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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 29th April 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 29th Apr 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

National Manufacturing Innovation Survey (NMIS) 2021-22:

The secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Science & Technology) released the “National Manufacturing Innovation Survey (NMIS) 2021-22: Summary for Policymakers.

  • National Manufacturing Innovation Survey (NMIS) is a joint study by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Aim of the survey is to evaluate the innovation performance of manufacturing firms in India.
  • It had two specific components:
    • Firm-level survey: It captured data related to types of innovations and innovative measures taken by firms, including the process of innovation, access to finance, resources, and information for innovation etc.
    • Sectorial System of Innovation (SSI) survey: It mapped the manufacturing innovation system and its enabling role in achieving innovations in firms.
  • The SSI study measured the convergence or divergence of current policy instruments in select five key manufacturing sectors important to the Indian economy – textiles; food & beverage; automotive; pharma; and ICT.
  • The first National Innovation Survey was held in 2011.

Farm Machinery Technology Summit:

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized the third edition of the Summit on Farm Machinery Technology, which was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi

  • The objective of the CII Summit on Farm Machinery Technology is to address the challenges faced by the sector and chart a growth path for it.
  • Farm mechanization is an important aspect of agriculture, as it enhances productivity and availability of food grains, increases agriculture exports, mitigates labour shortage and facilitates judicious use of scarce natural resources.
  • The Indian Government has set an ambitious target of doubling the availability of farm power to 4.0 KW per ha by the end of 2030, which presents a tremendous opportunity for all stakeholders in the sector.
  • The CII Summit on Farm Machinery Technology provides a platform to deliberate on technology issues and find solutions to overcome them.

Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) Vaccine : No Protection Against Covid-19 Infection

The BCG vaccine, typically administered to prevent tuberculosis, did not provide any significant protection against Covid-19 infection to healthcare workers, a new study said

  • Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB)
  • The vaccine was developed by Calmette and Guerin and was first administered to human beings in 1921.
  • It is the most widely administered vaccine and is usually a part of the routine newborn immunization schedule.
  • BCG vaccine also offers protection against non-tuberculous mycobacterial infectionslike leprosy and Buruli ulcer.
  • It is often given to infants and small children.
  • It is rarely given to anyone over the age of 16 because there is little evidence it works very well in adults.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis)that most often affect the lungs.
  • It is curable and preventable disease.
  • Two kinds of tuberculosis infection:
    • Latent TB-The bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state. They cause no symptoms and are not contagious, but they can become active.
    • Active TB- The bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others.
    • About one-quarter of the world’s population has latent TB.

Indiahandmade : New e-Commerce Portal

The government launched a new e-commerce portal ‘Indiahandmade’.

  • Indiahandmade Portal is an e-commerce porta launched by the Indian Government.
  • Objective is to Empower artisans and weavers by providing them with a platform to sell their products directly to customers.
  • This initiative is part of the government’s efforts to promote local artisans and craftsmanship and support the “Vocal for Local” movement.
  • It provides a platform for artisans and weavers to showcase their products to a wide customer base.
  • Indiahandmade Portal offers an opportunity for weavers and artisans to become future e-entrepreneurs.
  • The portal provides free handholding to sellers from registration to order fulfilment, helping them with logistics, payments, and other aspects of online selling.
  • Free shipping is provided to customers, making it convenient and cost-effective for them to purchase products from the portal.
  • It also provides a return option to customers, ensuring a seamless buying experience.
  • Multiple payment gateways are available for customers to pay online, providing flexibility and convenience in payment options.
  • The portal complements the PM-VIKAS initiative by providing a platform for artisans and weavers to showcase their products and sell them directly to customers.

Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC):

The Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs opened a Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC) account recently.

  • Mahila Samman Savings Certificate Scheme was announced in the 2023-24 Union Budget to commemorate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
  • It is a one-time savings scheme for women.
  • Objective is to empower women by increasing their participation in investments.
  • It is a significant step towards financial inclusion and empowerment of women including girls.
  • The two-year tenure scheme offers an attractive interest rate of 7.5 per cent compounded quarterly
  • It will have flexible investment and partial withdrawal options with a maximum ceiling of Rs two lakh.
  • The scheme is valid for a two-year period up to 31st March 2025.
  • The scheme has been made available in all 1.59 lakh post offices from April 01, 2023.
  • One can start investing in this scheme with a minimum amount of Rs. 1,000 or any other amount in multiples of Rs. 100.
  • Under this scheme, one can open multiple accounts, but the maximum total investment should be Rs 2 lakh only.
  • And each account opened should have a three-month gap between the opening date of the existing account and the new account.
  • The scheme is exclusively available to women.
  • Any woman above 18 years of age can invest in this scheme by herself.
  • In the case of minors, the guardian can open the account on behalf of the girl.

Eco-Sensitive Zones : Supreme Court Modified Its Previous Judgment

The Supreme Court of India has modified its earlier judgment that mandated a minimum one-kilometre eco-sensitive zone around protected forests, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries across the country.

Previous Judgement:

  • In June 2022, the SC ordered that ESZs of a minimum of one kilometer should be declared around protected forests, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries across the country.
  • The court had said that ESZs would act as a “shock absorber” for the protected areas and prevent encroachment, illegal mining, construction, and other activities that could harm the environment and wildlife.
  • The court had also directed the Centre and the States to notify the ESZs within 6 months and file compliance reports.

Changed Order:

  • Minimum ESZ distance :  1 km ESZ cannot be uniform across the country and has to be “protected area-specific”.
  • Applicability of order Applied universally to all protected areas Not applicable to ESZs for which draft and final notifications have been issued by MoEF&CC and in respect of proposals.
  • Mining allowed Not specified, but implied to be allowed within ESZ No mining is allowed, either within national parks and sanctuaries or in a 1 km radius.
  • Any developmental activities undertaken within ESZs should follow the MoEF&CC 2011 guidelines and provisions of the 2022 Office Memorandum by MoEF&CC

Eco-Sensitive Zones:

  • The National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) of the MoEFCC stipulated that state governments should declare land falling within 10 km of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as eco-fragile zones or Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • While the 10-km rule is implemented as a general principle, the extent of its application can vary.
  • Areas beyond 10 km can also be notified by the Union government as ESZs, if they hold larger ecologically important “sensitive corridors”.

PRET Initiative:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the PRET initiative to be better prepared for future outbreaks of a similar scale and devastation as the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats (PRET) Initiative is aimed at providing “guidance on integrated planning for responding to any respiratory pathogen such as influenza or coronaviruses”.
  • It was announced at the Global Meeting for Future Respiratory Pathogen Pandemics held on 24-26 April 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The first module focuses on respiratory pathogens, including influenza, coronaviruses, and respiratory syncytial virus.
  • It involves three-pronged approach which includes
    • Update preparedness plans that affirm priority actionsand that have considered learnings from past events.
    • Increase connectivity among stakeholders in pandemic preparedness planning through systematic coordination and cooperation.
    • This includes building equitable systems; conducting joint exercises; and sharing information on good practices, challenges, and opportunities.
    • Dedicate sustained investments, financing and monitoring of pandemic preparednesswith a particular focus on addressing the gaps identified during past pandemics and epidemics.

Delegates Of G20 Visited The Hemis Monastery:

Delegates of G20 visited the Hemis Monastery in Leh and also witnessed the famous Cham dance.

  • Hemis Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Leh City.
  • It belongs to the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism.
  • The monastery was first established in the 11th century and later re-established in the 17th century by the Ladakhi King Sengge Namgyal.
  • It is also famous for its 2-day religious ceremony known as the Hemis Festival.
  • This festival is celebrated in honour of Padmasambhava which is observed here in
  • It is the biggest and very richly endowed monastery.

INS Tarkash For Operation Kaveri:

INS Tarkash from the Indian Navy recently reached Port Sudan to help in the evacuation of stranded Indians as part of “Operation Kaveri”.

  • INS Tarkash is a state-of-the-art stealth frigate of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons.
  • Tarkash belongs to the Talwar class of guided missile frigates. These are modified Krivak III class frigates built by Russia.
  • It was built by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.
  • It was commissioned into Indian Navy service on 9 November 2012 at Kaliningrad and joined the Western Naval Command on 27 December 2012.
  • It has a length of 124.8 m, a beam of 15.2 m, and a draught of 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in).
  • Top Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph).
  • It has been equipped with a weapon sensor that enables it to address threats in all dimensions.
  • It uses stealth technologies and a special hull design to ensure a reduced radar cross-section.
  • It can board one Ka-28 Helix-A antisubmarine helicopter or one Ka-31 Helix-B airborne early warning helicopter,
  • It is also equipped with BrahMos missiles instead of the Klub-N missiles, which makes it different from the earlier flight of Talwar-class ships.

Operation Kaveri: It is a rescue operation being carried out by the Indian Government to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Sudan.

What Is Sun Halo?

The people of Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj were graced by an inspiring phenomenon called Sun Halo.

  • It is an optical phenomenon that occurs due to sunlight refracting millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.
  • When white light passes through unique hexagonal ice crystals found in upper-level cirrus clouds, causing the halo to have colours.
  • The clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals, which refract, split and even reflect the light to give an impression of a circular rainbow ring.
  • The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, for the halo to appear.
  • Light undergoes two refractions as it passes through the ice crystals and the bending that occurs depends on the ice crystal’s diameter.
  • The two refractions bend the light by 22 degrees from its original point, producing a ring of light around the Sun or the Moon.
  • The lunar halos are mostly colourless as moonlight is not very bright.