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Important Current Affairs 29th January 2022

                                                                  NATIONAL         

Kerala Gets India's 1st Graphene Innovation Centre

  • India’s first innovation centre for graphene will be set up in Kerala by the Digital University Kerala (DUK), along with the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) in Thrissur, for Rs 86.41 crore. This will be the first graphene Research and Development (R&D) incubation centre in the country. Tata Steel Limited is set to be the industrial partner of the centre.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has given approval for the project. The project, which will be implemented with the support of the Kerala government, is expected to accelerate the state’s growth in the knowledge industry sector.

Parliament launches Digital Sansad App to make live proceedings accessible to citizens

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has launched the official mobile application of the Parliament named ‘Digital Sansad App’ on January 27, 2022, to allow citizens to access live proceedings of the House, including the Union Budget 2022 live. The app will make the Parliament and Parliamentary proceedings accessible not only to the members but also to the public of the country.
  • Through the Digital Sansad App, citizens can check what their members of Parliament are doing, what debates they are participating in and what they are saying. Using the app, parliamentarians can also digitally log their attendance.
  • The app contains information on budget speeches since 1947 as well as House discussions from the 12th Lok Sabha to 17th Lok Sabha. It will also contain a live telecast of Sansad proceedings. 2022 Budget session can also be watched live on this App.

APPOINTMEN & RESIGNATION

V Anantha Nageswaran named new chief economic advisor

  • The Government of India has appointed Dr V Anantha Nageswaran as the new Chief Economic Adviser. The announcement came days ahead of the presentation of the 2022 Union Budget on February 1 and the tabling of the 2021-22 Economic Survey on January 31. This post was lying vacant since December 17, 2021, when KV Subramanian left the office. He is a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC).
  • Dr Nageswaran, who is a noted writer, author, teacher, and economic consultant, has taught at several business schools and institutes of management across India and abroad. Before his appointment as the Chief Economic Adviser, he was the Dean of the IFMR Graduate School of Business and a visiting professor of Economics at the Krea University in Andhra Pradesh.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Google to invest $1 bn in Bharti Airtel, to buy 1.28% stake for $700 mn

  • Bharti Airtel and Google have announced a long-term partnership agreement, to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. Under the deal, Google will invest USD 1 billion in Airtel. From the total investment, Google will invest USD 700 million to acquire a 1.28 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. The remaining USD 300 million will go toward multi-year commercial agreements with Airtel, including devices built together by the two tech giants.
  • The USD 1 billion funding is part of Google’s USD 10 billion ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’, launched in 2020. This is Google second investment in an Indian telecom service provider (after Reliance Jio). Discussion between the two companies had been going on since the first half of 2021 and culminated in an announcement.

OBITURY

Renowned Marathi writer, social activist Dr Anil Awachat passes away at 78

  • Renowned Marathi author and social activist Anil Awachat has passed away. Awachat was the founder of a de-addiction center called Muktangan Rehabilitation Center in Pune in 1986. He was known for his several Marathi books like “Manasa”, Swatahavishayi, “Gard”, “Karyarat”, “Karyamagna” and “Kutuhalapoti”.
  • In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal called Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985) on Dalit atrocities and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in TN wins TX2 Award for doubling tiger population

  • Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Erode district, Tamil Nadu) has been given the prestigious TX2 award after its tiger numbers doubled to 80 since 2010. Apart from the STR, the Bardia National Park in Nepal has won this year’s TX2 award for doubling the population of wild tigers. Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 2013 and the reserve that spread across 1,411.60 sq km is an important link between the Nilgiris and Eastern Ghats landscape. The Nilgiri biosphere landscape that this reserve is part of is currently the home to the largest tiger population in the world. It is connected to other well-established tiger habitats like Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Bandipur Tiger Reserve and BR Hills Tiger Reserve.
  • The award acknowledges the efforts by the State governments and the local communities which have played one of the most important roles to turn a relatively new tiger reserve into one of the source populations of tigers in India. The awards are presented by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Global Tiger Forum (GTF), IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP), Panthera, UNDP, The Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF.

Kashmir police bags lion's share of gallantry medals this Republic Day

  • Jammu and Kashmir Police has bagged 115 Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG), out of a total of 189 awarded this year. They more than doubled their last year’s tally of 52 PMGs. J&K Police won awards for conducting several counter-insurgency operations in 2019-20. Police personnel from Jammu and Kashmir have been awarded 115 Police Medals for Gallantry, the highest number from any police force this year, followed by CRPF with 30, Chhattisgarh Police with 10, Odisha Police with nine, and Maharashtra Police with seven.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “The $10 Trillion Dream” authored by Subhash Garg

  • The former finance secretary of India, Subhash Chandra Garg has announced his debut book named “The $10 Trillion Dream”. The book is scheduled to hit stands towards the end of February 2022. The new book explores the critical policy issues that India faces today and suggests reforms for it to become a USD 10 trillion economy by the mid-2030s. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI).
  • Garg, a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for over 36 years, has served in various key positions for both the Union government and the government of Rajasthan. He was designated finance secretary in March 2019.

Book ‘India’s Women Unsung Heroes’ launched by Meenakashi Lekhi 

  • Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakashi Lekhi has released a pictorial comic book titled ‘India’s Women Unsung Heroes’, as a tribute to the forgotten women freedom fighters of the country. The book has been prepared by the Ministry of Culture in partnership with Amar Chitra Katha, an Indian publisher of Indian comics and graphic novels. India will be celebrating 75 years of independence this August 15. And so, the book celebrates the lives of 75 unsung women freedom fighters of India, including Chakali Ilamma, Padmaja Naidu, Durgabhai Deshmukh, among others.
  • The book is a fitting tribute to the forgotten heroes of our freedom struggle as it celebrates the lives of women who led the charge and lit the flame of rebellion throughout the country. It contains stories of queens who battled imperialism and dedicated their lives for Maa Bharati.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Pencilton launches debit card with NCMC for teens in partnership with Transcorp

  • A teen-focused Fintech startup based in India, Pencilton has recently launched PencilCard, a debit card that is compliant with National Common Mobility Card standards. It has been launched in partnership with Transcorp. The National Common Mobility Card was developed by India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in early 2019. It allows the user to pay for travel, toll duties, retail shopping and withdraw money.
  • PencilCard works for both online and offline payments in addition to its utility as a metro and bus card. It can currently be used for travel on the airport line in Delhi and a KTC bus card in Pune. It will soon be accepted for metro travel in Pune, Chennai, and Mumbai. Also in the works is utilization on BEST buses in Mumbai. 

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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2022

          

NATIONAL

It's official! Air India now formally handed over to Tata Group

  • The government of India officially handed over India’s flag carrier, Air India to the Tata Group on January 27, 2022, almost 69 years after acquiring the conglomerate. The total value of the deal is Rs 18,000 crore (US$2.4 billion). The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India includes the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of GoI in Air India to Tata Sons, along with management control.
  • The transaction covers three entities namely, Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS (AI SATS). Under the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm AI SATS.

                                                                                                               

India pays its UN regular budget assessment in full with payment of US $29.9 million

  • India has paid USD 29.9 million in UN regular budget assessments for the year 2022. As of January 21, 2022, 24 Member States have paid their regular budget assessments in full. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council and its two-year term will end on December 31, 2022.
  • “#India proud to pay again in full! India joins the 2022 Honour Roll of 24 Member States out of 193 that have paid their @UN RegularBudget Assessments in full,” India’s Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted.

Kerala gets its first ever scientific bird atlas

  • Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind State-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving an impetus to futuristic studies. It is being conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community KBA has been prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year.
  • Conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1000 volunteers of the bird watching community, KBA was prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons between 2015 and 2020.

IT Ministry releases five-year roadmap for electronics sector in India

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a 5-year roadmap and Vision Document 2.0 for the electronics sector. The Vision Document 2.0 titled “$300 bn Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing & Exports by 2026” has been prepared by MeitY in association with the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA). It is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document. Vision Document 2.0 provides a year-wise break-up and production projections for the various products. This will help India to transform into a US$300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026, from the current US$75 billion.
  • This roadmap is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document – the first of which was released in November last year. The first part of the document titled “Increasing India’s Electronics Exports and Share in GVCs” was released in November 2021.

SPORTS

RPSG Group's IPL team to be called Lucknow Super Giants

  • Lucknow’s IPL franchise, which is owned by Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG Group), has been renamed Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction. Lucknow team roped in KL Rahul as their captain and also roped in Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. The official IPL team of Lucknow crowdsourced its name from fans and a consumer engagement campaign was launched on social media on 3rd Jan 2022.
  • Last year, the franchise was purchased by the Sanjiv Goenka-owned of the RPSG group for an amount of Rs 7090 Crores. The other new team to enter the competition is from Ahmedabad who were bought by the Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) for Rs 5635 Crores.

OBITURY

Milena Salvini, ambassador of Kathakali in France, passes away at 84

  • Noted Kathakali dancer Milena Salvini of France has passed away. Italian-born Salvini was a regular visitor to India, especially Kerala where she learnt Kathakali, and ran ‘Centre Mandapa’, a school for Indian dance forms, in Paris. The Government of India conferred the Padma Shri award on Salvini in 2019 for her contribution in the field of performing arts.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Customs Day 2022: 26th January

  • The International Customs Day (ICD) is observed on 26 January every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the role of customs officials and agencies and focus on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs. This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’.
  • The International Customs Day’s objective is to boost leadership, guidance, and support to customs administrations as WCO strongly opines that while borders divide, it is the ‘customs’ that establish a connection between countries.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Assam government to confer 'Asom Baibhav Award' to Ratan Tata

  • The government of Assam has conferred its highest civilian award ‘Assam Baibhav’ on Industrialist Ratan Tata. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi conferred the award to the former chairman of Tata Sons. The Assam government conferred ‘Asom Baibhav’ to Ratan Tata for his contribution to setting up cancer treatment facilities in the state.
  • Assam Saurav award was conferred on Professor Dipak Chand Jain, Lovlina Borgohain, Professor Kamalendu Deb Krori, Dr Lakshmanan S, and Neel Pawan Baruah.
  • Assam Gaurav award was conferred on Manoj Kumar Basumatary, Munindra Nath Ngatey, Dharanidhar Boro, Hemoprabha Chutia, Dr Basanta Hazarika, Kaushik Baruah, Khorsing Terang, Akash Jyoti Gogoi, Namita Kalita, Dr Asif Iqbal, Kalpana Boro, Boby Hazarika, and Bormita Momin.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

City Union Bank launches debit card in fitness watch with GOQii

  • City Union Bank in association with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii and powered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched a wearable payment solution called CUB fitness watch debit card. Customers need to hold this wristwatch in front of the PoS device during payment like tapping the card on PoS. For payments above Rs 5,000, customers need to tap and enter their PIN. The introductory price of a smartwatch debit card is Rs 3,499, as compared to an actual cost of Rs 6,499).
  • Customers can set limits for their payments using Net / Mobile Banking. Payments made using this Debit Card in a Fitness Watch are safe and secure, the bank said in a statement. For each transaction done using the watch, SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number. Customers can raise a request for the Fitness Watch Debit Card through Net banking/ Mobile banking. Usage of wristwatches can be managed by customers on their own through CUB All in One Mobile App.

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Important Current Affairs 28th January 2022

          

NATIONAL

It's official! Air India now formally handed over to Tata Group

  • The government of India officially handed over India’s flag carrier, Air India to the Tata Group on January 27, 2022, almost 69 years after acquiring the conglomerate. The total value of the deal is Rs 18,000 crore (US$2.4 billion). The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India includes the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of GoI in Air India to Tata Sons, along with management control.
  • The transaction covers three entities namely, Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS (AI SATS). Under the deal, the Tata group will also be handed over Air India Express and a 50 per cent stake in ground handling arm AI SATS.

                                                                                                               

India pays its UN regular budget assessment in full with payment of US $29.9 million

  • India has paid USD 29.9 million in UN regular budget assessments for the year 2022. As of January 21, 2022, 24 Member States have paid their regular budget assessments in full. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council and its two-year term will end on December 31, 2022.
  • “#India proud to pay again in full! India joins the 2022 Honour Roll of 24 Member States out of 193 that have paid their @UN RegularBudget Assessments in full,” India’s Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted.

Kerala gets its first ever scientific bird atlas

  • Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind State-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving an impetus to futuristic studies. It is being conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community KBA has been prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year.
  • Conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1000 volunteers of the bird watching community, KBA was prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons between 2015 and 2020.

IT Ministry releases five-year roadmap for electronics sector in India

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a 5-year roadmap and Vision Document 2.0 for the electronics sector. The Vision Document 2.0 titled “$300 bn Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing & Exports by 2026” has been prepared by MeitY in association with the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA). It is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document. Vision Document 2.0 provides a year-wise break-up and production projections for the various products. This will help India to transform into a US$300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026, from the current US$75 billion.
  • This roadmap is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document – the first of which was released in November last year. The first part of the document titled “Increasing India’s Electronics Exports and Share in GVCs” was released in November 2021.

SPORTS

RPSG Group's IPL team to be called Lucknow Super Giants

  • Lucknow’s IPL franchise, which is owned by Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG Group), has been renamed Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction. Lucknow team roped in KL Rahul as their captain and also roped in Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. The official IPL team of Lucknow crowdsourced its name from fans and a consumer engagement campaign was launched on social media on 3rd Jan 2022.
  • Last year, the franchise was purchased by the Sanjiv Goenka-owned of the RPSG group for an amount of Rs 7090 Crores. The other new team to enter the competition is from Ahmedabad who were bought by the Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) for Rs 5635 Crores.

OBITURY

Milena Salvini, ambassador of Kathakali in France, passes away at 84

  • Noted Kathakali dancer Milena Salvini of France has passed away. Italian-born Salvini was a regular visitor to India, especially Kerala where she learnt Kathakali, and ran ‘Centre Mandapa’, a school for Indian dance forms, in Paris. The Government of India conferred the Padma Shri award on Salvini in 2019 for her contribution in the field of performing arts.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Customs Day 2022: 26th January

  • The International Customs Day (ICD) is observed on 26 January every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the role of customs officials and agencies and focus on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs. This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’.
  • The International Customs Day’s objective is to boost leadership, guidance, and support to customs administrations as WCO strongly opines that while borders divide, it is the ‘customs’ that establish a connection between countries.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Assam government to confer 'Asom Baibhav Award' to Ratan Tata

  • The government of Assam has conferred its highest civilian award ‘Assam Baibhav’ on Industrialist Ratan Tata. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi conferred the award to the former chairman of Tata Sons. The Assam government conferred ‘Asom Baibhav’ to Ratan Tata for his contribution to setting up cancer treatment facilities in the state.
  • Assam Saurav award was conferred on Professor Dipak Chand Jain, Lovlina Borgohain, Professor Kamalendu Deb Krori, Dr Lakshmanan S, and Neel Pawan Baruah.
  • Assam Gaurav award was conferred on Manoj Kumar Basumatary, Munindra Nath Ngatey, Dharanidhar Boro, Hemoprabha Chutia, Dr Basanta Hazarika, Kaushik Baruah, Khorsing Terang, Akash Jyoti Gogoi, Namita Kalita, Dr Asif Iqbal, Kalpana Boro, Boby Hazarika, and Bormita Momin.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

City Union Bank launches debit card in fitness watch with GOQii

  • City Union Bank in association with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii and powered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched a wearable payment solution called CUB fitness watch debit card. Customers need to hold this wristwatch in front of the PoS device during payment like tapping the card on PoS. For payments above Rs 5,000, customers need to tap and enter their PIN. The introductory price of a smartwatch debit card is Rs 3,499, as compared to an actual cost of Rs 6,499).
  • Customers can set limits for their payments using Net / Mobile Banking. Payments made using this Debit Card in a Fitness Watch are safe and secure, the bank said in a statement. For each transaction done using the watch, SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number. Customers can raise a request for the Fitness Watch Debit Card through Net banking/ Mobile banking. Usage of wristwatches can be managed by customers on their own through CUB All in One Mobile App.

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Important Current Affairs 27th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Russia delivers all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 to India

  • Russia delivered all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles to the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces had placed an order for 670,000 rifles, for which the contract was signed on December 06, 2021, between India and Kalashnikov (Russian defence manufacturing unit). The total cost of the contract is around Rs 5,124 crore. The contract included procuring 70,000 rifles off the shelf.
  • The remaining 600,000 rifles will be manufactured by an Indo-Russian joint venture company, Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), based at Amethi, Uttar Pradesh India under transfer of technology (ToT). [at Korwa Rifle Factory, Amethi]. The lightweight AK-203 Rifles will replace the military’s in-service INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) Rifle.

Iran, Russia and China begin naval drill

  • The Russian, Chinese and Iranian navies undertook naval exercises CHIRU-2Q22 in the Gulf of Oman. The maritime drills conducted in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean aimed at deepening practical cooperation among the navies of the three countries. The participants practised various tactics and operations, such as rescuing ablaze vessels, saving hijacked vessels, shooting at targets, nocturnal shooting at aerial targets, and other tactical manoeuvres as a part of the drill. At least 140 warships and over 60 aircraft with nearly 10,000 military personnel would be taking part in the military exercises.

                      

Apple Retains Most Valuable Brand Title in 2022

  • Apple has retained its position as the most valuable brand in 2022 as well, according to the Brand Finance 2022 Global 500 report. The brand valuation of Apple was recorded at $355.1 billion in 2022, which is an increase of 35% from last year. This is the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking history.
  • TikTok (18th) has been named the world’s fastest-growing brand in the list. Its brand value increased from US$18.7 billion in 2021 to US$59.0 billion in 2022.
  • Tech remained the most valuable industry in the list in terms of sector. This was followed by Retail, Banking, Media and Telecoms in top 5 respectively.

NATIONAL

Indian Navy conducts 20-day joint maritime exercise at Arabian Sea

  • Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy conducted a joint maritime exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL-2022) off the West Coast which concluded. The exercise continued for 20 days and was conducted with an aim to enhance Inter-Service synergy among the Indian Navy, IAF, Indian Army and Coast Guard. The Western Naval Command (HQ- Mumbai) is one of the three command-level formations of the Indian Navy. The other two are Eastern Naval Command (HQ- Visakhapatnam) and Southern Naval Command (HQ- Kochi).
  • A variety of weapon firings in a realistic tactical scenario, besides validation of operational missions and tasks under varying settings, were undertaken during the exercise. The exercise provided all participating forces an opportunity to operate together under realistic conditions, in responding to contemporary maritime challenges, across the areas of the Command’s responsibility.

Rajasthan set to get its fourth tiger reserve

  • Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary, which is among the proposed five sites in the country, is expected to be formally notified as tiger reserve (TR) soon before the Global Tiger Summit, which is to be held at Vladivostok, Russia. The Centre also announced the development during the 4th Asia ministerial conference on tiger conservation. The Centre has already given its approval of granting tiger reserve status to Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary, along with MM Hills in Karnataka, Guru Ghasidas National Park in Chhattisgarh.
  • The Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary will be spread across 1,071 sq kms. A 302 Sq Km area in the proposed tiger sanctuary will be left as critical habitat for Tigers and the rest of the area will act as a buffer zone for the Ranthambore National Park.
  • Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1982. The core areas of the sanctuary have 8 villages and are home to large numbers of wild animals like sambhars, caracals, wild boars, nilgai, and striped Hyena.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022: 27th January

  • International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) is observed on 27 January. In 2022, the theme guiding the United Nations Holocaust remembrance and education is “Memory, Dignity and Justice”. The objective of the day is to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War.
  • A genocide occurred during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945. United Nations designated the day in 2005 to serve as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and to promote Holocaust education throughout the world.

RANKING

India ranks 85th out of 180 countries in Corruption Perceptions Index

  • Transparency International has released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021 in which India has been ranked at 85th spot (Score of 40). The ranking has been topped jointly by three countries- Denmark, Finland and New Zealand (Score of 88). This ranking measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). 180 countries are ranked in it.
  • Last year (for 2020) India was ranked 86th with a score of 40. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels are at a worldwide standstill. The global average remains unchanged for the tenth year in a row, at just 43 out of 100 points.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Government approves PMC Bank merger with Unity Small Finance Bank

  • The Government of India has sanctioned and notified the Scheme for the amalgamation of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd with Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd. This means that from January 25, 2022 all the branches of the PMC Bank will function as branches of Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd. Unity Small Finance Bank Limited is promoted by Centrum Financial Services Limited along with Resilient Innovation Private Limited. Both the promoters have infused capital of Rs 1105.10 crore in the bank.
  • After the amalgamation of PMC Bank with Unity SFB, Unity SFB will pay the customers of PMC Bank the amount it receives from DICGC (maximum up to amount insured by DICGC i.e Rs 5 Lakh) in instalments of 10 years. Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 empowers the Reserve Bank of India to prepare a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of banking companies (which include co-operative banks).

IMF cuts India's GDP forecast for FY22 to 9% from 9.5%

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s economic growth forecast for the current fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) to 9 per cent, in its latest world economic outlook report. Earlier this was estimated at 9.5%. IMF has projected the growth forecast for India in 2022-23 (FY23) at 7.1% IMF has projected the global growth rate in 2022 to 4.4%, and in 2023 to 3.8%.
  • According to the IMF, India’s prospects for 2023 are marked up on expected improvements to credit growth and, subsequently, investment and consumption, building on the better-than-anticipated performance of the financial sector. A revised assumption removing the Build Back Better fiscal policy package from the baseline, earlier withdrawal of monetary accommodation, and continued supply shortages produced a downward 1.2 percentage-point revision for the United States.

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Important Current Affairs 26th January 2022

NATIONAL

26th January 2022: India’s 73rd Republic Day

  • India is celebrating the 73rd Republic Day on 26 January 2022. The celebrations this year are special as India is in the 75th year of Independence – being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Republic Day marks the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950. It replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
  • According to the Ministry of Defence, for the first time, an Indian Air Force (IAF) will show grand flypast by 75 aircraft or helicopters. A drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has been planned for the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, along with projection mapping will be shown for the first time. In another first, 480 dancers will perform during the cultural programme at the parade have been selected through a nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition.

Himachal Pradesh and Haryana govts sign MoU for construction of Adi Badri Dam

  • Governments of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have signed an MoU at Panchkula, for the construction of Adi Badri Dam that would come upon 77 acres in Himachal Pradesh near the Adi Badri area of Yamuna Nagar district of Haryana. The proposed dam aims for the rejuvenation of the Saraswati river with an estimated cost of Rs 215.35 crore.
  • The Dam would get 224-hectare metre water from Himachal Pradesh’s Somb River that falls in the Yamuna near Adi Badri in Yamuna Nagar district. The executing agency for the construction of Adi Badri Dam would be Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. Adi Badri, also Sri Sarasvati Udgam Tirath, is located in the foothills of the Sivalik Hills in the Bhabar area. It is situated in the northern part of Haryana’s Yamunanagar district.

Suriya’s Jai Bhim, Mohanlal’s Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham shortlisted for the 94th Academy Awards

  • Indian Movie’s  Jai Bhim and Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham have been officially shortlisted for the Oscars 2022.  Jai Bhim is the fourth Indian film to get nominated for Oscars after Mother India, Salaam Bombay, and Lagaan. Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham has been also nominated for the Global Community Oscar Awards 2021. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has released the list of 276 films eligible for the awards this year.
  • Not just Jai Bhim and Marakkar, directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s Writing with Fire, a film about a newspaper run by Dalit women, has been shortlisted in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Oscars 2022. The voting for the nominations will begin on January 27 and conclude on February 1. The nominations will be announced on February 8. The 94th Academy Awards will be held on March 27.

SPORTS

Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra gets Param Vishisht Seva Medal

  • Olympian Neeraj Chopra will be honoured with Param Vishisht Seva Medal on the eve of Republic Day by President Ram Nath Kovind. He is the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics. Neeraj is a Subedar in the Indian Army. He had enrolled in 4 Rajputana Rifles as a direct entry to Naib Subedar in 2016. He was chosen for training at the Mission Olympics Wing and Army Sports Institute in Pune.
  • Chopra was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2018 and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) in 2020 for his excellence in sports.
  • The Haryana state will also showcase the life-size replica of Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra in the form of a tableau during the 2022 Republic Day parade.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Omicron Testing Kit, 'Om', by CDRI To Be Launched in February

  • CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit, ‘Om’, for the testing of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. It is the first kit made by any government institution, and the third to be made indigenously, for specific testing of Omicron. Currently, two more such kits developed by private players are available in the market. The kit will give test results in around two hours.
  • Om enables quick and cost-effective detection of omicron variants over genome sequencing for a large population. It was made within two months and will cost around Rs 150.
  • Further, it will give the test results in around two hours. According to the scientists, it can also be aligned for the detection of other emerging variants of Covid infection and other respiratory infections.
  • Once the kit gets approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), it will be launched by mid-February. The kit has been referred to the ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV) and is yet to be validated.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Padma Awards 2022 announced

  • The Union ministry of home affairs announced the Padma awards on the eve of the country’s 73rd Republic Day. The Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service). The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
  • These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President has approved conferment of 128 Padma Awards including 2 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one) as per list below. The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 13 Posthumous awardees. In Duo case, the Award is counted as one.

India's Koozhangal wins best film award at 20th Dhaka International Film Festival

  • P S Vinothraj directed film Koozhangal from India won the best film award in the Asian Film Competition section at the 20th Dhaka International Film Festival. Information and Broadcasting Minister of Bangladesh Hasan Mahmud gave away the awards as Chief Guest during the concluding session organised at the National Museum auditorium in Dhaka.
  • The best actor award was given to Jayasurya for Ranjith Sankar-directed film Sunny.
  • The Best Script Writer Award went to Indranil Roychowdhury and Sugata Sinha for Indranil Roychowdhury-directed India-Bangladesh film Mayar Jonjal.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

AIIB Invests in Data Center Development to Serve Emerging Asia

  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank has committed USD 150 million to invest in the development of data centres that mostly serve emerging Asia. This project is being AIIB’s 1st data centre project. India is a key founding member of AIIB. AIIB’s investment of USD 100 million through a parallel fund structure and USD 50 million through co-investments mark the final close of KDCF II, a development fund making strategic investments in the fast-growing data center sector with a focus on the Asia Pacific.
  • The project is aligned with AIIB’s thematic priorities of Connectivity and Regional Cooperation, Green Infrastructure and Private Capital Mobilization. It will also support Alpha in developing climate finance monitoring indicators, incorporating the joint MDB methodology for tracking climate finance and an Environmental and Social Management System at the Fund level. This partnership benefits AIIB’s geographical diversification given the diverse pipeline covering Southeast Asia and East Asia, among other regions across Asia Pacific.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launches Platina fixed deposit

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) has launched ‘Platina Fixed Deposit’, offering interest of 15 basis points (bps) higher than the regular term deposit rates provided by Ujjivan SFB. The Platina FD is a non-callable deposit, where partial & premature withdrawal is not applicable. While the interest amount can be received on monthly, quarterly or at the end of the maturity period.
  • The general FD for 990 days tenure gives 6.75% interest for general citizens and 7.50% for senior citizens, while Platina FD offers 6.90% & 7.65% interest rates
  • FD limit: the minimum amount is Rs 20 lakh and the maximum amount is Rs 2 crores, with tenure ranging from 1 year to 5 years.

Paytm and Fullerton India partnering to expand digital lending to MSMEs

  • Fullerton India and One97 Communications Limited, which owns the brand Paytm, have announced a partnership to provide lending products to merchant partners and consumers. With the partnership, the two established institutions will leverage data-driven insights and wide reach to bring credit to new-to-credit users. They aim to co-create innovative merchant loan products using customer payment behaviour and Fullerton’s years of experience of understanding of this segment.
  • The program will offer Paytm Postpaid (buy-now-pay-later) to millions of consumers on the Paytm platform while utilizing Fullerton’s deep risk assessment capabilities and scale.
  • Fullerton India and Paytm will further expand their product offerings to include instant personal loans, which are end-to-end digitally originated and disbursed using Paytm’s technology and Fullerton’s pan India presence.
  • The two institutions would establish a wide network, specifically catering to MSMEs across small cities and towns and help them grow their business.
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Important Current Affairs 25th January 2022

NATIONAL

India selects Saab's AT4 as its new single-shot weapon

• Swedish defence company ‘Saab’ had been selected by the Indian Armed Force through a competitive programme for the supply of single-shot anti-armour weapon AT4. AT4 will be used by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. The order includes the AT4CS AST, which can be fired from confined spaces such as from inside buildings, bunkers and other urban environments. Carl-Gustaf system of Saab is being already used by the Indian Armed Forces.

• AT4 will be operated by a single soldier and its single-shot system has proven efficacy against structures landing craft helicopters armoured vehicles and personnel. Its 84 mm calibre warhead offers enhanced power and performance to the Indian armed forces.

• The weapon can be fired with a range of projectiles, such as high-explosive anti-tank rounds, anti-structure tandem-warheads, and high explosive rounds. It can penetrate more than 17.5 inches (44 centimetres) of armour.

• The AT4 is equipped with an optical night sight for missions in low-light environments and has a minimum arming distance of 10 meters (32.8 feet), making it more accurate when hitting closer targets.

SPORTS

17th edition of ICC Awards 2021 announced

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the winners of the 17th edition of ICC Awards for the year 2021 to recognise and honour the best international cricket players of the previous 12 months, between January 01, 2021, and December 31, 2021. Notably, these awards honour players for their performances for their respective national side in a year. The apex international cricket governing body has named the winners in the different categories such as: Emerging Cricketer of the Year, T20I Cricketer of the Year and Associate Cricketer of the Year for both men’s and women’s cricket.

Ladakh team wins 9th IHAI national women's ice hockey championship

• The women’s team from Ladakh has lifted the 9th National Women’s Ice Hockey Championship in Himachal Pradesh. The championship was organised by the Ice Hockey Association of India at Kaza area in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. A total of six teams participated in the championship from Delhi, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Telangana and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Neeraj Chopra endorses GoodDot as its brand ambassador

• Plant-based meat company GoodDot has roped in Neeraj Chopra as its brand ambassador. With this association, the company wants to create awareness about the new category of plant-based meats. It also wants to send out a message that small changes in lifestyle and food choices can go a long way in making the world a better place.

• The company provides alternatives to mutton, chicken and eggs and is a Direct-to-consumer (D2C) player so far and sells also through online marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. It also sells in countries like Canada, Singapore, Nepal, Dubai, South Africa, Mauritius, and Oman.

Govt. appoints new chairperson to PMLA Adjudicating Authority

• Vinodanand Jha has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Adjudicating Authority, for a period of 5 years. Jha is a 1983-batch retired IRS officer, who was serving as the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Pune before this.

• The PMLA Adjudicating Authority is a three-member body whose mandated is to adjudicate the cases of attachment of assets orders issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and order for its continuity and further confiscation or release, considering the merits of the investigation.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Jio Estonia partners with University of Oulu on 6G research

• Jio Platforms (JPL) has signed a pact with the University of Oulu, Finland, to accelerate research and standardization in 6G technology. JPL and the University of Oulu will collaborate in Research and Development (R&D) of aerial and space communication, holographic beamforming, 3D-connected intelligence in cybersecurity, microelectronics, and photonics.

• The collaboration will develop competency with 6G enabled products in the defence, automotive, white goods, industrial machinery, consumer goods, efficient manufacturing, novel personal smart device environments, and experiences such as urban computing and autonomous traffic settings.

OBITURY

Archaeologist R Nagaswamy passes away at 91 

• Noted Indian historian, archaeologist and epigraphist from Tamil Nadu, Ramachandran Nagaswamy, has passed away. He was 91. He first director of the Tamil Nadu government’s Department of Archaeology. Nagaswamy was known for his work on temple inscriptions and art history of Tamil Nadu.

• In 2018, Nagaswamy was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award. He has authored more than 100 books and his latest book was ‘Senthamizh Naadum Pandbum’, published in January 2022.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Voters Day 2022: 25th January

• India observes “National Voters’ Day” every year on January 25 to encourage more young voters to take part in the political process. Election Commission of India is celebrating 12th National Voters Day on 25th January 2022. The theme for this year’s NVD, ‘Making Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative’, envisages focus on ECI’s commitment to facilitate the active participation of voters during the elections and to make the complete process hassle-free and a memorable experience for all categories of voters.

• Since 2011, National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year, all across the country to mark the foundation day of the Election Commission of India, i.e. 25th January 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximise enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.

National Tourism Day 2022: 25th January

• The Indian government established January 25 as the National Tourism Day to raise awareness about the importance of tourism for the country’s economy. The day is observed to cultivate awareness among the global community on the importance of tourism and its social, political, financial and cultural worth. The ministry of tourism is the nodal agency in India to form national policies for the promotion and development of tourism. It also coordinates with central, state agencies and the public sector.

• Tourism and travel are often used interchangeably. However, travel is the movement of an individual or a group of people from one place to another due to work, health, education or meeting with the family. Tourism, on the other hand, identifies with a person or group’s movement for recreational purposes.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

29 CHILDREN CONFERRED PRADHAN MANTRI RASHTRIYA BAL PURASKAR-2022

• Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) for the year 2022 has been conferred to 29 children. These winners include 15 Boys and 14 Girls, belonging to 21 States and UTs. The PMRBP award is given by the Government of India to children with exceptional abilities and outstanding accomplishments in 6 categories. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000/-.

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Important Current Affairs 24th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

NATO to hold major naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea

• The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member countries will be conducting a 12-day maritime exercise in the Mediterranean Sea from January 24, 2022. The name of the maritime exercise is “Neptune Strike ’22”. The naval drill will end on February 04, 2022. The main purpose of this exercise will be to demonstrate and test NATO’s wide range of maritime capabilities.

• The US announced the decision to hold NATO naval drills, which will involve the participation of the USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier, a day after Russia said it would demonstrate its own naval capabilities for two months, January and February, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Sea.

Barbados PM Mia Mottley sworn in after 2nd consecutive elections

• Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley was sworn in for a second term in office on 20 January 2022, following a landslide victory by her party in the 2022 election. She is serving as the Prime Minister of Barbados since 2018. She is the leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) since 2008. She is the first woman prime minister of the country as well as first PM under a republic system.

NATIONAL

PM Narendra Modi unveils the hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled a hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate on Parakram Divas. The size of the hologram statue is 28 feet in height and 6 feet in width. A grand statue, which will be made of granite, will replace the hologram statue once it is completed. The statue is being installed on the 125th birth anniversary as a tribute to the immense contribution of Netaji in the country’s freedom struggle and would be a symbol of the country’s indebtedness to him.

• The prime minister also conferred the ’Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar’ for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 in the investiture ceremony. A total of seven awards were presented during the ceremony. Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (in the Institutional category) and Professor Vinod Sharma (in the Individual category) have been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar for their excellent work in Disaster Management for the year 2022.

NITI Aayog, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and RMI India release ‘Banking on Electric Vehicles in India’ report

• NITI Aayog has released a report titled ‘Banking on Electric Vehicles in India’ on January 22, 2022, which outlines the need and importance of the inclusion of Electric Vehicles in RBI priority-sector lending guidelines. The report has been developed by NITI Aayog in collaboration with US-based non-profit organisations Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and RMI India.

• The report has indicated electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and commercial four-wheelers as early segments to prioritise under Priority Sector Lending. The suggestion has also been made to recognise Electric Vehicles as an infrastructure sub-sector by the Finance Ministry and the incorporation of electric vehicles as a separate reporting category under RBI.

Amit Shah launches District Good Governance Index in 20 districts of J-K

• The Union Minister of Home and Cooperation Amit Shah has virtually released India’s First “District Good Governance Index” for 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. The top 5 districts in the District Good Governance Index” are (1) Jammu, (2) Doda, (3) Samba, (4) Pulwama and (5) Srinagar.

• This index has been prepared by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in collaboration with the Government of Jammu & Kashmir. The District Good Governance Index (DGGI) is a framework document comprising of performance under ten governance sectors having 58 indicators with 116 data points.

Farming going hi-tech: Govt to fund drone use in agriculture

• Union Agriculture Ministry has amended the guidelines of Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) to provide 40-100 per cent subsidy until March 2023 in purchasing drones for farm mechanization. After the amendment, a grant for the purchase of drones up to 100 per cent of the cost of agriculture drones or Rs 10 lakhs, whichever is less, can be given.

• Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agriculture Universities- 100% subsidy- Rs 10 lakh maximum.

• Agriculture graduates establishing Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs)= 50 per cent subsidy up to Rs 5 lakh.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO Successfully Tests Vikas Engine Of India's Gaganyaan Human Space Mission

• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully test-fired the Vikas engine that would power India’s first human-carry rocket (Gaganyaan human space mission). This qualification test of the Vikas Engine for the Gaganyaan human space mission was conducted by ISRO at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. More such tests on Vikas Engine will be conducted in the future by ISRO.

• The test was carried out to verify the robustness of the engine by operating beyond its nominal operating conditions (fuel-oxidiser ratio and chamber pressure). The performance of the engine met the test objectives and the engine parameters were closely matching with the predictions during the entire duration of the test.

OBITURY

Former India Footballer Subhas Bhowmick Dies At 72

• Former India footballer Subhas Bhowmick has passed away at the age of 72 years due to prolonged illness. He was born in West Bengal. He was part of the Indian Football team that won a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games (held in Bangkok). He also scored a hat-trick against the Philippines in the Merdeka Cup in 1971. He has also served as the coach for football teams like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Former Prime Minister Of Japan Shinzo Abe Honoured With Netaji Award 2022

• Former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was conferred with the Netaji Award 2022 by Netaji Research Bureau. Consul General of Japan in Kolkata Nakamura Yutaka received the honour on behalf of Mr. Abe at a function at the Elgin Road residence of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary.

• Satoshi Suzuki, the Japanese Ambassador to India, addressed the program remotely from New Delhi. Abe is a tremendous admirer of Netaji, according to Sugata Bose, the famed liberation fighter’s grand-nephew and Director of the Netaji Research Bureau. Moreover, in January 2021, India bestowed the Padma Vibhushan on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the country’s second-highest civilian honour.

Prajakta Koli becomes UNDP India's First Youth Climate Champion

• Prajakta Koli has become India’s first UN Development Programme (UNDP) Youth Climate Champion. She is a content creator on various online platforms like youtube, Instagram, etc. She has been conferred the title for her contribution towards mental health, women’s rights and girl child education through various global social campaigns.

• With this title, Prajakta will now have the responsibility to interact with the young generation to raise awareness around climate crisis, global warming and biodiversity loss and their impacts. She is also the global ambassador for YouTube’s ‘Creators For Change’ initiative.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Indonesia has announced that its new capital will be called Nusantara

• Indonesia will move its capital to mineral-rich East Kalimantan, an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo. The name of the new capital will be Nusantara, which means “archipelago” in Javanese. It will be based in the regions of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara. The new project is likely to cost around 466 trillion rupiah ($32 billion).

• The heavily populated city of Jakarta is home to 10 million people (30 million if you include the greater metropolitan area) and has been facing the growing issue with the overuse of groundwater by home drilling due to large-scale city developments. The problem is worsened when combined with rising sea levels. This shift of development is set to slow down the rate at which Jakarta sinks into the Java Sea.

NATIONAL

PM Modi to unveil 216-foot 'Statue of Equality' in Hyderabad on February 5

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a 216-foot statue of Ramanujacharya in a sitting position in Hyderabad on February 5, 2022, to celebrate the 1,000th birth anniversary of the saint. Ramanujacharya was an 11th-century saint and a revolutionary social reformer. The statue will be called as the ‘Statue of Equality’. It is located in a 45-acre complex at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad in Telangana.

• The project is built at a cost of Rs. 1,000-crore, which was funded entirely by donations from devotees globally.

• President Ram Nath Kovind will unveil the inner chamber of the statue of Ramanujacharya on February 13, 2022.

PM’s address at the launch of ‘Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore’ programme

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated ‘Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav se Swarnim Bharat Ki Ore’ programme via video conferencing. The national-level program includes seven yearlong initiatives dedicated to the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Brahma Kumaris. More than 30 campaigns and over 15000 programs and events will be conducted under these initiatives by the Brahma Kumaris. Brahma Kumaris is organising the event on the occasion of the 53rd Ascension Anniversary of Pitashree Prajapita Brahma, Founding Father of Brahma Kumaris.

Jammu and Kashmir has declared Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first 'milk village

• In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the administration has declared Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first ‘Milk Village’ of the Union Territory and sanctioned 57 more dairy farms under the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) for the hamlet. The village, which houses 73 individual dairy units with 370 cows, will give the local farmers financial security.

• After being declared as ‘Milk Village’, a total of 57 units have been sanctioned under the IDDS for the village. Under the IDDS, dairy units of five animals are provided with a 50 per cent subsidy. The scheme also has a provision for milking machine, bulk milk cooling unit at 50 per cent subsidy (maximum Rs 5 lakh), paneer making machine, khoya making, Dahi making, cream separator, ice cream making machine, butter and ghee making machine (max subsidy Rs 3. 5 lakh), milk van (maximum subsidy Rs 2 lakh), milk ATM subsidy of Rs 5 lakh.

Amar Jawan Jyoti merged with Eternal Flame at National War Memorial in New Delhi

• The government of India has merged the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Delhi’s India Gate with the flame at the adjoining National War Memorial on January 21, 2022, ahead of Republic Day. The ceremony was led by the Integrated Defence Staff chief, Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna.

• The decision to merge the two flames was taken keeping in mind that flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti payed homage to the martyrs of 1971 but none of their names are present there, while names of all Indian martyrs from all the wars, including 1971 and wars before and after it are housed at the National War Memorial. So housing the flame at the same place along with the names will serve as a true tribute to martyrs. This will also do away with upkeeping two flames for the same purpose. This means that after 50 years of continuous lightning, the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti will no longer be present there.

MISCELLANEOUS

New Species of Rainfrog Discovered in Panama Named After Greta Thunberg

• A new species of rainfrog, discovered in the Panama jungle, has been named after Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The species has been named as Pristimantis gretathunbergae, or popularly known as the Greta Thunberg Rainfrog. The frog was originally discovered in 2012 and was thought to be part of the already categorised Pristimantis family. However, recent DNA analysis confirmed that the frog is a new species, according to the scientific journal Zookeys.

• The new specimen of the tropical amphibian was discovered by an international team of biologists led by doctors Abel Batista, from Panama, and Konrad Mebert (Switzerland) in Cerro Chucantí, a private reserve located in the province of Darién. It was named after Greta Thunberg when conservation nonprofit The Rainforest Trust held an auction that allowed the winner to name new species. The frog was discovered at a reserve established by the conservation organization AdoptaBosque with support from Rainforest Trust.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Tripura State People's Liberation Council celebrated 44th Kokborok Day

• Kokborok Day, also known as the Tripuri Language Day is annually celebrated across the Indian State of Tripura on 19th January with an aim to develop the Kokborok Language. The day commemorates the initial recognition of Kokborok as the official language in 1979. 19th January 2022 marks the observance of the 44th Kokborok Day. The Kokborok language, the official language of Tripura, is also known as Tripuri or Tiprakok. In 1979, Kokborok, along with Bengali and English, was declared an official language of the state of Tripura, India by the state government.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sushmita Sen wins International Association of Working Women Award for Aarya 2

• Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen has been conferred with the International Association of Working Women Award at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) 2021. The former Miss Universe has been felicitated for outstanding performance by a female actor in a TV series for her show ‘Aarya 2’.

• The Aarya 2 series is created by Ram Madhvani and had released on December 10, 2021, on Disney+Hotstar. The DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) 2021 is organised virtually from January 16 to January 30, to showcase the best in alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Sri Lanka.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘The Legend of Birsa Munda’ authored by Tuhin A Sinha & Ankita Verma

• Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has released a book titled ‘The Legend of Birsa Munda’, authored by Tuhin A Sinha and co-authored by Ankita Verma. The Book is the story of a lesser-known tribal hero, Birsa Munda, who courageously fought against the oppressive British Raj for the rights of his tribal community.

• According to the authors, “The book based on true events is a tribute to Birsa Munda who in a very short life mobilized the tribal community, rebelled against forced conversions, envisioned a fair and just society and died fighting for it. The Legend of Birsa Munda is the story of a subaltern tribal hero whose contribution to India’s struggle for independence must never be forgotten.”

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

FDI flows to India slip 26% in 2021: UN report

• Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to India fell by 26 per cent in 2021, compared to 2020, as per the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Trends Monitor published. In 2020, FDI to India was recorded at USD 64 billion. This was 27 per cent more compared to USD 51 billion in FDI in 2019.

• UNCTAD said that low FDI in India was mainly because large cross-border mergers & acquisitions (M&A) deals recorded in 2020 were not repeated. The global FDI flows increased by 77 per cent to an estimated USD 1.65 trillion in 2021, from USD 929 billion in 2020.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

'Anxiety' is Oxford University Press' Children's Word of the Year 2021

• The Oxford University Press (OUP) has picked up ‘Anxiety’ as the Children’s Word of the Year 2021, based on their recent research.

• The Oxford University Press (OUP) has picked up ‘Anxiety’ as the Children’s Word of the Year 2021, based on their recent research. Apart from “anxiety” (21%), “Challenging” (19%), “isolate” (14%), “Wellbeing” (13%) and “resilience” (12%) were the children’s top five words. In 2020, Coronavirus was the Children’s Word of the Year by OUP.

• Over 8,000 children from across 85 schools in the UK, spanning Year 3 to Year 9, were surveyed and asked to choose the top words they would use when talking about health and wellbeing. The research highlights the widespread impact lockdown and school closures had on children, with almost a quarter of all surveyed choosing anxiety (21 per cent) as their number one word, closely followed by challenging (19 per cent) and isolate (14 per cent). However, wellbeing (13 per cent) and resilience (12 per cent) closely followed as their top words, signalling children’s positive attitude in the face of recent challenges.

First BRICS Sherpas meeting of 2022 held under Chinese chairship

• The first BRICS Sherpas meeting of 2022 was held virtually on January 18-19 2022, with the members thanking India for its BRICS chairship in 2021.

• The first BRICS Sherpas meeting of 2022 was held virtually on January 18-19 2022, with the members thanking India for its BRICS chairship in 2021. China has taken on the rotating chairmanship of BRICS in 2022. BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

• Meanwhile, Sanjay Bhattacharyya India’s BRICS Sherpa said that Last year we saw a significant achievement that our foreign ministers brought about in terms of the document on the strengthening and reform of the multilateral systems. These issues of global governance, particularly the UN systems and other institutions, are extremely important. And I’m happy that we shall continue to attach high importance to its continued relevance.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Jahnavi Dangeti:‘India’s First’ who completed the prestigious NASA programme

• Jahnavi Dangeti, a young girl from Andhra Pradesh, has just completed NASA’s International Air and Space Program (iasp nasa) at the Kennedy Space Centre in Alabama, US, making her the first Indian to accomplish this feat. She is part of a carefully shortlisted group of 20 students from around the world. She has been a campus ambassador for numerous organisations, including Star (Space Technology and Aeronautical Rocketry), an Indian private aerospace company. She is a member of the International Organization of Aspiring Astronauts (IOAA). She participated in many events and workshops of Nasa, Isro and other space agencies.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Internet Panel On Languages Ropes In Vijay Shekhar Sharma As Ambassador

• Vijay Shekhar Sharma named as ambassador of Internet panel on languages UASG Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been roped in as the Ambassador of Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), a community-based team of industry leaders supported by global internet body ICANN. UASG works on developing and recommending standards for languages script that are not currently used to access the internet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) aims to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. Its headquarter is based at California, United States.

Dileep Sanghani elected as IFFCO Chairman

• The board of directors of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) has unanimously elected Dileep Sanghani as the 17th Chairman of the Cooperative.

• The board of directors of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) has unanimously elected Dileep Sanghani as the 17th Chairman of the Cooperative. He succeeds Balvinder Singh Nakai, who passed away earlier on October 11, 2021. Prior to this, Sanghani was serving as vice-chairman of IFFCO since 2019.

• Sanghani is a senior co-operator from Gujarat and the chairman of the Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd. (GUJCOMASOL), a position he has held since 2017. He held various portfolios in the Gujarat government, including agriculture, cooperation, animal husbandry, fisheries, cow-breeding, prison, excise, law and justice, legislative and parliamentary affairs.

Chanchal Kumar appointed as MD of  NHIDCL

• Chanchal Kumar has been appointed as the Managing Director, National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH). He is appointed in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary. He is a 1992 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, presently Principal Secretary of Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has also approved the extension in the central deputation tenure of Ashutosh Jindal, Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat for 1 year beyond 16th February 2022 to 16th February 2023.

OBITURY

World's oldest man dies at 112 in spain

• Guinness World Records holder for the oldest person living (male), Saturnino de la Fuente García (Spain) has passed away at the age of 112 years and 341 days.

• Guinness World Records holder for the oldest person living (male), Saturnino de la Fuente García (Spain) has passed away at the age of 112 years and 341 days. Saturnino claimed the record as the oldest person living (male) in September 2021 when he was exactly 112 years and 211 days. He was born on February 11, 1909, in the Puente Castro neighbourhood of León in Spain.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Pfizer chief Albert Bourla wins $1 million Genesis Prize for development of COVID-19 vaccine

• The global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Albert Bourla, has been awarded with the prestigious Genesis Prize 2022.

• The global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Albert Bourla, has been awarded with the prestigious Genesis Prize 2022 on January 19, 2022. He has been awarded for his efforts in leading the development of a COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine). The award comes with a cash prize of $1 million.

• The annual prize is awarded to Jewish people who have achieved significant professional success, in recognition of their accomplishments, contributions to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and/or to the State of Israel. It is widely referred to as the “Jewish Nobel Prize”.

  BANKING AND ECONOMIC

India Ratings projects economy to grow at 7.6% in FY23

• India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of the Indian economy to grow at 7.6 per cent year-on-year in 2022-23 (FY23).

• India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of the Indian economy to grow at 7.6 per cent year-on-year in 2022-23 (FY23). Ind-Ra is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group. The economic recovery was encouraging, he said, and restrictions put in place by many states to contain the current wave of Covid-19 were not as severe as the second wave. Nonetheless, there are risks to the ongoing recovery, the rating agency warned.

• It pointed to the latest FY22 GDP advance estimates, which show that private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) — the largest component of GDP (58.6 per cent) from the demand side and a proxy for consumption demand — is projected to grow only 6.9 per cent YoY in the current year, despite a low base and sales data of many consumer durables showing robust growth.

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Important Current Affairs 21st January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

ILO Report 2022: Global unemployment levelprojected at 207 million

• The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released its World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2022 (WESO Trends) report. The report analyses comprehensive labour market projections for 2022 and 2023 and assesses how labour market recovery has unfolded worldwide. In the WESO 2022, ILO has downgraded its forecast for labour market recovery in 2022.

• The global unemployment level in 2022 is estimated at 207 million, compared to 186 million in 2019.

• Total working hours globally in 2022 is projected to be 2% below the pre-pandemic level, and that is equivalent to the loss of 52 million full-time jobs.

• The global labour force participation rate in 2022 is projected to remain 1.2 percentage points below that of 2019 before the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic began.

NATIONAL

India Successfully Test-Fires New BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile Off Odisha Coast

• BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, with increased indigenous content and improved performance, was successfully test-fired from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

• The launch was conducted by Brahmos Aerospace in close coordination with Defence Research and Development Organisation. This flight test was monitored by all the sensors of the range instrumentation including telemetry, radar and electro-optical tracking systems deployed across the eastern coast and the down range ships.

• Brahmos was successfully test-fired from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on January 20, 2022.

• The flight test is a major milestone in the way forward for BrahMos programme.

• The highly maneuverable missile cruised at supersonic speed for its maximum range and all mission objectives were met.

Odisha teams up with WFP to improve food security, farmers' resilience

• The United Nations World Food Programme and the Odisha Government joined hands to improve the food security of small and marginal farmers in India by strengthening their resilience to climate change.

• In a participatory pilot initiative, climate advisories will be tailored to enable smallholder farmers to adapt to the impact of climate change. Smallholder farmers, who constitute 90 percent of farming communities in Odisha, will be able to select the right farming and livelihood options to improve their food security and incomes.

SPORTS

Babar Azam named captain of ICC Men's T20 Team of Year 2021

• Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has been named as the captain of the ICC Men’s T20I team of the year for 2021. The ICC Team of the Year recognises the 11 best players in men’s cricket who have impressed one and all with their performances in a calendar year, either with the bat, ball or their all-round performance. No Indian male player has found a place in the team of 11.

• However, in ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year for 2021, Smriti Mandhana is the only Indian women player named in the 11 member team. Smriti has made in the list for third time in the T20I team of the year after 2018 (opener) and 2019 (number three). England’s Nat Sciver has been made the captain of ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year for 2021.

Sania Mirza: India tennis star to retire after 2022 season

• Sania Mirza, the most successful woman in Indian tennis history, has decided that she is bidding adieu to the sports at the end of 2022.

• The 35-year-old had already bowed out of singles competitions in 2013. Sania has six Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles to her name. Her last headline-grabbing win came with Chinese partner Shuai Zhang in women’s doubles at the Ostrava Open on September 26, 2021.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Vikram Dev Dutt appointed new CMD of Air India

• Senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt has been appointed as the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Air India Ltd. Dutt is a 1993-batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre. He has been appointed as the Air India chief in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry. Prior to this, he was the Principal Secretary (Tourism) in Delhi government.

• The Centre had in October last year accepted Tata Son’s bid of Rs 18,000 crore to acquire 100 per cent of the debt-laden state-run carrier. The takeover has not been completed yet. Talace Pvt Ltd, a unit of the holding company of the salt-to-software conglomerate, had made the winning bid of Rs 2,700 crore cash and Rs 15,300 crore debt takeover.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

IIMK LIVE, Indian Bank ink Landmark MoU

• Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode’s (IIMK) Business incubator Laboratory for Innovation Venturing and Entrepreneurship (LIVE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Bank to financially support early-stage startups. Under the MoU, a startup funding scheme, ‘IndSpring Board’ has been launched. Under this scheme loans up to Rs, 50 Crore will be disbursed to the startups.

• The startups can use the loan amount to meet their operational expenditure and capital expenditure which includes working capital, purchase of fixed assets and other expenses.

• The loan amount disbursed to startups under the IndSpring Board scheme from IIMK LIVE and Indian Bank can be used to meet a startup operational expenditure and capital expenditure which includes working capital, purchase of fixed assets and other expenses.

• Startups selected under this scheme would have to be committed towards working on innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or present a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

RBI: Digital payments up 39.6% in Sept 2021

• The RBI’s Digital Payment Index, which shows the deepening of payments through digital modes in India, rose by 39.64 per cent to 304.06 in September 2021 against 217.74 in the year-ago month. The RBI-DPI Index continues to demonstrate significant growth in adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country. RBI has introduced Digital Payments Index in January 2021 with March 2018 as the base year to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country. This means that the DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100.

• RBI has started publishing the Digital Payments Index (DPI) on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of 4 months. This means that the DPI will be released by RBI for March and September every year in the months of July and January respectively.

• The RBI-DPI comprises five broad parameters that enable measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods, viz. payment enablers (with 25 per cent weight), payment infrastructure—demand-side factors (10 per cent), payment infrastructure—supply-side factors (15 per cent), payment performance (45 per cent) and consumer centricity (5 per cent). These parameters have sub-parameters which, in turn, consist of various measurable indicators.

Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone

• Microsoft Corp. is set to acquire game making company, Activision Blizzard Inc., in an all-cash transaction for $68.7 billion. ($95.00 per share). This acquisition will boost the competitiveness of Microsoft in the mobile gaming business and virtual-reality technology, across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.

• Activision Blizzard is famous as the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, Xbox, among other leading video games. Upon the completion of the deal, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. This is the biggest deal ever by Microsoft and also the largest-ever deal in the history of the gaming industry.

SEBI Launched Saa₹Thi Mobile App for Investor Education

• Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has launched Saa₹thi, a mobile app on investor education.

• The new app aims to empower investors with accurate knowledge about the securities market. The app will cater largely to individual investors, who have recently entered the markets and carry out trading via their mobile phones. The app will be helpful in easily accessing all the relevant information like the basic concepts of Securities Market, KYC Process, trading and settlement, mutual funds, recent market developments, investor grievances redressal mechanism, etc.It is currently available in Hindi and English.

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