- 1. DRDO conducted flight test of indigenously developed ‘Pralay’ missile.
- 2. Niti Aayog launched Vernacular Innovation Program for innovators and entrepreneurs.
- 3. Atul Dinkar Rane appointed as new Chief of BrahMos Aerospace Limited.
- 4. Punjab government declared Jagannath Rath Yatra as ‘state festival’.
- 5. PM Modi laid foundation stone of ‘Banas Dairy Sankul’ at Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority Food Park in Varanasi.
- 6. IOA names Harjinder Singh as India’s Chef de Mission.
- 7. Ministry of Agriculture prohibits the use of tuberculosis antibiotics on crops.
- 8. India wins bronze medal at the Asian Champions Trophy men's hockey tournament.
- 9. PM to chair 53-member committee formed for the 150th birth anniversary celebration of Sri Aurobindo.
- 10. Union Agriculture Minister released Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for use of Drone in Agriculture.
- 11. Madhya Pradesh is organizing International Van Mela.
- 12. The first squadron of the S-400 air defense system has been deployed in the Punjab sector.
- 13. Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors have signed an MoU.
- 14. Union Agriculture Minister releases a book titled "Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021".
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Topic: Defense News
1. DRDO conducted flight test of indigenously developed ‘Pralay’ missile.
- Defence Research and Development Organisation conducted the maiden flight test of indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile ‘Pralay’ from Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Island.
- It is powered with a solid propellant rocket motor. It has a range of 150 to 500 kilometer and it can be launched from a mobile launcher.
- It is equipped with modern technologies and weapon systems. It will strengthen the capability of Armed Forces.
- According to defense officials, it follows a Quasi missile trajectory but after a certain range, it changes the projectile path to defeat interceptors.
- The missile completed all its objectives and all sub-systems performed satisfactorily. It reached the designated target with high degree of accuracy.
- All the sensors deployed near the impact point across the eastern coast tracked the missile trajectory.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
2. Niti Aayog launched Vernacular Innovation Program for innovators and entrepreneurs.
- Atal Innovation Mission and Niti Aayog have launched the Vernacular Innovation Program to provide access of the innovative ecosystem in 22 mother tongue languages.
- It aims to create equal opportunity for vernacular innovators. Under the programme, AIM will be training a vernacular task force (VTF) in each of the 22 scheduled languages.
- Each task force will consist of vernacular language teachers, subject experts, and technical writers.
- The AIM will also launch the train-the-trainer program in association with IIT Delhi. It will provide training in design thinking and entrepreneurship.
- NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar said that it will help in taking innovation at the grassroots level. He said the program is revolutionary as a large population of the country speaks primarily vernacular languages.
- According to the 2011 census, only 0.02% of Indians spoke English as their first language. Only 10.4% of Indians speak English as their second, third, or fourth language.
- India will be the first country to launch an innovation ecosystem initiative in more than 22 languages.
(Source: News on AIR)
3. Atul Dinkar Rane appointed as new Chief of BrahMos Aerospace Limited.
- Atul Dinkar Rane has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace Limited.
- Atul Dinkar Rane is famous for his contributions in the indigenous design and development of mission-critical Onboard Computers (OBC).
- His contribution and leadership helped in the induction of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile into Armed Forces.
- He received his post-graduate degree in Guided Missiles from the University of Poona. He joined DRDO in 1987 as System Manager.
- He played a vital role in the development of Onboard Mission Software for the Agni-I missile. He was one of the core team members of BrahMos Aerospace.
Topic: State News/ Punjab
4. Punjab government declared Jagannath Rath Yatra as ‘state festival’.
- Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has declared Sri Krishan Balram Rath Yatra as state festival.
- He made this announcement during the flagging off the 25th Shri Lord Krishna Balram Jagannath Rath Yatra.
- He also announced a grant of ₹2.51 crore for the Iskcon Temple in Ludhiana.
- The Punjab government will celebrate the rath yatra as a state festival every year.
- The Punjab government will also develop Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana Research Centre in Patiala.
Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh
5. PM Modi laid foundation stone of ‘Banas Dairy Sankul’ at Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority Food Park in Varanasi.
- PM Modi laid the foundation stone of ‘Banas Dairy Sankul’ at Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority Food Park at Karkhiyaon in Varanasi on 23rd December.
- Banas Dairy Sankul will be spread across 30 acres of land and built at a cost of about 475 crore rupees. It will have a facility for processing five lakh liters of milk per day.
- PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for Bio-gas based Electricity generation plant for the Milk Producers Cooperative Union Plant at Ramnagar in Varanasi.
- PM Modi also launched a Portal and a logo dedicated to the Conformity Assessment Scheme of milk products.
- It has been developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards with the help of National Dairy Development Board.
- PM Modi also virtually distributed rural residential rights record ‘Gharauni’ under the Swamitva scheme to over 20 Lakh residents of the state.
- On the occasion, PM Modi inaugurated and laid foundation of 22 developmental projects worth over 870 crore rupees.
(Source: News on AIR)
6. IOA names Harjinder Singh as India’s Chef de Mission.
- Indian Olympic Association has named Harjinder Singh as India’s Chef de Mission for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
- Harjinder Singh was also India's Chef de Mission for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games, which was held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.
- The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held from 4-20 February 2022. Harjinder Singh is the Ice Hockey Association of India’s general secretary.
- Kashmir’s Arif Khan is the only Indian athlete to have so far qualified for the upcoming Games.
- US, UK, Australia, Lithuania and Canada have decided to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics.
7. Ministry of Agriculture prohibits the use of tuberculosis antibiotics on crops.
- The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a notification to prohibit the use of tuberculosis antibiotics on crops.
- The Ministry of Agriculture has constituted a Sub-Committee for phasing out antibiotics or antibacterial substances in agriculture.
- According to the Order, no person shall import, manufacture or formulate Streptomycin and Tetracycline for use in agriculture.
- No new certificate of registration will be issued for the manufacturing, import, or formulation of Streptomycin and Tetracycline for use in agriculture with effect from February 1, 2022.
- From January 1, 2024, there will be a complete ban on the use of Streptomycin and Tetracycline in agriculture.
- According to the Sub-Committee, antibiotics develop antimicrobial resistance. The overutilization of the TB antibodies on crops is dangerous for human health.
- Streptomycin is generally used in the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and tetracycline antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections.
8. India wins bronze medal at the Asian Champions Trophy men's hockey tournament.
- India clinched the bronze medal by defeating Pakistan by 4-3 at the Asian Champions Trophy men's hockey tournament.
- India lost to Japan by 3-5 in the Semifinals. India was the champion of the last edition of this tournament.
- Harmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Varun Kumar, and Akashdeep Singh struck goals from Indian side. Fraz (10th), Abdul Rana (33rd), and Ahmed Nadeem (57th) scored goals from the Pakistan side.
- South Korea won their first Asian Champions Trophy title by defeating Japan 4–2 in the finals.
- Asian Champions Trophy has been organized from 14 to 22 December 2021 Dhaka. Five teams have participated in the tournament. It was the sixth edition of the Men's Asian Champions Trophy.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces
9. PM to chair 53-member committee formed for the 150th birth anniversary celebration of Sri Aurobindo.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level 53-member committee formed for celebrating the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in 2022.
- Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar, Dharmendra Pradhan, Hardeep Puri, etc are some prominent members of the committee.
- West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel are also part of this committee.
- The committee will provide policy direction and guidelines for the formulation of programmes for the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary.
10. Union Agriculture Minister released Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for use of Drone in Agriculture.
- Agriculture Ministry has released Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for drone application in Agriculture.
- The SOP for drone regulation for pesticide application will cover aspects like statutory provisions, flying permissions, area distance restrictions, weight classification, etc.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, (Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare), in consultation with all the stakeholders in the sector, has prepared the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the use of drones.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) commonly known as drones have potential to revolutionize Indian agriculture.
- Drones equipped with features like multi-spectral and photo cameras can be used in many areas of the agriculture sector including monitoring plant growth, predicting yields, delivery of herbicides, and fertilizer.
- Drone planting systems have also been developed by many agro start-ups. Drones will help in resolving many problems like unavailability or high cost of labours.
- The use of drones in agriculture will provide employ many people in rural areas.
- The drones were used for the first time in agriculture for warding off the locust attacks in various states of India.
Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh
11. Madhya Pradesh is organizing International Van Mela.
- The International Van Mela is being held at Lal Parade Ground in Bhopal from the 22nd to the 26th of December in Madhya Pradesh.
- Pushkar Singh, the Managing Director of the Madhya Pradesh State Minor Forest Produce Association, announced that an exhibition focusing on the Forest Department's schemes is also being organized.
- ‘Health Protection from Minor Forest Produce’ is the theme for the International Van Mela.
- Rare herbs and products prepared by forest committees and Van Dhan centers will be available to the common people at the exhibition.
- According to Forest Minister Dr. Kunwar Vijay Shah, the Forest Department has treated 20 thousand 98 hectares of land and planted over 4 crores 58 lakh 4 thousand saplings under the Green India Mission in the last four years.
12. The first squadron of the S-400 air defense system has been deployed in the Punjab sector.
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed its S-400 air defense missile system in the Punjab area, bolstering India's capabilities to counter aerial threats from both China and Pakistan.
- The first squadrons of Russia's powerful S-400 air defense missile system are expected to be completed by the end of the year, with the unit being operationalized in the next few weeks.
- India has purchased the S-400 air defense system for approximately Rs 35,000 crore, and five squadrons would be provided to India to combat air threats up to 400 kilometres away.
- The IAF will focus on the Eastern front after its deployment and provide resources for training personnel in the country.
- Several officers and personnel from the Indian Air Force have already received training on the system in Russia.
- The S-400 missile defense system is armed with four different missiles that can engage hostile aircraft, ballistic missiles, and AWACS planes at 400 km, 250 km, the medium-range 120 km, and the short-range 40 km.
13. Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors have signed an MoU.
- The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors has been approved by the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- The Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to establish mutual cooperation in the areas of Member Management, Professional Ethics, Technical Research, CPD, Professional Accountancy Training, Audit Quality Monitoring, Accounting Knowledge Advancement, and Professional and Intellectual Development.
- The proposed MoU aims to strengthen cooperation in the areas of study and application of new innovative methods in audit and accounting, including the use of blockchain, smart contract systems, and the transition from traditional accounting to cloud accounting.
- The MoU between ICAI and PIBR, Poland will give chances to ICAI Members to work in Poland for short to long-term in future.
- The Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors (PIBR), self-government of Statutory Auditors was established under the Act of October 1991 on auditing and publishing financial statements and on statutory auditors which came into force on 1 January 1992 to regulate the audit profession in Poland.
Topic: Books and Authors
14. Union Agriculture Minister releases a book titled "Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021".
- On December 21, 2021, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has released the book "Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021."
- The book is a collection of all statistics on spices produced in the country, including area, production, productivity, export, import, price, and value of output.
- The book is published by the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development (DASD), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the nodal agency for collection and compilation of area and production estimates of spices at National level.
- The book highlights the growth achieved in spices sector during the last seven years, from 2014-15 to 2020-21 in the country.
- The production of spices in the country increased from 67.64 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 to 106.79 lakh tonnes in 2020-21 and following an increase in area from 32.24 lakh hectare to 45.28 lakh hectare.
- Spices exports contribute to 41% of the total export earnings from all horticultural crops in the country, and it ranks fourth among agricultural commodities, behind only marine products, non-basmati rice and basmati rice.
- The spectacular growth of spices in the country is due to the various development programs implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare like MIDH, RKVY, PKVY, PMKSY, etc.