April 30, 2022

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

MENTHOL CIGARETTES
The US Food and Drug Administration on April 28 issued a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars, a move aimed at not just curbing smoking in the American population, but also “reducing tobacco-related health disparities”.

About:

  • Menthol cigarettes see a disproportionately high usage in the African American community than by White Americans.

  • The FDA’s move, thus, has been welcomed by many as likely to help reduce the burden of tobacco-related ailments specifically in the Black population.

Why does the FDA consider menthol cigarettes especially dangerous?

  • The agency says menthol, with its minty taste and aroma, reduces the irritation and harshness of smoking. This increases appeal and makes menthol cigarettes easier to use, particularly for youth and young adults.

  • Menthol also interacts with nicotine in the brain to enhance nicotine’s addictive effects, while making it more difficult for people to quit smoking.

  • The agency said “modeling studies have estimated a 15 per cent reduction in smoking within 40 years” if menthol cigarettes were banned.

  • Apart from menthol, all other flavours in cigarettes were banned in the US in 2009.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

INDIGENOUS AIRCRAFT CARRIER VIKRANT
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant being built by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd will be handed over to the Indian Navy by August this year. The final sea trial of the IAC will take place next month.

About:

  • The yard is in the process of setting up a new drydock, with a 600-tonne gantry crane, capable of handling vessels up to Suezmax, aircraft carriers of 70,000 tonnes displacement, Jack-up rigs and LNG vessels.

  • The International Ship Repair Facility being established by the Shipyard will have a 6,000-tonne shiplift, six work stations, besides a total outfitting berth of 1,500 metres.

  • The Shipyard enjoys 40 per cent market share of the country's ship building industry and has so far built and exported 47 vessels to countries like Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, United States, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Source : All India radio
Economy

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

COCHIN SHIPYARD LTD
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

About:

  • He will also launch the work for developing the Ro-Ro (Roll-on, Roll-off) jetty near Mattacherry Wharf of the Cochin Port and unveil the new logo of the Cochin Port Authority.

  • Sarbananda Sonowal will also inaugurate a workshop on "Green Shipping in India --Keeping Pace with the Global Maritime Green Transitions" in Kochi.

  • Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India. It is part of a line of maritime-related facilities in the port-city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala.

  • Cochin Shipyard was incorporated in 1972 as a Government of India company.

Source : All India radio
Economy

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

PAWAN HANS LIMITED
The government has approved the highest bid of Star9 Mobility Private Limited for sale of entire 51 percent of government's shareholding of Pawan Hans Limited and transfer of management control.

About:

  • The Alternative Mechanism, empowered by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, approved the strategic buyer for disinvestment of Pawan Hans Limited.

  • Pawan Hans Limited is a joint venture of Government and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited.

  • Government holds 51 percent of the shares in the company and ONGC holds the balance 49 percent shareholding. ONGC has earlier decided to offer its entire shareholding to the successful bidder identified in the government's strategic disinvestment transaction.

  • Pawan Hans Limited has incurred losses in the last three financial years. The company has a fleet of 42 helicopters.

Source : All India radio
Economy

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

INDIGENOUSLY DEVELOPED ONLINE E-COMMERCE NETWORK
Government of India plans to roll out its indigenously developed online e-commerce network in 100 Indian cities to provide millions of Kirana stores and consumers an alternative to multinational platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.

About:

  • Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal announced the test-launch of the open-source system. In a tweet, Mr Goyal said, after UPI, another game-changing idea to democratise commerce - ONDC.

  • Additional Secretary in the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) Anil Agrawal said, the project is massive as it will provide a wide choice to all consumers and retailers and the formal launch will take place after successful testing of the system.

  • He said, end-to-end testing is being done to create a playbook with an aim to launch it in 100 cities in six months. The initial test launch, which was started in Bengaluru, will also cover cities such as Delhi, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Shillong.

  • The system will have multiple choices for both retailers and customers in terms of cataloguing, inventories, warehousing, suppliers, logistics and payments.

Source : All India radio
Economy

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

SEMICONINDIA CONFERENCE 2022
Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated SemiconIndia Conference 2022, the global semiconductor conclave designed to bring together key stakeholders to showcase existing capabilities, ideate innovations and discuss global best practices.

About:

  • The flagship conclave with the theme Catalyzing India’s Semiconductor Ecosystem, is being held in Bengaluru from 29th April to 1st May 2022.

  • Inaugurating the conference, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India said, We have earmarked USD 10 billion for India Semiconductor Mission and are creating an environment that encourages growth to create a vibrant semiconductor ecosystem and steer India into the future.”

  • The conference aligns with the larger national narratives such as Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat and is pegged as the launchpad to India Semiconductor Mission (ISM).

  • IESA launched an industry report on ‘Semiconductor manufacturing supply chain – India’s opportunity in the global market”.

During the conference, the below Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) were inked:

  • MOU signed between SEMI and ELCINA to promote semiconductor ecosystem in India

  • MOU between CDAC and Qualcomm for partnership in semiconductors which will target semiconductor design startups, in line with the objectives of the PLI scheme

  • MOU between AICTE and SEMI and ISM for training and skilling tech workforce for the semiconductor sector

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

QUALCOMM
Qualcomm India Private Limited (Qualcomm India), part of the Qualcomm group of companies (NASDAQ: QCOM), plans to initiate and conduct the Qualcomm® Semiconductor Mentorship Program (‘QSMP’) 2022 for select startups from the semiconductor space in India.

Under this collaboration, C-DAC and Qualcomm India intend to work towards the following broad objectives:

  • Nurture technical advancements and intellectual-property-driven innovation and product development required for semiconductor design in the Indian ecosystem.

  • Help reduce risks in innovation; accelerate the pace of business development; and develop soft skills and knowledge base of Indian startups engaged in semiconductor design.

  • Facilitate access for the selected startups with domain experts, VCs, accelerators, incubators, industry associations and large companies that could help them scale up their business.

  • Create platforms and forums that provide opportunities to work with high-growth-potential small businesses and startups who have potentially disruptive technologies that could develop or reshape semiconductor supply chains in the future.

Qualcomm

  • Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

NATIONAL BEHAVIOUR CHANGE COMMUNICATION FRAMEWORK FOR GARBAGE FREE CITIES
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has launched the ‘National Behaviour Change Communication Framework for Garbage Free Cities’ to strengthen the ongoing janandolan for ‘Garbage Free Cities’.

About:

  • Now, under SBM-U 2.0, the newly launched ‘National Behaviour Change Communication Framework for Garbage Free Cities’ shall serve as a guiding document and blueprint for States and Cities to undertake large scale multimedia campaigns along with intensive and focused inter-personal communication campaigns.

  • The framework focuses on intensifying messaging around the key focus areas of source segregation, collection, transportation, and processing of waste, plastic waste management, and remediation of legacy dumpsites to truly transform the urban landscape of India.

Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

ATAL NEW INDIA CHALLENGE 2.0 (ANIC 2.0)
Atal Innovation Mission launched the phase 1 of the 2nd edition of the Atal New India Challenge (ANIC 2.0) on 28th April 2022.

About:

  • Atal New India Challenge is a flagship program of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

  • The program aims to seek, select, support and nurture technology-based innovations that solve sectoral challenges of national importance and societal relevance.

  • One of the primary goals of the ANIC program is to support innovations in areas critical to India’s development and growth – Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Food Processing, Housing, Energy, Mobility, Space Application etc.

  • Launching the Challenge, Dr S. Chandrasekar, Secretary, DST in his address said that Government will hand-hold the path breaking innovations and asked the start-ups to take up hard challenges.

  • The Atal New India Challenge aims to address the Commercialization Valley of Death - supporting innovators scale over the risks associated with access to resources for testing, piloting and market creation.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
April 30, 2022

MISSION SAGAR IX
With the overarching aim of providing critical medical aid to Sri Lanka during the ongoing crisis, INS Gharial as part of Mission SAGAR IX today reached Colombo.

About:

  • Mission SAGAR IX: INS Gharial reaches Colombo, delivers critical medical aid to Sri Lanka

  • It delivered over 760 kgs of 107 types of critical lifesaving medicines. The shipment was received by Sri Lankan Health Minister Channa Jayasumana.

  • In line with the Government's vision of SAGAR - Security And Growth for All in the Region - the Indian Navy undertakes several deployments titled Mission SAGAR to assist friendly countries.

  • Since May 2020, the Indian Navy has successfully concluded eight such missions, deploying ten ships to 18 Friendly Foreign Countries.

Source : All India radio
International

April 29, 2022

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

GLOBAL SECURITY INITIATIVE
A new Global Security Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping will look to counter the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and the Quad — the India, U.S., Australia, Japan grouping — according to Chinese officials.

About:

  • Xi last week first proposed what he called a Global Security Initiative, speaking at the Boao Forum in China, warning against “hegemonism, power politics and bloc confrontation”.

  • China would like to propose a Global Security Initiative, which would “oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation.”

  • This would “oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction”, appearing to refer to Western sanctions.

  • China’s proposed security initiative would “oppose” what he called “the destruction of the international order under the banner of so-called ‘rules’ and the dragging of the world under the cloud of the ‘new cold war’”, and would “build an Asian security model of mutual respect, openness and integration”.

Targeting Asian NATO?

  • China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi had also taken aim at the Quad last month, suggesting that the grouping was equivalent to the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance involving the Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S. and U.K. and the AUKUS pact, as a key element in what he called U.S. plans to build an “Asian NATO”

  • The members of the Quad have rejected the notion that it is an Asian NATO or a military alliance, and pointed to its broad-based cooperation, including on vaccines and technology.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

ADIGRAMS
Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) organises 2 days’ workshop in Jharkhand on ADIGRAMS (Adivasi Grants Management System) on 27th and 28th April 2022.

About:

  • Adivasi Grants Management System (ADIGRAMS) Portal will provide a central database for Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the State Tribal Development/ Welfare Department to access, interact and analyse up-to-date scheme wise Physical and financial information and progress.

  • The portal will enable the officials/stakeholders at Central, State, District, Block and village level to access, monitor and measure performance in a real-time basis and take decisions accordingly.

This portal covers the following schemes of MoTA:

  • Grants under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution of India

  • Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Scheme (TSS)

  • Scheme for development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • Institutional Support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Produce

  • Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP (MSP for MFPs) 

Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

NATIONAL CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK (NCF)
Union Education Minister will be launching the Mandate Document of National Curriculum Framework (NCF) on 29th April, 2022.

About:

  • The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 recommends the development of National Curriculum Frameworks (NCF) in four areas- School Education, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), Teacher Education and Adult Education.

  • For providing inputs for the development of these, four curriculum frameworks, 25 themes based on the perspectives of the NEP, 2020 are identified under the three categories, viz.,
    • Curriculum and Pedagogy

    • Cross-cutting Issues

    • Other important areas of NEP, 2020 focussing on systemic changes and reforms.



  • The Mandate Document describes the development process of the NCF, its expected structure and objectives, and some of the basic principles from the NEP 2020 that will inform the development of the four NCFs.

  • The NCF is being drafted through a collaborative and consultative process, starting from district to state level and then National level. The ‘Guidelines for Position Papers for the Development of the National Curriculum Framework’ is an integral part of this Mandate Document.

Source : PIB
Education

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

AZADI SE ANTYODAYA TAK
Union Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Shri Giriraj Singh today launched ‘Azadi Se Antyodaya Tak’, a 90-day campaign with a mission to saturate 75 Districts across 28 States/UTs with beneficiary schemes of 09 central ministries.

About:

  • Celebrating the spirit of the year- long Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), the identified districts are aligned with the birth place of 99 Freedom Fighters, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation during India’s struggle for independence.

  • The goal of the campaign is to take up 17 select schemes with direct assistance to beneficiaries in saturation mode, reaching out to the person at the bottom of the pyramid in rural areas by each of the participating ministries/departments.

  • The 75 districts, marginally lagging behind in the development parameters, have been shortlisted through MPCE (Monthly per Capita Indicators) and D5/D7 SECC-2011 (Socio-Economic Caste Census) data.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

MSME SUSTAINABLE (ZED) CERTIFICATION SCHEME
Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises launched the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification Scheme.

About:

  • This Scheme is an extensive drive to enable and facilitate MSMEs adopt Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) practices and motivate and incentivize them for ZED Certification while also encouraging them to become MSME Champions.

  • Through the journey of ZED Certification, MSMEs can reduce wastages substantially, increase productivity, enhance environmental consciousness, save energy, optimally use natural resources, expand their markets, etc.

  • Under the Scheme, MSMEs will get subsidy as per the following structure, on the cost of ZED certification:
    • Micro Enterprises: 80%

    • Small Enterprises: 60%

    • Medium Enterprises: 50%



  • There will be an additional subsidy of 10% for the MSMEs owned by Women/SC/ST Entrepreneurs OR MSMEs in NER/Himalayan/LWE/Island territories/aspirational districts.

  • In addition to above, there will be an additional subsidy of 5% for MSMEs which are also a part of the SFURTI OR Micro & Small Enterprises - Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) of the Ministry.

  • Further, a limited purpose joining reward of Rs. 10,000/- will be offered to each MSME once they take the ZED Pledge

  • A provision of up to Rs. 5 lakh(per MSME) will be made available for handholding and consultancy support for MSMEs under ZED Certification for assisting them to move towards Zero Defect Zero Effect solutions.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

WORLD MILITARY EXPENDITURE
Total global military expenditure increased by 0.7 per cent in real terms in 2021, to reach $2113 billion, according to new data on global military spending published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

About:

  • The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, together accounting for 62 per cent of expenditure

  • Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels.

  • India’s military spending of $76.6 billion ranked third highest in the world. This was up by 0.9 per cent from 2020 and by 33 per cent from 2012.

  • In a push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64 per cent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 were earmarked for acquisitions of domestically produced arms.

  • The USA and China alone accounted for 52 per cent. China, the world's second largest spender, allocated an estimated USD 293 billion to its military in 2021, an increase of 4.7 per cent from 2020 and 72 per cent from 2012.

Defence & Security

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

UNEMPLOYMENT
Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that India’s labour force participation rate (LFPR) has fallen to just 40% from an already low 47% in 2016.

About:

  • This suggests not only that more than half of India’s population in the working-age group (15 years and older) is deciding to sit out of the job market, but also that this proportion of people is increasing.

  • According to the CMIE, the labour force consists of persons who are of age 15 years or older, and belong to either of the following two categories:
    • are employed

    • are unemployed and are willing to work and are actively looking for a job



  • There is a crucial commonality between the two categories — they both have people “demanding” jobs. This demand is what LFPR refers to. While those in category 1 succeed in getting a job, those in category 2 fail to do so.

  • Thus, the LFPR essentially is the percentage of the working-age (15 years or older) population that is asking for a job; it represents the “demand” for jobs in an economy. It includes those who are employed and those who are unemployed.

  • The Unemployment Rate (UER), which is routinely quoted in the news, is nothing but the number of unemployed (category 2) as a proportion of the labour force. 

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

ANANG TAL
Union Minister of Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal visited the mini lake Anang Tal (Mehrauli, New Delhi) created in 1052 A.D by the founder king of Delhi Maharaja Anang Pal Tomar.

About:

  • He instructed to finish the work of cleaning of Anang Tal and declare it a National Monument immediately.

  • The millennium old Anang Tal signifies the beginning of Delhi.

  • Anang Tal has a strong Rajasthan connection as Maharaja Anang Pal is known as nana (maternal grandfather) of Prithviraj Chauhan whose fort Rai Pithora is on the list of ASI.

  • Anangpal II, popularly known as Anangpal Tomar, was a ruler from the Tomar Rajput Dyansty.

  • He is known to have established and populated Delhi in the 11th century. 

Source : PIB
History

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

‘KISAN BHAGIDARI PRATHMIKTA HAMARI’ CAMPAIGN
To commemorate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Agriculture is organizing a week long special campaign on ‘Kisan Bhagidari Prathmikta Hamari’ to create awareness on various schemes and their benefits for the farming community across the country.

About:

  • As part of the campaign, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) and Ministry of Rural Development will hold wide range of awareness activities tomorrow.

  • As part of the campaign, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare will organize demonstration on farm machinery through their FMTTIs (Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute) at different locations across the country tomorrow.

  • FMTTIs will also impart training to the women farmers simultaneously. Along with the physical field visits, online webinar will also be organised to provide interface between innovators and industries.

  • The Ministry will organise field visits to Sunflower cultivation sites in Ambala Kurukshetra (Haryana) Fatehgarh Saheb (Punjab) and mustard farms in Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur (JK).

  • Kisan Goshti programmes will also be organised to make farmers aware about the benefits of cultivation of cash crops.

  • Training on microrhizome based disease free planting material production in Ginger and Turmeric will be provided by Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development at Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 29, 2022

MAIN AIRFRAME FATIGUE TEST (MAFT)
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has commenced the Main Airframe Fatigue Test (MAFT) of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk1 airframe at the Ground Test Centre of the Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC), Bengaluru.

About:

  • These tests will be carried out over a period of eight to nine years. The successful completion of the MAFT will qualify the LCA [Air Force] Mk1 airframe for its full service life.

  • As per the military airworthiness requirements, the MAFT had to demonstrate the capability of the airframe to withstand four times the service life.

  • The airframe is the same for the LCA Mk1 in service and the more capable LCA-Mk1A, 83 of which the IAF has contracted for. The MK1A is expected to roll out in the next couple of months.

  • The test plan and schedule for the MAFT has been jointly arrived at by the designers from the HAL and scientists from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in coordination with the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), CEMILAC.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

April 28, 2022

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

CONSULTANCY DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (CDC)
Cabinet approves Amalgamation of Consultancy Development Centre (CDC) along with its manpower, moveable assets and liabilities with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).

About:

  • CSIR and CDC are two separate Autonomous bodies (Abs) under Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology.

  • CSIR was set up in 1942 under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 as a National R&D organization for scientific industrial research for India’s economic growth and human welfare.

  • CDC was set up in 1986 as a society with the support of DSIR for developing, strengthening and promoting consultancy skills and capabilities in the country.

  • CDC was approved as an Autonomous Institution of DSIR by Union Cabinet in 2004.

  • CDC is located in India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

  • Based on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, NITI Aayog conducted a reviews of autonomous bodies (Abs) under various Government Departments.

  • The amalgamation of two societies shall not only streamline in Department but also as per Prime Minister’s Mantra of Minimum Government Maximum Governance.

Science & Tech

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

NUTRIENT BASED SUBSIDY (NBS) FOR PHOSPHATIC AND POTASSIC (P&K) FERTILIZERS
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Kharif Season - 2022 (from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022).

About:

  • Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 25 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/ importers.

  • The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme w.e.f 01.04.2010.

  • In view of steep increase in the international prices of fertilizers & inputs i.e. Urea, DAP, MOP and Sulphur, Government has decided to absorb the increased prices by increasing subsidy on P&K fertilizers including DAP.

  • The subsidy would be released to fertilizer companies as per approved rates so that they can make available fertilizers to farmers at an affordable price than it would have been otherwise.

  • The Union Government has decided to provide subsidy of Rs. 2501 per bag on DAP instead of existing subsidy of Rs.1650 per bag which is a 50% increase over the last year’s subsidy rates.

  • The increase in the prices of DAP & its raw material is in the range of approx. 80%.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

INDIA POST PAYMENTS BANK (IBBB)
The Union Cabinet has approved the revision of project outlay for setting up of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) from Rs.1435 crore to Rs.2255 crore as equity infusion to meet regulatory requirement.

About:

  • The Cabinet also granted in principle approval for future fund infusion to the tune of Rs.500 crore for meeting regulatory requirements and technological upgradation.

  • India Post Payments Bank did a nationwide a launch by on September 1, 2018 with 650 branches/controlling offices.

  • IPPB has enabled 1.36 lakh Post Offices to provide banking services and has equipped nearly 1.89 lakh Postmen and Gramin Dak Sevaks with smartphone and biometric device to provide doorstep banking services.

  • Since the launch of IPPB, it has opened more than 5.25 crore accounts, out of which, 77% of accounts are opened in Rural areas, 48% are women customers with around Rs.1000 crore of deposit.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

KWAR HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the investment of Rs.4526.12 crore for 540 Megawatt (MW) Kwar Hydro Electric Project located on river Chenab, in Kishtwar district of Union Territory of Jammy and Kashmir.

About:

  • The project would be implemented by Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Ltd., a joint venture between the NHPC and the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation, with equity contribution of 51% and 49%.

  • The project, to be commissioned within 54 months, is expected to generate 1975.54 million units in a 90% dependable year.

  • This is part of the Indus basin and would be one of the at least four projects coming up in the district, including the 1,000 MWs Pakal Dul hydroelectric project and 624 MWs run-of-the-river Kiru hydroelectric project.

Indus Water Treaty (IWT), 1960

  • Under the 1960 vintage Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan, the two countries share the waters of six rivers in the Indus basin that flow through India towards Pakistan.

  • Of these, India has complete rights over three eastern rivers - Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, while Pakistan has rights over the western rivers - Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus.

  • India can, however, build run-of-the-river projects on the western rivers.

Economy

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

4G SERVICES IN LEFT WING EXTREMISM (LWE) AREAS
The Union Cabinet has approved a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) project for upgrading 2G mobile services to 4G at security sites in LWE areas.

About:

  • The Project envisages upgrading 2,343 left Wing Extremism Phase-I sites from 2G to 4G mobile services at an estimated cost of Rs.1,884.59 crore (Excluding taxes and levies).

  • This includes O&M for five years. However, BSNL will maintain the sites for another five years at its own cost.  The work will be awarded to BSNL because these sites belong to BSNL.

  • The Cabinet also approved funding of operations and maintenance cost of LWE Phase-I 2G sites by BSNL for an extended period beyond the contractual period of five years at an estimated cost of Rs.541.80 crore.

  • The extension will be up to 12 months from the date of approval by the Cabinet or commissioning of 4G sites, whichever is earlier.

Benefits

  • The upgradation will enable better internet and data services in these LSW areas. The proposal is in line with the goal of providing mobile connectivity in rural areas.

  • It shall also fulfil the communication needs of the security personnel deployed in these areas.

  • In addition, delivery of various e-governance services, banking services, tele-medicine; tele-education etc. through mobile broadband shall be possible in these areas.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

CHILE
The Union Cabinet of India approved the signing of the MoU between India and Chile for cooperation in Disability Sector.

About:

  • Chile is a country in the western part of South America.

  • It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It shares land borders with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the north-east, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south.

  • It is the world's southernmost country, the closest to Antarctica, that is geographically on the mainland. The country's capital and largest city is Santiago

India Chile relations

  • The year 2019-20 marked 70th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

  • Bilateral relations have strengthened over the years with exchange of high-level visits, which include two visits of the Hon’ble President of Chile in 2005 and 2009.

  • Chile was the first country in South America to sign a trade agreement with India, in 1956

  • The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two sides came into force in 2007. In 2016, both countries signed an agreement to expand the India- Chile PTA.

Source : Outlook
International

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

LITHUANIA
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded approval to the opening of a new Indian Mission in Lithuania in 2022.

About:

  • Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe.

  • It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.

  • Lithuania shares land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the southwest. It has a maritime border with Sweden to the west on the Baltic Sea.

  • Its capital and largest city is Vilnius.

India-Lithuania relations

  • Opening of Indian Mission in Lithuania will help expand India’s diplomatic footprint and deepen political relations and strategic cooperation. It will also provide market access for Indian companies and bolster Indian exports of goods and services.

  • India recognized Lithuania (along with the other Baltic States of Latvia and Estonia) on 7th September 1991 after acceptance of their independence by the erstwhile USSR.

  • Diplomatic relations were established with Lithuania on 25th February 1992.

  • Lithuanian language, which is the oldest living Indo- European language, has a lot of similarities with Sanskrit hence signifying possible close ancient links.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

DIGITAL INDIA RISC-V (DIR-V) PROGRAM
Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India announced the Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor (DIR-V) Program.

About:

  • Its overall aim is to enable creation of Microprocessors for the future in India, for the world and achieve industry-grade silicon & Design wins by December'2023.

  • DIR-V will see partnerships between Startups, Academia & Multinationals, to make India not only a RISC-V Talent Hub for the World but also supplier of RISC-V SoC (System on Chips) for Servers, Mobile devices, Automotive, IoT & Microcontrollers across the globe.

  • He also unveiled not only the Blueprint of the roadmap of design & implementation of the DIR-V Program with – SHAKTI Processor by IIT Madras and VEGA Processor by C-DAC but also the strategic Roadmap for India's Semiconductor Design & Innovation to catalyze the semiconductor ecosystem in the country.

  • Ministry of Electronics and IT is planning to join the RISC-V International as Premiere Board Member to collaborate, contribute and advocate India’s expertise with other global RISC-V leaders.

Source : LiveMint
Economy

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

HEALTH PROFESSIONAL REGISTRY (HPR)
The National Health Authority (NHA) has rolled out the module for nurses on Health Professional Registry under Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

About:

  • The module for doctors from all systems of medicines and their onboarding is already in place in the Health Professional Registry.

  • Now with this nation-wide roll out of the Nurse Module, nurses providing health services across modern and traditional systems of medicine can also enroll on Healthcare Professional Registry.

  • Going forward, NHA plans to enroll more categories of health professionals like Para-medicals, grass-root level community health workers (ASHAs), medical support staff, allied healthcare professionals etc. in the registry.

Health Professional Registry (HPR)

  • Health Professional Registry (HPR) is a comprehensive repository of all healthcare professionals involved in delivery of healthcare services across both modern and traditional systems of medicine.

  • HPR is a core building block of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

  • Through HPR, healthcare professionals can onboard onto India’s digital health ecosystem and connect to patients to healthcare providers or vice versa with last mile coverage.

  • Benefits of HPR include unique and trustable identity, online presence and discoverability along with telemedicine and unified digital services.

National Health Authority (NHA)

  • The National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex body of the Government of India leading the implementation for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) in coordination with different ministries/departments of the Government of India, State Governments, and private sector/civil society organizations.

  • NHA also implements the flagship scheme, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
April 28, 2022

PM SVANidhi
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the continuation of lending under the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) beyond March 2022 till December 2024.

About:

  • Focus will be on enhanced collateral free affordable loan corpus, increased adoption of digital transactions and holistic socio-economic development of the Street Vendors and their families.

  • Through the Scheme, affordable collateral-free loans are being facilitated to the Street Vendors.

  • The Scheme had envisaged to facilitate loans for an amount of Rs. 5,000 crore. The recent approval has increased the loan amount to Rs. 8,100 crore, thereby providing the Street vendors working capital to further expand their business and making them AtmaNirbhar.

  • The budget for promotion of digital payments including cashback to the vendors has also been enhanced. The approval is expected to benefit nearly 1.2 crore citizens of Urban India.

  • The Scheme was launched in June 2020.

Under PM SVANidhi, significant achievements have already been made.

  • As on April 25, 2022, 31.9 lakh loans have been sanctioned and 29.6 lakh loans amounting to Rs. 2,931 crore have been disbursed.

  • The beneficiary Street Vendors have conducted more than 13.5 crore digital transactions and have been given a cashback of Rs.10 crore.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

April 27, 2022

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

COVID VACCINES FOR CHILDREN
Amid an uptick of fresh COVID-19 cases in the country, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the emergency use authorisation for two anti-coronavirus vaccines in children between five and 12.

About:

  • Biological E’s Corbevax has been approved for administration in children between the ages of five and 12 and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been approved for restricted use in emergency situations in the 6-12 age group.

  • Currently, Bharat Biotech’s inactivated whole virion vaccine is being administered in children aged 15-18, and Biological E’s protein sub-unit vaccine in children between 12 and 15 under a national COVID-19 immunisation programme.

  • The DCGI has also cleared ZyCoV-D’s two-dose regimen for children aged over 12. The second dose of the vaccine can be administered on the 28th day.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (USCIRF)
In its 2022 Annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recommended that India be designated a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ (CPC), i.e., the category of governments performing most poorly on religious freedom criteria.

About:

  • It has also called for “targeted sanctions” on individuals and entities responsible for severe violations of religious freedom by freezing those individuals’ or entities’ assets and/or barring their entry” into the U.S.

  • The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan body created by the International Religious Freedom Act, 1998 (IRFA) with a mandate to monitor religious freedom violations globally and make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress.

  • It is a congressionally created entity and not an NGO or advocacy organisation.

  • It is led by nine part-time commissioners appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the House and the Senate.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE
Top U.S. officials hosted emergency talks with allies in Germany on Tuesday on supplying Kyiv with more weapons to fend off Russia’s assault, as the UN’s chief headed to Moscow in a bid to avert further escalation of the conflict.

About:

  • The meeting of 40 countries at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Ukraine of only “pretending” to negotiate a cease-fire and warned of a “real” risk of a new world war.

  • Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state in southwestern Germany.

  • It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) and also for NATO Allied Air Command (AIRCOM).

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

COAL POWER
China led global coal power expansion in 2021, with about 25,000 MW of new plants, followed by India with about 6,100 MW, reported the Global Energy Monitor which conducts an annual survey of coal power capacity under development or deployment.

About:

  • Worldwide, however, coal-plant capacity under development declined 13% last year.

  • After rising in 2020 for the first time since 2015, total coal power capacity under development slid last year to a record low of 457 gigawatts (GW), from 525 gigawatts.

  • China, South Korea, and Japan have pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, but China continued to lead globally in domestic development of new coal plants, commissioning more coal capacity than the rest of the world combined.

Do you know?

  • Earlier this month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said there was no carbon budget left for new coal plants, and added that coal use needed to fall by 75% by 2030 (from 2019 levels) to limit global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

TAX COLLECTION
India’s net direct tax collections amounted to ₹14,09,640.83 crore for FY22, which is the highest collection ever, signaling that the Indian economy has bounced back after two years of the pandemic, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman J.B. Mohapatra said.

About:

  • As against ₹14.09 lakh crore this year, our collection in 2020-21 was only ₹9.45 lakh crore. In a single year, we moved upward by nearly ₹4.5 lakh crore, registering a growth of 49%.

  • The collection is the best-ever as far as income tax and corporation tax are concerned.

  • The direct tax-to-GDP ratio is around 12%,” he added, noting that the CBDT was working to raise the ratio to 15-20% in 5-10 years.

  • “The direct tax collection this year has surpassed the indirect tax collection which was other way round till last year. It is now 52%... our aim is to look at 60% of tax contribution coming from direct taxes in some years,” said the CBDT chairman.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

ROPEWAYS PROJECTS
Himachal Pradesh government has signed MoU for the development of seven ropeway projects in Kangra, Kullu, Chamba, Sirmour and Bilaspur districts of the state.

About:

  • The MoU was signed between Ropeways and Rapid Transport System Development Corporation (RTDC) HP Limited and National Highways Logistic Management Limited (NHLML) for the development of ropeways as innovative transport solution in Himachal Pradesh.

  • The Chief Minister Jai Ram was also apprised of the immediate need for maintenance of important stretches on Shimla-Mataur, Pathankot-Chakki-Mandi Mandi-Manali highways.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

FASAL BIMA PATHSHALA
Government of India will conduct ‘Fasal Bima Pathshala’ under ‘Kisan Bhagidari Prathmikta Campaign’ during the period from 25th April to 1st May 2022 as a Jan Bhagidari movement under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

About:

  • Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar will chair the National level special programme on ‘Fasal Bima Pathshala’ on 27th April 2022.

  • He will connect with farmers in all the Implementing States across the country through specially organized ‘Fasal Bima Pathshala’ coordinated by CSC from 1 lakh locations across the country.

  • The Campaign aims to make the farmers aware about key scheme aspects of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) like basic scheme provisions, importance of insuring the crops and how to avail scheme benefits etc. in the ongoing Kharif Season 2022 along with facilitating farmers in getting benefit of the PMFBY scheme.

  • Under this campaign, the broader focus will be on importance of PMFBY/RWBCIS (Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme) and how farmers can enrol under the scheme and avail the benefit of the scheme.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

BAGDOGRA AIRFIELD
The Indian Air Force has carried out extensive resurfacing work on the runway of Bagdogra airfield enabling civil aircraft to resume operations from the morning of 26 April 2022.

About:

  • The work was executed with Border Roads Organisation (BRO) as the implementing agency.

  • Bagdogra is the second busiest airport of West Bengal and is a joint user international airport with a civil terminal attached to the IAF airfield.

  • The Bagdogra airfield is not only important from a strategic point of view but is also a major international hub for promoting tourism and economy. The airfield is an important node for connecting Darjeeling and Siliguri to the rest of the country and the world.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

MONTELUKAST
A widely available drug, used for treatment of asthma and allergies, can also block a protein that is key to replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, a study by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers has found.

About:

  • he drug, montelukast, is an oral treatment given to prevent wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and coughing caused by asthma, and also used to prevent breathing difficulties during exercise.

  • Montelukast is prescribed in India by physicians. It is readily available as tablets and syrup (for kids) in pharmacy shops under different brand names.

  • In fact, some clinicians were using montelukast to treat Covid-19 patients because of its known role in making breathing easier in asthma patients.

  • However, it was not known that this drug also has antiviral activity, which was figured out in this study.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
April 27, 2022

PAXLOVID
On April 22, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug Paxlovid was “strongly recommended” for patients with non-severe Covid-19 who are at highest risk of developing severe disease and hospitalisation, such as unvaccinated, older, or immunosuppressed patients.

About:

  • Paxlovid consists of nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use.

  • It was given emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the USFDA in December last year.

  • Nirmatrelvir inhibits a viral enzyme called protease that is necessary for the virus to replicate itself inside the host cell. Ritonavir slows down the breakdown of nirmatrelvir in order to help it remain in the body for longer at higher concentrations.

  • A drug like nirmatrelvir is considered to have an advantage over vaccines because it attacks a vulnerability in the virus that does not mutate like spike proteins — which vaccines target — do.

  • As a result, the medication is seen to be effective against all variants.

Source : Indian Express
Health
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