Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 April 2022
- 1. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 have been released.
- 2. RBI kept repo rate unchanged and projected real GDP growth of 7.2%.
- 3. Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black woman US Supreme Court judge.
- 4. The book ‘The Maverick Effect’ has been released.
- 5. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic re-elected with a resounding victory.
- 6. An agreement signed between HAL and Israel Aerospace Industries for MMTT aircraft.
- 7. University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to establish Bhima Bhoi chairs at two central universities.
- 8. UN General Assembly has passed a resolution to suspend Russia’s membership in Human Rights Council.
- 9. India’s agricultural products export value crossed 50 billion dollar mark.
- 10. Amar Mitra won the prestigious O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction.
- 11. Indian Scientists discovered a ghost-like galaxy.
- 12. Union Bank launched super app "Union nxt", under its digital initiative "Sambhav".
- 13. Civil Aviation Ministry launched International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS) scheme.
- 14. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology formed an advisory committee to guide on semiconductor mission.
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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
1. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 have been released.
- QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a higher education think-tank, has released the ‘QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022’.
- The ranking has been released for a total of 51 disciplines grouped into five broad subject areas.
- The University of Oxford has topped the list with a score of 98 in the Arts and Humanities stream, followed by the University of Cambridge and Harvard University.
- The Jawaharlal Nehru University has got 188th place in the stream of Arts and Humanities.
- No Indian university has got a place in the top 100 universities in the Arts and Humanities.
- In the Engineering and Technology stream, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has got first place with a score of 96.5.
- The Indian Institute of Bombay and the Indian Institute of Delhi got 65th and 72nd ranks respectively. IIT Kharagpur has been ranked 101 with a score of 76.2.
- In Life Sciences and Medicine, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been placed at 204th rank while the University of Delhi got 330th rank.
- Harvard University has topped in the Life Sciences and Medicine and Social Sciences and Management streams.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has got the first rank in the 12 disciplines.
Topic: Indian Economy
2. RBI kept repo rate unchanged and projected real GDP growth of 7.2%.
- The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the repo rate and reverse repo rate unchanged.
- The repo rate remained unchanged at 4 % for the 11th time while the reverse repo rate remains unchanged at 3.35 %.
- MSF rate and Bank rate remained unchanged at 4.25 %.
- RBI has projected that inflation will rise to 5.7 % from 4.5 % projected earlier for the current financial year.
- RBI has reduced its GDP growth rate forecast from 7.8 % to 7.2 % for FY23.
- The monetary policy committee (MPC) maintained an accommodative monetary policy stance.
- MPC is a 6 member committee formed after the amendment in the RBI Act, 1934 through the Finance Act, 2016. Its main objective is to maintain price stability with growth.
- Repo rate is the interest rate at which the RBI provides short-term money to banks against the collateral of government and other approved securities.
- Reverse Repo Rate is the interest rate at which the RBI absorbs liquidity from banks against the collateral of eligible government securities.
3. Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black woman US Supreme Court judge.
- The Senate announced Ketanji Brown Jackson as the Supreme Court Judge, making her the 116th and first Black woman to serve on the nation's highest court.
- Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden in February after Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement from the Supreme Court.
- In the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, 108 of the 115 justices have been white men. Only five of them have been women, with three of them being black.
- First black woman Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the Senate for the vote.
Topic: Books and Authors
4. The book ‘The Maverick Effect’ has been released.
- "The Maverick Effect," a new book, tells the untold story of how, in the 1970s and 1980s, a "band of dreamers" came together to form NASSCOM and pave the way for India's IT revolution.
- Harish Mehta, the co-founder and first elected Chairperson of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), has authored this book.
- It is an authoritative biography of the apex body of software and IT service companies.
- The Indian IT industry directly employs more than four million people.
- As the world's greatest forex earner, it has aided millions of Indians in escaping poverty and moving into the middle class.
- National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM):
- It was established in 1988.
- It is a non-governmental trade association of the Indian software industry.
- It is a not-for-profit industry association.
- Rekha M.Menon is the current chairman.
- Its headquarters is in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
5. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic re-elected with a resounding victory.
- According to the state election commission, Vučić received 58.5 % of the vote after 96.2 % of ballots were counted.
- Zdravko Ponos, a retired army general and the main opposition presidential candidate received 18.3 % of the vote.
- Aleksandar Vucic was first elected President in 2017, succeeding Tomislav Nikoli.
- It is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe.
- Its capital is Belgrade.
- Its currency is the Serbian dinar.
- Its Prime Minister is Ana Brnabic.
Topic: MoUs/ Agreements
6. An agreement signed between HAL and Israel Aerospace Industries for MMTT aircraft.
- Defence PSU Undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have signed an MoU to convert civil (Passenger) aircraft to Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) aircraft.
- HAL will convert pre-owned Civil (passenger) aircraft into air refueling aircraft with cargo and transport capabilities under the agreed deal.
- The MoU will facilitate the decades-old expertise of HAL and IAI in the development, manufacturing, and production of key defence platforms.
- D Maiti, HAL's CEO, and Yaacov Berkovitz, IAI's VP signed the formal MoU in Delhi.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
- It works under the Ministry of Defence.
- It is a government-owned corporation involved in the design, fabrication, and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, and helicopters.
- Its headquarters is located in Bangalore.
- It was formed on 1 October 1964.
Topic: National News
7. University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to establish Bhima Bhoi chairs at two central universities.
- These universities are Delhi University and Guru Ghasidas University in Chhattisgarh.
- Bhima Bhoi was a 19th century saint-poet of Odisha. Bhima Bhoi is popularly referred to as Santha Kabi.
- He was a proponent of Mahima Dharma, a religion practiced in Odisha and surrounding states.
- He was a devotee of Mahima Swamy (Mahima Gosain), who founded Mahima Dharma.
- University Grants Commission (UGC):
- It was established in 1956.
- It is a statutory body set up under the UGC Act 1956.
- It is responsible for maintaining higher education standards in India.
Topic: International News
8. UN General Assembly has passed a resolution to suspend Russia’s membership in Human Rights Council.
- 93 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 24 voted against the resolution and 58 abstained from voting on the resolution.
- India also abstained from voting. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Maldives abstained from voting. China voted against the resolution.
- The resolution was put forward by Ukraine, the U.S., the EU, and several Latin American countries.
- For the passing of the resolution, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting was required.
- The resolution came after the mass graves and excesses of human rights have been recently found in Bucha city of Ukraine.
- Russia was elected to Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2020. Libya is the only member state to be suspended from the UNHRC. It was suspended in 2011.
- A three-membered panel of experts has been formed on 04 March 2022 to monitor human rights in Ukraine.
- Only Russia and Eritrea had opposed the resolution for the formation of this commission of enquiry.
- United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC):
- It is a body of the United Nations. It aims to promote and protect human rights worldwide.
- It has 47 members. Its members are elected for a three-year term. It was founded on 15 March 2006.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Federico Villegas is the current president of UNHRC.
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
9. India’s agricultural products export value crossed 50 billion dollar mark.
- According to data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), agricultural exports have grown by 19.92% during 2021-22.
- India’s agricultural products export reached its highest ever level during FY 2021-22.
- The export of Wheat has increased four-fold from $568 million in 2020-21 to $2.12 billion.
- The export of marine products also touched its highest peak at $7.71 billion.
- For the first time, the export of coffee crossed the $1 billion mark. Export of Spices reached $4 billion mark for the second consecutive year.
- Exports have taken place from clusters like Varanasi (fresh vegetables, mangoes), Ananthpur (banana), Nagpur (orange), Lucknow (mango), etc.
- Department of Commerce is promoting agriculture export through its various initiatives.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
10. Amar Mitra won the prestigious O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction.
- He received the award for his short story “The Old Man of Kusumpur” originally written in Bengali with the title “Gaonburo”. He is one of the 20 winners of the award.
- Gaonburo was written by Amar Mitra in 1977 in Bengali and was published in Amrita Patrika.
- Anish Gupta, a senior journalist, translated this story into English and it was published last year in the web magazine ‘The Common’.
- Amar Mitra has earlier also received the Sahitya Akademi Award and Bankim Puraskar.
- O. Henry Prize:
- It is awarded for short stories.
- It is conferred only to the writers whose short stories are published in Canada and America.
- Since 1919, it is being given in the memory of the acclaimed writer, O. Henry.
Topic: Space and IT
11. Indian Scientists discovered a ghost-like galaxy.
- Scientists of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics along with scientists from France have discovered a faint star-forming galaxy by using Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT).
- The galaxy has been named UVIT J2022. It appears like a ghost due to low disk density. It is located around 136 million light-years away.
- Scientists found the first clues about this galaxy when they looked at the scattered blue emission in a colour image of NGC 6902A.
- The Indo-French team of researchers found this galaxy while studying the NGC 6902A galaxy.
- The researchers also used data from the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument located in Chile.
- Extremely faint galaxies are called low surface brightness galaxies or ultra-diffuse galaxies. They may account for up to 15 % of the mass of the universe.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Banking System
12. Union Bank launched super app "Union nxt", under its digital initiative "Sambhav".
- Union Bank is planning to invest Rs 1,000-crore under digital initiatives in the financial year 2022-23.
- The super app UnionNXT will reduce the need to visit branches physically.
- Union Bank has also launched a Software Point of Sale digital application for payments and its customer relationship management.
- Union Bank will bring all the banking services on the UnionNXT super app.
- Union Bank has launched its digitization vertical last year. Currently, the bank has 1.6 crore customers digitally.
- Union Bank of India:
- It is a government-owned bank founded in 1919.
- Its CEO is Rajkiran Rai G.
- It is headquartered in Mumbai.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
13. Civil Aviation Ministry launched International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS) scheme.
- International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS) scheme has been launched to enhance air connectivity between some selected states of India and International destinations.
- The scheme is supported by the State Governments. The state governments of Assam, Manipur and Tripura have identified some air routes.
- Under this scheme, Guwahati, Imphal and Agartala will be connected with Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Yangon, Hanoi, Mandalay, Kunming & Chittagong.
- Currently, there are two international airports in the northeast region which are located at Guwahati and Imphal.
- The Airports Authority of India has taken several steps to boost international connectivity to/from North Eastern Region.
Topic: Committees/ Commissions/ Taskforces
14. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology formed an advisory committee to guide on semiconductor mission.
- This 17 member committee will be headed by Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be the vice-chairperson.
- Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat, Principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, and secretaries of various departments will be members of this committee.
- The secretary of the ministry of electronics and information technology will be the convenor of the committee.
- Apart from these, Vinod Dham, Ajit Manocha, and Neelkanth Mishra will be also part of this advisory committee.
- The committee will give input to the government for building a resilient supply chain, promoting investments and innovation as well as intellectual property generation.
- The committee will also work to develop an ecosystem for startups and micro, small and medium scale industries.
- Last year, the Union Cabinet had approved a Rs 76,000 crore scheme for promoting semiconductor and display manufacturing.