Today’s Current Affairs: 3rd February 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
MISHTI Scheme For Mangrove Plantations:
Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’, MISHTI, will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands
The Mangroves cover 0.15% of the total Indian Geographical area.
- This is around 4,975 square kilometers.
- The state of West Bengal alone has 42.45% of India’s mangroves. Indian mangroves are facing limitations such as an increase in salinity, lack of oxygen, and diurnal tidal inundations.
- The main aim of the scheme is to take up mangrove plantations along the coastline and to preserve Mangrove forests
- Meaning, mangrove saplings will be planted along the coastal regions of the country.
- Mangrove forests are spread across AP, WB, Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.
- Mangrove forests are present in all the coastal states of India.
- MISHTI is to be implemented by converging CAMPA Fund, MGNREGS, and other sources.
- CAMPA Fund means Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority.
NAMASTE (National Action Plan for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem) Scheme: Union Budget 2023
In the Union Budget 2023, the Government of India allocated Rs 100 crores for the NAMASTE scheme.
- The GoI aims to mechanize septic tank cleaning and sewer cleaning in towns and cities.
- The scheme aims to provide an alternate livelihood to sanitation workers. In addition, NAMASTE will strive to bring behavioral changes to them.
- Objective of the scheme
- To achieve zero fatalities in the sanitation sector
- No sanitation worker will touch or come in direct contact with the fecal matter
- The sanitation workers will be encouraged to form Self Help Groups
- Ensure the workers have access to alternative livelihoods as mechanization may bring loss of jobs to few in the industry
- In phase 1, 500 cities are taken. GoI is planning on choosing AMRUT cities first.
- Also, the first target will be cities whose population is more than one lakh.
- Ten cities from islands, hilly regions, and tourist destinations will be picked.
Mission To Eliminate Sickle Cell Anaemia By 2047:
Union Finance Minister recently announced the Central Government’s plan to launch a mission to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047.
- Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder.
- It affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body.
- People with this disease have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape.
- These sickle cells also become rigid and sticky, which can slow or block blood flow.
- The cause of Sickle cell disease is a defective gene, called a sickle cell gene.
- A person will be born with sickle cell disease only if two genes are inherited—one from the mother and one from the father.
- Extreme tiredness or fussiness from anemia, painfully swollen hands and feet, and jaundice.
- Severe pain, anemia, organ damage, and infections.
- The only cure for this disease is bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
- However, there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms, lessen complications, and prolong life.
Lost Caesium-137 Found In Western Australia:
A Caesium-137 capsule lost in transit was discovered in Western Australia using specialised detection equipment that detected radiation.
- Caesium is a soft, flexible, silvery-white metal.
- It becomes liquid near room temperature, but easily bonds with chlorides to create a crystalline powder.
- Caesium-137 is the most common radioactive form of caesium.
- It is produced by nuclear fission which is also one of the byproducts of nuclear fission processes in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons testing.
- This radioactive metal has a half-life of 30.05 years – meaning in three decades it will have half of its original activity.
- Caesium-137 can cause serious illness when touched, leading to burns and acute radiation sickness.
- External exposure can increase the risk of cancer because of the presence of high-energy beta-gamma radiation. Prolonged exposure can even cause death.
- Internal exposure to it through ingestion or inhalation allows the radioactive material to be distributed in the soft tissues, especially muscle tissue, which increases cancer risk.
Indian Institute Of Millet Research (IIMR) In Hyderabad : Act As a Centre Of Excellence(Union Budget 2023)
During the presentation of the Union Budget 2023, Union Finance Minister announced that the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR) in Hyderabad will act as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for ‘Shree Anna’ to take the research on millets to the international level and make India a global hub for millets.
- India is the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of several types of ‘Shree Anna’ (millets) with a share of 41% in 2020, as per the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
- Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are leading producers.
- As the year 2023 has been declared the ‘International Year of Millet’ by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
- The IIMR is considered the main driver behind the surge in the interest and consumption of millet-based products in the country in the last 5-6 years.
Khadi Fashion Show:
A mega ‘Khadi fashion show’ was organised by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in Rann of Kutch/ Kachchh.
- This mega event was the first such event of KVIC to establish new dimensions of the Khadi brand all over the world.
- The government of Gujarat holds a three-month long festival known as ‘The Rann Utsav’ every year.
- The Rann of Kachchh is a salt marshy land in the Thar Desert in the kachchh district of western Gujarat.
- It lies between Gujarat in India and the Sindh province in Pakistan.
- It is famous for its white salty desert sand and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world.
- The inhabitants of Kachchh are called Kachchhi and have a language of their own with the same name.
- Most of the population in Rann of Kachchh comprises of Hindus, Muslims, Jains and Sikhs.
2°C Warming By 2050:
A study published titled “contradicted projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”., states that the planet is likely to warm up by two degrees Celsius by 2050, even under a low-emission scenario.
- The researchers used artificial intelligence called Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) to predict the time for reaching the 1.5 °C and 2°C thresholds.
- The world has recorded a 1.1°C rise in temperature compared with the average in 1850-1900.
- There is a higher likelihood that 2°C will be reached under the low emission scenario compared with the IPCC AR6 (Sixth Assessment Report) synthesis assessment, and may fail to uphold the Paris Agreement.
- The Paris Agreement aims to limit the rise to below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
- The IPCC estimated that the 1.5°C threshold could be attained as early as the 2030s under all emission scenarios.
- Global warming is already on the verge of crossing the 1.5°C threshold, even if the climate forcing pathway is substantially reduced in the near term.
- The threshold of 1.5°C will reach somewhere between 2033 and 2035 in the high, intermediate and low forcing scenarios.
- The world could touch 2°C by 2050 under the high-emission scenario, 2049 and 2054 in the intermediate and low-emission scenarios, respectively.
- In contrast, the IPCC estimated the likelihood of touching 2°C of global warming during the mid-21st century is high under a high-emission scenario.
Lab-Grown Diamonds : Customs Duty Reduced (Union Budget 2023)
In a recent Budget speech Union finance Minister announced that the Customs duty on the seeds used in lab-grown diamond manufacturing will be reduced.
- Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that are produced using specific technology which mimics the geological processes that grow natural diamonds.
- The diamond simulants such as Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia (CZ), White Sapphire, YAG, and others are used to make them look like natural diamonds.
- There are multiple ways in which LGDs can be produced.
- High pressure, high temperature” (HPHT) method
- It is the most common and cheapest method.
- In this method, extremely heavy presses that can produce up to 730,000 psi of pressure under extremely high temperatures of at least 1500 celsius are applied.
- Usually, graphite is used as the “diamond seed” and when subjected to these extreme conditions, the relatively inexpensive form of carbon turns into one of the most expensive carbon forms.
- Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and explosive formation create what is known as detonation nanodiamonds.
Agriculture And Farmers Welfare Initiatives: Union Budget 2023
During the Budget speech Union finance Minister announced multiple schemes towards Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
Key initiatives announced are:
PM PRANAM (Prime Minister Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth)
- This programme will seek to incentivise states and union territories to promote alternative fertilisers and the balanced use of chemical fertilisers.
Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres
- Under this10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centres will be set up, creating a national-level distributed micro-fertiliser and pesticide manufacturing network.
- This will impact over 1 crore farmers over the next three years.
Agriculture Accelerator Fund
- The Fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers.
- It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices, and increase productivity and profitability.”
Cotton crop productivity enhancement
- Union government will adopt a cluster-based approach to enhance the cotton crop.
- To enhance the productivity of extra-long staple cotton, the government will adopt a cluster-based and value chain approach through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Centre of excellence for millets
- Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be made into a Centre for Excellence and it will be supported for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level.
- Agriculture credit to be increased
- The agriculture credit target will be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.
- Five-hundred new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme will be established for promoting a circular economy.
Upper Bhadra Project: Union Budget 2023
Finance Minister recently announced a grant of ₹5300 crore for the Upper Bhadra Irrigation Project.
- It is a major lift irrigation Scheme under implementation in the central region of Karnataka State.
- To provide sustainable irrigation facility in khariff season.
- It also proposes to recharge ground water tables and provide drinking water by filling 367 tanks with six tmcft water in drought-prone taluks.
- It is planned to irrigate an extent of 2,25,515 hectares by micro irrigation in drought-prone districts of Chikkamagalur, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Davangere.
- It envisages lifting upto17.40 TMC of water in first stage from Tunga river to existing Bhadra reservoir and lifting 29.90 TMC of water in second stage from Bhadra reservoir to Tunnel near Ajjampura, in Tungabhadra sub-basin of Krishna basin.
- In 2022, Central government gave national project statusto “Upper Bhadra Project”.
- It is a sacred river in southern India that flows through the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
- The ancient name of the river was Pampa.
- It is formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Tunga River and the Bhadra
- Both Tunga & Bhadra Rivers are originated on the eastern slops of the Western Ghats.
Ekalavya Model Residential Schools: Teachers To Be Hired
Finance Minister recently said that as many as 38,800 teachers will be hired for Ekalavya Model Residential Schools.
- Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas to enable them to access the best opportunities in education and to bring them at par with the general population.
- EMRS are established in the States/UTs from the grants received under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India.
- EMRS are co-educational residential schools from Class VI to XII.
- Eklavya schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
- Each school has a capacity of 480 students with equal number of seats for boys and girls.
- Non-ST students can be admitted in these schools on seats up to 10% of the total seats.
- CBSE curriculum is followed in these schools, and education is completely free.
- The National Education Society for Tribal Students (NESTS), an autonomous organization has been set up under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to establish and manage EMRS across the country.
- As per the Budget 2018-19, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal population will have an EMRS by the year 2022.
Mahila Samman Saving Certificate Scheme: Union Budget 2023
Finance Minister recently announced a new saving scheme ‘Mahila Samman Saving Certificate’ for women and girls in the Union Budget.
- Mahila Samman Saving Certificate’ Scheme offers deposit facility up to Rs 2 lakh in the name of women or girls for a tenor of 2 years.
- It offers fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent.
- There are no tax benefits, but partial withdrawal is allowedin this scheme.
- This is a one-time scheme announced in Budget 2023 and will remain available for a two-year period i.e. up to March 2025.
- It will encourage more women to adopt formal financial saving instruments.