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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 12th June 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 12th Jun 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

20th Edition Of The Shangri-La Dialogue:

The 20th edition of the Shangri-La Dialogue, concluded in Singapore recently. Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese delivered the Keynote Address at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2023.

  • The Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) is an inter-governmental security forum.
  • Originally known as the Asia Security Summit was initiated in 2002 in response to the evident need for a forum where Asia-Pacific defence ministers could engage in dialogue aimed at building confidence and fostering practical cooperation.
  • It is a Track 1inter-governmental security forum.
  • It is held every year in Singapore since 2002.
  • Organised by: International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
  • IISS is a London-based independent think tank.
  • Defence ministers, permanent heads of ministries and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific states attend it.
  • The ministers debate the region’s most pressing security challenges engage in important bilateral talks and come up with fresh approaches together.
  • The forum gets its name from the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore where it has been held since 2002.
  • It is Asia’s largest annual security forum.

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies : Govt New Decision

The Government has taken five new decisions to increase the income of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), as well as increase the employment opportunities in rural areas.

  • Government aims to achieve overall prosperity in the country through the mantra of “Sahkar Se Samriddhi”.
  • It was proposed to strengthen Cooperatives by bringing transparency, modernization, and creating competitiveness.
  • PACS which are not functioning as fertilizer retailers will be identified and they will be encouraged to function as retailers on the basis of feasibility in a phased manner.
  • PACS which are not currently functioning as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendras (PMKSK) will be brought under the ambit of PMKSK.
  • The Prime Minister inaugurated 600 PMKSK in 2022 under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers.
  • PMKSK will cater to a wide variety of needs of the farmers and provide agri-inputs, testing facilities for soil, seeds, and fertilisers.
  • PACS will be connected with the marketing of organic Fertilizers, especially Fermented Organic Manure (FoM) / Liquid Fermented Organic Manure (LFOM) / Phosphate Enriched Organic Manure (PROM).
  • Under the Market Development Assistance (MDA) scheme of Department of Fertilizers, fertilizer companies will act as an aggregator for small bio-organic producers to market the end product, in this supply and marketing chain of bio-organic fertilizers PACS will also be included as wholesalers/retailers.
  • PACS can also be employed as Drone entrepreneurs for spraying fertilizers and pesticides. Drones can also be used for survey of property.

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies:

  • PACS are village level cooperative credit societies that serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure headed by the State Cooperative Banks (SCB) at the state level.
  • Credit from the SCBs is transferred to the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs), which operate at the district level.
  • The DCCBs work with PACS, which deal directly with farmers.
  • PACSs provide short-term, and medium-term agricultural loans to the farmers for the various agricultural and farming activities.
  • The first PACS was formed in 1904.

Procurement Of Indigenously-Developed “Tactical LAN Radio”: Indian Army

The Indian Army recently said it has sealed a deal with a Bengaluru-based company to procure the indigenously-developed “tactical LAN radio”.

  • It is the second contract that the Army has firmed up under the framework of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX).
  • Tactical LAN Radio is a state-of-the-art high-bandwidth backhaul wireless radio equipment for the provisioning of reliable and failsafe communication.
  • The LAN radio solution offers an enhanced range of communication and embedded frequency hopping mechanism to preclude chances of interception.
  • It provides long-range point-to-multipoint high-bandwidth communication.
  • The system also incorporates enhanced safety features and can operate continuously for 48 hours on a single-set basis, without any breakdown.

iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence):

  • It is the flagship initiative of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), launched in April 2018.
  • Aim is to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia.

Sagar Samriddhi : Online Dredging Monitoring System

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways recently launched an online dredging monitoring system called “Sagar Samriddhi”.Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbours, and other water bodies.

  • Sagar Samriddhi is an online dredging monitoring system.
  • The new system aims to tighten the monitoring regime for dredging contracts and also focus on monetising dredged material.
  • It is part of the government’s efforts to expedite the ‘Waste to Wealth’ initiative.
  • This system has been developed by National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) the technological arm of MoPSW.
  • The new technology brings marked improvement against the old system of the Draft and Loading Monitor (DLM) system.
  • All future monitoring at the major ports in the country will be done through the Sagar Samriddhi monitoring system, which will help in project implementation and cut costs.
  • The system will aid in daily and monthly progress visualisation, monitor dredger performance and downtime monitoring, and keep track of location data.

GI-Tagged Gulabi Meenakari Handicrafts : Gift To Visiting Delegates From G20 Nations

The Uttar Pradesh state government has decided to gift GI-tagged Gulabi meenakari handicrafts to the visiting delegates from G20 nations.

  • Gulabi meenakari handicraft is one of the rarest crafts in India that is practised in the by lanes of Varanasi, near Gai Ghat.
  • It is an art form from Persia and involves colouring the surface of metals by fusing different colours.
  • This art was brought to the city of Varanasi by Persian enamellists during the Mughal era around the early 17th century.
  • The word ‘mina’ is the feminine form of the Persian word ‘Minoo’ and means ‘heaven’.
  • It refers to the azure colour of heaven.
  • In Varanasi, it is practised on jewellery and home decor items.
  • Minakari work uses very simple tools like salai (an etching tool), kiln, metal palette, mortar and pestle, kalam (a tool used to apply enamel), brass dye, small scrubbing brush, forceps and takala (a needle-like tool to apply colours).
  • This craft can be found popularly in three forms
  • Ek Rang Khula Meena in which only gold outlines are exposed and a single transparent colour is used.
  • Panch Rangi Meena in which the five colours of red, white, green, light blue and dark blue are used
  • Gulabi Meena in which pink is the dominant colour.

Operation Amanat:

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) recently conducted a successful operation named “Amanat,” resulting in the retrieval of lost or left-behind luggage and valuable articles.

  • Under the Operation Amanat initiative, the Railway Protection Force has taken a novel initiative to make it easier for the passengers to get back their lost luggage.
  • It helps to track lost belongings of passengers.
  • Railway Protection Force (RPF) is a security force of India entrusted with protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property of the Indian Railways.
  • It was established by the Railway Protection Force Act, 1957.
  • This is only central armed police force (CAPF, commonly known as Para-Military force) which has power to arrest, investigate and prosecute criminals.
  • It is under the authority of Ministry of Railways (India).
  • All the officers of RPF are members of the Indian Railway Protection Force Service (IRPFS) and are recruited through UPSC Civil Services Examination.

Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme:

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended the Centre to bring urea under the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) regime to address the problem of imbalanced use of nutrients.

  • Nutrient Based Subsidy scheme is being implemented in 2010 by the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
  • A fixed amount of subsidy decided on annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) fertilizers depending on its Nutrient Content.
  • In case of phosphate (P) and potassic (K)fertilisers, subsidy is fixed under this scheme by an inter-ministerial committee taking into account the benchmark international prices of finished fertilisers as well as raw materials.
  • The subsidy is given to registered to P&K fertiliser manufacturers/importers which provides these fertilisers at subsidised rates to farmers.
  • It helps farmers in ensuring availability of essential nutrients at subsidized prices.
  • It rationalizes the subsidy on P&K fertilizers, ensuring effective and efficient utilization of government resources.

Captagon Pills:

After Arab League reinstating Syria as its member, the discussions on the trade of Captagon pills have taken the centre-stage once again.

  • Captagon pill is a highly addictive amphetamine-type drug, which is produced mainly in Syria.
  • The original Captagon contained fenetylline, a synthetic drug of the phenethylamine family to which amphetamine also belongs.
  • It was commercially sold in several countries until the 1980s and was banned due to fears of its highly addictive nature.
  • It stimulates the central nervous system, providing a boost of energy, enhance someone’s focus, let someone stay awake for longer periods of time, and produce a feeling of euphoria.
  • These type drugs usually stay in the blood for around 36 hours.
  • When taken orally, their peak effect occurs one to three hours after consumption, and effects last for as long as seven to 12 hours.
  • They can cause loss of appetite and weight, heart problems such as fast heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and heart attack, which can lead to death.
  • They can also cause high body temperature, skin flushing, memory loss, problems thinking clearly, and stroke.

First National Training Conclave:

Prime Minister will inaugurate the first National Training Conclave at the International Exhibition and Convention Centre Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

  • National Training Conclave is part of the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) – ‘Mission Karmayogi’.
  • Objective is to foster collaboration among civil services training institutes and strengthen the training infrastructure for civil servants across the country.
  • The Conclave is being hosted by the Capacity Building Commission.
  • More than one thousand 500 representatives from various training institutes, including Central Training Institutes, State Administrative Training Institutes, Regional and Zonal Training Institutes, and Research institutes, will participate in the conclave.
  • Civil Servants from the Central government departments, State governments, and local governments, as well as experts from the private sector, will take part in the deliberations.
  • The Conclave will have eight-panel discussions, each focusing on key concerns related to Civil services training institutes such as faculty development, training impact assessment, and content digitisation.
  • Mission Karmyogi, or National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), aims to prepare Civil Servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive & innovative through transparency and technology.
  • This unique programme will help to lay the foundation for civil servants in the country.
  • There will be more focus on ‘on-site learning’ in complementing “off-site learning”.