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Current Affairs 17 December 2022

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CCI & TEXPROCIL sign MoU on Branding, Traceability and Certification of Kasturi Cotton IndiaMoU signed between Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) Limited and TEXPROCIL on Branding, Traceability and Certification of “Kasturi Cotton India”On 15th December 2022, Cotton Corporation of India Limited (CCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council, known as TEXPROCIL, on Branding, Traceability and Certification of “Kasturi Cotton India” on the concluding day of Kashi Tamil Sangamam in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh(UP).

  • The MoU was signed in the presence of  Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Commerce & Industry

Note – The “Kasturi Cotton India” Brand of cotton was launched on the World Cotton Day (7th October 2020) by which Indian cotton was endowed with a brand and a logo that represents Whiteness, Softness, Purity, Lusture and Indianness.
About the MoU:
i.The MoU will encourage the Industry to work on the principle of self-regulation by taking complete responsibility of Traceability, Certification and Branding of Indian cotton.

  • The Textile Ministry will contribute an equal share of Rs.15 crores over a period of 3 cotton seasons starting from FY23 to FY25.

ii.The MoU enables in providing complete traceability of Cotton from the origin farm level, QR Code based Certification technology to validate KASTURI Cotton India at each stage and also promotes it as a premium brand by enhancing international perception & valuation of Indian Cotton.
Note – MoT will organise a unique, one of its kind exhibition, ‘VIRAASAT’ in New Delhi to celebrate 75 handwoven saris of India in New Delhi.
About Kashi Tamil Samagam:
i.The Kashi Tamil Samagam, is a two-day event hosted by the Ministry of Textiles (MoT), Government of India (GoI), where the Textile industry and exporters will get together to ensure that the cotton farmers of India get their due in the world markets.

  • Around 250 delegates from industries and MSME sector participated. Among which, 75 were from Tamil Nadu (TN).

ii.The main focus of the discussion was to implement Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s  vision of 5F-from Farm to Fibre to Fabric to Fashion to Foreign.

  • This will benefit the farmers in getting actual value of their produce due to brand building and quality assurance.

iii.An advisory group on ‘Man-Made Fibre’ will also be created on the lines of Cotton Group, with Prime Minister (PM)’s vision of ‘whole government approach’ and ‘collective stakeholder consultation’.

KAZIND-22: 6th Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise started at Meghalaya6th edition of Indo-Kazakhstan joint training exercise “KAZIND-22”On December 15, 2022, the 6th edition of the India-Kazakhstan joint training exercise ‘KAZIND-22’ initiated at Umroi Military Station in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. It will culminate on December 28, 2022.
To boost bilateral relations
India– Indian Army soldiers from the 11 Gorkha Rifles
Kazakhstan– Soldiers from South-based Regional Command
Key Points:
i.The exercise will improve military relations, utilizes each other’s best practices, and promote the ability to collaborate while undertaking counter-terrorist operations in semi-urban or jungle scenarios under a UN (United Nations) Peace Enforcement mandate.
ii.Both armies will train, plan and execute a series of combined tactical drills for neutralizing threats.
iii.In 2016, the two countries instituted ‘Exercise Prabal Dostyk’, a joint annual training exercise which was later upgraded to a company-level exercise and renamed ‘Exercise Kazind’ in 2018.
About Kazakhstan:
Capital– Astana
Currency– Kazakhstani Tenge
Prime Minister– Alikhan Smailov

NITI Aayog’s AIM & UNDP launches 5th ‘Youth Co: Lab’ 2022-2023 for Social Entrepreneurs NITI Aayog, UNDP launch fifth 'Youth Co Lab' for social entrepreneursOn 15th December 2022, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India, launched the 5th edition of “Youth Co: Lab” (2022-2023) to support young social entrepreneurs.

  • Chintan Vaishnav, AIM Mission Director and Dennis Curry, UNDP India Resident Representative launched the application for the 5th edition.

5th Edition of Youth Co: Lab: 
The goal of the 5th edition of Youth Co: Lab India is to find and encourage young people who are leading early-stage social companies or innovations in the fields of;

  • Digital and Financial Literacy for Youth
  • Gender Equality and Women Economic Empowerment
  • Developing FinTech Solutions focused on Biodiversity Conservation
  • Promoting Biodiversity-friendly Lifestyles through Technological Solutions in Finance
  • Accelerating Circular Economy through Upcycling Innovations
  • Behavioral Nudges for LiFE ( Lifestyle For Environment)

About Youth Co: Lab:
i. Youth Co: Lab was launched in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation. It is operational in 28 Countries and territories in Asia and the Pacific.
ii. In 2019, Youth Co: Lab, the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in Asia and the Pacific, was launched as an initiative by UNDP India in Partnership with AIM, NITI Aayog.
iii. Through leadership, social innovation, and entrepreneurship, the initiative aims to establish a shared agenda for Asia-Pacific nations to invest in and empower young to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM):
AIM, NITI Aayog is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, which was set up in 2016.
Mission Director- Dr Chintan Vaishnav
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
About the NITI Aayog:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Parameswaran Iyer
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment- 2015

RoDTEP scheme to include Chemicals, Pharma, Iron & Steel from Dec 15, 2022RoDTEP scheme to include chemicals, pharma, iron & steel from Dec 15The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) expanded the scope of the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) Scheme w.e.f. December 15, 2022 to September 30, 2023.

  • This expansion will include the shipments from the chemical sector, pharmaceuticals sector and exports of articles of iron and steel under chapters 28, 29, 30 and 73 of the Indian Trade Classification based on Harmonized System of Coding (ITC-HS) schedule of items.
  • This expansion will cost around Rs 1,000 crore to the Central Government.

Key Points:
i.With this, the expanded list of the eligible export items under the Appendix 4R of the RoDTEP scheme will increase from 8,731 export items (eight-digit tariff lines) to 10,342 export items (eight-digit tariff lines).
ii.This expansion will boost exports as the newly added items are eligible for exports under the RoDTEP Scheme.

  • Notably, exports declined in October 2022 by more than 16% and slipped the $30-billion mark for the first time in 20 months. This is due to recession, and supply chain disruptions due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • Engineering goods, that also include steel products, dropped over 21% to $7.4 billion. Drugs and Pharma exports had fallen more than 9%, while chemical exports declined by 16.4%.

What is being done under the RoDTEP Scheme?
Initiated on January 1, 2021, it refunds the embedded central, state, and local duties and taxes to exporters that were previously not rebated or refunded. It replaced an earlier Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS).

  • The rebate is provided as transferable electronic scrip by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in an end-to-end IT (Information Technology) environment.
  • RoDTEP adheres to the globally acknowledged principle which states that taxes and duties should not be exported, and that taxes and levies levied on exported goods should be exempted or remitted to exporters.

ESIC to Invest Up to 15% of Surplus Funds in Stock Market Through ETFs

Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), a Government of India (GoI) social security body, has approved a proposal to invest up to 15% of its surplus funds in the stock market via Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

  • The decision was made at the 189th meeting of ESIC, which was chaired by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Labour & Employment (MoLE).

ESIC gave its approval due to the relatively poor returns on debt instruments as well as the necessity for diversification.
Key Points:  
i.The investment will begin with 5% of surplus funds and will be increased to 15% based on a review of the investment after two quarters.

  • The investment will be confined to ETFs on the Nifty and Sensex and will be administered by fund managers at Asset Management Companies (AMCs).

ii.In addition to the management of the ETF for equity, the existing custodian will oversee equity investments along with an external concurrent auditor and a consultant supervising debt investments.
Note: ESIC has a surplus of over Rs. 65,000 crore, which grows annually by over Rs. 8000-9000 crore.
Infrastructure-Strengthening Initiatives
i.The Nirman Se Shakti’ initiative has been launched to gradually develop and modernise the infrastructure of ESIC hospitals and dispensaries.
ii.ESIC approved the proposals to construct two new 100-bed ESIC hospitals: one in Idukki, Kerala, and one in Shyamlibazar, Agartala, Tripura.
Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
i.ESIC is one of the two primary statutory social security organisations under the MoLE, together with the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
ii.The ESIC Act applies to all employees earning Rs 21,000 or less per month as salary.

  • According to the Act, the employer and employee each contribute 3.25% and 0.75%, respectively, and these funds are used to offer medical and financial benefits to subscribers and their families.

iii.Employees registered in the scheme are entitled to medical treatment for themselves and their dependents, unemployment cash payments in certain circumstances, and maternity benefits in the case of female employees.

  • The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) was empowered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment (MoLE) in 2015 to invest up to 15% of its surplus in equities for greater returns.
  • EPFO is a retirement fund organisation that pays annual interest to its 5.5 crore subscribers on its investments.

Ministry of Culture organises “Swar Dharohar Festival” in New Delhi

Ministry of Culture, Government of India, in collaboration with Swar Dharohar Foundation, inaugurated 3-day “Swar Dharohar Festival” under Kalanjali to showcase the iconic art & culture, rich literary Art & Heritage of Indian States, at Central Vista, New Delhi, Delhi.

  • Swar Dharohar festival was inaugurated by Chief Guest Mehtab Ali (Sitar Player) and Pandit Lalit Prasad (Classical Vocal).
  • The 3 days festival was organized from the 2nd to 4th December 2022 at Central Vista, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi.
  • On an inaugural day Classical Performances, Ghazal, Kavi Sammelan, Mushaira, and Sufi Performance were organised.


IREDA Signs Rs 4444.71 cr Loan Agreement with SGEL for 1000 MW Solar ProjectIreda inks ₹4,445 cr loan pact with SJVN Green Energy for 1,000 MW solar projectOn 15th December 2022, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) Limited signed a loan agreement worth Rs. 4,444.71 crore with SJVN Green Energy Limited (SGEL), a subsidiary of SJVN Limited (formerly Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd) for 1,000 MegaWatt (MW) Solar power project at Bikaner, Rajasthan.

  • The loan agreement was signed by S.L. Sharma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SGEL and Pradipta Kumar Roy, Deputy General Manager(DGM) of IREDA in the presence of Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of  IREDA and Nand Lal Sharma, CMD of SJVN.

Key highlights:
i.The project will connect to 400/220 KV substation Bikaner-II (near Bikaner).
ii.The project was bagged by SGEL through a tender floated by IREDA under the CPSU Phase-II (Tranche III) Scheme for development of Grid connected Solar PV Power Project through competitive Bidding Process based on Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support.
iii.Through this cooperation, IREDA will support the Government of India (GoI) to achieve its targets of 50% share of energy from non-fossil fuels by 2030 and also encourages green investment along with direct and indirect employment opportunities.
About SJVN Green Energy Limited (SGEL):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – S.L. Sharma
Headquarters – Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Establishment – April 2022

SIDBI Collaborates with M1xchange as A Financier to Boost Liquidity for MSMEs

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has teamed with M1xchange as the financier to provide liquidity to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at low interest rates.

  • SIDBI is the apex financial institution dedicated to the promotion, funding, and development of MSMEs.

M1xchange, India’s leading Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform, provides MSMEs with early financing within 24 hours via its online bidding platform and an end-to-end digital process.

  • M1xchange is one of three TReDS platforms; the other two are RXIL and InvoiceMart.

Key Points:
i.With this exclusive offering from M1xchange TReDS, MSMEs will be able to use TReDS to discount receivables from corporate buyers.

  • The discounting of bills of MSMEs is facilitated through TReDS, which is governed by the RBI. This enhances cash flow, liquidity, and the overall efficiency of MSMEs.

ii.This partnership is regarded as a highly effective and efficient option for solving the problem of delayed payment for MSMEs.
iii.The MSME sector accounts for the majority of enterprises in India and is regarded as the second largest employer after agriculture.
Facilitation of MSMEs via M1xchange TReDS
i.M1xchange has facilitated bill discounting of over Rs 37,000 crores to over 14,000 MSME suppliers spanning across 1,400 towns in India at a competitive interest rate.
ii.TReDS facilitates large-scale, digital financial inclusion of MSMEs with a positive social impact.

  • This finance comes with no collateral and no recourse for MSMEs.

iii.In the current fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), TReDS platform intends to extend its digital factoring footprint by 25% to 30%.
Note: Mr. Sundeep Mohindru is the MD & CEO of M1xchanage.
About the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Establishment – 1990
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

RGICL Introduces First-Of-Its-Kind “Reliance Health Infinity Policy”

Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. (RGICL) has launched a premium health insurance policy, the “Reliance Health Infinity Policy,” a first of its kind that promises to offer customers endless benefits to maximize their protection.

  • RGICL claims to be India’s first health insurance plan to provide policyholders discounts depending on their financial credit score.

The base plan covers critical expenses such as organ donation, pre- and post-hospitalization, day-care procedures, emergency ambulances, and special treatments.
Reliance Health Infinity Policy
i.Eligibility: The policy is offered in the family floater and individual floater categories (up to 8 members).

  • It has sum insured options ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5 crore.

ii.The policy is offered to children above the age of 90 days and individuals between the ages of 18 and 65.

  • In addition, the Mother and Child Care benefit covers newborn babies.

iii.It can be bought for 1-year, 2-year or 3-years policy tenure.
Key Features:
i.The policy includes Moreglobal Cover, Maternity Cover, Outpatient Department (OPD) Cover, unlimited restoration of the sum insured, and 15 other essential add-on features.

  • It also offers the credit score-based discount (first in India), as well as a Body Mass Index (BMI) -based premium discount to reward clients for being fit both financially and physically.

ii.The MoreGlobal plan offers emergency and pre-planned medical treatment abroad along with air ambulance and OPD services.

  • The add-on benefits include maternity coverage of up to Rs. 2 lakh.

iii.The policy provides a 12-month waiting period and unlimited restoration of the base sum insured amount for both related and unrelated illnesses during the policy year.

  • OPD coverage includes prescribed drugs, dental and surgical treatments, diagnostic tests, and consultations with Doctors.

iv.Double coverage begins on the first day of coverage and gives an additional 100% of the sum-insured to be utilized during the same claim.
About Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. (RGICL):
Executive Director & CEO – Rakesh Jain
Incorporated – 2000

Tata AIA Life Insurance Launches Emerging Opportunities FundTata AIA Life debuts emerging opportunities fundOn 15th December 2022 Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited launched the Emerging Opportunities Fund. The new fund offering (NFO) will open from 15th December to 30th  December 2022, at Rs. 10 per unit, which is applicable only during the NFO period.

  • The investment objective of the fund is to generate capital appreciation in the long-term by investing in a portfolio of stocks that offer opportunities in the mid-cap space.
  • This new fund will invest in a portfolio of stocks in mid-cap companies and emerging market leaders with the potential to generate growth in future.

Key highlights:
i.This is an equity fund that benefits consumers from long-term equity growth along with the protection of a life insurance cover.
ii.Investments in the fund can be made through Tata AIA’s unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), such as Fortune Pro, Wealth Pro, Fortune Maxima and Wealth Maxima.

  • The fund will also be attached to Tata AIA’s Param Rakshak Solutions.

iii.Up to 30 percent of the portfolio could be allocated by the fund to equity and equity-related instruments, outside the mid-cap range.
About Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited : 
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture company, formed by Tata Sons Private Limited and AIA Group Limited (AIA). 
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Naveen Tahilyani
Chairman – Saurabh Agrawal
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra


EESL Signs MoU with Institution of Engineers’ Energy Conservation Mission

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institution of Engineers (India), under Energy Conservation Mission in an effort to propagate the importance of energy conservation in Telangana.

  • This partnership aims to conduct awareness sessions on ‘Energy Conservation’ across 30 schools in Telangana.

Key highlights:
i.Both EESL and Institution of Engineers (India) will collaborate on developing and conducting skill development and training activities for upskilling unemployed youth.

  • They will also facilitate capacity building sessions in educational institutions, Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) engaged in energy related businesses, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and Women’s self-help groups on energy conservation practices and  energy efficiency technologies and programmes.

ii.In Telangana, EESL has installed around 15.53 Lakh LED street lights as part of its Street Lighting National Programme.

  • The inefficient lights have been replaced with energy efficient LED lights which offer better visibility and reduce GHG emissions.

About Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Vishal Kapoor
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment – 2009

Reliance group launches FMCG brand ‘Independence’ in Gujarat

On 15th December 2022, Reliance Consumer Products, a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), launched its made-for-India Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand “Independence” in Gujarat.

  • The company will provide a selection of goods under the “Independence” brand in a number of categories, including staples, processed foods, and other daily essentials.
  • As it gets ready for the brand’s national rollout, it also intends to make Gujarat a “go-to-market” state by fostering excellence in execution for its FMCG sector.


Tennis: Rafael Nadal named Men’s ITF World Champions 2022& Iga Swiatek named Women’s ChampionOn 15th December 2022, Rafael Nadal, Spanish Tennis Player, has been named the Men’s International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Champion 2022 for the 5th time after an outstanding 2022 season.

  • Polish tennis player, Iga Świątek, has been named Women’s ITF World Champion 2022 for her performance in 2022 winning 2 Grand Slam titles and 8 titles.

i. Rafael Nadal and Iga Świątek who won the award under the ITF Singles World Champions category are among 11 players who have been announced as ITF World Champions 2022.
About International Tennis Federation (ITF):
President- David Haggerty
Headquarters- London, United Kingdom (UK)
Establishment- 1913
>> Read Full News

Gautam Adani Featured on 6th annual Bloomberg 50 list

Businessman and philanthropist Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group, has been named to the Bloomberg Businessweek’s 6th annual Bloomberg 50 list “Bloomberg 50: The people who defined global business in 2022” which recognises the people in in business, entertainment, finance, politics, science and technology who defined 2022.
Note: The list also features President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy; American economist Daleep Singh and others.
About Gautam Adani: 
i.Gautam Adani’s personal wealth increased around USD 49 billion in 2022.

  • In February 2022, He overtook Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL) to become Asia’s richest person.
  • With a net worth of around USD 125.5 billion he overtook Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become World 3rd richest person behind, Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk.

ii.He has been the busiest dealmaker in Asia in 2022, acquiring various assets such as the India Unit of Swiss cement giant Holcim Ltd. for USD 10 billion.
iii.He became the leading Indian businessman with the highest market cap and he is also one of the India’s most generous philanthropists.
iv.The Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) owned by Adani Group has become the world’s largest solar energy producer and is fast developing capabilities into other forms of renewable energy generation.     


Mette Frederiksen re-elected as the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen re-elected as the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Head of the Social Democratic Party, was re-elected as the Prime Minister of Denmark for 2nd term.
About Mette Frederiksen:
i. Mette Frederiksen was elected Prime Minister of Denmark in June 2019 and became the youngest PM in Danish history, succeeding Lars Løkke Rasmussen (former PM from 2009-2011; 2015-2019).
ii. She became the 2nd woman to hold this office, following Helle Thorning-Schmidt (2011-2015), Denmark’s first female prime minister.
iii. In the 2001 general election, she was chosen to represent Copenhagen County in parliament.
iv. She attained the record for the longest-tenured female head of state in the European Union in December 2021.
Awards and Recognition:
i. For Mette Frederiksen’s political tenacity, zeal, and ability to make a social effect, she received the Nina Bang award in 2002.
ii. She is in the Fobes List (#74) on the 2022 Power Women
Key Points:
i. Mette Frederiksen announced her decision to form a bipartisan government, breaking the traditional Danish left-right divide for the first time in more than four decades.
ii. The 3 party leaders, Mette Frederiksen, Jakob Elleman-Jensen of the Liberal Party, and Lars Løkke Rasmussen of the Moderates, announced a press briefing to outline the broad political ideas behind the next government.
iii. The alliance was agreed upon after the Liberal Party and the Moderates dropped their demands for an independent legal investigation into Frederiksen’s role in the illegal order to exterminate Denmark’s mink herd during the COVID outbreak.
About Denmark:
Denmark is both a democracy and a monarchy. However, as it is a constitutional monarchy, the constitutional Act limits the monarch’s power.
Monarch- Queen Margrethe II
Capital- Copenhagen
Currency- Danish Krone       


India successfully carries out Night Trials of nuclear-capable Agni-V MissileIndia successfully carries out night trials of nuclear-capable ''Agni-five missile''On December 15, 2022, India successfully conducted night trials of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile Agni V from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.

  • This was the 9th flight of the Agni V as a part of routine test. It was first tested in 2012.
  • It will be inducted into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).

Key Points:
i.The test was carried out to validate new technologies and equipment on the missile. It proved the capability to enhance the range of the Agni-V missile, if required.
ii.It was on the lines of India’s stated policy to have credible minimum deterrence by committing to No First-Use (NFU).
About Agni V:
i.It is an ingeniously built advanced long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). It is a fire-and-forget missile, which cannot be stopped without an interceptor missile.
ii.This 17 metres long and capable of carrying a 1.5-tonne warhead can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometers with a very high degree of accuracy. It uses a three-stage solid-fuelled engine.
iii.IGMDP is the brain-child of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam which include five missiles P-A-T-N-A i.e. Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Nag, and Akash.
The Agni-V project is aimed at boosting India’s nuclear deterrence against China which has missiles like Dongfeng-41 having ranges between 12,000-15,000 km. It can bring almost the entire Asia including the northernmost part of China, and some regions in Europe under its striking range.

India receives its final 36th Rafale jet from FranceIndia receives its final 36th Rafale jet from FranceOn December 15, 2022, India received its final 36th Rafale aircraft with RB tail number from France that is equipped with all 13 India specific enhancements.

  • These include powerful radio altimeter, radar warning receiver, low band jammer, flight data recorder, high-altitude engine start-up, synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator and tracking, infra-red search and track, helmet-mounted display, missile approach warning systems and very high-frequency range decoys.

This Rafale is designated as RB008 where RB stands for former Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. (Rakesh Kumar Singh) Bhadauria who, as then Deputy Chief of IAF, led the Indian negotiation team for Rafale Purchase Agreement in 2016.
Key Points:
i.Its all spares and other parts are replaced as it was being used for developmental activities.
ii.The 35 of these planes are stationed at Ambala, Haryana and Hasimara in West Bengal.
iii.The Rafale is a 4.5-generation aircraft with long range air to air and air to ground missiles along with advanced radar and electronic warfare capabilities.
India and France had signed the Inter-Government Agreement (IGA) in 2016, under which Paris agreed to provide 36 Rafale fighter jets for around Rs 60,000 crore to India. The cost of each jet was estimated to be around Rs 670 crore (7.87 billion Euro).

  • The first batch of five Rafale jets had arrived on July 29, 2020 in Ambala, Haryana and became part of the 17 Squadron, the ‘Golden Arrows’.
  • These were manufactured by Dassault Aviation.


ICAR-IARI develops new Drought Resistant Chickpea variety ‘Pusa JG 16’

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), also known as the ‘Pusa Institute’,  have developed drought tolerant variety of chickpea ‘Pusa JG 16‘, which could increase chickpea yield in India.

  • The ICAR-IARI), in collaboration with Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV) Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (RVSKVV), Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Hyderabad (Telangana)  developed drought hardy and higher-yielding chickpea variety ‘Pusa JG 16’.

Pusa JG 16:
i. The Pusa JG 16 variety was developed using genomic-assisted breeding methods, which enabled the precise transfer of drought-tolerant genes from ICC 4958 in the parental variety JG 16.
ii. The variety will enhance productivity in the Central Zone’s drought-prone areas, where terminal drought is a major problem and sometimes leads to a 50-100% loss of yield.

  • Drought-Prone Areas of India consist of Madhya Pradesh, Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Southern Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat

iii. It is resistant to Fusarium wilt and stunt diseases, which has short duration maturity and yields a potential of 2 tonnes per hectare under drought-stress conditions.
iv. The All India Coordinated Research Programme (AICRP) of Chickpea conducted tests at the national level to confirm this variety’s drought tolerance.
About the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
ICAR (formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India.
Director-General- Dr Himanshu Pathak (Secretary of DARE)
Establishment- 1929
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
About the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI):
IARI formerly known as Agricultural Research Institute (ARI))
Director- Dr A. K. Singh
Establishment- 1905
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi


Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, ”last Hawaiian princess” Passed Away 

Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, a Hawaiian princess whose lineage included the royal family that once ruled the islands and an Irish businessman who became one of Hawaii’s largest landowners, passed away at the age of 96 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa was born on 23rd April 1926 in Honolulu, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii
  • Her great-grandfather, James Campbell, an Irish businessman who owned a sugar plantation, was the source of her enormous wealth, which was kept in trust and is estimated to be worth USD 215 million (175 million in a pound).
  • Iolani Palace, the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is the only royal residence in the United States of America.


Historian Vikram Sampath authored a new book “Bravehearts of Bharat”

Bengaluru (Karnataka)-based historian Dr Vikram Sampath has authored a new book titled “Bravehearts of Bharat: Vignettes from Indian History”. The book is published by Penguin Viking, owned by Penguin Random House.

  • Bravehearts of Bharat chronicles the stories of courage, determination and victory, which largely remained untold and therefore unknown for a long time
  • Vikram Sampath’s latest books include 2-volume biography of Indian politician and writer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: ‘Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924’ and ‘Savarkar: A Contested Legacy, 1924-1966’.


51st Vijay Diwas – 16th December 2022 Vijay Diwas - December 16 2022Vijay Diwas, known as Bijoy Dibos(in Bangladesh) is annually observed across India and Bangladesh on 16th December to commemorate the victory of the Indian armed forces against the Pakistan forces in the 1971 Indo-Pak war (India – Pakistan war of 1971) also known as Bangladesh Liberation war.

  • 16th December 2022 marks the celebration of the 51st Vijay Diwas.

The day also pays homage to the soldiers of both India and Bangladesh who lost their lives in the line of duty to their nation.
Bijoy Dibos: 
The 16th December is annually celebrated as “Bijoy Dibos” (Day of Victory) in Bangladesh, to mark its formal independence from Pakistan.
About 1971 Indo-Pak War: 
i.The 1971 Indo-Pak War is a confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the Bangladesh Liberation War in East Pakistan.
ii.The war took place from 3rd  December 1971 until the Pakistani capitulation in Dhaka, East Pakistan(now Bangladesh) on 16 December 1971.
iii.Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Army general of Pakistan along with his 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered before the Indian Army and Mukti-Bahini led by Lieutenant General Jagit Singh Aurora.
iv.The Eastern Command of the Pakistan military signed the instrument of surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Significance of the 1971 War: 
i.The 1971 War was the most significant geopolitical event in the Indian subcontinent since the partition of India in 1947.
ii.This led to the creation of Bangladesh and the signing of the Simla Agreement (2nd July 1972).
iii.The surrender of more than 90000 Pakistani military personnel was the largest in number of prisoners of war since World War II.
On the Eve of Vijay Diwas 2022, President of India Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi attended the ‘At Home’ reception at the Army House.


UP Govt Signs MoU with Singapore Ahead of UP Global Investors Summit

The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has signed a number of agreements with investors in Singapore ahead of the UP Global Investors Summit (UPGIS), for a 50 billion investment commitments target.

  • UPGIS will be held among countries in Lucknow, between 10th February and 12th February 2023.

Key highlights:
i.The UP Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) at the Singapore roadshow, to set the pace for Singapore investors to participate in the prosperity of UP.

  • SICCI will act as a bridge between Singapore’s investment companies and the UP Government.
  • SICCI will also act as a knowledge partner, provide avenues for growth, and also define a trajectory for investors.

ii.In Order to achieve the target of becoming a USD 1 trillion economy in line with the central government’s vision to create a USD 5 trillion national economy in future, the UP government will still need around USD 50 billion.
iii.Projects worth Rs 380,000 crore were raised from the 2018 UP Investors Summit, which are presently in various phases of implementation.

  • An additional USD 5 billion is expected from UPGIS and Singapore is a partner country for UPGIS.

About Uttar Pradesh (UP):
Governor – Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel
Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
Wildlife Sanctuary – Mahaveer Swami WL Sanctuary, Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger Reserve – Amangarh (buffer of Corbett TR)

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin Launches Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission; CM Introduces Single Window Clearance System

Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister (CM) M K Stalin launched the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission at the ‘TN Climate Summit 2022’  to protect the natural resources and restore them on a long-term basis.

  • Tamil Nadu is the first state to launch its own Climate Change Mission to make it a climate smart state.

MoUs Signed:
TN government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Resources Institute, Anna University and National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management on the occasion.

  • This helps the TN government in establishing 10 smart villages, 25 green schools and achieve blue flag beaches.

Key highlights:
i.Through this initiative, Tamil Nadu would  achieve carbon neutrality ahead of the 2070 target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the state prioritises the climate agenda with district missions and climate officers already in place.
ii.BackgroundThe Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission was announced during the 2021-2022 budget for an outlay of Rs 500 crore to undertake climate change management and mitigation activities.

  • Additionally, Rs 77.35 crore was allotted for carrying out basic research related to reduction of vehicular emissions, restoration of coastal habitats, creation of mangrove forests and other features, efforts to generate energy from waste, green power generation, creation of life shields in coastal areas, climate literacy and sustainable villages.

iii.Following this, the TN government had established India’s first ‘Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company”, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement three major nature conservation projects including Green Tamil Nadu Mission, Tamil Nadu Wetlands and Tamil Nadu Climate Change.
Note – TN CM inaugurated the sanitation workers development scheme in Madurai, TN to protect the welfare of conservancy workers in the state.
TN Introduces Single-window system for the Approval of Green Projects
TN has introduced a single window system to provide clearances to green projects during the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission to attain a 1 trillion economy by 2030.

  • The Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission will coordinate initiatives such as ‘meendum manjappai’, e-buses, climate smart villages and green monuments projects.

Efforts taken by TN government:
i.A separate green corridor will also be created for renewable energy and the repowering policy is also being created to promote wind energy. Palm trees will be planted to prevent sea erosion and safeguard biodiversity.
ii.Measures have been taken to create Green Climate Fund to promote circular economy, renewable energy and others by collecting funds.
iii.Around 10 villages have been selected for climate smart villages project and also awareness will be created about climate change among people through climate literacy initiative.


List of Current Governors in India – AUGUST 2022

List of Current Chief Ministers in India – AUGUST 2022


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 17 December 2022
1CCI & TEXPROCIL sign MoU on Branding, Traceability and Certification of Kasturi Cotton India
2KAZIND-22: 6th Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise started at Meghalaya
3NITI Aayog’s AIM & UNDP launches 5th ‘Youth Co: Lab’ 2022-2023 for Social Entrepreneurs
4RoDTEP scheme to include Chemicals, Pharma, Iron & Steel from Dec 15, 2022
5ESIC to Invest Up to 15% of Surplus Funds in Stock Market Through ETFs
6Ministry of Culture organises “Swar Dharohar Festival” in New Delhi
7IREDA Signs Rs 4444.71 cr Loan Agreement with SGEL for 1000 MW Solar Project
8SIDBI Collaborates with M1xchange as A Financier to Boost Liquidity for MSMEs
9RGICL Introduces First-Of-Its-Kind “Reliance Health Infinity Policy”
10Tata AIA Life Insurance Launches Emerging Opportunities Fund
11EESL Signs MoU with Institution of Engineers’ Energy Conservation Mission
12Reliance group launches FMCG brand ‘Independence’ in Gujarat
13Tennis: Rafael Nadal named Men’s ITF World Champions 2022& Iga Swiatek named Women’s Champion
14Gautam Adani Featured on 6th annual Bloomberg 50 list
15Mette Frederiksen re-elected as the Prime Minister of Denmark
16India successfully carries out Night Trials of nuclear-capable Agni-V Missile
17India receives its final 36th Rafale jet from France
18ICAR-IARI develops new Drought Resistant Chickpea variety ‘Pusa JG 16’
19Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, ”last Hawaiian princess” Passed Away
20Dr Vikram Sampath’s book “Bravehearts of Bharat” launched
2151st Vijay Diwas – 16th December 2022
22UP Govt Signs MoU with Singapore Ahead of UP Global Investors Summit
23Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin Launches Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission; CM Introduces Single Window Clearance System