Dec. 30, 2021

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

‘INNOVATIONS FOR YOU’; ‘THE INGENIOUS TINKERERS’
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog released the second edition of ‘Innovations for You’ and another compendium titled ‘The Ingenious Tinkerers’.

About:

  • The second edition of ‘Innovations for You’ is a compendium of innovations focused on agriculture featuring 70 start-ups supported by Atal incubation Centers (AICs) of AIM.

  • ‘The Ingenious Tinkerers’ is a compendium on the innovations on technology featuring 41 innovations from Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) of India.

  • ‘The Ingenious Tinkerers’ is a compilation of the top innovations created by young student innovators who participated in the ATL Marathon - which invites school students to address a problem that they see or face on a day-to-day basis.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

NORTH EASTERN REGION
Recent Initiatives launched for North Eastern Region.

About:

  • Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in collaboration with NITI Aayog, and with technical support from UNDP, released the North Eastern Region District SDG Index and Dashboard 2021-22. The index measures the performance of the District of the eight NE States. This is the first time, a District wise index is being prepared in the country.

  • The National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) is a new centrally sponsored scheme with a special focus on NE Region and A&N islands.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister has approved a revival package of Rs. 77.45 crore for revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC)

  • NEDFi has introduced Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme with the objective to develop the petty artisans of the NE Region.

Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

POSITIVE INDIGENISATION LIST
A positive indigenisation list of sub-systems/assemblies/sub-assemblies/components has been notified by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, as part of the efforts to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing and minimise imports by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

About:

  • The list contains 2,500 imported items which have already been indigenised and 351 imported items which will be indigenised in next three years. This Aatmanirbhar initiative will save foreign exchange approximately equivalent to Rs. 3,000 cr every year.

  • They will only be procured from Indian Industry after the timelines indicated in the list.

  • Two positive indigenisation lists of weapons/platforms/ systems/ammunitions etc have already been notified by the Department of Military Affairs, in order to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

  • The positive indigenisation list is an intrinsic part of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

  • For a product to be considered as an indigenous system, items on the positive indigenisation list must not only use technologies designed and developed by the Indian defence industry or the DRDO but also meet the specified requirement of sourcing indigenous content of 50 per cent.

Source : PIB
Internal Security

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

QUANTUM LABORATORY AT MHOW (MP)
The Indian Army is making steady, yet significant strides in the field of emerging technology domains.

About:

  • The Indian Army, with support from the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has recently established the Quantum Lab at Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Mhow (MP) to spearhead research and training in this key developing field.

  • Indian Army has also established an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre at the same institution with over 140 deployments in forward areas and active support of industry and academia.

  • Training on cyber warfare is being imparted through a state of art cyber range, and cyber security labs.

  • Research undertaken by Indian Army in the field of Quantum Technology will help leapfrog into next generation communication and transform the current system of cryptography in the Indian Armed Forces to Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC).

  • Key thrust areas are Quantum Key Distribution, Quantum Communication, Quantum Computing and Post Quantum Cryptography.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

SHAKTI CRIMINAL LAWS (MAHARASHTRA AMENDMENT) ACT
The Maharashtra Assembly passed the Shakti Criminal Laws (Maharashtra Amendment) Act unanimously. With the passage of the Bill, it became the second state in India after Andhra Pradesh to approve death penalty for heinous offences of rape and gangrape.

About:

  • The Act has amended the existing criminal laws to include death penalty as punishment in cases of rape and gangrape “in cases which have the characteristic of offence is heinous in nature and where adequate conclusive evidence is there and the circumstances warrant exemplary punishment, with death”.

  • The existing law on rape had provisions for death penalty only in cases of repeated offences.

  • The Act has also enhanced fines and punishment for offences of sexual violence against women and minors. Under the POCSO Act too, punishment for penetrative sexual assault in heinous cases has been enhanced to death penalty.

  • The Act requires the trial in these cases to be conducted on a day-to-day basis and completed within 30 working days from the date of filing of the chargesheet.

  • It also requires for the investigation to be completed within a month of the FIR which can be extended by another month by the concerned Special Inspector General of Police or Commissioner of Police only for specific reasons given in writing.

  • In cases of grievous hurt caused due to acid attacks under Section 326A, the punishment has been enhanced to a minimum of 15 years which can be extended to the remainder of the natural life of the perpetrator along with fine.

  • In cases of voluntarily throwing acid or attempting to throw it, punishment under section 326B has been enhanced to a minimum of seven years and a maximum of ten years.

  • The fine amount in these cases will be towards medical expenses including plastic surgery and face reconstruction, the Act states.

Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK
India has welcomed Egypt as the fourth new member of BRICS New Development Bank that was established by the BRICS countries six years ago.

About:

  • Bangladesh, UAE, and Uruguay joined in September 2021. Membership expansion enables New Development Bank to position itself as a premier development institution for emerging economies.

  • The New Development Bank aims to mobilize resources for development projects in BRICS, emerging economies, and developing countries.

  • The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) set up the bank with an aim to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies.

  • The bank is headquartered in Shanghai, China. The first regional office of the NDB is in Johannesburg, South Africa. The second regional office was established in 2019 in São Paulo, Brazil, followed by Moscow, Russia.

  • The NDB said it has so far approved about 80 projects in all of its member countries, totalling a portfolio of USD 30 billion. Projects in areas such as transport, water and sanitation, clean energy, digital infrastructure, social infrastructure and urban development are within the scope of the bank.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

ATAL RANKING OF INSTITUTIONS ON INNOVATION ACHIEVEMENTS (ARIIA)
Seven Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, are among the top 10 central institutions in promotion and support of innovation and entrepreneurship development, according to Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) announced.

About:

  • The top rank has been bagged by the IIT, Madras followed by the IITs in Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur and Roorkee.

  • The IISc has bagged the sixth position in the ranking followed by the IITs in Hyderabad and Kharagpur, the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Calicut, and the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Uttar Pradesh.

  • The ARIIA is an initiative of the Union Education Ministry to rank systematically all major higher education institutions in India on indicators related to innovation, start-up and entrepreneurship development among students and faculty members.

  • The ARIIA evaluates institutions on parameters such as patent filed and granted, number of registered students and faculty start-ups, fund generation by incubated start-ups, specialised infrastructure created by institutions to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • ARIIA-2021 ranking has been announced in various categories which include Centrally funded technical institutions (IITs, NITs and so on), State universities, State standalone technical colleges, private universities, private standalone technical colleges, non-technical government and private universities and institutions.

Source : The Hindu
Education

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

SANKALP SMARAK
In order to preserve this important event in history, a Sankalp Smarak was dedicated to the nation by Lt Gen Ajai Singh, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN), exactly 78 years after Netaji’s arrival on 29 Dec 2021.

About:

  • The Smarak is a tribute not only to the resolve of the soldiers of the Indian National Army but also reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji himself, “Nishtha, Kartavya aur Balidan” or “Commitment, Duty and Sacrifice” that continue to underscore the ethos of the Indian Armed Forces.

  • On 30 December 1943, a national flag was hoisted for the first time on Indian soil, at Port Blair.

  • It is also significant is that Netaji escaped British surveillance from Kolkata on 16 Jan 1941 and stepped back on Indian soil after nearly three years, at Port Blair Aerodrome on 29 Dec 1943 and unfurled a National flag the next day.

  • Netaji’s visit to the islands as the Head of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and Supreme Commander of Indian National Army marked a symbolic fulfilment of his promise that the Indian National Army would stand on Indian soil by the end of 1943.

  • This historic visit also marked a declaration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the “first liberated territory of India”.

Source : PIB
History

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

RYTHU BANDHU
The total funds disbursed under Rythu Bandhu, Telangana government’s direct benefit transfer scheme for farmers, will soon touch Rs 50,000 crore in the coming days.

About:

  • Rythu Bandhu is a scheme under which the state government extends financial support to land-owning farmers at the beginning of the crop season through direct benefit transfer so that they can take care of the initial investment needs and do not fall into a debt trap.

  • This in turn instills confidence in farmers, enhances productivity and income, and breaks the cycle of rural indebtedness.

  • Since 2018, when the scheme was launched by the state government, the government has been crediting Rs 5000 per acre per season into bank accounts of land-owning farmers ahead of Rabi and Kharif seasons.

  • Each farmer gets Rs 5,000 per acre per crop season without any ceiling on the number of acres held. So, a farmer who owns two acres of land would receive Rs 20,000 a year, whereas a farmer who owns 10 acres would receive Rs 1 lakh a year from the government.

  • The grant helps them cover the expenses on input requirements such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and labour.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 30, 2021

PANDU SHIP REPAIR FACILITY
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways met the top officials of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Cochin Shipyard Limited & IIT, Madras to review the progress on the Pandu Ship repair facility in Guwahati.

About:

  • The announcement of the new ship repair facility was made on 26th August, 2021. The minister said that the technical work is being completed as the construction of the facility is slated to commence from May, 2022. The project is aimed to be completed within two years; i.e. by 2024.

  • The design and implementation of this project is being done jointly by IWAI and Cochin Shipyard Limited. The technical support is being provided by IIT, Madras.

  • The facility - also referred as ‘Slipway’ - is going to be developed on 3.67 acre of land which is provided by Government of Assam.

Important Info :
  • The minister further said the work has already started on the National Waterway 2 - the Brahmaputra - as well as National Waterway 6 - the Barak which will help in facilitating cargo traffic, passenger traffic as well as tourist jetties for economic growth of the region.
Source : PIB
Economy

Dec. 29, 2021

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

COVID-19 VACCINATION
India has approved two more COVID-19 vaccines and the antiviral drug Molnupiravir under emergency use authorisation, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.

About:

  • Currently, India uses Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V for vaccination.

  • Corbevax, to be made by Hyderabad-based Biological E, is a protein subunit vaccine, and Covovax, to be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Pune, is a nanoparticle-based vaccine.

  • Corbevax has been co-developed by Biological E, the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, U.S., and the U.S. company Dynavax Technologies. Covovax is produced by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax, a U.S.-based biotechnology company.

  • The vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) under its Emergency Use Listing and, therefore, will be available globally as part of the COVAX initiative to ensure that at least 40% of world is vaccinated on priority.

  • Molnupiravir, which was approved this month by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA), close on the heels of Paxlovid by Pfizer Inc, is said to be a promising drug for those with mild and moderate disease and also easily administered as a pill. Thirteen companies in India are set to manufacture it.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE (PLI) SCHEME FOR TEXTILES
The Government of India released the operational guidelines for the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for textiles. Under this, companies can begin the registration process from January 1-31, 2022, on the government’s online portal.

About:

  • In case of insufficient number of eligible applications, the application window for selecting new applicants will be reopened.

  • In their application, companies will have to inform the ministry of textiles regarding their annual investment plan, expected sales, turnover, expected employment generation as well as exports during the tenure of the scheme, according to the guidelines.

  • Incentives worth Rs 10,683 crore will be provided over five years for manufacturing man-made fabrics, garments — jerseys, overcoats, trousers, polyester suitings and shirtings, among others.

  • It will also be provided for technical textiles, which is a new-age textile that can be used for the production of PPE kits, airbags and bulletproof vests. It can also be used in sectors such as aviation, defence and infrastructure.

  • The scheme obtained Cabinet approval in September and is focused on expanding man-made fabrics and technical textiles value chain to help India regain its dominant status in the global textiles trade.

  • The scheme is operational from September 24, 2021 to March 31, 2030.

  • According to the guidelines, there are two types of investments possible with different sets of incentive structures. Under the first part, any company willing to invest a minimum Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works will be eligible.

  • Under part 2, any company willing to invest a minimum Rs 100 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works will be eligible.

Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

PROJECT TO UPSKILL THE CANE AND BAMBOO ARTISANS OF NAGALAND
Ministry of Skill Development launched a pilot project for upskilling the cane and bamboo artisans of Nagaland under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

About:

  • The objective of this initiative is to upskill the local weavers and artisans to enhance their productivity through RPL assessment and certification in traditional handicrafts.

  • The project targets to upskill over 4,000 craftsmen and artisans.

  • The artisans and weavers will be aligned with the standardized National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF).

  • Under the initiative, each batch shall run for 12 days with 12 hours orientation and 60 hours Bridge Module. Further, after the orientation programme along with the Bridge Module, the artisans and weavers shall be certified with the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Type-1.

  • The training delivery partners for the upskilling initiative are Cane Concept and Handloom Naga.

  • National Skill Development Corporation, the nodal implementation agency for the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, supported by Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council (HCSSC) will monitor the day-to-day progress of the project. 

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

VEHICLE MOUNTED DRAIN CLEANING SYSTEM
CSIR-CMERI handed over the Non-Exclusive rights for Technology Know-How of the indigenously developed ‘Vehicle mounted Drain Cleaning System’ to MANIAR & CO., Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

About:

  • The Vehicle Mounted Drain Cleaning System is a Mechanized Scavenging System consisting of 3 modules namely (i) Recycled Slurry Water Unit (ii) Closed Loop Feed Back System (iii) Post Cleaning Inspection System.

  • This CSIR-CMERI Municipal Solid Waste Management Technology holds the potential to be the ‘Game-Changer’ in the domain of Waste Management and help realise the Vision of the Prime Minister of India of a ‘Zero-Landfill India’.

Important Info :
  • The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI) is a public engineering research and development institution in Durgapur, West Bengal.
  • It is a constituent laboratory of the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Source : PIB
Environment

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

BINA (MP)-PANKI (UP) MULTIPRODUCT PIPELINE PROJECT
The Multiproduct pipeline from Bina Refinery (MP) to POL Terminal at Panki, Kanpur (UP) was today dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

About:

  • 356 Km long project has a capacity of around 3.45 million metric tonne per annum.

  • This Project also includes augmentation of Tankage capacity and construction of Rail Loading Gantry at Panki POL Terminal.

  • It will provide for safe and efficient evacuation of products from Bina Refinery and also improve availability of products in Eastern U.P, Central U.P., Northern Bihar and Southern Uttarakhand.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

GRAM UJALA PROGRAMME
Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) has achieved a remarkable milestone of distributing 50 lakhs LED bulbs under Project Crore of their Gram Ujala programme.

About:

  • Gram Ujala scheme is being implemented in rural households in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.

  • CESL is providing high quality 7-Watt and 12-Watt LED bulbs with 3 years guarantee at a cost of INR 10 per bulb in exchange of working incandescent bulbs. Every household can exchange a maximum of 5 bulbs.

  • The distribution has resulted in energy savings of 71,99,68,373.28 units per year with cost savings of 250 crores per year in the rural areas of aforementioned states.

  • The programme is active till March 31, 2022.

  • CESL is supported by C-Quest Capital in the entire distribution journey under SHINE programme.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

KANPUR METRO RAIL PROJECT
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated the completed section of Kanpur Metro Rail Project.

About:

  • This completed 9 Km long section is from IIT Kanpur to Moti Jheel. The entire length of the Metro Rail Project in Kanpur is 32 Km, having 2 corridors of which 13 km will be underground.

  • Kanpur Metro Rail Project comprises of 2 corridors. First corridor from ‘IIT Kanpur to Naubasta’ is 23.8 km long while second corridor from ‘Chandrashekar Azad Agriculture University to Barra-8’ is 8.6 km long.

  • All the 9 stations of the priority corridor have been certified with platinum rating of ‘Green Building Council’.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

EXTREME COLD WEATHER CLOTHING SYSTEM (ECWS)
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Dr G Satheesh Reddy handed over technology for indigenous extreme cold weather clothing system (ECWS) to 05 Indian companies in New Delhi on December 27, 2021.

About:

  • The extreme ECWS is required by Indian Army for its sustained operations in glacier and Himalayan peaks.

  • The Army, till recently has been importing extreme cold weather clothing and several Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment (SCME) items for the troops deployed in high altitude regions.

  • The DRDO designed ECWCS is an ergonomically designed modular technical clothing with improved thermal insulation and physiological comfort based on the insulation required at various ambient climatic conditions in Himalayan regions during different levels of physical activity.

  • The ECWCS embodies physiological concepts related to reduction in respiratory heat and water loss, unhindered range of motions and rapid absorption of sweat while providing water proof, wind proof features with adequate breathability and enhanced insulation as well as strength features required for high altitude operations.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

CLASS 70 140-FEET DOUBLE-LANE MODULAR BRIDGE
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh dedicated to the Nation 24 bridges and three roads, built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in four States and two Union Territories.

About:

  • Of the 24 bridges, nine are in Jammu & Kashmir; five each in Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh; three in Uttarakhand and one each in Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh. Of the three roads, two are in Ladakh and one is in West Bengal.

  • The main highlight was the inauguration of India’s first indigenous Class 70 140-feet Double-Lane Modular Bridge, built at the height of 11,000 feet at Flag Hill Dokala, Sikkim and Chisumle-Demchok road at Umling La Pass at over 19,000 feet in Ladakh which also holds the Guinness World Record of world’s highest motorable road.

Source : PIB
Geography

Current Affairs
Dec. 29, 2021

CONSUMER PROTECTION (DIRECT SELLING) RULES, 2021
Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (zg) of sub-section (2) of section 101 read with section 94 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has notified the Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021.

About:

  • These Rules shall apply to all goods and services bought or sold through direct selling, all models of direct selling, all direct selling entities offering goods and services to consumers in India, all forms of unfair trade practices across all models of direct selling.

  • These Rules shall also apply to a direct selling entity which is not established in India, but offers goods or services to consumers in India.

  • Existing direct selling entities need to comply of these rules within ninety days from the date of publication of these rules in the Official Gazette.

  • The direct sellers as well as the direct selling entities using e-commerce platforms for sale shall comply with the requirements of the Consumer Protection (e-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

  • Both direct selling entity and direct sellers are prohibited from promoting Pyramid Scheme or money circulation scheme.

  • State Government must set up a mechanism to monitor or supervise the activities of direct sellers and direct selling entities.

  • Direct selling entities will be liable for the grievances arising out of the sale of goods or services by its direct sellers.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Dec. 28, 2021

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

STATE HEALTH INDEX
NITI Aayog released the fourth edition of the State Health Index for 2019–20.

About:

  • The report, titled “Healthy States, Progressive India”, ranks states and Union Territories on their year-on-year incremental performance in health outcomes as well as their overall status.

  • Round IV of the report focuses on measuring and highlighting the overall performance and incremental improvement of states and UTs over the period 2018–19 to 2019–20.

  • The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in close consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Methodology

  • The State Health Index is annual tool to assess the performance of states and UTs.

  • It is a weighted composite index based on 24 indicators grouped under the domains of ‘Health Outcomes’, ‘Governance and Information’, and ‘Key Inputs/Processes’.

  • Each domain has been assigned weights based on its importance with higher score for outcome indicators.

  • To ensure comparison among similar entities, the ranking is categorized as ‘Larger States’, ‘Smaller States’ and ‘Union Territories’.

Important Info :

The Findings

  • Among the ‘Larger States’, in terms of annual incremental performance, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Telangana are the top three ranking states.
  • Among ‘Smaller States’, Mizoram and Meghalaya registered the maximum annual incremental progress.
  • Among UTs, Delhi, followed by Jammu and Kashmir, showed the best incremental performance.
  • On overall ranking based on the composite index score in 2019–20, the top-ranking states were Kerala and Tamil Nadu among the ‘Larger States’, Mizoram and Tripura among the ‘Smaller States’, and DH&DD and Chandigarh among the UTs.
Health

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

COUNTER TERRORISM COMMITTEE OF UNSC
India will chair the Counter-Terrorism Committee of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in January 2022 after 10 years.

About:

  • The Counter-Terrorism Committee was established by Security Council resolution 1373 adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US.

  • The Committee was tasked with monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 which requested countries to implement a number of measures aimed at enhancing their legal and institutional ability to counter terrorist activities at home and around the world.  

  • This includes taking steps to criminalize the financing of terrorism, freezing any funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism, deny all forms of financial support for terrorist groups, suppress the provision of safe haven, sustenance or support for terrorists and share information with other governments on any groups practicing or planning terrorist acts.

  • Besides, the Committee monitors steps taken to cooperate with other governments in the investigation, detection, arrest, extradition and prosecution of those involved in terror acts and criminalizes active and passive assistance for terrorism.

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

YEAR END REVIEW – 2021 – MINISTRY OF COAL
The Union government launched Single Window Clearance portal on 11.01.2021 for the coal sector to speed up the operationalization of coal mines.

About:

  • A Coal Import Monitoring System has been created jointly with the help of Ministry of Commerce& Industry

  • The auction-based regime introduced in 2014 allowed private sector participation, however, it was limited to captive usage in own end use plants. The sector has been opened up for commercial coal mining by private players in 2020 and first ever successful auction of commercial mining was launched by the Prime Minister on 18.06.2020.

  • a “Sustainable Development Cell” has been created in Ministry of Coal and also in all coal PSUs to promote adoption of better environmental management practices in coal mines.

  • “Going Green Initiative” was rolled out by launching the Vriksharopan Abhiyan in August, 2021. Around 6.9 lakh seedlings of local species were planted covering an area of about 500 acres spread across 38 districts of 12 States (350 places)

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

YEAR END REVIEW-2021: DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Total telephone connections rose to 118.9 crore in September 2021 from 93 crore in March 2014, with a growth of 28 % in the said period.

About:

  • The tele-density which was 75.23% in March 2014 has reached 86.89% in September 2021.

  • Internet connections jumped from 25.15 crore in March 2014 to 83.37 crore in June 2021, registering a growth of 231%.

  • Broadband connections rose from 6.1 crore in March 2014 to 79 crores in June 2021, growing by about 1200%.

  • The number of Mobile Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) increased from 8 lakh in 2014 to 23 lakhs in 2021 growing by 187 %.

  • India jumped 21 rank, from 88 in 2020 to 67th position in 2021, in Network Readiness Index(NRI)  which was developed by World Economic Forum in 2002 and now published by  M/s Portulans Institute, Washington. India ranked 3rd among lower middle income countries and 12th among Asia & Pacific countries.

  • India ranks among top 10 in ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020 (release on 29.06.2021).

  • C-DOT, the R&D arm of DoT, is currently working on Quantum communication systems. Under the National Mission on Quantum technologies and Applications, the ETG (Empowered Technology Group) has identified C-DoT as the lead agency for Quantum Communications, one of the four components of the National Mission.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

YEAR END REVIEW-2021: MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
The key initiatives/achievements of the Ministry of Women and Child Development during the Year 2021 are as under:

About:

  • Age of Marriage of Women: The Bill on Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2021 has been introduced in Lok Sabha on 21.12.2021 for raising the age of marriage of women from 18 years to 21 years.

  • Poshan Tracker application has been built on latest technology for ensuring real-time monitoring of supplementary nutrition and providing information for prompt supervision and management of services.

  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): The Scheme envisages providing cash incentive amounting to ₹ 5,000/- in three installments directly to the Bank/Post Office Account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother (PW&LM) in DBT Mode during pregnancy and lactation.

  • The Juvenile Justice Act 2015 has been amended through Govt notification on 9.8.2021 and one of the most important features of the amendments is that it includes authorizing District Magistrate including Additional District Magistrate to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act, in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability.

  • Expansion of Childline: Childline 1098, a 24-hour a day, 365 days a year, free, emergency phone service, is a nation-wide initiative for rescuing and assisting children in need of aid. This year, Childline has also started Childline Services at Bus Stands and presently is available at 9 Bus Stands, in addition to its presence in railway stations.

Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

YEAR END REVIEW 2021 – MINISTRY OF TEXTILES
Recent key initiatives of the Ministry during the year are as under.

About:

  • PM MITRA PARKS: Government has approved Setting up of 7 Pradhan Mantri Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (MITRA) Parks with a total outlay of Rs. 4445 Crores in a period of 5 years.

  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles is specially focused at high value and expanding MMF and Technical Textiles segments of Textiles Value Chain. Incentives worth Rs. 10,683crore will be provided over five years for manufacturing notified products of MMF Apparel, MMF Fabrics and segments/products of Technical Textiles in India.

  • Government has approved continuation of RoSCTL scheme up to March 2024 to boost export competitiveness of Indian apparel and made-ups.

  • The Technical Textiles segment is a new age textile, whose application in several sector of economy, including infrastructure, water, health and hygiene, defense, security, automobiles, aviation will improve the efficiencies in those sectors of economy. Government has also launched a National Technical Textiles Mission for promoting R&D efforts in that sector.

  • SAMARTH (SKILL DEVELOPMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING) is a placement oriented programme targeting skill development of unemployed youth in the value chain of textiles for gainful employment in organized sector and skill upgradation of weavers & artisans in traditional sector.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

YEAR END REVIEW 2021 – MINISTRY OF POWER
The Ministry of Power in the current year has undertaken an array of reforms.

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

  • The Ministry of Power has notified Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 on 31.12.2020 under section 176 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

  • These Rules shall empower the consumers of electricity and emanate from the conviction that the power systems exist to serve the consumers and the consumers have rights to get the reliable services and quality electricity.

Late Payment Surcharge Rules 2021

  • Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge) Rules, 2021 have been notified by the Central Government on 22nd February, 2021.

  • Late Payment Surcharge means the charges payable by a distribution company to a generating company or electricity trader for power procured from it, or by a user of a transmission system to a transmission licensee on account of delay in payment of monthly charges beyond the due date.

Introduction of Green Day Ahead Market (GDAM)

  • Green Day Ahead Market (GDAM) is a marketplace for trading of renewable power on a day-ahead basis.

  • This would facilitate accomplishment of green targets as well as support integration of green energy in a most efficient, competitive and transparent manner.

  • GDAM was launched on 25.10.2021.

  • The Green day Ahead Market will be available through the Power Exchanges.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

FLEX FUEL VEHICLES (FFV)
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways advised the Automobile Manufacturers in India to start manufacturing Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) and Flex Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV) complying with BS-6 Norms in a time bound manner within a period of six months.

About:

  • In line with government’s policy on promoting ethanol as a transport fuel, Flex Fuel Vehicles are capable to run on a combination of 100% Petrol or 100% bio-ethanol and their blends, along with strong Hybrid Electric technology in case of FFV-SHEVs.

  • This move will drastically reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from vehicles on a Well-to-Wheel basis, helping India to comply with its commitment made at COP26 to reduce the total projected carbon emissions by One Billion Tonnes by 2030.

  • In order to accelerate the introduction of Flex Fuel vehicles, the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme has included automobile & auto components and auto components of flex fuel engines.

  • NITI Aayog, after acknowledging the strong foundation for the Ethanol blending programme (EBP), has formulated the road map for Ethanol blending for the period, 2020-2025.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

HYDROPOWER PROJECTS IN HIMACHAL
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the second ground breaking ceremony of the Himachal Pradesh Global Investors’ Meet in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. The meet is expected to give a boost to investment in the region through projects worth around Rs 28,000 crore.

About:

  • He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of hydropower projects worth over Rs 11,000 crore.

  • Some of the hydropower projects are the Renukaji Dam project, Luhri Stage 1 Hydro Power Project and Dhaulasidh Hydro Power Project.

  • He also inaugurated the Sawra-Kuddu Hydro Power Project.

Source : PIB
Geography

Current Affairs
Dec. 28, 2021

5G
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jamnagar, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, and Gandhi Nagar would be among the first cities to get 5G services in 2022.

About:

  • 5G or fifth generation is the latest upgrade in long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. It mainly works in three bands — low-, mid- and high-frequency — all of which have their uses as well as limitations.

  • While the low-band spectrum has shown great promise in terms of coverage, the maximum Internet speed is limited to 100 Mbps (megabits per second).

  • The mid-band spectrum offers higher speeds than low-band, but has limitations in terms of coverage area and penetration of signals.

  • High-band offers the highest speed among the three, but has extremely limited coverage and signal penetration strength.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Dec. 27, 2021

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

OVERDRAFT FACILITY FOR WOMEN SHG MEMBERS
Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) organised a special event called “Discourse on Rural Financial Inclusion” on 18th December, 2021.

About:

  • As a part of the event, the facility for overdraft (OD of Rs. 5,000/- to verified SHG members under DAY – NRLM having accounts under the prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana with Banks was launched by Department of Rural Development.

  • This facility has been initiated in pursuance of the announcement made by the Finance Minister in her budget speech of 2019-20.

  • Six Women SHG members from three States i.e., Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh (Two from each State) were provided with a cheque of Rs. 5,000 to mark the start of the scheme.

  • It is estimated that about 5 crore women SHG members under DAY-NRLM would be benefitted from this facility eventually.     

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

MISSION SAGAR
As part of yet another deployment undertaken by Indian Navy since May 2020 under Mission SAGAR, Indian Naval Ship Kesari entered Port of Maputo, Mozambique on 25 December 2021.

About:

  • This is the eighth such deployment in consonance with the Prime Ministers vision of Security And Growth for All in the Region and is being conducted in close coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs, and other agencies of the Government of India.

  • 500 Tons of food aid has been shipped by INS Kesari to support the efforts of Government of Mozambique to cope with ongoing drought and concurrent challenges of pandemic.

  • India also remains committed to supporting the capacity building efforts of the Armed Forces of Mozambique. To this end INS Kesari is carrying two Fast Interceptor Craft and self defence equipment to be handed over to the Armed Forces of Mozambique.

  • INS Kesari, a Landing Ship Tank (Large) had undertaken similar mission in May – June 2020 to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, including deployment of Medical Assistance Teams of the Indian Navy in multiple locations.

  • Since May 2020, the Indian Navy has deployed ships to 15 Friendly Foreign Countries under SAGAR missions.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

BRAHMOS MANUFACTURING CENTRE
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone for BRAHMOS Manufacturing Centre, established by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on December 26, 2021.

About:

  • The BRAHMOS Manufacturing Centre, announced by BrahMos Aerospace, is a modern, state-of-art facility in the Lucknow node of UP DIC.

  • It will cover over 200 acres and produce the new BRAHMOS-NG (Next Generation) variant, which carries forward the lineage of the BRAHMOS weapons system.

  • This new centre would be ready over the next two to three years and will commence production at a rate of 80-100 BRAHMOS-NG missiles per year.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY & TEST CENTRE
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone for Defence Technology & Test Centre established by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on December 26, 2021.

About:

  • A first of its kind Defence Technologies & Test Centre (DTTC), over approximately 22 acres is being set up to accelerate the growth of the defence and aerospace manufacturing clusters in Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor (UP DIC).

  • It will consist of the following six subcentres:
    • Deep-Tech Innovation & Startup Incubation Centre

    • Design & Simulation Centre

    • Testing & Evaluation Centre

    • Centre for Industry 4.0/Digital Manufacturing

    • Skill Development Centre

    • Business Development Centre



Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

INS SUDARSHINI
Sail Training Ship INS Sudarshini, was deployed to the Gulf as part of Indian Navy’s endeavour to enhance maritime cooperation with the friendly navies in the region.

About:

  • During the month-long deployment, the ship made port calls at Muscat, Dubai and Bandar Abbas and had professional interactions with Royal Oman Navy (RNO), UAE Navy and Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Navy.

  • The Ship built at Goa Shipyard Ltd, showcased indigenous ship building capabilities and revisited India’s historic maritime linkages with the Gulf.

  • The ship, during the deployment, undertook various training exchanges, wherein sail training was imparted to trainees from RNO and IRI Navy and sea sorties conducted.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

DESMOND TUTU
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who helped end apartheid in South Africa, has died aged 90.

About:

  • A contemporary of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, he was was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

  • The outspoken Tutu was considered the nation's conscience by both, the black majority and the white minority, an enduring testament to his faith and spirit of reconciliation in a divided nation.

  • He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

COVID-19 VACCINATION
The Prime Minister announced that the COVID-19 vaccination for children between 15 and 18 years of age will start from 3rd of next month.

About:

  • Mr Modi said, the government has also decided that it will begin precaution doses for the healthcare workers and frontline workers from 10th of January.

  • He said, citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities will also have the option of precaution dose of the vaccine on the advice of their doctor from 10th January onwards.

  • Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' also received approval for Emergency use in children between 12 and 18 years of age. Covaxin is formulated uniquely such that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

WORLD ECONOMY
India looks set to overtake France next year and then Britain in 2023 to regain its place as the world's sixth biggest economy.

About:

  • In a report released, the British consultancy CEBR said the world's economic output will exceed 100 trillion dollar for the first time next year and it will take China a little longer than previously thought to overtake the United States as the No.1 economy.

  • CEBR predicted China will become the world's top economy in dollar terms in 2030, two years later than forecast in last year's World Economic League Table report.

  • The important issue for the 2020s is how the world economies cope with inflation, which has now reached 6.8 per cent in the U.S.

  • The report showed Germany was on track to overtake Japan in terms of economic output in 2033. Russia could become a Top 10 economy by 2036 and Indonesia looks on track for ninth place in 2034.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN
The Centre told the Delhi High Court that the “right to be forgotten” is part of the fundamental right to privacy, but added it has no significant role to play in the matter.

About:

  • The right to be forgotten allows a person to seek deletion of private information from the Internet.

  • The concept has found recognition in some jurisdictions abroad, particularly the European Union. The EU in 2018 adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Article 17 of which provides for the right to erasure of certain categories of personal data.

  • While the right is not recognised by law in India, courts in recent months have held it to be an intrinsic part of the right to privacy. Petitions across courts have been seeking enforcement of this “right” — a legal principle that is not yet backed by statute in India.

  • In May 2019, Justice Pratibha M Singh of the Delhi High Court, said the “right to be forgotten” and “right to be left alone” are inherent aspects of the right to privacy, and restrained republication of these news reports.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Dec. 27, 2021

REVAMPED DISTRIBUTION SECTOR SCHEME (RDSS)
The Ministry of Power, Government of India, had launched the Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).

About:

  • ts objective is to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of State owned DISCOMs/ Power Departments by providing financial assistance to DISCOMs for modernisation and strengthening of distribution infrastructure, aiming at improvement of the reliability and quality of supply to end consumers.

  • Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme has an outlay of Rs.3,03,758 crore with an estimated budgetary support from Central Government of Rs. 97,631 crores, which would be available till FY 2025-26.

  • The assistance is reforms linked and will be based on meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon achievement of performance benchmarks by DISCOMs evaluated based on an agreed and customised evaluation framework tied to financial and operational improvements.

  • Key interventions envisioned under this program include providing support to DISCOMs to undertake activities for ensuring 100% System metering, implementing Prepaid Smart Metering, Energy Accounting, and implementing infrastructure works for Loss Reduction.

  • In addition, segregation of feeders dedicated only for supply of power for agricultural purposes, which are proposed to be solarized under the KUSUM scheme, will be sanctioned on priority under the scheme.

Source : PIB
Economy
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