Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 July 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 08 Jul 2022 17:14 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. India added 540 species to its faunal database in 2021.

  • Environment Minister released the details of new discoveries and new records of fauna and flora at the headquarters of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in Kolkata. 
  • In 2021, 540 species have been added to the faunal database and 315 taxa have been added to the list of flora.
  • The total number of animal species reached 1,03,258 while the number of floral taxa reached 55,048.
  • Out of the 540 species, 406 species were newly discovered. A new mammal species ‘Crocidura narcondamica’ has been discovered from the Narcondam Island of the Andaman and Nicobar.
  • In 2021, Boiga whitakeri is the most notable discovery among mammals. 35 new species of reptiles, and 19 species of Pisces were also discovered.
  • 315 taxa of flora added to the list comprises 298 species and 17 intraspecific taxa.
  • Out of these discoveries, 204 taxa are new to science and 125 taxa are new from India.
  • Around 28% of the discoveries are from the Western Ghats and the northeastern regions. The most number of taxa were discovered from Kerala (51 taxa), followed by Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Taxon (plural taxa) is a taxonomic group of any rank, such as a species, family, or class.

Topic: State News/ New Delhi

2. Delhi Government launched ‘Mission Kushal Karmi’ for upgrading skills of construction workers.

  • Delhi Government has launched this initiative in association with Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University (DSEU) and Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.
  • It will help in increasing the income of workers up to Rs 8,000. Its main aim is to provide training to 2 Lakh workers in a year.
  • It will help in increasing the productivity of workers by 40 percent and decrease the wastage of materials by 50 percent.
  • Under the ‘Mission Kushal Karmi’, workers will be trained for 120 hours (15 days) at their workplaces.
  • For the loss of wages during the training, the government will give Rs 4200 to all construction workers.
  • Currently, Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University is running training centres in three places and more centres will be opened in the future.

Topic: Personality in News 

3. Gita Gopinath has become the first woman to feature on IMF’s ‘wall of former chief economists’. 

  • She has become the 2nd Indian to feature on IMF’s ‘wall of former chief economists’. 
  • Raghuram Rajan was the first Indian to achieve this honour.  
  • Gita Gopinath became IMF Chief Economist in October 2018. She served as the first female chief economist of IMF for three years.  
  • She was appointed International Monetary Fund’s First Deputy Managing Director in December 2021.  
  • Gita Gopinath is an Indian-American economist. She has earlier worked as an honorary economic adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala. 

Topic: International News

4. India selected for UNESCO Panel on Intangible Cultural Heritage.

  • For the year 2022–2026, India has been chosen as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO's 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Elections for the Intergovernmental Committee took place during the two-day General Assembly of the 2003 Convention in Paris, which began on July 5.
  • The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2003 Convention is comprised of 24 members.
  • They are elected by the Convention's General Assembly based on the criteria of equitable geographical representation and rotation.
  • Intangible cultural heritage is the practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities, groups and individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.
  • Currently, UNESCO’s Representative List of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity has 630 elements.
  • As of 2021, 14 cultural heritages of India have been placed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Topic: National Appointments

5. Amitabh Kant, a former CEO of Niti Aayog, will be the new Sherpa of G-20.

  • Piyush Goel, Minister of Commerce, will step down from his role as G-20 Sherpa.
  • India will assume the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2022 from Indonesia so there is a need for a full-time Sherpa.
  • He will participate in various meetings with the representatives of G20 countries.
  • India will host the G20 summit in 2023 in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • G20:
    • It was founded in 1999 as a forum for Finance Ministers and Governors of Central Banks.
    • It was formed after the Asian financial crisis. The G20 summit is held annually since 2011.
    • Indonesia will host the G20 summit in 2022.

Topic: Important Days

6. Global Forgiveness Day 2022: 7 July

  • Every year on the 7th July, Global Forgiveness Day is observed.
  • It is celebrated as goodwill between people and it gives us a chance to fix things and strengthen our relationships.
  • In British Columbia, National Forgiveness Day was founded in 1994 by the Christian Embassy of Christ's Ambassadors.
  • The day gained popularity and later the day was renamed "Global Forgiveness Day."

Global Forgiveness Day 2022

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: International News

7. Cooperation in rare earth minerals, especially lithium, was discussed between India and Australia.

  • Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi started a six-day tour to Australia on 3rd July 2022.
  • He visited a lithium processing unit developed by a joint venture formed by Australia-based mining company IGO Limited and China’s Tianqi Lithium Corporation at Kwinana near Perth.
  • He also visited Australia’s first fully automated lithium hydroxide plant. He described lithium hydroxide as a key component for electric vehicle batteries.
  • He met officials of Legacy Iron Ore. It is a Perth-based exploration company. India’s National Mineral Development Corporation holds 90% shares in it.
  • Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) oversees Indian investments in critical minerals. It is a joint venture of three Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) under the Ministry of Mines.
  • The India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership envisages joint investment for lithium and cobalt projects in Australia.
  • Key Facts:
    • Australia produces more than 55% of the world's lithium. In 2021, the second-largest producer of lithium was Chile.
    • Australia is the 4th largest producer of rare earth elements. It also holds the sixth-largest reserves of rare-earth elements (REEs) in the world.

Topic: Banking System

8. The Ministry of Defence has approved three Private Sector Banks to provide financial services in overseas procurement.

  • The names of the three approved banks are HDFC Bank Ltd., ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.
  • In this regard, the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Defense recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with these three banks.
  • Till now, only authorized public sector banks were utilized to provide financial services in overseas procurement to the Ministry of Defence.
  • Now for the first time, three private sector banks have also been allowed by the Defense Ministry to provide financial services for overseas procurement.
  • Selected banks may be permitted to issue letters of credit worth Rs 2000 crore on the capital and revenue side for a period of one year on a concurrent basis.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

9. Union Minister Parshottam Rupala inaugurated first-ever Animal Health Summit of India.

  • India Animal Health Summit 2022 has been organized at NASC Complex, New Delhi.
  • The main aim of the summit was to understand the significance of animal health for food and nutrition security, rural incomes and overall economic development.
  • It has been organized by the Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) and the Agriculture Today Group.
  • In this two-day event, various topics such as Animal Health policy initiatives to Business environment & investment opportunities in the Animal Health sector have been discussed.
  • Union Minister Parshottam Rupala said that there is a need to strengthen cooperative movement in the livestock sector.

first-ever Animal Health Summit of India

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Banking System

10. RBI eased FPI and NRI deposit norms to boost inflows of foreign exchange.

  • The Reserve Bank of India has taken several steps to prevent the rupee falling against the US dollar.
  • Reserve Bank of India has relaxed foreign investment in debt, external commercial borrowings, and Non-Resident Indian (NRI) deposit norms.
  • In the current fiscal year till July 5, the rupee has depreciated 4.1 percent to 79.30 against the US dollar.
  • RBI has increased the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) limit under the automatic route from $750 million to $1.5 billion.
  • From July 30, 2022, incremental FCNR(B) and NRE deposits with the base date of 1 July 2022 will be exempted from maintaining the cash reserve ratio and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR). This relaxation will be available only till 4 November 2022.
  • RBI has allowed Category one banks to utilize overseas foreign currency borrowing (OFCBs) for lending in foreign currency to entities.
  • RBI has temporarily permitted banks to raise fresh FCNR(B) and NRE deposits without reference to the extant regulations on interest rates.
  • RBI has also eased norms for FPI investment in the debt market. Foreign investors now have more options for investing in bonds.

Topic: International News

11. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his resignation.

  • After several months of ethics scandals and a party revolt, he resigned as leader of the Conservative Party.
  • More than 40 ministers and aides, including three cabinet members, had quit the government, demanding his resignation.
  • However, Boris Johnson will remain in that position until the party chooses his successor.
  • Some of the following scandals that led PM to resign:
    • Sexual harassment allegations against lawmaker Christopher Pincher, who was appointed by Johnson.
    • "Partygate" was a scandal involving government parties, including Johnson's Downing Street office, which was found to have violated strict COVID-19 lockdown rules.
    • Johnson's Conservatives party have been hit by other sexual scandals, including two members who resigned.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

12. Government barred restaurants and hotels from levying service charges by default.

  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has said that hotels and restaurants could not automatically include service charges in their food bills.
  • As per the CCPA guidelines, the service charge cannot be collected by adding it to the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
  • CCPA said that service charge is voluntary, optional and is at the discretion of consumers.
  • Consumers can lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) upon the violation of the guidelines by Restaurants or Hotels.
  • Consumers can also register their complaints at the Consumer Commission.
  • According to the guidelines of DoCA and the Consumer Protection Act, a customer’s entry into a restaurant does not imply that he or she agrees to pay service costs.
  • A service charge is levied for services related to the primary product or service being purchased.

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

13. A Parliamentary committee urged government to allow deemed universities to use the term ‘Universities’.

  • A Parliamentary Standing committee in his report, recommended the government to allow deemed universities to use the term ‘university’.
  • It recommended that government should make changes to clause 23 of the UGC Act 1956.
  • Clause 23 of the UGC Act 1956 states that no institution, other than a university established by a Central Act, or a State Act is entitled to use the word ‘University.
  • The report said that the concept of the deemed university is not present in many parts of the world. The ‘Deemed University’ term creates confusion for foreign students.
  • A report of National Education Policy 2020 also made the same recommendation.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee was chaired by Vinay Sahasrabuddhe. The committee has also found that only 30 percent of the universities and 20 percent of the colleges are accredited in India.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

14. Kerala's Forest department to launch the ‘Save Chenkurinji’ campaign.

  • Gluta travancorica, an endemic species of Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is locally known as ‘Chenkurinji’.
  • The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary has got its name from this endemic species.
  • This species was present abundant in the southern parts of Aryankavu Pass but now its presence has almost ended from the area.
  • ‘Chenkurinji’ is very sensitive to climate change. At present, it has very low regeneration performance.
  • Most of the trees of this endemic species are old with poor flowering and fruiting rates.
  • ‘Chenkurinji’ were earlier generally found in the Pandimala, Vilakkumaram and Rosemala regions.
  • It has many medicinal benefits like lowering blood pressure and is used in the treatment of arthritis.
  • The ‘Save Chenkurinji’ campaign will be implemented in the areas under the Achencoil Forest Division.
  • The government has identified 75 schools where Chenkurinji will be planted with the help of students.

Topic: Art and Culture

15. ‘Kharchi Festival’ celebration begins in Tripura.

  • ‘Kharchi Festival’ is one of the most important Hindu festivals in Tripura.
  • During this festival, fourteen gods and Mother Earth are worshipped.
  • "Kharchi" word is derived from the word "Khya" which means "Earth". It is mainly observed for the worship of Earth.
  • It is celebrated for seven days in the temple premises of the fourteen gods.
  • It is observed to clean the post-menstrual phase of Mother Earth's menstruation.
  • It generally starts in July on the eighth day of the new moon.
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