- 1. Supreme Court expanded meaning of vulnerable witnesses.
- 2. India and US officials discussed various issues during virtual Homeland Security Dialogue.
- 3. Gaganyaan's cryogenic engine successfully completed its qualification test.
- 4. S Somanath appointed as new chairman of ISRO.
- 5. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas appointed as the Chief Economist of IMF.
- 6. Kevadiya Railway Station renamed as Ekta Nagar Railway Station.
- 7. Textiles sector exports increased by 31% from April to December 2021.
- 8. Minister of State for Education launches Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) 2021 – 2022.
- 9. Raghuvendra Tanwar appointed as chairman of ICHR.
- 10. World Bank forecasted global economic growth of 4.1% in 2022.
- 11. Supreme Court formed a panel headed by Indu Malhotra to probe PM security breach.
- 12. Indian Railway launched ‘Mission Amanat’ to track lost belongings of passengers.
- 13. RBI decided to create a new department to regulate fintech.
- 14. IEPFA signed MoU with IGNOU for promoting Investor Education and Financial literacy.
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Topic: Indian Polity
1. Supreme Court expanded meaning of vulnerable witnesses.
- Supreme Court included sexual assault victims, people with mental illness and people with speech or hearing impairment under the vulnerable witness category.
- Supreme Court said that vulnerable witnesses should not be limited to only child witnesses.
- Supreme Court instructed the High Courts to form a Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centre (VWDC) scheme within two months.
- Supreme Court also said that the High court should set up a permanent VWDC committee. It also asked the High court to ensure one VWDC in each district.
- Supreme Court urged Justice Gita Mittal to act as Chairperson of a committee formed for designing and implementing an All India VWDC training program.
- Supreme Court also requested the government to appoint a nodal officer for facilitating logistical support to the Chairperson and to implement its direction.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
2. India and US officials discussed various issues during virtual Homeland Security Dialogue.
- India and US senior officials met during virtual Homeland Security Dialogue and they discussed many key issues.
- The India-US Homeland Security Dialogue has been co-chaired by Ajay Bhalla and Robert Silvers.
- Both sides reviewed the ongoing cooperation and discussed to further enhance cooperation in the field of counterterrorism, cyber security, maritime security, aviation security, etc.
- Both sides also agreed that subgroups under the homeland security dialogue would meet separately in the upcoming months.
- Both sides will also organize ministerial-level homeland security dialogue in later 2022.
- The first India-US Homeland Security Dialogue was held in May 2011. It is an initiative started by the Obama administration.
- In March 2021, India and the U.S agreed to re-establish the Homeland Security Dialogue.
3. Gaganyaan's cryogenic engine successfully completed its qualification test.
- The Cryogenic Engine for the Gaganyaan human space program has successfully completed qualification tests by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- The test was conducted for 720 seconds and met the test objectives at the ISRO Propulsion Complex in Tamil Nadu.
- The engine will next undergo four more tests, each lasting 1810 seconds.
- The name of this engine developed by ISRO is ‘Vikas’.
- The cryogenic engine of India's human-rated GSLV rocket will be used in the country's maiden human spaceflight mission in 2023.
- ISRO has scheduled to send a "vyommitra" (human-like robot) to space on two unmanned missions before the final manned mission in 2023.
(Source: News on AIR)
4. S Somanath appointed as new chairman of ISRO.
- S Somanath, a renowned rocket scientist, has been appointed as the next chairman and Space Secretary of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- He will succeed K Sivan, who has completed his tenure as ISRO director.
- Mr. Somanath is an expert in the field of launch vehicle system engineering.
- He will serve as the Space Secretary and Chairman of the Space Commission for a combined three-year term.
- Mr. Somanath will be ISRO's tenth chairman.
- He currently serves as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
- Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO):
- It is a space agency of the Indian government.
- It was founded in 1969 by Vikram Sarabhai.
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
(Source: News on AIR)
5. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas appointed as the Chief Economist of IMF.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas has been appointed as the next chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- He is an economist at the University of California-Berkeley. He has replaced Indian origin Gita Gopinath.
- Gopinath has been appointed as the IMF's first Deputy Managing Director.
- Gourinchas will begin working as part-time IMF Chief Economist from January 24. He will start his full-time tenure on April 1, 2022.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF):
- IMF is an international organization. It is designed to promote global monetary cooperation.
- Its headquarters is located in Washington DC. It was established in 1945.
- The Managing Director of IMF is Kristalina Georgieva.
Topic: State News/ Gujarat
6. Kevadiya Railway Station renamed as Ekta Nagar Railway Station.
- The renaming of the Statue of Unity's Kevadiya railway station has been approved by the Ministry of Railways.
- The Kevadiya Railway Station is part of the Vadodara division in Gujarat, which has been renamed as "Ekta Nagar Railway Station."
- Ekta Nagar railway station's code will be EKNR, while the station's numerical number will be 08224620.
- The Vadodara Division has received a first-of-its-kind contract for the establishment of an art gallery with a souvenir shop at Gujarat's Kevadiya Railway Station.
- A private party would set up and operate the art gallery at the station, bringing in 24.7 lakh in revenue for Indian Railways and potential revenue of Rs 2.83 crore.
Topic: Indian Economy
7. Textiles sector exports increased by 31% from April to December 2021.
- Textiles sector exports has increased by 31% from April to December 2021 as compared to same period in 2020.
- Total Textiles and Apparel exports including Handicrafts exports stood at 29.8 billion dollars during April to December 2021, as compared to 21.2 billion dollars for the same period in 2020.
- Exports of textiles, Apparel and Handicrafts increased by 14.6% in April-December 2021 as compared to 2020.
- Government has fixed the target of 44 billion dollars for Textiles and Apparel exports including Handicrafts exports and more than 67% of the target has been already achieved.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Awards and Prizes
8. Minister of State for Education launches Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) 2021 – 2022.
- Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar, has virtually launched Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) 2021 – 2022 on 12 January 2022.
- Total 40 schools will be chosen for Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar this year at the national level.
- The award money has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per school under the Samagra Shiksha scheme.
- Government for the first time has introduced 6 sub-category wise awards, with award money of Rs 20,000 per school.
- SVP 2021-22 is open to all categories of schools in both rural and urban areas. The schools will be assessed in 6 sub-categories.
- These categories are Water, Sanitation, Hand Washing with soap, Operation and Maintenance, Behaviour Change and Capacity Building and COVID-19 Preparedness and Response.
- Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) was first started by the Department of School Education and Literacy in 2016-17.
9. Raghuvendra Tanwar appointed as chairman of ICHR.
- Raghuvendra Tanwar has been appointed as chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) for three years.
- Professor Tanwar is known for his study of India’s Partition, particularly Punjab. He was the director of the Haryana Academy of History and Culture in 2016.
- His most recent study is an illustrated Story of India’s Partition. He has also written the biography of Bansi Lal and on Sir Chhotu Ram.
- He was awarded the UGC National Fellowship (Research Award) 2002-2005.
- Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR):
- It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Education.
- It was established on 27 March 1972 on the recommendation of a Working Group set up by the Government of India.
- It promotes historical research and encourages scientific writing of history.
- The members of the Council of ICHR are selected for three years.
Topic: Reports and Indices
10. World Bank forecasted global economic growth of 4.1% in 2022.
- According to the latest Global Economic Prospects report, the global economy will grow by 4.1% in 2022 and 3.2% in 2023.
- The latest projection of global economic growth for 2022 is 0.2 percentage point lower than the June forecast.
- India’s economy will grow by 8.3% in the current fiscal year, 8.7% in 2022-23, and 6.8% in 2023-24.
- Advanced economies growth will slow from 5% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2022.
- The report also noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has raised global income inequality. Inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful for developing countries.
- According to the report, global economic growth is facing risk from many factors including a new variant of Covid-19, high debt levels, inflation, etc.
- Policy uncertainty and high government expenditure are the major issues for many countries.
- As per this report, annual output is expected to remain below the pre-pandemic level in emerging and developing economies till 2023.
- Global Economic Prospects and World Development Report are published by the World Bank.
Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces
11. Supreme Court formed a panel headed by Indu Malhotra to probe PM security breach.
- The Supreme Court has formed an inquiry committee under the chairmanship of former judge Justice Indu Malhotra to probe the security breach during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.
- The Director-General of the National Investigation Agency, Director-General of police Chandigarh, additional Director-General of police (security) Punjab, and Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court are the other members of this committee.
- The committee will look into the matter and will decide who was responsible for the security breach.
- It will also suggest necessary safeguards for the security of PM and Constitutional functionaries.
- Ministry of Home Affairs has also set up a three-member committee to enquire into security lapses during PM Modi's Punjab visit. It will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena.
Topic: National News
12. Indian Railway launched ‘Mission Amanat’ to track lost belongings of passengers.
- Indian Railway has launched a new initiative ‘Mission Amanat’ to track lost belongings of passengers.
- This new initiative has been launched by Railway Protection Force (RPF).
- Under this initiative, the Railway Protection Force will upload the information of the lost luggage and belonging on the official website of the western zonal railway.
- Railway Protection Force of Western Railway Zone has recovered lost goods worth Rs 2.58 crore belonging to a total of 1,317 railway passengers in the year 2021.
- Railway Protection Force (RPF):
- It was established under Railway Protection Force Act 1957.
- It is responsible to ensure the protection of railway property and the safety and security of passengers
- It has the power to search, arrest, investigate and prosecute.
- The women percentage in the RPF is the highest among all central paramilitary forces in India.
Topic: Banking System
13. RBI decided to create a new department to regulate fintech.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a new department to supervise and regulate fintech in India. It has come into effect from 4 January.
- This new department has been created by subsuming the fintech division of the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems (DPSS).
- It will promote innovation in the fintech sector and address the challenges and opportunities associated with it.
- It will also provide a framework for further research which will aid in creating a policy for fintech.
- The fintech department will be administratively attached to the centralised administrative division (CAD) of the central office.
- The fintech department will deal with all the matters related to the facilitation of constructive innovations and incubations in the fintech sector.
- It will also look into the matter related to inter-regulatory coordination and international coordination on fintech.
- FinTech is an emerging industry that uses technology for the delivery of financial services.
- At present, the total valuation of the FinTech industry in India is about $50-$60 billion.
14. IEPFA signed MoU with IGNOU for promoting Investor Education and Financial literacy.
- Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) and Indira Gandhi National Open University have signed an MoU for promoting Investor Education and Financial literacy.
- Gyan Darshan channel of IGNOU will help in propagating the message of Investor Education and Awareness among stakeholders.
- The proposed lecture series of 75 episodes will be taken by experts from professional institutions. It will be a tele-lecturing series on 24x7 Gyan Darshan TV channel.
- Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA):
- Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) was established for the administration of the IEPF fund under the Companies Act 2013.
- The main aim of this authority is to promote Investor Education, Awareness & Protection, and to refund unclaimed shares.
- It works under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.