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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 23rd September 2022

Today Current Affairs: 23rd September 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Dharamshala Declaration:

At the National Conference of State Tourism Minister, the “Dharamshala Declaration” was adopted for developing “sustainable and responsible tourism” and positions India as a “global leader in the tourism sector by 2047”.

  • India is ranked 54th/117 countries on the latest WEF Travel and Tourism Development Index.
  • Its current contribution is 6.8% of the Indian GDP
  • Creates over 39mn jobs

Government steps:

  • Draft National Tourism Policy: Targets to achieve USD 1 Trillion by the sector in 2047.
  • Ministry of Tourism: National Strategy for sustainable tourism and responsible traveller Campaign
  • Schemes: PRASHAD, NIDHI 2.0, Swadesh Darshan etc.

Karnataka Assembly Passes Anti-Conversion Bill:

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2022, (popularly called the anti-conversion Bill) by voice vote.

Highlights:

  • Imprisonment: It proposes imprisonment from three to five years with a fine of Rs 25,000
  • Minors, SC/ST and Women: Any violation of provisions with respect to minors, women, SC/ST, the offenders will face imprisonment from three to ten years and a fine of not less than Rs 50,000.
  • Compensation: The bill also makes provisions for the accused to pay up to Rs five lakh as compensation to those who were made to convert.
  • Mass conversion: With regards to cases of mass conversion there shall be a 3 to 10-year jail term and a fine of up to Rs one lakh.
  • Family court: Any marriage which has happened for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa by the man of one religion with the woman of another, shall be declared null and void by the family court.
  • Declaration for conversion: Persons who wish to convert to another faith shall give a declaration in a prescribed format at least 30 days in advance to the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate.

Ebola Virus Disease:

An outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has been declared in Uganda following the confirmation of a relatively rare Sudan strain case.

  • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a deadly disease with occasional outbreaks that occur mostly on the African continent.
  • Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • It most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
  • It is caused by an infection with a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus:
  • Host: Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts
  • Animal to Human Transmission occurs through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
  • Human-to-Human Transmission occurs via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with Blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.
  • Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after contact with the virus, with an average of 8 to 10 days which include Fever, Fatigue, Muscle pain, Body weakness, Headache, Sore throat, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

State Of Education Report For India 2022: Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Education

UNESCO has released the State of education report for India 2022: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education

Findings:

  • India has the highest relative AI skill penetration rate ( over 3 times the global average)
  • AI literacy is increasing and is important for India
  • India has a one-size-fits-all approach: Using personalized and intelligent AI-based tutoring will help learning become diversified
  • India should:
    • Use AI for equality, equity, inclusion and improved learning outcomes
    • Use AI for the inclusion of linguistic diversity

Promote Common Security Through Dialogue And Cooperation : UNSC

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN addressed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on the topic ‘Promote Common Security Through Dialogue and Cooperation.

  • The UNSC meeting was convened at the behest of China, the president of the Security Council for August 2022 and a veto-wielding member of the 15-member Council.
  • All countries should respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and respect international agreements.
  • Common security was only possible when countries stand together on terrorism and do not practice double standards on the issue and when they do not take unilateral measures to back out of agreements.
  • India called for multilateral reform, particularly at the Security Council, saying common security among nations could not be aspired for if the common good of the global south was denied representation.
  • The most urgent thing is to make the Security Council more representative of developing countries so as to reflect current geopolitical realities, the African continent should also have permanent representation on the Council.
  • An armed conflict in one part of the world has cascading effects on the people of another.
  • The impact of the Crisis in Afghanistan is still being felt throughout the region.
  • China has repeatedly blocked the attempts of India and the US at the UN to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists.
  • While emphasizing on Common Security, India targeted China, which has violated border pacts by amassing its military in eastern Ladakh in 2020.
  • The eastern Ladakh border standoff between India and China erupted on 5th May, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
  • Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
  • China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

Programme For Development Of Semiconductors And Display Manufacturing Ecosystem:

The Cabinet has approved the certain modifications in the Programme for development of semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystem in India

These modifications are:

  • Fiscal support of 50% of Project Cost on pari-passu basis for all technology nodes under Scheme for Setting up of Semiconductor Fabs in India.
  • Fiscal support of 50% of Project Cost on pari-passu basis under Scheme for Setting up of Display Fabs.
  • Fiscal support of 50% of Capital Expenditure on pari-passu basis under Scheme for Setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors Fab and Semiconductor ATMP /OSAT facilities in India. Additionally, target technologies under the Scheme will include Discrete Semiconductor Fabs.
  • Under modified programme, a uniform fiscal support of 50% of Project Cost shall be provided across all technology nodes for setting up of Semiconductor Fabs.
  • Given the niche technology and nature of compound semiconductors and advanced packaging, the modified programme shall also provide fiscal support of 50% of Capital Expenditure in pari-passu mode for setting up of compound semiconductors / silicon photonics / sensors / Discrete semiconductors fabs and ATMP/OSAT.

PLI Scheme For Solar Modules:

The Union Cabinet has approved the second tranche of Production Linked Incentive(PLI) Scheme on ‘National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’ for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt scale in High Efficiency Solar PV Modules.

  • The national programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules aims to build an ecosystem for manufacturing of high efficiency solar PV modules in India reducing import dependence in the area of Renewable Energy.
  • It will strengthen the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative and generate employment.
  • The Tranche-2 scheme of High Efficiency Solar PV Modules has been approved with an outlay of 19,500 crore rupees for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt scale.
  • The aim is to build an ecosystem for manufacturing of high efficiency solar PV modules.
  • About 65 thousand Mega Watt per annum manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated solar PV modules will be installed.

Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (PCA) Act, 1960:

A doctor in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur allegedly tied a dog to his car and dragged it across the city.

  • The doctor faces charges under Section 428 (mischief by killing or maiming animal) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 11 (treating animals cruelly) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
  • If convicted under the PCA Act and found to be a first-time offender, he can be punished with a fine of Rs 10 to Rs 50. If it is found that this is not his first such crime within the past three years, the maximum punishment would be a fine between Rs 25 and Rs 100, a jail term of three months, or both.
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 defines cruelty to animals –– including acts of overburdening or overworking it, not providing the animal food, water and shelter, mutilating or killing an animal, etc.
  • The Act has been criticised for being ‘speciesist’ (the assumption that humans are a superior species deserving more rights), for its quantum of punishment being negligible, for not defining ‘cruelty’ adequately, and for slapping a flat punishment without any gradation of crimes.

National Conference Of Environment Ministers:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat on 23rd September, 2022 via video conferencing.

  • Taking forward the spirit of cooperative federalism, Conference is being convened to create further synergy amongst the Central and State Governments in formulating better policies on environmental issues.
  • The two day Conference being organised on 23rd and 24th September will have six thematic sessions with topics focusing on
    • LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment;
    • Combating Climate Change (Updating State Action Plans on Climate Change for Mitigation of Emissions and Adaptation to Climate Impacts) ;
    • PARIVESH (Single Window System for Integrated Green Clearances) ;
    • Forestry Management ;
    • Prevention and Control of Pollution; Wildlife Management ;
    • Plastics and Waste Management.

Death Sentence:

The Supreme Court on September 19 referred to a larger Bench issues relating to procedural norms for imposing the death sentence.

  • The intervention is seen as a major step in plugging gaps in the way in which trial courts award the death sentence.
  • Section 235 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) requires a judge to hear the accused after conviction on the question of sentence, and then pass sentence on him according to law.
  • In 1980, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of capital punishment in ‘Bachan Singh v State of Punjab’ on the condition that the punishment will be awarded in the “rarest of the rare” cases.
  • Crucially, the ruling also stressed that a separate sentencing hearing would be held, where a judge would be persuaded on why the death sentence need not be awarded.
  • This position was reiterated in several subsequent rulings of the court, including in ‘Mithu v State of Punjab’, a 1982 ruling by a five-judge Bench that struck down mandatory death sentence as it falls foul of the right of an accused to be heard before sentencing.
  • However, there are conflicting rulings on when that separate hearing is supposed to take place.
  • At least three smaller Bench rulings have held that while a separate sentencing hearing is inviolable, they can be allowed on the same day as the conviction.

SPARSH Initiative:

The Defence Accounts Department signed a MoU with Bank of Baroda and HDFC Bank, to onboard them as Service Centres under the System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) initiative, across more than 14,000 branches throughout India.

  • SPARSH is a web-based system for processing the pension claims and crediting the pension directly into the bank accounts of defence pensioners without any external intermediary.
  • It has been designed to give Defence Pensioners a transparent view of their pension account, through an online portal which captures and maintains a complete history of events and entitlements of the pensioner – right from the date of commencement of pension to the date of cessation of pension due to the last eligible beneficiary.
  • This system is administered by the Defence Accounts Department through the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), Prayagraj and caters to all the three Services and allied organization.
  • The system on roll-out is initially catering to the new retirees and subsequently is being extended to cover the existing defence pensioners.

Ambedkar Circuit:

Union Tourism and Culture announced a special tourist train to cover the “Ambedkar Circuit”.

  • The modalities — such as the date of journey, ticket price, number of passengers —are still in the works.
  • The government had first proposed the Ambedkar Circuit, or Panchteerth, in 2016.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the Panchteerth would include Janma Bhoomi, Ambedkar’s birthplace in Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow; Shiksha Bhoomi, the place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK; Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur where he embraced Buddhism; Mahaparinirvan Bhoomi or the place of his demise in Delhi; and Chaitya Bhoomi, the place of his cremation, in Mumbai.
  • The idea is to attract tourists beyond the Dalit community, who mostly visit these places as a pilgrimage.
  • The journey will include meals, ground transportation, and entry to the sites.
  • The government had identified 15 tourist circuits under the Swadesh Darshan scheme in 2014-15.
  • In terms of train collaboration, the Ramayana, Buddhist, and North East Circuits are already active, while Ambedkar will be fourth.

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