- 1. NASA'S rover Perseverance will start sending samples of rocks found on Mars.
- 2. Major General Mohit Seth took charge as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Counter Insurgency Force Kilo on 20 December 2022.
- 3. IICA has launched a programme to create Impact Leaders in the area of Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG).
- 4. Elon Musk will step down as the Twitter CEO.
- 5. "Vagir", the fifth submarine of the Scorpene class, has been handed over to the Indian Navy on 20 December.
- 6. India’s Smart Cities Mission won Platinum Icon award at Digital India Awards 2022.
- 7. India's first Green Steel Brand - KALYANI FeRRESTA launched by Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
- 8. Indian Navy launched INS Arnala on 20 December 2022 at Kattupalli, Chennai.
- 9. UP government signed an agreement with Austin University for the construction of a Smart City of Knowledge.
- 10. Jaipur Pink Panthers wins the Pro Kabaddi League Season 9.
- 11. India announced candidature for UN Security Council membership in 2028-29.
- 12. Tamil Nadu's government made Aadhaar mandatory for all its schemes.
- 13. Social Progress Index (SPI) for States and Districts released on 20 December 2022.
- 14. President Smt. Draupadi Murmu has appointed Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw as the Chancellor of Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, Vadodara.
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Topic: Space and IT
1. NASA'S rover Perseverance will start sending samples of rocks found on Mars.
- The volcanic rocks will provide information about the age of Jezero Crater and the geological history of Mars.
- By studying these rocks and soil samples in the laboratory on Earth, life on Mars can be detected.
- NASA'S Mars rover Perseverance will place 10 cylinders on the at its exploration site in Jezero Crater.
- The tubes will be placed about 6m apart from each other in a zig-zag pattern.
- The cylinders contain a mix of volcanic and sedimentary rocks drilled over the past 15 months.
- The materials have been packaged in small titanium tubes which will be picked by a future mission and brought to earth.
- It is a mission to find out whether there is life on Mars or not.
- The surface chosen to drop the cylinder is named ‘Three Forks’. It is a flat piece of terrain.
- This will make it easier to collect them for future missions.
- It is a sample-retrieval mission comprising a landing platform, helicopters, a robotic arm and a return rocket.
Topic: National Appointments
2. Major General Mohit Seth took charge as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Counter Insurgency Force Kilo on 20 December 2022.
- Major General Mohit Seth took charge from Major General Sanjiv Singh Slaria.
- Major General Sanjiv Singh Slaria moves to Headquarter Northern Command, Udhampur.
- Major General Mohit Seth was commissioned into the 3 MADRAS Regiment in December 1991.
- He has also served as Indian Army Liaison Officer, High Commission of India, United Kingdom.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
3. IICA has launched a programme to create Impact Leaders in the area of Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG).
- The Chief Guest at the launch was Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India Ms Leena Nandan.
- Ms Nandan emphasised the need for creating a cadre of ESG Professionals in India.
- ‘IICA Certified ESG Professional: Impact Leader Programme’ is first of its kind in India.
- IICA has also formed a ‘National Association of Impact Leaders’.
- It is a membership-based association only for ESG professionals.
- It will provide a platform for further professional development and engagement to its members.
- Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) is an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. It was established in 2008 at Manesar, Haryana.
4. Elon Musk will step down as the Twitter CEO.
- In a tweet, Musk said he will step down as the Twitter CEO after finding a replacement.
- He wrote on Twitter that he will just run the software and servers teams.
- Earlier in a poll, he asked people if he should resign as the head of Twitter.
- 57.5% of respondents were in favour of Musk stepping down. 17.5 million users took part in the poll.
- It is an American social media company. It is based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2006.
- The names of its founders are Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Noah Glass and Biz Stone.
5. "Vagir", the fifth submarine of the Scorpene class, has been handed over to the Indian Navy on 20 December.
- It has been built by Mazagon Dock Ship Builders Limited-MDL.
- This submarine has been built under Project-75, a project for the construction of Kalvari class submarines.
- Six submarines of the Scorpene design are to be built in India in Project-75.
- These submarines are being built at Mazagon Dock Ship Builders Limited in collaboration with the Naval Group of France.
- Vagir was launched on 12 November 2020. Its sea trials started from February 1, 2022.
- It has completed all major trials, including weapons and sensors, in a very short time as compared to previous submarines.
- The construction of these submarines in Indian yards is another step towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
- The handing over of the third submarine to the Navy in a span of 24 months is a significant achievement.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Awards and Prizes
6. India’s Smart Cities Mission won Platinum Icon award at Digital India Awards 2022.
- The Smart City Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has won the Platinum Icon Award of the Digital India Awards 2022.
- The award has been given for their initiative “DataSmart Cities: Empowering Cities through Data” under the ‘Data Sharing and Use for Socio-Economic Development’ category.
- On 19th December 2022, the award was announced.
- The DataSmart Cities Initiative is an important step in building a robust data ecosystem that enables evidence-based decision-making in cities.
- In the category 'Data Sharing and Use for Socio-Economic Development', the emphasis is on sharing government data by Ministries/Departments/Organizations, States, Cities, and ULBs.
- It is to create a vibrant data ecosystem for analysis, decision-making, innovation, services, economic growth, and public good in the country.
- Digital India Awards:
- It is a prestigious national competition that seeks to encourage and honor innovative digital solutions by government entities in realizing the Digital India vision.
- Established in 2009 to recognize the efforts of various government entities in the digital sector.
- The National Informatics Centre (NIC) conducted the award under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
- In 2022, the 7th edition of the Digital India Awards (DIA) was organized.
- Government entities have instituted this award under the aegis of the National Portal of India to encourage and honor innovative digital solutions.
- DataSmart Cities Initiative – Smart Cities Mission:
- To leverage and utilize valuable data being generated in cities via the network of intelligent devices and systems for the Smart Cities Mission, DataSmart Cities (DSC) Initiative launched across 100 Smart Cities.
- DSC uses a three-pronged approach–People, Process, Platform–to inculcate a culture of data awareness and data usage in city functioning.
(Source: News on AIR)
Digital India Awards 2022 Winners list:
Winners (Platinum Awards)
Digital Empowerment of Citizens
Digital Initiatives at Grassroot Level
e-Vivechna App (MP)
Digital Initiatives for Ease of Doing Business
Mine Mitra (UP)
Data Sharing and Use for Socio Economic Development
Smart Cities Mission, M/o Housing and Urban Affairs
Public Digital Platforms - Central Ministries, Departments and States
State- DUARE SARKAR (West Bengal)
Central Ministries, Departments- ICEGATE Portal
Digital Initiatives in Collaboration with Startups
Digital Workforce Management System (Kerala)
Best Web & Mobile Initiatives Complying with GIGW & Accessibility Guidelines
Bilaspur District Website (Chhattisgarh)
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Topic: National News
7. India's first Green Steel Brand - KALYANI FeRRESTA launched by Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
- It has been manufactured by a Pune-based Steel company, Kalyani group by using renewable energy resources.
- Government has been promoting green steel manufacturing.
- Government has put in place a National Steel Policy to achieve zero carbon emissions by the steel industry.
- India is world’s second-largest steel producer.
- Steel industry contributes 7% of CO2 emissions globally. Indian steel industry accounts for 12% of such emissions.
- Green steel is manufactured using low-carbon energy sources instead of the widely used coking coal.
8. Indian Navy launched INS Arnala on 20 December 2022 at Kattupalli, Chennai.
- Arnala is the first ship of anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASW SWC) Project.
- Arnala has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) for the Indian Navy.
- Arnala was launched at the launch ceremony graced by Rasika Chaube, Financial Adviser, Ministry of Defence.
- The ship has been named Arnala to signify the strategic maritime importance accorded to the island of Arnala by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
- Island of Arnala is located about 13 Km north of Vasai, Maharashtra.
- Defence Ministry and GRSE, Kolkata had signed contract for building eight ASW SWC ships in April 2019.
- Arnala class of ships will replace the Abhay class ASW Ships of the Indian Navy.
- They are designed to conduct anti-submarine operations in coastal waters.
- They are designed to carry out Low Intensity Maritime Operations including subsurface surveillance in littoral waters.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh
9. UP government signed an agreement with Austin University for the construction of a Smart City of Knowledge.
- The Smart City of Knowledge will be built on 5,000 acres of land at a cost of USD 42 billion.
- The Smart City of Knowledge will comprise the best universities of the world.
- The UPCIDA has signed an agreement with Singapore-based Star Consortium Pvt Ltd for data centre and logistic services in Uttar Pradesh.
- The US-based Saloni Heart Foundation has also signed an MoU with the state government.
- Three MoUs were also signed with fintech startup Falcon X CEO Murali Chirala. It has shown interest in setting up incubators and accelerator units in Uttar Pradesh.
- Seiko Advance Limited also signed an MoU with the UP government to set up a manufacturing unit in Gautam Buddha Nagar.
- The Knowledge City project will change the picture of higher education in India.
10. Jaipur Pink Panthers wins the Pro Kabaddi League Season 9.
- Jaipur Pink Panthers defeated Puneri Paltan by 33-29 in the finals. It is the second title of the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
- V Ajith, Sunil Kumar and Arjun Deshwal clinched six points each for the Jaipur Side.
- Jaipur Pink Panthers get Rs 3 crore as prize money while Runner-up Puneri Paltan got Rs 1.80 crore as prize money.
- Arjun Deshwal wins the Most Valuable Player of the Season award.
- Raider of the Season award went to Bharat of Bengaluru Bulls.
- Ankush wins the Defender of the Season award while Young Player of the Season award went to Narender.
- Arjun Deshwal scored the most points (296) in the season while the Most Super Tackles were done by Parvesh Bhainswal.
- Pro Kabaddi League is a Kabaddi league for men. It was launched in 2014.
Topic: International News
11. India announced candidature for UN Security Council membership in 2028-29.
- On 15 December, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said India has announced its candidature for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council in 2028-29.
- On 1 December, India has got the presidency of the United Nations Security Council for December 2022, which rotates monthly. India will have this presidency till 31 December.
- India has got the monthly presidency of the Council for the second time from August 2021 in a two-year term as an elected member of the UN Security Council.
- India has become a member of the Security Council for the eighth time.
- India's previous seven terms on the council were in 1950–1951, 1967–1968, 1972–1973, 1977–1978, 1984–1985, 1991–1992, and 2011–2012.
- India has been at the forefront of efforts calling for urgent reform of the Security Council, which has been highly divisive in dealing with current challenges.
- UN Security Council:
- The UN Security Council is composed of 15 members.
- There are five permanent members, including China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- There are ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
Topic: State News/ Tamil Nadu
12. Tamil Nadu's government made Aadhaar mandatory for all its schemes.
- All those who are want to be eligible for benefits under various government schemes (other than minor children) will have to submit proof of having an Aadhaar number or having obtained an Aadhaar identity.
- It will bring transparency and efficiency and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner by eliminating the need to submit multiple documents to prove their identity.
- Aadhaar is mandatory for government employees, government pensioners and beneficiaries of various schemes implemented by the state government.
- Any person who is desirous of availing the benefits but does not have an Aadhaar number or has not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, will need to apply for Aadhaar enrollment before registering for the schemes.
- If a beneficiary has enrolled then he/she has to produce Aadhaar enrollment identity slip and bank or post office passbook with a photograph or PAN card, etc.
- The Treasury and Accounts Department through its implementing agency will provide Aadhaar enrollment facilities for those beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled.
- In case there is no Aadhaar Enrollment Centre, the Department will provide enrollment facilities at convenient locations through its implementing agency in coordination with the existing Registrar of UIDAI or by becoming the Registrar of UIDAI itself.
- The government has also announced a remedial mechanism in case Aadhaar authentication fails due to bad biometrics or any other reason.
- In all other cases, where biometric or Aadhaar OTP or Time-based OTP authentication is not possible, benefits under the scheme may be given on the basis of a physical Aadhaar letter.
- Its authenticity can be verified through a Quick Response (QR) code printed on the Aadhaar letter.
Topic: Reports and Indices
13. Social Progress Index (SPI) for States and Districts released on 20 December 2022.
- SPI for States and Districts submitted to Economic Advisory Council- Prime Minister.
- It has been made by the Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative.
- Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Goa are the best-performing states in SPI.
- Aizawl (Mizoram), Solan (Himachal Pradesh), and Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) are the top 3 best-performing districts in SPI.
- Puducherry has the highest SPI score of 65.99 in the country. Jharkhand and Bihar scored the lowest, 43.95 and 44.47, respectively.
- Goa, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Chandigarh are top four states across the dimension of Basic Human Needs with the best performance in Water and Sanitation and Shelter.
- Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and Goa are the best-performing states for the Foundations of Wellbeing.
- Punjab has the highest component score of 62.92 within the dimension for the Access to Basic Knowledge component.
- Delhi has performed best in the list for Access to Information and Communication with a score of 71.30.
- Tamil Nadu has achieved component score of 72.00 for the Opportunity dimension, which is highest.
- Within the Opportunity dimension, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have the highest component score for Personal Rights. Sikkim has the highest score for Inclusiveness.
- Puducherry achieved the highest scores across two components in this dimension, i.e., Personal Freedom and Choice and Access to Advanced Education.
- Social Progress Index (SPI):
- It assesses states and districts based on 12 components across three critical dimensions of social progress - Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity.
- It uses an extensive framework comprising 89 indicators at the state level and 49 at the district level.
- Based on the SPI scores, states and districts have been ranked under six tiers of social progress.
- 2022 SPI for India evaluates 36 states/UTs and 707 districts.
Topic: National Appointments
14. President Smt. Draupadi Murmu has appointed Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw as the Chancellor of Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, Vadodara.
- He will be the first Chancellor of Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya.
- President has also appointed Dr. Manoj Chaudhary as the first Vice Chancellor of Gati Shakti University, Vadodara.
- Dr Chaudhary is currently an invitee member of the 6G Task Force in the Department of Telecom, Govt. of India.
- He is also currently a Member of the Management Council of the Semiconductor Laboratory in the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
- He will hold the position of Vice Chancellor for 5 years, from the date he assumes the office.
- In August 2022, Bill was passed to convert National Rail and Transportation Institute in Gujarat into Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya.