Daily Current Affairs and GK | 4 July 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 17:00 PM IST

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

1. 46th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will be hosted by India.

  • India will host the 46th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in New Delhi from July 21–31 at the Bharat Mandapam.
  • More than 2,500 delegates from State Parties, advisory bodies, senior diplomats, heritage experts, scholars, and researchers from 195 countries will participate in this session.
  • It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 21.
  • World Heritage Committee currently has 21 members. Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, etc. are the members of this committee.
  • This committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
  • It was formed under the Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 17th session on November 16, 1972.
  • The 45th session of the committee was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. A MoU has been signed between the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the Spices Board of India.

  • This MoU has been signed to develop Artificial intelligence (AI) tools for detecting and classifying large cardamom diseases in Sikkim.
  • The project is led by NIC’s Centre of Excellence in AI in Kolkata.
  • The project aims to analyze images of cardamom leaves to identify diseases early.
  • This initiative marks a significant step in leveraging AI for agricultural advancements in Sikkim.
  • Spices Board of India is headquartered in Kochi, Kerala.

Topic: National Appointments

3. Dr. B.N. Gangadhar has been appointed as National Medical Commission’s chairperson.

  • He has been appointed by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
  • He had earlier worked as the President of the Medical Assessment and Rating Board.
  • Dr. Sanjay Behari has been appointed as the Medical Assessment and Rating Board’s President.
  • Dr. Sanjay Behari is the Director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Both these appointments have been done for a period of four years, until they attain the age of 70 years.
  • National Medical Commission:
    • It is a statutory body. It was established on 25 September 2020.
    • It replaced the Medical Council of India. It is headquartered at New Delhi.
    • It regulates medical education, medical professionals, institutes, and research.

Topic: Sports

4. India achieved top position at the Under 23 Asian Wrestling Championship 2024 in Amman, Jordan.

  • Indian wrestlers won a total of eight medals in freestyle wrestling.
  • These include four gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
  • Gold medal winners were Abhimanyu in the 70 kg category, Jointy Kumar in 92 kg, Sahil Jaglan in 97 kg and Anirudh Kumar in the 125 kg category.
  • Rohit in 65 kg and Jaideep at 74 Kg won silver medals.
  • Bronze medals were won by Shubham in 57 kg and Amit in 79 kg.
  • Kazakhstan achieved second place while Kyrgyzstan stood at third position.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

5. A $170 million loan signed by India and ADB to enhance pandemic preparedness and response.

  • On 2 July, a $170 million policy-based loan signed by Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to consolidate and strengthen India’s health system preparedness and response capacity to future pandemics.
  • On behalf of the Government of India, Ms. Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and on behalf of ADB, Ms. Mio Oka, Director, ADB’s India Resident Mission, signed the “Strong and Scalable Actions for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems Program (Sub-program 1)”.
  • The ADB program will help the government improve disease surveillance, ensure an adequate and skilled health workforce, and promote climate-resilient public health infrastructure and services.
  • Through policy-based lending, ADB will help the government address policy, legislative, and institutional deficiencies, contributing to India's goal of universal access to quality, affordable healthcare and improved pandemic preparedness and response.
  • The program will focus on key government schemes and initiatives, including the National Health Policy 2017, Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, National One Health Mission, and efforts to strengthen Human Resources for Health.
  • Reform areas targeted through the programme include:
    • (i) strengthened disease surveillance and multi-sectoral response
    • (ii) strengthened human resources for health
    • (iii) expanded climate resilient public health infrastructure and innovative service delivery.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Smart Cities Mission extended till March 2025.

  • The Government of India has extended the mission period up to 31 March 2025 to complete the remaining 10% of projects.
  • The Mission has been receiving several requests from government representatives of some states/cities to grant some more time to complete the remaining 10% projects.
  • Cities have been informed that this extension will not entail any additional cost beyond the financial allocation already approved under the mission.
  • Since its inception in June 2015, the Mission has introduced several innovative ideas, such as competition among cities for the selection of 100 smart cities, stakeholder-driven project selection, and the formation of smart city Special Purpose Vehicles for implementation.
  • Over 8,000 multi-sector projects are being developed by 100 cities at a cost of about ₹1.6 lakh crore.
  • As of 03 July 2024, the 100 cities have completed 7,188 projects (90% of the total projects) amounting to ₹1,44,237 crore as part of the Mission.
  • The remaining 830 projects amounting to ₹19,926 crore are also in the final stages of completion.
  • In terms of financial progress, the Mission has an allocated Government of India budget of ₹48,000 crore for the 100 cities.
  • Till date, the Government of India has released ₹46,585 crore (97% of the Government of India allocated budget) to the 100 cities.
  • Of these funds released to the cities, 93% have been utilised so far.
  • The Mission has also released the entire Government of India financial assistance under the Mission to 74 out of the 100 cities.
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Topic: State News/Jharkhand

7. On July 3, 2024, Chief Minister Champai Soren gave his resignation to Governor CP Radhakrishnan.

  • Hemant Soren declared his intention to establish the new government as soon as Champai Soren resigned.
  • On June 28, Hemant Soren was released from Birsa Munda Jail.
  • Before his arrest on January 31, he had resigned from his position as Chief Minister.
  • The Jharkhand High Court granted him bail in a money laundering case involving a purported land scam.
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Hemant Soren in January on allegations of money laundering and a purported land scam.
  • Hemant Soren served as the 5th Chief Minister of Jharkhand from 2019 to 2024.
  • He is also the working president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
  • He represents Barhait constituency in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. NITI Aayog is launching ‘Sampoornata Abhiyan’.

  • It is a 3-month campaign from 4th July – 30th September 2024.
  • In order to attain saturation of six important indicators in aspirational districts and six key indicators in aspirational blocks, a persistent effort is being initiated in the form of this abhiyan.
  • Under the Aspirational Districts Programme and Aspirational Blocks Programme, "Sampoornata Abhiyan" aims to attain saturation in each of the six selected indicators in the 112 Aspirational Districts and 500 Aspirational Blocks.
  • As part of the launch of "Sampoornata Abhiyan," districts and blocks can organise a list of activities provided by NITI Aayog.
  • To keep the campaign's momentum flowing and encourage continued involvement, districts and blocks are being urged to constantly carry out outreach initiatives.
  • Blocks and districts will create a three-month action plan to fully implement the six Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Districts and Blocks will monitor saturation every month. They will launch efforts to alter people's behaviours and raise awareness.

Aspirational Districts Programme

Aspirational Blocks Programme

Launched in January 2018 by Hon’ble Prime Minister

Launched in January 2023 by Hon’ble Prime Minister

Aims to quickly and effectively transform 112 districts across the country

Aims for saturation of essential government services in 500 Blocks (329 Districts) across the country

Progress measured on 81 indicators of development

Progress is measured on 40 indicators of development

Topic: National News

9. Government issued an advisory for self-declaration for ads on food and health products.

  • The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) issued new advisories to advertisers and advertising agencies for advertisements related to food and health sectors.
  • Advertisers and advertising agencies have to upload an annual self-declaration certificate for advertisements related to the food and health sectors.
  • The facility for uploading the self-declaration certificate by the advertisers/advertising agencies has been made available on the Broadcast Seva Portal for TV/radio advertisements and on the portal of the Press Council of India for advertisements on print media/internet.
  • As per the directive, it will be the responsibility of the advertisers/advertising agencies to follow applicable Indian laws.
  • The advisory supersedes all previous advisories issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. It is limited to the food and health sector only.
  • The right to health is a fundamental right in the Constitution that comprises the right of a consumer to become aware of the quality of products being offered for sale by manufacturers, service providers, advertisers, and advertising agencies.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. Government issued an advisory to states after a Zika virus case from Maharashtra.

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory to States to keep an eye on the Zika virus.
  • States have been urged to instruct the health facilities in the affected area to screen pregnant women for Zika virus infection.
  • States should advised health facilities/hospitals to identify a nodal officer to monitor Zika virus cases.
  • States were also directed to immediately report any detected case to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC).
  • Zika testing facility is available at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi.
  • Zika:
    • Zika virus disease (ZVD) is a mosquito-borne disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
    • India reported the first Zika case from Gujarat State in 2016.
    • The mild fever, skin rash, headache, muscle and joint pain and inflammation of the underside of the eyelid are the symptoms of this disease.
    • During pregnancy, it can cause significant health risks, including the possibility of microcephaly and other developmental issues in infants.
    • Protection against mosquito bites is a key measure to prevent Zika virus infection.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. A web portal for faster bank settlement of interest subvention claims launched by Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

  • The web portal has been jointly developed by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) and NABARD.
  • The web portal will automate and expedite the process of settlement of interest subvention claims of banks submitted under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF).
  • The newly introduced automation system of loan claims will ensure timely settlement of claims within a day, which otherwise used to take months in manual settlement.
  • The automated system will help in calculating the accurate eligible interest subvention through the portal, thereby avoiding possible human error in manual processing and will also help in faster settlement of claims.
  • The portal will be used by banks, Central Project Management Unit (CPMU) of DA&FW and NABARD.
  • Agriculture Infrastructure Fund:
    • Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme was launched in 2020.
    • Its objective is to reduce losses, promote innovation in agriculture and attract investments for creation of agricultural infrastructure for development of post-harvest management infrastructure.
    • A total amount of ₹ 1 lakh crore is made available under this scheme through banks and financial institutions till 2025-26.
    • Under this scheme, beneficiaries are provided with 3% interest subsidy for a maximum period of 7 years on loans up to Rs 2 crore given by banks, besides reimbursement of credit guarantee fee paid by the banks.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. NIRMAN Portal launched by Union Minister Shri G Kishan Reddy.

  • On 2nd July, “Noble Initiative for Rewarding Mains Aspirants of National Civil Services Examination (NIRMAN)” portal launched by Union Minister for Coal and Mines Shri G Kishan Reddy in New Delhi.
  • This portal is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for “Mission Karmayogi”.
  • This is a unique CSR scheme launched by Coal India Limited for the meritorious youth of the districts where it operates, who have qualified in the preliminary round of UPSC examination (for Civil Services and Forest Services) in 2024.
  • The scheme aims to provide assistance of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh) to the candidates who qualify the Preliminary Examination.
  • These candidates must have annual family income less than Rs.8 Lakh and belong to SC, ST, Women or Third Gender and are permanent residents of any of the 39 districts where CIL operates.
  • The entire application process takes place through a dedicated portal to ensure complete transparency and seamless scrutiny of applications.

Topic: Defence

13. Indian Air Force Chief inaugurated the newly established Weapon Systems School (WSS) in Hyderabad.

  • A new Weapon Systems School (WSS) has been established at Air Force Station Begumpet, Hyderabad.
  • This new branch will have four stream, which are as follows:
    • Flying stream to operate the weapons and systems in airborne platforms like the Sukhoi-30 MKI and C-130J.
    • Remote stream to operate remotely piloted aircraft.
    • Mission commanders and operators for surface-to-air and Surface-to-Surface weapon systems.
    • Intelligence stream for handling space-based intelligence and imagery.
  • Its main objective is to prepare the Indian Air Force as a future-oriented force.
  • The WSS will impart effect-based training that is contemporary in nature and will prepare officers of the newly formed branch.

Topic: Indian Economy

14. India's services sector growth picks up in June.

  • India's services sector growth quickened in June due to new orders and an unprecedented expansion in international sales.
  • The HSBC India Services Business Activity Index rose from 60.2 in May to 60.5 in June.
  • A record expansion in international orders has been reported.
  • Australia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the US were all cited as sources of new work from abroad.
  • The HSBC India Composite Output Index has recovered from 60.5 in May to 60.9 in June.
  • Private sector employment expanded at a sharp pace and was the fastest since 2005.
  • The HSBC India Services PMI has been compiled by S&P Global from responses by 400 service sector companies.
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