Today’s Current Affairs: 20th Sep 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
India is now set to launch ‘Samudrayaan’ – involving its first manned submersible called ‘Matsya-6000’, which will descend 6,000 metres into the Bay of Bengal with a three-man crew.
- Matsya-6000 is a manned submersible vehicledeveloped by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai.
- It was developed under the Samudrayaan mission to facilitate humans in the deep ocean in exploring mineral resources.
- It would make India only one among six countries(US, Russia, Japan, France, and China) to have piloted a crewed under-sea expedition beyond 5,000 metres.
- It will look at chemosynthetic biodiversity in hydrothermal vents and low-temperature methane seeps in the ocean.
- It will also promote tourism and ocean literacy.
- It is designed with the capability of operating in the deep sea for 12 hours, while in case of emergency, it can also operate up to 96 hours with all the necessary measures for human safety.
- Made of 80mm-thick titanium alloy, it will be able to withstand a pressure 600 times greater than that at sea level.
- It relies only on gravity, water, and lithium-ion batteries for power.
- It will also feature the ultra-short baseline acoustic positioning system (USBL).
- This will allow the mothership carrying the transponder to send information and the submersible to respond, which will then let the mothership know where the submersible is.
- This is a flotation device that will rise to the top of the ocean thus helping to find the submersible even in case it cannot resurface.
Vibhav Anti-Tank Munition:
Six hundred indigenously manufactured self-neutralising anti-tank mines, known as “Vibhav”, have been recently inducted into the Indian Army.
- Vibhav Anti-Tank Munition is a self-neutralising anti-tank mine.
- Designed and developed completely indigenously in a joint venture with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in India, “Vibhav” is a point-attack anti-tank munition.
- It is designed to provide mobility kill against all enemy armoured vehicles.
- The munition is under production by the Kalyani Group for the Indian Army.
- The anti-tank mine is made of new-age plastic, which gives it adequate strength and durability to withstand the requirements of storage, handling and operating in varying field conditions.
- The munition can be laid both mechanically or manually.
- A host of safety and actuation mechanisms have been incorporated in “Vibhav” to make it safe to handle, lethal against targets and reliable.
- The integrated explosive, mechanical and electronic safety features ensure utmost operator safety.
- The munition also incorporates an electronic anti-handling and anti-lift device (EAHALD) that stays active for 120 days once armed.
- It has mechanical timers. Due to this, after 120 days, it will be self-neutralised.
- It has a storage life of 10 years with no special storage requirements.
Kisan Rin Portal:
The Finance Minister and Agriculture Minister will inaugurate the ‘Kisan Rin Portal’
- Kisan Rin Portal helps farmers avail of subsidised loans under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC).
- It was developed in collaboration with multiple government departments.
- It offers a comprehensive view of farmer data, loan disbursement specifics, interest subvention claims, and scheme utilisation progress.
- It fosters seamless integration with banks for more focused and efficient agriculture credit.
Kisan Credit Card (KCC):
- The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was introduced in 1998 to issue KCC to farmers on the basis of their holdings for uniform adoption by the banks so that farmers may use them to readily purchase agriculture inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, etc and draw cash for their production needs.
Bima Sugam Platform:
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has formed a steering committee, which will act as the apex decision-making body for the creation of its ambitious Bima Sugam platform.
- Bima Sugam platformwill enable individuals to buy life, health, motor or property insurance policies online.
- The platform will enable easy access under a single roof for insurance companies, agents, brokers, banks and even aggregators.
- The platform will act as a centralised database which will assist consumers with all insurance-related
- It will also pave the way for a speedy acceptance of new or sandbox products.
- Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) has been appointed as the legal counsel for the project.
- The responsibilities of CAM will include incorporation of Section 8 not-for-profit company, which will be the company owning the Bima Sugam platform.
- The platform will support all personal and commercial/business insurance requirements and support in identifying and comparing optimal products to meet user requirements within stipulated timelines.
- The entire spectrum of insurance offerings through the platform will include life insurance and all its variants — term plans, savings (Par and Non-Par), annuities, pension plans, etc.
- The platform will have to demonstrate an end-to-end digital onboarding journey for all insurance products without any manual interventions.
The Indian Coast Guard recently conducted ‘Operation Sajag,’ a Coastal Security Drill along the Western Coast.
- Operation Sajag is a coastal security drill conducted by the Indian Coast Guard along the west coast.
- It involved all stakeholders of the Indian coastal security construct.
- A total of 118 ships, including those from Customs, Marine Police, Ports, and the Indian Navy, participated in the drill.
- The drill facilitates revalidation of the coastal security mechanism and brings awareness among the fishermen at sea.
- During the drill, extensive checking and verification of documents and crew passes of all fishing boats, barges and craft at sea was undertaken.
- Biometric card readers have also been issued to security agencies.
- Besides monitoring of dhows, island security and community interaction programmes have been institutionalised under the coastal security construct.
Under the umbrella scheme SHREYAS, from 2014-15 until 2022-23, a total of 1628.89 crore rupees have been released to benefit 21326 beneficiaries.
- The Scholarships for Higher Education for Young Achievers Scheme- SHREYAS comprises four central sector sub-schemes.
- All these sub-schemes are central sector schemes.
- Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs:
- The objective of the Scheme is to provide coaching of good quality for economically disadvantaged Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) candidates to enable them to appear in competitive and entrance examinations for obtaining appropriate jobs in Public/Private Sector as well as for securing admission in reputed technical and professional higher education institutions.
- National Overseas Scheme for SCs:
- Under this scheme, financial assistance is provided to the selected students from SCs, De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisan categories for pursuing masters and Ph.D. level courses abroad.
- National Fellowship for SC Students:
- Under the scheme, fellowship is provided to Scheduled Castes students for pursuing higher education leading to M.Phil/PhD degrees in Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences in Indian Universities/Institutions/ Colleges recognisedby the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas : UNESCO’s World Heritage List
The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas, which include three temples in Karnataka, have been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas consist of a collection of Hoysala temples.
- These were built in the 12th-13th centuries and are represented here by the three components of Belur, Halebid, and Somnathapura.
- The three temples include;
- The Chennakeshava temple: It is the main temple in the complex at Belur (Hassan district), located at the centre of the traditional settlement, which is surrounded by the remnants of a mud fort and a moat.
- The Hoysaleswara Temple: It is on the banks of the Dwarasamudra tank in Halebidu (Hassan district), a town which has many protected and unprotected temples, archaeological ruins, and mounds.
- The Keshava Temple: It is at the centre of Somanathapura village (Mysore district).
These are primarily dedicated to Hindu deities like Shiva and Vishnu, with some also devoted to the Jain faith.
- The Hoysala temples have a basic Dravidian morphology but show strong influences of the Bhumija mode widely used in Central India, the Nagara traditions of northern and western India, and the Karntata-Dravida modes favoured by the Kalyani Chalukyas.
PM Vishwakarma Scheme:
The Prime Minister of India has launched the ‘Prime Minister (PM) Vishwakarma Scheme’ on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti.
- The scheme is designed to uplift traditional artisans and craftspeople engaged in various occupations like blacksmithing, goldsmithing, pottery, carpentry, and sculpting, with a focus on preserving cultural heritage and integrating them into the formal economy and global value chains.
- It will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Government of India.
- Ministry: Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME) is the Nodal Ministry for the Scheme.
- The Scheme will be jointly implemented by the MoMSME, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
- Recognition and Support: Artisans and craftspeople enrolled in the scheme will receive a PM Vishwakarma certificate and an identity card.
- They will also be eligible for collateral-free credit support of up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5%.
- Skill Development and Empowerment: The Scheme has been allocated a budget ranging from Rs 13,000 crore for five financial years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028.
- The scheme offers a stipend of Rs 500 for skill training and Rs 1,500 for the purchase of modern tools.
- Scope and Coverage: The scheme encompasses 18 traditional trades across both rural and urban areas.
- These trades encompass carpenters, boat-makers, blacksmiths, potters, sculptors, cobblers, tailors, and more.
Registration and Implementation: Registration for the Vishwakarma Yojana can be completed at common services centers in villages.
- While the central government will provide funding for the scheme, state governments’ support will also be sought.
Ayushman Bhav Campaign:
In a move towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensuring healthcare for all, the President of India virtually launched the Ayushman Bhav campaign and the Ayushman Bhava portal.
- This initiative aims to deliver healthcare services to the last mile and consolidate access and affordability for underserved populations.
- The campaign also raises awareness about vital health schemes and diseases, leveraging India’s digital inclusion efforts to extend healthcare accessibility.
- The ‘Ayushman Bhav’ campaign will be implemented during the ‘Seva Pakhwada’ embodying a whole-of-nation and whole-of-society approach.
- The campaign adopts a collaborative, multi-ministerial approach.
- Ayushman Bhava aligns with the motto of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” (Together with All, Development for All).
- This philosophy underscores inclusivity, leaving no one behind in healthcare access.
- Three Key Components of Ayushman Bhava:
- Ayushman – Apke Dwar (AAD) 3.0: AAD 3.0 will enable eligible beneficiaries to create Ayushman cards for himself/herself/any of the family members. This streamlines healthcare access and benefits.
- Ayushman Melas at HWCs and CHCs: Health Melas and Medical Camps are established weekly at Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Community Health Clinics (CHCs). They prioritize the delivery of super-specialty healthcare services, including non-communicable disease screenings, tele-consultations, free medicines, and diagnostics.
- Ayushman Sabhas: Ayushman Sabha is a community-level assembly, led by the Village Health and Sanitation Committee (VHSNC) in rural areas or the Ward Committee/Municipal Advisory Committee (MAS) in urban wards.
- Its primary mission is to ensure comprehensive health coverage and optimal healthcare service delivery.
World Economic Forum Chief Economists Outlook:
Recently released World Economic Forum’s Chief Economists Outlook report states that Global economic uncertainty is taking a toll on SDG progress.
- World Economic Forum’s Chief Economists Outlook Published in September 2023 by World Economic Forum(WEF)
- The World Economic Forum’s latest Chief Economists Outlook report, highlights the economic challenges that developing countries are facing.
- This report draws on the individual and collective perspectives of a group of leading chief economists through consultations with the World Economic Forum’s Chief Economists Community and a regular Chief Economists Survey.
- It explores the key trends in the economic environment, including the prospects for growth, inflation, and monetary policy.
- The Chief Economist’s Outlook is published amid slowing global momentum and continuing economic uncertainty.
- There are some signs of optimism about the easing of inflationary pressures following looser labour market conditions and fading supply-chain pressures.
- According to a significant majority of chief economists, the weak economic outlook and geopolitical tensions are likely to have a lasting impact on global development goals in the coming years.
- It says that over 60% of chief economists expect the global economy to weaken in the coming year amid uncertain domestic and international politics and unsettled financial markets.
- A large majority (86%) expects the recent global inflationary surge to ease.
- The prolonged tightening of financial conditions is expected to have lasting impacts, including a squeeze on business lending, increases in corporate debt defaults, and potential corrections in property and equity markets.
- The economic outlook varies across regions for 2023-2024.
- The chief economists are most optimistic about growth in Asia.
- The outlook for China has dimmed since the May 2023 survey, following signs of deflationary pressures and fragility in the country’s real estate market.
The Indian Army is on track to complete the induction of 114 Dhanush artillery guns by 2026, with one regiment already operational.
- These 155 mm, 45-caliber towed artillery guns have a range of 36 km and have demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialized ammunition.
- It is the first indigenously built long-range artillery gun.
- Equipped with an inertial navigation-based sighting system, and auto-laying facility.
- An advanced day-night direct firing system. Self-propulsion unit allows the gun to deploy itself in the field.
Serious Fraud Investigation Office:
Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), arrested a Chartered Accountant in Hyderabad recently.
- Shri Nalin Prabhat Panchal, a Chartered Accountant by profession was arrested for failure to honour the summons issued in connection with the prosecution of Nityank Infrapower & Multiventures Private Limited.
Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO):-
- Ministry: Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
- HQ: New Delhi.
- As per the Companies Act, 2013, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has been established through the Government of India Notification dated 07.2015.
- It is a multi-disciplinary organization, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, banking, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation, etc.
- It works for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.
- It has five Regional Offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad & and Kolkata.
- Headed by: a Director as Head of Department in the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India.
- The Director is assisted by Additional Directors, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Senior Assistant Directors, Assistant Directors Prosecutors, and other secretarial staff.