Daily Current Affairs and GK | 31 December 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 31 Dec 2021 17:50 PM IST

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Topic: Miscellaneous

1. Sankalp Smarak dedicated to nation by Lt Gen Ajai Singh.

  • Lt Gen Ajai Singh, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN), has dedicated Sankalp Smarak to the nation on 29 December.
  • The Smarak is a tribute to soldiers of the Indian National Army and it reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji himself, “Nishtha, Kartavya aur Balidan”.
  • This Smarak has been dedicated to the nation exactly after 78 years of Netaji’s arrival. Subhas Chandra Bose hoisted the national flag for the first time at Port Blair on 30 December 1943.
  • Netaji escaped from British surveillance on 16 Jan 1941 from Kolkata and returned on Indian soil after three years at Port Blair Aerodrome on 29 Dec 1943.
  • During this historic visit, Andaman and Nicobar Islands was declared as the “first liberated territory of India”.

Sankalp Smarak Lt Gen Ajai Singh

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Books and Authors

2. Venkaiah Naidu released book ‘Dr. V L Dutt: Glimpses of a Pioneer’s Life Journey’.

  • The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has recently released the book titled ‘Dr. V L Dutt: Glimpses of a Pioneer’s Life Journey’ in Chennai.
  • It is written by Smt. V L Indira Dutt. She has shared memories and experiences of her husband Dr. V L Dutt in the book.
  • Dr. V L Dutt was a respected industrialist, philanthropist, and visionary. He inspired a whole generation of young entrepreneurs.
  • He was head of FICCI and played a key role in bridging the gap between the government and industry during 1991-92.

Topic: State News/ Karnataka

3. Karnataka government collaborated with NPCI and SBI for enabling and implementing e-RUPI.

  • The e-Governance department of Karnataka government has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and State Bank of India (SBI) for enabling and implementing e-RUPI.
  • E-RUPI is a cashless and contactless payment solution for students under the State’s scholarship programme.
  • Karnataka government will use e-RUPI for paying education fees of eligible students digitally. The state government will send the e- vouchers on the mobile of eligible students.
  • Eligible students can redeem e-RUPI vouchers at the identified colleges/ institutions. The colleges/ institution will scan the QR code or SMS string displayed by students.
  • It will remove the requirement of any physical token delivery to students for availing scholarship.
  • Under this e-payment solution, each transaction is mapped between the beneficiary and institution.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):

It was formed in 2008 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

It was formed for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.

Topic: International News

4. Japan becomes first country to introduce first dual-mode vehicle.

  • Japan introduces the world's first dual-mode vehicle that can run on roads as well as rail tracks.
  • It looks like a minibus and runs on normal rubber tyres on the road and it uses steel wheels on rail tracks.
  • It can carry up to 21 passengers and runs at a speed of 60km/h on rail tracks and it can travel at speed of 100km/h on public roads.
  • It is powered by diesel and it runs along the coast of Shikoku island in southern Japan.

Topic: Indian Polity

5. Central government notified rules for consumer commissions.

  • Central government has notified Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021.
  • Under the new rules, the revised pecuniary jurisdiction for entertaining consumer complaints shall be upto 50 lakh rupees for District Commissions.
  • The revised pecuniary jurisdiction for entertaining consumer complaints shall be from 50 lakh to two crore rupees for State Commissions and more than two crore rupees for National Commission.
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 provides a three-tier quasi-judicial mechanism for redressal of consumer disputes namely District Commissions, State Commissions and National Commission.

Topic: State News/Maharashtra

6. Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016 (3rd Amendment) Bill passed by Maharashtra Legislative Council.

  • Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016 (Third Amendment) Bill has been passed by Maharashtra Legislative Council.
  • The bill gives more powers to the Higher and Technical Education Minister with regard to the state-run universities.
  • According to the opposition, the bill undermines the powers of the Governor and will lead to more political interference in the running of universities.
  • The bill proposes the appointment of the Higher and Technical Education Minister as pro-chancellor of the universities.
  • The bill has been earlier passed in the Assembly. It will now go to state Governor B S Koshyari for his approval.

Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016 (3rd Amendment) Bill passed by Maharashtra Legislative Council

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Appointments

7. Sanjay Kumar Singh appointed as Secretary of Ministry of Steel.

  • Sanjay Kumar Singh assumed charge as the Secretary of the Ministry of Steel. He is a 1987 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre.
  • He has taken place of P.K. Tripathi who was holding additional charge of Secretary of Ministry of Steel.
  • Sanjay Kumar Singh has been appointed as part of the major top-level bureaucratic reshuffle by the central government.
  • Earlier, he was holding the post of Secretary of the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and Department of Pensions & Pensioners Welfare (DoPPW).

Ministry of Steel:

It is responsible for the growth and development of the Iron and Steel Industry in the country.

Ramchandra Prasad Singh is the current head of the Ministry of Steel.

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), MSTC Limited works under the Ministry of Steel.

Secretary of Ministry of Steel

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Nagaland

8. Central government extends AFSPA in Nagaland for six more months.

  • The Central government has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for six more months.
  • The imposition of AFSPA in Nagaland was due to expire on December 31 but now it has been extended till 30 June.
  • The entire Nagaland has been declared as a “disturbed area”.
  • The central government has also set up a high-level committee chaired by a Secretary-level officer to examine the possibility of withdrawing AFSPA in Nagaland on 26 December. The committee will submit its report in 45 days.
  • The committee was formed after 14 civilians were killed in an operation of the Indian Army.
  • Nagaland has been under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for almost six decades.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958:

This is a Parliamentary Act that was introduced in 1958.

The Act gives the Armed Forces special powers of search and arrest for maintenance of public order.

AFSPA is imposed or lifted from a region by the Centre following due consultation with the state government, the Armed forces, and the central agencies.

AFSPA can be imposed in an area or a region for six months at a time but the government can extend it as per the situation.

Topic: State News/ Odisha

9. Odisha government launched online service for verification of life certificates for pensioners.

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched an online service for the verification of identity and submission of life certificates for pensioners of the state government.
  • Odisha becomes the first state in the country to implement such a digital service for pensioners.
  • Under this system, life certificates can now be submitted by the pensioners using the artificial intelligence-based video-verification process.
  • Now, pensioners can submit their identification and life certificates from their mobile phones. It will remove the requirement to be physically present for the submission of the certificate.
  • This facility will also be available at the ‘Mo Seva Kendras’ of the state.
  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also launched E-Diary. The information in this diary can be easily accessed by citizens through their mobile phones.
  • The digital life certificates and E-diary initiative has been launched as part of the government’s 5T and ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiatives.
  • The ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative is an attempt to bring professionalism and behavioural change in public offices with the help of feedback from citizens.

Topic: International News

10. Biden and Putin discussed Ukraine crisis in effort to defuse tension.

  • US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed Ukraine crisis over a 50-minute phone call.
  • Both leaders discussed Ukraine crisis as part of the effort to defuse tensions over Ukraine's eastern border.
  • According to Western officials, Russia has sent tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine.
  • Russia has made clear that it wants a written commitment that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO.
  • Ukraine crisis started with protests in Kiev (Kyiv) in November 2013 against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a deal for greater economic integration with the European Union.
  • Ukraine and Russia share hundreds of years of cultural, linguistic, and familial links and Ukraine was the second-most powerful Soviet republic after Russia.
  • Efforts to induct Ukraine into NATO have been ongoing for many years but it has picked up pace in recent years.
  • Cause of the Ukraine crisis:
    • Ukraine acts as a buffer zone between Russia and the West, so both countries want to keep their influence on Ukraine in order to maintain the balance of power.
    • Russia is demanding assurance from the US and its allies that Ukraine will not be inducted into NATO.
    • In March 2014, Russian troops had taken control of the Crimea region of Ukraine so there is fear that Russia might invade other regions as well.

Biden and Putin discussed Ukraine crisis

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Namita Gokhale won Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 for her novel “Things to Leave Behind” in English language.

  • The annual Sahitya Akademi Awards have been announced in 20 languages by the Sahitya Akademi on 30th December 2021.
  • The Sahitya Akademi Awards 2021 included seven books of poetry, two novels, five short stories, two plays, one biography, one autobiography, one critique, and one epic poem.
  • Later, awards in the languages of Gujrati, Maithili, Manipuri, and Urdu will be announced.
  • Anuradha Sharma Pujari and Namita Gokhale have won the award in the novel category in Assamese and English language respectively.
  • Ms. Gokhale received an award for her novel Things to Leave Behind, while Ms. Pujari received an award for her novel, Iyat Ekhan Aaronya Asil.
  • Mwdai Gahai in Bodo, Sanjiv Verenkar in Konkani, Hrushikesh Mallick in Odia, and Vindeshwari Prasad in Telegu are among the Poetry awardees.

Sahitya Akademi Award:

It was established in 1954.

It is awarded for outstanding literary works published in 24 languages (22 official languages mentioned in the eighth schedule and Rajasthani and English).

It is given by Sahitya Akademi.

The winner of the award is given a plaque and a cash prize of ₹ 1,00,000.

Things to Leave Behind by Namita Gokhale

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

12. Jhansi Station will be renamed Veerangana Lakshmibai Railway Station.

  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on December 29 that the Jhansi Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh will be renamed Veerangana Lakshmibai Railway Station.
  • During British control, Rani Laxmibai was one of India's most prominent rebel leaders, and she was killed in battle with British soldiers in Gwalior in June 1858.
  • Earlier, following a recommendation from the Uttar Pradesh Government, the Union Home Ministry renamed Mughalsarai Railway Station to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Railway Station.

Uttar Pradesh:

It is the most populous state in India and ranks 4th in terms of area.

The Chief Minister of the state is Yogi Adityanath and Governor is Anandiben Patel.

Its capital is Lucknow.

There are 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh.

Lok Sabha seats in UP: 80, Rajya Sabha seats in UP: 31

Topic: India and its neighbourhood

13. Pakistan purchased 25 China-made J-10C fighter jets.

  • In response to India's purchase of Rafale aircraft, Pakistan has acquired a full squadron of 25 multirole J-10C fighter jets from its ally China.
  • Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the Interior Minister, announced that a full squadron of 25 all-weather aircraft, including the J-10C, will attend the Pakistan Day ceremony on March 23, 2022.
  • J-10C aircraft participated in Pakistan-China joint exercise in 2020.
  • India and France signed an intergovernmental agreement over five years ago to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets for Rs 59,000 crore to improve the Indian Air Force's combat capability.


It is a country in South Asia.

It is bordered by India, Afghanistan, Iran, and China.

It has the world’s second-largest Muslim population.

Islamabad is the capital and the Pakistani rupee is the currency of Pakistan.

Arif Alvi is the President and Imran Khan is the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Parliament of Pakistan is known as Majlis-e-Shoora.

Topic: Appointments

14. Anupam Ray will be new Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament.

  • Anupam Ray, a senior diplomat, has been appointed the next Permanent Representative and Ambassador of India to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
  • Ray, an IFS officer from the 1994 batch, is currently working as Joint Secretary at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.
  • Anupam Ray will take over from Pankaj Sharma.
  • Pankaj Sharma, an IFS officer from the 1991 batch, has been appointed India's next ambassador to Mexico.

United Nations Conference on Disarmament:

The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is a multilateral disarmament conference situated in the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

It was formed by the international community to discuss arms control and disarmament agreements.

The Conference meets every year in Geneva in three separate sessions.

It was formed in 1984.

Members: 65 nations






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