Today’s Current Affairs: 2nd January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
The National Geospatial Policy, 2022:
After liberalizing the use of geospatial data under the draft geospatial data policy in February 2021, the Ministry of Science and Technology has notified the National Geospatial Policy, 2022.
- “The National Geospatial Policy, 2022 is a citizen-centric policy that seeks to strengthen the geospatial sector to support national development, economic prosperity and a thriving information economy
- Aim: The 13-year guideline promote the country’s geospatial data industry and develops a national framework to use such data for improving citizen services, and more.
- Themes: The policy has divided 14 Geospatial Data Themes to support the development of commercial geospatial applications in various sectors e.g., disaster management, mining, forestry etc.
- The government will establish an Integrated Data and Information Framework by 2030
- The government will also establish National Digital Twin for high-resolution topographical survey and mapping by 2035
Free Foodgrains Scheme:
The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued a notification to provide free foodgrains (rice, wheat and coarse grains) to all eligible households under the National Food Security Act, 2013, for one year from January 1, 2023.
- The government, however, discontinued the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
- Coarse cereals are traditionally grown in resource-poor agro-climatic regions of the country.
- Agro-climatic zone is a land unit in terms of major climates suitable for a certain range of crops and cultivars.
- Sorghum, pearl millet, maize, barley, finger millet and several small millets such as kodo millet, little millet, foxtail millet, proso millet and barnyard millet together called coarse cereals.
- Sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, maize and small millet (barnyard millet, proso millet, kodo millet and foxtail millet) are also called nutri-cereals.
- Coarse cereals are known for their nutri-rich content and having characteristics like drought tolerance, photo-insensitivity and resilient to climate change etc.
- Notified On 10th September, 2013.
- To provide for food and nutritional security in the human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantities of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
- 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidised foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
- Eligibility: Priority Households are to be covered under TPDS, according to guidelines by the State government.
- Households are covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
Vokkaligas, Lingayats Share In Reservation:
Karnataka has categorized the two dominant communities, Vokkaligas and Lingayats, as “moderately backward” from the “backward” category in a move that could increase their share in reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC).
- Karnataka currently has 32% quota for OBC, and 17% and 7% quota for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, respectively, taking the total to 56%.
- The Panchamasali sub-sect of Veerashaiva Lingayats has demanded inclusion in the 2A category which has 15% quota from their current 3B category which has 5% quota.
- The Cabinet’s decision is based on the recommendations of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes
- The Vokkaliga community, which is currently in the 3A category, will be moved to a newly-created 2C category with 4% reservation.
- And the Lingayat community, which is in the 3B category, will now be in a new 2D category with 5% reservation.
- The Cabinet decision ensures that there is no sub-categorisation of the Lingayat community.
- The Lingayats are a dominant community who make up nearly 17% of Karnataka’s six crore population- followed by Vokkaligas.
- The new categories will not affect the existing reservation provided to other communities.
- The reservation will be applicable only in education and jobs, and “not political reservation.
- The term Lingayat denotes a person who wears a personal linga, an iconic form of god Shiva, on the body which is received during the initiation ceremony.
- Lingayats are the followers of the 12th-century social reformer-philosopher poet, Basaveshwara.
Butterflies Adaptation And Evolution Processes:
A new study has thrown light on many interesting aspects of butterflies’ adaptation and evolution processes.
- The study was conducted on several species of butterflies and their imitative traits in the Western Ghats in Karnataka.
Highlights of the Study:
The findings were categorised into three:
- Model Species: Those that are toxic to predators.
- Batesian Mimicry Species: Those that evolved traits of unpalatable species (poisonous) to avoid predators.
- Non-mimetic Species: Those that are closely related to Batesian mimics but did not evolve mimicry trait.
- The unpalatable one is called models and the palatable one is called mimics.
- Butterflies that have evolved to make use of mimicry evolve faster than the species that don’t make use of mimicry.
- Batesian mimics adapt to avoiding predators by evolving similar wing colour patterns and flight behaviours.
- Analyses revealed that not only had colour patterns evolved at a much faster rate, but that members of mimetic communities had evolved at a faster rate than their close relatives.
- Butterflies exhibit a wide range of colours and colour patterns, suggesting that the genetic architecture underlying wing patterns and colour pigments are relatively malleable and susceptible to change.
Strait Of Hormuz:
The United Arab Emirates and Iran’s military have started their annual Drill in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman and near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
- The maneuvers are aimed at improving readiness in confronting foreign threats and any possible invasion.
- The strait is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and is crucial to global energy supplies, with about a fifth of all oil traded at sea passing through it.
- The waterway separates Iran and Oman, linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
- The Strait is 33 km wide at its narrowest point, but the shipping lane is just three km wide in either direction.
- Most crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq – all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – is shipped through this waterway.
- It is also the route used for nearly all the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) produced by the world’s biggest LNG exporter, Qatar.
- The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to find other routes to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelines.
Tidal Disruption Event:
Telescopes operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently observed a massive black hole devouring a star.
- The astronomical phenomenon of the destruction of a star by a black hole is formally called a tidal disruption event (TDE)
- Tidal force is a difference in the strength of gravity between two points.
- If the tidal force exerted on a body is greater than the intermolecular force that keeps it together, the body will get disrupted.
- During a TDE, the tidal force of a black hole disrupts the star in the vicinity.
- While about half of the star’s debris continues on its original path, the other half is attracted by the black hole’s gravitational pull.
- The gradual growth of this material bound to the black hole produces a short-lived flare of emission, known as a tidal disruption event.
- The event is formally called AT2021ehb and took place in a galaxy with a central black hole about 10 million times the mass of our sun.
- TDEs are attractive to astronomers because of their observability and short duration, and the opportunity to study the impact of black holes’ gravity on materials around them.
Vibrant Village Programme:
Union Home Minister asks border-guarding forces to strengthen Vibrant Village Programme and ensure welfare programmes are implemented
- VVP was announced in the 2022-23 budget with an aim to enhance the infrastructure in border villages along India’s border with China.
- Activities include Housing, Tourism promotion, Road Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, livelihood generation etc.
- It Promotes community knowledge in the border management
Basmati Rice : Authenticity Rules
The new authenticity rules aim to remove sub-standard varieties from the market
- India produces nearly three-quarters of the world’s basmati, however, a huge number of newly cultivated varieties lack the unique popcorn-like fragrance that helps to make this rice so sought after.
- So, UK and EU rice associations have introduced new rules that will come into effect at the beginning of 2023 that aim to take lesser varieties of basmati off the market.
- To qualify as basmati, grains must meet certain standards related to things like fragrance ( due to the BADH2 gene), grain length and width, as well as cooked texture.
- They must also have a mid-range level of amylose, a part of the starch in the rice.
- Since 2017, the Indian Patent Office has given GI tag for Basmati rice, thereby protecting the exclusivity of the long-grain fragrant rice across the world.
Investor Risk Reduction Access Platform:
Stock exchanges have been directed by the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) to set up an Investor Risk Reduction Access (IRRA) platform.
- With the growing reliance on technology in the securities market, there is an increase in instances of glitches in trading members’ systems, some of which resulted in the disruption of trading services.
- In these cases, investors with open positions are at risk of the non-availability of avenues to close their positions, especially at times when the markets are volatile.
- The Investor Risk Reduction Access (IRRA) platform will be jointly developed by the stock exchanges to enable investors to square off their position or cancel the pending orders if there is a disruption of services provided by the trading members. Trading members are those who trade on their own account as well as on the account of their clients.
- According to the new SEBI circular, the trading members can request the enablement of the IRRA service in case they face technical glitches that can cause disruption in the trading services.
- The market regulator has directed the stock exchanges to monitor parameters like connectivity, social media posts, order flow, and others.
- It also called on the stock exchanges to initiate the enablement of the service if required, irrespective of the trading member’s request.
- The SEBI also called on the stock exchanges to put in place a detailed framework to support the reverse migration from the IRRA system to the trading member’s trading system when the trading system is revived and a request is made in this regard.
Triple Test Survey On Reservation:
The Allahabad High Court had ordered the Uttar Pradesh Government to conduct urban local body elections without the OBC reservations as the “triple test” requirement for the quota has not been fulfilled.
- The state government has recently constituted a commission to conduct the triple test survey in the urban local bodies.
- The Supreme Court put forth the triple test in the case Vikas Kishanrao Gawali vs. State of Maharashtra and others on March 2, 2021.
- It involves the government implementing three tasks to finalize the reservation to the OBCs in the local bodies.
- These tasks are:
- Constitute a dedicated commission to conduct a rigorous empirical study into the nature and implications of the backwardness in local bodies
- To specify the proportion of reservation required in local bodies based on the commission’s recommendations
- To ensure that the reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs together do not surpass the aggregate of 50 percent of the total seats.
- In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government conducted a rapid survey to determine the OBC population.
- This survey was conducted in each municipality, and based on its result, seats were reserved in proportion to the OBC population in the respective constituency.
- The rapid survey only focuses on the headcount of the OBC population.