- 1. Central government released Rs 9,871 crore as revenue deficit grant to 17 states.
- 2. US becomes India’s largest trading partner in 2021.
- 3. Government has decided to continue Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram scheme.
- 4. GAIL has initiated India's first project of blending hydrogen into natural gas system.
- 5. IOC approved three urban sports for Summer Olympics 2028.
- 6. A financial assistance scheme for landless labourers has been launched by Rahul Gandhi.
- 7. International Conference on “MSMEs: Legislative and Regulatory Challenges” organized by IBBI.
- 8. Indian scientists develop self-disinfecting Copper-based Nanoparticle-coated Antiviral Face Mask.
- 9. GA Srinivasa Murthy appointed director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).
- 10. Aravalli Biodiversity Park declared as India’s first OECM site.
- 11. Nasa’s International Space Station (ISS) will cease its operations in 2031.
- 12. Jagadesh Kumar appointed as chairman of UGC.
- 13. Uttar Pradesh’s tableau selected as best state tableau.
- 14. Government has identified locations for saffron cultivation under the ‘Saffron Bowl' project.
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Topic: Indian Economy
1. Central government released Rs 9,871 crore as revenue deficit grant to 17 states.
- Ministry of Finance has released Rs 9,871 crore as Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) grant to 17 states.
- Grants are released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission to bridge the gap in the revenue accounts of the States.
- This is the 11th installment of the PDRD grant released to the States.
- The Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grants are provided to the States under Article 275 of the Constitution.
- Article 275 of the Constitution has provisions related to grants from the union to certain states.
- The Fifteenth Finance Commission has recommended a total Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant of Rs. 1,18,452 crores to 17 States in the financial year 2021-22.
- The 15th Finance Commission was constituted on 27 November 2017. Nand Kishore Singh (N. K. Singh) is the chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.
Topic: Indian Economy
2. US becomes India’s largest trading partner in 2021.
- In 2021, the United States regain its spot as India's largest trading partner and China slipped to the second spot.
- In 2021, India’s bilateral trade with the US increased to $112.3 billion.
- United States was India’s largest trading partner in 2019 at a trade value of $90.1 billion but it fell to $76 billion due to pandemic disruption in 2020.
- India mainly exports Pharmaceutical products, Pearls, precious stones, metals, textile products to the US.
- In 2020, India’s bilateral trade with China dropped to $77.7 billion but it was higher than trade with US.
- India’s imports from China increased by 49 percent in 2021 as compared to last year.
- India’s exports to China also increased in 2021 to $22.9 billion. India’s trade deficit with China has increased to $64.5 billion in 2021.
- UAE, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iraq, Indonesia, and South Korea are among the top ten trading partners of India.
- India’s top trading partner list 2021:
United Arab Emirates
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
3. Government has decided to continue Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram scheme.
- The Government has decided to continue the "Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram" Scheme in order to achieve the goals of developing the youth's personality and leadership qualities.
- Over the 15th Finance Commission cycle (2021-22 to 2025-26), the scheme has been extended for another five years at a cost of Rs 2,710.65 crore.
- This Scheme is the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports' flagship Central Sector Scheme.
- The beneficiaries of the Scheme are young people between the ages of 15 and 29, as defined by the National Youth Policy of 2014.
- The RYSK Scheme programme includes Skilling and Handholding-Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, Combating COVID-19, Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness Teams.
- Under the RYSK Scheme, the Ministry of Youth Affairs has issued a grant of Rs 41.60 crore for the construction of a National Yuva Volunteer Registry.
- The RYSK Scheme's programmes are implemented through seven sub-schemes:
- Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan(NYKS)
- National Youth Corps (NYC)
- National Programme for Youth & Adolescent Development (NPYAD)
- International Cooperation
- Youth Hostels (YH)
- Assistance to Scouting & Guiding Organizations
- National Young Leaders Programme (NYLP)
Topic: Companies/ Corporates
4. GAIL has initiated India's first project of blending hydrogen into natural gas system.
- GAIL (India) has started a first-of-its-kind project of mixing hydrogen into the natural gas system in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
- Avantika Gas Ltd., one of GAIL's joint ventures with HPCL, will receive the hydrogen-blended natural gas.
- It will be used to sell CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households in Indore.
- India has aimed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
- The hydrogen is classified as blue, green, or grey depending on the source.
- When natural gas is split into hydrogen and CO2, blue hydrogen is produced. In this process, CO2 is captured and then stored.
- Green hydrogen is produced by electrolyzing water and using electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as wind or solar.
- Grey hydrogen is produced in the same way as blue hydrogen, except that CO2 is not captured and is released into the environment.
5. IOC approved three urban sports for Summer Olympics 2028.
- International Olympic Committee has confirmed that the sports of skateboarding, surfing, and sports climbing would be included in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
- Weightlifting, modern pentathlon, and boxing are yet to be included. They can be added next year if the targets set by the IOC Board are met.
- At the request of the Paris organizers, breakdancing will be part of the 2024 Olympics.
- International Olympic Committee:
- The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organization.
- It hosts the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
- Its headquarters is located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- It was established in the year 1894.
Topic: State News/ Chhattisgarh
6. A financial assistance scheme for landless labourers has been launched by Rahul Gandhi.
- Rahul Gandhi has launched 'Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumiheen Krishi Mazdoor Nyay Yojana' in Chhattisgarh.
- It is a financial assistance scheme for landless agricultural labourers.
- Chhattisgarh has become the first state in the country to offer direct financial assistance to landless agricultural labourers in rural areas.
- Rural landless laborers will be paid Rs 6,000 in three installments of Rs 2,000 during the year.
- At the ceremony, he also launched the 'Rajiv Yuva Mitan Club' scheme and gave Rs 25,000 to its beneficiaries.
- He also laid the foundation stone for the proposed "Gandhi Sevagram Ashram" in Nava Raipur.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
7. International Conference on “MSMEs: Legislative and Regulatory Challenges” organized by IBBI.
- International Conference on “MSMEs: Legislative and Regulatory Challenges” was organized by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) on 3rd Feb, 2022.
- The conference was organized in association with UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP), Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) and Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU).
- Four technical sessions and an international roundtable were included in the Conference.
- Mr. Ritesh Kavdia, Executive Director, IBBI chaired the international roundtable.
- United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL):
- It is a subsidiary body of UN General Assembly.
- It was founded in 1966. It is headquartered in Vienna.
- It is responsible assisting in the facilitation of international trade and investment.
Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
8. Indian scientists develop self-disinfecting Copper-based Nanoparticle-coated Antiviral Face Mask.
- Indian scientists have developed self-disinfecting Copper-based Nanoparticle-coated Antiviral Face Mask, which is biodegradable, highly breathable and washable.
- It has been developed by scientists at International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), in collaboration with the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) and Resil Chemicals, a Bengaluru based company.
- The mask has been developed under DST sponsored Nano-Mission project.
- Copper-based nanoparticles of around 20 nanometres were developed by ARCI through Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP) processing facility.
- In FSP, solution precursors are converted into nanopowders by high temperature pyrolytic decomposition.
- COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped positive sense single-stranded RNA virus.
9. GA Srinivasa Murthy appointed director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).
- Senior scientist GA Srinivasa Murthy has been appointed as director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- GA Srinivasa Murthy joined DRDL in 1987 and worked in the field of structural dynamics, ground resonance testing, electrical integration for various projects.
- He is known for his contributions in the Advanced Naval Systems Program.
- Defence Research and Development Laboratory:
- It is a missile systems laboratory functioning under the Defence Research and Development Organization.
- It is responsible for the design and development of state-of-the-art Missile Systems and technologies required for the security of country.
- Its headquarter is located in Hyderabad.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
10. Aravalli Biodiversity Park declared as India’s first OECM site.
- On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, the Aravalli Biodiversity Park situated in Gurugram has been declared as India’s first “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECM) site.
- The OECM status is given by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to areas that are not protected but support rich biodiversity.
- OECM tag is given to areas that are achieving the effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity outside of protected areas.
- National Biodiversity Authority had sent the proposal to declare Aravalli Biodiversity Park an OECM site to the IUCN in 2020.
- Aravalli Biodiversity Park:
- It is spread across 390 acres with 300 native plants and 101,000 trees and is home of several species of birds.
- With the help of ecologists and biologists, it has been turned from an abandoned mine site into a city forest.
- It has the potential to supply around 7.07% of the oxygen requirement for the Delhi-NCR.
- The Aravalli mountain range is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world and is considered as the green lungs of Delhi-NCR.
Topic: Space and IT
11. Nasa’s International Space Station (ISS) will cease its operations in 2031.
- NASA has declared that the International Space Station (ISS) will cease its operations in 2031.
- It will come out of orbit and plunge into the waters of the South Pacific Ocean.
- The International Space Station (ISS) is orbiting Earth at a speed of about eight kilometres per second for the last two decades.
- The International Space Station is the brainchild of former US President Ronald Reagan.
- The first part of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched in 1998 from a Russian rocket.
- The first crew arrived at International Space Station (ISS) on 2 November, 2000.
- Since then, more than 200 astronauts from 19 different countries have reached to International Space Station.
- At the time of establishment, the ISS was built to be operated only for about 15 years but its tenure was extended for another 10 years in 2014.
12. Jagadesh Kumar appointed as chairman of UGC.
- JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has been appointed as the next chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- The post of UGC chairman was vacant after Prof D P Singh resigned on 7 December 2021.
- He is known for his knowledge in electronic engineering and associated areas.
- He became vice-chancellor of JNU in January 2016.
- University Grants Commission (UGC):
- It was established in 1956.
- It is a statutory body set up under the UGC Act 1956.
- It is responsible for maintaining higher education standards in India.
Topic: National News
13. Uttar Pradesh’s tableau selected as best state tableau.
- Uttar Pradesh’s tableau has been declared as the best state tableau of the Republic Day parade 2022.
- Uttar Pradesh’s tableau was based on the theme of ‘One District One Product and Kashi Vishwanath Dham’,
- Karnataka’s tableau based on ‘Cradle of Traditional Handicrafts’ got the second position.
- Maharashtra’s tableau has been selected as the best tableau among the States/UTs in the popular choice category.
- The Ministry of Education's and Ministry of Civil Aviation’s tableau have jointly won the best tableau award in the central ministries and departments category.
- The tableaux of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (CPWD) and the ‘Vande Bharatam’ dance group have been selected for the special prize category.
- Indian Navy marching contingent has been adjudged as the best marching contingent among the three Services.
- The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is selected as the best marching contingent among CAPF/other auxiliary forces.
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
14. Government has identified locations for saffron cultivation under the ‘Saffron Bowl' project.
- Under ‘Saffron Bowl' project, the North East Centre For Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR) has identified few locations in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya for saffron cultivation.
- Barapani, Cherrapunji, Mawsmai, Shillong, and Lalingtop sites have been identified in Meghalaya for saffron cultivation.
- In Meghalaya, sample plantations were grown at Cherrapunji, Mawsmai and Lalingtop sites.
- The total cost of the ‘Saffron Bowl’ project is around Rs 17.68 lakh for Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
- North East Centre For Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR):
- It is an autonomous society set up under the Department of Science & technology.
- Its headquarters are in Shillong, Meghalaya.
- It works for the social and economic development of the Northeastern region.
- It uses technology to address issues related to biodiversity, watershed management, telemedicine, etc.