Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

20 and 21 Dec 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

International Human Solidarity Day: 20 December

International Human Solidarity Day is observed globally on 20 December every year to celebrate unity in diversity and raise awareness about the importance of solidarity. According to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, solidarity is among the fundamental values that are essential to international relations.

The General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, by resolution 60/209 identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.

National

PM Modi lays foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in Uttar Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi also addressed a rally at Railway Ground, Rouza on the occasion.

After completion of work, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh. It will connect the western and eastern regions of the state. It starts near the Bijauli village in Meerut. It will extend till near the Judapur Dandu village in Prayagraj. Ganga Expressway is a 594 Km long Expressway. It will be built at a cost of over Rs 36,200 crore.

It will pass through Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, and Prayagraj districts.

35 Km long airstrip for emergency take-off and landing of Air Force planes will also be constructed on the Expressway in Shahjahanpur.

Goa’s Liberation Day 2021

Goa Liberation Day is observed on 19 December every year in India and it marks the day Indian armed forces freed Goa in 1961 following 450 years of Portuguese rule. The year 2021 marks the 60 years of Goa’s independence.

Goa Liberation Day is marked by an abundance of events and festivities in Goa though this time because of the pandemic the celebrations are expected to be muted. A torchlight procession is ignited from three different locations in the state, eventually all meeting at the Azad Maidan.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Goa Capital: Panaji.
  • Governor of Goa: P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.
  • Chief Minister of Goa: Pramod Sawant.

Haryana launched ‘Khel Nursery scheme 2022-23’ to promote sports

Haryana’s Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, Sandeep Singh launched ‘Khel Nursery Scheme 2022-23’ to promote sports in the state. The players of Haryana have given a new identity to the state at the international level with their sports talent. The state government is always striving to develop new sports talents in the state.

The scheme promotes sports nurseries that will be started in government, private educational institutions and private sports institutions. The sports nurseries are being opened for the sports included in the Olympic, Asian and Commonwealth Games.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Haryana Capital: Chandigarh;
  • Haryana Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya;
  • Haryana Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar.

Tamil Nadu announced ‘Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu’ as a state song

Tamil Nadu government has announced ‘Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu’ as the state anthem. It should be sung before the start of any functions in all educational institutions, universities, government offices, and public sector undertakings.

The decision comes in the wake of the Madras High Court recently ruling that ‘Tamil Thai Vaazhthu’ is a prayer song and not an anthem. Government Order to this effect has been issued, mandating that all barring the differently-abled persons should remain standing when the 55-second long song is sung.

The ‘Tamil Thai Vaazhthu’ enjoy official status since 1970. It is the official song of the union territory of Puducherry as well. Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate is the official state anthem of Karnataka and Bande Utkal Janani is the official state anthem of Odisha.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Tamil Nadu Capital: Chennai;
  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister: MK Stalin;
  • Tamil Nadu Governor: R.N.Ravi;
  • Tamil Nadu State Dance: Bharathanatyam.

International

Malta becomes the first European nation to approve cannabis for personal use

Malta became the first European country to allow limited cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use, following a vote in parliament. The Maltese parliament voted in favour of the reform last week, with 36 votes in favour and 27 against.

Adults will be allowed to grow four plants at home and carry seven grams of cannabis, with smoking in public or in front of children remaining illegal.

The Netherlands also has a liberal attitude towards cannabis, allowing the sale of small quantities in a policy aimed at managing crime and health risks, though officially it is illegal.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Malta Capital: Valletta;
  • Malta Currency: Euro.

Appointments

Unsoo Kim appointed as MD of Hyundai Motor India Limited

Hyundai Motor Company has appointed Unsoo Kim as the Managing Director (MD) of Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), starting from 1st January 2022.

He will replace Seon Seob Kim (SS Kim), who will lead the Global Operations Division in Hyundai headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. HMIL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HMC is India’s first smart mobility solutions provider and the number one car exporter in India.

He played a key role in positioning the company as a smart mobility solutions provider and bringing Internet-enabled connected cars and kick-starting the electric mobility journey in India with the launch of Kona, an all-electric SUV.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Hyundai Motor Company Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea.

Mohit Jain Elected As New President Of Indian Newspaper Society

Mohit Jain of The Economic Times has been elected President of The Indian Newspaper Society for the year 2021-22. He succeeds L. Adimoolam of Health & The Antiseptic.

The 82nd Annual General Meeting of the Indian Newspaper Society – an apex body of Publishers of Newspapers, Magazines & Periodicals in the country, was held through Video Conference.

While K. Raja Prasad Reddy (Sakshi) was elected the deputy president, Rakesh Sharma (Aaj Samaj) was the vice-president and Tanmay Maheshwari (Amar Ujala) was elected the honorary treasurer of the Society for 2021-22.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • The Indian Newspaper Society Founded: 27 February 1939;
  • The Indian Newspaper Society Headquarters location: New Delhi.

Business

ICICI Pru Life Insurance became the first insurer to sign UNPRI on ESG issues

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance became the first Indian insurance company to sign United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), to demonstrate commitment towards the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

In order to promote sustainability, IPRULIFE is integrating ESG factors into its investment management framework. The UNPRI is an investor initiative in partnership with the two bodies of the United Nations – the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact.

Climate change is impacting lives and livelihoods around us and as one of the largest domestic financial institutions in the country, it is incumbent on us to act proactively and responsibly on ESG factors to save the planet.”

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Established: 2000;
  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO & MD: Narayanan Srinivasa Kannan.

Banking

RBI allowed SFBs as Agency Bank to conduct Govt Business

Reserve Bank of India, in consultation with the Department of Financial Services, the Ministry of Finance, has decided to make the Scheduled payments banks and scheduled small finance banks (SFBs) eligible to conduct Government agency business.

In May this year, RBI has revised the existing guidelines on ‘Appointment of Scheduled Private Sector Banks as Agency Banks of RBI’ for authorising Scheduled Private Sector Banks as agency banks of RBI for conducting govt business (Central and/or State).

Thus, any payment bank or small finance bank which intends to undertake govt agency business could be appointed as an agent of RBI only upon execution of an agreement with RBI and also in compliance with the regulatory framework prescribed for those banks.

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.

Defence

India successfully test-fired the ‘Agni P’ missile off the coast of Odisha

The nuclear-capable ballistic missile ‘Agni Prime’ was successfully tested off the coast of Odisha by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Recently, DRDO has successful test-firing of the air version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on December 7 was a “significant milestone” in BrahMos’ development.

Agni-P is a new generation upgraded version of Agni class missiles. It’s a two-stage missile with a range of 1,000 to 2,000 kilometres.

The ballistic missile is half the weight of the Agni 3 and can be launched from the train or road. It can also be stored for longer periods of time and transported throughout the country as per operational requirements.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

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

HAL signed a contract with BEL for 83 LCA Tejas Mk1A fighters

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a Rs 2,400 crores contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the development and supply of 20 types of systems for 83 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mk1A fighter aircraft programme.

The duration of the contract is 5 years i.e., from 2023 to 2028. Notably, this is HAL’s biggest order on any Indian company thus boosting the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign.

The order for the supply of these systems will be executed by two units of BEL at Bengaluru (Karnataka), and Panchkula (Haryana).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Founded: 1940;
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka;
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited CMD: R Madhavan.

Awards

Avani Lekhara won the ‘Best Female Debut’ honour at the 2021 Paralympic Sport Awards

Indian shooter Avani Lekhara, who has created history by winning India’s first Gold medal in Shooting at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, won the “Best Female Debut” honour at the 2021 Paralympic Sport Awards.

The Awards were announced by the International Paralympic Committee. She became the 1st Indian woman to win 2 Paralympic medals in a single edition of the Paralympic Games. India won an unprecedented 19 medals at the Paralympic Games including 5 Gold, 8 Silver & 6 Bronze.

Ranks and Reports

Truecaller: India fourth most affected country by spam calls in 2021

Spam call rates in India have spiked again, with the country moving up in global rankings from 9th position to 4th position owing to a significant in sales and telemarketing calls in 2021, according to the latest insights by callerID, spam detection and blocking company, Truecaller.

The upward movement is a direct result of a significant increase in sales and telemarketing calls, which in India make up about 93.5% of all spam calls.

The top three countries in the world with maximum spam based calls were Brazil, Peru and Ukraine. Interestingly, the USA dropped from 2nd place in 2020 to 20th in 2021, owing to stringent government regulations.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Truecaller Established: 1 July 2009;
  • Truecaller Chairmen: Bing Gordon;
  • Truecaller Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden.

Books and Authors

Venkaiah Naidu released a Telugu book titled ‘Gandhi Topi Governor’

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu has released the Telugu book titled ‘Gandhi Topi Governor’ by Padma Awardee Dr Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad, Chairman, Official Language Commission, Andhra Pradesh.

The book chronicles the life of Barrister Idpuganti Raghavendra Rao. I R Rao was a prominent freedom fighter, Legislator and the Governor of the Central Provinces in the British Administration.

A book on Yogi Adityanath “The Monk Who Transformed Uttar Pradesh” released

The book titled “The Monk Who Transformed Uttar Pradesh: How Yogi Aditynath Changed UP Waala Bhaiya’ abuse to a Badge of Honour”, authored by Shantanu Gupta.

A new book chronicles how Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath transformed the state in various aspects like law and order, connectivity, education, health infrastructure, and overall growth.

The book underlines the journey of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, from being born in Uttarakhand to becoming a Nath Panthi saint, to CM of Uttar Pradesh.


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