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SM Current Affairs November 2022 Set 03

SM Current Affairs November 2022 Set 03

Neelesh Singh 10 MIN



It gives us great pleasure to release the monthly edition of the PRAVAHINI – Monthly e- Compendium & Weekly e-Periodicals of Current Affairs. The magazine’s members have shown considerable cooperation as well as devotion. We at success mantra work tirelessly to create this magazine and bring it to you with a great sense of gratitude.

The PRAVAHINI November-2022 eBook covers the current events that happened in the month of October. Current Affair is a crucial component of any competitive exams including CLAT, AILET, DU-LLB, HM, CAT, IAS, PCS, SSC, CUET, Banking, MBA, and various other competitive examinations.

Current Affairs play a bigger role in many competitive and government exams. It holds the power of making or breaking your chance of success. Therefore, the candidates should cover Current Affairs thoroughly and smartly.

The PRAVAHINI November-2022 eBook is divided into different sections keeping in mind the need of various exams. The sections covered namely International, National, Economy, Ecology and Environment, Science & Technology, Legal Affairs, Sports, States News Makers and few others.

We would also be pleased to receive any suggestion that could assist us with the upcoming editions.

Success Mantra (GTB Nagar, Delhi) Website: www.successmantra.in Mail Id: [email protected]





The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently unveiled the National Suicide Prevention Strategy – India’s first suicide prevention policy.

  • National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS) aims to reduce suicide mortality by 10 percent by 2030 through timely actions and multi-sectoral collaborations.
  • The national strategy has several objectives. These are:
  • Set up effective surveillance mechanisms for suicides within the next 3 years
  • Establish psychiatric outpatient departments that provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all states within 5 years
  • Integrate a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next 8 years
  • The strategy also seeks to develop guidelines for responsible media reporting about suicides and restricting access to the means of suicides. It will improve community resilience and societal support for suicide prevention.
  • While it is in line with the WHO’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for Suicide Prevention, this strategy will remain on par with the Indian culture and social milieu.


  • India's first National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) was launched at “INMARCO 2022” held in Mumbai.
  • The INMARCO is a quadrennial International Maritime Conference and Exhibition, hosted by the Institute of Marine Engineers (India).
  • It is a major initiative by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MOPSW) towards providing greener solutions. The NCoEGPS will be working under the framework of the Sagarmala programme of the MoPSW.
  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is the knowledge and implementation partner for this project.
  • The center aims to develop a regulatory framework and alternate technology adoption roadmap for Green Shipping to foster carbon neutrality and circular economy (CE) in the shipping sector in India.


  • The state government of Tamil Nadu recently issued a notification declaring Madurai district’s Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages as the state’s first biodiversity heritage site.
  • Biodiversity heritage sites (BHS) are notified areas that are unique and ecologically fragile ecosystems known for hosting one or more components like species richness, rare, endemic and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance, wild ancestors of domestic species etc.
  • These areas are significant from a biodiversity point of view and cultural aspects like sacred groves/trees and sites or other larger community conserved areas.

About Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site

  • The Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site spans across two villages – Arittapatti village (Melur block) and Meenakshipuram village (Madurai East taluk).
  • Arittapatti village is known for its ecological and historical significance. It hosts some 250 bird species, including three important raptors (birds of prey) – the Laggar Falcon, the Shaheen Falcon and Bonelli’s Eagle. It also hosts Indian Pangolin, Slender Loris and pythons and others.
  • The area is surrounded by a chain of seven hillocks or inselbergs that are a source of water for 72 lakes, 200 natural springs and 3 check dams. The 16th century Anaikondan tank, which was built during the reign of the Pandiyan kings, is one of them.


  • Recently, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).
  • The unemployment rate in urban areas for persons aged above 15 eased to 7.2% in July­-September 2022 from 9.8% in July-September 2021.

What is the Periodic Labour Force Survey?

  • Considering the importance of the availability of labor force data at more frequent time intervals, the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation launched the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.

The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:

  • To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS).
  • To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both Usual Status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.


  • National Dashboard on Elimination of Single Use Plastic and Plastic Waste Management: India launched a nationwide awareness campaign on Single Use Plastics on World Environment Day in June 2022.
  • A mobile app for Single Use Plastics Grievance Redressal was also launched to empower citizens to check sale/usage/manufacturing of SUP in their area and tackle the plastic menace.
  • Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2022: It prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of several single-use plastic items as of July 1, 2022. It has also mandated Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) that incorporates circularity by making manufacturers of products responsible for collecting and processing their products upon the end of the products’ lifetime.
  • India Plastics Pact: It is the first of its kind in Asia. The Plastics Pact is an ambitious and collaborative initiative to bring stakeholders together to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics within the material’s value chain.
  • Mascot 'Prakriti': To spread awareness among masses about small changes that can be sustainably adopted in lifestyle for a better environment.
  • Project REPLANS: Project REPLAN (stands for REducing PLastic in Nature) launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) aims to reduce consumption of plastic bags by providing a more sustainable alternative.


  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified the Draft Aircraft Security Rules, 2022.

What is the Background?

  • The Draft Aircraft Security Rules, 2022 will supersede Aircraft Security Rules, 2011 and were necessary after Parliament passed Aircraft Amendment Act, 2020 in September 2020, giving statutory powers to BCAS along with the Director General of Civil Aviation and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.

What is the International Civil Aviation Organisation?

  • ICAO is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency, established in 1944, which laid the foundation for the standards and procedures for peaceful global air navigation.
  • The Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed on 7th December 1944 in Chicago. It established the core principles permitting international transport by air, and also led to the creation of the ICAO.
  • One of the objectives is to foster the planning and development of international air transport so as to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world. India is among its 193 members. It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.




  • Recently, India has been handed over the presidency Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) for 2022-23 by the outgoing Council Chair, France in its 3rd Annual Summit in Japan.
  • This development comes on the heels of assuming the Presidency of the G20, a league of the world’s largest economies. Tokyo is the first Asian city to host this summit.

What is GPAI?

  • It was launched in June, 2020, with fifteen members. The Global Partnership in Artificial Intelligence is described as the ‘fruition of an idea developed within the G7.’
  • It is a multi-stakeholder initiative on artificial intelligence (AI), which aims to fill what it describes as ‘the gap between theory and practice on AI,' by supporting cutting-edge research, as well as applied activities, on AI-related priorities.


  • The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Trikand, INS Sumitra, and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Dornier, participated in the 13th Edition of ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ (Sea Breeze). INS Trikand is a frontline frigate equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors. It is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, based at Mumbai.
  • INS Sumitra, a multirole offshore patrol vessel is part of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy, based at Visakhapatnam.

What is Naseem Al Bahr?

  • It is a bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy (IN) and Royal Navy of Oman (RNO). The exercise was conducted from 19th to 24th November 2022 off the coast of Oman and had three phases: harbor phase, sea phase and debrief.
  • The first IN-RNO exercise was conducted in 1993. Year 2022 marks 30 years of IN-RNO bilateral exercises


What is India’s other Bilateral Maritime Exercises?

  • Thailand: India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT)
  • Indonesia: Samudra Shakti
  • Singapore: Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)
  • Qatar: Zair-Al-Bahr
  • Bangladesh: Bongosagar Exercise
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka-India Naval Exercise (SLINEX)
  • Japan: Japan Maritime bilateral exercise (JIMEX), Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX)
  • France: VARUNA



  • Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) 2022 will be held from November 23 to 25 this year. The Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) is the apex international conference organized by the Indian Navy every year.
  • The National Maritime Foundation (NMF) is the Indian Navy’s knowledge partner and chief organizer of this dialogue.
  • The first two editions were held in the years 2018 and 2019 respectively in New Delhi. The 2020 edition of the IPRD was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The third edition was held in 2021 in virtual mode.
  • The aim of this annual dialogue is to assess the opportunities and challenges that emerge within the Indo-Pacific. It provides a common platform to discuss topics related to the geopolitical developments that are affecting the maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific.

About IPRD 2022

  • The IPRD 2022 will be held in New Delhi based on the theme ‘Operationalising the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)’. The concept of IPOI seeks to promote regional, inclusive cooperation based on seven interconnected pillars – maritime security, maritime ecology, maritime transport, capacity building and resource sharing, and science, technology and academic cooperation.
  • The 2022 edition of the dialogue will be held in physical format in New Delhi.


  • The Australian Parliament recently approved the free trade agreement with India. In India, such agreements require approval from the Union Cabinet.
  • The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) was signed by the two countries on April 2, 2022. This free trade agreement eases trade between India and Australia by reducing customs duties, regulatory laws, subsidies and quotas on products under import-export.
  • The pact ensures that the cost of production is cheaper when compared with other countries.

Why is AI-ECTA significant?

  • AI-ECTA is the first free trade agreement that India signed with a large developed economy in the last decade. Besides AI-ECTA and an FTA with Japan, all of India’s FTAs are with other developing countries like Singapore, South Korea, ASEAN, Malaysia and UAE.
  • Once it becomes operationalized, AI-ECTA will provide India duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors. These include textile, leather, furniture, jewelry, machinery and others.
  • It will help Australia reduce its dependence on the Chinese market and forge new bilateral trade ties. Under this free trade agreement, Australia will provide zero-duty access to India for some 96.4 per cent (by value) of its exports. This includes products that currently incur 4 to 5 per cent customs duty in Australia.


  • The eighth edition of the Garuda Shakti Exercise commenced on November 21, 2022.
  • The Garuda Shakti Exercise is a bilateral joint special force exercise between India and Indonesia. This joint military exercise is being organized as part of the bilateral defense cooperation between Indonesia and India.
  • It has been held since 2012, involving Para Special Force of the Indian Army. It covers counter-terrorism, close-quarter combat and other special operations.
  • The main objective of this exercise is to increase trust and cooperation between the armies of India and Indonesia.

About the 2022 edition of Garuda Shakti Exercise

  • The 13-day Garuda Shakti exercise is being held in Sangga Buana Training Area in Indonesia’s Karawang.
  • It seeks to boost understanding, cooperation, and interoperability between the special forces of Indian and Indonesian armies.
  • The scope of this exercise includes increasing the skill levels of special forces, sharing of information about weapons, equipment, innovations, tactics and techniques.


  • India participated in the 22nd Council of Ministers’s meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held at Dhaka in Bangladesh. The Indian delegation was led by Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh.

About IORA:

  • The idea for IORA first surfaced during the late South African President Nelson Mandela’s 1995 visit to India.
  • IORA is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to fostering regional cooperation and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States bordering the Indian Ocean and 10 Dialogue Partners.
  • It is a regional forum that is tripartite in nature and brings together representatives of Government, Business, and Academia, in order to foster cooperation and closer engagement among them.


  • The on-going conflict between Bangladesh security forces and the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) triggered an influx of refugees from the Kuki-Chin community to the Indian state of Mizoram.

Who is the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA)?

  • The Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) is the armed wing of the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) – a separatist group that was established in 2008 to create a separate state in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Southern Bangladesh.
  • The KNF claims that all members of the Bawm, Pungkhua, Lushai, Khumi, Mro, and Khyang ethnic groups are part of the greater Kuki-Chin race.
  • Also known as the Bawm Party, this group is having close relationships with rebel groups in Northeast India and Myanmar.

About the current conflict in Bangladesh

  • The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has launched an operation in October 2022 against the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) after it entered into an agreement with the newly formed militant outfit called the Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, which originated from the remote hilly terrains of Rangamati and Bandarban.
  • Under this three-year agreement, KNF will provide shelter, training and other support to the militants in return for 3 lakh Bangladeshi Taka and food expenditure. While several of them have been arrested, 50 militants are currently being trained in the region.


  • On November 24, veteran opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was appointed as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia by King Sultan Abdullah and sworn in.
  • His appointment concludes the five-day political impasse caused after no party managed to secure a majority to form the government for the first time since the independence in 1957.
  • Anwar Ibrahim is a veteran politician in Malaysia who started his political career as a student activist. He founded the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) in 1971.
  • In the early days of his political career, Ibrahim led protests against rural poverty and other socio-economic challenges afflicting the country.
  • He later joined the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party and became the finance minister. During his tenure as a finance minister, he independently implemented various political decisions that helped Malaysia weather the impact of the Asian financial crisis.



  • QatarEnergy announced a 27-year natural gas supply deal with China, calling it the “longest” ever seen as it strengthened ties with Asia while Europe scrambles for alternative sources.
  • The state energy company will send four million tonnes of liquefied natural gas annually from its new North Field East project to China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec).
  • Asian countries led by China, Japan and South Korea are the main market for Qatar’s gas, which is increasingly being sought by European countries since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Negotiations with European countries have struggled as Germany and others balked at signing the type of long-term deals made with Asian nations. North Field is at the center of Qatar’s expansion of its liquefied natural gas production by more than 60 percent to 126 million tonnes a year by 2027.
  • China is the first country to seal a deal for North Field East. The Chinese company’s chairman revealed it had also requested a full share of the North Field South project that is dominated by Western energy giants.


  • India has decided to send a utility helicopter unit to the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Bangladesh and Pakistan will each send an armed helicopter unit to this operation.
  • The Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is a United Nations peacekeeping mission that was set up in 2013 by the UNSC to stabilize the western African country after the 2012 Tuareg rebellion.
  • This mission was set up to assist in the political processes of Mali and undertake numerous security-related tasks within the conflict-hit country.
  • It is tasked with supporting the transitional authorities of Mali in achieving the political stabilization and implementing the transitional roadmap.


  • The Ecuadorian Constitutional Court had halted the Panantza-San Carlos mining project in a ruling that favored an indigenous community’s rights to choose which activities can happen on their territories.

About Panantza-San Carlos mining project

  • The Panantza-San Carlos copper mining project is an open pit mine spanning 38,548 hectares of land in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon.
  • This 3 billion USD project was expected to generate some 40 billion USD in export revenue of the next decade. This project was funded by the Chinese mining company ExplorCobres SA.
  • It was part of the Ecuadorian government’s push to become Andean mining power rivaling countries like Chile and Peru. Due to this project, indigenous people were forcefully evicted and displaced from their homes in Nankints.
  • It was opposed by the Shuar Arutam people, who held that they were not consulted properly by the government to implement this project.




  • Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth Sikh Guru and second Sikh martyr, who sacrificed his life for religion and for the protection of human rights. The martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur is celebrated every year on November 24.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day is also observed as Shaheedi Diwas. He was the father of the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh. It was on 24 November 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life for the sake of people who did not even belong to his community to protect religion, human values, ideals and principles.
  • The sites of his execution and cremation were later converted into Sikh holy places namely Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi.

About Guru Tegh Bahadur:

  • Guru Teg Bahadur is also known as Hind Di Chadar– Protector of India. He was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India in 1621 and was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru.
  • He became the 9th Guru of Sikhs on 16 April 1664, a position earlier occupied by his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan.
  • He had traveled in different parts of the country, including Dhaka and Assam, to preach the teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi for resisting the forced conversions of Hindus in Kashmir.


  • The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed on November 25, every year. It is a day to pay tribute to the Mirabal sisters, the Dominican Republic activists who were murdered at the order of Rafael Trujilllo in 1960.
  • The United Nations aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence against women.
  • This year’s campaign is a 16-day initiative starting on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and concluding on International Human Rights Day on December 10.
  • The 2022 theme of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is ‘UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls.’
  • According to the United Nations’ official website, this campaign will be an initiative of 16 days of activism starting from November 25 and concluding on International Human Rights Day on December 10.


  • Constitution Day is celebrated on 26th November every year in India to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India. The constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949, and it came into effect on 26th January 1950.
  • The Constituent Assembly adopted the Indian Constitution on 26th November 1949 and it came into effect on 26th January 1950.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced the Centre’s decision to observe 26th November as Constitution Day in 2015. The day is observed to promote constitutional values among the citizens of India.

Constitution Day: Significance

  • B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly.
  • He was the first Minister of Law and Justice in India.
  • The framing of the constitution took over 2 years, 11 months, and 17 days.
  • The constituent assembly included 299 members and 15 were women.
  • When the constitution was adopted in 1949, 284 members signed it.
  • Rajendra Prasad was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly.



  • National Milk Day is celebrated on 26th November every year to signify the importance and benefits of milk. Milk day is a special day that is observed to spread awareness among people about the importance and need for milk.
  • National Milk Day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Verghese Kurien, who is also known as the ‘Father of White Revolution“. The National Milk Day highlights the importance of milk in human life.
  • The day was chosen as the National Milk Day by the dairy majors of the country including the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the Indian Dairy Association (IDA), along with the milk federation of 22 states.
  • The Indian Dairy Association took the initiative of celebrating National Milk Day for the first time in 2014.

About Dr. Verghese Kurien

  • Verghese Kurien is known as the “Father of the White Revolution” in India. He was a social entrepreneur whose vision of the “Billion-Litre Idea”.
  • Operation flood, made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment sector providing a third of all rural income. This made India the largest producer of milk in the world.




  • The Network Readiness Index 2022 was released by the US-based non-profit Portulans Institute. This report assesses the network-based readiness landscape of 131 economies based on their performances in four different pillars – technology, people, governance and impact. It encompasses 58 variables.

What are the key findings of the Network Readiness Index 2022?

  • The United States is the top performer in the index, with a total score of 80.3. The second and third positions are held by Singapore (79.35) and Sweden (78.91) respectively.
  • Singapore is the biggest climber in this index, since it climbed from the 7th position to the second by pushing Denmark (6th) and Finland (7th) out of the top five.
  • Other five countries that are top 10 performers are Netherlands (4th), Switzerland (5th), Germany (8th), South Korea (9th) and Norway (10th).
  • Asia Pacific’s top performer is Singapore, followed by South Korea and Japan. The list of top 10 performers indicates that advanced economies in Europe, parts of Asia and the Pacific and North America are the most network-ready countries in the world.
  • 17 of the top 25 countries are in northern and western Europe, four are in eastern and southeastern Asia, two in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) and two are in North America (US and Canada).
  • India climbed 6 places to the 61st position, with the overall score increasing from 49.74 in 2021 to 51.19 in 2022.




  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has succeeded in placing nine satellites in multiple orbits using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C54).
  • Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-06) and 8 nano satellites were launched during this mission. The nanosatellites are the Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B), Anand, Astrocast (four satellites), and two Thybault satellites.

What is Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6)?

  • The Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6) is the third-generation Indian satellite of the Oceansat series launched for monitoring the oceans. It was developed by ISRO in partnership with the Ministry of Earth Sciences and others.
  • This mission is a follow-up to OceanSat-1 or IRS-P4 and OceanSat-2 that were launched in 1999 and 2009 respectively.
  • It is the first in the series to host three ocean observing sensors – the Ocean Color Monitor (OCM-3), Sea Surface Temperature Monitor (SSTM), and Ku-Band scatterometer (SCAT-3).
  • Its purpose is to observe ocean color data, sea surface temperature and wind vector data that are used for oceanography, climatic and meteorological applications.


  • Several smartphones have their Bluetooth settings on discovery mode as it is a default setting, making it vulnerable to bluebugging.

What is Bluebugging?

  • It is a form of hacking that lets attackers access a device through its discoverable Bluetooth connection.
  • A hacker can gain unauthorized access to these apps and devices and control them as per their wish through bluebugging.
  • Any Bluetooth-enabled device including True Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices or earbuds are susceptible to bluebugging. Once a device or phone is bluebugged, a hacker can listen to the calls, read and send messages and steal and modify contacts.
  • Even the most secure smartphones like iPhones are vulnerable to such attacks.

What are the Related Government Initiatives?

  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra
  • Online Cybercrime Reporting Portal
  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)
  • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)
  • Information Technology Act, 2000
  • National Cyber Security Strategy 2020


  • INS Mormugao is the second ship of Project 15B stealth destroyers being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
  • INS Mormugao was delivered to the Indian Navy on 24th November 2022. Project 15B was signed on 28th January 2011, which is a contract of four ships.
  • This project is follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers Commissioned in the last decade and the lead ship of the project-INS Visakhapatnam had been commissioned into the Indian Navy on 21st November 2021.
  • INS Mormugao was designed by the Warship Design Bureau, the Indian Navy’s in-house organization, and M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai. The four ships are named after four major cities in India, which are Imphal, Surat, Visakhapatnam, and Mormugao.


  • The European Space Agency has named the first ever “paraastronaut” in a major step towards allowing people with physical disabilities to work and live in space.
  • The 22-nation agency said it had appointed British Paralympic sprinter John McFall to take part in a feasibility study during astronaut training to assess the conditions needed for people with disabilities to take part in future missions.
  • Notably: McFall, who lost his right leg due to a motorcycle accident at the age of 19, won a bronze medal in the 100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
  • The announcement came as ESA appointed a new set of astronauts for the first time since 2009 after whittling down 22,500 valid applications.
  • ESA posted openings last year for people fully capable of passing its usual stringent psychological, cognitive and other tests who are only prevented from becoming astronauts due to the constraints of existing hardware in light of their disability.
  • It received 257 applications for the role of astronaut with a disability. McFall will work with ESA engineers to understand what changes in hardware are needed to open professional spaceflight to a wider group of qualified candidates, the agency said.


  • 0lx successfully made the 200th consecutive launch of the multipurpose sounding rocket RH200 from Thiruvananthapuram’s Thumba coast.
  • RH200, which is capable of climbing to a height of 70 km, is a two-stage multipurpose sounding rocket capable of carrying scientific payloads into space. The 200 in the name denotes the diameter of the rocket in millimeters.
  • This 5-meter tall rocket belongs to the Rohini rocket family. It is used by ISRO for atmospheric studies. The first and second stages of this rocket are powered by solid motors. This rocket is currently playing a major role in providing a flexible platform for experiments and testing of new technologies.
  • Initially, it used polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based propellant. The first RH200 to use the new propellant based on hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) was launched successfully from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 2020.


  • IDFC First Bank, in association with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), recently launched FIRSTAP – India’s first sticker-based debit card.
  • A sticker-based debit card allows the user to make transactions by simply tapping the sticker on near-field communication (NFC)-enabled point-of-sale terminal.
  • It can be used to tap and pay in stores, restaurants and other places without the need to carry a debit card.


  • The FIRSTAP was launched by the IDFC First Bank in line with its customer-centric philosophy. It is one-third the size of a regular debit card. It can be stuck on any surface of the customer’s choice, like cell phones, identity cards, wallets, tabs, airpod cases etc.
  • It can be stuck on wearable devices like watches and rings as well. It enables transactions up to Rs.5,000 without a PIN and those beyond that requires the entry of PIN.
  • This sticker debit card comes with a complementary personal accidental cover and 24/7 concierge services. It also includes several RuPay offers.





  • Pairs of Olive Ridley Sea turtles have begun emerging on the sea waters off Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary along the Odisha coast, marking the commencement of the annual mass nesting of these endangered marine species.

What are Olive Ridley Turtles?

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world. These turtles are carnivores and get their name from their olive-coloured carapace.
  • They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • Operation Olivia: Every year, the Indian Coast Guard’s “Operation Olivia”, initiated in the early 1980s, helps protect Olive Ridley turtles as they congregate along the Odisha coast for breeding and nesting from November to December. It also intercepts unlawful trawling activities.


  • Russia has become India’s biggest fertilizer supplier for the first time. Russian exporters reportedly grabbed a 21% share of the Indian fertilizer market in the first half of the 2022-23 fiscal year, overtaking China, previously India’s largest supplier.
  • Russian exports reportedly surged 371%, to a record 2.15 million tons from April to October. In monetary terms, India’s imports over this period increased by 765%, to $1.6 billion.
  • Russia’s share of Indian fertilizer imports was hovering around 6% during the last fiscal year, while China’s stood at 24%. In the first half of 2022-23, China’s exports to India halved to 1.78 million tons amid growing Russian supplies.
  • About The Global Prices: Global prices for fertilizers jumped in March after the US, the EU and allied states introduced sanctions against fertilizer supplies from Russia and Belarus. While Western countries have since backtracked on the ban, Russia has found new markets, mostly in Asia, for its exports.
  • About Fertilizer production: Combined, Russia and Belarus accounted for more than 40% of global exports of potash last year. Russia accounted for about 22% of global exports of ammonia, 14% of the world’s urea exports and about 14% of monoammonium phosphate (MAP) – all key kinds of fertilizers.