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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 26th May 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 26th May 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

AIRAWAT : Supercomputer

India’s AI Supercomputer ‘AIRAWAT’ has been ranked at No. 75 in the world at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC 2023) in Germany.

  • Supercomputer ‘AIRAWAT’ has been named in the 61st edition of the Top 500 Global Supercomputing List released recently.
  • The AI supercomputer AIRAWAT’ is installed at C-DAC, Pune.
  • The system is installed under National Program on AI by the Government of India.
  • AIRAWAT’s manufacturer is Netweb Technologies.
  • Airawat PSAI, stands as India’s largest and fastest AI supercomputing system, with a remarkable speed of 13,170 teraflops.
  • It will empower the Academia, Research Labs, Scientific Community, Industry and Start-Ups to develop indigenous AI-enabled products/solutions especially for solving India-specific grand challenges and complex real-life problems.
  • It has the potential to revolutionize various sectors, including weather forecasting, drug discovery, climate modelling, and artificial intelligence research.

UDAN 5.1 Scheme:

Ministry of Civil Aviation launched UDAN 5.1, specifically designed for helicopter routes.

  • UDAN 5.1 Scheme: After 4 successful rounds of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched UDAN 5.1 to further enhance the connectivity to remote areas of the country and achieve last mile connectivity through helicopters.
  • The main features include an increase in the scope of operations for operators wherein the scheme will now allow routes where one of the origin or destination locations is in a priority area. Earlier both points had to be in priority areas.
  • Airfare caps have been reduced by as much as 25% to make flying in helicopters more affordable for passengers.
  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for the operators have been increased substantially for both single and twin-engine helicopters to enhance financial viability for operating the awarded routes.
  • Previous rounds of the scheme have already operationalised 46 helicopter routes, benefiting hilly and North-East states. The current round aims to cover an even larger number of routes, expanding the reach of air connectivity.

UDAN Scheme:

  • UDAN- Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market.
  • The scheme was initiated in October 2016 with the objective of fulfilling the aspirations of the common citizen, with an enhanced aviation infrastructure and air connectivity in tier II and tier III cities.

Har Shikhar Tiranga (HST) Mission:

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister flagged off Mission Har Shikhar Tiranga, from NIMAS, Dirang.

  • Har Shikhar Tiranga (HST) Mission is a unique expedition to hoist the national flag on the highest point of every state of India for the first time.
  • It is a campaign under the aegis of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to take the tricolour to all the states of the country and hoist it on the summits to mark the 75th year of independence and to commemorate India’s G20 presidentship.
  • It is the brainchild of Colonel Jamwal who is a veteran of more than 52 successful expeditions and is the only Indian to have summited Mount Everest three times and climbed the Seven Summits, touching the highest points of the seven continents.
  • The summit will begin from summiting Mt. Reo Purgyil in Himachal Pradesh and end at Mt Jongsong in Sikkim.
  • The lowest in terms of elevation will be Someshwar Fort in Bihar which is around 800 m.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary : Eco-Sensitive Zone

The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Assam government in response to a plea seeking the declaration of the area around Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam as an eco-sensitive zone.

  • Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) are designated areas surrounding national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that are deemed ecologically fragile and important for the conservation of wildlife and their habitats.
  • MoEFCC has mandated the declaration of land within 10 km of the park or sanctuary boundaries as ESZs under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • However, the application of the 10-km rule can vary, and areas beyond 10 km can also be notified as ESZs if they contain significant ecological corridors.
  • Categorization of Activities:
    • Prohibited: Commercial mining, sawmills, polluting industries, major hydroelectric projects, and commercial use of wood
    • Regulated activities include tree felling, the establishment of hotels and resorts, commercial use of natural water, the erection of electrical cables, and drastic changes in agricultural practices.
    • Permitted activities in ESZs include ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, the use of renewable energy sources, and the adoption of green technology for all activities.

London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) : RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised banks and other Regulated Entities to move away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and transition to Alternative Reference Rates (ARR).

  • The transition away from LIBOR is aimed at reducing reliance on a benchmark that is susceptible to manipulation and ensuring the financial system’s stability and integrity.
  • LIBOR is a widely used global benchmark interest rate.
  • It represents the average interest rate at which banks estimate they can borrow from each other in the London interbank market for specific time periods.
  • LIBOR is important because it is used as a reference rate for settling trades in various financial instruments such as futures, options, swaps, and other Derivatives.
  • To calculate LIBOR, a group of banks submits their estimated borrowing rates to Thomson Reuters, a news and financial data company, every business day.
  • The extreme rates are removed, and the remaining rates are averaged to determine the LIBOR rate, which aims to represent the median borrowing rate.
  • Previously, LIBOR was calculated for five major currencies and seven different time periods, resulting in 35 rates published each day.
  • The UK Financial Conduct Authority phased out most of these rates, and after 31st December, 2021, only U.S. dollar LIBOR rates were allowed to be published.

International Booker Prize 2023:

Georgi Gospodinov first Bulgarian author wins International Booker Prize:

  • Time Shelter, written by Georgi Gospodinov and translated into English by Angela Rodel, has won the International Booker Prize 2023, edging out six other novels on the shortlist.
  • This is the first time a novel originally published in Bulgarian has won the annual award, given to a work of fiction translated into English and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year.
  • Last year, the prize went to Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand, translated into English by Daisy Rockwell.
  • Georgi Gospodinov, the book’s Bulgarian author, will share the prize of 50,000 British pounds, worth roughly $62,000, with Angela Rodel, who translated the novel into English.
  • They received the award at a ceremony in London.
  • A complex novel, “Time Shelter” centers on a psychiatrist who creates a clinic in Switzerland to help people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The clinic includes spaces that recreate past eras in intricate detail to help patients retain their memories, and the experiment proves so successful that the idea is taken up far beyond the hospital’s walls.

Global Alliance For National Human Rights Institutions:

The National Human Rights Commission, India (NHRC-India), a vital institution for safeguarding human rights, recently faced challenges regarding its accreditation by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

  • The NHRC-India has experienced a deferral of its accreditation by GANHRI on two occasions.
  • GANHRI raised concerns regarding several aspects of NHRC-India’s functioning, including political interference in appointments, involvement of the police in human rights violation investigations, poor cooperation with civil society, lack of diversity in staff and leadership, and insufficient action to protect marginalized groups.
  • These objections prompted a reevaluation of NHRC-India’s adherence to international human rights standards.
  • GANHRI consists of 16 NHRIs with ‘A’ status accreditation, representing different regions worldwide.
  • ‘A’ status accreditation grants participation in the decision-making processes of GANHRI, the Human Rights Council, and other U.N. mechanisms.
  • NHRC-India has held ‘A’ status accreditation since the accreditation process began in 1999, reaffirming its recognition and participation in human rights advocacy.

Jaisamand Wildlife : Jungle Safari

Rajasthan Chief Minister recently inaugurated ‘Jungle Safari’ at Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan surrounding Debar Lake (Jaisamand Lake).
  • The forest of the Sanctuary used to be a Shikargah (Game Reserve) of the erstwhile Maharanas of Mewar.
  • It was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1957.
  • The flora of this Sanctuary comprises of thickly wooded forests of mainly Teak wood.
  • It is habitat to a large variety of animals like Bears, Black Bucks, Blue Bulls, Chinkaras, Chittal or Spotted Deer, Civets, Common Langurs, Four-horned Antelope, Foxes etc.
  • It is also home to a huge variety of over 300 species of resident as well as migratory birds like Babblers, Buzzards, Curlews, Dalmatian Pelicans, Darters, Doves, Eagles, Egrets, Falcons, etc.

Government Of National Capital Territory Of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023:

The President recently promulgated the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 to make a fresh claim of power over the services in the capital.

  • The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Delhi Govt will have legislative and executive control over administrative services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) except with regard to public order, police and land.
  • Now, the Centre has brought the ordinance which nullifies the SC order.
  • Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 seeks to establish for the first time the National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA).
  • NCCSA Composition will be headed by the Chief Minister of Delhi, with the Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary of Delhi being the other two members.
  • NCCSA will make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) regarding transfer, posting, vigilance and other incidental matters of all Group ‘A’ officers and officers of DANICS serving in the Government of NCTD.
  • All matters required to be decided by the NCCSA shall be decided by majority of votes of the members present and voting.
  • The decision of the elected chief minister of Delhi can be overruled by the two senior bureaucrats.