Today’s Current Affairs: 22nd February 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
First I2U2 Vice-Ministerial Meeting : UAE To Host
I2U2 is a joint initiative of India, Israel, the USA, and the UAE.
- I2 stands for Israel and India.
- U2 stands for USA and UAE.
- The main objective of the initiative is security cooperation, technological hubs, food security, and other different energy fields.
- The UAE recently hosted the vice-ministerial meeting of I2U2. It was held in Abu Dabi.
- It was attended by the Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment secretary of the USA, the Prime Minister of Israel, PM Modi, and the UAE President.
I2U2 Vice-Ministerial meeting:
- During the meeting, the leaders discussed regional cooperation opportunities and investment opportunities among the countries.
- They also discussed food insecurity and energy crisis issues.
- The leaders of the initiative aim to increase private sector investments in the field of clean energy, emerging technologies, and waste treatment.
- The first summit of the initiative was held in 2022.
Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2023:
The DPIFF (Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards) was started in 2012. It is an independent corporate film festival. It is not the same “DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD” presented at the National Film Awards. DPIFF is completely a private ceremony organized by the family members of Dadasaheb Phalke.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the country’s highest award in the field of cinema. The 2023 winners were revealed by the Directorate of Film Festivals.
- Mumbai hosted the 2023 Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival ceremony.
- The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest award in the field of cinema.
- It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The recipient is honoured for their “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema” and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry.
- The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of ₹1,000,000 (US$13,000).
Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2023:
- Film of the year: RRR
- Best Film: The Kashmir Files
- Best Actress: Alia Bhatt
- Best Actor: Ranbir Kapoor
Pangong Tso Marathon : Ladakh Sets Guinness Record
The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council recently launched Pangong Tso Marathon.
- The marathon is the first of its kind in India. It was held on the frozen Pangong Tso lake.
- The marathon was conducted at an altitude of 4,350 metres.
- With this, it makes the Guinness record for World’s Highest Frozen Lake Marathon. It is the first frozen lake marathon in India.
- The marathon included a 21 km long run.
- It began in Luking village.
- The marathon was organized by the Council of Ladakh along with the Adventure Sports Foundation of Ladakh.
Pangong Tso Lake:
- The lake has saline water and is completely frozen during winter.
- Researchers believe that the lake was a part of the Indus river system in early times.
- Today, however, the lake lies separated from the Indus river.
- It is the highest saltwater lake in the world.
G20 Culture Working Group Meet:
The UNESCO World Heritage site KHAJURAHO located in the state of Madhya Pradesh is hosting the first Culture Working Group Meeting. More than 125 delegates from foreign countries will attend the meeting.
- Ministry of Culture is organising the 1st G20 Culture Working Group (CWG) meet in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh from 22nd to 25th February 2023.
- The overarching theme of G20 is that of “Vasudev Kutumbakam”- One Earth · One Family · One Future’. Ministry of Culture has developed a robust programme of cultural projects inspired by India’s G20 theme of “Vasudev Kutumbakam”.
- The Secretary further explained that India’s G20 Culture Track is predicated on the idea of ‘Culture for LiFE’- environmentally conscious lifestyle as a campaign for sustainable living.
- Shri Govind Mohan also said that the CWG will have four meetings and they will be held in Khajuraho, Bhubaneshwar, Hampi and the final location, is yet to be decided.
- He also informed that for Khajuraho, the theme is “Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property”.
- Four priority areas of India’s CWG include Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property;Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future; Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries, and Creative Economy;Leveraging Digital Technologies for Protection and Promotion of Culture.
- To engage with these priorities further, the CWG has also developed a robust year-long program of cultural projects such as exhibitions, immersive experiences, symposiums, seminars, art residencies, workshops, publications, etc.
- It is a group of Hindu and Jain temples.
- They were built in 1000 CE during the Chandela dynasty.
Sagar Parikrama Phase-III:
Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, starts the Sagar Parikrama Phase-III from Hazira Port (Gujarat)
- Follow-up of Sagar Parikrama Phase-I (March 2022) and Sagar Parikrama Phase-II (September 2022)
- Aim of the initiative:
- To disseminate information on various fisheries-related schemes and programs being implemented by the government
- To promote responsible fisheries, protect marine ecosystems, and demonstrate solidarity with all fishermen and concerned stakeholders
- To directly interact with fishers and fish farmers to understand the issues of coastal areas and problems related to fishermen
- Balance the utilization of marine fisheries resources for food security with the protection of marine ecosystems
- It is a collaboration between the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, and National Fisheries Development Board
Anubhuti Inclusive Park : World’s Largest And Unique Divyang Park
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways laid the Foundation Stone of the world’s largest and unique Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
- Features of the park: Facilities for all 21 types of disabilities, such as a touch and smell garden, hydrotherapy unit, water therapy, and independent room for mentally challenged children, and mothers.
- Vision: To build an inclusive society, with the aim of showing empathy instead of sympathy towards persons with disabilities. to give the disabled the right to live with dignity.
- This can be used as an example in social justice, Indian society and Ethics paper.
- The park aims to set an example of empathy, respect and dignity towards people with disabilities, while also catering to the needs of the general public and different age groups.
Special Category Status For Any State Will Not Be Consider : Union Finance Minister
Union Finance Minister made it clear that the Centre will not consider demands for “special category status” for any state as the 14th Finance commission has clearly said no special status can be given.
- This comes as a blow to states like Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh which have been pushing for it for some years now.
- Special Category Status (SCS) is a classification given by the Centre to assist development of states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages.
- Constitution does not make a provision for SCS and this classification was later done on the recommendations of the Fifth Finance Commission in 1969.
- Status was first accorded to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland in 1969.
- SCS for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council of the erstwhile Planning Commission.
- Eleven States including Assam, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Telangana have been accorded the special category state status.
- Telangana, the newest State of India, was accorded the status as it was carved out of another state Andhra Pradesh.
- The 14th Finance Commission has done away with the ‘special category status’ for states, except for the Northeastern and three hill states.
- It suggested to fill the resource gap of such states through tax devolution by increasing it to 42% from 32%.
- SCS is different from Special status which imparts enhanced legislative and political rights, while SCS deals with only economic and financial aspects.
- For instance, J&K used to have Special status before Article 370 was repealed.
Prymnesium parvum : Toxic Algal Bloom
A new report by the European Union (EU) investigating has confirmed that the destruction of fish in the River Oder in Poland was caused by the toxic algal bloom Prymnesium parvum made possible by anthropogenic factors.
- Prymnesium parvum is a microscopic, single-celled alga with four morphologically distinct forms.
- Three of the forms are scaled, bi-flagellated, and have a flexible, non-coiling, needle-like filament called a haptonema and the fourth form is a scaled, non-motile, siliceous cyst.
- It inhabits a variety of water bodies including rivers, lakes, estuaries, fjords, coastal oceans, and ponds, including eutrophic, alkaline, and brackish waters.
- It can reproduce rapidly and form a nearly monocultural bloom by releasing toxins into the water that immobilize or kill zooplankton and other phytoplankton to increase available food sources.
- It can survive in a range of water temperatures, from 5°C to 35°C, with blooms increasing between 10°C to 27°C.
- It is mixotrophic, supporting its growth with autotrophy (photosynthesis) or heterotrophy if nutrients are scarce.
Big Spike In Adenovirus Cases : Bengal
Bengal health authorities have been asked to be vigilant after the state recently recorded a big spike in adenovirus cases.
- Adenovirus are a group of viruses that can cause mild to severe infections throughout your body.
- They can cause a wide range of illnesses, such as the common cold, fever, sore throat, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, pink eye, and acute gastroenteritis.
- There are many different types of adenoviruses, so that people can get infected more than once.
- Adenovirus infections occur throughout the year, but they tend to peak in the winter and early spring.
- Adenoviruses can affect people of all ages, but they’re most common in children younger than 5 years old.
- Most adenovirus infections are mild, but they can be more severe in people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease.
- Adenoviruses are very contagious.
- They can spread from an infected individual to others via close contacts, such as touching or shaking hands.
- Infected particles can also transfer through coughing and sneezing.
- Fecal material can spread the infection via contaminated water, dirty diapers, and poor hand washing.
- There is currently no specific course of treatment or approved antiviral medication.
- Some medications with proper rest are advised to control the symptoms.
National Conference On Agriculture For Zaid Campaign-2023:
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister chaired the National Conference on Agriculture for Zaid (Summer) Campaign-2023 in New Delhi.
- The objective of the Zaid conference is to review and assess the crop performance during the preceding crop seasons and fix crop-wise targets for the summer season in consultation with State Governments.
- Zaid or summer crops are grown in the short season between Kharif and Rabi crops, between March and July.
- These crops are mostly grown on irrigated lands and therefore, the farmers do not wait for the monsoon.
- Zaid crops require warm soil and high temperatures (cooling at night) to grow.
- They require warm, dry weather as a vital growth period and longer day length for flowering.
- Most of the vegetables and hybrid cereals are grown in the zaid season.
- Major crops: Paddy, corn; pumpkin, cucumber, tomato; almonds, peanuts, cashews; Gram, lentils, etc.
- Cultivation areas in India: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
- Zaid crop is significant for farmers as it gives fast cash to the farmers and is also known as a gap-filler between two chief crops, Kharif and Rabi.
Protest Against Bokang-Baling Hydroelectric Project:
Residents of Pithoragarh district’s Dharchula town recently staged a protest against the proposed Bokang-Baling Hydroelectric Project.
- Bokang-Baling Hydroelectric Project is a proposed hydroelectric project on river Dhauliganga in the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.
- It has a proposed installed capacity of 165 MW.
- The project involves the construction of a concrete gravity dam of 65 m from river bed level and an underground Power House.
- The project is being implemented by THDC India Limited.THDC India Limited (Formerly Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited) is a company jointly owned by the Government of India and the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
- It rises in the vicinity of the Niti Passin the border regions between Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and southwestern Tibet.
- It is one of the important tributaries of Alaknanda, the other being the Nandakini, Pindar, Mandakini, and Bhagirathi.
- It meets the Alaknanda River(the major source stream of the Ganges river) at Vishnuprayag in Uttarakhand.
- The length of this river is about 94 km.
Jaadui Pitara : Learning Material
Union Education Minister recently launched an innovative learning material for foundational years of children called “Jaadui Pitara”.
- ‘Jaadui Pitara’ is a play-based learning material for children in the age group of three to eight years.
- It is launched by the Union Ministry of Education.
- It has been designed on the motto of ”learning through play”, as envisaged in the new National Education Policy (NEP).
- It comprises of playbooks, toys, puzzles, posters, flashcards, storybooks, and worksheets, as well as reflecting the local culture, social context, and languages.
- It is designed to pique curiosity and accommodate the diverse needs of learners at the foundational stage.
- It is developed under the curricular goals of National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) as recommended by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
- The resources on ‘Jaadui Pitara’ will be digitally available on DIKSHA platform – portal and mobile app.
- The pitara is available in 13 Indian languages.
National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS):
- It is one of the four National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs).
- It is India’s first-ever integrated Curriculum Framework for children between ages 3-8.
- It is a direct outcome of the 5+3+3+4 ‘curricular and pedagogical’ structure that NEP 2020 has recommended for School Education.