Current Affairs - 23rd January 2023

1 ) Indian Navy conducted AMPHEX 2023 – Mega Military Exercise in Andhra Pradesh

Indian Navy (IN) conducted a six-day-long mega military exercise “AMPHEX 2023”, the largest biennial tri-services amphibious exercise involving the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh(AP) between 17th January and 22nd January 2023. Participants: The exercise witnessed the participation of a large number of troops from the Indian Army, amphibious warships from the Indian Navy, and aircraft from the IAF.

Key points:

• The exercise AMPHEX 2023 took place amid growing concerns over China’s increasing military forays into the Indian Ocean, a region considered as the backyard of the Indian Navy.
• The exercise included complex activities in all domains that demonstrated and validated the high level of preparedness and excellent coordination between the tri-services to undertake a full spectrum of amphibious operations.

2 ) World Economic Forum 2023 Summit held in Davos, Switzerland

World Economic Forum (WEF) held its 53rd Annual Meeting, “World Economic Forum—2023” [Davos Summit], from January 16 to 20, 2023, in the highest city in Europe, Davos, Switzerland. The theme of the WEF Summit 2023 is “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.” The WEF hosted the event in collaboration with the Swiss government and the Canton of Graubünden.

Key points:

• According to the non-profit organisation Oxfam India’s report, “Survival of the Richest: The India Supplement,” the top 1% of Indians currently own more than 40.5% of the nation’s entire wealth in 2021, while the bottom 50% of the population (700 million) has only about 3% of the nation’s total wealth.
• According to the WEF Centre for the New Economy’s “Chief Economists Outlook – January 2023,” released at the WEF 2023 Summit, nearly two-thirds of chief economists believe a global recession is likely in 2023, with 18% believing it is extremely likely.
• At the WEF 2023 Summit, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs. 1.36 lakh crore with global investors.

3 ) Paytm, Citi Ends Partnership for Co-branded Credit Card – Paytm CITI Card

Citibank and Paytm(One97 Communication Ltd) have ended their partnership for a co-branded credit card Paytm CITI Card ahead of the merger of Citibank’s commercial banking business with Axis Bank. The customers were informed that the Paytm CITI Card will be shut down, and they will be offered other cards they could opt for. The cardholders will be offered uninterrupted benefits with the Paytm HDFC Bank credit card.

Key points:

• The customers will be offered the Citi Rewards Credit Card as a replacement to their Citi Paytm Credit Card, which should be chosen to consent for the same.
• The consent to swap to another Citi-branded Credit Card will also serve as consent for the transfer of the cardholder’s banking relationship with Citibank to Axis Bank.
• Failure to consent, will lead to the closure of the Citi Paytm credit card effective January 30, as Citi India will no longer be able to provide services on the Citi Paytm Credit Card

4 ) ACC approves appointment of Vikram Dev Dutt as Director General of DGCA

Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of Vikram Dev Dutt as Director General(DG) of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with effect from 28th February 2023.

Key points:

• Vikram Dev Dutt, a 1993 batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre, currently serves as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India Assets Holding Limited (AIAHL).
• He served as Principal Secretary (Tourism) in the Delhi government and also as Principal Secretary in the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Government in Delhi.
• He also served as Principal Secretary (Finance) in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Secretary (Tourism) Goa government, and Managing Director (MD) of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).

5 ) SpaceX launches 51 Internet Satellites in its 1st Starlink mission of 2023

Elon Musk-led SpaceX launched 51 internet satellites to orbit in its 1st Starlink mission of 2023 to low- Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base (formerly Vandenberg Air Force Base), California, United States of America (USA), which was initially scheduled to launch on 9th January 2023.

Key points:

• The Starlink satellites on this launch, named Starlink 2-4, will fly in an orbit inclined 70 degrees to the equator.
• After a mission in September 2021, which also orbited 51 Starlink spacecraft, this is the second launch into Group 2.
• SpaceX carried out the first Starlink launch of 2023 was launched to resume deployment of the constellation’s second shell.
• The 51 Starlink internet satellites onboard the rocket will bring the total number of Starlink spacecraft launched to 3,717.

6 ) Bihar Govt inks MoU with FSI for TOF Field Survey to promote Agroforestry

• Bihar Government, in collaboration with the Forest Survey of India (FSI), has decided to conduct a “Tree Outside Forest” (TOF) field survey to identify the dominant tree species that are growing outside the Recorded Forest Areas (RFA) in Bihar.
• A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Bihar Government and FSI for the TOF field survey to promote agroforestry is expected to start in April 2023.
• This would help farmers get additional income by encouraging tree plantation on farmland along with crops.
• According to the FSI India State of Forest Report, 2021, Bihar saw increases in growing stock of 3.79% in RFA and 0.58% in TOF.

7 ) Parakram Diwas 2023 – January 23

• Parakram Diwas is annually observed across India on January 23 to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose, fondly known as “Netaji”.
• 23rd January 2023 marks the 126th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose.
• In 2021, the Government of India declared January 23 as Parakram Diwas to honour the selfless contribution of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to India’s freedom movements.
• The 1st ever Parakram Diwas was observed on 23rd January 2021 on the 124th birth anniversary of Netaji.
• To mark the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji and as part of the celebration of Republic Day 2023, a Military Tattoo and Tribal Dance Festival ‘Aadi- Shaurya – Parv Parakram ka’, a 2-day festival, will be held at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, Delhi on 23 & 24 January 2023.

8 ) Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh launches a Rs 467.32 crore Water Conservation Scheme

Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh launched a water conservation scheme with an outlay of Rs 467.32 crore to aid farmers in Jharkhand, which endured drought in 2022.

Key points:

• Under the Water Conservation Scheme, 2,133 ponds will be renovated and 2,795 percolation tanks will be constructed in all the blocks of 24 districts of Jharkhand.
• Percolation Tank- An artificially created surface water body to recharge groundwater storage.
• Badal Patralekh laid the foundation for the renovation of 184 percolation tanks and 71 ponds.
• Jharkhand Government received 31.33 lakh applications from drought-hit farmers, and 8.5 lakhs have already received financial assistance.
• The government’s effort is to provide Rs 1,200 crore as relief to 30 lahks drought-affected farmers soon.

9 ) Odisha Cabinet Approved: Inclusion of 22 castes under SEBC

• Odisha cabinet headed by the state’s Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik has cleared the inclusion of 22 castes and communities in the state list of Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC).
• The inclusion of Backward Classes in the State list of SEBCs was made by approving the Amendment of
the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) Act, 1993 by inserting subsection 3 under Section – 9.
• The 22 castes are Badhei, Bindhani, Bindani, Baraji, Baroi, Sankhua Tanti, Gola Tanti, Lajya Nibaran, Hansi Tanti, Kapadia, Gandhamali, Thanapati, Pandara Mali, Paniar Mali, Pandaria, Oda-Khandayat, Bayalisha Oda, Oda Paika, Oda Paiko, Haladia Teli and Kalandi.

10 ) Delhi LG launches ‘100 Days to Beat Plastic’ Campaign by MCD

• Delhi Lieutenant Governor(LG) V K Saxena launched a thematic 100-day campaign, “100 Days to Beat Plastic’, led by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), during an event held in Baansera in Sarai Kale Khan, Delhi. The campaign aims to make areas under the municipal corporation free of plastic.
• The campaign will end on 22nd April 2023, which marks International Earth Day 2023.
• He also unveiled the mascot of the campaign – Nivaran Dadi.

11 ) J&K Govt Launches Rs 879-Crore Food Processing Project to Transform Lives of Farmers

• Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government has launched an ambitious project “UT Level Food Processing Programme for Development of Clusters for Specific Products of J&K”, at a financial outlay of Rs 879.75 crore targeted to revolutionise the food processing sector and transform the lives of farmers in the UT.
• The project also includes a grant-in-aid of Rs 293.25 crore (33.33 percent) and a debt-equity of Rs 586.50 crore to be raised by entrepreneurs.
• This initiative aims to maximise farmer income and minimise post-harvest losses.

12 ) HDFC donates Rs 5 cr to Uttarakhand CM for Kedarnath Utthan Charitable Trust

HDFC Bank Limited donated Rs 5 crore to Uttarakhand Chief Minister (CM) Pushkar Singh Dhami for the Kedarnath Utthan Charitable Trust.

Key points:

• Pushkar Singh Dhami informed that as many as 270 families have been shifted to different locations so far.
• More than Rs 3.27 crores have been distributed as advance relief to 218 affected families in Joshimath, Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
• To provide immediate assistance to the 8 affected tenants, Rs 4 lakhs have been allocated, at a rate of Rs 50,000 for each family.

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