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Current Affairs 2022


Current events of national and international importance

The value of Current Affairs in Civil Service Examinations is enormous. This is the most critical part of both Prelims and Mains Exam. Aspirants should study in depth to understand the significance of current affairs for the Union Public Service Commission. In fact, all the questions in Civil Service Exams are framed around current affairs. Questions are not asked directly for current news and information in the exam. Questions are framed by combining current affairs with practical knowledge. The primary motive behind this type of strategy is to check the ability of correlation a candidate can make to the fact.

Current Affairs Articles | Current Affairs Essays | Current Affairs News | Daily Current Affairs Quiz| Monthly Current Affairs Magazines

Why current affairs is more important in Civil Service Exam?

Success in Prelims and Mains Exam is directly related to an aspirant’s awareness in current affairs. Preparation of current affairs for UPSC is the key to unlock the exam. It requires practice and revision in a well-connected manner... In such a scenario the preparation of current affairs topics related to India and the world is an important part of your preparations. The students have to be aware of the happening in India and around the world as this portion is an integral part of the general studies paper.

In order to make you ready for the challenges of the Current Affairs preparation, we are covering the current affairs topics on a regular basis. Our current topics are categorised in such a way that it includes; political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, government's scheme and policies and international affairs.

We provide you comprehensive topics of preparation that covers not only India's current scenario but also international events. We also cover Indian news headlines and other important international events under the current affairs segment.

For the very purpose of getting you ready for the challenge that is current news and views in India, we are covering the current affairs 2022 on a regular basis. Our hot topics are categorised such that they include political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, current government affairs and international affairs. Only studying India's current scenario or political affairs is not sufficient as you have to cover international events and affairs along with the Indian news space, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.

Current Affairs Topics 2022

ArtsInternational
EconomicsNational
DefencePeople In News
EnvironmentPlaces In News
Indian PolicyScience and Technology
Indian politySports

Weekly Current Affairs 12th - 18th September 2022

Sports

Roger Federer: Roger Federer, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, recently announced that he had decided to bid farewell to professional tennis.

Key Highlights:

  • The forthcoming Laver Cup 2022 which is set to commence on September 23, 2022 will be his last tournament.
  • 41-year-old Federer's current net worth is around 550 million USD. 1 billion USD came after endorsements of brands and wearing their clothing.

Roger Federer's Tennis Career:

  • In his illustrious career, Roger Federer has won 103 ATP singles titles and overall 1,251 matches.
  • He has won a total of 20 Grand Slams in Men’s Singles Title.
  • These are 8 Wimbledon, 6 Australian, 5 US Open and a solitary French title.
  • His first win was in the year 2003 at Wimbledon where he had beaten Andy Roddick in the semi-finals and Mark Philippoussis in the final match.
  • He also became the first men’s singles player to reach the milestone of 20 grand slam titles.
  • Federer also eclipsed the record of 14 grand slams held by Pete Sampras.
  • Roger last won a grand slam title in 2018 at the Australian Open.
  • He holds the record for most consecutive weeks-237-at No-1 in the ATP Rankings.
  • Roger Federer: Awards
  • He was nominated for the Sportsmanship Award for a record of 13 times.
  • He has won ATP Fan’s Favourite for 17 consecutive years.
  • He was named the ATP Player of the Year and ITF World Champion 5 times.
  • He is also known for becoming the oldest ever World Number 1 at the age of 36.
  • He holds the record of being the only individual to win the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award 4 times.

About Roger Federer:

  • Roger Federer was born on August 8, 1981on August 8, 1981 in Basel, Switzerland.
  • He is a Swiss professional tennis player.
  • He trained at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens, Switzerland.
  • Federer has played in an era where he dominated men's tennis along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the Big Three, collectively considered by some to be the three most successful male tennis players of all time.
  • He spent 310 weeks as the world number 1, with 237 of them held consecutively.

US Open Tennis Tournament 2022: The 2022 US Open was held on outdoor hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

Key Highlights:

  • It was the 142nd edition of tennis' US Open and the fourth and final tennis major (Grand Slam event) of the year.
  • The tournament was played on hard courts and took place over a series of 15 courts with Laykold surface, including the three-existing main show courts – Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium and Grandstand.
  • Spanish player C. Alcaraz Garcia lifted his first Grand Slam trophy after defeating C. Ruud, in the Mens Category.
  • He has become the youngest player to reach world No. 1 at just 19 years old.
  • In the women’s category, Poland tennis player I. Świątek defeated O. Jabeur to win the singles final title.

Prize Money:

  • In 2022, the U.S. Open set a new record for total prize purse, at more than $60 million, up from $57.5 million in 2021.
  • For women’s and men’s singles, the total prize money is $42,628,000, with the winners taking $2.6 million respectively.
  • The men’s and women’s singles runner-ups will each receive $1.3 million.

List of Winners:

  • Carlos Alcarez - Men’s Singles Title
  • Świątek - Women’s Singles Title
  • R. Ram & J. Salisbury - Men’s Doubles
  • K. Siniaková & B. Krejčíková - Women’s Doubles
  • S. Sanders & J. Peers - Mixed Doubles

About the US Open:

  • The US Open, organized by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
  • It is a hard-court tennis grand slam tournament that is held once every year.
  • It was Founded in 1881.
  • US Open, earlier known as US National Championship.
  • Initially, the US Open started off as competition on grass and later on clay surfaces for two years in 1975 and 1977, and finally moved to hard courts since 1978.
  • From 1978, the US Open is being held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York City.
  • has been held 141 times so far with many champions crowned over the years.

World Wrestling Championship 2022: Vinesh Phogat recently became the first Indian woman wrestler to win two medals at the World Championships after clinching a bronze in 53-kilogram category in Belgrade, Serbia.

Key Highlights:

  • She defeated the European champion, Emma Malmgren of Sweden.
  • This is her second bronze medal at the Championships.

Medals won by Vinesh Phogat:

  • She had won the 48kg gold at Glasgow 2014 and the 50kg division at Gold Coast 2018.
  • She had won first bronze in the 2019 edition of the tournament at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
  • She created history by winning the third consecutive gold medal in the commonwealth games.
  • She is the first Indian women wrestler to win a gold medal at both the Commonwealth and Asian games.
  • She won the gold medal in the women’s 53kg freestyle wrestling category at Birmingham 2022.
  • She became the first Indian athlete to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards in 2019.
  • She is the cousin of wrestlers Geetha and Babita.
  • Both her cousins have won gold in 55 kg category in Commonwealth Games.

About World Wrestling Championship 2022:

  • The 2022 World Wrestling Championships is the 17th edition of the World Wrestling Championships of combined events.
  • It is being held between 10 and 18 September 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.

 

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022: The Union Cabinet recently approved the Signing of Guarantees for hosting Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Under 17 Women's World Cup 2022 in India.

 

Key Points:

  • The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022 is scheduled to be held in India between 11th and 30th October 2022.
  • The seventh edition of the biennial youth tournament will be the first-ever FIFA women's competition to be hosted by India.
  • 16 teams, including India, will participate in the tournament.

About:

  • The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is the world championship for female players under or upto the age of 17, organized by FIFA.
  • The event started in 2008 and is traditionally held in even-numbered years.
  • The 6th edition of the event was held in Uruguay from 13th November to 1st December, 2018.
  • Spain is the current champion of FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup.

National Sports Development Fund (NSDF): The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recently signed an historic MoU with two Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) namely NTPC and REC (Rural Electrification Corporation) for development of sports in India.

About National Sports Development Fund (NSDF):

  • The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was established in 1998 under the Charitable Endowments Act 1890 and was notified by the Government of India in November, 1998.
  • The purpose of the fund is to impart momentum and flexibility to assisting the cause of sports in India.
  • It helps sportspersons excel by providing them with varied opportunities to train under coaches of international repute.
  • It also provides financial assistance for development of infrastructure and other activities for promotion of sports.
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Science and Technology

XR Startup Program: MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) and Meta collectively jointly launched the ‘XR Startup Program’ to support and accelerate XR technology startups in India.

Key Points:

  • The MeitY Startup Hub, an initiative of MeitY, is a national platform focused on promoting technology innovation, start-ups, and the creation of intellectual properties.
  • Currently, it has around 3000+ tech startups supported, with a vision to ramp it up to more than ten thousand startups in the next three to five years.

About the Program:

  • The XR Startup Program is an accelerator program aimed at supporting and accelerating extended reality (XR) startups in India.
  • This program focuses on skilling and building technological capabilities for the metaverse, and will help shape the ecosystem for these emerging technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the country.
  • It would aid 40 early-stage startups working in the extended reality technologies by providing a grant of Rs.20 lakh each.
  • A Grand Challenge would be set up to encourage early-stage innovators in industries like agri-tech and climate action, healthcare, education, learning, gaming and entertainment and skills, tourism, and sustainability.
  • It would also support startups and innovators by building consumer connections, joint venture prospects and fundraising.
  • Assistance would be provided to innovators so they could move up from the research and development stage to produce useful products and services.
  • Under this initiative, 80 innovators would be shortlisted to attend a bootcamp.
  • Of these 16 would be provided grants to develop minimum viable products/prototypes.

Implementation:

  • The program would be implemented by International Institute of Information Technology – Hyderabad Foundation, Hyderabad, Telangana (CIE IIIT-H); Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat; AIC SMU Technology Business Incubation Foundation (AIC-SMUTBI), Rangpo, Sikkim and Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi, New Delhi.

Funding:

  • It would be financially backed by Meta’s XR Programs and Research Fund – a two-year investment in programs and research with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, NGOs and academic institutions.

MeitY Startup Hub:

  • MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
  • The main goal of MSH is to achieve the Indian Government’s goals of promoting technology innovation, startups and creation of intellectual properties.
  • This nodal organization would serve as the MeitY's central hub for national coordination, facilitation and monitoring center that integrates all the incubation centers, start-ups, and innovation-related activities.

What is XR technology?

  • Extended reality (XR) is a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables.
  • It includes representative forms such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) and the areas interpolated among them.
  • Although AR and VR offer a wide range of revolutionary experiences, the same underlying technologies are powering XR.
  • XR is a rapid growing field being applied in a wide range of ways, entertainment, marketing, real estate, training, and remote work.

India’s first HTS: Hughes Communications India (HCI) in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) officially launched its first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) broadband internet service in the country.

Key Points:

  • The HCI, which is a subsidiary of US-based global broadband service major Hughes NetworkSystems had been testing its operation in North India for the last year.
  • The company aims to connect enterprise and governmental networks by providing high-speed broadband across the entire nation, particularly in the most remote areas that are outside the range of terrestrial networks.
  • The company, through the HTS technology, had till now been providing assistance in some states and also to the Indian security forces along the China border, including in the Galwan region.
  • The Hughes HTS broadband service combines Ku-band capacity from Isro’s Gsat-11 and Gsat-29 satellites with Hughes’ JUPITER Platform ground technology to deliver high-speed broadband across India.

What is High Throughout Satellite Technology?

  • High Throughout Satellite Technology (HTS) differs from a conventional satellite in the sense that it increases capacity when using the same amount of orbital spectrum while also decreasing the cost per bit.
  • It provides much lower-cost bandwidth and a much higher user experience.
  • Unlike traditional satellites which use a broad single beam or few beams, HTS uses Spot-beam to perform its operations.  
  • Spot beam technology focuses on a limited area and provides seamless and fast connectivity.
  • Home-grown Jupiter systems are used by Hughes India for both HTS and conventional satellite implementations worldwide.

Significance of HTS technology:

  • HCI is currently providing satellite broadband access to more than two lakh business and government sites across India.
  • The service allows applications such as Wi-Fi hotspots for for community internet access, managed SD-WAN solutions, backhaul to extend mobile network reach, and satellite internet for small businesses.
  • Presently, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), telecommunication 4G operators,  and cooperative banks are the customers of HTS service.
  • It also aids the Indian Army, and paramilitary forces patrolling the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and other remote border outposts through the HTS technology.
  • Hughes, at the moment, has 1 Gbps of capacity on HTS but expects to grow it to 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps in the future.
  • As per Dr. Somnath, the new HTS capabilities powered by ISRO satellites, HCI will likely continue to deliver excellent quality satellite broadband services.
  • HTS is most likely to enhance the connectivity experience that expedites India's digital transformation.

A Make-in-India initiative:

  • The senior vice-president of Hughes India, Shivaji Chatterjee, stated that the company was sincerely committed to the Make in India project.
  • The senior vice-president also said that the satellite is Indian.
  • Reliance Jio, the complete system, the outside modem, and other components are currently built in India.
  • The antenna and the dishes are also completely made by the company in India.
  • The Indian Oil and SD-WAN project are too made in India.

National Engineer’s Day 2022: India, observes the National Engineer’s Day every year on September 15 every year to recognize and pay tribute to achievements of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.

Key Points:

  • The National Engineer’s Day gives recognition to all engineers in India and to inspire the people to value engineers' work and their role in the development of the country.
  • Along with India, Visvesvaraya’s great works are also celebrated in Sri Lanka and Tanzania on September 15 as Engineer’s day.
  • Currently, India has the second largest number of engineers in the world.

History:

  • In 1968, the Government of India (GoI) decided to observe September 15 as National Engineers Day.
  • The day serves as a reminder for all engineers, particularly civil engineers, to take Sir Visvesvaraya as an inspirationand work towards accomplishing goals for the betterment of the country.

About Sir M Visvesvaraya:

  • Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, popularly known as Sir MV, was born on September 15, 1861 in Karnataka.
  • After completing his schooling, he went to the University of Madras to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.
  • He later changed his mind and enrolled in the College of Science in Pune to pursue a diploma in civil engineering.
  • He also served as the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

Accomplishments of Sir MV:

  • He is noted for setting up Mysore Soap Factory, Bangalore Agricultural University, State Bank of Mysore, Mysore Iron and Steel Works, Government Engineering College and several other industries.
  • He undertook several complex projects and delivered remarkable infrastructural results during his engineering career.
  • He is credited for the creation of block systems.
  • He patented and installed an irrigation system with water floodgates at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune to raise the food supply level and storage to the highest levels known as ‘block system’ in 1903.
  • The irrigation system was later installed at Gwalior’s Tigra Dam and Mysuru’s Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) dam, the latter of which created one of the largest reservoirs in Asia at the time.
  • Sir M Visvesvaraya is also known as the “precursor of economic planning in India”.
  • He published two books – “Reconstructing India” and “Planned Economy of India” in 1920 and 1934 respectively.

Awards and Recognition:

He was the recipient of Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award) and was recognized as the Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire.

About Engineers:

  • Engineers are professionals who invent, design, and build complex systems, structures, and materials in order to fulfill functional objectives and deliverables, keeping in mind factors such as practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.
  • The word ‘engineer’ is derived from the Latin words ‘ingeniare’ (which means ‘to create or generate’) and ‘ingenium’ (which means ‘cleverness’).

Inspire Awards: Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh recently presented INSPIRE awards to 60 Start-Ups and financial support to over 53 thousand students.

  • These innovators will be extended complete incubation support for their entrepreneurship journey.

About INSPIRE Scheme:

  • The Indian Government's Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) programme to inspire individuals between the ages of 10 and 32 to pursue science and a career in research.
  • The INSPIRE Scheme was approved by the Govt. of India in November 2008 and was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13th December 2008.
  • The key objective of INSPIRE is to attract talent to science at an early age and create the required resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and research and development (R&D) base in the country.

This initiative has the following three components –

  1. Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS).
  2. Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE). 
  3. Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC).

About INSPIRE Award – MANAK:

  • The award is instituted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India (GoI).
  • The Govt. of India confers INSPIRE Award – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) every year under the SEAT Program.
  • The INSPIRE - MANAK Awards targets one million original ideas/innovations rooted in science and societal applications to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among school children in the age group 10-15 years (studying in classes 6 to 10).
  • Rs. 10,000/- is given as an award to shortlisted ideas of students.
  • As part of the INSPIRE AWARDS - MANAK Scheme, students all around India are encouraged to submit innovative and original technology ideas or breakthroughs that can address common problems.
  • The idea that is selected is provided with complete incubation support required to promote the entrepreneurial journey of students.
  • The scheme aims to help build a critical human resource pool for strengthening, expanding the science and technology system and increase the research & development base.
  • The annual INSPIRE Awards - MANAK competition received an unprecedented 6.53 Lakh ideas and innovations from all States in 2020–2021, as the nation struggled to recover from the catastrophic effects of COVID–19.
  • The scheme achieved an unprecedented level of inclusivity by representing ideas and innovations of 702 districts (96%), including 123 out of 124 aspirational districts, 51% representation from girls, 84% participation from schools located in rural areas of the country, and 71% of schools run by State/UT Governments.
  • Of the 6.53 lakh students, 53,021 have received financial assistance of Rs. 10,000 to aid in the creation of prototypes for the ideas they submitted.
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Places In News

School Breakfast Programme: The Government of Tamil Nadu has announced School Breakfast Programme with the aim to alleviate hunger.

Key Highlights:

  • The scheme was inaugurated on the occasion of the former chief minister CN Annadurai’s birthday in Madurai.
  • The inauguration of the scheme marks an important milestone in the State’s history of providing free meals to school students.
  • The scheme is applicable to the students studying from Class 1 to Class 5 in state-run primary schools. In its first phase, the scheme is being implemented in 1,545 schools in the corporation, municipality, and villages.
  • Chief Minister M. K. Stalin launched the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme for students of Class I to V in government schools.

About the scheme:

  • In the first phase, the scheme is being implemented in 1,545 schools which include 417 municipal corporation schools, 163 municipality schools and 728 taluk and village panchayat-level schools.
  • A sum of ₹33.56 crore has been set apart for the scheme.

Significance:

  • Anaemia is a major health problem in Tamil Nadu, especially among women and children, says the 2019-21 National Family Health Survey-5’s report.
  • Those in charge of the meal programme can enhance the component of nutrition to those children having specific problems. The latest Breakfast Scheme is a step in this direction.

About Tamil Nadu:

  • Tamil Nadu is located in the extreme south of the subcontinent.
  • It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the east and south and by the states of Kerala to the west, Karnataka (formerly Mysore) to the northwest, and Andhra Pradesh to the north.
  • It was formerly the Madras Presidency of British India but was renamed Madras (State) after independence in 1947. Madras (State) was again renamed Tamil Nadu in 1968.
  • Its Capital is Chennai.
  • The Governor and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu are Banwarilal Purohit and M. K. Stalin respectively.

Varanasi- SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital: The holy city of Varanasi has been nominated as the first-ever Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Tourism and Cultural Capital during the period 2022-2023 at the 22nd SCO Summit.

Key Highlights:

  • The 22nd SCO Summit was held in Samarkand, a city in Uzbekistan on September 15 and 16, 2022.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders of SCO nations including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sarif, and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev participated in the summit.

About SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital:

  • The main objective of SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital is to promote cooperation in the area of culture and tourism among the member states of SCO.
  • The guidelines for the nomination of the SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital were adopted in the SCO Summit of 2021 which was held in Dushanbe.
  • Under this initiative, each year, a city of the cultural heritage of a member country that will take over the rotating Presidency of the organisation will get the title to highlight its prominence.
  • It is under this initiative that Varanasi has been chosen as the Cultural and Tourism Capital as India will be taking over the rotating Presidency of the organisation in 2023.

Significance and events:

  • The nomination of Varanasi as the first ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital will be significant as it will help in promoting tourism, and humanitarian and cultural exchanges between India and the member states of SCO.
  • It also underlines country's ancient civilizational links with Member States of SCO especially the Central Asian Republics.
  • Under the framework of this major cultural outreach program, a number of events will be hosted in Varanasi during 2022-23, for which guests will be invited to participate from SCO Member States.
  • These events are expected to attract Indologists, scholars, authors, musicians and artists, photo journalists, travel bloggers and other invited guests.

About Varanasi:

  • The city is Varanasi, still widely known by its earlier name Banaras and its ancient name Kashi is a city on the Ganges River in northern India in Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities.
  • Since ancient times, the city has been an important centre of Hindu devotion, pilgrimage, mysticism and poetry contributing to its cultural importance.

Gayaji Dam: The Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar recently inaugurated the country’s longest rubber dam ‘Gayaji Dam’ on the Falgu River where lakhs of pligrims from across the nation and abroad visit during Pitripaksha Mela to pay homage to the ancestors.

Key Points:

  • Along with Gayaji Dam, CM Kumar also inaugurated a steel foot-over bridge for the convenience of the visitors.
  • Keeping in view of the religious beliefs associated with the place, he had proposed the name ‘Gayaji Dam’.
  • The rubber dam on the river, which is a vast stretch of sand dunes, seeks to draw more pilgrims and change the landscape.
  • The foundation stone was laid on September 22, 2020, despite Covid disruptions.
  • The dam has been built at an estimated cost of ₹324crore.
  • Experts from IIT (Roorkee) were involved with the project.
  • After the Gayaji Dam, the second major step by the Bihar Government will be to ensure Ganga water in Gaya and store it here all through the year.
  • Ganga water has reached up to Rajgir and it is expected to reach Gaya by year-end.

About Gaya:

  • Gaya is a holy city beside the Falgu River, in the northeast Indian state of Bihar.
  • The city is surrounded on three sides by small, rocky hills (Mangla-Gauri, Shringa-Sthan, Ram-Shila, and Brahmayoni), with the Phalgu River on its eastern side.
  • It is a city of historical significance and is one of the major tourist attractions in India.
  • Gaya is sanctified in the Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist religions.
  • Gaya district is mentioned in the great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
  • It is the place where Rama, with Sita and Lakshmana, came to offer pind-daan for their father, Dasharath.
  • It continues to be a major Hindu pilgrimage site for the pind-daan ritual.
  • Bodh Gaya, where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, is one of the four holy sites of Buddhism.
  • The Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya is a World Heritage Site.

Etymology:

  • Gaya is named after the demon Gayasura (meaning "the demon Gaya") who dwelt the area during the Treta Yuga.
  • According to Vayu Purana, Gaya was the name of a demon (Asura) whose body became pious after he performed strict penance and secured blessings from Lord Vishnu.
  • It was said that the body of Gayasura was transformed into the series of rocky hills that make up the landscape of Gaya.
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People In News

Volker Turk: Volker Turk from Austria has recently been appointed as the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • Key Highlights:
  • 57 years old Turk will succeed Michelle Bachelet of Chile.
  • The approval for the latest appointment came from the Secretary-General of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after the approval by the General Assembly.
  • The new High Commissioner of UN Human Rights is currently coordinating the global policy work as an under-Secretary-General in the UN’s Executive Office.
  • Previously, Turk was the Assistant High Commissioner for the Protection at UN Refugees, UNHCR, in Geneva where he played a key role in the development of the landmark Global Compact on Refugees.
  • Presently he was serving as assistant Secretary General for policy.

About Volker Turk:

  • Volker Turk was born in 1965 in Austria.
  • He is an Austrian lawyer and UN official. His work was published by Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 1992.
  • He has also been awarded the human rights prize of the University of Graz in 2016.

About UNHRC:

  • It refers to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  • UNHRC is the Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system.
  • It is located at the UN Office at Geneva.
  • It was founded on 15 March 2006 by the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251.
  • It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) that had been strongly criticized for allowing countries with poor human rights records to be members.
  • The UNHRC works closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Objective:

  • Its main task is to investigates allegations of breaches of human rights in UN member states. It also addresses important thematic human rights issues such as freedom of expression, women's rights, LGBT rights, and the rights of racial and ethnic minorities.

Members:

  • The Council comprises of 47 Member States, which are elected by the UN General Assembly.
  • The Council's Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution.
  • The seats are distributed among regional groups Group of African States (13), Group of Asia-Pacific States (13), Group of Eastern European States (6), Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (8) and Group of Western European and other States (7).
  • The members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Pratap Pawar: The chairman of Sakal Media Private Ltd. Pratap Pawar has been unanimously elected Chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for 2022-2023.

Key Points:

  • Pawar was the former president of The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture, Pune.
  • He is on the Board of several national and International organisations.
  • He was awarded Padma Shri in 2014.
  • Meanwhile, Srinivasan K Swamy, chairman and managing director of R K Swamy Pvt Ltd, was unanimously elected deputy chairman.

About ABC:

  • The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of India is a non-profit circulation-auditing organization.
  • ABC is a voluntary organization initiated in 1948.
  • It certifies and audits the circulations of major publications, including newspapers and magazines in India.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai.

14th Attorney General of India: Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi is set to be appointed as the 14th Attorney General of India.

The Attorney General is the top law officer of the country and the Centre’s top lawyer before the Supreme Court of India.

Key Points:

  • Rohatgi, 67, will take over after current AG KK Venugopal steps down
  • This will also be Mukul Rohtagi’s second tenure as an Attorney General of India.
  • He took over as the Attorney General for the first three years of the BJP-led NDA government, from 2014 to 2017.

About the Mukul Rohatgi:

  • Mukul Rohatgi is the son of former Delhi High Court judge, Justice Awadh Behari Rohatgi, who practiced under Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal, former CJI in the High Court before starting his own legal practice.
  • He is a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India.
  • He has also served earlier as Additional Solicitor General of India.
  • He was designated as a senior counsel by Delhi HC in 1993 and was later appointed as Additional Solicitor General of India in 1999.
  • He has represented several high-profile and crucial cases in the court.
  • He represented the 2002 Gujarat riots case where he appeared before the court for the government of Gujarat.
  • He also fought the high-profile case of Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s alleged drug case. He appeared for his bail plea, scheduled to come up before the Bombay High Court.

Gulam Ali: Gulam Ali who is a Gurjar Muslim from Jammu and Kashmir, has recently been nominated to Rajya Sabha by President Droupadi Murmu.

Key Points:

  • Mr Ali has been nominated to the Upper House on the recommendation of the Central government.
  • In the notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (I) of article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, the President is pleased to nominate Shri Gulam Ali to the Council of States to fill the vacancy caused due to the retirement of one of the nominated members.”
  • This is for the first time a Gurjar Muslim from the region has been sent to the Rajya Sabha as a nominated member.
  • This is a significant step assuming that prior to abrogation of Article 370, the community was literally not recognised and all social benefits to them were denied.”
  • The Modi government abrogated Article 370 in August 2019 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  • The article gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
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National

IDF WDS 2022: The International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit (IDF WDS) 2022 was recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

PM Modi also inspected an exhibition at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

Key Points of the Summit:

  • The IDF WDS 2022 was organized at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The summit is a four long day event being held from September 12 to September 15, 2022.
  • Around 1,500 participants from 50 countries are expected to participate in IDF WDS 2022.
  • The success story of the Indian dairy industry, accounting for about 23 percent of global milk, producing around 210 million tonnes annually and empowering more than 8 crore dairy farmers, will be showcased at the Summit.
  • The summit will also help Indian dairy farmers to gain exposure about the global best practices.
  • IDF WDS 2022 is being held in the country after a very long period of 48 years.
  • As per the release issued by PMO, the last such Summit was held in India in 1974.

World Dairy Summit 2022 Theme:

  • The IDF WDS 2022 theme is centred around a unique theme of ‘Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood’.
  • This 4-day summit is a congregation of global and Indian dairy stakeholders including industry leaders, experts, farmers and policy planners who will discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry.
  • The organization of the IDF WDS 2022 comes in the backdrop of India’s implementation of several positive policy measures to boost the dairy industry.

Indian Dairy Industry:

  • India's dairy sector is characterized by ‘production by masses’ more than ‘mass production’.
  • Dairy Cooperative in India is unique in the whole world and can be a good business model for poor countries.
  • Dairy cooperatives collect milk twice a day from about two crore farmers in more than two lakh villages in the country and deliver it to the customers.
  • More than 70% of the money that is received from the customers goes directly to the farmer.
  • Women are the real leaders of India's dairy sector.
  • At more than eight and a half lakh crore rupees, the dairy sector is more than the combined value of wheat and rice production.
  • India produced 146 million tonnes of milk in 2014.
  • It has now increased to 210 million tonnes i.e., an increase of about 44 per cent.
  • Indian milk production is increasing at 6% annual rate against 2% global growth.
  • India is building the largest database of dairy animals and every animal associated with the dairy sector is being tagged.
  • India has resolved that the country will vaccinate 100% of the animals against Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by 2025.
  • Indian scientists have also prepared indigenous vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease.
  • India is working on a digital system which will capture the end-to-end activities of the livestock sector.

Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya recently launched a 15-day countrywide mega voluntary blood donation drive known as ‘Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav’.

Key Points:

  • This drive was launched at a blood donation camp at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
  • It will continue till 1st October 2022 which is National Voluntary Blood Donation Day.
  • It aims to collect one lakh units of blood in a day and raise awareness about the need for regular non-remunerated voluntary blood donation.

Note: One unit donated translates to 350ml of Blood.

  • The blood drive will create a pool of willing blood donors, reducing the need for replacement blood donations and enabling individuals in need to receive assistance quickly.
  • There are 3,900 blood banks with adequate storage and processing capacity in India.
  • As of now, 3,600 blood banks have been linked with the e-Raktkosh portal.
  • All the ministries and departments of the center, state, and union territories, non-government and community-based and other stakeholders are involved in the event.
  • The number of volunteers who have donated blood under Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav has crossed one lakh.
  • According to the information provided by the officials of the Ministry of Health, the country has created a world record by surpassing its previous best of 87,059 blood donations in 2014.

Benefits of Blood Donation:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • According to some reports, India needs at least 15 million units of blood each year but manages to collect only 11 million units, a deficit of 4 million units.
  • It is also estimated that nearly 12,000 individuals die in India each day, due to non-availability of quality blood.
  • Since blood can’t be made or manufactured, these patients depend on blood donors for their very lives.
  • According to the American Red Cross, one donation of blood can save as many as three lives.
  • Donating blood doesn’t just benefit recipients but it benefits the donor too.
  • The health benefits of donating blood are considerable—but of course, the most important part of the process is helping to save lives.

The benefits of donating blood are: -

  • It can reveal potential health problems.
  • It can reduce harmful iron stores
  • It may lower your risk of suffering a heart attack
  • It may reduce your risk of developing cancer
  • It can help your liver stay healthy.
  • It can help your mental state.

Swachhata" Portal for the Special Campaign 2.0:  Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh recently launched "Swachhata" Portal for the Special Campaign 2.0.

Key Highlights:

  • It is scheduled to begin on October 2.
  • The launch ceremony was attended by senior officers of 85 Ministries/Departments of Government of India, in the presence of Union Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), V. Srinivas.

On the occasion, the Minister also released three reports of DARPG: -

  1. The Special Campaign July Progress Report,
  2. The Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System- CPGRAMS 7. 0 Brochure
  3. The CPGRAMS Monthly Progress Report for August, 2022.

Key Points about Special Campaign 2.0:

  • The “Swachhata” Portal has been developed by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
  • The Portal- www.pgportal.govlin/scdpm22 is dedicated to Swachhata and reducing pendency of work in Government offices.
  • During the first phase of Special Campaign in October, 2021, about 12 lakh sq. ft. of space has been freed up in offices for productive use and Rs.62 Crore earned from disposal of scrap.
  • The Special Campaign 2.0 will focus more on field/outstation offices in addition to the Ministries/ Departments and their attached/subordinate offices and the Department of Administrative Reforms.
  • Public Grievances (DARPG) will oversee implementation of the Special campaign 2.0.
  • The scope and mandate of Special Campaign 2.0 from 2nd October to 31st October 2022 has been expanded and all regional offices have been included in the campaign, apart from all Ministries, Departments and attached offices.
  • Till date, more than 67 thousand Sites have been identified by Ministries and Departments for conducting cleanliness campaigns and it is likely to touch one lakh sites by the end of this month.
  • Earlier, in October 2021, there were only six thousand sites in the first special campaign undertaken.
  • The Special Campaign 2022 reinforces importance of timely disposal of references and a clean work space and it is expected to cover over 1.5 lakh Post Offices, overseas mission/posts, Railway Stations, and other public offices in mission mode during the month-long campaign.
  • Training of nodal officers with respect to the portal of the Special Campaign has already been conducted by DARPG.
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International

Urban Wastewater Scenario in India: India launches ‘Urban Wastewater Scenario in India’ at International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Key Points:

Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister Ms. Lea Wermelin, Minister of Environment, Denmark and Hon'ble Minister Mr. Flemming Møller Mortensen, Minister of Development Co-operation, Denmark along with the Indian Delegation facilitated the ‘Urban Wastewater Scenario in India’.

The whitepaper was jointly prepared by Indian government team formed with partners from Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, Ministry of Jal Shakti and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), international agency Innovation Centre Denmark (ICDK) and academia Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB).

Urban Wastewater Scenario in India:

  • India has committed an investment of over $140 billion by 2024 in the water sector.
  • The ‘Urban Wastewater Scenario in India’ will help for a community-centric approach, at least 10% of the funds are contributed by the community in every program and will ensure community ownership and participation.
  • The whitepaper aims at holistically capturing the current status of wastewater treatment in India.
  • It aims to create potential pathways for future treatment structures, co-creation, and collaborations.
  • The Whitepaper is a result of the Indo-Danish Bilateral Green Strategic Partnership, which focuses on green hydrogen, renewable energy, and wastewater management.

About IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2022:

  • The 2022 edition was organized in Copenhagen based on the theme ‘Water for Smart Liveable Cities’.
  • It showcased the best practices in Denmark and other Nordic countries as well those from the rest of the world.
  • The event witnessed the participation of over 10,000 leading water professionals and companies.
  • During 6 days, thought-leaders, decision makers, leading researchers and business representatives from within and outside the water sector will focus on water solutions to shape our water future.
  • It provides opportunity to focus on current issues and trends and reflect on the strengths of the location in which the event is being organized.
  • The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is the global event organized every few years across the world to bring together experts to share insights, network and do business.
  • IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is convened by the International Water Association.
  • It is designed to bring together water professionals and also engage the water-consuming industry, agriculture, architects and urban planners, hydrologists and soil and groundwater experts, social sciences, etc.

22nd SCO Summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders of SCO nations including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sarif, and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev recently participated in the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit at Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

  • The 22nd edition of SCO summit was held from September 16 and 17, 2022.
  • Note: The first SCO Summit 2022 was held in Shanghai in June 2002.
  • Besides leaders of SCO member states, observer states, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests also attended the meet.
  • Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022.
  • India will be the next chair of the SCO.

Key Points of the summit:

  • Indian PM Narendra Modi addressed the SCO leaders on Day 2 of the summit.
  • During his speech PM Modi emphasized on how the country supports the mutual trust among SCO leaders.
  • He also raised the issue of transit rights between member states.
  • The Samarkand Declaration 2022 was signed by the SCO Heads of State, which contained a decision on the comprehensive Action Plan 2023-2027.
  • It has been designed to carry out the provisions of the treaty on long-term good neighbourness, cooperation and friendship among the SCO member nations.
  • The participants also discussed climate change, and the security of supply chains, energy and food, which are factors having great influence on the well-being of humankind.
  • PM Modi in Samarkand:
  • India has been working closely with Uzbekistan towards the success of their Chairship.
  • On the side-lines of the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Modi held informal meetings with a number of leaders on matters of mutual interest.
  • He also took part in bilateral meetings held after the summit with Russia, Uzbekistan and Iran.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) also dubbed as Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic & security alliance.
  • The SCO is the successor to the Shanghai Five, a mutual security agreement formed in 1996 between China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
  • On 15 June 2001, the leaders of these nations and Uzbekistan met in Shanghai to announce a new organization with deeper political and economic cooperation.
  • The SCO Charter was signed on 7 July 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
  • Its membership has since expanded to eight states, with India and Pakistan joining on 9 June 2017 at Astana summit of SCO.
  • The SCO is governed by the Heads of State Council (HSC), its supreme decision-making body, which meets once a year.

Why was the SCO established?

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established as a multilateral association to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast Eurasian region, join forces to counteract emerging challenges and threats, and enhance trade, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

About Samarkand:

  • Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan.
  • It is located in the Zarefshan River valley in the Southeastern region of the country.
  • It's on the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking China to the Mediterranean.
  • The name Samarkand is derived from the Sogdian civilisation, where Samar means stone or rock and Khand means fort.
  • Thus, Samarkand means a town or fort of rock or stone.
  • It is the country’s cultural capital and has always been an intrinsic part of the world culture for more than two and a half millennia.
  • It is one of the oldest cities to be inhabited in central Asia, 
  • Inhabitation in Samarkand started almost in 1500 BC.
  • The city of Samarkand is a storehouse of natural resources spanning Central Asia.
  • Since ancient times, Samarkand has been famous for its craft production with a castle and robust defence.
  • Like the entire region of Uzbekistan, the official language of Samarkand is Uzbek and the second official language is Russian.

President of Angola: Joao Lourenco has been re-elected as the President of Angola with  51% of the votes.

Key Highlights:

  • President Joao Lourenco is a member of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)
  • The election results extended the hegemony of the MPLA, which is the only party that has governed Angola since its Independence from Portugal in 1975.
  • In the general elections, 14.3 million citizens out of 33 million people were called to vote.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated H.E. Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco on being re-elected as the President of Angola.
  • He emphasized on working together to strengthen the bilateral relations between India and Angola.

About Angola:

  • Angola, officially the Republic of Angola is a country located on the west coast of Southern Africa.
  • It is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda, that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The capital and most populous city is Luanda.
  • The currency in use here is Angolan kwanza.

Colour Revolutions: The Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 16 urged Russia, India, and other SCO members to cooperate with each other in order to prevent foreign powers from destabilising their countries by inciting “colour revolutions”.

Key Points:

  • President Xi was speaking in the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan at the annual SCO summit.
  • He called upon member states to support efforts by each country to safeguard their own security and development interests.
  • In order to establish a regional terrorist training facility and "strengthen law enforcement capacity building," Xi also offered to train 2,000 law enforcement officers.

What are Colour revolutions?

  • Colour revolutions refer to a series of uprisings that first began in former communist nations in Eastern Europe in the early 2000s.
  • However, they are also used in reference to popular movements in the Middle East and Asia.
  • Most have involved large-scale mobilisation on the streets, with demands for free elections or regime change, and calls for removal of authoritarian leaders.
  • Protestors wear a particular colour for instance -

Orange Revolution: It refers to a series of protests that occurred in Ukraine between November 2004 and January 2005.

  • But the term has also been used to describe movements named after flowers such as -

Tulip Revolution: Also called the First Kyrgyz Revolution, the movement led to the ouster of Kyrgyzstan’s President Askar Akayev in early 2005.

Jasmine Revolution: The popular uprising that occurred between December 2010 to January 2011 in Tunisia was in response to the underlying corruption, unemployment, inflation and lack of political freedoms in the country.

International Equal Pay Day: International Equal Pay Day, celebrated on 18 September every year.

Key Points:

  • This day represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value.
  • It aims at highlighting issues related to the gender pay gap and raising worldwide awareness.
  • The main objective of the event is to end the history of gender discrimination that women are generally subjected to by getting paid less than their male counterparts.
  • The United Nations is committed to advancing human rights and against all forms of discrimination, particularly those that target women and girls. This initiative builds on that commitment.

History:

  • International Equal Pay Day was first observed back in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity - a coalition of women’s and civil rights organisations that worked toward eliminating gender and race-based wage discrimination.
  • The goal was to achieve pay equity.
  • It was not until 2019 that the Equal Pay International Coalition began officially marking it as a day to raise awareness.
  • In 2020, the move was recognised by the United Nations and they observed the first International Equal Pay on September 18, 2020.

Significance:

  • The day is significant in today's world because it demonstrates how persistent salary disparity is.
  • The day provides a global platform for women to raise the issue through various campaigns.
  • It also encourages people to join the social cause by identifying strategies for its implementation.
  • Bridging the pay gap contributes toward creating a fairer society where everyone has equal opportunities.
  • In addition to this, providing an equal pay system doesn’t only send a positive message about an organization’s values but also proves beneficial for business as it could improve their productivity and efficiency by attracting the best talent and reduce the risk of staff turnover. 
  • It is a very important step toward promoting women’s empowerment in a patriarchal society.

About Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC):

  • The EPIC is an international initiative led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Women and others.
  • Its aim is to reduce gender pay gap and make equal pay for work of equal value a reality across all sectors in all countries.
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Indian polity

Assam Tribal Tripartite Peace Agreement: A tripartite peace agreement was recently signed between Centre, Assam Government and eight tribal groups of Assam in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Key Points:

  • The agreement was signed to end decade old crisis of tribal groups and tea garden workers in Assam.
  • The agreement was signed between Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Home Minister Amit Shah on September 15, 2022.
  • The tribal groups which have signed the agreement include, Birsa Commando Force, Adivasi People's Army, All Adivasi National Liberation Army, Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam and Santhal Tiger Force.
  • Since 2016, they have been in a ceasefire with the government of India.
  • The agreement will prove to be another milestone in the direction of making North East region extremism free by 2025 as per the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of peaceful and prosperous North East.

About the constituents of the agreement:

  • The agreement states that it is the responsibility of the Government of India (GoI) and Assamese governments to meet the economic, political, and educational goals of the Adivasi people.
  • Provisions have been made to protect and strengthen the cultural, social, ethnic, and linguistic identity of Adivasi groups in the agreement.
  • The agreement also calls for the creation of an Adivasi Welfare and Development Council in order to ensure the swift and targeted development of Tea Gardens.
  • It also outlines measures for the welfare of Tea Garden employees as well as the resettlement and rehabilitation of armed cadres.
  • A special development package of Rs. 1,000 crore (Rs. 500 crore each by the Government of India and the Assam Government) will be distributed over a five-year period for infrastructure development in villages/areas with an Adivasi population.

Peace Agreements:

Several agreements have been signed to ensure peace and development in the North Eastern region in the last three years. These agreements are -

  • NLFT agreement in 2019,
  • BRU-REANG and Bodo accord in 2020,
  • Karbi Anglong agreement in 2021 and
  • Assam-Meghalaya inter-state boundary agreement in 2022.

These agreements have resolved around 65% of border disputes.

Inclusion of Tribes to ST List: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shree Narendra Modi recently approved the inclusion of several tribes in the Schedule Tribe (ST) category across 5 states.

Key facts:

  • The five states include Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh (HP), Tamil Nadu (TN), Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • They have been included as a part of the Constitution (Schedule Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2022.
  • After this decision, the number of STs in the country has increased from 705 to 720.

Tribes to be included in the ST category list:

Himachal Pradesh:

  • The Hattee Community living in the Trans-Giri region in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The Cabinet approval follows the Registrar General of India’s nod to the proposal for grant of ST status to the Hattee community after rejecting earlier proposals in 1995, 2006 and 2017.
  • Since 1967, when residents of the Sirmaur district's bordering Jaunsar Bawar area in Uttarakhand received the status, this group has been demandingthe ST status.
  • This community is named based on its traditional occupation of selling home-grown crops,vegetables,  meat and wool at small-town markets called haats.

Tamil Nadu:

  • In Tamil Nadu, the Narikoravan and Kuruvikkaran communities have been included in the list of STs for the state through the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Constitution (Schedule Tribes) Order, 1950.
  • The demand of the two communities for inclusion in the list dates back to 1965.
  • They were earlier recognized as the Most Backward Community.
  • This community is mostly involved in traditional occupation of hunter-gathering and selling of bead necklaces.

Chhattisgarh:

  • Chhattisgarh’s 12 caste communities were included in the Scheduled Tribes.
  • Binjhia were listed as ST in Jharkhand and Odisha but not in Chhattisgarh.
  • The Cabinet approved synonyms of Bhariyabhumiya for tribes like:
  • Bharia (variations added include Bhumia and Bhuyian),
  • Gadhwa (Gadwa),
  • Dhanwar (Dhanawar, Dhanuwar),
  • Nagesia (Nagasia, Kisan), and
  • Pondh (Pond), among others.

Karnataka:

  • The Union Cabinet has included the Betta-Kuruba community as synonym of “Kadu Kuruba” in the ST list.
  • Betta-Kuruba tribe in Karnataka’s Chamarajnagar, Kodagu and Mysuru districts have been demanding ST status for the past 3 decades but have not been granted because of spelling errors and similar sounding names.

Uttar Pradesh:

  • The Cabinet approved a proposal to bring the Gond community residing in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, under the ST list from the Scheduled Caste list.
  • This includes the five subcategories of the Gond community (Dhuria, Nayak, Ojha, Pathari, and Rajgond).
  • The changes were approved for four districts in UP - Kushinagar, Sant Ravidas Nagar (renamed Bhadohi in 2015), Chandauli and Sant Kabir Nagar.

Benefits:

  • After the Bills becomes Acts, the newly listed communities in the ST list will be able to derive benefits under the existing government schemes for the STs in the country.

The major schemes for the STs include

  1. Post-matric scholarships,
  2. National overseas scholarships,
  3. National fellowships,
  4. Top class education,
  5. Concessional loans from the National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation
  6. Hostels for students
  • Members of these communities would also benefit from reservations in services and admissions in educational institutions.

Key Additional Info:

Ministry of Tribal Affairs:

  • Government of India (GoI) set up Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • As in the case of the Scheduled Castes, the Plan objective of empowering the tribals is being achieved through a three-pronged strategy of: Social empowerment, Economic empowerment & Social justice

Criteria for inclusion in ST List:

  • The criteria presently followed for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe are:
  • indications of primitive traits; distinctive culture; geographical isolation; shyness of contact with the community at large; and backwardness.
  • However, these criteria are not spelt out in the Constitution.

The process for including tribes in the ST list:

  • The process for including tribes in the ST list starts with the following -
  • The recommendation from the respective State governments.
  • The recommendation is sent to Tribal Affairs Ministry for reviewing it.
  • Then the Tribal Affairs Ministry sends them to the Registrar General of India (RGI) for approval.
  • This is followed by the Naional Commission for Scheduled Tribes' (NCST) approval,
  • When approved the list is sent to the Cabinet for final decision.

Scheduled Tribes in India:

  • According to the 2011 census, the Scheduled Tribe population in the country is 10.43 crore, which is 8.6% of the total population of the country.
  • No community has been specified as Scheduled Tribe in the State of Haryana and Punjab and UTs of Chandigarh, Delhi and Puducherry.

BLO e-Patrika: The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently released a new digital publication named ‘BLO e-Patrika’.

(BLO stands for Booth Level Officer)

Key Highlights:

  • It was released at an interactive session held with BLOs spread across the States in India.
  • This event was a first-of-its-kind direct interaction by the Commission with the BLOs across the country.
  • 50 BLOs from the adjacent states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi participated physically in the event at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi while more than 350 BLOs from the office of Chief Electoral Officers attended the conference (CEO) through video conferencing.

Key Points:

  • BLOs are the direct link of the Commission with the people.
  • They are the primary source of information for every voter across the length and breadth of the country.
  • BLO E-Patrika has been introduced with an intent to ensure a cascading information model for a better informed and motivated Booth Level Officer.
  • The themes of the bimonthly e-Patrika will include subjects like EVM-VVPAT training, IT applications, Special Summary Revision, Minimum SVEEP Activities at polling booths, Postal Ballot facility, accessible elections, Electoral Literacy Clubs, unique voter awareness initiatives and National Voters’ Day.
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Indian Policy

National Lists of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2022: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, launched National Lists of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2022.

Key Points:

  • 34 new medicines have been added and 26 old ones from the previous list have been dropped.
  • A total of 384 medicines feature on NLEM 2022 under 27 therapeutic categories.
  • This revised list has come out after a gap of seven years.
  • Revision of NLEM 2022 has been done after constant consultation with stakeholders spanning from academia, industrialists and public policy experts etc., and crucial documents like WHO EML 2021.
  • Its drafting required extensive participation from more than 350 specialists from all over the nation and more than 140 consultation meetings.
  • The list includes anti-infectives medicines to treat diabetes such as insulin, HIV, tuberculosis, cancer, contraceptives, hormonal medicines and anesthetics.
  • Its primary aim is to promote rational use of medicines considering three important aspects — cost, safety and efficacy.

What is NLEM?

  • National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are those that satisfy the priority healthcare needs, based on:
  • Efficacy,
  • Safety,
  • Quality and
  • The total cost of treatment.
  • In NLEM, the medicines are categorized based on level of healthcare system as-
  1. P- Primary.
  2. S- Secondary.
  3. T- Tertiary.
  • In India, NELM is framed on the lines of the Essential Medicines List (EML) released by the WHO (World Health Organzation).
  • The NLEM is released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The first NELM of India was prepared and released the first National List of Essential Medicines of India in 1996 consisting of 279 medicines.
  • This list was subsequently revised in 2003, 2011, 2015 and 2022.
  • Drugs listed under NLEM is also known as scheduled drugs.
  • Drugs listed under NLEM will be cheaper because the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) caps medicine prices and changes only based on wholesale price index-based inflation.
  • The department of pharmaceuticals under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers typically adds newly issued NLEM to the Drug Price Control Order after which the NPPA regulates the price.

Criteria for a Medicine to be Included in NLEM:

  • A significant criterion for inclusion in NLEM is based on the following:
  • The medicine shall be useful in diseases that is a public health problem in India.
  • The medicine shall be licensed/ approved by the Drugs Controller General India (DCGI).
  • It shall have proven efficacy and safety profile based on scientific evidence.
  • It should be comparatively cost effective and aligned with the current treatment guidelines.
  • The medicine shall be recommended under National Health Programs of India.
  • When more than one medicine are available from the same therapeutic class, one prototype/ medically best suited medicine of that class to be included.
  • The price of total treatment shall be considered while including the drug in NLEM   and not the unit price of a medicine.
  • The single-dose medicines are considered for inclusion in NLEM. The Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) are usually not included. The FDCs are only included if they have a proven advantage concerning the therapeutic effect.
  • In case of vaccines, it is as and when it is included in Universal Immunization Programme.

The criteria for deletion from NLEM are based on:

  1. The medicine has been banned in India.
  2. If there are reports of concerns on the safety profile
  3. If medicine with better efficacy or favourable safety profile and better cost-effectiveness is now available
  4. The disease burden for which medicine is indicated is no longer a national health concern
  5. In case of antimicrobials, if the resistance pattern has rendered an antimicrobial ineffective

What is an Essential Medicine List (EML)?

  • According to the WHO, Essential Medicine List (EML) is a list of those medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population.
  • Disease prevalence, medication effectiveness, safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness are considered when compiling the list.
  • Such medications should be accessible in a way that a person or a group of people can afford them.
  • The WHO EML is updated every two years by the Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines.

History:

  • Tanzania, in 1970, was the world’s first country to compose its EML.
  • The World Health Assembly (WHA) then in 1975, requested WHO to assist member states in selecting and procuring essential medicines, assuring good quality at a reasonable cost.
  • Eventually, the first WHO model list of essential medicines was published in the year 1977 which contained 186 medicines.
  • It stated that essential medicines were “of utmost importance, basic, indispensable and necessary for the health and needs of the population” and the criteria for selection were based on efficacy, safety, quality and total cost.

About National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA):

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India.
  • NPPA was constituted vide Government of India (GoI) Resolution dated 29th August 1997 as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers as an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995-2013.

Its mandate is:

  • To implement and enforce the provisions of the DPCO in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
  • To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the NPPA.
  • To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages and to take remedial step to collect and maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc., for bulk drugs and formulations and undertake and/ or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/ pharmaceuticals.

National Logistics Policy: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 September 2022 unveiled the National Logistics Policy in Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.

Key Points:

  • The National Logistics Policy seeks to address challenges facing the transport sector and bring down the logistics cost of businesses from 13-14 per cent to a single digit.
  • The policy aims to expedite the last-mile delivery, helping businesses to bring down the time & cost of transportation.
  • It will also prevent damage to agricultural products by providing faster transportation.
  • The reduced logistics cost and increased efficiencies will not only energise the economy across sectors in multiple ways but will also take India many steps closer to emerging as a global manufacturing powerhouse.
  • Its focus areas are Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), Ease of Logistics (ELOG), Integration of Digital System (IDS) and System Improvement Group (SIG).
  • The ULIP is a system that aims to monitor smooth cargo movement.
  • A new digital platform - Ease of Logistics Services (ELOG) - has also been started to simplify procedures and achieve ease of doing business.
  • The IDS will integrate 30 different systems of seven different departments, such as customs, aviation, road transport, railways, international trade and commerce ministries into a single platform, relieving exporters of a number of extremely time-consuming and burdensome processes.
  • The SIG would keep a regular eye on all logistics-related projects and ensure the removal of hurdles faced in the sector.
  • An empowered group of secretaries (EGoS), constituted under the PM Gati Shakti, would monitor and review the implementation of the policy.
  • Besides improving ease of doing business and ease of living, the National Logistics Policy will work in tandem with PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan to usher in an unprecedented era of 'ease of moving' in the country, ensuring speedier and seamless movement of cargo and people across various modes of transport.

What is National Logistics Policy?

  • Deepak Sood, the Assocham General Secretary described the National Logistics Policy as a major structural transformative initiative which will substantially reduce transaction costs across the entire supply chain.
  • The policy will facilitate India being embedded across global value chains, as we move ahead on the path towards Bharat@100.

Background:

  • The Central government has been working on the National Logistics Policy for three years.
  • The commerce ministry released a draft logistics policy for consultation in 2019, but it was delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The National Logistics Policy was once again announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Budget for 2022-23.

India’s Logistic Sector:

  • India’s logistics sector employs over 22 million people.
  • The sector is complex, as it is governed by more than 20 government agencies, 40 partner government agencies, 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications etc.
  • India has a logistics cost to GDP ratio of 16%, which is significantly higher than China's 10%, the US and EU's 8%, and Europe's 4%.
  • According to the recent World Bank statistics, India is currently rated 44th in terms of logistics costs.

Medical Education Pursuance Abroad: The Government of India (GoI) told the Supreme Court that the law does not allow undergraduate medical students, who fled the “war-like situation” in Ukraine, to be accommodated in Indian medical colleges.

  • The affidavit from the Health Ministry was in response to petitions filed by students, in their first to fourth year of undergraduate medical studies in Ukraine, seeking transfer to colleges in India to continue their semesters here.

About the Law:

  • As far as such students are concerned, there are no provisions either under the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 or the National Medical Commission Act 2019 as well as the Regulations to accommodate or transfer medical students from any foreign medical institutes/colleges to Indian medical colleges.
  • Till now, no permission has been given by the National Medical Commission to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute/university.

Why foreign undergraduates are not permitted?

  • Students from international universities are not permitted to move to India under the laws currently in effect.
  • The public notice cannot be utilized to gain access to Indian universities that offer undergraduate programmes through a back door.
  • The students had left for foreign universities for two reasons -
  • Poor performance on the National Eligibility Cumulation Entrance Test (NEET) and
  • The cost of medical school abroad
  • Additionally, if these students were accepted into Indian colleges, they would once more run into problem of affordability.
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Environment

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2022: The International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer also known as World Ozone Day is observed on the 16th of September every year.

Key Points:

  • The day aims to raise awareness about the importance and need of the Ozone layer which is the single protection on Earth against UV rays coming out from the sun.

Theme:

The theme announced by the UN Environment Programme for International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2022 is "Montreal Protocol @35: global cooperation protecting life on earth" for international ozone layer protection in order to encourage sustainable development.

Note: This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.

History:

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)proclaimed September 16 as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer in 1994.
  • The day marks the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, in 1987, to preserve the ozone layer and prevent further damage to it.
  • This protocol, which curbs the use of ozone-depleting chemicals like aerosols, halons and chlorofluorocarbon, halons, was the first-ever to be ratified by all 197 members of the UN.

What is Ozone Layer?

  • The Ozone layer, also known as the Ozone shield, is a fragile layer of gas in the Earth’s stratosphere.
  • Life is not possible on Earth without the ozone layer.
  • Sunlight makes life, but the ozone layer creates life as we know it today.
  • It absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet rays, which is harmful to human life and other life forms.
  • These rays can cause numerous skin diseases like cancer etc.
  • The layer absorbs about 97 to 99 percent of ultraviolet rays and maintains the ozone-oxygen cycle.

About the Montreal Protocol:

  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol) is an international agreement made in 1987 where countries from across the globe decided to curb substances such as:
  • Aerosols
  • Chlorofluorocarbon
  • Halons.
  • It was designed to stop the production and import of ozone depleting substances and reduce their concentration in the atmosphere to help protect the earth's ozone layer.
  • These substances are widely used for cooling and refrigerating purposes.
  • As a result of the usage of these harmful substances, a hole in the ozone layers in Antarctica was discovered back in 1970, which ultimately led to acute global warming in the past 20 years.
  • Although the 1985 convention that gave rise to the Montreal deal did make progress in conserving the Ozone layer and further in January 2021, the Antarctic hole caused by Ozone-depletion was finally closed as a result of the collaborative efforts by these countries, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Shoonya Forum: NITI Aayog, the Think Tank of India, held a day-long forum today to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Shoonya, India’s zero pollution e-mobility campaign.

  • The event was attended by G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO Param Iyer, MyGov CEO Abhishek Singh, Delhi Government Principal Secretary Ashish Kundra, Mahindra Electric Mobility CEO Suman Mishra and others.  

Key Points:

  • On the occasion, in order to improve air quality for Indian citizens, more than 25 Shoonya partners pledged to accelerate India’s clean mobility story with Electric Vehicles.
  • A three-report series detailing the economic advantages of India's domestic battery industry was released during the event.
  • The National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Energy Storage (Part III) report was also launched at this occasion.  
  • The report highlighted India’s 2.5 billion USD production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for advanced chemistry cell (ACC) energy storage’s key role in meeting the estimated cumulative battery demand of 106 to 260 GWh by 2030 to successfully realize the country’s vision for EV adoption and grid decarbonization.

About Shoonya Campaign:

  • Shoonya is a consumer awareness campaign to reduce air pollution by promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs) for ride-hailing and deliveries.
  • It was launched by NITI Aayog in September 2021 with the support of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) based in the United States and RMI India.
  • It aims to promote the use of EVs for ride hailing and delivery services and minimise air pollution caused by these services.
  • The campaign has 130 industry partners, including ride-hailing, delivery and EV companies.
  • Through the Shoonya campaign, the estimated number of electric deliveries and rides completed by corporate partners was close to 20 million and 15 million, respectively.
  • This results in a reduction of over 13,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions.

Significance:

  • In India, urban freight vehicles account for 10 percent of freight transportation-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and these emissions are expected to grow by 114 percent by 2030.
  • EVs emit no tailpipe emissions it can contribute immensely to improved air quality.
  • They emit 15% to 40% less CO2 compared to their Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) counterparts and have lower operational cost even during their manufacture.
  • The Shooniya initiative will facilitate India in achieving its five-point plan (Panchamrit) to reduce carbon emissions and meet its 2070 climate goals, as laid out at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP 26).

Cheetah Reintroduction: Cheetahs have been reintroduced to India - a controversial move that comes seven decades after being declared extinct.

Key Points:

  • Over 70 years after they went extinct, eight cheetahs landed in India on September 17 from Namibia.
  • The big cats (five females and three males) were flown 5000 miles from Namibia as part of a 13-year project to restore the species to the country.
  • The modified passenger B-747 Jumbo Jet, with the big cats took off from Hosea Kutako, International Airport in Windhoek and landed in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior.
  • It is the first time the animals have been moved across continents to be released.
  • The eight radio-collared African cheetahs were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of his birthday, at Kuno National Park.
  • Another 12 cheetahs are expected to join the group next month from South Africa amid hopes the population will eventually reach 40.

Project Cheetah:

  • Project Cheetah aims to bring back independent India’s only extinct large mammal – the cheetah.
  • As part of the project, 50 cheetahs will be introduced in various National Parks over five years.
  • The plan to reintroduce cheetahs in India was endorsed in 2009 by then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh but was shot down by the Supreme Court in 2013.
  • The idea was revived in 2017 by the Narendra Modi government, and the SC cleared the move in 2020 “on an experimental basis”.
  • Experts from across the world, officials of the Government of India including Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and representatives of the state governments met and decided to conduct site surveys to explore the reintroduction potential.

Significance:

  • Conservation of Cheetahs has a very special significance for the national conservation ethic and ethos.
  • Cheetah happens to be the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss.
  • They live in open plains.
  • Their habitat is predominantly where their preys live - grasslands, scrubs and open forest systems, semi-arid environments and temperatures that tend to be hotter compared to cooler regimes.
  • In saving cheetahs, one would have to save not only its prey-base comprising certain threatened species, but also other endangered species of the grasslands and open forest ecosystems, some of which are on the brink of extinction.
  • It is also observed that among large carnivores, conflict with human interests is lowest for Cheetahs. They are not a threat to humans and do not attack large livestock either.

Cheetahs and Ancient Indian History:

  • The cheetah has an ancient history in the country, with a Neolithic cave painting of a ‘slender spotted feline being hunted’ having been found at Chaturbunj Nala in Mandasur, Madhya Pradesh.
  • The very name 'Cheetah' (Acinonyx Jubatus Venaticus) originates from Sanskrit and means 'the spotted one'.

How did Cheetahs go extinct in India?

  • The cheetah population in India used to be fairly widespread.
  • The animal was found from Lucknow and Jaipur in the north to Mysore in the south, and from Kathiawar in the west to Deogarh in the east.
  • The last three known Asiatic cheetahs in India were chased down and killed by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of the Koriya princely kingdom in 1947, and it is believed that this is when the cheetah vanished from the country's landscape.
  • The Indian Government officially declared the cheetah extinct in 1952.
  • Along with over-hunting the other major contributing factor for the cheetah’s extinction was the decimation of its relatively narrow prey base species and the loss of its grassland-forest habitat also played a role.
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Defence

Border Security Force (BSF): BSF's first female camel riding squad is ready to be deployed along the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Key Highlights:

  • This Squad will be the first of its kind in the world.
  • The squad will participate for the first time in the BSF Raising Day Parade on 1st December.
  • The BSF is the only force in the country to have the Camel Contingents and the Camel Mounted Band.
  • BSF, traditionally known as the 'first line of defence', the Camel Contingents are used to keep a vigil in the vast expanse of the Thar Desert.

About BSF:

  • The BSF is India's border guarding organisation on its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh and has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.
  • It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of India.
  • It was raised in the wake of the 1965 War on 1 December 1965.
  • It is a Union Government Agency under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • It is the only Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to have a Full-fledged Water Wing, Air Wing and even an Artillery Regiment of its own.
  • The BSF has its own cadre of officers but its head, designated as a Director-General (DG), since its raising has been an officer from the Indian Police Service.
  • Border Security Force (BSF) is one of the 7 recognized Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), the other 6 being Assam Rifles (AR), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guard (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
  • It currently stands as the world's largest border guarding force.

JIMEX 2022: The sixth edition of Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22) hosted by Indian Navy commenced in the Bay of Bengal on 11 September 2022.

Key Points:

  • The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships are being led by R Adm Hirata Toshiyuki, Commander Escort Flotilla Four while the Indian Naval ships are being led by R Adm Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
  • The Indian Navy is represented by three indigenously designed and built warships, Sahyadri, a multi-purpose stealth frigate and Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes Kadmatt and Kavaratti.
  • In addition, the Guided Missile Destroyer Ranvijay, Fleet Tanker Jyoti, Offshore Patrol Vessel Sukanya, submarines, MIG 29K fighter aircraft, Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and ship-borne helicopters are also participating in the exercise.

Aim:

  • The main aim of these exercises are to enhance interoperability and streamline seamanship and communication procedures.
  • This exercise is part of the ongoing efforts between the two navies toward ensuring safe and secure international shipping and trade in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The two countries have been carrying out regular exercises in IOR towards reinforcing maritime association.

About JIMEX 22:

  • JIMEX 22 involves two Phases; exercises at sea and a harbour phase at Visakhapatnam.
  • This edition marks the 10th anniversary of JIMEX, which began in Japan in 2012.
  • It also coincides with the 70th anniversary of establishing of diplomatic relations between India and Japan.
  • JIMEX 22 seeks to consolidate the high degree of interoperability that exists between maritime forces of the two countries, through complex exercises in the surface, sub-surface and air domains.
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Economics

KRITAGYA 3.0 Hackathon 2022: KRITAGYA 3.0 - A National level Hackathon was recently launched by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research).

Note: The word KRITAGYA is comprised of three words

  1. KRI for Krishi, which means agriculture;
  2. TA for Taknik, meaning technology; and
  3. GYA for Gyan meaning knowledge.

ICAR, with its National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), in collaboration with the Division of Crop Science, is organizing Hackathon 3.0 "KRITAGYA" to promote 'Accelerated Breeding for Crop Improvement'.

Key Points:

  • This initiative will provide opportunities for students, faculties, entrepreneurs, innovators and others to showcase cutting-edge methods innovative approaches and technological solutions for the crop improvement.
  • Besides achieving desired solutions in the crop sector, it would also encourage wider adoption of technology-enabled solutions in agriculture sector.
  • It was launched in line with the National Education Policy, 2020.

Participation:

  • Students, faculty members, entrepreneurs, and innovators from any university or technological institute in the nation are eligible to apply for and take part in this hackathon.
  • In this competition, participating students can collaborate with local startup-ups, students from technology institutions and can win a maximum of Rs.5 lakhs.
  • It will provide an opportunity to learn, innovate and solve problems faced in the crop sector and boost employability and entrepreneurship in the country.

Previous KRITAGYA Hackathons:

  • During 2020-21 and 2021-22, Hackathon 1.0 and 2.0 was organized with NAHEP in association with Agricultural Engineering and Animal Science Divisions of ICAR.
  • The earlier hackathons focused on innovation in farm mechanization and animal science.
  • These events witnessed immense participation of more than 3,000 individuals.
  • More than 269 teams participated in Hackathon 2.0.
  • At national level, 4 teams were awarded by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Tomar with a cash prize of Rs.9 lakhs.
  • They extended support for the winners to expand their concept propositions, their scalability and future plan to collaborate with Agri Business Incubators, MSMEs and other investors through support of ICAR.

About NAHEP:

  • The National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP)was launched in 2017 by ICAR with the help of the World Bank.
  • It was set up with a total outlay of 165 million USD for five years from 2017-18.
  • The cost of this project is equally shared between the World Bank and the Indian Government.
  • It is implemented by the Education Division of the ICAR.
  • Its main objective of NAHEP is to assist participating Agricultural Universities (AUs) and ICAR in helping students receive a more pertinent and superior education.

Damodaran Committee: As per a circular issued by Finance Ministry, the Union Government has constituted an expert committee to examine and suggest measures to address regulatory issues to scale up investments by venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE).

Key Points:

  • This six-member panel will be headed by former SEBI chief M. Damodaran.
  • Other members of the panel include former RBI wholetime member G Mahalingam, former member CBIC DP Nagendra Kumar, former chief commissioner of income tax Ashish Verma, director general of NCAER Poonam Gupta, and director of AJNIFM Prabhat Ranjan Acharya.
  • The panel will comprehensively study, using a systems approach, the end-to-end frictions and potential accelerants from regulatory policy and taxation to facilitate ease of investing, as well as to encourage investments in India.
  • The committee will also suggest measures to further accelerates investment into start-ups and sunrise sectors.
  • It will study global best practices so as to recommend how to emulate them with ‘forward-looking measures and future-ready regulatory practices’.

Background:

  • The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget speech 2022-23 had proposed to set up an expert committee to examine and suggest appropriate measures to scale venture capital and private equity investments in India.

Board of Trade Meeting: The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal recently addressed the meeting of the reconstituted Board of Trade (BoT) in New Delhi.

Key Points of BoT Meeting:

  • The Board of Trade meeting focused on export target setting, the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) (2022-27), and the strategies and measures to be taken in order to take forward domestic manufacturing and exports.
  • During the BoT meeting, Presentations were made on variety of subjects such as -
  1. India's Import and Export Performance
  2. Restructuring of the Department of Commerce
  3. FTAs way forward,
  4. States export performance
  5. Districts as Export Hubs
  6. New proposed Foreign Trade Policy
  7. Trade remedials.
  8. Trace facilitating measures undertaken by customs
  9. Government e-Marketplace among others.

About BoT:

  • Board of Trade (BOT) has been constituted by merging Council for Trade Development and Promotion with Board of Trade vide notification No. 11/2015-20 dt 17th July 2019.
  • The BoT, inter alia, advises the Government on policy measures connected with the Foreign Trade Policy in order to achieve the objectives of boosting India’s trade.

Merger of Exide Life with HDFC Life: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) recently approved the merger of Exide Life Insurance with HDFC Life Insurance.

Key Points:

  • The Scheme of Amalgamation was approved by the Mumbai bench of NCLT, HDFC Life Insurance said in a regulatory filing.
  • However, the Scheme of Amalgamation is subject to the final approval of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
  • Earlier this year, HDFC Life had announced acquisition of 100 per cent stake in Exide Life from its parent Exide Industries after issuing over 8.7 crore shares at an issue price of Rs 685 and a cash payout of Rs 726 crore, aggregating to Rs 6,687 crore.
  • Exide Industries now holds 4.1 per cent stake in HDFC Life.

About National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT):

  • The National Company Law Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates issues relating to Indian companies.
  • The tribunal was established under the Companies Act 2013 and was constituted on 1 June 2016 by the government of India (GoI).
  • It is based on the recommendation of the V. Balakrishna Eradi committee on law relating to the insolvency and the winding up of companies.
  • All proceedings under the Companies Act, including proceedings relating to arbitration, compromise, arrangements, reconstructions and the winding up of companies shall be disposed off by the National Company Law Tribunal.
  • The National Company Law Tribunal is the adjudicating authority for the insolvency resolution process of companies and limited liability partnerships under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • The NCLT bench is chaired by a Judicial member who is supposed to be a retired or a serving High Court Judge and a Technical member who must be from the Indian Corporate Law Service, ICLS Cadre.

KVIC launches 72 units under PMEGP: The Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane recently inaugurated 72 units aided under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) to empower artisans in the country.

Key Highlights:

  • Minister Rane, in the presence of KVIC Chairman Manoj Kumar also disbursed the margin money subsidy to 720 PMEGP beneficiaries at the KVIC Office, Mumbai.
  • He advised the KVIC to use new marketing techniques to popularise the khadi.

About PMEGP:

  • The PMEGP is a flagship scheme of the Union MSME Ministry.
  • It was launched in September 2008 by merging the erstwhile Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) implemented by the KVIC and the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) implemented by District Industries Centres.
  • This credit-linked subsidy program's purpose is to increase employment by establishing microbusinesses and factories in India's rural and urban areas.
  • The nodal agency involved in the implementation of this scheme at the national level is the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
  • The maximum project cost that can be subsidised under this programme is Rs. 50 lakh for the manufacturing sector and Rs. 20 lakh for the service sector.
  • Till September 15, 2022, the KVIC has sanctioned around 25,100 projects and released more than 802 crore margin money and has generated around 2 lakh jobs.
  • In another major step, KVIC has also begun geo-tagging of all PMEGP units so as to verify the actual physical status of the units and their performance at any point of time.
  • So far, more than one lakh PMEGP units have been geo-tagged enabling any person to locate the PMEGP units using a mobile app.
  • The role of the District Level Task Force Committee has been removed for approving the PMEGP projects.
  • The approvals are directly given by the state directors of the KVIC and are sent to the banks for loans.

About KVIC:

  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed in April 1957 (as per an RTI) by the Government of India (GoI), under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
  • It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • The main objective of KVIC is to plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
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Arts

Hindi Diwas 2022: Hindi Diwas is observed every year on September 14 to commemorate the adoption of Hindi as the official language of India.

Key Points:

  • On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated second All India Rajbhasha Sammelan.
  • On September 14, 1949, the Indian Constituent Assembly declared Hindi to be the national language of India.
  • Article 343 of the Indian Constitution recognizes Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language.
  • The provisions related to the Hindi language are regulated by the Central Hindi Directorate, Government of India.
  • Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is one of the two official languages of the Government of India, along with English.
  • It is one of the 22 official languages of the Indian Republic.
  • On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, a number of cultural festivals are held to honour and celebrate Hindi literature as well as to raise awareness of the language's significance.

Significance:

  • The day honours the occasion when Hindi was adopted as one of India’s official languages.
  • Hindi was acknowledged as one of the two official languages thanks to the efforts of Beohar Rajendra Simha and a few others, including Kaka Kalelkar, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi and Seth Govind Das.
  • The Indian government set standards for grammar and orthography using the Devanagari script after gaining independence in order to give the mother tongue of the nation an idealized appearance.
  • Following this, on September 14, 1949, the Constituent Assembly declared Hindi to be India’s official language.
  • This date is also the birth anniversary of Beohar Rajendra Simha who devoted his life to establishing Hindi as India’s official language, was born on September 14.

History of Hindi Diwas:

  • India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided to create the Hindi Diwas on September 14.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was the first to advocate for making Hindi the national language of India in Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 1918.
  • Hindi Diwas was celebrated for the first time in 1953.

History of Hindi:

Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language.

  • It is spoken chiefly in the Hindi Belt region encompassing parts of northern, central, eastern, and western India.
  • It is written in Devnagri script.
  • Hindi is a direct descendant of an early form of Vedic Sanskrit, through Sauraseni Prakrit and Śauraseni Apabhraṃśa (from Sanskrit apabhraṃśa "corrupt"), which emerged in the 7th century CE.
  • The term Hindī originally was used to refer to inhabitants of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
  • The terms "Hindi" and "Hindu" trace back to Old Persian which derived these names from the Sanskrit name Sindhu (सिन्धु ), referring to the river Indus.
  • The Greek cognates of the same terms are "Indus" (for the river) and "India" (for the land of the river).

Some Interesting facts about the Hindi language:

  • Amir Khusro wrote and published the first poem in Hindi.
  • In 1900, Chintamani Ghosh founded the first Hindi magazine named Saraswati, It was a monthly magazine.
  • The first newspaper produced in Hindi in India was called 'Udant Martand' meaning 'The Rising Sun'. Pt. Jugal Kishore Shukla published it on a weekly basis.
  • French author “Grasim the Taisi” wrote the first works on the history of the Hindi language.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke made Raja Harishchandra in 1913 which is the first Hindi full-length feature film in India
  • The first Hindi television drama was aired in 1984-85 as Hum Log.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Indian prime minister, gave a speech in Hindi at the UN in 1977.
  • Devanagari script is used to write Hindi, a language connected to Sanskrit.
  • Surya Namaskar and Jugaad,” which are commonly used Hindi words are also a part of the Oxford Dictionary.
  • Many English words have also been borrowed from Hindi, including Avatar, Jungle, Guru, Karma, Mantra, Yoga, Guru, Bungalow, Loot, Pajamas, Shampoo, Thug, and many more.
  • The Persian word Hind, which means "Land of the Indus River," is the source of the name Hindi.
  • In 1881, Bihar accepted Hindi as its sole official language, replacing Urdu, and thus became the first state of India to adopt Hindi.
  • Following this, Hindi also became the official language of other states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana & Rajasthan among others.
  • The most widely spoken language in India is Hindi with more than 70% of the population able to speak and understand.
  • The Hindi language is also widely spoken outside of India, including in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Fiji, and Mauritius.
  • When the first Hindi web portal was created in 2000, Hindi began to leave its mark on the Internet, a trend that has since gained traction.
  • One of the seven Indian languages used to construct a web address is Hindi (URL).
  • As of 2022, Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world, with about 602.2 million people speaking the language.

Akhil Bharatiya Rajbhasha Sammelan:

The first Akhil Bharatiya Rajbhasha Sammelan (All India Official Language Conference) took place in 2021.

  • The two-day conference will be organized by State Language Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Discussions will be held on the importance of Hindi during this conference.

World Hindi Day:

  • While the National Hindi Diwas is celebrated on September 14, the World Hindi Day (Vishwa Hindi Diwas) is celebrated on January 10 every year.
  • World Hindi conferences were started with the aim of developing and disseminating Hindi in the world.
  • The first World Hindi Conference was held in Nagpur on January 10, 1975, since then this day is celebrated as ‘World Hindi Day’.

World’s Largest Museum of Harappan Culture: The world’s largest museum of Harappan culture is being set up in Rakhigarhi in Haryana.

Key Points about the museum:

  • This museum in Rakhigarhi will showcase about 5,000-year-old artefacts belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.
  • It will display photographs depicting Rakhigarhi’s history.
  • The village of Rakhigarhi was part of the Indus Valley Civilisation from 2600-1900 BC.
  • The museum will give recognition to Rakhigarhi at the international and national levels.
  • This in turn will increase job opportunities for the local communities.
  • A special zone is being created in the museum for children to make them aware of the history in a recreational manner.
  • The museum will also have an open-air theatre, galleries, and a library.

About Rakhigarhi:

  • Rakhigarhi is a hamlet in Haryana’s Hisar district, some 150 kilometres from Delhi.
  • The village is also a famous archaeological site from the Indus Valley civilisation period.
  • It was part of the Indus Valley Civilizaion from 2600 to 1900 BC.
  • The place was one of the largest settlements of the ancient civilisation located in the Ghaggar-Hakra River plain.
  • However, the site remains largely unexcavated and only about five percent of the village has been excavated till date.
  • The two villages Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Sahapur currently host the archeological remains of the Indus Valley site.

Excavation at Rakhigarhi:

  • The ASI (Archeological Survey of India) started removing a village’s foundation for the first time in 1963 and advanced between 1998 and 2001.
  • Another excavation took place in 2013, 2016, and 2022.
  • During the initial excavations, seven mounds, RGR 1 to RGR 7, were found and these together make the largest settlements of the Harappan culture.

 

  • Till 1998, some 56 skeletons have been discovered in the Rakhigarhi region.
  • Among these, two skeletons of women were estimated about 7000 years oldwere found in mound number 7. 
  • Along with this, a copper mirror, a number of shell bangles, and semi-precious stone beads were found in the hands of both the skeletons.
  • The presence of shell bangles in the site provides evidence of trade links to faraway places such as Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • Jewelry trade is among the most prominent in this site.
  • People in this civilization are known to melt precious metals like copper, carnelian, agate and gold to make garlands of beads.

Development of 5 Iconic Sites:

During the Union Budget 2020, the Central Government announced the development of five iconic sites –

  1. Rakhigarhi (Haryana),
  2. Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh),
  3. Shivasagar (Assam),
  4. Dholavira (Gujarat) and
  5. Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu).

Museums will be developed in these sites with a total outlay of Rs.2,500 crore.

Indus Valley Civilisation:

  • The Indus Valley Civilisation covers an area of over a million square kilometers.
  • It extends from Shortugai (Afghanistan) in the north to Daimabad (Maharashtra, India) in the south and from Sutkagan Dor (Pakistan) in the west to Alamgirpur (Uttar Pradesh, India) in the east.
  • There are thousands of sites within this radius, some of which are very well known, including Harappa, Mohenjodaro in Pakistan, Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira (Gujarat), and Kalibangan (Rajasthan) in India.
  • It is believed that Harappa, which was founded in the 1920s, is a 4700-year-old metropolis on the subcontinent.
  • More cities were soon discovered after towns like Lothal, Dholavira, Mohenjo-Daro, and Kalibangan, which resulted in the development of the Harappan Civilization and the subsequent attribution of these locations as Harappan cities.
  • The Harappan script remains undeciphered, leaving us with only tangible archaeological remains to discover and interpret the lives of its inhabitants.
  • Well-planned cities to an advanced ceramic culture speak volumes of the objects and technologies that were used in their day-to-day routine 4,500 years ago.
  • One aspect includes a range of beauty and grooming paraphernalia that were used by the Harappans
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