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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 28th February 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 28th February 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Attaukal Ponkala Festival : Kerala

All arrangements are in place for the Attaukal Ponkala festival, considered one of the world’s largest religious gathering of women.

  • Attukal Ponkala is a 10-day long festival celebrated annually at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Trivandrum, Kerala.
  • This festival is dedicated to Attukal Bhagavathy, also known as Goddess Kannaki or Bhadrakali.
  • It is celebrated every year and falls in the month of February or March.
  • Pongala, which means ‘to boil over’, is the ritual in which women prepare sweet payasam (a pudding made from rice, jaggery, coconut and plantains cooked together) and offer it to the Goddess or ‘Bhagavathy’.
  • This ritual is performed on the 9th day.
  • It is one of the largest congregation of women for a festival in the world.
  • During the 10-days festivities, a sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam is also included in the religious event.

Haryana Government’s Parivar Pehchan Patra Scheme : Update

The Haryana government’s Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) and IT-based welfare schemes will be displayed at the first Anti-Corruption Working Group meeting under the G20 Summit in Gurugram.

  • Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) Scheme was launched by the Haryana Government in 2015.
  • The primary objective of PPP is to create authentic, verified, and reliable data of all families in Haryana.
  • PPP identifies each and every family in Haryana and keeps the basic data of the family, provided with the consent of the family, in a digital format.
  • Under the scheme, a unique identity card called Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) is launched through which the state government aims to monitor all the families living across the state.
  • Under PPP, each family is considered a single unit.
  • Each family will be provided an eight-digit Family Id.
  • The Family ID will be linked to the Birth, Death, and Marriage records to ensure automatic updating of the family data as and when such life events happen.
  • A family has to register itself on the PPP portal to avail the benefits of social-security schemes of the state government.
  • PPP scheme makes citizens able to take benefits of government schemes and services by sitting at home through online medium.
  • It also brings transparency to the system and eliminates middlemen so as to stop ineligible people from taking advantage of any scheme.

National Tiger Conservation Authority : Recorded 30 Tiger Deaths Within 2 Months

According to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), India has recorded 30 tiger deaths within 2 months into 2023.

  • National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • It was established in 2006 under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
  • Objectives:
    • Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives become legal.
    • Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves by providing a basis for MoU with States within the federal structure.
    • Providing for an oversight by Parliament.
    • Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.

Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) Telescope:

The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), a radio telescope comprising 66 antennas is set to get software and hardware upgrades.

  • Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) Telescope is a state-of-the-art telescope that studies celestial objects at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths.
  • They can penetrate through dust clouds and help astronomers examine dim and distant galaxies and stars out there.
  • It also has extraordinary sensitivity, which allows it to detect even extremely faint radio signals.
  • The telescope consists of 66 high-precision antennas, spread over a distance of up to 16 km.
  • It is operated under a partnership between the United States, and 16 countries in Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile.
  • The radio telescope was designed, planned and constructed by the US’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

284th Birth Anniversary Of Santh Sevalal Maharaj:

The Central government on Sunday (February 26) kick-started the year-long commemoration of the 284th birth anniversary of Sant Sevalal Maharaj, a spiritual and religious leader of the Banjara community. Union Home Minister Amit Shah led the celebrations on Monday in New Delhi and was joined by Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi.

  • Banjara Community is made of various groups found throughout India and most of them are found in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states in South India.
  • This community settled across the country with different names, have permanently abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and settled in their settlements called Tandas.
  • They speak Gor Boli also called Lambadi which belongs to the Indo-Aryan Group of Languages. Lambadi has no script.
  • Banjara people celebrate the festival of Teej during Shravanam (in the month of august).
  • In this festival young unmarried Banjara girls pray for a good groom.
  • Fire dance and Chari are the traditional dance forms of the banjara people.

Santh Sevalal Maharaj:

  • He is considered a social reformer and spiritual teacher of the Banjara community.
  • He travelled across the country with his Ladeniya Troup to serve especially the forest dwellers and nomadic tribes.
  • Due to his extraordinary knowledge, excellent skills and spiritual background in Ayurveda and Naturopathy, he was able to dispel and eradicate myths and superstitions prevalent in the tribal communities.

Marconi Prize 2023:

Computer scientist Hari Balakrishnan was awarded the 2023 Marconi Prize.

  • Dr. Balakrishnan has been cited for fundamental contributions to wired and wireless networking, mobile sensing, and distributed systems.
  • The Marconi Prize is a top honour for computer scientists and is awarded by the U.S.-based Marconi Foundation.
  • It is given to those who have made a significant contribution to increasing digital inclusivity through advanced information and communications technology.
  • The Prize recipients are recommended by an independent selection committee and approved by the Marconi Society Board.

Exercise Cobra Warrior:

Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in the multilateral air exercise ‘Exercise Cobra Warrior’ at the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) in the United Kingdom from March 6 to 24, 2023.

  • The Exercise Cobra Warrior is a multilateral Air exercise in which Air Forces from Finland, Sweden, South Africa, the United States of America and Singapore would also be participating alongside the RAF and IAF.
  • The aim of the exercise is to participate in various fighter aircraft engagements and learn from the best practices of various Air Forces.

India’s Unemployment Rate 2021-2022 : Report

According to the latest annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), India’s unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low in July-June 2021-22 to 4.1%

  • Rate declined for the 4th consecutive year since it was launched in April 2017.
  • The UR for rural women (2.1%) was lower than for rural men (3.8%) in 2021-22, whereas in urban areas, the rate was high for females (7.9%) as compared to males (5.8%).
  • The LFPR had increased significantly in the last five years from 37.5% in 2018-19 to 55.2% in 2021-22.
  • The rural LFPR in the survey stood at 57.5% (up from 57.4% in 2020-21), whereas its urban equivalent saw an increase to 49.7% (from 49.1%).
  • Quarterly survey (CWS) For urban India, UR stagnated (after declining for five consecutive quarters till July-September FY23,) at 7.2% in the December quarter.
  • The LFPR increased marginally to 48.2% from 47.9% in the September quarter.
  • Youth unemployment (for the 15-29 age group) marginally increased to 18.6% in the December quarter, primarily driven by a rise in the female youth UR.

India’s First Municipal Bond Index:

National Stock Exchange (NSE) launched India’s first municipal bond index- IBMX

  • It will track the performance of bonds issued by municipal corporations.
  • It has investment-grade credit ratings (AA category)
  • The index includes municipal bonds issued as per the Securities Exchange Board of India Issue and Listing of Municipal Debt Securities Regulations, 2015
  • A municipal bond is a type of bond issued by a local government or municipality, such as a city, county, or state.
  • When these entities need to raise money to fund projects like building schools, roads, or other public infrastructure, they can issue bonds as a way to borrow money from investors.
  • The municipal bond market has seen a three-fold rise in fundraising since 2017 (to about 6000 crores in 2022)
  • The first municipal bond in India was issued by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in 1998
  • Indore issued India’s first-ever municipal green bond recently

International IP Index:

India ranks 42nd among 55 leading global economies on the International IP Index released by the U.S. Chambers of Commerce.

Key findings:

  • Top :USA
  • India is ripe to become a leader for emerging markets seeking to transform their economy through IP-driven innovation.
  • India has maintained continued strong efforts in copyright piracy through the issuing of “dynamic” injunction orders.
  • India has generous R&D and IP-based tax incentives and has a strong awareness-raising effort regarding the negative impact of piracy and counterfeiting
  • India is a global leader in targeted administrative incentives for the creation and use of IP assets for SMEs,
  • Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Bisphenol A:

A recent study conducted in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, suggests Bisphenol A can indirectly aid in the spread of vector-borne diseases in humans and animals.

  • The research establishes that the human-made chemical Bisphenol A can significantly shorten the breeding time of southern house mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus).
  • This mosquito is a major carrier of the West Nile virus, Rift Valley fever virus and avian pox in tropical and subtropical countries, and thereby aids in its quick multiplication.

Bisphenol A:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is mainly used in combination with other chemicals to manufacture plastics and resins.
  • It is produced by the condensation of phenol and acetone.
  • This type of plastic is used to make some types of beverage containers, compact disks, plastic dinnerware, impact-resistant safety equipment, automobile parts, and toys.
  • Generally, BPA acts on the hormonal level by distorting hormonal balance and inducing estrogenic effects through binding with estrogen-related receptors (ERR).

Women T20 World Cup 2023:

The 2023 T20 Women’s world cup was held in South Africa.

  • The final battle was between South Africa and Australia.
  • The Australian team won the battle.
  • India quit losing to the Australian team during the semi-finals.
  • Richa Ghosh is the only Indian named in the Team of the Tournament, with four Australian players included.
  • Australia won their third consecutive Women’s T20 World Cup title, sixth overall, defeating hosts South Africa in the finals at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.
  • Defending a target of 157 runs, Australia restricted South Africa to 137/6 in 20 overs, winning by 19 runs.

National Science Day 2023:

India celebrates National Science Day on February 28.

  • National Science Day is celebrated in the country to mark the discovery of the Raman Effect.
  • Raman discovered the Raman Effect on February 28, 1928, and received Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1930.
  • The National Council for Science and Technology 1986 proposed to mark National Science Day on February 28.
  • The Government of India agreed to the proposal.
  • The objective of National Science Day
    • National Science Day is celebrated to spread the importance of science in day-to-day life.
    • On the occasion, the importance of science and achievements in the field are discussed. New technologies are implemented.
  • The theme of National Science Day 2023 : Global Science for Global well being
  • Raman Effect : The wavelength of light changes in the air as it is deflected by molecules.
  • This is referred to as scattering.
  • The sky is blue in colour because of the Raman effect.
  • Smaller wavelengths scatter easily.

Fifth Inner Core Layer Of The Earth:

The recent frequent earthquakes have helped scientists discover a new core. This fifth inner core is a solid ball of nickel and iron and is the innermost layer.

  • So far scientists believed that there are only four layers in the earth.
  • They are the outermost layer called the crust, and the middle layer called the mantle.
  • And the innermost layer is called the core.
  • The core is divided into two parts namely the inner core and the outer core.
  • Recently, scientists discovered that there is another layer in the core.
  • Unlike the inner core and outer core, this new fifth layer is solid.
  • It may be 650 km in diameter.
  • Scientists believed that the inner core of the earth is 2,440 km in diameter.
  • It is about 70% of the moon’s size.