Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 January 2022

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 22 Jan 2022 18:19 PM IST

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Topic: International News

1. India and Israel discussed the widening of Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund.

  • At the 8th Governing Body meeting, experts of India and Israel discussed the scope of widening the Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
  • Both countries also approved three joint R&D projects worth $5.5 million.
  • The members of the eighth governing body also discussed the status of ongoing I4F projects.
  • GITA (Global Innovation & Technology Alliance) has been appointed to implement the I4F programme in India.
  • The Israel Innovation Authority is the implementing agency for the I4F program in Israel.
  • India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) fund is a cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Israel Innovation Authority.
  • I4F’s main objective is to support joint industrial R&D projects between companies from India and Israel.

Topic: Miscellaneous

2. Vijay Shekhar Sharma named as ambassador of Internet panel on languages.

  • ICANN-supported Universal Acceptance Steering Group has named Vijay Shekhar Sharma as UA Ambassador.
  • Universal Acceptance Steering Group is responsible for effectively promoting the Universal Acceptance of all valid domain names and email addresses.
  • Vijay Shekhar is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Paytm.
  • Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit corporation. It allocates Internet Protocol (IP) address, Generic (gTLD), and country code.
  • Other brand ambassadors in News:
    • Healthians named Guru Randhawa as its brand ambassador.
    • HyperX named Ankit Panth as its brand ambassador.

Topic: National News

3. Koyla Darpan Portal launched by Coal Secretary.

  • Dr. Anil Kumar Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, has launched a portal "Koyla Darpan" to publish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relating to the coal sector.
  • The portal will have the Key Performance Indicators related to Coal Production, Status of Coal Stock in Thermal Power Plants, Allocation of Blocks, Monitoring of Major Coal Mines and Coal Price.
  • Ministry of Coal:
    • The Ministry of Coal is in charge of formulating policies and strategies for the exploration and development of coal and lignite deposits.
    • It is also responsible for sanctioning high-value projects and resolving any related issues.
    • Its major functions are carried out by the Public Sector Undertakings and its subsidiaries.

Topic: Appointments

4. Vinod Rai appointed as independent chairman of USFB.

  • Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) chief Vinod Rai has been appointed as the independent chairman of the Unity Small Finance Bank (USFB) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • In addition to Rai, former RBI official Sandip Ghose, former Syndicate Bank CMD Basant Seth, and former RBL Bank chairman Subhash Kutte have also been appointed as the USFB board members.
  • Unity Small Finance Bank:
    • Unity Small Finance Bank is a joint venture between Centrum group and Bharat Pe.
    • With effect from November 1, 2021, it had commenced operations as a small finance bank.
    • RBI has granted this joint venture license of small finance bank in order to acquire debt-ridden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank.

Topic: National News

5. Statue of Netaji will be constructed at India Gate.

  • At India Gate, a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed, marking a fitting tribute to the legendary freedom fighter.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that on the occasion of the Netaji birthday on January 23, he will unveil a hologram statue of Bose.
  • The statue is made of Z black granite from Telangana and it will be installed under the canopy at India Gate in August 2022.  
  • The dimensions of the upcoming statue will be 28 feet*6 feet.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose:
    • Born on 23 January 1897, Subhas Chandra Bose became the President of the Haripura Congress session in 1938 and established Forward Block in 1939.
    • In 1942, Indian soldiers honoured him with the name of "Netaji" in Berlin.
    • He had given the slogan “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”.
    • He was the leader of Azad Hind Fauj.

Topic: National News

6. Jahnavi Dangeti becomes "First Indian" to complete the prestigious NASA program.

  • Jahnavi Dangeti has completed NASA's International Air and Space Program (IASP NASA) at the Kennedy Space Center in Alabama, United States.
  • Jahnavi Dangeti, a young girl from Andhra Pradesh, has become the first Indian to accomplish this feat.
  • Only 20 young people from around the world were chosen for this programme by IASP.
  • Jahnavi is currently pursuing her second year of engineering from a private university in Punjab.
  • The International Air and Space Program is a 5-day educational program. It involves teamwork, problem-solving and communication, among students and expert NASA engineers to solve any unexpected problems.
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Topic: Reports and Indices

7. ‘Banking on Electric Vehicles in India’ report released by NITI Aayog, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and RMI India.

  • ‘Banking on Electric Vehicles in India’ report has been released by NITI Aayog, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and RMI India.
  • The report outlines the importance of priority-sector recognition for retail lending in the electric mobility ecosystem.
  • It provides recommendations to inform the inclusion of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in RBI’s priority-sector lending guidelines.
  • Banks and NBFCs in India have the potential to achieve an electric vehicle (EV) financing market size of Rs 40,000 crore by 2025 and Rs 3.7 lakh crore by 2030.
  • The report recommends that EVs should be recognized as infrastructure sub-sector by Ministry of Finance.

Topic: International News

8. India and Sri Lanka extend their existing S&T cooperation for 3 more years.

  • India and Sri Lanka have extended their existing S&T cooperation for 3 more years.
  • The meeting of India-Sri Lanka 5th Joint Committee on S&T Cooperation was recently held.
  • New areas such as waste-water technologies, industry and biotech have also been identified for Programme of Cooperation (POC) between the two countries.
  • India has earlier announced a $500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka purchase petroleum products.
  • Sri Lanka:
    • It is an island country in South Asia.
    • Its executive and judicial capital is Colombo, and its legislative capital is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
    • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
    • Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the current President of Sri Lanka.
    • Mahinda Rajapaksa is the current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Topic: National News

9. Government released revised guidelines of Rural Area Development Plan Formulation and Implementation.

  • Union Minister Shri Giriraj Singh has released revised guidelines of Rural Area Development Plan Formulation and Implementation.
  • The revised Rural Area Development Plan Formulation and Implementation (RADPFI) Guidelines have been prepared by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • RADPFI Guidelines include Village Planning Scheme (VPS). These guidelines will help in improving the quality of life in rural areas.
  • RADPFI guidelines would serve as the basis for rural transformation and enable effective Land use planning in rural areas. It will contribute to the socio-economic development of rural areas.
  • RADPFI guidelines will also support the SVAMITVA scheme and RURBAN Mission.
  • RADPFI Guidelines will help in help minimizing migration to big cities by providing all necessary infrastructure and facilities to rural areas.
  • The best performing Panchayats will be awarded for implementing RADPFI guidelines.
  • Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh called Panchayati Raj Institutions to take the RADPFI Guidelines as a “Sankalp Patra” for vision India 2047.

Topic: Reports and Indices

10. Government to provide ranking to states based on faster environment clearance.

  • The Union Environment Ministry will provide ranking to State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAAs) based on the speed of giving environmental clearances (EC) to development projects.
  • Under the proposed ranking system, SEIAAs will be graded between 0 and 1 on five parameters.
  • The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) which clears projects in the shortest time will get the highest rank.
  • An SEIAA will get 2 marks for granting clearance in less than 80 days; 1 for less than 105 days; 0.5 for 105-120 days; and 0 for over 120 days.
  • State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) will also get a ranking based on the disposal of fresh Terms of Reference (TOR) proposals pending for over 30 days.
  • SEIAAs that clear over 90% TOR will get 1 mark; 0.5 for 80-90 percent; 0 for less than 80% clearance.
  • For disposal of fresh environmental clearances as well as environmental amendment proposals pending for over 100 days, SEIAAs will get 1 mark for over 90% clearance; 0.5 for 80-90 percent clearance; and 0 for less than 80%.
  • SEIAAs can be ranked as 5,4,3,2 and 1-star based on their cumulative score. An SEIAA getting less than 3 marks will get no star.
  • SEIAAs are responsible for providing environmental clearance for infrastructure, developmental and industrial projects.

Topic: National News

11. PM Modi to unveil ‘Statue of Equality’ in Hyderabad on 5 February.

  • Prime Minister Modi will unveil a 216-foot 'Statue of Equality' in Hyderabad on 5 February.
  • 'Statue of Equality' is a statue of Ramanujacharya, a 11th century saint and a social reformer. It is located in a 45-acre complex at Shamshabad.
  • The inner sanctorum deity of Ramanujacharya is made of 120 kg of gold to commemorate the 120 years the saint lived on this earth.
  • The statue is made of 'panchaloha', a mix of five metals - gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc.
  • Statue of Equality will be the world's second tallest statue in a sitting posture. The foundation stone of this statue was laid in 2014.
  • This year 1000th birth anniversary of Ramanujacharya will be celebrated across the country.
  • The 54-ft high base of the statue is called ‘Bhadra Vedi’.
  • Ramanujacharya:
    • He was an Indian philosopher and social reformer.
    • He was born in a Brahmin family in Tamil Nadu.
    • He opened doors of temple for all cast, creed, race, and gender.
    • He is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita.

Topic: Indian Economy

12. Foreign investment flow into India dropped by 26% in 2021: UNCTAD

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to India has dropped by 26 percent in 2021 as compared to the previous year.
  • According to UNCTAD’s Investment Trends Monitor, the FDI inflows in India come down due to fewer mergers and acquisitions (M&A) recorded in 2021.
  • In 2021, Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows showed a strong rebound. It has grown by 77% from $929 billion in 2020.
  • FDI flows in developing economies increased by 30%. Latin America reached near the pre-pandemic level.
  • FDI flows to South Asia have decreased by 24% to $54 billion in 2021 from $71 billion.
  • FDI flows in the United States have doubled due to an increase in cross-border mergers and acquisitions.
  • FDI flow to East and South-East Asia has also increased by 20%. China recorded an increase of 20% in FDI inflows.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.

Topic: Personality in News

13. Prajakta Koli becomes UNDP India's First Youth Climate Champion.

  • Actress Prajakta Koli has become India's first UN Development Programme (UNDP) Youth Climate Champion.
  • As UNDP India Youth Climate Champion, she will create awareness on the adverse impacts of climate change, global warming and biodiversity loss.
  • She has been honored with this title for her work towards mental health, women's rights and girl child education.
  • UNDP said that it has a long-term vision to reinforce maximum youth participation in climate action.
  • UNDP:
    • It is the UN’s global development network that was founded in 1965.
    • It works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality in more than 170 countries.
    • Its headquarters is located in New York.
    • Achim Steiner is the current administrator of UNDP.

Topic: National News

14. Government has decided to merge Amar Jawan Jyoti with National War Memorial flame.

  • The government has decided to merge Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate with the flame at the National War Memorial.
  • The Amar Jawan Jyoti was constructed in the memory of Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
  • Amar Jawan Jyoti was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, on January 26, 1972.
  • The National War Memorial was built for all Indian soldiers who laid their lives in defending the nation. It was inaugurated in 2019.
  • It has the names of all the Indian defense personnel who have lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops.

merge Amar Jawan Jyoti with National War Memorial flame

(Source: News on AIR)






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