Current Affairs -7th & 8th January 2023

1 ) India’s First Festival of Inclusion “Purple Fest: Celebrating Diversity” in Goa

‘Purple Fest: Celebrating Diversity’ (Purple Fest 2023), India’s 1st of its kind inclusive festival commenced at the Entertainment Society of Goa in Panaji, Goa. Dr Virendra Kumar, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister(CM) of Goa and Subhash Phal Dessai, Minister for Social Welfare, Goa government participated in the inauguration ceremony. ‘Purple Fest: Celebrating Diversity’, held from 6th to 8th January 2023 includes engaging panel discussions, artistic live performances, grand exhibitions, and immersive experience zones.

Key points:

• Goa has organised a unique purple celebration that will significantly advance the goals and establish a milestone in Divyangjan’s empowerment.
• Divyangjan- The word Viklang was replaced with Divyaang (divine body) to refer to persons with disabilities in 2016.
• The idea was inspired by the 6-day event ‘Divya Kala Mela’, which was held in December 2022 in Delhi.
• The various activities of Purple Fest like Purple Kaleidoscope – the Art Gallery, Purple Exhibition– stalls of products to help people with vision disabilities, and Purple Bioscope -a screening of the movie “86” with sign language interpreters, are organised to create a better understanding of the concepts.

2 ) MY20 Summit India Curtain Raiser Event: Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur launches the Themes of the Y20 Summit

Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, launched the themes of Youth 20 (Y20) Summit, logo, and website in the Curtain raiser event of Y20 Summit India at Akashwani Rang Bhawan New Delhi, Delhi. The Youth20 Group’s inception meeting will take place in Guwahati, Assam, from 6th to 8th February 2023. India is hosting the Y20 Summit for the 1st time. The Y20 is the official youth engagement group for the G20 (Group of 20), the forum for the world’s largest and most advanced economies.

Key points:

• On 6th January 2023, a Panel Discussion on “How India can harness its youth population to be a superpower” was held in the second session of the event.
• According to Anurag Singh Thakur, the G20 (Group of Twenty) Summit in India will bring together 43 Heads of Delegation, the most ever in the G20, who will attend the last summit in New Delhi, Delhi in September 2023.
• The G20 consists of 2 parallel tracks: the Finance Track and the Sherpa Track.
• The Sherpa Track oversees inputs from 13 Working Groups, 2 Initiatives – Research Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) and G20 Empower, and various Engagement Groups
• The focus of Y20’s initiatives during India’s presidency will be on global youth leadership and partnership.
• Pre-summits on the five Y20 themes, and various talks and seminars, will be held at various Universities across India for the next 8 months in preparation for the final Youth-20 Summit.

3 ) MoS for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal inaugurates Astro Tourism – A Sky Gazing Event

• Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State (MoS) for Culture, inaugurated Astro Tourism – A Sky Gazing event which was jointly organised by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) and Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), under the banner of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, at India Gate Lawns, Kartavya Path, New Delhi, Delhi.
• It is a 3-day program held from 6-8 January 2023 with various activities like Astro Talks by expert Astronomers, an Exhibition on Astronomy, Storytelling related to celestial objects, Experience of using a telescope to see craters of the Moon, Astronomy Activities, Photographic Panel Exhibition, and Astro- Photography.

4 ) IMD: 2022 Fifth Warmest Year for India Since 1901

• India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s Statement on Climate of India during 2022 stated that the year 2022 was the fifth warmest for India since 1901. The annual mean land surface air temperature was 0.51 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, which is the mean temperature for the 1981-2010 period.
• This was lower than the highest warming observed in India in 2016 (anomaly of +0.71 degrees Celsius) and higher than the previous year 2021 (anomaly of +0.44 degrees Celsius).
• During the 2022 winter season, the all-India mean temperatures were normal with an anomaly of -0.04 degrees Celsius.

5 ) Indian Railways to introduce Hydrogen Power Trains on Heritage Lines

• Indian Railways is set to introduce India’s 1st hydrogen-powered trains on its narrow gauge heritage lines to transform Indian locomotive mobility by December 2023. A prototype hydrogen-fueled train is now being developed by the Northern railway workshop which will be tested on the Haryana section between Sonipat and Jind.
• The “Hydrogen for Heritage” initiative will not only improve the train’s technology and operating system but also promote the use of green energy in public transport systems.
• The hydrogen-powered train in India was designed after the hydrogen trains that are now operating in China and Germany.
• Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway, Matheran Hill Railway, Kangra Valley, Bilmora Waghai, and Marwar-Devgarh Madriya are the 8 heritage lines operated by Indian Railways that are largely powered by diesel.

6 ) New members join United Nations Security Council

United Nations (UN) Security Council officially welcomed Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland, who now hold the two-year seats that they won without opposition in June, in charge of preserving international peace and security. Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland are the 5 countries replacing India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway, whose terms ended on 31st December 2022.

Key points:

• The ambassadors of the 5 countries installed their national flags alongside those of other members outside the council chambers, continuing a tradition that Kazakhstan inaugurated in 2018.
• Mozambique and Switzerland marked their 1st-ever terms on the UN’s most powerful body.
• Malta joined for a 2nd time, Ecuador a 4th and Japan a record 12th. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) are permanent UN members.

7 ) ‘Hockey Wali Sarpanch’ inks pact with NABARD to start FPO for Rajasthan’s Farmers

To support the farmers of Rajasthan’s Lambi Ahir Village, Neeru Yadav, fondly known as ‘Hockey Wali Sarpanch’ has made an agreement with NABARD to start a Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO), ‘Sachhi Saheli Mahila Agro Producer Company Limited’.

Key points:

• The FPO was started with the assistance of SIIRD (Society of Indian Institute of Rural Development). Neeru Yadav became the Board of
Directors of the company.
• Sachhi Saheli Mahila Agro Producer Company Limited is the 15th FPO launched by NABARD in Rajasthan.
• Neeru Yadav trained 10 girls in hockey sports under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) Scheme and helped them to get placed in MNCs.

8 ) President Droupadi Murmu Presents Digital India Awards – 2022 (7th edition)

President of India, Droupadi Murmu, presented the Digital India Awards 2022, the 7th edition of the Digital India Awards (DIA), in New Delhi, Delhi, on January 7, 2023. The DIA awards are administered by the National Portal of India, which provides a single-window access to information and services offered by government institutions at all levels (centre, state, and local bodies).

Key points:

• The DIA awards aim to inspire and encourage not only government entities, but also start-ups and grassroots digital initiatives in pursuing their Digital India vision.
• The purpose of the Digital India Program, as envisioned by the Government of India (GoI), is to transform India into a knowledge-based society and economy.
• The selection process for DIA includes the nomination of digital initiatives by government entities through the Rashtriya Puraskar Portal, supervised by the Director General, Awards at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
• This unified portal for managing all National Awards was developed and implemented under the direction of the Prime Minister.
• This is followed by the ranking of entries by the Nomination Processing Partner, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, and the selection of winners by a jury composed of representatives from government, industry, and academia, chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
• The awards are eligible to all Central Government Ministries/ Departments/ Offices/ Organizations; State Government Departments/ Offices/ Organizations; District Administrations, and Indian Missions Abroad.

9 ) RBI approves Appointment of Surinder Chawla as New CEO of Paytm Payments Bank

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Surinder Chawla as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL). Surinder Chawla is currently serving as Head of Branch Banking at RBL Bank (formerly known as Ratnakar Bank).

Key points:

• Surinder Chawla, a merit-listed Chartered Accountant, has over 20 years of experience in Retail Banking. He has worked and managed teams in the areas of relationship management, retail asset sales, direct sales product management, and branch banking.
• He started his career in 1994 with Standard Chartered Bank, where he initiated the direct sales setup that eventually became a whole vertical within the organisation.
• Prior to joining RBL Bank in 2013, He spent around 11 years in several important and senior management roles at HDFC Bank Limited. He served as HDFC Bank’s Head-Retail Liability Product Management.
• He has also worked as Head-sales, Credit Cards for ABN Amro Bank before joining HDFC Bank.

10 ) China launches Asia’s 1st Semi-High-Speed Hydrogen Train with a Range of 600 Km

China’s CRRC Corporation Limited has unveiled Asia’s 1st hydrogen-powered trains for the Urban Railways, which have a top speed of 160 kmph (kilometre per hour) and a range of 600 km on a single tank. It was developed in collaboration with Chengdu Rail Transit and CRRC Changchun Railway Co.

Key points:

• By 2025, China plans to roll out 50,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with a target of producing 100,000–200,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually from renewable sources.
• In September 2022, the Alstom Coradia iLint of Germany unveiled the world’s 1st hydrogen train.
• The market for hydrogen-powered trains is predicted to be valued at USD 34.7 billion by 2030.

11 ) MEx-CJI Ranjan Gogoi Releases Assam CM’s Book “Mukhyamantri Diary 1”

• Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) and former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi launched the book “Mukhyamantrir Diary 1” authored by Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister (CM) of Assam. The book chronicles the daily activities of the Himanta Biswa Sarma, during the 1st year of his tenure as CM. • It is an attempt to bring forth the ideas and thoughts behind a CM’s way of functioning.

12 ) Chhattisgarh CM Celebrates Traditional ‘Cherchera’ Festival in Raipur

• Chief Minister (CM) of Chhattisgarh, celebrated the traditional Cherchera festival, an important harvest festival of Chhattisgarh which is popularly known as the “Rice bowl of India”, at Dudhadhari Math in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
• The festival is celebrated on the full moon night of ‘Paush’ Hindu calendar month in the happiness of taking the crops to their homes after cultivation. The festival usually falls in the month of January.
• According to mythological belief, on this day Lord Shankar begged from Mata Annapurna, so people used to donate green vegetables along with paddy on this day.

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