Current Affairs in English

30 Jan 2022 Current Affairs Updates in English

National

Lok Sabha secretariat launches Digital Sansad app

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has launched the official mobile application of the Parliament named ‘Digital Sansad App’ on January 27, 2022, to allow citizens to access live proceedings of the House, including the Union Budget 2022 live.

The app will make the Parliament and Parliamentary proceedings accessible not only to the members but also to the public of the country.

Through the Digital Sansad App, citizens can check what their members of Parliament are doing, what debates they are participating in, and what they are saying. Using the app, parliamentarians can also digitally log their attendance.

The app contains information on budget speeches since 1947 as well as House discussions from the 12th Lok Sabha to 17th Lok Sabha. It will also contain a live telecast of Sansad proceedings. 2022 Budget session can also be watched live on this App.

India’s largest EV charging station opened at Gurgaon

India’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging station with a capacity of 100 charging points for 4 wheelers, was opened at Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in Gurugram.

Previously, India’s largest EV charging station was situated in Navi Mumbai with 16 AC & 4 DC charging ports for EVs. The new EV charging station has been developed by tech-piloting company Alektrify Private Limited.

This EV charging station will not only boost the electric vehicles industry in the region but will also act as a benchmark for large EV charging stations across the nation in future. The electric vehicle charging station of this size and magnitude is rare and will be instrumental for the industry to experience actual Ease of Doing Business in smooth ‘Certification Compliance’ and ‘Safety Standards’.

International

World’s-largest canal lock unveiled in the Netherlands

The world’s largest canal lock has been inaugurated at Ijmuiden, a small port city, in the Port of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The sea lock was inaugurated by Dutch King Willen-Alexander.

The Ijmuiden sea lock is 500-meter (1,640-feet) long and 70-meter wide. Construction on the massive infrastructure project began in 2016 and was meant to be done by 2019. It also went over the initially planned budget by around €300 million ($338 million).

The Ijmuiden lock was designed to allow large, modern cargo ships to reach the port of Amsterdam. The structure is also deep enough that ships will no longer have to wait for a favorable water level to enter the canal. With almost nine meters above the sea leave, the structure is also a defense against the threat of flooding.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • The Netherlands Capital: Amsterdam;
  • The Netherlands Currency: Euro;
  • The Netherlands Prime minister: Mark Rutte.

Appointments

GoI appoints Anantha Nageshwaran as a chief economic advisor

The Government of India has appointed Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran as the new Chief Economic Adviser. The announcement came days ahead of the presentation of the 2022 Union Budget on February 1 and the tabling of the 2021-22 Economic Survey on January 31.

This post was lying vacant since December 17, 2021, when VK Subramanian left the office. He is a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC).

Dr. Nageswaran, who is a noted writer, author, teacher, and economic consultant, has taught at several business schools and institutes of management across India and abroad. Before his appointment as the Chief Economic Adviser, he was the Dean of the IFMR Graduate School of Business and a visiting professor of Economics at the Krea University in Andhra Pradesh.

Pushp Kumar Joshi was named to be the new chairman and MD of HPCL

Pushp Kumar Joshi has been named to be the new chairman and managing director of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), the nation’s third-largest oil refining and fuel marketing company.

Joshi, who is currently Director – Human Resources at HPCL has been on the board of HPCL for almost a decade now. He will replace Mukesh Kumar Surana, who superannuates on April 30 this year.

The recommendation will now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister (PM) of India. ACC will decide on his selection after getting reports from anti-corruption agencies such as CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation).

Agreements

TerraPay tie-up with NPCI International to boost cashless transactions

TerraPay has signed MoU with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) to allow Indian customers with an active UPI ID to receive real-time, international payments into their bank accounts via TerraPay’s secure payments technology. It will enable a seamless and convenient cross-border remittances experience.

NIPL is an international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). This association with NIPL will allow Indians with an active UPI ID to receive real-time, international payments into their bank accounts via TerraPay’s adaptive and secure payments technology.

The intended collaboration will now further empower UPI users to leverage TerraPay’s agile interoperable payments infrastructure to receive payments on a fully regulated, secure, scalable, and efficient channel.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • NPCI Founded: 2008;
  • NPCI Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • NPCI MD & CEO: Dilip Asbe.

Google to invest up to $1 Billion in Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel and Google have announced a long-term partnership agreement, to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. Under the deal, Google will invest USD 1 billion in Airtel.

From the total investment, Google will invest USD 700 million to acquire a 1.28 percent stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. The remaining USD 300 million will go toward multi-year commercial agreements with Airtel, including devices built together by the two tech giants.

The USD 1 billion funding is part of Google’s USD 10 billion ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’, launched in 2020. This is Google’s second investment in an Indian telecom service provider (after Reliance Jio). Discussion between the two companies had been going on since the first half of 2021 and culminated in an announcement.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Bharti Airtel CEO: Gopal Vittal.
  • Bharti Airtel Founder: Sunil Bharti Mittal.
  • Bharti Airtel Founded: 7 July 1995.
  • Google CEO: Sundar Pichai;
  • Google Founded: 4 September 1998, California, United States;
  • Google Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin.

Summits and Conferences

PM Narendra Modi Hosts First India-Central Asia Virtual Summit

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has hosted the first India-Central Asia Summit, through the virtual platform. It was the first of its kind engagement between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders.

The central Asian region has five recognized countries. The Summit was attended by the Presidents of these five Central Asian countries. These are the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan), Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The first India-Central Asia Summit coincided with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Central Asian countries. During the summit, the Leaders agreed to hold the Summit every 2 years (biennial). The summit is symbolic of the importance attached by the leaders of both sides to a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership.

Ranks and Reports

WGC: Global gold demand rises 10% to 4,021 tonnes

According to the World Gold Council (WGC) report ‘Gold Demand Trends 2021’ has informed that the global gold demand rose 10 percent in 2021 to 4,021.3 tonnes. The overall gold demand during 2020, which was impacted following Covid-19 related disruptions, stood at 3,658.8 tonnes.

The demand for the yellow metal was mainly driven by Central bank buying during the fourth quarter of 2021, recovery in jewelry consumption, mainly in India and China.

India’s gold consumption surged to 797.3 tonnes in 2021, on the back of the recovery in consumer sentiments and pent-up demand post Covid-19-related disruptions and the bullish trend is set to continue this year as well.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Gold Council CEO: David Tait;
  • World Gold Council Headquarters: London, United Kingdom;
  • World Gold Council Founded: 1987;
  • World Gold Council President: Kelvin Dushnisky.

Books and Authors

A new book titled “The $10 Trillion Dream” author by Subhash Garg

The former finance secretary of India, Subhash Chandra Garg has announced his debut book named “The $10 Trillion Dream”. The book is scheduled to hit stands towards the end of February 2022.

The new book explores the critical policy issues that India faces today and suggests reforms for it to become a USD 10 trillion economies by the mid-2030s. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI).

Garg, a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for over 36 years, has served in various key positions for both the Union government and the government of Rajasthan. He was designated finance secretary in March 2019.

‘A Little Book of India: Celebrating 75 years of Independence’ authored by Ruskin Bond

A new book titled “A Little Book of India: Celebrating 75 Years of Independence” authored by Ruskin Bond was released, marking 75 years of India’s Independence. The book is the blend of “physical and spiritual” attributes of India and also highlights the last 75 years of India’s progress as a nation.

It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI). It is a record of some of my memories and impressions of this unique land — of its rivers and forests, literature and culture, sights, sounds, and colors — an amalgamation of the physical and spiritual.

Important Days

Data Privacy Day observed on 28 January

Data Privacy Day is celebrated on January 28, every year across the world. The objective of the day is to sensitize individuals and disseminate privacy practices and principles. It encourages everyone to own their privacy responsibilities to create a culture of privacy.

Observance of the day is “an international effort of creating awareness on the importance of respecting privacy, enabling trust and safeguarding data”. The theme for this year is ‘Privacy Matters’. It instills a sense of accountability that Privacy is integral to every individual’s life.

Data privacy has been one of the hot topics of discussion in a digitally connected world. The issue has become pertinent at the time of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic when more and more people are forced to spend time in the online world.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.