Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 December 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 31 Dec 2021 11:29 AM IST

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Topic: Corporates/Companies

1. WhatsApp to adopt 500 villages in India to promote digital payments.

  • WhatsApp has announced to adopt 500 villages across Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • WhatsApp is adopting villages to empower people to access digital payments through 'payments on WhatsApp'.
  • It will help in bringing behavioral transformation for digital payments at the grassroot levels.
  • WhatsApp has launched this initiative as part of the mission to onboard the next 500 million transactions to this digital payments ecosystem.
  • In addition, WhatsApp has equipped its main camera to scan QR codes. WhatsApp is planning to invest Significantly over the 'payments on WhatsApp' initiative.
  • WhatsApp was launched in January 2009. It was acquired by Facebook in February 2014. It was originally programmed by Brian Acton and Jan Koum.

Topic: Sports

2. Anurag Thakur inaugurates Khelo India Women's Hockey League.

  • Anurag Singh Thakur formally inaugurated the first-ever national-level Khelo India Women's Hockey League at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.
  • The winner of the Khelo India Women's Hockey League will get a cash prize of 30 lakhs.
  • In the first phase, total 14 teams will participate in the league and 42 matches will be played from 15 December to 21 December.
  • The second and third phases will be organized in early next year. The Sports Authority of India and Hockey India are jointly organizing the first-ever national-level Khelo India league.
  • This is the first big event that will be organized at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium after 2015.

Topic: State News/ Andhra Pradesh

3. Andhra Pradesh government joined hands with the Food and Agriculture Organization and Indian Council of Agriculture Research.

  • The Andhra Pradesh government has joined hands with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) for adopting sustainable agri- food systems.
  • A Mou has been signed between the Andhra Pradesh government, the Food and Agriculture Organization and Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).
  • Food and Agriculture Organization will provide technical and financial assistance to Rythu Bharosa Kendras.
  • Rythu Bharosa Kendras were set up by the Andhra Pradesh government at the village level to remove fake seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers from markets.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization will work for further strengthening of Rythu Bharosa Kendras. It would offer training to farmers, RBK staff, officials, scientists on new technologies in agricultural allied sectors.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Indian Air Force Group Captain Varun Singh passed away.

  • The lone survivor of the Coonoor military chopper crash, Group Captain Varun Singh died at a military hospital in Bengaluru.
  • He was seriously injured in the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash that killed CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 armed forces personnel.
  • Earlier, Group Captain Singh was shifted to the Command Hospital in Bengaluru from Wellington in Tamil Nadu.
  • He was the liaison officer for the visit of Gen Rawat. He was conferred the Shaurya Chakra in August for averting a possible mid-air accident.

Indian Air Force Group Captain Varun Singh passed away

(Source: News on AIR)


Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

5. All India Mayors’ Conference in Varanasi inaugurated and addressed by PM Modi via video conferencing.

  • All India Mayors’ Conference in Varanasi was inaugurated and addressed by PM Modi via video conferencing.
  • Department of Urban Development, Uttar Pradesh organised the event. Mayors from various states across the country participated in the conference.
  • “New Urban India” is the theme of the conference.
  • An exhibition is also being organized from 17th to 19th of December to showcase the key achievements of the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government in the sphere of urban development.

Topic: Indian Economy

6. India has registered the highest ever annual FDI inflow of 81.97 billion dollar in 2020-21.

  • India has registered the highest ever annual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow of 81.97 billion dollar in 2020-21.
  • FDI inflows in the last seven financial years is over 440 billion dollar. This is nearly 58% of the total FDI inflow in last 21 financial years.
  • Singapore, Mauritius, USA, Netherlands and Japan are top five countries from where FDI Equity Inflows were received during 2014 to 2021.
  • Computer Software and Hardware sector received largest share of FDI inflows, followed by Service, Trading and Telecommunications.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) means investment by persons who are residents outside India through shares, bonds, etc, in an unlisted Indian company.

Topic: Space and IT

7. ISRO signed six agreements with four countries to launch foreign satellites during 2021-23.

  • ISRO has signed six agreements with four countries for launching foreign satellites during 2021-2023.
  • Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Dr. Jitendra Singh has said that ISRO has launched total 342 satellites from 34 countries since 1999.
  • Dr. Jitendra Singh informed that about 132 million Euros would be earned through launching of these foreign satellites on a commercial basis.
  • ISRO through its commercial arm, New Space India Limited (NSIL), has been launching satellites belong to other countries from Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • Total 124 indigenous satellites have been put into Earth’s orbit including 12 student satellites.
  • ISRO has launched different type of satellite through Indian Launch Vehicle including satellites for Earth observation, Scientific and technology demonstration purpose.

NewSpace India Limited:

It is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of Government of India and commercial arm of ISRO.

It was established on 6 March 2019.

Its main objective is to increase industry participation in Indian space programmes.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. Union Minister Giriraj Singh launches MIS portal to provide ranking in Land Acquisition Projects.

  • Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh launched Management Information System (MIS) portal to provide ranking to States and Union Territories in Land Acquisition Projects.
  • MIS portal will not only show data and figures but it will also show the speed of the development in the country.
  • It will give impetus to the government's Gati Shakti Mission. The top three States and top three districts will be awarded based on the provided ranking in Land Acquisition Projects.
  • It will help states in monitoring the progress of the developmental projects. The portal is developed by the NIC team of the department with zero cost.
  • The suggestions/inputs received from the States/UTs will be considered and incorporated in the parameters for rankings.
  • The entire ranking process is through auto mode and there will be no interference of the department in the ranking process.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh launches MIS portal

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Report and Indices

9. Economic Advisory Council released 'Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’.

  • Economic Advisory Council has released the 'Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’. It is prepared by 'Institute for Competitiveness'.
  • In this Index, regions have been divided into -- large states, small states, Union Territories, and North East.
  • West Bengal has topped the Index while Bihar was on the bottom of the Index.
  • In the 'small states' category, Kerala grabbed the top spot while Jharkhand was the worst performer in this category.
  • The top-scoring regions are Kerala (67.95) and West Bengal (58.95) in small and large states, respectively.
  • In this Index, more than 50 percent of the states have scored below the national average, i.e. 28.05.
  • The performance of Large States such as Rajasthan (25.67), Gujarat (22.28), and Bihar (18.23) remain below average.
  • Literacy and Numeracy Index is based on the five pillars comprising 41 indicators. Educational infrastructure, access to education, basic health, learning outcomes, and governance are the five pillars of this Index.
  • The Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy is the first step towards establishing an understanding of the overall state of Foundational Learning across children aged below ten years.

Topic: Appointment

10. General Naravane appointed as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee.

  • Army Chief of Staff Gen M M Naravane has been assumed chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
  • He would be in charge of improving coordination and cooperation between the three services.
  • Following the death of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat in an IAF helicopter crash on December 8, the position became vacant.
  • Prior to the formation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee was the senior-most of the three service chiefs, and responsible for synergy between the Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • On the suggestions of a team of defence experts led by Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar, the post of CDS was created in 2019.
  • After creating the post, the government had said that the CDS would head the Department of Military Affairs within the Defense Ministry.
  • IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhary and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had assumed their respective positions on 30 September and 30 November.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented the Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence 2021.

  • On the 96th Raising Day of Directorate General Defence Estates in New Delhi, Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh presented Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence 2021.
  • The winners were recognised for their digital achievements and innovation in the domains of health, education, and sanitation, as well as public service and land management.
  • The honours in the sector of education were not considered because classes were being run online due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • The Raksha Mantri has instituted a new award this year for achievement in the implementation of the "e-Chhawani" project. These are the categories:
    • Swachh Chhawani Swasth Chhawani
    • Digital Accomplishments
    • Innovation in Public Services
    • Land and Record management
    • Improvement in Cantonment General Hospital
    • Implementation of 'e-Chhawani' Project
  • These awards are a testimony of DGDE's perseverance and commitment towards nation building.

Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence 2021

(Source: New on Air)

Topic: Geography

12. Typhoon Rai, a Category 5 storm, made landfall in the southern Philippines.

  • Typhoon Rai made landfall in Siargao Island in the southern Philippines, one of the strongest storms to hit the Philippines this year.
  • After a typhoon hit the Philippines, tens of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes.
  • Rai, the 15th typhoon to hit Philippine territory this year, made landfall on the resort island of Siargao in the southern province of Surigao del Norte, with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h (121 mph).


Name of cyclones

Philippine Islands, The coast of China and Japan




Bay of Bengal (India) and the Arabian Sea


USA and Mexico


West Indies and the coast of Florida




Philippines is a Southeast Asia island country in the western Pacific Ocean.

It is an archipelago of about 7,000 islands and islets, which located around 500 miles (800 kilometres) off the coast of Vietnam.

Its Capital is Manila.

Its Currency is Philippine peso.

Its President is Rodrigo Duterte.


Topic: MoUs/Agreements

13. India and Vietnam have signed an MoU to expand their collaboration in the sector of information technology.

  • Nguyen Manh Hung, Vietnam's Minister of Information and Communications, paid a visit to India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, where he met Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • They discussed numerous steps taken by the two countries to strengthen the digital economy, and they agreed to expand ICT trade and cooperation between the two countries.
  • During the visit, the two Ministers also inked an agreement to extend the India-Vietnam Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of information technology.
  • The MoU aims to promote active cooperation and exchange in the field of ICT between corporate entities, governments, institutions involved in capacity building, and other public and private organisations from both countries.
  • The common objective of digital transformation under the Digital India Program and Digital Transformation Vietnam can further enhance cooperation and digital trade between the two sides.


It is a South-East Asian country.

It is known for its beaches, rivers and Buddhist pagodas.

Its capital is Hanoi and the currency is Vietnamese dong.

Its President is Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Its Prime Minister is Phạm Minh Chính.

India and Vietnam MoU to expand their collaboration in the sector of information technology

(Source: PIB)






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