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Current Affairs 9 February 2022

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

IUCN Declares Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram as India’s 1st OECM siteAravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram declared as India’s first OECM siteThe International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram, Haryana as India’s 1st ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECM) site on the occasion of World Wetlands Day (2nd February, 2022).
About OECM tag:
i.The OECM tag is given by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to areas that are not protected but support rich biodiversity.
ii.Under OECM tag, there are no legal, financial or management implications, but it designates the area as a biodiversity hotspot on the international map.
Background:
The proposal to declare Aravalli Biodiversity Park an OECM site was sent by the National Biodiversity Authority to the IUCN in December 2020.

  • In April 2021, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hero MotoCorp Limited for the ecological restoration and conservation of the Aravalli Biodiversity Park till 2031 and formally handed over its management in July 2021.

About Aravalli Biodiversity Park:
i.The Aravalli Biodiversity Park is spread across 390 acres and has semi-arid vegetation, with around 300 native plants, 101,000 trees, 43,000 shrubs, and several species of birds.
The work of transforming the park into a city forest from a 40-year-old mining site started in 2010, when a citizens group called ‘IAmGurgaon’, began to save the Aravallis and create a public space.
About Aravallis:
i.The Aravallis is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, considered the green lungs of Delhi- National Capital Region (NCR), a crucial water recharge zone.
ii.The 2018 study of the Centre for Environmental Research and Education(CERE), covering biodiversity aspects, oxygen generation, the value of trees and a host of other criteria revealed that Aravalli Biodiversity Park supplies around 7.07 percent of the oxygen for the Delhi-NCR.
About  Haryana:
Chief Minister – Manohar Lal Khattar
Dance – Loor dance, Gugga Dance, Jhumar Dance, Ghumar Dance
Lakes – Brahma Sarovar, Sannihit Sarovar, Surajkund

Power Minister Launches Powerthon-2022 for Enabling Advanced Technology in Power DistributionPower Minister Launches Powerthon-2022

On February 7, 2022, the Union Minister, Raj Kumar Singh, Ministry of Power (MoP) virtually launched Powerthon-2022. It is a hackathon competition under RDSS (Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme) to find technology based solution to solve the complex problems in power distribution and to ensure quality and reliable power supply.

  • This is being launched on the lines of memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between REC Ltd. (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited), and Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) under IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Bombay (Maharashtra) as ‘incubator cum technology partner’.
  • Startup India, the flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to catalyse startup culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India is also supporting in wide publicity of Powerthon-2022.
  • Registration link: https://sineiitb.org/mop/powerthon2022.html 

Key Points:
i.SINE will support in facilitating the screening, selection, monitoring and scaling up of the solutions to be proposed by Technology Solutions Provider (TSPs). 
ii.Under this hackathon, TSPs, start-ups, educational institutions, research institute, equipment manufacturers, state power utilities and other state and central power sector entities, will be provided current challenges/problem statements faced across the power distribution sector on 9 themes. These are:

  • Demand/Load Forecasting
  • AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) Loss Reduction
  • Energy Theft Detection
  • Prediction of DT (Distribution Transformer) Failure
  • Asset Inspection
  • Vegetation Management
  • Consumer Experience Enhancement
  • RE (Renewable Energy) Integration
  • Power Purchase Optimization

iii.Under the competition, an Expert Group and a Technical Committee is constituted for overall evaluation of the Proof of concept (POC) and selection of TSP. 
iv.RDSS is a Reform-based and Result-linked Scheme introduced by MoP and the key objectives of RDSS are Reducing AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) losses to 12-15%, eliminating the ACOS-ARR (Average Cost of Supply/Annual Revenue Requirement)gap by 2024-25 and improving the quality & reliability of the power supply.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Launches IMI 4.0 for Children, Pregnant WomenDr. Mansukh Mandaviya launches Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 4.0On February 07, 2022, the Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 4.0 in New Delhi to protect children and pregnant women from severe diseases.

  • While launching IMI 4.0, the Health Minister stated that India operates the largest immunization program globally, covering over 30 million pregnant women and 26 million children every year under the Universal Immunization Program (UIP).

Key Points:
i.The IMI 4.0 will give impetus to the vaccination coverage. As of now the immunization coverage among children have increased to 76.4 percent as per National Family Health Survey(NFHS)-4.
ii.The IMI 4.0 will cover 416 districts across 33 states/UTs. It will focus more on those districts where the vaccination coverage is comparatively low. 
iii.2 Phases: The mission will be run in two phases, the 1st phase will be run in 11 states from February to April, 2022 and the second phase will be held from April to May, 2022. 
iv.Under the IMI 4.0, 12 vaccines will be administered to the children.
v.Participants: Keshab Mahanta, Health Minister of Assam and Rushikesh Patel, Health Minister of Gujarat also virtually participated in the launch.
What is Immunization?
It is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines are substances that stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.
>> Read Full News

Government Approves IFLDP for Continuation with an Outlay of Rs. 1700 croreIFLDP approved for continuation with an outlay of Rs. 1700 CroreUnion Cabinet approved Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP), erstwhile IFLADP, for continuation from 2021-22 with a financial outlay of Rs. 1700 crore till 31st March 2026 or till further review, whichever is earlier. This was stated by Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

  • Aim – To develop infrastructure for the leather sector, address environmental concerns specific to the leather sector, facilitate additional investments, employment generation and increase in production.

Highlights:
i.The programme has a direct benefit towards quality employment generation especially for women, skill development, decent work, making the industry more environment friendly and prompting a sustainable production system.
ii.IFLAD Programme have benefitted population in terms of reduction of poverty, gender equality, sector specific skill and education.
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MoCI):
Union Minister –
Piyush Goyal (Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Som Parkash (Hoshiarpur, Punjab), Anupriya Patel(Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh)
>> Read Full News

Government Continues RYSK Scheme for Another 5 yearsGovt decides to continue the Scheme of Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran KaryakramThe Central Government has decided to continue the Scheme of “Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram (RYSK) for another 5 years from 2021 -22 to 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs. 2,710.65 crore rupees.

  • Objective – To develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and to engage them in nation building activities.
  • Beneficiaries – The youth in the age-group of 15 to 29 years (according to the definition of ‘youth’ in the National Youth Policy, 2014).

About Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports:
Union Minister – Anurag Singh Thakur (Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)
Minister of state – Nisith Pramanik (Coochbehar, West Bengal)
>> Read Full News

IIT Madras Establish ‘AquaMAP’ Centre to Solve India’s Water CrisisIIT Madras Establish 'AquaMAP' Centre to Solve India's Water Crisis

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has set up an inter disciplinary water management and policy centre named  ‘AquaMAP’. This project aims to improve India’s Water security and provide sustainable water management practices, thereby setting up water innovation villages. 
Objective:
To  address complex real-life water problems through a consortium approach and setting up a hydro-informatics laboratory to provide smart solutions to tackle water related issues. 
Key points:
i.The AquaMAP proposes to design scalable models that would be implemented in specific  locations across the country.
ii.It will address at least three chronic water issues and conduct pilot studies in six water innovation villages and towns. That will be showcased as replicable models for water management and policy implementation in India.
iii.The seed grant commitment of ₹3 crore for the project was provided by the alumni students, Parasuram Balasubramanian, chief executive officer  (CEO) of Theme Work Analytics, and Krishnan Narayanan, President of Itihaasa Research and Digital. 
NoteIIT Madras ranked at first position in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2021, for the third consecutive year.
Leadership of AquaMAP:
i.The governing body of AquaMAP is chaired by Prof. Kamakoti Veezhinathan, director of the Institute. 
ii.Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning) and faculty of civil engineering at IIT Madras is the principal investigator of AquaMAP and supported by 20 faculty members from various departments working on water-related issues.
About Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras:
It was established in 1959, under the 1st Indo-German agreement that was signed in Bonn, where Germany agreed to provide scientific support & training for the institution.

  • Director – Kamakoti Veezhinathan

PMKSY Scheme Extended Till FY26 with Rs 4,600 Crore Outlay

Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY), a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MoFPI) has been extended for a period of 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 (till March 2026). The government of India(GoI) has allocated Rs 4600 crore for the scheme. 

  • The GoI launched the Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters(SAMPADA) in 2017 with an allocation of Rs 6000 crore. 
  • In August 2017, the scheme was renamed as PMKSY, incorporating several ongoing schemes of the MoFPI like Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities and Operation Greens.

BANKING & FINANCE

LIC 3rd strongest & 10th Most Valuable Globally, Offers Highest RoE of 82%: Crisil Report LIC 3rd largest globally, but offers highest RoE of 82%

i.In accordance with the report by Crisil, LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India), India’s largest IPO (Initial Public offering)-bound national insurer and 3rd strongest insurance brand globally, LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India), offers the highest Return on Equity (RoE) at 82% amongst all its global peers.
ii.According to a brand valuation report by London-based Brand Finance, LIC is India’s strongest and the largest brand in the country with a valuation of $8.656 billion (around Rs 64,722 crore). With this, it also becomes the third-strongest insurance brand globally after Poste Italiane of Italy, and Mapfre of Spain at 1st and 2nd rank respectively.
iii.It is also the world’s 10th most valuable insurance brand.
iv.LIC’s market share is highest among the globe i.e. 64.1% or with a gross written premium (GWP) of $56.405 billion.
About Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India:
Chairperson – M R Kumar
Managing Directors– Raj Kumar, Siddhartha Mohanty, Ipe Mini, BC Patnaik
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
>> Read Full News

RBI Extends Restrictions on Karnataka’s Millath Co-Operative Bank till May 7, 2022RBI extends restrictions on Karnataka's Millath Co-Operative Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the restrictions on Millath Co-Operative Bank, Devangere (Karnataka) by another three months, from February 8 2022 to May 7, 2022.

  • According to the RBI, the other terms and conditions of the directives will remain unchanged during the latest three-month extension.

Highlights:  
i.As per the directions issued first on May 10, 2019, withdrawals were capped at Rs 1,000 from any account. The directions have been periodically extended till now without major change.
ii.The directions also include no new loans, new investments or taking on any new liabilities, including borrowing of funds or paying any other liabilities can take place without  RBI approval.
iii.RBI has passed these restrictions, in the exercise of its powers conferred on it by sub-section (1) of Section 35A and  Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act  1949.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor- Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded- 1 April 1935

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

L&T & Microsoft India Ink Partnership to Develop Regulated Sector Cloud Offeringl&t and microsoft ink partnership to develop regulated sector-focused cloud offering

Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) and Microsoft India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a regulated sector-focused cloud offering to empower customers with the best-of-breed cloud computing and infrastructure service. 
Objective:
To modernise traditional data centres to potentially hybrid cloud architecture. 
Features of the MoU:
i.Under this MoU, both companies will engage with a set of large customers in regulated sectors to design architectures and roadmaps for modernising their traditional data centres and advancing their digital transformation goals. 
ii.According to the present terms, the MoU will focus on engaging with the customers in the Indian jurisdiction with future possibilities to extend its partnership to other jurisdictions. 
iii.The MoU combines the strengths of both organisations to utilise digital services as a key factor for economic growth.
Key Points:
i.L&T’s association with Microsoft aims to accelerate its hybrid cloud transition for large customers in regulated sectors while maintaining its highest benchmarks in compliance, security, and governance. 
ii.Under this MoU, L&T and Microsoft India will set up a joint governance group to define future platform designs, investments, and commercial/business models to service the regulated sectors’ emerging technology requirements
iii.As the association evolves, the Senior leadership teams of L&T and Microsoft India will work collectively on this. 
About Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T):
CEO & MD– S.N. Subrahmanyan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Microsoft India: 
Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990.
President– Anant Maheshwari
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana

CMIE: India’s Unemployment Rate in January 2022 Falls to 6.57%; Lowest since March 2021

According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd.(CMIE), the unemployment rate of India has declined to 6.57% in January 2022, the lowest since March 2021(6.50%). In January 2022, the unemployment rate in urban India is at 8.16% and the unemployment rate in rural India is at 5.84%. 

  • Telangana has reported the lowest unemployment rate with 0.7% followed by Gujarat (1.2 per cent), Meghalaya (1.5 per cent) and Odisha (1.8 per cent). 
  • Haryana has reported the highest unemployment rate with 23.4% followed by Rajasthan (18.9%) and Tripura (17.1%).

CMIE estimated that as of December 2021, the number of unemployed in India were at 53 million. In December 2021, 35 million people in India were actively looking for work (23%or 8 million were women). 

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS       

Bloomberg Billionaires Index – Gautam Adani overtakes Mukesh Ambani as Asia’s Richest PersonBillionaire Gautam Adani overtakes Mukesh Ambani to become Asia’s richest personIn accordance with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gautam Adani (59) net worth reached $88.5 billion overtaking Mukesh Ambani’s $87.9 billion becoming Asia’s richest person as on 8th February, 2022. 

  • With a nearly $12 billion jump in his personal wealth, he has become the 10th richest person in the world. 
  • Globally the Elon Musk was named as the world’s richest person with total net worth of $235 Billion.He was followed by Jeff Bezos with total net worth of $183 Billion & Bernard Arnault with total net worth of $168 Billion.

Key Points:
i.Currently, Gautam Adani owns a total of 12 ports and plans to be the world’s biggest ports operator by 2030. 
ii.Known as the nation’s infrastructure king, he has announced plans to expand his green energy capacity by 2025.
iii.Gautam Adani founded the Adani Group in 1988 and diversified into resources, agriculture, logistics, aerospace, energy and defence, amongst others.
Note – The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world’s richest people. 

Nitin Gadkari Receives Late Madhavrao Limaye Award Under Efficient MP CategoryNitin Gadkari to receive Late Madhavrao Limaye awardOn 7th February 2022 Nashik Public Library, Sarvajanik Vachanalay  announced that the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari from Nashik, Maharashtra will be facilitated for the first time with the 18th late Madhavrao Limaye award in the category of Karyakram Khaasdar (Efficient Member of Parliament) for the year 2020-21.

  • Earlier, the award was given to Karyaksham Aamdaar, an efficient Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Maharashtra.
  • The award presentation ceremony will be held on 10th February 2022 at Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi, at the residence of minister Nitin Gadkari and will be broadcast online.
  • Chief guests – Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pawar, MP Dr Subhash Bhamre, MP Hemant Godse and MP Vinay Sahastrabuddhe will be the chief guests at the function.

About Madhavrao Limaye (late):
i.Late Madhavrao Limaye was a senior socialist leader, journalist, writer, educational guide and activist from Nashik, Maharashtra. He had a close relationship with the Sarvajanik Vachanalay.
About the Award:
i.The Sarvajanik Vachanalay annually selects one of the members of Vidhan Parishad (Lok Sabha), Vidhan Sabha (Rajya Sabha) for the Efficient MLA or Member of Parliament (MP) Award.

  • The award has been instituted in the memory of Limaye by his daughter Dr Shobha Nerlikar.

ii.The award consists of Rs 50,000 in cash, and a memento. 
Note – From 2022,  besides the Members of the Legislature (MLA/MLC), the organisers have also decided to felicitate Members of Parliament (MP) every alternate year.  

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS        

Lt Gen GAV Reddy Appointed as New DGDIA & DCIDS (Int)

Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) G A V Reddy, AVSM, SC, VSM, appointed as the Director-General of Defence Intelligence Agency(DGDIA) And Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Intelligence) (DCIDS (Int)). He succeeds Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon who superannuated on 31st January 2022. KJS Dhillon was honoured with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal on the 73rd Republic Day of India. 

  • DGDIA is the head of the organisation and is one of the principal advisors on Intelligence to the Union Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff(CDS)
  • DIA, formed in 2002, is an intelligence agency responsible for providing and coordinating defence and military intelligence to the Indian Armed Forces. Lt Gen Kamal Davar, former director-general of the Indian Army’s Mechanised Forces, was the first DG of DIA. 

ACC Approves to Extend LIC Chairman MR Kumar’s Term by 1 yearLIC Chairman MR Kumar’s term extended by one more year

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved extending the tenure of MR Kumar as the Chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC) by 1 year till March 2023, for a further period beyond 13th March 2022. 

  • This is the 2nd extension for MR Kumar, whose term was to end on 30th June 2021. 
  • The term of the chairman has been extended to facilitate the launch of LIC’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) which is expected in the 4th quarter of the financial year 2021-22.

Previous extension:
In June 2021, the government gave a 9-month extension to LIC Chairman MR Kumar, till March 2022 in view of the ongoing preparation for the IPO. 
Note: These extensions have been done as a one time measure and cannot be quoted as a precedent.
Term of LIC MD Raj Kumar Extended:
The government has also extended the tenure of LIC Managing Director, Raj Kumar by one year beyond the date of his superannuation on 31st January 2022 or until further orders.
About LIC IPO:
i.LIC IPO is expected to be the largest in the history of the Indian capital market.
ii.An IPO refers to the process of offering shares of a private corporation to the public in a new stock issuance. 
iii.To facilitate the listing of LIC, the government made 27 amendments to the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 in 2021. 
iv.As per the amendment, the GoI will hold at least 75% in LIC for the first 5 years post the IPO and subsequently hold at least 51% at all times after the 5 years of listing. 
About Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC):
LIC was formed by an Act of Parliament, viz. LIC Act, 1956, with a capital contribution of Rs. 5 crores from the Government of India.
Chairman– MR Kumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra     

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO: INSAT-4B Successfully Decommissioned through 11 Re-orbiting manoeuvres INSAT-4B decommissioned after 11 manoeuvres in spaceIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decommissioned the INSAT-4B, an Indian communications satellite that forms part of the Indian National Satellite System on 24th January 2022 through 11 re-orbiting manoeuvres that pushed the satellite into the desired orbit mandated by the IADC space debris mitigation guidelines. 

  • The finally achieved orbit is about 340km above geostationary (GEO) altitude in perfect compliance with IADC guidelines for space debris mitigation of GEO objects.
  • The decommissioning of the satellite was to comply with the United Nations(UN) and the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) recommended space debris mitigation. 

Post Mission Disposal (PMD):
i.The satellite underwent Post Mission Disposal (PMD) at the end of its service, followed by decommissioning as a part of the efforts of India to preserve the long term sustainability of outer space. 
ii.This is the 21st Indian geostationary (GEO) satellite to undergo PMD.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman– S Somanath
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
>> Read Full News

SPORTS

Football -AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022: China PR won the Championship; wins 9th Title AFC Women’s Asian Cup China beat Korea 3-2

China PR (People’s Republic) won the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 defeating South Korea in the finals held at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. The 2022 championship marks China’s 9th title. 

  • AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, the 20th edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, was hosted by India from 20th January to 6th February 2022 in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune, Maharashtra.
  • Participants of 2022: China PR; Chinese Taipei; India; Ir Iran; Japan; Myanmar; Australia; Indonesia; Thailand; Philippines; Korea Republic (South Korea); and Vietnam.
  • For the first time in the competition, the final tournament was expanded from 8 teams to 12.

Note:  Previously India has hosted the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 1979. 
Key Points:
i.China PR is the most successful team, with 9 titles. 
ii.China PR won the title for the 8th time in AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2006. 
iii.With this win, China PR has been qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which is to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
About AFC Women’s Asian Cup:
i.AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a quadrennial tournament, held every 4 years, to crown the best women’s football team in Asia.
ii.The first-ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup was held in 1975(New Zealand was the inaugural champion of the event). 
iii.Initially, the competition was held every 2 years in the 1970s, 1990, 2000s and briefly shifted to a triennial competition in the 1980s. Since 2014, the event became quadrennial. 
AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Awards:

AwardWinner
Most Valuable Player 2022Wang Shan Shan(China)
Best Goalkeeper 2022Zhu Yu(China)
Yili Top Goalscorer 2022Sam Kerr(Australia)
Fair Play Award 2022South Korea 


Additional info:
i.Choe Yu-ri of South Korea has scored the 100th goal during the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022. 
ii.Shui Qingxia of China has become the first person to win the AFC Women’s Asian Cup as a player and a head coach. Shui Qingxia was a part of the team that won the title in 1986, 1989, 1991, 1995, and 1997. 
About Asian Football Confederation(AFC):
President– Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain)
Headquarters– Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Navdeep Singh Gill authors ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’, the Biography of  Neeraj Chopra 

A  biography of Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist, Neeraj Chopra titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ authored by Navdeep Singh Gill released at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana, Punjab.  It was published by  Lokgeet Prakashan and is from the genre of Children’s literature.

  • Neeraj Chopra won a Gold medal in the Javelin Throw event at 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in Japan.
  • The book was released by the Chairperson of Punjab Kala Parishad, Surjit Patar and president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Lakhwinder Singh Johal.

Note- Neeraj Chopra is India’s first track-and-field Olympic gold medallist and the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win a gold medal in individual events.
Highlights of the Book:
i.The 72 page biography covers the life history and achievements of Neeraj Chopra from his childhood to the Tokyo Olympics trumpet. 
ii.It also highlights sporting techniques of Neeraj Chopra, his numerous awards and contemporaries in different chapters with coloured photos in each chapter.
iii.It is the seventh book written by Navdeep and the sixth placing focus on the sports as well as the sportspersons.
Famous books on Athletes :

  • Ace against Odds – Sania Mirza
  • Faster Than Lightning – Usain Bolt
  • Beneath the Surface: My Story – Michael Phelps
  • A Shot at History – Abhinav Bindra

STATE NEWS

UNEP signs MoU with Maharashtra Govt to support ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ campaign, Implementing Climate Change Actions

UNEP signs MoU with Mah govt for implementing climate change actions

The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to support its ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ campaign. It is an initiative towards sustainable use of  energy and environmental development.
What is ‘Majhi Vasundhara’?
The literal meaning is ‘My Earth’ is an initiative of the Environment and Climate Change Department, Government of Maharashtra.
Objective:
To empower citizens with knowledge on the impacts of climate change and environmental issues and to encourage them to make a conscious effort towards improvement of the environment.
Key points:
i.Under the agreement UNEP and the Government of Maharashtra will jointly support the state in the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives .

  • Various initiatives such as clean energy, renewable energy policy and to develop a strategy for carbon neutral development in line with the Government of India’s vision.

ii.UNEP will provide  support to the state in educating and mobilizing youth on plastic pollution and marine litter through its Tide Turner Challenge across all educational institutes of Maharashtra.
Note – In November 2021, UN appointed  Shombi Sharp as the UN Resident Coordinator in India
India’s Carbon Elimination Targets:
i.India set the target to become carbon neutral by the year 2070.
ii.In the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions), India has promised to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through forest and tree cover by the year 2030 under Paris Climate Agreement.
About United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP):
Headquarters- Nairobi, Kenya
Executive Director- Inger Andersen (Denmark)
About Maharashtra:
Chief Minister- Uddhav ThackerayTiger Reserve (TR)- Tadoba-Andhari TR, Nawegaon – Nagzira TR

West Bengal Starts Open-Air Classroom ‘Paray Shikshalaya’ due to Covid-19West Bengal government launched ‘Paray Shikshalaya’

On 7th February 2022, the West Bengal government launched ‘Paray Shikshalaya’ (Neighbourhood Schools) , an open-air classroom programme for students from classes 1 to 7.

  • In view of the rising demand for physical classes, the West Bengal government reopened schools and also launched this neighbourhood classes initiative.
  • Initially, the initiative was meant for primary school students (classes 1 to 5)
  • Aim – To encourage students to continue their education, who have dropped out of school during the Covid-19 pandemic.

About neighbourhood classes:
i.Students are being called in batches and mid-day meals have also been arranged for the students who are taking neighbourhood classes.

  • Under the project, the state government has decided to hold classes in open ground.
  • The para teachers and primary school teachers would be part of the project to provide elementary education to Class 1-5.

ii.Local councillors and Members of Legislative assembly (MLA) supported setting up such infrastructure for schools that do not have open-air spaces by providing classes in neighbourhood parks and grounds.
About West Bengal:
Governor – Jagdeep Dhankhar
Wildlife sanctuaries – Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary, Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Zoological park – Alipore Zoological Garden, Bardhaman Zoological Park, Junglemahal Zoological Park

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 9 February 2022
1MoEFCC Declares Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram as India’s 1st OECM site
2Power Minister Launches Powerthon-2022 for Enabling Advanced Technology in Power Distribution
3Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Launches Mission Indradhanush 4.0 for Children, Pregnant Women
4Government Approves IFLDP for Continuation with an Outlay of Rs. 1700 crore
5Government Continues RYSK Scheme for Another 5 years
6IIT Madras Establish ‘AquaMAP’ Centre to Solve India’s Water Crisis
7PMKSY Scheme Extended Till FY26 with Rs 4,600 Crore Outlay
8LIC 3rd strongest & 10th Most Valuable Globally, Offers Highest RoE of 82%: Crisil Report
9RBI Extends Restrictions on Karnataka’s Millath Co-Operative Bank till May 7, 2022
10L&T & Microsoft India Ink Partnership to Develop Regulated Sector Cloud Offering
11CMIE: India’s Unemployment Rate in January 2022 Falls to 6.57%; Lowest since March 2021
12Gautam Adani overtakes Mukesh Ambani as Asia’s Richest Person with $88.5bn worth
13Nitin Gadkari Receives Late Madhavrao Limaye Award Under Efficient MP Category
14Lt Gen GAV Reddy Appointed as New DGDIA & DCIDS (Int)
15ACC Approves to Extend LIC Chairman MR Kumar’s Term by 1 year
16ISRO: INSAT-4B Successfully Decommissioned through 11 Re-orbiting manoeuvres
17Football -AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022: China won the Championship; wins 9th Title
18Navdeep Singh Gill authors ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’, the Biography of  Neeraj Chopra
19UNEP signs MoU with Maharashtra Govt to support ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ campaign, Implementing Climate Change Actions
20West Bengal Starts Open-Air Classroom ‘Paray Shikshalaya’ due to Covid-19