Louis Braille was born on January 4th, 1809 in France.

Topic: National News

5. UIDAI allowed the online updating of addresses in Aadhaar with the consent of the head of the family.

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has now permitted residents to update their Aadhaar addresses online with the consent of their family heads.
  • The new process can be initiated after submitting proof of relationship documents.
  • The documents, like a ration card, mark sheet, marriage certificate, passport, etc, mention the names of both the applicant and the head of the family (HOF) and the relationship between them.
  • The process will require OTP-based authentication by the HOF.
  • If a person does not have a relationship document, UIDAI allows the resident to submit a self-declaration by the HOF in the format prescribed by UIDAI.
  • HOF based online address update facility in Aadhaar will be of great help to relatives like children, spouse, guardians etc. who do not have documents in their name.
  • This facility will benefit millions of people who move to cities and towns for various reasons.
  • Through this process, any resident above the age of 18 years can be a HOF for this purpose and can share his/her address with his/her relatives.
  • Residents will have to visit the 'My Aadhaar' portal to update their addresses online.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. MoD, MoE, MSDE and all three services signed MoU to continue the education of Agniveers.

  • On January 03, 2023, the Ministries of Defence, Education, and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have inked MoUs with various stakeholders in New Delhi.
  • The MoU has been to facilitate for Agniveers to continue their education while serving in the armed forces.
  • Under these MoUs, the National Institute of Open School and Indira Gandhi National Open University will award the Agniveers with appropriate 12th Class certificates and Bachelor's degrees.
  • Mr. Singh said the Agneepath scheme is going to transform the armed forces into a tech-savvy, well-equipped, and battle-ready unit to meet the challenges of the future.
  • The job-related roles/skill sets of Agniveers have been mapped to National Occupational Standards (NOS) while they are trained and deployed with the Armed Forces in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Sector Skill Councils (SSC).
  • Based on these qualifications, Agniveers will be provided with industry-ready and industry-approved 'Kaushal Praman Patra' when they are released from the Armed Forces.
  • Various departments of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have collaborated extensively with the Armed Forces to facilitate this process seamlessly.
  • Along with this, the Directorate General of Training (DGT) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will also facilitate the issuance of National Trade Certificate (NTC) to Agniveers.
  • Agneepath scheme:
    • The government launched the Agneepath scheme on June 15, 2022.
    • Under the scheme, both male and female candidates are recruited as Agniveers in the 'below officer's rank' cadre of the three services of the country for a period of four years.
 
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Topic: State News/Himachal Pradesh

7. Himachal Pradesh government would set up the CM’s Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh for destitute.

  • CM’s Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh would be set up with an outlay of Rs 101 crore.
  • It will aim to provide the facility of higher education to needy children and destitute women.
  • All Congress MLAs have decided to contribute their first payment for Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh.
  • Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that state government will bear the expenditure on skill development education, higher education and vocational training of such children in engineering colleges, IIIT, NIT, IIM, IT, polytechnic institutes, etc.
  • He said that no income certificate would be taken from needy children and destitute women.
  • Sukhu said that Department of Social Justice and Empowerment will directly transfer assistance to the beneficiary’s account on a simple application.
  • Sukhu further said that government will also make efforts to seek financial assistance under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from philanthropists and companies etc.
  • Himachal Pradesh CM said that children living in childcare institutions, all children being benefited under foster care, destitute women living in Nari Seva Sadan, Shakti Sadan and residents of old age homes would get benefits under the scheme.
  • If any other orphan child is identified by the District Child Protection Unit, he will also get benefits under the scheme.
  • State government has already issued a notification to provide a festival grant of Rs 500 to the residents of Child Care Institutions, Nari Seva Sadan, Shakti Sadan, and Old Age Homes to celebrate the festivals.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed $1.22 billion loan agreements for infrastructure projects in several states.

  • The agreements would cover projects for improving the power sector and highways in the northeastern states of Tripura and Assam, respectively.
  • The agreements include a $350 million loan to expand the metro rail network in Chennai. It would support the development of three new metro lines—3, 4, and 5.
  • A $350 million loan agreement has been signed to improve the connectivity of key economic areas in the state of Maharashtra.
  • At least 319 km of state highways and 149 km of district roads will be upgraded to strengthen the state’s core road network in the 10 districts.
  • A $300 million loan agreement has been signed to upgrade over 300 kilometres of state highways and major district roads (MDRs) in Assam.
  • The roads to be upgraded under the Assam South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Corridor Connectivity Improvement Project are connected to SASEC corridors linking India with Bhutan and Bangladesh.
  • The project will complement the multimodal logistics park being built in Jogighopa and another proposed in Silchar.
  • A $220 million loan agreement has been signed to strengthen the power sector in Tripura.
  • It will provide funds for the replacement of the Rokhia power plant with a highly efficient combined cycle gas turbine.  

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. Indian Library Congress has been inaugurated by Kerala CM in Kannur.

  • Indian Library Congress has been organized by the People’s Mission for Social Development and Library Council in association with Kannur University.
  • The main aim of the congress is to make libraries a center of entertainment and knowledge rather than just bookstores.
  • Dr V Shivdan and Dr R Bindu presided over the program. They announced 100 new libraries dedicated to the Kannur district.
  • Around 3,000 delegates from across the country participated in the three-day congress.
  • Every day at academic sessions will be organized in Cherussery auditorium of Kannur University from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah inaugurated a cultural gathering, ‘Veendum Nuruvasantham’.
  • Kannur district has the largest number of libraries in India.

Topic: Indian Polity

10. CJI D Y Chandrachud announced the launch of the e-SCR project to provide access to judgements.

  • Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud announced the launch of the electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project.
  • The e-SCR project aim is to provide access to 34,000 judgements of the Supreme Court to lawyers, law students and the common public.
  • It is an initiative to provide the digital version of the Supreme Court's judgments in the same manner as they are reported in the official report - 'Supreme Court Reports'.
  • The verdicts will be available on the SC website, its mobile app and the judgment portal of the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG).
  • It will be a free service available for all lawyers across the country.
  • Supreme Court has developed a search engine with the National Informatics Centre in the database of e-SCR.
  • As of now, the judgements announced till 1 January 2023 will be made available. All judgments will be placed online within 24 hours.
  • A committee comprising of three judges has been also formed to work on the process of “neutral citations”.

Topic: State News/ Arunachal Pradesh

11. Defense Minister inaugurated Siyom Bridge in Arunachal Pradesh on 3 January.

  • He also inaugurated 27 infrastructure projects completed by the Border Roads Organisation.These projects built at a cost of Rs 724 crore.
  • It will expand infrastructure along India's border, especially from Ladakh to Arunachal, along with China.
  • Siyom Bridge is a state-of-the-art 100 m long, Class 70 steel arch superstructure Siyom Bridge over the Siyom River in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Siyom Bridge on the Alang-Yinkiong road will facilitate movement of army vehicles and weapons to Upper Siang District, Tuting and Yinkiong regions along the Line of Actual Control.
  • Rajnath Singh also virtually inaugurated 21 other bridges, three roads and three infrastructure projects in Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Punjab and Rajasthan from Siyom Bridge site.
  • In addition, three telemedicine nodes were inaugurated- two in Ladakh and one in Mizoram.
  • These three telemedicine nodes would connect Service hospitals via VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite communications.
  • It will provide prompt medical intervention for emergencies through Telemedicine consultation with specialists at Service hospitals using SATCOM VSAT communication.
  • With the inauguration of these 28 projects, a total of 103 infrastructure projects of BRO were dedicated to the nation during the 2022 at a total cost of Rs 2,897 crore.

Siyom Bridge in Arunachal Pradesh

(Source: PIB)

Topic: National News

12. President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated Samvidhan Udyan in Jaipur.

  • On 3 January, President Draupadi Murmu reached Jaipur on a two-day visit to Rajasthan.
  • She inaugurated Samvidhan Udyan, Mayur Stambh, National Flag Post, statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Maharana Pratap at Raj Bhavan, Jaipur.
  • Rajasthan has become the first state in the country where a Samvidhan Udyan has been set up at the Raj Bhavan to create constitutional awareness among the common people.
  • The journey from the making of the constitution to its implementation has been displayed in the Udyan through statues, models and pictures etc.
  • President Murmu virtually inaugurated the Transmission system of solar power zones in Rajasthan and laid the foundation stone of the 1,000 MW Bikaner solar power project of SJVN Limited.
  • She also participated in the launch of national campaign 'RISE-Rising India through Spiritual Empowerment' organized by Brahma Kumaris.
  • On 4 January, President Murmu will also inaugurate the 18th National Jamboree of Bharat Scouts and Guides starting at Pali in Rajasthan.

Topic: Personality in News

13. Captain Shiva Chauhan became the first woman officer to be operationally deployed at the Siachen glacier.

  • Shiva Chauhan is an officer of the Fire and Fury Corps.
  • She will be deployed at the Kumar Post in the Siachen glacier.
  • She will have to undergo arduous training before her posting in Kumar Post.
  • In September 2021, a team of eight specially-abled people created a world record by reaching Kumar Post at 15,632 feet height.
  • The Siachen Glacier is the highest battleground on the earth. It is spread over an area of 76 kilometres.
  • Under Operation Meghdoot, the Indian Army took control of the entire Siachen glacier in 1984.
  • Since 1984 India and Pakistan maintain a permanent military presence in the Siachen glacier.

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

14. India’s coffee export has grown by nearly 2% in 2022.

  • In 2022, India’s coffee export has grown from 3.93 lakh tonnes in 2021 to 4 lakh tonnes in 2022.
  • In terms of value, coffee export has increased from Rs 6,984.67 crore in 2021 to 8,762.47 crore in 2022.
  • India exports Robusta and Arabica varieties of coffee, apart from instant coffee.
  • According to the Board's latest data, the export of Robusta coffee has declined from  2,20,997 in 2021 to 2,20,974 tonne.
  • However, the export of instant coffee has increased by 16.73 per cent.
  • The export of the Arabica variety has decreased from 50,292 tonnes to 44,542 tonnes.
  • India mainly export coffee to Italy, Germany and Russia.
  • CCL Products India, Tata Coffee, ITC Ltd, Olam Agro, Vidya Herbs, and Sucden Coffee India are the main coffee exporting companies in India.
  • Karnataka is the largest coffee producing state in India. Around 70% India's coffee is produced in Karnataka.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
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