Current Affairs December 11th 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

Human Rights Day: Dec 10

  • Human Rights Day is observed by the international community on December 10 every year. 
  • It commemorates the day when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 
  • This year’s theme is about ‘Equality’ that refers to Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
  • December 10 every year is observed as International Human Rights Day. On this day in 1996, South African President Nelson Mandela signed into law a new constitution for South Africa.

  • United Nations General Assembly also known as UNGA adopted the UDHR i.e Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the year 1948 on this very day.
  • This was adopted with an agenda to eradicate the feeling of alienation from any person’s life due to the colour of his/her skin, the background of their community or culture, etc.
  • The movement gained popularity instantly and almost 200,000 human rights stamps were ordered in advance from the United Nations Postal Administration in the year 1952.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

Power Ministry celebrates Energy Conservation Week under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

  • Power Ministry is celebrating Energy Conservation Week under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav from 8th to 14th December
  • Various activities are being undertaken by Power CPSUs as part of the celebrations.
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has been organizing National Level Painting Competitions on Energy Conservation for school children.
  • This year, the theme for the competition is ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Energy Efficient India” and ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Cleaner Planet’.
  • The State level painting competition is being organized from 1st to 10th December in all 36 States and Union Territories of the country, and it will culminate to a National Level Painting on 12th December at New Delhi.
  • The winners of the National level competition will be awarded on the occasion of National Energy Conservation Day on 14th December.

PM Modi to inaugurate Saryu Canal National Project in Uttar Pradesh

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh and inaugurate the Saryu Nahar National Project.
  • The work on the project started in 1978 but due to lack of continuity of budgetary support, interdepartmental coordination, and adequate monitoring, it got delayed and was not completed even after nearly four decades.
  • Prime Minister’s vision for farmer welfare and empowerment, and his commitment to prioritize long pending projects of national importance, brought much-needed focus on the project. Consequently, in 2016, the project was brought under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the target to complete it in a time-bound manner.
  • The renewed focus on the project has resulted in the project being completed in only about four years.
  • The Saryu Nahar Project has been built with a total cost of more than nine thousand 800 crore rupees, out of which more than four thousand 600 crore rupees were provisioned in the last four years.
  • The project also involves the interlinking of five rivers – Ghaghara, Saryu, Rapti, Banganga, and Rohini to ensure optimum usage of water resources of the region. 
  • The project will provide assured water for irrigation of over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers of over six thousand 200 villages.
  • It will benefit nine districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh namely – Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gorakhpur, and Maharajganj. 
  • The farmers of the region will now immensely benefit from the upgraded irrigation potential
  • They will now be able to grow crops on a larger scale and maximize the agri-potential of the region.

70% Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) processing achieved under Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban

  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) was launched on 2nd October 2014 with the objective of making all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the country Open Defecation Free (ODF), scientific management of all Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated therein and change in behaviour.
  • Under SBM-U, out of 4,372 ULBs across the country, 4,371 have been certified ODF, exceptfor one ULB of Purulia in West Bengal. Processing of MSW has increased from 18 per cent in 2014 to 70 per cent in 2021.
  • Through a Jan Andolan approach, there is perceptible change in behaviour towards swachhata in urban areas.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM-U) 2.0 has been launched on 1st October, 2021 with a vision of achieving 100 per cent ‘Garbage Free’, status for all cities.
  • The following specific objectives are targeted to be achieved under SBM-U 2.0.
  1. Ensuring cleanliness and hygiene in public places to make all cities clean and garbage free, with 100% scientific processing of MSW.
  2. Reducing air pollution arising out of SWM activities, through effective management of C&D waste, and mechanical sweeping.
  • Phased reduction in use of single-use plastic.
  1. Remediation of all legacy dumpsites.

About AMRUT:

  • Under the first phase of Mission AMRUT, launched on 25th June, 2015 in 500 cities, the objective was to improve the sewerage coverage and septage management and providing safe drinking water universally, in all ULBs with population of one lakh or more (as per Census 2011), all Capital cities, all Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) cities, identified cities on the stem of the main rivers, hill states, islands and tourist destinations.

Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has participates in G-20 Seminar on “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”

  • Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has participated virtually from New Delhi in the G20 International Seminar hosted in Bali by the G20 Presidency of Indonesia.
  • G20’s theme for the year, “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”, the Finance Minister stressed on the fact that for a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive recovery of the global economy, it is imperative to ensure collective progress of all countries.
  • Towards achieving this goal, the critical role of multilateralism and collective action.
  • Sitharaman also underlined the importance of Inclusion, Investment, Innovation and Institutions to support the path of global recovery.
  • The finance minister emphasised on the importance of ensuring affordable and equitable access to vaccines and therapeutics to bridge the divergences being witnessed in the global economic recovery.
  • In this context, Smt. Sitharaman highlighted that so far India has administered over 1.25 billion doses of vaccines and supplied more than 72 million vaccine doses to over 90 countries, including by way of grant thereby reflecting India’s commitment to co-ordinated global action.

“Main Bhi Digital 3.0” campaign aimed at digital onboarding of Street Vendors who are provided loans under PM SVANidhi Scheme

  • Digital on boarding and training of Street Vendors (SVs) is an integral part of PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbharNidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme.Lending Institutions (LIs) have been instructed to issue a durable QR Code & UPI ID at the time of disbursement and train the beneficiaries in conduct of digital transactions.
  • In order to give further impetus to the digital onboarding and training of beneficiaries, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) jointly launched ‘Main Bhi Digital 3.0’, to complement the efforts of LIs in adoption of digital transactions by the PM SVANidhi beneficiaries.
  • Main Bhi Digital 3.0″ campaign is aimed at digital onboarding of Street Vendors (SVs)who have already been provided loans under PM SVANidhi Scheme.
  • An Integrated IT Platform has been developed for implementation of this Scheme. The application process is fully online. SVs can apply for loan directly through PM SVANidhiPortal.
  • The application can also be submitted at Municipal Offices and Common Service Centres (CSCs).
  • In addition, the SVs can approach municipal functionaries or representatives of Lending Institutions to apply through PM SVANidhi mobile App.

Government sets target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030

  • The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Rameswar in the Lok Sabha has informed that the Government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030 from about 6.7% now.
  •  To achieve the target, following initiatives have been taken: –
  1. Expansion of National Gas Grid to about 35,000 Km from current 20,000 Km.
  2. Expansion of CGD network -11th CGD round launched on 17.09.2021. After completion of
    11th city gas distribution (CGD) round, 96% of India’s population and 86% of its geographic
    area would be covered under CGD network.
  • Setting up of LNG Terminals.
  1. Allocation of domestic gas to CNG (T) / PNG (D) in no cut category.
  2. Allowing marketing and pricing freedom to gas produced from high pressure/high
    temperature areas, deep water & ultra-deep water and from coal seams.
  3. SATAT initiatives to promote Bio-CNG.
  • Considering the demand of natural gas across sectors and the possibility of price of LNG coming down in future, current high prices do not threaten India’s goal to boost the use of gas in its energy mix.

Education Ministry has launched mobile app called Bhasha Sangam

  • The Education Ministry has launched a mobile app called Bhasha Sangam in order to help people acquire basic conversation ability in languages other than one’s mother tongue to at least 75 lakh people.
  • This language learning initiative has been taken under Ek Bharat -Shrestha Bharat Programme as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • The App has more than 100 sentences of common usage, both in text and audio format, in 22 Indian languages.
  • During the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav period, the Ministry aims to teach 100 sentences in an Indian language other than ones mother tongue to at least 75 lakh people.
  • In addition, another mobile app for Ek Bharat -Shreshta Bharat quiz has also been launched.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE NEWS

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh to inaugurate 7th International Science Festival of India in Goa

  • The 7th International Science Festival of India will kickstart in Panjim, Goa.
  • The festival will be inaugurated by the union minister for Science and Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Minister Shripad Naik, and other dignitaries will be present.
  • The festival is being organized in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Geology, Department of Science and Technology, Vigyan Bharati, National Institute of Polar and Marine Research, and Government of Goa.
  • Over 10,000 students from all over the country are expected to participate in this four-day festival, which will take place in hybrid mode — virtual mode and offline mode. 
  • Last year, due to the pandemic, the festival was conducted in virtual mode.
  • The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Celebrating Creativity in Science’.
  • This festival will host 12 events, including science and technology exhibitions.
  • Since India is celebrating 75 years of Independence, the various programmes will fall under the five categories, namely Freedom Struggle, ideas -75, actions-75, resolve-75, and achievements -75.

About GOA:

  • Capital: Panaji
  • Chief minister: Pramod Sawant
  • Governor: P.S. Sreedharan Pillai
  • Rivers: Terekhol, Mandovi, Baga, Zuari, Colval, Saleri, Mandre, Harmal, Sal, Talpona and Galjibag.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal launches ‘Meghalayan Age’ store in New Delhi

  • Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal launched the ‘Meghalayan Age’ store in New Delhi.
  • Shawls, Bamboo, Handicrafts, and various other unique products of the Northeast will have a huge market not only for visitors from India but also from across the world.
  • Complimenting Meghalaya’s Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for setting up the store, Mr. Goyal, it will provide local artisans and more than 43 thousand weavers of the state a window to showcase the rich culture, heritage, art, and ethnic products of Meghalaya.

About Delhi:

  • Chief minister: Arvind Kejriwal
  • Lieutenant Governor: Anil Baijal

NITI Aayog to establish 1000 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the NITI Aayog will be establishing 1000 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) of which 187 will be established by the end of this financial year.
  • The ATL is an initiative to boost cognitive development in children where they are given avenues to experiment and widen their understanding of phenomena on scientific ideas. 
  • Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to take stock of arrangements for opening ATLs in various Educational Institutions of J&K.
  • Worth to mention, from 187 of this year’s target, 31 ATLs are being established across Government schools of the UT, whereas 50 will come up in various educational institutions including KVs, JNVs, and private schools.
  • The process for establishing the remaining 106 labs will also be initiated shortly.
  • The CS directed the School Education Department to fix timelines for establishing these laboratories in various districts of the UT and also emphasize the nomination of trainers/champions against suitable incentives.

About NITI Aayog:

  • Objectives: Foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India
  • Formed: 1 January 2015
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Chairperson: Narendra Modi

Outdoor Stadium at Chayangtajo in East Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh

  • In order to develop and promote sports in the region and also to encourage and promote the highly talented youths of the area to rise not only in the national but also in the international level as well, North Eastern Council, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) have sanctioned a project for construction of Outdoor Stadium at Chayangtajo in East Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The project was sanctioned in 2015 for a project cost of Rs. 392.34 Lakhs, out of which NEC share was 90% of the project cost and remaining 10% was borne by the State Government.
  • The project was implemented by the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.

About Arunachal Pradesh

  • Capital: Itanagar
  • Chief minister: Pema Khandu
  • Governor: B. D. Mishra
  • Rivers: The Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND ECONOMY

Federal Bank and Star Health Insurance tie up for bancassurance

  • Federal Bank has partnered with Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd as a corporate agent to provide health insurance products to the lender’s 8.9 million customers spread over 1,291 banking outlets across the country.
  • The bank’s customers can avail benefits of Star Health’s retail products and group affinity products through the bank’s various distribution channels

About Federal Bank:

  • Headquarters: Aluva, Kerala
  • CEO: Shyam Srinivasan
  • Founded: 23 April 1931
  • Tagline: Your Perfect Banking Partner

LIC gets RBI approval to hike stake in IndusInd Bank to up to 9.99%

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase its stake in IndusInd Bank to up to 9.99 per cent of the total issued and paid-up capital of the private sector lender.
  • LIC at present holds 4.95 per cent stake in the bank.
  • The bank has received an intimation from the RBI on December 9, 2021, that it has granted its approval to LIC, shareholder of the bank, who holds 4.95 per cent of the total issued and paid-up capital of the bank, to acquire up to 9.99 per cent of the total issued and paid-up capital of the bank
  • The approval is valid for a period of one year that is up to December 8, 2022.
  • Previously, LIC had also received clearance from RBI to increase its stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank to 9.99 per cent.

About LIC:

  • Chairperson: M R Kumar
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founded: 1 September 1956
  • Slogan: Your welfare is our responsibility

Karnataka Bank bags two DigiDhan award from MeitY

  • Karnataka Bank has been conferred with two DigiDhan awards instituted by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • According to a statement, the bank received these awards for achieving the target with the highest percentage in BHIM-UPI transactions under the private sector bank category consecutively for two years – 2019-20 and 2020-21.
  • The bank has always stood ahead of the time in adopting the latest digital technology to its products in order to provide the best-in-class service to its customers.
  • The bank’s commitment to promote digital payments in the country and a less-cash economy has been rewarded through this award from the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Reliance Ind, Tata Consultancy, HDFC Bank among most valuable companies: Burgundy Private Hurun India

  • Reliance Industries is the country’s most valuable company according to the Burgundy Private Hurun India 500 companies list.
  • With a value of 16.7-lakh crore, Reliance Industries is India’s most valuable company, followed by Tata Consultancy Services with 13.1-lakh crore and HDFC Bank with 9.1-lakh crore
  • Infosys, ICICI Bank, Housing Development Finance Corporation, Bajaj Finance, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bharti Airtel and Wipro are the rest of the firms that make the top 10.
  • The findings are part of the first edition of the Burgundy Private Hurun India 500 by Burgundy Private, Axis Bank’s private banking business, and Hurun India.
  • With a total value of $3 trillion, more than India’s current GDP, they make up the backbone of India’s economy. Together, these 500 companies had combined sales of $770 billion, and employed 6.9 million staff, which is more than the working population of United Arab Emirates
  • Women continue to see lower representation and make up just 16 per cent of the board of directors from the 2021 Burgundy Private Hurun India 500.
  • The country’s financial capital — Mumbai — had the largest number of firms on the list at 167, followed by Bengaluru with 52 and Chennai with 38.

Bank of Baroda signs MoU with Centrum Housing Finance

  • Bank of Baroda (BoB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Centrum Housing Finance (CHFL) for sourcing and financing housing loan borrowers under co-lending model.
  • Harshadkumar T. Solanki, General Manager – Mortgage & Other Retail Assets, Bank of Baroda, with this tie-up the bank will be able to penetrate deep into markets in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities at competitive rates.
  • Bank of Baroda would be able to garner housing loan business to the extent of 1,000 crore in one financial year
  • The collaborative approach involved in co-lending helps maximise credit flow to underserved and unserved segments.

About BOB:

  • Headquarters: Vadodara
  • Founder: Sayajirao Gaekwad III
  • Founded: 20 July 1908.
  • MD & CEO: Sanjiv Chadha

Paytm Payments Bank receives Scheduled Bank status from RBI

  • Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL), an associate entity of Paytm, has received Scheduled Bank status from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and has been included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • Being a Scheduled Payments Bank, Paytm Payments Bank can now explore new business opportunities. 
  • The bank can participate in government and other large corporations issued Request for Proposals (RFP), primary auctions, fixed-rate and variable rate repos, and reverse repos, along with participation in Marginal Standing Facility. 
  • Paytm Payments Bank would now also be eligible to partner in government-run financial inclusion schemes.
  • As per RBI Act 1934, banks satisfying the central bank that its affairs are not being conducted in a manner detrimental to the interests of its depositors are included in the second schedule.
  • Paytm Payments Bank has emerged as one of the largest enablers of digital payments in the country with its payment instruments such as Paytm Wallet, Paytm FASTag, net banking and Paytm UPI.
  • In the last fiscal year, Paytm Payments Bank has also become the largest issuer and acquirer of FASTags in the country.

About Paytm:

  • CEO: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
  • Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
  • Founded: August 2010
  • Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOUS AND AGREEMENT

WhiteHat Jr ties up with Microsoft India to offer game-based coding courses

  • WhiteHat Jr has announced that it has collaborated with Microsoft India to provide students and teachers access to personalised and immersive learning experiences with Minecraft.
  • The start-up will offer a Code with Minecraft course for students on its platform.
  •  As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will also help upskill WhiteHat Jr educators through special workshops delivered by the Minecraft Education Edition Teacher Academy.
  • The Code with Minecraft course is available in multiple packages for students aged 6-14 years.
  •  Students start with game-based learning on Minecraft, where they can build their own game heroes, game worlds and play multiplayer games within Minecraft’s evolving environment, while learning foundational coding concepts such as commands, sequences, variables, loops and conditionals. 
  • As students’ progress through the curriculum, they will learn advanced coding concepts and languages.
  • For years, Minecraft has fascinated children across the world and be able to collaborate with Microsoft India and bring such engaging learning experiences to children

About Microsoft:

  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • Founded: 4 April 1975
  • Headquarters: Washington, United States
  • Chairperson: John W. Thompson
  • Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen

Samunnati Foundation partners IIT Madras Incubation Cell to support agri-startups

  • Samunnati Foundation, the non-profit subsidiary of Samunnati Financial Intermediation and Services Pvt Ltd has partnered IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) to encourage innovative technologies in agriculture and allied areas, promote agritech startups and sustainable agriculture.
  • The partnership will provide incubation support to entrepreneurial ventures, prepare position papers and propose policy recommendations.
  • The key areas and technologies to be explored by the partnership include promotion of alternative crops like millets, adoption of green agricultural machinery, solar pumps, finance related technology products, electric vehicles for agri transport among others.
  • Both entities will also focus on developing and promotion of food processing technologies and support services for agricultural community through enabling purchase and sale of produce, finance, insurance against price & weather fluctuations, agricultural advisories, transport & agricultural machinery hire and labour hire among others

Airtel partners with Invest India for Startup Innovation Challenge

  • Bharti Airtel (Airtel), has launched ‘Airtel India Startup Innovation Challenge’ in partnership with Invest India, inviting early-stage technology companies to demonstrate differentiated solutions areas like 5G, Cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) and digital entertainment.
  • The top 10 winners will win cash prizes, get access to Airtel’s Innovation Lab and will be able to leverage Airtel’s advanced technology infrastructure to scale up their use cases and even co-innovate with Airtel’s engineering teams,
  • A select few of the 10 startups will be offered to be on-boarded onto the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program and hyper-scale their company with Airtel.
  • Under this programme, startups gain access to Airtel’s core platform strengths of data, distribution, network and payments.
  • Further, startups get access to Airtel’s global partner ecosystem and advisory from Airtel’s executive team

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION

Brightcom Group appoints former Tata group executive as independent director

  • Former Tata group executive Nilendu Chakraborty has been appointed as an independent director of Brightcom Group.
  • Chakraborty has a vast experience of over two decades in the corporate finance and controls, especially in a leadership role of overseeing 1,000+ employees in multi-geography, multi-industry enterprises.
  • Chakraborty is renowned for conceptualising, developing and executing new business lines.
  • He is a natural with contract negotiations and building excellent client relationships in the ecosystem.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS & CONFERENCES

NMCG and c-Ganga organize 6th India Water Impact Summit

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) alongwith the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (c-Ganga) are organizing the 6th edition of the India Water Impact Summit (IWIS) from 9th December to 14th December 2021.
  • The summit is being organized in a hybrid mode – online and physically at the NMCG office, New Delhi and IIT, Kanpur.
  • The IWIS 2021 is a five-day event and this year’s theme is ‘River Resources Allocation “Planning and Management at the Regional Level.
  • The Summit will be inaugurated by Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Hon’ble Minister of Jal Shakti.

Focus of the Summit:

  • To synchronize river conservation with long term developmental needs by river resource budgeting.
  • The summit has various sessions on Science, Technology & Policy, Finance and Economics, Technology & Innovation, International and Policy, Law & Governance.
  • The plenary session will majorly focus on River Resources Allocation – Planning and Management at the Regional Level by including upper, middle, lower, and deltaic regions on each day respectively.
  • The IWIS 2021 will provide a knowledge enriching platform to all stakeholders and aim to discuss, debate and develop the model solutions for some of the important challenges before not only Ganga but all  rivers and the water sector in India.
  • It would be in collaboration with the European Union, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, USA, UK, Australia and the BRICS countries.

Note:

  • The 5th edition of the India Water Impact Summit (IWIS) was successfully organized by the NMCG and c-Ganga on the theme of comprehensive analysis and holistic management of local rivers and water bodies with the focus on Arth Ganga – River Conservation Synchronized Development.

About Ministry of Jal Shakti:

  • Founded: May 2019
  • Cabinet Minister : Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
  • Minister of State : Prahlad Singh Patel, Bishweswar Tudu

About National Mission for Clean Ganga:

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
  • It acted as the implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986.

Objective:

  • To reduce pollution and ensure rejuvenation of the Ganga River.
  • Director General: Rajiv Ranjan Mishra

About c-Ganga:

  • Established: 2016
  • Headquarters: Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK), Uttar Pradesh
  • It is a Centre of Excellence for data collection, the creation and dissemination of knowledge and information for the sustainable development of Ganga River Basin.
  • The centre acts in the capacity of a comprehensive think-tank to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR), Government of India, in its stated goals and objectives vis-à-vis the Ganga River Basin.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA launches X-ray telescope to study black holes

  • US space agency NASA launched its new X-ray Mission to unlock the secrets of extreme cosmic objects.
  • The mission lifted off aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States.
  • The project is a collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency.

Purpose:

  • To measure X-rays released by black holes, neutron stars, supernova remnants and other high-energy objects.
  • The spacecraft includes three identical space telescopes with sensitive detectors capable of measuring the polarisation of cosmic X-rays,
  • IXPE is NASA’s first mission to explore the polarisation signatures of a variety of X-ray sources.

About NASA:

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Founded: 29 July 1958, United States
  • Administered by: Steve Jurczyk, Bill Nelson

South Korean Defence Ministry unveils model for hypersonic weapon prototype

  • The South Korean Defense Ministry has unveiled a model for a hypersonic weapon prototype named Hycore.
  • Seoul is reportedly aiming to begin testing in 2022.
  • The missile’s basic structure, including its two-stage solid-fueled rocket and scramjet engine.
  • The weapon, which bears a stark resemblance to Boeing’s X-51 Waverider experimental hypersonic vehicle.
  • Hypersonic weapons are capable of traveling faster than Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, and have maneuvering capabilities that together with their extreme speed render them almost impervious to most air defense systems.
  • They can be launched from the surface, from a submarine, or by aircraft, and often have extremely long ranges.

About South Korea:

  • Capital: Seoul
  • Currency: South Korean won
  • President: Moon Jae-in

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS NEWS

India wins 41 medals at Asian Youth Para Games

  • Indian para-athletes won 41 medals ( 12 gold, 15 silver, and 14 bronze medals ) at the Asian Youth Para Games held in Riffa city.
  • Over 700 athletes from around 30 countries participated in the continental youth showpiece event that took place from December 2 to 6.
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Iran 44 53 25 122
2 Thailand 33 25 17 75
3 Japan 30 11 14 55
4 South Korea 14 11 22 47
5 India 12 16 13 41
6 Indonesia 12 11 13 36
7 Uzbekistan 11 1 4 16
8 Hong Kong 9 11 12 32
9 Iraq 8 6 13 27
10 Chinese Taipei 5 3 3 11

 

  • The athletes competed across nine sports – Para athletics, Para badminton, boccia, goalball, Para powerlifting, Para swimming, Para table tennis, Para taekwondo, and wheelchair basketball.

Asian Youth Para Games 2021 Medal Tally and Table:

Medals Won by India At The Asian Youth Para Games:

 

Medal Name Sport Event
Gold Kashish Lakra Athletics Women’s Club Throw F51
Gold Vikas Bhatiwal Athletics Men’s Discus Throw F46
Gold Praveen Kumar Athletics Men’s High Jump T44
Gold Vikram Singh Athletics Men’s Javelin Throw F46
Gold Karandeep Kumar Athletics Men’s Long Jump T46
Gold Meet Tadhani Athletics Men’s 100 m T13
Gold Meet Tadhani Athletics Men’s 200 m T13
Gold Ishan Khandelwal Athletics Men’s 1500 m T11
Gold Sanjana Kumari Badminton Women’s Singles SL3
Gold Nithya Srimurthy Sivan Badminton Women’s Singles SH6
Gold Palak Kohli Sanjana Kumari Badminton Women’s Doubles SL3-SL4
Gold Abhijit Sakhuja Nehal Sakhuja Badminton Mixed Doubles SL3-SL4
Silver Rahul Athletics Men’s High Jump T43
Silver Siddarth Kahar Athletics Men’s Javelin Throw F35
Silver Praveen Kumar Athletics Men’s Long Jump T44
Silver Darshan Soni Athletics Men’s Long Jump T47
Silver Vikash Bhatiwal Athletics Men’s Shotput F46
Silver Vikash Bhatiwal Athletics Women’s Shotput F20
Silver Maafi Athletics Men’s 400 m T45
Silver Rahul Jograiya Badminton Men’s Singles SL4
Silver Hardik Makkar Badminton Men’s Singles SU5
Silver Jyothi Jyothi Badminton Women’s Singles SL3
Silver Karan Paneer Ruthick Raghupati Badminton Men’s Singles SU5
Silver Jyothi Jyothi with

( Sana Baghrera of Iran )

Badminton Mixed Doubles SL3-SU5
Silver Hardik Makkar Sanajana Kumari Badminton Mixed Doubles SL3-SL4
Silver Adithya Kuljarni Nithya Sivan Badminton Mixed Doubles SH6
Silver Devanshi Satlija Swimming Women’s 100 Breaststroke SB9
Silver Rahul Jograiya Powerlifting Men’s -72 kg
Bronze Karthik Krishna Athletics Men’s Discus Throw F37
Bronze Laxit Athletics Men’s Javelin Throw F54
Bronze Laxit Athletics Men’s Shotput F54
Bronze Sanajay R Neelam Athletics Men’s Shotput F11
Bronze Medha Jayant Athletics Women’s Shotput F32-33
Bronze Darshan Soni Athletics Men’s 100 m T47
Bronze Biju Bennett George Athletics Men’s 400 m T46
Bronze Palak Kohli Badminton Women’s Singles SU5
Bronze Hardik Thakkar Naveen Sivakumar Badminton Men’s Doubles SU5
Bronze Santhiyan

 

Vishwanathan with ( Mekanboev Shabnam of Tajikistan )

Badminton Women’s Doubles SL3-SU5
Bronze Nehal Gupta Palak Kohli Badminton Mixed Doubles SL3-SU5
Bronze Devanshi Satlija Swimming Women’s 100 Butterfly S9
Bronze Devanshi Satlija Swimming Women’s 100 m Freestyle S9

About Asian Youth Para Games 2021:

  • The 2021 Asian Youth Para Games also known as the 4th Asian Youth Para Games is the 4th edition of multi-sport events for Asian athletes with different abilities held in  Manama, Bahrain.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES

Serum Institute’s executive director Dr Suresh Jadhav passes away

  • On Dec 08, 2021, Serum Institute of India (SII) Executive Director Dr. Suresh Jadhav passed away at the age of 72.

About Dr. Suresh Jadhav:

  • Dr. Suresh Jadhav was Born in a village in eastern Maharashtra
  • Dr. Jadhav was instrumental in the development of the Covi shield vaccine on Covid-19.
  • He joined SII, Pune in 1979, and has held the position of Executive Director since 1992.
  • He was instrumental in setting up the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturing Network.
  • He represented Serum Institute of India on the GAVI board and was also instrumental in the liaison between the national and international regulatory authorities.
  • He played a pivotal role in getting WHO pre-qualifications of several products.
  • He was President of Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) for 5 years from 2004 to 2008, a Member of the DCVMN Steering Committee since its inception in 2000 AD and responsible for making DCVMN a globally recognised entity.

About Serum Institute of India:

  • CEO: Adar Poonawalla
  • Chairman & MD : Cyrus S. Poonawalla
  • Founded: 1966
  • Headquarters: Pune, India
  • SII is an Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals company.
  • It is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines.

UNION GOVERNMENT SCHEME

Pradhan Mantra Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Pension Scheme

Launched on:

  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme was launched on 5 march 2019 by the prime minister Narendra Modi

Ministry involved:

  • The scheme is under administrative control of Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • Minister of labour and employment – Bhupendra Yadav

About scheme:

  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan is a government scheme meant for old age protection and social security of Unorganized Workers (UW).
  • Unorganized Workers (UW) are mostly engaged as home-based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless laborers, own account workers, agricultural workers, construction workers, beedi workers, handloom workers, leather workers, audio- visual workers or workers in similar other occupations.
  • There are approximately 42 crore such Unorganized workers in the country.

Objective of the Scheme:

  • The scheme aims to offer financial security to people with no supportive economic facilities. The people working in unorganised sectors can open pension accounts and deposits money regularly.

Benefits:

  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme under which the subscriber would receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years and if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
  • On the maturity of the scheme, an individual will be entitled to obtain a monthly pension of Rs. 3000/-. The pension amount helps pension holders to aid their financial requirements.
  • The scheme is a tribute to the workers in the Unorganized sectors who contribute around 50 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • The applicants between the age group of 18 to 40 years will have to make monthly contributions ranging between Rs 55 to Rs 200 per month till they attain the age of 60.
  • Once the applicant attains the age of 60, he/ she can claim the pension amount. Every month a fixed pension amount gets deposited in the pension account of the respective individual.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • For Unorganized Worker (UW)
  • Entry age between 18 to 40 years
  • Monthly Income Rs 15000 or below

Applicant Should not be;

  • Engaged in Organized Sector (member of EPFO/NPS/ESIC)
  • An income tax payer

Applicant should possess;

  • Aadhaar card
  • Savings Bank Account / Jan Dhan account number with IFSC

Features of PM-SYM:

  • Minimum Assured Pension:Each subscriber under the PM-SYM, shall receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
  • Family Pension:During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
  • If a beneficiary has given regular contribution and died due to any cause (before age of 60 years), his/her spouse will be entitled to join and continue the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution or exit the scheme as per provisions of exit and withdrawal.

Enrolment agencies: 

  • The enrolment will be carried out by all the Common Services Centres.
  • The unorganised workers may visit their nearest CSC along with their Aadhar Card and Savings Bank account passbook/Jandhan account and get registered themselves for the Scheme

Facilitation Centres

  • All the branch offices of LIC, the offices of ESIC/EPFO and all Labour offices of Central and State Governments will facilitate the unorganised workers about the Scheme

Recent news about scheme

  • As on 25.11.2021, total 45, 77,295 (nearly 46 lakh) unorganized workers have been registered under this scheme, whereas in Uttar Pradesh 6, 36,275 workers of unorganized sector have been enrolled under the PM-SYM pension scheme.
  • All the States/UT Governments have been requested to popularize the scheme and mobilize the target groups/eligible workers for enrolment under the PM-SYM scheme. Most of the States/UT Governments have extended the support in implementation of PM-SYM Scheme and taken effective steps to mobilize the unorganized workers.
  • The Central Government has also taken several initiatives to increase the enrolment under PM-SYM Scheme such as periodic review of the progress of the scheme with States/UTs, publicity of the scheme through IEC activities, constitution of State Level Monitoring Committees (SLMC) and District Level Implementation Committees (DLIC) to ensure mobilization of beneficiaries through State Governments.

Daily CA On Dec 11:

  • Human Rights Day is observed by the international community on December 10 every year & the theme is about ‘Equality’ that refers to Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
  • The Power Ministry is celebrating Energy Conservation Week under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav from 8th to 14th December & the theme for the competition is ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Energy Efficient India” and ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Cleaner Planet’.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh and inaugurate the Saryu Nahar National Project.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) was launched on 2nd October 2014 with the objective of making all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the country Open Defecation Free (ODF), scientific management of all Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated therein and change in behaviour.
  • Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has participated virtually from New Delhi in the G20 International Seminar hosted in Bali by the G20 Presidency of Indonesia.
  • Digital on boarding and training of Street Vendors (SVs) is an integral part of PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbharNidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme.Lending Institutions (LIs) have been instructed to issue a durable QR Code & UPI ID at the time of disbursement and train the beneficiaries in conduct of digital transactions.
  • The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Rameswar in the Lok Sabha has informed that the Government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030 from about 6.7% now.
  • The Education Ministry has launched a mobile app called Bhasha Sangam in order to help people acquire basic conversation ability in languages other than one’s mother tongue to at least 75 lakh people.
  • Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh to inaugurate 7th International Science Festival of India in Goa & the theme of this year’s festival is ‘Celebrating Creativity in Science’.
  • Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal launched the ‘Meghalayan Age’ store in New Delhi.
  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the NITI Aayog will be establishing 1000 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) of which 187 will be established by the end of this financial year.
  • In order to develop and promote sports in the region and also to encourage and promote the highly talented youths of the area to rise not only in the national but also in the international level as well, North Eastern Council, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) have sanctioned a project for construction of Outdoor Stadium at Chayangtajo in East Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Federal Bank has partnered with Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd as a corporate agent to provide health insurance products to the lender’s 8.9 million customers spread over 1,291 banking outlets across the country.
  • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase its stake in IndusInd Bank to up to 9.99 per cent of the total issued and paid-up capital of the private sector lender.
  • Karnataka Bank has been conferred with two DigiDhan awards instituted by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • Reliance Industries is the country’s most valuable company according to the Burgundy Private Hurun India 500 companies list.
  • Bank of Baroda (BoB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Centrum Housing Finance (CHFL) for sourcing and financing housing loan borrowers under co-lending model.
  • Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL), an associate entity of Paytm, has received Scheduled Bank status from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and has been included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • WhiteHat Jr has announced that it has collaborated with Microsoft India to provide students and teachers access to personalised and immersive learning experiences with Minecraft.
  • Samunnati Foundation, the non-profit subsidiary of Samunnati Financial Intermediation and Services Pvt Ltd has partnered IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) to encourage innovative technologies in agriculture and allied areas, promote agritech startups and sustainable agriculture.
  • Bharti Airtel (Airtel), has launched ‘Airtel India Startup Innovation Challenge’ in partnership with Invest India, inviting early-stage technology companies to demonstrate differentiated solutions areas like 5G, Cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) and digital entertainment.
  • Former Tata group executive Nilendu Chakraborty has been appointed as an independent director of Brightcom Group.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) alongwith the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (c-Ganga) are organizing the 6th edition of the India Water Impact Summit (IWIS) from 9th December to 14th December 2021.
  • US space agency NASA launched its new X-ray Mission to unlock the secrets of extreme cosmic objects.
  • The South Korean Defense Ministry has unveiled a model for a hypersonic weapon prototype named Hycore.
  • Indian para-athletes won 41 medals (12 gold, 15 silver, and 14 bronze medals) at the Asian Youth Para Games held in Riffa city.
  • On Dec 08, 2021, Serum Institute of India (SII) Executive Director Dr. Suresh Jadhav passed away at the age of 72.

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