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Current Affairs 5 January 2022

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Dharmendra Pradhan launches NEAT 3.0 and AICTE prescribed Technical Books in Regional LanguagesUnion Education Minister launches NEAT 3.0 and AICTE
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE) launched NEAT (National Educational Alliance for Technology) 3.0, a single platform to provide the best-developed ed-tech solutions and courses to students.

  • He also launched AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) prescribed technical books in regional languages.
  • Under NEAT 3.0, more than 12 lakh socially and economically disadvantaged students received free ed-tech course coupons worth over Rs 253 crore.

What is NEAT?
It uses best technological solutions like Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the education sector to enhance learners’ convenience through customization which results in skill development and enhancing the employability.

  • AICTE, MoE acts as its facilitator.
  • NEAT has 58 global and Indian startup Education Technology Companies with 100 courses & e-resources

Other Participants:
Chairman, AICTE Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe; Prof. Rajiv Kumar, Member Secretary, AICTE and senior officials of the Ministry were present on the occasion.

Ministry of Culture & CSC to undertake India’s 1st-ever Cultural Survey of VillagesCSC to undertake first-ever cultural survey of villages

Ministry of Culture has partnered with the Common Services Centres (CSC), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) to undertake India’s first-ever cultural survey of its villages titled ‘Mera Gaon, Meri Dharohar’ through a mobile application. It will document the cultural identity at village level.

  • As per the agreement, CSC will develop a mobile application and train Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) in conducting the survey.
  • Over 4 lakh VLEs will conduct the survey in 6.38 lakh villages and upload the details on application.
  • The survey is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

How will the survey be conducted?
VLEs will conduct meetings with villagers and then upload interesting facts about their village, its places of interest, customs and traditions, famous personalities, festivals and beliefs, art and culture, etc., on the application.

  • Prior to this survey CSCs were engaged on official enumerations like the 7th Economic Census and some other surveys done for the state governments.
  • The Managing Director (MD) of CSC SPV is Dinesh Tyagi.

Himachal Pradesh becomes 1st LPG enabled & smoke free Indian stateHP-becomes-1st-LPG-enabled-&-smoke-free-statei.Himachal Pradesh (HP) has become the first LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) enabled and smoke free Indian state.
ii.This success is backed by the Central Government’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme and HP Government’s Mukhya Mantri Grihini Suvidha Yojana (GSY).
iii.While the PMUY scheme aims to get rid of the diseases caused by smoke and freeing women of the country from indoor pollution, the GSY objective is to cover those families which are not covered under PMUY.
About Himachal Pradesh (HP):
Chief Minister– Jai Ram Thakur
Festivals- Manali Winter Carnival , Lohri or Makar Sakrant, Halda festival ;
Stadiums – Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA Stadium), The Indira Gandhi Stadium.
>> Read Full News

Azure Power Commissions 600 MW SECI Project in Rajasthan;Largest, Single Site Solar Project In IndiaAzure Power fully commissions its 600 MWs SECI projectOn 3rd January 2022 Azure Power Global, a leading independent sustainable energy solutions provider in India, commissioned a 600 Megawatts (MWs) Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) connected solar project allocated by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in Bikaner, Rajasthan.

  • This is the largest solar power project in India, owned and operated at a single location by any developer.
  • Azure Power has commissioned the project in phases. Now on Jan, 2022 they had commissioned the last 100 MWs making the total to 600 MWs.

Key Points:
i.Currently, the company has 2,510 MW of high-performing operational solar assets across India.
ii.The solar power generated from the project will be supplied to SECI at a tariff of Rs. 2.53 (approximately US 3.5 cents) per Kilowatt Hour (kWh) for 25 years.
About Azure Power Global:
CEO & Managing Director (MD) – Ranjit Gupta
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
About Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI):
Managing Director (MD) – Suman Sharma (IRS)
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi


RBI Releases Framework for Small-value Offline Digital PaymentsRBI unveils framework to enable small value digital paymentsOn 3rd January 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a framework for facilitating small-value digital payments in offline mode using cards, wallets, mobile devices, etc, to push digital transactions in rural and semi-urban areas.

  • The upper limit of an offline payment transaction was fixed at Rs 200, with a total limit on a payment instrument be at Rs 2,000 at any point in time.
  • The framework will enable the Authorised Payment System Operators (PSOs) and Payment System Participants (PSPs), Acquirers and Issuers (banks and non-banks) to conduct small value offline digital payments.

Note – Offline digital payment is a transaction that does not require internet or telecom connectivity to take effect.
RBI’s Framework:
i.The Offline payments should be made in proximity (face to face) mode only.
ii.The Offline payments will not require an additional factor of authentication (AFA).
iii.The customers will receive delayed alerts through SMS and/or e-mail since the transactions are offline.
iv.Payment instruments should be enabled for offline transactions based on the explicit consent of the customer and such transactions using cards should be allowed without a requirement to switch on the contactless transaction channel.
v.Offline payments shall be covered under the provisions of RBI’s limited customer liability direction on Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs).
Note – This directive is issued under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).
In August 2020, RBI announced a scheme to conduct pilot tests of innovative technology that enables retail digital payments in offline mode and in October 2021, RBI proposed to introduce a framework for carrying out retail digital payments using mobile phones, cards, wallets, etc. in offline mode across India.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.RBI manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 to facilitate external trade and payment and to maintain the foreign exchange market in India.
ii.Fully owned subsidiaries of RBI are Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL), Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Limited (ReBIT), Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS), Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH).

NBBL Launches UPMS to Simplify Recurring Bill PaymentsOn 4th January 2022 NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL), the wholly-owned subsidiary of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), launched a Unified Presentment Management System (UPMS), which will enable users to set up standing instructions on their recurring bill payments across all modes of digital payments.

  • The bills will be automatically fetched from the billers and presented to customers for their action, in terms of auto-debit and bill payment management.

Key Highlights:
Customers can now avoid making double payments due to delays in payment confirmation or getting erroneous payment-due reminders.
About Unified Presentment Management System (UPMS):
i.UPMS will be available to customers through the centralized infrastructure and application support provided by Bharat BillPay Central Unit (BBPCU)
ii.UPMS enables the providers of the digital payments ecosystem to run through this innovative feature in the sandbox environment of Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS).

  • Digital Payment partners like Axis Bank and IDFC FIRST Bank amongst Private Banks and PhonePe are engaged in taking UPMS services to their Billers and Consumers, while many others are accessing the sandbox as a first step to deployment.

About NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL):
CEO – Noopur Chaturvedi
Established – 2021
Headquarters – Mumbai,  Maharashtra


CryptoWire launches India’s 1st Index of Cryptocurrencies ‘IC15’ CryptoWire launches India’s first Global Index of cryptocurrencies

India’s 1st index of cryptocurrencies named ‘IC15’ was launched by CryptoWire, a global crypto super app, to empower knowledge on the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem.

  • Objective: IC15 Index which is a rule-based broad market index by market capitalization will measure the performance of 15 widely traded liquid cryptocurrencies listed on exchanges across the world.

Key Features of IC15 Index:
i.It will monitor the crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance coin, Solana, Cardano, Ripple, Terra, Dogecoin, and Shiba inu.CryptoWire

ii.Constituents of IC15:


(As of January 01, 2022)

Binance coin5.03

iii.The base value and date of the index was set at 10,000 and 1 April 2018. As of  January 1, 2022, the IC15 index’s open value stood at 71,463.30 points.
iv.The index will be monitored, administered, and rebalanced every quarter of a financial year by the CryptoWire’s index governance committee, comprising domain experts, industry practitioners and academicians.
v.As this index captures over 80 percent of market movement it is a fundamental market tracking and assessing tool.
Note – CryptoWireis a special business unit of TickerPlant.
About Cryptocurrency:
Cryptocurrency is decentralized digital money that is based on blockchain technology. There is no central authority to manage and maintain the value of a cryptocurrency. They are broadly distributed among cryptocurrency’s users through the internet.
About CryptoWire:
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Jigish Sonagar

India Achieves Highest-Ever Export of USD 37.29 Billion in December 2021India achieves highest ever export of 37.29 billion dollars in DecembeAs per the data of the Ministry of commerce and industry, India’s merchandise export in December 2021 was about USD 37.29 billion, the highest ever monthly exports achievement.
Key Points:
a.Export, Import in December 2021:
i.The export was increased by 37.0 percent in December 2021 on an annual basis over USD 27.22 billion in December 2020 and an increase of 37.55 percent over USD 27.11 billion in December 2019.

  • The rise in exports is mainly due to healthy performance by sectors like engineering, textiles and chemicals

ii.Imports in December 2021 also rose by 38 percent to USD 59.27 billion due to an increase in oil imports by 65.17 percent to USD 15.9 billion.
iii.The trade deficit in December 2021 was USD 21.99 billion.
b.Export, Import in FY22 (April-December, 2021):
i.So far in FY22 (i.e. from April to December 2021) the exports rose by 48.85 percent to 299.74 billion dollars (over USD 201.37 billion in April-December 2020) and the imports increased by 69.27 percent to 443.71 billion dollars, (over USD 262.13 billion in April-December 2020) leaving a trade deficit of 143.97 billion dollars.
ii.In FY22 (April-December, 2021) India has seen USD 179 billion services exports. India is expected to achieve the USD 400 billion merchandise exports target for FY22.
About Ministry of commerce and industry (MoCI):
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Constituency – Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Anupriya Singh Patel (Constituency – Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh), Som Prakash (Constituency – Hoshiarpur, Punjab).

Apple Becomes First Company to Touch $3 Trillion Market CapApple becomes first company to touch $3 trillion market capOn 3rd January 2022 Apple Inc.’s stock market value raised above USD 3 trillion and became the first company to achieve this milestone.
i.On the first day of trading in 2022 (i.e. On January 03, 2022), the company’s shares hit an intraday record high of USD 182.88, putting Apple’s market value just above USD 3 trillion.
ii.The stock ended the session up 2.5 percent at USD 182.01, with Apple’s market capitalization at USD 2.99 trillion.

  • The stock first reached USD 1 trillion in mid-2018 and achieved USD 2 trillion in August 2020.

Key Highlights:
i.The iPhone maker’s share price has increased steadily for years with the mark reaching more than 200 percent since COVID -19 in early 2020.
ii.With this USD 3 trillion milestone reached, the investment in Apple’s iPhones, MacBooks and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music would increase.
iii.Market shares as per Refinitive’s data:

  • Apple shared the USD 2 trillion market value club with Microsoft Corp, which is now worth about USD 2.5 trillion.
  • Alphabet Inc, Inc and Tesla Inc have market values above USD 1 trillion.
  • Saudi Arabian Oil Co is valued at about USD 1.9 trillion.

iv.Additional info:

  • Apple is expected to launch its own vehicle within a few years. Tesla is now being the world’s most valuable automaker.
  • Apple continued to lead the smartphone market of China, (which is the world’s largest smartphone market), beating Vivo and Xiaomi. (As per the data of CounterPoint)

About Apple Inc:
CEO – Tim Cook
Headquarters – California, United States


Captain Harpreet Chandi becomes 1st Woman of Colors to make solo trip to South Pole

The Indian-origin British Sikh Army officer, Captain Harpreet Chandi became the 1st woman of colour to make a solo unsupported trek to the earth’s South Pole.
i.Captain Harpreet Chandi is a 32 years old physiotherapist, who was popularly known as ‘Polar Preet’.
ii.She completed her 700 miles solo expedition to the South Pole in 40 days.
About South Pole:
i.Antarctica is the southernmost continent where the Earth’s magnetic South Pole is located. it’s a completely  ice-covered landmass.
ii.Mount Erebus is the southernmost active volcano on Earth situated in Antarctica.
iii.India’s bases at Antarctica:
There are three permanent research base stations in Antarctica, named Dakshin Gangotri (1983), Maitri (1988) and Bharati (2012).    


G Asok Kumar appointed as the new Director General of NMCGG Asok Kumar takes over as the new Director GeneralThe Additional Secretary under the  Ministry of Jal Shakti, G Asok Kumar was appointed as the new Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti. He succeeded Director General, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra.

  • He is popularly known as ‘the Rain Man of India’ for his excellent work in rainwater harvesting under the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign.

About G Asok Kumar:
i.Prior to this appointment, he served in various positions such as Executive Director Projects in NMCG, Mission Director for National Water Mission (NWM),
Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Director in the Ministry of Power ministries etc.
Awards  –

  • SKOCH Award for Public Services 2021,
  • Jal-Mitra award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh,
  • 1st ‘Telangana Excellence Award’ for outstanding work done in Public Administration.

About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):
i.National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society in 2011 under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, towards purification of River Ganga.

  • Aim- to clean river Ganga by providing financial and technical assistance.
  • Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi.

Ganga is India’s longest river of length 2,525 Kms.

ONGC appoints Alka Mittal as its 1st Woman CMDONGC gets its first ever woman CMD, Alka MittalOn 3 January 2022, the Human Resources (HR) Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Alka Mittal was appointed as the 1st woman Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of ONGC, on additional charge.

  • Alka Mittal succeeded Subhash Kumar who retired on December 31 2021.

i.She will hold the position as the CMD for 6 months or until a regular appointment for the post is announced.
Note – Previously, in January 2021, Soma Mondal became the 1st Women Chairperson of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
About Alka Mittal:
i.Alka Mittal  is a postgraduate in Economics and a Doctorate in Commerce and Business Studies. She  joined ONGC as a graduate trainee in 1985.
ii.She was appointed HR Director of ONGC in December 2018 and she was also the 1st woman to hold the post as a full-time director in the board of ONGC’s history.
About Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC):
ONGC is a Maharatna company, which is the highest order for categorization of the CPSEs (Central Public sector Enterprises).
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Ownership- Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG)        


Dr. Jitendra Singh launches Web Portal for PM’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for 2021-22Dr. Jitendra Singh launches Web Portal for PM's Excellence Award

Union Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, launched the Web Portal for PM’s (Prime Minister’s) Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2021-22 ( The registration for the awards is initiated on January 3, 2022.

  • For the year 2021, the prize money for award is doubled from Rs.10 lakh to 20 lakh to the awarded District/Organization which is to be utilized for implementation of programmes in any area of public welfare.
  • The Period of consideration is April 1, 2019 to Dec, 31 2021 and is mandatory for all District Collectors to apply for the Award.
  • The total number of Awards under this will be 18.

About PM’s Excellence Award:
It acknowledges, recognizes and rewards the extraordinary and innovative work done by Districts/Organizations of the Central and State Governments. Since 2014, this award is premised on the performance of the District, rather than that of the District Collector or individual civil servant. It also assesses the scale and rating of the implementation of Flagship Schemes in the district. For 2021, the award aims to recognize the contribution of civil servants in
i. Promoting “Jan Bhagidari” or Peoples’ participation in Poshan Abhiyan
ii.Promoting excellence in sports and wellness through Khelo India scheme
iii.Digital Payments and good governance in PM SVANidhi Yojana
iv.Holistic Development through One District One Product scheme
v.Seamless, End-to-End Delivery of Services without Human Intervention
What will get as PM’s Excellence Awards in Public Administration 2021?
The PM’s Awards, 2021 will consist of:
iii.An incentive of Rs.20 lacs to the awarded District/organization
iv.A Certificate of Recognition
v.A letter of appreciation to be issued by the Secretary (DARPG- Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances), currently V.Srinivas, to the officers who have contributed towards the initiative.


Vice Admiral SH Sarma, Indian Navy’s 1971 War Veteran, Passed Awayveteran Vice Admiral SH Sarma passed awayThe Indian Navy’s 1971 Indo-Pak war veteran Vice Admiral Sree Harilal Sarma (SH Sarma), the senior-most living war veteran has passed away at his residence in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He was born in Orissa, British Raj (now Odisha).
About Vice Admiral SH Sarma:
i.Vice Admiral SH Sarma, a Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) awardee, has served as the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF) during the 1971 Indo Pakistan War.
ii.He has also served as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command from 1977 to 1978.
iii.He was also a veteran of the 1965 Indo Pak war and the 2nd World War.
iv.He published his autobiography titled “My Years at Sea” in 2017.

Three time Olympic Gold winning Triple Jump Champion – Viktor Saneyev passed awayThree-time Olympic triple jump champion Viktor SaneyevThe Olympic triple jump – 3 time gold medalist and former world record holder, Viktor Danilovich Saneyev passed away in Australia at the age of 76 years.
i.Viktor Saneyev was born on October 3, 1945, in Georgia.
ii.He was a triple long player who represented the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in the Olympic games. Later he worked as a coach in Australia.
iii.He clinched  four Olympic titles which include three gold medals and one silver medal.
iv.He secured Gold medals in European Games organized in 1969 Athens and 1974 Rome.
Olympic career:

  • 1968 Mexico City- Gold medal
  • 1972 Munich- Gold medal
  • 1976 Montreal- Gold medal
  • 1980 Moscow- Silver medal


World Braille Day 2022 – January 4 World Braille Day - January 4 2022

The United Nations(UN)’s World Braille Day is annually observed across the globe on 4th January to create awareness about the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of human rights for blind and partially sighted people across the globe.

  • 4th January also marks the birth anniversary of 19th-century French educator, Louis Braille, who invented Braille, a universally accepted system of reading and writing used by and for blind persons.

4th January 2022 marks the observance of the 4th World Braille Day and the 213th birth anniversary of Louis Braille. 
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/73/161 in November 2018 and proclaimed the 4th January of every year as World Braille Day.
ii.The first ever World Braille Day was observed on 4th January 2019.
>> Read Full News


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S.noCurrent Affairs 5 January 2022
1Dharmendra Pradhan launches NEAT 3.0 and AICTE prescribed Technical Books in Regional Languages
2Ministry of Culture & CSC to undertake India’s 1st-ever Cultural Survey of Villages
3Himachal Pradesh becomes 1st LPG enabled & smoke free Indian state
4Azure Power Commissions 600 MW SECI Project in Rajasthan;Largest, Single Site Solar Project In India
5RBI Releases Framework for Small-value Offline Digital Payments
6NBBI Launches UPMS to Simplify Recurring Bill Payments
7CryptoWire launches India’s 1st Index of Cryptocurrencies ‘IC15’
8India Achieves Highest-Ever Export of USD 37.29 Billion in December 2021
9Apple Becomes First Company to Touch $3 Trillion Market Cap
10Captain Harpreet Chandi becomes 1st Woman of Colors to make solo trip to South Pole
11G Asok Kumar appointed as the new Director General of NMCG
12ONGC appoints Alka Mittal as its 1st Woman CMD
13Dr. Jitendra Singh launches Web Portal for PM’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for 2021-22
14Vice Admiral SH Sarma, Indian Navy’s 1971 War Veteran, Passed Away
15Three time Olympic Gold winning Triple Jump Champion – Viktor Saneyev passed away
16World Braille Day 2022 – January 4