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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 6th March 2023

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

World Hearing Day 2023:

World Hearing Day is observed every year on March 3 to raise awareness about hearing care.

  • The World Health Organization chose the theme “Ear and hearing care for all” for World Hearing Day 2023.
  • It highlights the importance of integrating ear and hearing care within the primary healthcare ecosystem.
  • It seeks to promote training and skill development in this area to help countries achieve the objective of universal health coverage.
  • The scheme is implemented under the National Health Mission of Government Of India which works to rehabilitate persons suffering from deafness.
  • The programme also works to develop institutional capacities in the country related to ear care.

8th National Conference On Economics Of Competition Law:

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is holding its 8th annual National Conference on Economics of Competition Law.

  • Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has consented to deliver the Keynote Address in the Inaugural Session.
  • The Conference has a plenary session and two technical sessions.
  • The Plenary at this year’s Conference is on the topic ‘ANTITRUST AND REGULATION: INTERFACES AND SYNERGIES’.
  • The Conference is an endeavour to develop and sustain interest in the Economics of Competition Law and create a critical mass of antitrust economists.
  • It brings together scholars, practitioners, academicians and experts working in the area of economics of competition law.
  • Knowledge sharing and discussions at the conference go beyond case specific sessions and provide the economic basis for the enforcement of the Act.
  • The objectives of the conference are:-
    • to stimulate research and debate on contemporary issues in the field of economics of competition law,
    • to develop a better understanding of competition issues relevant to the Indian context and
    • to draw inferences for enforcement of competition law in India.

Uperodon montanus : Narrow-Mouthed Frog

Recently a group of zoologists rediscovered Uperodon montanus, a frog, which is endemic to the higher altitudes of the Western Ghats.

  • Uperodon montanus is also known as Jerdon’s narrow-mouthed frog or Malabar Hill frog
  • It is endemic to the Western Ghatsof India.
  • The typical habitat in which this frog is found in tree holes in the rainy season is in the moist deciduous forest to evergreen forest.
  • This frog is considered a montane species and is restricted to higher altitude ranges of 800-1,700 metres.
  • They are distributed from near Wayanad south across the Palghat and the Shencottah gaps to the Agasthyamalai hills.
  • Its tadpoles are free-swimming and exotropic, which means they feed on other species.
  • Conservation status: IUCN: Near Threatened

Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS):

India’s wealthy individuals have invested all their surplus foreign remittances in various securities over the last few months to comply with a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) diktat that ended last week.

  • In August 2022 RBI had directed that any money remitted overseas by Indian residents that remains unutilised for more than 180 days needs to be repatriated back into India
  • Under LRS (introduced in 2004), Indian individuals can send money outside up to a maximum of $250,000 in a year.
  • LRS simplifies the process of remitting money outside India and encouraging foreign investments by Indian individuals.
  • Permissible transactions: education, travel, medical treatment, gifting, investment in shares or property, etc.
  • Non-Permissible transactions: Trading in foreign exchange or buying lottery tickets.
  • LRS is not available to Corporations, partnership firms, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Trusts etc.
  • Individuals can diversify their investments and assets, and also provides an opportunity to finance their foreign education or travel.

Academic Freedom Index Report:

According to the Academic Freedom Index report, India’s academic freedom index is in the bottom 30% among 179 countries in 2022.

  • Academic freedom refers to the principle that scholars and researchers should have the freedom to pursue their research and express their findings without interference, censorship, or retaliation from the government, private institutions, or other external entities.

Highlights of the Report:

  • It identified 22 countries, including India, China, the United States and Mexico – where it said universities and scholars experience significantly less academic freedom today than they did ten years ago.
  • Only five small countries (Gambia, Uzbekistan, Seychelles, Montenegro, and Kazakhstan) representing 0.7 % of the global population, improved their rankings.
  • In the remaining 152 countries, academic freedom has stayed stagnant, For the average global citizen, academic freedom has gone back to levels last registered four decades ago.
  • Like China and India, populous countries like the United States of America and Mexico have recorded a decline in academic freedom over the past decade.
  • India scored 0.38, lower than Pakistan’s 0.43 and the United States’ 0.79.
  • India’s freedom index score was high in the past, ranging from 0.60-0.70 between 1950 and 2012, except from 1974-1978.
  • China’s academic freedom index stood at 0.07 in 2022, occupying the bottom 10 %.

Women, Business And The Law 2023 Report:

India scored above the regional average in the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2023 report. For India, report used data on laws and regulations in Mumbai, India’s main business city.

Findings of the Report:

  • India as Lower middle Income group country with WBL index score is 74.4 out of 100.
  • The overall score for India is higher than the regional average observed across South Asia (63.7). Within the South Asia region, the maximum score observed is 80.6 (Nepal).
  • In India, a thriving civil society also contributed to identifying gaps, drafting legislation, and organizing public opinion through campaigns, discussions, and protests, leading to enactment of the 2005 Domestic Violence Act.
  • Only 14 scored a perfect 100: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
  • Nearly 2.4 billion women of working age around the world live in economies that do not grant them the same rights as men.
  • At the current pace of reform, it would take at least 50 years to approach legal gender equality everywhere.
  • Progress toward equal treatment for women has fallen to its weakest pace in 20 years.
  • Most reforms focused on increasing paid leave for parents and fathers, removing restrictions on women’s work, and mandating equal pay.
  • Progress across the areas measured has also been uneven, with most reforms in Workplace and Parenthood.

Dhara Initiative : Completed One Year

The Dhara initiative taken up under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Ministry of Culture has been completed one year.

  • Dhara initiative has been successful in creating public awareness, and stakeholder participation and helped to devise a framework for the promotion and revival of multiple domains of Indian Knowledge Systems.
  • The programme was conceptualized as a series of lectures and discussions dedicated to specific areas of inquiry highlighting India’s civilizational achievements.
  • The Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Division of the Ministry of Education located at AICTE, New Delhi is the key execution partner for Dhara events.
  • Many conferences have taken place on diverse and distinct themes titled: Indian contribution to Mathematics, Indian National Calendar, Dhara Astronomy and Astrophysics etc.
  • The next conferences planned in the series are based on the metallurgical, agricultural and ancient economic thoughts and traditions of India.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Culture

FRINJEX-23: India-France joint exercise

The India-France joint exercise FRINJEX-23 is scheduled to be held at the Pangod military center in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

  • FRINJEX-23 is the first joint military exercise between the Indian Army and French Army.
  • This is the first time the two countries have engaged in a military exercise in a team format consisting of a company group.
  • Objective is Enhancing interoperability, coordination, and cooperation between both forces at the tactical level.
  • The theme for the exercise is based on “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in a Contested Environment”.

Sagittarius A*:

Astronomers have recently discovered a young star in the violent and tortured environment around the supermassive black hole at the core of the Milky Way galaxy, known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*).

  • Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*)  is a supermassive black hole located at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • It is located in the constellation Sagittarius.
  • It has a mass equivalent to four million Suns.
  • It has a diameter of around 5 million kilometers .
  • It is mostly dormant and only occasionally absorbs gas or dust.
  • The event horizon of the black hole has a radius of 12 million km.
  • A black hole is a region in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out.
  • The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
  • Because no light can get out, it is difficult to detect a black hole.

OIC : India Rejected Unwarranted References To The Union Territory Of J&K

India recently rejected the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) “unwarranted references” to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir

  • Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second-largest intergovernmental organization in the world after the United Nations, with a collective population reaching over 1.8 billion.
  • It has a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.
  • It aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend the national sovereignty and independence of member states, and contribute to international peace and security.
  • The OIC is the collective voice of the Muslim world to ensure and safeguard their interest in economic, socio, and political areas.
  • It was established in September 1969.
  • Headquarters: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Its official languages are Arabic, English, and French.

Sultanpur National Park : Visit Of G20 Delegates

The G20 delegates recently visited the Sultanpur National Park, which is one of the 75 Ramsar sites in the country.

  • Sultanpur National Park, formerly known as Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, is located in the Gurgaon district in Haryana.
  • It is spread over 1.42 sq km, comprising mainly wetlands.
  • This national park is a major habitat for aquatic birds, including migratory and resident birds.
  • It was notified as a Ramsar site, a wetland of international importance, in 2021.
  • Vegetation: Tropical and dry deciduous.
  • Flora: Grasses, dhok, khair, tendu, ber, jamun, banyan tree, neem, berberis, Acacia nilotica and Acacia tortilis.
  • Fauna: More than 320 species of birds have been recorded from the Park.
  • This is a very important wintering ground for waterfowl.

What Is Scrub typhus?

A team of researchers from Christian Medical College in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, and PGIMER Chandigarh found that an antibiotic combo is best for severe scrub typhus.

  • Scrub typhus is a life-threatening infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi bacteria which is a major public health threat in South and Southeast Asia.
  • It is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites).
  • Symptoms: The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash.
  • Treatment: Scrub typhus should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. Doxycycline can be used in persons of any age.
  • There is no vaccine available for this disease.
  • Typhus fevers are a group of diseases caused by bacteria that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus.
    • Epidemic typhus is caused due to Rickettsia prowazeki and spread by body lice.
    • Scrub typhusis caused due to Orientia tsutsugamushi and spread by chiggers.
    • Murine typhusis caused due to Rickettsia typhi spread by fleas.

SWAMIH Fund : Report

Since its inception in 2019, the SWAMIH Fund has completed over 20,557 homes

  • The Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund is India’s largest social impact fund specifically formed for completing stressed and stalled residential projects.
  • The Fund is sponsored by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and is managed by SBICAP Ventures Ltd., a State Bank Group company.
  • The Fund has no precedent or comparable peer fund in India or the global markets.
  • It is a Category-II AIF (Alternate Investment Fund)debt fund registered with SEBI
  • Since the Fund considers first-time developers, established developers with troubled projects, developers with a poor track record of stalled projects, customer complaints and NPA accounts, and even projects where there are litigation issues, it is considered as the lender of last resort for distressed projects.