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Current Affairs 23 February 2022

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Central Govt approved continuation of Umbrella scheme of BIM from 2021-22 to 2025-26Government has decided to continue the Umbrella scheme

On February 21, 2022, the Central Government approved the continuation of the Central Sector Umbrella Scheme of ‘Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM)’ over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle from 2021-22 to 2025-26, at a cost of Rs 13,020 crore.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is responsible for the improvement of BIM.

Key Points:
i.This continuation will strengthen the border infrastructure for improving border management, policing and guarding the borders.
ii.The BIM scheme will help in the creation of infrastructure such as construction of border fence, border flood lights, technological solutions, border roads and Border Outposts (BOPs)/Company Operating Bases (COBs) to secure the Indo-Pakistan, Indo-Bangladesh, Indo-China, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar borders.
iii.India’s border with Pakistan is 3,323 km long, including about 775 km of the Line of Control (LoC). The length of the border is 4,096.7 km with Bangladesh, 3,488 km with China, 1,751 km with Nepal, 699 km with Bhutan, 1,643 km with Myanmar.
About India’s International Land Border:
i.India has 15,106.7 Km of land border and a coastline of 7,516.6 Km including island territories.
ii.In pursuance of Group of Ministers recommendations on Border Management, the Department of Border Management was created in the Ministry of Home Affairs in January, 2004.

Undersea cable systems: Airtel joins SEA-ME-WE-6 consortium; Jio’s IAX project to land in MaldivesReliance Jio's undersea cable system to connect Maldives directly to India, Singapore

On 21st February 2022 Bharti Airtel has announced its integration in ‘SEA-ME-WE-6 undersea cable consortium’, as a major investor while Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) will introduce its next generation multi-terabit India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) undersea cable system in Hulhumale, Maldives  in collaboration with Ocean Connect Maldives.

  • Another subsea cable system India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) is also built by RJIL that connects Mumbai and Milan.
  • Uses of undersea cable systems – Undersea cable systems along with data centres supports 5G and the digital economy that builds large integrated capacities to enable India’s digital ecosystem.
  • Aim – To diversify the economy and establish it as a key communications hub in South Asia.

About Bharti Airtel:
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
MD & CEO (India & South Asia) – Gopal Vittal
>> Read Full News

India, Oman bilateral Air Force Exercise ‘Eastern Bridge-VI’ begins in RajasthanIndia, Oman bilateral air force exercise begins in Jodhpur

A 6th edition of 5-day bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) namely ‘Eastern Bridge-VI’ commenced at Jodhpur Air Force Station in Rajasthan.

  • Objective:This exercise is an opportunity to enhance operational capability and interoperability between the two Air Forces.


  • The Indian Air Force(IAF) has deployed a fleet of Sukhoi-30MKIs, Jaguar and Mirage-2000 fighter jets for the sixth edition of the exercise ‘Eastern Bridge’.
  • The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has deployed its F-16 jets.

Key Points:
i.Eastern Bridge promotes professional interaction, exchange of experiences and enhancement of operational knowledge, and strengthening of bilateral relations. 
ii.This exercise followed Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi, Secretary-General of Oman’s Ministry of Defence, visit to India  from January 30 to February 4, 2022. 
iii.Exercise Eastern Bridge V was held in October 2019 at the Air Force Base Masirah, Oman.

  • The IAF contingent at that time(2019) comprised MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft. It was the first time that MIG-29 fighter aircraft participated in an International exercise outside India.

About Oman:
Capital– Muscat
Currency– Omani Rial
Sultan– Haitham bin Tariq Al Said

Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh launched Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public DomainUnion Minister Raj Giriraj Singh launches Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public DomainOn 22nd February 2022, Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Rural Development, launched the Rural Connectivity GIS (Geographic Information System) Data in Public Domain in India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, Delhi. 

  • As a part of the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), GIS data for more than 8 lakh rural facilities as points, 10 lakh habitations and 25 lakh kilometers(Km) of rural roads have been collected and digitised using the GIS platform developed for the PMGSY. 
  • These rural connectivity GIS data were made available to the public. 

NRIDA signed MoU with 3 GIS Firms:
The National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency(NRIDA), the nodal implementing agency of PMGSY has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with 3 GIS Firms. 

  • NRIDA is also collaborating with Gati Shakti for releasing Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain. 
  • The technology will be used for the improvement in planning and implementation of projects in the rural areas across India.

Objective of the collaboration: To exchange the data for better planning and implementation of PMGSY and Gati Shakti.
About Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY):
i.The Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY) in 2000, to provide connectivity to unconnected Habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy. 
ii.Under PMGSY, around 7.83 lakh Km roads have been sanctioned and 6.90 lakh Km have been constructed at the cost of Rs 2.69 lakh crores. 
About Gati Shakti:
Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi launched the PM Gati Shakti – National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity in 2021. 
It is a digital platform that bring 16 Ministries together to plan and execute the infrastructure connectivity projects in India to reduce logistics costs and enhance infrastructure.


UNEP’s Frontiers 2022: Wildfires to be More Frequent, Larger & Intense due to Climate Change

Wildfires will be more frequent, larger and intense due to climate change new

On 17th February 2022, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the 4th edition of Frontiers report titled “Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches – Emerging Issues Of Environmental Concern which predicts that wildfires will worsen in the upcoming years and decades. The report states that wildfires are becoming more frequent, larger, and more intense due to climate change.

  • The report has attributed this to climate change and human activities. 

About Frontiers:
i.The Frontiers reports of UNEP identify and draw attention to the emerging issues of environmental concern. The Frontiers report was first published in 2016
ii.The Frontiers 2022 report has identified the 3 most important environmental issues that have emerged due to climate change: wildfires, noise pollution, and shifts in the biological life cycles of plants and animals.
iii.The 3 chapters of Frontiers 2022 are, 

  1. Listening to Cities: From Noisy Environments to Positive Soundscapes
  2. Wildfires Under Climate Change: A Burning Issue 
  3. Phenology: Climate Change Is Shifting the Rhythm of Nature

About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director- Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya
>> Read Full News

India Elected for Chairmanship of IRSG; KN Raghavan to Officiate as Chairman of IRSGIndia to head International Rubber Study GroupIndia has been elected for the Chairmanship of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), a Singapore based inter-governmental organisation of natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR) producing and consuming countries. 

  • India succeeds Cote’d Ivoire as the chairman of IRSG. 

KN Raghavan, Executive Director of Indian Rubber Board and the Head of the Indian delegation to IRSG will officiate as the Chairman of IRSG for the next 2 years. 

  • KN Raghavan will preside over the meeting of the Head of Delegations which will be held on 31st March 2022 at Singapore. 
  • Macquarie Bank Limited, Singapore has joined the IRSG Panel of Associates.

Roles of IRSG:
i.IRSG is the only forum for NR and SR producers and consumers to discuss matters affecting the world rubber industry and act as an interface between government and the Industry. 
ii.IRSG will collect and share the statistics on the production, consumption and trade in NR and SR across the globe. 
iii.It is the only International commodity body which is approved by the Common Fund for Commodities for development financing in rubber sector.
Additional info:
i.Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), IRSG and International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) are the 3 major rubber organisations. 
ii.ANRPC and IRSG are inter-governmental and IRRDB is a network of research institutions. 
About International Rubber Study Group(IRSG):
Secretary-General– Salvatore Pinizzotto
Members– Cameroon; Cote d’Ivoire; European Union; India; Nigeria; Russia; Singapore; Sri Lanka
Formed in 1944
Headquarters– Singapore


IIFL Home Finance signs $68-million loan agreement with ADB for affordable Green HousingIIFL Home Finance signs $68-million loan agreement with ADBIIFL Home Finance Limited (IIFL HFL), a 100% subsidiary of IIFL Finance Limited, signed a loan agreement of USD 68 million (INR ~507 Crore) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide the financial support for affordable green housing for lower-income women borrowers in India.
What is Green Housing?
It mainly focuses on the efficient use of “energy, water, and building materials. These houses are designed to be environmentally more sustainable and climate resilient.
Key points:
i.The funding pattern  includes up to USD 58 million direct loan by the ADB and a USD 10 million concessional loan by the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector (CFPS) in Asia.
ii.Under the ADB’s loan, 80% will be lended  to women borrowers or co-borrowers and 20% will be  allocated to financing mortgages for green certified homes for low-income households. 
iii.The CFPS loan will support green housing portfolio projects of IIFL and also provide assistance to incentivizing developers to adopt green certification standards in building climate resilient  affordable housing.
About IIFL Finance Limited (IIFL):
Chairman-  Nirmal Jain 
Executive Director & CEO- Monu Ratra
Gurugram, Haryana
About  Asian Development Bank (ADB):
In 2020, ADB appointed Former Election Commissioner of India (2018-20)  Ashok Lavasa as its vice-president (V-P) for private sector operations and public-private partnerships.
Headquarters- Mandaluyong, Manilla, Philippines
President-Masatsugu Asakawa (Japan)

Paytm Payments Bank Signs as Acquiring Partner for e-RUPI Service

On 21st February 2022, Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL) announced that it is an official acquiring partner for ‘e-RUPI vouchers’, which will be accessible at offline stores across India.

  • The PPBL has also partnered with ‘One97 Communications Limited’ (OCL) owns Paytm for improving its strong merchant base.
  • Paytm’s merchants will be able to collect payments through e-RUPI by scanning the voucher, and entering the amount to be paid directly into their bank accounts.

About e-RUPI:
i.e-RUPI, a Government of India’s (GOI) initiative is a cashless and contactless prepaid voucher – based digital payment solution through which, the users could send e-RUPI e-Voucher/coupon in the form of SMS-string or QR code (instead of Money) to the beneficiaries’ mobile. 

  • The vouchers were developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.

ii.The digital payment solution was launched in August 2021 for the convenience of digital payments without accessing formal banking services or smartphones. Click here to know more
iii.Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the cap on e-RUPI vouchers issued by the government to Rs 1 lakh per voucher from Rs 10,000 and allowed beneficiaries to use the voucher multiple times until fully redeemed.
About Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL):
i.The PPBL is a joint venture, with OCL holding a 49% stake and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma the remaining 51%.
ii.PPBL also enables users to avail benefits of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT), social welfare schemes benefits like LPG gas subsidy, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) payments, Old Age Pension, Scholarships directly into the beneficiary’s bank account.
Establishment – 2017
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP)
Managing director (MD) & CEO – Satish Kumar Gupta

JPMorgan Becomes First Bank to Enter the Metaverse, Opens a Lounge in DecentralandJPMorgan becomes the first bank to enter metaverse

JPMorgan Chase & co, the largest financial institution in the United States (US) has become the 1st bank to arrive in the metaverse, a virtual world based on blockchain technology with the opening of a lounge named ‘Onyx’ in blockchain technology-based virtual world Decentraland.

  • Onyx refers to JPMorgan’s suite of Ethereum-based services and released a report exploring how businesses can find opportunities in the metaverse

i.Users can create their virtual avatars, build virtual spaces and roam in the lounge.
ii.JPMorgan also revealed a white paper for exploring opportunities for brands and consumers in the metaverse with which the users could navigate the metaverse and use it potentially.
Note – In January, Samsung opened a version of its New York store in Decentraland, and in November, Barbados established a metaverse embassy. 
About Metaverse:
i.Metaverse is a virtual reality world where users can do multiple activities like games, shopping, and interaction with others just like they do in the real world.

  • The metaverse uses Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for interaction and has become an efficiently used technology to enhance user experience.
  • The Metaverse has its own currency and Forex (foreign exchange), to which JP Morgan wants to serve.

ii.In future Metaverse would almost influence every sector with an estimated yearly revenue of over USD 1 trillion. 
About JPMorgan Chase & co:
Establishment – 2000
Headquarters – New York, United States
Chairman & CEO – Jamie Dimon

Mastercard Partners With SBI Payments To Boost Digital Payments Infrastructure in Guwahati, Lucknow & VaranasiMastercard partners with SBI Payments to boost digital payments acceptanceMastercard, as an extension of its flagship campaign ‘Team Cashless India’ along with SBI Payments partnered with the Auto Rickshaw Association in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, All Assam’s Restaurant Association (AARA) in Guwahati, Assam, local shopkeepers, and Boat Union in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to boost the digital payments infrastructure.
Key Highlights:
i.In Guwahati, Mastercard collaborates with All Assam’s Restaurant Association (AARA) in line with the Government’s ‘Digital Northeast Vision 2022’ which equips restaurant and hotel owners with a safe, seamless, secure mode of payment to consumers.
ii.In Lucknow, Mastercard partnered with local transport bodies, including the Auto Rickshaw Association, to enable more than 700 auto-rickshaw drivers to accept digital payments.
iii.In Varanasi, Mastercard partnered with the Boat Union to encourage over 1,000 members to accept digital payments from tourists and also local shopkeepers committed to digital payments which has increased tourism.

  • Nearly 80 percent of micro-merchants in the Northeast region are not equipped with digital payment acceptance infrastructure.

Note – India’s digital payments industry has seen a growth from FY 2017-18  with 1,459.02 crore transactions till FY 2020-21 with 4,371.18 crore transactions.
About Team Cashless India Campaign:
Launched – 2019
i.The Team Cashless India campaign is part of Mastercard’s worldwide commitment to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro-businesses into the digital economy by 2025.
ii.Through the campaign, Mastercard first encourages people to nominate merchants for digital payments, then works with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and acquirer partners to support the nominated merchants for digital payments acceptance infrastructure.
About MasterCard:
Headquarters – New York, United States (US)
CEO – Michael Miebach


Adani Group Signed MoU with Ballard Power Systems for Commercialisation of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in IndiaAdani Group inks pact with Nasdaq-listed Ballard Power for hydrogen fuel cellsAdani Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate, has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Nasdaq-listed Ballard Power Systems a global leader in fuel cell technology, to evaluate a joint investment case for the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cells in mobility and industrial applications in India. 

  • Adani Group partners with Ballard to create a shared fuel cell ecosystem in India.

Features of the MoU:
i.Under this MoU, Adani Group and Ballard will examine the options to cooperate, including potential collaboration for fuel cell manufacturing in India.
ii.The efforts taken under this MoU will be coordinated by Adani New Industries Ltd (ANIL), the newly formed subsidiary of Adani Enterprises. ANIL is focused on the generation of green hydrogen, green electricity generation, manufacture of electrolysers and wind turbines
iii.Under this MoU, both the organisation will deploy innovative use cases across the various businesses with fuel cell trucks, mining equipment, marine vessels, off-road vehicles, and critical industrial power. 
About Adani Group:
Chairman– Gautam Adani
Managing Director– Rajesh Adani
Founded in 1988 
Headquarters– Ahmedabad, Gujarat
About Ballard Power Systems:
President & CEO– Randy MacEwen
Headquarters– Vancouver, Canada

India Expects Growth in Fuel Demand at 5.5% in FY23India expects fuel demand to grow 5-5% in the next fiscal yearAccording to the estimates released by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural gas, India’s fuel demand is likely to grow 5.5 percent in FY23.

  • According to government estimates India’s fuel consumption (especially oil demand) in FY23 could rise to 214.5 million tons (MT) from the revised estimates of 203.3 MT for FY22.
  • In 2019-20, India had consumed 214.1 MT of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and LPG.
  • FY22 (April-December 2021): Demand for petroleum products grew by 4.9 percent in FY22 (April-December 2021). Fuel consumption was 148.3 MT during the same period.

Other Data:
i.In FY23 Local demand for gasoline (mainly used in passenger vehicles) is expected to rise by 7.8 percent to 33.3 million tons, while gasoil consumption shows a slow growth of 4 percent to 79.3 million tons.
ii.Consumption of aviation fuel would increase by nearly 50 percent to 7.6 million tons in FY23, compared to the revised estimate of 5.1 million tons in FY22.
ii.Demand for petcoke (alternative to coal) could increase 2.8 percent to 14.8 million tons, while demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (cooking fuel) is estimated to grow 4.5 percent to 29.7 million tons.
iii.Naphtha consumption is projected to rise by 3.3 percent to 15 million tonnes.
About Ministry of Petroleum & Natural gas:
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of state – Rameswar Teli (Constituency – Dibrugarh, Assam)      


ICICI Bank buys 9.49% stake in VFSPL for INR 19.9 CrICICI Bank buys 9-49% stake in Verve Financial ServicesOn 21 February 2022, ICICI Bank signed an agreement with Verve Financial Services (VFSPL). The bank has acquired a 9.49%  stake for a cash investment of INR 19.99 crore in the equity shares of VFSPL.
Key points:
VFSPL operates ‘Indiafilings’ platform, it  provides  various services like incorporation, trademark, tax filings, compliance, payroll management and other business services to MSMEs, corporates and entrepreneurs.
The investment agreement is expected to be completed by the end of March 2022. Later, ICICI Bank will hold a 9.49% stake (on a fully diluted basis) in VFSPL through acquisition of 2,29,600 equity shares. 

  • For the acquisition of  shareholding below 10%, the regulatory approval is not required under Companies Act 1956.

About Verve Financial Services (VFSPL):
Incorporated– 2007
Headquarters- Chennai, Tamil Nadu
About  ICICI Bank :
CEO & MD– Sandeep Bakhshi 
Headquarters- Vadodara, Gujarat


Israel Successfully Test Fires its “C-Dome” Naval Air Defence SystemIsrael successfully tests 'C-Dome' naval air defence systemOn 21 February 2022, Israel successfully test fired its “C-Dome or Protective Dome” naval defence system based on Iron Dome which was tested against rockets, cruise missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

  • The C-Dome was successfully tested for the first time from Saar-6 Corvette INS Magen, Israel’s Naval Warship.
  • The C-Dome is installed in corvette ships to protect Israel’s coastline and offshore natural gas assets in the Mediterranean.

Threat From The Above:
i.The defence system has been upgraded to defend against the threat of Iranian proxies, which targeted natural gas assets of Israel.
ii.Also, one of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant groups, had launched a pair of drones into Israeli airspace.
iii. Iran made a new international nuclear deal with global powers and plans to divert newly released funds to proxies.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006 in which Hezbollah fired a missile that struck an Israeli warship, killing four soldiers.
About The “C-Dome or Protective Dome” Missiles:
i.The C-Dome is a multilayer missile defence system, alongside the Arrow and David’s Sling systems which is capable of intercepting everything from long-range missiles to short-range rockets.
ii.Rafael developed the Iron Dome, a mobile all-weather air defence system.
iii.The C-Dome has the speed of mach 2.2 (2716.56 kmph).
iv.The command and control system was developed by the mPrest software company.
v.The Multi-Function Surveillance, Track and Guidance Radar (MF-STAR) was developed by IAI’s Elta Systems.
About Israel:
President – Isaac Herzog
Commander-in-Chief (Israeli Navy) – Aluf David Salama
Capital – Jerusalem

IIT Roorkee launches ‘KISAN’ mobile app for regional farmers of Haridwar, UttrakhandIIT Roorkee launches 'KISAN' mobile appThe Indian Institute of technology (IIT) Roorkee organized a regional farmers’ awareness programme as part of the ‘Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa’ (GKMS) project and launched KISAN mobile application for the farmers. The app will provide agro-meteorological services to the farmers.

  • Farmers from the districts of Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal of Uttarakhand participated in the event. 
  • A  book in Hindi titled ‘Agrometeorological Advisory Services for Cereal Crops, Horticultural Crops, and Livestock‘ released at the event.

Key features of  KISAN App:
i.KISAN app  provides farmers with easy access to weather forecasts and weather based Agro-meteorological Advisory Bulletins for all six blocks of Haridwar district through phones.
ii.The app is available in bilingual, users will get the information in Hindi and English. 
iii.The  Agro-meteorological Advisory Services are offered jointly by the AMFU (Agromet Field Unit Roorkee) IIT Roorkee and the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The app was developed by Dr. Khushboo Mirza, Senior Scientist, Regional Remote Sensing Centre (RRSC), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), New Delhi under the guidance of Dr. C S Jha, Outstanding Scientist and Chief General Manager at RRSC, NRSC, ISRO, Hyderabad.

GRAMIN KRISHI MAUSAM SEWA (GKSM) issuing crop and location specific weather based agro advisories for the benefit of farming community on every Tuesday and Friday and occurrence of extreme weather – by India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities /Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) etc

  • GRAMIN – rural
  • KRISHI – agriculture
  • MAUSAM – season
  • SEWA – service

Other apps for agriculture:
Kisan Suvidha app-It was launched to work towards the empowerment of farmers and the development of villages.
IFFCO Kisan Agriculture app –It was  managed by IFFCO Kisan , a subsidiary of Indian Farmers’ Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd.
Pusa Krishi app- Developed by Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) in 2016 to help farmers to get information about technologies.


Highlights of Winter Olympics 2022 held in Beijing China; Norway TopsBeijing Winter Olympics 2022 held from Feb 4-20, 2022

i.The 24th edition of winter Olympics i.e. 2022 Winter Olympics/ Beijing 2022, officially called the XXIV Olympic Winter Games was an international winter multi-sport event held on February 4-20, 2022 at Beijing National Stadium in Beijing, China. Beijing Organising Committee organizes the event.
ii.This is for the second time that Beijing hosted Olympics after 2008 when it hosted the Summer Olympics 2008. With this, Beijing becomes the first city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.  Some events were also held in its Yanqing District, and Zhangjiakou.
iii. Norway topped the medal tally for the second successive Winter Olympics by winning a total of 37 medals, of which 16 were gold. This win set a new record for the highest number of gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics.
iv.It should be noted that India launched a diplomatic boycott of the Games after a People’s Liberation Army (China’s Army) commander Qi Fabao involved in 2020 Galwan Valley border clashes between India-China appeared as an Olympic torchbearer in the customary torch relay.
v.Beijing 2022 passes Winter Olympics to Milano and Cortina of Italy which will host the winter games in 2026.
About Beijing Organising Committee:
Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is a public institution with legal person status, responsible for the organisation and coordination of all the preparations and delivery of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Secretary General – Han Zirong
Secretariat – Beijing, China
>> Read Full News

GM R Praggnanandhaa defeats Magnus Carlsen at Airthings Masters Chess TournamentChess Indian GM R Praggnanandhaa defeats world champion Magnus Carlsen at Airthings MastersA 16-year old Indian Grandmaster (GM) R Praggnanandhaa defeated  World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) in the 8th round of the Airthings Masters, an online rapid chess tournament.
Key points:
i.With this victory, R Praggnanandhaa became  the third Indian, after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna, to accomplish the rare feat of defeating Magnus Carlsen. 
ii.The  Airthings Masters, which is  an online chess rapid tournament of 16 players, a player gets three points for a win and one for a draw in the preliminary rounds.Currently, Russian player Ian Nepomniachtchi is on top of the standings with 19 points followed by Ding Liren and Hansen (both on 15 points).
About R Praggnanandhaa:
i.R Praggnanandhaa was born on August 10, 2005 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
ii.He is an Indian chess grandmaster and the fifth youngest grandmaster among the top 39 youngest grandmasters as of June 30, 2021 behind Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov.

  • In 2016 he became the world’s youngest international masters  in history, at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days. 
  • In 2013, he also won the World Youth Chess Championships Under-8 title, which earned him the title of FIDE Master at the age of 7 years. 
  • He became India’s youngest and world’s second youngest Grandmaster in 2018.

India Wins the Bid to Host 2023 IOC Session In Mumbai After 40 Years
During the 139th International Olympic Committee’s session (IOC) in Beijing, China, India won the bidding rights to host the 2023 IOC session in Mumbai, Maharashtra. India will host for the first time in 40 years since 1983.

  • The IOC session is the general meeting of the Members of the IOC.
  • The session will be hosted at the state-of-the-art, Jio World Convention Centre, Mumbai.
  • In 1983, IOC session was held at New Delhi.

International Olympic Committee(IOC)
i.The IOC has a total of 105 members active members. 
ii.Additionally, it consists of 45 honorary members , 1 honour member who do not have the right to vote and 206 individual National Olympic Committees. 
iii.In addition to the members, senior Representatives (President & Secretary-General) from more than 50 International Sports Federations (summer and winter sporting disciplines) attended the session.
iv.From which, Mumbai received a historic 99% of the votes in favour of its bid from the delegates, with 75 members endorsing its candidature in the session held in Beijing.
v.An ordinary Session of IOC is held once a year.
vi.while Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one-third of the Members.
About Indian Dignitaries: 
i.The Indian dignitaries consist of the country’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra (Beijing 2008, shooting).
ii.IOC Member Nita Ambani.
iii.Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra. 
iv.Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur.
Activities of International Olympic Committee(IOC) Session:
i.The IOC session discusses the global Olympics movement including adoption or amendment of the Olympic Charter.
ii.Election of IOC members and office bearers. 
iii.Election of the host city of the Olympics.
About International Olympic Committee(IOC):
President – Thomas Bach
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
Established – 1894


World Thinking Day 2022 – February 22World Thinking Day - February 22 2022

World Thinking Day(WTD) is annually observed across the globe on 22nd February by the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries across the world to speak up on gender equality and climate change. 
The day is annually celebrated and organised by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts(WAGGGS). 

  • World Thinking Day, celebrated since 1926, is a day of international friendship. 

The theme for World Thinking Day 2022 is “Our World, Our Equal Future: The Environment & Gender Equality”.  

  • WTD 2022 starts a 3-year journey for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to become environmentally conscious leaders.

>> Read Full News


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S.noCurrent Affairs 23 February 2022
1Central Govt approved continuation of Umbrella scheme of BIM from 2021-22 to 2025-26
2Undersea cable systems: Airtel joins SEA-ME-WE-6 consortium; Jio’s IAX project to land in Maldives
3India, Oman bilateral Air Force Exercise ‘Eastern Bridge-VI’ begins in Jodhpur, Rajasthan
4Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh launched Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain
5UNEP’s Frontiers 2022: Wildfires to be More Frequent, Larger & Intense due to Climate Change
6India Elected for Chairmanship of IRSG; KN Raghavan to Officiate as Chairman of IRSG
7IIFL Home Finance signs $68-million loan agreement with ADB for affordable Green Housing
8Paytm Payments Bank Signs as Acquiring Partner for e-RUPI Service
9JPMorgan Becomes First Bank to Enter the Metaverse, Opens a Lounge in Decentraland
10Mastercard Boosts Digital Payments Infrastructure in Guwahati, Lucknow & Varanasi
11Adani Group Signed MoU with Ballard Power Systems for Commercialisation of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in India
12India Expects Growth in Fuel Demand at 5.5% in FY23
13ICICI Bank buys 9.49% stake in VFSPL for INR 19.9 Cr
14Israel Successfully Test Fires its “C-Dome” Naval Air Defence System
15IIT Roorkee launches ‘KISAN’ mobile app for regional farmers of Haridwar, Uttrakhand
16Highlights of Winter Olympics 2022 held in Beijing China; Norway Tops
17GM R Praggnanandhaa defeats Magnus Carlsen at Chess Airthings Masters Tournament
18India Wins the Bid to Host 2023 IOC Session In Mumbai After 40 Years
19World Thinking Day 2022 – February 22