- 1. Government selected winners of Veer Gatha project.
- 2. Harpreet Chandi becomes first Indian-origin woman to trek solo to South Pole.
- 3. Zhang Ming appointed as Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
- 4. Forensic Science Laboratory won SKOCH award for combating crime against children.
- 5. For FY22, the government has projected GDP growth to be 9.2%.
- 6. TCS bagged the second phase of the Passport Seva Program contract.
- 7. DPIIT to organize Startup India Innovation Week.
- 8. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flags in first multi-dimensional adventure sports expedition team of India.
- 9. Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of OBC quota.
- 10. Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates formally join Security Council as non-permanent members.
- 11. Central Government announced 3rd National Water Awards.
- 12. India and five other nations commenced anti-submarine exercise with US.
- 13. Jayanta Ghosal authored a book titled ‘Mamata: Beyond 2021’.
- 14. Bank of Baroda appointed Shafali Verma as its brand ambassador.
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1. Government selected winners of Veer Gatha project.
- Veer Gatha project was launched by the government to inspire the school children with the stories of war heroes and brave hearts.
- The Ministry of Education, Department of School Education and Literacy, and Central Board of Secondary Education organized the Veer Gatha Project from 21st October to 21st November.
- Under this project, students were motivated to do projects or activities based on the gallantry award winners.
- Around 8 lakh students from 4,788 schools participated in this event and shared their inspirational stories through essays, poems, drawings, and multimedia presentations.
- National level Committee has selected total of 25 students, termed super 25, as winners of this project.
- The winners will get a cash prize of 10,000 rupees each and will be felicitated on 25th January 2022.
- This project was launched as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
2. Harpreet Chandi becomes first Indian-origin woman to trek solo to South Pole.
- Indian-Origin British Sikh army officer Harpreet Chandi has become the first Indian woman to reach solo at South Pole.
- Harpreet Chandi is also known as ‘Polar Preet’. She created history by completing the expedition without any support.
- She became the third-fastest female to complete the expedition of the South pole after Davidsson and Hannah McKeand.
- She also became first person to reach the south pole on foot in two years. She covered an average distance of about 17 miles per day.
- She completed her expedition of 700 miles (1127 kilometers) in 40 days. She travelled solo in the temperature of 50 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of around 60mph.
- Harpreet Chandi is Clinical Training Officer in Medical regiment.
- Colonel J.K. Bajaj is the first Indian to reach the South Pole.
- Roald Amundsen is the first man to reach the South Polecom.
3. Zhang Ming appointed as Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
- Zhang Ming, a senior Chinese diplomat, has been named as Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
- Zhang has taken over from Vladimir Norov, Uzbekistan's former Foreign Minister, on January 1, 2022 for a three-year term.
- He served until recently as China's ambassador to the European Union.
- China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is headquartered in Beijing.
- The SCO was founded by the Presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan at a summit in Shanghai in 2001. It is the successor of Shanghai five.
- In 2017, India and Pakistan joined as permanent members of SCO.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
4. Forensic Science Laboratory won SKOCH award for combating crime against children.
- The SKOCH Award in the Silver category has been given to the Forensic Science Laboratory for its work towards combating crime and violence against children.
- The award was given out at the 78th SKOCH Summit on January 6, 2022.
- The "State of Governance" was the theme of the summit.
- Deepa Verma, the Director of the Rohini-based lab, has accepted the award on behalf of lab.
- FSL is a scientific department and a participant in the criminal justice system whose mission is to investigate incidents of crime and violence against children who have suffered physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm.
- SKOCH Award:
- It was established in 2003.
- It is the highest civilian honour of the country presented by an independent organization.
Topic: Indian Economy
5. For FY22, the government has projected GDP growth to be 9.2%.
- India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 9.2% in FY 2021-2022, as compared to a contraction of 7.3 percent in FY 2020-21.
- It is being expected mainly due to an improvement in the performance of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
- This is below the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) and International Monetary Fund's (IMF) projections of 9.5 percent.
- In 2021-22, real GVA is expected to reach 135.22 lakh crore, against 124.53 lakh crore in 2020-21, showing an 8.6% increase.
- The nominal GDP growth rate for FY22 is expected to be 17.6%.
- The World Bank has forecasted an 8.3% growth rate, whereas the OECD has forecasted a 9.7% growth rate.
- Meanwhile, the Economic Survey released by the Finance Ministry in February 2021 predicted an 11 percent growth rate for 2021-22.
- The growth projection for India is higher than the 8% projected for China.
- According to NSO forecasts, GDP in actual terms in 2021-22 will surpass the pre-COVID figure of Rs 145.69 lakh crore in 2019-20.
- According to figures provided by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on November 30, the economy grew by 8.4% in the second quarter of the current fiscal year (FY22).
6. TCS bagged the second phase of the Passport Seva Program contract.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has selected Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to implement the Passport Seva Program's second phase. It is the country's largest mission-critical e-governance program.
- TCS will continue to manage the project for another nine and a half years, which can be extended for two more years.
- Though the company did not disclose the contract's financial details, it has been speculated that the agreement could be worth Rs 6,000-8,000 crore.
- TCS' Passport Seva Program, which began in 2008, transformed the delivery of passport-related services by digitizing processes and established global benchmarks for timeliness, transparency, and reliability.
- TCS and MEA have since opened 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs), 428 post office PSKs, and 36 passport offices.
- A few months back, foreign missions and embassies were also integrated into the TCS system.
- Tata Consultancy Services is an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company.
- Its headquarters is in Mumbai, Maharashtra and its largest campus is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- Its CEO is Rajesh Gopinathan.
- It was founded on 1 April 1968.
Topic: National News
7. DPIIT to organize Startup India Innovation Week.
- Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will organize Startup India Innovation Week from January 10th to 16th, 2022.
- Startup India Innovation Week is designed to showcase the spread and depth of entrepreneurship across India.
- Startup India Innovation Week celebration aims to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
- DPIIT is celebrating Startup India Innovation Week to highlight exemplary growth of the startup ecosystem in India.
- Indian startup ecosystem is currently the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world.
- Startup India initiative was launched on 16 January 2016. DPIIT is the implementing agency of the initiative.
8. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flags in first multi-dimensional adventure sports expedition team of India.
- Rajnath Singh has flagged in the first multi-dimensional adventure sports expedition team of India on 7 January 2022 in New Delhi.
- The expedition was conducted by the National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) in France.
- The expedition was conducted in November 2021. The team was led by Director NIMAS Colonel Sarfaraz Singh.
- The team comprised of 12 people – eight Army personnel and four youths of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The expedition team conducted over 250 kilometres of winter trekking in the Alps Mountain Ranges, including Tour De Mont Blanc trek covering the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.
- The expedition was flagged-off by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt on October 27, 2021.
- National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS):
- It is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Defence.
- It is located in Dirang of the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
- It was set up in 2013. Colonel Sarfaraz Singh is its director.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Indian Polity
9. Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of OBC quota.
- The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the 27% reservation for OBC in NEET UG and PG. 10% EWS reservation will also apply for this year’s admission as per existing criteria.
- Supreme Court also said that criteria of ₹8 lakh gross annual family income limit for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) would be applicable for this year’s admission.
- On November 30, 2021, the Government had constituted Pandey Committee to review the criteria for the EWS quota.
- It recommended that the existing EWS criteria should be retained for NEET admissions in 2021-2022.
- Reservation in India:
- Reservation for Other Backwards Classes (OBC) was introduced based on the recommendation of the Mandal Commission Report (1991).
- Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act had introduced a 10% EWS quota on 14 January 2019.
- Article 15 (6) is added to provide reservations to economically weaker sections for admission in educational institutions.
- The government had enacted the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 to provide 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in all central higher educational institutions.
Topic: International News
10. Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates formally join Security Council as non-permanent members.
- Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates have become new non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
- Albania has become a new non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the first time.
- India has begun its term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the eighth time on 1 January 2021.
- Non-Permanent members of the Security Council are elected by the 193-member General Assembly for a two-year term.
- More than 50 of the UN’s 193 member countries have never been elected to the council since it was formed.
- United Nations Security Council (UNSC):
- Its main function is to ensure international peace and security.
- It was established on 24 October 1945.
- The 15-member Security Council is the most powerful body of the United Nations. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the five permanent members of the Security Council.
- The headquarters of the United Nations Security Council is located in New York, United States.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
11. Central Government announced 3rd National Water Awards.
- Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has announced the winners of 3rd National Water Awards for 2020.
- A total of 57 awards have been given in 11 categories including Best States, District, Panchayat, and Best Industries awards.
- Uttar Pradesh has got first prize in the Best State category. Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu received second and third prizes respectively.
- Govt. Girls Hr. Secondary School, Kaveripattinam received the first prize in the “Best School category”.
- “Best Industry” award has been given to Welspun India Textile Ltd., Gujarat.
- Panchgachiya MDTW WUA, Hooghly has been awarded the “Best Water User Association” award.
- ITC Limited, Kolkata, received the “Best Industry for CSR activities” award.
- National Water Awards:
- It was launched by the Jal Shakti Ministry in 2018.
- It is given to recognize outstanding work and efforts made by States, Districts, individuals and organizations for attaining the vision of a Jal Samridh Bharat.
- 3rd National Water Awards 2020 list is given below:
Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh
“Best District” – North Zone
“Best District”– South Zone
East Champaran, Bihar
“Best District”– East Zone
Indore, Madhya Pradesh
“Best District”– West Zone
“Best District”– North-East Zone
Dhaspad, Almora, Uttarakhand
“Best Village Panchayat”– North Zone
Yelerampura Panchayat, Tumakuru District, Karnataka
“Best Village Panchayat”– South Zone
Telari Panchayat, Gaya District, Bihar
“Best Village Panchayat”– East Zone
Takhatgadh, Sabarkantha, Gujarat
“Best Village Panchayat”– West Zone
Sialsir, Sirchip, Mizoram
“Best Village Panchayat”– North-East Zone
Vapi Urban Local Body, Gujarat
“Best Urban Local Body”
Mission Paani (Network 18)
“Best Media (Print & Electronic)”
Govt. Girls Hr. Secondary School, Kaveripattinam, Tamil Nadu
Welspun India Textile Ltd., Gujarat
Panchgachiya MDTW WUA, Hooghly, West Bengal
“Best Water User Association”
ITC Limited, Kolkata, West Bengal
“Best Industry for CSR activities”
12. India and five other nations commenced anti-submarine exercise with US.
- India along with the navies of Australia, Canada, Japan, United States, and South Korea started the ‘Sea Dragon 22’ exercise on 5 January 2022.
- The ‘Sea Dragon 22’ is an anti-submarine warfare training exercise of 270 hours.
- Two US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft and Trident joined forces with five other countries in the exercise.
- This exercise will give an opportunity to practice ASW tactics, techniques, and procedures with allies.
- It will help pilots and flight officers in improving their strategies and tactics.
- India, Japan, Australia, and the United States are part of the QUAD and take part in the Malabar exercise.
Topic: Books and Authors
13. Jayanta Ghosal authored a book titled ‘Mamata: Beyond 2021’.
- Harper Collins will release a book titled ‘Mamata: Beyond 2021’.
- It is written by Jayanta Ghosal, a political Journalist, and translated by Arunava Sinha.
- It will be published on 24 January 2022.
- The book gives insight that how Mamata Banerjee was successful in projecting herself as the 'beti of Bengal'.
- The book gives information that how Mamata Banerjee won the West Bengal election of 2021.
- Mamata Banerjee has become the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third consecutive time. She is the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal.
14. Bank of Baroda appointed Shafali Verma as its brand ambassador.
- Bank of Baroda has roped Indian cricketer Shafali Verma as its brand ambassador.
- Shafali Verma is the youngest cricketer to represent India in all three formats of international cricket.
- Mithila Palkar has become brand ambassador of ‘EatFit’.
- ‘ITC Charmis’ has announced Kiara Advani as its new brand ambassador.
- ‘Healthquad’ has announced Pat Cummins as its brand ambassador.