Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

24th and 25th Dec 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

Indian National Farmer’s Day: 23 December

Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day is celebrated across the nation on December 23 to commemorate the birth anniversary of the fifth Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh.

He brought farmer-friendly policies and worked towards the welfare of the farmers. He was the fifth Prime Minister of India and served the country as Prime Minister from 28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980.

In 2001, the government of India declared December 23, the day Chaudhary Charan Singh was born, to be celebrated as National Farmers’ Day and for all the right reasons. Chaudhary Charan Singh breathed his last on January 14, 1980.

National Consumer Rights Day 2021

National Consumer Rights Day is observed every year on December 24. On this day in 1986, the Consumer Protection Act 1986 received Presidential assent and thus came into force. The Act aims to provide consumers with effective safeguards against different types of exploitation, such as defective goods, deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.

People often get confused between World Consumer Rights Day and National Consumer Rights Day. While both have the same purpose, they are observed on different dates. World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated annually on March 15.

The National Consumer Rights Day was observed for the first time in 1986 under the Consumer Protection Act. It’s different from World Consumer Day, which is celebrated annually on March 15. The Consumer Protection Act came into force in 1986.

In 2019, the Consumer Protection Act 1986 was revised. Later, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution announced the CPA 2019 bill put to effect on July 20, 2020.

National

Jharkhand Assembly passes Bill to prevent mob violence, lynching

Jharkhand Assembly has passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, which aims at providing “effective protection” of constitutional rights and the prevention of mob violence in the state.

After including one amendment, the Bill was passed and sent to the Governor for his assent. Once notified, Jharkhand will become the fourth state to bring in such a law after West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Manipur.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Jharkhand: Hemant Soren; Governor: Ramesh Bais.

Odisha CM inaugurated Odisha’s longest bridge ‘T-Setu’ in Cuttack

Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated the state’s longest bridge, ‘T-Setu’, built over the Mahanadi River in Cuttack District, Odisha. The bridge in the shape of the English alphabet ‘T’ was constructed at a cost of Rs 111 crore.

The 4-km-long bridge connecting Gopinathpur in Badamba, Baideswar in Banki to Singhanath Pitha in Cuttack, will cut the distance between Badamba and Banki Baideshwar by almost 45 km.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

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

Atal Innovation Mission Unveils Vernacular Innovation Programme

Niti Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission has unveiled Vernacular Innovation Programme, which will enable innovators and entrepreneurs in India to have access to the innovation ecosystem in 22 scheduled languages by the Centre.

This will help in overcoming the barriers of language & empower innovators. To get the program rolling, AIM NITI Aayog is launching a train-the-trainer program where it will collaborate with the Design Department of IIT Delhi to coach the VTF in design thinking and entrepreneurship and the adaptation of these subjects in the 22 languages and cultures.

Maharashtra launched Chalo mobile app & smart card for bus travel

Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray has launched the Chalo mobile application (app) and Chalo smart cards to facilitate digital and advance purchase of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) bus tickets.

He also launched the NCMC compliant smart card of BEST as well as new fare schemes for the passengers, one that provided 10 trips at Rs 70 and another called ‘Flexifare’.

Chalo mobile app will allow passengers to buy online bus tickets and have access to bus passes through an e-wallet. A contract worth Rs 85 crore has been given for the maintenance of the Chalo mobile application for six years.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai;
  • Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari;
  • Maharashtra Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray.

Appointments

IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance appoints HO Suri as MD & CEO

IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance has announced the appointment of HO Suri as its new managing director and chief executive officer. He was the financial advisor, head, internal audit & legal, at the company and the new position took effect from October 1.

IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Company Limited is a 51:49 joint venture between IFFCO and Japan’s Tokio Marine Group. The firm offers retail products like motor, health, travel, home, and personal accident insurance, and corporate insurance products.

HO Suri began his professional journey in 1982 with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO). A chartered accountant by profession, he is one of the founder-members of IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company in 2000.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance CEO: Anamika Roy Rashtrawar (27 Mar 2020–);
  • IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Headquarters: Gurugram;
  • IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Founded: 2000.

Agreements

NPCI partners with Udemy Business to encourage skilled employees

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has signed a partnership agreement with Udemy Business, to encourage innovative learning and skill development for employees of NPCI.

The 3-year partnership with Udemy Business will offer courses on in-demand skills such as tech, domain, behavioral, and leadership skills to all NPCI employees.

Through the mission ‘Talent Development for All’ of NPCI, it provides capacity-building programs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), etc.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • National Payments Corporation of India Founded: 2008;
  • National Payments Corporation of India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • National Payments Corporation of India MD & CEO: Dilip Asbe.

NITI Aayog tie-up with UN WFP to diversify food basket

NITI Aayog has signed a Statement of Intent with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The partnership focuses on mainstreaming millets and supporting India in taking lead globally in knowledge exchange using the opportunity of 2023 as an International Year of Millets. The government of India observed 2018 as a year of millets.

The partnership between NITI Aayog and UN WEP focuses to mainstream the millets and supporting India in taking a lead internationally in knowledge exchange amid the recognition of 2023 as an International Year of Millets.

This partnership also aims to build resilient livelihoods for small farmers and adaptation capacities towards climate change as well as transforming food systems.

The Statement of Intent focuses on strategic and technical collaboration between both parties, in order to strengthen climate-resilient agriculture for enhanced food & nutrition security 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;
  • United Nations World Food Programme Founded: 1961;
  • United Nations World Food Programme Headquarters: Rome, Italy;
  • United Nations World Food Programme Executive Director: David Beasley.

Defence

India successfully tests ‘Pralay’ missile off Odisha coast

India successfully conducted the maiden flight test of the indigenously-developed, surface-to-surface missile ‘Pralay’ off the Odisha coast. The solid-fuel, battlefield missile developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation is based on Prithvi Defence Vehicle from the Indian ballistic missile program. The missile, launched from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island.

The new missile followed the desired quasi ballistic trajectory and reached the designated target with high degree accuracy, validating the control, guidance, and mission algorithms. With a range of 150 to 500 km, ‘Pralay’ is powered with the solid propellant rocket motor and other new technologies. The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation and integrated avionics.

 IAF deployed the first S-400 air defense system in Punjab

Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed the first squadron of the S-400 air defense missile system in the western Punjab sector which will take care of aerial threats from Pakistan and China.

The S-400 air defense system was contracted for by India from Russia in a deal worth around Rs 35,000 crores and five squadrons would be provided to India for tackling air threats from up to 400 km.

The surface-to-air missile system would give India an edge in South Asian skies as they would be able to take out enemy aircraft and cruise missiles from a 400 km distance.

The S-400 Triumf air defense system is equipped with four different missiles which can engage enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles, and AWACS planes at 400 km, 250 km, the medium-range 120 km, and the short-range 40 km.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Airforce founded: 8 October 1932;
  • Indian Airforce Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • Indian Airforce Chief of Air Staff: Vivek Ram Chaudhari.

Business

IOCL acquired a 4.93% stake in Indian Gas Exchange

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has announced that it has acquired a 4.93 percent equity share in Indian Gas Exchange Limited – the country’s first automated national level gas exchange.

The Board of Indian Oil at its meeting held on 20 December 2021 has accorded approval for the acquisition of 36,93,750 equity shares of the face value of Rs. 10/- each equivalent to 4.93 percent of the share capital in Indian Gas Exchange Limited (IGX).

The acquisition of an equity stake in IGX is a strategic opportunity for the country’s top oil refiner to become part of India’s natural gas market. IGX is a subsidiary of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX).

Indian Gas Exchange is the country’s first automated national level gas exchange, that ensures transparent price discovery in natural gas and facilitates the growth of natural gas in India’s energy basket.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited Chairperson: Shrikant Madhav Vaidya;
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited Founded: 30 June 1959.

Mastercard and Google Pay tie-up for tokenization for card-based payments

Mastercard and Google announced a tokenization method that enables Google Pay users to safely transact using their Mastercard credit cards and debit cards.

With this collaboration, Google Pay Android users can scan and pay across all Bharat QR-enabled merchants, tap-and-pay, and make in-app transactions through their Mastercard debit and credit card.

For a convenient registration, users will have to do a one-time setup by entering their card details and their OTP to add their card on the Google Pay app.

Mastercard said this initiative is an extension of Mastercard’s long-standing collaboration with Google and will go a long way towards enabling India’s digital economy.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Mastercard Founded: 16 December 1966;
  • Mastercard Headquarters: New York, United States;
  • Mastercard CEO: Michael Miebach;
  • Mastercard Executive Chairman: Ajay Banga.

Wipro to acquire Edgile in USD 230-million deal

Wipro has signed an agreement to acquire Edgile, a transformational cyber security consulting provider, for $230 million. Founded in 2001, Edgile is recognized by security and risk leaders for its business-aligned cyber security capability, deep understanding of the changing regulatory environment, and enabling cloud transformations that help secure the modern enterprise. It has an onsite workforce of 182 employees.

Together, Wipro and Edgile will develop Wipro CyberTransform, an integrated suite that will help enterprises enhance boardroom governance of cyber security risk, invest in robust cyber strategies, and reap the value of practical security in action.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of Wipro Limited: Rishad Premji.
  • Wipro Headquarters: Bengaluru;
  • Wipro MD and CEO: Thierry Delaporte.

Banking

State Bank of India acquired a minority stake in JSW Cement for INR 100 crore

State Bank of India(SBI) acquired a minority stake (less than 50 percent) in JSW Cement Limited for an investment of INR 100 crore through Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS).

The SBI is working as a strategic investor at JSW Cement and has invested in the company through CCPS. The conversion of such CCPS into common equity of the company will be linked to the JSW Cement’s business performance and valuation at the time of the proposed initial public offering.

The SBI transaction with JSW Cement comes close on the heels of the Rs 1,500 crore investments made by two global private equity investors, Apollo Global Management Inc. (through its investment entity in Singapore) and Synergy Metals Investments Holding Ltd earlier this year.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Founded: 1 July 1955;
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • SBI Chairman: Dinesh Kumar Khara.

Bank of Baroda grabbed the top spot in Digital Payments

Bank of Baroda has announced it has won the #1 position in overall digital transactions amongst large banks for FY20-21. The bank showed the exceptional growth of digital payment transactions achievement and was felicitated by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Govt. of India at the Digital Payments Utsav.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Independence of India, MeitY is celebrating “Digital Payments Utsav”. As a part of the celebration, the Bank of Baroda has been conferred with 5 DigiDhan awards for FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 in various categories. BoB has been conferred with five DigiDhan awards for FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 in various categories.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Bank of Baroda Founded: 20 July 1908;
  • Bank of Baroda Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat;
  • Bank of Baroda Managing Director & CEO: Sanjiv Chadha;
  • Bank of Baroda Tagline: India’s International Bank;
  • Bank of Baroda Amalgamated Banks: Dena Bank & Vijaya Bank in 2019.

CSB Bank has been impaneled as Agency Bank by RBI

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the empanelment of CSB Bank, a private sector lender as an ‘Agency Bank’. Through this appointment, the CSB Bank will undertake the general banking business of the central and state governments under the guidelines set by the RBI.

As an Agency bank, CSB Bank will work with different state governments and central government departments for businesses such as tax collections, pension payments, collection of stamp duty, etc. CSB Bank Limited, formerly Catholic Syrian Bank Limited, is an Indian private sector bank with its headquarters at Thrissur, Kerala, India. The bank has a network of over 450 branches and more than 319 ATMs across India.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • CSB Bank Headquarters: Thrissur, Kerala;
  • CSB Bank CEO: C.VR. Rajendran;
  • CSB Bank Founded: 26 November 1920, Thrissur.

Central Bank of India signed a co-lending agreement with U GRO Capital

Central Bank of India and U GRO Capital has signed a co-lending agreement and plans to disburse up to Rs 1,000 crore to medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) over the next 12 months.

The disbursement will be to U GRO Capital’s varied MSME segments under its programs – Pratham, Sanjeevani, Saathi, GRO MSME and machinery financing.

Central Bank of India will provide co-lending support through the GRO-Xstream platform with the loans originated by U GRO Capital’s distribution network. The arrangement will ensure the availability of credit to MSMEs at an affordable cost.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Central Bank of India Founded: 21 December 1911;
  • Central Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • Central Bank of India MD & CEO: Matam Venkata Rao.

Oriental Insurance categorized as a public shareholder in Axis Bank

Axis Bank has announced the approval to reclassify Oriental Insurance Company Ltd (OICL) from promoter category to public category shareholder in the bank. In October, applications were made to BSE and NSE for reclassification of The New Oriental Insurance Co to the public category from the promoter category.

At present, OICL holds a 0.16 percent stake in Axis Bank. Currently, BSE & NSE gave approval for the reclassification of New Oriental Insurance Company to the public category from the promoter category.

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: Rakesh Makhija;
  • Axis Bank Tagline: Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi.

Economy

Advance tax collection rises 54% to Rs 4.60 lakh crore

According to the finance ministry, advance tax collection increased by 53.50 percent to Rs 4.60 lakh crore so far this fiscal year, indicating a recovery in the economy.

Direct tax collections for 2021-22, as of December 16, show that net collections are at Rs 9.45 lakh crore compared to Rs 5.88 lakh crore over the year-ago period, representing an increase of 60.8 percent.

The cumulative advance tax collections for the primary, second and third quarter of 2021-22 stand at Rs 4,59,917.1 crore as of December 16, 2021, towards advance tax collections of Rs 2,99,620.5 crore for the corresponding interval of 2020-21, displaying a development of about 53.5 percent.

Awards

Divya Hegde won UN Women’s Award for Leadership Commitment 2021

Divya Hegde, an Indian Climate Action Entrepreneur from Udupi, Karnataka, has won UN Women’s Award for Leadership Commitment at the 2021 Regional Asia-Pacific Women’s Empowerment Principles Awards Ceremony.

She has been recognized for her sustained efforts in advancing gender equality through climate action efforts with her organization, Baeru Environmental Services.

Other Winners:

  • Youth Leadership: Pallavi Sherring
  • Gender-inclusive Workplace: Natwaste Group
  • Gender-Responsive Marketplace: Dharma Life
  • Community Engagement & Partnerships: The Very Group
  • Transparency & Reporting: Biocon Ltd India
  • SME Champions: Namita Vikas

Padma Bhusan Anil Prakash Joshi wins Mother Teresa Memorial Award

Environmentalist Dr Anil Prakash Joshi, who was conferred upon the Padma Bhushan this year, has been awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2021. Vidyut Mohan, the winner of the Earth shot Prize, and Ridhima Pandey, a young environmental activist from Uttarakhand, were also the recipients of the award.

The Harmony Foundation identifies a theme each year for the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards and felicitates individuals and organizations who work in the realm of augmenting environmental sustainability. The awardees were felicitated by Dr. Abraham Mathai, the founder chairman of the foundation.

O.P. Jindal Global University won the “Digital Innovation of the Year” award

O. P. Jindal Global University (JGU) has won the ‘Digital Innovation of the Year Award’ in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Asia Awards 2021 for creating a free, cloud-based application to help schools and universities manage data.

JGU was the only Indian University to be shortlisted for the “Digital Innovation of the Year”.

Times Higher Education Awards Asia 2021 winners:

Category Winner
Leadership and Management Team of the YearKalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (India)
Workplace of the YearSaint Joseph University of Beirut (Lebanon)
International Strategy of the YearHangzhou Dianzi University of Hong Kong
Teaching and Learning Strategy of the YearNational University of Singapore
THE Datapoints Social Impact AwardInstitute Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Indonesia)
THE Datapoints Improved Performance AwardUniversity Utara (Malaysia)
Excellence and Innovation in the ArtsHong Kong Baptist University
Technological or Digital Innovation of the YearO.P. Jindal Global University (India)
Outstanding Support for StudentsUniversity Teknologi Petronas (Malaysia)
Student Recruitment Campaign of the YearHanoi University of Science and Technology (Vietnam)

Ranks and Reports

WADA report: India among world’s top three dope violators country

India is among the world’s top three dope violators country in the world. Indian athletes were involved 152 times in dope-related activities in the year 2019.

The report has revealed the latest report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), which has put India into the top-three of the world’s biggest violators behind Russia (167) and Italy (157). Brazil (78) is at fourth and Iran (70) fifth positions.

In 2019, 152 (17 percent of the world’s total) Anti-doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) were reported in India. The maximum dope offenders are from bodybuilding followed by weightlifting (25), athletics (20), wrestling (10), and boxing.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Anti-Doping Agency Headquarters: Montreal, Canada;
  • World Anti-Doping Agency President: Craig Reedie;
  • World Anti-Doping Agency Founded: 10 November 1999.

India replace the UK to be 3rd top country hosting unicorns

Adding 33 “unicorns” in a single year has helped India displace the United Kingdom to be third in the list of countries that are home to such enterprises valued at over $1 billion each. The US and China, which occupy the first two ranks, are way ahead, according to the data compiled by Hurun Research Institute.

US and China are home to 74 percent of the unicorn universe. The US added 254 unicorns and now totals 487 companies in the coveted list, while China added 74 to take its tally to 301 start-ups having a valuation of over $1 billion. The UK added only 15 unicorns to take its total to 39, and hence got displaced by India.

Sports

BWF World Championships 2021: Loh Kean Yew won Men’s singles

The 2021 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World championship (officially known as the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021), an annual tournament was held between 12th December 2021 and 19th December 2021 in Huelva, Spain.

Loh Kean Yew of Singapore won the Men’s Singles title and Akane Yamaguchi of Japan won the Women’s Singles title of BWF World Championship 2021.

Winners of BWF World Championship 2021:

CategoryWinnerRunner
Men’s SinglesLoh Kean Yew (Singapore)Srikanth Kidambi (India)
Women’s SinglesAkane Yamaguchi (Japan)Tai – Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei)
Men’s DoublesTakuro Hoki & Yugo Kobayashi (Japan)He Jiting & Tan Qiang (China)
Women’s DoublesChen Qingchen & Jia Yifan (China)Lee So-hee & Shin Seung-Chan (South Korea)
Mixed DoublesDechapol Puavaranukroh & Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Thailand)Yuta Watanabe & Arisa Higashino (Japan)

Anahat Singh becomes first Indian girl to win Jr Squash Open in the US

Indian teenager Anahat Singh has scripted history by winning the U-15 girls category of the prestigious Junior US Open Squash tournament in Philadelphia.

The 13-year-old girl from Delhi overcame powerhouse Egypt’s Jayda Marei in the final match 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 played at the Arlen Spectre Centre. More than 850 squash junior players, representing 41 countries, participated in the World’s largest junior individuals squash tournament.

Asian Champions Trophy: India win bronze, Korea lift title

India defeated Pakistan 4-3 to secure the bronze medal, while Korea defeated Japan 4-2 to emerge Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The five-nation tournament came to an end with two matches being played on the last day of the game.

Kanta Tanaka of Japan was declared the best player of the tournament while Suraj Karkera of India was adjudged the best goalkeeper. Jang Jonghyun of Korea was the top scorer with 10 goals in the tournament.

SAFF U 19 Women’s Championship: Bangladesh defeat India

Bangladesh women’s team has won the SAFF U 19 Women’s Championship by defeating India in the finals. Shaheda Akter Ripa of Bangladesh scored the maximum number of goals in the tournament. She received the ‘most valuable player award.

The 2021 SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship was the 2nd edition of the SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship. The tournament was organized from 11 to 22 December 2021 at BSSS Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Dhaka.

Five countries have participated in the 2021 SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship. Pakistan Football Federation was suspended by FIFA in April 2021 so it didn’t participate in this competition.

Books and Authors

Tusshar Kapoor released his debut book ‘Bachelor Dad’

Tusshar Kapoor has written his first book titled ‘Bachelor Dad’. The actor became a single father to son Laksshya Kapoor via surrogacy in 2016. He has shared his journey of being a single father in the new book.

The actor has shared his journey of the ‘slightly unconventional road to fatherhood’ in his debut book, Bachelor Dad. On the cover of the book, he can be seen carrying his son.

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