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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 20th December 2022

Today’s Current Affairs: 20th December 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Bullock’s Heart Tree : Cost-Effective Bio-Insecticide

A Research intern at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) recently won the prize for developing a cost-effective bio-insecticide from the leaves of bullock’s heart tree (Annona reticulata), popularly known as Ramphal.

  • Bullock heart tree’s extracts have traditionally been used to cure conditions including dysentery and pediculosis (louse infestation)
  • Extracts from its leaves may be useful against three destructive pests — Pod borer, Green peach aphid and fall armyworm with a mortality rate of 78-88 per cent, the research claimed.
  • All these pests are known for incurring crop losses to farmers.
  • It is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree in the plant family Annonaceae and part of the Annonas group.
  • It is best known for its fruit, called custard apple, a common name shared with fruits of several other species in the same genus: A.cherimola and A. squamosa.

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT):

  • ICRISAT is a non-profit agricultural research organization.
  • It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organizations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller Foundations.
  • Its charter was signed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

INS Mormugao:

The Indian Naval Ship (INS)Mormugao, the second warship of the P15B class destroyer ship was recently commissioned.

  • INS Mormugao is named after the historic port city of Goa on the west coast.
  • INS Mormugao is the second of the four ‘Visakhapatnam’ class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organization Warship Design Bureau and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai
  • INS Mormugao is equipped with Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities which are provided by indigenously-developed Rocket Launchers, Torpedo Launchers, and ASW helicopters.
  • The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare
  • The ship’s firepower consists of vertically launched Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles and BrahMos surface-to-surface cruise missiles for long-range engagement of shore- and sea-based targets.
  • The Visakhapatnam class destroyers have multiple fire zones, battle damage control systems, and distributional power systems for improved survivability and reliability in extreme operational and conflict scenarios.
  • They have a total atmospheric control system (TACS) that offers protection to the crew from chemical, biological, and nuclear threats, as well as a state-of-the-art combat management system that can evaluate threats using analytical tools and create a tactical picture that includes available resources on board.
  • The warships have a secure network for data from its sensors and weapons systems.
  • The destroyer will also be armed with indigenously developed 533 mm torpedo launchers and RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers.
  • It can operate two multi-role helicopters Sea King or HAL Dhruv.
  • The ship also has rail-less helicopter traversing, and a hangar facility.

Goa Liberation Day :19th December

December 19 is celebrated as Goa Liberation Day.

  • The day is celebrated annually to mark the success of ‘Operation Vijay’ undertaken by the Indian armed forces to defeat Portuguese colonial forces and liberate Goa in 1961.
  • Operation Vijay – a 36-hour military operation (started on December 18, 1961 and concluded on December 19, 1961), was about the liberation of the Portuguese territories of Goa, Daman and Diu.
  • This was possibly the Indian armed forces’ first tri-service operation.
  • The Indian Air Force bombed the Portuguese airbase at Dabolim while the army advanced from the north and east into Goa.
  • The Indian Navy was tasked with preventing hostile action by Portuguese warships, securing access to Mormugao harbour, and securing the Anjadip Island off the coast of Karwar.
  • By the evening of December 19, 1961, Portuguese Governor General Vassalo De Silva had signed the surrender document after Indian armed forces (led by the army and backed by the air force and navy) had outnumbered and outgunned the Portuguese.
  • As a result, Goa was brought under the control of the Indian government and became a part of the Indian Union as the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu.
  • However, in 1967, a plebiscite was held to determine whether or not the state should merge with Maharashtra and the majority of Goans voted against a merger.
  • It remained a Union Territory until 1987, when it was granted statehood. Goa became India’s 25th state, while Daman and Diu remained a Union Territory.

Grih Pravesh Programme:

Prime Minister of India recently launched Grih Pravesh programme for over 2 lakh beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojana – Urban, Rural in Tripura.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U): 2015-2022.

  • It is implemented by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • Mission: To achieve the goal of Housing for All in Urban areas by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
  • Features: Under it, central assistance will be provided to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other implementing agencies through States/UTs for:
    • In-situ Rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers using land as a resource through private participation
    • Credit Linked Subsidy
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership
    • Subsidy for Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
  • Funding: Credit linked subsidy component will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme while other three components will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
  • Eligibility: All statutory towns as per Census 2011 and towns notified subsequently would be eligible for coverage under the Mission.

Prashasan Gaon ki Ore Campaign:

Union Minister for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions will inaugurate the Prashasan Gaon ki Ore (governance towards village) on December 19, 2022.

  • It is a nationwide campaign under the Good Governance Week 2022.
  • The Nationwide campaign for Redressal of Public Grievances and Improving Service Delivery will be held in all Districts, States and Union Territories of the country.
  • Over 700 District Collectors will participate in the Campaign and officials will be visiting Tehsils and Panchayat Samiti Headquarters.
  • Over 3,100 new government services will be added for online delivery during the five-day good governance week.
  • The good governance week, or Sushasan Saptah, will witness the nation’s grievance redressal platforms functioning in unison grievances received on Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) will be redressed along with grievances received on State portals.

Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS):

  • Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) is an online platform available to the citizens 24×7 to lodge their grievances to the public authorities on any subject related to service delivery.
  • It is a single portal connected to all the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and States.

Kerala University Laws (Amendment) Bills:

Kerala Assembly passes University Laws (amendment) Bills to amend laws relating to the governance of State universities and remove the Governor as the Chancellor of State universities.

  • The Governor and the State Government of Kerala had been at loggerheads for months now.
  • It got worse when the Governor denied assent to the controversial Lok Ayukta (Amendment) and University Laws (Amendment) Bills earlier passed by the State Assembly.
  • The worsening relationship between the State Government and governor reached a tipping point with the Supreme Court order invalidating APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) appointment on the grounds that it violated University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations.
  • Following this, the governor had sought the resignations of 11 other VCs on the ground that the government had appointed them through the same process deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court.

University Laws (Amendment) Bills:

  • The proposed legislation will amend the statutes of 14 universities established by legislative Acts in Kerala and remove the Governor as the Chancellor of those universities.
  • The Bills will supplant the Governor and give the government power to appoint eminent academicians as Chancellors of various universities, thus ending the Governor’s watchdog role in university administration.
  • The Bills also provide provision to limit the term of the appointed chancellor to five years. However, it also says that the serving chancellor can be reappointed for another term.

FIFA World Cup 2022:

Argentina won its third World Cup title by beating France 4-2 in a penalty shootout.

  • Official Mascot: La’eeb was the Official Mascot for FIFA WC 2022. ‘La’eeb’ in Arabic translates to ‘super-skilled player’.
  • FIFA announced a number of awards to recognize the great performance of players throughout the WC including
    • Golden Boot (Most number of Goals) – Kylian Mbappe (France)
    • Golden Glove – Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)
    • Golden Ball (Performer of the Tournament) – Lionel Messi (Argentina)
    • Young Player – Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)
    • FIFA Fair Play Award – England
  • FIFA WC Official Ball : Al Rihla (means – ‘the journey’) – a reference to a travelogue written by Ibn Battuta, the 14th-century explorer. Al Rihla is the first World Cup ball to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues. Al Rihla was to be used in the event until the quarterfinals, Al Hilm’ replaced Al Rihla FIFA WC 2022 semi-finals and final.
  • The Football World Cup is an international soccer tournament held every four years to determine the best national soccer team in the world.
  • The first official World Cup was played in Uruguay 1930.
  • The tournament is the first to be held in the Arab world and only the second to take place in Asia, after Japan and South Korea joint-hosted the event in 2002.
  • This edition will be the last to feature just 32 teams, with the tournament being expanded from 2026 inwards in order to feature 48 nations.
  • 2026 World cup edition will be hosted by 16 cities in three North American countries: Canada, Mexico and the United States.