Current Affairs in English

15th Jan 2022 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

Armed Forces Veterans Day: 14 January 2022

In India, Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed each year on 14 January 2017. The day aims to acknowledge and honor the selfless devotion and sacrifice of our veterans in the service of the nation. 2022 marks the 6th Armed Forces Veterans Day.

It is observed as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Field Marshal KM Cariappa OBE, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces who retired on 14 January 1953.

National

PM Modi inaugurated MSME Technology Centre

On the occasion of the National Youth Day 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated an ‘MSME Technology Centre’, which will function under the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), in Puducherry.

The technology center was built at a cost of Rs 122 crore with a focus on the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector.

The center was inaugurated during the inauguration event of the 25th National youth Festival (12th & 13th January 2022) in Puducherry. He also inaugurated the ‘Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam’, a modern auditorium with an open-air theatre in Puducherry.

International

Cyprus detects new ‘Deltacron’ Covid variant

Cyprus has detected a new variant dubbed as “Deltacron”, that has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, coupled with 10 mutations from Omicron. The variant has already affected 25 people in Cyprus.

According to Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, the head of the laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology at the University of Cyprus, of the 25 samples taken in Cyprus, 11 were hospitalized due to the virus, while 14 were from the general population.

The new variant from the lineage named B.1.640.2 is believed to have infected 12 people in the country, according to the yet-to-be peer-reviewed study supported by the French government. Studies have shown that the co-existence of Delta and Omicron increases the chances of a new variant as a result of them trading genes.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Cyprus Capital: Nicosia;
  • Cyprus Currency: Euro;
  • Cyprus Continent: Europe;
  • Cyprus President: Nicos Anastasiades.

18th Kachai Lemon Festival begins in Manipur

The 18th edition of the two-day long Kachai Lemon Festival began in Manipur at the Local Ground of Kachai Village in the Ukhrul district. The Kachai Lemon Festival is organized annually to promote this unique kind of lemon fruit and to encourage lemon farmers.

This year, altogether 260 stalls are put up at the festival showcasing the rich reap of lemon this year. This year the festival is being organized under the theme ‘Organic Kachai Lemon for Safe Environment and Rural Transformation’. A training program for lemon farmers will be held tomorrow as part of the festival.

Kachai Lemon of Manipur has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) registration tag and widely grown in the Kachai Village of Ukhrul district. Unlike the other lemon varieties grown in other parts of the world, Kachai Lemon is considered to be unique as it is a rich source of ascorbic acid and famous for its juice content.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Manipur: N. Biren Singh; Governor: La. Ganesan.

Appointments

RBI approves appointment of Ittira Davis as MD & CEO of Ujjivan SFB

Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Ittira Davis as managing director & chief executive officer of (MD & CEO) of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for one tenure. He will take charge of the extended tenure from January 14, 2022. The post had been lying vacant for three-month following the sudden exit of incumbent Nitin Chugh.

Prior to Ujjivan, Davis was the Managing Director with the Europe Arab Bank, London. He has also held leadership positions with Arab Bank plc, Bahrain and Citibank, India. He has over 40 years of work experience in India, the Middle East and Europe.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Headquarters: Bengaluru;
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Founder: Samit Ghosh;
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Founded: 1 February 2017.

Raghuvendra Tanwar appointed chairman of ICHR

Professor emeritus, Kurukshetra University, Raghuvendra Tanwar has been appointed as chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

Tanwar’s appointment is for a period of three years from the day he assumes the office of the Chairman of the Council or until further order. Tanwar, who joined Kurukshetra University as a lecturer in August 1977, has an outstanding academic record, with two gold medals in MA History.

The primary aim and objective of the Indian Council of Historical Research are to promote and give directions to historical research and to encourage and foster objective and scientific writing of history. Enhancing the academic standard of the output of ICHR activities has been the foremost objective in its agenda.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Council of Historical Research Founded: 27 March 1972;
  • Indian Council of Historical Research Headquarters: New Delhi.

Agreements

Adani Group sign agreement with South Korea’s POSCO to develop steel mill

Adani Group and South Korea’s largest steelmaker POSCO have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore business opportunities in India. This includes the establishment of a green, environment-friendly integrated steel mill at Mundra, Gujarat. The estimated investment of the project is up to $5 billion (approx. Rs 37,000 crore).

The non-binding MoU also intends to collaborate at the group business level in various other sectors such as renewable energy, hydrogen, and logistics in response to carbon reduction requirements.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Adani Group Headquarters: Ahmedabad;
  • Adani Group Founder: Gautam Adani;
  • Adani Group Founded: 1988.

LazyPay tie-up with SBM Bank India to Launch LazyCard

LazyPay, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution by PayU Finance, announced its partnership with SBM Bank India to launch LazyCard, a prepaid payment instrument backed by a credit line that works on the Visa payment network.

To empower financially underserved Indians with easy access to credit as their card has limited credit options. LazyCard reaches over 62 million pre-approved users of LazyPay, with a credit limit of up to 5 lakhs.

Consumers could avail the Lazycard at zero joining fees and zero annual fees along with multiple transactional benefits and rewards.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SBM Bank Incorporated: 1st December 2018
  • SBM Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • SBM Bank CEO & MD: Sidharth Rath

Axis Bank tie-up with MinkasuPay for biometric-based banking payments

Axis Bank has tied up with MinkasuPay to offer a biometric authentication solution for net banking payments in merchant apps using Fingerprint or Face ID, without the need for usernames, passwords, and One-Time Passwords (OTPs). This Solution will reduce the time of payment from 50-60 seconds to just 2-3 seconds and also increase the transaction success rate.

MinkasuPay’s biometric authentication solution, which is a 2-Factor-Authentication (FA) solution (mandated by the Reserve Bank of India), will help in increasing quick and secure digital transactions through device binding and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Axis Bank Founded: 3 December 1993;
  • Axis Bank Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • Axis Bank MD & CEO: Amitabh Chaudhary;
  • Axis Bank Chairperson: Shri Rakesh Makhija;
  • Axis Bank Tagline: Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi.

Awards

Global Private Banking Awards 2021: HDFC Bank named as Best Private Bank in India

HDFC Bank was named as the ‘Best Private Bank’ in India at the ‘Global Private Banking Awards 2021’ which was organized by Professional Wealth Management (PWM) in a virtual ceremony.

PWM is a wealth management Magazine, published by the Financial Times Group. The award was given for contributing to accelerating key trends, including digitalization, communication, and investment in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • HDFC Bank Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • HDFC Bank Founded: August 1994;
  • HDFC Bank CEO: Sashidhar Jagdishan;
  • HDFC Bank Chairman: Atanu Chakraborty.

Economy

UN projects India GDP at 6.5% in FY22

The GDP growth forecast of India in fiscal 2022 is estimated to grow at 6.5 per cent as per the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2022 report. Earlier this was estimated at 8.4%.

The WESP is a flagship report produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA). UN has projected the growth rate for fiscal 2023 (FY 2022-2023) at 5.9 per cent.

On a calendar year basis UN has projected India’s GDP as follows:

  • 2021 – 9 per cent
  • 2022 – 6.7 per cent
  • 2023 – 6.1 per cent

Globally:

  • 2021 – 5.5 per cent
  • 2022 – 4.0 per cent
  • 2023 – 3.5 per cent

Ranks and Reports

ISFR Report: India’s forest & tree cover rose by 2,261 sq km in the last 2 years

Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav has launched the 17th edition of the biennial ‘India State of Forest Report (ISFR)’ 2021. ISFR is released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), every two years since 1987 to assess the country’s forest resources.

India’s forest and tree cover rose by 2,261 square kilometers in ISFR 2021 as compared to the assessment of 2019. This includes an increase of 1,540 square kilometers in forest cover and a 721 sq km increase in tree cover.

Science and Technology

ISRO successfully tests Cryogenic Engine for Gaganyaan Rocket

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted the qualification test of Cryogenic Engine for Gaganyaan program for a duration of 720 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.

According to the space agency, 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.

This successful long-duration test is a major milestone for the Human Space Programme – Gaganyaan. It ensures the reliability and robustness of the cryogenic engine for induction into the human-rated launch vehicle for Gaganyaan.

Further, this engine will undergo four more tests for a cumulative duration of 1810 seconds. Subsequently, one more engine will undergo two short-duration tests & one long-duration test to complete the cryogenic engine qualification for Gaganyaan Programme.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman and Space Secretary of ISRO: Dr S Somanath;
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka;
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.

Sports

AISCD gets approval to hold first World Deaf T20 Cricket championship 2023

The All India Sports Council of the Deaf has got approval from the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) to host the first World Deaf T20 Cricket Championship in Kerala from January 10-20, 2023.

This championship was planned to be conducted in 2020-21 but due to the sudden outbreak of coronavirus, it was postponed first to 2022 & now fixed for 2023.

A minimum of eight countries are expected to take part in the championship and this kind of international event is being held in India with the approval of the ICSD for the first time.”

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Committee of Sports for the Deaf Founded: 1924;
  • International Committee of Sports for the Deaf Headquarters: Maryland, USA;
  • International Committee of Sports for the Deaf President: Rebecca Adam.

Obituary

Olympic medal-winning Athlete Deon Lendore passes away

Olympic athlete Deon Lendore, who participated in the 400 meters race at the 2020 Olympics, passed away at the age of 29 years due to a fatal car accident in Texas, United States (US). He was born on 28 October 1992 in Trinidad and Tobago (the Caribbean Islands, South America), was an expert of 400 meters championships.

He participated in the London Olympics in 2012 and won a Bronze medal in 4×400 meter relay. He also participated in the Tokyo Olympic 2021 and in 2016 Rio Olympics.

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