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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 23rd January 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 23rd January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

What Is Leopard 2 tank?

Germany is under pressure to authorize sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine from other European nations.

  • The Leopard 2 is one of the world’s leading battle tanks.
  • Until now, both Ukraine and Russia have used Soviet-era tanks in battle, and the Leopards would offer a big step forward in capability.
  • The Leopard 2 is one of the world’s leading battle tanks, used by the German Army for decades and by the militaries of more than a dozen other European nations, as well as by the armies of countries as far apart as Canada and Indonesia.
  • It has seen service in conflict zones of Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Syria.
  • The tank, which is powered by a diesel engine, features night-vision equipment and a laser range finder that can measure the distance to an object, enabling it to better aim at a moving target while travelling over rough terrain.

Alien Invasive Plants:

A new study has found that several alien invasive plants growing together can have a detrimental effect on the biodiversities in tiger habitats in Kanha Tiger Reserve.

  • The research paper has deciphered many negative impacts of multiple co-occurring alien plants on biodiversity and what it means for conservation in the era of global changes.
  • India’s biodiverse ecosystems are threatened by a variety of alien plants like Lantana Camara, Parthenium hysterophorous, and Prosopis juliflora introduced during British colonisation.
  • Co-occurring invasive plants like Ageratum conyzoides, and Pogostemon benghalensis cause ecological homogenisation in invaded regions.
  • Multiple alien species together affected soil nutrients, which may have depleted the richness of diverse plants.
  • Invasions might slowly deplete the native plant populations and might lead to diseases in the herbivores.

Kanha Tiger Reserve:

  • It is nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India that forms the central Indian highlands.
  • This Tiger Reserve stretches over an area of 940 square km in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Rural Health Statistics 2021-2022:

The article highlights the recent data related to rural healthcare in India and government initiatives to transform rural healthcare.

  • According to the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s Rural Health Statistics 2021-2022, India’s rural healthcare system continues to be plagued by a shortfall on two critical fronts – doctors and infrastructure.

Highlights of the Rural Health Statistics 2021-2022:

  • There is a shortage of 83.2% of surgeons, 74.2% of obstetricians and gynaecologists, 79.1% of physicians and 81.6% of paediatricians.
  • Less than half the PHC (45%) function on a 24×7 basis.
  • Of the 5,480 functioning CHCs, only 541 have all four specialists.
  • SC, PHC and CHC facilities are overburdened across the board, with SCs currently looking after more than 5,000 people, PHCs catering to 36,049 people and CHCs to 164,027 people.
  • This, coupled with a human resource shortage (like auxiliary nurse midwives – ANM), plagues access to adequate and quality healthcare.
  • The shortage was most pronounced in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
  • SCs, PHCs and CHCs had more staff in 2021, at the height of the deadly second wave of COVID-19, as compared to now.

Caste Census In Bihar : Case Updates

The Supreme Court dismissed petitions challenging the Bihar government’s decision to conduct a caste survey in the state. Petitioners claimed that it was a census and that the state government had no power to make any laws regarding it.

  • The subject of a census falls in the Union list and only Parliament can legislate on it.
  • The caste census is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs: Registrar General of India (RGI) and Census Commissioner of India.
  • The origin of the Census in India goes back to the colonial exercise of 1881.
  • Census has evolved and been used by the government, policymakers, academics, and others to capture the Indian population, access resources, map social change, delimitation exercises, etc.
  • The Census provides a portrait of the Indian population, while the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) is a tool to identify beneficiaries of state support.

ChatGPT : Ethical Concerns

OpenAI (AI research and deployment company) opened its most recent and powerful AI chatbot, ChatGPT, to users to test its capability.

  • ChatGPT is a variant of GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) which is a large-scale neural network-based language model developed by OpenAI.
  • GPT models are trained on vast amounts of text data to generate human-like text.
  • It can generate responses to a wide range of topics, such as answering questions, providing explanations, and engaging in conversations.
  • In addition to being able to “admit its mistakes, challenge false premises, and refuse unsuitable requests,” the ChatGPT can also “answer follow-up questions.”
  • The chatbot was also trained using Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF).

Ethical Concerns :

  • Some users have been experimenting with the chatbot’s potential to carry out malicious actions.
  • It has been claimed by several users that malicious and dangerous coding is generated by the Chatbot despite their claims to be amateurs.
  • ChatGPT is set up to reject requests to write phishing emails or malicious code but in actual sense ChatGPT is producing an outstanding phishing email.
  • One concern is the potential for bias in the generated code, as the training data used to create the code generator may contain biases that are reflected in the generated code.
  • There is a concern that the use of code generators could lead to the loss of jobs for human programmers.
  • It is difficult to identify plagiarized information as a result.
  • Teachers and academicians have also expressed concerns over ChatGPT’s impact on written assignments.

Additional Tier-1 (AT1) Bonds:

The Bombay High Court Friday quashed the write-off of Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds worth Rs 8,400 crore issued by Yes Bank Ltd, bringing relief to investors.

  • These bonds are unsecured bonds that have perpetual tenors, are issued by banks and have no maturity date.
  • They have a call option, which can be used by the banks to buy these bonds back from investors.
  • These bonds are typically used by banks to bolster their core or tier-1 capital.
  • These AT1 bonds are subordinate to all other debt and only senior to common equity.
  • These bonds were introduced by the Basel accord after the global financial crisis to protect depositors.

First G20 Health Working Group Meeting:

The first G20 Health Working Group meeting under India’s presidency was held in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

  • Various discussions are being held focussing on international cooperation for Universal health care, in the three-day conference.
  • Discussions on strengthening medical value travel enabling easy travel to countries with low cost treatment facilities and also on holistic health care through the integration of traditional methods of treatment like Ayurveda were held.
  • Three priorities for the G20 Health Track:
    • Priority I: Health Emergencies Prevention, Preparedness and Response (with focus on One Health & AMR).
    • Priority II: Strengthening Cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector with focus on Access and Availability to safe, effective, quality and Affordable Medical Countermeasures (Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics).
    • Priority III: Digital Health Innovations and Solutions to Aid Universal Health Coverage and Improve Healthcare Service Delivery.

The G20 Health Working Group (HWG) :

  • It was established under the German Presidency in 2017 to develop a shared international agenda on issues such as strengthening health-care systems, reducing malnutrition, health-crisis management and scaling up the fight against pandemics.
  • India assumed presidency of the G20 on 1st December 2022.

1st Global Tourism Investors Summit:

The Ministry of Tourism is organizing the 1st Global Tourism Investors Summit from 10th to 12th April 2023 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

  • It is organised under the aegis of India’s G20 Presidency.
  • The aim of the summit is to bring together global business leaders, and policymakers to understand and explore Tourism Business opportunities in India.
  • The event focused on promoting India as an investment destination for travel, tourism, and hospitality by identifying State-Specific investment possibilities and discuss avenues to promote sustainable tourism.

Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary : Decline In The Number Of Migratory Birds

Nature enthusiasts have voiced their concern over the recent decline in the number of migratory birds visiting the Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. It is home to three large lakes which hosts a large number of migratory birds every year.

  • Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1977.
  • It is also known as Deer Park.
  • It is located near Santiniketan in Bolpur subdivision of Birbhum District of West Bengal.
  • The sanctuary has dense local vegetation of Sal, Akashmoni, Sishoo, Cashewnut, Amlaki, Bahera and Haritaki.
  • The sanctuary has a deer conservation park which is home to a large number of deer including Cheethals (Spotted Deer) and the Blackbucks.
  • Other animals include jackals, foxes and a variety of water birds.

Charaideo Maidam Of Ahom Kingdom : Proposal For World Heritage Site

Assam Chief Minister recently said that the Central Government has decided to send a proposal to UNESCO nominating Charaideo Maidam of Ahom Kingdom as a World Heritage Site.

  • Charaideo commonly known as ‘Pyramids of Assam’ was the original capital of the Ahom Kings.
  • Charaideo remained the symbolic center of Ahom Kingdom even though the capital of the kingdom moved many times.
  • It was built by Chaolung Sukhapa the founder of the dynasty in about 1229 CE.
  • Located at the foothills of Nagaland, it’s situated at a distance of around 30 KM from the historical Sivsagar town in Assam.
  • Charaideo known as ‘Pyramids of Assam’ contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of the ancestral Gods of the Ahoms.
  • Some 42 tombs (Maidams) of Ahom kings and queens are present at Charaideo hillocks.
  • It comprises a massive underground vault with one or more chambers having domical superstructure and covered by a heap of earthen mound and externally it appears a hemispherical mound.

Ahom Dynasty:

  • It was founded by Chaolung Sukapha , who entered the Brahmaputra valley in 1228.
  • They ruled Assam for six centuries.
  • The Ahoms created a new state by taking over the older political system of the bhuiyans (landlords).
  • The Ahom administration was a monarchial government with democratic and aristocratic values as well.
  • Ahom society was divided into clans and with the expansion of the kingdom, the clans moved and took charge of the designated territory.
  • The Ahoms followed stringent travel policies to protect their motherland against the foreign invaders for inward travel.

India International Science Festival 2022 : Theme

The 8th edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF) was recently inaugurated at the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal.

  • India International Science Festival is an initiative of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Science of Government of India in association with Vijnana Bharati which is a science movement with Swadeshi spirit led by eminent scientists of the country.
  • It is a festival to celebrate the achievements of India’s scientific and technological advancements with students, innovators, craftsmen, farmers, scientists and technocrats from India and abroad.
  • ISF provides opportunities to people and scientific fraternity in the country and abroad to come together and work together.
  • IISF 2022 is the eighth edition since its inception in 2015.
  • Theme: ‘Marching towards Amrit Kaal with Science, Technology, and Innovation’
  • IISF 2022 is a four day festival and will feature 14 thematic events