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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 31st January 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 31st January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Study Of State Finances : RBI Report

The Reserve Bank of India recently released its study of state finances.

  • The report details the financial positions of the states and also presents an analysis of states receiving GST Compensation.
  • Tamil Nadu is one of the five states in the country to receive GST compensation. The other states are Karnataka, Maharashtra Gujarat, and Uttarakhand.
  • When the GST compensation ends, the most affected states and UTs will be Punjab, Delhi, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, and Uttarakhand
  • Of all the states, the northeastern states gained the maximum benefits of GST compensation

Annual Death Penalty Report, 2022:

Project 39A, a group associated with the National Law University recently released a report called the Annual Death Penalty Report, 2022.

  • According to the report, the number of death penalty prisoners in India increased to 539 in 2022. It was 490 in 2021.
  • India has 539 death-sentenced prisoners as of 2022.
  • This is a 40% increase as compared to the numbers in 2015
  • UP had the highest death sentences followed by Gujarat and Jharkhand

Key Findings:

  • 3% of death rows were judged by trial courts.
  • SC pronounced 11 death penalty judgments and High Courts in the country pronounced 68 death sentences
  • Appellate courts pronounced the least number of death sentences
  • Of all the crimes, sexual violence received the maximum death penalty. Almost one–third of the capital punishments were for sexual violence
  • In Gujarat, 51 people were sentenced to death by the Sessions court
  • In UP Sessions Court: 32
  • In Jharkhand sessions court: 17
  • No death sentences were pronounced in the courts of J&K, Delhi, Telangana, and Manipur
  • Two out of every 165 death sentences were pronounced on women

Soliga ecarinata: New Wasp Named After Soliga Community

The scientific community has named a new genus of wasp after the Soliga community.

  • The Soliga ecarinata is a new wasp that belongs to the subfamily Metopiinae of the Darwin wasps family Ichneumonidae.
  • These are seen only in the Palaearctic region, Neotropical and Nearctic regions.
  • This is the second genus of this subfamily reported from India and the first from South India.
  • Scientists have named this wasp after the Soliga community.
  • Soligas are an indigenous tribe of Karnataka, inhabiting the peripheral forest areas near Biligiri Rangana Hills and Male Mahadeshwara in the Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka.
  • The Soligas were dependent on hunting and shifting agriculture traditionally.
  • They are the first tribal community living inside the core area of a tiger reserve in India to get their forest rights officially recognised by a court of law.

Shaheed Diwas 2023:

On January 30, 2023, India observes Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas to pay tribute to all the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country. The day is also marked as the death anniversary of the nation’s ‘Bapu’, Mahatma Gandhi.

  • Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day is celebrated in India several times a year.
  • Shaheed Diwas In Remembrance Of Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on October 2, 1869, was one of the most influential leaders of India and played a significant role in the independence of the country.
  • On this day in 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in the Birla House in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse.
  • India celebrates Martyrs’ Day by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.
  • The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and the three Service Chiefs (Army, Air Force, and Navy) pay their respects to the ‘Father of the Nation’.
  • The significance of Shaheed Diwas lies in the fact that Mahatma Gandhi who led major movements against British rule through a non-violent approach.
  • His philosophy was based on the principles of non-violence, the fight for truth (satyagraha), and political and individual freedom (Swaraj) and inspired millions of people with his principles.

All India Survey On Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021:

Ministry of Education recently released All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021

  • All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) is conducted by the Ministry of Education since 2011.
  • It covers all higher educational institutions located in Indian Territory and imparting higher education in the country.
  • Objectives:
    • To identify and capture all the institutions of higher learning in the country.
    • Collect the data from all the higher education institutions on various aspects of higher education.
  • The survey collects detailed information on different parameters such as student enrollment, teacher’s data, infrastructural information, financial information etc.

Highlights of AISHE 2020-2021:

  • For the first time, in AISHE 2020-21, higher educational institutions have filled data using entirely online data collection platform through the Web Data Capture Format (DCF) developed by Department of Higher Education through the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  • The total number of Universities / University like institutions registered is 1,113, Colleges 43,796 and Standalone Institutions 11,296.
  • Number of Universities has increased by 70, number of Colleges has increased by 1,453, in 2020-21 over 2019-20.
  • Enrollment in higher education increases to 4.14 crore, crossing the 4 crore mark for first time; increase of 7.5% from 2019-20 and 21% from 2014-15.
  • Female enrollment reaches 2 crore mark, increase of 13 Lakh from 2019-20.
  • Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has improved from previous year for all social groups.
  • Enrollment in Distance Education has increased by 7% in 2020-21 from 2019-20.
  • Gender Parity Index (GPI) has increased from 1 in 2017-18 to 1.05 in 2020-21
  • Total number of faculty/teachers increases by 47,914 from 2019-20

Chin-Kuki-Mizo Communities:

The Zo Reunification Organisation (ZORO), representing the Chin-Kuki-Mizo communities, has sought the help from India in ending the “policy of extermination” of Ethnic Minorities inhabiting the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh.

  • More than 300 people belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group have taken shelter in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district since November 2022, following an alleged offensive by the Bangladesh army in collusion with the Arakan Army, a Rohingya Muslim extremist group.
  • The Kuki-Chin tribes of the CHT have been demanding a separate State due to the large-scale influx of non-tribal people into the hills.
  • But the Bangladesh government chose to step up its oppressive measures.
  • The ZORO asked India to advise his Bangladeshi counterpart to declare a ceasefire with the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) and stop abusing the rights of the Kuki-Chin people in the CHT.
  • The organisation also appealed India to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Border Security Force not to drive away the Kuki-Chin people who are fleeing Bangladesh and taking refuge among their “blood-related tribes” in Mizoram.

Spider Star System : NASA Research

Scientists at NASA have recently detected the first gamma-ray eclipses from a “spider” star system.

  • Spider Star System is a binary star system in which a superdense star (pulsar) spins quickly, eats another star.
  • The super-dense object that begins to pull a matter from the companion resembles the habits of spiders of the genus Latrodectus, in which the female eats the male after mating, hence the name came.
  • The dense pulsar strips material from the outer atmosphere of its companion, periodically shedding the gathered material in violent explosions.
  • In the later stage of their lifetimes, the energetic particles streaming out of the pulsar can strip the atmosphere of its companion.
  • In either case, the pulsar slowly erodes its companion over time.
  • Two Types:
    • Black widows: Binary pulsar systems, in which the mass of a companion star is less than 5 percent of the pulsar.
    • Redback: Binary pulsar systems in which mass of the companion star is from 10 to 50 percent of the pulsar.

First International Financial Architecture Working Group Meeting Of G-20:

The first International Financial Architecture Working Group meeting of G-20 under the chairmanship of India will be held in Chandigarh on 30-31 January 2023.

  • This G-20 finance track focuses on strengthening international financial architecture.
  • It will also aim to address various challenges faced by vulnerable countries.
  • Around 100 delegates from G-20 member nations, invited countries and international organizations will participate in the two-day meeting.
  • Discussions during the two-day meeting will be jointly moderated by the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India, as well as by the co-chairs of the International Financial Architecture Working Group, – France and South Korea.
  • The meeting will also focus on finding ways to maximize aid to poor and vulnerable countries.

Black-Headed Ibis : Conservation Status

The campus of Mangalore University is home to three species that are listed as near-threatened on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, according to a nine-year study on the avifaunal variety of the area (IUCN).

  • Black-Headed Ibis is a large wader bird with a white body and bare black head and neck. Males and females look similar and both have greyish tail feathers.
  • These are called wader birds due to their adaptability to a wide variety of aquatic environments.
  • They are found primarily around wetlands including agricultural fields and occasionally around coastal areas.
  • It is found in South- and Southeast Asia from India to the west and as far east as Japan.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN Red List: Near Threatened
    • The Wildlife Protection Act 1972:Schedule-IV