Daily Current Affairs and GK | 9 May 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 09 May 2023 19:39 PM IST

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Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

1. A panel recommend to ban the use of diesel-powered four-wheeler vehicles by 2027.

  • A panel formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas suggested that India should ban the use of diesel-powered four-wheeler vehicles by 2027.
  • The Energy Transition Advisory Committee was formed under the chairmanship of former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor.
  • It recommends switching to electric and gas-fuelled vehicles in cities with more than a million people and polluted towns for reducing carbon emissions.
  • India is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. India has set a target to produce 40% of its electricity from renewable benergy to achieve its net zero goal by 2070.
  • The panel suggested that no diesel buses should be added to city transport from 2024 onwards.
  • It recommends that no city bus should be added to city transport after 2030 which is not electric.
  • Diesel accounts for about two-fifths of refined fuel consumption in India, of which 80% is used in the transport sector.
  • The committee recommends that from 2024, only electric-powered city delivery vehicles should be eligible for new registrations.
  • It also suggests more use of railways and gas-powered trucks for the movement of cargo.
  • India should consider building underground gas storage for two months equivalent demand. It suggested the use of depleted oil and gas fields, salt caverns and aquifers for building gas storage.

Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh

2. Uttar Pradesh has become the first state which will make digital health cards for children.

  • A unique ID card will be prepared for each child. Through this card, the child’s parents, school and administrative officials can download this health card.
  • School Health Program has been launched by the Urban Development Department and Lucknow Smart City.
  • As part of the pilot project, Lucknow Smart City has started the School Health Program in three schools in Lucknow.
  • Under the project, a digital health report card for the overall physical and mental well-being of 1765 municipal school students is being made.
  • These children are also being given the benefit of health insurance worth Rs 25,000.
  • The digital health report card is being made based on 130 parameters.
  • Following the successful completion of the pilot project, the program may be implemented in the other 9 smart cities of the state.
  • Under the pilot project, health checkup of 1765 children is the responsibility of 3 municipal schools including Aminabad Inter College, Kashmiri Mohalla Girls Inter College and Kashmiri Mohalla Montessori School.

Topic: Defence

3. Delivery of the first batch of indigenous ALS-50 Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Loitering Munitions has been received by Indian Air Force.

  • It has been made by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).
  • It is designed for Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL). It is an autonomous system.
  • ALS-50 loitering munition’s ability to strike a target has been successfully demonstrated during tests at Pokhran.
  • Its ability to operate from high-altitude areas was demonstrated during trials in Ladakh earlier this year.
  • It has a range of more than 50 kilometres. It has five flight modes.
  • These modes are fully autonomous, semi-autonomous, loiter, attack, and return home.
  • Its VTOL capability will allow users to operate it from narrow valleys in eastern Ladakh and Arunachal.
  • TASL said it will soon be inducted in "one of the armed forces of India".
  • It is equipped with an autonomous targeting system. It is useful in both surveillance and combat roles.
  • It can be aborted after launch, recovered, and used to re-attack the same or a different target.
  • Apart from TASL, other Indian defence companies are also developing loitering munitions.
  • Some of them are ALFA-S by NewSpace Research and Technologies and Achuk by Redon Systems.
  • Last year, the Army signed a contract with a joint venture between India’s Alpha Design Technologies and Israel’s Elbit Systems for the procurement of 100 SkyStriker light munition systems.
  • SkyStriker has the capability of covering 20 kilometers in 10 minutes. It can pursue a target for up to 2 hours when carrying a 5 kg warhead.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Home Minister Amit Shah participated in the birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore in West Bengal.

  • Home Minister Shah paid tribute to Rabindranath Tagore by garlanding his statue at the Jorasanko Thakurbari in Kolkata.
  • He also laid the foundation stone and inaugurated various development projects of the Land Port Authority of India and the Border Security Force at the Integrated Check Post in Petrapole in North 24 Parganas district.
  • He also inaugurated various projects at the Science City in Kolkata.
  • Rabindranath Tagore:
    • He was the first Asian Nobel laureate. He was a poet, playwright, philosopher, and reformer.
    • He was born on 7 May 1861. He was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj.
    • He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.
    • He has written more than 2000 songs, which are known as ‘Rabindra Sangeet’.
    • Gandhiji gave the title of “Gurudev” to Rabindranath Tagore.
    • The birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore is also called Pachishe Boishakh in Bengali.

birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

5. Arab League re-inducted Syria after 11 years of absence.

  • On 7 May, the Arab League has re-admitted Syria after an 11-year absence, following a meeting at the Arab League's headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
  • After 2011, Syria was suspended during a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.
  • Syria's participation was suspended from 16 November 2011 until 7 May 2023.
  • Now, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may attend the upcoming Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia.
  • Arab League:
    • It is an organization of Middle Eastern and African countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    • Its objective is to promote closer political, economic, cultural and social relations among the members.
    • It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945.
    • It initially had six members: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
    • Currently, the League has 22 members.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Third phase of Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana launched in New Delhi.

  • On 8 may, the third phase of the Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana has been launched by Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar in New Delhi.
  • Coal India Limited has supported this project as part of Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to celebrate World Thalassemia Day.
  • The Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana Portal was also launched by Dr Bharati.
  • Under the National Health Mission, Health Ministry has been implementing the Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana since 2017.
  • Recently, Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana has completed its second phase in March this year.
  • The Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) program funded by Coal India CSR is a unique initiative for poor thalassemia patients who do not have the financial resources for the procedure even if there is a match donor for transplant.
  • Under this program, 356 bone marrow transplants have been successfully completed for Thalassemia patients in 10 empaneled hospitals in India in two phases.
  • On this occasion, Dr. Pawar also released the Standard Treatment Workflow for Sickle Cell Disease. It has been developed by ICMR.
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Topic: State News/Kerala

7. Kerala has become first state, which has launched its own institutional ranking framework.

  • Kerala Institutional Ranking Framework (KIRF) has been launched by the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC). The rankings will be issued annually.
  • KIRF is based on the lines of the National Institute of Ranking Framework (NIRF).
  • Kerala is the first state to launch its own ranking system for higher education institutions.
  • NIRF was created in 2015 to assess higher education institutions across India.
  • KIRF will rank participating colleges and universities in the categories like overall, universities, colleges, engineering, management, architecture, medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, law, and teacher education.
  • KIRF will evaluate the higher educational institutions based on components, which are also followed by NIRF. These components are given below.
    • Teaching, Learning and Resources (TLR)
    • Knowledge Dissemination and Research Excellence (KDRE)
    • Graduation Outcome (GO)
    • Outreach and Inclusivity (OI)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and Ministry of Railways jointly signed an MoU with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Project SMART.

  • Project SMART aims to develop surrounding areas of Mumbai - Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (MAHSR) Stations.
  • The MoU was signed for four High Speed Rail Stations out of 12 stations in-route.
  • These four stations are Sabarmati, Surat in Gujarat and Virar and Thane in Maharashtra.
  • Surat, Virar and Thane are Green field stations while Sabarmati is a Brown field station.
  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Govts. of Gujarat, Maharashtra and JICA are organizing seminars and field visits for Project SMART in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Topic: International News

9. NSAs of India, US, UAE & Saudi Arabia held talks for a more secure and prosperous Middle East region.

  • NSA of India, Ajit Doval, his US counterpart Jake Sullivan and his UAE counterpart Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan took part in the meeting with Saudi Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia.
  • The objective of the meeting was to discuss “shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the World."
  • Participants discussed how to further strengthen ties between them to enhance development and stability in the region.
  • Ajit Doval took part in a bilateral meeting with his US counterpart and discussed bilateral and regional matters.
  • Middle East region:
    • The term "Middle East" originated from British Indian Office in the 1850s.
    • It is a geopolitical region comprising Arabia, part of Turkey, East Thrace, Egypt, Iran, Mesopotamia and Socotra Archipelago.
    • Saudi Arabia is the largest Middle Eastern country by area.
    • Middle East region has a hot, arid climate, especially in the Arabian and Egyptian regions.

Topic: Art and Culture

10. Tungnath temple of Uttarakhand will be declared a monument of national importance.

  • Uttrakhand's ancient Tungnath temple will be declared a monument of national importance
  • Tungnath Temple is located at an altitude of 12800 feet. It is situated in Rudraprayag district.
  • It is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is the highest among Panch Kedar temples.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India is trying to declare Tungnath as a national heritage for many years.
  • Tungnath Temple is associated with the Panchkedar temples. It is believed that it was built by Pandvas to appease Lord Shiva.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India designates a monument as a "Monument of National Importance".
  • As of January 2023, 3,695 monuments are "Monument of National Importance" in India.

Topic: Sports

11. Babar Azam has become the fastest cricketer to score 5,000 in ODI.

  • On 5 May, during the fourth match against New Zealand in Karachi, Pakistan captain Babar Azam became the fastest batsman to complete 5,000 One Day International runs.
  • He broke South Africa's Hashim Amla's record.
  • Azam took 97 innings in 99 One Day Internationals to reach the record, surpassing Amla's record of 101 innings in 104 matches.
  • Azam has been the number one batsman in the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings for the last two years.
  • He is the 14th Pakistani to complete 5,000 or more runs in ODI cricket, topped by former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with 11,701 runs.
  • He is also the only batsman to score two hattrick hundreds, which he achieved in 2016 and 2022.
  • In May 2015, Azam made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in his hometown Lahore.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Thalassaemia Day 2023: 8 May

  • World Thalassemia Day is observed every year on 8 May.
  • It is celebrated to create awareness regarding Thalassemia and to encourage those who struggle to live with this disease.
  • The theme of World Thalassemia Day 2023 is ‘Be aware. Share. Care.’
  • Thalassemia is a genetic disease that is passed from parents to their offspring.
  • Its symptoms start appearing from 3-4 months after the birth of the child.
  • People suffering from Thalassaemia have less haemoglobin than normal, which leads to anemia.
  • Normally, Red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days.
  • But due to this disease, the age of red blood cells remains for only 20 days.
  • Because of this, they need blood after a few days in case of severe anemia.
  • In 1994, World Thalassemia Day was established and organized by the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF).

Topic: Space and IT

13. ISRO will start an online training programme for PG and final-year UG students.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation launched a new introductory-level online training programme ‘Space Science and Technology Awareness Training (START)’ for post-graduate and final-year undergraduate students of physical sciences and technology.
  • Various domains of space science, including Astronomy & Astrophysics, Heliophysics & Sun-Earth interaction, Instrumentation and Aeronomy will be covered under this programme.
  • Scientists from Indian academia and ISRO centres will handle the programme.
  • The START programme is part of ISRO’s efforts to help students who want to pursue careers in space science and technology.
  • The programme’s main aim is to provide introductory-level training in space science and technology to students and give them an overview of this field.
  • The programme's lecture will also cover topics on the Indian space science exploration programme and research opportunities in space science and technologies.
  • Indian academic institutions can register for the programme through the Jigyasa portal by May 20.
  • “YUva VIgyani KAryakram” (YUVIKA) or “Young Scientist Programme” is being organized by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as a special program for school children.

Topic: Geography

14. After Jammu & Kashmir, Lithium reserves have been found in Rajasthan.

  • Lithium reserves have been found in Rajasthan's Degana (Nagaur).
  • According to officials, the new lithium reserve is much bigger than the reserve found in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The quantity of lithium found here can fulfil 80 per cent demand of India.
  • The tungsten mineral was discovered in Degana's Renvat hill area in 1914.
  • For the first time in India, a lithium reserve of 5.9 million tonnes was found in Jammu & Kashmir in February 2023.
  • Lithium is a non-ferrous metal. It is used in making mobile-laptop, electric vehicles and other chargeable batteries.
  • Lithium is the lightest and softest metal in the world. Australia produces 47 percent of the world's lithium.
  • Chile and China are also the main lithium-producing countries in the world.
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