Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 December 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 18:41 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. Iran has been removed from UN Commission on the Status of Women.

  • After the brutal crackdown from authorities on women protesters, Iran has been suspended from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
  • The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution to remove Iran from the Commission for the remaining term.
  • Iran’s term in UN Commission on the Status of Women was scheduled to end in 2026.
  • In the 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), 29 voted in favour of the resolution while eight voted against it. 16 countries abstained from voting.
  • Iran’s government faced heavy protest after 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini had died in the custody of the morality police.
  • Iran rejected and strongly condemned the draft resolution.
  • UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW):
    • It was established in 1946.
    • Its 45 members are elected by ECOSOC.
    • It is a UN body for promoting gender equality and empowering women.

Topic: National News

2. Indian Railways has completed India’s longest escape tunnel.

  • Indian Railways has achieved another milestone by constructing Escape Tunnel T-49 between Sumbar and Khari stations on Katra-Banihal section.
  • The escape tunnel is 12.89 km long. It is constructed on the 111 km under-construction Banihal-Katra railway line in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The longest escape tunnel is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line project.
  • This is the fourth tunnel on the Banihal-Katra route. The 12.75 km long tunnel T-49 was completed in January 2022.
  • The escape tunnel has been constructed to facilitate rescue work in case of emergency situation.
  • It is a modified horseshoe shape tunnel. It connects the Sumber Station yard on the Southside and Tunnel T-50 after crossing Bridge no.4 over Khoda Nallah on the North side.
  • Tunnel T-49 is a twin tube tunnel. It comprise the main tunnel (12.75 km long) and escape tunnel (12.895 kms).
  • The escape tunnel passes through the Ramban formation of the Young Himalayas.
  • It also passes through various distributaries/Nallahs of Chenab River like Khoda, Hingni, Kundan nallah etc.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

3. National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) has signed MoU with NIT Manipur through Video Conference on 14th December 2022.

  • The MoU was signed between Gautam Sutradhar, Director NIT Manipur and Chanchal Kumar, Managing Director, NHIDCL.
  • NHIDCL has earlier signed MoUs with IIT Bombay & IIT Guwahati.
  • It has also signed MoUs with prestigious institutes like, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kanpur, IIT Patna, NIT Srinagar, NIT Agartala, NIT Silchar, NIT Uttarakhand, NIT Nagaland, NIT Sikkim, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Mandi and NIT Jote, Arunachal Pradesh during the current year 2022-23.
  • NHIDCL is seeking and promoting technologies to find solutions to the challenges in the construction of highways in extreme climatic conditions.
  • National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. It was set up in 2014.

Topic: Sports

4. International Tennis Federation (ITF) honored Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal as its 2022 ITF World Champions.

  • Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open and the French Open in the year 2022.
  • Swiatek won the French and US Opens. She was also named WTA Player of the Year. Swiatek is the first Polish singles player to win the ITF award. 
  • Rafael Nadal was honored as ITF world champion for the 5th time in his career. He is a Spanish tennis player.
  • In the Australian Open final in January, Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev. He won his 21st Grand Slam trophy.
  • He won his 22nd major in June with 14th French Open title.
  • Nadal joined Roger Federer as a five-time ITF world champion behind Pete Sampras (6) and 2021 winner Novak Djokovic (7).
  • American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury took the award for the first time in the men’s doubles category.
  • Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women's doubles honour for the third time.

Topic: National News

5. 5th edition of Youth Co:Lab launched by AIM and UNDP India for Young Entrepreneurs.

  • Youth Co:Lab is Asia Pacific’s largest youth innovation movement.
  • On December 15th, 2022, it has been jointly launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and UNDP India.
  • Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director AIM, NITI Aayog, and Mr. Dennis Curry, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP India launched the applications for this edition.
  • In 2019, UNDP India, in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog launched Youth Co:Lab initiative.
  • It aims to set up a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • The Youth Co:Lab initiative has, to date, been implemented in 28 countries and territories.
  • It has reached over 200,000 participants, benefiting over 11,000 young social entrepreneurs, and supporting over 1,240 social enterprises.
  • Through the Youth Co:Lab, 30 early-stage start-ups will be supported by the Springboard program, and the best will be provided grants to scale up their start-ups.
  • The 6 focus thematic areas for Youth Collab 2022-23 are:
    • Digital and Financial Literacy for Youth
    • Gender Equality and Women Economic Empowerment
    • Developing FinTech Solutions focused on Biodiversity Conservation
    • Promoting Biodiversity-friendly Lifestyles through Technological Solutions in Finance
    • Accelerating Circular Economy through Upcycling Innovations
    • Behavioural Nudges for LiFE (Lifestyle For Environment)
  • Youth Co:Lab was co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

6. Airbnb and Goa Govt signed an MoU to promote inclusive tourism.

  • On 12 December, Airbnb entered into an agreement with the Government of Goa to jointly promote the state as one of the most potential tourist destinations across the world.
  • The announcement regarding the signing of the MoU was made on the sidelines of Airbnb's 'Rediscover Goa' festival, which began on December 12 and will continue till December 18.
  • The MoU has been signed between the Tourism Minister of Goa Mr. Rohan Khunte and Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb India.
  • The following are the main points of the MoU:
    • They will collaborate to highlight unique/lesser-known places for travelers. This will be achieved through targeted domestic and international destination promotional campaigns.
    • Airbnb will further work towards the development of the state's hospitality sector by conducting workshops and seminars to train homestay hosts and B&B owners.
    • Airbnb will assist the Department of Tourism in making progressive policies to promote responsible tourism in the state.
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Topic: State News/Delhi

7. AIIMS Delhi has been declared a tobacco-free zone.

  • People found spitting or smoking tobacco in AIIMS Delhi premises will be fined ₹200.
  • Any contractual employee or security personnel who is found smoking cigarettes or beedi and/or chewing tobacco products in AlIMS Delhi will have their employment immediately terminated.
  • If any permanent employee or doctor is found doing so, he/she will be issued a memo and disciplinary action shall be taken against him/her.
  • The security guards at AIIMS have been ordered not to permit tobacco use of any kind among the patients, attendants, guests, and employees.

Topic: Indian Polity

8. Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2022.

  • The Bill will amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
  • It has been passed for inclusion of Hattee community of Trans Giri area of Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh in the Scheduled Tribes list of the state.
  • Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said the border sharing people from four blocks of Trans Giri of Himachal Pradesh have their relatives identified as Scheduled Tribes in Uttarakhand.
  • The Hattee community is spread across 154 panchayats and four Assembly constituencies.
  • These constituencies are Shillai, Paonta Sahib, Pachhad, Shri Renukaji.
  • The Hattee community had a population of 2.5 lakh according to the 2011 Census. The population has now increased to about 3 lakh.
  • The Hattees are governed by a traditional council called khumbli. They are named after the occupation of selling home-grown crops, vegetables, wool and meat at small town markets called haats.
  • The men belonging to Hatti community traditionally wear a distinctive white headgear on ceremonial occasions.

Topic: International News

9. New Three-party coalition government will be led by Mette Frederiksen.

  • The new coalition consists of the Social Democrats, the Liberals and the Moderates.
  • After the elections, the new coalition parties have a combined 89 seats in the 179-seat parliament. 
  • It is the first time in the last 44 years that such a centrist government has been formed.
  • The last time Denmark was governed by a centrist coalition was in 1978 when the Social Democrats teamed up with the Liberals
  • This government has been formed by the two blocs that have opposed each other for decades.
  • Mette Frederiksen will become the Prime Minister of Denmark for the second time. Lokke Rasmussen will serve as the new foreign minister.
  • Mette Frederiksen was appointed Prime Minister for the first time in 2019.
  • The government will have 23 ministers. There are eight women and 15 men.

Topic: Defence

10. India received all 36 Rafale aircraft from France.

  • The last aircraft of the 36 Rafale aircraft has landed in India.
  • India and France had signed an inter-government agreement in 2016 to provide 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around 60,000 crore rupees.
  • The first batch of Rafale aircraft arrived on 29th July, 2020.
  • Rafale aircraft are stationed at Ambala, Haryana and Hasimara in West Bengal.
  • Rafale aircraft:
    • It is a 4.5-generation aircraft equipped with long range air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.
    • It has advanced radar and electronic warfare capabilities.
    • It is designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
    • It can be operated from both the aircraft carrier and the seashore.

36 Rafale aircraft from France

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

11. Pradhan Mantri Virasat Ka Samvardhan (PM VIKAS) Scheme will be the new name of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Ko Kaam Karyakram (PMKKK).

  • The integrated scheme combines five previous schemes of Ministry: Seekho aur Kamao, USTTAD, Hamari Dharohar, Nai Roshni, and Nai Manzil.
  • The cabinet has approved the scheme for the period of 15th Finance Commission.
  • The aim of the PM Vikas is to improve the livelihood of minorities, especially artisan communities, by using components of skill development, education, women leadership and entrepreneurship.
  • These components complement each other in the ultimate objective of the scheme to enhance the income of the beneficiaries and provide assistance by facilitating credit and market linkages.

Topic: Sports

12. Jos Buttler and Sidra Amin received ICC Player of the Month awards for November.

  • England's T20 World Cup-winning captain Jos Buttler has been named the ICC Men's Player of the Month for the first time following his stellar performance in November.
  • Pakistan's Sidra Amin became the country's second consecutive winner of the Women's Player of the Month award.
  • She did an impressive performance in the ODI series win over Ireland.
  • ICC Player of the Month awards recognizes the best performances of both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.
  • In January 2021, the ICC Player of the Month award was introduced by ICC.

Topic: National News

13. On 14 December 2022, MoRTH issued the notification to notify amendments in the rules governing Bharat (BH) series registration mark.

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has proposed new rules to further improve and widen the scope of BH series implementation.
  • The key features of new rules are the following.
    • Now vehicles bearing BH series registration mark can be sold by their owner to any other person eligible or ineligible for BH series mark.
    • Vehicles that currently have normal registration marks can also be converted to BH series registration marks. For this requisite tax has to be paid.
    • It is proposed to amend rule 48 for ease of living of the people, so that people can get the facility to apply for BH series at their residence or work place.
    • The Working Certificate to be submitted by private sector employees has been further strengthened to prevent misuse.
    • In addition to their official identity cards, government employees can now also obtain BH series registration marks on the basis of their service certificates.
  • Last year in September, road transport ministry had come up with a new registration mark - Bharat Series (BH series) for new vehicles.

Topic: Banking System

14. HDFC Bank launched its 6th annual grants program for social startups.

  • The program has been launched in partnership with the Government of India’s flagship initiative ‘Startup India’.
  • The program is known as Parivartan SmartUp Grants. It aims to identify startups working in the social impact space.
  • It aims to support them through monetary grants to their incubators.
  • The bank has already given more than Rs 30 crore to over 45 incubators, which have helped more than 165 start-ups.
  • This year the focus of the bank will also be on building capacities of incubators and startups and working in tier-II & III cities.
  • The bank will fund social impact startups developing solutions in environmental conservation, affordable healthcare, sustainable rural economy, technologies for better governance, economic growth of SMEs, gender diversity and inclusion space.
  • 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.
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