Daily Current Affairs and GK | 9 and 10 April 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 10 Apr 2023 21:36 PM IST

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. Under Genome India Project, 10,000 Indian genomes will be sequenced by the end of 2023.

  • The Genome India Project is a government-backed initiative to sequence 10000 Indian human genomes and to create a database.
  • Scientists have already sequenced around 7000 genomes and 3,000 of these are available for public access by researchers.
  • Around 20 institutions across India are involved in the Project. The analysis and coordination have been carried out by the Centre for Brain Research, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
  • The Indian population harbours distinct variations due to more than 4,600 population groups, and many of them are endogamous.
  • After the creation of a database of Indian genomes, researchers from anywhere can learn about genetic variants of India’s population groups and can use them to customise drugs and therapies.
  • The United Kingdom, China, and the United States have planned to sequence at least 1 lakh of their genomes.
  • Genome India Project (GIP):
    • It is an initiative funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to sequence at least 10,000 Indian genomes in phase 1.
    • The main goal of the project is to develop predictive diagnostic indicators for several high-priority diseases and genetic disorders.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

2. Central government will launch a special scheme to provide financial support to poor prisoners.

  • The government is planning to launch a special scheme to provide financial support to poor people languishing in jails.
  • Financial support will be provided to poor people who are unable to afford the penalty or the bail amount.
  • The majority of these prisoners belong to socially disadvantaged or marginalised groups.
  • The technology-driven solutions will be developed for providing benefits of the scheme to poor prisoners.
  • E-prisons platform and District Legal Services Authority will be strengthened.
  • The government has taken various steps to resolve the issue of undertrial in prisons such as the 'Support for Poor Prisoners' initiative.
  • The Government has also inserted Section 436A in the Code of Criminal Procedure and a new chapter XXIA 'Plea Bargaining' in the CrPC for poor undertrials.
  • Free legal aid is being provided to poor prisoners through Legal Services Authority at various levels.
  • Prisons are a key part of the criminal justice system and play an important role in upholding the rule of law.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

3. PM Modi released the latest census data of the tigers in the country at Mysuru, Karnataka, on April 9.

  • According to data, in the year 2022, the number of tigers in the country was 3167.
  • The number of tigers has increased by 200 in the last 4 years. Earlier in 2018 this number was 2967.
  • The figure of the number of tigers is released only at an interval of every four years.
  • The number of tigers in the country was 2226 in 2014, 1706 in 2010 and 1411 in 2006.
  • PM Modi has also released a commemorative coin to mark the completion of 50 years of Project Tiger and also launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA).
  • This IBCA includes countries where seven animals of the 'Marjar' species - tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah are found.
  • This organization will focus on the conservation and protection of these animals.
  • Currently, India is home to the most Asiatic elephants, single-horned rhinos, leopards, and tigers.

Topic: Government schemes and Initiatives

4. Home Minister launched 'Vibrant Villages' program at border village Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • From 10 April, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
  • On the first day of the visit, Mr Shah has launched the 'Vibrant Villages Programme' at Kibithu, a border village in Anjaw district.
  • The Home Minister has also inaugurated nine micro hydroelectric projects of the state government built under the "Golden Jubilee Border Lighting Programme" at Kibithu.
  • These power projects will empower people living in border villages.
  • The government has given a total of 4800 crore rupees central approval under the 'Vibrant Villages Programme' during the financial years 2022-23 to 2025-26.
  • In this, Rs 2500 crore has been specially approved for road connectivity.
  • Under the 'Vibrant Villages Programme', 2967 villages in 46 blocks in 19 districts along the northern border in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development.
  • In the first phase, 662 villages have been identified for priority coverage, which includes 455 villages in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • On April 11, Shri Shah will also pay homage at the Walong War Memorial by visiting Namti Maidan.

'Vibrant Villages' program

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

5. Sooryamshu, first solar-powered tourist vessel, launched by KSINC.

  • The Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) has launched a new solar-powered tourist vessel named "Sooryamshu".
  • On April 4, 2023, the double-decked solar tourist boat was unveiled and started its operation in the backwaters of Kerala, a popular tourist destination in India known for its scenic waterways.
  • The vessel, which cost 3.95 crores and has a capacity of up to 100 passengers.
  • It was constructed in a yard in Sri Lanka and is one of the few in Kochi whose safety and other features have been approved by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
  • Among the upcoming ships, a 150-passenger tourist ship will be made. There are also plans to build a 500-ton barge and launch a 1,400-ton barge that will be able to operate on the country's coastal shipping route.

Topic: International News

6. Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister arrived in India on a four-day visit.

  • Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister, Emine Dzhaparova, arrived in India on April 9 and will stay until April 12. 
  • This is the first official visit to the Eastern European country since the Russia-Ukraine war that broke out last year.
  • Dzhaparova will hold talks with Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Both sides will discuss bilateral relations, exchange views on the current situation in Ukraine and global issues of mutual interest.
  • Dzhaparova will also meet Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi and Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri.
  • In the past 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, bilateral cooperation between the two countries has made significant progress in the fields of trade, education, culture and defence.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

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Topic: National News

7. President Droupadi Murmu took a sortie (short flight) in an Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft at Tezpur Air Force Station in Assam.

  • She became the third president after APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil to undertake such a sortie.
  • She also became the second woman President to undertake such a sortie.
  • She flew for about 30 minutes. She covered Brahmaputra and Tezpur valley with a view of the Himalayas and returned to the Air Force Station.
  • The SU-30MKI flew at a height of about two kilometres above sea level. It flew at a speed of about 800 kilometres per hour.
  • It was flown by Group Captain Naveen Kumar, Commanding Officer of 106 Squadron.
  • Sukhoi-30MKI is a variant of Sukhoi Su-30. It is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter.
  • It is developed by Russia’s Sukhoi. It is built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Topic: Indian Economy

8. Government may set up 16th Finance Commission in 2023.

  • Government is likely to set up it to suggest the ratio for Centre-state tax devolution for five years.
  • Government is working on the members and Terms of Reference of the commission.
  • Fifteenth Finance Commission gave its report on 9 November, 2020 to the President.
  • It was headed by NK Singh. It had kept the tax devolution ratio at 42%.
  • The report of the Commission was accepted by the Central government.
  • Central government is giving states 42% from its divisible tax pool during the period 2021-22 to 2025-26.
  • Finance Commission is a constitutional body. It gives recommendations on Centre-state financial relations.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. As per a report, Obesity among Indians increased by 50% between 2019 and 2022.

  • According to Apollo’s annual Health of the Nation report, early risks factors like obesity and dyslipidemia have increased by 50% and 18% respectively.
  • Obesity has increased by 43 percent among people less than 45 years of age while it has increased by 60 per cent in people over the age of 45.
  • Dyslipidemia or Cholesterol irregularities have increased by 18 percent among Indians between 2019 and 2022.
  • The increased use of preventive screenings has also increased the detection of early risk factors such as obesity and dyslipidemia (cholesterol irregularities) among Indians.
  • As per the report, chronic stress and anxiety have increased the incidence of hypertension by 1.5X and diabetes by up to 2X.
  • From 2019-22, Diabetes and Hypertension diagnoses have increased by 8 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
  • The report finds that Diabetes is prevalent in 1 in 3 people with a history of Diabetes in their family.
  • 47 per cent have sleep problems and 52 per cent have impairments in their mental health state.
  • As per the report, the median age of breast cancer diagnosis was 54-57 years in the last year.
  • Healthy sleep is an important indicator of overall health. The analysis has found that 64 per cent of people had digestive irregularities.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

10. France and China signed several economic agreements.

  • During President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China, France and China signed several economic agreements in the field of transport, energy, agriculture, culture and science.
  • France and China signed one of the biggest deals which will create a new assembly line in French aircraft manufacturer Airbus’ Tianjin factory. It will help Airbus to double its production capacity of A3220 models.
  • Both sides will deepen cooperation in traditional areas such as aviation, aerospace and civilian nuclear energy, etc.
  • Both countries also agreed to facilitate visas for the mobility of students and teachers working in the scientific field.
  • Both countries are committed to providing a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for each other's companies.
  • France will be a guest of honour country at the 2024 China International Fair for Trade in Services and the seventh China International Import Expo.
  • France is the second-largest economy in the EU. It is a major agricultural country in the EU.
  • Emmanuel Macron’s visit will have a positive impact on China-France trade ties and send positive signals to EU countries.

Topic: Defence

11. Indian Navy conducted exercise Prasthan in the offshore development area off Mumbai.

  • Indian Navy conducted this exercise along with other defence, state and civilian agencies.
  • It is a bi-annual coordinated exercise. It is held every six months.
  • It is held to validate procedures to address contingencies that may occur in oil production platforms.
  • Current edition of exercise was conducted on the Greatdrill Chaaya platform.
  • Greatdrill Chaaya platform is located about 30 nm South West of Mumbai Harbour.
  • Ships and helicopters from the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, ONGC and Directorate General of Shipping took part in the exercise.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

12. President inaugurated the Gaj Utsav-2023 at the Kaziranga National Park on 07 April 2023. 

  • Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the elephant is the National Heritage Animal of India.
  • She said that Kaziranga and Manas National Parks of Assam are the invaluable heritage of India and the world.
  • She said that is why these have been given the status of 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO.
  • She said that Assam has the second-largest population of wild elephants in the country.
  • She stated that the key goals of Project Elephant are to safeguard elephants, preserve their natural habitats, and keep elephant corridors free from obstruction.
  • Project Elephant is being mainly implemented in 16 States / UTs. The government launched Project Elephant in 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
    • To protect elephants, their habitat and corridors
    • To address issues of man-animal conflict
    • For the welfare of captive elephants
    • To promote not to harm elephants for their tusks.

Topic: National News

13. Government released pre-draft of National Curriculum Framework for schools.

  • The Ministry of Education released a pre-draft version of the National Curriculum Framework for School Education on 6 April, 2023.
  • It has been released to receive feedback from various stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, teacher educators, experts, etc.
  • The pre-draft covers the framework of the curriculum for age groups 3 to 18 years.
  • The document is focused on the inclusion of values and their “rootedness” in India.
  • The main aim of the National Curriculum Framework is to make students acquainted with true sources of knowledge.
  • A part of the document focuses on the moral development of a child through Panchakosha vikas or five-fold development.
  • The pre-draft of the National Curriculum Framework for schools recommends developing moral values in the child through a balanced diet, traditional games, yoga asana, songs, lullabies, poems, etc.
  • For grade 10 certification, students will have to take two essential courses from humanities, maths and computing, vocational education, physical education, arts education, social science, science and interdisciplinary areas.
  • Modular Board Exams will be offered to the students of Class 11 and 12 and the final result will be released based on the cumulative result of each exam.
  • As part of the National Education Policy 2020, four National Curriculum Frameworks — NCF for School Education, NCF for Early Childhood Care and Education, NCF for Teacher Education and NCF for Adult Education, will be created.

Topic: Important Days

14. World Homoeopathy Day: 10 April

  • It is observed every year on 10 April to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
  • World Homeopathy Awareness Week is celebrated annually between April 10th and April 16th.
  • Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy under the Ministry of AYUSH will organise a scientific convention on the occasion of World Homoeopathy Day.
  • The scientific convention will be inaugurated by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.
  • The theme of this scientific convention is 'Homoeoparivar- Sarvajan Swasthya, One Health, One Family.
  • On this occasion, one documentary, one portal and 08 books of CCRH will also be released.
  • MoUs will be exchanged between CCRH & various homoeopathic colleges.
  • This scientific convention will provide insight into the future contours of homoeopathic integration in research, education and holistic care through deliberations of various key stakeholders.
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