- 1. ISRO is planning to launch its first human space flight mission in 2024.
- 2. UNSC adopted a resolution on Myanmar demanding release of political prisoners and to end violence.
- 3. PUMA India roped Anushka Sharma as its new brand ambassador.
- 4. PT Usha became the first nominated MP to be included in the Rajya Sabha Vice Chairman panel.
- 5. Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan elected the next Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
- 6. Veteran Telugu actor Kaikala Satyanarayana passed away at the age of 87.
- 7. Rohini Nayyar Prize awarded to Sethrichem Sangtam for rural development.
- 8. UIDAI HQ building received the top Green Building Award.
- 9. Government rolls out Government e-Marketplace services through CSC & India Post.
- 10. NASA retired the Mars InSight lander after 4 years.
- 11. CM of Odisha Naveen Patnaik launched “Drink from Tap” facility.
- 12. iDEX has signed its 150th contract with Altair Infrasec Pvt Ltd on “Expendable Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare” tech creating a milestone.
- 13. National Farmers’ Day 2022: 23 December
- 14. National Youth Festival will be inaugurated by PM in Hubballi-Dharwad.
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Topic: Space and IT
1. ISRO is planning to launch its first human space flight mission in 2024.
- Ganganyaan, India’s first human space mission, will be launched in 2024.
- Before this, an unmanned ‘G1 mission’ will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2023 and another unmanned ‘G2 mission’ will be launched in the second quarter of 2024.
- G1 mission will carry a humanoid as a payload. It will validate the performance of the human-rated launch vehicle, Orbital module propulsion system, mission management, communication system, and recovery operations.
- The final ‘H1 mission’ will be launched in the fourth quarter in 2024.
- It aims to carry a crew of three Indian persons into orbit for five to seven days. The cost of the project is around Rs 10,000 crore.
- Astronaut designated for human space flight missions have been identified and are currently undergoing training.
- In November 2022, ISRO successfully conducted an Integrated Main Parachute Airdrop Test (IMAT) of its crew module deceleration system.
- Gaganyaan was initially planned to be launched in 2022 to mark 75 years of India’s independence.
Topic: International News
2. UNSC adopted a resolution on Myanmar demanding release of political prisoners and to end violence.
- In the 15 member UNSC, 12 members voted in favour while India, China and Russia abstained from voting.
- The resolution urged to release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including Suu Kyi and ex-president Win Myint.
- It urged all parties to respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law and end all forms of violence.
- It is the first resolution adopted on Myanmar in the last 74 years.
- The only other resolution related to Myanmar was adopted by the Security Council in 1948. Its aim was to admit Myanmar as a member of the UN.
- In February 2021, Myanmar’s military seized power from Suu Kyi’s elected government. It killed several thousand people and detained more than 16000.
(Source: News on AIR)
3. PUMA India roped Anushka Sharma as its new brand ambassador.
- Anushka Sharma joined the list of brand ambassadors of Puma India.
- She will be part of PUMA’s commitment towards the women’s business in India.
- She will endorse the brand’s footwear, apparel and accessories.
- Other brand ambassadors of Puma India are MC Mary Kom, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Sunil Chhetri, and Harry Sandhu.
- Other brand ambassadors in News:
- Kartik Aaryan becomes the brand ambassador of McDonald’s India.
- Maithili Thakur becomes the brand ambassador of Bihar khadi, handicraft.
Topic: National Appointments
4. PT Usha became the first nominated MP to be included in the Rajya Sabha Vice Chairman panel.
- On 19 December, she was nominated to the panel of Vice Chairpersons who conduct the proceedings of the House when the Chairman and Deputy Chairman are not available.
- V Vijayasai Reddy, the YSR Congress floor leader, has also been nominated in the panel along with Usha.
- The panel now consists of nine members, including two women.
- This is the first time that a nominated member of the House has been entrusted with this responsibility.
- Other Vice Chairmen in the panel:
Surendra Singh Nagar (BJP)
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (Trinamool Congress)
L Hanumanthaiah (Congress)
Sasmit Patra (BJD)
Tiruchi Siva (DMK)
Topic: National Appointment
5. Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan elected the next Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
- Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1997 batch, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia.
- He is presently the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Lebanon.
- He will succeed Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, a 1989 batch IFS officer.
- Saudi Arabia:
- It is a country in Western Asia, which is spread over most of the Arabian Peninsula.
- Its capital is Riyadh and the currency is Saudi Riyal.
- Mohammed bin Salman is the Crown Prince and Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the king of Saudi Arabia.
Topic: Personality in News
6. Veteran Telugu actor Kaikala Satyanarayana passed away at the age of 87.
- He was known for his villain and other character roles, passed away due to age-related ailments on 23 December.
- Satyanarayana acted in over 750 films in his cinema career spanning six decades.
- He was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Machilipatnam in 1998 on a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ticket, but quit politics thereafter.
- Satyanarayana received several awards: the 2011 Raghupati Venkaiah award, the 2017 Filmfare lifetime achievement award for Telugu cinema, and the Andhra Pradesh government's Nandi film awards.
- Satyanarayana founded Rama Films and produced films such as Kodama Singham (1990), Bangaru Kutumbum (1994) and Muddula Mogudu (1995).
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Topic: Awards and Prizes
7. Rohini Nayyar Prize awarded to Sethrichem Sangtam for rural development.
- Sethrichem Sangatam was honored with the first Rohini Nayyar Award for Outstanding Contribution to Rural Development.
- He helped triple the income of 1,200 marginal farmers in eastern Nagaland.
- On 20 December, Sangtam has been presented with a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a citation, and a trophy at a ceremony.
- The award was presented by Suman Berry, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.
- The winner was selected by an eminent jury from civil society comprising Dr. Ashok Khosla, Founder of Development Alternatives, and Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Founder, PRIA.
- Mr. Sangatam, through his NGO 'Better Life Foundation', works with 1,200 marginal farmers in Eastern Nagaland.
- It focuses on rural livelihood security, environmental sustainability, and education for change.
- Nayyar Foundation for Social and Economic Purposes will give an annual prize to people below the age of 40 for their contribution to rural development.
- Dr. Nayyar was a well-known economist and former principal adviser at the erstwhile Planning Commission and was one of India’s foremost authorities on rural development.
- In October 2021, she passed away.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
8. UIDAI HQ building received the top Green Building Award.
- The prestigious GRIHA Exemplary Performance Award 2022 has been awarded to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Headquarters in New Delhi.
- It is the top national-level green building award.
- GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is the national rating system for green buildings in India.
- The Unique Identification Authority of India Headquarters has been declared the winner in the current Highest Rated Building category.
- UIDAI believes in and promotes the idea of recycling and reusing to reduce the carbon footprint.
- It is using solar energy to meet a part of its energy consumption.
- It is recycling and reusing water and following sustainable waste management practices.
- On average, 25 to 30 percent of its daily water consumption is coming from recycled water.
- Similarly, the UIDAI Headquarters building is also recharging 3590 kiloliters of groundwater on average every year.
- In October 2022, nominations for the award were made from GRIHA-rated buildings across the country.
- UIDAI Headquarters Building participated in the competition, considering 100 points rating system out of 34 parameters.
- In 2021, the UIDAI Headquarters building was declared the runner-up.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
9. Government rolls out Government e-Marketplace services through CSC & India Post.
- Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has launched this service in New Delhi.
- The integration of India Post and CSC with GeM will be beneficial for buyers, sellers, and service providers in public procurement.
- Piyush Goyal also launched the Government e-Marketplace Seller Samvaad Booklet.
- This booklet is a compilation of experience on the GeM portal from sellers and service.
- GeM Seller Samvaad events will be organized in 26 cities across the country in association with Press Information Bureau.
- It will facilitate an informal interaction between GeM sellers and service providers.
- Government e-Marketplace:
- It was launched on 9th August 2016.
- It is a portal to facilitate online procurement of commonly used Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs.
- Its main aim is to enhance transparency, efficiency, and speed in the procurement of goods and services.
Topic: Space and IT
10. NASA retired the Mars InSight lander after 4 years.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retired its InSight lander after four years of its landing on Mars.
- The lander was launched on 5 May 2018 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
- InSight mission reached Mars on 27 November 2018 after travelling for seven months.
- It is NASA’s first spacecraft to land on Mars since Curiosity.
- InSight is the first outer space robotic explorer and it studied the crust, mantle, and core of Mars.
- InSight communicated with Earth for the last time on 15 December 2022.
- InSight’s highly sensitive seismometer has detected 1,319 marsquakes. It helped scientists in determining the age of Mars surface.
Topic: State News/ Odisha
11. CM of Odisha Naveen Patnaik launched “Drink from Tap” facility.
- The project has been launched in 19 cities and towns of Odisha under which drinking water will be supplied 24x7 through water taps installed in households.
- Prior to this, the facility was first launched in Puri and then in Gopalpur.
- CM launched the project in Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sundargarh, Biramitrapur, Rajgangpur, Keonjhar, Joda, Champua, Udala and some parts in Bhubaneswar.
- He said that water is life and access to safe drinking water is an important aspect of public health.
- He also said that the facility will improve the standard of living of the people under the 5T initiative.
- The 5T model of good governance- “transparency, teamwork, technology and timeliness- leading to transformation” was launched by CM Naveen Patnaik.
12. iDEX has signed its 150th contract with Altair Infrasec Pvt Ltd on “Expendable Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare” tech creating a milestone.
- The contract was signed by Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Production) & Additional CEO/DIO Shri Anurag Bajpai with CEO of Altair Infrasec Shri Anil Anand in the presence of Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane.
- The contract was signed on 21 December 2022 in New Delhi.
- The contract is related to an Indian Navy project of the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 7) SPRINT edition whose winner was Altair Infrasec Pvt Ltd, Pune.
- iDEX signed its 100th contract on 26 July 2022.
- It is a flagship initiative of Department of Defence Production.
- It was launched by PM Modi in 2018 to provide a platform of co-creation and co-development in the defence sector, engage start-ups and develop defence and aerospace set up in India.
- It is funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), formed as not-for profit company under Department of Defence Production.
Topic: Important Days
13. National Farmers’ Day 2022: 23 December
- Every year on 23 December, National Farmers’ Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated.
- This day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh.
- The day is also celebrated to appreciate the contribution of farmers to the economy and society and to create awareness about the role of farmers in society.
- In 2001, the government declared 23 December as Farmers' Day.
- Chaudhary Charan Singh was the fifth Prime Minister of India from July 28, 1979, to January 14, 1980.
- He introduced the Debt Redemption Bill of 1939, which provided relief to farmers indebted to moneylenders.
- He also implemented the Zamindari Abolition Act of 1950, when he was the Agriculture Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
- He also introduced the Land Holdings Act of 1960, which limited the land holdings of individuals to ensure uniformity.
Topic: State News/Karnataka
14. National Youth Festival will be inaugurated by PM in Hubballi-Dharwad.
- On January 12, 2023, 26th National Youth Festival will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi in the twin cities of Hubballi and Dharwad.
- The youth festival is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
- There will be around 7,500 delegates from all states participating in the youth festival.
- Government of India organizes National Youth Festival every year from January 12th to 16th to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary.
- In 1995, National Youth Festival was started as a major activity under the program of National Integration Camp (NIC).
- Swami Vivekananda:
- He was born on 12 November 1863 and his birth anniversary is celebrated every year as National Youth Day since 1985.
- He is remembered for setting up Ramakrishna Math in 1886 and Ramakrishna Mission in 1897. He is also remembered for his speech in Chicago in 1893.
- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya) was his guru. Swami Vivekananda died in 1902 at the age of 39.