- 1. Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy by 2022 due to financial crisis.
- 2. Shanghai opens two new driverless metro lines and maintains its position as the city with the longest metro network.
- 3. Framework for facilitating small value digital payments in offline mode released by RBI.
- 4. Foundation stone for Heartfulness International Yoga Academy laid by Union AYUSH Minister.
- 5. NEAT 3.0 launched by Dharmendra Pradhan to deliver the best-developed ed-tech solutions.
- 6. G Asok Kumar: New Director-General of National Mission for Clean Ganga.
- 7. PM Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stone of 22 developmental projects in Imphal.
- 8. Defence Minister inaugurated Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology (KCCRSST).
- 9. China’s new border laws came into effect from 1 January 2022.
- 10. Government launched Web Portal for PM's Excellence Award.
- 11. Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned after mass protest.
- 12. World Braille Day: 4 January
- 13. India and Pakistan exchanges list of nuclear installations.
- 14. Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Hafeez announces retirement from international cricket.
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Topic: International News
1. Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy by 2022 due to financial crisis.
- Sri Lanka is facing financial and humanitarian crisis and it could become bankrupt by 2022.
- Sri Lanka’s financial crisis has deepened due to the high inflation rate. The foreign exchange reserves are at their lowest levels.
- In December, food price inflation has increased from 17.5 percent to 22.1 percent. Basic goods have become unaffordable for the common people of Sri Lanka.
- The Covid crisis and the loss of tourism have impacted the economy of Sri Lanka. More than 2 lakh people have lost their jobs in the travel and tourism sectors.
- Sri Lanka has to repay $7.3 billion in domestic and foreign loans in the next 12 months.
- According to World Bank, around 5 lakh people have fallen below the poverty line in Sri Lanka after the Covid pandemic.
- The Sri Lankan government had declared Food Emergency in September 2021.
- In 2021, the Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by 7.5 percent against the US dollar.
- Sri Lanka:
- It is an island country in South Asia.
- Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the current President of Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lankan rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka.
- Its executive and judicial capital is Colombo, and its legislative capital is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
2. Shanghai opens two new driverless metro lines and maintains its position as the city with the longest metro network.
- Shanghai has opened two new driverless metro lines and has maintained its position as the city with the longest metro network in the world.
- With the opening of two new driverless metro lines, the total length of the city’s metro network is now 831 kilometres.
- Line 14 is one of the two newly opened lines. It is the first fully automatic metro line for eight-car trains in the city.
- With the opening of two new driverless metro lines, the total number of automatic lines in the city is now five.
- After Shanghai, Beijing and New Delhi occupy second and third spot on the list of cities with the largest metro networks.
- It is expected that Delhi Metro’s Phase IV track, which totals 103.93 km, will begin functioning in 2024. This will take Delhi’s metro network to 453 km.
3. Framework for facilitating small value digital payments in offline mode released by RBI.
- Framework for facilitating small value digital payments in offline mode has been released by RBI.
- The framework is based on feedback of pilot experiments on offline transactions carried out from September 2020 to June 2021.
- Offline digital payment is defined as a transaction that does not need internet or telecom connectivity.
- According to the framework, offline digital payments can be carried face-to-face (proximity mode) only using any channel or instrument like cards, wallets, mobile devices, etc.
- Customers will receive alerts of offline digital transactions by way of SMS and / or e-mail after a time lag.
- Authorised Payment System Operators and Participants (Banks and Non-banks) are required to comply with the framework.
- As per the framework, the upper limit of an offline payment transaction shall be ₹200. The total limit for offline transactions on a payment instrument shall be ₹2,000 at any point in time.
- The framework allows replenishment of used limit only in online mode with Additional Factor of Authentication.
- The new framework is applicable with immediate effect. Customers also have the option of Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme for grievance redress.
Topic: National News
4. Foundation stone for Heartfulness International Yoga Academy laid by Union AYUSH Minister.
- Foundation stone for Heartfulness International Yoga Academy has been laid by Union AYUSH Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal on 03 January 2021 at Hyderabad.
- Heartfulness International Yoga Academy has Yoga halls that can accommodate 100 Yoga students in each hall. It also has therapeutic Yoga rooms for consultation and other facilities.
- The Heartfulness Academy (Shri Ram Chandra Mission) is registered with Yoga Certification Board as a leading yoga Institution.
- Shri Sarbananda Sonowal also inaugurated 75 crore Suryanamaskar Initiative as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
- 75 crore Suryanamaskar project is a tribute to 75 years of India’s independence. It also aims at creating the largest congregational Surya Namaskar event.
- The project will last from 1 January – 20 February 2022.
- It is being organized by five international organizations. These organizations are Patanjali Yogpeeth, Heartfulness Institute, NYSF-National Yogasana Sports Federation, Geeta Parivar and Kreeda Bharati.
Topic: National News
5. NEAT 3.0 launched by Dharmendra Pradhan to deliver the best-developed ed-tech solutions.
- Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Education and Skill Development, has introduced NEAT 3.0. It is a single platform that will give students the best-developed ed-tech solutions and courses in the country.
- AICTE-prescribed technical books in regional languages were also launched by the Minister.
- NEAT 3.0 has provided free ed-tech course coupons worth over Rs 253 crore to over 12 lakh socially and economically disadvantaged students.
- National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT):
- The National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) is a project that aims to make the best-developed technological solutions available in the education sector.
- Artificial intelligence is used in these solutions to provide a personalized and customized learning experience for better learning outcomes and skill development in specialized areas.
- NEAT has 58 EduTech firms with 100 products that aid in the development of employable skills, and capacity building.
6. G Asok Kumar: New Director-General of National Mission for Clean Ganga.
- G Asok Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, has been appointed as the new Director-General of National Mission for Clean Ganga.
- He is a 1991 batch IAS officer of the Telangana cadre.
- He was the Mission Director for the National Water Mission, and his inspirational work in the "Jal Shakthi Abhiyan: Catch the Rain" campaign resulted in the approval of over 9.5 lakh water conservation and rainwater harvesting structures across India.
- As the result of his work, he received the popular nickname “The Rain Man of India”.
- He has received the SKOCH Award for Public Services 2021, the Jal-Mitra Award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the first Telangana Excellence Award from the Government of Telangana for exceptional public administration work.
- National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011. It acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
Topic: State News/Manipur
7. PM Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stone of 22 developmental projects in Imphal.
- PM Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stone of 22 developmental projects worth over 4,800 crore rupees in Imphal on 04 January 2022.
- The inaugural and foundation laying program was held at Hatta Kangjeibung in Imphal. The projects inaugurated by the Prime Minister are listed below.
- The refurbished and renovated Govindajee Temple at Imphal
- Indian National Army Complex at Moirang
- Integrated Command and Control Centre
- Development of Western Riverfront of Imphal River Phase One
- Development of Mall Road at Thangal Bazar Phase One
- PM Modi also inaugurated New Integrated Terminal Building at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport in Agartala, Tripura.
- He also launched Mukhyamantri Tripura Gram Samriddhi Yojana and Project Mission 100 of Vidyajyoti Schools.
- The aim of Project Mission 100 of Vidyajyoti Schools is to improve the quality of education in the state by converting 100 existing High/Higher secondary schools to Vidyajyoti Schools.
- Under the project, about 1.2 Lakh students from Nursery to class XII will be covered. It will cost around 500 crore rupees in the next three years.
- The aim of Mukhyamantri Tripura Gram Samriddhi Yojana is to achieve the benchmark standards for service delivery in core development sectors at the village level.
Topic: Space and IT
8. Defence Minister inaugurated Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology (KCCRSST).
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has recently inaugurated Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology (KCCRSST) at Chandigarh University.
- He also launched a scholarship scheme worth Rs 10 crore for the wards of personnel of the three services.
- KCCRSST has been set up with the aim of training students in space science, satellite development and meet future challenges in space research.
- It will be the Ground Control Station for Chandigarh University’s Student Satellite (CUSat).
- CUSat is an in-house developed nano-satellite being designed by the students of the university and a Geo-Spatial Centre for research.
- It will be one of the 75 student-built satellites to be launched into space on the eve of Independence Day in 2022.
- Chandigarh University is 1st university in North India to design and develop its own satellite.
- After the launch of CUSat, Punjab will be first border state in India to send its own satellite in space.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood
9. China’s new border laws came into effect from 1 January 2022.
- China’s new land borders law passed on 23 October 2021 came into effect from 1 January 2022.
- China's top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, has passed a new law named "protection and exploitation of the country's land border areas".
- As per the new law, the state shall resolve disputes and longstanding border issues with neighbouring countries through negotiations.
- The new border law has 62 articles and seven chapters. It also states that the state shall follow the principle of equality, mutual trust, and friendly consultation for resolving border disputes.
- The law prohibits any party from engaging in any activity in the border area that could affect China's national security.
- It also says that the state shall take measures to improve public services and infrastructure in border areas.
- China has 22,457 km long borders with 14 countries. Apart from India, China has also a border dispute with Bhutan.
- India could face now more trouble along the northern border after the implementation of this law.
- On 30 December, China renamed 15 places of Arunachal Pradesh on their map.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
10. Government launched Web Portal for PM's Excellence Award.
- Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh has launched a web portal for PM's Excellence award in Public Administration for the year 2021-22.
- Registration on this portal has begun from 3rd January.
- The process and selection of the PM’s Excellence Award have undergone a revolutionary change since 2014.
- Now, the award is given on the performance of the district rather than the performance of the District Collector or individual civil servant.
- The prize money has also been increased from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.20 lakh to the awarded District/Organization.
- Now, it has become mandatory for all District Collectors to apply for the Award.
- PM’s Excellence Award was instituted to recognize and reward the extraordinary and innovative work done by Districts/ Organizations of the Central and State Governments.
- PM’s Excellence Award 2021 will consist of a trophy, scroll, and prize money of 20 lakhs.
- PM’s Excellence Award was revamped to promote Constructive Competition, Innovation, Replication and Institutionalisation of Best Practices.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: International News
11. Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned after mass protest.
- Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of Sudan, has resigned after a political deadlock and mass protest in Khartoum.
- People of Sudan are protesting against a recent deal by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Under this deal, Abdalla Hamdok will share power with the army.
- Abdalla Hamdok had signed this deal after the military coup on 25th October 2021.
- Under the agreement, Abdalla Hamdok was reinstated as Prime Minister and he was supposed to lead a cabinet of technocrats till the election.
- In his speech, Hamdok called for a dialogue to agree on a “national charter” and to “draw a roadmap” to complete the transition to democracy as per the 2019 constitutional document.
- He said that his efforts to settle disputes among the political forces have failed.
- Hamdok became Prime Minister in 2019 under a power-sharing agreement between the Military and the protesters.
- It is a country in Northeast Africa.
- It shares its border with Egypt, Libya, Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.
- It is the third- largest country in Africa in terms of area.
- Its capital is Khartoum and its Currency is Sudanese Pound.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Important Days
12. World Braille Day: 4 January
- World Braille Day is celebrated every year on 4 January. It is being celebrated every year since 2019.
- It is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille.
- It is observed to raise awareness about the importance of Braille as a means of communication for blind people.
- Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols with help of six dots. It can represent letter, numbers, mathematical and scientific symbols.
- Braille is used by blind people or partially sighted people to read books and text printed in a visual font.
- Braille was invented by Louis Braille in the 19th century.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood
13. India and Pakistan exchanges list of nuclear installations.
- India and Pakistan have exchanged a list of their nuclear installations. It is part of an annual ritual between both countries for more than three decades.
- The list of nuclear installation and facilities were exchanged under Article-2 of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities.
- This agreement was signed on December 31, 1988, and was ratified on 27 January 1991.
- In 1992, both countries exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities for the first time.
- The lists of nuclear installations and facilities were simultaneously exchanged through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad.
- Both countries also exchanged their list of prisoners. At present, India has 282 Pakistani civilian prisoners and 73 fishermen in its custody.
- Pakistan has 52 Indian civilians and 577 fishermen in its custody.
- Both countries exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year.
14. Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Hafeez announces retirement from international cricket.
- Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has announced his retirement from international cricket.
- He will continue to play franchise cricket around the world.
- He represented Pakistan in 392 international matches and scored 12,789 runs and took 253 wickets.
- He played 55 test matches, 218 ODIs, and 119 T20Is. He played three ICC ODI World Cups and six T20 world cups.
- Quinton de Kock of South Africa has also announced retirement from Test Cricket.
- New Zealand batter Ross Taylor will also retire from international cricket after the end of the ongoing domestic season. He will play his final match against Bangladesh in the second test match of the ongoing series.