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Current Affairs 23 December 2021

We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 23 December 2021, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2021 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

AIM, NITI Aayog Launched 1st of its kind Vernacular Innovation Programme to Empower EntrepreneursAtal Innovation Mission (AIM) under the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) has launched the first of its kind Vernacular Innovation Programme(VIP) to empower the entrepreneurs and innovators across India.

  • VIP will enable the innovators and entrepreneurs across India to have access to the innovation ecosystem in 22 scheduled languages of India and English.

About Vernacular Innovation Programme(VIP):
i.AIM will identify and train the Vernacular Task Force (VTF) in each of the 22 scheduled languages to build the required capacity of the VIP.
ii.Each VTF will have vernacular language teachers, subject experts, technical writers, and the leadership of regional Atal Incubation Centers(AICs).
Benefits:
This programme will lower the language barriers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and enhance the creative expressions and languages of the transaction.
This will strengthen the design and innovation capabilities of our communities, and assist the local entrepreneurs, artisans and innovators to assimilate the knowledge cum technical materials developed by AIM.
Train the trainer program: 
AIM, NITI Aayog will collaborate with the Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Delhi, to coach the VTF in design thinking and entrepreneurship and the adaptation of these subjects in the 22 languages and cultures.
The task force will be trained over the period of December 2021 to April 2022.
About National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog):
NITI Aayog was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 1 January 2015.
Chairman– Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India)
CEO– Amitabh Kant

IAF deploys first S-400 air defence system in Punjab sectori.The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed the first squadron of the S-400 air defence missile system in the western Punjab sector which will take care of aerial threats from Pakistan and China.
ii.The S-400 air defence system was contracted for by India from Russia in a deal worth around Rs 35,000 crore and five squadrons would be provided to India for tackling air threats from up to 400 km.
iii.The Indian Army will soon induct a new range of landmines viz. Nipun, Vibhav, Vishal, Prachand and Uluk which will act as the first line of defence against enemy infantry and armoured columns or terrorists trying to infiltrate into Indian territory.
iv.The Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers under Engineer in Chief Lt Gen Harpal Singh is developing anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.
About Punjab:
Chief Minister– Charanjit Singh Channi
Airports– Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji International Airport, Pathankot Airport, and Patiala Airport
Heritage Sites– Beas Conservation Reserve, Keshopur-miani Community Reserve, and Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary
>> Read Full News

Docprime Health Locker: India’s 1st ABDM integrated health locker launched by Docprime TechnologiesGurugram (Haryana)-based Docprime Technologies Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PB Fintech has launched, free of cost, India’s first Health Locker integrated with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) namely ‘Docprime Health Locker’.

  • The Locker has received the ABDM Sandbox approval and went live on August 6, 2021. Initially restricted to select UTs (Union Territories), it was nationally rolled out by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi Aug 27, 2021.

Key Points:
i.With the Docprime health locker, users can create digital Health IDs for themselves and their family members, activate their ABDM integrated health locker to securely upload, store and manage all their health records electronically. The records can be shared with doctors, as per user’s consent.
ii.It also enables users to fetch and store their CoWin vaccination certificates.
iii.PB Fintech, is also the parent company of Policybazaar and Paisabazaar.
iv.ABDM, an initiative of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) was launched in August 2020 to develop an integrated digital health infrastructure, with digital Health IDs of citizens, standardized health facility and health professionals registries, and to store all of the user’s health record.

BANKING & FINANCE

NSE Launches ‘NSE Prime’ to Raise Corporate Governance StandardsOn 21st December 2021 The National Stock Exchange (NSE) launched a new corporate governance initiative named, ‘NSE Prime’, which the NSE listed companies can adopt voluntarily.

  • The listed companies that voluntarily choose to be a part of NSE Prime must satisfy pre-defined norms on an ongoing basis, monitored by the NSE.

Highlights:
i.NSE’s initiative raises the standards of corporate governance in India.
ii.Improved corporate governance standards, greater transparency and better disclosures will help companies build stronger and sustainable businesses.

  • This will also help companies and investors to accelerate high market development

About NSE Prime:
NSE Prime is a framework that prescribes higher standards of corporate governance for listed companies with additional disclosure requirements for providing higher quality of public information and greater transparency.
Features:
i.An NSE Prime company needs at least 40 percent public shareholding as against 25 percent under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rules.
ii.The chairperson & managing director must be different and the Board members of these companies cannot serve on the boards of more than five listed companies.
About National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE):
i.NSE is the first stock exchange in India to implement electronic or screen-based trading.
ii.It is the largest stock exchange in India in terms of total and average daily turnover for equity shares every year since 1995, based on SEBI data.
Founded – 1992 (commenced operations in 1994)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & Managing Director – Vikram Limaye

Central Bank of India signs Co-lending deal with U GRO Capital 

Central Bank of India signed a co-lending agreement with U GRO Capital, MSME lending fintech platform.  The agreement will provide INR 1000 crore formal credit to underserved MSMEs at affordable rates across all product categories of U GRO Capital.
What is in the co-lending agreement?
i.Under this partnership, it is aimed to disburse up to INR 1000 crore to U GRO Capital’s varied programmes like Pratham, Sanjeevani, Saathi, GRO MSME and Machinery financing.
ii.Central Bank of India will provide co-lending support through GRO-Xstream platform with the loans originated by U GRO Capital’s distribution network.

  • GRO–Xstream is an online platform, it integrates Application Programming Interface (APIs) with Banks on one side and with multiple FinTechs, NBFCs, NeoBanks, Market places and other digital platforms on the other.

iii.The bank will also leverage GRO–Xstream platform driven by a Data Tripod of GST, Banking and Bureau coupled with its sectoral analysis to solve the problem of credit for small businesses.
About Central Bank of India:
MD & CEO – MV Rao
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
About U GRO Capital:
Chairman & MD– Shachindra Nath
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

UAE committed $100 Billion for Investment and Infrastructure creation in IndiaThe Union Minister Piyush Vedprakash Goyal, Ministry of Commerce and Industry chaired an interaction with the heads of Indian industry and Export Promotion Councils in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was held to discuss global expansion opportunities for Indian businesses through business platforms and infrastructure offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

  • During the meeting it was revealed that UAE has committed $100 billion for investment and infrastructure creation in India.
  • UAE will become a gateway for Indian trade to the Middle East and Africa.
  • Notably, in FY22 India will achieve a $400 billion export target for the first time.

Key Highlights:
i.During the meeting, DP World, a leading smart logistics provider-owned fully by the Government of UAE, presented the market expansion offers to Indian businesses and exporters.

  • It is setting up India Mart Traders Market, a dedicated market for Indian businesses enabling traders and manufacturers to trade with the UAE local market and regional market.

ii.Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), one of the world’s leading free trade zones also presented offers to the Indian industry.
iii.As per official data, India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) between April-November 2021 stood around $418.74 billion, showcasing positive growth of 37.21%.

  • Imports in November 2021 were $52.94 billion, an increase of 56.58% from $33.81 billion in November 2020.

Points to be noted:
i.For the first time ever, UAE allotted land for India to set up a temple.
ii.UAE is celebrating its 50th year of its formation and India is celebrating its 75th year of Independence.
iii.UAE-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is in the advanced stages of negotiation and finalization will be India’s fastest negotiated FTA and the fastest-negotiated Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) ever between two nations.
Participants:
Group Chairman & CEO, DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem; Naresh Bhasin, Regional Chairman, Council of Leather Exports; Amit Sarda, Member, Retailers Association of India (RAI); among others.

  • Representatives of the Plastic Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL), Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Tea Board of India, Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL), Spices Board, Retailers Association of India (RAI), Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) and others were present on the occasion.
  • Apart from those present in person, more than 100 companies joined the conference virtually.

Oriental Insurance categorised as Public Shareholder in Axis BankOn 21 December 2021, Axis Bank announced the approval to reclassify The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd (OICL) from promoter category to public category shareholder in the bank.

  • At present, OICL holds a 0.16 per cent stake in Axis Bank.

Key points:
i.According to the bank, it received a request from OICL dated September 7, 2021, holding a 0.16 per cent stake in the bank, to reclassify it from promoter to public shareholder.
ii.Currently, BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and NSE (National Stock Exchange) gave approval for the reclassification of New Oriental Insurance Company to public category from promoter category.
About Axis Bank:
CEO- Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded- 1993 (Started operation in 1994)
Tagline- Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi
About Oriental Insurance Company Ltd (OICL):
Chairman – Anjan Dey
Headquarters- New Delhi, India
Founded- 1947

RBI empaneled CSB Bank as Agency Bank to Undertake Government BusinessesOn 21 December 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced empanelment of CSB Bank, a private sector lender as an ‘Agency Bank’ to undertake general banking business of central and state governments.
Highlights: 
i.Through this appointment, the CSB Bank will undertake general banking business of the central and state governments under the guidelines set by the RBI.
ii.As an Agency bank, CSB Bank will work with different state governments and central government departments for businesses such as tax collections, pension payment, collection of stamp duty, etc.
iii.The bank will also handle a broad range of transactions in government business, such as tax deducted at source (TDS), goods and services tax (GST), stamp duty, registration, property tax, value-added tax (VAT).
What is an Agency bank?
An agent bank is a bank that performs services in some capacity on behalf of the government. An agent bank, also known as agency bank, can offer a wide variety of services for businesses looking to expand internationally.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor- Shaktikanta Das (25th Governor)
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
About CSB bank:
MD & CEO– C. VR. Rajendran
Headquarters- Thrissur, Kerala

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS  

HDFC Life Wins the ‘Best Governed Company Listed Segment: Large Category’HDFC Life, one of India’s leading life insurance companies has won the ‘Best Governed Company Listed Segment: Large Category’ at the 21st edition of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance.
Key Points:
i.The award was presented by Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah.
ii.The eminent Jury was headed by Justice P.Sathasivam, Former Chief Justice of India.
iii.Several companies were evaluated to choose the best governed company in Large, Medium & Emerging categories in both listed and unlisted segments.
Process of selection:
i.The awardees were selected through a comprehensive six-step evaluation process with various compliance and governance parameters followed by the evaluation based on principles of good corporate governance.
ii.The next step is the verification of the Independent Directors and the regulatory response confirming the credentials of the company.
iii.The screening of shortlisted companies will be done by experts as the final step prior to the selection.
About HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (HDFC Life):
HDFC Life is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd, India’s leading housing finance institution and abrdn plc (formerly known as Standard Life Aberdeen plc), a global investment company.
Established – 2000
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & Managing Director – Vibha Padalkar
Motto – ‘Sar UthaKeJiyo’

JGU wins “Digital Innovation of the Year” at the THE Asia Awards 2021O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) won the ‘Digital Innovation of the Year Award’ in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Asia Awards 2021 for creating a free, cloud-based application to help schools and universities manage data.

  • JGU was the only Indian University to be shortlisted for the “Digital Innovation of the Year”.
  • The university was awarded under the ‘Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category’ for its transformative work in the last 2 years. 

Note – Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) bagged the prize for Asia’s ‘Leadership and Management Team of the Year’ category at THE Asia Awards 2021.
Key points:

i.JGU has created a free, cloud-based application ‘Tou’ to help schools and universities manage data. It is an amalgamated version of the internal software tools that JGU uses to operate the University online.

  • It enabled digital transformation of educational institutions across 12 states of India.

ii.JGU also created a toolkit “Covid-19 Response-Toolkit for Indian Higher Education Institutions: Institutional Resilience for Academic Planning & Continuity” to help other universities on digital transformation.
iii.The innovative technological solutions created by JGU  which involved smart technological solutions & quick implementation of online platforms which could be easily accessible by everyone.
About Times Higher Education (THE):
First issue– October 1971
Headquarter– London, United Kingdom (UK)    

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India Successfully Tests ‘Pralay’ missile off the Coast of OdishaOn 22nd December 2021 India successfully test fired short-range, surface to surface-guided ballistic missile ‘Pralay’ from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha.Highlights:
Pralay is the solid-fuel, battlefield missile based on Prithvi Defence Vehicle from the Indian ballistic missile programme.
Developed by – Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
About Pralay:
i.Pralay is a 150-500 km short-range, surface-to-surface missile with a payload capacity of 500-1,000 kg.
ii.The missile is powered with a solid propellant rocket motor with state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics which can be launched from a mobile launcher.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
Chairman – G. Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

Indian Army gets 1st set of indigenously-built Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance VehicleDuring an event in Pune (Maharashtra), the first batch of indigenously developed next-generation Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicles (AERV) has been inducted into the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army.

  • The induction ceremony was one in the presence of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

Manufacturers of AERV:
It has been designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak (OFMK) in Telangana and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Pune.
About AERV:
It meets the tactical and combat requirements of Military Engineers for carrying out terrestrial and under-water surveys in plains, desert and riverine terrains.

  • The vehicle is capable of carrying out reconnaissance of water obstacles and boggy patches for the execution of engineering tasks
  • It also provide real time update to force commanders

Pakistan successfully test-fires enhanced range version Babur Cruise Missile 1BOn December 21, 2021, Pakistan successfully test-fired an enhanced range version of its indigenously-built surface-to-surface Babur cruise missile namely ‘Babur Cruise Missile 1B’ that can strike targets up to 900 kilometres from 450 km of former missile.

  • The Babur missile is capable of engaging targets at land and sea with high precision.
  • The launch ceremony of Babur Cruise Missile 1B was witnessed by Lt Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General, Strategic Plans Division; Dr Raza Samar, Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM); among others.

Key Points:
i.The missile is named after Mughal King Babur who laid the foundations of the Mughal Empire in the sub continent in 1526.
ii.In February 2021, Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of the earlier version of Babar cruise
iii.In August 2021, it conducted a successful test flight of Fatah-1 which is a guided multi-launch rocket system capable of delivering conventional warheads.

KUFOS to Join Research Project under NASA-ISRO Collaborative ProgrammeThe Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Kochi, Kerala, is set to join the research project backed by the Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) NASAISRO collaborative programme.

  • KUFOS is selected as one of the nodal agencies in South India to implement the project.
  • The project will be headed by Girish Gopinath, Associate professor of Remote Sensing and geographic information system (GIS) at KUFOS and U Surendran, senior scientist at Centre for Water Resources Development and Management(CWRDM).

About Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS):
Chancellor– Arif Mohammed Khan (Governor of Kerala)
Location– Kochi, Kerala
Established in 2010
>> Read Full News

SPORTS

BWF Ranking Men’s Singles: India’s Kidambi Srikanth Ranked 10th, Lakshya Sen Ranked 17th ; Viktor Axelsen Tops 

As on December 21, 2021, Indian badminton player Kidambi Srikanth has re-entered the top 10 in the Badminton World Federation(BWF) world rankings. He moved up 4 spots and secured the 10th position in the ranking.  He won the silver medal (men’s singles) in the 2021 BWF World Championship and became the first Indian man to achieve the feat.

  • Lakshya Sen, who won the bronze (men’s singles) in the 2021 BWF World Championship and B Sai Praneeth has ranked 17th and 18th respectively.
  • Sameer Verma and Prannoy Haseena Sunil Kumar (Prannoy H. S.) has ranked 25th and 26th respectively.

The ranking is topped by Viktor Axelsen of Denmark followed by Kento Momota of Japan and Anders Antonsen of Denmark in 2nd and 3rd spot.

OBITUARY

Pritzker Prize-Winning British-Italian Architect Richard Rogers Passed Away

Richard Rogers, Pritzker Prize-Winning British-Italian Architect, has passed away at his residence in London, The United Kingdom(UK). He was born in Italy in 1933.
He received the Pritzker Prize, known as the Nobel Prize of Architecture, in 2007. 
He received the Knight Bachelor in 1991 and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. 

  • He was the architect of the new World Trade Center (3 World Trade Center) in New York City, United States, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France and the Millennium Dome in London, UK.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Mathematics Day 2021 – December 22National Mathematics Day is annually celebrated across India on 22nd December to mark the birth anniversary of renowned Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who was born on 22nd December 1887 in Erode, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu).
The day is observed to highlight the importance of mathematics in the development of the nation and to honour the works of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

  • 22nd December 2021 marks the 134th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanuja.

Background:
i.In 2012, to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared the 22nd December of every year as the National Mathematics Day.
ii.He also declared the year 2012 as the National Mathematics Year.
>> Read Full News

STATE NEWS

Maharashtra Launches Chalo Mobile App & Smart Card for Convenient Bus TravelOn 21st December 2021 Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray launched Chalo mobile application (app) and Chalo smart cards to facilitate digital and advance purchase of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) bus tickets.
Highlights:
i.Chalo mobile app will allow passengers to buy online bus tickets and have access to bus passes through e-wallet.

  • It also provides access to live bus tracking, information about the vehicle and its arrival time.

ii.The contract worth Rs 85 crore has been given for the maintenance of the Chalo mobile application for six years.
iii.He also launched the NCMC complaint smart card of BEST as well as new fare schemes for the passengers, one that provided 10 trips at Rs 70 and another called ‘Flexifare’.”BEST follows its mantra of ‘Pudhe Chala’ (move forward), by which it has modernised its services & fleet over the years.
About BEST:
i.BEST focuses on digitization of services, affordable fares, Electric Vehicle Bus Fleet, goals of using 100 percent alternate fuel buses by the year 2027, and fleet size increase to 10,000 buses in the city.
ii.The BEST is focussing to increase double-decker bus services in the city along with hydrogen fuel buses into the fleet.
iii.The state government of Maharashtra supports BEST financially for better bus stops and for street lights.It is a civic transport and electricity provider public body based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
About Maharashtra:
Governor – Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Malvan (marine) Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger Reserves – Sahyadri tiger reserve, Bor Tiger Reserve, Tadoba-Andhari, Navegaon – Nagzira

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 23 December 2021
1 AIM, NITI Aayog Launched 1st of its kind Vernacular Innovation Programme to Empower Entrepreneurs
2 IAF deploys first S-400 air defence system in Punjab sector
3 Docprime Health Locker: India’s 1st ABDM integrated health locker launched by Docprime Technologies
4 NSE Launches ‘NSE Prime’ to Raise Corporate Governance Standards
5 Central Bank of India signs Co-lending deal with U GRO Capital
6 UAE committed $100 Billion for Investment and Infrastructure creation in India
7 Oriental Insurance categorised as Public Shareholder in Axis Bank
8 RBI empaneled CSB Bank as Agency Bank to Undertake Government Businesses
9 HDFC Life Wins the ‘Best Governed Company Listed Segment: Large Category
10 JGU wins “Digital Innovation of the Year” at the THE Asia Awards 2021
11 India Successfully Tests ‘Pralay’ missile off the Coast of Odisha
12 Indian Army gets 1st set of indigenously-built Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle
13 Pakistan successfully test-fires enhanced range version Babur Cruise Missile 1B
14 KUFOS to Join Research Project under NASA-ISRO Collaborative Programme
15 BWF Ranking Men’s Single: India’s Kidambi Srikanth re-entered Top 10, Lakshya Sen ranked 17th
16 Pritzker Prize-Winning British-Italian Architect Richard Rogers Passed Away
17 National Mathematics Day 2021 – December 22
18 Maharashtra Launches Chalo Mobile App & Smart Card for Convenient Bus Travel





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