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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 8th May 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 8th May 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

International Institute For Population Sciences: 64th Convocation

The sixty-fourth convocation of the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Deemed to be University, Mumbai was held recently.

  • The International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, formerly known as the Demographic Training and Research Centre (DTRC) till 1970, was established in July 1956 under the joint sponsorship of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, the Government of India and the United Nations.
  • It serves as a regional centre for Training and Research in Population Studies for the ESCAP region.
  • The Institute was re-designated to its present title in 1985 to facilitate the expansion of its academic activities.
  • It was declared as a ‘Deemed to be University’ on August 14, 1985, under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
  • The recognition has facilitated the award of recognized degrees by the Institute itself and paved the way for further expansion of the Institute as an academic institution.
  • IIPS holds a unique position among all the regional population centres.
  • It was the first such centre started, and it serves a much larger population than any of the other regional centres.
  • The Institute is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • There are seven Academic Departments in the Institute.

INS Magar : Decommissioned

INS Magar, the lead ship of Magar-class amphibious warfare vessels of the Indian Navy, was recently decommissioned after 36 years of service.

  • INS Magar is the oldest Landing Ship Tank (Large) of the Indian Navy.
  • It is the lead ship of Magar-class amphibious warfare vessels of the Indian Navy.
  • The ship was indigenously built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata.
  • It had the unique distinction of being the first indigenous ship of the Indian Navy.
  • It was launched on 16 November 1984 and commissioned into the Indian Navy on 18 July 1987 by late Admiral R H Tahiliani.
  • It has been named after a species of crocodile.
  • The crest design depicts a Brown coloured crocodile with its mouth open swimming over White and Blue ocean waves.
  • The ship has a displacement of 5,600 tonnes, a length of 125 metres, a beam of 17 metres.

Black Sea Grain Initiative:

A top United Nations trade official will travel to Russia for the diplomatic push to ensure the revival of the Black Sea grain initiative.

  • Black Sea Grain Initiative was set up to resume vital food and fertilizer exports from Ukraine to the rest of the world.
  • It was brokered between Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Turkey.
  • The initiative allowed exports of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertilizer, including ammonia, to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports: Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, to the rest of the world.
  • Joint Coordination Centre (JCC)  was established to monitor the implementation of the Initiative.
  • JCC Centre is hosted in Istanbul and includes representatives from Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the United Nations.
  • The UN acts as the Secretariat for the Centre.
  • Vessels wishing to participate in the Initiative will undergo inspection off Istanbul to ensure they are empty of cargo.
  • They then sail through the maritime humanitarian corridor to Ukrainian ports to load.
  • The corridor is monitored 24/7 to ensure the safe passage of vessels.
  • Vessels on the return journey will also be inspected at the inspection area off Istanbul.

Giani Zail Singh Birth Anniversary:

President of India recently paid Floral Tributes to Giani Zail Singh on his Birth Anniversary.

  • He was born as Jarnail Singh, but later changed his name to Zail Singh.
  • He was given the title of Giani as he was educated and learned about Guru Granth Sahib and other Sikh scriptures.
  • Prior to his presidency, he was a politician with the Indian National Congress party, and had held several ministerial posts in the Union Cabinet, including that of Home Minister.
  • He also served as the Chief Minister of Punjab (1972–77).
  • He served as the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1983 to 1986.

Global Land Outlook Report:

According to the 2nd edition of the Global Land Outlook (GLO) report, humans have breached four out of nine planetary boundaries.

  • GLO is a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s (UNCCD) flagship publication, whose 1st edition was launched in 2017 at the UNCCD COP13 (China).
  • It underscores land system challenges, showcases transformative policies and practices, and points to cost-effective athways to scale up sustainable land and water management.

Highlipghts of the report:

  • It is the operative link between biodiversity loss and climate change, which means restoring land is crucial for solving interconnected crises.
  • Planetary boundaries are the environmental thresholds that establish a “safe operating space for humanity”
  • Humans have already altered more than 70% of the earth’s land area from its natural state.
  • Of the 9 planetary boundaries, climate change, biodiversity loss, land-use change, and geochemical cycles have already been exceeded.

France’s Bastille Day Celebrations:

PM Modi thanked the French President for the invitation as Guest of Honour at France’s Bastille Day celebrations

  • The National Day of France, also known as Bastille Day, is celebrated on July 14 every year
  • The Bastille was a fortress prison located in the heart of Paris, which had become a symbol of royal tyranny and oppression.
  • The fall of the Bastille is widely considered the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • The event also marked the beginning of a period of intense violence and social upheaval in France.
  • French Revolution (1789 – 1799) A significant period of social and political upheaval in France was characterized by the overthrow of the French monarchy, the establishment of a republic, and the execution of thousands of people, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.
  • The fall of the Bastille symbolized the people’s victory over the monarchy and the end of the old regime.
  • The event led to the abolition of feudalism, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and the establishment of the First French Republic.

Cyclone Mocha:

The Indian Meteorological Department, IMD has issued a warning that a cyclonic circulation is likely to develop over the Southeast Bay of Bengal by May 7, 2023

  • IMD has calculated that a low-pressure area is expected to take shape, which is usually a precursor to the development of a cyclone.
  • According to IMD’s preliminary analysis based on its weather models, the cyclone could potentially grow to a ‘severe cyclonic storm’.
  • This would be the first cyclone to form this year and will be named Cyclone Mocha, proposed by Yemen after the Yemini city Mocha (Mokha) located on the Red sea coast.
  • The naming of this cyclone was done as per the decree issued by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which states that each cyclone must be named to avoid confusion in instances where multiple systems operate in one location.
  • A cyclone is a weather phenomenon characterized by a low-pressure center and strong winds circulating around it.
  • It can cause flooding, storm surges, and landslides, resulting in loss of life and damage to property.
  • Cyclones can be classified as tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones, and polar lows, depending on the location and weather conditions.

G20 TechSprint:

The RBI and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) launched the G20 TechSprint.

  • G20 TechSprint is a global technology competition.
  • The fourth and 2023 TechSprint is a joint initiative between the BIS Innovation Hub and the Reserve Bank of India.
  • It will focus on three problem statements on cross-border payments formulated by the RBI and the BIS Innovation Hub.
  • Technology solutions is to reduce illicit finance risk around anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and sanctions.
  • Foreign exchange and liquidity technology solutions: to enable settlement in emerging markets and developing economy currencies.
  • Technology solutions for multilateral cross-border central bank digital currency platforms.
  • The competition is open for developers around the world.
  • The shortlisted teams will be invited to develop their solutions over a six-week period.
  • Each team will be eligible for a stipend of eight lakh rupees approximately 10,000 US dollars.
  • An independent panel of experts will select the most promising solution to each problem statement from the shortlisted solutions.
  • The winners for each problem statement will receive an award of forty lakh rupees approximately 50,000 US dollars.

International Religious Freedom Report 2023:

The government of India rejected the recommendations of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) 2023 report, calling it biased and motivated.

  • The report highlights concern regarding certain laws and policies in the country that have been criticized for their potential to discriminate on the basis of religion.
  • These include laws related to conversion, interfaith relationships, hijab, and cow slaughter, as well as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) All of these, it alleges, have not impacted minorities in a favorable way.
  • It raises concerns about alleged measures that may have impacted critical voices, particularly those belonging to religious minorities.
  • These include surveillance, harassment, property demolition, and detention under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967. Some Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) have also been subject to scrutiny under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.
  • It has criticized the US State Department for not having designated India as a Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) and has called for sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials.
  • USCIRF has been recommending India’s designation as a country of particular concern since 2020 but it hasn’t been accepted by the US government so far.