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INS Kochi Undertakes PASSEX With Russia’s Admiral Tributs in Arabian SeaIndian Navy’s indigenously designed and built guided-missile destroyer, INS (Indian Navy Ship) Kochi, has undertaken the international PASSEX (Passage Exercise) with Russian Federation Navy’s destroyer Admiral Tributs at the port of Cochin in the Arabian Sea.
- The Russian Federation Navy’s ship, Admiral Tributs was accompanied by two other ships including missile cruiser Varyag and Russian tanker Boris Butoma for a two-day goodwill visit to India.
i.The PASSEX exercise showcased cohesiveness and interoperability between the two navies and included tactical manoeuvres, cross-deck helicopter operations and seamanship activities.
- Generally, a PASSEX will be done to ensure that two navies participating in it are able to smoothly coordinate and communicate in times of any disaster or war.
ii.Various professional interactions are planned between the Russian Navy and Indian Navy during the visit.
iii.INS Kochi: It was Commissioned on 30 September 2015, the 2nd ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Project 15A (Kolkata-class) guided missile Destroyers. INS Kochi has been built by the Mazagon Dock Ltd., Mumbai
- It measures 164 meters in length and ~17 meters in width, with a full load displacement of 7500 tonnes.
Note – India and Russia continue to engage annually in naval exercise Indra Navy, which is a joint millennial military exercise conducted between both countries since 2003.
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Russian ruble
President – Vladimir Putin
India-Japan undertakes Maritime Partnership Exercise in Bay of Bengal
A Maritime Partnership Exercise was held between Indian Navy (IN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) in the Bay of Bengal in a non-contact mode amid COVID-19. The Indian side was represented by Indian Naval Ships (INS) Shivalik and INS Kadmatt while JMSDF Ships Uraga and Hirado the participated from Japanese side.
Aim of the Exercise:
Strengthening bilateral relations, promoting defence cooperation, enhancing mutual understanding and interoperability, and sharing best practices between IN and JMSDF.
i.The exercise included a wide range of flying operations, replenishment approaches and tactical manoeuvres.
ii.It enables both navies to further strengthen their strategic partnership and, and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.
iii.Both JMSDF ships are part of minesweeper division one which are on deployment to Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with Captain Noguchi Yasushi, Commander minesweeper division one embarked onboard JS Uraga.
Its Capital Tokyo is the largest city (by urban area and metropolitan area)in the world by population
Currency– Japanese Yen
DPIIT Organized the 1st-ever Startup India Innovation Week from January 10 to 16The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has virtually organised the 1st-ever ‘Startup India Innovation Week’ from 10th -16th of January 2022, to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and showcase the spread and depth of entrepreneurship across India. Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal launched the Startup India Innovation Week.
i.As part of the Start-up India Innovation Week, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode’s (IIMK) business incubator, Laboratory for Innovation Venturing and Entrepreneurship (LIVE), and Indian Bank has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding to launch a start-up funding scheme ‘IndSpring Board’ to support early-stage start-ups with loans up to Rs 50 crore.
ii.The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal presented the NSA 2021 (the 2nd edition). Around 46 Startups have been recognized as winners of NSA 2021 along with 1 incubator and 1 accelerator.
iii.Startup Day: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that January 16 will be celebrated as National Start-up Day, to spread the culture of startups in every part of India.
iv.The Department of Fisheries in association with Startup India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, inaugurated the ‘Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge’ to provide a platform for the start-ups to showcase their innovative solutions within the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector.
About Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):
Establishment – 1995
Headquarters – NewDelhi, Delhi
Private Secretary – Ravi Jha
>> Read Full News
India’s first Coal-to-Methanol plant launched at BHEL, Hyderabad
The Union Minister for the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Mahendra Nath Pandey dedicated India’s first ‘Coal to Methanol’ (CTM) pilot plant in the Hyderabad unit of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
- It is the first-of-its-kind technology demonstration in India, which converts high-ash contain Indian coal to methanol through the gasification route.
- The Union minister also inaugurated an exhibition on Products Developed under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ organised at BHEL Hyderabad unit in Telangana.
i.The CTM pilot plant was indigenously designed, developed and installed by BHEL, has the capacity of 0.25 TPD (tonnes per day).
- It produces methanol with purity of more than 99% from high-ash contain Indian coal.
ii.The Research and Development Centre of BHEL in Hyderabad was tasked to develop the CTM plant in 2016 to make the best use of Indian ash coal.
- The project was supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) with a Rs 10 crore grant.
iii.BHEL has achieved in-house design expertise for designing greater capacity coal gasification facilities.
- It will also assist India’s Coal Gasification Mission and Coal to Hydrogen Production for Hydrogen Mission.
About Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL):
Chairman & MD- Nalin Singhal
Headquarters- New Delhi
Philippines 1st country to purchase $374.96mn BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile System from India for its Navyi.The Philippines become the first country to buy the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system boosting India’s efforts to become a major exporter of defence hardware.
ii.The Philippines recently signed the ‘notice of award’ or the acceptance of India’s BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd $374.96 million (USD 374,962,800) proposal for supplying the missile system for the Philippine Navy’s shore-based anti-ship missile acquisition project.
iii.As a part of approval, Philippines will acquire three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile; training for operators and maintainers; along with Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.
Currency– Philippine peso
>> Read Full News
Dr Mansukh Mandaviya Released Commemorative Stamp to Mark 1 year of COVID-19 Vaccination Drive
Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, along with Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State(MoS) for Health & Family Welfare and Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications has released the Commemorative Postal Stamp on completion of one year of the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination program, which was launched on 16th January 2021.
16th January 2022 marks the 1st anniversary of the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
- The stamp of denomination 500 paise (Rs 5) features a health worker inoculating a senior citizen with Covaxin, a vaccine of Covid-19.
- Over the span of 1 year, more than 156 crore COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered.
- Covaxin and Covishield: India’s indigenous vaccine for Covid-19.
Kumbalangi Village of Kerala Became India’s 1st Sanitary Napkin-free Village
Arif Mohammad Khan, Governor of Kerala, declared Kumbalangi village (India’s first eco-friendly tourist village) in the Ernakulam district of Kerala as the first-ever sanitary napkin-free village in India.
- Under the Avalkayi (for her) initiative led by Hibi Eden, Member of Parliament(MP) (Ernakulam), around 5,000 menstrual cups have been distributed to women aged 18 and above, and volunteers will train the women on how to use the menstrual cup and the advantages of using it.
- The partners of the project are HLL Management Academy through their “Thingal” scheme and Indian Oil Corporation.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI grants over $900 mn loan to Sri Lanka to tackle Forex Crisis
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended over US$ 900 million loan facilities to Sri Lanka, comprising Asian Clearing Union (ACU) settlement of over USD 500 million and currency Swap of USD 400 million.
- This funding will aid Sri Lanka to overcome forex crisis and shortage of almost all essential commodities due to a shortage of dollars to pay for the imports.
- It will be utilized to build up its depleted foreign reserves and for food imports.
i.Sri Lanka is also struggling to repay a US$ 500 million international sovereign bond (ISB) by the January 18, 2022 deadline.
ii.Also, power cuts are imposed at peak hours in Sri Lanka as the state power entity is unable to obtain fuel to run turbines. The state fuel entity has also stopped oil supplies as the electricity board has large unpaid bills.
About Sri Lanka:
Capital– Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative capital), Colombo (judicial capital)
Currency– Sri Lankan rupee
ICICI Prudential AMC collaborates with First Trust Advisors to launch Global FoFICICI Prudential Asset Management Company (AMC) signed an agreement with First Trust Advisors, an US-based company to launch a global Fund of Funds (FoF).
What is in the agreement?
i.Under the agreement, the ICICI Prudential AMC will launch a strategic metal & energy equity FoF. It invests in offshore funds of First Trust Advisors.
ii.The ICICI Prudential strategic metal & energy equity FoF will open for subscription on January 17 and will close on January 31, 2022.
iii.It will also allow Indian investors to broaden their international portfolios.
About ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company (AMC):
CEO & MD– Nimesh Shah
Headquarters– New Delhi
Indifi, GPay tie-up to offer Instant Digital Credit to Small MerchantsIndifi Technologies has joined hands with Alphabet’s UPI (Unified Payments Interface)-based payment app, Google Pay (GPay), to offer instant loans to eligible small merchants on the GPay platform.
- The loans will be in the range of Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 lakh.
- The reason behind this partnership is to serve small Indian businesses that are facing problems in running seamless operations due to lack of access to formal credit.
i.Under this partnership, the borrowing process will be purely digital.
ii.Eligible merchants on the GPay for Business app can click on loan offerings from Indifi and submit an application online.
iii.Indifi has an existing partnership with many digital companies including Amazon, Zomato, Swiggy etc. This will make MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) present on these platforms eligible to avail credit.
iv.The 10 million merchants of GPay will be given the option of availing a pre-approved loan from Indifi in the app itself.
- These will be largely working capital loans for a tenor of 18-30 months. These borrowing also include for purposes like renovation of shops etc.
About Indifi Technologies:
MD & CEO– Alok Mittal
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Axis Bank & CRMNEXT win IBSi Innovation Awards 2021 for “Best CRM System Implementation”Axis Bank & CRMNEXT Solution won the IBS Intelligence (IBSi) Global FinTech Innovation Awards 2021 for the “Best CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System Implementation”.
- It is one of the most prominent awards for the global bankers and IT (Information Technology) consultants across the world.
- It identified and honoured technology players and banks for their excellence in banking technology implementations and innovations using emerging technologies.
i.The Axis Bank implemented CRMNEXT for sales and service modernisation and it also enables smarter lead processing, automated routing, complete tracking, and visibility.
- CRMNEXT is the World’s most powerful banking CRM platform.
ii.Through CRMNEXT, the bank generates various personalized offers with real-time visibility.
iii.CRMNEXT also delivered augmented analytics for real-time customer intelligence, seamless customer onboarding and enabled relationship managers with automated relationship programs.
- Axis Bank is one of the best implementers of CRMNEXT facilities.
About Axis Bank:
MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhry
Tagline – Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Iran Launches Solid-fuel Satellite Carrier Rocket into Space
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched its first solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket into space that is made of a cost-efficient composite material instead of metal.
i.The recent launches coincide with talks in Vienna, which was aimed at reviving Iran’s nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Western powers.
ii.Satellite carriers usually use liquid fuel but solid-fuel rockets that are mostly associated with ballistic missiles systems can be adapted for mobile launchers which are driven anywhere on a major road or rail system.
iii.Previous Iran launches come against the negotiations in Vienna to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
iv.In December 2021 Iran had launched a rocket carrying three gadgets into space but hadn’t specified the entry into Earth’s orbit.
Note – Iran plans to produce lighter rocket engines in further space projects.
President – Ebrahim Raisi
Capital – Tehran
Currency – Iranian rial
Defence Ministry Launches Raksha Pension Shikayat Nivaran Portal to Resolve Pension-Related Grievances of ESM
On the Occasion of the 6th Armed Forces Veterans Day, 14th January 2022, Defence Ministry has launched an online portal – Raksha Pension Shikayat Nivaran Portal (Raksha पेंशन) – to resolve pension-related grievances of ex-servicemen (ESM) and their dependents.
- The portal will help existing and future military pensioners and enable the ESM to file grievances directly with the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW).
- Defence minister Rajnath Singh also announced that DESW has allotted Rs 320 crore to Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) to clear all backlog of pending applications for welfare schemes, especially education and marriage grants for widows or dependent children of ESM.
India Open 2022: Lakshya Sen Wins Mens Singles Title
The Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022 was held from 11th to 16th January 2022 at the K.D.Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi, India that had a total prize pool of USD 400,000.
- India’s 20 year old Lakshya Sen secured his maiden Super 500 title by winning the India Open 2022 against world champion Loh Kean Yew (Singapore) in the men’s singles final.
- In the Men’s doubles final, top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won Men’s doubles against three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia to become the first men’s team from India to win the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022.
About Badminton Association of India (BAI):
President – Himanta Biswa Sarma
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
About Badminton World Federation (BWF):
President – Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen
Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
>> Read Full News
Padma Vibhushan Awardee & Kathak Dancer – Birju Maharaj Passed Away Legendary Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj, popularly known as “Maharaj-ji” from Handia, Uttar Pradesh, died at the age of 83. Maharaj-ji was a lifelong Kathak guru as well as a talented Hindustani classical singer and percussionist.
i.Maharaj-ji, was the pioneer for the initial Lucknow gharana dance styles.
ii.He was the Director of the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Kathak Kendra till 1998.
Achievements of Birju Maharaj
i.He was a recipient of the country’s second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan-1986 (under Art Category).
ii.He was also honoured with Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement award.
iii.He had also won the National Award for choreographing ‘Unnai Kaanadhu Naan’ in vishwaroopam and the Filmfare Awards for the Bajirao Mastani ‘Mohe Rang Do Laal’.
Works of Birju Maharaj:
i.He is also known for two period dance sequences in historical drama ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ and ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe’.
ii.He is also known for semi-classical singing forms such as thumri, bhajan, dadra, and ghazalm, and also proficient in Drums, Tabla and Naal.
iii.A book on his life was published by Nandkishore Kapote, titled “Nritya Samrat Pt. Birju Maharaj” a compilation from his disciples.
Padma Shri Awardee, Eminent Theatre Personality Saoli Mitra Passes Away
On 16th January 2022, Saoli Mitra, a well-known theatre figure and daughter of famed performers Sombhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra passed away in South Kolkata, West Bengal.
Saoli Mitra’s Performance
i.Mitra’s solo performances as Draupadi in ‘Naathvati Anathbat’ which she herself authored and directed and Sita in ‘SitaKatha’ or Bitata Bitangcol are some of the important plays.
ii.Saoli Mitra has portrayed the role of ‘Bangabala’ in Ritwik Ghatak’s avant-garde film ‘Jukti Takko Aar Gappo’.
iiii.Saoli founded the Bengali theatre group ‘Pancham Baidik’ after spending years with ‘Bahurupi’, a well-known theatre troupe established by Sambhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra, where she immortalised the part of Amal in Tagore’s ‘Dakghar’.
i.Saoli Mitra has received Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2003 and the Padma Shri in 2009 in arts.
ii.The government of West Bengal also conferred the Banga Bibhushan award on her in 2012. It is the highest award given by the state government.
Mali’s Former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta Passed Away
Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), the former President of Mali died at the age of 76. IBK was in the office for 7 years from 2013-2020, until he was overthrown by Special forces Commander Assimi Goita.
i.After his ousted, Military officers have extended the civil rule by five years.
ii.IBK had also served as Prime Minister of Mali from 1994 to 2000.
Downfall of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
i.President IBK won in 2013 on a promise to “bring peace and security” and “zero tolerance” for corruption, yet his government failed to put an end to Mali’s security challenges and became a corrupted one.
ii.Ethnic killings and armed forces’ abuses had become the downfall, despite French and international troops deployed to contain the armed groups.
iii.With the help of French troops, they only managed to beat back Tuareg rebels (who are responsible for the 2012 Mali War).
Padma Shri Awardee & Social Activist Shanti Devi Passes Away
On 16th January 2022 Padma Shri awardee and social activist Shanti Devi passed away in Gunupur, Rayagada, Odisha. She was born on April 18, 1934, in Balasore, Odisha.
Work related to tribal girl’s education:
i.Shanti Devi was inspired by the Gandhian follower Acharya Vinoba Bhave in 1955-56 for his ideology and started working for the development of tribals, destitute women and orphaned girls and took part in Bhoodan Movement.
ii.Devi started social work by founding ashrams at Gorapalli in the Rayagada district and Seva Samaj ashram in 1964 in Gunupur for the development and education of tribal girls.
About Shanti Devi:
i.On 25th January 2021 President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Padma Shri, India’s third-highest civilian honor, for her social work in the Maoist-hit Rayagada region. She worked selflessly to remove suffering and create a healthier society.
- Apart from Padma Shri, she has also received the Jamunalal Bazaz Award and Radhanath Rath Peace Award.
ii.She served the poor for nearly 6 decades and dedicated her life to the education and upliftment of tribal girls and is also known for the eradication of Yaws, a chronic bacterial infection.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Chandrachur Ghose authors new Book titled “Bose: The Untold Story of An Inconvenient Nationalist”
A new biography titled “Bose: The Untold Story of An Inconvenient Nationalist” authored by Chandrachur Ghose and published by Penguin Random House India under its Viking imprint will be released in February 2022.
i.The book contains thoughts and opinions of Subhas Chandra Bose about development of independent India, communalism, geopolitics and political ideology.
ii.It also marked the untold and unknown stories of Netaji (Subhas Chandra Bose).
About Subhas Chandra Bose:
i.Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23rd January 1897, in Cuttack, Odisha.
ii.He led the Indian National Army (INA) to fight the British and liberate India with the help of Japanese soldiers and gave famous slogans ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Dilli Chalo’.
iii.In 1944, Netaji became the 1st person to address Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Father of the Nation’.
About Chandrachur Ghose:
- Chandrachur Ghose is a researcher and founder of pressure group ‘Mission Netaji’.
- He has co-authored a book named, “Conundrum: Subhas Bose’s Life After Death”.
Indian Army Day 2022 – January 15Indian Army Day is annually observed across India on January 15th to commemorate the day on which Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa (KM Cariappa) took charge as the first Indian Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army.
- 15th January 2022 marks the observance of the 74th Indian Army Day.
The Indian Army’s theme for the year 2022 is “In Stride with the Future.”
i.Following India’s Independence in 1947, on 16th January 1949, India got the first-ever Indian chief.
ii.In 1949, Lt Gen KM Cariappa succeeded General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of the Indian Army, as commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
iii.The day on which the British handed over the authority to India is observed as Indian Army Day.
>> Read Full News
1st Ever National Startup Day – January 16, 2022
India celebrated the first-ever National Startup Day on 16th January 2022, with an aim to support the startup culture spread across India.
16th January 2022 also marks the 6th anniversary of the Startup India initiative.
Why January 16?
i.16th January was chosen to mark the anniversary of the launch of the Startup India initiative.
ii.The Startup India initiative was launched on 16th January 2016.
i.On 15th January 2022, As a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a week-long event, “Celebrating Innovation Ecosystem”, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi virtually interacted with around 150 startups across India.
ii.While interacting with the startups PM Modi declared the 16th January of every year as the National Startup Day.
>> Read Full News
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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 18 January 2022|
|1||INS Kochi Undertakes PASSEX With Russia’s Admiral Tributs in Arabian Sea|
|2||India-Japan undertakes Maritime Partnership Exercise in Bay of Bengal|
|3||DPIIT Organized the 1st-ever Startup India Innovation Week from January 10 to 16|
|4||India’s first Coal-to-Methanol plant launched at BHEL, Hyderabad|
|5||Philippines 1st country to purchase $374.96mn BrahMos Cruise Missile System from India for its Navy|
|6||Dr Mansukh Mandaviya Released Commemorative Stamp to Mark 1 year of COVID-19 Vaccination Drive|
|7||Kumbalangi Village of Kerala Became India’s 1st Sanitary Napkin-free Village|
|8||RBI grants over $900 mn loan to Sri Lanka to tackle Forex Crisis|
|9||ICICI Prudential AMC collaborates with First Trust Advisors to launch Global FoF|
|10||Indifi, GPay tie-up to offer Instant Digital Credit to Small Merchants|
|11||Axis Bank & CRMNEXT win IBSi Innovation Awards 2021 for “Best CRM System Implementation”|
|12||Iran Launches Solid-fuel Satellite Carrier Rocket into Space|
|13||Defence Ministry Launches Raksha Pension Shikayat Nivaran Portal to Resolve Pension-Related Grievances of ESM|
|14||India Open 2022 Final Highlights: Lakshya Sen Crowns champion|
|15||Padma Vibhushan Awardee & Kathak Dancer – Birju Maharaj Passed Away|
|16||Padma Shri Awardee, Eminent Theatre Personality Saoli Mitra Passes Away|
|17||Mali’s Former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta Passed Away|
|18||Padma Shri Awardee & Social Activist Shanti Devi Passes Away|
|19||Chandrachur Ghose authors new Book titled “Bose: The Untold Story of An Inconvenient Nationalist”|
|20||Indian Army Day 2022 – January 15|
|21||16th January 2022 also marks the 6th anniversary of the Startup India initiative.|