Daily Current Affairs for 07th July 2022

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World Kiswahili Language Day

GS Paper 1: Art and Culture
Important For:
Prelims exam level: Kiswahili Language and associated region
Mains exam level: Not much

Why in news

World Kiswahili Day is celebrated on the 7th of July every year following a declaration by UNESCO member states in this regard.
● This year marks the 1st observance of this day.
● Resolution 71/328 deals with the adoption of “World Kiswahili Language Day”. It was adopted during the 41st session of UNESCO on November 23, 2021.
● This general conference proclaimed July 7 as World Kiswahili Day, annually.
About Kiswahili language
● Kiswahili language is widely spoken in Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
● It is the only African language to become the official language of the African Union.
● It is also the first African language that the United Nations has recognized in this manner.
● The World Kiswahili Language Day is being observed with the objective of promoting the use of Kiswahili language as a tool to promote peace, and enhanced multiculturalism.
● Theme- ‘Kiswahili for peace and prosperity’.
Nominated Members in Rajya Sabha
GS Paper 2: Composition of Parliament
Important for:
Prelims exam level: Composition of Rajya Sabha, nominated members and provisions related
Mains Exam level: Not much
Why in News
Olympic sprinter PT Usha and music composer Ilaiyaraaja among others have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha in the category of eminent persons nominated by the President.
Nominated Members in RS
The Constitution under Art 80 confers the power on the President to nominate 12 members for their contributions towards arts, literature, sciences, and social services.
Composition of Rajya Sabha
• The present strength is 245 members of whom 233 are representatives of the states and UTs and 12 are nominated by the President.
Other facts about nominated members
• A nominated member enjoys all the powers and privileges and immunities available to an elected Member of Parliament.
• They take part in the proceedings of the House as any other member.
• Nominated members are not entitled to vote in an election of the President of India but they can participate in the impeachment of the president. .
• They however have rights to vote in the vice-presidential election.
• As per Article 99 of the Constitution, a nominated member is allowed to join a political party within six months (if he wishes to do so).

Achievements of P.T. Usha and Ilaiyaraaja

• P.T. Usha dominated the sprints and the 400 metre for over a decade at the Asian level. During the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships, she won five gold and a bronze. A year later at the Seoul Asian Games, she won four gold medals.
• R. Gnanathesikan known as Ilaiyaraaja, is an Indian film composer, singer and lyricist who works in the Indian film industry, predominantly in Tamil cinema. He is often credited for introducing Western musical sensibilities in the South Indian film musical mainstream. He has composed more than 7,000 songs, provided film scores for more than 1,400.
• He is known for integrating Indian folk music and traditional Indian instrumentation with western classical music techniques.
• Ilaiyaraaja is a recipient of five National Film Awards. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour in India and the Padma Vibhushan in 2018, the second-highest civilian award by the government of India.

Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)

GS Paper 3: Indian Economy
Important for:
Prelims exam level: RRBs
Mains Exam level: Not much
Why in News
The finance minister is going to meet heads of banks; to review performance, governance reforms in RRBs.
Regional Rural Banks
• Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are government owned scheduled commercial banks of India that operate at regional level in different states of India.
• RRBs are jointly owned by Gol, the relevant State Government, and Sponsor Banks; the issued capital of an RRB is divided among the owners in the proportions of 50%, 15%, and 35%, respectively.
• They were created to serve rural areas with basic banking and financial services. However, RRBs also have urban branches.
• RRBs are operationally sponsored by scheduled banks, which are typically public sector commercial banks.
• Regional Rural Banks were established under the RRB Act, 1976, with the goal of ensuring adequate institutional credit for agriculture and other rural sectors.
• The Regional Rural Banks were created with the intention of combining the strengths of cooperative and commercial banks.
• It was hoped that these would provide cheap and adequate credit while also being operationally efficient and easy to access.
• The primary goal of Regional Rural Banks was to end the rural debt culture and close the credit gap that existed between geographical regions.
• The Central Government, State Governments, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and smaller banks all work together to establish new RRBs and assist them in their operations.
• Instead of burdening commercial banks by extending their operations over large areas and spreading resources thin, RRBs were thought to be able to function intensively and confine their operations to a single region consisting of one or two contiguous districts.
• The area of operation is limited to the area notified by the government of India covering, and it covers one or more districts in the State.
• RRBs perform various functions such as providing banking facilities to rural and semi-urban areas, carrying out government operations like disbursement of wages of MGNREGA workers and distribution of pensions, providing para-banking facilities like locker facilities, debit and credit cards, mobile banking, internet banking, and UPI services.
• Thus, RRBs operate similarly to commercial banks, albeit with a smaller geographical reach for each of them.
• Since 1978, the RBI has primarily carried out promotional functions, while state governments carry out statutory functions.
Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries
GS Paper 3: Science and Technology
Important For:
Prelims exam level: Types of batteries and comparison
Mains exam level: Eco friendly batteries and clean energy in India

Why in news

Scientists have used nano-materials to develop Na-ion-based batteries and supercapacitors, which can be rapidly charged and have integrated them in e-cycles.

Development of Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries in India
• Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries have triggered academic and commercial interest as a possible complementary technology to lithium-ion batteries because of the high natural abundance of sodium and the consequent low costs of Na-ion batteries.
• Professor in the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur has been researching to develop energy storage technologies, which are based on Na-ion, and his team has developed a large number of nanomaterials.
• The team has used sodium iron phosphates and sodium manganese phosphates which they synthesized to obtain Na-ion-based batteries and supercapacitors with support from the Technology Mission Division (TMD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
• These sodium materials were combined with various novel architectures of carbon to develop a battery.

• These sodium materials are cheaper than Li-based materials, high performing, and can be scaled up to industrial-level production.
• The Na-ion cell can also be totally discharged to zero volt, similar to a capacitor, making it a safer option in comparison to many other storage technologies.
• Na-ion batteries can be charged rapidly, so it is an easy, affordable option for the general public.
• With further development, the price of these vehicles can be brought down to the range of Rs. 10-15 K, making them nearly 25% cheaper than Li-ion storage technologies-based e-cycles.
• As disposal strategies of Na-ion-based batteries would be simpler, it can also help in addressing the climate mitigation issue.

GS Paper 3: Science and Technology

Important For:
Prelims exam level: ARYABHAT-1, Analog and Digital computing
Mains exam level: Semiconductor industry in India

Why in News

A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, or IISc has developed an analogue chipset called ARYABHAT-1, that will allow Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning apps to perform much better and faster.


• ARYABHAT-1 stands for “Analog Reconfigurable Technology and Bias-scalable Hardware for AI Tasks”.
• Such chipsets can be beneficial for applications based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as object or speech recognising apps including Alexa. It can also be beneficial for applications requiring very efficient parallel computations.
• Digital chips are used in many electronic devices, especially those require computers because design process is scalable and straightforward.

Applications of ARYABHAT

According to researchers, ARYABHAT is capable to be configured with several machine learning architectures. For instance, with the digital CPUs. It has the potential to function reliably on different temperature range.
Benefits of Analog Computing
Analog computing is potentially active to perform as compared to digital computing in applications which do not call for accurate computations. Analog computing is more energy-efficient.

Challenges of making analog chips

Multiple technological challenges are associated with building analog chips:
• Testing and co-designing the Analog processor is challenging, as compared to that of digital chips. Large-scale digital processors can be developed quickly by compiling high-level code.
• Analog chips are difficult to scale as well. They are specially tailored while shifting to new applications or next generation of technology.
• It would not be easy to trade-off power and area for the purpose of speed and accuracy. Though, accuracy can be improved by incorporating additional elements on same chip, like logic units.

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