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MeitY initiated ‘Digital Government Mission’ to speed up Citizen Services Delivery
As a next phase of e-governance, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) initiated a new project namely ‘Digital Government Mission’ to speed up citizen services delivery through the help of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
- The reason behind this project is to offer government services to citizens without them having to apply or wait for it.
i.The government launched the national e-governance mission over 15 years ago when it digitized government services like passports, land records, certificates, income tax in mission mode.
ii.In 2020, the government released a discussion paper on a policy called National Open Digital Ecosystem (NODE) which is aimed at replicating the success of successful projects such as Aadhaar, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to build platforms to improve governance and citizen delivery, and enable private companies to build applications.
- As per estimates, Preliminary estimates suggest that by 2030, NODEs have the potential to unlock over $500 billion in economic value together with tremendous societal and governance benefits.
MSDE signs MoU with IGNOU to link Vocational Education & Training with Higher Education
On January 18, 2022, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) signed a 10-year long Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to further strengthen the vocational and technical training framework.
- This MoU is on the lines of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.4 i.e. Increase the number of people with relevant skills for financial success; and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for increasing Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education including vocational education to 50 % by 2035.
- A Project Steering Committee with representatives from both MSDE and IGNOU to will monitor and review the progress of the programme.
- The MoU is subject to renewal on mutual agreement.
To link vocational education and training with higher education, making India’s youth employable
Dr. B.K. Ray, Director (CBC- Capacity Building Commission), MSDE and Dr. Vidya Bhagat Negi, Registrar, IGNOU
i.This partnership will be beneficial for the trainees attached to National Skill Training Institutes (NSTI), Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) and Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) as it enables them to attain higher education for better livelihood opportunities.
ii.Under this partnership, 32 NSTIs, more than 3,000 Government ITIs, 500 PMKKs and nearly 300 JSS will join hands with IGNOU as Registration Centres, Examination Centres and Work Centres for hands-on training.
iii.Students can join the three-year degree programme of IGNOU.
iv.IGNOU will provide all necessary support through its 21 Schools of Studies and 56 Regional Centres for successful implementation of this scheme.
- It will also develop standards for quality assurance, trainer training programs to facilitate students’ enrolments, train staff, and mentor the management of NSTIs, ITIs, PMKKs and JSSs.
- It will also provide self-learning material (SLM) in digital form.
IMD Foundation Day: Launches India’s 1st Climate Hazard and Vulnerability Atlas; 4 New Weather RadarsIndia Meteorological Department (IMD), Ministry of earth Sciences celebrated its 147th Foundation Day on 14th January 2022.
- On the foundation day, the Minister of state (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, launched India’s 1st Climate Hazard & Vulnerability Atlas based on the thirteen most hazardous meteorological events, which cause extensive damages and economic, human and animal losses.
- 4 new Doppler weather radars (DWR) were inaugurated by Jitendra Singh, to further improve the weather forecast system in those cities/regions.
i.The Web-GIS (Geographic Information System) based atlas was developed by the scientists at Climate Research and Services (CRS) office of the IMD, Pune, Maharashtra. In all, 640 maps are available in the online atlas.
ii.The 4 DWRs include C-band Polarimetric Doppler at Veravali (Mumbai), X-band Polarimetric DWRs at Ayanagar (Delhi), Pallikarnai (Chennai) and Leh(Union Territory of Ladakh) (installed at the highest altitude in India).
iii.Further initiatives viz.(i) Dedicated website for Aviation Weather Services (ii) Geospatial Services for severe weather monitoring & forecasting and (iii) Public Observation System through ‘crowd sourcing mobile app’ were also inaugurated.
>> Read Full News
HAL & Mauritius Government Signed Contract to Supply one ALH Mk-III
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract with the Mauritius government to export one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Mk-III), for the Mauritius police force. The contract is in line with the vision of the Indian Government to boost the defence exports to friendly foreign countries.
- The contract was signed by B K Tripathy, General Manager, Helicopter Division-HAL and O K Dabidin, Secretary of Home Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of the Republic of Mauritius at the HAL’s Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh(UP).
Note: Mauritius already operates ALH and Do-228 aircraft built by HAL.
i.The ALH Mk-III is a multi-role, multi-mission versatile helicopter in the 5.5-tonne category.
ii.To ensure the healthy serviceability of the helicopter, HAL ensures technical assistance and product support to the customer.
iii.More than 335 ALHs has been produced to date, logging more than 340000 cumulative flying hours.
President– Prithvirajsing Roopun
Capital- Port Louis
Currency– Mauritian Rupee
IEA Report: India’s Annual Power Consumption to Grow at 6.5% in 2022-24As per the January 2022 ‘Electricity Market Report’ of International Energy Agency (IEA), power demand in India is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.5 percent between 2022 and 2024 backed by rising consumption from residential and industrial segments.
- India clocked the highest 10 percent Y-o-Y growth in power demand during the 2021 calendar year (CY).
- Global electricity demand grew by 6 percent in 2021. The majority of supply growth in 2021 to 2024 is expected in China, accounting for around half of the net total increase, followed by India (12%), Europe (7%) and the United States (4%).
Key Analysis of the Report:
i.Power consumption in India declined by more than 2 percent during 2020 due to COVID-19.
ii.Demand in India declined by 7 percent from April to May 2021 due to increasing COVID-19 cases.
iii.As of November 2021 India had 7 nuclear reactors under construction with a total gross capacity of 5.2 GW.
iv.Renewable generation is expected to increase by 30 percent by 2024 relative to 2021, driven by State and central auctions, as well as a target of 450 GW of installed renewable capacity.
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Establishment – 1974
Headquarters – Paris, France
Executive Director – Fatih Birol
>> Read Full News
BANKING & FINANCE
India offers USD 500mn LOC to Sri Lanka for Purchase of Petroleum Products
On January 18, 2022, Indian Government offered a USD 500 million Line of Credit (LOC) to help Sri Lanka for purchase of petroleum products as it is struggling with fuel and energy crisis.
- This support is extended through a letter by Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris.
i.Recently, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also extended over US$ 900 million loan to Sri Lanka utilized that are being utilized by the latter to build up its depleted foreign reserves and for food imports.
ii.India is poised to extend $1.5 billion credit for food, medicine imports to Sri Lanka.
iii.This financial aid is on the lines of India’s commitment to contribute in Sri Lanka’s economic growth and to strengthen bilateral economic and commercial partnership
About Sri Lanka:
i.India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka- Gopal Baglay
ii.In July 2021, the world’s largest sapphire cluster ‘Serendipity Sapphire’ was found from Ratnapura also known as gem city, and has entered the Guinness Book of World Records. It weighed around 510 kg carats.
SEBI launches ‘Saa ₹thi’ Mobile App for Investor Education & Awareness
On 19 January 2022, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) launched a mobile app “Saa₹thi” based on investor education in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
About the Saa₹thi app:
i.The Saa₹thi app aims to create awareness and provide education to investors about the basic concepts of the securities market.
ii.It will provide knowledge about KYC (Know Your Customer) process, trading and settlement, mutual funds (MF), market developments, investor grievances redressal mechanism, etc.
iii.The Saa₹thi app is available in Hindi and English. The Android and iOS versions of the App can be downloaded from Play Store and App Store respectively.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairman- Ajay Tyagi
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Federal Bank, Equirus Wealth Jointly Launches USD Offshore Fund
Federal Bank and Equirus Wealth in collaboration with SCUBE Capital, a global fund management company based out of Singapore, have launched a ‘US dollar offshore fund’ for their customers.
Features of the Fund:
i.Only the customers of Federal Bank (both NRI (Non-Resident Indian) and Resident) could invest in the fund. It offers a portfolio return (internal rate of return (IRR)) guidance of ~ USD 6.50 percent per annum with a fund tenor of 3 years from the date of fund closure with an option to extend by one year.
ii.The portfolio is managed by a highly skilled team with a cumulative experience of over 70 years in managing investments of over USD 50 billion.
iii.The fund has been jointly designed with inputs from the Equirus and the Federal Bank team.
iv.The investment strategy intends to offer superior risk-adjusted-return for investors.
What is Offshore Fund?
i.Offshore funds (often referred to as ‘international funds’) are fund schemes that make investments in international markets and multinational companies.
ii.If an Indian resident wishes to invest in offshore funds, he/she could invest only in Indian rupees.
iii.Offshore funds are required to comply with the mutual fund guidelines issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
About Federal Bank:
Establishment – April 23, 1931
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
MD & CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Flipkart Launches 2 New Programmes: Flipkart Leap Ahead & Flipkart Leap Innovation Network
On the occasion of the National Startup Day 2022(January 16), Flipkart, an online retail company, announced the evolution of Flipkart Leap, Flipkart’s flagship startup accelerator programme, to identify wider and relevant market opportunities for its selected startups.
- The Flipkart Leap has evolved into 2 new programmes: Flipkart Leap Ahead(FLA) and Flipkart Leap Innovation Network(FLIN).
- In July 2021, the Flipkart Leap program graduated its first cohort with 8 startups.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
USA’s Shaylyn Ford wins Mrs World 2022
Shaylyn Ford from the United States of America (USA) was chosen as the winner of Mrs World 2022. She was crowned by the 2020 Mrs World – Kate Schneider from Ireland. Mrs Jordan – Jaclyn Stapp & Mrs UAE – Debanjali Kamstra were named as the runners up of the competition.
- The event was organized in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States (US)
i.Shaylyn Ford is a 37 years old contestant, represented America in the pageant and fought with 57 contestants.
ii.She became the 8th American woman to win the title of Mrs. World.
Shaylyn Ford hails from Granville, Ohio, USA. In 2021, she won the annual Mrs America pageant .
iii.She is a professional makeup artist by profession. She also serves as a charitable director and performs volunteer services for poor families.
About India in Beauty Pageant:
- Harnaaz Sandhu was named as the 2021’s Miss Universe.
- Reita Faria became the first Asian to be crowned as Miss World.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Senior Bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt Appointed as CMD of Air India
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Vikram Dev Dutt, a 1993-batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre as the Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of Air India.
- He has been appointed in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
- Vikram Dev Dutt will succeed Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, who was holding the additional charge of Air India CMD.
- Vikram Dev Dutt is serving as the Principal Secretary- Tourism in the Government of Delhi.
i.In October 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 100% equity shares of Air India and Air India Express along with its 50% stake in ground-handling company AISATS by Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies, for Rs 18000 crore.
ii.The company would pay Rs 2700 Crore cash and takeover Rs 15300 crore of airline debt.
i.Chanchal Kumar, a 1992 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, presently Principal Secretary of Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been appointed as the Managing Director(MD), National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd(NHIDCL), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways(MoRTH). He is appointed in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary.
ii.The ACC has also approved the extension in the central deputation tenure of Ashutosh Jindal, Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat for 1 year beyond 16th February 2022 to 16th February 2023.
About Air India:
CMD– Vikram Dev Dutt
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
Roberta Metsola Elected as the New President of EU ParliamentOn 18 January 2022, Roberta Metsola from Malta was elected as the new President of the European Union (EU) Parliament, she is also the youngest-ever President & only the third woman to head the EU Parliament.
- She succeeded David Sassoli, who passed away at the age of 65.
i.Roberta Metsolais a 43 year old politician from the European Union’s smallest nation ‘Malta’.
ii.She was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2013, representing Malta, and became the First Vice-President of the European Parliament in November 2020.
iii.In the Presidential election, she defeated Alice Bah Kuhnke, who got 101 votes and Sira Rego, who got 57 votes.
About European Union (EU):
i.The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member countries located primarily in Europe.
ii.The EU is a single market that trades globally and between its member countries.
6 Founding Members- Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg
Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma appointed as Ambassador Universal Acceptance Steering Group
The Universal Acceptance Steering Group appointed Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, as its UA Ambassador.
i.Universal Acceptance Steering Group, is an international organization that works on developing and recommending standards for languages script which are not currently used for accessing the internet.
ii.The group is supported by the global internet body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
What is ICANN?
ICANN is responsible for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment etc.
Headquarters- Los Angeles, California, United States
CEO-Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Headquarters-Noida, Uttar Pradesh
IFFCO elects Dileep Sanghani as its 17th Chairman
The board of Directors of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) Limited has elected Dileep Sanghani, the former cabinet Minister of Gujarat as the 17th Chairman of IFFCO. He has been serving as the Vice-Chairman of IFFCO since 2019.
- The elections were held following the demise of incumbent Chairman Balvinder Singh Nakai.
About Dileep Sanghani:
i.Dileep Sanghani has previously served as the minister of Agriculture, Co-operation Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Cow-Breeding, Prison, Excise Law & Justice, Legislative & Parliamentary Affairs in the Cabinet of the Gujarat government.
ii.He is a senior co-operator from Gujarat and he has been serving as the Chairman of the Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd. (GUJCOMASOL) since 2017.
iii.He is also serving as the President of the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), the apex body of the Cooperatives in India, since 2021.
About Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) Limited:
IFFCO is one of India’s biggest cooperative societies which is wholly owned by Indian Cooperatives.
Chairman– Dileep Sanghani
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
RIL Picks 54% stake in robotics startup Addverb Technologies for $132 million
Reliance Retail Ventures Limited(RRVL), the retail unit of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired a 54% stake (majority stake) in Addverb Technologies Private Limited, a Noida based robotics startup, for USD 132 million (~Rs 983 crore).
With this investment, RIL has become a strategic partner of Addverb Technologies.
- This is in line with RIL’s vision to automate its businesses.
- With this funding, Addverb technology plans to deploy robots across hospitals and airports.
Following the funding, Addverb Technologies is valued at USD 270 million.
The co-founders of the company hold around 24-25% stake and the remaining stakes are held by Jalaj Dani of Asian Paints.
i.Addverb Technologies provides warehouse and factory automation products powered by robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, deep learning, computer vision and the Internet of Things (IoT). They also manufacture their own robots and develop the software to control them.
ii.The manufacturing facility of Addverb in Noida has the capacity to manufacture 10000 diverse robots in a year.
iii.Addverb has developed highly automated warehouses for RIL, Flipkart, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), Asian Paints, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, ITC Limited, and Marico.
Previously, Addverb Technologies has raised around USD 11 million in Series A and pre-series funding round led by Jalaj Dani, co-promoter of Asian Paints, which made the total funding since inception to USD 143 million.
This will accelerate the expansion of Addverb in Europe and the United States(US) and enable the company to establish a large robotic manufacturing facility.
Addverb also plans to establish an innovation lab with bases in Europe, the US and India.
About Addverb Technologies Private Limited:
Co-founder & CEO– Sangeet Kumar
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Founded in June 2016
BOOKS & AUTHORS
ICA AP and NCDC Jointly Release a Handbook on Sahakar Pragya Good Practices for Cooperatives
On January 18, 2022, a policy recommendation handbook on Sahakar Pragya Good Practices for Cooperatives was jointly released by Dr Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, President of International Co-Operative Alliance Asia And Pacific (ICA AP); and Dileep Sanghani, President of National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) during an event at National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) headquarters in New Delhi.
- The handbook has been developed by Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Cooperative Research and Development (LINAC) of NCDC in consultation with eminent experts and leading organizations in the domain of cooperatives.
What is in the handbook?
i.It is a compendium of guidelines, resources, methodologies, key learning, case studies of the best performing cooperatives in India and abroad along with outcome and impact.
ii.It will serve as an action plan to help entities to become self-reliant, competitive, and successful.
i.The handbook is based on a brainstorming session on ‘International Good Practices Platform for Cooperatives’ conducted earlier by LINAC-NCDC.
ii.Some of the best practices included in a handbook were from milk, credit and banking co-operatives which are aligned with the Central Government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
iii.Notably, India has more than 8 lakh registered cooperative societies. The newly formed Ministry of Cooperation also aims to provide a separate administrative legal and policy framework for streamlining the cooperatives, and to strengthen the cooperative movement.
For exchanging good practices of cooperatives in India and abroad, NCDC-LINAC and ICA AP had signed an agreement which also envisages advancement of research, study, documentation and training for development of the cooperative sector.
- It was signed by Lt Col Dr Baljit Singh, Chief Director, LINAC; and Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director, ICA AP.
17th National Disaster Response Force Raising Day – 19th January 2022 National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) annually celebrates the NDRF Raising day on 19th January to mark the formation of NDRF, under the Ministry of Home Affairs on 19th January 2006.
- 19th January 2022 marks the observance of the 17th NDRF Raising Day.
NDRF is a specialised force that is capable of responding to various types of disasters including building collapses, landslides, devastating floods, and cyclones in India and abroad.
About National Disaster Response Force(NDRF):
Director-General– Atul Karwal
Motto– आपदा सेवा सदैव सर्वत्र implies Sustained Disaster Response Service.
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 20 January 2022|
|1||MeitY initiated ‘Digital Government Mission’ to speed up Citizen Services Delivery|
|2||MSDE signs MoU with IGNOU to link Vocational Education & Training with Higher Education|
|3||IMD Foundation Day: Launches India’s 1st Weather Hazard and Vulnerability Atlas; 4 New Weather Radars|
|4||HAL & Mauritius Government Signed Contract to Supply one ALH Mk-III|
|5||IEA Report: India’s Annual Power Consumption to Grow at 6.5% in 2022-24|
|6||India offers USD 500mn LOC to Sri Lanka for Purchase of Petroleum Products|
|7||SEBI launches ‘Saa ₹thi’ Mobile App for Investor Education & Awareness|
|8||Federal Bank, Equirus Wealth Jointly Launches USD Offshore Fund|
|9||Flipkart Launches 2 New Programmes: Flipkart Leap Ahead & Flipkart Leap Innovation Network|
|10||USA’s Shaylyn Ford wins Mrs World 2022|
|11||Senior Bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt Appointed as CMD of Air India|
|12||Roberta Metsola Elected as the New President of EU Parliament|
|13||Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma appointed as Ambassador Universal Acceptance Steering Group|
|14||IFFCO elects Dileep Sanghani as its 17th Chairman|
|15||RIL Picks 54% stake in robotics startup Addverb Technologies for $132 million|
|16||ICA AP and NCDC Jointly Release a Handbook on Sahakar Pragya Good Practices for Cooperatives|
|17||17th National Disaster Response Force Raising Day – 19th January 2022|