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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 6th January 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 6th January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

36th India-France Strategic Dialogue:

The 36th India-France Strategic Dialogue took Place on January 5, with a focus on addressing China’s militarization of the Indo-Pacific region and ways in which the two nations can work together to counter it.

  • In addition to the strategic talks, Diplomatic Advisor Bonne Met with India’s Defence Minister and External Affairs Minister.
  • India is seeking to strengthen its self-reliance in weapons and hardware with the help of key allies like France due to Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine.

Topic Of Discussion:

Aircraft Engines and Submarines:

  • One area where India is seeking French assistance is in the manufacturing of aircraft engines.
  • India is looking for a transfer of technology to enable it to make engines for its indigenous twin-engine fighter, as well as the design and development of next-generation military and civilian engines for future fighter and transport platforms.

Indo-Pacific Security and Space Cooperation:

  • Another key topic of discussion during the strategic dialogue is the Indo-Pacific region, where France is ready to help India with ocean bed mapping and the development of underwater drones and sensors

Terrorism and Regional Stability:

  • During the strategic dialogue, Bonne also  briefed by Doval on the posture of the PLA along the 3488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) between China and India, and the two leaders discused ways to bring both Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table to end the conflict that began in February 2022.

6th Edition Of ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’:

The 6th edition of ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ (PPC), an interactive program that brings together students, teachers, and parents to discuss anxieties related to exams and life after school, will be held on January 27 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be participating in the event and has encouraged everyone to take part in the program.
  • The goal of PPC is to help participants overcome stress and celebrate life as an ‘Utsav’, or celebration.

Pariksha Pe Charcha:

  • It is a unique interactive program that brings together students, parents, and teachers from across India and overseas to discuss anxieties related to exams and life after school.
  • The goal of the event is to help participants overcome stress and celebrate life as an ‘Utsav’, or celebration.
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy within the Ministry of Education has organized the event successfully for the past five years.

FAO’s Green Urban Oases Programme : Report

The food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released this report, under the framework of FAO’s Green Urban Oases Programme

Key points highlighted by the report:

  • 35% of the world’s largest cities (including New Delhi, Mexico City etc.) are built on the world’s dryland
  • Urban policies have yet to incorporate forestry and greening strategies in the majority of dryland cities
  • Recommendations is to:
    • Select local trees for green spacing
    • Build local capacity and involve the community to create a sense of ownership
    • Create policies for urban greening

Green Urban Oases (GUO) Programme:

  • GUO program contributes to FAO’s Green Cities Initiative (2020) which aimed to improve the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban populations in at least 100 cities in the next 3 years.
  • The objective of the programme:
    • Turn dryland cities into “green urban oases”
    • Strengthen their overall resilience to climatic, health, food, and economic crisis
    • To reduce the impact of urbanization on biodiversity and the surrounding natural environment

BIND Scheme:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding the Central Sector Scheme “Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development” (BIND) Scheme with an outlay of Rs.2,539.61 crore up to 2025-26.

  • BIND Scheme is a scheme for providing financial support to Prasar Bharati for expenses related to expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development and civil work related to the organization.
  • Prasar Bharati, as the public broadcaster of the country, is the most important vehicle of information, education, entertainment and engagement for the people especially in the remote areas of the country through Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR).
  • Prasar Bharati played a stellar role in communicating public health messages and awareness to the public during the covid pandemic.
  • It will widen Prasar Bharati’s reach, including in the LWE (Left Wing Extremism), border and strategic areas and provide high quality content to the viewers.
  • It will increase coverage of AIR FM (frequency modulation) transmitters in the country to 66% by geographical area and 80% by population, up from 59% and 68% respectively.
  • The Scheme also envisages free distribution of over 8 lakh DD Free Dish STBs (Set Top Box) to people living in remote, tribal, LWE and border areas.

Corporate Tax Collections : Highlights

Corporate tax collections exceeded 3% of the GDP after a gap of two years in 2021-22.

  • It is reflecting overall improvement in profitability of India Inc propelled by an increase in demand for goods and services.
  • In actual terms, the net corporate tax collection in 2021-22 stood at Rs 7.12 lakh crore.
  • The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the current market price was Rs 236.64 lakh crore.
  • The percentage of net corporate tax to GDP worked out to be 3.01%.
  • In 2019-20, government cut corporate tax rates for new manufacturing units by almost 10% points as it looked to pep up investments.
  • The rate of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) too had been reduced to 15 % from 18.5 % in 2019.
  • The Minimum Alternate Tax is a strategy designed to close the income tax loophole for all businesses. The MAT makes sure that no business, even one with strong financial standing and significant revenue, may escape paying income tax, even after claiming exemptions.
  • The tax cut was reflected in the realization of corporate taxes in 2019-20, when collections fell to over Rs 5.56 lakh crore (2.77% of GDP).

Corporate Tax:

  • Corporation tax is payable by both public and private companies registered in India under the Companies Act 1956.
  • Corporation tax is a direct tax placed on a company’s net income or profit from its operations.
  • The tax is imposed on the net profits of the corporation, which is calculated by subtracting allowable expenses such as the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and depreciation from the corporation’s total revenue.

Heat Dome Observed In several Countries:

Several countries in Europe recorded their hottest January weather ever in 2023 with temperatures 10 to 20 degrees Celsius above average.

  • These included Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia.
  • Experts said that the continent is experiencing an extremely warm spell because of the formation of a heat dome over the region.
  • In 2021, a heat dome formed over western Canada and the US, causing deadly heat waves.
  • Another heat dome settled over the US in September 2022 and raised temperatures to a new high.

Heat Dome:

  • A heat dome occurs when an area of high-pressure traps warm air over a region, just like a lid on a pot, for an extended period of time.
  • The longer that air remains trapped, the more the sun works to heat the air, producing warmer conditions with every passing day.
  • Heat domes generally stay for a few days but sometimes they can extend up to weeks, which might cause deadly heat waves.
  • Scientists suggest that any region of high pressure, whether a heat dome or not, forces air to sink and once it reaches the ground, it gets compressed and becomes even warmer.
  • Moreover, when air sinks, it gets drier and further raises the temperature of the area.

National Green Hydrogen Mission Approved:

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister of India, has approved National Green Hydrogen Mission.

National Green Hydrogen Mission:

  • The initial outlay for the Mission will be Rs.19,744 crore, including an outlay of Rs.17,490 crore for the SIGHT programme,
  • Rs.1,466 crore for pilot projects, Rs.400 crore for R&D, and Rs. 388 crores towards other Mission components.
  • Aim: To make India a Global Hub for the production, utilization and export of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.
  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will formulate the scheme guidelines for implementation of the respective components.
  • The Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT): Under this two distinct financial incentive mechanisms will be provided
    • Targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and
    • Production of Green Hydrogen
  • The Mission will also support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways.
  • Regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilization of Hydrogen will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs.
  • A public-private partnership framework for R&D (Strategic Hydrogen Innovation Partnership – SHIP) will be facilitated under the Mission.

Green hydrogen:

  • It is the gas produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer that may be powered by electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

High-Power Ladakh Committee:

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) constituted a high-powered committee chaired by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai for the Union Territory of Ladakh.

  • Committee was formed After the unique status of the formerly-existing State of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was read down by Parliament on August 5, 2019, civil society organisations in Ladakh have been calling for the protection of land, resources, and jobs for the previous three years.
  • The committee will discuss measures
    • to protect the region’s unique culture and language taking into consideration its geographical location and strategic importance;
    • ensure protection of land and employment for the people of Ladakh;
    • strategise inclusive development and discuss issues related to the empowerment of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Councils of Leh and Kargil.

Silent Valley National Park : Bird Survey Report

A bird survey conducted at the Silent Valley National Park in the last week of December identified 141 species, of which 17 were new.

  • This year’s survey marked the 30th anniversary of the first bird survey in Silent Valley.
  • Brown wood owl, Banded Bay cuckoo, Malabar woodshrike, White-throated kingfisher, Indian nightjar, Jungle nightjar, and Large cuckooshrike were among the 17 species newly identified in the Silent Valley.

Silent Valley National Park:

  • It is a beautiful representation of the last remaining rainforest of Kerala
  • The forests of the Silent Valley National Park harbour some of the most pristine, unique and highly productive forests in the world.
  • Silent Valley is located in the Southwestern corner of Nilgiris.
  • A perennial river named Kunthipuzha is passing through the western side of the park, from north to south direction finally merging into Bharathapuzha.
  • Fauna:Silent Valley Park is known for many highly endangered species such as lion-tailed macaque, tiger, gaur, leopard, wild boar, panther, Indian Civet and Sambhar.
  • The indigenous tribal groups that live within park boundaries include Irulas, Kurumbas, Mudugas and Kattunaikkars.