Today’s Current Affairs: 27th Apr 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
20th Anniversary Of SWAGAT Initiative:
PM Modi is to attend the 20th anniversary of SWAGAT initiative in Gujarat via video conferencing soon.
- State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology (SWAGAT) initiative of the Government of Gujarat was started in 2003.
- It is an innovative concept that enables direct communication between the citizens and the Chief Minister, as also between the citizens and other functionaries of the Government.
- The fourth Thursday of every month is designated as SWAGAT day, wherein the highest office in administration attends to the grievances of the common man.
- There is a three-tier grievance redressal system under SWAGAT – at State, District andTaluka levels.
- It is now extended to the village level also.
- Grievances submitted at the taluka and district levels are first resolved by the authorities at the respective levels and, thereafter, all pending grievances are reviewed by the Chief Minister himself.
- An applicant under SWAGAT is given a unique ID through which he/she can access the case details and status online.
- The focus in SWAGAT is primarily on the long pending issues.
- SWAGAT program up to the village level, named as GRAM SWAGAT, was launched on 1st February 2011.
- SWAGAT Online program going rural has helped the rural people living even in the remotest corner of the state to get their problems solved quickly.
2nd North Sea Summit:
Nine European countries have convened for a summit aimed at boosting the deployment of offshore wind turbines in the North Sea to make it the largest green energy centre in Europe.
- Summit held in Ostend, Belgium
- Participants :
- 7 EU countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands
- 2 non-EU countries: Norway, and the United Kingdom
- Objective is to Accelerate deployment of offshore wind turbines to make the North Sea the “largest green energy centre in Europe”
- Targets is 120 GW offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, and 300 GW by 2050
- The first summit in 2022 had Esbjerg Declaration (signed by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands in 2022)
- The Netherlands and the United Kingdom announced a new interconnection to link a Dutch offshore wind farm to the UK
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya And Sri Ramanujacharya Birth Anniversary:
Prime Minister has paid tributes to Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya on his birth anniversary and on his Jayanti.
Ramanujacharya, born in 1017 in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, is widely respected as a Vedic philosopher and social reformer.
- He is renowned for advocating social equality and justice, which was revolutionary for his time, and for his propagation of the Bhakti movement, which inspired other Bhakti schools of thought.
- He was instrumental in reviving the Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedanta philosophy, which posits non-dualism of the qualified whole.
- Ramanujacharya wrote nine scriptures known as the navaratnas and composed numerous commentaries on Vedic scriptures, including the Vedanta Sutras and the Bhagavad-Gita.
- His teachings emphasized the need for harmony with nature and compassion, humility, equality, and mutual respect among all people.
- He advocated the concept of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam,” which translates to “all the universe is one family.”
- Ramanujacharya embraced the socially marginalized and condemned them and asked royal courts to treat them as equals.
- He liberated millions from social, cultural, gender, educational, and economic discrimination with his belief that every human is equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste, or creed.
- Because of his work to promote social equality, the 213-feet tall statue of Ramanujacharya in Hyderabad is known as the Statue of Equality.
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya:
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya, born in the 8th century AD in Kerala, is one of the most revered philosophers in Indian history.
- He is considered to be the founder of the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy, which emphasizes the ultimate unity and oneness of all existence.
- Shankaracharya is credited with reviving Hinduism and restoring its philosophical and spiritual foundation.
- He was a prolific writer, composing commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, and other important texts.
- His most significant works include the commentary on the Brahma Sutras (Bhashya), Bhajagovinda Stotra, Nirvana Shatakam, and Prakaran Granths. Shankaracharya was also a social reformer and worked to eliminate caste-based discrimination and promote social equality
World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, And Societies:
The ‘World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies’ was recently released by the World Bank.
- The World Development Report (WDR) is an annual report published since 1978 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank.
- It provides an in-depth analysis of a specific aspect of economic development.
Highlights of the WDR 2023:
- The share of working-age adults will drop sharply in many (developed) countries over the next few decades.
- Spain, with a population of 47 million, is projected to shrink by more than one-third by 2100, with those above age 65 increasing from 20 to 39% of the population.
- Most low-income countries are expected to see rapid population growth, putting them under pressure to create more jobs for young people.
- The report introduces the “Match-Motive Framework,” a labour economics-based approach that emphasizes how well migrants’ skills and attributes match the needs of the destination countries.
- The framework also considers the reasons why migrants move in search of opportunity and determines the extent to which migrants, origin countries and destination countries gain from migration.
- The framework combines “match” and “motive” to determine policy priorities for countries of origin, transit, destination, and the global community.
World Malaria Day 2023: Theme
World Malaria Day is observed every year on 25th April.
- It was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007 to raise awareness about malaria.
- The theme for World Malaria Day 2023 is “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement”.
- Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite.
- This parasite is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
- Malaria is most common in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.
- Once inside the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver and then infect red blood cells, causing symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
- In severe cases, malaria can lead to organ failure, coma, and death.
- Till now, no malaria vaccine has shown the benchmark efficacy of 75% set by WHO.
- Still, WHO gave a go-ahead for the first malaria vaccine called RTS,S to be rolled out in high transmission African countries understanding the urgency of malaria control and prevention.
- It has relatively low efficacy somewhere between 30-40%.
Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI) Scheme:
A total of 6,448 schools from 28 states and Union territories have been selected for upgradation under the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI) scheme.
- It is a Centrally Sponsored scheme announced in 2022.
- Objective is Development of more than 14500 schools across the country by strengthening selected existing schools being managed by Central Government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies.
- The duration of the scheme is from 2022-23 to 2026-27, after which it shall be the responsibility of the States/UTs to continue to maintain the benchmarks achieved by these schools.
- The selected schools will act as exemplar schools showcasing all components of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) and offering mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
- The PM SHRI Schools will be developed as Green Schools, incorporating environment-friendly aspects.
- The pedagogy adopted in these schools will be more experiential, holistic, integrated, play/toy-based (particularly in the foundational years), inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centric, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable.
- The focus will be on the learning outcomes of every child in every grade.
- Assessment at all levels will be based on conceptual understanding and application of knowledge to real-life situations and will be competency-based.
- Linkage with Sector Skill Councils and local industry for enhancing employability and providing better employment opportunities will be explored.
- A School Quality Assessment Framework (SQAF) is being developed, specifying the key performance indicators to measure outcomes.
T-14 Armata Battle Tanks:
Russia has recently begun using its new T-14 Armata battle tanks to fire on Ukrainian positions
- T-14 Armata battle tank is a new Russian Main Battle Tank (MBT).
- It is designed by the Russian Defense Company Uralvagonzavod.
- It has an unmanned turret, with crew remotely controlling the armaments from “an isolated armoured capsule located in the front of the hull.
- Maximum Speed: 75 km/h.
- The tank has a maximum range of 500 km on internal fuel.
- It is one of the most protected MBTs in the world. It has newly-developed composite base armour made of steel, ceramics and other materials.
- It is capable of firing gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. These missiles have a range of about 5 km and can also target low-flying helicopters.
Taam Ja Blue Hole Discovered:
Scientists have discovered a massive blue hole off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
- It is a type of underwater sinkhole or vertical cave that is typically found in low-lying coastal karst platform regions.
- These are formed when limestone or other carbonate rock is dissolved by slightly acidic groundwater over a long period.
- Taam Ja Blue hole is around 900 feet deep and scientists have dubbed it the second-deepest blue hole found on the planet.
- It has a nearly circular shape at its surface with steep sides that form a large conic structure covered by biofilms, sediments, limestone, and gypsum ledges.
- It was found in the central portion of Chetumal Bay, where submerged coastal karstic sinkholes locally named ‘pozas’ have been reported.
- A series of discontinuous terraces were detected at water depths, near the eastern and north-western walls of the blue hole before developing steep and almost vertical slopes.
- There is variation in salinity and temperature inside the blue hole.
- Yucatan Peninsula is a Northeastern projection of Central America which is lying between the Gulf of Mexico to the west and north and the Caribbean Seato the east.
- The peninsula is almost wholly composed of beds of coralline and porous limestone rocks.
Bengaluru Experienced a Zero Shadow Day:
Bengaluru experienced a ‘Zero Shadow Day’, when vertical objects appear to cast no shadow.
- Zero Shadow Day is a sub-solar point where the sun is directly overhead at a particular latitude.
- When the sun is at the zenith (the highest point in the sky) its rays will be hitting a particular point exactly perpendicular to the surface.
- This will make the shadow of a person exactly under him, making it look like there are no shadow
- There are two zero shadow days every year in May and July/August, observed in places that lie between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn.
- One falls during the Uttarayan (when the Sun moves northwards), and the other is during Dakshinayan (when the Sun moves southwards).
- It lasts for a small part of a second, but the effect can be seen for a minute to a minute-and-a-half.
The Union Minister of Science and Technology launched the SUPREME initiative to provide financial support for the upgradation and maintenance of analytical instrumentation facilities (AIFs).
- The Support for Up-gradation Preventive Repair and Maintenance of Equipment (SUPREME), is a first-of-its-kind programme by the government.
- It extends financial support for repair, upgradation, maintenance, retrofitting, or acquiring additional attachments to increase the functional capabilities of existing analytical instrumentation facilities.
- Different facilities created under the projects/ Analytical instrumentation facilities (AIFs) created earlier from the support of DST, only will be considered for the funding support under this Scheme
- Such facilities at institutions recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) are eligible to apply for grants under this initiative.
- The duration of support will be for a period not exceeding 3 years.
- The funding pattern in the scheme would be 75:25 for all private and govt owned institutions (except for state-funded institutions for which 100% funding would be considered).
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Science and Technology
Mexican Giant Turtle:
The Mexican Giant Turtle, also known as the Red Eared Slider was recently found in West Bengal’s Howrah district.
- Mexican Giant Turtle, also called the Red Eared Slider, is the most destructive among the seven turtle species found in the world.
- It is considered as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive non-native species.
- Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta elegans
- They are native to the south-eastern USA and Mexico but have found their way across the globe, including India, through the trade of exotic animals.
- It occurs in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, but it prefers a mud bottom, plenty of aquatic plants, and abundant basking sites.
- It lives in both natural waters (including rivers, sloughs, and oxbow lakes) and human-made waters (such as ditches, ponds, and reservoirs).
- It is known for its bright red circular or oblong spots near its ears.
- The carapace (upper shell) is olive-brown with numerous black and yellow lines.
- The exposed skin is dark green with narrow black and yellow lines.
- It is primarily aquatic and will emerge from the water for basking on rocks and logs.
- Average Life Span: 20 to 30 years.
Exercise Ajeya Warrior 2023:
Indian Army contingent will participate in the 7th edition of the bilateral training exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior 2023’
- Exercise Ajeya Warrior 2023 is a bilateral training exercise between the armies of India and the UK.
- This is the 7th edition of the exercise.
- It aims to improve interoperability between the two forces while carrying out operations in accordance with UN mandates.
- The exercise will witness the participation of an infantry company from India and a unit of equal strength from the British Army.
- The soldiers of both countries will practice using each other’s weapons, war tactics, equipment, war strategies, and procedures for conducting combined military operations in difficult situations.
- In addition, there will also be a number of expert academic discussions on a range of topics of common interest, such as the combined arms concept, operation logistics, sharing of joint force experience, etc.