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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 17th April 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 17th Apr 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

‘A-HELP’ Programme : Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand government launched ‘A-HELP’(Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production) programme.

  • A-HELP (Accredited Agent for Health and Extension of Livestock Production) programme is launched in the State of Uttarakhand.
  • The ‘A-HELP’ training programme is being run jointly by the Union Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • The program aims to address the healthcare needs of the livestock population in a village.
  • In the programme, members of women self-help groups registered under the State Rural Livelihood Mission, who are helping in various animal husbandry activities in the form of Pashu Sakhi, will be trained.
  • A-HELPs will help in artificial insemination under Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM), and in preventing the livestock from infectious diseases.

Uttaramerur Inscription:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the Uttaramerur inscription in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, while discussing India’s democratic history.

  • The Uttaramerur inscription, dated around 920 A.D. in the reign of Parantaka Chola
  • Uttaramerur is situated in the Kancheepuram district, about 90 km from Chennai.
  • The Pallava king Nandivarman II established it around 750 A.D.
  • The Uttaramerur inscription testifies to the historical fact that nearly 1,100 years ago, a village had an elaborate and highly refined electoral system and even a written constitution prescribing the mode of elections.
  • The details of this system of elective village democracy are inscribed on the walls of the village assembly (grama sabha mandapa), a rectangular structure made of granite slabs.
  • The inscription gives astonishing details about the constitution of wards, the qualification of candidates standing for elections, the disqualification norms, the mode of election, the constitution of committees with elected members, the functions of those committees, the power to remove the wrongdoer, etc.
  • The villagers even had the right to recall the elected representatives if they failed in their duty.
  • Inscriptions on temple walls in several parts of Tamil Nadu refer to village assemblies.

International Aviation Safety Assessment:

The aviation safety regulator of the U.S. – the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has retained the “Category 1” status for India’s aviation safety oversight following a review.

  • The FAA conducted the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program over a one-year period, which included physical audits and a further review in 2022.
  • This assessment determines whether a country’s aviation safety oversight standards comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards.
  • The FAA has informed the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) that India meets the international standards for aviation safety oversight of the Chicago Convention and its Annexes and continues to retain FAA IASA Category 1 status which was last assessed in July 2018.
  • The countries listed under ‘Category-1’ meet the ICAO standards for safety oversight of civil aviation.

Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission For Religious And Linguistic Minorities:

The Supreme Court revisited a 2007 report by the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, which recommended Scheduled Caste (SC) reservation for Dalit converts to Christianity and Islam.

  • The Centre had discredited the report, but the apex court believes it contains valuable information that could help determine if excluding Dalit converts from the SC category is unconstitutional according to the Constitution Order of 1950.

Highlights of the Ranganath Report:

  • The recommendation of Scheduled Caste reservation for Dalit converts to Christianity and Islam was made in the 2007 report of the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
  • Dalit Christians and Muslims face discrimination not only from upper-caste members of their own religion but also from the broader Hindu-dominated society.
  • The exclusion of Dalit converts to Christianity and Islam from the SC category violates the constitutional guarantee of equality and is against the basic tenets of these religions, which reject caste discrimination.
  • The denial of SC status to Dalit converts to Christianity and Islam has led to their socio-economic and educational backwardness and has deprived them of access to reservations in education and employment opportunities (as provided under article 16).

Solar Energy Corporation Of India Limited:

The Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) has been accorded the status of Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE)

  • Solar Energy Corporation of India is the primary implementing agency of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India for Renewable Energy schemes/projects.
  • It was established in the year 2011.
  • It has awarded Renewable Energy (RE) project capacities of over 56 GW.
  • It enjoys the highest credit rating of AAA by ICRA.

Criteria for grant of Miniratna status to CPSEs:

  • Miniratna Category-I status: The CPSEs which have made a profit in the last three years continuously, with a pre-tax profit is 30 crores or more in at least one of the three years and have a positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna-I status.
  • Miniratna Category-II status: The CPSEs which have made a profit for the last three years continuously and have a positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna-II status.

Pralay Missile : India To Buy 250 More Missile

India is going to buy 250 more Pralay ballistic missiles for the services to strengthen them on the northern borders, further boosting the firepower of the defence forces.

  • Pralay missile is a quasi-ballistic surface-to-surface missile.
  • It can hit targets 150-500 km away.
  • The missile can carry 350-700 kg of high-grade explosives.
  • It is developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • It is powered by a solid propellant rocket motor and other new technologies.
  • The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation and integrated avionics.
  • It can change its path after covering a certain range in mid-air.
  • Ballistic Missiles are launched directly into the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere.
  • They travel outside the atmosphere, where the warhead detaches from the missile and falls towards a predetermined target.

Meeting Of Agricultural Chief Scientists:

The G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) will be held in Varanasi from 17 to 19 April 2023 which will feature MAHARISHI Initiative.

  • Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists first meet of MACS was held in Mexico in 2012.
  • The members of the MACS include ministries or governmental bodies responsible for agricultural research in the respective G20 states as well as leading research institutions which strategically advise these decision-makers.
  • The theme of the 2023 meeting: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems for Healthy People and Planet.
  • The MACS will discuss food and nutrition security, resilience to climate change, One Health approaches, digital agriculture, and public-private partnerships for research, education and extension.
  • The meeting will also feature the MAHARISHI Initiative i.e., Millets And OtHer Ancient Grains International ReSearcH Initiative.
  • This International Initiative will focus on research and awareness about agro-biodiversity, food security, and nutrition in line with the International Year of Millets 2023.

National Agriculture Market:

Prime Minister recently said that with the help of the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) portal, the farmers will be able to decide the place, time and price of selling their products, and reduce the burden on the consumers.

  • National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • It was launched on 14th April 2016, and is completely funded by the Government of India.
  • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the lead agency for implementing eNAM under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.
  • Vision is to promote uniformity in agriculture marketing by streamlining procedures across the integrated markets, removing information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promoting real-time price discovery based on actual demand and supply.
  • Mission: Integration of APMCs across the country through a common online market platform to facilitate pan-India trade in agriculture commodities, providing better price discovery through a transparent auction process based on the quality of produce along with timely online payment.
  • Features:
    • A National e-market platform for transparent sale transactions and price discovery in regulated markets, kisan mandis, warehouses and private markets.
    • Liberal Licensing of traders/buyers and commission agents by State authorities without any pre-condition of physical presence or possession of shop/premises in the market yard.
    • One license for a trader is valid across all markets in the State.
    • Harmonization of quality standards of agricultural produce and provisions of assaying (quality testing) infrastructure in every market to enable informed bidding by buyers.
    • Restriction of agriculture Produce Marketing Committee’s (APMC) jurisdiction to within the APMC market yard/sub yard instead of a geographical area (the market area) at present.
    • Single point levy of market fees, i.e. on the first wholesale purchase from the farmer.

Trojan Asteroids:

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft first time caught a glimpse of the Jupiter and Trojan asteroids.

  • Trojan asteroids are mysterious space rocks which have been gravitationally trapped in Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun for billions of years
  • These are thought to be remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets.
  • They orbit the Sun in two loose groups, with one group leading ahead of Jupiter in its path, and the other trailing behind.
  • They are clustered around the two Lagrange points equidistant from the Sun and Jupiter, the Trojans are stabilized by the Sun and its largest planet in a gravitational balancing act.
  • Lucy Mission was launched by NASA from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in 2021.
  • It is a 12-year mission which will take close observations of nine of Jupiter’s Trojans and two main belt asteroids along with that.
  • It is the first spacecraft sent to study the Trojan asteroids, which orbit the Sun in the same path that the planet Jupiter takes.
  • It has recently captured the images of Eurybates, Polymele, Leucus and Leucus asteroids.

Galaxy GN-z11:

The spectroscopic results from galaxy GN-z11 identified and confirmed that there is the complete absence of dust particles from its surroundings for an interim period despite possessing a very high star formation rate.

  • The process of star formation and the subsequent stellar evolution inevitably generates massive amounts of dust and makes the host galaxy opaque to some extent due to the apparent view of a thick veil around it.
  • This phenomenon has been missing in GN-z11’s behaviour, leaving astronomers amazed beyond measure.
  • Galaxy GN-z11 was discovered in 2015 by the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • It is located approximately 32 billion light years away from the Earth.
  • Galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems. A galaxy is held together by gravity.
  • A galaxy starts to form through the accumulation of hydrogen gas in the form of a very large cloud called a nebula and this growing nebula develops localised clumps of gas.