Current Affairs in English

02nd, 03rd, and 04th Jan 2022 Current Affairs Updates in English

Important Days

DRDO Celebrates 64th Foundation Day on 1st January 2022

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has observed the 64th Foundation Day of its establishment on January 01, 2022. DRDO was established in 1958 with just 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in the Defence sector.

At that time, it was tasked with designing and developing cutting-edge defense technologies for the Indian Armed Forces.

As of now, DRDO is working in multiple cutting edge military technology areas, which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation, engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation, cyber, life sciences, and other technologies for defense.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman DRDO: Dr G Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.

National

Dharmendra Pradhan launches reading campaign ‘Padhe Bharat’

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has launched a 100-day reading campaign ‘Padhe Bharat. The launch of the 100 Days Reading Campaign is in alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which lays emphasis on the promotion of joyful reading culture for children by ensuring the availability of age-appropriate reading books for children in local/mother tongue/regional/tribal language.

Padhe Bharat campaign will focus on children studying in Balvatika to Grade 8. The reading campaign will be organized for 100 days (14 weeks) starting from January 1, 2022, to April 10, 2022.

The reading campaign aims to have the participation of all stakeholders at the national and state level including children, teachers, parents, community, educational administrators, etc.

PM Modi to lay the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut. The University will be established at Salawa and Kaili villages of Sardhana town in Meerut at an estimated cost of about 700 Crore rupees.

The University will have the capacity of training 1080 sportspersons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons. The Sports University will be equipped with modern and state-of-the-art sports infrastructure including synthetic Hockey ground, Football ground, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Kabaddi ground, Lawn tennis court, Gymnasium hall, Synthetic running stadium, Swimming pool, Multipurpose hall, and a Cycling Velodrome.

It will also house facilities for Shooting, Squash, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Archery, Canoeing, and Kayaking, among other facilities with the capacity of training.

Government-approved 19th Tranche of Electoral Bonds

The government has approved the issuance of the 19th tranche of electoral bonds, which will be open for sale from January 1 to 10, 2022, ahead of assembly elections in five states Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Goa.

In the 19th tranche of sale, the State Bank of India (SBI), has been authorized to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 specialized branches. There is no limit on the number of bonds an individual or company can purchase. An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days.

Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding. However, Opposition parties have been raising concerns about alleged opaqueness in funding through such bonds.

1st electric boat built for Kochi Water Metro Project

In Kerala, the first battery-powered electric boat built for the Kochi Water Metro Project was handed over to the Kochi Metro Rail Limited. The fully air-conditioned boat is among the 23 boats being built by the Cochin Shipyard for the 747-crore rupee Kochi Water Metro project.

Kochi Water Metro system will have 78 ferries, linking 38 terminals spread over 76 route kilometers. The battery-powered water metro boat can carry 100 passengers. KMRL said it was for the first time in the world a centrally controlled integrated water transport system with a large fleet is powered by the battery.

Jawaharlal Nehru Road renamed as ‘Narendra Modi Marg’

Governor of Sikkim, Ganga Prasad, has named a new road Narendra Modi Marg. The Governor viewed the road under Kabi Lungchok from Kyongsala, 4th mile. This is an alternative to Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg.

The National Monument at National Highway 310 was built by Border Roads Organization. It will be easier for Indian tourists to reach Nathula Border. The stretch, constructed by Border Roads Organisation, has reduced the distance between Gangtok and Tsomgo lake by 15 km.

Odisha launched the Digital Life Certificate system for pensioners in 2022

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched an online service for the verification of identity and submission of life certificates for pensioners of the state government.

The chief minister virtually launched the new initiative while attending the orientation program for newly recruited 153 officers of Odisha Civil Services.

Identification and life certificates can now be submitted by the pensioners using an artificial intelligence-based video-verification process.

It will be of immense help to the pensioners as they can submit their identification and life certificates digitally, without visiting any government office simply by using their mobile phones.

This facility will also be available at the ‘Mo Seva Kendras’ located across the state. Patnaik said the introduction of digital life certificates and E-dairy were part of his government’s 5T and ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiatives.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Odisha Capital: Bhubaneswar;
  • Odisha Governor: Ganeshi Lal;
  • Odisha Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.

UP’s Jhansi Railway Station was renamed as ‘Veerangana Laxmibai Railway Station’

Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has announced that the government of UP has renamed the Jhansi Railway Station, in Jhansi, UP as “Veerangana Laxmibai Railway Station” after Rani Laxmibai.

The announcement was made by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. A notification to this effect has been issued by the UP government and the Railways has started preparations to implement the change.

Earlier the Mughalsarai Railway station was renamed as Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction and the Faizabad Railway station as Ayodhya Cantt.

International

World’s longest Metro line opened in China

Shanghai has opened two new metro lines, upholding its rank as the city with the largest Metro network in the world. With the new lines, the total length of Shanghai’s metro network has extended to 831 km, continuing to be the longest in the world.

China’s Shanghai opened two new metro lines – Line 14 and Phase One of Line 18. The opening of the two new lines will bring the total number of fully automatic metro lines in Shanghai to five, with an operating length of 167 km, ranking first in the world for the first time. The city will now enjoy 20 metro lines with 508 stations, 83 of which are transfer ones.

China launches 5-year plan to become a hub of world robotics innovation

China has announced a five-year roadmap to achieve its goal of becoming a global robotics innovation hub by the year 2025. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed operating income from the country’s robotics industry is expected to grow by around 20% per year between 2021 and 2025.

From 2016 to 2020, the sector expanded at an average growth rate of 15%. Last year, operating income surpassed 100 billion yuan ($15.69 billion) for the first time.

As per the 2021 World Robot Report, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan were the top three most automated countries in Asia-Pacific.

Appointments

Vinay Kumar Tripathi named as Chairman and CEO of Railway Board

1983 Batch of Indian Railway Service, Vinay Kumar Tripathi has been appointed as new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Railway Board. He is presently working as General Manager, Northeastern Railway to the post of Chairman of Railway Board.

Indian Railway Board is the apex body of the Indian Railways, which reports to parliament through the Ministry of Railways. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has not only approved the appointment of Tripathi for six months from January 1 but also further granted an extension of his tenure till 31 December in 2022.

Vinay Kumar Tripathi has attended higher Management training programs in Switzerland & USA. Tripathi had played a key role in the commissioning of state-of-art three-phase locomotives and their indigenization, which are now the workhorse of Indian Railways. Tripathi holds wide experience in railway management and administrations.

Baldev Prakash named as MD & CEO of J&K Bank

Baldev Prakash has been appointed as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of Jammu & Kashmir Bank for three years. His appointment will be effective from the date of taking charge or April 10, 2022, whichever is earlier. Apart from him, R K Chhibber has been appointed as an additional director on the board of the bank.

Prakash has over 30 years of experience in banking. He had joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1991 and was the Chief General Manager (Digital and Transaction Banking Marketing Department) at SBI, Mumbai. The appointment is effective from the date of taking charge or April 10, 2022, whichever is earlier.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  •  Jammu & Kashmir Bank Headquarters: Srinagar;
  •  Jammu & Kashmir Bank Founded: 1 October 1938.

VS Pathania takes over as Director-General of Indian Coast Guard

V.S. Pathania took over as the 24th Director General (DG) of the Indian Coast Guard from Krishnaswamy Natarajan who retired from service. He is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and National Defence College, New Delhi.

He was elevated to the rank of Additional Director General in Nov 2019 and took over the reins as Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard) at Visakhapatnam.

In a career of over 36 years, Pathania has held several key appointments afloat and ashore and has also commanded all classes of Coast Guard ships namely Inshore Patrol Vessel ‘Ranijindan’, Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ‘Vigraha’ and advanced OPV ‘Sarang’, it said.

He was elevated to the rank of Additional Director General in November 2019 and took over as Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard) at Visakhapatnam.

Pathania is the recipient of President’s Tatrakshak Medal for Distinguished Service, Tatrakshak Medal for gallantry, and DG Coast Guard Commendation.

Banking

SBI Card joined hands with Paytm for Card Tokenization

SBI Cards and Payment Services has tied up with Paytm for card tokenization to protect the data of the cardholders. SBI Card has collaborated with Paytm to enable cardholders to tokenize their cards on devices and make payments through Paytm.

Tokenisation refers to masking the original card number by replacing it with a set of unique characters, termed as a token, which secures the customer’s card details when a transaction is under process.

Currently, only cards issued in the Indian territory are enabled on the Paytm network. However, customers may transact using his/her SBI Card through the Paytm network in international locations.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Card Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana;
  • SBI Card Managing Director & CEO: Rama Mohan Rao Amara.

RBI extended the deadline for Periodic KYC Update till March 31, 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it has extended the deadline for periodic KYC updates by 3 months till March 31, 2022. Extension in view of prevalent uncertainty due to a new variant of COVID-19 – Omicron. Earlier the deadline for periodic KYC updates was December 31.

Meanwhile, the government has also extended the deadline for businesses to file GST annual returns for 2020-21 fiscal ended March 2021 by two months till February 28.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Reserve Bank of India Founded: April 1, 1935;
  • Reserve Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • Reserve Bank of India Governor: Shaktikanta Das.

Economy

GST Collection Stood At Rs 1.29 Lakh Crore in December 2021

GST revenue collected in December 2021 was over Rs 1.29 lakh crore, 13 percent higher than the same month in 2020.

The gross GST revenue collected in the month of December 2021 is ₹ 1,29,780 crore, of which CGST is ₹ 22,578 crore, SGST is ₹ 28,658 crore, IGST is Rs 69,155 crore (including Rs 37,527 crores collected on import of goods), and cess is Rs 9,389 crore.

Business

Tech Mahindra to acquire 100 percent stake in Allyis India, Green Investments

Tech Mahindra has approved a proposal for the acquisition of a 100 percent stake in Allyis India and Green Investments, for a total consideration of up to USD 125 million.

The acquisition will bolster Tech Mahindra’s capabilities in Digital Experience Solutions, Learning & Development, Marketing, Instructional Design; Engineering: Cloud & Automation, BI & Analytics, Technical support services.

Tech Mahindra will pay total consideration of up to $125 million, including employment-related and performance-related earnouts, as per a regulatory update filed with the exchanges.

Allyis India Pvt Ltd and Green Investments LLC offer technology consulting and managed services for organizations to help reduce costs, improve performance, and meet their objectives. Allyis India Pvt Ltd was incorporated in 2018 whole Green Investments LLC was incorporated in 2013.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Tech Mahindra CEO: C. P. Gurnani;
  • Tech Mahindra Headquarters: Pune;
  • Tech Mahindra Founder: Anand Mahindra;
  • Tech Mahindra Founded: 1986.

IRDAI: LIC, GIC Re, and New India systemically important insurers

Insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has stated that LIC, GIC Re, and New India continue to be identified as Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for 2021-22.

D-SIIs refer to insurers of such size, market importance, and domestic and global interconnectedness, whose distress or failure would cause significant dislocation in the domestic financial system.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IRDAI Founded: 1999;
  • IRDAI Headquarters: Hyderabad;
  • IRDAI Chairperson: Subhash Chandra Khuntia.

LIC inaugurates Digi Zone to sell policies online

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has inaugurated “Digi Zone”, at Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, as part of its effort to enhance its digital footprint.

LIC’s Digi Zone can be used by the customers to purchase policies online, pay the premium, and avail of other services. As a part of its efforts to become a tech-driven life insurer, LIC will offer information related to its products and services through kiosks installed on the Digi Zone premises.

Customers can use LIC’s Digi Zone to buy policies online, pay the premium, and avail of other services. LIC plans to undertake the next wave of digital transformation to unlock several benefits of accelerating growth, driving customer satisfaction, and improving intermediary productivity and loyalty.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • LIC Chairperson: M R Kumar;
  • LIC Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • LIC Founded: 1 September 1956.

Awards

Danish Siddiqui gets posthumously Mumbai Press Club’s RedInk Award 2020

Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who died during an assignment in Afghanistan, has been posthumously awarded as the ‘Journalist of the Year’ for 2020 by the Mumbai Press Club. CJI N V Ramana presented the annual ‘RedInk Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

He presented the prestigious award to Siddiqui “for his spectrum of investigative and impactful news photography”. Danish Siddiqui’s wife Frederike Siddiqui received the award.

Senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha, 83, was bestowed with the lifetime achievement award “for his long and distinguished career of incisive and analytical writing”. The Mumbai Press Club instituted The RedInk Awards a decade ago to recognize good investigative and feature writing and raise the bar of journalism in the country.

Summits and Conferences

Nirmala Sitharaman chairs 46th GST council meet in Delhi

The GST Council’s 46th meeting was held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.

The GST Council has recommended deferring the decision to change the rates in textiles recommended in the 45th GST Council meeting. Consequently, the existing GST rates of 5 % instead of 12% in the textile sector would continue.

This convention attains special significance as it comes days ahead of Sitharaman presenting the much-anticipated Union Budget 2022-23 on February 1, for which she has been holding a series of pre-budget consultations with stakeholders.

Sports

India defeat Sri Lanka in U-19 Asia Cup 2021 finals

India has lifted the under-19 Asia cricket Cup by defeating Sri Lanka by nine wickets in a rain-interrupted One-Day International final in Dubai through the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

In the match, Sri Lanka opted to bat first and scored 106 for nine in the stipulated 38 overs. India, who have won a record seven Asia Cup titles, looked like a far superior team.

Quinton de Kock announces retirement from Test cricket

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect late. His announcement came just hours after South Africa’s 113-run defeat to India in the first Test of the three-match series. De Kock cited his intentions to spend more time with his growing family for the timing.

In a statement, the 29-year-old de Kock said he made his decision in order to have more time to spend with his family. De Kock and his wife Sasha are expecting their first child in the coming days.

NewZealand’s Ross Taylor announces retirement from international cricket

Veteran New Zealand batter, Ross Taylor has announced retirement from international cricket at the end of the ongoing domestic season.

Taylor hence will play his final appearance in the second Test against Bangladesh, where will equal Daniel Vettori’s record of 112 tests for New Zealand.

He will be part of the one-day international series in Australia. He is the first cricketer to play more than 100 matches for New Zealand in all 3 formats.


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