Daily Current Affairs and GK | 6 December 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 06 Dec 2023 17:44 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Polity

1. Jammu and Kashmir bills for reservation and reorganization were discussed by Lok Sabha.

  • On 5 December, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 were taken up for discussion in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 is to be amended by the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
  • This Act provides for reservation in jobs and admission to professional institutions to members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.
  • On the other hand, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is to be amended by the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
  • The 2019 Act had amended the Second Schedule of the 1950 Act to specify the total number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly as 83.
  • With this proposed bill, the total number of seats increases to 90.
  • In this, seven seats are also reserved for Scheduled Caste and nine seats for Scheduled Tribes.
  • The bill states that the Lieutenant Governor can nominate a maximum of two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Legislative Assembly. One of the nominated members must be a woman.
  • Migrants are defined as persons who migrated from the Kashmir Valley or any other part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir after 1 November 1989 and are registered with the Relief Commissioner.

Jammu and Kashmir bills for reservation

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Maharashtra

2. Five school initiatives launched by the Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais for Overall Student Development on 5 December.

  • These five futuristic initiatives include Chief Minister Majhi Shala Sundar Shala, Maha Vachan Utsav, Adopt a School Campaign, Majhi Shala Majhi Parasbag, and Swachata Monitor.
  • These initiatives aim to develop the holistic personality of the students to ensure that future generations are sensitive and responsible towards their environment.
  • ‘Chief Minister Majhi Shala Sundar Shala’: It is a 45-day challenge to win the Best School Award for maintaining its premises clean and introducing the concepts of financial literacy, environment protection, skill development, and national integrity in the most effective ways.
  • ‘Maha Vachan Utsav’: It aims to promote reading culture.
  • ‘Swachata Monitor’ campaign: Students will work to spread awareness about cleanliness in public places.
  • ‘Majhi Shala Majhi Parasbag’: To promote healthy lifestyle, this initiative aims to encourage schools to grow their own kitchen gardens. While the best student will be rewarded, it also aims to introduce students to the basics of farming and its importance.
  • ‘Adopt a School Campaign’: Under this, the state government has urged corporations, alumni, social organizations, and interested citizens to help by dedicating their resources, with a focus on developing the infrastructure of existing schools.

Topic: Indian Polity

3. The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed by Parliament on the first day of the winter session.

  • On 4 December, the Lok Sabha approved this bill. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament in August this year.
  • This bill amends the Advocates Act 1961.
  • It repeals certain sections under the Legal Practitioners Act 1879 relating to agents or brokers.
  • It provides that the District Judge, Sessions Judge, District Magistrate, and Revenue Officer not below the rank of District Collector in every High Court may prepare or issue a list of brokers.
  • Broker means a person who buys or offers to buy the services of a legal practitioner in any legal matter for money.
  • Now once the passed bill becomes law, the court or judge can expel any person included in the broker list from the court premises.
  • Despite the name appearing in the broker list, the broker can face imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of Rs 500 or both together.
  • On 4 December, Rajya Sabha also passed the 'Post Office Bill 2023' after a detailed discussion. This Bill will replace the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
  • According to the provisions of the Bill, the government can stop any material sent by post for examination for special reasons including security.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

4. The report titled Equitable Phaseout of Fossil Fuel Extraction has been released by the Civil Society Equity Review.

  • The report is endorsed by over 200 civil society organisations and social movements.
  • The report noted the developed nations are not meeting their share of emission reduction in their Nationally Determined Contributions.
  • As per the report, Canada, the US, Norway, Australia, and the UK must end fossil fuel extraction by the very early 2030s.
  • According to the study, in order to even reach the bottom end of their fair share, the US, UK, EU, Japan, and Australia must more than double the objective set forth in their NDC.
  • Companies and nations are already on course to extract more than twice as much fossil fuel in 2030 as would be consistent with 1.5°C trajectories, according to the 2023 Production Gap Report.
  • Between 2015 and 2022, the United States' actual emissions exceeded its fair share of mitigation by 6.5 gigatonnes, leaving a deficit between fair share and actual emissions.
  • The shortfall between fair share and actual emissions for India was found to be only 400 megatonnes in 2015-2022 despite its much larger population.
  • The research determined each nation's phase-out schedule according to its reliance on fossil fuels.
  • The results show that the phase-out date corresponds to the year where production fell by 90% below 2023 levels.
  • According to the study, wealthy nations ought to offer international financial assistance.
  • India should aim to phase out oil, coal, and gas by 2031, 2036, and 2031, respectively.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

5. Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) has launched a seed fund scheme.

  • This seed fund scheme is focused on urban development and disaster management.
  • It has been launched to offer start-ups focused on these sectors financial assistance of up to Rs 1 crore each.
  • IN-SPACe has launched the scheme in collaboration with ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).
  • The chosen startups will receive seed money to help them develop an innovative concept into a working prototype with ISRO facility support and space technology.
  • Apart from providing financial aid and supervision, the programme also provides networking and training opportunities.

Topic: Defence

6. Two Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots were killed on 04 December.

  • Pilots were killed after their Pilatus PC-7 Mk II trainer aircraft crashed.
  • The aircraft took off from the Dundigal Air Force station, Telangana.
  • The aircraft was found charred near the Toopran town in the Medak district.
  • This is the first crash involving the aircraft since it was inducted into the Air Force almost a decade ago.
  • Presently, IAF has 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk II aircraft in service. These are used for basic training.
  • After this, cadets graduate to the HAL Kiran followed by the BAE Hawk.
  • HAL Kiran is a jet-powered indigenously developed trainer aircraft.
  • BAE Hawk is a British jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft.
  • The IAF, Navy, and National Cadet Corps also operate the Pipistrel Virus.
  • It is used as a basic trainer for Flight Safety and Air Wing Cadets.
  • Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is an aerospace manufacturer in Stans, Switzerland.
  • Pilatus PC-7 Mk II has a maximum speed of 412 km/h. It can fly to a height of slightly more than 10,000 m.
  • It has a range of 1,200 km without external tanks. This translates to slightly more than 4 hours of flying time.
  • In March, the Defence Ministry signed a contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to procure 70 HTT-40.
  • The HTT-40 is a basic trainer aircraft powered by a four-bladed turbo-prop engine (PC-7 is three-bladed).
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Topic: Indian Economy

7. India will become the world's third-largest economy by 2030.

  • On 5 December, S&P Global Ratings said India will be the world's third-largest economy by 2030.
  • But it will be a big challenge for the country to take advantage of the huge opportunity and become the next big global manufacturing hub.
  • The rating agency expects India will be the fastest-growing major economy in the next three years.
  • In this, the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase from the estimated 6.4% in the current financial year to 7% by the fiscal year 2027.
  • The Indian economy grew by 7.2% in the financial year 2022-23 ending March 2023.
  • India's GDP grew by 7.8% in the June quarter and 7.6% in the September quarter.
  • Currently, the Indian economy ranks fifth after the US, China, Germany and Japan.
  • India has one of the youngest working populations in the world, with approximately 53% of its citizens under the age of 30.
  • The rating agency projected that China's GDP growth will slow to 4.6% in 2024 (in 2023: 5.4%), then accelerate to 4.8% in 2025, and return to 4.6% in 2026.

Topic: State News/ Telangana

8. On December 7, the new Chief Minister of Telangana, Revanth Reddy, will take oath.

  • Earlier, the Congress high command had declared Revanth Reddy as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
  • The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for December 7 at the Lal Bahadur Stadium.
  • Revanth Reddy has been credited with the party's landslide victory in the assembly elections and was the face of the Congress's victorious campaign.
  • Revanth Reddy had won the Kodangal assembly elections.
  • Mr Reddy will become the first Congress Chief Minister of Telangana, the state formed in 2014.
  • He entered politics in 2006 and was elected as a Zilla Parishad member.
  • In 2017, he joined Congress after resigning from TDP and became the working president of PCC in 2018.

new Chief Minister of Telangana

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. The Geographic Information System application “Gram Manchitra” launched by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

  • This Geographic Information System has been launched with the aim of promoting spatial planning by Gram Panchayat.
  • This application facilitates and assists Gram Panchayats in planning at the Gram Panchayat level using geospatial technology.
  • It provides a single/integrated geospatial platform to improve the planning of various developmental works to be undertaken in different areas and provide a decision support system for Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
  • In addition, mActionSoft, a mobile-based solution has also been launched.
  • It will help in capturing photos with Geo-Tags (i.e. GPS Coordinates) for the works that have assets as an output.
  • Geo-tagging of assets is done in three stages – (i) before the commencement of work (ii) during the work and (iii) on completion of the work.
  • It will provide a wealth of information about all works and assets related to natural resource management, water harvesting, drought prevention, sanitation, agriculture, check dams and irrigation mediums, etc.
  • Geo-tagged properties are available on Gram Manchitra using m-ActionSoft application to enhance the planning of various development works in Gram Panchayats.
  • Properties constructed under Finance Commission funds are geo-tagged by the Panchayats with photographs of the properties.
  • GIS datagram of geo-tagged properties on the Gram Manchitra can be viewed on the map application.
  • These tools provide decision support systems in making development plans such as tools to identify potential sites for development projects, asset tracking, project cost estimation, and project impact assessment, etc.

Topic: Science and Technology

10. JT-60SA is the largest and most advanced nuclear fusion reactor in the world.

  • It started operations in Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan on 01 December.
  • It is a joint initiative between the European Union and Japan. It is the world’s biggest experimental nuclear fusion reactor.
  • Fusion differs from fission. Fission is the technique currently used in nuclear power plants.
  • Fusion includes fusing two atomic nuclei in place of splitting one nucleus.
  • The six-story-tall JT-60SA reactor is kept in a hangar near Naka north of Tokyo. Hangar is a large building where planes are kept.
  • It consists of a "tokamak" vessel in the shape of a doughnut that is intended to hold spinning plasma that has been heated to 200 million degrees Celsius.
  • JT-60SA is a forerunner for the under-construction International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
  • The goal of both JT-60SA and ITER is to induce the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium, a heavier element, releasing energy in the form of heat and light.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

11. The India Infrastructure Report (IIR) 2023 on Urban Planning and Development was released on 04 December 2023.

  • Shri Venkaiah Naidu, former Vice-President of India, released the report.
  • The India Infrastructure Report 2023 is a collaborative effort of the IDFC Foundation, Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Ltd. (iDeCK) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
  • Key aspects of IIR 2023 are Planning and Governance, Smart Initiatives, PPPs and Financing, Housing and Migration, Public Service Delivery, Integrating Infrastructure, and Urban Redevelopment.
  • The India Infrastructure Report (IIR) 2023 contains 25 chapters. It is an annual publication.
  • IIR 2023 noted that India has led in PPPs, particularly in roads, ports, airports and energy.
  • IIR 2023 noted that few PPPs have happened in the urban sector.
  • Key Highlights of the IIR 2023:
    • Transformative potential of digital technology in shaping the urban landscape of India. Focus on the concept of ‘smart cities’ and the significance of performance ranking criteria.
    • Examination of financial dimensions of urban development, with a special emphasis on public-private partnerships (PPPs), the financial sustainability of urban local bodies, and the efficacy of municipal bonds as potent financing instruments.
    • Effective urban transportation planning. Focus on floor space and land price regulation in India as pivotal component of effective urban governance.
  • IDFC Foundation is a not-for-profit institution. It works on philanthropic initiatives in social infrastructure.
  • IDeCK was established in 2000 as a joint venture of the Government of Karnataka, IDFC Foundation and HDFC. It focusses on catalysing well-planned, sustainable infrastructure projects, especially through public-private participation.
  • National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) was established in 1976. It is a Central Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Topic: State News/ Maharashtra

12. On 4 December, Shivaji Maharaj's statue unveiled by PM Modi at Rajkot Fort in Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra.

  • PM Modi paid tribute to the rich maritime heritage of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who built several coastal and sea forts, including the Sindhudurg Fort.
  • The seal of the founder of the Maratha Empire inspired the new naval flag, which was adopted in 2022 when PM Modi commissioned the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.
  • In addition, the Prime Minister also attended the operational demonstrations by Indian Navy ships, submarines, aircraft, and special forces at Tarkarli Beach.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

13. 35th Jimmy George Foundation Award presented to Long-jumper Murali Sreeshankar for the best sportsperson of Kerala.

  • He is a Commonwealth Games and Asian Games silver medalist in the long jump.
  • He had won silver medals at the Asian Games in China and the Asian Championships in Thailand.
  • He had earlier won a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Britain.
  • The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a plaque.
  • The name of award is kept after former Indian volleyball legend Jimmy George, who was the youngest volleyball player to win the Arjuna Award.
  • A committee consisting of Jimmy George's brother, Jose (committee head), Robert Bobby, Sebastian, and Stanley decided on the award to give it to Murali.
  • On December 22, Murali Sreeshankar will receive the Jimmy George Award at the Jimmy George Sports Academy in Kannur.
  • This year, Sreeshankar is ranked fourth in the world long jump list.

Topic: Banking System

14. Over the past five years, all Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) have written off around Rs 10.6 lakh crore.

  • Out of this, 50 percent belong to large industrial houses.
  • Government said that nearly 2300 borrowers wilfully defaulted around Rs 2 lakh crore.
  • These borrowers are having a loan amount of Rs 5 crore or more.
  • Write-offs do not result in waiver of liabilities of borrowers to repay.
  • Write-off does not benefit the borrower. The process of recovery of dues from the borrower in written-off loan accounts continues.
  • Minister of State in the Finance Ministry Bhagwat Karad said that all SCBs have collected an aggregate amount of Rs. 5,309.80 crore as penal charges.
  • According to Karad, the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) receives specific credit information from Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) and All India Financial Institutions about all borrowers with an aggregate exposure of at least Rs. 5 crore.
  • According to the CRILC database, as of 31.3.2023, 2,623 distinct borrowers had an aggregate amount owed by SCBs of more than Rs 1.96 lakh crore and were categorised as wilful defaulters.
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