- 1. Antigua and Barbuda joined International Solar Alliance.
- 2. Ganjam becomes first child marriage free district of Odisha.
- 3. Neil Nongkynrih, the founder of the Shillong Chamber Choir, passed away.
- 4. Australia and Japan sign a defence agreement via virtual summit.
- 5. First LNG terminal of Karnataka will be established in Mangalore.
- 6. RBI has nominated Deepak Kumar and Ajay Kumar Choudhary as new executive directors.
- 7. Food Processing Industries Minister launches six One District One Product (ODOP) brands under PMFME Scheme.
- 8. Student Start-ups and Innovation Policy 2.0 (SSIP-2.0) launched by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.
- 9. Airtel Payments Bank received ‘scheduled bank status’ from RBI.
- 10. Central government launched “Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” program.
- 11. Zishaan A Latif won Ramnath Goenka Award in photo journalism category.
- 12. Government will frame a policy to create a database on bridges condition.
- 13. World Day of War Orphans: 6 January
- 14. Apple becomes first company to touch $3 trillion market cap.
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Topic: International News
1. Antigua and Barbuda joined International Solar Alliance.
- Antigua and Barbuda has become the 102nd country to join International Solar Alliance.
- Antigua and Barbuda has signed the framework agreement of ISA in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Dr. KJ Srinivasa.
- International Solar Alliance aims to create a global market system to use the benefits of solar power by encouraging clean energy applications.
- International Solar Alliance is working for creating a multi-stakeholder ecosystem by including sovereign nations, multilateral organizations, industries, and innovators.
- Recently, the US has become the 101st member to join the International Solar Alliance.
- In October 2021, Israel has signed the agreement to join the International Solar Alliance.
- International Solar Alliance (ISA):
- It was established in 2015.
- Its main objective is to reduce the use of conventional energy by using solar energy efficiently.
- Ajay Mathur is the current Director-General of International Solar Alliance.
- Its headquarters is located in Gurugram.
Topic: State News/ Odisha
2. Ganjam becomes first child marriage free district of Odisha.
- Ganjam district, severely affected by child marriages, has become the first child marriage-free district of Odisha.
- District administration declared it as a child marriage-free district after collecting detailed information of all weddings that took place in 2020 and 2021.
- District administration started many initiatives to end the menace of child marriages. It has increased the reward from 5000 to 50,000 for informing about the occurrence of child marriage.
- In 2019, the district administration had launched an innovative awareness campaign named ‘Nirbhaya Kadhi’ to discourage child marriage.
- Anganwadi workers and accredited social health activists (ASHA) organize meeting with adolescent girls every month to create awareness about the ill impact of child marriage.
- In India, the legal age of women to get married is 18 while it is 21 years for men.
- Recently, the government has proposed legislation to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years.
Topic: Personality in News
3. Neil Nongkynrih, the founder of the Shillong Chamber Choir, passed away.
- Neil Nongkynrih, the founder of the Shillong Chamber Choir and a prominent composer, died in Mumbai after a brief illness.
- The 52-year-old music conductor and composer had brought SCC to national fame almost a decade ago after a reality TV show.
- In 2015, he had received the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour.
- The Shillong Chamber Choir had won Gold Awards at the World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China in three categories - Music Sacra, Gospel, and Popular.
4. Australia and Japan sign a defence agreement via virtual summit.
- On January 6, Australia and Japan held a virtual summit to sign a defence agreement.
- Both countries seek to strengthen defence cooperation in front of China's growing military power.
- The Reciprocal Access Agreement will strengthen interoperability and collaboration between the Japanese Self-Defen e Force and the Australian Defence Force, including easing restrictions on the transportation of weapons and supplies for joint training and disaster relief operations.
- The agreement was signed between Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan's Fumio Kishida.
- In September 2021, Australia had signed the AUKUS trilateral security agreement with the US and UK, under which the two countries agreed to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
- Scott John Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia.
- Its currency is the Australian dollar.
- Its capital is Canberra.
- It is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of area.
- It is an island country in East Asia.
- Its capital and largest city is Tokyo.
- Its currency is the Japanese Yen.
- Fumio Kishida is the current Prime Minister of Japan.
Topic: State News/ Karnataka
5. First LNG terminal of Karnataka will be established in Mangalore.
- The Karnataka government has inked an MoU with the Singapore-based LNG Alliance Company to build the state's first LNG terminal in Mangaluru.
- The terminal will be established in collaboration with the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) and would cost Rs 2,250 crore.
- Around 200 individuals will be employed directly through this project.
- The project is part of the Union Government's strategy to boost the alternative fuel sector in order to reach net-zero carbon by 2070.
- It is the largest state in South India.
- It shares its border with Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- Chief Minister is Sri Basavaraj Bommai and Governor is Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot.
- Its capital is Bengaluru.
- Lok Sabha seats: 28, Rajya Sabha seats: 12
6. RBI has nominated Deepak Kumar and Ajay Kumar Choudhary as new executive directors.
- Deepak Kumar and Ajay Kumar Choudhary have been appointed as new executive directors (ED) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), with effect from January 3, 2022.
- Deepak Kumar was the head of the RBI's information technology section before being promoted to ED.
- While Ajay Choudhary was the Chief General Manager-in-Charge of the RBI's Department of Supervision.
- Deepak Kumar will be in charge of the Foreign Exchange Department, Department of Communication, and Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation.
- Choudhary will be in charge of the Fintech, Risk Monitoring, and Inspection Departments.
- Reserve Bank of India:
- It was established on April 1, 1935, on the recommendations of the Hilton Young Commission.
- The RBI Central Board consists of 21 members, including the Governor and four deputy governors.
- It is the central bank of India and regulates the banking system in India.
- Shaktikanta Das is the current RBI governor.
- Its headquarters is in Mumbai.
Topic: National News
7. Food Processing Industries Minister launches six One District One Product (ODOP) brands under PMFME Scheme.
- Food Processing Industries Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras has launched six One District One Product (ODOP) brands under PMFME scheme.
- The names of brands are Amrit Phal, Cori Gold, Kashmiri Mantra, Madhu Mantra, Somdana, and Whole Wheat Cookies of Dilli Bakes.
- Ministry has signed an agreement with NAFED for developing 10 brands of selected One District One Product under branding and marketing component of the scheme. Out of these, six brands were launched.
Developed under the ODOP concept for Gurugram, Haryana
Cori Gold (coriander powder)
Developed under ODOP concept for Kota, Rajasthan
Spices from Kulgam, Jammu and Kashmir
Developed under the ODOP concept for honey from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Somdana (ragi flour)
Developed under the ODOP concept of millets from Thane, Maharashtra
Whole Wheat Cookies
Developed under the bakery ODOP concept for Delhi
- National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) was set up in 1958. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Dr. Bijender Singh is its current Chairman.
- Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME scheme):
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme. It aims to increase the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry.
- It also aims to provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
Topic: State News/Gujarat
8. Student Start-ups and Innovation Policy 2.0 (SSIP-2.0) launched by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.
- Student Start-ups and Innovation Policy 2.0 (SSIP-2.0) has been launched by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel for the next five years.
- Bhupendra Patel announced SSIP-2.0 while inaugurating the two-day International Conference on Academic Institutions 2022 at Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad.
- The policy contains provisions for the establishment of active innovation and incubation centers in all universities in the state.
- The policy aims to cover 50 lakh students across 1,000 higher education institutes and 10,000 schools of innovation and entrepreneurship.
- It also aims to give assistance to 10,000 proof of concepts and prototypes developed by the students and to 1,000 proof of concepts developed by school children.
- It is a coastal state of India. Its capital is Gandhinagar.
- Governor: Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister: Bhupendra Patel
- Lok Sabha seats: 26, Rajya Sabha seats: 11
- Gir National Park, Vansda National Park, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary and Marine National Park are located in Gujarat.
Topic: Banking System
9. Airtel Payments Bank received ‘scheduled bank status’ from RBI.
- RBI has granted ‘scheduled bank status’ to Airtel Payments Bank under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
- Airtel Payments Bank is one of the fastest-growing digital banks in the country, with 115 million users.
- Now, Airtel Payments Bank can apply for government-issued requests for proposals (RFPs) and primary auctions. It can also participate in government-operated welfare schemes.
- Airtel Payments Bank provides complete end to end digital solutions and it has a retail network of over 500,000 banking points.
- Airtel Payments Bank has become profitable in the quarter ended in September 2021.
- Recently, RBI gave Scheduled Bank status to Paytm Payments Bank Limited.
- Scheduled Banks:
- Scheduled Banks are those banks that are included in the Schedule II of RBI Act, 1934.
- Scheduled Banks enjoy debts/loans at the bank rate from the RBI.
- There are mainly two types of commercial banks in India namely –
- Scheduled Commercial banks
- Scheduled Co-operative banks
- Airtel Payments Bank:
- It was founded in January 2017 and it is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
- Its CEO is Anubrata Biswas.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
10. Central government launched “Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” program.
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in association with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) has launched the “Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” program.
- Under the programme, 15 leading architectural and planning institutes of the country will document the projects undertaken by the Smart City Mission in association with Smart Cities.
- This document will comprise learnings from best practices, opportunities provided to students on urban development projects, and real-time information flow between urban practitioners and academia.
- 100 Smart Cities have completed 5,151 projects with an investment of Rs. 2,05,018 crores.
- As part of the first activity, SAAR will prepare a compendium of 75 landmark urban projects under the Smart City Mission.
- The 75 projects covered in the compendium are distributed across 47 Smart Cities.
- The compendium will include field Investigation, data analysis & documentation, national research methodology workshop for the participating students, institutional submission of research to NIUA, etc.
- Smart Cities Mission:
- It was launched in 2015 to develop smart cities.
- It is implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development in association with state governments.
- Government identified 100 cities to be developed as Smart cities.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Awards and Prizes
11. Zishaan A Latif won Ramnath Goenka Award in photo journalism category.
- Zishaan A Latif has won the Ramnath Goenka Award in the photo journalism category for documenting NRC struggles.
- He won this award for his photo essay which includes the plight of the people, who were not included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC). It was published in the Caravan in October 2019.
- According to the data released by NRC, about 19 lakh of Assam’s residents are not citizens of India.
- Zishaan A Latif met many people who did not understand the NRC process and have been excluded from the first two drafts of the list.
- Ramnath Goenka Award:
- It is given in the field of Journalism since 2006.
- It is given in memory of Ramnath Goenka.
- It is given for print journalism as well as broadcast journalism.
- List of Ramnath Goenka Award winners for their work done in 2019:
Anand Choudhary, Dainik Bhaskar
Sushil Kumar Mohapatra, NDTV India
Regional Languages (Print)
Aniket Vasant Sathe, Loksatta
Regional Languages (Broadcast)
Sunil Baby, Media One TV
Environment, Science and Technology Reporting (Print)
Team Pari (People’s Archive of Rural India)
Uncovering India Invisible (Print)
Shiv Sahay Singh, The Hindu
Uncovering India Invisible (Broadcast)
Tridip K Mandal,The Quint
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
12. Government will frame a policy to create a database on bridges condition.
- Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the Centre will create a policy for collecting information about the condition and age of bridges across the country.
- Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has created the Indian Bridge Management System for collecting information about the bridges of the country.
- Nitin Gadkari said that new technologies will be adopted for building bridges. Stainless steel will be used in the bridges being built on the seaside.
- Stainless steel will help in increasing the strength and longevity of the bridges and it will make them more secure.
- New technology will be adopted for connecting the spans of bridges and 45-meters span can be used while building bridges in the future.
- Dhola–Sadiya Bridge is the longest bridge in India. It connects Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Its length is 9.15 kilometers.
Topic: Important Days
13. World Day of War Orphans: 6 January
- World Day for War Orphans is observed every year on 6 January.
- It is celebrated to raise awareness about the children who have become orphaned due to wars.
- The main objective of the day is to highlight the emotional, social, and physical challenges of orphaned children.
- World Day of War Orphans reminds people about their responsibility of helping children in crisis-hit areas.
- According to UNICEF, the total number of orphans increased between 1990-2001. After 2001, the number of total orphans has declined consistently.
- According to UNICEF, a child under 18 years of age who has lost one or both parents is considered an orphan.
- According to an estimate, orphans are relatively less in developed countries.
14. Apple becomes first company to touch $3 trillion market cap.
- Apple Inc has become the first company to touch $3 trillion stock market value. It achieved this milestone when its share price hit $182.86.
- Apple's shares have increased around 5,800% after it released the first iPhone in January 2007.
- Apple’s revenue has sharply increased from services like video streaming and music.
- Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com Inc, and Tesla Inc have market values of above $1 trillion.
- Apple's valuation has increased three times in four years. Its stock price has increased by 34% in 2021.
- Apple Inc:
- It is an American multinational technology company.
- It is the largest information technology company by revenue.
- Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple Inc.