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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 17th June 2022

Today Current Affairs:17th June 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Indian Railway Innovation Policy:

The Minister of Railways has launched Indian Railway Innovation Policy- “StartUps for Railways”.

Key Highlights of the Policy:

  • Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore to innovators on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment.
  • The complete process from floating of problem statement to development of prototype is online with defined time line to make it transparent and objective.
  • Trials of prototypes will be done in Railways.
  • Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on successful performance of prototypes.
  • Selection of Innovator/s will be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt through an online portal inaugurated today by the Minister of Railways.
  • Developed Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with innovators only.
  • De-centralization of complete product development process at divisional level to avoid delays.

Prithvi-II Missile:

India successfully conducted the night trial of surface-to-surface nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile Prithvi-II.

  • Earlier, Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Agni-IV was tested which can travel as far as 4,000 km.
  • Prithvi-II is an indigenously developed Surface-to-Surface Missile Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM), which has a range of around 250 km-350km and can carry a one tonne payload.
  • Prithvi II class is a single-stage liquid-fueled missile that has warhead mounting capability of 500 kg-1000kg.
  • The missile is a proven system and is capable of striking targets with a very high degree of precision.
  • The state-of-the-art missile uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
  • It was initially developed for the Indian Air Force as its primary user and was later inducted into the Indian Army as well.
  • While the missile was inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command for the first time in 2003, it was the first missile developed under the IGMDP.
  • Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India under its Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

The Prithvi missile system:

  • Itcomprises various tactical Surface-to-Surface Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM).
  • Its development began in 1983, and it was India’s first indigenous ballistic missile.
  • It was first test-fired in 1988, from Sriharikota, SHAR Centre.
  • It has a range of from 150 to 300 km.
  • The naval variant of Prithvi I and Prithvi III class missiles have the code-name Dhanush.
  • The propulsion technology was likely based on the Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missile.

Soviet SA-2 Surface-to-Air Missile:

  • Developed in the mid-1950s, the Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missile was the first effective Soviet Union surface-to-air missile.
  • Developed as a missile for the battlefield, it could carry a nuclear warhead in its role as a tactical nuclear weapon.
  • The Prithvi I missiles have been in service with the Indian Army since 1994.
  • Reportedly, Prahar missiles are replacing with Prithvi I missiles.
  • Prithvi II missiles have been in service since 1996.
  • Prithvi III having a more extended range of 350 km, was successfully test-fired in 2004.

BRICS Meeting : Hosted By The Chinese NSA

National Security Adviser(NSA) recently attended a virtual BRICS meeting hosted by the Chinese NSA, aimed at strengthening “political and security cooperation” within BRICS.

Recommendations by India during the meeting:

  • Cooperation on terrorism without reservations.
  • Preventing the use of Information & Communication Technology(ICT) by terrorists.
  • Need for urgent reform of the multilateral system
  • Importance of resilient supply chains.

BRICS: Areas of Cooperation:

  • Economic Cooperation
  • People-to-People exchange
  • Political and Security Cooperation
  • Cooperation Mechanism

New Development Bank(NDB):

  • NDB is headquartered in Shanghai.
  • During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) by the Fortaleza Declaration.
  • The NDB functions on a consultative mechanism among the BRICS members with all the member countries possessing equal rights.

Cabinet Has Cleared The Way For The Auction Of The 5G spectrum:

 

The auction and steps outlined for bidding would open up newer avenues for deeper penetration, access and rich user experience.

  • Operators would have the flexibility to surrender the spectrum after 10 years without any liabilities.
  • Wide availability of spectrum across all bands will help potential bidders to opt for spectrum bands and quantum as per their strategy.
  • Captive networks would drive digital transformation, augment industry efficiencies and lead to greater economic benefits.
  • Auction of the millimetre-waveband, would not only help unlock the ‘true’ potential of 5G but would also help strategically manage costs for the operators.
  • A spectrum auction is a process whereby a government uses an auction system to sell the rights to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign scarce spectrum resources.

Recruiting 10 Lakh Personnel:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government would be recruiting 10 lakh personnel within the next 18 months (1.5 years), “on a mission mode” , a major drive after recruitment to government jobs was derailed following the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Unemployment has emerged as one of the major challenges before the Modi government after two years of the pandemic and its attendant economic woes.
  • An additional problem with regard to recruitment to government jobs has been the frequent leak of examination papers both for departments such as the Railways and for teacher recruitment as well.
  • Much of the recruitment would be in the Railways, armed forces (‘Agnipath’ and regular recruitment which had been frozen through the pandemic), the Central Paramilitary Forces, Goods and Services Tax (GST) departments, including customs and excise and administrative staff for government- owned banks and insurance companies.
  • The announcement came on a day when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three Service Chiefs announced the ‘Agnipath’ scheme of recruiting youth between the ages of 17.5 and 21 for a four-year stint in the armed forces with a provision of voluntary retention after this period, based on merit.

Bharat Gaurav Train : Coimbatore North To Sainagar Shirdi

The first service of the theme-based Bharat Gaurav Train from Coimbatore North to Sainagar Shirdi started its journey on 14-06-2022.

  • With this, Southern Railway becomes the first zone in Indian Railways to get the first Registered service provider under the ‘Bharat Gaurav” Scheme and commence the operations of the maiden service from Coimbatore North to Sainagar Shirdi.
  • Indian Railways had launched the operation of theme-based Bharat Gaurav train in the month of November 2021.
  • The objective of this theme is to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world, through Bharat Gaurav Trains.
  • This scheme also aims to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of the tourism sector to run theme-based trains to tap the vast tourist potential of India.

New Link National Highway 133B And 131A:

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has informed that the project for the construction of New Link National Highway 133B and 131A is in full swing

  • The National Highway-133B project spanning over 21 kilometer, is a one-of-its-kind project involving the construction of a six-kilometer-long Ganga Bridge. He said that it is the world’s third-longest extradosed bridge.
  • The highway, once constructed, will connect Sahibganj in Jharkhand to Manihari in Bihar and aims to reduce travel distance.
  • This will also serve as a strategic connecting point to the North East.
  • He also informed that the project for Six-Laning of National Highway 140 from Chittoor to Mallavaram in Andhra Pradesh will be completed by 30th September this year.
  • He said that his ministry is working in mission mode to complete this project which is being constructed under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

Neeraj Chopra Set a New National Record Of 89.30 Metres In Javelin Throw:

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist ace Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra set a new national record of 89.30 metres at Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.

  • Neeraj Chopra won the silver medal with his throw at the event. This was Neeraj’s first competitive outing since winning the historic gold medal at the Tokyo Games. Finland’s Oliver Helander won the gold medal at the event with a throw of 89.83 metres
  • Chopra’s earlier national record was 88.07m which he had set in Patiala in March last year. He had won the Tokyo Olympics gold with a throw of 87.58m on August 7, 2021.
  • Neeraj Chopra is India’s first-ever Olympic gold medallist in athletics and only the second individual gold medallist at Olympics.

What Is Crypto lending?

Major U.S. cryptocurrency lending company Celsius Network froze withdrawals and transfers on June 13, 2022, citing “extreme” market conditions, sparking a sell-off across crypto markets.

  • Celsius is a crypto lender, which essentially means it is a bank of the crypto world. Crypto lenders allow customers to deposit their coins with them for an interest, and then lend out cryptocurrencies to earn a return. Crypto lenders make money by lending – also for a fee, typically between 5%-10%.
  • New Jersey-based Celsius, New York-based Genesis, U.S. lender BlockFi and London-based Nexo.
  • Crypto lending has boomed over the past two years, along as decentralised finance, or “DeFi,” platforms. DeFi and crypto lending both tout a vision of financial services where lenders and borrowers bypass the traditional financial firms that act as gatekeepers for loans or other products.
  • While savings at traditional banks offer paltry returns due to historically low interest rates, crypto lenders offer much higher returns – at the very top end as much as 20%, though rates depend on the tokens being deposited.
  • Crypto lenders aren’t overseen by financial regulators.
  • That means that customers who hold their crypto at the platforms could lose access to their funds – as happened with Celsius recently.
  • Crypto lenders also face other risks, from volatility in crypto markets than can hit the value of savings to tech failures and hacks.

One District One Product:

The Ministry of Textile inaugurated the ‘Lota Shop’ at National Crafts Museum, New Delhi.

  • The shop was opened by Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Limited (CCIC), popularly known as the Central Cottage Industries Emporium.
  • It showcases fine handcrafted curios, souvenirs, handicrafts and textiles based on the traditional craft forms of India.
  • The government also reiterated that it is working towards ‘One District One Product’ which will give impetus to the Handicraft sector as well as the Artisans.
  • The ‘One District, One Product’ (ODOP) was launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, to help districts reach their full potential, foster economic and socio-cultural growth, and create employment opportunities, especially, in rural areas.
  • It was launched in January, 2018, by the Uttar Pradesh Government, and due to its success, was later adopted by the Central Government.
  • This initiative is carried out with the ‘Districts as Exports Hub’ initiative by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Commerce.
  • ‘Districts as Exports Hub’ initiative provides financial and technical assistance to the district level industries so that the small-scale industries can be helped and they can provide employment opportunities to the local people.
  • Objectives:
    • It aims to identify, promote and brand a product from one district.
    • To turn every district in India, into an export hub through promotion of the product in which the district specialises.
    • It envisions to accomplish this by scaling manufacturing, supporting local businesses, finding potential foreign customers and so on, thus helping to achieve the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision.

Digital News Report 2022:

Digital News Report 2022 was released by Reuters Institute.

  • The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is dedicated to exploring the future of journalism worldwide through debate, engagement, and research.
  • This year’s report, the eleventh overall, is based on a survey conducted by YouGuv, a British market research and data analytics firm, in January/February 2022 through online questionnaires.
  • It covers 46 markets in six continents.

Highlights of the Report:

  • People are trusting news content less and less.
  • Consumption of traditional news media declined in nearly all the countries surveyed.
  • The proportion of news consumers who avoid news has risen sharply across countries, with the report describing the phenomenon as “selective avoidance”.
  • Despite small increases in the proportion of people willing to pay for online news (mostly in richer countries), the growth in digital subscriptions for news content seems to be leveling off.
  • The smartphone has become the dominant way in which most people first access news in the morning.
  • While Facebook remained the most-used social network for news, it is TikTok that has become the fastest-growing network, reaching 40% of 18-24-year-olds, with 15% using the platform for news.

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