By admin: Jan. 17, 2023

Environment Ministry included Neelakurinji in the list of protected plants

Tags: Environment National News

Neelakurinji in the list of protected plantsThe Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has listed Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) in the list of protected plants under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

An overview of the news

  • According to the Environment Ministry, those who uproot or destroy the plant will be fined Rs 25,000 and imprisoned for three years.

  • Cultivation and possession of this plant is not allowed.

  • Neelakurinji has been included in the list after the Center expanded the earlier protected list of six plant species to 19.

About Neelakurunji

  • Neelakurinji is a tropical plant species and is native to the shola forests in the Western Ghats.

  • It is also found in Shevaroy Hills in the Eastern Ghats, Annamalai Hills in Kerala and Sanduru Hills in Karnataka.

  • It grows on mountain slopes at an altitude of 1300 to 2400 meters to a height of 30 to 60 cm.

  • The flowers of Neelakurinji are violet-blue in colour and bloom once in 12 years. The flower has no scent or any medicinal value.

  • Because of these flowers, the Nilgiri hills at the southern end of the Western Ghats are called the Blue Mountains.

  • It is one of the rarest plant species that grows in the Western Ghats and does not grow in any other part of the world.

  • It is classified as an endangered species.

British home secretary Suella Braverman clears Sanjay Bhandari’s extradition

Tags: Person in news International News

Sanjay Bhandari’s extraditionTwo months after a Westminster court in London ordered the extradition of fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari to India, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has given her approval on the matter.

An overview of the news

  • It is noteworthy that on November 7, District Judge Michael Snow ordered Bhandari's extradition which was sent to Home Secretary Suella Braverman for approval.

  • Bhandari, 60, has been under investigation since 2019 for corruption in a Rs 2,985-crore deal in 2009 to buy 75 PC-7 trainer aircraft from Swiss aircraft maker Pilatus Aircraft.

  • He is also facing a probe for alleged money laundering in properties linked to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi in London.

What is Extradition?

  • Extradition is the formal process of surrendering a person from one state to another.

  • The purpose of this process is the prosecution or punishment for offences committed by a person within the jurisdiction of the requesting country.

  • The extradition of a fugitive criminal to India is regulated under the Indian Extradition Act, 1962.

  • The Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) Division, Ministry of External Affairs is the central/nodal authority to administer the Extradition Act.

  • Extradition process can be initiated in case of under-investigation, under-trial and convicted criminals.

ASI discovers two 1200-year-old miniature stupas at Nalanda

Tags: National News

miniature stupas at NalandaThe Patna Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered two 1200-year-old miniature stupas during landscaping activities near the Sarai Tila mound within the complex of the world heritage site 'Nalanda Mahavihara' in Nalanda district of the state.

An overview of the news

  • The figures of Buddha are shown on the stupa carved out of stone.

  • These stupas carved out of stone depicting figures of Buddha are about 1200 years old.

  • Such stupas were popular as votive offerings in India as early as the 7th century.

About the Stupas?

  • The stupa is a hemispherical structure symbolising the burial mound of the Buddha.

  • It rose to prominence after the advent of Buddhism and reached its peak during the reign of Ashoka.

  • Stupas evolved from chortens in Tibet and pagodas in East Asia.

Nalanda Mahavihara site complex

  • Nalanda was a Mahavihara, a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha (modern Bihar) in India.

  • It is considered by historians to be the world's first residential university and one of the largest centres of learning in the ancient world.

  • It was established during the Gupta Empire period.

China’s population drops for first time since 1961

Tags: International News

China’s population dropsThe biggest decline in the population of China has been recorded after the year 1961. Negative population growth has now started in China. The death toll in China is more than the number of children born.

An overview of the news

  • According to the China’s National Bureau of Statistics China’s population declined by roughly 850,000 to 1.41175 billion at the end of 2022. 

  • In China, 9.56 million people were born in 2022, while 10.41 million people died.

  • China's birth rate last year was just 6.77 births per 1,000 people, down from 7.52 births in 2021, the lowest ever.

  • The number of Chinese women of childbearing age, which the government defines as 25 to 35, has declined by nearly 4 million.

  • This has caused domestic demographers to worry that China will grow old before it gets rich, slowing the economy as revenues decline and increasing government debt as health and welfare costs rise.

Impact of the One Child Policy

  • The main reason for China's population decline is the one-child policy implemented between 1980 and 2015.

  • Additionally, higher education in China is very expensive, which has prohibited many Chinese people from having more than one child.

  • The fundamental reason why women do not want children is the failure of society and men to take responsibility for raising children.

  • China's strict zero-covid policies that were in force for three years have further damaged the country's demographic outlook.

  • Local governments have introduced measures to encourage people to have more children from 2021, including tax cuts, longer maternity leave and housing subsidies.

The last Nizam of Hyderabad Mukarram Jah Bahadur passes away

Tags: Person in news

 Nizam of Hyderabad Mukarram Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur (89), the eighth Nizam of Hyderabad, passed away in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey on 14 th January.

An overview of the news

  • According to his last wish, the last rites will be performed in Hyderabad.

  • The body will be taken to the Chowmahalla Palace, and after completing necessary rituals, will be buried at the Asaf Jahi family mausoleum.

  • Mukarram Jah was born on October 6, 1933, to Mir Himayat Ali Khan alias Azam Jah Bahadur, the first son of Mir Osman Ali Khan and the seventh Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad before its merger with the Indian Union in 1948.

  • His mother, Princess Durru Shaver, was the daughter of Abdul Majeed II, the last Sultan of Turkey (Ottoman Empire) who died in the early 2000s.

  • Prince Mukarram Jah was nominated by his grandfather as the head of the Asaf Jahi dynasty on June 14, 1954.

  • Since then, he has been identified as the eighth and the last Nizam of Hyderabad.

  • His succession was recognized in principle by the Government of India.

  • He was officially called the Prince of Hyderabad until 1971, when the title and privy purse were abolished by the Indian Union.

Viacom18 gets 'WIPL' media rights for Rs 951 crore

Tags: Sports Sports News

Viacom18 getsOn January 16, 2023, BCCI Secretary Jai Shah tweeted that Viacom 18 has acquired the media rights of the Women's Indian Premier League (WIPL), which is going to start from March-April 2023. 

An Overview of the news

  • Viacom18 has bought the media rights of the women's IPL for five years from 2023 to 2027 for Rs 951 crore.

  • Viacom18 gets this deal for the next 5 years (2023-27) at Rs 7.09 crore per match, which is quite attractive. Because the per match price of PSL (Pakistan Super League) organised by Pakistan is Rs 2.44 crores.

  • It is worth mentioning in this context that the per match value of Indian Premier League (IPL) is Rs 107.5 crore.

  • The auction process for the media rights of the WIPL took place on January 16, 2023. Disney+ Hotstar, Sony-Zee and Viacom18 were the frontrunners in the race for the media rights of the league, which was finally bagged by Viacom18.

Five franchises in WIPL

  • Five of the 10 IPL franchises have confirmed to The Times of India that they are keen on buying a women's team.

  • Their names are Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings. All are showing interest in investing in a team in WIPL.

21st edition of bilateral naval exercise 'Varuna' - 2023 to be held

Tags: Defence

21st edition of bilateral naval exercise 'VarunaOn 16 January 2023, The 21st edition of the bilateral naval exercise "Varuna" between India and France began off the western seaboard.

  • The exercise will be conducted for five days from 16 to 20 January 2023.

  • The current edition of the exercise will involve Indian Navy's indigenous Guided Missile Stealth Destroyer Ship INS Chennai, Guided Missile Frigate INS Teg Nauka, Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I and Dornier, integral helicopters and MiG29.

  • The French Navy will be represented by aircraft carriers Charles de Gaulle, FS Forbin and Provence yachts, support ship FS Marne and maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique.

  • Enhanced air defence exercises, tactical manoeuvres, surface firing, replenishment and other maritime operational activities will be conducted during the exercise.

  • The bilateral exercise between the navies of India and France was started in the year 1993, it was named 'Varuna' in the year 2001.

  • Three biennial training exercises are conducted between India and France -

  • Garuda – Exercise Garuda VII between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the French Air and Space Force (FASF) was held in November 2022 at Air Force Station Jodhpur.

  • VARUNA - The 20th edition of the bilateral naval exercise named 'Varuna' between the Indian Navy and the French Navy was conducted from March 30 to April 03, 2022 in the Arabian Sea.

SHAKTI - The 6th edition of the biennial training exercise 'Yudhbhayas Shakti 2021' between the armies of India and France was conducted from November 15-26, 2021 at Frejus, France.

Victor and Akane won the Malaysia Open Badminton title

Tags: Sports Sports News

 Badminton titleOn 15th January, Two-time world champion and defending Olympic champion Victor Axelsen (Denmark) and world champion Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) have won the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively in Malaysia Open Badminton 2023.

An Overview of the news

  • Viktor Axelsen of Denmark won the tournament for the second time in a row by defeating Kodai Naraoka of Japan in the men's singles final.

  • Japan's Akane, on the other hand, defeated world number four Ahn Se-young of South Korea, 20, to win the title.

  • Now these players will also present the title claim in the India Open to be held from the last week of January 2023.

Kollam becomes first constitution literate district in India

Tags: State News

KollamIn a remarkable achievement, Kerala's Kollam district has become the first constitution literate district in the country. 

An overview of the news

  • This was announced on January 15 by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a function presided over by Finance Minister KN Balagopal in Kollam.

  • This achievement of the district is the result of a seven-month long constitutional literacy campaign launched jointly by Kollam District Panchayat, District Planning Committee and Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KLA) to create awareness about the laws of the country and the rights of citizens

The Citizen Constitution Literacy campaign

  • The campaign has been launched to educate the residents of Kollam district of Kerala about the basics of the Constitution.

  • Its objective is to make Kollam district a constitutionally literate district.

  • Under this campaign, more than seven lakh families of the district are being educated on the basic principles of the Constitution.

  • As part of the campaign, the entire population of Kollam above the age of 10 years was informed about the Preamble of the Constitution and the historical background of the document, its basic principles, fundamental rights of citizens and legal remedies.

  • Under the campaign, about 20 to 25 persons from each municipality and 10 to 15 persons from each gram panchayat are selected for training and are called senators.

Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority signs MoU with SBI

Tags: Economy/Finance National News

Warehousing Development Regulatory AuthorityWarehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA) signed a memorandum (MoU) of understanding with State Bank of India to help farmers in getting low interest rate loans on 16 January.

An overview of the news

  • The objective of the MoU is to provide information on the benefits to the depositors besides carrying out further activities to improve agricultural finance in India.

  • It is envisaged that the product will have far reaching consequences with regard to acceptance of e-NWRs (electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt) among small and marginal farmers. 

  • Combined with the inherent security and negotiability of the e-NWR system, the Produce Marketing Loan will go a long way in improving rural liquidity and increasing farmers income. 

Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA)

  • WDRA was constituted on 26 October, 2010 under the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007.

  • It is a Statutory Authority under the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. 

  • The Authority has its Headquarters in New Delhi.

  • The Authority consists of a Chairperson and two Members appointed by the Central Government.

UN declares Pakistan based Abdul Rehman Makki a global terrorist

Tags: International News

Abdul Rehman Makki a global terroristOn January 17, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) listed Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist.

An overview of the news

  • He has been declared a 'global terrorist' under UNSC's ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.

  • In June 2022, India criticised China for blocking the resolution of sanctions under the Sanctions Committee, also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee.

  • Makki has already been listed as a terrorist by India and the United States for his involvement in fundraising, recruiting and radicalising youths to plan attacks in India, especially Jammu and Kashmir.

Who is Abdul Rehman Makki?

  • Makki is the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

  • He heads the political affairs of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and also plays a role in raising funds for Lashkar's operations.

  • The US government has placed a reward of $2 million on Abdul Rahman.

  • According to the US State Department, in 2020, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court convicted Makki on a terrorism financing count and sentenced him to prison.

  • He is also a militant of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and has been designated as a terrorist by India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967.

Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup for the 14th time

Tags: Sports News

Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-1 in Riyadh to win their 14th Spanish Super Cup title.

  • Gavi (33rd minute), Robert Lewandowski (45th minute) and Padry (69th minute) scored for Barcelona in the final match played at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Karim Benzema (90+3) scored the only goal for Real Madrid.

  • Barcelona has won the Supercup for the first time since 2018 and for the 14th time overall.

  • Real Madrid has won the Supercup 12 times so far.

  • The Supercopa de España or Spanish Super Cup is a super cup tournament in Spanish football.

  • This competition is being played since 1982.

  • The Super Cup was previously played between the winner of the Spanish league and the champion team of the Copa del Rey. From the year 2020, now the runner-up teams of both the competitions also take part in it.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) appointed Claire Lombardelli as Chief Economist

Tags: Person in news

Chief EconomistUK's Claire Lombardelli has been appointed as the new Chief Economist of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

  • She is currently the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury.

  • He has replaced Lawrence Boon of France, who has held the post since 2018.

  • Claire has been selected following a highly competitive merit-based selection process.

  • Claire is a highly regarded economic policy leader, with over 20 years' experience in economic analysis and policy-making in the United Kingdom and the OECD.

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation of 38 countries.

  • It was established in 1960 to encourage economic progress and world trade.

  • Headquarters – Paris (France)

  • India is not a member of OECD.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope discovers new exoplanet named LHS 475b

Tags: Science and Technology

Recently, a new exoplanet named LHS 475b has been discovered by the James Webb Space Telescope of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  • LHS 475b

  • It is roughly the same size as Earth, with a diameter of 99% that of Earth.

  • It is a celestial, rocky planet located approximately 41 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Octane.

  • It differs from Earth in two respects, first that it completes one orbit in only two days and secondly it is hundreds of degrees hotter than Earth.

  • It is closer to Earth than any other planet in our solar system.

  • It orbits very close to a red dwarf star and completes a complete orbit in just two days.

  • Exoplanet:

  • Exoplanets are planets that orbit other stars and are away from our solar system. The first confirmation of the detection of an exoplanet was in the year 1992.

  • According to NASA, more than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered so far.

  • Scientists believe that there are more planets than stars because at least one planet orbits each star.

  • Exoplanets come in different sizes. They can be large and gaseous like Jupiter and small and rocky like Earth. There is also variation in their temperature, which can range from extremely hot (Boiling Hot) to extremely cold (Freezing Cold).

Shahrukh Khan on the fourth position in the list of world's richest actors

Tags: Reports

The list of world's richest actors was released on the Twitter account of World of Statistics, in which Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan has overtaken Hollywood star Tom Cruise to become the world's richest actor.

  • Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan is the only actor from India in this list, whose total assets are more than 770 million dollars i.e. 6 thousand 300 crores.

  • Jerry Seinfeld has been placed at number one in this list.

  • Shahrukh Khan has also left behind Tom Cruise and Jackie Chan.

  • Hollywood star Jackie Chan is at number six on the list with earnings of $520 million.

  • 5 Richest Actors In The World

  • 1. Jerry Seinfeld (American) – (Rs 8200 crore)

  • 2. Tyler Perry (American) – (Rs 8200 crore)

  • 3. Dan Johnson (American) – (6500 crores)

  • 4. Shahrukh Khan (Indian) – (6300 crores)

  • 5. Tom Cruise (American) – (5900 crores)

National Council of Education Research and Training notified India's first National Assessment Regulator "PARAKH"

Tags: National News

India's first National Assessment RegulatorRecently the National Council of Education Research and Training has notified India's first National Assessment Regulator "PARKH" with the aim of setting up assessment guidelines for all boards.

  • What is PARAKH?

  • PARAKH stands for Performance Appraisal, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development.

  • It will act as a component of NCERT.

  • It is also entrusted with the task of conducting periodic learning outcome tests like National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Survey.

  • This framework will also act to check the emphasis on rote learning as envisaged by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

  • Its team comprises prominent evaluation experts with a deep understanding of the education system in India and internationally.

  • Objective of PARAKH:

  • Uniform Norms and Guidelines: To lay down norms, standards and guidelines for student assessment and assessment across all recognized school boards in India.

  • Improvement in assessment pattern: It will act to encourage school boards to change their assessment pattern towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century.

  • Reducing disparity in evaluation: This will bring uniformity across state and central boards that currently follow different standards of evaluation, leading to wide disparities in marks.

Benchmark Assessment: The benchmark assessment framework will address the issues contained in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

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