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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 17th July 2023

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

Bastille Day Parade : Visit Of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited the Bastille Day Parade.

  • Bastille Day visit adds to the significance of the India-France relationship.
  • It is expected that this meeting will set the tone for the next 25 years.
  • Bastille Day Parade located in Paris, France.
  • Began in 1880.
  • It is an annual event.
  • It has been held on the morning of 14 July each year.
  • It is a French military parade.
  • It is also known as the 14 July military parade.
  • It is also one of the oldest regular military parades in the world.

Maputo Protocol : Contributed Towards Africa’s Progress In Gender Equality

There has been some progress on gender equality in African countries due to the Maputo Protocol, but it has been uneven, according to a new report.

  • The Protocol has a target of universal ratification in Africa by 2028.
  • However, with just five years until the target year, there are still 12 countries that are yet to ratify this important legal instrument.
  • There is an urgent need for Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Somalia and Sudan to renew their commitments and ratify the Maputo Protocol in order to deliver on their promises to the women and girls in their countries.

Maputo Protocol:-

  • It is an International human rights document for the protection of women and girls in Africa.]
  • Adopted in July 2003, in Mozambique, by: African Union (AU).
  • Of the 55 member states, 44 have ratified or acceded to the Protocol.
  • Objective of the Protocol requires the African States to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in Africa and to promote equality between men and women.
  • It is a comprehensive legal framework that holds the African government to account in the event of a violation of women’s rights.
  • It also gives women the right to take part in political processes, social and political equality with men, improved autonomy in their reproductive health decisions, and an end to female genital mutilation.

7th Edition Of India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023: Theme

The 7th edition of India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 was inaugurated by the Ministery for Communications and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

  • The theme of IMC 2023 is “Global Digital Innovation,” seeks to establish India as a leading technology developer, telecom manufacturer and exporter.
  • India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 is a prominent annual event that showcases the latest advancements and innovations in the mobile and digital technology sector.
  • It serves as a platform for industry leaders, policymakers, technology enthusiasts, and stakeholders to come together and discuss the future of the digital landscape.

Jerdon’s Babbler : Globally Endangered Bird Species

A rare and globally endangered bird species ‘Jerdon’s Babbler’ was recently spotted in the buffer zone of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR).

  • Jerson’s Babbler is a passerine bird native to wetlands and grasslands of the Indian subcontinent.
  • A passerine is a perching bird in the formal scientific order Passeriformes.
  • These are the most familiar, typical birds and the term can be applied to more than half the world’s unique bird species, including all the classic songbirds, sparrows, and finches.
  • Scientific Name: Chrysomma altirostre
  • It is a member of the genus Chrysomma of the family Paradoxornithidae.
  • Geographic Distribution: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan.
  • It lives all-year-round near river courses, where it inhabits dense reedbeds and tall grasslands.
  • It has rich brown upperparts and a long brownish-red tail.
  • The legs and feet are dark, the bill is greyish-horn colored above and pale below.
  • The eyes’ irides are yellowish-brown and a thin nude ring of greenish-yellow skin surrounds the eye.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

Made In India K-9 Vajra : Artillery Guns

The Indian Army is planning to introduce the Made in India K-9 Vajra self-propelled artillery guns in the Eastern Ladakh sector where it has already equipped its troops with Spike missiles.

  • K- 9 Vajra is a 155 mm, 52-caliber tracked self-propelled artillery system.
  • It is built by Larsen & Toubro with technology transferred from South Korean defence major Hanwha Défense based on its K9 Thunder.
  • It has all-welded steel armour up to 19mm thick.
  • The main weapon is the 155mm / 52 calibre gun.
  • It has a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds and a maximum rate of fire of six to eight rounds a minute for three minutes.
  • Range: 40 km
  • The K9 uses a digital fire control system, by which it can fire multiple rounds that can impact a given area at the same time.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy : Developed Treatment

A team of doctors from Tamil Nadu along with scientists from Japan have developed a disease-modifying treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

  • Doctors from Tamil Nadu along with scientists from Japan have developed a disease-modifying treatment by using a food additive a beta-glucan produced by N-163 strain of a yeast Aureobasidium pullulans.
  • Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy is a rare genetic disorder.
  • It was first described by the French neurologist Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne in the 1860.
  • It is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to the alterations of a protein called dystrophin that helps keep muscle cells intact.
  • It is a multi-systemic condition, affecting many parts of the body, which results in deterioration of the skeletal, heart, and lung muscles.
  • The dystrophin gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects males, while females are typically carriers.
  • It can begin as early as age 2 or 3, first affecting the proximal muscles (those close to the core of the body) and later affecting the distal limb muscles (those close to the extremities).
  • Usually, the lower external muscles are affected before the upper external muscles.
  • The affected child might have difficulty jumping, running, and walking.

11th Meeting Of The Executive Board Of The Association Of World Election Bodies:

Chief Election Commissioner of India led a three-member Election Commission of India (ECI) delegation to Cartagena, Colombia to attended the 11th meeting of the Executive Board of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).

  • Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.
  • It was founded in October, 2013 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • Theme of 2023 meeting: “A global view on the challenges of regional elections 2023”.
  • The shared vision among its members of achieving sustainable democracy around the world through the strengthening of the processes of election management in member countries.
  • It consists of 119 EMBs as Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.
  • India is a member of this association and is represented by the Election Commission of India (ECI)
  • ECI took over as Chairperson for 2019-22 term and is presently a member of its Executive Board for 2022-24 in its capacity as immediate former Chair of A-WEB.
  • In India A-WEB Centre has been established at New Delhi for documentation and research for sharing the best practices and training and capacity building of officials of A-WEB members.

AT1 Bonds: Discouraged Market

The underwhelming subscription to State Bank of India’s additional tier-1 (AT-1) bond issue has dampened market sentiment and is expected to make fund-raising harder for other PSU banks.

  • AT1 bonds are a type of unsecured, perpetual bonds that banks issue to improve their core capital base.
  • The money raised through these bonds is kept aside as a shock absorber by the bank.
  • They have a call option, which can be used by the banks to buy these bonds back from investors.
  • These bonds were created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to absorb the losses.
  • These bonds are also called contingent convertible bonds or CoCos.
  • These bonds are also mandatory under Basel=III norms.
  • The banks must maintain capital at a minimum ratio of 11.5 per cent of their risk-weighted loans. Of this, 9.5 per cent needs to be in Tier-1 capital. AT1 bonds fall under this type of capital.
  • These bonds are long-term and do not carry any maturity date. Because of a higher risk, they offer a higher yield.
  • In India AT-1 bonds are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Production Linked Incentive Scheme 2.0:

The Operational Guidelines of Production Linked Incentive Scheme 2.0 for IT Hardware has been finalized.

  • The scheme proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the value chain.
  • The target segments under PLI 2.0 Scheme shall include Laptops, Tablets, All-in-One PCs and Servers and Ultra Small Form Factor.
  • Companies, both global and domestic, that meet the eligibility criteria specified in the PLI 2.0 Scheme guidelines will receive support for manufacturing goods in India within the specified target segment.
  • The classification of applicants into the Hybrid (Global/Domestic) category will be determined by whether the company is domestic or global.
  • A comprehensive ranking of all applicants will be maintained based on the eligibility criteria outlined in the scheme guidelines.
  • Subsequently, the selection of applicants in each category—global, hybrid, and domestic—will be based on their ranking and overall PLI projection, subject to the availability of the budget.
  • The incentives provided under the PLI 2.0 Scheme will be applicable for a period of 6 years
  • Base year: For the calculation of net incremental sales of manufactured goods, the base year will be the financial year 2022-23.

Namda Art Products : Export To United Kingdom

The Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship flagged off the first batch of Namda Art products for export to the United Kingdom (UK).

  • The Namda craft of Kashmir is being successfully revived under a Skill India’s Pilot Project as part of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), with nearly 2,200 candidates from across six districts of the state, receiving training in the dying art form.
  • Namda Art is said to have begun in the 16th century when Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to get a covering for his horses to protect them from the cold.
  • It was introduced by a Sufi saint named Shah-e-Hamdan to Kashmiris.
  • Namda is a type of traditional Kashmiri felted carpet that is created using sheep wool and has colourful hand embroidery.
  • The distinct feature of this Kashmiri craft is that wool is felted and not woven.
  • It is usually a sandwich of many layers of wool flattened over each other.
  • After a layer is spread, it is sprinkled homogeneously with water and pressed with a tool known as ‘pinjra’ (woven willow wicker).
  • Unique themes and floral patterns provide the themes for these masterpieces and flowers and leaves, buds and fruits are the essence of the designs.
  • It is practised as a craft in several cultures, especially in the countries throughout Asia, viz. Iran, Afghanistan and India.

Measles Outbreak : London

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned that London is standing at risk of a major measles outbreak.

  • Measles is a highly contagious and serious airborne disease.
  • It is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family, and is normally passed through direct contact and the air.
  • The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body, causing severe disease, complications and even death
  • The first sign of measles is usually high fever, beginning about 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and lasting four to seven days.
  • A runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage.]
  • A rash erupts after several days, usually on the face and upper neck. The rash spreads over about three days, eventually reaching the hands and feet, and lasts five to six days before fading.
  • Any non-immune person (not vaccinated or vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.
  • Unvaccinated young children and pregnant persons are at highest risk of severe measles complications.
  • Treatment: No specific antiviral treatment exists for measles.

Coal Gasification : New Target

The Ministry of Coal has set a target to gasify 100 million tonnes of coal by FY 2030 in line with its energy transition plans.

  • The Coal Ministry announced that it is considering a comprehensive scheme to promote coal gasification projects for both government Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and the private sector with an outlay of Rs 6,000 crores.
    About Coal gasification:
  • It is the process of producing syngas, a mixture consisting primarily of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and water vapour (H2O) – from coal and water, air and/or oxygen.
  • During gasification, coal is blown with oxygen and steam while also being heated under high pressure.
  • In this reaction, oxygen and water molecules oxidize the coal and produce syngas.
  • Coal gasification can help address local pollution problems.
  • It is considered a cleaner option compared to the burning of coal.
  • It will help in reducing reliance on imports of natural gas, methanol, ammonia and other essential product
  • This initiative holds the potential to alleviate the environmental burden by reducing carbon emissions and fostering sustainable practices, contributing to India’s global commitments towards a greener future

Reimposed a Windfall Tax On Domestic Crude Petroleum:

The Indian government recently reimposed a windfall tax on domestic petroleum crude.

  • Windfall Tax is a higher tax levied by the government on specific industries when they experience unexpected and above-average profits.
  • When the government notices a sudden increase in an industry’s revenue, they impose this tax.
  • However, these revenues cannot be linked to anything the company actively pursued, such as its business strategy or expansion.
  • Consequently, a Windfall Tax is imposed on an industry’s profits when it experiences a sharp increase in revenue due to unrelated external events.
  • Rationale behind the imposition of windfall tax:
    • Redistribution of unexpected gains, when high prices benefit producers at the expense of consumers;
    • To fund social welfare schemes;
    • As a supplementary revenue stream for the government;
    • As a way for the Government to narrow the country’s widened trade deficit;

First European Country To Join The Comprehensive And Progressive Agreement For Trans-Pacific Partnership:

The UK has formally agreed to become the first European country to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP):

  • It is a free trade agreement (FTA) between 11 nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • It was signed in March 2018.
  • It succeeded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)after the United States withdrew from the TPP in 2017.
  • All 11 countries of CPTPP are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum of 21 Asia-Pacific economies established in 1989.
  • Members: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States of America; Vietnam.
  • It seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The APEC Secretariat, headquartered in Singapore, provides advisory and logistic services as well as research and analysis.
  • APEC decisions are reached by consensus, and commitments are made on a voluntary basis.