Today’s Current Affairs: 20th March 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Global Terrorism Index : IEP
The tenth Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report was published by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) showing global trends and patterns in terrorism.
- IEP: The Institute for Economics and Peace
- Est. 2008; HQ: Sydney, Australia
- It is a global think tank.
- It studies the relationship between peace, business, and prosperity, and seeks to promote an understanding of the cultural, economic, and political factors that drive peacefulness.
- Afghanistan remains the country most impacted by terrorism for the fourth consecutive year though violence has declined
- The report excluded acts of state repression by the Taliban
- South Asia remains the region with the worst average GTI score
- Deadliest terrorist groups in the world in 2022: Islamic State (IS); Al-Shabaab; Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM)
- Climate change is helping terrorist groups to raise funds, propagandize and recruit people
- India remained at 13th while Pakistan ranked 6th (more terror-prone)
PM MITRA Parks For The Textile Industry:
The Government of India recently announced the sites for setting up of 7 PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks for the Textile industry.
- Seven sites were chosen out of 18 proposals for PM MITRA parks which were received from 13 States.
- The Parks will come up in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- PM MITRA will offer the opportunity to create an Integrated Textiles Value Chain right from spinning, weaving, processing/dyeing and printing to garment manufacturing etc. at one location and will reduce the logistics cost of the Industry.
- A Special Purpose Vehicle owned by the Centre and State Government will be set up for each park which will oversee the implementation of the project.
- The Ministry of Textiles will provide financial support in the form of Development Capital Support up to Rs. 500 crores per park to the Park SPV.
- A Competitive Incentive Support (CIS) of up to Rs 300 crore per park to the units in PM MITRA Park shall also be provided to incentivise speedy implementation.
- State governments will provide a contiguous and encumbrance-free land parcel of at least 1000 acres of land.
Scientists have recently urged the Odisha government to immediately come up with a robust protection mechanism before the Horseshoe crabs (living fossil) becomes extinct due to destructive fishing practices.
- The horseshoe crab is a marine chelicerate arthropod living in shallow coastal waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms and spawns mostly on intertidal beaches at summer-spring high tides.
- The Chelicerata is a division within the Arthropoda, containing animals such as spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, mites and ticks.
- Like all arthropods, they have a segmented body and segmented limbs and a thick chitinous cuticle called an exoskeleton.
- It is known as a marine ‘living fossil’.
- Odisha is the largest habitat of horseshoe crabs in India.
- Conservation status in India:
- Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule IV
- IUCN Status
- American horseshoe crab: Vulnerable
- Tri-spine horseshoe crab: Endangered
Karnala Bird Sanctuary : Bird Count Report
The recent annual scientific bird count report covering three seasonal bird counts at the Karnala Bird Sanctuary finds a total of 187 species of birds.
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located in the Raigad District of Maharashtra.
- It is a habitat of woodland birds in the Western Ghats & was one of the favoured areas of well-known ornithologist Dr Salim Ali.
- It also forms a catchment area of the Patalganga River.
- Flora: The Sanctuary area is covered with mixed deciduous forest.
- Fauna: Globally threatened and endemic birds like Long Billed Vultures, Malabar Gray Hornbill, Small Sun Bird and Shahin Falcon birds spp. are found in Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
Active Volcanoes On Venus:
NASA Magellan spacecraft captured images of Venus’ surface from different orbits. A few locations, including those suspected to have volcanic activity, were observed two or three times over two years
- A 2.2 square kilometre volcanic vent on Venus changed shape in eight months, indicating volcanic activity.
- It showed signs of drained lava, hinting at activity and eight months later, radar images indicated that the same vent had doubled in size and the lava lake seemed to have reached the rim.
- The vent is associated with Maat Mons, Venus’s second-highest volcano.
- It sits in the Atla Regio, a vast highland region near Venus’ equator. These changes were likely due to lava flow escaping the vent, hinting at a possible volcanic activity.
- Magellan spacecraft was one of the most successful deep space missions of NASA..
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have developed a low-cost star sensor for astronomy and small CubeSat class satellite missions.
- The star sensor named Starberry-Sense can help small CubeSat class satellite missions find their orientation in space.
- The Department of Science and Technology (DST) said that the Starberry-Sense is ready for launch on the PS4-Orbital Platform by ISRO and can be used for CubeSats and other small satellite missions in the future.
- Star sensor is one of the precise attitude determination sensors.
- It is an electro-optical system that takes an image from a set of stars and by comparing it with the star catalogue determines angle deviation of the satellite and modifies its attitude
Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2022:
The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying has released the ‘Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2022, showing an increase in the milk, eggs and meat productions in India.
- The contribution of livestock in the agriculture sector has been showing steady improvement that signifies its growing importance for the country’s economy.
- Total milk production in India was 221.06 million tonnes in 2021-2022, keeping It the largest milk producing country in the world.
- Production had increased by 5.29% over the previous year.
- The Indigenous cattle contribute 10.35% of the total milk production in the country whereas non-descript cattle contribute 9.82% and non-descript buffaloes contribute 13.49% of the total milk production in the country.
- Top five major milk producing States are Rajasthan (15.05%), Uttar Pradesh (14.93%), Madhya Pradesh (8.06%), Gujarat (7.56%) and Andhra Pradesh (6.97%).
- The total egg production was 129.60 billion numbers, and it is an increase by 6.19% than the previous year.
- Top five egg producing States are Andhra Pradesh (20.41%), Tamil Nadu (16.08%), Telangana (12.86%), West Bengal (8.84%) and Karnataka (6.38%) and these States together contribute 64.56% of total egg production in the country.
- The total meat production in the country was 9.29 million tonnes, increasing by 5.62% as compared to the previous year.
- The meat production from poultry is contributing about 51.44% of the total production.
- The top five meat producing States are Maharashtra (12.25%), Uttar Pradesh (12.14%), West Bengal (11.63%), Andhra Pradesh (11.04%) and Telangana (10.82%). They together contribute 57.86% of total meat production in the country
- The total wool production in the country during 2021-22 was 33.13 thousand tonnes which had declined by 10.30% as compared to previous year.
- The top five major wool producing States are Rajasthan (45.91%), Jammu and Kashmir (23.19%), Gujarat (6.12%), Maharashtra (4.78%) and Himachal Pradesh (4.33%).
Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023:
The Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023, was introduced in Lok Sabha to empower designated military commanders to take charge of soldiers and enforce discipline, regardless of the service they belong to.
- The bill came ahead of the impending move to establish integrated or joint commands, where all the manpower and assets will be under the operational control of a single three-star general of the Indian Army, Navy and IAF (Indian Air Force).
- The system is likely to include five joint services commands – western, eastern, northern, maritime, and air defense.
- The central government may constitute an Inter-services Organisation, which may include a Joint Services Command.
- It will empower the Commander-in-Chief/the Officer-in Command of Inter-Services Organisations to maintain discipline and ensure proper discharge of duties of all the personnel from the army, navy and IAF serving under his command.
- The Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of an Inter-services Organisation shall be the head of such Inter-services Organisation.
The Union Minister of Earth Sciences said that an umbrella scheme Research, Education and Training Outreach (REACHOUT) is being implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences for capacity building.
- REACHOUT scheme: The Research, Education and Training Outreach (REACHOUT) scheme consists of
- R&D in Earth System Science (RDESS)
- International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean)
- Program for Development of Skilled manpower in Earth System Sciences (DESK)
- This scheme is being implemented for the entire country and not State/UT-wise.
- The main objectives of the above sub-schemes are
- Supporting various R &D activities in the thrust areas of different components of Earth System Sciences that are theme and need-based and that would help in attaining the National goals set up for MoES.
- Develop useful collaborations with international organizations for the mutual transfer of advanced knowledge in science and technology in Earth Sciences and to provide services to developing countries.
- Develop skilled and trained manpower in Earth Sciences with the support of academic institutions in the country and abroad.
The Indian Army is set to host the second edition of the Africa-India field training exercise (AFINDEX-23) from March 21 to 30 and African Chiefs Conclave on March 28 in Pune.
- The first Africa-India Field Training Exercise was held in Pune in March 2019. It saw participation from 20 African nations.
- The first India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave was held on the sidelines of the DEFEXPO, 2020 in Lucknow.
- The exercise is divided into four phases in which trainers would be initially trained. This would be followed by a humanitarian mine action and a peace-keeping operations phase.
- Maximum use of indigenous equipment is being made during the exercise and new-generation equipment manufactured in India would be showcased during the exercise.
- To continue building upon initiatives taken to strengthen India-Africa relations, with a focus on enhancing peace and security, and creating opportunities to exchange ideas and perspectives.
- Learning from the African experience in cooperative security, management of security crises and conflicts, and promoting a collaborative approach in capacity enhancement of African armies
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary : Female Leopard Died
A female leopard died in a suspected road kill in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS).
- Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary is located in Kerala and is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
- This Sanctuary is contiguous to the tiger reserves of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka and Madhumalai of Tamil Nadu.
- Kabini river which is a tributary of the Kaveri River flows through the sanctuary.
- Flora: It includes moist deciduous forests, West coast semi-evergreen forests and plantations of teak, eucalyptus and Grewelia.
- Fauna: Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Panther, Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Nilgiri langur etc.
Fifth Poshan Pakhwada:
The Ministry of Women and Child Development will celebrate the fifth Poshan Pakhwada from 20th March 2022 to 3rd April 2023 with various activities nationwide.
- Poshan Pakhwada aims to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition and promote healthy eating habits through Jan Andolan and Jan Bhagidari.
- The theme of this year’s Poshan Pakhwada 2023 is “Nutrition for All: Together Towards a Healthy India”.
- With the declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets, this year the focus of Poshan Pakhwada will be to popularise ‘Shree Anna’- the mother of all grains, as a valuable asset to address malnutrition.
- The activities during the Poshan Pakhwada will focus, inter alia, on the following key themes:
- Promotion and popularization of Shree Anna / Millets for nutritional- well-being through the organization of drives to link Millet-based foods with supplementary nutrition, Home visits, Diet consultation camps, etc
- Celebration of Swasth Balak Spardha: Celebrate and recognize the ‘Swasth Balak’ or Healthy Child as per defined criteria by generating a healthy spirit of competition for good nutrition good health and well being
- Popularize Saksham Anganwadis: Campaigns will be organized to increase awareness and popularise Saksham Anganwadis with upgraded infrastructure and facilities as centres of improved nutrition delivery and early childhood care and education.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Women and Child Development
New Species Of Naked-Toed Gecko:
A new species of naked-toed gecko (Cyrtopodion) has been discovered in Dahod and Panchmahals districts in Gujarat.
- The newly discovered naked-toed gecko has been named ‘Cyrtopodion Vindhya’ and it is the fifth endemic species of reptile described in the last fifteen years from the state of Gujarat.
- The new species is named after the Vindhya hill ranges.
- The Palearctic naked-toed geckos of the genus Cyrtopodion are a group of gekkonid lizards distributed across the arid regions of north Africa, Arabia, and Central Asia to northwestern India.
- The taxonomic history of the genus Cyrtopodion has been unstable, and 23 species are currently recognized, with the diversity concentrated in Pakistan and Iran.
- The newly discovered reptile is a nocturnal species, associated with granite boulders.
- Mostly =living among rocks in its habits but can be found on the ground as well.