Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

15 Dec 2021 Current Affairs and Daily GK Updates in English

Important Days

National Energy Conservation Day 2021

Every year on the 14th of December, National Energy Conservation day is celebrated in India. This occasion has been celebrated since 1991 when is led by the Ministry of power.

This day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding the conservation of energy as it is the best way to have a greener and brighter future.

Back in 2001, the Indian bureau of energy efficiency implemented the Indian energy conservation act which focused on formulating policies regarding energy conservation.

National

IMO: India re-elected to International Maritime Organisation Council

India has been re-elected to International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council for the 2022-2023 biennium under category B states.

The Assembly of the International Maritime Organization has elected the Members of its Council for the 2022-2023 biennium.

The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Maritime Organisation Headquarters: London, United Kingdom;
  • International Maritime Organisation Founder: United Nations;
  • International Maritime Organisation Founded: 17 March 1948.

PM Modi inaugurates Kashi-Vishwanath Dham project in Kashi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 339 crore Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project that connects the temple town’s two iconic landmarks – Kashi Vishwanath temple and Ganga ghats.

The idea behind the project is to ensure that all heritage structures get preserved. A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in phase 1 of the project.

They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery and Food Court, among others.

The project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet.

Centre to launch National Helpline against atrocities on SCs, STs

Union Minister Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar has launched National Helpline against atrocities on SCs, STs.

The objective of the helpline, reportedly, is to build awareness about the provisions of the Act that are aimed at ending discrimination and providing protection to all. The Helpline will be available 24-7 on toll-free number – 14566.

This Service will be available in Hindi, English, and Regional languages of the States. The objective of this helpline is to spread awareness about the provision of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

All registered complaints will be investigated and all charge sheets filed are prosecuted in the Courts for decision within the given timelines in the Act. A docket number will be given for each complaint received from Victim/Complainant/NGOs regarding non-compliance with The Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act, 1955 and the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act, 1989.

Madhya Pradesh govt organized first drone Mela at Gwalior

In Madhya Pradesh, the first drone fair in the country was organized at Gwalior. Gwalior Drone Mela was organized jointly by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Government of India, the Government of Madhya Pradesh, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Addressing the youths and farmers present at the “Drone Mela” in Gwalior, MP Chief Minister said that Madhya Pradesh will be made a leading state by using drone technology. Mr. Scindia said that five Drone Schools will be opened in Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, and Satna in Madhya Pradesh.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Madhya Pradesh Capital: Bhopal;
  • Madhya Pradesh Governor: Mangubhai C. Patel;
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Himachal govt set up General Category Commission

Himachal Pradesh govt announced setting up a Commission for upper castes, on the lines of Madhya Pradesh. The Commission, to be named as ‘Samanya Varg Aayog’, will be formalized through a legislative enactment in three months’ time when the state assembly meets next in February-March 2021 for the budget session of the House.

A Scheduled Caste Commission is already in operation in Himachal Pradesh and is chaired by former Shimla MP Virendra Kashyap.

As per the 2011 population census, Himachal Pradesh has a population of 68.56 lakhs of which 19.29 lakh, which is 25.22 percent, are SCs, while the other 4 lakhs are STs, which is 5.71 % and other 9.03 lakh are OBCs, which is 13.52%.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Himachal Pradesh Capital: Shimla (Summer), Dharamshala (Winter);
  • Himachal Pradesh Governor: Rajendra Arlekar;
  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister: Jai Ram Thakur.

International

UAE becomes the first country to transition to a 4.5-day Work Week

The United Arab Emirates has announced to change its existing five-day workweek to a four-and-a-half day starting January 1, becoming the world’s first country to make the employee-friendly transition as part of its efforts to improve productivity and work-life balance.

According to the new schedule, Monday to Thursday the work timings would be from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm, followed by a half-day on Friday from 7.30 am to 12.00 pm. Saturdays and Sundays are full-day holidays under the new rule.

The government’s move is expected to make it come closer to the timings of the US, the UK, and Europe, boosting commerce. The Emirati govt of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already announced the four-and-a-half day workweek.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UAE Capital: Abu Dhabi;
  • UAE Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham;
  • UAE President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Indian-American Gautam Raghavan elevated to key White House position

US President Joe Biden has elevated Indian-American political advisor Gautam Raghavan as the head of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

White House Presidential Personnel Office (PPO), also written as Office of Presidential Personnel, is the White House office tasked with vetting new appointees. The PPO is one of the offices most responsible for assessing candidates to work at or for the White House.

A first-generation immigrant, Raghavan was born in India, raised in Seattle, and graduated from Stanford University. He is the editor of the book ‘West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House’.

Agreements

Karnataka & UNDP signed Lou as a part of ‘Code-Unnati’

Department of Youth Empowerment & Sports, Government of Karnataka has signed a Letter of Understanding (Lou) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a part of the State-level initiative ‘Code-Unnati’ to improve the access to entrepreneurship and employment opportunities among the youths, including women.

The initiative involves United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and is supported by SAP India Lab’s CSR Strategies will be implemented in 4 districts of Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara, Dakshina Kannada and Raichuru.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • United Nations Development Programme Founder: 1965;
  • United Nations Development Programme Headquarters: New York, United States;
  • United Nations Development Programme Administrator: Achim Steiner.

IPPB: NPCI tie up to launch doorstep bill payments service

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has tied up with National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) bill payments system Bharat BillPay to facilitate cash-based bill payments service at customer’s doorstep.

Payments for various utility bills can be done on the Bharat BillPay platform and the facility will be made available to non- IPPB customers as well.

The aim is to provide access to payment solutions to millions of unbanked and underserved customers in remote locations at their doorstep, NPCI said in its statement. The service will enable payments of mobile postpaid, D2H recharge, school fees, and other utility services by using the bank’s mobile banking service.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IPPB Founded: 2018;
  • IPPB Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • IPPB MD & CEO: J Venkatramu;
  • IPPB Tag line: Aapka Bank, Aapke Dwaar.

Defence

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates Swarnim Vijay Parv

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated Swarnim Vijay Parv commemorating 50 years of India’s victory in the 1971 war. He inaugurates ‘Wall of Fame -1971 Indo-Pak War’ at the inaugural ceremony.

Swarnim Vijay Parv is an event commemorating the valour & professionalism of the Armed Forces and their contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh in the Indo-Pak 1971 war, at India Gate Lawns in New Delhi on December 12, 2021.

The event marks the culmination of year-long celebrations of 50 years of India’s victory in 1971. The event will be opened to the public after the inauguration. Many dignitaries, including those from Bangladesh, will be present.

Ranks and Reports

Uttar Pradesh holds the top position in Total Registered EVs

Winter Session of the Parliament, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, informed the Rajya Sabha on the state of Electric Vehicles (EV) in India.

As per the data, India has a total of 870,141 registered EVs, with Uttar Pradesh (UP) holding the top spot with 255,700 registered EVs. UP is followed by Delhi (125,347), Karnataka (72,544), Bihar (58,014) and Maharashtra (52,506) in successive positions.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Uttar Pradesh Capital: Lucknow;
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath;
  • Uttar Pradesh Governor: Anandiben Patel.

Global Health Security Index 2021: India ranked 66th

As per the Global Health Security (GHS) Index 2021, the world’s average overall GHS Index score was reduced to 38.9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019.

GHS Index is developed in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

India ranked 66 out of 195 countries with an overall Index score of 42.8 and along with a change of -0.8 from 2019. The United States of America (USA) ranked 1st on the index with a score of 75.9 followed by Australia and Finland.

The overall ranking of GHS Index 2021:

Rank Country Score 
1 USA 75.9
2 Australia71.1
3Finland70.9
4 Canada69.8
5 Thailand68.2
66India42.8
195Somalia16.0

Sports

India won six medals at Asian Rowing Championship

India won a total of six medals, including two gold and 4 silver medals in the Asian Rowing Championship in Thailand. Senior rower Arvind Singh bagged a gold in the lightweight Men’s single sculls event while his compatriots won three silver medals.

India bagged silver medals in Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls, Men’s Quadrapul Sculls and in Men’s Coxless Four. In Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls, India’s Ashish Phugat and Sukhjinder Singh won the silver.

Max Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi GP 2021 F-1 Drivers’ championship

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won his maiden F1 Drivers’ championship title by beating Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP 2021.

Mercedes bagged another World Constructor’s Championship title but were denied the double they would have wanted. Verstappen ended the season with 10 wins to Hamilton’s eight, has also led more laps and taken more poles and podiums.

Books and Authors

“Watershed: How We Destroyed India’s Water And How We Can Save It” authored by Mriduala Ramesh

Mriduala Ramesh, the founder of Sundaram Climate Institute, which works on water and waste solutions and the angel investor in cleantech start-ups, has authored a new book titled “Watershed: How We Destroyed India’s Water And How We Can Save It”. Mriduala Ramesh is the author of “The Climate Solution” and she writes regularly on climate issues.

She is also a member of the board of trustees of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), India, and chairperson of the board of governors at the National Institute of Technology, Andhra Pradesh (AP).

Obituary

Gothic novel author Anne Rice passes away

American gothic-fiction writer Anne Rice, best known for The Vampire Chronicles novel series, passed away. Anne Rice’s debut novel, published in 1976, Interview with the Vampire revolves around a vampire named Louis de Pointe du Lac, who narrates the story of his life to a reporter. Her other works: Pandora, Violin, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, The Witching Hour, etc.

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