Current Affairs in English

27 and 28 Jan 2022 Current Affairs Updates in English

Important Days

International Customs Day observed on January 26

The International Customs Day (ICD) is observed on 26 January every year. The day is celebrated to recognize the role of customs officials and agencies and focus on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs.

This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’.

The day was instituted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to commemorate the day in 1953 when the inaugural session of the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) was held in Brussels, Belgium. In 1994 the CCC was renamed World Customs Organization (WCO).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Customs Organization headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.
  • World Customs Organization Membership:  182 countries.
  • World Customs Organization Secretary-General: Kunio Mikuriya.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: 27 January

International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) is observed on 27 January. In 2022, the theme guiding the United Nations Holocaust remembrance and education is “Memory, Dignity, and Justice”.

The objective of the day is to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. A genocide occurred during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945.

United Nations designated the day in 2005 to serve as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and to promote Holocaust education throughout the world.

National

India Celebrating 73rd Republic Day on 26 January 2022

India is celebrating the 73rd Republic Day on 26 January 2022. The celebrations this year are special as India is in the 75th year of Independence – being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

Republic Day marks the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950. It replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.

After almost 3 years, the 308 members of the Assembly, after many consultations and a few modifications finally signed a constitution on the 24th of January 1950, which came into effect on the 26th of January 1950.

And, that day, is being celebrated as Republic Day in India ever since then. This day defines the importance of having a proper constitution that all the citizens must abide by.

India unveils 5-year roadmap to becoming $300-billion electronics powerhouse

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a 5-year roadmap and Vision Document 2.0 for the electronics sector.

The Vision Document 2.0 titled “$300 bn Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing & Exports by 2026” has been prepared by MeitY in association with the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA).

It is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document. Vision Document 2.0 provides a year-wise break-up and production projections for the various products. This will help India to transform into a US$300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026, from the current US$75 billion.

This roadmap is the second volume of a two-part Vision Document – the first of which was released in November last year. The first part of the document titled “Increasing India’s Electronics Exports and Share in GVCs” was released in November 2021.

Kerala got its first-ever scientific bird atlas

Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind State-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving an impetus to futuristic studies.

It is being conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community KBA has been prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year.

Conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1000 volunteers of the bird watching community, KBA was prepared based on systematic surveys held twice over 60 days a year during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons between 2015 and 2020.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kerala Capital: Thiruvananthapuram;
  • Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan;
  • Kerala Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan.

Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary set to be notified as 4th tiger reserve of Rajasthan

Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary, which is among the proposed five sites in the country, is expected to be formally notified as tiger reserve (TR) soon before the Global Tiger Summit, which is to be held at Vladivostok, Russia.

 The Centre also announced the development during the 4th Asia ministerial conference on tiger conservation. The Centre has already given its approval of granting tiger reserve status to Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary, along with MM Hills in Karnataka, Guru Ghasidas National Park in Chhattisgarh.

The Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary will be spread across 1,071 sq km. A 302 sq Km area in the proposed tiger sanctuary will be left as critical habitat for Tigers and the rest of the area will act as a buffer zone for the Ranthambore National Park.

Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1982. The core areas of the sanctuary have 8 villages and are home to large numbers of wild animals like sambhars, caracals, wild boars, nilgai, and Striped Hyena.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot; Governor: Kalraj Mishra.

International

Russia-China-Iran conducts joint naval exercise CHIRU-2Q22

The Russian, Chinese and Iranian navies undertook naval exercises CHIRU-2Q22 in the Gulf of Oman. The maritime drills conducted in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean aimed at deepening practical cooperation among the navies of the three countries.

The participants practiced various tactics and operations, such as rescuing ablaze vessels, saving hijacked vessels, shooting at targets, nocturnal shooting at aerial targets, and other tactical maneuvers as a part of the drill. At least 140 warships and over 60 aircraft with nearly 10,000 military personnel would be taking part in the military exercises.

Defense

Russia delivers all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 assault rifles to India

Russia delivered all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles to the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces had placed an order for 670,000 rifles, for which the contract was signed on December 06, 2021, between India and Kalashnikov (Russian defense manufacturing unit).

The total cost of the contract is around Rs 5,124 crore. The contract included procuring 70,000 rifles off the shelf. The remaining 600,000 rifles will be manufactured by an Indo-Russian joint venture company, Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), based at Amethi, Uttar Pradesh India under transfer of technology (ToT). [at Korwa Rifle Factory, Amethi]. The lightweight AK-203 Rifles will replace the military’s in-service INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) Rifle.

Western Naval Command conducts Joint maritime exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL-2022)

Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy conducted a joint maritime exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL-2022) off the West Coast which concluded. The exercise continued for 20 days and was conducted with the aim to enhance Inter-Service synergy among the Indian Navy, IAF, Indian Army, and Coast Guard.

The Western Naval Command (HQ- Mumbai) is one of the three command-level formations of the Indian Navy. The other two are Eastern Naval Command (HQ- Visakhapatnam) and Southern Naval Command (HQ- Kochi).

A variety of weapon firings in a realistic tactical scenario, besides validation of operational missions and tasks under varying settings, were undertaken during the exercise. The exercise provided all participating forces an opportunity to operate together under realistic conditions, in responding to contemporary maritime challenges, across the areas of the Command’s responsibility.

Banking

Govt notifies amalgamation of PMC Bank with Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd

The Government of India has sanctioned and notified the Scheme for the amalgamation of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd with Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd. This means that from January 25, 2022, all the branches of the PMC Bank will function as branches of Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd.

Unity Small Finance Bank Limited is promoted by Centrum Financial Services Limited along with Resilient Innovation Private Limited. Both the promoters have infused capital of Rs 1105.10 crore in the bank.

After the amalgamation of PMC Bank with Unity SFB, Unity SFB will pay the customers of PMC Bank the amount it receives from DICGC (maximum up to amount insured by DICGC i.e Rs 5 Lakh) in installments of 10 years.

Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 empowers the Reserve Bank of India to prepare a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of banking companies (which include co-operative banks).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman Of PMC Bank: S. Balbir Singh Kochhar;
  • PMC Bank Founded: 1984;
  • PMC Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

City Union Bank launches fitness watch debit card in tie-up with GOQii

City Union Bank in association with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii and powered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched a wearable payment solution called the CUB fitness watch debit card.

Customers need to hold this wristwatch in front of the PoS device during payment like tapping the card on PoS. For payments above Rs 5,000, customers need to tap and enter their PIN. The introductory price of a smartwatch debit card is Rs 3,499, as compared to an actual cost of Rs 6,499).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • City Union Bank Headquarters: Kumbakonam;
  • City Union Bank CEO: Dr. N. Kamakodi (1 May 2011–);
  • City Union Bank Founded: 1904.

Economy

IMF down India’s FY22 growth forecast to 9% from 9.5%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s economic growth forecast for the current fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) to 9 percent, in its latest world economic outlook report. Earlier this was estimated at 9.5%. IMF has projected the growth forecast for India in 2022-23 (FY23) at 7.1% IMF has projected the global growth rate in 2022 to 4.4%, and in 2023 to 3.8%.

According to the IMF, India’s prospects for 2023 are marked up on expected improvements to credit growth and, subsequently, investment and consumption, building on the better-than-anticipated performance of the financial sector.

Ranks and Reports

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021: India ranks 85th

Transparency International has released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021 in which India has been ranked at 85th spot (Score of 40). The ranking has been topped jointly by three countries- Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand (Score of 88).

This ranking measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). 180 countries are ranked in it.

Last year (for 2020) India was ranked 86th with a score of 40. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels are at a worldwide standstill. The global average remains unchanged for the tenth year in a row, at just 43 out of 100 points.

Apple retained the title of world’s valuable brand in Brand Finance 2022

Apple has retained its position as the most valuable brand in 2022 as well, according to the Brand Finance 2022 Global 500 report. The brand valuation of Apple was recorded at $355.1 billion in 2022, which is an increase of 35% from last year. This is the highest brand value ever recorded in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking history.

The Indian conglomerate Tata Group has emerged as the most valuable brand from India and also in South Asia. It is the only brand from the country in the top 100. The Global Rank of Tata Group 78. The brand value of Tata Group is US$23.9 billion.

TikTok (18th) has been named the world’s fastest-growing brand on the list. Its brand value increased from US$18.7 billion in 2021 to US$59.0 billion in 2022.

Tech remained the most valuable industry in the list in terms of sector. This was followed by Retail, Banking, Media and Telecoms in top 5 respectively.

Awards

Assam government awarded ‘Asom Baibhav Award’ to Ratan Tata

The government of Assam has conferred its highest civilian award ‘Assam Baibhav’ on Industrialist Ratan Tata. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi conferred the award to the former chairman of Tata Sons. The Assam government conferred ‘Asom Baibhav’ to Ratan Tata for his contribution to setting up cancer treatment facilities in the state.

Assam Saurav award was conferred on Professor Dipak Chand Jain, Lovlina Borgohain, Professor Kamalendu Deb Krori, Dr. Lakshmanan S, and Neel Pawan Baruah.

Assam Gaurav award was conferred on Manoj Kumar Basumatary, Munindra Nath Ngatey, Dharanidhar Boro, Hemoprabha Chutia, Dr. Basanta Hazarika, Kaushik Baruah, Khorsing Terang, Akash Jyoti Gogoi, Namita Kalita, Dr Asif Iqbal, Kalpana Boro, Boby Hazarika, and Bormita Momin.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Assam Governor: Jagdish Mukhi;
  • Assam Chief Minister: Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Olympian Neeraj Chopra honoured with Param Vishisht Seva Medal

Olympian Neeraj Chopra will be honored with Param Vishisht Seva Medal on the eve of Republic Day by President Ram Nath Kovind. He is the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics.

Neeraj is a Subedar in the Indian Army. He had enrolled in 4 Rajputana Rifles as a direct entry to Naib Subedar in 2016. He was chosen for training at the Mission Olympics Wing and Army Sports Institute in Pune.

Chopra was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2018 and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) in 2020 for his excellence in sports.

The Haryana state will also showcase the life-size replica of Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra in the form of a tableau during the 2022 Republic Day parade.

Ministry of Home Affairs Padma Awards 2022 announced

The Union ministry of home affairs announced the Padma awards on the eve of the country’s 73rd Republic Day. The Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order), and Padma Shri (distinguished service).

The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved. The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan, and 107 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 13 Posthumous awardees. In Duo’s case, the Award is counted as one.

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Sports

Lucknow IPL team to be called Lucknow Super Giants

Lucknow’s IPL franchise, which is owned by Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG Group), has been renamed Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction.

Lucknow team roped in KL Rahul as their captain and also roped in Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. The official IPL team of Lucknow crowdsourced its name from fans and a consumer engagement campaign was launched on social media on 3rd Jan 2022.

Last year, the franchise was purchased by the Sanjiv Goenka-owned of the RPSG group for an amount of Rs 7090 Crores. The other new team to enter the competition is from Ahmedabad was bought by the Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) for Rs 5635 Crores.


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