Daily Current Affairs and GK | 9 and 10 July 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 10 Jul 2023 18:13 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. India and Tanzania started trade settlements in local currencies.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced that India and Tanzania have started trade settlements in local currencies.
  • This new initiative of India and Tanzania will help in promoting commerce between both countries.
  • In 2022, RBI and Indian Finance Ministry had instructed the top management of banks and representatives of trade bodies to promote export and import transactions in the rupee.
  • 18 countries have opened special Vostro accounts with Indian banks.
  • Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and Canara Bank are operating in Tanzania.
  • S Jaishankar also inaugurated a bust of Swami Vivekananda at India's cultural centre in Dar es Salaam.
  • India and Tanzania have agreed on a roadmap to further boost their ties in new areas of cooperation.
  • IIT Madras will open its overseas campus with a batch of 50 undergraduate students and 20 master's students in Tanzania.
  • India and Tanzania:
    • Tanzania and India traditionally enjoy close, friendly and cooperative relations.
    • The High Commission of India in Dar es Salaam was set up on November 19, 1961.
    • The bilateral trade between India and Tanzania has increased to USD 6.4 billion in 2022-23.
    • Between 1960-1980, both countries had the same view on anti-racism and anti-colonialism.

Topic: Important Days

2. World Population Day: 11 July

  • World Population Day is observed every year on July 11.
  • It is observed to spread awareness about population issues around the world.
  • The theme for World Population Day 2023 is ‘Unleashing the power of gender equality: Uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities’.
  • In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme established World Population Day.
  • In 2011, the global population reached the 7 billion mark. It is likely to grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

3. Brain-eating amoeba causes the death of a boy in Kerala.

  • The boy in Kerala’s Alappuzha district died because of the infection caused by Naegleria fowleri (brain-eating amoeba).
  • Brain-eating amoeba are found in warm natural water bodies. It is not found in saline or seawater.
  • It enters the body through the nasal cavity and causes fatal brain infection.
  • The brain infection caused by it is known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
  • Its cases of infection are extremely rare. Its infection does not spread from person to person.
  • It is a single-celled organism. It is also found in poorly maintained swimming pools.
  • It becomes vulnerable in its maturing or trophozoite phase. Its best growth is at 46 degree Celsius temperature.
  • Its preventive measures are given below.
    • Avoiding warm freshwater bodies with inadequate chlorination
    • Using nose clips during water-related activities
    • Using sterile water for nasal cleansing rituals
  • Its symptoms are severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, seizures and hallucinations.
  • The chances of survival from its infection are low. A combination of drugs, including amphotericin B, azithromycin, fluconazole, rifampin, miltefosine, and dexamethasone is used to treat patients who survive.

Topic: National Appointments

4. Justice Sheo Kumar Singh has been appointed acting chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

  • He would act as the chairperson until an appointment is made to the post.
  • He was already serving as a judicial member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
  • He has been appointed as acting chairperson after the retirement of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.
  • Earlier, Supreme Court had appointed him Observer, Ram Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya, Faizabad to monitor the excavation work carried out by the team of Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
  • He also served as a judge, Industrial Tribunal, UP. He also served as chairman of the oversight committee, UP constituted by NGT.
  • The five years tenure of Adarsh Kumar Goel was completed on 06 July 2023.
  • He had taken over as NGT chairperson on July 6, 2018.
  • National Green Tribunal (NGT):
    • It was established under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of environmental disputes.
    • The central government appoints the chairperson of the NGT in consultation with the Chief Justice of India (CJI).
    • It handles cases pertaining to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources in India.

Topic: International News

5. On 7 July, Dutch government collapsed over immigration policy.

  • Prime Minister Mark Rutte's coalition government in Netherlands has collapsed after failing to reach an agreement on immigration.
  • The issue started due to the limit of the entrance of asylum seekers to the Netherlands, which two of his four-party government coalition refused to support.
  • The government lasted only a year and a half due to differences between the four coalition partners regarding the refugee policy.
  • The four parties failed to reach an agreement on a solution to the crisis at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
  • Elections for the new government are likely to be held in the coming November.
  • Rutte is the longest-serving prime minister in Dutch history and the most senior in the European Union after Hungary's Viktor Orban.
  • The current coalition of Rutte came to power in January 2022.
  • It was his fourth consecutive administration since becoming prime minister in October 2010.

Topic: State News/ Telangana

6. On 9 July, 37th Hyderabad Sailing Week-2023 & Laser National Championship concluded at Secunderabad Sailing Club, Telangana.

  • Under various categories of the championship, Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan has presented prizes to the winners.
  • The event was organized by the EME Sailing Association, the Laser Class Association of India (LCAI), and the Secunderabad Sailing Club.
  • The Governor also complimented organizing associations for the smooth conduct of the event and for yeoman services in promoting the sport of sailing in the country and Hyderabad in particular.
  • The Governor remembered the adventures of past and present sailors led by Sub Saravanan and Nethra Kumanan.
  • She gave away prizes to all the winners and placeholders in each category, including Hyderabad girl VV Vaishnavi, who won gold in the ILCA 4 girls category at the event.
  • In the ILCA 7 race, Mohit Saini clinched a gold medal, and Deepak Kumar Saini and Sikhansu Singh in second and third, respectively.

Category

Winners

ILCA 4 (Girls)

1. VV Vaishnavi

2. Shital Sendhan

3. Divyanshi Mishra

ILCA 4 (Boys)

1. G Mallesh

2. Advait Prasant Menon

3. Akshat Kumar Dohara

ILCA 6 (Girls)

1. Ritika Dangi

2. Shital Sendhan

3. R Ashwini

ILCA 6 (Open)

1. M Kotiswara Rao

2. Adhvait Prasant Menon

3. N Hemanth

ILCA 7

1. Hav Mohit Saini

2. Deepak Kumar Saini

3. Sikhanshu Singh

37th Hyderabad Sailing Week-2023

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: International Appointments

7. Latvia’s Edgars Rinkevics became the first openly gay head of state in the EU.

  • Rinkevics took oath as Latvia’s new President. Rinkevics is the longest-serving Foreign Minister of Latvia.
  • European Union never had a gay head of state before. It has had openly gay heads of governments before.
  • Although the position of Latvia’s president is generally ceremonial, Latvia’s president can veto legislation and call referendums.
  • Gay marriage is illegal in Latvia. Latvia's constitutional court recognised same-sex unions last year.
  • Latvia:
    • It is a country in Northern Europe's Baltic region.
    • It is bounded by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west.
    • Its Prime Minister is Krisjanis Karins. Its currency is Euro. Its capital is Riga.

Topic: Sports

8. Lakshya Sen gets Men’s Singles title of Canada Open 2023 badminton tournament.

  • He defeated Li Shi Feng of China in Calgary, Canada.
  • He won the first game by 21-18. He won the second game by 22-20.
  • This is the first BWF World Tour title of Lakshya Sen after almost a year.
  • This is the second Super 500 title of his career after the India Open.
  • Lakshya Sen is an Indian shuttler (badminton player). He is ranked world number 19.
  • The 2023 Canada Open took place from 4 July to 9 July 2023 in Calgary, Canada.

Canada Open 2023 badminton tournament

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

9. Punjab Agricultural University researchers developed a new variety of wheat.

  • The Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University, which had played a vital role during the Green Revolution, has develop a new variety of wheat.
  • It has developed a new wheat variety with high amylose starch content. It will help in reducing the risks of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • The chapatis made of this new variety of wheat called PBW RS1 won’t immediately increase glucose levels.
  • The wheat containing high amylose and resistant starch ensure that glucose gets released more slowly into the bloodstream.
  • PBW RS1 has a significant drawback. The average grain yield from this variety has been recorded at 43.18 quintals per hectare.
  • PBW RS1 has 56.63 per cent amylose compared to only 21-22 per cent in other varieties.
  • A team of wheat breeders led by Dr V S Sohu has developed this variety over 10 years.
  • Punjab Agricultural University is the first to combine five novel alleles (genes) affecting resistant starch levels for developing this variety.
  • PAU had earlier released two varieties of wheat- PBW Zn1 with high zinc content, and PBW1.

Topic: International News

10. UAE establish a new Ministry of Investment.

  • To boost economic competitiveness, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the establishment of a new Ministry of Investment.
  • Its main aim is to develop the investment vision of the UAE and to enhance its competitiveness in the global market.
  • Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi has been appointed as the head of the Ministry of Investment.
  • His main responsibilities include proposing investment policies, preparing strategies and legislation and implementing national programs to promote the investment environment.
  • This step reflects UAE’s commitment to attract investments in various sectors.
  • The Ministry of Investment will work in association with relevant authorities for achieving business objectives and investment policies.

Topic: International News

11. India joined the Champions Group of Global Crisis Response Group.

  • The Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) was formed by the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) in March 2022.
  • The 32-member Group ensures the resolution of inter-connected challenges of food security, energy, and financing.
  • The GCRG is looked after by the Champions Group which includes the HoS/HOGs of Bangladesh, Barbados, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal.
  • GCRG helps decision-makers to develop strategies for resolving interlinked issues of food, energy and finance.
  • India’s decision to join the group reflects its increasing global leadership and commitment to resolving current global challenges.
  • India’s joining of the group will boost the efforts of the UN in finding result-oriented solutions to developmental issues specifically issues impacting developing countries.
  • Shri Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs has been designated as Sherpa to the GCRG process.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

12. Ministry of Education released Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2.0 for 2021-22.

  • For 2021-22, Government has released Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2.0 for states and union territories.
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education has created PGI for states and UTs.
  • For a comprehensive analysis, this index assesses the performance of the school education system at the state/UT level.
  • The PGI for states/UTs was first released for the year 2017-18.
  • The new PGI is more focused on qualitative assessment, digital initiatives and teacher education.
  • It comprises 1,000 points across 73 indicators grouped into two categories- Outcomes and Governance management.
  • These categories are further divided into six domains, namely learning outcomes (LO), access (A), infrastructure and facilities (IF), equity (E), governance process (GP), and teachers education and training (TE&T).
  • The PGI 2.0 classified states/UTs into ten grades. The highest grade is 'Daksh' (Score of more than 940 points).
  • The lowest grade is Akanshi-3 which is for score up to 460.
  • The indicators of the Performance Grading Index 2.0 have been aligned with the policy initiatives and strategies introduced after the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for proper tracking of the progress.
  • Key Outcomes of the Index:
    • No states/UTs have attained the highest grade ‘Daksh’.
    • Only Punjab and Chandigarh have attained Grade Prachesta -2 (score 641-700).
    • Chandigarh received a score of 659.0 while Punjab get a score of 647.4.
    • Six states/UTs attained Grade Prachesta - 3 (score 581-640)
    • Three states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram got Grade Akanshi – 3 in the PGI 2.0.
    • 13 States/ UTs attained Akanshi-2.

Topic: MoUs/ Agreements

13. An MoU was signed between India and Panama on Electoral Cooperation.

  • On 7 July 2023, the Election Commission of India and Electoral Tribunal (ET) of Panama signed an MoU in Panama City to establish the institutional framework for their ongoing cooperation in the field of election management and administration.
  • Through the “International Cooperation Programme”, ECI is expanding its links and cooperation with foreign Election Management Bodies.
  • Earlier, ECI signed MoUs with Mexico, Brazil and Chile. This is the fourth MoU signed in the Latin Americas region.  
  • The Election Commission of India and the Electoral Tribunal of Panama are members of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
  • India–Panama relations:
    • The diplomatic relations between India and Panama were established in 1962.
    • India established the resident embassy in Panama in 1973.
    • India and Panama’s relationship is from the time of the construction of the Panama Canal.
    • In 2019-20, trade between both countries was US$314.35.
    • Visa Exemption Agreement for Diplomatic & Official Passport holders was signed between both countries in 2018.

Topic: New Developments

14. IIT Kharagpur has developed ways to check alertness of loco pilots.

  • IIT Kharagpur has made a tamper proof device for the online monitoring of drowsiness that can be used for real-time assessment of a loco pilot’s alertness based on the analysis of normal and near-infrared facial images.
  • Indian Railways is facing the challenge of trains wrongly or dangerously crossing signals, which would be addressed by this device.
  • The device has an embedded computing unit, a camera, a near infrared lighting facility and a warning system.
  • It is non-invasive solution that will not interfere with drivers’ operations.
  • Another tool developed by IIT will help assess the fitness of loco pilots before they join duty for their shift. The tool uses parameters of eye movements and response time displayed in a psychomotor reaction test.
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