General Knowledge & Current Affairs

February 2022 - 1st to 7th

1. Xiomara Castro sworn in as first female President of Honduras

  • In Honduras, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (Libre) member Xiomara Castro has been sworn in as the first female President of the country. The 62-year-old Castro replaces President Juan Orlando Hernández, as 56th President of Honduras. Hernández has held the position for eight years from 27 January 2014 to 27 January 2022.
  • Castro announced part of her cabinet Thursday, with her son Hector Zelaya as private secretary and Jose Manuel Zelaya — her husband’s nephew — as defence minister.

2. Antonio Costa re-elected as Prime Minister of Portugal

  • The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costo has been re-elected after his centre-left Socialist Party secured a landslide victory in the 2022 Portuguese legislative election. Socialist Party bagged 117 seats in the 230 seats Parliament.
  • Despite predictions of a tight race, the main opposition centre-right PSD party landed 27.8 per cent for 71 seats. Antonio Costo is serving as the 119th Prime Minister of Portugal since 26 November 2015.

3. North Korea successfully tests fire most powerful Hwasong-12 ballistic missile

  • North Korea successfully tested its Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile from the Jagang Province area. This was the first nuclear-capable missile testing undertaken by the country since 2017.
  • The Hwasong-12 has an estimated range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles). North Korea’s series of missile test-fires, including intermediate-range ballistic missiles, pose a direct and serious threat to us and a grave challenge to international peace and stability.
  • The string of launches in 2022 comes at a delicate time in the region, with Kim’s sole major ally China set to host the Winter Olympics next month and South Korea gearing up for a presidential election in March.

4. Dubai will launch World’s first Hydrogen-powered Flying Boat ‘The Jet’

  • Dubai firm, THE JET ZeroEmission announced the launch of the World’s first hydrogen-powered flying boat ‘THE JET’ in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • ‘THE JET’ features cutting-edge characteristics and technologies, making it capable of flying in silence over the waters at a cruising speed of 40 knots and also has a capacity of carrying 8-12 passengers.
  • This announcement comes as a result of the agreement signed between Swiss startup THE JET ZeroEmission, UAE-based Zenith Marine Services, and US-based DWYN to manufacture and operate ‘The Jet’ in Dubai. THE JET will have its inaugural flight during the COP28, which is scheduled to be held in Dubai, UAE in 2023.

5. Winter Olympics host China welcomes Year of Tiger

  • China is celebrating the Spring Festival, it’s the most important annual festival as it entered the Lunar new “Year of the Tiger”. Last year was celebrated as the Lunar Year of the Ox. According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, the Year of the Ox has ended and the Year of the Tiger has begun from February 1, 2022, and will end on January 21, 2023.
  • In Chinese culture, the tiger symbolizes bravery, vigor and strength and it is believed that it can lift people from adversity and usher in final auspiciousness and peace. Each year is named after one of 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle. This year, Spring Festival celebrations coincide with the Beijing Winter Olympics.

6. Exim Bank extends a $500 million credit line to Sri Lanka

  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on behalf of the government of India, extended a line of credit of $500 million to the government of the socialist republic of Sri Lanka for financing the purchase of petroleum products.
  • The fund will be used by the Island nation for the purchase of petroleum products. With the signing of this new LOC agreement, the total LOC extended by Exim Bank to Sri Lanka till date has reached 10, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD 2.18 billion.

7. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to head Norway central bank

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) chief, Jens Stoltenberg will take over as Norway’s central bank Governor at the end of the year. The appointment comes amid escalating tensions between the West and Russia. Western nations fear Moscow has plans to invade Ukraine, which aspires to join the NATO alliance.
  • But Mr Stoltenberg, a 62-year-old trained economist, insisted that he would stay on as NATO Secretary-General until the end of his term in October. Norway’s central bank determines monetary policy but also manages the country’s enormous sovereign wealth fund, the biggest in the world.

1. Prime Minister Modi launches Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation on the occasion of the 92nd birth anniversary of the Indian classical vocalist.
  • Prime Minister Modi said that the World is entitled to benefit from Indian music like they have from Yoga.
  • Durga Jasraj and Pandit Shaarang Dev keep alive the glorious legacy of the maestro. Yoga, Indian music has the capacity to stir the depth of the human mind and the world is entitled to be benefited from it.
  • The Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation has been founded by Pandit Jasraj’s son Shaarang Dev Pandit, and his daughter, Durga Jasraj. The main objective of the fluctuation is to protect, preserve, develop and promote the National Heritage, Art & Culture of India.

2. GoI setting up National Land Monetisation Corporation

  • According to Economic Survey, the government is setting up the National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) to carry out the monetization of the land and other non-core assets.
  • The initial authorized share capital of NLMC will be Rs 5000 crores and subscribed share capital of ₹150 crores. So far, CPSEs have referred 3,400 acres of land and other non-core assets for monetization from CPSEs including MTNL, BSNL, BPCL, B&R, BEML, HMT Ltd, Instrumentation Ltd.
  • The National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) is being set up in accordance with the Budget announcement. It is being set up as a 100 per cent Government of India owned entity. The initial authorised share capital will be Rs 5,000 crore while subscribed share capital will be Rs 150 crore.
  • It works as an asset manager for lands owned by central government and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). It has the freedom to invest, lease or rent assets or monetise them based on suggestions by many sources. It is free to develop assets for commercial or residential purposes.

3. US regains top spot as India’s trade partner in 2021

  • The United States was India’s top trading partner in the calendar year 2021 with a trade of $112.3 billion. The US is followed by China on second. The value of trade between India and China was $110.4 billion.
  • In 2020, China was India’s top trading partner and the US was in the second rank. In 2019 USA was India’s top trading partner and China was on second.
  • India’s list of top ten trading partners also includes the UAE, Saudi Arab, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iraq, Indonesia and South Korea.

4. India announces diplomatic boycott of opening and closing ceremony of Winter Olympics

  • The 2022 Winter Olympics has kicked off on February 04, 2022, in Beijing, China and will continue till February 20, 2022. The Opening Ceremony was held at Beijing’s National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.
  • However, India had announced the diplomatic level boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremony. This means that no Indian officials will attend the opening and closing ceremony. However, the country has sent one of its athletes, Arif Khan (skier), to attend the event.
  • The reason behind the boycott: China has picked a Chinese soldier (Qi Fabao) as Olympic torchbearer, who was involved in the Galwan incident on June 15, 2020, which had resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel.
  • Emblem for the 2022 Winter Olympics: “Winter Dream”.
  • Moto for the 2022 Winter Olympics: Bing Dwen Dwen.
  • The official slogan for the 2022 Winter Olympics: “Together for a Shared Future”.

5. Uttar Pradesh wins best state tableau of Republic Day parade 2022

  • The tableau of Uttar Pradesh has been picked as the best tableau among the 12 States/UTs which participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2022. The theme of the tableau of Uttar Pradesh was ‘One District One Product and Kashi Vishwanath Dham’. A total of 12 states and union territories had participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26.
  • The second place went to Karnataka for its tableau based on ‘cradle of traditional handicrafts’ while the third position went to Meghalaya for its tableau based on ‘Meghalaya’s 50 years of Statehood and its tribute to women-led cooperative societies & SHGs’.

6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled ‘Statue of Equality’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation 216-feet tall ‘Statue of Equality in Hyderabad to commemorate the 11th-century Bhakti saint Ramanujacharya. The statue has been conceptualised by Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.
  • The inauguration of the statue is a part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of the Bhakti saint. A 3D presentation on the life and teachings of the saint will also be showcased during the event.
  • The statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc. It is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting positions in the world.
  • The 216-feet tall ‘Statue of Equality statue is mounted on a 54-feet high base building, called ‘Bhadra Vedi’.
  • The floors of the building are dedicated to a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing works of Sri Ramanujacharya.

7. PM Modi inaugurates 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Hyderabad-based ICRISAT

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Patancheru, Hyderabad.
  • During the occasion, PM also inaugurated two research facilities of ICRISAT, which were Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility.
  • These two facilities are dedicated to the smallholder farmers of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Prime Minister also unveiled a specially designed logo of ICRISAT and launched a commemorative stamp issued on the occasion. Its objective is to conduct agricultural research for rural development, in Asia & sub-Saharan Africa.

1. Gandhi Mandiram, Smruthi Vanam built at Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh

  • Social activists have built a temple for Mahatma Gandhi and freedom fighters’ Smrithi Vanam at the Municipal Park in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh to inculcate patriotism among the youth by remembering the sacrifices of freedom fighters. Statues of freedom fighters and social activists were erected in the park with the help of donors.
  • Mahatma Gandhi statue was unveiled along with Smritivanam on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary in Srikakulam City. Srikakulam, also called Chicacole, the North Eastern District in AP is known for temple tourism.
  • After observing the park development, Srikakulam municipal corporation commissioner Obulesh sanctioned Rs 4.60 lakh for the park beautification from the corporation funds.

2. Punjab Chief Electoral Officer unveiled its mascot named ‘Shera’

  • Chief Electoral Officer’s office of Punjab unveiled its election mascot, “Shera” (Lion). It aims to increase voter awareness, participation and promote ethical voting in the Punjab Assembly polls that is scheduled on 20 February 2022.
  • The mascot “Shera”, depicting a lion. It represents the rich cultural heritage of Punjab. It is promoted under the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) project of the Election Commission of India (ECI). SVEEP project was started in 2009, as the flagship program of the ECI for voter education.

3. India’s first geological park will be built in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

  • The first geological park of India will be built in Lamheta, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Approval for the park was given by the Geological Survey of India, under the ministry of mining.
  • Park will be constructed with an investment of Rs 35 crores, over five-acre land. The geological park will be built in Lamheta, because this place is among significant places in the world, from the geological point of view.
  • In 1928, William Henry Sleeman had discovered a Dinosaur fossil from this area. UNESCO has also recognised Lamheta as a geo heritage site. Lameta Formation is also called Infratrappean Beds.
  • It is a sedimentary geological formation found in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is associated with the Deccan Traps. It is of the Maastrichtian age and is known for dinosaur fossils.

4. Torgya Festival celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh 2022

  • The three days long Torgya Festival of the Monpa tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated at Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh. The main attraction of the festival is the ‘Sha-na Cham’, the ritual dance performed by monks to showcase the Choe-Gyal Yap & Yum Tsa-Munde deity.
  • This year is the ‘Dungyur Torgya’ festival, which marks a special occasion as every 3rd year, the festival is organized on a broader level with the name Dungyur Festival during which Dalai Lama offers blessings (also known as Tse-Boom) to other lamas by sending Feb Jum which is a holy item to be used in rituals.

5. West Bengal launch open-air classroom programme ‘Paray Shikshalaya

  • West Bengal government has launched an open-air classroom programme Paray Shikshalaya (Neighbourhood Schools) for primary and pre-primary students.
  • Under the ‘Paray Shikshalaya’ project, primary and pre-primary students of government schools will be taught in open spaces.
  • The state government will also provide mid-day meals to the students of ‘Paray Shikshalaya’. The para teachers and primary school teachers would be part of this project. They will provide elementary education to children of Class 1-5.

6. GoI approved the renaming of three places in Madhya Pradesh

  • The government of India (GoI) has approved the renaming of 3 places in Madhya Pradesh, Hoshangabad Nagar as “Narmadapuram”, Shivpuri as “Kundeshwar Dham” and Babai as “Makhan Nagar”.
  • In 2021, the government of MP led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan has proposed the renaming of the 3 places in Madhya Pradesh. The approval for the renaming was granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • The Hoshangabad Nagar named after Hoshang Shah, the first formally appointed Sultan of the Malwa Sultanate of Central India was renamed as Narmadapuram. Babai has been renamed after the renowned journalist and poet Makhanlal Chaturvedi. Makhanlal Chaturvedi was born in Babai, MP. The government has named a national university of journalism and communication at Bhopal after Makhanlal in 1992.

1. RBI imposed restrictions on Indian Mercantile Cooperative Bank Ltd

  • Reserve Bank of India has imposed several restrictions on Indian Mercantile Cooperative Bank Ltd, Lucknow, including a cap of Rs 1 lakh on withdrawals. The restrictions came into force from the closure of business hours on January 28, 2022.
  • RBI said the Lucknow-based co-operative bank will not, without its prior approval, grant or renew any loans and advances, or make any investment. The restrictions would remain in force for six months and are subject to review.
  • The RBI has imposed the above restriction in the exercise of powers vested in it under sub-section (1) of Section 35 A read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (AACS). In particular, a sum not exceeding Rs 1 lakh of the total balance across all savings bank or current accounts or any other account of a depositor, may be allowed to be withdrawn, subject to certain conditions.

2. PNB launches co-branded contactless credit cards with Patanjali

  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Patanjali Ayurved Limited (PAL) have launched co-branded contactless credit cards in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The co-branded credit cards are offered on NPCI’s RuPay Platform and are available in two variants – PNB RuPay Platinum and PNB RuPay Select.
  • Both the co-branded cards offer a hassle-free credit service to purchase day-to-day Patanjali products, along with cash backs, loyalty points. PNB RuPay Platinum and PNB RuPay Select cardholders will receive a welcome bonus of 300 reward points on activation.

3. Banks to transfer 15 NPA accounts worth Rs 50,000 crores to NARCL in FY22

  • As per SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) or bad bank and IndiaDebt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL) are ready to commence operations.
  • A total of 38 Non-Performing Asset (NPA) accounts worth Rs 82,845 crore have been identified to be transferred to NARCL initially. In Phase I, 15 stressed assets (i.e. Non-Performing Asset accounts) worth Rs 50,000 crore will be transferred to NARCL in the current financial year. Public Sector Banks have taken a majority stake in NARCL, IDRCL will be majorly owned by private sector banks.

4. RBI cancels the licence of Nashik’s Independence Co-operative Bank Limited

  • The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of Independence Co-operative Bank Ltd., Nashik, Maharashtra w.e.f February 03, 2022. The major reason for the cancellation of the license by RBI is that bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects.
  • This means that it does not comply with the provisions of Section 11(1) and Section 22 (3) (d) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • The bank has stopped operation from the close of business on February 3, putting depositors of the bank in trouble. They would however receive up to Rs five lakh from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), after the bank’s liquidation.
  • RBI has told the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Maharashtra to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator. As per the data submitted by the bank, more than 99 per cent of the depositors are entitled to receive the full amount of their deposits from DICGC.

5. Govt of India has done a Switch Operation of Rs. 1,19,701 crores

  • The Government of India has done a conversion switch transaction of its securities with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for an amount of 1,19,701 crores (face value).
  • The transaction involved buying back securities that are being matured in FY 2022-23, FY 2023-24 and FY 2024-25 from the RBI and also issuing fresh securities for equivalent market value, to make the transaction cash neutral.
  • The transactions were carried out using Financial Benchmarks India Private Limited (FBIL) prices as of January 28, 2022. The GOI undertakes switch operations with RBI and also with market participants to smoothen the liability profile as well as for market development.

1. Chennai Super Kings becomes India’s First Unicorn Sports Enterprise

  • Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has become the country’s first sports Unicorn with its market cap having touched a high of Rs 7,600 crores and its share in the grey market trading in the Rs 210-225 price band.
  • The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK, which won its fourth IPL title in Dubai last year, now has a market cap more than its parent entity, India Cements. India Cements’ market cap stood at Rs 6,869 crores.
  • Two key reasons which have led CSK’s market cap to go past its parent entity are the team winning its fourth IPL title in Dubai, and two new franchises being added to the upcoming season at record prices.

2. Tata Steel Chess 2022: Magnus Carlsen beats Fabiano Caruana

  • World Champion Grand Master Magnus Carlsen has secured his victory in Wijk Aan Zee (Netherlands) with a round to spare. The world champion defeated GM Fabiano Caruana and now leads the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament by a full point. It was his 8th win, a unique achievement.
  • Erigaisi Arjun (India) has won the Tata Steel Challengers. By doing so he has earned a spot in the Tata Steel Masters next year. The 85th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place from 13 – 29 January 2023.

3. Unnati Hooda and Kiran George wins 2022 Odisha Open

  • Indian teenager Unnati Hooda beat compatriot Smit Toshniwal, 21-18, 21-11, to claim the women’s singles title at the 2022 Odisha Open badminton tournament. The 14-year old Unnati is the youngest Indian to win the tournament.
  • In men’s singles, India’s 21-year-old Kiran George beat Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 14-21, 21-18 to emerge as the winner. The 2022 Odisha Open is a BWF Super 100 tournament, organized at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack, Odisha.

4. Khelo India Scheme Allocation Increases by 48% in Budget

  • The Government has decided to continue the scheme of ‘Khelo India – National Programme for Development of Sports’ over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle — 2021-22 to 2025-26 — at an outlay of Rs 3165.50 crore.
  • Khelo India Scheme Allocation increases by 48 per cent in Budget 2022 and includes it in the Prime Minister’s Award Scheme.”
  • The Khelo India scheme is the flagship Central Sector Scheme of the Sports ministry. It aims at infusing sports culture and achieving sporting excellence in the country thus allowing the populace to harness the power of sports through its cross-cutting influence.

5. U19 World Cup 2022: India beat England in final to win 5th title

  • India defeated England by four wickets to clinch a record-extending fifth title at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua. India added the fifth title to their collection, having previously won the trophy in 2000, 2008, 2012, 2018. Yash Dhull becomes the fifth Indian captain to win the title after Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Unmukt Chand and Prithvi Shaw.
  • Earlier, England opted to bat after winning the toss but they were shot out by India for 189 in 44.5 overs. India chases down the target of 190 with 2.2 overs to spare.
  • India’s Raj Angad Bawa was announced Player of the Match of the ICC Under19 World Cup 2022 Final between India and England.
  • South Africa’s Dewald Brevis who broke all records to score 506 runs in only six innings, the most for any batter in any Under19 World Cup ever, was named Player of the Series for his record-breaking showing.

6. IOC approves proposal to include new sports at 2028 Olympics

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved a proposal to include Surfing, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing for the 2028 Summer Olympics Games that will be organized in Los Angeles, United States.
  • The 2028 Summer Olympics are officially known as the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad, or Los Angeles 2028 is a forthcoming event scheduled to take place from July 21 – August 6, 2028, in Los Angeles, California, US.
  • The 2024 Summer Olympics Games will be organized in Paris, France. With this Paris becomes only the second city to host 3 Summer Olympic games. Surfing, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing had made their Olympic debut in Tokyo Olympics 2021 and will also be included in the “additional” list for Paris in 2024. Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon also have the chance to be included in upcoming Olympics games.

7. Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of world’s third-largest cricket stadium

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of the world’s third-largest cricket stadium in Jaipur. The International Cricket Stadium in Jaipur will be the second-largest cricket stadium in India and the third-largest in the world.
  • The new international stadium will be built by the Rajasthan Cricket Academy (RCA) on the Jaipur-Delhi bypass, over 100 acres of land in Jaipur. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 75,000 spectators.
  • Currently, Narendra Modi Stadium (former Motera Stadium) in Ahmedabad is the world’s largest stadium with a capacity of 132,000 spectators.
  • The second-largest stadium is Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which has a capacity of 1,00,024 spectators.

1. Union budget 2022-23 is being presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Union Budget 2022 for the 4th time in a row. She will be presenting the financial statements and tax proposals for the fiscal year 2022-23 (April 2022 to March 2023).
  • A Made in India tablet has replaced the traditional ‘Bahi Khata’ as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves the Finance Ministry’s office to go to the Parliament to present the Budget.
  • The Economic Survey 2021-22 was released on 31st January 2022 by the Chief Economic Advisor of India, V Anantha Nageswaran. The government sees the Indian economy growing at 8-8.5 per cent in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23).

2. Crisil Report: India’s GDP expected to grow 7.8% in FY23

  • Domestic rating agency CRISIL has estimated FY23 real GDP growth at 7.8 per cent as compared with the 8.5 per cent projected in the Economic Survey. Estimating the growth to slow to 7.8 per cent in FY23 from the 9.2 per cent in FY22.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget proposals focused on loosening the purse strings by boosting capital expenditure and going slow on fiscal consolidation are aimed in the right direction.
  • The agency said global growth is expected to slow this year as major economies see a withdrawal of monetary and fiscal stimulus. It will have a direct bearing on India’s growth prospects as exports have been a key demand driver of domestic growth during the pandemic.

3. NSO First Revised GDP estimates FY21: Indian economy contracts by 6.6%

  • The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for the financial year 2020-21.
  • The National Statistical Office recently released the first revised GDP estimates for the fiscal year 2021. According to the estimates, the GDP contracted by 6.6%. Earlier, the GDP had contracted by 7.3%. The contraction is mainly due to the COVID pandemic and the lockdown imposed.
  • The NSO has also revised downward the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth number for 2019-20 to 3.7 per cent as against the earlier estimate of 4 per cent. Under the 1st revision released in January 2021, real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2019-20 stood at Rs 145.69 lakh crore with 4 per cent growth.

1. Indian Coast Guard celebrates its 46th Raising Day 2022

  • Indian Coast Guard is celebrating its 46th Raising Day on 01 Feb 2022. As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, the Indian Coast Guard has played a significant role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations in the Maritime Zones of India.
  • The ICG was formally established on February 1, 1977, by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.

2. Spituk Gustor Festival celebrated in Ladakh

  • Spituk Gustor Festival, a two-day annual celebration of Ladakhi culture and traditional heritage celebrated on 30th & 31st January 2022 in Leh and Ladakh Union Territory. To witness the colourful festivities, devotees arrive at the Spituk Monastery every year and attend the colourful mask dance locally called “Chams”.
  • Spituk monastery is 8 km from Leh. It is a celebration of peace and prosperity that is celebrated at the Spituk Monastery in Leh and Ladakh UT.
  • The main attraction of the festival was the colourful mask dance locally called Chams performed by the monks of the monastery in their best robes depicting different deities such as Mahakala (Gonbo), Paldan Lhamo (Shridevi), White Mahakala, Protector Deity.
  • The mask dance began with Serskam followed by Hashang Hatuk, Six Arms Mahakala, Paldan Lhamo, Shawa, Janak Chams. However, local people believe that after this festival, the weather will get warmer and more pleasant.

3. Tata Sky Rebrands itself as Tata Play

  • Tata Sky has dropped the ‘sky’ brand name after 15 years and has rechristened itself as Tata Play. The DTH company has joined hands with Netflix to offer new OTT (over the top) content-centric channel packs as well.
  • The new name of the company will be visible to the viewers. Tata Play Binge will hosts content from 13 leading OTT apps through a single User Interface while offering the flexibility of a single subscription and payment.
  • Through the new identity as Tata Play, companies simply aim to signify their expanded range of products and services and their desire to be future-ready while making tomorrow better than today for homes and families. Tata Play was founded in 2006. It is a joint venture between the Tata Sons (60%) and The Walt Disney Company (30%), with Temasek Holdings, Singapore (10%).

4. Sanctuaries in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh listed as Ramsar sites

  • The Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary near Jamnagar in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh have been listed as Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention.
  • With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India goes up to 49. Khijadiya has become the fourth wetland of Gujarat to get the Ramsar tag. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Thol Wildlife Sanctuary and Wadhwana wetland are the other Ramsar sites in the state. The last two were included in April last year.

5. IUCN designates Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram

  • The Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram, Haryana, has been declared as India’s first “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECM) site. This was informed by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change on the occasion of World Wetlands Day.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gives OECM tag to those areas that are not protected but support rich biodiversity. The tag designates the area as a biodiversity hotspot on the international map.
  • OECM is a status for a place that has achieved effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity outside protected areas like forests. The park, which once was an abandoned mining pit, was transformed into a lush green forest patch in 10 years. Now, it has about 400 native species of plants.

6. KVIC cancels license of oldest Khadi Institution “Khadi Emporium”

  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has cancelled the “Khadi Certification” of its oldest Khadi Institution named Mumbai Khadi & Village Industries Association (MKVIA).
  • This MKVIA was running the popular “Khadi Emporium” at Metropolitan Insurance House, Mumbai since 1954. KVIC has cancelled the license of MKVIA as the latter had started selling fake Khadi products, which was against the “zero-tolerance” policy of KVIC against the sale of spurious/non-Khadi products.
  • The action came after KVIC found that the said Khadi Emporium at D.N. Road was selling non-Khadi products in the guise of genuine Khadi. During a routine inspection, KVIC officials collected samples from the Emporium that were found to be non-Khadi products.

1. Lt Gen GAV Reddy named as new Defence Intelligence Agency Head

  • Lieutenant General GAV Reddy has been appointed as the new head of the Defence Intelligence Agency. General Reddy would be succeeding Lt Gen KJS Dhillon. Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon retired after serving in various strategic positions during his 39-year career in the Indian Army.
  • The Director-General of the Defence Intelligence Agency is the head of the organisation and is among the principal advisors on intelligence to the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff.
  • The post of the director general is held on a rotation basis between the three Armed services. The first Director-General of the DIA was Lt Gen Kamal Davar, former director-general of the Indian Army’s Mechanised Forces.

2. Former RBI Governor Urjit Patel quits as Britannia’s Additional Director

  • Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Urjit Patel has resigned from the post of non-executive and independent director of Britannia Industries Limited, citing a full-time work assignment starting next month.
  • He was a part of the Board of the Company. The former governor also confirmed that there was no other reason other than his new project for the resignation.
  • Patel was recently appointed vice president for investment operations in South Asia at the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). His appointment is effective from 1 February. As the 24th governor of RBI, Patel had succeeded Raghuram Rajan and served as the governor of RBI from 2016-2018. Prior to that, he was RBI’s deputy governor in charge of monetary policy.

3. Dr. Madan Mohan Tripathi joins as Director-General, NIELIT

  • Dr. Madan Mohan Tripathi has joined as Director-General of the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT). Before joining NIELIT, Dr Madan Mohan Tripathi was working as Professor at Delhi Technological University (DTU), New Delhi.
  • In DTU he also worked as Director Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and Coordinator of Intellectual Property Rights Cell. National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

4. Senior scientist GA Srinivasa Murthy appointed director of DRDL

  • Senior scientist GA Srinivasa Murthy has been appointed director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad.
  • He joined DRDL in the year 1987 and made significant contributions in the area of structural dynamics, ground resonance testing, electrical integration and checkout for various projects of the missile complex.
  • G A Srinivasa Murthy completed his BE in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Andhra University in 1986 and pursued his ME in Digital Systems from Osmania University in Hyderabad.

5. Ravi Mittal named as new Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

  • The former secretary, Department of Sports, Ravi Mittal has been appointed as the Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. He is a 1986 batch IAS officer from Bihar cadre. He will serve as the Chairman of IBBI for a term of five years or till he attains 65 years of age, whichever is early.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings and entities like Insolvency Professional Agencies, Insolvency Professionals and Information Utilities in India.

6. GoI named Sonali Singh as Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on add. charge

  • The Government of India has appointed Sonali Singh to hold the additional charge of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), under the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, with effect from February 01, 2022. She has been appointed in place of Dipak Dash, who superannuated on January 31, 2022.
  • Sonali Singh is a 1987 batch officer of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS). She is serving as the Additional Controller General of Accounts since October 2019. Prior to that, she had also served as Additional Secretary at Central Vigilance Commission.

7. IndiGo’s co-founder Rahul Bhatia named as first MD of the company

  • The low-cost Indian airline, IndiGo has appointed its co-founder and promoter Rahul Bhatia as the Managing Director (MD) of the company with immediate effect. He is the first-ever MD of Indigo, because before this the company never had a managing director. Ronojoy Dutta is the CEO of the Indigo.
  • The board of directors, during its meeting, unanimously approved the appointment of Bhatia as the managing director with immediate effect, subject to the approval of the shareholders. IndiGo is back in the black with a net profit for the December quarter at Rs 130 crore. The profit comes after the airline posted a loss for a series of straight quarters.

8. JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar named as new Chairman of UGC

  • The government of India has appointed JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Vice-Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar as the new Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • He has been appointed for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest. The post of the UGC Chairman was vacant since December 07, 2021, after Prof D P Singh resigned upon attaining 65 years of age. He was appointed in 2018.

9. Professor Dinesh Prasad Saklani named as new NCERT director

  • Professor Dinesh Prasad Saklani has been appointed as the new Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). He has replaced Hrushikesh Senapaty, who finished his term a year ago.
  • The new director has been appointed for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or till he attains the age of 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
  • Professor Saklani has been awarded with Distinguished Academy Award by Punjab Kala and Sahitya Academy, Jalandhar for Historical writing in 2005.
  • The new director is a member of the Academic Council of Uttarakhand Open University, Haldwani. Professor Saklani is also a life member in the Indian History Congress; Uttarakhand History and Culture Association and of Book Club IIAS Shimla.

1. SBI tie-up with Tata Power for financing solar projects

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a dedicated centralized processing cell named ‘Surya Shakti Cell’ with the objective of strengthening the existing financing arrangement for solar power projects. SBI has collaborated with Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd. (a Tata Power Company) for financing solar power projects.
  • The cell has been set up in the Ballard Estate in Mumbai. The Surya Shakti Cell will process all the loan applications for Solar Projects from across India by Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd., with a maximum capacity of up to 1 MW.
  • Loan applicants will include both business entities as well as households. The bank aims to provide an end-to-end platform for digital and hassle-free journeys to loan applicants for financing solar projects. With this digital initiative, SBI will offer a complete solution at competitive rates for solar projects.

2. Vedanta tied up with Union Bank of India to take over syndicated facility

  • Vedanta Ltd has tied up a facility of Rs 8,000 crores (replacement facility) with Union Bank of India at 7.75% to take over the majority of the syndicated facility after discussions with lenders.
  • During 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vedanta Ltd had tied up a syndicated facility of ₹10K crores with the State Bank of India as the lead bank at a running cost of 10.5 per cent.
  • This replacement facility was availed on December 28, 2021, to take over the existing Syndicated facility to reduce the overall interest cost of the company and to prepay high-cost debt raised at over 10% two years ago.

3. SBI tie-up with Ministry of Culture for Development of Atmanirbhar Bharat Centre for Design

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Culture Fund (NCF) of the Ministry of Culture, for Development of Atmanirbhar Bharat Centre for Design (ABCD) at L1 Barrack, Red Fort, in Delhi.
  • The main objective of Project ABCD is to highlight, promote and celebrate the products that have the Geographical Indication sign to give a boost to Economic Value Addition to GI products from India.
  • The ABCD project will be implemented by IGNCA, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture through the ministry’s NCF fund. SBI will sponsor the project under CSR with a contribution of Rs. 10 crores for the implementation of the ABCD Project.

4. Kotak General Ins. partners CARS24 to offer Motor Insurance for used cars

  • Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company has signed an agreement with Cars24 Financial Services Private Limited (CARS24 Financial Services) to provide motor insurance services to used car buyers.
  • Under the partnership, used car buyers from Cars24 will be directly provided with Kotak General Insurance’s comprehensive motor insurance plans.
  • The partnership will provide a trustworthy and faster way to avail of motor insurance with a fully digital insurance process. Customers can also avail of cashless claims servicing at Kotak General Insurance’s platform of garages and enable convenient claim settlement services.

5. LIC tie-up with Policybazaar for digital distribution of life insurance

  • Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has tied up with Policybazaar to digitally offer a wide range of Life Insurance and investment products to its customers across India.
  • This is LIC’s first association with a private insurance aggregator, which has mainly relied on its 1.33 million agents for distributing products. To facilitate seamless digital distribution of life insurance products and boost financial inclusion across India.
  • The benefit of the tie-up: The alliance will provide insurance services in smaller cities to ensure financial inclusion and social security. It will increase its penetration digitally in rural and remote areas and offer a wide range of term and investment products to the customers.

1. Sea Trials of 1st Sea Sortie of 5th Scorpene Submarine ‘Vagir’ begins

  • The Indian Navy‘s brand-new submarine, the fifth of the six French-designed Scorpene-class submarines named “Vagir”, sailed out on its first sea sortie and will now undergo rigorous trials before it is delivered to the Navy later this year.
  • The submarine-designated “Yard 11879” during its construction by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in collaboration with the Naval Group of France will be named “Vagir” after it is commo service.

1. Senior advocate & Additional Solicitor General Rupinder Singh Suri passes away

  • Senior advocate and Additional Solicitor General (ASG), Rupinder Singh Suri has passed away. He was appointed the ASG in June 2020.
  • He was designated as a senior advocate in 2009 and also served as the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association. He served as standing counsel in the Supreme Court for Punjab for about 15 years.

2. Actor & filmmaker Amitabh Dayal passes away

  • Actor and filmmaker Amitabh Dayal has passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 51. Dayal has worked in films like Kagaar: Life on the Edge (2003) with Om Puri, Bhojpuri film Rangdari (2012) and Raj Babbar’s Dhuaan (2013), Amitabh Bachchan’s Virrudh (2005).
  • He also worked on P. Akash’s Dillagi…Yeh Dillagi (2005), the film started Dharmendra, Rati Agnihotri and Kapil Dev, but never saw light of the day.

3. Veteran actor and Producer Ramesh Deo passes away

  • Prominent film personality Ramesh Deo, known for playing a diverse range of roles, in Marathi and Hindi movies, passed away due to a heart attack. During his career spanning several decades, the multi-faceted film personality has acted in over 450 Hindi and Marathi feature films, apart from working in several television shows and commercials.
  • The evergreen Marathi actor is known for playing notable roles in 1956 ‘Andhala Magto Ek Dola’ and 1971 cult classic ‘Anand’, 1962 ‘Aarti’, 1974 ‘Aap Ki Kasam,’ celebrated his 93rd birthday on January 30.
  • Deo, who made his acting debut in the form of a cameo in the 1951 Marathi film ‘Paatlaachi Por’ has worked in more than 200 Hindi films, 100 Marathi films and several Marathi dramas with over 200 showings in his long career.
  • He also produced feature films, television serials and several ad films.In January 2013, the ‘Nivdung’ actor received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 11th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).

4. Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passes away

  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar has passed away at the age of 92 after suffering a multi-organ failure. The Bharat Ratna awardee was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus disease in January.
  • She is survived by her 3 sisters – Usha Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Meena Khadikar and brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar.
  • She began her career as a singer back in 1942 and never looked back. She recorded innumerable songs in over 36 Indian and foreign languages.
  • She gave us musical gems such as Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo, Lag Jaa Gale, Yeh Kahan Aage Hain Hum and Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, among others.
  • Having led an eventful and rich life of several milestones, Lata Mangeshkar was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1990. For her contribution to Indian music, she also was bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 1969 and Bharat Ratna in 2001.

5. BJP’s first torchbearer in Lok Sabha, C Janga Reddy passes away

  • Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Chandupatla Janga Reddy has passed away in Hyderabad following health issues. He was a native of Warangal and a former MLA in Andhra Pradesh.
  • He is best known for his time as a Member of Parliament in the 8th Lok Sabha in 1984, which also marked the BJP’s debut in the Lok Sabha, following Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
  • Reddy was one of the only two BJP MPs who got elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 in 543 Parliament constituencies. The other was A K Patel. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in undivided Andhra Pradesh thrice.

6. Former President of Greece Christos Sartzetakis passes away

  • Former Greek President Christos Sartzetakis has passed away at the age of 92 years due to respiratory failure in Athens, Greece. He was a Greek jurist and a judge of the Supreme Court, who resisted against the militants during the 1967-1974 Rule of the Colonels. He served as the President of Greece for a four-year term (1985 to 1990), after getting nominated by the socialist PASOK party.

1. World Wetlands Day observed on 02 February

  • World Wetlands Day is observed every year on February 2 all over the world. 2022 marks 51 years of the Convention on Wetlands. The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2022 is ‘Wetlands Action for People and Nature’.
  • The day aims to raise awareness about the crucial role played by wetlands for people and our planet. The day is celebrated to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997.

2. World Interfaith Harmony Week: 1-7 February

  • World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February (1-7 February), after General Assembly designation in 2010.
  • World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), was conceived to promote cultural peace and nonviolence. The World Interfaith Harmony Week is based on the pioneering work of The Common Word initiative.
  • World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), conceived to promote culture, peace and nonviolence, was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the United Nations in 2010.

3. World Cancer Day is observed globally on 04 February

  • World Cancer Day is observed every year globally on 4th February by the Union for International Cancer Control.
  • By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all – no matter who you are or where you live.
  • So this year’s World Cancer Day’s theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about raising awareness of this equity gap that affects almost everyone, in high as well as low- and middle-income countries, and is costing lives.

4. International Day of Human Fraternity observed on 04 February

  • The ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’ is celebrated across the world on 4th February.
  • The day aims to raise awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance; and to educate people that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect, and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity.
  • The first International Day of Human Fraternity was held in 2021. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare 4 February as International Day of Human Fraternity on 21 December 2020.
  • The Day is a part of the ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’, observed during the first week of February, as proclaimed by UN General Assembly in 2010.

5. International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

  • International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female is observed on 6th February globally. This day is sponsored by the United Nations for their efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation. It was first introduced in 2003. This year theme of International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female: Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation.
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.

1. PR Sreejesh wins World Games Athlete of the Year award 2021

  • Indian men’s hockey player PR Sreejesh has won the World Games Athlete of the Year award for 2021. He is the second Indian after Rani Rampal to win this award. In 2020, Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal became the first Indian to win the honor for her performances in 2019.
  • A total of 24 athletes from 17 countries were nominated for the annual awards based on individual or team performance. Alberto Ginés López of Spain and wushu player Michele Giordano of Italy are the runner-ups. In the FIH Stars Awards in October, Sreejesh was named the goalkeeper of the year for 2021.

2. New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell named the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2021

  • New Zealand cricketer, Daryl Mitchell has been named the winner of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Spirit of Cricket Award 2021.
  • This award is given to him for his gesture of refusing to take a single in the high-pressure 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Semi-Finals against England as he felt he had “obstructed” the way of bowler Adil Rashid at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
  • He has become the 4th New Zealand player to win the award after Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.
  • The ICC Spirit of Cricket Award is annually awarded by the ICC to recognise the player most notable for “upholding the ‘Spirit of the Game’”.

3. Neeraj Chopra nominated for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award

  • Tokyo Olympics gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra has been nominated for the prestigious 2022 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award.
  • The other 5 nominees are Daniil Medvedev (Australian Open runner-up), Emma Raducanu (British tennis star), Pedri (Barcelona and Spain footballer), Yulimar Rojas (Venezuelan athlete) and Ariarne Titmus (Australian swimmer).
  • The winners will be revealed in April following a vote by the Laureus World Sports Academy, made up of 71 sporting greats.

4. Telugu short film ‘Street Student’ wins NHRC’s Short Film Award Competition

  • A Telugu short film ‘Street Student’ by Akula Sandeep depicting the story of a street urchin with a strong message on right to education has bagged the first prize in a competition organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
  • ‘Street Student’ by Akula Sandeep has been selected for the first prize worth Rs 2 lakh in the seventh Short Film Award Competition. It is in Telugu with subtitles in English. The film shows the story of a street urchin to send across a strong message on right to education and how society needs to support it.
  • The second prize worth Rs 1.5 lakh goes to, ‘Karfew’ by Romi Meitei. The film, through the story of a child in Manipur, pitches in hope for a better world, wherein people’s right to life, liberty, dignity and equality can be protected against odds including stereotyped fear psychosis. It is in the Meiteilon language with subtitles in English.

5. CII presents DX 2021 award to Karnataka Bank

  • Karnataka Bank has been awarded the digital transformation award, ‘DX 2021 Awards’, in recognition of the “innovative” best practice ‘KBL VIKAAS’, by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for Best Practice in Digital Transformation.
  • KBL VIKAAS was launched by the Karnataka Bank in 2017. It has enabled the bank to implement digital capabilities. The bank recently launched ‘KBL NxT’ as part of 2.0 of ‘KBL VIKAAS’. DX Award is given to organizations that have made valuable contributions in the digital field.

1. PM Modi addresses 30th National Commission for Women Foundation Day

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed 30th National Commission for Women Foundation Day programme on January 31, 2022, via video conference. The event was organised to celebrate the achievements of women in different fields. The theme of the programme was ‘She The Change Maker’.
  • The Prime Minister remarked that today, in changing India, the role of women is continuously expanding. Therefore, he said, the expansion of the role of the National Commission for Women is also the need of the hour. All the women’s commissions of the country will also have to increase their scope and give a new direction to the women of their states.

1. Global Center of Excellence in Affordable and Clean Energy launched in IIT Dharwad

  • The Global Center of Excellence in Affordable and Clean energy was recently launched at IIT Dharwad. The center will enhance the research in affordable and clean energy. The center will create, incubate technologies, physical infrastructure. Also, it will create clean energy solutions.
  • The solutions will target on livelihoods of rural communities. The center is to be supported by CSR funds. CSR is Corporate Social Responsibility. The CSR funds are to come from HHSIF.
  • HHSIF is Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation. HHSIF provides funds in five main areas such as family safety and security, science and math education, housing and shelter, sustainability and humanitarian relief.

2. IISc. commissions one of India’s most powerful supercomputers ‘Param Pravega’

  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bengaluru, has installed and commissioned Param Pravega, one of the most powerful supercomputers in India. It is also the largest supercomputer in an Indian academic institution. Param Pravega has a total supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops (1 petaflop equals a quadrillion or 1015 operations per second).
  • The supercomputer has been designed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). It has been developed under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and implemented by C-DAC and IISc.

3. Swarajability: India’s first AI-based job platform for persons with disabilities

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Hyderabad) has launched the beta version of ‘Swarajability’, a job portal powered by artificial intelligence that helps people with disabilities acquire relevant skills and find jobs.
  • The platform will analyse the profiles of the job seekers and suggest the skills they would require to become eligible. A platform that addressed this challenge would help this vulnerable section of the population.
  • The institute has developed the platform in association with Youth4Jobs, Visual Quest and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. While IIT-H offers its expertise in AI, Visual Quest India has developed the platform.
  • Youth4Jobs provides skilling services to job seekers. The project is funded by Kotak Mahindra Bank. There are 21 million persons with disabilities in the country. About 70 per cent of them are either unemployed or underemployed.

1. Tata group acquires Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd for Rs 12,100 crore

  • Tata Group company, Tata Steel Long Products Ltd.’s (TSLP) has acquired Odisha-based Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) for Rs 12,100 crore.
  • Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) is a steel plant located in Kalinganagar in Odisha and was shut in March 2020 due to continued losses. It has a capacity of 1.1 million tones a year.
  • This is the 1st instance of privatization of a public sector steel manufacturing enterprise in India.

2. NPCI announces UPI safety and awareness week

  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the UPI ecosystem (comprising of leading banks and fintechs) have announced the UPI Safety and Awareness initiative, to create awareness amongst consumers. Under this initiative, NPCI and the UPI ecosystem will observe February 1-7 as ‘UPI Safety and Awareness Week’ and the whole of February as ‘UPI Safety and Awareness Month’.
  • NPCI has urged users to follow the concept of UPI Safety Shield which mentions 5 tips for safe UPI transactions. With an aim to create awareness amongst consumers, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the UPI ecosystem have announced the UPI Safety and Awareness initiative.
  • Under this programme, NPCI urges all the customers to follow the concept of UPI Safety Shield, which the company has derived to educate customers all about UPI payments. The UPI Safety and Awareness initiative will help vulnerable and first-time customers in overcoming their fears of adopting digital payments and guide them to pursue safe payments on the UPI platform.

3. HPCL launches Non-Fuel Retail Store ‘HaPpyShop’

  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) has marked its foray into the non-fuel retailing sector by inaugurating its Retail Store under the brand name HaPpyShop, to make available the products of daily need to its customers at their convenience.
  • The first retail store was launched by HPCL in September 2021 in Mumbai at Company’s Retail Outlet located at Nepean Sea Road.
  • In addition to this, HPCL has launched the platform in a purely online format by opening the Online Store at Madurai. HPCL is also marketing branded packaged drinking water at its Retail Outlets across the country under the name ‘Paani@Club HP’.

4. Sony buys ‘Destiny’ game developer Bungie for $3.6 billion

  • Sony Group Corp. is purchasing Bungie Inc., the U.S. video game developer behind the popular Destiny and Halo franchises, for $3.6 billion to bolster its stable of game-making studios.
  • The deal announced by Sony Interactive Entertainment is the third significant video-game acquisition this month, following Microsoft Corp.’s purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion two weeks ago and Take-Two Interactive Corp. snagging mobile game leader Zynga Inc. on Jan. 10.
  • Buying Bungie will give Sony one of the most popular first-person shooter games to compete with the massive Call of Duty series, which Sony’s main rival now owns through Activision.

5. ADB lends record USD 4.6 bn loans to India in 2021

  • As per the data official released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it provided a record USD 4.6 billion in sovereign lending to India in 2021. This included USD 1.8 billion towards coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response.
  • The ADB’s regular funding programme to India is made to support transport, urban development, finance, agriculture, and skills building. The ADB’s project portfolio in 2021 reflected the Indian government’s focus on transforming cities into economically vibrant and sustainable communities.
  • The USD 4.6 billion was committed by ADB for 17 loans. The USD 1.8 billion COVID-19-related assistance included USD 1.5 billion for vaccine procurement and USD 300 million to strengthen primary health care in urban areas and the country’s future pandemic preparedness.

1. A book titled ‘Operation Khatma’ authored by R C Ganjoo & Ashwini Bhatnagar

  • A book titled ‘Operation Khatma’ has been released which is authored by journalists RC Ganjoo and Ashwini Bhatnagar. The book is based upon the operation by the Special Operations Group of Jammu & Kashmir Police which led to the killing of 22 terrorists of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
  • It is a graphic first-hand thriller on terrorism in Kashmir. The blood-splattered rivalry between JKLF and HM, and the short, sharp surgical strike -OPERATION KHATMA- that broke the back of terrorism in the Valley.

2. India’s 1st-ever season style book written by Akash Kansal

  • India’s first-ever season style book titled ‘The Class of 2006: Sneak Peek into the Misadventures of the Great Indian Engineering Life’, written by Akash Kansal a management professional.
  • The book was virtually launched at one of the biggest book launch ceremonies at IIT Kanpur, & Delhi Technological University. “The Class of 2006” consists of 18 different episodes that recall the times spent in College.
  • The book was released on Amazon Kindle by R. Madhavan, an Indian film actor, writer, director, and producer. ‘The Class of 2006: Sneak Peek into the Misadventures of the Great Indian Engineering Life’ consists of 18 different episodes, each with a Learning Box, and is definitely a good read to reminisce the times spent in college, especially for MBA, Engineering college students and aspirants.

3. ‘India, That is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution’ authored by J Sai Deepak

  • A Trilogy book series titled, ‘India, That is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution’ is authored by J Sai Deepak and published by Bloomsbury India. The 1st part was released on 15th August 2021, is set to launch the 2nd part in June 2022.
  • Whereas, the 3rd and last parts will be released in June 2023. It is the first part of a comprehensive trilogy, which examines the impact of European ‘colonial consciousness’ (or ‘coloniality’), on Bharat (India). It highlights how colonialism changes the socio-religious culture, history, education, language and racial patterns in India.

4. A book titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ by Navdeep Singh Gill released

  • A short biography of Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra has titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ authored by sports author Navdeep Singh Gill has been released. Neeraj Chopra won a Gold medal in Javelin Throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • The biography on Tokyo Olympics-2021 gold medalist Neeraj Chopra was released by the chairperson of Punjab Kala Parishad Surjit Patar and president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi Lakhwinder Singh Johal, amid the presence of the author and his family members.
  • The book has 72 pages and covers the life history and achievements of Neeraj Chopra right from his childhood to the Tokyo Olympics. The book very aptly covers his sporting techniques, numerous awards and contemporaries in different chapters with coloured photos in each chapter.

5. MS Dhoni’s first look from graphic novel ‘Atharva’: The Origin’ released

  • Virzu Studios in association with MIDAS Deals Pvt Ltd has released the motion poster of its upcoming graphic novel, Atharva – The Origin. Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been portrayed as the superhero Atharva in this graphic novel.
  • The motion poster features a rugged looking Dhoni, giving fans a glimpse into the world of Atharva and also a sneak peek into the first look of him as a superhero.
  • The graphic novel authored by Ramesh Thamilmani features over 150 lifelike illustrations which present the gripping, racy narrative. It is produced by Vincent Adaikalaraj and Ashok Manor. Reportedly, the makers are also planning to make a web-series based on the novel.

1. Brand Finance report: LIC 10th most valued insurance brand globally

  • As per a brand valuation report released by Brand Finance, Life Insurance Corporation has been ranked at 10th in the list of insurance brands globally. LIC is the only Indian insurance company in the top 10 list.
  • LIC has a valuation of USD 8.656 billion (around Rs 64,722 crore). Of the top 10, as many as 5 are Chinese insurance companies, with by Ping An Insurance emerging as the world’s most valuable insurance brand, despite recording a 26 per cent drop in brand value.
  • The US has two companies in the top 10, while France, Germany, and India have one each in the list. As per Brand Finance, the market value of LIC will become Rs 43.40 lakh crore (USD 59.21 billion) by 2022, and Rs 58.9-lakh crore (USD 78.63 billion) by 2027. It must be noted that LIC was ranked as the 206th most valuable brand in 2021, from 238th slot in 2020.

2. CMIE Report: India’s unemployment rate in January 2022 stood at 6.57%

  • The unemployment rate in India in January 2022 fell sharply to 6.57%, according to the data from the economic think-tank, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This is the lowest rate witnessed since March 2021.
  • In December 2021, the unemployment rate rose to a four-month high of 7.91%, compared to 6.97% in November. CMIE is a Mumbai-based independent non-government entity that serves both as an economic think-tank as well as a business information company.
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