Current Affairs -1st & 2nd January 2023

1 ) MoU Signed for Commercial Production of Indigenously-Developed ‘Lumpi-ProVac’ Vaccinel

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the production of goat pox vaccine and ‘Lumpi-ProVac’ vaccine has been signed in Nagpur, Maharashtra in the presence of Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala, Maharashtra Chief Minister(CM) Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Phadnavis.

Key points:

• This will play a major role in the efforts of the government to control and eradicate the Lumpy Skin Disease. The Lumpy Skin Disease has been reported in India from 2019 while the first case was reported in Odisha.
• National Centre for Veterinary Type Culture, ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines (ICAR-NRCE)  Hisar (Haryana), in collaboration with ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar (UP) developed a homologous live-attenuated LSD vaccine, named Lumpi-ProVac against lumpy skin disease (LSD) in animals.

2 ) GoI Introduces New Integrated Food Security Scheme for 2023

The Government of India (GoI) has introduced a new Integrated Food Security Scheme beginning January 1, 2023, to supply free food grains to more than 81.35 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Key points:

• According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution (MoCA, F&PD), the scheme will also ensure effective and uniform enforcement of the NFSA.
• The new integrated scheme will subsume two present food subsidy schemes run by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), MoCA and F&PD. They are:
• Food Subsidy to Food Corporation of India (FCI) for NFSA
• Food Subsidy for Decentralized Procurement States, which deals with procuring, allocating, and delivering free food grains to the states under the NFSA
• Free foodgrains will ensure uniform implementation of portability under ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ (ONORC) across India, thereby strengthening this choice-based platform.

3 ) MoRD launches Prajjwala Challenge inviting Ideas, Solutions & Actions to Transform Rural Economy

Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD)’s flagship poverty alleviation program Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) has launched the ‘Prajjwala Challenge’ – Unlock the Rural Economic Opportunity’ with an aim to invite ideas, solutions, and actions that can Transform Rural Economy.

Key points:

• The Mission is looking for ideas and solutions around Innovative Technology Solutions, Inclusive Growth, Value Chain Interventions, Enhanced Women Entrepreneurship, Costeffective Solutions, Sustainability, place-based employment, localised models etc.
• More than 87 million women have been recruited into Self-Help Groups and associated federations as a result of the mission so far.
• According to MoRD, it is one of the platforms where ideas are invited from individuals, Social Enterprises, start-ups, the Private Sector, Community Based Organizations, Incubation centres and Investors having the potential to transform the rural economy.
• To reach a greater number of candidates, the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor will also promote the Prajjwala Challenge in the Manthan portal and the BIMTECH-Atal Innovation Mission Portal.

4 ) Croatia Joins Schengen Zone & Switches to Euro

Croatia, the youngest member of the European Union (EU), adopted the ‘Euro’, and it became a part of Europe’s border-free Schengen zone. Croatia, a Balkan country, is now the 20th member of the Eurozone and the 27th country to join the passport-free Schengen zone. Croatia is a former Yugoslav republic that fought an independence war in the 1990s and joined the EU in 2013.

Key points:

• The European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the “Euro” as their national currency collectively refer to themselves as the
“Euro Area” or “Eurozone.”
• With Croatia, 20 EU Member States and 347 million EU citizens will share the EU’s common currency.
• The euro will progressively replace the ‘Kuna’ as the official currency of Croatia starting on January 1, 2023.
• The new Croatian euro coin will have inventor Nikola Tesla on one side, as well as a map of the country and the national checkerboard design.
• In accordance with a track record of stable exchange rates, the kuna will be exchanged at a rate of 1 euro for 7.53450 of Croatian kuna.
• The two currencies will be used alongside each other for a two-week period (14 days).
• After Lithuania entered the eurozone in 2015, this is the eurozone’s first expansion in almost eight years.

5 ) Tripura signs Rs 2,275cr agreement with ADB to improve Power Distribution Network

The Tripura government has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) worth Rs 2,275 crore to strengthen and improve power distribution efficiency in Tripura.

Key points:

• The state government will undertake massive renovation of two power projects – Rukhia in Sepahijala district and Gumati Hydro project in Gomati district.
• There will be a lot of work in the transmission sector to improve the existing system.
• Currently, Tripura generates 84 MW (Mega Watt) power out of the state’s per day demand of 450/460 MW.
• It receives around 500 MW power from OTPC (ONGC Tripura Power Company Limited), NEEPCO (North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited) and other central PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings).
• Apart from the ADB funding, an additional amount of Rs 800 crore will be spent to improve the power distribution of the state.

6 ) IIT-Madras & DRDO Partners to Introduce DIA-RCoE for Advanced Defence Technology Research

• Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras has created a ‘centre of excellence’ named ‘DRDO Industry Academia-Ramanujan Centre of Excellence’ (DIARCoE) at a campus unit set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop advanced technologies for national defence and security. The interdisciplinary research group will bring in faculty and researchers from multiple departments for translational research.
• This centre will undertake basic and applied research in areas including electronics and computational systems; naval systems and naval technologies; advanced combat vehicle technologies; high-power CW laser sources; and next-generation communication and
networking technologies.

7 ) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sworn in as 39th President of Brazil

• Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the veteran left-wing politician, known widely as Lula, was sworn in for the 3rd term as the President of the Republic of Brazil during the inauguration ceremony held at the National Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil.
• He was sworn in as the 39th president of Brazil by winning the 2022 Brazilian general election against far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro(incumbent President of Brazil (from 2019 to 2022).
• Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won 50.9% of the vote while Jair Bolsonaro won only 49.1%.

8 ) Election Commission appoints Maithili Thakur as Bihar’s State Icon

• Maithili Thakur, a Folk Singer, was appointed as the State Icon for Bihar by the Election Commission(EC).
• Maithili Thakur, an Indian classical and folk musictrained musician was recently chosen for the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (Akademi Award) for her contribution to the folk music of Bihar for 2021.
• According to EC, Maithili Thakur will create awareness among the voters for their participation in the electoral process.

9 ) Former IAS Kaki Madhava Rao authored a new book “Breaking Barriers”

• Former IAS officer Kaki Madhava Rao has authored a new book titled “Breaking Barriers: the Story of a Dalit Chief Secretary” which addresses the details about the dynamics of civil services at the ground level and also fills the gap in the knowledge about micro policies and governance. The book is published by Emesco Books Private Limited.
• K Madhava Rao is a 1962 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who retired as Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh (AP). He was born in Pedamaddali village of Krishna district, AP in 1939.
• He also served in the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) as a Director, and also as a member of a very
important sub-committee, Board for Financial Supervision.

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