Current Affairs in English

6th January 2022 Current Affairs and GK Updates in English

National

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launches NEAT 3.0

Union Minister of Education, Dharmendra Pradhan has launched National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0), and regional language textbooks prescribed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

NEAT 3.0 aims to provide the best-developed ed-tech solutions and courses to students on a single platform. It will be beneficial especially among the economically disadvantaged students. It is a Public-Private Partnership model between the Government (through its implementing agency AICTE) and the Education Technology companies.

58 global and Indian ed-tech startup companies have come together for this solution and are offering 100 courses and e-resources to enhance learning outcomes, develop employable skills as well as overcome learning loss.

The collaboration of global ed-tech companies and Indian start-ups by way of NEAT will help to build on the digital education bedrock of India.

Ladakh celebrated the traditional new year ‘Losar Festival’

The Losar Festival in Ladakh is celebrated at the onset of the New Year in the traditional schedule of Tibetan Buddhism. It is celebrated by the Buddhist Community in the Ladakh region.

The Losar is a 15 days festival, from the start of the Tibetan Lunar calendar, marking the 1st day of the 11 months in the Tibetan Calendar. Losar is a Tibetan word that means ‘New Year’.

The festivities began with the celebration of Birth and Nirvana Anniversary Je Tsongkhapa with illuminations of religious places like Monasteries,  Stupas, residential and other places. The eve of the Losar festival is also celebrated with memorial food offerings for the departed loved ones.

Other popular festivals of Ladakh:

  • Phyang Tsedup Festival
  • Dosmoche Festival
  • Hemis Festival

Odisha’s Ganjam district is now child marriage free

Odisha’s Ganjam has declared itself a child marriage-free district, the first in the State. The district administration has been able to stop as many as 450 child marriages and video-record 48,383 marriages in two years — 2020 and 2021.

After verification, the Ganjam administration declared it a child marriage-free district. Sarpanchs and task force committee members had sent recommendations that no child marriage had taken place in their respective areas.

Ganjam had started a program Nirbhaya Kadhi (Fearless bud). All heads of educational institutes were directed to inform the administration if any girl aged between 12 and 18 remained absent from school for five days.

As many as one lakh teenagers have undergone counseling in the past two years. The administration also made the production of Aadhaar cards mandatory for any marriages to take place.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

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

International

Apple becomes world’s first company to hit $3 trillion M-Cap

The stock market value of Apple Inc. hit $3 trillion and became the world’s first company to do so. The market cap of Apple hit $182.86 per share, which made it the world’s first company to touch the $3 trillion mark.

However shortly after hitting the mark, the share value dipped below it and did not rise again until the market closed. The iPhone maker passed $2 trillion in 2020 and over $1 trillion in 2018.

The world’s most valuable company reached the milestone as investors bet that consumers will continue to shell out top dollar for iPhones, MacBooks, and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music.

In China, the world’s largest smartphone market, Apple continued to lead for the second straight month, beating rivals such as Vivo and Xiaomi, recent data from Counterpoint Research showed.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Apple Inc. CEO: Tim Cook;
  • Apple Inc. Founded: 1 April 1976, California, United States;
  • Apple Inc. Headquarters: Cupertino, California, United States;
  • Apple Inc. Founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announces resignation

Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok has announced his resignation on January 02, 2022. The decision follows a military coup that caused political deadlock and widespread pro-democracy protests in the country.

The 66-year-old Hamdok served as the 15th Prime Minister of Sudan from 2019 to 2022.

Mr. Hamdok called for a dialogue to agree on a “national charter” and to “draw a roadmap” to complete the transition. The October coup had upended Sudan’s plans to move to democracy after a popular uprising forced the military’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Sudan Capital: Khartoum; Currency: Sudanese pound.

Appointments

Alka Mittal becomes 1st women head of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation

Director HR in ONGC, Alka Mittal has been given the additional charge as the new interim chairman and managing director (CMD) of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the largest oil and gas producer in India.

She is the first woman to head the top post at the Maharatna company. She replaces Subhash Kumar who superannuated on December 31. He was also serving as an interim head.

Alka Mittal has been appointed for a period of six months with effect from January 1, 2022, or till the appointment of a regular incumbent to the post, or until further order, whichever is the earliest.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ONGC Headquarters: Vasant Kunj, New Delhi;
  • ONGC Founded: 14 August 1956.

RBI named Ajay Kumar Choudhary and Deepak Kumar as new Executive Directors

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Deepak Kumar and Ajay Kumar Choudhary as new executive directors (ED) with effect from 03 January.

Prior to being promoted as ED, Deepak Kumar was heading the department of information technology of RBI, while Ajay Choudhary was Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Supervision.

Kumar has over a span of three decades working in RBI’s central office departments covering policy making and project management functions in the areas of information technology, cyber security, payment systems, currency management, human resource management, banking supervision, foreign exchange management.

Meanwhile, Choudhary has, over a span of three decades, served in supervision, regulation, currency management, payments and settlements, and other areas in the Reserve Bank, in its Central Office as well as Regional Offices. He will look after the fintech department, risk monitoring department, and inspection department.

Banking

RBI approved Fino Payments Bank for international remittance business

Reserve Bank of India has approved Fino Payments Bank for commencing international (Cross Border) remittance business under the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS). The approval will enable the customers of Fino Payments Bank to receive money sent from foreign countries.

The Bank plans to implement the service in its mobile applications as well and it also plans to partner with more leading money transfer operators (MTOs) to improve its cross-border remittance.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of Fino Payments Bank: Prof Mahendra Kumar Chouhan.
  • Fino Payments Bank established: 13 July 2006.
  • MD & CEO of Fino Payments Bank: Rishi Gupta.
  • Headquarters of Fino Payments Bank: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

RBI Retains SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank as D-SIBs 2022

Reserve Bank of India has retained State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). These three banks have continued to be on the D-SIBs list published by RBI, since Sep 04, 2017.

Domestic Systemically Important Banks are those banks which if fail would have a significant impact on the economy. The D-SIBs banks are classified into 5 buckets. Bucket 1, Bucket 2, Bucket 3, Bucket 4, and Bucket 5.

With Bucket 5 being the most important followed by rest in decreasing order. State Bank of India is in Bucket 3, while ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are in Bucket 1. The updated list is based on the data collected from banks as of March 31, 2021.

RBI: Airtel Payments Bank gets scheduled bank status

Airtel Payments Bank has been categorized as a scheduled bank by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the second schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. With this, Airtel Payments Bank can now pitch for the government.

Airtel Payments Bank is among the fastest-growing digital banks in the country, with a base of 115 million users. It offers a suite of digital solutions through the Airtel Thanks app and a retail network of over 500,000 neighborhood banking points. The bank turned profitable in the quarter ended September 2021.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Airtel Payments Bank’s MD and CEO: Nubrata Biswas.
  • Airtel Payments Bank Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Airtel Payments Bank Founded: January 2017.

Business

Nippon India MF launches India’s first Auto ETF

Nippon Life India Asset Management Limited, asset manager of Nippon India Mutual Fund (NIMF), has announced the launch of India’s First Auto sector ETF – Nippon India Nifty Auto ETF.

Nippon India Nifty Auto ETF will predominantly invest in stocks comprising of the Nifty Auto Index in the same proportion as the Index. It will provide exposure to Top 15 (as per Nifty Auto Index methodology) companies representing auto-related sectors like Automobiles 4 wheelers, Automobiles 2 & 3 wheelers, Auto Ancillaries, and Tyres.

The Nippon Auto ETF will start operation from January 5, 2022, to January 14, 2022. The minimum investment amount required is Rs 1,000 and in multiples of Rs 1 aftermath.

The investment objective of the scheme is “to provide investment returns closely corresponding to the total returns of the securities as represented by the Nifty Auto Index before expenses, subject to tracking error. However, there can be no assurance or guarantee that the investment objective of the Scheme will be achieved.

Awards

Zishaan A Latif won Ramnath Goenka Award in Photojournalism

Zishaan A Latif won Ramnath Goenka Award in the Photo Journalism category. He won the award for his photo essay, The arduous struggle for inclusion in the NRC, which was published in The Caravan in October 2019.

He documented the plight of people who were dropped from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and put a face to an untold human story. About a month after the NRC list was released, Latif made his way through four districts in Assam, documenting people’s struggle for inclusion in the NRC.

Science and Technology

CryptoWire introduces India’s first global index of cryptocurrencies IC15

CryptoWire, a global crypto super app that is a special business unit of TickerPlant, announced the launch of India’s first index of Cryptocurrencies – IC15, which is a rule-based broad market index by market capitalization.

The IC15 tracks and measures the performance of the top 15 widely traded liquid cryptocurrencies listed on leading crypto exchanges of the world, the company stated.

The Mumbai-based company has been designed to provide insights into crypto mining and the true benchmark and a mirror of the underlying crypto market, a barometer of the industry in a sense, with a diversified representation of overall market sentiments.

Obituary

Legendary Kenyan Conservationist and Fossil-hunter Richard Leaky passes away

World-renowned Kenyan politician, conservationist, and fossil hunter Richard Leakey has passed away. The legendary paleoanthropologist is credited for the discovery of ‘Turkana Boy’ in 1984 which led to groundbreaking discoveries proving that humankind evolved in Africa.

Turkana boy is the most complete fossil Skelton of a human ancestor ever found. Paleoanthropology is the study of human evolution through fossil and archaeological records. Leakey is also known to spearhead campaigns against the ivory trade to save the population of African elephants.

Indian Navy’s 1971 war veteran Vice Admiral S H Sarma passes away

The Indian Navy’s 1971 Indo-Pak war veteran Vice Admiral S.H. Sarma has passed away, at the age of 100. He was the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet during the 1971 war. India had defeated Pakistan in the 1971 war leading to the creation of Bangladesh.

Vice Admiral Sarma had celebrated his 100th birthday on December 1 last year. He also took part in the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav celebration in Delhi recently. Sarma was the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet during the 1971 war. India had defeated Pakistan in the 1971 war leading to the creation of Bangladesh.


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