Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 04 & 05 2022
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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 commissioned into service.
13. ‘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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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”.
18. 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’.
19. 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’.
20. 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. Norway’s central bank determines monetary policy but also manages the country’s enormous sovereign wealth fund, the biggest in the world.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.