Today’s Current Affairs: 17th January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Survival Of The Richest Report : Oxfam
According to a new study by Oxfam International, the richest 1% of people in India now own more than 40% of the country’s total wealth, while the bottom half of the population together share just 3% of wealth.
- The study, titled “Survival of the Richest,” was released on the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
- The report also highlights the impact of gender inequality on earnings.
- It states that female workers earned only 63 paise for every 1 rupee a male worker earned. For Scheduled Castes and rural workers, the difference is even starker the former earned 55% of what the advantaged social groups earned, and the latter earned only half of the urban earnings between 2018 and 2019.
CII Business Confidence Index:
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has reported that the latest CII Business Confidence Index for the October-December quarter rebounded to its highest reading in almost two years, with a value of 67.6.
- This is an increase from 62.2 in the previous quarter, reflecting optimism around India’s position despite rising global uncertainties.
- The CII stated that the sharp improvement in the value of the index was due to subsiding concerns around the impending recession and its impact on the Indian economy.
- The Index is based on the findings of a survey of over 120 firms of varying sizes and across all industry sectors and regions of the country.
National Startup Day 2023:
National Startup Day is celebrated annually on January 16th in India, to recognize and promote the country’s vibrant startup ecosystem.
- The day is marked by a week-long event, the Startup India Innovation Week, organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- While there is no designated theme for the day, the event is focused on highlighting the contributions of startup businesses and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
- The event provides a platform for startup business owners to connect with investors, mentors, and other entrepreneurs, and to share their ideas and experiences.
- National Startup Day was established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2022, as a way to celebrate the successes of the startup community in India.
- The first National Startup Day was observed in 2022,
Varuna Exercise 2023:
The 21st edition of the bilateral naval exercise between India and France, Exercise Varuna, has begun on the Western Seaboard on January 16th, 2023.
- This edition of the exercise will see the participation of the Indian Navy’s indigenous guided missile stealth destroyer INS Chennai, guided missile frigate INS Teg, maritime patrol aircraft P-8I and Dornier, integral helicopters, and MiG29K fighter aircraft.
- The French Navy will be represented by the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, frigates FS Forbin and Provence, support vessel FS Marne, and maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique.
- The exercise will take place over five days, from January 16th to 20th, 2023, and will involve advanced air defense exercises, tactical maneuvers, surface firings, underway replenishment, and other maritime operations.
Prime Minister greeted the people on the occasion of Magh Bihu.
- Magh Bihu is a harvest festival of Assam where people express gratitude for a good harvest and marks the end of the harvest season.
- It believes in sharing the gifts of nature as a community and strengthening a sense of identity and belonging.
- The festival of Bihu has three forms: Bohag Bihu, Kati Bihu, and Magh Bihu. Each of these falls in the agriculture calendar.
- This day is considered auspicious in the Hindu lunar year as well and is known as the Makar Sankranti, i.e., the day when the sun begins its northward journey or Uttarayan and transitions into the Hindu zodiac sign of Makara.
- On this day the Sun God is worshipped in various parts of India in the form of different festivals such as Pongal (Tamil Nadu), Maghi (Punjab), and Uttarayan (Gujarat).
National Clean Air Programme:
National Clean Air Campaign (NCAP), analysts found that progress has been slow and pollution has only incrementally reduced in most cities.
- In January 2019, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to prepare clean air action plans.
- The goal of NCAP (annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country): 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
- Under NCAP, 132 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018.
- Preparation of the city-specific action plans including measures to strengthen the monitoring network, reduce vehicular/industrial emissions, and increase public awareness.
- Implementation of the city-specific action plans to be regularly monitored by Committees at the Central and State level namely Steering Committee, Monitoring Committee and Implementation Committee.
Doppler Weather Radar Network:
On the occasion of the 148th Foundation Day of India, the Meteorological Department (IMD) Union Minister of Earth science said the entire Country will be covered by Doppler Weather Radar Network by 2025.
- The Union Minister dedicated 4 Doppler Weather Radar Systems to the Western Himalayan States of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. He also dedicated 200 Agro Automated Weather Stations to the Nation.
- Radars is a beam of energy, called radio waves, emitted from an antenna.
- As they strike objects in the atmosphere, the energy is scattered in all directions with some of the energy reflected directly back to the radar.
- A Doppler radar is a specialized radar that uses the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.
- These radar systems can provide information regarding the movement of targets as well as their position.
- Doppler radars help forecasters to observe rainfall, and the advance of cloud formations over a region and subsequently monitor thunderstorms and lightning in real time.
UN World Social Report 2023:
According to the United Nations (UN) World Social Report 2023: Leaving no one behind in an ageing world, the number of persons aged 65 years or older worldwide is expected to double over the next three decades.
Highlights of the Report:
- The elderly population will reach 1.6 billion in 2050, accounting for more than 16% of the global population.
- North Africa, West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to experience the fastest growth in the number of older people over the next three decades.
- Also, Europe and North America combined now have the highest share of older persons.
- This demographic shift brings into question current arrangements of old-age support in young and old countries.
- Gender inequality also persists into old age.
- Economically, women’s lower levels of formal labour market participation, shorter working lives and lower wages during working years lead to more economic insecurity in later life.
Global Risks Report 2023:
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the 18th Edition of Global Risks Report 2023 which seeks that the world be prepared for ‘Natural disasters and extreme weather events’ in the next two years.
- The WEF report has been released ahead of its flagship Davos 2023 Meeting, which is titled as Cooperation in a Fragmented World.
Findings of the Report:
- ‘Failure to Mitigate Climate Change’ and ‘Failure of Climate Change Adaptation’ are the two most severe risks facing the world in the next decade, followed by ‘natural disasters and extreme weather events’ and ‘Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’.
- Emission trajectories make it very unlikely that global ambitions to limit warming to 1.5°C will be achieved.
- Failure on climate action to address climate change’ has continued to figure among the top risks in the report since 2011.
- Biodiversity within and between ecosystems is already declining faster than at any other point during human history.
- It has been ranked as the 4th most severe risk in the long term or over the next ten years (by 2033).
- Growing demands on public- and private-sector resources from the socio-economic short-term crises attributed to geopolitical tensions, will likely reduce the speed and scale of mitigation efforts over the next two years.
- Over the next 10 years or by 2033, the interconnections between biodiversity loss, pollution, natural resource consumption, climate change and socioeconomic drivers will make for a dangerous mix.
- In the meantime, the current global pandemic and war in Europe has been held responsible for the energy, inflation and food crises. In fact, ‘cost of living’ ranks as the top most serious global risk in the short term (over the next two years).Failure to mitigate climate change is also a significant global risk that the world is least prepared for.
The World Economic Forum 2023:
- This meeting is set to begin in Davos on Monday, January 16, bringing together world leaders to discuss pressing issues such as the Russia-Ukraine war, global inflation, and climate change.
- The theme for this year’s meeting is ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’ and will conclude on January 20.
- The WEF meeting is another major platform for global leaders to address the multiple crises that have deepened divisions and fragmented the geopolitical landscape.
1200 Year Old Miniature Votive Stupas Discovered : ASI
Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently discovered two 1200-year-old miniature votive stupas during landscaping activities near Sarai Tila mound on the premises of ‘Nalanda Mahavihara’, a world heritage site in Nalanda district.
- Votive stupa are forms of the stupas, with their distinctive domelike drum, originating in eight cylindrical structures in which the Buddha’s relics were placed after his death.
- The stupa shape has become associated with the Buddhist goal of release from the cycles of suffering and rebirth.
- In addition to the drum, this stupa has a tiered base and is crowned with a series of stylized umbrellas that symbolize royalty and divine status.
- The larger ones at Bodhgaya were probably given by visiting kings, while smaller stupas such as this one were offered by monks and lay pilgrims.
- Beginning in the 7th century CE in India, small miniature terracotta stupas became popular as votive offerings.
First G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) Meeting:
The first G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting under G20 India Presidency will take place in Pune, Maharashtra on 16th -17th January 2023.
- Theme: Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable.
- The theme will focus on various facets of making cities economic centres of growth, financing urban infrastructure, building future-ready urban infrastructure, directing fiscal investments for unlocking private financing for energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable infrastructure and mitigating social imbalances.
- The meeting will be joined by the IWG member countries, guest countries and international organizations.
- The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Government of India will host the two-day IWG meetings, along with Australia and Brazil as the co-chairs.
- The first IWG meeting in Pune would be attended by 65 delegates across the G20 membership, invitee countries and International Organizations.
75th Army Day:
The 75th Army Day will be a first-of-its-kind event, taking place outside Delhi ever since the celebrations started in 1949.
About Indian Army Day:
- India celebrates Army Day on January 15 every year to commemorate the achievements of the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Indian Army — General (later Field Marshal) K.M. Cariappa.
- The Army Day is celebrated every year to honor Cariappa and the defence forces.
- Until last year, the main Army Day parade was held at the Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi where Service Chiefs paid homage to the Indian Army.
- The Army Day Parade showcases the evolution of various weapon systems held in the Indian Army’s inventory.
- Soldiers are also awarded with Gallantry awards and Sena medals on the day.
- This year marks the 75th anniversary of Indian Army Day.
- As part of an initiative to take major events to other parts of the country, away from the national capital region, the 75th Army Day was held in Bengaluru this year.
Skill Development Training To Tharu People:
Forest department, NABARD to give skill-development training to Tharu people.
- Forest officials of the Katarniaghat division say a plan is in the works for the financial inclusion of the Tharu groups that live near the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) and are much affected by human-wildlife conflicts.
- Tharu people are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills, located in southern Nepal and in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
- Tharu in Nepal officially numbered about 1.5 million and those in India about 170,000.
- They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-Iranian group of the Indo-European family, and they are largely Indian in culture.
- Most Tharu practice agriculture, raise cattle, hunt, fish, and collect forest products.
- Tharu use their own traditional ritual specialists in addition to the Hindu Brahman priests.
- Each Tahru village is governed by a council and a headman.
Special Assistance For Capital Investment Scheme:
The Central Government decided to give an additional ₹2,000 crore to States under the Special Assistance for Capital Investment scheme to incentivise them to scrap old vehicles and also provide tax concessions to individuals for it.
- Under this Scheme, financial assistance is provided to the States Governments in the form of a 50-year interest free loan for capital investment projects.
- To avail the benefit for investments made this fiscal, states will have to submit details like name of the project, capital outlay, completion period and its economic justification to the expenditure department of the Union finance ministry.
- The loan provided under the scheme will be over and above the normal borrowing ceiling allowed to the States.
- Scheme allocation will be used for PM Gati Shakti related and other productive capital investmentof the States.
- Besides, allocation would be made for digitisation of the economy, including digital payments and completion of optical fiber cable network, and reforms related to building bye-laws, town planning schemes, transit-oriented development, and transferable development rights.
- The scheme also includes Rs 5,000 crore interest-free loans which would be provided to incentivise states to undertake privatization or disinvestment of state public sector enterprises and asset monetisation.
- Such incentives to a particular state would be limited to Rs 1,000 crore.