Current Affairs October 2022 – Check Latest Top Stories
Current Affairs October 2022: For every competitive exam, the General Awareness section plays a vital role. This section is quite scoring in nature and should not be taken for granted. The general awareness section is present in almost all the competitive exams like CDS, OICL, NIACL IBPS PO, IBPS Clerk, SBI, RRB Group D etc.
Getting a good score in the General Awareness section is of utmost importance so as to clear the section-wise cut-off marks. Aspirants should not miss out on the General Awareness section as this also plays an important role in your overall score increment. Do not leave this section until the last minute. Keep reading newspapers and watching the news as this will keep you updated with all the current events.
In order to get a good score in this section, stay updated with the current National and International events happening.
Russia annexes 4 regions of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced the annexation of four regions in Ukraine after holding ‘referendums’ last week. Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have been formally incorporated into Russia in a Kremlin ceremony.
How is it done?
In defiance of the international community and international law, Putin on Friday signed treaties to begin the process of absorbing parts of Ukraine into Russia.
The four regions being annexed are Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine.
How much region is under Russia now?
The four regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia comprise around 15 per cent of Ukraine. Along with Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, Russia now lays claim to —and controls large parts of— around 20 per cent of Ukraine.
Will it lead to cease fire?
Putin and the heads of the four regions of Ukraine put their names on treaties for them to join Russia.
The action represents a sharp escalation in the seven-month conflict in Ukraine, which began on February 24 when Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine — dubbed as a special military operation.
Reactions to the Russian annexation:
Ukraine, Europe, and the West have rejected the Russian annexation. The international community has largely termed the Russian annexation as illegal.
The European Union (EU) said that, with the annexation, Putin was putting world security at risk.
Which of the following is not a region recently annexed by Russia from Ukraine?
G20 Sherpa meeting.
India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant led an official delegation to the third G20 Sherpa meeting held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from the 26th to the 29th of September.
The outcome of the meeting:
During the deliberations, Mr Kant reaffirmed India’s commitment and active support to Indonesian Presidency’s efforts to finalise meaningful outcomes for the forthcoming G20 Bali Summit in November.
Indian Sherpa also emphasised the need for G20 to bring enhanced global focus on and strengthen international cooperation and efforts in key priority areas such as sustainable growth, accelerated progress on SDGs, and addressing climate change.
The G20 is one of the key international groups as its members represent more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), 75% of the global international trade and 60% of the world population.
Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is invited as a permanent guest.
Meaning of Sherpa:
A Sherpa is a personal representative of the leader of a member country at an international Summit meeting such as the G8, G20 or the Nuclear Security Summit. The term is derived from the Nepalese Sherpa people, who serve as guides for mountaineers in the Himalayas.
Role of Sherpa:
Sherpas meet much before the start of the Summit to iron out differences on various issues.
The Sherpa engages in planning, negotiation and implementation tasks throughout the Summit. They coordinate the agenda, seek consensus at the highest political levels, and participate in a series of pre-Summit consultations to help negotiate their leaders’ positions.
Sherpas are career diplomats or senior government officials appointed by the leaders of their countries.
There is only one Sherpa per Summit for each member country; he/she is assisted by several sous Sherpas.
The third G20 Sherpa meeting was recently held in which of the following countries?
C. Republic of Korea
National Pension System Diwas.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has kickstarted a campaign under ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
The Pension Regulator will observe 1st October as the National Pension System Diwas (NPS Diwas).
This day is observed to promote pension and retirement planning among the citizens of India and enjoy financial independence post-retirement.
PFRDA is promoting this campaign on its social media platforms.
The pension regulator aims to encourage every citizen (working professionals and self-employed professionals) to plan towards creating a pension corpus to ensure oneself a financially sound future after retirement.
NPS subscribers will enjoy the benefits of the tax deduction on contributions and the power of compounding and reap the benefits of regular income after retirement.
What is PFRDA?
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is a statutory regulatory body set up under the PFRDA Act enacted on 01.02.2014 with the objective to promote old age income security and protect the interests of NPS subscribers.
What is National Pension System?
The National Pension System, or NPS, is a government-backed investment programme for those wishing to plan their retirement and receive a steady income once they retire.
NPS is a voluntary programme open to all Indian residents. By undertaking Active Choice and Auto Choice, NPS enables you to choose the fund allocation arrangement for your contributions across a variety of asset classes.
The overall number of NPS subscribers as of September 24, 2022, was 571.86 lakhs (5.72 crores), while the total assets under management (AUM) were at ₹7,99,467 crores (7.99 trillion).
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority recently observed the National Pension System Diwas on
A. 1st October
B. 1st September
C. 1st December
D. 1st July
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) recently arrested a Bolivian woman from Mumbai airport for allegedly carrying black cocaine. Based on her interrogation, the NCB also arrested a Nigerian national from Goa, who was to receive the contraband.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a natural product extracted from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca Lam (coca leaves).
This tropical shrub is cultivated widely on the Andean ridge in South America and is the only known natural source of cocaine.
It is normally produced as hydrochloride salt but has limited medical use as a topical anaesthetic.
What is Black Cocaine?
“Black cocaine”, a rare drug, is a mixture of regular cocaine and other chemicals of administrated quantity.
In a bid to ensure that sniffer dogs used at airports do not detect cocaine, it is being used by drug peddlers coming to India from South American countries.
Why is it difficult to trace Black Cocaine?
It neutralises the smell of cocaine so it can easily pass through checkpoints.
Black cocaine is a mixture of regular cocaine base with various substances to camouflage typical appearance (e.g. charcoal), to interfere with colour-based drug tests (cobalt salts form deep red complexes in solution), to make the mixture undetectable by drug-sniffing dogs as activated carbon may sufficiently absorb trace odours.
How does it get reconverted?
The pure cocaine base is then recovered from the mixture by extraction using common organic solvents such as methylene chloride or acetone.
A second process is required to convert the cocaine base into powdered cocaine hydrochloride.
What has been the major source of cocaine in India?
South American countries where coca plants grow are major suppliers of cocaine to India. Generally, Mumbai is one of the landing points from where it is then sent to other parts of the country, especially to metro cities and Goa.
Amongst narcotics, Cocaine is one of the most expensive and is primarily used by the upper classes of society.
How big is India’s cocaine problem?
Cocaine is one of the most expensive drugs and is often used by the affluent.
According to a September 2020 report by India Today, 10.7 lakh people use cocaine in our country. Most users are in Maharashtra (90,000), Punjab (27,000), Rajasthan (10,000) and Karnataka (8,000).
Data from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment estimated the number of opioid users in India at 23 million in 2018, a 600 per cent increase since 2004.
Cocaine is a natural product extracted from coca leaves in the final form of
A. Sulphuric Salt
B. Sodium salt
C. Hydrochloride salt
D. Boaric salt
Buddhist caves and temples are found in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered 26 ancient caves dating to the 2nd-5th century CE in Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve area.
During the exploration and documentation of the region carried out in May-June, the agency has also found remains of temples, Buddhist structures and inscriptions containing names of cities such as Mathura, Kaushambi, Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa.
The northeastern regions of Madhya Pradesh and southeastern Uttar Pradesh are referred to as Baghelkhand, which was also known as Dahala during the 6th-12th centuries.
The exploration was under the direction of Shivakant Bajpai.
About the findings:
During the exploration 26 temples, 26 caves, two monasteries, two votive stupas, 24 inscriptions, 46 sculptures, other scattered remains and 19 water structures were recorded.
The time period of the findings covered the reigns of the kings Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri and Maharaja Bhattadeva.
Places deciphered in the inscriptions are Kaushami, Mathura, Pavata (Parvata), Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa.
Findings of historical importance:
26 caves are mostly Buddhist in nature
Remains of the Mahayana sect—the largest Buddhist sect in the world—of Buddhism, like chaitya-shaped doors and cells containing stone beds
A Votive Stupa and a Buddhist pillar fragment containing a miniature stupa carving. They approximately belong to the 2nd -3rd century CE
24 Brahmi inscriptions datable from the 2nd century CE to the 5th century CE
Some remains of the Gupta period, like door jambs
26 ancient temples or remains of the Kalachuri period (9th century CE to 11th Century CE)
Two Saiva Math of Kalachuri period (9th-11th century CE)
48 new sculptures
A large Varaha sculpture, measuring 6.4×5.03×2.77 metres, datable to the 9th – the 13th century CE. It appears to be the world’s largest sculpture
19 water bodies of different periods from the 2nd to the 15th CE
Quarry sites, brick kilns and water treatment-related structures
Places named Kaushambi, Mathura, Pavata (Parvata), Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa are mentioned in the inscriptions
Important Kings mentioned in the inscriptions are Maharaja Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri, Maharaja Bhattadeva
The significance of the findings:
It is significant because it is the first time that all remains have been officially documented by the agency.
Digital documentation and videography have been done, and metal signs cannot be placed for visitors as they may be harmful to animals living inside the tiger reserve.
ASI recently found Buddhist caves and temples in which of the following states?
B. Madhya Pradesh
Context: Environment Ecology.
World’s largest safari park to be developed in Gurugram.
Haryana has decided to hire two international firms to develop the world’s largest jungle safari park spread across 10,000 acres in the Aravalli range of Gurugram and Nuh districts near Delhi.
Who will develop?
The proposed project will be jointly developed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the Haryana government.
The Centre will also provide funds to the state for the project.
The park will come up on land protected under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) around the Aravalli Mountain Range.
Features of the park:
Covering an area of 10,000 acres, the safari park in Gurugram will be five times the size of the current largest Sharjah Safari in the United Arab Emirates, which spans an area of about 2,000 acres.
The state government statement says that the park will include a large herpetarium (a zoological exhibition space for reptiles and amphibians), an aviary or bird park, four zones for big cats, a large area for herbivores, an area for exotic animal birds, an underwater world, nature trails, visitors, tourism zones, botanical gardens, biomes, equatorial, tropical, coastal and desert.
The safari park will be home to species like gazelles, antelopes, and deer and carnivores like leopards and hyenas, which are already native to the region.
The park has 12 themed environments, each depicting an African location. The safari park will be a replica of an actual African jungle safari, and the land has around 1,000 native and African trees.
Central Zoo Authority guidelines:
The CZA guidelines recommend that carnivore safaris should have a minimum area of 20 hectares, while herbivore safaris should have 20 hectares of area.
Which state recently announced plans to develop the world’s largest jungle safari park?
A. Tamil Nadu
D. Uttar Pradesh
UNESCO launches iconic Indian heritage textiles.
UNESCO recently released a list of 50 exclusive and iconic heritage textile crafts of the country.
Toda embroidery and Sungadi from Tamil Nadu, Himroo weaves from Hyderabad and Bandha tie and dye weaving from Sambalpur in Odisha were some of the textiles that made the cut.
Details about the report:
Title of the report- Handmade for the 21st Century: Safeguarding Traditional Indian Textile.
It lists the histories and legends behind the textiles, describes the complicated and secret processes behind their making, mentions the causes for their dwindling popularity, and provides strategies for their preservation.
The publication, which aims to bridge this gap, brings together years of research on the 50 selected textiles.
Key heritage textiles mentioned in the list:
Toda embroidery and Sungadi from Tamil Nadu
Himroo from Hyderabad
Bandha tie and dye from Sambalpur in Odisha
Khes from Panipat, Haryana
Chamba Rumals from Himachal Pradesh
Thigma or wool tie and dye from Ladakh
Awadh Jamdani from Varanasi, UP
Ilkal and Lambadi or Banjara embroidery from Karnataka
Sikalnayakanpet Kalamkari from Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Kunbi weaves from Goa
Mashru weaves and Patola from Gujarat
Himroo from Maharashtra and
Garad-Koirial from West Bengal
Which organisation recently released a list of 50 exclusive and iconic heritage textile crafts of the country?
D. Rotary International
Context: Science and Technology.
Trundling on the surface of Mars, the Zhurong rover has found evidence of two catastrophic floods that shaped the Utopia Planitia region on the alien world.
The probe peeked under the surface using its radar imager to understand the geology and hydrological evolution of the planet.
The China National Space Administration recently revealed new results of the science missions undertaken by the rover, which has travelled around 1.9 kilometres on the planet.
In a study published in Nature, Chinese scientists revealed new findings from the smooth plains of the volcanic and sedimentary surfaced regions.
What is the Zhurong rover?
Zhurong is an active Mars rover that is China’s first rover to land on another planet.
It is part of the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars conducted by the China National Space Administration.
The spacecraft was launched on 23 July 2020 and inserted into Martian orbit on 10 February 2021.
Weighing about 240 kilograms, the Zhurong rover is slightly heavier than NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers but only one-fourth the weight of Perseverance and Curiosity.
The Chinese rover is powered by retractable solar panels and fitted with seven primary instruments — cameras, ground-penetrating radar, a magnetic field detector and a weather station.
The purpose of the radar is to look for signs of ancient life as well as subsurface water.
How did the rover find a Flood on Mars?
The rover conducted a ground-penetrating radar survey of the Martian subsurface in the southern marginal area of Utopia Planitia.
The rover has been exploring the southern part of Utopia Planitia, which was also the landing site for Nasa’s Viking-2 mission.
The region was chosen to land the rover as it is believed to once have been the location of a vast ocean and repeated floodings due to the presence of sedimentary rocks.
While scientists know water existed in the region, they are uncertain about the extent to which hydraulic sediments are found in the subsurface.
Which of the following regions on Mars that the Chinese Zhurong rover has recently found evidence of two catastrophic floods?
A. Tharsis region
B. Mariner Valley
C. Utopia Planitia
D. Hellas basin
Awards and recognitions.
Sweden’s Svante Paabo wins the 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Swedish scientist Svante Paabo won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.
The prize, arguably among the most prestigious in the scientific world, is awarded by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($900,357). It is the first of this year’s batch of prizes.
His key achievements include sequencing an entire Neanderthal genome to reveal the link between extinct people and modern humans.
He also brought to light the existence of a previously unknown human species called the Denisovans, from a 40,000-year-old fragment of a finger bone discovered in Siberia.
Last year’s data:
Last year’s medicine prize went to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for the discovery of receptors in the human skin that sense temperature and touch, converting the physical impact into nerve impulses.
What is the Nobel prize?
The Nobel Prizes are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel’s will of 1895, are awarded to “those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and industrialist most famously known for the invention of dynamite.
Ceremony date: 10 December 2022
First awarded: 1901; 121 years ago
Reward(s): A gold medal, a diploma, and a monetary award of 10 million SEK, approx. US $1,145,000 (2020)
Number of laureates: 603 prizes to 962 laureates (as of 2020)
Svante Paabo, who wins the 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine, belongs to which of the following countries?
62% of rural households in India have fully functional tap water connections.
Around 62% of rural households in India had fully functional tap water connections within their premises, according to a survey commissioned by the Union Ministry of Water Resources to assess the functioning of the government’s marquee Jal Jeevan Mission.
In June, the Centre reported this number to be 52%.
Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, and Puducherry reported more than 80% of households with fully functional connections, while less than half the households in Rajasthan, Kerala, Manipur, Tripura, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim had such connections.
What is a fully functional tap water connection?
A fully functional tap water connection is defined as a household getting at least 55 litres of per capita per day of potable water all throughout the year.
Jal Jeevan mission:
The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India.
The Jal Jeevan scheme has a financial outlay of ₹3.60 lakh crore, with the Centre funding 50% of the cost with States and Union Territories, except for Union Territories without a legislature, where it foots the entire bill, and northeastern and Himalayan States and Union Territories with legislatures, where it funds 90% of the bill.
By which year will the Jal Jeevan Mission successfully give every home access to safe and sufficient drinking water in rural India through individual household tap connections?
Tri-services Missile Command.
In the era of stand-off weapons, the Narendra Modi government is considering setting up a tri-services missile/rocket command on the lines of the space and cyber command as the first steps towards military theatre commands.
What is the purpose of this Command?
The proposed missile command will be responsible for deploying of missile and rocket regiments against any hostile adversary and will be manned by commanders of the three services in rotation.
What does this mean?
This means that conventional missiles like BrahMos and Akash, as well as Pinaka rockets, will be placed under one command for rapid deployment against any adversary.
Reason for this Setup:
The proposal to set up a missile command has been moved in the aftermath of the May 2020 East Ladakh stand-off with the PLA and the use of rockets and missiles in the Ukraine theatre by the Red Army.
The PLA has deployed rocket regiments in the depth areas of occupied Aksai Chin with missiles in the hinter in Tibet and Sinkiang region.
What is a joint Theatre Command System?
The idea behind the ‘Theatre Command System’ is to bring synergistic coordination between the three branches of the armed forces.
Further, it aims at bringing separate commands for the army, navy and air force under a unified command spearheaded by a single commander.
Which of the following is not a tri-service command?
A. Strategic Forces Command (SFC)
B. Andaman and Nicobar Command
C. Army Training Command
D. None of the above
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched a multi-phase Operation GARUDA to dismantle drug networks with international linkages.
The CBI is doing this in close coordination with enforcement actions across international jurisdictions through INTERPOL and Narcotics Control Bureau, with a special focus on the Indian Ocean Region.
What is Operation GARUDA?
Operation GARUDA seeks to target drug networks with international footprints for action against handlers, operatives, production zones and support elements.
Details about the operation:
During the Operation, searches, seizures and arrests were carried out across multiple states and UTs in the country.
Apart from CBI and NCB, eight states and UT Police, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Manipur, have also participated in this Operation.
Illicit drugs and psychotropic substances including approximately 5 kg of Heroin, 33 kg of Ganja, over 3 kg of Charas, Mephedrone, Smack, Alprazolam and Tramadol Tablets, injections, syringes of Buprenorphine and 30 kg of Poppy Husk were recovered.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched a multi-phase Operation GARUDA with the objective target of _____
A. Black Money
B. Child Pornography
C. Drug Networks
D. Human Trafficking
Election Commission launched Matadata Junction, a year-long voter awareness program on All India Radio recently.
About the Matadata junction programme:
The weekly programme covers all aspects of the Voter ecosystem and shall be broadcast on the All India Radio network every Friday.
Each programme will be based on a particular theme of the electoral process.
All 52 themes aim to encourage all eligible citizens, especially young and first-time voters, to make informed decisions during the elections.
The First episode of the programme will be broadcast on the 7th of October, Friday.
Quiz, Experts’ interviews, and songs produced by the SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) Team of the ECI shall be carried out in every episode.
The program includes a Citizen’s Corner where any citizen can ask a query or suggest any aspects of the voting.
The program shall be produced in 23 languages: Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri.
YUVA 2.0 scheme.
The Prime Minister’s Scheme for Mentoring Young Authors – YUVA 2.0 was launched, on October 2, to promote reading, writing, and book culture in the country.
In view of the significant impact of the first edition of YUVA with large-scale participation from young and budding authors in 22 different Indian languages and English, YUVA 2.0 has been launched.
The launch of YUVA 2.0 (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors) is in tune with the Prime Minister’s vision to encourage the youth to understand and appreciate India’s democracy.
The Ministry said that a total of 75 authors would be selected through an All India Contest to be conducted through www.mygov.in from 2nd October – 30th November this year.
The winners will be announced on 28th February next year.
The young authors will be trained by eminent authors and mentors from 1st March to 31st August 2023.
Role of the scheme:
It will help to develop a stream of writers who can write on a spectrum of subjects to promote the Indian heritage, culture, and knowledge system.
The Indian Air Force formally inducted the first indigenously developed multirole light combat helicopters (LCH), named Prachand, recently into its fleet at its Jodhpur base in Rajasthan in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
These helicopters are capable of destruction of enemy air defence, performing counter-insurgency operations, and combat search and rescue tasks.
What is a ‘Prachand helicopter’?
The light combat helicopter has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
It was conceptualised after the 1999 Kargil conflict when the need for such a dedicated platform capable of operating in high altitudes was felt.
Prachand can take off and land at an altitude of 5,000 metres with a load of weapons and fuel and can prove useful to the Indian Armed Forces, as per the HAL.
Of the 15 Prachand helicopters approved, 10 have been provided for the Indian Air Force, and five are for the Indian Army.
The light combat helicopter is capable of aerial combat and can help in combating slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts.
In all, the IAF operates a wide mix of around 500 rotary platforms, which includes around 90 Mi-17s, over 130 Mi-17V5s, over 70 ALH including the weaponised variant, 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, one squadron of Mi-35 attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters.
What is the name of the indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter that IAF inducted recently?
A. Rudra helicopter
C. Prachand helicopter
D. Tejas helicopter
Global Innovation Index-2022.
India climbed six notches to 40th position in the Global Innovation Index 2022 on account of improvement in several parameters, according to a recent report by the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Türkiye and India entered the top 40 for the first time, placing 37th and 40th, respectively. India overtakes Vietnam (48th) as the top lower middle-income economy for innovation.
In the rankings, the top position was occupied by Switzerland. It was followed by the US, Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands. China was placed in the 11th position.
About the Global Innovation Index
The Global Innovation Index is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for and success in innovation.
It was started in 2007 by INSEAD and World Business, a British magazine.
Publisher: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Moving into its 15th edition in 2022, the Global Innovation Index has been a leading reference for measuring an economy’s innovation performance.
A large number of countries use the GII to assess and improve their innovation ecosystems and use the GII as a reference in economic plans and/or policies.
What is the position of India in the Global Innovation Index-2022?
Awards and recognitions.
SASTRA Ramanujan Prize-2022.
The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for 2022 will be awarded to Yunqing Tang, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A.
The prize will be awarded at the International Conference on Number Theory during December 20-22, 2022, at SASTRA University.
About the prize:
The award, instituted by the Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy (SASTRA) in 2005 with a cash prize of $10,000, is presented annually to individuals aged 32 and below who made outstanding contributions in the field of mathematics, influenced by Srinivasa Ramanujan in a broad sense.
For what Yunqing Tang received this prize?
Ms Yunqing’s works display a remarkable combination of sophisticated techniques, in which the arithmetic and geometry of modular curves and of Shimura varieties play a central role, and her results and methods are bound to have a major impact on future research in this area.
Who among the following will be awarded the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022?
A. Yifeng Liu Jack Thorne
B. Jacob Tsimerman
C. Yunqing Tang
D. Will Sawin
India to export missiles, rockets and ammunition to Armenia.
In a significant move to boost India’s defence export, the country has signed an export order for missiles, rockets, and ammunition to Armenia because the Asian nation is engaged in a border conflict with Azerbaijan.
The value of the contracts has not been revealed yet. However, it is estimated that military equipment worth over ₹2,000 crores will be exported to the country in the coming months.
What is Included in the order?
This order includes six additional first-ever exports of the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers.
This weapon, which is already in service with the Indian Army, has been designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by private sector companies in the country.
The anti-tank rockets and ammunition will also be supplied from India to Armenia under the bundled deal.
Defence Exports Data:
India’s exports have grown by 334 per cent within five years, and it is now exporting its defence products to over 75 countries.
With which of the following nations has India recently signed a defence agreement to export missiles, rockets, and ammunition?
D. Sri Lanka
Awards and recognitions.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2022.
Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger have jointly won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.
The three laureates conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated.
Their results have cleared the way for new technology based on quantum information.
The ineffable effects of quantum mechanics are starting to find applications.
There is now a large field of research that includes quantum computers, quantum networks and secure quantum encrypted communication.
One key factor in this development is how quantum mechanics allows two or more particles to exist in what is called an entangled state.
What happens to one of the particles in an entangled pair determines what happens to the other particle, even if they are far apart.
So far, 115 Nobel Prizes in Physics have been awarded between 1901 and 2021, of which only four are women, which includes Marie Curie in 1903, Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963, Donna Strickland in 2018, and Andrea Ghez in 2020.
The youngest person to win the Physics award has been Lawrence Bragg. He was 25 when he was given the 1915 Physics Nobel.
For which of the following works does the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2022 been awarded?
A. First discovery of an exoplanet
B. Pioneering quantum information science
C. Research into black holes
D. Superfluids or thin magnetic films
Adani Green commissions the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid plant in India.
Adani Green Energy has commissioned the world’s largest wind-solar power plant of 600 MW capacity in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
The plant will supply electricity under 25-year power purchase agreements with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) at a rate of INR 2.69/kWh.
The plant includes 600 MW of solar and 150 MW of wind capacity.
It features bifacial PV modules and horizontal single-axis tracker technology to capture maximum energy from the sun.
Other facts about Adani Green Energy:
Adani Green Energy switched on India’s first hybrid power plant, with a capacity of 390 MW, in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
With the commissioning of the new 600 MW plant, the company now has a total operational renewable capacity of 6.7 GW, including a hybrid power capacity of 1 GW – the largest in the world.
Adani Green Energy has a total renewable portfolio of 20.4 GW, including operational, under-construction, and awarded assets. It is targeting 45 GW of capacity by 2030.
Adani Green recently commissioned the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid plant in which of the following States?
A. Madhya Pradesh
Trade and Development Report 2022.
India’s economic growth is expected to decline to 5.7% this year from 8.2% in 2021, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Trade and Development Report 2022 projected recently, citing higher financing costs and weaker public expenditures.
It is expected to decline to 4.7% in the year 2023-24.
What is Trade and Development Report?
The Trade and Development Report (TDR), launched in 1981, is issued every year for the annual session of the Trade and Development Board.
The Report analyses current economic trends and major policy issues of international concern and makes suggestions for addressing these issues at various levels.
It is the annual flagship report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The world economy is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2022.
India’s economy will grow by 5.7% in 2022 and 4.7% in 2023.
What is UNCTAD?
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was established in 1964 as an intergovernmental organisation intended to promote the interests of developing states in world trade. UNCTAD is part of the United Nations Secretariat dealing with trade, investment, and development issues.
Headquarters location: Geneva, Switzerland
Founded: 30 December 1964
Founder: United Nations General Assembly
Head: Secretary-General; Rebeca Grynspan
Which of the following organisations publishes the World Trade and Development report?
B. World Bank
D. Federal Reserve Bank
MoU for International Year of Millets 2023.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited in New Delhi recently to boost the initiative visioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to promote Millets towards the celebration of the International Year of Millets 2023.
Role of both organisations:
Both organisations will work together to promote and market millet-based products, keeping in view the initiative of the “International Year of Millets (IYOM)-2023” proposed by the Government of India to the United Nations, which is to be celebrated across the world.
As India is gearing up to bring millet back on the global map, they will build support and organise, promote, market, and forge effective market linkages for millet-based products to maximise the value capture and millet-based commodities across the country.
Indian coordination with UNGA:
To create domestic and global demand and provide nutritional food to the people, the Government of India spearheaded the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA resolution to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
Seventy-two (72) countries supported the proposal of India, and UNGA declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets in March last year.
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring 2023 as the International Year for which type of food grain?
‘herSTART’: A start-up platform.
President Droupadi Murmu recently launched ‘herSTART’, a startup platform for women entrepreneurs created by Gujarat University in Ahmedabad.
About the Platform:
The platform dedicated to women entrepreneurs, will not only boost the innovation and startup efforts of women entrepreneurs but also prove to be an effective platform for connecting women entrepreneurs with various government and private enterprises.
The initiative will also link women entrepreneurs with various private and government platforms.
India has moved from 81st position to 40th position in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of 2022 as a result of the startup program started across the country.
Scheduled Tribe status for Pahari community in J&K.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has announced Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Pahari community in Jammu and Kashmir. The announcement was made at a rally in Rajouri recently.
Justice GD Sharma Commission has recommended reservation for Paharis in the report submitted to the government. Reservation will be rolled out after the completion of administrative formalities.
The Pahari people mostly live at the foothills of the Pir Panjal mountainous range.
Who are Paharis?
Paharis are a socio-linguistic group that reside mostly in the mountainous regions of the Poonch-Rajouri area, Mirpur, and some parts of Kashmir Valley, including Baramulla, Kupwara and Uri.
They make up almost 20 per cent of the population in Jammu and Kashmir.
Their mother tongue, Pahari, is an offshoot of the Pothwari language with varying dialects and their own unique culture.
They usually reside in rural areas and are majorly involved in agricultural and cattle activities.
The majority of Paharis reside in economically and socially disadvantaged regions. Over the years, they have been side-lined and struggling in the region.
What are the criteria for inclusion in the ST List?
Article 342 prescribes the procedure to be followed in the matter of specification of Scheduled Tribes.
The criteria presently followed for the specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe are:
Indications of primitive traits
The shyness of contact with the community at large
Recently, which of the following communities in J&K got the Scheduled Tribe status?
Awards and recognitions.
Angela Merkel wins Nansen Refugee Award 2022
Former German chancellor Angela Merkel recently won the United Nations refugee agency’s prestigious Nansen award for her “leadership, courage and compassion” in ensuring the protection of hundreds of thousands of desperate people at the height of the Syria crisis.
What did Markel do?
Under the then Federal Chancellor Merkel’s leadership, Germany welcomed more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum-seekers in 2015 and 2016, at the height of the conflict in Syria and amid deadly violence in other places.
As well as protecting people forced to flee war, persecution and human rights abuses, the former Chancellor was the driving force behind Germany’s collective efforts to receive them and help them integrate into society through education and training programmes, employment schemes and labour market integration.
She was also key in expanding Germany’s resettlement programme, which helped protect tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees.
What is UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award?
Named after the Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen, the award is given each year to an individual, group or organisation who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect refugees, internally displaced or stateless people.
UNHCR also honoured four organisations and individuals from around the world who have gone above and beyond to protect refugees and other people forced to flee.
Africa Regional Winner: Mbera Fire Brigade
Americas Regional Winner: Vicenta González
Asia Regional Winner: Meikswe Myanmar
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Winner: Dr Nagham Hasan
Which global leader recently won the UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award?
A. Narendra Modi
B. Angela Merkel
C. Aung San Suu Kyi
D. Emmanuel Macron
Days and events.
World Space Week 2022.
World Space Week is observed every year from October 4 to 10 to celebrate science and technology’s contributions to the betterment of the human condition.
The week commemorates the launch of the first human-made Earth satellite- Sputnik-1 (October 4, 1957) and the signing of a treaty for the peaceful use of Space (October 10, 1967).
Why and Who?
World Space Week, coordinated by the United Nations with the support of the World Space Week Association (WSWA), aims to provide unique leverage in space outreach and education.
The theme of World Space Week 2022 is “Space and Sustainability”.
The theme is inspired by how sustainability in space relates to how humanity uses space, most pressingly, the orbital area surrounding Earth itself a finite resource.
What is done throughout the Week?
Educating people around the world about the benefits they receive from space; encouraging greater use of space for sustainable economic development; demonstrating public support for space programs.
Fostering international cooperation in space outreach and education and encouraging young people about science, technology, engineering, and math are the few goals of the World Space Week celebration.
Competitions, lectures and talk shows are arranged for the benefit of the school, college and general public every year to serve the purpose.
What is the theme of World Space Week 2022?
A. Satellites Improve Life
B. Space Unites the World
C. The Moon: Gateway to the Stars
D. Space and Sustainability
Global News Forum 2022.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Dr L. Murugan has lauded All India Radio and Doordarshan for their credible and truthful news.
The two wings of Prasar Bharati have played an effective role in disseminating information on government welfare schemes as well as creating awareness about the Indian culture and history, and values of the nation.
Dr Murugan was addressing the Global News Forum 2022 in New Delhi recently.
Referring to AIR and DD coverage during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Murugan said that fake news and misinformation were the biggest threat, and the two media organisations played crucial roles in busting the myths.
The Global News Forum 2022 has been organised by the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union in conjunction with DD India.
What is Global News Forum 2022?
Global News Forum 2022 is ABU’s flagship three days annual NEWS event hosting around 80 foreign participants from the field of Media and Journalism from different broadcasting organisations.
Discussions are being held on various important broadcasting and journalism-related issues prevailing across the globe.
The Global News Forum is being held from 3rd to 5th October 2022.
Theme: “Truth and trust at times of crisis”.
What is Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU)
ABU was established in 1964 as a non-profit, non-governmental, non-political, professional association with a mandate to assist the development of broadcasting organisations in the region currently Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
ABU promotes the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters and key industry players and facilitates regional and international media cooperation for members.
It has over 253 members in over 67 countries in the Pacific region, Asia (Southeast, North, South, Central), Middle East, Europe, North Africa and North America, reaching a potential audience of about 2 billion people.
Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) are full members of ABU.
All India Radio was a founding member of ABU in 1964, while Doordarshan joined ABU in 1976.
The Global News Forum 2022 was recently held in which city?
A. New Delhi
D. New York
Awards and Recognitions.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022.
Nobel Prize 2022 in Chemistry has been awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless for the development of ‘click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry’.
Carolyn R. Bertozzi and Morten Meldal are the first-time recipients of the Nobel; Karl Barry Sharpless won the top science award for the second time in his career. He last won the Nobel in 2001 for his work around chirally catalysed oxidation reactions.
For what do they get awarded?
Karl Barry Sharpless is an American chemist who is associated with the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Research.
He was awarded the 2022 Nobel for works he began about two decades ago when he coined the concept of click chemistry, which is a form of simple and reliable chemistry where reactions occur quickly, and unwanted by-products are avoided.
Morten Meldal and Carolyn Bertozzi.
Morten Meldal is associated with the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Carolyn R. Bertozzi is with Stanford University.
Morten Meldal has been recognised for the copper-catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition, which is an elegant and efficient chemical reaction that is now in widespread use, especially in the development of pharmaceuticals, for mapping DNA and creating materials that are more fit for purpose.
Carolyn Bertozzi developed click reactions that work inside living organisms without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2022 has been awarded to three scientists. And who among them also got the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001?
A. Carolyn R. Bertozzi
B. Morten Meldal
C. K. Barry Sharpless
D. None of the above
To provide psychiatric support to senior citizens suffering from depression and dementia across the country, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) has collaborated with HelpAge India, an NGO working for the elderly, where training will be provided to 10,000 mental health workers.
What is the Sarthak initiative?
It will be an online course where training will be given to various categories of non-specialised health workers and community caregivers through customised modules for each specified category, such as the Non-Specialist health workforce, Informal Caregivers and Institutional Caregivers.
Through ‘Sarthak’, a community-based initiative for the mental well-being of the elderly, training will be imparted to nurses, healthcare workers and volunteers on geriatric mental health.
According to the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI) report, by 2050, 14 million senior citizens in India will be impacted by mental health issues, from five million now.
Today, only 2 out of 10 older persons suffering from mental disorders are receiving any kind of support.
While we need approximately 13,000 psychiatrists to address these issues, we have only 3,500, which translates to 1 psychiatrist attending to over 2 lakh people.
Recently started Sarthak Initiative is majorly associated with
A. Senior citizens
B. Young Entrepreneurs
C. 0-5 year children
D. Adolescent girls
US-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (USISCEP).
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri will lead an official and business delegation to the USA from October 6 to 11.
The Union Minister will co-chair the ministerial dialogue of the US-India strategic clean energy partnership (USISCEP) on October 7 with the US Secretary of Energy Department Jennifer Granholm in Washington, DC.
The revamped USISCEP has launched in line with the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, which was unveiled by US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021.
Under the SCEP, the United States and India agreed to collaborate across five pillars:
Power and Energy Efficiency.
Responsible Oil and Gas.
Which among the following is not a pillar of the US-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (USISCEP)?
A. Power and Energy Efficiency
B. Renewable Energy
C. Sustainable Growth
D. Nuclear energy
Awards and Recognitions.
2022 Nobel Prize For Literature.
French author Annie Ernaux, known for her deceptively simple novels drawing on personal experiences of class and gender, has been announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
Ernaux was honoured “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”.
About Annie Ernaux:
Her more than 20 books, many of which have been school texts in France for decades, offer one of the most subtle, insightful windows into the social life of modern France.
Ernaux, 82, has seen a sharp increase in popularity in the English-speaking world since 2019, after her seminal work ‘The Years’, translated by Alison L Strayer, was shortlisted for the Man Booker international prize.
Her book on her illegal abortion in the 1960s, ‘Happening’ (first published in 2001) has also been in the limelight after abortion rights were curtailed in the US.
About the prize:
The prize carries a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000), which will be handed out on December 10.
The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895.
Who among the following writers received the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature?
A. Abdulrazak Gurnah
B. Salman Rushdie
C. Annie Ernaux
D. Louise Glück
‘National Icon’ of ECI.
For his association with the Election Commission of India (ECI) in creating awareness amongst voters, Actor Pankaj Tripathi has been declared the ‘National Icon’ of ECI.
The actor was chosen for the honour by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar for keeping in view his commitment to the cause and wide appeal across the country.
Interestingly, one of Pankaj’s most acclaimed roles involved the electoral process in the 2017 film Newton, for which he won the National Award.
He played the role of CRPF officer, who was tasked with conducting elections in a conflict-ridden zone in the jungles of Chhattisgarh.
The actor was already a State Icon of Bihar to create awareness and encourage youth to vote and participate in the elections in Bihar.
The ECI is launching a special programme in collaboration with All India Radio (AIR), which will include a series titled ‘Matdata Junction’ with 52 episodes of 15 minutes each to be broadcast every Friday on Vividh Bharti stations and other primary radio channels of AIR.
Which actor has been declared the ‘National Icon’ recently by the Election Commission of India?
A. Raj kumar Rao
C. Pankaj Tripathi
D. Ranveer Singh
RBI launches DAKSH application to advance supervisory process.
The Reserve Bank of India has been taking various initiatives in strengthening supervision, which among other initiatives, include the adoption of the latest data and analytical tools as well as leveraging technology for implementing more efficient and automated work processes.
In continuation of this effort, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, launched a new SupTech initiative named “(DAKSH) – Reserve Bank’s Advanced Supervisory Monitoring System”, which is expected to make the Supervisory processes more robust.
What is DAKSH, and how does it work?
DAKSH means ‘efficient’ and ‘competent’, reflecting the underlying capabilities of the application.
DAKSH is a web-based end-to-end workflow application through which RBI shall monitor compliance requirements in a more focused manner with the objective of further improving the compliance culture in Supervised Entities (SEs) like Banks, NBFCs, etc.
The application will also enable seamless communication, inspection planning and execution, cyber incident reporting and analysis, provision of various MIS reports etc., through a Platform which enables anytime-anywhere secure access.
Which of the following is a recent application that the RBI has launched to strengthen the Supervisory processes?
A. MANI app
B. Aira app
C. DAKSH app
D. Roshni app
IAF gets a new branch for Weapon Systems (WS).
On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Centre has approved the creation of a weapon system branch for IAF officers.
This is the first time since independence that a new operational branch has been created.
What does the creation of this branch mean?
The creation of the WS branch would entail the unification of all weapon system operators under one entity dedicated to the operational employment of all ground-based and specialist airborne weapon systems.
Four sub-branches of the weapon system branch:
Flying (weapon systems operators in twin-seat fighters like Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters)
Remote (operational crews for RPAs (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) and drones).
Intelligence (information warfare, image and signals intelligence specialists).
Surface (mission commanders and operators of surface-to-air guided weapons, surface-to-surface missiles other than close-in weapons systems. The newly imported S-400 missiles from Russia will be part of this).
How will this help?
The branch would encompass operators in four specialised streams of Surface-to-Surface missiles, Surface-to-Air missiles, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Weapon System Operators in twin/multi-crew aircraft.
The branch will contribute immensely by enhancing the war-fighting capability of the Indian Air Force.
Which defence force has recently created a new branch for weapon systems?
A. Indian Army
B. Indian Airforce.
C. Indian Navy
D. Border Security Force
Awards and Recognitions.
Nobel Peace Prize-2022.
Human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties have won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
Who is Ales Bialiatski?
Ales Bialiatski of Belarus was one of the initiators of the democracy movement in the country in the 1980s and has devoted his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development.
The human rights organisation Memorial has compiled and systematised information on political oppression and human rights violations in Russia.
What is INTERNATIONAL MEMORIAL?
The International Memorial was set up in 1992, a year after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with the aim of documenting political repression and helping rehabilitate those who had been repressed under communism.
It operates in Russia and other former Soviet states.
What is the Center for Civil Liberties?
The Centre for Civil Liberties in Kyiv has been advancing human rights and democracy in Ukraine.
The centre has taken a stand to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and pressure the authorities to make Ukraine a full-fledged democracy.
Why did they get the Prize?
They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses, and the abuse of power.
Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy.
So far, 102 people or institutions have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, of which just 18 are women. 25 times the peace prize has been given to an organisation.
The Nobel peace prize 2022’s combined winner, Ales Bialiatski, is a citizen of which country?
India and New Zealand Navies Sign Pact On White Shipping Information Exchange.
The Indian Navy signed an agreement on White Shipping Information Exchange with the Royal New Zealand Navy to promote greater transparency in the Maritime Domain.
What is white shipping information?
The white shipping information refers to the exchange of prior information on the movement and identity of commercial non-military merchant vessels.
How will this help?
Closer collaboration towards enhancing shared maritime domain awareness is in keeping with the convergent views of both countries with regard to promoting greater transparency in the maritime domain.
The agreement will facilitate the exchange of information on the movement of merchant ships.
Recently the Indian Navy signed a pact on White Shipping Information Exchange with which of the following countries?
C. New Zealand
International Solar Alliance’s 5th Assembly.
The International Solar Alliance’s (ISA’s) 5th assembly will be held in New Delhi from 17th to 20th October 2022.
Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R.K Singh will preside over the Assembly.
India holds the office of the President of the ISA Assembly. Ministers, missions and delegates from 109 member and signatory countries will participate in the meeting.
What is the International Solar Alliance?
TheInternational Solar Alliance (ISA)is an action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform for the increased deployment of solar energy technologies.
Its basic motive is to facilitate energy access, ensure energy security, and drive energy transition in its member countries.
The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilise efforts against climate change by deploying solar energy solutions.
The Headquarters is in India, with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurugram.
Points of Deliberation:
The 5th Assembly is expected to lead to a greater consensus among countries for the promotion of solar power.
Increased international cooperation will be the backbone of the energy transition, propelling investment and creating millions of new green jobs in this crucial decade of climate action.
The Assembly will deliberate on the key initiatives of ISA on three critical issues: energy access, energy security, and energy transition.
India as the Solar Leader:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 1st General Assembly of the ISA in 2018. PM Modi stressed that India would generate 40% power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
PM Modi then gave the mantra of “One World One Sun One Grid (OSOWOG)” to connect the solar energy supply across the borders.
Which city will host the 5th Assembly of the International Solar Alliance?
D. New Delhi
Paris Club creditors have reportedly reached out to China and India to coordinate Sri Lanka’s debt-restructuring talks.
What is the Paris Club?
The Paris Club is an informal group of creditor nations whose objective is to find workable solutions to payment problems faced by debtor nations.
The objective of the Paris Club, an informal group of creditor nations that meets each month in the French capital, is to find workable solutions to payment problems faced by debtor nations.
The group is organised around the principles that each debtor nation be treated case by case, with consensus, conditionality, solidarity, and comparability of treatment.
The Paris Club has 22 permanent members, including most of the western European and Scandinavian nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
How will the creditor’s committee help?
The formation of an official creditors committee in which China and India agreed to work together with the Paris Club would help Sri Lanka secure a US$ 2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The IMF announced a staff-level deal with the government last month and needs assurances from creditors that they are willing to negotiate a restructuring before its board can give final approval and start disbursing the much-needed funding.
What is G20 Common Framework:
G20’s Common Framework plan is a programme set up at the height of COVID-19 for debt-crippled poor countries.
This framework is to help these countries restructure their debt and deal with insolvency and protracted liquidity problems.
Sri Lanka is not part of this framework as it was classified as a middle-income country then.
The IMF says 30 per cent of emerging economies and 60 per cent of low-income countries are in or at high risk of debt distress. The World Bank has warned of a coming wave of sovereign defaults by poor countries.
The Paris Club is an informal group of nations whose objective is to find workable solutions for
A. Debt trap nations
B. Reduction of nuclear weapons
C. Working of carbon footprints
D. Curb Terror financing
Credit guarantee scheme for startups notified.
The government has notified a credit guarantee scheme for start-ups (CGSS) under which lenders will extend collateral-free loans up to ₹10 crores to each eligible borrower.
What is the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups?
The Government of India has formulated a Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) with a contribution of ₹2000 crores that enables startups to avail of loans without any collateral for their business.
The scheme was first proposed by the Prime Minister as a part of the Startup India action plan. The credit guarantee scheme provides portfolio-based guarantees, and each portfolio comprises at least ten eligible startup loans during a particular financial year.
This is extended by a member lending institution to finance an eligible borrower, which is usually a Startup recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The central government has approved the ‘Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS)’ to provide credit guarantees to loans extended by member institutions (MIs) to finance eligible borrowers being startups.
This scheme would help provide much-needed collateral-free debt funding to startups.
The CGSS aims to provide credit guarantees up to a specified limit against loans extended by Member Institutions (MIs) to finance eligible borrowers, viz., Startups, as defined in the Gazette Notification issued by DPIIT and amended from time to time.
The credit guarantee cover under the scheme would be transaction-based and umbrella based.
The exposure to individual cases would be capped at ₹10 crores per case or the actual outstanding credit amount.
Recently the government has notified a credit guarantee scheme for start-ups under which lenders will extend collateral-free loans up to the amount of _____
A. 5 crores
B. 10 crores
C. 15 crores
D. 20 crores
Days and Events.
The United Nations declared 2022 as the International Year of Glass.
The United Nations declared 2022 as the International Year of Glass to promote best practices and sustainability in the industry.
Glass is an inorganic solid material that is usually transparent or translucent as well as hard and brittle.
Glass is a poor conductor of heat and electricity and has no sharp melting point.
Glass decomposes very slowly but can be recycled.
Commercial glass is usually made of sand, limestone, and sodium carbonate that is raised in temperature until it is molten and then cooled quickly.
One problem with glass is that, along with natural light, it also brings in the heat from outside, which can make the interiors uncomfortable in hot tropical climates.
In fact, when compared to wall materials such as brick, glass tends to transmit more than double the amount of heat.
Additionally, glass can also radiate a lot of heat from outside if directly exposed to solar rays, thereby leading to excessive air conditioning use in a hot and humid place.
Forms of glass:
We use everyday glass, like sheet glass and bottle glass.
Borosilicate glass: It is used for cookware and laboratory glassware.
Specialised glasses include optical, photosensitive, metallic, and fibre-optic.
The United Nations has recently declared the year 2022 as the International Year for which of the following elements?
Elite anti-terror teams from Russia and Central Asian countries have begun a five-day (October 8-13) joint anti-terror exercise at the National Security Guard (NSG) garrison in Manesar.
According to NSG, eight representatives from counter-terrorism forces of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and India are participating.
It is the Stage-2 of the exercise as, according to an official statement, “The Stage-1 of the Exercise was conducted from July 27 to August 1 by the National Counter Terrorist Forces of SCO Member Countries in their respective territories”.
About the Exercise:
The exercise will be witnessed by four “observers” from the executive committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (EC RATS, SCO) and one observer from the State Committee for National Security of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) is one of the permanent organs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and has its headquarters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The objective of the exercise is to provide a “platform to the participating member countries to enhance their operational capabilities and exchange experience in Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, which are common regional security challenges”.
The Anti-terror exercise-2022 of eight countries held in which State?
A. Andhra Pradesh
D. Uttar Pradesh
National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC).
Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will attend the 4th National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC) Investors’ roundtable conference organised by the Maharashtra Industrial Township Ltd (MITL) in Mumbai.
The conference will showcase the development of upcoming greenfield industrial cities across India, which the NICDC has planned.
The conference is intended to facilitate a meaningful discussion among stakeholders and thus help in identifying various collaboration opportunities for investors.
What is NICDC?
The NICDC is a Special Purpose Vehicle that envisages establishing, promoting and facilitating the development of the NICDC programme, India’s most ambitious infrastructure programme aimed at developing new industrial cities as “smart cities” and converging next-generation technologies across infrastructure sectors.
What is a Special Purpose Vehicle?
A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is a subsidiary company formed to undertake a specific business purpose or activity.
The SPVs are commonly utilised in certain structured finance applications, such as asset securitisation, joint ventures, property deals, or to isolate parent company assets, operations, or risks.
The National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation is a
A. Constitutional body
B. Private-Public company
C. Special Purpose Vehicle
D. A government-owned subsidiary
Report and Index.
Education 4.0 Report by WEF.
The World Economic Forum report, titled Education 4.0, has been released, and it states that the School-to-Work (S2W) transition process is facing major hurdles in India.
Additionally, it adds that a lack of coordinated effort resulted in an isolated skilling system that has not achieved its maximum potential.
About the report:
The Education 4.0 report is mainly about how digital and other technologies can address learning gaps and make education accessible to all.
The report states, “India has more than 60 million secondary and higher secondary students, but 85 per cent of schools are yet to implement vocational courses as part of their curriculum”.
What is the Education 4.0 India initiative?
The Education 4.0 India initiative was launched in May 2020 and has convened over 40 partners from the education technology, government, academic and start-up communities.
The report is the result of a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India).
The Education 4.0 Report is recently released by
D. World Bank
Awards and Recognitions.
Nobel Prize Economics 2022.
The Nobel Prize for Economics in 2022 was awarded to Ben S Bernanke, Douglas W Diamond and Philip H Dybvig recently for research on banks and financial crises.
The economics prize is not one of the original five awards created in the 1895 will of industrialist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.
For what they got the Nobel Prize?
The trio’s main work focused on understanding the role of banks in the economy, particularly during financial crises and how banking failures can amplify and self-perpetuate a crisis.
An important finding in their research is why avoiding bank collapses is vital. Their analyses have been of great practical importance in regulating financial markets and dealing with financial crises.
About Ben S Bernanke:
Bernanke was the head of the US central bank and the Federal Reserve when the 2008 crisis hit and was able to put knowledge from research into policy.
Bernanke’s research highlighted the volatile relationship between the working of banks and the roll-out of money in the economy.
About Douglas W Diamond and Philip H Dybvig:
Diamond and Dybvig’s research included developing theoretical models explaining why banks exist, how their role in society makes them vulnerable to rumours about their impending collapse, and how society can lessen this vulnerability.
About Economics Nobel:
It was established by Sweden’s central bank and first awarded in 1969, its full and formal name being the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Who among the following is the former chairman of US central bank who also won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2022?
A. Douglas W Diamond
B. Philip H Dybvig
C. Joshua D Angrist
D. Ben S Bernanke
Rajasthan International Folk Festival.
The iconic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, has once again decked up to host the 13th edition of the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), the premier roots festival, which was held from October 6 to 10.
About the Event:
The festival is known for offering an eclectic mix of performances by Indian and international roots artists, where one can witness language, national and racial barriers being blurred by music.
In line with the tradition, this year’s line-up of 250 performers includes artists from Mexico, Wales, Ireland, Netherlands, Mauritius, Israel, Brazil, and Turkey.
An India-Ireland collaboration
Among this year’s highlights is ‘Citadels of the Sun’, a Rajasthani-Irish collaboration born out of the many musicals, folkloric and historical connections between the two countries. It took shape four years ago when the project was commissioned by Ireland’s Earagail Arts Festival in collaboration with Jodhpur RIFF.
Turkish oud in action
Similarly, Turkey’s Yurdal Tokcan, cited among the foremost oud (a stringed instrument) players, calls the festival a “meeting point of different cultures”.
The 13th edition of the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) was recently held in which fort?
A. Chittorgarh Fort
B. Taragarh Fort
C. Gagron Fort
D. Mehrangarh Fort
National conference on digital skills for girls.
Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) organised National Conference on Skilling in Non-Traditional Livelihood (NTL) for Girls, “Betiyan Bane Kushal”, under the banner of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, today.
About the conference:
The conference will emphasise convergence between ministries and departments to ensure that girls build their skills and enter the workforce in a diverse set of professions, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), where girls have historically been under-represented.
The event will include:
An interactive session between the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, and a group of adolescent girls who are making their mark in NTL from across India.
Launch of the BBBP operational manual that lays out operational guidelines and avenues for convergence.
Announcement of commitments with MoSDE and MoMA on 21st-century skills focusing on life and employability skills, entrepreneurship skills, digital literacy and financial literacy skills.
Best practices on skilling from the ground, showcased by selected districts
Case studies on sustainable inclusion of girls and women in NTL, with examples from industry, NGOs and CSOs.
Science and Technology.
Chandrayaan-2 found sodium on the Moon.
Chandrayaan-2, which has been hovering around the moon since 2019, has mapped an abundance of sodium on the moon for the first time.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO, the X-ray spectrometer ‘CLASS’ on the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter mapped an abundance of sodium on the moon for the first time.
About the Findings:
The new findings provide an avenue to study surface-exosphere interaction on the moon that would aid the development of similar models for mercury and other airless bodies in our solar system and beyond.
Which device on Chandrayaan did this?
Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (C1XS) detected sodium from its characteristic line in X-rays, which opened up the possibility of mapping the amount of sodium on the moon.
Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer or CLASS, built at the UR Rao Satellite Centre of ISRO, provides clean signatures of the sodium line.
The region on the moon:
This region termed an ‘exosphere’, begins at the surface of the moon and extends several thousand kilometres merging into interplanetary space, ISRO noted.
How will it help?
Sodium can be used as a tracer of the volatile history of the moon.
Which of the following metals was recently detected by Chandrayaan-2 on the moon?
Global Artificial Intelligence Summit and Awards.
Addressing the third edition of the Global Artificial Intelligence Summit and Awards, the minister said that artificial intelligence would truly be a catalyst in India’s development journey.
About the Summit:
The third AI Summit has been organised by AICRA and is focusing on the areas of defence, healthcare, agriculture, smartcities, mobility and education in partnership with the government.
Aim of the Summit:
The aim is to develop a roadmap on how to use the AI ecosystem and startups for the benefit of society.
The 3rd Annual conference has set up multidisciplinary groups to break down the silos in which different stakeholders have been working and to find technological solutions for the key sectors of our society.
Artificial Intelligence harbinger Development Process:
The Make in India program, when juxtaposed with AI technology, will enable India to become the factory of the world, providing both equipment and technology to the world.
In India, there is a huge talent pool available that will definitely help in exploring newer ways to take AI in every sector of economic activity.
The government is using AI to redefine the way it works, such as the Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), which is leveraging AI to improve the entire logistics ecosystem of the country.
Initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti National Master Plan (PMGNMP), which aims at developing our infrastructure smarter; Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which aims at democratising E-commerce; and GeM, which has made a significant impact on government procurement – all these are leveraging AI to bring efficiency and better delivery of services.
With the meaningful contribution by Industry, startups, incubators and academia, India will emerge as the hub of the artificial intelligence revolution across the world.
AI can play a crucial role in empowering the lives of farmers, fishermen and the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector.
The Global Artificial Intelligence Summit was recently organised by
Defence Research and Development Organisation
A. IIT Delhi
B. All India Council For Robotics & Automation
C. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
Days and Events.
International Day of the Girl Child 2022.
International Day of the Girl Child 2022: The International Day of the Girl (IDG), also referred to as the Day of Girls, is observed on October 11 to draw awareness to the gender inequality that girls confront all around the world.
What is done on this date?
On this day, the UN and other organisations host conferences and discussions on a variety of topics, including child marriage, violence against women, access to education, and more.
In addition, this day hopes to motivate girls to reach their greatest potential by sharing the stories of changemakers.
This year, the theme chosen by UNICEF for the International Day of Girl Child is ‘Our Time Is Now — Our Rights, Our Future’.
The United Nations General Assembly voted on 19 December 2011 to approve a resolution declaring 11 October 2012, as the first International Day of Girls. The first celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child took place on the designated date.
The International Day of the Girl Child will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year.
International Day of the Girl Child is observed to celebrate the achievements of girls worldwide. This day also aims to educate girls about their rights, enabling them to realise their full potential and transform the world around them.
Up to 10 million girls are currently at risk of underage marriage, according to UN statistics. In contrast to 1 in 10 boys, roughly 1 in 4 girls worldwide do not participate in formal education, work, or training and girls are the main victims of sexual exploitation.
The purpose of IDG is to spread awareness of women’s and girls’ rights and to encourage them to realise their full potential.
What is the theme for International Day of the Girl Child 2022?
A. Our Time Is Now — Our Rights, Our Future
B. Ending child marriage
C. GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable
D. My voice, Our Common Future
On World Mental Health Day (10 October), the government rolled out its initiative Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS), to provide free on-call affordable mental health services.
The National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP) was first announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2022-23.
What is Tele-MANAS?
The Tele-MANAS programme comprises a network of 23 Tele-mental health centres of excellence, with NIMHANS as the nodal centre.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bengaluru and the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) have been roped in for technical support.
Currently, there are five regional coordination centres along with 51 state and Union Territories (UTs) Tele-MANAS cells.
The Centre plans to gradually operate at least one Tele-MANAS cell in each state and Union territory across the country.
How will Tele-MANAS work?
The Tele-MANAS service can be accessed by calling the helpline numbers 14416 and 1-800-891-4416.
The services have been divided into two tiers. The first tier includes trained counsellors and mental health specialists.
The callers will first interact with a centralised Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), after which they will be transferred to a trained counsellor in their respective regions.
If needed, they will be connected virtually to mental health specialists like clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and psychiatrists.
The second tier is in-person services which comprise specialists at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation.
In case the caller requires in-person services, they will be recommended to a health and wellness centre or a tertiary care centre.
As per a Lancet study published last year, India saw a 35 per cent rise in clinically significant depression and anxiety disorders due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
A total of 1,64,033 suicides were reported in the country during 2021, showing an increase of 7.2 per cent in comparison to 2020, and the rate of suicides has increased by 6.2 per cent during 2021 over 2020.
Recently launched Tele-MANAS caller assistance service mainly targets
A. Communicable diseases
B. Mental health
C. Autism recovery
D. Infant Care
Automatic Exchange of Information
India has received the fourth set of Swiss bank account details of its nationals and organisations as part of the annual information exchange, under which Switzerland has shared particulars of nearly 34 lakh financial accounts with 101 countries.
What is the ‘Automatic Exchange of Information Framework’?
Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is the exchange of information between countries without requesting it.
AEOI exists to reduce global tax evasion.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS), mentioned by the Finance Minister at the tax summit, is an information standard for the AEOI.
The Common Reporting Standard was developed in response to a G20 request and approved by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Council in July 2014.
What is included in the information?
The exchanged details include identification, account and financial information, including name, address, country of residence and tax identification number, information concerning the reporting financial institution, account balance and capital income.
How is this information utilised?
According to experts, the AEOI data received by India has been quite useful for establishing a strong prosecution case against those who have any unaccounted wealth, as it provides entire details of deposits and transfers as well as of all earnings, including through investments in securities and other assets.
Guidelines for the exchange of such sensitive banking information:
The guidelines and parameters for the AEOI are set by the Paris-based international body, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The annual exercise of AEOI exchange, such as the current Swiss bonanza of banking details, is strictly meant for “tax only” purposes and, in India, kept in the custody of and for action by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is a global regime responsible for curbing
A. Terror financing
B. Tax evasion
C. Illegal drugs
D. Human trafficking
4th Heli-India Summit 2022.
Minister of civil aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia recently inaugurated the fourth Heli-India Summit 2022 in Srinagar and said that a civil enclave will be built in Jammu and Srinagar’s current terminal and will be expanded three times to 60,000 square metres.
About Heli-India Summit:
Heli-India Summit is an ideal platform to bring together all the stakeholders of the helicopter industry and exchange their ideas to take the sector to the highest level.
The theme of the 4th Heli-India Summit 2022 is ‘Helicopters for last Mile Connectivity’.
The broad objectives of the Summit are:
Creating a world-class helicopter manufacturing ecosystem in India
Providing a common platform for all industry stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the growth story of the Indian Helicopter industry (India@75), the issues, challenges, and brainstorming solutions for the way ahead
Promote tourism in the Himalayan states by providing uninterrupted helicopter services to the tourist hotspots
Encourage Helicopter-based Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in India
Enhancing the role of Helicopters in supporting other industries
The 4th Heli-India Summit 2022 was recently concluded in which of the following States/UTs?
B. Arunachal Pradesh
D. Jammu and Kashmir
B20 Indonesia Global Dialogue.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently hosted a Conference on B20 Indonesia Global Dialogue in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi.
What is B20 Global Dialogue?
Business 20 (B20), formed in 2010, is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community.
B20 aims to deliver concrete, actionable policy recommendations on the priorities of each rotating presidency to spur economic growth and development.
Aim of aligning the perspectives of Indian industry with the policy recommendations of B20 Indonesia.
This conference would set the tone for the deliberations to ensure that the Indian perspectives are well represented in the policy recommendation of B20 Indonesia.
Major issues of the dialogue:
Trade and Investment
Energy, Sustainability and Climate
Finance and Infrastructure
G20 is a group of 19 Countries + EU, together representing around 85% of global GDP, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the world’s population.
The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union. Indonesia is currently holding the Presidency of G20.
B20 Indonesia Global Dialogue was recently held in which of the following cities?
Football for Schools programme.
FIFA, in partnership with AIFF and with the support of the Union government, launched the Football for Schools project in the country, which is aimed at broad-basing the game across India.
What is the Football for Schools programme?
Football for Schools is an ambitious programme run by FIFA in collaboration with UNESCO, which aims to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of around 700 million children.
The FIFA project, which also aims to reach out to over 700 million children worldwide, would lay special emphasis on reaching out to all the tribal communities of the world.
An initiative by Government:
According to a statement issued by the education ministry, the government will take the Football for Schools programme to all 700+ districts in India.
Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti will be the nodal agency on behalf of the ministry of education to take this initiative forward.
The Government of India is committed to promoting sports and creating a mass movement for football, especially among school children in line.
Football for Schools is an ambitious programme run by FIFA in collaboration with which of the following organisations?
A. World Bank
United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress.
The Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC 2022) officially started recently in Hyderabad, India.
Convened by the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), the Second UNWGIC 2022 is organised by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and hosted by the Department of Science and Technology – Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.
‘Geo-Enabling the Global Village: No one should be left behind’.
What is geospatial information?
The term “geospatial information” means information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on or about the earth and includes:
Data and information derived from—among other things—remote sensing, mapping, and surveying technologies.
Mapping, charting, geomatics data, and related products and services.
About Second UNWGIC 2022:
The Second UNWGIC 2022 will reflect on the importance of integrated geospatial information infrastructure and knowledge services to support the implementation and monitoring of sustainable development goals.
It will also mirror the well-being of society, address environmental and climate challenges, embrace digital transformation and technological development, and catalyse a vibrant economy.
The Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress was held recently in which city?
The US and India launch a task force on energy storage technologies.
The US and India have launched a new task force under the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP), which will focus on the accelerated deployment of energy storage technologies.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) and India’s Ministry of Power (MoP) launched the Energy Storage Task Force to facilitate ongoing and meaningful dialogue among government officials, industry representatives, and other stakeholders from both countries to help scale up and accelerate deployment of energy storage technologies to facilitate the clean energy transition.
Need for partnership:
Amidst volatility in global energy markets, continuing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and increasingly frequent climate-related challenges, the US and India reiterated their commitment to accelerating a just and sustainable energy transition,” Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG).
How is Energy storage done?
As part of SCEP’s Emerging Fuels and Technologies pillar, both countries are working on accelerating transport electrification and decarbonisation, particularly for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, by increasing efficiencies and reducing emissions of freight transport, advancing the deployment of long-haul trucks powered by batteries and fuel cells.
It also aims to increase EV charging infrastructure and collaborate with the private industry to accelerate the deployment of cleaner vehicles and the development of battery supply chains.
Which of the following nations recently joined India in launching a task force on energy storage technologies?
India and Japan to advance scientific cooperation for Indian Ayurveda
All India Institute of Ayurveda recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan.
The MoU is aimed at capacity development and technological cooperation for academic establishment.
How does this MoU help?
The MoU will make it possible for both nations to advance scientific cooperation and capacity building in the area of the Indian Ayurvedic system of traditional medicine. All of these initiatives will be carried out with aid from the Ministry of Ayush.
Initiatives by the Ministry of AYUSH:
The All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) is the apex institute of Ayurveda in India under the Ministry of AYUSH.
With the signing of the MoU with AIST, AIIA hopes to increase the visibility of the institute’s research initiatives both domestically and internationally.
AIST is a reputed and one of the largest public research organisations in Japan. AIST focuses on bridging the gap between innovative technological seeds and commercialisation.
Expected collaborative work areas:
The scope of activities that the participants intend includes research activities in the field of Ayurveda.
The collaborative efforts would include studies in design and execution with the purpose of developing evidence-based guidelines.
The work is expected to integrate Ayurvedic principles and practices with conventional medicine.
It would also involve the study of the safety standards and protocols for using Ayurveda in Japan.
With which nation India recently signed an MoU in the field of scientific cooperation for Indian Ayurveda?
India votes against Russia at UNGA
India favoured a public vote on the draft resolution along with more than 100 other countries, rejecting Russia’s plan for a secret ballot in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on a draft resolution to denounce Moscow’s “illegal” annexation of four areas of Ukraine.
Russia insisted on a secret ballot vote for the resolution.
After 107 UN members, including India, voted in favour of a recorded vote, Moscow’s request for a secret ballot was denied.
Just 13 countries supported Russia’s request for a secret ballot, and 39 others stayed silent. China and Russia were two of the nations that abstained.
India last month had abstained while Russia vetoed a draft resolution of the UN Security Council tabled by the US and Albania to condemn Moscow’s “illegal referenda” and declared the annexation of four Ukrainian territories as invalid.
The 15-nation UN Security Council had voted on the draft resolution on “Illegal So-Called Referenda in Ukraine”, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin in a ceremony in the Kremlin had signed treaties to annex the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stated that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
India has abstained on votes on the Ukraine conflict in the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.
India is deeply concerned about the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including the targeting of infrastructure and the deaths of civilians.
Recently, India voted against Russia at UNGA on which of the following issues of the Ukraine War?
A. Annexation of four regions of Ukraine
B. Aggression against Ukraine
C. Humanitarian consequences of aggression against Ukraine
D. Suspending Russia from UNHRC
‘Steadfast Noon’ nuclear exercise
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members are likely to push and conduct a long-planned nuclear exercise next week.
The “annual nuclear exercise” will be held on 16 October at Volkel air base (southern Netherlands).
This move comes despite rising tensions over the war in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that he is not bluffing about using all the available means to defend Russian territory.
What is the ‘Steadfast Noon’ Exercise?
It involves fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear warheads but does not involve any live bombs. Conventional jets and surveillance and refuelling aircraft also take part routinely.
Fourteen of the 30 NATO member countries will be involved in the exercise. This was actually planned before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
The main part of the manoeuvres would be held more than 1,000 kilometres from Russia.
What is NATO’s stand on the Exercise?
The purpose of NATO’s nuclear deterrent is not to provoke a conflict but to preserve peace, deter aggression and prevent coercion.
In an increasingly uncertain world, our nuclear forces continue to play an important role in our collective defence.
Impact on Russia-Ukraine war:
NATO thought that it would send a very wrong signal if this exercise is cancelled because it was planned a long-time ago before the war in Ukraine.
The threat is also aimed at deterring NATO nations from sending more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine.
Does NATO possess any nuclear weapons?
It is to be noted that NATO as an organisation does not possess any weapons.
The nuclear weapons nominally linked to NATO remain under the firm control of three member countries — the US, the UK and France.
The alliance’s secretive Nuclear Planning Group involving defence ministers will meet this week.
In which of the following countries will NATO members conduct a ‘Steadfast Noon’ nuclear exercise?
C. The Netherlands
India-Norway joint working group on higher education
The Ministry of Education recently hosted the 6th meeting of the India-Norway Joint Working Group on Higher Education in New Delhi.
The Joint Working Group was established to monitor and oversee the implementation of the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Higher Education signed between India and Norway on 25th April 2022.
India and Norway discussed the overall policy and priorities for higher education, faculty and student mobility, and cooperation in the area of skill development
About the previous MoU:
The previous India-Norway Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed in 2014, covered the development of the Indo-Norwegian Cooperation Programme.
The two sides also discussed the overall policy and priorities for higher education, faculty and student mobility, and cooperation in the area of skill development.
The India-Norway joint working group recently held a meeting in Delhi for which level of education?
A. Pre-Primary Education
B. Primary Education
C. Secondary Education
D. Higher Education
Reports and Index
India has moved up six places to rank 123 out of 161 countries for reducing inequality but continues to be among the lowest performers in health spending, according to the latest Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII).
The 2022 CRII looks at government policies and actions in 161 countries to fight inequality during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Norway leads the CRII, followed by Germany and Australia.
India’s overall rank has improved by six points from 129 in 2020 to 123 in 2022. It has moved up 12 places to rank 129 for reducing inequality through progressive spending.
What is the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2022?
The Index which is prepared by Oxfam International and Development Finance International (DFI) measures governments’ policies and actions in three areas proven to have a major impact on reducing inequality.
The three areas are public services (health, education, and social protection), taxation and workers’ rights.
Yet, the CRI 2022 Index shows clearly that most of the world’s governments failed to mitigate this dangerous rise in inequality.
It reviews the spending, tax, and labour policies and actions of 161 governments during 2020–2022. COVID-19 has increased inequality worldwide, as the poorest were hit hardest by both the disease and its profound economic impacts.
Report about India:
India has dropped a further two places in the rankings, to 157th (or 5th lowest in the world).
India even made small cuts in health spending between 2019 and 2021—at a time of unprecedented health need and crisis.
Given the wide criticism of the government’s response to COVID-19 and the great need for healthcare improvements, it is disappointing to see that things are still moving in the wrong direction.
What is the ranking of India according to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index-2022 published by Oxfam?
World Bank (WB) has extended an unconditional loan of $250 million to the Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation (SALT) project in appreciation of the path-breaking reforms implemented by the State government.
The SALT is the first project in the school education sector to be funded by the World Bank without any precondition.
What is the SALT project?
SALT is the first of its kind of innovative project to train teachers, facilitate State-level assessment and establish an effective education management and information system.
It will help in providing universal access to quality education in the state.
It will also support Andhra Pradesh in fulfilling its vision of transforming government schools into vibrant institutions which will focus on foundational learning for children.
Features of the project:
It is a five-year result-oriented programme, for which the world bank is releasing funds after key goals are achieved.
Under the project, the government has converted all Anganwadis in the state, into pre-primary schools and has attached them to the nearest schools.
Reforms by the project:
The reforms initiated under the SALT project had brought about a paradigm shift in the way education was imparted and the outcomes had been encouraging.
Besides, the facilities in schools were vastly improved under the Nadu-Nedu programme to provide an atmosphere that was conducive to teaching and learning.
Which state spearheaded the SALT project, for which the World Bank recently provided a $250 million unconditional loan?
A. Himachal Pradesh
D. Andhra Pradesh
Growth and Development
Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE), a Rs 6,600 crore scheme to support infrastructure, industries and other livelihood projects in the Northeastern states, was approved recently by the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The new scheme, to be implemented during the remaining four years of the 15th Finance Commission from 2022-23 to 2025-26, is a 100 per cent Central government-funded plan and will be administered by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
What is the PM-DevINE scheme?
PM-DevINE will lead to the creation of infrastructure, support industries and social development projects, and create livelihood activities for youth and women, thus leading to employment generation.
PM-DevINE will be implemented by the Ministry of DoNER through North Eastern Council or Central Ministries/agencies. Measures would be taken to ensure adequate operation and maintenance of the projects sanctioned under PM-DevINE so that they are sustainable.
To limit the construction risks of time and cost overrun, falling on the Government, projects would be implemented on Engineering-procurement-Construction (EPC) basis, to the extent possible.
The PM-DevINE will provide support to infrastructure and social development projects which may be larger in size and will also provide an end-to-end development solution instead of isolated projects.
The objectives of PM-DevINE are to
fund infrastructure convergently, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti,
support social development projects based on the felt needs of the NER,
enable livelihood activities for youth and women,
and fill the development gaps in various sectors.
Which of the following is not a targeted objective of the PM-DevINE scheme?
A. social development projects
B. livelihood activities for youth and women
C. fund infrastructure convergently
D. curbing child mortality
Science and Technology
Kuafu-1: China launches first solar observatory
China’s recently launched Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), nicknamed Kuafu-1, which represents the country’s ambitions to unravel the mysteries of the Sun, has entered its planned orbit.
The trio of instruments on board will provide insights into how the Sun’s magnetic field causes coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and other eruptions.
Scientists in China have reportedly been waiting a long time for such an observatory.
Such a mission was first pitched in the 1970s by Weiqun Gan, an astrophysicist at the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing.
The equipment carried:
The instruments on board the observatory include a magnetograph to study the Sun’s magnetic field, an X-ray imager for studying the high-energy radiations released by electrons accelerated in solar flares, and a coronagraph which will look at the Sun in the ultraviolet-visible range, in order to observe the plasma produced by solar flares and CMEs.
ASO-S is specially designed to study eruptions from the Sun:
ASO-S, also nicknamed Kuafu-1, is uniquely equipped to survey an important region of the Sun called the middle corona, the centre of solar storms. To this date, this area hasn’t been completely visualised in the ultraviolet spectrum.
On top of that, the primary objective of this mission is to provide insights into the fundamental phenomena governing the powerful eruptions emerging from the Sun’s dynamic magnetic field.
Recently, China launched the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), nicknamed Kuafu-1 for
A. Studying Halley’s comets
B. Sampling the surface of Jupiter
C. Dismantling asteroids
D. Studying the sun’s magnetic field
Reports and indexes
World Economic Outlook report-2022
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its latest World Economic Outlook report, cut its forecast for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23) by 60 basis points (bps) and 6.8 per cent; warning a long and tough economic winter.
The world, including India, will experience an overall slowdown in the next year owing to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, tightening monetary conditions globally, the highest inflation in decades, and lingering effects of the pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Global inflation is projected to rise from 4.7 per cent in 2021 to 8.8 per cent in 2022 but would decline to 6.5 per cent in 2023 and to 4.1 per cent by 2024.
Upside inflation surprises have been most widespread among advanced economies, with greater variability in emerging markets and developing economies.
The current global economic outlook is shaped by the effects of three powerful forces, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a cost-of-living crisis caused by persistent and broadening inflation pressures, and the slowdown in China.
The largest economies of the world are facing significant slowdowns. A US GDP contraction in the first half of 2022, a Euro area contraction in the second half of 2022, and prolonged COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns in China with a growing property sector crisis.
A worsening of China’s property sector crisis could spill over to the domestic banking sector and weigh heavily on the country’s growth, with negative cross-border effects.
What is World Economic Outlook (WEO)?
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) is a comprehensive report published twice a year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It includes the IMF’s estimates and forecasts for global output growth and inflation as well as for real gross domestic product (GDP) growth, consumer prices, current account balances and unemployment in the fund’s 190 member countries, grouped by region and development status. The WEO also includes several chapters on selected pressing economic issues.
The data is drawn from IMF representatives’ consultations with member countries and is included in the WEO database.
The WEO is usually published in April and October, followed by the less comprehensive WEO updates in July and January.
What is the growth rate of India for the year 2022-23 according to the recently published IMF’s World Economic Outlook report?
Environment and Ecology.
First-ever World Sloth Bear Day celebrated.
The first-ever World Sloth Bear Day celebrations were held on the 12th of October by Wildlife SOS in Agra in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UP Forest Department.
What is a Sloth Bear?
The Sloth Bear is a unique bear species found in India.
It is the least researched bear species listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.
Wildlife SOS India, involved in Sloth Bear protection, rescue and rehabilitation for over two decades, in collaboration with IUCN, has declared 12th October as ‘World Sloth Bear Day’ to promote the conservation and protection of this unique bear species.
What is Wildlife SOS India?
Wildlife SOS (WSOS) is a conservation non-profit in India, established in 1995 with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress and preserving India’s natural heritage.
It is currently one of the largest wildlife organisations in South Asia.
Although internationally known for groundbreaking work of resolving the cruel and barbaric practice of dancing bears from the streets of India while creating alternative livelihoods for the nomadic communities that depended on the exploitation of the bears, WSOS is also known for their efforts at rescue and rehabilitation of sloth bears and more recently elephants.
Importance for Ecology:
They cannot eat meat and, by foraging on fruits, are the biggest seed dispersals.
Sloth bears are found in all parts of the country except Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeastern States.
When was the first-ever World Sloth Bear Day celebrated?
A. 10th October
B. 9th September
C. 19th August
D. 12th October
India’s first Slender Loris Sanctuary.
In a first in the country, the Tamil Nadu government recently notified Kadavur Slender Loris Sanctuary covering 11,806 hectares in Karur and Dindigul districts.
A total of 11,806 hectares in the forest areas of the Karur and Dindigul districts will be merged to form the Kadavur Slender Loris Sanctuary, the first of its kind in India.
These mammals are also protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972, Schedule I.
What is Slender Loris, and its role in Ecology?
Slender Loris is listed as an endangered species according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The survival of the species depends on its habitat improvement, conservation efforts and mitigation of threats.
Slender Loris is a small nocturnal mammal that spends most of its life on trees.
They act as biological predators of pests that harm agricultural crops and help farmers.
The species has a wide range of ecological roles and importance in the terrestrial ecosystem.
Interesting Facts about Slender Loris:
Slender lorises roll up in a ball to rest.
Slender lorises are incapable of jumping even short distances, but they can bridge significant gaps in the trees with their long limbs.
Female slender lorises have two pairs of mammary glands.
Female slender lorises hang upside-down during mating.
Slender lorises are often referred to as “bananas on stilts”.
Slender lorises’ main form of defence is to freeze until the danger passes.
Other steps by the TN government to conserve Ecology:
In significant steps towards wildlife conservation, the Tamil Nadu government notified India’s first Dugong Conservation Reserve in Palk Bay.
Kazhuveli bird sanctuary in Villupuram.
Nanjarayan Tank birds sanctuary in Tiruppur.
State’s fifth elephant reserve at Agasthyamalai in Tirunelveli.
Further, 13 wetlands across the State were declared as Ramsar sites.
Which state has recently notified India’s first Slender Loris Sanctuary?
B. Tamil Nadu
INS Tarkash reaches South Africa to participate in IBSAMAR.
INS Tarkash recently reached Port Grequhrea, also known as Port Elizabeth in South Africa, to participate in the seventh edition of IBSAMAR, a joint multinational maritime exercise among Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies.
About the Exercise:
The harbour phase of IBSAMAR VII includes professional exchanges such as damage control and fire-fighting drills, VBSS/cross-boarding lectures and interaction among special forces.
The Indian Navy is represented by the Teg class guided missile frigate, INS Tarkash, a Chetak helicopter and the personnel from the Marine Commando Force (MARCOS).
The previous edition of IBSAMAR (IBSAMAR VI) was conducted in Simons Town, South Africa, from 1 to 13 October 2018.
The objective of the exercise:
The Joint Maritime Exercise will strengthen maritime security, joint operational training, sharing of best practices and building interoperability to address common maritime threats.
What is INS Tarkash?
INS Tarkash is a state-of-the-art stealth frigate of the Indian Navy, built by Yantar Shipyard at Kaliningrad, Russia.
It is equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors capable of addressing threats in all three dimensions.
The ship incorporates the latest stealth features such as reduced radar, infrared, acoustic, and magnetic signatures, thus making it difficult to detect at sea.
The ship is part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai under the Western Naval Command.
Which Indian Naval ship recently participated in the seventh edition of IBSAMAR at Port Grequhrea, South Africa?
A. INS Trishul
B. INS Satpura
C. INS Tarkash
D. INS Talwar
Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will launch a website enabling citizens to contribute to the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (AFBCWF).
What is AFBCWF?
AFBCWF is a Tri-service fund utilised for the grant of immediate financial assistance of ex-gratia to the Next of Kin and dependents of Battle Casualties.
While the Government of India has initiated a large number of Welfare Schemes for the soldiers killed or disabled during active military operations in the line of duty, there has been a strong public sentiment and requests from patriotic citizens, corporate heads/ industry captains to contribute to the cause of welfare of the soldiers and their families.
This website is being launched to facilitate patriotic Indians to partner in this noble cause.
Website on “Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot” to have film icon Amitabh Bachchan as Goodwill Ambassador.
Which actor has recently been declared a Goodwill Ambassador for the Website “Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot”, which enables citizens to contribute to the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund?
A. Ranveer Singh
B. Vickey Kaushal
C. Amitabh Bachchan
D. Pankaj Tripathi
Cyber Security Exercise PowerEX-2022.
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), in collaboration with Power-CSIRTs (Computer Security Incident Response Teams in the Power sector), successfully designed and conducted the Cyber Security Exercise “PowerEX” for 193 invited Power Sector Utilities recently.
The Exercise Planner Team of Power-CSIRTs’ officials worked along with the CERT-In team on the exercise day as Exercise Coordinators. The objective of the exercise was to “Recognize, Analyse & Respond to Cyber Incidents in IT & OT Systems”.
The theme of the exercise was “Defending Cyber induced disruption in IT & OT infrastructure”.
Recently conducted Exercise-PowerEX-2022 was concerned with which field?
A. Cyber security
B. Financial fraud
D. Terror financing
South Asian Geosciences Conference and Exhibition.
The three-day 5th South Asian Geoscience Conference, GEO India 2022, will be held at JECC Sitapura, Jaipur, to share the latest research on ‘improved production of natural gas and oil’.
Organised by the Association of Petroleum Geologists (APG), over a hundred experts from India and other countries, including the United States, Norway, and the European Central, will participate in discussing the issues and sharing their experiences.
About the Association of Petroleum Geologists (APG):
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) is one of the world’s largest professional geological societies, with more than 40,000 members across 129 countries.
What does it do?
The AAPG works to advance the science of geology, especially as it relates to:
other subsurface fluids
To promote the technology of exploring, finding, and producing these materials in an economically and environmentally sound manner. And also to advance the professional well-being of its members.
About APG India:
Association of Petroleum Geologists (APG) India is AAPG’s Indian arm.
It is a forum that brings together Petroleum Geoscientists and Engineers on one platform to discuss, deliberate, and plan ways and means to support worthwhile geoscience-related educational and scientific projects or programmes.
It focuses on advancing the science of Petroleum Geology and promoting technology for exploration and production in an economically and environmentally sound manner.
In which of the following cities was the 5th South Asian Geoscience Conference, GEO India 2022, held?
Environment and Ecology.
Living Planet Report 2022.
There has been a 69 per cent decline in the wildlife populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish across the globe in the last 50 years, according to the latest Living Planet Report by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
What is the Living Planet Report?
The Living Planet Report has been published every two years by the World Wide Fund for Nature since 1998. It is based on the Living Planet Index and ecological footprint calculations.
The Living Planet Report is the world’s leading, science-based analysis of the health of our planet and the impact of human activity.
Living Planet Index:
The Living Planet Index (LPI) – which tracks populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians – reveals an average 69% decrease in monitored wildlife populations since 1970. The 2022 LPI analysed almost 32,000 species populations.
Key findings of the report:
69% decline in the wildlife populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish across the globe in the last 50 years
The highest decline was in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Freshwater populations have declined the most, with an average 83% decline between 1970 and 2018
About 50% of warm water corals have already been lost, and warming of 1.5 degrees celsius will lead to a loss of 70-90% of warm water
WWF identified six key threats to biodiversity:
What is the World Wide Fund for Nature?
The World Wide Fund for Nature Inc. is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1961 that works in the field of wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment.
It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.
Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland
Founded: 29 April 1961, Morges, Switzerland
Director: Marco Lambertini (Director General)
Which of the following organisations recently published the Living Planet Report Index 2022?
D. Green Peace
Offshore security exercise ‘Prasthan’ was recently conducted in the Krishna Godavari Basin Offshore Development Area (ODA), under the aegis of Headquarters, Eastern Naval Command.
The exercise, which is conducted every six months, aims to integrate the efforts of all maritime stakeholders involved in offshore defence.
Led by the Navy, the exercise saw participation from the various oil operators, like ONGC, RIL, Vedanta, and other stakeholders in the domain of maritime security, including AP Marine Police, AP fisheries department and the Coast Guard.
The exercise was conducted onboard Drill rigs Platinum Explorer and DDKG- of ONGC and RIL located about 40 nm south of Kakinada.
Contingencies such as terrorist intrusion, bomb explosion, casualty evacuation, search and rescue, man overboard, major fire, oil spill and mass evacuation were exercised.
The exercise provided all stakeholders with a realistic opportunity to assess their readiness to respond and combat contingencies in the Eastern ODA, as also to operate together in a coordinated and synergised manner.
Which of the following naval commands recently conducted the offshore security exercise ‘Prasthan’ in the Krishna Godavari Basin?
A. The Western Naval Command
B. The Eastern Naval Command
C. The Southern Naval Command
D. The Training Command
Important Days and Dates.
World Standards Day is celebrated on 14th October.
Every year on October 14, World Standards Day is observed. This day, also known as International Standards Day, strives to educate consumers, policymakers, and businesses about the value of standardisation.
October 14 was decided as the World Standards Day to commemorate the first gathering of representatives from 25 nations in London in 1956, which marked the launch of an international body to facilitate standardisation.
World Standards Day recognises the contributions of groups like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the ISO, as well as the professionals, who collaborate with them.
The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the value of standardisation in today’s globally interconnected world. The standardisation process is a crucial instrument for promoting trade and resolving technical issues.
This year’s World Standards Day is centred on the concept of “Build Back Better”.
IEC, ISO, and ITU, the top international standard makers, call on the world community to come together in order to advance this year’s subject as we face an urgent problem brought on by Covid-19.
International Standards Day focuses on educating consumers, policymakers, and businesses about the value of standardisation and is celebrated across the world on
A. 11 March
B. 15 September
C. 14 October
D. 5 December
Report and Indexes.
Global Hunger Index-2022.
India has slipped six notches to rank 107 on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), 2022, out of 121 countries, lagging behind most south Asian countries, barring war-torn Afghanistan.
The top countries are Belarus, Bosnia, Chile, China, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, etc.
WHAT IS MEANT BY “HUNGER”?
Hunger is usually understood to refer to the distress associated with a lack of sufficient calories.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines food deprivation, or undernourishment, as the habitual consumption of too few calories to provide the minimum dietary energy an individual requires to live a healthy and productive life, given that person’s sex, age, stature, and physical activity.
What is Undernutrition?
It goes beyond calories and signifies deficiencies in any or all of the following: energy, protein, and/or essential vitamins and minerals.
Undernutrition is the result of inadequate intake of food in terms of either quantity or quality, poor utilisation of nutrients due to infections or other illnesses, or a combination of these immediate causes.
What is Malnutrition?
Malnutrition refers more broadly to both undernutrition (problems caused by deficiencies) and overnutrition (problems caused by unbalanced diets that involve consuming too many calories in relation to requirements, with or without the low intake of micronutrient-rich foods).
What is the Global Hunger Index?
GHI is an Annual Report which is Jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
The Objective of GHI:
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
How is the GHI Calculated?
Each country’s GHI score is calculated based on a formula that combines four indicators that together capture the multidimensional nature of hunger:
Undernourishment: the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake
Child stunting: the share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition
Child wasting: the share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition
Child mortality: the share of children who die before their fifth birthday, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments
The GHI score is calculated on a 100-point scale reflecting the severity of hunger, where zero is the best score (no hunger), and 100 is the worst.
COMPOSITION OF GHI SCORES AND SEVERITY DESIGNATIONS: Understand by the Figure given below.
India in GHI-2022
India’s score of 29.1 places it in the ‘serious’ category.
India’s GHI score has decelerated – from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.2 – 29.1 between 2014 and 2022.
India also ranks below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99). Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.
Seventeen countries, including China, Turkey, and Kuwait, shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five.
Major associated facts:
India also ranks below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99). Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.
China is among the countries collectively ranked between 1 and 17, having a score of less than five.
Key Intakes from GHI for 2022:
Global progress against hunger has largely stagnated in recent years, according to the 2022 GHI.
The situation is likely to worsen in the face of the current barrage of overlapping global crises—conflict, climate change, and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic—all of which are powerful drivers of hunger.
These crises come on top of underlying factors such as poverty, inequality, inadequate governance, poor infrastructure, and low agricultural productivity that contribute to chronic hunger and vulnerability.
Africa, South of the Sahara, and South Asia are the regions with the highest hunger levels and are most vulnerable to future shocks and crises.
Without a major shift, neither the world as a whole nor approximately 46 countries are projected to achieve even low hunger as measured by the GHI by 2030.
Levels of hunger and undernutrition vary widely within countries.
Consider the following statements about Global Hunger Index-2022
India ranked 107 on the Global Hunger Index 2022.
According to the index, child mortality is the death of any child before its third birthday.
Child Stunting means children under age five who have low weight for their height.
Which of the following statements is/are not correct?
A. Only 1
B. Both 1 and 2
C. Both 1 and 3
D. Both 2 and 3
Index and Rankings
The World University Rankings 2023.
The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2023 has been released.
According to the rankings, the University of Oxford, UK, is the top university in the world, followed by the University of Harvard (US) and the University of Cambridge (UK) in second and third places.
The University of Oxford has topped the rankings list for the 7th time consecutively.
What is the “Times Higher Education World University Rankings”:
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by the Times Higher Education magazine.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 include 1,799 universities across 104 countries and regions, making them the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.
The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across the following areas: teaching (30%), research (30%), citations (30%), international outlook (7.5%), and industry outcome (2.5%). In teaching and research, 15% weightage each is based on a “reputational survey”.
Status of Indian Educational Institutes in these rankings:
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has retained the top position among Indian institutes in the latest round of Times Higher Education (THE) rankings, which has been boycotted by most Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for the third consecutive year over transparency concerns.
Last year, the second place in the Indian category had been bagged by IIT Ropar, which has in this year’s edition of THE slipped to the sixth position, and to the 501-600 band globally from last year’s 351-400.
Which Indian University got the top position among Indian institutes in the latest round of the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings’?
A. The Indian Institute of Science
B. Mahatma Gandhi University
C. IIT Ropar
D. Alagappa University
Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit-2022.
Recently, MoS for External Affairs led the Indian delegation for the 6th Summit of the Conference of Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) at Astana, Kazakhstan.
What is the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)?
The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a multi-national forum for strengthening cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
It was founded by the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, on 5 October 1992, at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Member States, while affirming their commitment to the UN Charter, believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation, leading to a common indivisible area of security in Asia where all states coexist peacefully, and their peoples live in peace, freedom and prosperity.
India at CICA
India is one of the founding members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and it has supported CICA’s initiatives by organising and participating in various CICA activities.
India has close, friendly ties with Georgia and Kazakhstan underpinned by cultural and historical linkages.
The Minister of State’s visit comes at an opportune time as India marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with both countries.
Where did the Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit-2022 take place recently?
Nuclear-powered INS Arihant carries out a successful launch of SLBM.
INDIA’S STRATEGIC Strike Nuclear Submarine INS Arihant recently carried out a successful launch of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). The Ministry of Defence has said that the test is significant for the SSBN programme, which is a crucial element of India’s nuclear deterrence capability.
The missile was tested to a predetermined range and impacted the target area in the Bay of Bengal with very high accuracy. “All operational and technological parameters of the weapon system have been validated.”
About INS Arihant:
Commissioned in 2016, INS Arihant is India’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile-capable submarine, classified under the SSBN programme.
SSBN is a hull classification symbol for nuclear-powered ballistic missile-carrying submarines.
The operations of the SLBM from the SSBN are under the purview of India’s Strategic Forces Command, which is part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority.
The Arihant class submarines are the first nuclear-powered submarines to be built indigenously by India.
It is powered by an 83 MW Pressurised Light Water Reactor. Being nuclear-powered, it can stay underwater indefinitely till rations last.
INS Arihant was developed under the Indian Navy’s Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Project.
It can carry twelve K-15 Sagarika missiles (range 750 km) or four K-4 missiles (range 3500 km), or K-5 missiles (range 5000 km).
Both K-4 and K-5 are under different stages of development.
The next submarine of the Arihant class is INS Arighat which is under trial and will carry twice the number of missiles as INS Arihant. It was expected to be delivered in 2019.
Two other submarines are under construction.
While INS Arihant is more of a technology demonstrator, INS Arighat will be a full-fledged SSBN.
What is ‘SLBM’ or ‘Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles’?
The Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), sometimes called the ‘K’ family of missiles, have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The family is codenamed after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the central figure in India’s missile and space programmes who also served as the 11th President of India.
Under the SLBM family, missiles of various ranges have been developed, including K-15, also called B-05 or Sagarika, which has a range of at least 750 kilometres.
India has also developed and tested the K-4 missiles from the same family, which have a range of 3500 kilometres. Both K-4 and K-15 have been designed to operate from the Arihant class of submarines.
In January 2020, two successful tests of the K-4 missile were conducted from submerged platforms off the coast of Andhra Pradesh within a span of six days.
These tests were a key step towards ultimately deploying K-4s on the INS Arihant.
It is also reported that more members of the K-family — reportedly carrying the code names K-5 and K-6, with a range of 5,000 km and 6,000 km, respectively — are under development.
What are Ballistic Missiles?
A ballistic missile is a type of missile which uses projectile motion to deliver warheads to a target. These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods.
The Strategic Significance:
The capability of being able to launch nuclear weapons submarine platforms has great strategic significance in the context of achieving a nuclear triad, especially in the light of the “No First Use” policy of India.
The sea-based underwater nuclear-capable assets significantly increase the second strike capability and thus validates nuclear deterrence.
These submarines can not only survive the first strike by the adversary but can also launch a strike in retaliation, thus achieving ‘Credible Nuclear Deterrence’.
The development of these capabilities is important in light of India’s relations with China and Pakistan.
With China having deployed many of its submarines, including some that are nuclear-powered and nuclear-capable, India’s capacity building on the nuclear-powered submarines and the nuclear-capable missile which can be launched from them is crucial for nuclear deterrence.
The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail.
Key points of Nuclear Doctrine:
Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent;
A posture of ‘no first use’ denoting that the nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere; and that nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to “inflict unacceptable damage”.
The doctrine says that nuclear retaliatory attacks can only be authorised by the civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority.
Which Indian submarine recently successfully launched the ‘Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile’ (SLBM)?
A. INS Arighat
B. INS Aridhaman
C. INS Khanderi
D. INS Arihant
Days and Events.
17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas-2023.
The 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention will be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, in January next year. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar recently launched the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention website.
For Pravasi Bhartiya, the government’s engagement is founded on the 4Cs- Care, Connect, Celebrate and Contribute.
The External Affairs Minister expressed confidence that the 17th PBD Convention will be an important landmark event in the post-pandemic world.
What is Pravasi Bharatiya Divas?
9 January commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915.
To mark this day, the tradition of celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) started in 2003.
1st PBD Convention was organised on 9 January 2003 to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.
Since 2015, PBD Convention has been organised once every 2 years under a revised format.
16 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conventions have been organised to date.
16th PBD was conducted in a virtual setting with the theme “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat” in 2021 during the pandemic.
The 17th PBD Convention will be held from 8 – 10 January 2023 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The theme of the 17th PBD is “Diaspora: Reliable Partners for India’s Progress in Amrit Kaal”.
What is the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award?
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honour conferred on a Non-Resident Indian, a Person of Indian Origin or an organisation or institution established and run by them.
The award is to commemorate the contribution of the Indian diaspora to create a better understanding of India abroad, support India’s causes and work for the welfare of the local Indian community.
Selected eminent Indian diaspora members are awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards.
Which city is proposed to host the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in January 2023?
Environment and Ecology.
Wildlife Board approves new tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
On Friday, the Madhya Pradesh Wildlife Board approved a new reserve for tigers of the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR), one-fourth of which will get submerged due to the linking of the Ken-Betwa rivers.
About the reserve:
The 2,339 square kilometres new tiger reserve, to be called Durgavati Tiger Reserve, will spread across Narsinghpur, Damoh and Sagar districts.
A green corridor linking PTR with Durgavati will be developed for the natural movement of the tiger to the new reserve.
The proposal will be sent to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for final approval.
Veerangana Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Veerangana Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in the Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh, India.
Named after Rani Durgavati, a queen of the Gondi people, and covering an area of only 24 sq. km, the sanctuary was notified by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1996.
Reason for its creation:
As part of a wildlife management plan for Panna in the wake of the Ken-Betwa river linking project, the NTCA had asked Uttar Pradesh and MP governments to notify new tiger reserves.
The two state governments, with the centre, are implementing a ₹44,605 crore river-linking project to end the water crisis in the Bundelkhand region.
How are tiger reserves being notified?
Tiger Reserves are notified by the state governments as per provisions of Section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, on the advice of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The following steps are involved in the notification:
The proposal is obtained from the State.
In principle, the approval is communicated from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, soliciting detailed proposals under section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority recommends the proposal to the State after due diligence.
The State Government notifies the area as a Tiger Reserve.
Which of the following wildlife sanctuaries was recently approved as a tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh?
A. Kanha Tiger Reserve
B. Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve
C. Panna Tiger Reserves
D. Durgavati Tiger Reserve
Report and Indexes.
Public Affairs Index 2022.
Haryana has emerged as the best-governed state, with a score of 0.6948, among 18 big states in the Public Affairs Index, 2022.
In the recently released report, Haryana has emerged at the forefront in social justice, economic justice, and political justice themes, and has topped among states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Karnataka, among others.
Sikkim has retained its position as the best-governed small state in India.
About the report:
The 7th edition of the Public Affairs Index, 2022, has been prepared by the Bengaluru-based not-for-profit think tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC).
In this report, economic justice was measured on indicators such as labour productivity, assurance of standard of living to wage workers, public expenditure on development, coverage of social safety net, and employment opportunities.
About the different attributes of the report and data:
In the delivery of economic justice (equities and inequities), Chhattisgarh secured the top rank with a score of 0.83 while Haryana (0.8) and Karnataka (0.79) secured the second and third positions, respectively. West Bengal secured the last rank with a score of 0.18.
Among the smaller states, Sikkim topped the list with a score of 0.612 while Uttarakhand was at the bottom with a score of 0.093.
In the delivery of political justice, Tamil Nadu occupied the top place with a score of 0.875, and Kerala and Madhya Pradesh secured second and third places, respectively. Karnataka secured eighth place with a score of 0.639.
Among the smaller states, Uttarakhand secured the top place with a score of 0.615 while Goa secured the last place (0.380).
Punjab emerged on the top in the delivery of social justice comprising endowments and entitlements with a score of 0.916, while Haryana and Kerala secured second and third places, respectively. Karnataka secured 10th place with a score of 0.436.
Among the smaller states, Uttarakhand topped the table with a score of 0.778 scores and Nagaland secured the last position (0.105).
Which state recently emerged as the best-governed state according to the Public Affairs Index, 2022?
Centre plans 22 bhasha kendras.
The government has decided to set up language centres to prepare study materials and courses for each of the 22 languages mentioned in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.
The centres, called bhasha kendras, will be established under the Union Ministry of Education’s Indian Knowledge System (IKS) initiative.
About Bhasha Kendra:
These language centres will be in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which emphasises the promotion of regional languages.
“These bhasha kendras” will promote national integration.
What will the centres do?
First, they will prepare small booklets of 100-200 pages of IKS-related literature and manuscripts available in their designated languages. “Let’s say in Tamil, a booklet on Siddha Tradition or may on Bharatnatyam”.
The centres will also be translating these works into Sanskrit and English.
The second task of these centres will be to enrich their designated Indian languages with modern science and social models.
The third task will be to develop courses at the undergraduate level.
How many language centres has the government recently decided to set up to prepare study material and courses for regional languages?
Days and Events.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2022.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is marked every year on October 17.
It is a day to raise awareness about the global issue of poverty and how it is a violation of human rights and of human dignity.
The day also honours the courage of people living in poverty and their everyday struggles.
About this day:
There is a day dedicated every year on October 17 to observe the International Day for The Eradication of Poverty.
The day is observed to spread awareness of the issues related to poverty and the violation of the rights of human beings.
People from various organisations gather on this day with the goal of understanding the problems related to people who live in poverty and reaffirming the collective commitment to end it.
HISTORY of this day:
The beginning of this day has its footprints in the year 1987 in Paris, France. The day occurred in the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadero to honour the victims of poverty.
Later in 1992, the United Nations officially declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The umbrella theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2022 is ‘Dignity for all in practice.’
This year’s theme is based on the dignity of the human being, which is not only a fundamental right but constitutes the basis of all other fundamental rights.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is marked every year on which of the following dates?
A. 15th September
B. 10th October
C. 17th October
D. 20th December
Award and Recognitions.
World Green City Awards 2022
Hyderabad bagged the coveted World Green Cities Award beating Paris, Bogota, Mexico City, Montreal, and Fortaleza in Brazil recently.
The award announced during a dinner gala hosted in Jeju, Republic of Korea, recognises ‘nature-orientated approaches to city design and operation’.
About the Awards:
The AIPH World Green City Awards is an ongoing competition, with entries open every 2 years, allowing approximately 18 months from the call for entries to the awards ceremony.
Cities are invited to enter, and the winners are announced at special gala event awards ceremonies. Winners may also be invited to showcase their greening projects at an AIPH-approved International Horticultural Expo.
What is the Association International of Horticulture Producers-AIPH?
After the end of the second world war, in 1948, a group of representatives from the national grower associations of Western Europe united with an ambition to mend relations between European horticulturists to reform the burnt bridges.
This vision inspired them to make the Association International of Horticulture Producers (AIPH), laying the foundations for the international community that exists today also. The organisation strives for a world in which humanity, technology, and nature exist in a healthy and stable equilibrium.
Gain recognition for the greening they have done and the benefits to their city
Promote their city at an international level.
Inspire a global movement for greener cities.
Demonstrate that their city is highly desirable to live and work in.
Showcase how urban nature can improve the health of citizens, increase job opportunities, stimulate economic development, and strengthen greening regulations.
Demonstrate how ambitious local actions contribute to achieving global agendas.
List of other cities that won the AIPH awards in different categories:
Living Green for Biodiversity:
Reverdecer Bogotá, Bogota D.C, Colombia.
Living Green for Climate Change:
Mexico City’s Environmental and Climate Change Program, Mexico City, Mexico.
Living Green for Health and Wellbeing:
Transforming degraded land into Urban Micro Parks, City of Fortaleza, Brazil.
Living Green for Water:
The Phytotechnology Stations at the Montréal Botanical Garden / Space for Life, City of Montreal, Canada.
Living Green for Social Cohesion:
OASIS Schoolyard Project, City of Paris, France.
Which of the following Indian cities has recently won the AIPH World Green City Award?
India to host the 90th General Assembly of INTERPOL
The 90th General Assembly of INTERPOL, the world’s largest police body with 195 members, will be held in New Delhi from 18 to 21 October.
The General Assembly is the international policing organisation’s top governing body and meets once a year to take key decisions.
About the meeting:
The meeting will be attended by around 2,000 overseas dignitaries, including ministers, police chiefs, police officers, and support staff from 195 INTERPOL member countries, apart from INTERPOL head office representatives, Indian officials and media representatives.
What is Interpol?
The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as INTERPOL, is an international organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
It is the world’s largest international police organisation, headquartered in Lyon, France, with seven regional bureaus worldwide and a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states.
What is the General Assembly of INTERPOL and its objectives?
The General Assembly is INTERPOL’s supreme governing body and meets once a year to take key decisions related to its functioning.
According to the PMO, the INTERPOL General Assembly meeting is taking place in India after a gap of about 25 years —it was last held in 1997.
The meeting of INTERPOL’s General Assembly is a way for member states to discuss the objectives set by the organisation, review and approve the programme of activities, go through the financial policy for the coming year, and have opportunities for knowledge sharing.
India recently hosted the 90th General Assembly of INTERPOL in which of the following cities?
“Indian Bisons or gaurs” to be reintroduced in Sri Lanka
Close on the heels of the project that translocated cheetahs from Namibia, the Indian government is considering a proposal from Colombo to export a number of gaurs, or Indian bisons, to Sri Lanka to revive the population of gavaras that have been extinct in the island since the end of the 17th century.
If the project is cleared, it would be the first such agreement between India and Sri Lanka and part of a global trend of “wildlife or zoological diplomacy”.
About the proposal:
The suggestion for the proposal came from world-renowned Sri Lankan conservationist Rohan Pethiyagoda, who was awarded the Linnean Medal 2022 (U.K. -based equivalent of the Nobel prize for zoology) for his work on restoring fresh water and forest biodiversity.
Experts say that while “zoological diplomacy” had been practised worldwide, they draw a distinction between “gifts or loans” of animals in captivity to translocation and reintroduction of a species, particularly between neighbouring countries with similar ecosystems.
About Sri Lankan Gaur:
Gaur, called the Gavara in Sinhala, was once widespread, and archaeological remains in ancient caves on the island included the remains of the animal.
By the end of the 17th century, however, the species appears to have been extirpated in Sri Lanka, although they remain prominent in iconography and mythological stories.
About Indian Gaur:
The Indian gaur, a reclusive beast that lives in the wild, is the largest wild bovine that is a protected species and included in Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and listed as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
There are about 13,000 to 30,000 gaurs in the world, with approximately 85% of the population present in India. It is also found in Burma and Thailand.
The first-ever population estimation exercise of the Indian gaur carried out in the Nilgiris Forest Division in February 2020 estimated around 2,000 Indian gaurs to be inhabiting the division.
Which of the following Indian wild animals is going to be reintroduced in Sri Lanka that was extinct on the island since the 17th century?
D. Sloth bear
India-Africa Defence Dialogue
India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) will be held on 18 October on the sidelines of the 12th DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will host his counterparts from African Nations during the dialogue.
The broad theme of the dialogue was ‘India-Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergising and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’.
What is India-Africa Defence Dialogue?
The first-ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, in conjunction with DefExpo on February 06, 2020.
In continuance of the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ and in consultation with stakeholders, IAAD will be held alternative years on the sidelines of DefExpo.
The IADD will explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagement, including in areas like capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter-terrorism.
India and Africa share close and historical ties. India’s approach towards Africa is guided by the Kampala Principles enunciated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2018. India’s engagement rests on African priorities as outlined by Africans themselves.
India has contributed around 200,000 soldiers and police officers as part of the UN peacekeepers.
India has also actively supported Africa in its cybersecurity and anti-terrorism efforts.
India’s defence cooperation with Africa began in 1956, following Emperor Haile Selassie’s request to then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to open its first-ever overseas training institution in Africa.
India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) was recently held in which of the following cities?
LVM3 of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch 36 satellites
The heaviest rocket, LVM3 of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will launch 36 satellites of British start-up OneWeb Broadband Communication Satellites from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on October 23, 2022. It will mark the launcher’s entry into the global commercial launch service market.
LVM3 was earlier called GSLV Mk III.
Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3) is the heaviest rocket of ISRO.
LVM3 was earlier called Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III).
The name of the vehicle is changed from GSLV to LVM because the rocket will not deploy the satellites in the geosynchronous orbit.
It is not the first time that ISRO has re-designated the vehicle to LVM-3.
In 2014, the GSLV-Mk-III was also named LVM-3 as it launched with the Crew module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) into space.
NewSpace India Limited:
NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a central public sector enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Space and the commercial arm of the space agency, had signed two launch service contracts with the UK-based Network Access Associates Limited (OneWeb) for launching OneWeb LEO (low earth orbit) broadband communication satellites on-board ISRO’s LVM3.
What is GSLV Mk III?
GSLV Mk III is configured as a three-stage vehicle with two solid strap-on motors, one liquid core stage and a cryogenic upper stage.
It is a medium-lift launch vehicle primarily designed to launch communication satellites into geosynchronous orbit.
GSLV Mk III has the capability to launch a 4000 kg payload into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and an 8000 kg payload into LEO.
LVM3 of ISRO will launch 36 satellites of OneWeb Broadband Communication Satellites from which of the following space stations?
A. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
B. Satish Dhawan Space Centre
C. Master Control Facility, ISRO
D. Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island
4 cities on the list for the G20 culture track
As part of India’s G20 Presidency between December 2022 and November 2023, the Government plans to host five key meetings focusing on the “culture track” at Khajuraho, Bhubaneswar, Hampi and Agra.
About the cities:
These cities have been chosen mainly for well-known monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (UP), the Hindu and Jain temples of Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), the Konark Sun Temple around 65 km from Bhubaneswar (Odisha), and the sites at Hampi (Karnataka). Agra will host two of the five meetings.
About culture track:
For the culture track, a G20 Secretariat has been set up within the Ministry of Culture, which will employ a professional organisation “for research documentation, coordination and research to support the G20 work-stream on culture,”.
Alongside the five meetings, approximately 250 cultural events will be scheduled at the sidelines of the meetings for the delegates throughout the G20 presidency.
Relevance of G20 Presidency to India:
It provides a fantastic opportunity for India to shape the global agenda on culture across multiple work streams and engagement areas, including:
protection and restitution of cultural property;
advancement of traditional cultural practices for sustainable living;
promotion of cultural and creative industries for livelihood generation; and
preservation and dissemination of culture by leveraging technology.
During the G20 Presidency starting December 1 this year, India will invite Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE as guest countries.
The G20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US — and the European Union.
During the G20 Presidency of India, which of the following cities will be part of the G20 culture track?
Environment and Ecology.
Six varieties of Neelakurinji identified in the Western Ghats
Recently a team of experts has identified six varieties of neelakurinji on a vast area on the Kallippara hills at Santhanpara in the Idukki regions of the western ghats.
What is Neelakurinji?
The neelakurinji flower appears once every 12 years and can only be viewed here in Munnar.
Neelakurinji or ‘Strobilanthes kunthiana’ blooms in 40 or so varieties, a majority of them being blue in colour. ‘Neela’ literally translates to ‘blue’, and kurinji is the name given to it by the tribals of the area.
Last seen in 2006, the time for viewing them begins in August and lasts up to October.
In Munnar, one can view this great sight from Kovilur, Kadavari, Rajamala and Eravikulam National Park.
Eravikulam is incidentally home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, hosting a majority of the remaining population of the species on the planet.
Alongside Strobilanthes kunthiana, the types of neelakurinji flowers that have been identified from the hill ranges include;
Strobilanthes pulnyensis, and
The primary settlers of Kodaikanal hills, the Paliyan and Puliyan tribes, are believed to have used the Neelakurinji blooming cycle to calculate their age.
With every new bloom, the members of the tribe added 12 years to their age.
Kurinji flower is used to describe the associated mountainous landscape where it blooms in Sangam Literature classical Tamil literature.
Neelakurinji flower, which appears once every 12 years and is recently seen in the news, is found in which ecological region of India?
A. Trans-Himalayan Region
B. Coastal Region
C. Indian Desert
D. Western Ghats
‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ scheme
India moved to ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ recently as PM Modi launched a scheme to ensure affordable quality fertiliser of the ‘Bharat’ brand to the farmers.
The initiative is a part of ‘Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojna’ and came at a two-day event – PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022, felicitating farmers in Delhi.
All about the One Nation One Fertiliser scheme:
All subsidised soil nutrients – urea, di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), Muriate of Potash (MoP), and NPK – will be marketed under the single brand Bharat across the nation.
With the launch of this scheme, India will have a common bag design across the country, like Bharat urea, Bharat DAP, Bharat MOP, Bharat NPK, and so on.
The rationale is that since fertilisers of a particular category must meet the nutrient-content specifications of the Fertilizer Control Order (FCO), there is no product differentiation among different brands for each type of fertiliser.
For example, DAP should have the same nutrient content, whether it is produced by one company or another. So the concept of ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ will help farmers overcome their confusion over brand-specific choices, as all DAP fertiliser brands must have 18% nitrogen and 46% phosphorus.
It will reduce competition.
To remove the burden on the exchequer.
Removal of supply chain hurdles.
Easy reach of fertilisers to farmers.
Prevent the criss-cross movement of fertilisers.
Reduce high freight subsidies.
‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ is to maximise farm production by ensuring the easy availability of fertilisers and other Agri services to farmers at affordable prices and thereby promoting the balanced nutrient application.
According to the recently launched ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ scheme, fertiliser will be marketed under which single banner?
A. Brand India
B. Brand Hindustan
C. Brand Bharat
D. Brand Urvarak
Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2022
As many as 41.5 crore people exited poverty in India during the 15-year period between 2005-06 and 2019-21, out of which two-thirds exited in the first 10 years, and one-third in the next five years, according to the recently published global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
MPI Dimensions and Indicators: Refer to Image
What is MPI?
The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is jointly produced by UNDP and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
The index complements monetary-based measures of poverty, expressing deprivations that are manifested in people’s daily lives in ways that go beyond the ability to purchase goods and services.
The 2022 MPI features the latest estimates and analyses on multidimensional poverty, providing a closer look at the interlinked deprivations of the poor and shedding valuable insights on how to tackle poverty by addressing it in its multiple dimensions.
Around 415 million people in India climbed out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2019-21, with the incidence of poverty falling from 55 per cent to just over 16 per cent over this period, according to the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2022.
Despite the significant reductions, however, the largest number of poor people in the world—228.9 million—lived in India in 2020.
Key findings of the report:
1.2 billion people are multidimensionally poor.
72 out of 81 countries with trend data covering roughly 5 billion people experienced a statistically significant reduction in absolute terms in MPI value during at least one of the periods analysed.
593 million (about half) are children under the age of 18.
579 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by South Asia (385 million).
Dimensions, indicators, deprivation cutoffs, and weights of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index.
Dimensions of Poverty
Deprived if living in the household where…
Any adult under 70 years of age or any child for whom there is nutritional information is undernourished.
Any child under the age of 18 years has died in the family in the five-year period preceding the survey.
Years of schooling
No household member aged ‘school entrance age’ + six years or older has completed at least six years of schooling.
Any school-aged child is not attending school up to the age at which he/she would complete class eight.
Standard of living
The household cooks with dung, wood, charcoal or coal.
The household’s sanitation facility is not improved (according to SDG guidelines) or is improved but shared with other households.
The household does not have access to improved drinking water (according to SDG guidelines) or improved drinking water is at least a 30-minute walk from home, round trip.
The household has no electricity.
At least one of the three housing materials for the roof, walls and floor is inadequate: the floor is of natural materials and/or the roof and/or walls are of natural or rudimentary materials.
The household does not own more than one of these assets: radio, television, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike or refrigerator, and does not own a car or truck.
Which of the following does not constitute a major dimension of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)?
C. Standard of living
D. Food security
Recently the Supreme Court of India has given the nod to green crackers.
What are green crackers?
Introduced in 2018, the concept of green crackers essentially entails using alternative raw materials – designed to have a lesser impact on the environment – in the process, reducing health risks and threats to humans.
Unlike traditional crackers, green crackers do not contain harmful chemicals such as aluminium, barium, potassium nitrate or carbon.
According to some reports, green crackers emit 30% lesser pollutants than regular crackers. Moreover, these crackers also make less noise, showing a drop to 110 decibels from 160 decibels.
These somewhat eco-friendly crackers are available only at places that are registered with the government, and they are developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
What are the toxic metals that traditional crackers release?
Crackers release several toxic metals that can be harmful to health. The white colour emitted through crackers is aluminium, magnesium and titanium, while the orange colour is carbon or iron.
Similarly, yellow agents are sodium compounds, while blue and red are copper compounds and strontium carbonates. The green agent is barium monochloride salts or barium nitrate, or barium chlorate.
Crackers developed by CSIR fall under three categories:
STAR is a safe thermite cracker, which does not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur, and emits reduced particulate matter disposal and reduced sound intensity.
SAFAL is safe minimal aluminium which has minimum usage of aluminium and uses magnesium instead. It ensures a reduction in sound in comparison to traditional crackers.
SWAS is a safe water releaser, which suppresses the dust released by releasing water vapour in the air. It does not comprise potassium nitrate, and sulphur and the particulate dust released will reduce approximately by 30 per cent.
Which of the following is not a category of green crackers developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research?
Awards and Recognitions
Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka recently won the 2022 Booker Prize for fiction – “The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.”
Shehan Karunatilaka`s second novel is a searing, mordantly funny satire set amid the murderous mayhem of a Sri Lanka beset by civil war.
Karunatilaka received a trophy from Queen Consort Camilla at the English language literary award’s first in-person ceremony since 2019.
He also gets a £50,000 ($56,810) prize.
About the book:
Set in 1990 Sri Lanka during the country’s civil war, Karunatilaka’s story follows gay war photographer and gambler Maali Almeida, who wakes up dead.
It is an entirely serious philosophical romp that takes the reader to ‘the world’s dark heart’ — the murderous horrors of civil war in Sri Lanka.
What is the Booker Prize?
The Booker Prize, formerly known as the Booker Prize for Fiction (1969–2001) and the Man Booker Prize (2002–2019), is a literary prize awarded each year for the best novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
The winner of the Booker Prize receives international publicity, which usually leads to a sales boost.
When the prize was created, only novels written by Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (and later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014, it was widened to any English-language novel —a change that proved controversial.
For which of the following fiction the Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka recently won the 2022 Booker Prize?
A. The Promise
C. Girl, Woman, Other
D. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida
First India-made aluminium freight rake
Indian Railways recently achieved another milestone as it received its first indigenously manufactured aluminium goods train rake.
This aluminium goods train is different from any other as it is lighter than its predecessors but comes with more freight-carrying capacity.
About the train:
The rake is 180 tonnes lighter than existing steel rakes, resulting in increased speed and lower power consumption for the same distance.
The lifetime carbon saving is eight to 10 tonnes, however; with the initiation of this train, the Indian Railways will be saving more than 14,500 tonnes of carbon for a single rake.
Manufactured in collaboration with Besco Limited Wagon Division and aluminium major Hindalco, it also has a lower carbon footprint for every 100 kg of weight reduction in wagons.
Aluminium is the preferred choice for metro trains worldwide for its durability and, most importantly – passenger safety, as it has improved crashworthiness or superior crash absorption capability.
Indian Railways have already announced their plans to make aluminium-bodied Vande Bharat train sets.
Hindalco is committed to bringing in this revolutionary change in India and is engaged in discussions with global partners to set up a conducive ecosystem in India.
Which company majorly built India’s first indigenously manufactured aluminium goods train rake?
A. Integral Coach Factory
Days and Events
World Health Summit 2022
World Health Summit (WHS), an international health conference, was held recently in Berlin, Germany, from October 16–18, 2022.
This was the first time the World Health Organization co-hosted the global health conference.
The leading theme of the opening ceremony: Taking Global Health to a New Level, stressing the need for exchange between scientific disciplines and science, politics and society.
WHS aims to strengthen exchange, stimulate innovative solutions to health challenges, position global health as a key political issue and promote a global health conversation in the spirit of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Founded in 1948, the World Health Organization is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. So everyone, everywhere, can attain the highest level of health.
World Health Summit is annually held in which of the following countries?
National Highways Infra Trust (NHAI InvIT), the infrastructure investment trust sponsored by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to support the Government of India’s National Monetization Pipeline, has raised a sum of Rs 1,430 crore from domestic and international investors through the placement of its units, for part funding its acquisition of three additional road projects from NHAI.
These InvIT bonds will be listed on BSE and NSE, providing an opportunity for investors to invest and trade.
What is NHAI’s InvIT?
NHAI InvIT is the infrastructure investment trust sponsored by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to support the government’s National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP).
NHAI’s InvIT is a Trust established by NHAI under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 and SEBI (Security and Exchange Board of India) regulations.
What are InvITs?
Infrastructure investment trusts are institutions similar to mutual funds, which pool investments from various categories of investors and invest them into completed and revenue-generating infrastructure projects, thereby creating returns for the investor.
The capital market regulator notified the SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014, on September 26, 2014, and these trusts are likely to help facilitate investment in the infrastructure sector.
In the case of Public-private partnership (PPP) projects, it refers to the infrastructure developer or a special purpose vehicle holding the concession.
Success in Funding:
The success of the follow-on issuance of units by NHAI InvIT demonstrates its attractiveness to sophisticated institutional investors.
Their participation in this round supports the National Monetization Pipeline, in which NHAI has the largest share and is crucial for the Prime Minister and Minister of Road Transport and Highways’ vision of developing the roads sector in the country.
A new wave of deadly Russian air attacks on Ukraine has killed more than 25 people and wounded more than 100, according to authorities in Kyiv, in the most extensive attacks since the early days of the war.
The current attacks, which began on October 10, have targeted at least 10 regions across the country and used Russian missiles as well as Iranian-made drones, according to Ukrainian authorities.
What are Kamikaze Drones?
‘Kamikaze’ derives from a tactic of attack adopted by the Japanese during World War II.
In a suicide attack mission, pilots of fighter planes carrying explosives would crash into an enemy target to cause maximum damage.
The drones have also been repeatedly used by Russia elsewhere in Ukraine in recent weeks to target urban centres and infrastructure, including power stations.
They are comparatively cheap, costing about US$20,000, and can be used in swarms.
How are these drones used for attacks?
Inspired by the Japanese tactic, the modern Kamikaze drones are also on a suicide bombing missions. These get destroyed the moment they hit their targets.
The Iranian-made Shaheds have been rebranded as Geran-2 drones by Russia.
These are also called “loitering munitions,” which can linger over targets before nose-diving into them. They can be fired one after the other from racks.
They can hover around much longer than a cruise missile.
How can they be defended?
These drones are most likely vulnerable to electronic jamming and traditional anti-aircraft cannons.
The difficulty for Ukraine comes in deciding where to place limited stocks of air defences.
The drones can fly hundreds of kilometres (Iran claims in excess of 2,000 km, or 1,243 miles) and loiter for hours before locking onto a target.
Ukraine could be turning to Israel for protection against drone attacks; Israel has for long successfully defended against attacks by Iranian drones.
Kamikaze Drones that are recently used in the Ukraine war are mainly manufactured by which of the following countries?
Sprut-SDM1 Light Amphibious Tank
Russia will field its Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank for the Indian Army’s upcoming tender for light tanks and has submitted technical details of the same.
Why does India need Light Battle tanks?
The Indian Army, searching for light tanks for a while, has recently started Project Zorawar.
The project calls for the induction of light tanks to enable faster mobilisation and deployment in high-altitude conflict zones.
Following the stalemate with China in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army saw an urgent need to deploy light tanks to counter the PLA.
Beijing possesses a variety of lightweight tanks, whereas India typically employs heavyweight tanks like the T-90 and T-72.
In the last two years, China has deployed the third-generation modern light tank ZTQ 15 (Type 15), the latest ZTL-11 wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers and the CSK series of assault vehicles along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
The Indian Army also wants an active protection system to protect the tank from anti-tank-guided missiles and munitions. Due to its exceptional fighting capabilities and performance, this amphibious tank can be used by marines and land troops.
What is Sprut-SDM1 Light Amphibious Combat Vehicle?
The Sprut-SDM1 is the only light amphibious combat vehicle in its category with the firepower of the main battle tank and outfitted with a 125 mm tank gun.
Sprut-SDM1 could employ any ammunition manufactured in India for the T-72M1 and T-90S tanks. The tank is outfitted with a guided missile system that can outgun armoured targets, including those with Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).
The SPRUT-SDM1 is designed to provide fire support to forces engaged in combat with heavily armoured targets, destroy enemy strongholds and defences, conduct battle surveillance, and maintain combat security.
Sprut could operate day and night on mountainous terrain with thin air, at extremely high and low temperatures, traverse water obstacles, and fire its cannon while afloat. It can also disembark from ships.
The Sprut can be transferred by military cargo planes, landing ships, or by parachuting with a crew. The tank has a range of 500 kilometres without refuelling.
India is planning to purchase Sprut-SDM1 Light Amphibious Tank from which of the following countries?
National Maritime Heritage Complex
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently reviewed the site work progress of the National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.
What is the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC)?
The National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal is being developed as a one of its kind project to not only display India’s rich and diverse maritime heritage but also help Lothal to emerge as a world-class international tourist destination.
Lothal was one of the prominent cities of the Harappan civilisation and is known for the discovery of the oldest man-made dockyard. A maritime heritage complex in Lothal is a fitting tribute to the city’s historical legacy and heritage.
The boost to the tourism potential through this project will also augment the economic development of the region for a total of 3500 crore rupees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for this project, and in March 2019, the master plan was given approval.
Features of the project:
It will have several innovative and unique features such as Lothal mini recreation to recreate Harappan architecture and lifestyle; four theme parks –
A memorial theme park,
Maritime and Navy theme park,
Climate theme park and Adventure and Amusement theme park,
and the world’s tallest lighthouse museum.
Fourteen galleries highlighting India’s maritime heritage starting from the Harappan times till now; the Coastal states pavilion displays the diverse maritime heritage of states and UTs, among others.
The National Maritime Heritage Complex is being built in which of the following states?
Integrated Portal for Pensioners
Union Minister Jitendra Singh recently launched an integrated portal aimed at ensuring “ease of living” for the central government pensioners.
The portal—www.ipension.nic.in—will act as a one-stop solution for all pensioners’ needs.
About the portal:
The portal has been developed in collaboration with the State Bank of India and is aimed at “Ease of Living” for the central government pensioners.
All remaining 16 pension disbursing banks will now begin their integration with BHAVISHYA.
What is BHAVISHYA?
BHAVISHYA is a Portal for Pension Payment, and Tracking System is being integrated with the Pension Seva portal of SBI and will enable Pensioners to get all information and services in one place with a single login.
On completion of all phases of this integration, the retirees can choose a Bank and Branch for opening an online Pension Account, check their monthly pension slips, Form 16, and Status of Life Certificate as well as change their Pension Disbursing Bank through BHAVISHYA.
The ‘BHAVISHYA’ platform was made mandatory for all central government departments from 01.01.2017.
BHAVISHYA has recently been rated as the 3rd best portal among all Government of India service portals by the National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment (NeSDA).
The following portals have now been merged with the BHAVISHYA window: CPENGRAMS, ANUBHAV, ANUDAAN, SANKALP & Pension DASHBOARD.
BHAVISHYA is a portal for
A. Environmental crime tracking
B. Pension Payment and Tracking
C. Child crime tracking
D. Education aid tracking
India, UK to create new Defence Industry Joint Working Group (JWG) for cooperation
Defence industry organisations from India and the UK have come together to create a new Defence Industry Joint Working Group for more effective cooperation.
The inaugural meeting of the UK-India Defence Industry Joint Working Group was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
DefExpo will see representation from 20 UK defence companies.
UK industry is already integrating Indian defence suppliers into their global supply chain, manufacturing defence equipment not just for India but for the world.
The Joint Working Group and more details:
The JWG is part of an ongoing initiative between the two countries to strengthen the defence and security partnership.
The UK recently issued its first Open General Export License in the Indo-Pacific region to India, shortening delivery times for defence procurement.
The UK industry is already integrating Indian defence suppliers into its global supply chain.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) recently conducted a subject matter expert exchange with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during the visit of Eurofighter Typhoon, Voyager and A-400 in New Delhi and also held joint-flying exercises with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Recently India has proposed to create a new Defence Industry Joint Working Group for cooperation with which of the following European Nations?
India and Saudi Arabia were shortlisted for the AFC Asian Cup in 2027
India and Saudi Arabia will compete for the hosting rights of the 2027 Asian Cup as three other interested nations have withdrawn their bids.
If India wins the bid, it will be the first time the country will host the continental showpiece event. Saudi Arabia has won the continental title three times but never hosted the tournament.
On the contrary Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee has confirmed the Qatar Football Association (QFA) as the host association for the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
What is the AFC Asian Cup?
The AFC Asian Cup is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Asian Football Confederation, determining the continental champion of Asia.
It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América.
Headquarters: Doha, Qatar
Next date: Fri, 16 Jun 2023 – Sun, 16 Jul 2023
Current champions: Qatar (1st title)
Number of teams: 24 (finals); 47 (eligible to enter qualification)
Most successful team(s): Japan (4 titles)
Which country is going to host the AFC Asian Cup tournament?
Japan seeks GI tag for nihonshu
The Embassy of Japan, New Delhi, has filed an application seeking a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for nihonshu/Japanese sake, an alcoholic beverage.
It is learnt that this is the first time a product from Japan has filed for a tag at the Geographical Indication Registry here.
What is nihonshu?
nihonshu is regarded as a special and valuable beverage made from fermenting rice.
People traditionally drink nihonshu on special occasions, such as festivals, weddings or funerals, but it is also consumed on a daily basis.
Thus, it is an integral part of the lifestyle and culture in Japan.
The sake market (almost all are nihonshu) is the second largest brewed liquor (such as beer) market in Japan.
How is nihonshu made?
For making nihonshu, three main raw materials—rice, koji-kin (a type of fungal spore) and water—are required.
Its production follows an alcoholic fermentation method called parallel multiple fermentation and involves raw material treatment, koji making, starter culture-making, mash making, pressing, heat sterilisation and bottling.
The rice and koji used should originate in Japan.
What is a GI Tag?
A GI is a label that is applied to products that have a specific geographical origin and have characteristics that are related to that particular location.
Which country recently filed an application seeking a GI tag from India for nihonshu, an alcoholic beverage?
Asia’s largest Compressed Bio-Gas Plant in Punjab
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri recently inaugurated Asia’s largest Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) plant in Lehragaga, in Punjab’s Sangrur.
The plant has been commissioned with a foreign direct investment of approximately ₹220 crores by Verbio AG, one of Germany’s leading bio-energy companies.
The CBG plant at Sangrur is spread across an area of 20 acres.
Currently, the plant’s production is about six tonnes per day, but soon it will process 300 tonnes of paddy straw per day to produce 33 TPD of compressed biogas using eight digesters of 10,000 cubic metres.
The plant will not only ensure that citizens of Sangrur and nearby areas breathe cleaner air but also contribute towards India’s COP26 climate change target and the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2070.
The plant will reduce stubble burning of 40,000 – 45,000 acres of fields, translating into an annual reduction of 150,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
What is Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG)?
BioGas is produced naturally (through a process of anaerobic decomposition) from waste/biomass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has high methane content.
Asia’s largest Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) plant was recently inaugurated in which state?
A. Uttar Pradesh
World Spice Congress
The 14th World Spice Congress (WSC), organised by Spices Board India in association with various trade and export farmers, will be held during 16-18 February 2023 at CIDCO Exhibition and Convention Centre, Maharashtra.
The congress will discuss on customised production of quality spices to meet the requirements of the consumers, thrust on organic production, ways to arrive at a consensus on the vast and varied trade and quality regulations, value addition, product innovation and new initiatives, integrating the supply chain for better output and a better understanding of the challenges and prospects of the industry, etc.
The 14th edition of the WSC is going to be all and only about spices. “The theme chosen is ‘Vision 2030: SPICES’ (Sustainability–Productivity–Innovation–Collaboration–Excellence and Safety).”
About World Spice Congress:
World Spice Congress (WSC), the conglomeration of the global spice industry, has become the aptest platform to deliberate the concerns and considerations of the sector over its three-decades-long presence.
Organised under the leadership of the Spices Board, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India with support from various trade and export forums, the World Spice Congress provides an opportunity to get to know the sector in a better way.
Trade, sustainability, quality and food safety initiatives, recent developments, concerns and future prospects are discussed and deliberated in detail by the key players of the industry- the producers, traders, processors, exporters and regulators from across the world.
The 14th World Spice Congress (WSC) will be organised in which of the following cities?
India-Africa Defence Dialogue
The recent India-Africa Defence Dialogue was organised on the sidelines of the 12th DefExpo 2022 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) was institutionalised at DefExpo 2020 to be held biennially during successive DefExpos.
The IADD explores new areas of convergence for mutual engagement, including areas like capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter-terrorism.
The first-ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave was held in Lucknow in conjunction with DefExpo 2020.
“Adopting Strategy for Synergising and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation”.
The outcome of the Dialogue:
The IADD adopted a ‘Gandhinagar declaration’ as an outcome document.
It proposes to enhance cooperation in the field of training in all areas of mutual interest by increasing training slots and deputation of training teams, empowerment and capability building of the defence forces of Africa.
Participation in exercises and humanitarian assistance during natural disasters.
India offered fellowships for experts from African countries through Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis.
Fifty African countries participated in the dialogue, including 20 Defence Ministers, seven Chiefs of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs and eight Permanent Secretaries.
A Joint Declaration named the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ was adopted in IADD 2020.
In which of the following cities was the India-Africa Defence Dialogue (AIDD) recently held?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone for a new air base at Deesa in the Banaskantha district of north Gujarat near the India-Pakistan border.
The air base, after its completion, will reduce the long pending strategic gap of 355 km between the Air Force station in Bhuj and Uttarlai.
Deesa air base will emerge as an effective centre for the country’s security.
Why is Deesa airbase crucial for India?
The Deesa air base will be the firewall between enemy aircraft taking off from Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad, Shahbaz F-16 airbase in Jacobabad in Pakistan, with Gujarat’s more than a trillion dollar industrial complex in and around Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and Vadodara as a target to economically attack/hit India in the worst-case scenario.
When Deesa airbase becomes operational, it will bridge the crucial gap between Gujarat’s Bhuj air base and Uttarlai, which is located in Rajasthan.
How far is Deesa air base from the Indo-Pak border?
The Deesa air base is mere 130 kilometres from the Indo-Pak border, and it will be able to respond better to any threat coming from the western side of the border or Pakistan.
How much time and money will it take to construct the Deesa air base?
Deesa air base will be coming up in 2 phases with a total cost of ₹1000 crores, and it is expected to be operational in the next two years in 2024.
When was the approval given for the Deesa air base?
The land for the Deesa airbase was allotted, and in-principle approval was given to Indian Air Force (IAF) by the Vajpayee government way back in 2000.
The project could not really take off in the next 14 years.
The project was revived back in 2017 after massive floods in Banaskantha, which really gave the impetus to the project.
Which aircraft will be deployed at the Deesa air base?
According to media reports, IAF will deploy its air defence fighters like MiG-29 and Tejas on this base to intercept and destroy any incoming enemy fighters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone for a new air base at Deesa in which of the following states/UT?
B. Jammu and Kashmir
Internal Security, Geopolitics
1267-Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC
China once again blocked proposals by India and the United States to designate Pakistan-based terrorists on the UN Security Council’s 1267 list of terror entities.
This is the fourth time in as many months that China has put a hold on listing proposals to designate Pakistan-based terrorists under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee regime.
India and the United States had proposed that Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Shahid Mahmood be blacklisted by the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee and subjected to an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
All decisions of the UNSC panel are taken by consensus.
What is the UNSC 1267 committee, and how does it work?
It was first set up in 1999 and strengthened after the September 2001 attacks. It is now known as the Da’esh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
It comprises all permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The 1267 list of terrorists is a global list with a UNSC stamp. It is full of Pakistani nationals and residents.
It is one of the most important and active UN subsidiary bodies working on efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in relation to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
It discusses UN efforts to limit the movement of terrorists, especially those related to travel bans, freezing assets and arms embargoes for terrorism.
India has made at least three attempts in the last decade — in 2009, 2016 and 2017 to list the JeM chief as a “global terrorist”. All attempts have been blocked by China at Pakistan’s behest.
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) Collaboration
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) have teamed up to enhance the reach of financial solutions to large sections of society across India and enable frictionless finance to a billion Indians.
About the collaboration:
The collaboration between IPPB and RBIH will explore projects which will have an impact on the masses by leveraging the deep rural reach of IPPB-Department of Posts (DoP) to take rural finance to a billion Indians.
Besides, it will enable access to sustainable and secure financial services to every segment of society through research and innovation.
Additionally, IPPB will be an active participant and partner with RBIH on initiatives of national importance led by RBIH.
IPPB and RBIH will plan, design and execute innovative products and offerings to bridge the existing gap by bringing digitalised services to the customer’s doorstep.
What is RBIH Reserve Bank Innovation Hub?
The Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up to promote and facilitate an environment that accelerates innovation across the financial sector.
RBIH will provide the platform to anchor a shared vision among all financial ecosystem stakeholders and aid them in crafting forward-looking innovation strategies while addressing the most pressing issues in the Indian financial sector.
The organisation serves as a focal point to position India as a global innovation hub for a network of financial services providers, fintech innovation hubs, policymakers, technologists, academia, and the investor community.
The network will be empowered to ideate, incubate new capabilities, and enable access to sustainable, secure, and frictionless financial services for over a billion Indians.
What is India Post Payments Bank?
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has been established under the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communication, with 100% equity owned by the Government of India.
IPPB was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on 1st September 2018. The bank has been set up with the vision to build the most accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man in India.
The fundamental mandate of IPPB is to remove barriers for the unbanked and under-banked and reach the last mile by leveraging a network comprising 160,000 post offices (145,000 in rural areas) and 400,000 postal employees.
IPPB’s reach and its operating model is built on the key pillars of India Stack – enabling Paperless, Cashless and Presence-less banking in a simple and secure manner at the customers’ doorstep through a CBS-integrated smartphone and biometric device.
IPPB delivers simple and affordable banking solutions through intuitive interfaces available in 13 languages, leveraging frugal innovation and a high focus on ease of banking for the masses.
IPPB is committed to providing a fillip to a less cash economy and contributing to the vision of Digital India.
India will prosper when every citizen has an equal opportunity to become financially secure and empowered.
Our motto stands true – Every customer is important, every transaction is significant, and every deposit is valuable.
Reserve Bank Innovation Hub has recently collaborated with which of the following entities to enhance the reach of financial solutions to large sections of society across India?
A. India Post Payments Bank
B. Infrastructure Development Finance Company
Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency Banned
The Central government has closed the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), which was constituted about 24 years ago to investigate the larger conspiracy behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
MDMA was working under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and comprised officers from multiple central security agencies.
The order to disband the agency was issued in May, and the pending investigation has been handed over to a different unit of the CBI, the officials said.
The MDMA Agency:
The agency was set up in 1998 for two years on the recommendation of the MC Jain Commission and was given annual extensions, but it failed to achieve any major breakthrough.
The agency, headed by a deputy inspector general of police-ranked officer, had sent 24 Letters Rogatory to countries like Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and Malaysia seeking information on various aspects of the case, including banking transactions.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber named Dhanu during an election rally in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur on 21st May 1991.
The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency was set up to investigate the conspiracy behind the assassination of which leader?
A. Lal Bahadur Shastri
B. Rajiv Gandhi
C. Indira Gandhi
D. Subash Chandra Bose
Indigenous trainer aircraft ‘HTT-40’
With a move to boost the Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission, PM Narendra Modi unveiled the indigenous trainer aircraft, HTT-40, at the India Pavilion on October 19.
It is indigenously designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), equipped with modern, cutting-edge systems and has been designed with pilot-friendly features.
The event took place during the 12th DefExpo 2022 at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
What is HTT-40 aircraft?
It is evidence of the state-of-the-art technology created to satisfy the fundamental training needs of the Indian defence services.
This indigenously built Basic Trainer Aircraft (HTT-40) will be powered by the TPE331-12 family of engines from Honeywell.
Earlier in July 2022, HAL signed a contract worth over $100 million for supplying and manufacturing of 88 TPE331-12B engines/kits, along with maintenance and support services to power the HTT-40.
The HTT-40 would be utilised for basic flight training, instrument flying, night flying, close formation flying, aerobatics, and basic flight training.
A pilot must complete three steps before operating a fighter jet. HTT-40 was created by HAL for the IAF as the foundational trainer aircraft. The flight is being created for new pilots in their initial stages. The Kiran Mark II jet trainer is used for stage two training, and the Hawk advanced jet aircraft are used for stage three.
This aircraft has the following Technical Parameters:
Max TOW: 2800 kg
Speed: 450 km/hr
Range: 1000 km
Engine Thrust: 950 SHP
Cockpit: Tandem seating, Air conditioned cockpit
Modern Aircraft System: All metal, FADEC control Turbo Prop trainer aircraft with Zero-Zero ejection seats and Multifunction displays
Which of the following is an indigenously built trainer aircraft that PM Modi recently unveiled at the 12th defence expo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat?
A. Aero Ae‑45
B. Antonov An-12
D. de Havilland Vampire T.11
Swadesh Darshan 2 scheme
Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, and Gwalior are among the cities identified in 15 states across the country to be promoted as part of India’s new domestic tourism policy which moves away from theme-based tourist circuits and focuses on revving up destination tourism.
The initiative is being taken as part of the first phase of the ‘Swadesh Darshan 2’ which will be kicked off in January.
Some of the prominent places identified are Jhansi and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh; Gwalior, Chitrakoot and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh; and Ajanta and Ellora in Maharashtra.
What is the Swadesh Darshan Scheme?
The Swadesh Darshan Scheme was launched by the Centre in 2014-15 for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides financial assistance to State governments, Union Territory Administrations or Central Agencies for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
The rationale of the scheme:
The scheme was envisioned to synergise with other government schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, and Make in India, with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, the driving force for economic growth, and building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential.
Circuits under the scheme:
There are 13 tourist circuits that have been identified under this scheme.
According to the third Tourism Satellite Account for 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20, the contribution of tourism to the employment of the country is 14.78%, 14.87% and 15.34%, respectively.
The total jobs generated by tourism are 72.69 million (2017-18), 75.85 million (2018-19) and 79.86 million (2019-20).
Some of the prominent circuits launched under this were the Buddhist tourist circle, Ambedkar Tourist Circle and the North-East Tourist Circle.
Which of the following tourist circuits is not featured under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme?
A. Buddhist Tourist Circuit
B. Ambedkar Tourist Circuit
C. North-East Tourist Circuit
D. Golden Triangle Circuit
Defence, Internal Security
AK-203 assault rifles
An Indo-Russian joint venture will begin manufacturing AK-203 assault rifles at a facility in Uttar Pradesh by the end of this year.
The Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited was set up in 2019 to produce the Russian-origin Kalashnikov assault rifles at Korwa Ordnance Factory in the Amethi district.
AK-203 rifles are fitted with integral Picatinny rails for convenient and easy mounting of sights and tactical accessories, enabling the effective use of weapons in various conditions.
What was the contract?
Indo-Russia Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL) was set up jointly between the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board OFB [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL)] of India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and Kalashnikov Concern of Russia.
The AK-203 assault rifles will replace the Indian-made INSAS assault rifles and the older AK-47s.
With over ₹5,000 crores contract, over 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles will be manufactured in India with technology transfer from Russia.
Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd factory was set up in which of the following states for the manufacture of AK-203 assault rifles?
B. Tamil Nadu
C. Uttar Pradesh
D. Andhra Pradesh
Tamil Nadu’s mission to save the critically endangered vultures
The Tamil Nadu Government recently formed a State-level Committee to set up an institutional framework for the effective conservation of vultures, which almost went extinct in the country at the beginning of the 21st century.
About Vultures and their role in environmental conservation:
Vultures, an exceptionally important species, play the role of natural cleaners of the environment.
Responsible for doing the dirty work in the form of eating dead animal carcasses, vultures free the environment from pathogens and toxins.
However, in recent times, their population has suffered changes. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified Indian vultures as critically endangered due to their declining population.
According to IUCN, “The species is placed in the range of 5,000-15,000 mature individuals.
Survey results indicate that the decline throughout the Indian sub-continent probably began in the 1990s and was extremely rapid.”
There are a total of nine vulture species found in India, of which four, namely, White-backed vulture, long-billed vulture, Red-headed vulture and Egyptian vulture can be spotted in Tamil Nadu.
Sigur plateau in Mudumalai is one of the last remaining regions where vultures are found in Tamil Nadu.
Other vulture species found in India are – slender-billed, Himalayan, bearded, cinereous and the Eurasian griffon.
What is Tamil Nadu doing to save Vultures?
In a step to undo and conserve the vulture population, the Tamil Nadu Government has set up a state-level committee to work on an action plan for vulture conservation.
The committee will look at a ban on drugs toxic to vultures, breeding centres, and vulture census, among other issues centering vultures.
The vulture conservation plan will potentially help in reviving critically endangered vultures.
Issues vultures face in India:
One of the major contributing factors to declining populations of vultures is believed to be the widespread use of drugs such as diclofenac (used for treating cattle), once commonly used as a livestock anti-inflammatory drug.
This drug is extremely toxic to vultures. The veterinary usage of diclofenac has been banned in India since 2006.
Further, increased Feral dog populations have been reported all over India, posing many associated disease risks such as rabies to humans and wildlife.
They also threaten local wildlife through direct predation, competition with other carnivores, and through potential disease transmission.
Among others, vultures typically feed on dead animal carcasses, and habitat loss and food security continue to be a threat that the natural scavengers face.
National Vulture Conservation Action Plan 2020-25
Launched in 2019, the National Vulture Conservation Action Plan 2020-25 was introduced to put a halt to the decline of the vulture population and actively increase the number of vultures in India by 2025.
The Government of India’s “Action Plan for Vulture Conservation (APVC) in India, 2020-2025” aims to create awareness among the general public about the vital role vultures play in keeping the environment clean by removing the putrefying carcasses.
The objective of the Action Plan for Vulture Conservation:
The Action Plan for Vulture Conservation (APVC) in India, 2020-2025, advocates the expansion of the Conservation Breeding Programme of vultures by establishing more centres in different parts of the country.
Red-headed Vulture and Egyptian Vulture are also included in the breeding programme.
It also takes cognizance of the causes of mortality other than veterinary drug poisoning of vulture food.
Which of the following is a major drug responsible for the decline of the Vulture population in India?
Awards and Recognitions
Sakharov Prize 2022
The European Parliament recently awarded its top human rights prize to the people of Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion which started in February.
Other nominees this year included WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange and Colombia’s “Truth Commission”.
About the Prize:
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, commonly known as the Sakharov Prize, is an honorary award for individuals or groups who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.
Named after the Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the prize was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament.
The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly Marchenko.
The prize comes with a cash prize of €50,000. Last year, the award was given to Russian dissident and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Which of the following Persons/Organisations recently received the Sakharov Prize 2022?
A. Alexei Navalny
B. People of Ukraine
C. Truth Commission
D. Julian Assange
Person in News
Anna May Wong, the first Asian-American featured on US currency
Late Hollywood actress and fashion icon Anna May Wong (1905-1961) became the first Asian American to feature on US currency.
A quarter-dollar coin featuring a close-up image of Wong’s face with her chin resting on her hand was circulated from (October 24), as the fifth coin in the American Women Quarters (AWQ) programme.
Who was Anna May Wong?
Born with the birth name Wong Liu-Tsong to second-generation Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles, Wong started her film career at the age of 14 as an extra in The Red Lantern (1919).
She gained critical acclaim only three years later when she played the leading role in The Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first Technicolour films.
Wong appeared in more than 60 movies, including the box-office hit Shanghai Express (1932).
About the coin:
The coin is the fifth design of the American Women Quarters Program, which highlights female pioneers on coins.
Previous designs featured astronaut Sally Ride, activist and poet Maya Angelou, the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation Wilma Mankiller and the suffragist Nina Otero-Warren.
Who among the following is the first Asian-American featured recently on US currency?
A. Sally Ride
C. Anna May Wong
D. Maya Angelou
Art and Culture
Kashi Tamil Sangamam
The centre has announced a month-long Kashi Tamil Sangamam, which aims to rediscover the links between the two ancient knowledge, culture and heritage centres, from November 16.
The Sangamam, which will be held in the auspicious Karthigai Tamil month, has been organised under the overall framework and spirit of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat”.
About the Event:
The month-long Sangamam will be organised in Varanasi from November 16 to December 19. During this, academic exchanges – seminars, discussions, etc., will be held between experts and scholars on various facets of the two ancient manifestations of Indian culture, with a focus on bringing out the links and shared values between the two.
The broader objective is to bring the two knowledge and cultural traditions closer, create an understanding of our shared heritage and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions.
The Sangamam will be centred on themes covering various facets of knowledge – literature, ancient texts, philosophy, spirituality, music, dance, drama, yoga, Ayurveda, handlooms, handicrafts, and as modern innovations, trade exchanges, edutech and other gen-next technology.
The Kashi Tamil Sangamam will be held in which of the following cities?
Rishi Sunak to become the next Prime Minister of the UK
Rishi Sunak will become Britain’s youngest prime minister in modern times after he won the race to lead the Conservative Party, tasked with steering a deeply divided country through an economic downturn set to leave millions of people poorer.
He replaces Liz Truss, who only lasted 44 days before she resigned, needing to restore stability to a country reeling from years of political and economic turmoil and seeking to lead a party that has fractured along ideological lines.
Who is Rishi Sunak?
Rishi Sunak is a British politician who has emerged as one of the top candidates to compete for the post of UK PM, to replace Boris Johnson. Sunak has been a member of the Conservative Party for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.
Life and Education:
Sunak was born in Southampton on 12 May 1980, to Indian parents Yashvir and Usha Sunak in East Africa. His grandparents were born in British India’s Punjab province. They migrated to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s with their children.
Sunak studied at Winchester College and read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, in 2001. The 42-year-old also did his MBA as a Fulbright Scholar from Stanford University in 2006.
He was selected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond (Yorks) in October 2014. He was the head of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit of the think tank Policy Exchange in the same year.
Sunak was re-elected from his seat in the 2017 general elections. From 2018 to 2019, he served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government.
In 2019, he was appointed Chief Secretary to Treasury by Boris Johnson and also became a member of the Privy Council. He was re-elected in the 2019 general election.
Sunak, on 5 July 2022, resigned from his post along with minister Sajid Javid, expressing a lack of confidence in Johnson’s leadership.
Later that week, Sunak announced his prime ministerial bid and topped the first two rounds of the race within the Conservative party.
PERMA-CRISIS in the UK.
Britain has been locked in a state of perma-crisis ever since it voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, unleashing a battle at Westminster over the future of the country that remains unresolved to this day.
Johnson, the face of the Brexit vote, led his party to a landslide victory in 2019, only to be driven out of office less than three years later after a series of scandals. His successor, Truss, lasted just over six weeks before she, too, was forced out.
Rishi Sunak, who will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, belongs to which political party?
A. Conservative Party
B. Labour Party
C. Scottish National Party
D. Liberal Democrats
Fifth Khelo India Youth Games-2022
The 5th edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will be held in Madhya Pradesh from 31 January to 11 February 2023.
The Khelo India Youth Games will be held at eight locations. More than 8500 athletes and sportspersons are expected to participate in the sporting event.
What are Khelo India Youth Games?
Khelo India Youth Games, formerly Khelo India School Games, are the annual national-level multidisciplinary grassroots games in India held in January or February for two categories, namely under-17 years school students and under-21 college students.
Headquarters: New Delhi
First event: 2018
Purpose: Grassroot talent hunt
About the 2022 Games:
The upcoming edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will feature a total of 27 disciplines, with water sports being included for the first time in the history of the games.
New disciplines like Canoe Slalom, Kayaking, Canoeing and Rowing will also feature alongside the usual sports and indigenous games.
The Games will take place across eight cities of Madhya Pradesh.
The 5th edition of Khelo India Youth Games will be held in which of the following states/UT?
D. Madhya Pradesh
Indian, U.S. Militaries Conduct “Tiger Triumph” Exercise
The Indian and U.S. militaries concluded a three-day joint humanitarian assistance exercise on Thursday at India’s Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.
About Tiger Triumph:
The “Tiger Triumph” tabletop simulation was a comprehensive effort in which Indian and U.S. military and diplomatic representatives coordinated a joint response to provide disaster relief services to a notional third country that experienced a super-cyclone.
This week’s Tiger Triumph exercise was the second collaboration between the Indian and U.S. militaries to coordinate disaster relief in the region.
The first exercise—also based out of Visakhapatnam—took place over the course of nine days in November 2019 and featured more than 500 U.S. Marines and sailors and approximately 1,200 Indian sailors, soldiers, and airmen.
This year’s exercise involves fifty combined participants and is focused on staff planning, with an emphasis on processes for streamlining diplomatic, operational, and logistical coordination.
Tiger Triumph marks the third time in 2022 that the Indian and U.S. militaries have worked together in Visakhapatnam.
In February, the United States joined India and more than thirty other nations for India’s bi-annual Exercise Milan – the first time the United States had participated in Exercise Milan.
In August, the USS Frank Cable visited Visakhapatnam, during which U.S. sailors joined Indian counterparts for briefings and an official dinner.
India has recently concluded the Tiger Triumph exercise with which of the following countries?
Awards and Recognitions
Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui’s children accepted the Pulitzer prize on his behalf. Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering the Afghanistan conflict in July last year. Late Danish Siddiqui received the award in a moving ceremony in New York.
Danish Siddiqui is among four Indians honoured with the prestigious Pulitzer Prize 2022 in the feature photography category.
Why did he get this Prize?
Danish Siddiqui—who extensively covered conflicts around the world—won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for feature photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis and was killed while covering the war between Afghan troops and the Taliban in Kandahar city.
This is for the second time that Siddiqui has won the Pulitzer Prize. He was honoured with the prestigious award in 2018 as part of the Reuters team for their coverage of the Rohingya crisis.
He had extensively covered the Afghanistan conflict, the Hong Kong protests and other major events in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Siddiqui graduated with a degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. He had a degree in Mass Communication from the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia in 2007.
About Pulitzer Prizes:
The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature, and musical composition within the United States.
2022 Pulitzer Prizes Awards Ceremony held at Columbia University, USA.
Pulitzer Prize administration awards prizes across 22 categories in journalism and the arts each year.
Named after Joseph Pulitzer, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 1917.
Prizes are announced by the president of Columbia University on Pulitzer Prize board recommendation.
Gobind Behari Lal was the first from India to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1937.
Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui recently got a Pulitzer Prize-2022 was a citizen of which country?
Awards and Recognitions
PMAY-U Awards 2021
Winners of the PMAY-U Awards 2021 were recently declared. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu held the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively as the ‘Best Performing States’ under the scheme.
Gujarat was awarded the ‘Best State’ for implementing the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS). Tripura won the award for ‘Best Performing State’ under PMAY-U in the north-eastern and hilly States category.
About the scheme:
PMAY-U scheme is aimed at confronting and tiding over the shortage of housing facilities in urban India for beneficiaries under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), Low-Income Groups (LIGs) and Middle Income Groups (MIGs) categories.
This scheme is implemented by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
Credit linked subsidy component will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme, while the other three components will be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
All statutory towns as per Census 2011 and towns notified subsequently would be eligible for coverage under the Mission.
Which of the following is declared the best-performing state under PMAY-U Awards 2021?
A. Madhya Pradesh
C. Uttar Pradesh
D. Tamil Nadu
Days and Events
World Polio Day 2022
World Polio Day is observed every year on October 24 to raise awareness about the polio vaccination and eradication of polio from every corner of the world.
The day is observed to commemorate the progress made by the world towards polio eradication.
The day highlights the efforts of the frontline workers who work to provide vaccines in polio-hit countries.
This year, the overarching theme of World Polio Day is “A healthier future for mothers and children”.
Meaning of this theme:
The theme urges the world to acknowledge the progress made in the battle to eradicate polio in children and the work to provide a healthier future for mothers.
The goal is to provide mothers with a positive pregnancy experience to help them with the development of children for a brighter and better future.
History and significance of Polio Day:
World Polio Day was established in 1985 by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk. He was the lead medical researcher of the team that developed a vaccine against polio.
He developed the inactivated poliovirus vaccine, which first came into use in 1955.
This was further developed as the oral polio vaccine by Albert Sabin, which came into use in 1961.
Today, the polio vaccines are recommended all over the world, particularly for children under the age of five, who are the most vulnerable to the infection.
Organisations involved in Polio Awareness:
On World Polio Day, global organisations such as Rotary International, WHO and others host several events to raise awareness about polio. Events range from rallies, walks, and webinars to organising competitions in schools and clubs. In the global fight to eradicate polio, no member is too small to contribute.
World Polio Day is observed every year on
A. 15th September
B. 10th February
C. 16th December
D. 24th October
Agni Prime ballistic missile
India successfully test-fired the Agni Prime New-Generation Ballistic Missile off the coast of Odisha recently.
During the test, the missile travelled its maximum range, and all its test objectives were also met successfully.
This was the third consecutive successful flight test of the Agni Prime missile. With this test, the accuracy and reliability of the system have been established.
The Maiden test of Agni Prime was conducted on 28th June 2021 and the second test on 18th December 2021.
What are Agni Missiles?
Agni class of missiles are the mainstay of India’s nuclear launch capability which also includes the Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft.
The longest of the Agni series, Agni-V, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km, has already been tested several times and validated for induction.
What is Agni Prime Missile?
The ‘Agni-P’ is a two-stage canisters solid propellant ballistic missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system.
It is a canisters surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.
Agni-P is a new-generation advanced variant of the Agni class (under IGMDP – Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).
The Agni Prime, also known as the Agni-P, is a medium-range ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a successor to Agni-I and Agni-II missiles.
The missile comes with new composites, propulsion systems, and innovative guidance and control mechanisms, besides the latest navigation systems.
It is the sixth missile in the Agni (missile) series of ballistic missiles.
Range and specifications of different Agni missiles:
Agni I: Medium-Range Ballistic Missile with a range of 700-800 km.
Agni II: Medium-Range Ballistic Missile with a range of more than 2000 km.
Agni III: Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile with a range of more than 2,500 km.
Agni IV: Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile with a range of more than 3,500 km and can fire from a road-mobile launcher.
Agni-V: The longest of the Agni series, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km.
Agni-VI: The longest of the Agni series, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of 11,000–12,000 km (Under development).
Recently test-fired Agni Prime Missile is an:
A. Air-to-surface missile with a range of 3000 km
B. Surface-to-air missile with a range of 3000 km
C. Surface-to-surface missile with a range of 2000 km
D. Surface-to-air missile with a range of 2000 km
India’s first Migrant Monitoring System launched
Recently, India got its first ‘Migration Monitoring System’. The system is aimed at providing updated information on migrant pregnant women, lactating mothers and children instantly on a single system.
The system, developed by the Department of Women and Child Development, was inaugurated in Mumbai by Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Mangalprabhat Lodha.
What is Migration Monitoring System?
The website-based Migration Tracking System (MTS) will track the movements of vulnerable seasonal migrant beneficiaries through individual unique identification numbers.
The first-of-its-kind system will make available the information of seasonal migrant women and children instantly.
Among other benefits, the system also makes it possible to easily fill the information to department officials, Anganwadi workers and supervisors.
Impact of the system:
The Monitoring System will also be able to furnish information about food distribution, vaccination, Amrit diet scheme, and health check-up, through which these can be implemented effectively.
Moreover, the native addresses of pregnant women, lactating women, children aged zero to three years, children aged three to six years, and children aged 6-18 years can be obtained.
Last year, in November, the system was implemented in pilot form in six districts of Chandrapur, Amravati, Jalna, Palghar, Nandurbar and Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. It was used for filling in the information of beneficiaries in the web-based app.
After studying the process of migration of women and children, the information of the beneficiaries was filled in the mobile app with the help of Anganwadi workers and supervisors. Furthermore, efforts were made to provide Anganwadi services to the migrant beneficiaries at that place.
In which of the following states/UT was India’s first Migration Monitoring System launched?
A. Andaman and Nicobar
Culture and Traditions
An FIR has been recently filed against Kannada actor-activist Chetan Kumar by Karnataka Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments in regards to his statement while commenting on the tradition of ‘Bhoota Kola’ depicted in the Kannada film Kantara.
What is the movie Kantara about?
The fictional story is inspired by the relationship shared between forests and human beings and takes place over almost two centuries.
What is Bhoota Kola?
Bhoota Kola is an annual ritual performance where local spirits or deities are worshipped.
It is believed that a person performing the ritual would temporarily become a God himself.
This performer is both feared and respected in the community and is believed to give answers to people’s problems, on behalf of God.
There are several ‘Bhootas’ who are worshipped in the Tulu-speaking belt of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts.
It is usually performed in small local communities and rural areas.
How is Bhoota Kola performed?
The Kola (or dance performance for the Gods) is basically performed in an area near the temple of the village deity, which is usually close to large open fields.
The ritual involves music, dance, recital, and elaborate costumes.
Recitals in Old Tulu recount the origins of the deity and tell the story of how it came to its present location.
The divine medium starts the traditional performances as the local folklore called ‘paddanas’ are recited.
What is the controversy all about?
During an interview, Rishab Shetty said that the practice of Bhoota Kola was part of Hindu culture.
Actor-turned-activist Chetan Kumar, however, said that Bhoota Kola was not part of Hindu tradition but of indigenous people who are Adivasis, and it had been “hijacked” by Aryans who came to India in the later years.
Bhoota Kola is a form of tradition mainly practised in which of the following states?
A. Tamil Nadu
Tropical Cyclone Sitrang
Cyclone Sitrang caused landfall around 9:00 pm (October 24, 2022) along the Bangladesh coast between Barishal and Chattogram, close to Bhola, according to the latest cyclone update from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).
Details about the cyclone:
The wind speeds around 62 kmph, gusting up to 88 kmph, were prevailing in the region — within 54 km of the cyclone centre.
The eye of the cyclone was somewhere between Khulna and Barisal, and fierce cyclonic winds (above 100 kmph) were prevalent in areas as far off as the capital Dhaka.
The track of the cyclone as per ECMWF data on Windy is taking it northeastwards into Meghalaya and into Assam. Earlier, the track was more towards Tripura, than Assam and Nagaland.
The system will de-intensify as it crosses Bangladesh, but it will bring copious rainfall to all these regions.
What is a tropical cyclone?
A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans. It is also called a hurricane or a typhoon. It is characterised by low atmospheric pressure and heavy rain, and its winds exceed 119 km (74 miles) per hour.
Tropical cyclones occur every year during the late summer months: July–September in the Northern Hemisphere and January–March in the Southern Hemisphere.
What are the characteristic features of a tropical cyclone?
Characteristic features of tropical cyclones are the eye, a central region of clear skies, warm temperatures, and low atmospheric pressure; the eyewall, which is the most dangerous and destructive part where winds are strongest and rainfall is heaviest; and the rainbands, the secondary cells that spiral into the centre of the storm.
Recently, a Tropical Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ hit the coast of which of the following countries?
B. Sri Lanka
Science and Technology
Sampurnan and Telescope
The Governor of Uttarakhand recently highlighted the need for discussing future possibilities of the 104-cm Sampurnanand Telescope (ST), a world-class telescope located near Nainital, at a workshop organised to commemorate the completion of 50 years of successful operations of the telescope.
What is Sampurnanand Telescope?
The 104-cm Sampurnanand Telescope, situated at ARIES, Manora Peak, in Nainital, is one of the main observing facilities in the optical domain.
It was installed in 1972 by Carl Zeiss, Germany, at the then UP State Observatory (UPSO).
Observations with the telescope were started after the rains in October 1972. The telescope was formally dedicated to the nation on June 7, 1973.
The telescope gets its name after Dr Sampurnanand, educationist and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
It has completed fifty years of successful science operations. So far, the telescope has helped in producing more than 40 doctoral theses and over 400 research papers in reputed international journals.
Major observations of Sampurnanand telescope:
Discovery of rings of Uranus.
Two additional rings around Saturn were detected.
First detection of optical afterglows of Gamma-ray-bursts (GRBs) and micro-lensing event from India.
The first photoelectric observations of stars were made in India at the institute.
Sampurnanand Telescope, recently seen in the news, is located in which of the following states/UT?
C. Arunachal Pradesh
D. Jammu and Kashmir
Schools in Kerala’s Ernakulam district introduced “honesty shops” for students up to Class 12.
This initiative was launched by the Student Police Cadet with the aim of cultivating valuable lessons on trust, truth and integrity for students.
There are no salesmen at these counters, and students can drop the money for each item they purchase at the collection box kept on a table.
They can walk in, choose the item of their choice, and pay for it based on the price list displayed.
Launched in 2008, the SPC project was conceived to inculcate better civic sense among students and mould them as responsible youth who will react positively to the demands of society.
The objective of the ‘honesty shop’ is to provide students with a chance to experience the virtue of honesty.
Though the schools have CCTV facilities, they have switched off the camera pointed towards the shop to instil confidence among the students.
The honesty shop has mainly school-based items such as notebooks, pens, pencil boxes, erasers, chart papers and so on.
What is Student Police Cadet?
Student Police Cadet, an initiative launched in 2008, was started to inculcate better civic sense among students.
The project also aims to mould them into responsible citizens who will react positively to the demands of society.
Honesty shops initiative was recently started in the schools of which of the following states/UT?
D. Himachal Pradesh
Awards and Recognitions
National Media Award
The Election Commission of India invites entries from Media Houses for the National Media Award for the best campaign on Voter Education and Awareness during the year 2022.
There shall be four awards, one each for Print media, Television (Electronic), Radio (Electronic), and Online (Internet)/Social media.
About the Awards:
The awards are to recognise the outstanding contributions by Media Houses to promote electoral participation by creating awareness about accessible elections, educating people about the electoral process and raising awareness among the general public about the relevance and importance of voting and registration.
The awards will be in the form of a citation, plaque, and cash prize, and will be presented on National Voter’s Day (25th January 2023).
Criteria of the awards:
Quality of Voter awareness campaign
The extent of coverage/quantity
Evidence of impact on the public
Coverage of awareness about Accessible Elections
Any other relevant factor(s)
National Media Awards are given by which of the following organisations?
A. Central Bureau of Investigation
B. Election Commission of India
C. Panchayati Raj Institutions
D. National Highways Authority of India
Great Indian Bustards
The recent sighting of three Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) deep in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert has given rise to speculation that the endangered birds might have flown across the international border from India’s Desert National Park (DNP).
GIBs are critically endangered in Pakistan because of a lack of protection and rampant hunting.
About the Great Indian Bustards:
The GIB, which is the State bird of Rajasthan, is also considered India’s most critically endangered bird and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Its population of about 150 in Rajasthan accounts for 95% of its total world population.
The captive breeding of GIBs was taken up in the DNP through a project executed by the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India in 2019.
The GIBs in the Thar desert has been facing threats to their survival because of intensive agricultural practices, laying of power lines, and industrialisation.
Experts have observed that the endangered birds have raised their families within the DNP and outside in the rural pockets, where feed and grassland habitat is available.
They also move in the crop fields to pick up insects and lizards and like to hide there.
Protection Status of the bird:
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Critically Endangered
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix I
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
Significantly, the GIB was added to the world list of protected species by the ‘Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals’ during its 13th conference in Gandhinagar in 2020. Pakistan is a signatory to the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the convention.
The Great Indian Bustard is the state bird of which of the following states/UT?
HAWK Air Defence Equipment
The United States is considering retrieving older HAWK air defence equipment from storage to send to Ukraine, which is facing a heavy barrage of Russian drone-fired and cruise missiles.
What is HAWK Air Defence Equipment?
HAWK, short for ‘Homing All the Way Killer’, entered service with the US Army in 1959, during the Vietnam War.
It is a mobile air defence system.
It is a medium-range surface-to-air missile.
Details and Success of the System:
It underwent upgrades over the decades that followed, including a major one in 1971 that produced the so-called I-HAWK (or improved HAWK), with a kill probability of 85%.
The first versions of the system had a range of 25 km for aerial targets and an altitude of 14 km. After modernisation: the maximum target interception range increased to 40 km with a maximum interception altitude of 18 km.
The HAWK system was the predecessor to the PATRIOT missile defence system that Raytheon built in the 1990s.
US forces largely stopped using HAWK from the early years of the new century.
US assistance to Ukraine:
The US has provided almost $17 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine since the launch of Russia’s invasion on February 24.
HAWK air defence equipment recently in news is made by which of the following countries?
National Intellectual Property Award: 2021 and 2022
The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has won the National Intellectual Property Award for 2021 and 2022.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had instituted the award.
The total ‘patent’ applications filed in India (at least one Indian applicant) by IIT-M in 2021 were 120 and 68 (abroad).
A total of 133 patents were granted in India and seven abroad. Six patents were licensed, five were assigned, and 11 were commercialised.
About the Award:
The annual award recognises achievers, including individuals, institutions, organisations and enterprises, for their IP creations and commercialisation that contribute to strengthening the country’s IP ecosystem and encourage creativity and innovation.
Which institute won the National Intellectual Property Award for 2021 and 2022?
B. IIT Delhi
C. IIT Madras
Roadmap 2030 for India-UK Future Relations
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently congratulated British Prime Minister-elect Rishi Sunak and said he looked forward to working closely together on global issues and implementing the Roadmap 2030 for bilateral relations.
The Roadmap 2030 for India-U.K. future relations was launched last year.
What is India-UK Roadmap 2030?
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the ‘2030 Roadmap for India-UK Relations’ in a virtual meeting on 4th May 2021.
The roadmap outlines ambitions for the partnership between the two countries over the next ten years.
The roadmap heralds the commencement of an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ between India and the United Kingdom, with goals of doubling the value of UK-India trade by 2030 and expediting the first phase of pre-negotiations for a future free trade deal.
It is also the first since the formal ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreement in 2005.
Key Points about the Roadmap:
Free Trade Agreement
Migration and Mobility Partnership
Ease of Doing Business
Boost for Indian start-ups
It is significant to mention here that strong historical and cultural links bind India to the United Kingdom.
With the elevation to a Strategic Partnership in 2004, India’s multidimensional bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom became much stronger.
Since the Strategic Partnership in 2004, there have been regular exchanges of visits at the Prime Ministerial level.
India is the United Kingdom’s second-largest foreign investor.
While the United Kingdom is India’s 18th-largest trading partner and third-largest investor after Mauritius and Singapore.
In addition, many bilateral trade agreements exist between the two countries in order to strengthen ties.
Which of the following is not a key feature of India-UK Roadmap 2030 for future relations?
A. Ease of Doing Business
C. Boost for Indian start-ups
D. Nuclear energy
International and Geopolitics
Amid Russia’s allegations of Ukraine trying to use ‘dirty bombs’ in the ongoing war, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh urged both nations to avoid any escalation of the conflict.
What is a Dirty Bomb?
A dirty bomb is a mix of explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive powder or pellets.
The blast carries radioactive material into the surrounding area when the dynamite or other explosives are set off.
Is a Dirty Bomb the same as an Atomic Bomb?
An atomic bomb, like those bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, involves the splitting of atoms and a huge release of energy that produces an atomic mushroom cloud.
A dirty bomb works completely differently and cannot create an atomic blast.
Instead, a dirty bomb uses dynamite or other explosives to scatter radioactive dust, smoke, or other material to cause radioactive contamination.
What are the Main Dangers of a Dirty Bomb?
The main danger of a dirty bomb is the explosion, which can cause serious injuries and property damage.
The radioactive materials used in a dirty bomb would probably not create enough radiation exposure to cause immediate serious illness, except for those people who are very close to the blast site.
However, the radioactive dust and smoke spread farther away could be dangerous to health if it is inhaled.
Because people cannot see, smell, feel, or taste radiation, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
There is no recorded use of ‘dirty bombs’. They have, so far, been tested only.
The aftermath of the use of such an explosive device can be devastating for the area, and the clean-up could be highly expensive and time-consuming.
It may well be rendered unusable for a long time, depending on the amount of radioactive material used in the bomb.
Which of the following is another name used to describe Dirty Bomb?
A. Radiological Dispersal Device
B. Pellet Bomb
C. Radiological Exposure Device
D. Dynamite Exposure device
Environment and Ecology
New Species of Critically Endangered Plant Spotted
A rather frail-looking plant spotted on the granite hillocks of Palakkad has been identified as a new species of the genus Allmania.
Named Allmania multiflora, the species is quite special from both the botanical and conservation points of view, according to researchers.
An annual herb that grows to a height of about 60 cm, Allmania multiflora is only the second species of this genus identified so far anywhere.
The discovery came 188 years after botanists described the genus and the first species.
The first species, Allmania nodiflora, was originally published under the genus Celosia as Celosia nodiflora in 1753.
Specimens found in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) were first described as Allmania nodiflora in 1834.
Given its small population, the researchers have assessed it as ‘Critically Endangered’, applying IUCN Red List criteria.
Its population is quite small.
It could be accidentally exploited by local people as a vegetable along with amaranthus.
Recently a new species of a critically endangered plant, Allmania, was spotted after 188 years in which of the following states?
A. Tamil Nadu
D. Himachal Pradesh
Katraj Zoological Park to get Zebras from Abroad
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is likely to import ‘Grant Zebras’ for its Rajiv Gandhi Zoological and Wildlife Research Centre in Katraj.
The PMC plans to procure five Zebras—two male and three female—for its Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in Katraj from foreign zoos and animal breeders as donations, gifts, disposal of surplus animals, and exchange of animals.
The civic body will spend an estimated ₹1.33 crore for the transportation of the animals.
The Grant Zebras will be the first ones among foreign animals to be procured for the park in phases.
What is Grant’s Zebra?
The Grant’s zebra is the smallest of six subspecies of the plains zebra.
Even still, they weigh between 485 and 700 pounds, with a shoulder height of 4 to 4 ½ ft.
The males, on average, are 10% larger than their female counterparts. Zebras have excellent eyesight and hearing and can run up to 40 mph.
This subspecies represents the zebra form of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and others across central Africa.
About Katraj Zoological Park:
The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, commonly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoo or Katraj Zoo, is located in Katraj, Pune district, Maharashtra State, India.
It is managed by the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Katraj zoological park, likely to import Grant’s zebras from Africa, is situated in which of the following states/UT?
C. Madhya Pradesh
Trees Beyond Forests Programme–launched in Assam
The Assam government and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently launched the “Trees Outside Forests in India (TOFI)” programme for bringing farmers, companies, and private institutions together to expand the tree coverage outside of traditional forests in the State.
About the Programme and its Objectives:
The new programme seeks to enhance carbon sequestration, support local communities, and strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture, thereby supporting global climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.
Through agroforestry or integrating trees into farming systems, TOFI will improve the resilience of farming systems while increasing the income of farmers in Assam in partnership with the Environment and Forest Department and the AADB.
The objective is to increase the tree coverage outside traditional forests by 2.8 million hectares, contributing to India’s nationally determined contribution target of creating an additional “carbon sink” of 2.5–3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.
What is Carbon Sequestration?
Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change.
For example, deforestation is a source of carbon emission into the atmosphere, but forest regrowth is a form of carbon sequestration, with the forests themselves serving as carbon sinks.
Assam is one of seven states where the US will allocate up to $25 million under the TOFI programme. The other states are Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
Which of the following states/UT recently launched the trees beyond forests programme?
D. Tamil Nadu
Days and Events
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2022
Audiovisual heritage refers to documents like film, sounds, radio, television programmes and other audio and video that are of socio-cultural importance and need preservation for posterity. Such documentations help us observe and understand the past and protect our memories and culture.
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) is celebrated on 27th October every year to highlight and promote the importance of such preservation.
“Enlisting documentary heritage to promote inclusive, just and peaceful societies” is the theme for WDAH this year.
It refers to the importance of archiving visual and sonic information to preserve history for society’s benefit and progress.
On 27th October 1980, the ‘Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images’ was adopted at the 21st General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Belgrade, Serbia.
This adoption occurred as a result of the efforts of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) since the late 1970s. The 33rd session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2005 proclaimed 27th October as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1980 recommendation mentioned above.
Recorded images, motion pictures and sounds give us insights into people’s lives, cultures, languages, communities and global flora and fauna. Such documents are vital as a source of knowledge for humanity and help preserve cultural and social diversity. Conservation of those documents ensures present and future generations get access to them and help preserve our collective memories.
The WDAH celebration is part of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 16, Target 16.10. It states, “Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.”
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) is celebrated every year on
A. 22nd January
B. 16th April
C. 27th October
D. 19th December
Gujarat Achieved 100% Tap Water Connections in Rural Areas
The Gujarat government has achieved 100% tap water connections in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
What is the Jal Jeevan Mission?
Launched by Prime Minister Modi in 2019, the mission targets to make available 55 litres of water per person every day to each rural household through household tap connections by 2024.
It ensures the functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections, water quality monitoring and testing, as well as sustainable agriculture.
Other States/UTs which have achieved 100 per cent:
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Daman and Diu
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Which of the following states recently achieved 100 per cent tap water connections in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission?
B. Uttar Pradesh
C. Tamil Nadu
GM Mustard, gets Regulator Approval for Field Cultivation
India’s biotech regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), has approved genetically modified (GM) mustard, technically called Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11), for commercial cultivation, paving the way for the country’s first transgenic food crop.
What is Hybrid Mustard?
Hybridisation involves crossing two genetically dissimilar plant varieties that can even be from the same species.
The first-generation (F1) offspring from such crosses tend to have higher yields than what either parent can individually give.
Such hybridisation isn’t easy in mustard, as its flowers have both female (pistil) and male (stamen) reproductive organs, making the plants largely self-pollinating.
Since the eggs of one plant cannot be fertilised by the pollen grains from another, it limits the scope for developing hybrids–unlike in cotton, maize or tomato, where this can be done through simple emasculation or physical removal of anthers.
How does the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee provide approval?
GEAC is a body responsible for the appraisal of proposals relating to the “release” of GM organisms and products (ordinarily considered hazardous) into the environment.
In this case, it has recommended the environmental release of DMH-11 “for its seed production and testing…prior to commercial release”.
In other words, it has given the green signal for commercial cultivation by farmers, with the production of seed material being the first step.
The compelling motive here could be India’s spiralling edible oil import bill.
The country produces only 8.5–9 million tonnes (mt) of edible oil annually while importing 14–14.5 mt, which entailed a record foreign exchange outgo of $18.99 billion in the fiscal year that ended 31st March 2022.
Which crop has recently been approved for commercial cultivation as the country’s first transgenic food crop by GEAC?
Two New Indian Beaches receive ‘Blue Flag’ Certification
Two Indian beaches, Minicoy Thundi beach and Kadmat beach, located in Lakshadweep, have received the International eco-label ‘Blue Flag’ from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
With the new additions, the number of beaches certified under the Blue Flag Certification is twelve.
What are Blue Flag Beaches?
Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by the “Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark”.
The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
The objective behind the declaration of Blue Flag Beaches:
Central to the ideals of the Blue Flag programme is the aim of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment.
As such, environmental education activities must be offered and promoted in addition to a permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental phenomena.
About Thundi Beach:
Thundi Beach is one of the most pristine and picturesque beaches in the Lakshadweep archipelago, where white sand is lined by the turquoise-blue water of the lagoon.
It is a paradise for swimmers and tourists alike.
About Kadmat Beach:
Kadmat Beach is popular with cruise tourists who visit the island for water sports. It is a paradise for nature lovers with its pearl white sand, blue lagoon waters, moderate climate and friendly locals.
Both beaches have designated staff for beach cleanliness and maintenance and for the safety and security of swimmers.
As per the Blue Flag website data, a total of 5042 sites are awarded certificates across 48 countries.
Spain, with 729 sites, tops the list of countries with Blue Flag awarded sites. It is followed by Greece and Turkey, with 591 and 560 sites, respectively.
India is placed at 36 spots, as per the data available on the Blue Flag website.
Minicoy Thundi beach and Kadmat beach both have been accorded the blue flag certification recently. In which of the following states/UT are they located?
C. Andaman and Nicobar
Tata and Airbus to make C-295MW Transport Aircraft for IAF
In a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative and domestic aviation manufacturing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a transport aircraft manufacturing project for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Vadodara in Gujarat on 30th October.
The project, valued at 219.35 billion rupees ($2.66 billion), involves the supply of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
Airbus will deliver 16 aircraft in fly-away condition between September next year and August 2025. Tata group will make the rest, including its software unit Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd.
The first made-in-India aircraft is expected in September 2026.
What is a C-295MW Transport Aircraft?
The C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF.
It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo. Its abilities include short takeoff and landing from semi-prepared surfaces.
About Airbus SE:
Airbus SE is a European multinational aerospace corporation. Airbus designs, manufactures and sells civil and military aerospace products worldwide and manufactures aircraft in Europe and various countries outside Europe.
Airbus’s registered headquarters is in Leiden, Netherlands, but its head office is located in Toulouse, France.
This is for the first time the C-295 aircraft will be manufactured outside of Europe. This is very significant for the domestic aerospace sector.
The aircraft will be able to operate from Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) and even unprepared runways, and it can carry around 40-45 paratroopers or around 70 passengers.
Tata and Airbus are going to set up a production unit in which of the following cities for the manufacturing of C-295MW transport aircraft for IAF?
International and Security
UNSC’s Counter-Terror Meet in India
The United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) two-day meeting in India on counter-terrorism will focus on dealing with the use of the internet, new payment mechanism and drones by terrorists.
The meeting is being hosted in Mumbai today, 28 October and will be hosted in Delhi on 29 October.
This will be the first such meeting of the UNSC-CTC in India since its establishment in 2001. The Permanent Representative of India to the UN serves as the Chair of the CTC for 2022.
‘Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes’.
What is the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council (UN CTC)?
The UN CTC, comprising all 15 members of the Security Council, was established by Resolution 1373 (2001) on 28th September 2001.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter (concerning threats to international peace and security), the Security Council adopted the resolution to enforce counter-terrorist measures in United Nations Member States.
The Committee monitors the implementation of resolution 1373 by means of direct dialogue with each Member State. It analyses States’ regular reports to the Committee. It follows up its analysis with responses that identify the areas in which States need to improve in order to achieve full implementation of the resolution.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) was established in 2004 to support the Committee in this work.
The objective of the Meet:
Mindful of addressing this issue while also recognising the potential of technologies to increase the effectiveness of counterterrorism efforts, the committee has come together in India to hold its special meeting on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.
The focus (will be) specifically on rapid development, growing use by member states and the increasing threat of use for terrorist purposes of 3 significant technologies –
Internet, including social media
New payment technologies and fundraising methods
Unmanned aerial systems
The United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) two-day meeting in India on counter-terrorism will be held in which two cities?
A. Delhi and Mumbai
B. Mumbai and Ahmedabad
C. Ahmedabad and Jaipur
D. Jaipur and Delhi
Arts and Entertainment
‘Pather Panchali’ – Declared All-Time Best Indian Film by FIPRESCI
Satyajit Ray’s feature film Pather Panchali has been named the best Indian film of all time by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).
Based on Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s 1929 Bengali novel of the same name, “Pather Panchali”, was Ray’s directorial debut.
It starred Subir Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee, Uma Dasgupta, Pinaki Sengupta and Chunibala Devi.
The 1955 film has received the number one slot in the top ten films in the history of the Indian cinema list, which was declared after a poll conducted by the India chapter of FIPRESCI.
As per a press release issued by FIPRESCI-India, the poll was conducted in secret and involved 30 members.
What is the International Federation of Film Critics?
The International Federation of Film Critics is an association of national organisations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world for “the promotion and development of film culture and for the safeguarding of professional interests”. It was founded in June 1930 in Brussels, Belgium.
President: Alin Tasciyan
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Type of business: Film critics organisation
General Secretary: Klaus Eder
Which of the following has been named the all-time best feature film of Indian cinema by the International Federation of Film Critics?
A. Bhuvan Shome
D. Pather Panchali
Days and Events
Fiji to host 12th World Hindi Conference in 2023
Fiji is the first country in the Pacific to hold the 12th World Hindi Conference.
The conference is taking place under the aegis of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Government of Fiji from 15-17 February 2023.
What is the World Hindi Conference?
The World Hindi Conference, in Hindi: Vishwa Hindi Sammelan, is a world conference on the Hindi language. It consists of several Hindi scholars, writers and laureates from different parts of the world who contribute to the language.
Frequency: Once in 3 Years
Inaugurated: 10th January 1975
Journey of Hindi from India to Fiji:
Hindi is taught in primary and secondary schools and the Universities of Fiji, and Fijian Hindi is enshrined in the constitution of Fiji as an official language.
It started from 1879 to 1916 when the British took Indian labourers to work in the sugarcane fields. The numbers were around 60,000.
The conference will take place in the Fijian city of Nadi and will witness the participation of over 1000 experts in the Indian language; there will be scholars, writers, and more.
So far, 11 World Hindi Conferences have been organised in various countries, and this time the 12th World Hindi Conference will be organised in Fiji.
The Hindi language is very popular in several countries, including New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, and Mauritius.
The 12th World Hindi Conference in 2023 will be held in which of the following Pacific countries?
A. New Zealand
Environment and Ecology
Greenhouse Gas Bulletin
WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reported the biggest year-on-year jump in methane concentrations in 2021 since systematic measurements began nearly 40 years ago.
The reason for this exceptional increase is not clear but seems to be a result of both biological and human-induced processes.
What is a Greenhouse Gas Bulletin?
It is an annual report of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
WMO is the specialised agency of the UN for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
Key Findings of 2022 Report:
Atmospheric levels of the 3 main greenhouse gases warming our planet—carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide—all reached new record highs in 2021.
This is the result of both biological and human-induced processes.
Emissions will also increase by 10.6% by 2030 from 2010 levels.
According to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, a report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, which of the following are the three main greenhouse gases warming our planet?
A. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide
B. Ammonia, methane and nitrous oxide
C. Ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide
D. Methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide
The first edition of the India-Mozambique-Tanzania Trilateral Exercise (IMT TRILAT), a joint maritime exercise among the Indian, Mozambique and Tanzanian navies, commenced at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on 27 Oct 22.
The Indian Navy was represented by the guided missile frigate, INS Tarkash, a Chetak helicopter and MARCOS (Special Forces).
The exercise was scheduled over three days from 27 to 29 Oct 2022 and included harbour and sea phases.
The Exercise has Three Broad Objectives:
Capability development to address common threats through training and sharing of best practices
Strengthening maritime cooperation
As part of the harbour phase, capability-building activities such as Visit, Board, Search and Seizure; small arms training; joint diving operations; damage control and fire fighting exercises; and cross-deck visits were scheduled.
The sea phase included boat operations, fleet manoeuvres, Visit, Board, Search and Seizure operations, helicopter operations, small arms firing, formation anchoring and EEZ patrols.
Contribution to the Enhancement of Maritime Security:
These exercises reflect India’s and the Indian Navy’s commitment to enhancing maritime security and cooperation with maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and promoting SAGAR, Safety and Growth for All in the Region.
In the recently conducted first edition of the India-Mozambique-Tanzania Trilateral Exercise, the Indian Navy was represented by which of the following frigates?
A. INS Tarkash
B. INS Trishul
C. INS Talwar
D. INS Trikand
Indian Navy’s Goa Maritime Symposium (GMS) 2022
The fourth edition of the Goa Maritime Symposium (GMS) is being conducted by the Naval War College (NWC) at Goa from 31 Oct to 01 Nov 2022.
The participants of the Symposium comprise Captains/ Commanders and equivalent-rank officers from Navies/ Maritime forces from friendly foreign countries, viz., Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, besides India.
Conceptualised and instituted by the Indian Navy in 2016, the GMS is a forum for fostering collaborative thinking, cooperation and mutual understanding between India and key maritime nations of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The NWC, Goa, conducts the symposium biennially, and three editions of the event have been organised thus far.
With the IOR becoming the focus of the 21st-century strategic landscape, the symposium plays a constructive role in bringing together stakeholders for evolving policies, strategies and implementation mechanisms for comprehensive security in the maritime domain.
The theme of GMS-2022 is “Maritime Security Challenges in the Indian Ocean Region: Converting Common Maritime Priorities into Collaborative Mitigation Frameworks”.
The theme is underpinned by the idea of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) and five principles of Maritime Security, which imply that the prosperity of our region is interlinked with the maritime fate of all IOR littorals.
The fourth edition of the Goa Maritime Symposium (GMS) is being conducted by
A. Indian Naval Academy
B. Indian Coast Guard Academy
C. Indian Maritime University
D. Naval War College
Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force (FASF) are participating in a bilateral exercise named ‘Garuda VII’ from 26 October to 12 November 2022 at Air Force Station Jodhpur.
Details about Exercise:
In this exercise, FASF will participate with four Rafale fighter aircraft, one A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and a contingent of 220 personnel.
The IAF is participating with Su-30 MKI, Rafale, LCA Tejas and Jaguar fighter aircraft, as well as the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Mi-17 helicopters.
The IAF contingent will also include Combat Enabling Assets like Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C.
Participation of the IAF and FASF in this exercise will promote professional interaction, exchange of experiences and enhancement of operational knowledge, besides strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
This joint exercise will provide a platform for both countries to enhance operational capability and interoperability while also sharing best practices.
About Previous Versions of Exercise:
This is the seventh edition of the bilateral exercise.
The first, third and fifth editions were conducted in India in 2003, 2006 and 2014 at Air Force Stations Gwalior, Kalaikunda and Jodhpur, respectively.
The second, fourth and sixth editions were conducted in France in 2005, 2010 and 2019.
The Indian Air Force is participating in Exercise Garuda-VII with the air force of which country?
The Indian Navy hosted the 29th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) from 26 to 30 October 2022 at Visakhapatnam.
Details of Exercise:
SIMBEX-2022 was conducted in two phases – Harbour Phase at Visakhapatnam from 26 to 27 October 2022, followed by the Sea Phase in the Bay of Bengal from 28 to 30 October 2022.
Two ships from the Republic of Singapore Navy, RSS Stalwart (a Formidable Class Frigate) and RSS Vigilance (a Victory Class Corvette) arrived in Visakhapatnam on 25 October 2022 for participation in the exercise.
About SIMBEX Series of Exercises:
SIMBEX series of exercises began in 1994 and were initially known as Exercise Lion King. The scope and complexity of the exercise have risen substantially over the past two decades to include advanced naval drills covering a wide spectrum of maritime operations.
Cooperation between India and Singapore:
The exercise exemplifies the high level of cooperation between India and Singapore in the maritime domain.
It also highlights the commitment and contribution of the two nations towards enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
The 29th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise ‘SIMBEX’ was conducted in Visakhapatnam recently. By what name was this Exercise known initially?
A. Exercise Seal
B. Exercise Lion King
C. Exercise Elephant code
D. Exercise condor
Days and Events
National Unity Day 2022
Personnel of the CRPF 151 battalion at Kaliveru in Charla mandal organised bike and cycle rallies in the mandal on Sunday in connection with the “Rashtriya Ekta Diwas” (National Unity Day) celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31.
About the Day:
Every year October 31 is dedicated to observing the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Sardar Vallabhbhai was the first Minister of our country who played a vital role in forming states by bringing the princely states together under the Union of India.
Therefore, he is denoted as the man of unity who brought the states together.
This year marks the 147th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The reason behind the celebration of this day is to make people aware of the ideas of staying together and uplifting society.
History and Significance:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced this day in 2014 with the theme of Run for Unity.
Observing this day provides strength and resilience for the nation to hold on to unity, integrity, and security.
India, being the land of unity in diversity, has various cultural institutions that promote this day.
Even an award is dedicated to Rashtriya Ekta Diwas to inspire the nation with the contributions made by individuals for the country.
Every year 31st October is celebrated as National Unity Day and is dedicated to observing the birth anniversary of which of the following leaders?
A. APJ Abdul Kalam
B. Lal Bahadur Shastri
C. Indira Gandhi
D. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Persons and Appointments
Lula da Silva: Becomes Brazil’s New President
Lula da Silva emerged as Brazil’s new president on Sunday after he defeated incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro in fierce voting, which was a tight race between the two politicians.
With more than 99 per cent of the votes tallied in the runoff vote, da Silva earned 50.9 per cent votes, and Bolsonaro got 49.1 per cent votes.
This was the country’s closest election in over three decades.
Who is Lula da Silva?
As per AFP, Lula grew up in deep poverty.
He was the seventh of eight children born to a family of illiterate farmers in the arid northeastern state of Pernambuco.
When he was seven, his family joined a wave of migration to the industrial heartland of Sao Paulo.
Lula worked as a shoeshine boy and peanut vendor before becoming a metalworker at the tender age of 14.
In the 1960s, he lost a finger in a workplace accident. He rose quickly to become head of his trade union and led major strikes in the 1970s that challenged the then-military dictatorship.
In 1980, he co-founded the Workers’ Party, standing as its candidate for president nine years later.
Lula lost three presidential bids from 1989 to 1998, finally succeeding in 2002 and again four years later. This was his sixth presidential campaign.
Lula’s victory means Brazil is trying to overcome years of turbulence since the reelection of President Dilma Rousseff in 2014.
The huge challenge that Lula has will be to pacify the country.
U.S. President Barack Obama called him “the most popular politician on Earth.
Who has become the new president of Brazil in the recent elections-2022?
A. Jair Bolsonaro
B. Lula da Silva
C. Dilma Rousseff
D. Alexandre de Moraes
1st ASEAN-India Start-up Festival 2022
The recent launch of the first-ever ASEAN-India Start-up Festival marked the 30th anniversary of ASEAN and India’s relationship.
Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, Secretary, of the Department of Science and Technology, inaugurated the Festival in Bogor, Indonesia.
It was hosted by the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI), in collaboration with the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST), via the Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (Indonesian: Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional, BRIN) and the IIT Kanpur Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC).
What is ASEAN-India Startup Festival?
The ASEAN-India Startup Festival is a flagship initiative that aims to strengthen cooperation and collaboration in science, technology, and innovation between ASEAN Member States and India, as outlined in the ASEAN-India Partnership Plan of Action for Peace, Progress, and Shared Prosperity (2021-2025).
This festival provides an opportunity for participating delegates from ASEAN and India to connect with businesses and investors from around the world, and further strengthen cross-border ties with ASEAN countries in the field of science and technology.
The successful holding of the 1st ASEAN-India Start-up Festival saw opportunities to strengthen ASEAN-India cooperation further to accelerate the startup economy.
What is Pitch Battle?
Participating startups will compete in a ‘Pitch Battle’ – a pitch deck competition – on the third day of the festival, with a total winning prize of US $7,500.
SIIC and BRIN have begun the application process to select 30 Indian and 30 ASEAN startups to participate in the festival.
The first-ever ASEAN-India Start-up Festival-2022 was recently held in which of the following cities?
Agriculture and Technology
Indian Agriculture Research Institute has successfully tested two new dwarf varieties—Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638 and Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1652—in Uttar Pradesh that give double the yield.
What is Kalanamak Rice?
Kalanamak, a traditional variety of paddy with a black husk and a strong fragrance, considered a gift from Lord Buddha to the people of the Sravasti when he visited the region after enlightenment, is all set to get a new look and name.
Grown in 11 districts of the Terai region of northeastern Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, the traditional variety has been prone to lodging, a reason for its low yield.
The Problem and the Solution with Kalanamak Rice:
Lodging is a condition in which the top of the plant becomes heavy because of grain formation, the stem becomes weak, and the plant falls to the ground.
Addressing the problem, the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) has successfully developed two dwarf varieties of Kalanamak rice.
They have been named Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638 and Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1652.
The traditional Kalanamak rice is protected under the Geographical Indication (GI) tag system.
It is recorded in the GI application that Lord Budhha gifted Kalanamak paddy to the people of Sravasti so that they remembered him by its fragrance.
In an effort to promote Uttar Pradesh’s ‘Kalanamak rice’, it has also been given the PM’s award.
Kalanamak rice is an ODOP product of Siddharthnagar, an aspirational district located in the Terai belt of Uttar Pradesh.
It is known for its unique aroma and nutritional qualities and is featured in the world’s speciality rice by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN.
Kalanamak rice which is considered a gift from Lord Buddha to the people of the Sravasti majorly grows in which of the following states?
A. Uttar Pradesh
C. Madhya Pradesh
Science and Technology
CSIR- Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI) has converted red mud into X-ray shielding tiles in a green and economically viable manner through a ceramic route by adding a certain weight percentage of high Z material and binder with it.
How is this Useful?
These tiles can be used to build radiation shielding structures in diagnostic X-rays, CT scanner rooms, Cath labs, bone mineral density, dental X-rays, etc., instead of the toxic lead sheet to protect the public from radiation hazards.
What is Red Mud?
Red mud is the waste generated in the Bayer process of alumina production from bauxite.
It is also known as bauxite residue.
Red mud is defined as a “High Volume Low Effect Waste”.
Nearly 1 to 1.5 tonnes of RM is being generated while producing one tonne of alumina from the bauxite ore through the Bayer process.
It is considered to be toxic due to its extreme alkalinity and heavy element leaching.
Annually, about 175 million tonnes of red mud have been generated globally and stored in a specially designed clay-lined pond.
Among them, India produces nearly 9 million tonnes of red mud every year.
The clay-lined ponds often break out and pollute soil, groundwater, and air and become fatal for both humans and wildlife.
Noteworthy, only 3-4% of red mud has been utilised by industries to produce cement, bricks, source iron ore, etc.
The beneficial utilisation of red mud is becoming a global issue.
Red mud contains 30–55% of Fe2O3, which is suitable for attenuating high-energy ionising radiations like X- and gamma rays.
Red mud is the waste generated in the Bayer process of alumina production from which of the following ores?
Recently CSIR- Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute has converted which of the following bi-product of the Bayer process into X-ray shielding tiles?