Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

13th and 14th Dec 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

Unicef Day 2021: History, significance, theme

Every year, UNICEF Day is observed on December 11 to raise awareness about saving children’s lives by defending and helping them to fulfill their wishes. The day provides assistance for the health, nutrition, education, and welfare of children during World War II.

UNICEF’s name was subsequently changed from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to United Nations Children’s Fund though, it continued to be known by the popular acronym based on the previous title.

The theme for this year is to help children recover from interruptions and learning losses experienced through pandemics in the last two years.

International Universal Health Coverage Day:12 December

International Universal Health Coverage Day is a United Nations’ recognized international day celebrated every year on December 12. International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.

Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030.

This year theme of International Universal Health Coverage Day is “Leave No One’s Health Behind: Invest in health systems for all.”

International Day of Neutrality: 12 December 2021

International Day of Neutrality is a United Nations recognized day held on December 12 each year to raise public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations. It was officially declared by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in February 2017 and first observed on December 12, 2017.

On 2 February 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted without a vote resolution 71/275 — introduced by Turkmenistan, recognized by the UN as a permanently neutral state since 12 December 1995, which noted the link between the preservation of peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and declared 12 December as the International Day of Neutrality.


India assumed the chairmanship of the Council of RATS SCO

India assumed the Chairmanship of Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS SCO) for 1 year from October 28, 2021.

The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Government of India, in association with Data Security Council of India (DSCI), as a Knowledge Partner, organized a 2-day Practical Seminar on ‘Securing Cyberspace in the Contemporary Threat Environment’ for delegates from SCO member States.

The seminar is the 1st event to be hosted by India during its Chairmanship of Council of RATS SCO. This Seminar addressed key areas like Policies and Strategies, Cyber Terrorism, Ransomware, and Digital Forensics amongst others. The representatives from the Executive Committee (EC) of RATS SCO and all SCO member countries attended this Seminar.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SCO Headquarters: Beijing, China;
  • SCO Founded: 15 June 2001;
  • SCO Secretary-General: Vladimir Norov.

NITI Aayog to establish 1,000 Atal Tinkering Labs in J&K

The NITI Aayog has planned to establish 1000 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of 1000 Atal Tinkering Laboratories, 187 will be established by the end of the financial year 2021-22.

Out of 187 ATLs, 31 are being established across government schools of J&k while 50 will be established in several educational institutions like KVs, JNVs, and Private schools.

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) is a sub-mission under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the Central Government in India. It is the flagship initiative of AIM, that seeks to nurture an innovative mindset amongst high school students across India.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • NITI Aayog Formed: 1 January 2015;
  • NITI Aayog Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • NITI Aayog Chairperson: Narendra Modi;
  • NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson: Rajiv Kumar;
  • NITI Aayog CEO: Amitabh Kant.


UNGA granted observer status to International Solar Alliance

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has granted Observer Status to International Solar Alliance (ISA) by adopting resolution 76/123. This decision has been taken based on the UNGA’s Sixth Committee report.

In November 2015, ISA was jointly launched by India and France during the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change COP-21 in Paris, France to promote solar energy among its Member Countries.

A total of 108 countries participated in the Assembly, including 74 Member Countries and 34 Observer and Prospective Countries, 23 Partner Organizations, and 33 Special Invitee Organisations.

The launch of the ISA was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former French President Francois Hollande in November 2015, at the 21st session of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Paris, France.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Solar Alliance Headquarters: Gurugram;
  • International Solar Alliance Founded: 30 November 2015;
  • International Solar Alliance Director-General: Ajay Mathur.


Catherine Russell appointed as the new head of UNICEF

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Catherine Russell as the head of UN children’s agency UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Catherine Russell is an assistant to US President Joe Biden. She also heads the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Russell will succeed Henrietta Fore, who resigned in July 2021 because of a family health issue.

UNICEF is governed by a 36-member executive board. The board establishes policies, oversees administrative & financial plans, and approves programs. Board comprises of government representatives, who are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. They are elected for three-year terms.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UNICEF Headquarters: New York, United States of America;
  • UNICEF Founded: 11 December 1946.


NITI Aayog and Bharti Foundation announce the launch of ‘Convoke 2021-22’

NITI Aayog in partnership with Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, launched Convoke 2021-22.

Convoke is a National research Symposium that aims at addressing challenges in imparting education and strengthening its quality with a special focus on all teachers, educationists, heads of schools across India.

Through Convoke they can now share their micro research papers. These research papers will be analyzed by a panel of Educationists. The shortlisted Research Papers will be presented during the ‘National Research Symposium’ scheduled in January 2022.


DRDO successfully tests Pinaka Extended Range 2021

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired Pinaka Extended Range (Pinaka-ER), Area Denial Munitions (ADM), an indigenously developed fuzes.

The test was conducted at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the Odisha coast. A total of 25 enhanced Pinaka rockets were reportedly fired from multi-barrel rocket launchers (MRLs) at several ranges during the test.

The range version can destroy the target of up to 45 km. At the same time, the flight path of these missiles was tracked by range instruments including telemetry, radar, and electro-optical tracking system deployed by ITR and Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE).


RBI enforces 20-digit LEI for cross-border deals

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) mandatory for cross-border transactions for capital or current account transactions of Rs 50 crore and above, from October 1 next year.

The LEI is a 20-digit number used to uniquely identify parties to financial transactions worldwide to improve the quality and accuracy of financial data systems.

The identifier norm has been introduced in a phased manner for participants in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivative, non-derivative markets, large corporate borrowers, and large value transactions in centralized payment systems.

Starting October 1, 2022, banks will have to obtain the `LEI` number from the resident entities (non-individuals) undertaking any capital or current account transactions. For LEI holders, it would be mandatory to furnish the number in all transactions irrespective of the transaction size.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikanta Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.


ADB approved a USD 350 million loan to improve India’s urban services

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a Rs 2653.05 crore (USD 350 million) policy-based loan to improve urban services in India.

This loan supports the policies formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to benefit the urban poor, economically weaker sections, and low-income groups.

ADB will also provide knowledge and advisory support to MoHUA in program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines;
  • Asian Development Bank President: Masatsugu Asakawa;
  • Asian Development Bank Membership: 68 countries;
  • Asian Development Bank Founded: 19 December 1966.


LIC gets RBI approval to increase stake up in IndusInd Bank

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India to increase its stake to 99 percent in IndusInd Bank of the total issued and paid-up capital of the private sector lender.

The approval will be valid for 1 year i.e., up to December 8, 2022. At present, LIC holds a 4.95 percent stake in the IndusInd Bank. Recently, LIC had also received a similar kind of approval from RBI to increase its stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank to 9.99 percent.

It holds a 49.24 percent stake in IDBI Bank. Among other major banks, LIC holds 8.8 percent in Canara Bank, 8.3 percent in Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India, 8.2 percent in Axis Bank, and 7.6 percent in ICICI Bank.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

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


Karnataka Bank won 2 DigiDhan Awards by MeitY

Karnataka Bank has been conferred with two DigiDhan awards instituted by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The awards were given during Digital payment Utsav in New Delhi.

The award recognized banks for achieving the target with the highest percentage in BHIM-UPI transactions under the private sector bank category consecutively for two years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Karnataka Bank has always stood ahead of the time in adopting the latest digital technology to its products in order to provide best-in-class service to our customers.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Karnataka Bank Ltd Chairman: Pradeep Kumar Panja;
  • Karnataka Bank Headquarters: Mangalore;
  • Karnataka Bank Founded: 18 February 1924.

Indian Mathematician Neena Gupta receives Ramanujan Prize 2021

Indian Mathematician Neena Gupta has received the 2021 DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.

Professor Neena Gupta, a mathematician at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Kolkata. She is the third woman to receive Ramanujan Prize, which was first awarded in 2005 and is administered by Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics jointly with Dept Science and Technology and International Mathematical Union.

The prize, named after Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, was first awarded in 2005 and is administered by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) jointly with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowned 70th Miss Universe 2021

Actor-model Harnaaz Sandhu made history as she was crowned Miss Universe 2021 beating contestants from 80 countries, 21 years after India last brought home the title.

While Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, 22, finished second, South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, 24, came third. Only two Indians before Ms. Sandhu have won the title of Miss Universe— actors Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.

The 70th edition of the event was held in Eilat, Israel, where the 21-year-old bagged the coveted pageant.

The ceremony was hosted by Steve Harvey and saw performances by American singer JoJo. The selection committee included actor and Miss Universe India 2015 Urvashi Rautela, Adamari López, Adriana Lima, Cheslie Kryst, Iris Mittenaere, Lori Harvey, Marian Rivera, and Rena Sofer.

Azim Premji receives Dr. Ida S. Scudder Oration award

Azim Premji, founder chairman of Wipro Limited and founder of Azim Premji Foundation is this year’s recipient of the 10th annual Dr. Ida S. Scudder Humanitarian Oration, jointly established by Christian Medical College Vellore (CMC) and the U.S.-based Vellore CMC Foundation.

The award is presented to Mr. Premji in recognition of his contributions to society. Dr. Scudder who was born in Ranipet in 1870 dedicated her life to bringing modern healthcare and medical education to the people of India.

The Oration seeks to inspire people to emulate her dedication to the service of humanity by honoring exceptional individuals. The previous recipients of the Dr. Ida S. Scudder Humanitarian Oration include former president of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Ranks and Reports

World Talent Ranking report 2021: India ranked 56th

International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitive Centre published its “World Talent Ranking Report”. In the report, Europe has dominated the ranking in 2021.

Global top 10 countries are from this region. Switzerland has retained its top spot. India has been ranked at 56th position. In the Middle East & North Africa, UAE maintained its second position, following Israel (first in this region). Israel has been ranked 22nd.

Top 10 in World Talent Ranking report 2021:


Science and Technology

ISRO, Oppo collaborate to strengthen R&D of NavIC messaging service

The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed an agreement with Chinese smart devices maker Oppo’s Indian arm to strengthen the research and development of the NavIC messaging service.

The messaging service is mainly used for broadcasting safety-of-life alerts in areas with poor or no communication, particularly in the oceans. Oppo India has its manufacturing unit in Noida and an R&D center in Hyderabad.

Both ISRO and Oppo India will exchange technical information of NavIC messaging services to build rapid, ready-to-use, end-to-end application-specific solutions. This will enable integrating NavIC messaging service with the mobile handset platform keeping in mind the need of Indian users.


Norway’s Magnus Carlsen wins FIDE World Chess Championship

Reigning world chess champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway defended his title and won the FIDE World Championship in Dubai.

He beat Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, securing the one point he needed to cross the seven-point threshold to win the global tournament held at Dubai’s Expo 2020 this month in the United Arab Emirates.

Carlsen clinched his fifth world championship title. Carlsen wins 60% of the 2 million-euro prize offered by the championship.

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