Daily Current Affairs and GK | 7 February 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 07 Feb 2023 18:16 PM IST

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Topic: Art and Culture

1. UNESCO will declare Visva-Bharati world’s first living heritage university very soon.

  • Visva-Bharati University will get the ‘heritage’ tag from UNESCO and it will become the world’s first living heritage university.
  • Visva-Bharati University was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.
  • It became a Central University in 1951 through a central Act. Its first vice-chancellor was Rathindranath Tagore.
  • Rabindranath Tagore believed in open-air education and introduced that system in the University.
  • Visva-Bharati was inaugurated as a centre of arts, language, humanities, and music.
  • Visva-Bharati University is located in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. It is an Institution of National Importance.
  • As of 2022, there are 40 World Heritage Sites in India. Out of which, 32 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one is mixed type.
  • India has the sixth-largest number of World Heritage Sites in the world. Dholavira in the Cultural Category is the last added World Heritage Site from India.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. “Yuva Sangam” registration portal launched at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi on 06 February 2023.

  • The portal was launched in presence of Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Culture and Tourism G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of Law Kiren Rijiju and Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur.
  • Yuva Sangam is an initiative to build close ties between the youth of the North East Region and the rest of India.
  • Under the initiative, over 20,000 youth will travel across India. They will get a unique opportunity for cross-cultural learning.
  • Minister of Culture and Tourism G. Kishan Reddy said that the Yuva Sangam program is an opportunity for the youth of the North East to explore the country.
  • Yuva Sangam under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat is an initiative by the Government of India to strengthen people-to-people connect especially between youth belonging to North Eastern India and other states.

Yuva Sangam registration portal

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Telangana

3. Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao introduced the Telangana Budget 2023-24 with an expenditure outlay of 2,90,396 crore rupees.

  • This includes 37,525 crore rupees in capital expenditure and 2,11,685 crore rupees in revenue expenditure.
  • He said that the state share in the country’s GDP has been recorded at 4.9%.
  • Dalit Bandhu scheme has been allotted 17,700 crore rupees. The scheme offers financial assistance of 10 lakh rupees per beneficiary to start any business of their choice.
  • The budget also allocated Rs 7,890 crore for the construction of double bed-room houses for the poor and Rs 15,075 crore for Rythu Bandhu.
  • The budget proposed to spend Rs. 3,210 crore for flagship schemes of the state government- Kalyana Lakshmi and Shadi Mubarak.
  • Rs 2,131 crore is proposed to be allocated to the Women and Child Development department.
  • The government allocated Rs. 1,500 crore to Hyderabad Metro Rail.
  • Finance Minister also said that it is estimated that the per capita income of Telangana will increase from 1,12,162 in 2013-14 to 3,17,115 in the current fiscal.
  • Finance Minister T Harish Rao introduced a tax-free budget with a ₹40,000 crore increase in revenue receipts.
  • Telangana government has also made a provision of ₹6,375 crore towards waiver of farm loans up to ₹90,000 in the next fiscal.
  • The budget has projected the state to be revenue surplus. The fiscal deficit would be ₹38,234 crore. The primary deficit had been kept at ₹15,827 crore.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

4. Yaya Tso has been proposed as Ladakh’s first Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) under the Biological Diversity Act.

  • Biodiversity Management Committee, the panchayat of Chumathang village, along with the GoI-UNDP-GEF SECURE Himalaya Project resolved to declare Yaya Tso as Ladakh’s first BHS.
  • The proposed Yaya Tso site will have an approximate area of 60 square kilometers. This will also include the lake’s watershed.
  • Yaya Tso is located at an altitude of 4,820 metres. It can be reached from Mahe monastery on the way to Tsomoriri Lake.
  • Yaya Tso is a nesting habitat for birds such as the bar-headed goose, black-necked crane and brahminy duck.
  • It is also one of the highest breeding sites of the black-necked crane in India.
  • Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change launched SECURE Himalaya Project in collaboration with United Nations Development Program.
  • Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems (SECURE) Himalaya Project was started in April 2017. It will end in March 2024.

Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

5. India and the EU have announced the setting up of three Working Groups under the India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). 

  • One of these three Working Groups is the working group on Strategic Technologies, Digital Governance and Digital Connectivity.
  • The other two Working Groups are the Working Group on Green and Clean Energy Technologies and the Working Group on Trade, Investment and Resilient Value Chains.
  • PM Narendra Modi and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen launched the TTC in April 2022.
  • The TTC with India is only the second such Council for the EU.
  • It will be co-chaired on the Indian side by the Ministers for External Affairs, Commerce and Industry and Communications, Electronics and Information Technology.

Topic: Sports

6. Two national youth records were created in athletics events at the Khelo India Youth Games on 05 February 2023.

  • Sonam from Delhi made a new record in 200 metre steeplechase with a timing of 6.45.71 minutes.
  • Rajasthan’s Siddharth Chaudhary made a new record of 21.04 meters in the shot put.
  • Madhya Pradesh won the overall championship in the boys’ category in athletics.
  • Maharashtra won the overall championship in the girls’ category in athletics.
  • In the medal tally, Maharashtra is in the first position with 79 medals. Out of these, 26 are gold medals.
  • Haryana is in the second position with 53 medals including 22 gold.
  • Madhya Pradesh is in the third position with 53 medals including 21 gold medals. Madhya Pradesh is hosting Khelo India Youth Games 2022.
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Topic: Sports

7. ITBP won 3rd consecutive title in 12th edition of National Ice Hockey Championship.

  • For the third time in a row, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has won the National Ice Hockey Championship 2023.
  • On 5 February, they won the 12th edition of the tournament organized by the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI).
  • ITBP won the championship by defeating Ladakh Scouts in the finals by a score of 1-0.
  • Many top teams of the country participated in this national competition held at the Ice Hockey Rink in Ladakh.
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP):
    • It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces of India.
    • It was created on 24 October 1962 under the CRPF Act, in the wake of the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. It guards Indo-China borders.
    • It is also deployed in various internal security duties including anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.

Topic: MoU/Agreements

8. An MoU signed by Agriculture Ministry to develop National Interactive Digital Platform.

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Digital Green under a public-private partnership framework signed an MoU in New Delhi on 7 February.
  • The MoU has been signed to build a national-level digital extension platform.
  • The platform will host a digital library of curated multi-format multi-lingual content, which will help the extension workers to reach and distribute the curated content to the farmers on time.
  • It will also deliver timely curated content to a vast network of extension functionaries for Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Livestock and Rural Livelihoods Mission through certified online courses.
  • By connecting farmers to the robust ecosystem of the digital agriculture being established by the government, the proposed national digital platform would help make an extension system more effective and efficient.
  • The digital capability of this extension system is important with the aim of helping farmers take advantage of digital agriculture.
  • There are more than two lakh extension workers in agriculture, livelihood and allied sectors in the country.

National Interactive Digital Platform

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Union Minister Bhupender Yadav launched the ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’ in Goa.

  • The campaign has been launched for wetlands conservation, and affirmative actions for wetlands conservation at all levels of society.
  • Under this campaign, citizen partnerships will be built for the conservation of wetlands. The campaign will be conducted over the next one year.
  • The campaign will sensitize people about the value of wetlands and increase the coverage of wetland mitras.
  • On this occasion, ‘India’s 75 Amrit Dharohar- India’s Ramsar Sites Factbook’ and ‘Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands - A Practitioner’s Guide was released.
  • The Factbook has information about 75 Ramsar Sites, including their values, threats they face and management arrangements.
  • The practitioner’s Guide on Climate Risk Assessment will provide guidance on assessing the site-level climate risks and mitigation responses for the wetland management plan.
  • Union Minister highlighted the role of wetland ecosystems in ecological, economic and climate security.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

10. Government will push primary steel producers to use 50 per cent of their input from recycled steel by 2047.

  • To achieve the target of circular economy, the government will push primary steel producers to use 50 per cent of their input from scrapped/recycled steel by 2047.
  • At present, only around 10 per cent recycled steel is used in primary steel production.
  • However, 22.5 per cent of recycled steel contributes to the domestic total steel production of 140 million tonnes.
  • In the next five years, scrap usage is the steel industry will increase by 25 percent.
  • India currently produces 25 million tonnes of scrap steel and imports 5 million tonne of scrap steel.
  • There are more than 25000 recycling units in India and the recycling industry worth is about USD 50 billion.
  • Domestic recyclers used to import 25 per cent of their shipments from the EU markets.
  • Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) hosted the 10th edition of the International Indian Material Recycling Conference from 2 - 4 February 2023 in Kochi. It is attended by over 2,000 delegates from 38 countries.

Topic: Indian Polity

11. CJI D Y Chandrachud administered oath to five new Supreme Court judges on 6 February.

  • Five new judges - Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, PV Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Manoj Misra sworn in during the swearing-in ceremony held at the Supreme Court premises.
  • With the appointment of five judges, the total strength of judges in the apex court has increased to 32, which is two judges short of full strength.
  • On December 13, 2022, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended their names for elevation as judges of the apex court.
  • The sanctioned judge strength of the Supreme Court is 34 (including the Chief Justice of India).
  • The recommendations made on January 31 for the elevation of two other judges to the Supreme Court are still pending with the central government.    
  • Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under Article 124 of the Constitution.
  • Criteria for judge of Supreme Court are as follows:
    • A person must be a citizen of India a
    • He/ She must have been a Judge of a High Court for at at least five years; or
    • He should have been an advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years; or
    • He should be a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the president.


five new Supreme Court judges

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

12. Meeting of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutes of SCO Member States started in Lucknow on 6 February.

  • The 6th Meeting of the Heads of Supreme Audit Institutes (SAIs) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States will take place in Lucknow from February 6-8.
  • Governor of Uttar Pradesh Anandiben Patel is the chief guest. She inaugurated the meeting.
  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Girish Chandra Murmu led the discussion on the theme "Integrating Emerging Technologies in Audit".
  • Girish Chandra Murmu has called for global cooperation to protect audit from cyber security threats.
  • He said that the use of information technology in the public sector has raised concerns related to cyber security.
  • Therefore, it is necessary for the apex audit institutions of the member countries to develop adequate capacity to investigate issues related to cyber security.
  • Shri Murmu informed that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India-CAG is using Artificial Intelligence technology in the audit process.
  • This provides a more efficient and effective approach to the audit process and improves the overall quality of the audit.
  • Heads of top audit institutions and delegations from four of the eight SCO member states - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - are participating in the three-day multilateral event.
  • India is currently hosting the SCO presidency, which rotates annually among member states.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):
    • On 15 June 2001, SCO was established in Shanghai with the aim of promoting mutual regional cooperation.
    • It was established with the declaration of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
    • In 2005, India was given 'observer' status in the SCO, and in 2017, India became a full member at the Astana summit.

Heads of Supreme Audit Institutes of SCO Member States

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Geography

13. An earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit Turkey and Syria.

  • An earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit southeastern Turkey and northwest Syria. It is one of the most deadly earthquakes in the history of Turkey.
  • It was followed by 25 aftershocks, with six having magnitudes of more than 5.
  • The epicentre of the earthquake was nearly 18 km deep and a few kilometres out from the Turkish city of Gaziantep.
  • The tremors were felt also in Cyprus, Egypt and Lebanon.
  • Another earthquake of magnitude 7.5 struck the Elbistan district in southern Turkey.
  • The Indian government has decided to immediately send search and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force to Turkey.
  • The reasons of Earthquake in Turkey are as follows:
    • Turkey is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.
    • The main reason for the earthquake in Turkey is the movement of the tectonic plates.
    • Turkey is located between three different tectonic plates. The Eurasian Plate lies to its north while African Plate is in the south and the Arabian plate lies in east.
    • The Arabian plate is pushing the Eurasian plate due to which Earthquakes occur in Turkey.
    • The earthquake and aftershocks on 6 February occurred near the East Anatolian Fault Zone.

Topic: State News/ Gujarat

14. Gujarat government signed an agreement with OECD for conducting PISA test of government school students.

  • The agreement was signed by Samagra Shiksha project director Ratnakanwar Gadhvicharan and Kevin O’Brien from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test aims to achieve grade-appropriate learning outcomes in government schools.
  • Gujarat becomes the first state to sign such an agreement.
  • The PISA test will measure ability of reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills of 15–year-old students.
  • It will also test critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication skills in students.
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