Daily Current Affairs and GK | 12 and 13 December 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 27 Dec 2021 15:17 PM IST

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Topic: Defense News

1. India successfully tested extended version of Pinaka-ER Rocket Launcher System.

  • India has successfully tested the extended version of the Pinaka-ER Rocket Launcher System at Pokhran range.
  • Pinaka Extended Range (Pinaka-ER) tests have been carried out at various test ranges in Pokhran.
  • The system is jointly designed by laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune.
  • Pinaka-ER is the upgraded version of the Pinaka. It has been designed with advance technologies for enhancing range.
  • In the trials, Pinaka rockets were test-fired at different ranges with various warhead capabilities. Around 24 rockets were fired for different ranges to meet the objectives of accuracy and consistency.

Pinaka multi-barrel rocket systems:

It can fire 12 rockets in 44 seconds, which makes it a lethal weapon.

The development of this rocket system was started in the late 1980s to replace Russia's multi-barrel rocket launcher system.

India successfully tested extended version of Pinaka-ER Rocket Launcher System

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

2. Haiderpur wetland of Uttar Pradesh added as Ramsar Site.

  • The Haiderpur Wetland located in western Uttar Pradesh has been recognized as Ramsar Site. India has now 47 Ramsar sites.
  • The main objective of the Ramsar list is to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity.
  • The Haiderpur Wetland is located within the boundaries of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.

Haiderpur Wetland:

It was formed in 1984 after the construction of the Madhya Ganga Barrage.

It provides habitat to more than 30 species of plants and 300 species of birds. It provides habitat to more than 15 threatened species.

It also supports the livelihoods of the local communities.

Ramsar Convention:

It is an inter-governmental environmental treaty that was signed in 1971 and came into force in 1975.

It provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and cooperation.

Topic: Important Days

3. UNICEF Day: 11 December

  • UNICEF Day is observed every year on 11 December. It is observed to raise awareness about saving children’s lives.
  • UNICEF Day was first established by U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration on December 11, 1946.
  • It was established after world war to provide immediate relief to children and mothers affected by World War II.
  • Initially, it was established as a temporary relief fund by the United Nations and known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.
  • The theme for this year’s UNICEF Day is to help children recover from interruptions and learning losses experienced through the Pandemic in the last two years.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

4. Airtel in association with Invest India launched 'Startup Innovation Challenge'.

  • Bharti Airtel in association with Invest India launched the 'Startup Innovation Challenge'.
  • The challenge has invited early-stage Indian startups to demonstrate solutions for 5G, IoT, Cloud Communications, Digital Advertising, and Digital Entertainment.
  • The top 10 winners of this challenge will get a cash prize and they will get access to Airtel's Innovation Lab.
  • The winners will get a chance to use Airtel's advanced technology to scale up their infrastructure.
  • Applications for the challenge will close on January 24, 2022, and the results will be announced on February 14, 2022.
  • Under this programme, startups will get access to Airtel's core platform. Startups will get access to Airtel's global partner ecosystem and advisory from Airtel's executive team.
  • The 10 startups will be on-boarded onto the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme. Airtel is committed towards working with the Government of India to help early-stage companies.

Topic: National News

5. Rejuvenated and transformed Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham inaugurated by PM Modi.

  • Rejuvenated and transformed Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was inaugurated by PM Modi.
  • PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh starting from 13 December 2021.
  • PM Modi will visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple and offer prayers before inaugurating phase 1 of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham.
  • PM Modi will also visit Kaal Bhairav Temple and witness Ganga Aarti. The foundation stone of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham was laid by PM Modi in March 2019.
  • Phase 1 of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham has been constructed at a cost of around 339 crore rupees.
  • The project is spread over 5 lakh square feet. It is designed to provide a direct connection of Ganga Ghats to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
  • Kashi Vishwanath (KV) Dham will transform the area around Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
  • Before the KV Dham, the KV temple lacked direct visibility from the Ganges.
  • The 20-25 feet wide corridor will connect Lalita Ghat on Ganges to the Mandir Chowk in the temple premises.

Rejuvenated and transformed Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh

6. In Madhya Pradesh, first drone fair in country organised at Gwalior.

  • In Madhya Pradesh, the first drone fair in the country was organised at Gwalior on 11 December.
  • Gwalior Drone Mela was organised jointly by Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Government of Madhya Pradesh, and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
  • Addressing the youths and farmers present at the "Drone Mela" in Gwalior, MP Chief Minister said that Madhya Pradesh will be made a leading state by using drone technology.
  • Mr. Scindia said that five Drone Schools will be opened in Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Satna in Madhya Pradesh.

First drone fair in country organised at Gwalior

(Source: PIB)     

Topic: National News

7. Union Minister inaugurated seventh edition of India International Science Festival.

  • United Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology has inaugurated the seventh edition of the India International Science Festival at Panaji, Goa.
  • The main aim of this festival is to promote innovation by the people and to develop technology affordable for the masses.
  • The theme of the India International Science Festival is "Celebrating Creativity, Science, Technology and Innovation for a prosperous India.
  • India International Science Festival (IISF) series is part of the Government’s vision of spreading scientific temper among people for sustainable development and new technological innovations in India.
  • It also aims to build a strategy for rural India through the advancement of Science and Technology.
  • It will provide a platform to students, scientists, and technocrats for the exchange of knowledge and support flagship programmes like ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’, Swasth Bharat Abhiyan ‘Make in India’.

India International Science Festival (IISF) is a joint program of the Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA). The first program of IISF was held in 2015.

Topic: Appointments

8. Catherine Russell appointed as Executive Director of UNICEF.

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Catherine Russell as Executive Director of UNICEF. She was the advisor of the US president Joe Biden.
  • She will succeed Henrietta Fore, who resigned in July because of family health issues.
  • Catherine Russell has been appointed following the consultations with UNICEF's executive board.
  • Catherine Russell has worked in Democratic politics since the mid-1980s. She has worked on Capitol Hill and at the White House and State Department during the eight years.
  • United States is the biggest contributor to UNICEF.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):

It is a United Nations agency that was created on 11 December 1946 as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

It works for the overall development of children globally and promotes policies for child protection and inclusion.

Its headquarters is located in New York City, United States.

Topic: Defense News

9. DRDO, IAF successfully flight-tested indigenous Stand-Off Anti-Tank missile.

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully flight tested the Stand-Off Anti-Tank (SANT) missile from the Pokhran range.
  • Stand-Off Anti-Tank (SANT) missile is equipped with state-of-the-art millimetre wave (MMW) seeker which will provide high precision strike capability.
  • It can hit targets up to 10 kilometers. The flight test was successful in meeting all its objectives.
  • The Stand-Off Anti-Tank (SANT) missile has been designed and developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in association with DRDO labs and participation from industries.
  • It is the third indigenous stand-off weapon of the recently tested weapons.  It has been tested after the Long-Range Bomb and Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW).
  • The successful testing of the SANT missile will boost the indigenous defense capabilities.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):

It was established in 1958.

It is involved in developing critical defense technologies and products to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.

It works under the Ministry of Defence.

Chairman: G. Sateesh Reddy

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Centre to organize innovation week to encourage Startup ecosystem in India.

  • Centre will organize innovation week to encourage Startup ecosystem in India.
  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will host a week-long event, "Celebrating Innovation Ecosystem".
  • The event is proposed to be held in January 2022. The event will mark the 6th anniversary of the launch of the Startup India initiative.
  • The key objective of innovation week is to bring together country’s key Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and other stakeholders.
  • Innovation week would help provide market access opportunities to Startups. It will also showcase high-quality, high technology and frugal innovations from India.

Startup India initiative:

It was launched by the Prime Minister on 16 January 2016.

It aims to foster entrepreneurship by creating an ecosystem for the growth of Startups.

Topic: Sports

11. Max Verstappen wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

  • Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and took his first Formula One title.
  • Hamilton's Mercedes team retained Formula One constructors championship title for a record eighth successive time.
  • Mercedes had won every title since 2014. A car incident in the 53rd lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix helped Max Verstappen to beat race leader Lewis Hamilton in the final lap of the final race of the season.
  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a Formula One motor racing event. It was first held in 2009. Its venue is Yas Marina Circuit situated on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Topic: International News

12. Saudi Arabia government bans Tablighi Jamaat.

  • Saudi Arabia government has banned Tablighi Jamaat.
  • The government has called Tablighi Jamaat as one of the gates of terrorism.
  • Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry has directed the mosques to warn people during Friday sermon against the Tablighi Jamaat.
  • Tablighi Jamaat is a transnational Sunni Islamic missionary movement. The term Tablighi Jamaat is translated as society of preachers, propagation party or preaching party.

Topic: Miscellaneous

13. Harnaaz Sandhu of India has been crowned Miss Universe 2021.

  • Two decades after Lara Dutta of India was crowned Miss Universe in 2000, Harnaaz Sandhu of India has been crowned Miss Universe 2021.
  • Paraguay's Nadia Ferreira and South Africa's Lalela Mswane became the first and second runners-up, respectively.
  • Harnaaz, 21, has been crowned Miss Universe at the competition held in Eilat, Israel.
  • Mexican Andrea Meza handed over her crown to the new successor.
  • India had previously won the prestigious championship twice, with Sushmita Sen winning in 1994 and Lara Dutta winning in 2000.
  • Harnaaz had won the Times Fresh Face Miss Chandigarh 2017, as well as Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018 and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019. She also previously held the title of Miss Diva 2021.
  • Armi Kuusela from Finland won the first Miss Universe title in 1952.

Miss Universe 2021

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: Important Days

14. Universal Health Coverage Day: 12 December

  • Universal Health Coverage Day is commemorated every year on 12th December.
  • This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of having robust and resilient world-class health systems globally with multi-stakeholder partners.
  • The theme for Universal Health Coverage Day 2021 is ‘Leave No One Behind When It Comes to Health: Invest in Health Systems for All.’
  • The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on December 12, 2012, urging countries to accelerate efforts toward universal health care (UHC).
  • On this day in 2017, the United Nations had declared 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day.





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