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PM Modi Launches Multiple Development Initiatives in Varanasi, UPPrime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated or laid the foundation stones of 27 development projects worth Rs 2,095 crore in his Varanasi parliamentary constituency of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
- PM reviewed the development projects along with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
List of Development initiatives launched:
i.Banas Dairy Sankul: Foundation stone was laid for ‘Banas Dairy Sankul’ at UP State Industrial Development Authority Food Park, Karkhiyaon, Varanasi. The dairy which was spread across 30 acres of land will be built at a cost of about Rs 475 crores and will have a facility for processing 5 lakh litres of milk per day.
ii.Electricity generation plant: The foundation stone was laid by PM for the Biogas based Electricity generation plant for the Milk Producers Cooperative Union Plant, Ramnagar, Varanasi.
iii.Portal and Logo Launch: PM Modi launched a portal and logo which was dedicated to the Conformity Assessment Scheme of milk products, developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) with the help of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
iv.Education Sector: PM inaugurated Union Education Ministry’s Inter University Centre for Teachers Education, built at a cost of around Rs 107 crore, and a teachers’ education centre at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, built at a cost of over Rs 7 crore.
About Uttar Pradesh(UP):
Governor – Anandiben Patel
Festival – Lath Mar Holi, Janmashtami, Taj Mahotsava
Stadium – Eklavya Sports Stadium, Late Mohan Choubey Pahalvan Sports Stadium
>> Read Full News
Cabinet Approvals on December 22, 2021
On December 22, 2021, the Union Cabinet chaired by Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the following proposals which were briefed by Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
i.On the basis of the recommendations provided by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has given its approval for the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Copra for 2022 season.
ii.The Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors (PIBR), an audit profession regulator in Poland, to establish mutual co-operation.
iii.The Union Cabinet also approved MoU signing between Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Competition Commission of Mauritius (CCM) for promotion and strengthening of co-operation in competition law and policy
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Chairperson– Ashok Kumar Gupta
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News
Security of Offshore Assets in Visakhapatnam, AP reviewed during exercise ‘Prasthan’The security of the Offshore Development Area (ODA) in Krishna Godavari Basin on the East Coast of India in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh (AP) was reviewed during exercise Prasthan, conducted on December 21-22, 2021 for a duration of 24 hours.
- This biannual exercise was coordinated and controlled by NOIC- Naval Officer-in-Charge (APD) from Joint Operations Centre (JOC) Visakhapatnam under the aegis of Indian Navy.
i.It assess the overall security architecture to provide support during an emergent situation at ODA
ii.For the Oil Operators, it validates their Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) laid out for various contingencies related to ODA.
iii.It caters for multiple contingencies that can be expected in all scenarios.
INS (Indian Naval Ship) Kamorta, INS Tarmugli along with ISVs (Immediate Support Vessels), T 36, T 38, T 39; and ICG (Indian Coast Guard) ship Kanaklata Barua participated in the exercise along with MARCOS (Marine Commandos) from INS Karna and naval helicopters from INS Dega.
- Oil Operators- ONGC Ltd (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited), Reliance Ltd & Vedanta Ltd, Coastal Police, Department of Port and Department of Fisheries also participated.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveils indigenous Multi-terrain Artillery Gun 155– BROn the lines of Government’s Make-in-India and Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission, the Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD) unveiled indigenously built Multi-terrain Artillery Gun (MArG 155) – BR which is the only 155mm 39 calibre gun system mounted on 4×4 HMV (High Mobility Vehicle) in the world.
- It was unveiled in the presence of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Manoj Mukund Naravane.
- It is developed by Pune (Maharashtra)-based Indian MNC (Multinational Company) Bharat Forge Ltd.
i.The gun system is equipped with shoot and scoot capability, providing advanced technical performance and high integration.
- The weight of a fully kitted gun is 18 ton.
ii.It is capable of firing complete NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) standard and in service ammunition.
iii.On the other hand, the vehicle weighs 18 ton and has the capability to be deployed even in mountain regions.
iv.The Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Forge Ltd. is Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani.
Global Unicorn Index 2021: India Ranked 3rd Replacing UK; US Tops followed by ChinaAs per the Global Unicorn Index 2021 report released by the Hurun Research Institute, India ranked at third (by adding 33 ‘unicorns’) in 2020 by displacing the United Kingdom (UK) to the 4th spot. In 2020, India ranked at the 4th spot.
- US, China comprise 74% of unicorns: The United States (US) and China still continue to bag the top two ranks in the list by adding 254 and 74 unicorns, respectively.
- India ranked third (with a total of 54 unicorns) with Edtech company Byju’s as the most valuable unicorn in India, with a total valuation of $21 billion followed by mobile ad-tech firm InMobi (US$12bn), travel-stay finder OYO Rooms (US$9.5bn).
Top countries where the world’s unicorns are based:
|Rank||Country||No. of Unicorns|
Note – Indians founded 119 unicorns, of which 65 are outside of India and 54 are in India.
About Unicorns: Unicorns are privately held start-up companies having a valuation of more than $1 billion.
About the report: The report was released by the Hurun Research Institute in association with the Guangzhou City Commercial Bureau and Huangpu District, a ranking of the world’s start-ups founded in the 2000s, worth at least a billion dollars and not yet listed on a public exchange.
>> Read Full News
BANKING & FINANCE
Paytm Partners with MoneyGram for International Fund TransferPaytm Payments Bank has partnered with MoneyGram, a peer-to-peer remittance company to enable international fund transfer directly to Paytm Wallet.
- Under the Partnership, MoneyGram users abroad can now transfer money to any full Know Your Customer (KYC)-compliant Paytm wallet.
- This is MoneyGram’s first mobile wallet partnership in India.
i.MoneyGram transactions in India received digitally stands at nearly 50 percent of all transactions received in the country.
ii.The number of transactions sent directly to bank accounts is raised upto 6 times from 10 percent in 2 years
About Paytm Payments Bank
Paytm Payments Bank is India’s 1st bank to have zero balance & zero digital transaction charge accounts.
MD & CEO – Satish Kumar Gupta
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
About MoneyGram International Inc:
Chairman and CEO – Alex Holmes
Headquarters – Dallas, Texas, United States (US)
GoI & EIB sign Finance Contract for 1st tranche loan of Euro 250 million for Agra Metro Rail project
The Government of India (GoI) signed an agreement with European Investment Bank (EIB) for a Finance Contract for the first tranche loan of Euro 250 million for Agra Metro Rail Project, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
- The Project is working under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (UPMRCL) is the implementing agency.
Objective:To provide safe, reliable, affordable and environment friendly and sustainable public Mass Rapid Transit System (RTS) for Agra.
Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of GoI and Edvardas Bumsteinas jointly with Roger Stuart, Head of Divisions on behalf of European Investment Bank (EIB).
i.The EIB approved a total loan of Euro 450 million to fund the Agra Metro Rail Project.the project will improve mobility and provide support for planned urban development in Agra.
ii.The financial support from EIB will help in the construction of 29.4 km metro corridor comprising Corridor-1 from Sikandara to Taj East Gate (14 km) & Corridor-2 from Agra Cantt to Kalindi Vihar (15.4 km) in Agra .
About Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA):
Minister- Hardeep Singh Puri (Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State- Kaushal Kishore (Mohanlalganj,Uttar Pradesh)
REC signs agreement with KfW Development Bank to finance Power Sector & RE ProjectsIn December 2021, REC Limited (Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) signed an agreement with KfW Development Bank. The agreement aimed to avail an Official Development Assistance (ODA) term loan worth USD 169.5 million under the Indo-German bilateral partnership. Both organisations will jointly undertake various projects in Power sector & Renewable Energy (RE) projects.
- The approval was passed by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
i.This is the fifth line of credit signed between KfW Bank and REC Limited to finance power sector projects and the third line of credit for financing renewable energy (RE) projects.
- It will help in projects such as electrical and electromechanical/hydro systems, projects of lift irrigation, smart city, electrification of railway lines, airports, etc
ii.REC finances and promotes power projects across the country. It also offers the lowest interest rates to the renewable energy financed by the corporation.
About REC Limited (Rural Electrification Corporation Limited):
Chairman and MD– Sanjay Malhotra
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
About KfW Development Bank:
CEO- Stefan Wintels
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Akasa Air Unveiled its Symbol ‘The Rising A’ & Tagline ‘It’s Your Sky’
India’s new Airline, ‘Akasa Air’, operated by SNV Aviation Private Limited and backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has unveiled its logo “The Rising A” and its aircraft livery. The airline also unveiled its tagline “It’s Your Sky”, which highlights the brand’s promise to embrace everyone and to create an inclusive environment for all Indians.
- Brand colours: ‘Sunrise Orange’ and ‘Passionate Purple’ reflect the airline’s warm, youthful, and respectful nature.
- The symbol and tagline were crafted by 26FIVE India Lab, a Mumbai-based brand engagement firm.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Vayana Network & Federal Bank Bags the ‘Most Effective Bank-Fintech Partnership’ awardVayana Network, one of India’s largest trade finance platforms, and Federal Bank, a leading Private Sector Bank have been awarded the ‘Most Effective Bank-Fintech Partnership: Agile and Adaptable’ at the IBSi-Global Fintech Innovation Awards 2021.
- The award was conferred in recognition of Vayana Network’s partnership with Federal Bank making Supply Chain Finance at ease.
- The 2021 Innovation award includes the participation of 190 participants from 48 countries.
i.Federal Bank partnered with Vayana Network to provide an easy on-boarding experience to dealers through their unique ‘Full Stack’ technology infrastructure.
ii.This facilitates end to end digital solutions like client supply chain account set up, monitoring, digital authentication of documents on the transaction platform and notification to customers at every step.
iii.They also reduce complexities of supply chain financing and deliver efficiency to their customers
About Federal Bank Ltd:
Establishment – April 23, 1931
CEO & MD – Shyam Srinivasan
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner
Emma Raducanu named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021
2021 US Open Women’s Singles Champion, Emma Raducanu(World Rank: 19), a British professional tennis player has been voted as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021. The award ceremony was broadcasted from MediaCityUK, Salford, England.
- Winning her first major title at the 2021 US Open, Emma Raducanu became the 1st qualifier in the open era to win a grand slam tennis tournament.
The other award winners of 2021 BBC Sports Personality 2021 are
Team of the Year 2021: England men’s football team
World Sport Star of the Year 2021: Rachael Blackmore
Young Sports Personality of the Year 2021: Sky Brown
Unsung Hero 2021: Sam Barlow
Lifetime Achievement Award 2021: Simone Biles
Coach of the Year 2021: Gareth Southgate
Helen Rollason Award 2021: Jen Beattie
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Appoints HO Suri as MD and CEOOn 22nd December 2021 Private sector IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance appointed H O Suri as new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective October 1, 2021.
- Earlier, Suri was the financial advisor, head, internal audit & legal of the IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company
i.Suri is a chartered accountant by profession and started his professional journey in 1982 with IFFCO, the world’s largest fertiliser manufacturer in the Cooperative Sector.
ii.He is one of the founding members of IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company.
About IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company:
i.IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture of IFFCO and Japan’s Tokio Marine Group.
- The firm offers retail products like motor, health, travel, home and personal accident insurance and corporate insurance products.
Established – 2000
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
Chairman – K. Srinivasa Gowda
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian Army Launches in-House Messaging Application ASIGMAOn 23 December 2021, The Indian Army, launched a contemporary messaging application named ‘ASIGMA’ (Army Secure IndiGeneous Messaging Application). It is a new generation web-based application developed entirely in-house by a team of officers of the Corps of Signals of the Army.
- It works as an alternative to Army Wide Area Network (AWAN) messaging application which has been in service for the past 15 years.
i.The ASIGMA will be deployed in the internal network of the Army. The application provides lifetime support with future upgrades and fielded on Army-owned hardware.
ii,ASIGMA applications meet all “futuristic user requirements” with a simplified user interface. The app can be expected to provide the basics of group chat, video and image sharing, voice memos and more.
iii.It is equipped with features including multi-level security, message prioritisation, and tracking, a dynamic global address book and various options
iv.It will also provide support for the current geo-political security environment and more accuracy.
About Indian Army:
Chief of the Army Staff– Manoj Mukund Naravane
Headquarter – New Delhi, Delhi
India Wins Bronze in Men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy 2021On 22nd December 2021 Indian Men’s Hockey team under the Captaincy of Manpreet Singh won a bronze medal in the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy Hockey tournament 2021 in Dhaka, Bangladesh after defeating Pakistan.Tournament Held at – Mawlana Bhashani Hockey Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Harmanpreet Singh scored from the penalty corner, who was adjudged as the Player of the Match, where India defeated Pakistan in 4-3 game, to win Bronze.
- The Men’s Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Trophy 2021 was won by South Korea and silver for Japan.
i.Harmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Varun Kumar and Akashdeep Singh scored the goals for India while Arfraz, Abdul Rana and Nadeem were the scorers for Pakistan in the third-place playoff in Dhaka.
ii.India won the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy in 2016 and secured joint winners with Pakistan in 2018 which was held at Muscat, Oman.
About Men’s Asian Champions Trophy:
i.The Men’s Asian Champions Trophy is an event held annually by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) which features Asia’s top six field hockey teams competing in a round robin format.
ii.Pakistan and India were the most successful teams in the Men’s Asian Hockey Champions Trophy thrice.
About Asian Hockey Federation (AHF):
President – Al-Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah
Founded – 1958 (during Asian Games in Tokyo)
Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Released the Book Titled ‘Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021’Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has released the book titled “Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021”. The book is a compilation of all the spices statistics such as area, production, productivity, export, import, price and value of the output of various spices produced in the country.
The book was published by the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development(DASD), Under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare(MoAFW).
- DASD is the nodal agency for the collection and compilation of area and production estimates of spices at the National level.
About the book:
i.The book highlights the growth achieved in the spices sector in the past 7 years (2014-15 to 2020-21).
ii.The book will benefit policymakers, stakeholders, scientists, researchers, and farmers.
iii.The book states that spices production in India has increased from around 67 lakh tonnes in 2014-2015 to more than 106 lakh tonnes in 2020-2021 with an annual growth rate of 7.9%.
- The growth in spices production in India is due to the development programmes of the ministry such as Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), etc.
Export of Spices:
i.Among the major spices, Cumin (14.8%), Garlic (14.7%), Ginger (7.5%), Fennel (6.8%), Coriander (6.2%), fenugreek (5.8%), Red chilli (4.2%) and Turmeric (1.3 %), have shown significant growth rate in production.
ii.The export of spices has increased from 8.94 lakh tonnes worth Rs 14900 crores to 16 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 29535 crores with an annual growth rate of 9.8% in terms of volume and 10.5% in terms of value.
iii.The export of spices has contributed to 41% of the total earning from all horticulture crops in India.
iv.Spices have ranked 4th among the agricultural commodities, following the marine products, non-basmati rice and basmati rice.
Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day 2021 – December 23 The Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day is annually observed across India on 23rd December to commemorate the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the 5th Prime Minister(PM) of India (1979-1980). He was born on 23rd December 1902 at Noorpur in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh(UP).He is popularly known as the “champion of India’s peasants”.
- The day also celebrates and honours the contribution of the farmers and their importance in the development of the country.
- The Kisan Diwas 2021 marks the 119th birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh.
i.In 2001 the government of India has decided to recognise 23rd December, the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, of every year as the National Farmers’ Day to recognise his contributions towards the upliftment of farmers and the development in the agriculture sector
ii.The first National Farmers’ Day was observed on 23rd December 2001.
>> Read Full News
Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra Appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High CourtIn the exercise of the power conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India 1949, the President of India has appointed Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, the senior-most judge of Uttarakhand High Court(HC), has been appointed as the Acting Chief Justice(CJ) of the Uttarakhand HC with effect from 24th December 2021
- He was appointed following the retirement of Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, CJ of Uttarakhand HC.
The notification of the appointment was issued by the Department of Justice, under the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.
About Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra:
i.Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra hails from Balangir, Odisha.
ii.In 1988, He started his career in the Balangir(also known as Bolangir) district court.
iii.He secured the 1st position in the Recruitment Examination for District Judges from Bar and joined as the Additional District & Sessions Judge, Jeypore in 1999.
iv.He has also served as District & Sessions Judge, Special Judge (Central Bureau of Investigation- CBI), Bhubaneswar and Registrar General of Orissa HC.
v.He was later elevated as the Judge of Orissa HC and in October 2021, he was transferred from the Orissa HC to Uttarakhand HC.
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 24 December 2021|
|1||PM Modi Launches Multiple Development Initiatives in Varanasi, UP|
|2||Cabinet Approvals on December 22, 2021|
|3||Security of Offshore Assets in Visakhapatnam, AP reviewed during exercise ‘Prasthan|
|4||Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveils indigenous Multi-terrain Artillery Gun 155– BR|
|5||Global Unicorn Index 2021: India Ranked 3rd Replacing UK; US Tops followed by China|
|6||Paytm Partners with MoneyGram for International Fund Transfer|
|7||Government of India & European Investment Bank sign finance contract for first tranche loan of Euro 250 million for Agra Metro Rail project|
|8||REC signs agreement with KfW Development Bank to finance Power Sector & RE Projects|
|9||Akasa Air Unveiled its Symbol ‘The Rising A’ & Tagline ‘It’s Your Sky’|
|10||Vayana Network & Federal Bank Bags the ‘Most Effective Bank-Fintech Partnership’ award|
|11||2021 US Open Women’s Singles Champion Emma Raducanu named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021|
|12||IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Appoints HO Suri as MD and CEO|
|13||Indian Army Launches in-House Messaging Application ASIGMA|
|14||India Wins Bronze in Men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy 2021|
|15||Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Released the Book Titled ‘Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021’|
|16||Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day 2021 – December 23|
|17||Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra Appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court|