Current Affairs in English

8th Jan 2022 Current Affairs and GK Updates in English

National

TS Tirumurti assumes Chair of UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti has been appointed as the Chair of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee for 2022. India has assumed the chairmanship of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNSC-CTC) for one year, beginning from January 01, 2022.

Being the Chair of Counter-Terrorism Committee 2022, India will work to further enhance the role of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in strengthening the multilateral response to counter-terrorism, and ensure that global response to the threat of terrorism remains unambiguous, undivided, and effective. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation UNSC. Its two-year term will end on December 31, 2022.

Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel launched Student Start-ups and Innovation Policy 2.0

Gujarat Chief Minister, Bhupendra Patel has been launched “Student Start-ups and Innovation Policy 2.0 (SSIP-2.0)” for the next five years. The policy contains provisions for the establishment of active innovation and incubation centers in all universities in the state.

The policy aims to cover 50 lakh students across 1,000 higher education institutes and 10,000 schools of innovation and entrepreneurship. The policy also aims to give assistance to 10,000 proof of concepts and prototypes developed by the students and to 1,000 proof of concepts developed by school children.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Gujarat Capital: Gandhinagar;
  • Gujarat Governor: Acharya Devvrat;
  • Gujarat Chief minister: Bhupendrabhai Patel.

International

Chinese diplomat Zhang Ming takes charge of Secretary-General of SCO

China’s senior diplomat Zhang Ming has taken charge as the new Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in which India is a member. He has taken charge of Vladimir Norov, former Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan for a three-year term. He was until recently China’s ambassador to the European Union.

The SCO comprises eight member states: India, Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It also comprises four countries with “observer” status and six more as “dialogue partners”.

Antigua and Barbuda joined ISA as the 102nd member

The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as the 102nd member by signing the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement, the India-led global green energy initiative.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne signed the framework agreement in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Dr. K. J. Srinivasa to catalyze global energy transition through a solar-led approach.

ISA was jointly launched by India and France in 2015 during the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change COP-21 in Paris, France to promote solar energy.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Antigua and Barbuda Capital: Saint John’s;
  • Antigua and Barbuda Currency: East Caribbean Dollar;
  • Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister: Gaston Browne.

Appointments

Shafali Verma appointed as Brand Endorser of Bank of Baroda

State-owned Bank of Baroda has signed cricketer Shafali Verma as its brand endorser. The Bank continuously supports the youth of the country through its various banking and non-banking initiatives and this announcement reflects the bank’s ethos of adding value to its customer experience by choosing youth-icons like Shafali to inspire them.”

In 2019, at the age of 15, Shafali became the youngest cricketer to play in a Women’s Twenty20 International match for India. Previously in 2021, Shafali Verma became the 1st Women Cricketer to Hit 3 Sixes in Test Match.

Govt re-appoints Vijay Paul Sharma as CACP Chairman

The Centre has re-appointed Vijay Paul Sharma as the chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) after he relinquished the post in May last year following completion of the five-year tenure.

The role of the CACP chairman will be crucial in the proposed committee on the minimum support price (MSP) and other reforms. Sharma, a professor at the Centre for Management in Agriculture at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, was appointed CACP Chairman for the first time in June 2016.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, established in 1965, is an apex advisory body under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. It’s an expert body that recommends the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) by taking into consideration various factors.

Agreements

WFP & The Akshaya Patra Foundation partnered to enhance PM POSHAN Scheme

United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) in India, has partnered with The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF), a not-for-profit organization, to enhance the effectiveness of the Pradhan Mantri – Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) scheme (earlier known as National Programme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools).

The partnership aims to enhance food safety and hygiene projects, capacity building of cooks-cum-helpers, and nutritional quality of school meals.

Under this collaboration, WFP and TAPF will share knowledge through workshops and policy and strategy dialogues with the government to enhance the quality of the school meal program.

Since its inception in 1961, school meals have been part of WFP’s mission. WFP has six decades of experience supporting school feeding and working with more than 100 countries to set up sustainable national school feeding programs.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Food Programme Founded: 1961;
  • World Food Programme Headquarters: Rome, Italy;
  • World Food Programme Executive Director: David Beasley.

Defence

Sea Dragon 2022 Exercise: India joins ‘Sea Dragon’ exercise

India and its partners in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad along with Canada and South Korea are participating in the multinational exercise Sea Dragon 2022 at Guam in the Western Pacific.

The six nations that are participating in the exercise are the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and South Korea.

The exercise, primarily focused on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training, will involve more than 270 hours of in-flight training and activities ranging from tracking simulated targets to tracking a US Navy submarine. Each event will be graded and the country scoring the highest points will receive the Dragon Belt award.

Business

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail invests $200 mn in Dunzo to acquire a 25.8% stake

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail has invested $200 million or around Rs 1,488 crore in Bengaluru-based quick commerce player Dunzo for a 25.8 percent stake on a fully diluted basis. The move will help Reliance get a foothold in the country’s growing quick delivery market.

Dunzo raised a total of $240 million in this latest round led by the Reliance Industries Ltd arm. The other existing investors were Lightbox, Ligthrock, 3L Capital, and Alteria Capital, who participated in the round.

The funding will be used to strengthen Dunzo’s vision to excel in the quick commerce business, enabling instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses while also expanding its B2B business vertical to enable logistics for local merchants in Indian cities.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Dunzo Founder(s): Kabeer Biswas, Ankur Agarwal, Dalvir Suri, Mukund Jha;
  • Dunzo Founded: July 2014;
  • Dunzo Headquarters location: Bengaluru.

Banking

RBI canceled authorization certificates of Muthoot Vehicle Finance, Eko India

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has canceled the Certificate of Authorisation (CoA) of two Payment System Operators (PSOs): Muthoot Vehicle and Asset Finance Limited and Eko India Financial Services Private Limited, citing non-compliance with regulatory requirements under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

Both Muthoot Vehicle and Asset Finance Limited and Eko India Financial Services Private Limited had the certificate of authorization issued by the RBI for issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments.

The RBI further mentioned in its press release that the COA cancellation came into force on December 31, 2021. But RBI clarified in its notice that the customers or merchants who have a valid claim on these companies as PSOs can approach them for settlement of their claims within three years from the date of cancellation.

Awards

Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards announced

The Indian Express Group has announced the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards (RNG Awards) for journalists across the country, for their work done in 2019.

RNG awards are one the most prestigious awards in India in the field of journalism, held annually since 2006. The photo stories of our winners appeared in our print and digital editions between December 24, 2021, and January 4, 2022. 

List of winners:

  • Hindi (Print): Anand Choudhary, Dainik Bhaskar
  • Hindi (Broadcast): Sushil Kumar Mohapatra, NDTV India
  • Regional Languages (Print): Aniket Vasant Sathe, Loksatta
  • Regional Languages (Broadcast): Sunil Baby, Media One TV
  • Environment, Science And Technology Reporting (Print): Team Pari (People’s Archive Of Rural India)
  • Environment, Science And Technology Reporting (Broadcast): Team Scroll
  • Uncovering India Invisible (Print): Shiv Sahay Singh, The Hindu
  • Uncovering India Invisible (Broadcast): Tridip K Mandal, The Quint
  • Business And Economic Journalism (Print): Sumant Banerji, Business Today
  • Business And Economic Journalism (Broadcast): Ayushi Jindal, India Today TV
  • Reporting On Politics And Government (Digital): Dheeraj Mishra, The Wire
  • Reporting On Politics And Government (Broadcast): Seemi Pasha, Thewire.in
  • Sports journalism (Print): Nihal Koshie, The Indian Express
  • Sports journalism (Broadcast): Team NewsX
  • Investigative Reporting (Print): Kaunain Sheriff M, The Indian Express
  • Investigative Reporting (Broadcast): S Mahesh Kumar, Manorama News
  • Reporting On Arts, Culture And Entertainment: Uday Bhatia, Mint
  • Prakash Kardaley Memorial Award for Civic Journalism: Chaitanya Marpakwar, Mumbai Mirror
  • Photojournalism: Zishaan A Latif, The Caravan
  • Books (Non-Fiction): Arun Mohan Sukumar

About the Awards:

The award is given to honor journalists across the country from print, broadcast, and digital media who have maintained the highest standards of their profession and, despite immense challenges, produced work that sustains public trust in the media and impacts the lives of people. The award is named after Ramnath Goenka, the founder of “The Indian Express” and Indian Express Group in 1932.

South Indian Bank won the UiPath Automation Excellence awards 2021

South Indian Bank (SIB) won the UiPath Automation Excellence Awards 2021 for Best Automation under ‘Crisis for Business Continuity.

The 2021 edition of the award recognizes the contribution of the individuals and organizations across India and South Asia (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal) for bringing change through transformative automation projects.

Other Awards:

CategoryIndividual/Organisation
Best Cognitive AutomationEY Global Delivery Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers
Best First Time AutomationTeejay and Shapoorji Pallonji and Co.
Best Automation Center of ExcellenceReckitt and JSW Global Business Solutions
Best Citizen Developer ProgramFirstsource Solutions and HP Inc
Special UiPath RecognitionJSW Steel Limited and Omega Healthcare

JC Chaudhry gets first ever Guinness World Record in Numerology

India’s one of the top numerologists, JC Chaudhry has achieved the first-ever Guinness World Record in Numerology and the first world record of 2022 by educating about ancient science to around 6000 participants, enthusiasts of numerology joined from the United States, the United Kingdom, Middle East, and India.

The Guinness World Record London office has opened a new category, “Numerology” for this achievement. The initiative was organized by CNPL (Chaudhry Nummero Pvt Ltd) and the Indian Institute of Numerology to create awareness regarding numerology, which is prevalent across ancient cultures like Greece, Egypt, China, Chaldea, and India.

Schemes

GoI flagship UJALA scheme completed 7 years

The flagship UJALA program of the Ministry of Power has successfully completed seven years of distributing and selling LED lights on January 05, 2022. Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme was launched by Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on January 05, 2015.

UJALA initiative is the world’s largest zero-subsidy domestic lighting program with more than 36.78 crore LEDs distributed across the country.

As of 5th January 2022, 47,778 million (48 billion) kilowatt-hour (kWh) per annum energy has been saved. The demand of 9,565 Megawatt (MW) has been avoided, along with 386 crore tonnes of reduction in CO2 emissions.

Books and Authors

A new book titled “Mamata: Beyond 2021” authored by Jayanta Ghosal

HarperCollins Publishers India is set to publish a new book titled “Mamata: Beyond 2021”, authored by political journalist Jayanta Ghosal and translated by Arunava Sinha.

The announcement about the release of the book was made on 5th January 2022, the birthday of Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister (CM) of West Bengal and the leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party. The book explores and examines why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the 2021 West Bengal Election.


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