Current Affairs December 14th 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

International Universal Health Coverage Day:

  • Universal Health Coverage Day is celebrated annually on December 12 and is promoted by the World Health Organization.
  • December 12 is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for all nations to provide for their citizens affordable, quality health care
  • This year theme of International Universal Health Coverage Day is “Leave No One’s Health Behind: Invest in health systems for all.”
  • Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030.
  • On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care – as an essential priority for international development

National Energy Conservation Day: Dec 14

  • National Energy Conservation Day is observed on December 14, every year.
  • The day focuses on making people aware of global warming and climate change and promotes efforts towards saving energy resources.
  • Energy conservation is the decision and practice of using less energy.
  • Energy conservation means reducing the consumption of energy by producing or using less of it.
  • Energy conservation is an effort made to reduce the consumption of fuel and use the least energy resources to save for the future.
  • The Government of India has set up Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) on 1st March 2002 under the provision of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • The BEE is a constitutional body that works under the Indian Government and helps in the development of policies and strategies to reduce the use of energy.
  • It focuses on making people aware of global warming and climate change and promoting efforts towards saving energy resources

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

Rajya Sabha takes up Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021:

  • Rajya Sabha is now taking up the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
  • Amidst protest by Opposition, Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state independent charge, Personnel Public Grievances and Pension, moved the Bill further to amend the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, as passed by Lok Sabha.
  • Introducing the Bill, Dr Singh, the nation is faced with the triple menace of corruption, black money and international crime.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chairs India Global Forum Healthcare Roundtable in Dubai:

  • Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has chaired India Global Forum Healthcare Roundtable in Dubai.
  • Mr Mandaviya, also discussed various issues related to healthcare.
  • India has a major role to play in mitigating global health risks.
  • India is committed to ensuring affordable healthcare to all through collaboration and adopting tech-based solutions.

Ministry of Tourism organises webinar on ‘Jyotirlingam Temples of Maharashtra’’:

  • Ministry of Tourism under its Dekho Apna Desh Initiatives organising webinars on various tourism centric subjects, themes etc.
  • In continuation under “75 Destinations with Tour Guides” a webinar on ‘Jyotirlingam Temples of Maharashtra’ was conducted today on 11th December 2021.
  • The webinar was presented by Regional Level Guide Shri Umesh Namdev Jadhav.
  • Maharashtra boasts of a large number of popular and revered religious and spiritual places that attracts large number of tourists.
  • These shrines enshrining Shiva in the form of a Jyotirlingam and have been revered since time immemorial in the Indian system of beliefs.
  • Out of 12 Jyotirlingas, the southernmost of these is located at Rameswaram in Tamilnadu while the northernmost is located in the Himalayas at Kedarnath in Uttarkhand.
  • The Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is presented in technical partnership with National e Governance Department, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

Haiderpur wetland in UP recognised as Ramsar Site

  • Haiderpur Wetland of Western Uttar Pradesh has been recognised under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, bringing the total number of such designated areas in the country to 47.

About Haiderpur Wetland:

  • The human-made Haiderpur wetland spreads over an area of 6,908 hectares in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It was formed in 1984 on a floodplain of the River Ganga on the Madhya Ganga Barrage, the wetland is located within the boundaries of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
  • It homes more than 30 species of plants, over 300 species of birds including 102 waterbirds, more than 40 fish, and more than ten mammal species.
  • This diverse habitat supports more than 15 globally threatened species, such as the critically endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and the endangered hog deer (Axis porcinus), black-bellied tern (Sterna acuticauda), steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), Indian skimmer (Rynchops albicollis) and gold mahseer (Tor putitora).
  • The Site supports more than 25,000 waterbirds, serves as a breeding site for the near-threatened Indian grassbird (Graminicola bengalensis) and provides refuge to the northern subspecies population of the vulnerable swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii) during its seasonal flood-driven migration.
  • The site also regularly supports more than one per cent of the population of greylag goose (Anser anser) and bar-headed goose (Anser indicus).

About Wetland:

  • Wetland: Kidney of Earth
  • According to the Ramsar Convention, wetlands are land areas saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally.
  • As per the Ramsar Convention on wetlands report, the wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests, with 35% of the wetlands lost from 1970-2015.

1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands:

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international treaty, aims at the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, the convention was signed in 1971.
  • The Ramsar Convention works closely with six other organizations known as international organization partners (IOPs), namely BirdLife International, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Wetlands International, WWF International, and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).

About UP:

  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • Capital: Lucknow
  • Chief minister: Yogi Adityanath
  • National Parks:Dudhwa National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Bakhira WLS, Chandraprabha WLS, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Bird WLS, Hastinapur WLS, Kaimur WLS, Katerniaghat WLS, Kishanpur WLS, Lakh Bahosi Bird WLS, Mahavir Swami WLS, National Chambal WLS, Nawabganj WLS, Okhala Bird WLS, Parvati Aranga WLS, Patna WLS, Ranipur WLS, Saman Bird WLS, Samaspur WLS, Sandi Bird WLS, Sohagibarwa WLS, Sohelwa WLS, Sur Sarovar WLS, Jai Prakash Narayan (Surhatal) Bird WLS, Turtle WLS

About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change:

  • Union Minister : Bhupender Yadav
  • Minister of State : Ashwini Kumar Choubey
  • Director General: Sanjay Kumar

PM addresses depositors in a bank deposit insurance programme in Delhi:

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed a function on “Depositors First: Guaranteed Time-bound Deposit Insurance Payment up to Rs. 5 Lakh” in New Delhi.
  • Union Finance Minister, MoS Finance and RBI Governor were among those present on the occasion. The Prime Minister also handed over cheques to some of the depositors.
  • Deposit insurance covers all deposits such as savings, fixed, current, recurring deposits, etc. in all commercial banks, functioning in India.
  • Deposits in State, Central and Primary cooperative banks, functioning in States/Union Territories are also covered.
  • In a path breaking reform, Bank deposit insurance cover was enhanced from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • With deposit insurance coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per depositor per bank, the number of fully protected accounts at end of previous financial year constituted 1% of the total number of accounts, as against the international benchmark of 80%.
  • The first tranche of interim payments has been released by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation recently, against claims received from depositors of 16 Urban Cooperative Banks which are under restrictions by RBI.
  • Payout of over Rs 1300 crore has been made to alternate bank accounts of over 1 lakh depositors against their claims.

Centre to organize the first of its kind innovation week to encourage Startup ecosystem in India:

  • As a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a week-long event, “Celebrating Innovation Ecosystem”, to be hosted by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), is proposed to be held in January 2022.
  • Secretary, DPIIT Shri Anurag Jain reviewed the project in a high-level meeting. The event will mark the 6th anniversary of the launch of the Startup India initiative.
  • The key objectives of the Innovation Week will be to bring together the country’s key Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and other national/ international stakeholders for a specially curated event on innovation and entrepreneurship and to exchange knowledge on best practices on nurturing Startup ecosystems.
  • The initiative aspires to encourage and inspire the youth for innovation and entrepreneurship and develop capacities of entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Innovation week would help provide market access opportunities to Startups and aid and abet the mobilization of global and domestic capital for investments into Startups.
  • The event is also set to showcase high-quality, high technology and frugal innovations from India.
  • Apart from deliberating on good practices from best of the ecosystems across the world, the sessions will be designed to showcase the spread and depth of entrepreneurship based on innovation in India

14566 – National Helpline Against Atrocities on SCs/STs Launched:

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has initiated a National Helpline Against Atrocities (NHAA).
  • The Helpline is available round the clock on toll-free number “14566” across the country in Hindi, English and regional language of the State/UTs.
  • Way to Access
    The Helpline can be accessed by making a voice call /VOIP either from a mobile or land line number of any Telecom Operator across the country. It is also available as a web-based self-service portal.
  • Main Aim
    Meant for generating informed awareness about the various provisions of the Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act, 1989 and the Protection of Civil Right (PCR) Act, 1955 that are aimed at ending discrimination and provide protection to all, the Helpline ensures that every complaint is registered as FIRs, relief is provided, all registered complaints are investigated and all chargesheets filed are prosecuted in the Courts for decision – all within the given timelines in the Act.
  • Grievances Redressal & Tracking System 
    A Docket number is given for each complaint received from Victim/Complainant/NGOs regarding non-compliance of the POA Act, 1989 and the PCR Act, 1955. The status of the grievance can be tracked by complainant/NGOs online.

PM inaugurates Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi:

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham in He prayed at the Kaal Bhairav Temple and Kashi Vishvanath Dham in Kashi.
  • The Prime Minister cited Puranas which say that as soon as one enters Kashi, one becomes free from all bondage. “Blessings of Lord Vishweshwara, a supernatural energy awakens our inner soul as soon as we come here”. This whole new complex of Vishwanath Dham is not just a grand building.
  • This is a symbol of the Sanatan culture of our India. It is a symbol of our spiritual soul. This is a symbol of India’s antiquity, traditions, India’s energy and dynamism.
  • The Prime Minister said ‘when one comes here, they will see not only faith but will also feel the glory of the past here. How the inspirations of the ancient are giving direction to the future, witnessing this very vividly in Vishwanath Dham complex

Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0 to make the city’s garbage free and water secure during the mission period of five years (2021-2026):

  • The major focus of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) 2.0 [SBM (U) 2.0] and AMRUT 2.0 launched on 1st October, 2021 is to make the city’s garbage free and water secure during the mission period of five years (2021-2026).
  • The highlights of SBM (U) 2.0 are as under:
  1. all households and premises segregate their waste into “wet waste” (from kitchen and gardens) and “dry waste” (including paper, glass, plastic, and domestic hazardous waste and sanitary waste wrapped separately);
  2. 100% door to door collection of segregated waste from each household/ premise;
  3. 100% scientific management of all fractions of waste, including safe disposal in scientific landfills;
  4. all legacy dumpsites remediated;
  5. all used water including faecal sludge, is safely contained, transported, processed and disposed so that no untreated faecal sludge and used water pollutes the ground or water bodies, in cities with less than one lakh population;
  6. phased reduction in use of single use plastic.

The highlights of AMRUT 2.0 are as under:

  1. Universal coverage of water supply from 500 cities to about 4,800 statutory towns.
  2. Focus on making the cities ‘self-reliant’ and ‘water secure’.
  3. Universal coverage of sewerage and septage management in 500 AMRUT cities.\
  4. Target to provide 2.68 crore drinking water tap connections and 2.64 crore sewer connections.
  5. Focus on financial sustainability of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) through enhanced credit worthiness and market borrowing.
  6. ‘Pey Jal Survekshan’ will be undertaken in cities to promote healthy competition among them and function as monitoring tool and Mission accelerator.
  7. Technology sub-Mission under AMRUT 2.0 will help in identifying proven and potential global technologies in water sector.
  8. Entrepreneurship/ start-ups involved in low-cost indigenous equipments and processes will be encouraged.
  9. All the cities of Uttar Pradesh including Firozabad are covered under SBM (U) 2.0 and are eligible to avail all components as per operational guidelines.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE NEWS

Sonowal inaugurates River Cruise Service at Mormugao Port Trust Goa:

  • Union Minister for Ports Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the River Cruise Services at the Marmugao Port in Goa.
  • He announced that Services will immediately begin on all the proposed routes with its FRP double deck boats to give the tourists a complete experience of Goa a culture and history.
  • This will be a common user’s facility and any entrepreneur can venture into and start a new and similar type of Service from this berthing facility, available in the Port.
  • This opportunity in Goa is to explore new ventures in river and island cruising which is not tapped so far and it will be a unique opportunity to experience such an unexplored venture in Goa.
  • The Minister also visited the Port’s operational areas including the Cruise Terminal Berth where International & Domestic Cruise Terminal is proposed to be set up and PPP Terminals operated by the South West Port Ltd (SWPL) and Adani Mormugao Port Trust Pvt. Ltd. (AMPTPL) to inspect the operations.

About GOA:

  • Capital: Panaji
  • Chief minister: Pramod Sawant

Central Grant of Rs 604 Crore Released To J&K Under Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • With a focus to expedite the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Jammu & Kashmir, the Government of India released Rs 604 Crore to the Union Territory.
  • Central fund of Rs 2,747 Crore has been allocated to the UT in 2021-22 for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, which is nearly four times the allocation made during 2020-21.
  • J&K plans to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT by August, 2022. Out of 18.35 lakh rural households in the UT, 39 lakh (57%) households have tap water connections.
  • Despite adverse weather conditions and challenges of transportation in many areas in this difficult terrain, water supply work is in full swing to make provision of tap water supply in villages.
  • Provision has been made for tap water supply to every rural household in 2 districts of Srinagar and Ganderbal and 1,070 villages.
  • Union Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi accords top priority to make provision of tap water connection in every rural household across the country under Jal Jeevan Mission as there is a massive increase in budgetary allocation to 2,747.17 Crore in 2021-22, from Rs. 681.77 Crore in the preceding year.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND ECONOMY

LIC launches Dhan Rekha plan:

  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched a new non-linked, non-participating, individual savings life insurance plan. Called Dhan Rekha, it offers special premium rates for female lives.
  • “The plan is also allowed for the third gender,” LIC, adding that all benefits under the plan are fully guaranteed.
  • The minimum sum assured under this plan is 2 lakh and there is no limit for maximum sum assured.
  • The minimum age at entry ranges from 90 days to eight years and the maximum age at entry ranges from 35 years to 55 years depending upon the chosen policy term.
  • This plan also takes care of liquidity needs through loan facility. Optional riders are available under this plan on payment of additional premium subject to conditions

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION

Radha Unni appointed as independent director of South Indian Bank:

  • Radha Unni, former Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Kerala Circle, has been appointed as Independent Director of the Kerala based lender, South Indian Bank.
  • She brings to the table 36 years of banking experience.
  • During her tenure in State Bank of India, Radha Unni had handled corporate credit and project appraisal of small and medium enterprises.
  • Unni’s other assignments included risk management at the corporate centre, non-performing asset (NPA) management, business process re-engineering programme, transformational change management and capital market operations with the SBI Capital Markets, among others.

ABOUT SIB:

  • Headquarters: Thrissur
  • CEO: Murali Ramakrishnan
  • Founded: 29 January 1929

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOUR

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowned Miss Universe 2021 title:

  • Actor-model India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, crowned Miss Universe 2021.
  • Actor-model Harnaaz Sandhu’s Miss Universe victory has brought immense joy and pride to Indians across the globe, including Hindi film personalities and former beauty queens Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who congratulated the winner for bringing home the crown after 21 years.
  • The Chandigarh-based model, who is pursuing her master’s degree in public administration, was adjudged Miss Universe 2021 at the 70th edition of the pageant in Eilat, Israel.
  • Only two Indians before Sandhu have won the title of Miss Universe – actors Sen in 1994 and Dutta in 2000.

Elon Musk named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2021:

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been named Time Magazine’s “person of the year 2021”.
  • “For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society’s most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is our 2021 Person of the Year
  • Musk, 50 is also the Founder and Chief Executive of space exploration company SpaceX.
  • He also heads brain-chip start-up Neuralink and infrastructure firm The Boring Company.
  • He recently surpassed Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos in terms of net worth to become the world’s wealthiest person amid Tesla’s rising share prices that pushed his net worth to around $300 billion.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOUS AND AGREEMENT

Adani Green Energy signs PPA with SECI:

  • Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) has signed a power purchase agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to supply 4,667 MW of green power.
  • The renewable energy unit of the diversified Adani Group the PPA is part of a manufacturing-linked solar tender of 8,000 MW awarded to AGEL by SECI in June 2020, which set a record for the world’s largest solar development tender ever awarded.
  • AGEL has signed PPAs with SECI for a total generation capacity of close to 6,000 MW, of the 8,000 MW awarded in 2020.
  • The company expects to close the balance 2000 MW PPA in the next two to three months.

Bharat Petroleum collaborates with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre for Green Hydrogen production:

  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a ‘Maharatna’ and a Fortune Global 500 Company has collaborated with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to scale-up Alkaline Electrolyser technology for Green Hydrogen production.
  • Presently, Electrolyser Plants are imported.
  • This is a first of its kind initiative to support the country’s commitment to achieve renewable energy targets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Refineries use large quantities of Hydrogen for de-sulfurization to make petrol, diesel and other chemicals. Currently, Hydrogen is made at the Refinery via. Steam Reforming of Natural gas, but this results in high CO2 emission.
  • Therefore, Refiners are setting up large scale electrolysers to produce Green Hydrogen from water and thereby decarbonize Hydrogen production.
  • BPCL is fully committed towards environment protection and ensuring a greener planet. We have been extensively leveraging technology in all our activities.
  • This will be another step towards “Atmanirbhar Bharat” in our journey for achieving Net Zero Emissions by 2040.”
  • Bharat Petroleum has plans to expand its portfolio of renewable energy with solar, wind and biofuels thereby reaffirming its commitment towards sustainability and reduction of carbon footprint.
  • Furthermore, the Company intends to meet power requirement for new projects in its Refineries, primarily from renewable sources.

Aditya Birla Fashion signs licensing agreement to sell Reebok products:

  • Marking its foray into the sports and activewear segment, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) has announced the signing of a long-term licensing agreement with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) to distribute and sell Reebok products through wholesale, e-commerce and Reebok branded retail stores in India and other ASEAN countries.
  • The sports and activewear segment are expected to grow to $13 billion by FY24 at an annual growth rate of 14 per cent, according to the company.
  • The proposed transaction is subject to the successful completion of due diligence, necessary statutory approvals and signing of definitive agreements.
  • The transfer of ownership of the Reebok brand from Adidas to ABG is expected to close in Q1 of 2022.

JICA, TN sign pact to strengthen health sector:

  • The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Tamil Nadu’s Health and Family Welfare Department have signed a Record of Discussions (RoD) for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in Tamil Nadu project.
  • The project is expected to start from the fourth quarter of FY21 to focus on strengthening the managerial and technical capabilities of health personnel with respect to NCD prevention and control.
  • JICA has been supporting “Tamil Nadu Urban Health Care Project” to provide 25,537 million Japanese Yen (approximately 1,548 crore) ODA loan to improve the quality of urban healthcare services by developing health facilities.
  • JICA is also supporting the State government for “The project for Covid-19 prevention capacity improvement”, focusing on technical cooperation around RT-PCR test provision in the State

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS & CONFERENCES

AIM NITI Aayog, & Embassy of Denmark launches 2nd edition of water innovation challenges

  • On Dec 13, 2021, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and the Royal Embassy of Denmark to India announced the second edition of water innovation challenges to address the global water woes through innovations as part of the Indo-Danish Bilateral Green Strategic partnership.
  • The collaboration will provide solutions to improve sustainable water supply in India and at the global level.

Aim:

  • To identify innovative & next-gen solutions to solve proposed challenges in collaboration with corporate and public partners.
  • The initiative will engage young talents from leading universities and innovation hubs across the nation to build their skills and apply their technical disciplines and innovation capacity.
  • The winners of the challenges will also represent India at the International Water Congress 2022.
  • The Denmark Embassy in India, and the DTU will be preparing the Indian participants for the Global Next Generation Water Action (NGWA) program to be hosted by DTU.

Second edition of ‘Animal Husbandry Startup Grand Challenge’ launched

  • To commemorate the birth anniversary of Varghese Kurien, The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in partnership with Startup India, launched the second edition of‘Animal Husbandry Startup Grand Challenge’ at an event celebrating ‘National Milk Day’ in Anand, Gujarat.

Aim:

  • To scout for innovative and commercially viable solutions to address six problems faced by the animal husbandry and dairy sector.
  • The first edition of the startup grand challenge was launched by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on 12th September, 2019.

The six problem areas are:

  • Cost-effective, Long-term, and User-friendly Alternatives for Storage and Supply of Semen Doses
  • Development of Cost-effective Animal Identification (RFID) and Traceability Technology
  • Development of Heat Detection Kits
  • Development of Pregnancy Diagnosis Kits for Dairy Animals
  • Improvement of existing milk supply-chain from village collection centre to the dairy plant
  • Development of Low-cost Cooling and Milk Preservation System and a Data Logger
  • For each of the six problem areas, a winner will be awarded Rs 10 lakh and a runner-up with Rs 7 Lakh each as cash prizes.

About Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying:

  • Cabinet Minister : Parshottam Rupala
  • Minister of State : Sanjeev Balyan, L. Murugan

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India successfully test-fires supersonic missile assisted torpedo in Odisha

  • On Dec 13, 2021, The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedo (SMART) off the coast of Balasore in Odisha.
  • The system is a next-generation missile-based standoff torpedo delivery system.
  • The system has been designed to enhance anti-submarine warfare capability far beyond the conventional range of the torpedo.
  • The canister-based missile system consists of advanced technologies – two-stage solid propulsion, electro-mechanical actuators and precision inertial navigation.
  • The long-range torpedoes can destroy targets up to 50 km, rocket-assisted torpedoes can strike at ranges around 150 km. Supersonic missile-assisted torpedoes have a range well over 600 km.
  • The system will further enhance the strength of our Navy and promote self-reliance in defence, harnessing expertise and capabilities.

About Ministry of Defence:

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

About Odisha:

  • Governor: Ganeshi Lal
  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik
  • National Parks : Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries : Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary, Baisipalli  Wildlife Sanctuary, Balukhand Konark  Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhitarkanika  Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandaka Dampara  Wildlife Sanctuary, Chilika (Nalaban)  Wildlife Sanctuary, Debrigarh  Wildlife Sanctuary, Gahirmatha (Marine)  Wildlife Sanctuary, Hadgarh  Wildlife Sanctuary, Karlapat  Wildlife Sanctuary, Khalasuni  Wildlife Sanctuary, Kotagarh  Wildlife Sanctuary, Kuldiha  Wildlife Sanctuary, Lakhari Valley  Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandankanan  Wildlife Sanctuary, Satkosia Gorge  Wildlife Sanctuary, Simlipal  Wildlife Sanctuary, Sunabeda  Wildlife Sanctuary, Kapilash Wildlife Sanctuary

China successfully launches new satellites Shijian-6 05

  • China has successfully launched a group of satellites Shijian-6 05 by a launch vehicle Long March-4B from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (Northwest China’s Gansu Province).
  • The Shijian-6 05, will be used for space exploration and new technology tests.
  • The launch marked the 400th mission of Long March series carrier rockets.
  • Over the past 51 years, since the first flight of Long March-1 in 1970, Long March carrier rockets have been used in 92.1 percent of China’s space launches
  • The first 100 launches took place over 37 years, but then things started to heat up: the next 100 took seven and half years, the third century took four years and three months, and the fourth only took two years and nine months.

About China:

  • Capital: Beijing
  • President: Xi Jinping
  • Currency: Renminbi

About China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation:

  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Chairman and President : Lei Fanpei
  • Founded: 1 July 1999

CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING & INDEX

Global Health Security Index 2021: USA Tops, India Ranks 66

  • According to the 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index, The world’s overall performance on the GHS Index score slipped to 9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019.
  • The document was jointly released by non-profits Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and it was first launched in October 2019.
  • The index measured the capacities of 195 countries to prepare for epidemics and pandemics.
  • The findings of the GHS Index 2021 are based on a revised framework and updated data collection conducted between August 2020 and June 2021.
  • In South Asia, India, ranked 66th place with a score of8 (out of 100) has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019.
  • But three neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives have improved their score by 1-1.2 points.

Top 10 Countries in the list of Global Health Security Index 2021:

Rank Country Score (Out of 100) Change from 2019
1 USA 75.9 -0.3
2 Australia 71.1 -2.1
3 Finland 70.9 -1.1
4 Canada 69.8 + 2.2
5 Thailand 68.2 -0.7
6 Slovenia 67.8 -0.8
7 United Kingdom 67.2 -1.1
8 Germany 65.5 -0.2
9 South Korea 65.4 -0.5
10 Sweden 64.9 -1.5
  • In 2021, no country scored in the top tier of rankings and no country scored above 75.9, the report showed.
  • It has assessed countries across six categories, 37 indicators and 171 questions, using instantly available information.

The six categories include:

  • Prevention: Prevention of the emergence or release of pathogens.
  • Detection and Reporting: Early detection and reporting for epidemics of potential international concern.
  • Rapid Response: Rapid response to and mitigation of the spread of an epidemic.
  • Health System: Sufficient and robust health system to treat the sick and protect health workers.
  • Compliance with International Norms: Commitments to improving national capacity, financing plans to address gaps, and adhering to global norms.
  • Risk Environment: Overall risk environment and country vulnerability to biological threats.
  • The GHS Index scoring system includes three tiers.
  • Low Scores: Countries that score between 0 and 33.3 are in the bottom tier.
  • Moderate Scores: Countries that score between 33.4 and 66.6 are in the middle tier and
  • High Scores: Countries that score between 66.7 and 100 are in the upper or “top” tier.
  • Some 101 high-, middle- and low-income countries, including India, have slipped in performance since 2019.
  • Sixty-five percent of assessed countries had not published and implemented an overarching national public health emergency response plan for diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential.
  • Close to 79 percent of the 195 countries assessed had not allocated national funds within the past three years to improve their capacity to address epidemic threats, it found.
  • Some 90 countries have not fulfilled their full financial contribution to the World Health Organization & 14 of these are high-income countries.
  • Countries across all income levels remain dangerously unprepared to meet future epidemic and pandemic threats.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS NEWS

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021

  • Red Bull’s Max Verstappen defeated Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to win his maiden F1 world championship title in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished the race in third place, with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda fourth and team mate Pierre Gasly fifth.
  • With Verstappen’s win, he won the first Formula One World Drivers’ Championship of his career. Mercedes won their eighth consecutive Formula One World Constructor Championship, setting a new record.

About Max Verstappen:

  • Max Emilian Verstappen is a Belgian-Dutch racing driver currently competing in Formula One, under the Dutch flag, with Red Bull Racing.
  • He became the youngest driver to compete in Formula One at 2015 Australian Grand Prix.
  • At the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he became the first Dutch driver to win the Formula One Championship.
  • He has become the 34th Formula One World Drivers’ Champion.

About Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021:

  • The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (officially known as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021) was a Formula One motor race held on 12 December 2021 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • The race was the twenty-second and final round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

J&K’s Chandeep Singh bags a silver medal at Para World Taekwondo Championships

  • 23-year-old Chandeep Singh, an International Para Taekwondo Athlete bagged a silver medal in Men’s plus 80 kg event at 9th Para World Taekwondo Championships held at Istanbul, Turkey from December 9 to 12 2021.
  • Chandeep Singh became the first Para Athlete from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to achieve such a feat at the World level & this also is India’s first-ever medal in the history of the Para World Taekwondo Championships.
  • He has been trained under Taekwondo Coach in Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, Atul Pangotra.
  • Competitors from around 50 countries have competed in the event for the title.

About Chandeep Singh:

  • Hailing from Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar, Channi Jammu.
  • In 2011, Chandeep lost both his arms in an unfortunate accident at the age of 11 years.
  • Chandeep is also a national-level skater and holds a world record for the fastest 100-meters para-skating in an impressive 13.95 seconds.
  • He ranks 3rd in world ranking, also a State Award for outstanding sports person, has bagged silver in 8th world Para Taekwondo championship held in Turkey (2018) and was the only Indian who bagged silver in world Para Taekwondo championship.
  • He also has bagged gold in the 4th Asian Para Open Taekwondo Championship World Taekwondo (G4) held in Ho Chi Minh
  • City, Vietnam (2018), bagged gold in Kimunyong international Para Taekwondo open (G-1) held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2018, have bagged gold in 2nd Kathmandu International Taekwondo championship.

Olympian Arvind Singh wins gold in Asian Rowing C’ship

  • Indian rower Arvind Singh won the gold medal beating his opponents with a time of 7:55.942 in the men’s lightweight single sculls at the Asian Rowing Championships 2021 in Thailand.
  • India ended the competition with two gold and four silver medals.
  • India bagged silver medals in Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls, Men’s Quadrapul Sculls and in Men’s Coxless Four.
  • India’s Ashish Pugat and Sukhjinder Singh took the silver medal in Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls with times of 7:12.568 and 7.
  • India’s Bittu, Jakar Khan and Manjeet Kumar won silver in the Men’s Quadruple Sculls race.
  • In Men’s Coxless Fours final, India’s Jasveer Singh, Punit Kumar, Gurmeet Singh and Charanjeet Singh won the silver by clocking 6:51.661.
  • In the 2019 edition of the Asian Rowing Championships, India won five medals – one gold, two silver, and two bronze.

About Asian Rowing Championships:

  • The Asian Rowing Championship is a rowing championship organised by the Asian Rowing Federation for competitors from the Asian countries.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES

Author of gothic novels, Anne Rice Passes away

  • American gothic-fiction writer Anne Rice, best known for The Vampire Chronicles novel series, passed away at the age of 80.

About Anne Rice:

  • Howard Allen O’Brien was born on Oct. 4, 1941, in New Orleans.
  • He was an American author of gothic fiction, erotic literature, and Christian literature.
  • Books from The Vampire Chronicles were the subject of two film adaptations—Interview with the Vampire (1994) and Queen of the Damned (2002).
  • Anne Rice’s debut novel, published in 1976, Interview with the Vampire revolves around a vampire named Louis de Pointe du Lac, who narrates the story of his life to a reporter.
  • Rice authored books such as The Feast of All Saints (adapted for television in 2001) and Servant of the Bones, which formed the basis of a 2011 comic book miniseries.

UNION GOVERNMENT SCHEME

Rozgar Mela

About Rozgar Mela

  • A Rozgar Mela is an event where a number of employers and job seekers come together for the purpose of applying and interviewing for jobs.
  • Defined more precisely, a Rozgar Mela is an employment strategy to fast-track the meeting of job seekers and employers.
  • Rozgar Melas are typically held in large assembly halls with a booth for each employer.
  • At the front of each booth is a table that displays company brochures and information.
  • Usually, several company representatives staff each booth, standing behind tables as they talk to job seekers. Some companies decorate their booths with banners and signs.
  • Rozgar Melas range in size from 5 – 100 employers with many hundreds of job seekers.
  • Even small Rozgar Melas can be busy events with lines of job seekers waiting to see company representatives.

Ministry involved:

  • Rozgar mela is under administrative control of national skill development corporation (NSDC) which is under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship – Dharmendra Pradhan (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Minister of state – Rajeev Chandrashekhar (Karnataka)

Benefits:

  • Rozgar Melas generally cater to the youth in the age group of 18-35 Years with an academic qualification covering 8th/10th/12th Pass, ITI, Diploma, Graduates etc. including the trained and certified candidates conforming to National Skills Qualifications Framework.
  • The jobseekers for the Rozgar Mela are sensitized & mobilized through various channels including Print Advertisement, Bulk SMS, social media & through workshops at College & University Level in & around the districts of the Rozgar Mela.

Other government schemes similar to Rozgar Mela

  • The Rozgar Melas are generally accompanied by other activities including Counselling Session for the jobseekers & their parents, Kaushal Melas for the registration of youth under fresh skill development training (PMKK/PMKVY), Mudra Loan Facilitation Counters & Skill Exhibition (where SSCs demonstrate the training model, equipment, job roles of their respective sectors).
  • In addition to the NSDC Rozgar Mela, the concerned agencies of NSDC like Sector Skill Councils, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna Training Partners also conduct Rozgar Melas of different scale & magnitude for the youth in the age group of 18-35 years on PAN India basis.

Recent news:

  • A total of 1,576 RojgarMelas have been conducted in the country.
  • Out of these, 12 RojgarMelas have been conducted in Bhopal constituency in seven sectors, namely, Retail, Agriculture, Beauty and Wellness, Information and Technology and Tourism and Hospitality for the period of 2018-20. Further, after the onset of Covid-19 pandemic and due to the social distancing guidelines, no new RojgarMelas have been conducted so far.
  • A total of 2,54,267 candidates have been shortlisted for various job offerings through 1,576 RojgarMelas conducted across the country. Out of these, 795 candidates had been shortlisted for various job openings in the Bhopal constituency.

Daily CA On Dec 14:

  • Universal Health Coverage Day is celebrated annually on December 12 and is promoted by the World Health Organization.
  • National Energy Conservation Day is observed on December 14, every year.
  • Rajya Sabha is now taking up the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
  • Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has chaired India Global Forum Healthcare Roundtable in Dubai.
  • Ministry of Tourism under its Dekho Apna Desh Initiatives organising webinars on various tourism centric subjects, themes etc.
  • Haiderpur Wetland of Western Uttar Pradesh has been recognised under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, bringing the total number of such designated areas in the country to 47.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed a function on “Depositors First: Guaranteed Time-bound Deposit Insurance Payment up to Rs. 5 Lakh” in New Delhi.
  • As a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a week-long event, “Celebrating Innovation Ecosystem”, to be hosted by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), is proposed to be held in January 2022.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has initiated a National Helpline Against Atrocities (NHAA).
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham in He prayed at the Kaal Bhairav Temple and Kashi Vishvanath Dham in Kashi.
  • The major focus of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) 2.0 [SBM (U) 2.0] and AMRUT 2.0 launched on 1st October, 2021 is to make the cities garbage free and water secure during the mission period of five years (2021-2026).
  • Union Minister for Ports Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the River Cruise Services at the Marmugao Port in Goa.
  • With a focus to expedite the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Jammu & Kashmir, the Government of India released Rs 604 Crore to the Union Territory.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched a new non-linked, non-participating, individual savings life insurance plan. Called Dhan Rekha, it offers special premium rates for female lives.
  • Radha Unni, former Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Kerala Circle, has been appointed as Independent Director of the Kerala based lender, South Indian Bank.
  • Actor-model India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, crowned Miss Universe 2021.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been named Time Magazine’s “person of the year 2021”.
  • Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) has signed a power purchase agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to supply 4,667 MW of green power.
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a ‘Maharatna’ and a Fortune Global 500 Company has collaborated with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to scale-up Alkaline Electrolyser technology for Green Hydrogen production.
  • Marking its foray into the sports and activewear segment, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) has announced the signing of a long-term licensing agreement with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) to distribute and sell Reebok products through wholesale, e-commerce and Reebok branded retail stores in India and other ASEAN countries.
  • The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Tamil Nadu’s Health and Family Welfare Department have signed a Record of Discussions (RoD) for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in Tamil Nadu project
  • Haiderpur Wetland of Western Uttar Pradesh has been recognised under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, bringing the total number of such designated areas in the country to 47.
  • To commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Varghese Kurien, The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in partnership with Startup India, launched the second edition of‘Animal Husbandry Startup Grand Challenge’ at an event celebrating ‘National Milk Day’ in Anand, Gujarat.
  • On Dec 13, 2021, The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedo (SMART) off the coast of Balasore in Odisha.
  • China has successfully launched a group of satellites Shijian-6 05 by a launch vehicle Long March-4B from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (Northwest China’s Gansu Province).
  • According to the 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index, The world’s overall performance on the GHS Index score slipped to 38.9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019 & In South Asia, India, ranked 66th place with a score of 42.8 (out of 100) has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019.
  • Red Bull’s Max Verstappen defeated Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to win his maiden F1 world championship title in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • 23-year-old Chandeep Singh, an International Para Taekwondo Athlete bagged a silver medal in Men’s plus 80 kg event at 9th Para World Taekwondo Championships held at Istanbul, Turkey from December 9 to 12 2021.
  • Indian rower Arvind Singh won the gold medal beating his opponents with a time of 7:55.942 in the men’s lightweight single sculls at the Asian Rowing Championships 2021 in Thailand.
  • American gothic-fiction writer Anne Rice, best known for The Vampire Chronicles novel series, passed away at the age of 80.

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