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Current Affairs 17 February 2022

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Union Cabinet approves setting up of Secretariat for India’s G20 PresidencyCabinet approves preparations for India's G20 presidencyIndia is all set to hold the Presidency of the G20 (Group of Twenty) from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. In this regard, on February 15, 2022, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi approved the setting up of a G20 Secretariat and its reporting structures.

  • This Secretariat, functional till February 2024, will be responsible for the implementation of overall policy decisions and affairs needed for India’s G20 Presidency. 
  • India to host the 2023 G20 Summit in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

About Secretariat:
It will be guided by an Apex Committee headed by the PM, and comprising the Finance Minister, Home Minister, External Affairs Minister, and G20 Sherpa (Union Minister Piyush Vedprakash Goyal, Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution). A Coordination Committee will also be set up to oversee all G20 preparations and report to the Apex Committee.  

  • The Secretariat will handle work relating to knowledge, content, technical, media, security and logistical aspects of India’s G20 Presidency.
  • It will include officers and staff from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Finance, and other relevant line Ministries / Departments and domain knowledge experts.

Points to be noted:
i.G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation that plays an important role in global economic governance.
ii.India was originally expected to be President of the G20 in 2022, coinciding with the 75th  year of the country’s Independence. It had arranged a swap with Italy, which was to be the chair in 2022 but agreed to take on the presidency in 2021. During the G20 Summit in November 2020, India made another swap with Indonesia, which took on the presidency for 2022.

4th India–Australia Energy Dialogue 2022 held virtually; LoI signed on New & Renewable Energy TechnologyIndia, Australia sign letter of intent on new and renewable energy technologyOn February 15, 2022, the 4th India–Australia energy dialogue 2022 was held virtually which was co-chaired by Raj Kumar Singh, Indian Minister of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Angus Taylor, Australian Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.

  • It is an annual forum to discuss bilateral engagement between both nations on energy and resources. 

Signing of LoI:
The dialogue saw the signing of a Letter of Intent (LoI) between India and Australia to reduce the cost of renewable energy (RE) technologies and to increase the manufacturing and deployment of ultra low-cost solar and clean hydrogen to reduce global emissions.
Key Points:
i.Energy Transition was a major area of discussion in the dialogue with focus on RE, energy efficiency, storage, EVs (Electric Vehicles), critical minerals, mining etc. 
ii.The need of climate finance was also highlighted by India for meeting the energy transition goals of developing countries.
iii. It should be noted that there are 5 working groups established to support the Energy Dialogue viz. Power, New & RE, Coal & Mines, Critical Minerals, and Oil & Gas. During the meeting, the co-chairs of these groups presented their progress and the forward action plan.

  • The action plan includes areas like energy efficiency technologies, grid management, R&D (Research & Development) collaboration on flue gas desulphurisation, biomass or hydrogen co-firing, water cycle optimisation, renewables integration, batteries and electric mobility, coal-based energy security and resource deployment, investment opportunities in the minerals sector, exploring potential for an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) partnership, among other. 

About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):
Union Minister– Raj Kumar Singh (Constituency- Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS)- Bhagwanth Khuba (Constituency- Bidar, Karnataka)

Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project: Longest Tunnel T-49 ConnectedUdhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link projectOn 15th February 2022, The main tunnel T-49 between Sumber and Arpinchala station of the Katra-Banihal Section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link(USBRL) Project, the longest tunnel of the Indian Railway has been connected. 

  • T49 is a tunnel of length 12.758 kilometres (km) long has become the longest tunnel surpassing the Peer Panjal Tunnel of 11.2 km length constructed by USBRL on the Banihal-Qazigund section.
  • The Northern Railways has entrusted the construction of the project to IRCON International Ltd under the Ministry of Railways. 

Note: Jammu-Udhampur-Katra-Quazigund-Baramulla Railway line is the biggest project in the construction of a mountain railway since independence.
i.The south portal (SP) of Tunnel T-49 is located at a distance of 45 km from the District headquarters of Ramban, Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) at an altitude of 1400 meters(m) and the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is near Arpinchala village Tehsil Khari, Ramban District, J&K in Mahu-Mangat Valley at an altitude of 1600m.
ii.The designed speed of the tunnel is 100 Kmph and the ruling gradient of 1 in 80. 
iii.According to the International standard, the escape tunnel is being constructed parallel to the Main Tunnel is connected by cross passages at an interval of 375 meters. 
Key Points:
i.The main tunnel and escape tunnel are the two tubes of the T-49 tunnel, which has been constructed by NATM (New Austrian Tunneling Method), a modern technique of drill and blast method and the cross-section profile of the tunnel is modified horseshoe-shaped.
ii.Three adits(an entrance to an underground mine) including Urnihal Adit, Hingni Adit, and Kundan Adit were made to facilitate the construction.

  • Around 161 km out of the 272 km length of the USBRL project has been commissioned and operationalized. 
  • 111km of the project between the Katra – Banihal is under construction. 

About Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link(USBRL) Project:
i.The USBRL Project planned for 345 km aims to provide an alternative and a reliable transportation system to Jammu & Kashmir.
ii.The project is divided into 3 sections Udhampur -Katra; Katra- Qazigund; and Qazigund -Baramulla and it is sub divided into 3 legs, Udhampur-Katra ( 25 Km); Katra-Qazigund (129KM); and Qazigund –Baramulla (Km 119 ). Click here to know more about the USBRL project

Govt sanctions construction of 60,000 homes under PMAY(U) in 5 StatesGovt sanctions construction of 60,000 homes under PMAY(U)Central Government of India gave approval to the project proposals for the construction of more than 60,000 houses in 5 states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U), during the 58th meeting of Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC).

  • The virtual meeting was chaired by Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

i.The meeting discussed the issues pertaining to grounding and  construction of houses in different States under different verticals of PMAY(U). 
ii.At Present, the total number of sanctioned houses under PMAY(U) stand at 114.04 Lakhs, of which around 93.25 Lakh have been grounded for construction and around 54.78 Lakh are  completed and delivered to the beneficiaries. 
iii.The total investment under the Mission is INR 7.52 Lakh crore, with INR 1.87 Lakh Crore as direct assistance from the Central Government. So far, Central Assistance amounting to INR 1.21 Lakh Crore has already been released.
Booklets on ‘Transformative Reforms Towards Housing for All’ & Proceedings of ‘Awas Par Samvaad’ released by  Manoj Joshi
A booklet titled  ‘Transformative Reforms Towards Housing for All’ was released by Manoj Joshi, Secretary, MoHUA. 

  • It covers  chapters and illustrations about the transformative journey of PMAY(U).

i.Proceedings of ‘Awas Par Samvaad’  also released. It is  the first- of-its-kind initiative in the urban housing sector and was  conducted as an activity under ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (AKAM).
ii.The booklets on ‘Transformative Reforms Towards Housing for All’ and Proceedings of ‘Awas Par Samvaad’ can be downloaded from 
About Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban):
i.It is a flagship Mission of Government of India being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

  • It envisions provision of ‘’Housing for All by 2022’’ target.

Launched-  25th June, 2015.
Four components of PMAY-U:
i. In-situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR)
ii.Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS)
iii.Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP)
iv.Beneficiary-led Individual House Construction/ Enhancement (BLC-N/ BLC-E)


Deloitte 2022 CxO Sustainability Report: Indian Businesses Rank 5th In Concern for Climate ChangeIndian businesses rank 5th in their concern for climate changeAs per the ‘Deloitte 2022 CxO Sustainability Report: The Disconnect Between Ambition and Impact’ Indian businesses acknowledge the risks of climate inaction and ranks 5th amongst 21 countries in their concern for climate change.

  • The report was released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL is also known as Deloitte Global.
  • The report is based on a survey of 2,083 C-level executives. The survey was conducted by KS&R Inc. and Deloitte, during September and October 2021, polled respondents from 21 countries.

Key Analysis of the Report Regarding India:
a.Indian Businesses Scenario:
i.Indian companies are implementing tougher ‘needle-moving’ climate actions (compared with their global counterparts) for substantial and meaningful change over climate. 
ii.The executives were more keen on integrating climate into their strategies and operations over the next 3 years.
iii.Around 94 percent agree that, with immediate action, the worst impacts of climate change could be limited.
iv.Employees’ health is the top climate issue affecting Indian organisations.
>> Read Full News

Highlights of EAM S.Jaishankar visit to Australia and Philippines Jaishankar visit to australia and Philippines from February 11 to 15, 2022i.On February 10-15, 2022, Union Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India visited Australia and Philippines to impart further momentum to bilateral relations.
ii.On February 10-13, 2022, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar paid an official visit to Australia which was his first visit as India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) to Australia. It was also the first high level visit to Australia from India after the opening of its borders amid Covid-19 pandemic.
iii.EAM also met Secretary of National Defense of Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of Finance of Philippines, Carlos Domineguez III, and Secretary of Agriculture of Philippines, William Dar and discussed issues strengthening cooperation in Defence, Finance and Agriculture sectors respectively.  
iv.On February 13-15, 2022, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar paid a bilateral visit to the Philippines which was also his first visit to the Philippines as EAM. There he held talks with his counterpart, Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. 
About Ministry of External Affairs (MEA):
Union Minister– Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Gujarat)
Ministers of State (MoS)– Vellamvelly  Muraleedharan (Rajya sabha – Maharashtra); Meenakashi Lekhi (New Delhi, NCT of Delhi) ; Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur, Manipur)
>> Read Full News


RBI Extends Deadline for NBFCS to meet new NPA Upgradation Norms till September 2022RBI extends deadline for NBFCS to meet new NPA upgradation normsOn February 15, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the deadline  for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to comply with new  Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) classification norms (the norms are issued by RBI in November 2021) to September 2022 from the earlier deadline of March 2022.

  • Background: As per the ‘Prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning pertaining to Advances – Clarifications’, which was issued by RBI on November 15, 2021, the loan accounts that are classified as NPAs could be upgraded as ‘standard’ asset only if entire arrears of interest and principal are paid by the borrower.
  • Currently, the NBFCs are provided with a timeline till September 2022 to implement the above provision.

Current Clarification: 

  • Currently, RBI has clarified that, the definition of ‘out of order’ as applicable to all loan products being offered as an OD facility, including those not meant for business purposes and/or which entail interest repayments as the only credits.
  • The ‘90 days period’ for determination of ‘out of order’ status of a Cash credit/Overdraft (CC/OD) account should be inclusive of the day for which the day-end process is being run.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
>> Read Full News

Standard Chartered Bank Launches Interest-only Home Loan FacilityStandard Chartered launches ‘interest-only home loan’ facilityStandard Chartered Bank, India has launched the ‘interest-only home loan’ facility for completed residential properties where borrowers can pay only the interest without principal deduction during a limited period.

  • This facility is available to both new and existing clients of Standard Chartered Bank.

About the facility:
i.Borrowers can choose to pay only the interest amount without principal through Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) for an initial period of up to 1-3 years, after which it will be treated like a normal loan account where the EMIs comprise of both the principal and interest till the maturity of the loan.

  • Borrowers can also start their full instalments earlier with no penalty fees.

ii.The facility is available for a loan amount ranging from Rs 35 lakh to Rs 3.5 crore with the maximum tenure of 30 years for salaried individuals and 25 years for self-employed individuals.
iii.Clients can also avail the Interest Only Home Loan facility to transfer their existing home loans from another financier to Standard Chartered.

Edelweiss Asset Management Launches MF Investing App ‘eInvest’Edelweiss Asset Management launches MF investing app ‘eInvest’On 15th February 2022 Edelweiss Asset Management launched Mutual Fund (MF) investing mobile application (app) eInvest to help investors for easy investment experience.
About the eInvest:
i.The eInvest app comes with an Insta Money feature. It is a mutual fund savings account with an instant withdrawal facility to the registered bank account.
ii.Other features include purchasing transactions in any fund, redeem, start a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) and track transaction status anytime anywhere and analyse fund information like fund performance, portfolio holdings, and important risk parameters to select the right fund.

  • Users can update Personal details, assign a nominee and easily access Insights, Book Summaries, and Podcasts.

About Edelweiss Asset Management Limited:
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & Managing Director (MD) – Radhika Gupta

BoB Signs MoU with Assam Rifles to Provide Central Forces Salary PackageBank of Baroda signs MoU with Assam Rifles to provide 'Central Forces Salary Package'On 15th February 2022 Bank of Baroda (BoB) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force, to provide the ‘Baroda Central Forces Salary Package (BCFSP)’ to all personnel of the Assam Rifles, both serving and retired.

  • The MoU was signed by Colonel P S Singh, Colonel Administration, Head Quarters, Directorate General, Assam Rifles and Debarata Das, Zonal Manager, Kolkata Zone, BoB.

Benefits Offered through the agreement:
i.BoB will offer services such as free unlimited transactions at all Bank ATMs, free remittance services like National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT)/ Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) online or through branch, free debit card, free unlimited demand draft facilities, 50 percent discount on locker rentals, 100 percent waiver on Demat annual maintenance charges and 75 percent waiver on issuance charges for Gift and Travel cards.
ii.It also offers special benefits like Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and a co-branded credit card.

  • PAI –In case of death, cover to the serving and retired Assam Rifles personnel between the age group of 18-70 years. For on-duty personnel, the cover will be Rs. 43.75 lakh and for off-duty personnel, Rs. 35 lakh.
  • Disability –  For total Disability, the cover will be  Rs 35 lakh and for partial disability, it is Rs 17.5 lakh

About Bank of Baroda (BoB) :
Establishment – 20 July 1908
Headquarters – Vadodara, Gujarat (Head office), Mumbai, Maharashtra (Corporate centre)
CEO & Managing Director (MD) – Sanjiv Chadha
Tagline – India’s International Bank


Brio Hydroponics signs with Israeli Firm to Launch Rain Safety Approach

BRIO Hydroponics, an Ahmedabad based agritech startup, made a joint venture with an Israeli firm Pic-Plast Limited for a rain protection technique that will help grow plants hydroponically. The JV will set up India’s first Rain Technology Nethouse with Solarig Net House kit.
i.The startup is to boost the production of blueberries hydroponically to sell at an affordable price.
Hydroponics is a type of horticulture and a subset of hydroculture which involves growing plants, usually crops, without soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent.
Process of Pic-Plast
The process involves implementing a rain defence layer on the hydroponics plant in the course of rains and taking it away when there is no rain.
Techniques of  Hydroponics
i. Pure hydroponics” with no media to mature but a nutrient drinking water-soluble film is made use of. It also improves the best leafy veggies via Nutrient Film Approach (NFT).
ii. Aggregate hydroponics” with all vegetables that flower and yield fruits developed in an inert media, typically substantial-excellent cocopeat.
About Brio Hydroponics
CEO – Amit Kumar Verma
Headquarters –  Ahmedabad, Gujarat.


Gaming app A23 Signs Shah Rukh Khan as Brand Ambassador; Manoj Tiwari to be Brand Ambassador of Khadi in Bihar Gaming app A23 signs Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador

A23, the gaming application owned by Head Digital Works, an online skill gaming company, has roped in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador. Shahrukh Khan will feature in A23’s ‘Chalo Saath Khele’ campaign, along with a first of its kind responsible gaming campaign, which showcases all the multi-gaming platforms of A23 such as carom, fantasy sports, pool and rummy, among others.

  • As the brand ambassador, Shah Rukh will support to elevate the brand among Indians who relate to using their skills to win. 

Key Points:
i.According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s gaming committee, India has become the largest fantasy sports market in the world with over 13 crore users playing fantasy sports. 
ii.The growth of 27%  Compound Annual Growth Rate(CAGR) generated by the online skill gaming industry in 2020, has made the industry the fastest-growing segment within the media and entertainment (M&E) sector of India. 
Manoj Tiwari appointed as Brand Ambassador of Khadi & handicrafts of Bihar
Manoj Tiwari, a Member of Parliament(MP) – Lok Sabha and Bhojpuri singer, has been appointed as the brand ambassador of  Khadi and other handicrafts of Bihar. 

  • The announcement was made by Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, Minister of industries of Bihar.

About Manoj Tiwari:
i.Manoj Tiwari, who hails from Bihar, is well known for his works like ‘Jiya Ho Bihar Ke Lala’ Song from Gangs Of Wasseypur.
ii.He was elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament, from the North East Delhi ,NCT of Delhi Constituency representing the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP). 


Aditya Birla Group Invested in Upcoming Digital bank Zand in UAE
Aditya Birla Group invests in UAE digital bank ZandThe Aditya Birla Group has invested an undisclosed amount in Zand, an upcoming digital bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Following the launch, Zand will be the first digital bank to provide both retail and corporate services. 

  • The interests of the Aditya Birla group includes running a non-bank finance company and asset management firm. 

Key Points:
i.With this investment, Aditya Birla Group has joined the investors of Zand as shareholders in the bank. 
ii.The other investors of Zand include Franklin Templeton, Al Hail Holding LLC, Al Sayyah and Sons Investments LLC, Global Development Group, Mohamed Alabbar, Olivier Crespin, and Yusuff Ali M A as shareholders in the bank.
Additional info:
i.Eradah Capital LLC(trading as Zanda) is a Private Limited Company registered in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
ii.Olivier Crespin will be the co-founder and Chief Executive of Zand and it aims to deploy ‘Hybrid Digital strategies to build the lender. Zand, the Digital Bank is helmed by Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar.


Iran Unveils Surface to Surface Missile “Khaibar-buster”
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran revealed a new domestically-made long range ballistic Surface to Surface missile, ‘Khaibar Shekan’ (Khaibar buster) with a range of 1,450 kilometres (km)(900 Miles), a day after Tehran (Iran) and Washington (United States (US)) resumed indirect talks of a 2015 nuclear deal.
i.Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, says its ballistic missiles have a range of up to 2,000 km (1,200 miles) and are capable of reaching its arch-foe Israel and U.S. bases in the region.
ii.The new surface-to-surface ‘Khaibar Shekan’ (Khaibar buster) missile, refers to an ancient Jewish oasis called Khaibar in the Arabian Peninsula’s Hijaz region that was overrun by Muslim warriors in the 7th century.

  • This long-range missile is domestically manufactured by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

iii.Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington to revive the deal started after Joe Biden replaced Trump as president of the US.
Note – In 2018, then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the nuclear deal with Iran and imposed sanctions which were slowly breached by Iran from 2019.
About Iran:
Capital – Tehran
Currency – Iranian rial
President –Sayyid Ebrahim Raisolsadati

WHO launches ‘Quit Tobacco App’ to help people end Tobacco Consumption WHO launches Quit Tobacco App

The World Health Organization (WHO)  launched the ‘Quit Tobacco App’ to help people quit tobacco use in all forms including smokeless and other related products.

  • It is a first-of-its-kind app which helps users identify the triggers, set their targets, manage cravings, and stay focused on quitting tobacco.

Key points:
i.The ‘WHO Quit Tobacco App’ is the first such initiative of  the WHO.It was launched during WHO’s year-long ‘Commit to quit’ tobacco control campaign.
ii.The app helps in spreading  awareness about the harmful effect of consuming tobacco among the people.
iii.Every year, tobacco, which is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, kills nearly eight million persons. 
Note – In 2021, WHO launched a 1st of its kind Artificial Intelligence (AI) based  virtual health worker called “Florence“, to provide 24/7 digital counseling on quitting smoking. 
Tobacco Use in South-East Asia Region – WHO:
i.The WHO South-East Asia Region is amongst the largest producers and consumers of tobacco products. 

  • Tobacco use is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCD) including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases and diabetes.

ii.The region recorded the fastest decline in tobacco use as per the WHO Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Use 2000-2025 (4th edition, 2021). 

  • However, still it continues to have the highest (432 million) tobacco users in the World. These users account for 29% of the population in the Region.  

About Tobacco:
i.It is a drought tolerant, most economical & short duration Agricultural Crop.
ii.In India, Tobacco crops are grown in an area of 0.45 Million Hectares (0.27% of the net cultivated area) producing ~ 750 M kg of tobacco leaf.

Note – India is the 2nd largest Producer (after China) and Consumer (after Brazil) of Tobacco products.

  • The Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or electronic cigarettes have been banned in many countries such as India, Bangladesh, Indonesia etc.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Founded-7 April 1948
Members – 194

Director General- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus 

Navars Edutech Launches 100 Satellite Constellations in Collaboration with Skyroot AerospaceNavars Edutech to Launch 100 Satellite ConstellationsNavars Edutech Pvt Ltd, a hyderabad-based space startup in collaboration with Skyroot Aerospace will launch 100 student-developed satellites constellations in the next 5 years.
i.After the partnership, Navars Edutech will be India’s first Space Education startup for K12 students to design and launch satellites to space, using an indigenously developed private launch vehicle of Skyroot Aerospace.
ii.The first set of Satellites will be launched to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with Skyroot’s maiden launch Vikram-I in December-2022.

  • The students will develop the intended satellite constellations for astronomical observations.
  • Navars will lead this exciting EdTech transformation for the first time in the country at the school level.

About Navars Edutech Pvt Ltd:
Navars Edutech is a leading Astronomy & Space education company with a primary focus to drive awareness and education through engagement and innovation by offering real-life experience through live content, software tools, hardware kits, and experiences among K12 students.
Establishment – 2017
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Co-Founder & CEO – Sravan Varma
About Skyroot Aerospace:
Skyroot Aerospace is a national award-winning Indian Start-up developing small satellite launch vehicles (Vikram Series).
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Co-Founder , CEO & chief Technology Officer (CTO) – Pawan Kumar Chandana.

SpaceX engineer Anna Menon to be Crew Member of new Space Mission – Polaris DawnSpaceX engineer Anna Menon to be among crew of new space mission

SpaceX engineer Anna Menon will be among the crew of a unique space mission announced by Jared Isaacman, who led the world’s first all-private space crew in ‘Inspiration4 mission’ into orbit in 2021. 

  • The new mission is named Polaris Dawn, which is targeted to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022 carrying 4 crew members from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • Anna Menon will be Mission Specialist and Medical Officer and other three members are Jared Issaacman, Scott Poteet and Sarah Gillis.

About Anna Menon:
i.Anna Menon is a Lead Space Operations Engineer at SpaceX. She manages the development of crew operations and serves in mission control as both a Mission Director and crew communicator in SpaceX.
ii.Prior to SpaceX, she worked for  seven years at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) as a biomedical flight controller for the International Space Station. 
About SpaceX:
Founded- 14 March 2002
CEO- Elon Musk 
Headquarters- Hawthorne, California, United States


Veteran Bengali singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay passes away Legendary Bengali singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay passes away
The renowned  Bengali singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay passed away at the age of 90 years due to cardiac arrest in Kolkata, West Bengal. 
i.Sandhya Mukhopadhyay (Mukherjee) was born on  4 October 1931 in Kolkata. She was an Indian playback singer and musician, specializing in Bengali music.
ii.She got the fame for her playback singing for films, which emerged as a new genre and labeled modern Bengali songs (“adhunik gaan”). 
iii.Sandhya  Mukhopadhyay’s first album of Durga Puja songs was released in 1948 and her first playback singing was for the film ‘Samapika’ released in 1948. 

  • National Film Award in the Best Female Playback Singer category in 1970. 
  • Banga Bibhushan, the highest civilian honour to be conferred in West Bengal, in 2011.


LAHDC Launched ‘Kunsnyoms Scheme’ For Welfare of Differently-Abled Persons
LAHDC, Leh launches new scheme KunsnyomsThe Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Launched the “Kunsnyoms‘ scheme through the Department of Social Welfare, Leh.Kunsnyoms, meant Equal for All, Fair for All, aims inclusive and accessible Ladakh.
This scheme aims to provide assistive devices and technologies for differently-abled persons at a 90% subsidised rate.
Key Points:
i.The council has a decentralised planning process with the involvement of people at the grass root level.
ii.To work efficiently towards empowering left out sections of the society by providing the required technologies and modern-day devices
iii.The LAHDC has provided 28 tri scooters,  battery-run wheelchair, walking aids and hearing aids which are required for special needs of the individuals.
About Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC):
Chairman/Chief Executive Councillor –
Tashi Gyalson
Established – 1995, under Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act 1995.

Debashish Chakravarty Takes Full Charge as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra 

Debashish Chakravarty, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, has been given full charge as the Chief Secretary(CS) of Maharashtra. He has been holding the charge as Acting Chief Secretary of Maharashtra since 30th November 2021.

  • He will also hold the charge of the Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, Planning department.


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 17 February 2022
1Union Cabinet approves setting up of Secretariat for India’s G20 Presidency
24th India–Australia Energy Dialogue 2022 held virtually; LoI signed on New & Renewable Energy Technology
3Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project: Longest Tunnel T-49 Connected
4Govt sanctions construction of 60,000 homes under PMAY(U) in 5 States
5Deloitte 2022 CxO Sustainability Report: Indian Businesses Rank 5th in their Concern for Climate Change
6Highlights of EAM S.Jaishankar visit to Australia and Philippines
7RBI Extends Deadline for NBFCS to meet new NPA Upgradation Norms till September 2022
8Standard Chartered Bank Launches Interest-only Home Loan Facility
9Edelweiss Asset Management Launches MF Investing App ‘eInvest’
10BoB Signs MoU with Assam Rifles to Provide Central Forces Salary Package
11Brio Hydroponics signs with Israeli Firm to Launch Rain Safety Approach
12Gaming app A23 Signs Shah Rukh Khan as Brand Ambassador; Manoj Tiwari to be Brand Ambassador of Khadi in Bihar
13Aditya Birla Group Invested in Upcoming Digital bank Zand in UAE
14Iran Reveals Long-Range Missile as Vienna Nuclear Talks Resume
15WHO launches ‘Quit Tobacco App’ to help people end Tobacco Consumption
16Navars Edutech Launches 100 Satellite Constellations in Collaboration with Skyroot Aerospace
17SpaceX engineer Anna Menon to be Crew Member of new Space Mission – Polaris Dawn
18Veteran Bengali singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay passes away
19LAHDC : Scheme Kunsnyoms for the Welfare of Differently-Abled Persons
20Debashish Chakravarty Takes Full Charge as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra