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Current Affairs (5th April, 2023)

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Mine Awareness International Day 2023

  • Every year on April 4, the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed to raise awareness of explosive mines and gather support for their eradication.
  • The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is in charge of the mine action community, which is crucial to achieving the objectives.

United Nations Mine Action Service

  • The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which was established in 1997.
  • UNMAS is based at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
  • It eliminates landmines and explosive hazards and mitigates their impact on people's lives.47

Blindness Prevention Week 2023

  • Every year, from April 1 to April 7, the Indian government organizes Prevention of Blindness Week to educate people about the causes and ways to prevent blindness.
  • The objective of the occasion is to help people with visual hindrances, and to elevate admittance to eye care administrations.

First Woman President of TiE Rajasthan: Sheenu Jhawar

  • Dr. Sheenu Jhawar was named TiE Rajasthan's new president for a two-year term from 2023 to 2025.
  • She is the first woman to assume this role in TiE Rajasthan's 21-year history. Dr. Jhawar succeeded Dr. Ravi Modani, who had been in charge of the chapter since 2021.

TiE Rajasthan

  • The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) was established in Silicon Valley in 1992 by a group of successful business owners, senior executives, and other professionals, is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship all over the world.
  • TiE's goal is to encourage global entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, incubation, and funding
  • TiE is focused on generating and supporting our next generation of entrepreneurs because it is committed to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community.

Discovery of the Closest Black Hole to Earth

  • The closest black hole to Earth, in our cosmic backyard, has been discovered in the most recent massive astronomical discovery.
  • Using the European Space Agency's (ESA) Gaia satellite, a group of astronomers discovered the black hole, which they named BH1.
  • The closest black hole ever discovered is BH1, which is just 1,560 light-years away from Earth and faces the constellation Ophiuchus.
  • Gaia also discovered the second black hole closest to Earth, named Gaia BH2, which is 3800 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus.

European Space Agency's (ESA) Gaia satellite

  • The European Space Agency's astronomical observatory mission is called Gaia, or the Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics.
  • It will make the most exact three-layered guide of the Milky Way by studying around 1% of the universe's 100 billion stars. Gaia will be able to detect and precisely measure the motion of each star.
  • Over the course of five years, the 1 billion stars that Gaia studies will be observed an average of 70 times to record their brightness and position over time.

First Woman and Black Man for Artemis II Moon Mission

  • The crew for Nasa's first human mission to the Moon in more than 50 years was unveiled, including the first Black man and woman to travel deep into space.
  • Victor Glover will be the first black astronaut on a lunar mission, and Christina Koch will become the first woman to be assigned to one.
  • They will fly a capsule around the Moon with Reid Wiseman and Jeremy Hansen late next year or early in 2025.
  • Although the astronauts will not land on the Moon, their mission will clear the way for a subsequent crew to land.

Artemis II Moon Mission

  • The first step in the next phase of human exploration is Artemis. NASA will prepare for missions to Mars by establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon with commercial and international partners.
  • The eight-day Artemis II mission will send three astronauts from NASA and one from the Canadian Space Agency around the moon on a free-return trajectory.

Unified Tariff for Natural Gas Pipeline by PNGRP

  • With a vision of “One Nation, One Grid and One Tariff”, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has changed its rules that natural gas pipelines can have a single tariff.
  • The regulatory body has announced a levelized unified tariff of 73.93 per metric million British thermal unit (MMBTU) and established three tariff zones for the tariff, with the first zone covering distances up to 300 km from the gas source, the second covering distances between 300 and 1200 km, and the third covering distances greater than 1200 km.
  • From April 1, 2023, the zonal unified tariffs will go into effect.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board

  • The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 authorized the establishment of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), which was published in the Gazette on March 31, 2006.
  • PNGRB was established to safeguard the interests of consumers and organizations engaged in specific activities involving petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas, to foster competitive markets, and for other purposes that are related to or incidental to these subjects.

India rejected China’s Renaming of Places in Arunachal Pradesh

  • To reaffirm its dominance over Arunachal Pradesh, China has given 11 locations in the state new names.
  • This was the third time that China tried to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls "Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet".
  • The list released by China includes five mountain peaks, two land areas, two residential areas, and two rivers.
  • India rejected China renaming 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh and asserted that the state has "been" and will "always be" an integral part of India.

World’s First Liquid Hydrogen-Powered Ferry

  • The first liquid hydrogen-powered ferry in the world, which was built by the Norwegian company Norled, is currently in operation.
  • The ferry received permission to sail from the Norwegian Maritime Administration. The ship will go in Norway on a three-sided course between Hjelmeland, Skipavik, and Nesvik.

MF Hydra

  • The MF Hydra, which was delivered in 2021, measures 82.4 meters in length, can carry up to 300 passengers and 80 vehicles.
  • Due to its two Shettel thrusters, two 440 kW generators, and two 200 kW fuel cells, it will be able to travel at a speed of 9 knots.
  • The ferry has a hydrogen storage tank with a capacity of 80 cubic meters, which should enable it to reduce its annual carbon emissions by up to 95%.

OPEC Members Announce Cut in Oil Production

  • OPEC members including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait, and Algeria have announced voluntary reductions in oil production exceeding one million barrels per day from May till the end of the year.
  • They have described it as a preventative measure aimed to maintain the oil market stability.
  • The 23 oil-producing nations that slashed their collective output by two million barrels per day last year are expected to maintain the agreed-upon levels.

Organization of The Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization.
  • Objectives
    • To co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among member countries.
    • To secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers.
    • An efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations.
    • A fair return on capital to those investing in industry.

Captive Employer Scheme for Rural Youth

  • Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY), Shri Giriraj Singh, the Union Minister for Rural Development, has launched an innovative Captive Employer program.
  • Under the DDU-GKY program, 19 captive employers signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Rural Development to train and employ over 31,000 rural youth in their own establishments or subsidiaries.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana

  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) was a scheme announced in 2014. It is the skill training and placement program of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
  • The focus of the scheme is on poor rural youth between the ages of 15 and 35.
  • Objectives
    • Incorporating diversity into the incomes of rural poor families.
    • Catering to the career aspirations of rural youth.

Highest-Ever UPI transactions in March 2023

  • At the end of fiscal year 2022-23, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), established a new record. The UPI processed 8.7 billion transactions worth Rs 14.05 trillion in March 2023, a record high.
  • According to the Public Installments Organization of India's (NPCI) information, UPI exchanges in 2023 saw a 60% increment in volume and a 46% increment in esteem contrasted with a similar period in the earlier year. The UPI had processed 5.4 billion transactions totaling Rs 9.6 trillion in March 2022.

India’s GDP Growth likely to Moderate in 2024

  • According to a World Bank report, India's GDP growth is expected to slow down to 6.3% in Fiscal Year 2024 due to lower consumption and lower income.
  • The World Bank updated that the retail inflation in the country will moderate to 5.2% from 6.6% and India's Current Account Deficit (CAD) expected to be at 5.2 percent in FY24.