Current Affairs December 12th & 13th 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

UNICEF Day 2021: Observed on Dec 11

  • UNICEF Day is observed on December 11 every year, to spread awareness on saving children’s lives, defending their rights and helping them fulfil their potential from childhood to adolescence.
  • 2021 Theme is to help children to recover from interruption and learning losses experienced through the pandemic in the last two years.
  • This year marks 75 years of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
  • United Nations Children’s Funds (earlier known as United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) was established by the United Nations General Agency in 1946.
  • It was formed under the 57 (I) resolution of the United Nations General Assembly with its headquarters at USA’s New York City.
  • Initially it was started as a temporary relief fund by the United Nations and known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.
  • It has the entitlement to use the UN logo
  • The programme focuses on providing supplies, assistance and also improving the health, nutrition, education and general welfare of children & the organisation became a permanent agency of the UN in 1953.
  • The words International and Emergency were dropped from the official name but the acronym was continued.

Objective:

  • To protect children all across the world and provide access to basic rights like good education, food, sanitation, vaccination, etc

Note:

  • UNICEF also releases its State of World Children Report on this day with the three main concerns being their undernutrition, obesity and hidden hunger, also called the triple burden of malnutrition.

About UNICEF:

  • Headquarters: New York, United States
  • Head: Henrietta H. Fore
  • President: Tore Hattrem
  • Founded: 11 December 1946

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

UN General Assembly grants Observer Status to International Solar Alliance                      

  • On December 9, 2021, India’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, T S Tirumurti announced The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has granted Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance.
  • It has been taken based on the UNGS’s Sixth Committee report.
  • The fourth general assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), was held in October 2021.
  • A total of 108 countries participated in the Assembly, including 74 Member Countries and 34 Observer and Prospective Countries, 23 Partner Organizations and 33 Special Invitee Organisations.

About UNGA:

  • President: Abdulla Shahid
  • Headquarters: New York, United States
  • Founded: 1945

About ISA:

  • Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryan
  • Founded: 30 November 2015
  • Director General: Ajay Mathur
  • Founders: Narendra Modi, François Hollande
  • The launch of the ISA was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former French President Francois Hollande in November 2015, at the 21st session of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Paris, France.
  • ISA has become an example of positive global climate action through partnerships to benefit global energy growth and development.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS

Senior White House official Catherine Russell appointed Executive Director of UNICEF

  • On December 10, 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Catherine Russell of the United States to become the next Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
  • She will succeed Henrietta Fore, who resigned in July.
  • She will become the fourth woman to head the agency of 20,000 personnel.

About Catherine Russell:

  • Catherine Russell is an American attorney, political adviser.
  • Russell, a lawyer, has worked in Democratic politics since the mid-1980s.
  • She is currently Assistant to the President, and Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.
  • From 2013 to 2017, she served as ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues in the Department of State.
  • Before that, Ms. Russell served as Deputy Assistant to President Obama, Senior Adviser on International Women’s Issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • She also taught at the Harvard Kennedy School as an Institute of Politics Fellow.
  • Also, she served as the board co-chair of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, as a board member of Women for Women International, as a member of the Sesame Street Advisory Board, the non-profit organization KIVA advisory council, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Women initiative.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS & HONOURS

BV Doshi becomes first Indian to win UK’s top architectural award                         

  • Eminent Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi will be awarded the ‘Royal Gold Medal 2022’, one of the world’s highest honors for architecture. 
  • This was announced by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  • Doshi is the first Indian to win this award.
  • The 94-year-old, who worked with Le Corbusier on his designs for the city of Chandigarh, was instrumental in defining the architecture of post-independence India.
  • His designs combined modernist principles with a deep understanding of local vernacular traditions.

About Royal Gold Medal:

  • The Royal Gold Medal for architecture is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch.
  • The medal was first awarded in 1848 to Charles Robert Cockerell.
  • The Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Queen Elizabeth II and is given in recognition of a lifetime’s work.
  • It is awarded to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.

About Royal Institute of British Architects:

  • Founded: 1834
  • CEO: Alan Vallance
  • President: Simon Allford
  • Headquarters: London

About BV Doshi:

  • Doshi was born on 26 August 1927 in Pune.
  • He worked under Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, he is a pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India.
  • In 2018, he became the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious prizes in architecture.
  • He has also been awarded the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. 

Indian Mathematician Neena Gupta wins 2021 Ramanujan Prize

  • Professor Neena Gupta, a mathematician and faculty member of the t(ISI) was awarded the ‘2021 DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from developing countries’ for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.
  • She has become the fourth Indian to win Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians.
  • Out of the four Indians who have been awarded this prize, three of them are faculty members of the Indian Statistical Institute.
  • Also she is the third woman to receive the Ramanujan Prize which was first awarded in the year 2005 ( after Sujatha Ramdorai in 2006 & Carolina Bhering de Araujo in 2020).

About Neena Gupta:

  • Neena Gupta is a professor at the Statistics and Mathematics Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata.
  • In 2014, she earned the Young Scientists Award of the Indian National Science Academy for her solution to the Zariski cancellation problem, a fundamental problem in Algebraic Geometry & her solution was described as ‘one of the best works in algebraic geometry in recent years done anywhere’
  • She has won Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award (2019) in the category of mathematical sciences, the highest honour in India in the field of science and technology.
  • She is also the recipient of Abdus Salam ICTP’s Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries in 2021.

About Ramanujan Prize:

  • The Ramanujan Prize is given internationally to young mathematicians under the age of 45, for breaking new ground in the field.
  • It was first awarded in 2005 and is administered by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) jointly with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Government of India and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
  • The DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize committee, composed of eminent mathematicians from around the world

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu becomes Miss Universe 2021

  • On Dec 12, 2021, the 21-year-old model Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned the Miss Universe 2021 at Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel.
  • She was was representing India at the 70th Miss Universe 2021
  • Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu was presented the crown by Andrea Meza, former Miss Universe 2000 from Mexico.
  • Meanwhile Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, 22, finished second, South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, 24, came third.
  • With this win, she became the third Indian woman to be crowned Miss Universe.

Miss Universe from India:

  • Before Sandhu only two Indians have won the title of Miss Universe.
Winners Name Year
Sushmita Sen 1994
Lara Dutta 2000

About Harnaaz Sandhu:

  • Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu born on 3 March 2000 in Guruharsahai, India.
  • The 21-year-old Chandigarh-based model has also worked in Punjabi films such as Yaara Diyan Poo Baran and Bai Ji Kuttange.
  • She is an Indian model and beauty pageant titleholder & she had previously been crowned Miss Diva 2021.
  • Harnaaz was the winner of Times Fresh Face Miss Chandigarh 2017, Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018 and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019.
  • In August 2021, Sandhu was shortlisted as one of the Top 50 semi-finalists of Miss Diva 2021.
  • Also, she won the Miss Beautiful Skin award and became a finalist for Miss Beach Body, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Talented.

About Miss Universe 2021:

  • Miss Universe 2021 was the 70th Miss Universe pageant, held on December 12, 2021 at Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel.
  • The competition featured the return of Steve Harvey as host and Fox as the official broadcaster of the show.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS & CONFERENCES

PM Modi attends democracy summit

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the closed-door session of the first Summit for Democracy.
  • PM Modi was invited to participate in the main Leaders’ Plenary Session hosted by US President Joe Biden.
  • This closed-door session saw interventions from 12 select countries, including India.
  • The second Leaders’ Plenary Session was hosted by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

About the Summit:

  • The summit focuses on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.
  • PM Modi emphasized the need for democratic countries to deliver on values enshrined in their Constitutions.
  • He also outlined sensitivity, accountability, participation and reform orientation as four pillars of Indian democratic governance.
  • He stressed that principles of democracy should also guide global governance; and that given technology’s ability to impact democracy positively or negatively, technology companies should contribute to preserving open and democratic societies.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE NEWS

India Successfully Tests Extended Range Pinaka Rocket System At Pokhran Range

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) successfully tested an extended range Pinaka (Pinaka-ER) Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System at Rajasthan’s Pokhran Range.
  • The system is jointly designed by laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune.
  • The new Pinaka ER gives it a range of around 70 km, over the 45 km existing range of the missile.
  • The Pinaka – ER is the upgraded version of the earlier version of Pinaka which has been in service with the Indian Army for the last decade.
  • The system has been designed in the light of emerging requirements with advanced technologies enhancing the range.
  • The Area Denial Munition (ADM) variants of munition designed by the ARDE, Pune for Pinaka and manufactured by the industry partners under technology transfer were successfully carried out at Pokhran Field Firing Ranges. These trials are part of performance evaluation under technology absorption.
  • Earlier, In June, the DRDO had successfully test-fired enhanced range versions of indigenously developed Pinaka rockets and 122mm Caliber rockets from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
  • The enhanced range version of the Pinaka Rocket System can destroy targets at distances up to 45km.

DRDO & Indian Air Force successfully flight-tests SANT missile                                           

  • On Dec 11, 2021, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) flight-tested the indigenously designed and developed Helicopter launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran firing ranges of Rajasthan.
  • The SANT missile has been designed and developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in coordination with other DRDO labs and participation from industries.
  • The SANT missile is equipped with a state-of-the-art MMW seeker which provides high precision strike capability from a safe distance.
  • The missile has the ability to neutralise targets in a range of up to 10 kilometres.
  • This is the third in the series of indigenous stand-off weapons to be tested after long-range bomb and smart anti airfield weapons for strengthening the arsenal of IAF.
  • The indigenous development of various configurations for different applications with advanced technologies is a firm march towards ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence.

About Ministry of Defence:

  • Defence Minister :  Rajnath Singh
  • Minister of State: Ajay Bhatt
  • Defence Secretary : Dr. Ajay Kumar
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

About DRDO:

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Founded: 1958
  • Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy

About Indian Air Force:

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Founded: 8 October 1932
  • Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
  • Chief of the Air Staff : Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari
  • Vice Chief of the Air Staff : Air Marshal Sandeep Singh

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS & AUTHORS

Mridula Ramesh Authors A Book Titled Watershed: How We Destroyed India’s Water and How We Can Save It

  • Mridula Ramesh Authored a new Book Titled Watershed: How We Destroyed India’s Water and How We Can Save It.
  • The Book is published by Hachette India.

About the Book:

  • In that Book the author lays bare the past and present of India’s water and underlines why it is crucial to secure its future now.
  • The book delves into the factors that have led India to this crisis, tracing 5000 years of history, joining the dots between key issues of concern in the country today – from extreme weather events and farmers’ protests to water-related geopolitics and the role of clean-tech – and providing practical and scalable solutions to them.

About Mridula Ramesh:

  • Mridula Ramesh is founder of the Sundaram Climate Institute, which focuses on waste and water solutions and education.
  • She is the author of critically acclaimed, The Climate Solution: India’s Climate Change Crisis and What We Can Do About It.
  • She is part of the Advisory Committee, UNDP India National Circular Economy Project, and the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, of NIT, Andhra Pradesh.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS NEWS

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen wins FIDE world chess championship

  • On Dec 10, 2021, Reigning world chess champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway defended his title and won the FIDE World Championship in Dubai, UAE.
  • With this Carlsen clinched his fifth world championship title.
  • He won the title 7.5-3.5 against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.

About Magnus Carlsen:

  • Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen was born in Tønsberg, Norway, on 30 November 1990.
  • He is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is the reigning five-time World Chess Champion, three-time World Rapid Chess Champion, and five-time World Blitz Chess Champion.
  • His peak classical rating of 2882 is the highest in history.
  • He also holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak at the top level in classical chess.
  • Carlsen became World Chess Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand.
  • In 2014, he retained his title against Anand, and won both the 2014 World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship, becoming the first player to hold all three titles simultaneously.

About World Chess Championship 2021:

  • The World Chess Championship 2021 was a chess match held under the auspices of FIDE and played during Expo 2020 at Dubai Exhibition Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, between 24 November and 12 December 2021.

Daily CA On Dec 12 & 13:

  • UNICEF Day is observed on December 11 every year, to spread awareness on saving children’s lives, defending their rights and helping them fulfil their potential from childhood to adolescence. & The 2021 Theme is to help children to recover from interruption and learning losses experienced through the pandemic in the last two years.
  • On December 9, 2021, India’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, T S Tirumurti announced The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has granted Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance.
  • On December 10, 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Catherine Russell of the United States to become the next Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) & She will succeed Henrietta Fore, who resigned in July.
  • Eminent Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi will be awarded the ‘Royal Gold Medal 2022’, one of the world’s highest honors for architecture & This was announced by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  • Professor Neena Gupta, a mathematician and faculty member of the t(ISI) was awarded the ‘2021 DST-ICTP-IMU Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from developing countries’ for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.
  • On Dec 12, 2021, The 21-year-old model Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned the Miss Universe 2021 at Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the closed-door session of the first Summit for Democracy.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) successfully tested an extended range Pinaka (Pinaka-ER) Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System at Rajasthan’s Pokhran Range & the system is jointly designed by laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune.
  • On Dec 11, 2021, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) flight-tested the indigenously designed and developed Helicopter launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran firing ranges of Rajasthan.
  • Mridula Ramesh Authored a new Book Titled Watershed: How We Destroyed India’s Water and How We Can Save It.
  • On Dec 10, 2021, Reigning world chess champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway defended his title and won the FIDE World Championship in Dubai, UAE.

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