- 1. Government approved Corbevax and Covovax vaccines on adults.
- 2. Narandran 'Jody' Kollapen appointed to South Africa's highest judicial bench.
- 3. Gujarat government launched ‘Nadi Utsav’ to honour rivers.
- 4. Rajya Sabha MP Mahendra Prasad passed away after battling prolonged illness.
- 5. Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021 notified by centre.
- 6. Sex ratio at birth at national level improved by 19 points.
- 7. China launched Ziyuan 1 (02E) Earth resources observation satellites.
- 8. Telangana topped in implementing Rurban Mission.
- 9. Atul Kumar appointed as new MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank.
- 10. India and Sri Lanka will sign Trincomalee oil tank farm deal.
- 11. 5G services will be started in 13 major cities in 2022.
- 12. Haryana Kaushal Rozgar Nigam portal launched by Manohar Lal Khattar.
- 13. Meendum Manjappai Scheme launched in Tamil Nadu to encourage use of cloth bags.
- 14. Neeraj Chopra became brand ambassador of GoodDot.
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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
1. Government approved Corbevax and Covovax vaccines on adults.
- Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has approved Corbevax and Covovax vaccines and Molnupiravir drugs for restricted use in an emergency.
- Corbevax vaccine is India's first indigenously developed RBD protein vaccine for COVID-19. It has been developed by Hyderabad-based firm Biological-E. It is the third vaccine developed in India.
- Corbevax injects the spike protein that helps in generating an immune response. It will be given in two doses of 0.5 ml each with intervals of 28 days.
- Covovax will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has granted emergency use approval on 17 December. It is a recombinant protein vaccine that will develop immunity against the coronavirus.
- Molnupiravir is an anti-viral drug. It will be manufactured in India for the treatment of adult patients from COVID-19. The drug is not authorized for use in patients less than 18 years of age.
- Molnupiravir has been developed by Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
2. Narandran 'Jody' Kollapen appointed to South Africa's highest judicial bench.
- Indian-origin Narandran 'Jody' Kollapen has been appointed to South Africa's highest judicial bench.
- He will take office on January 1, 2022. He was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
- Kollapen was interviewed twice before being appointed to the Constitutional Court. He was elevated as a judge of the high court in 1982.
- He joined as a lawyer in Human Rights in 1993. He became the national director in 1995.
- He became the commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission in 1997. He was appointed as chair of the South African Law Reform Commission in April 2016.
- He received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Congress of Business and Economics. He was awarded the Turquoise Harmony Institute's award for his contribution to society.
Topic: State News/ Gujarat
3. Gujarat government launched ‘Nadi Utsav’ to honour rivers.
- The Gujarat government has launched ‘Nadi Utsav’ or ‘river festival’ to honour rivers. This five-day event will be organized on the banks of the Tapi river in Surat.
- Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said that Rivers are valuable assets and are the only source of pure and clean water.
- The conservation of rivers is necessary for the conservation of the environmental ecosystem. The industries also should play their role in preserving the river.
- It will help in raising awareness about the protection of rivers.
- CM Bhupendra Patel also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of several development projects of the Surat Municipal Corporation.
- Gujarat government has developed Ekta Cruise and river rafting facilities on the banks of the Narmada river at Kevadia.
Topic: Personality in News
4. Rajya Sabha MP Mahendra Prasad passed away after battling prolonged illness.
- Seven-term Rajya Sabha MP Mahendra Prasad passes away at the age of 81 after battling prolonged illness.
- He was Rajya Sabha MP from the Janata Dal (United) and industrialist. He is one of the richest members of Parliament.
- He was the founder of Aristo Pharmaceuticals. He was elected to the Lok Sabha once.
- He was first elected to the Lok Sabha on a Congress ticket in 1980. Later, he joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal and then JD (U).
- He will be remembered for his service to the community.
Topic: National News
5. Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021 notified by centre.
- Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021 has been notified by centre.
- These rules shall be applicable to all goods and services brought or sold through direct selling and all models of direct selling.
- These Rules shall also be applicable to all direct selling entities offering goods and services to consumers in India and all forms of unfair trade practices across all models of direct selling.
- Furthermore, the notified rules shall apply to a direct selling entity that is not established in India but offers goods or services to consumers in India.
- Existing direct selling entities must comply with these rules within ninety days from the date of publication of these rules in the Official Gazette.
- The direct sellers and direct selling entities using e-commerce platforms for sale shall comply with requirements of the Consumer Protection (e-Commerce) Rules, 2020.
- Both direct selling entities, as well as direct sellers, are prohibited from promoting Pyramid Scheme or money circulation schemes.
- State Government must set up a mechanism to monitor or supervise the activities of direct sellers and direct selling entities.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
6. Sex ratio at birth at national level improved by 19 points.
- The sex ratio at birth at the national level has improved by 19 points from 918 in 2014-15 to 937 in 2020-21.
- Women and Child Development Ministry has taken various measures to ensure development, care and protection of women and children.
- In its Year End Review-2021, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme is being implemented across India, covering 640 districts.
- In December 2021, the Bill on Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2021 has been introduced in Lok Sabha for raising the age of marriage of women from 18 to 21 years.
- POSHAN Tracker has been launched to ensure real-time monitoring of supplementary nutrition.
- The Ministry said that more than 2 Crore women have got the benefit from Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana.
- On 9th August 2021 the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2021 has been notified to strengthen the implementation and monitoring mechanism under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Space and IT
7. China launched Ziyuan 1 (02E) Earth resources observation satellites.
- China has launched Ziyuan 1 (02E) Earth resources observation satellite and a small amateur radio satellite.
- It is the 53rd orbital launch of China in 2021. It has been launched from the Long March 4C rocket from Taiyuan in North China.
- Ziyuan 1 (02E) is the latest series of remote sensing satellites. It is equipped with infrared, near-infrared, and hyperspectral cameras.
- Ziyuan 1 (02E) will help in carrying out environment and minerals surveys.
- Small amateur radio satellite has been launched as part of a China-Africa cooperation science outreach project called "Xiwang" (Hope).
Topic: State News/ Telangana
8. Telangana topped in implementing Rurban Mission.
- Telangana has topped in implementing the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM).
- Telangana government has implemented the programme at an estimated cost of ₹1,885.12 crores.
- Tamil Nadu and Gujarat stood at the second and third positions in implementing the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission.
- Sangareddy and Kamareddy districts are the top two districts among 300 clusters in implementing the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission.
- Telangana got the highest point because of its outstanding performance in Panchayat Raj and Rural Development.
9. Atul Kumar appointed as new MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Atul Kumar Goel as MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank (PNB).
- He will serve as PNB chief until December 31, 2024. He will serve as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in PNB.
- He will replace Mallikarjuna Rao. He was given a three-month extension that will end on January 31, 2022.
- Banks Board Bureau (BBB) has recommended the name of Atul Kumar Goel as MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank (PNB).
- Soma Sankara Prasad is appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in UCO Bank. He will serve as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in UCO Bank.
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) is the second-largest Public Sector Bank of India. It was established in 1894. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. Punjab National Bank (PNB) is under the ownership of the Ministry of Finance.
Topic: International News
10. India and Sri Lanka will sign Trincomalee oil tank farm deal.
- India and Sri Lanka will ink the Trincomalee oil tank farm deal within a month. Both countries are negotiating on this deal for the last 16 months.
- The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will form a subsidiary company, Trinco Petroleum Terminal Ltd, for this deal.
- During the Second World War, the British had built the Trincomalee oil tank farms to serve as a refuelling station near the Trincomalee port.
- This deal will give shape to a proposal envisaged 35 years ago in the Indo-Lanka Accord.
- Trincomalee oil tank farms are located in ‘China Bay’. It has a capacity of storing 99 tanks with a capacity of 12,000 kilolitres.
- Recently, India and Sri Lanka have agreed upon a “four-pronged approach” that would help Sri Lanka in mitigating its current economic crisis.
Topic: National News
11. 5G services will be started in 13 major cities in 2022.
- In 2022, the Fifth-generation wireless technology (5G) will be rolled out in the four metros and other major cities, allowing for faster and more responsive Internet services.
- Prior to the implementation, 5G spectrum auctions will be held on various aspects, including the reserve price, band plan, block size, and quantum of spectrum.
- Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Jamnagar are among the cities on the list.
- Apart from the major telecom operators and smartphone manufacturers, the government is actively involved in the deployment of 5G services.
- For the development and testing of 5G technology, the Department of Telecom has roped in major research institutions.
- The 'Indigenous 5G Test bed project' involves eight agencies: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER), and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).
- The initiative to build an indigenous 5G test bed began in 2018 and is expected to be finished by December 31, 2021.
- The Department of Telecom has funded this project with around Rs. 224 crore.
- 5G primarily operates in three frequency bands: low, mid, and high.
- The speed is limited to 100 Mbps in the low band spectrum (Megabits per second) and in the high-band spectrum goes up to 20 Gbps (Gigabits per second).
- Anshu Prakash is the head of the Department of Telecommunications. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
Topic: State News/ Haryana
12. Haryana Kaushal Rozgar Nigam portal launched by Manohar Lal Khattar.
- Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, has launched the Haryana Kaushal Rozgar Nigam portal on December 25, 2021.
- He has also announced the opening of Atal Park and Smriti Kendra in Gurugram.
- A magazine called 'Vyavastha Parivartan Se Susashan' was also introduced, along with the official calendar for 2022, at a Good Governance Day event.
- In addition, the Chief Minister honored 78 officers and staff for their outstanding contributions in several fields.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Good Governance Day on December 25 in 2014, on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Topic: State News/ Tamil Nadu
13. Meendum Manjappai Scheme launched in Tamil Nadu to encourage use of cloth bags.
- Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister MK Stalin has launched the 'Meendum Manjappai' scheme to limit the usage of plastic bags and to encourage the use of cloth bags.
- Bag producers in Pudukkottai have welcomed the Chief Minister's scheme to limit the usage of plastic bags, and are preparing to print yellow bags, among other cloth bags.
- The government is also enlisting the help of several NGOs to raise awareness about the importance of using cloth and jute bags instead of plastic throw-away bags in order to preserve the environment.
14. Neeraj Chopra became brand ambassador of GoodDot.
- GoodDot, a plant-based meat company, has appointed Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra as its brand ambassador.
- He will play an important role in the organization's objective to raise awareness about plant-based meats and inspire people to make humane food choices.
- Abhishek Sinha and Deepak Parihar started the plant-alternative meat company in 2016.
- Euronics, a bathroom automation accessories company, has appointed actor Hrithik Roshan as a brand ambassador.
- Former Australian pacer Brett Lee has been appointed as the brand ambassador for Phoenix Business Advisory, a business visa immigration company.