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The PRAVAHINI December-2021 eBook covers the current events that happened in the month of December. Current Affairs is a crucial component of any competitive exams including CLAT, AILET, DU-LLB, HM, CAT, IAS, PCS, SSC, Banking, MBA and various other competitive examinations.
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The PRAVAHINI December-2021 eBook is divided into different sections keeping in mind the need of various exams. The sections covered namely International, National, Economy, Ecology and Environment, Science & Technology, Legal Affairs, Sports, States News Makers and few others.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. National Affairs
2. International Affairs
4. Awards And Honors
5. Important Dates & Sports
6. Reports And Indexes
7. Science & Technology
WHAT IS GREATER TIPRALAND DEMAND?
Greater Tipraland is a region in Tripura. Several tribals are demanding to make the region a separate state.
There are 19 notified Scheduled Tribes in Tripura. Among these, 5.92 lakh are Tripuris, 1.88 lakh are Reangs.
These three tribal groups are the major tribes in the state. Some of the minor tribal groups have joined hands and formed TIPRA Motha (Tirpaha Indigenous Regional Alliance) and IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) political parties.
These parties are now arguing that they want a separate state for their “survival and existence”.
Constitutional Validity in the issue: They claim that they are making the demand under Article 2 and Article 3 of the constitution.
Article 2 of the constitution says that “The Parliament shall permit the establishment of new states and union territories and also permit the entry of new states and UTs into the Indian Union”. Article 3 says that “Parliament shall increase or diminish the area of a state”.
Tripura was ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the late 13th century till it signed the Instrument of Accession with the Government of India in 1949.
Instrument of Accession is the document signed by the Indian states to enter into the Union of India after independence. In due course, some of the indigenous tribes in the region have become minority in the state.
This happened mainly because of the displacement of the Bengalis from East Pakistan during the 1971 war. In 1881, the tribal population in the state was 63.77%. It reduced to 31.8% in 2011.
PM MODI TO INAUGURATE DELHI-DEHRADUN CORRIDOR
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to inaugurate Delhi – Dehradun corridor along with several other projects. The corridor will reduce the distance between the two cities from 248 – km to 180 – km.
PM Modi will lay the foundation stone for Delhi – Dehradun corridor. The corridor is to be built at a cost of Rs 8,300 crores.
The project is to be executed in Engineering, Procurement and Construction mode. In EPC mode, the government pays the private developer for constructing roads. And the toll revenue accrues to the government.
The highway is to be divided into four sections. Section 1 is to be developed as 6 lanes. Also, it is divided into two packages.
The package 1 falls in Delhi portion and Package 2 falls in Uttar Pradesh portion. The main aim of the corridor is to decongest North East Delhi. The corridor will enhance Mandola Vihar Yojana of Government of Uttar Pradesh and also the development potential of Tronica city.
UNION CABINET APPROVED KEN-BETWA PROJECT
On December 6, 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the Ken-Betwa River interlinking project, ahead of elections to major North Indian states.
Ken-Betwa River Interlinking project is worth Rs 44,605-crore. This project promises to address the issue of water scarcity in Bundelkhand region, spreading across Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP).
This project is expected to benefit several poverty-stricken regions in MP and UP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally lay the foundation stone for this project soon.
Out of a total Rs 44,605 crore for the project, the central government will provide the support of Rs 39,317 crore. It covers a grant of Rs 36,290 crore and a loan of Rs 3,027 crore.
The Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project aims to transfer surplus water from Ken River in MP to Betwa River in UP in a bid to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
Bundelkhand region spread across the districts of two states: Banda, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Mahoba districts in UP and Tikamgarh, Panna and Chhatarpur districts in MP.
Ken-Betwa is one among the 30 rivers interlinking projects conceived across India. This project has been delayed because of political and environmental issues several times, before getting approval on December 6.
Under this project, Daudhan Dam and a canal connecting the two rivers will be constructed.
This project will ensure:
• An annual irrigation on 1.06 million hectares
• Drinking water supply to around 6.2 million people and
• Generation of 103 Mw of hydropower & 27 Mw of solar power.
This project will act as a boon to the water scarce districts of the bundelkhand region where farmers are dependent on monsoon. Interlinking will help in boosting agricultural production by area by including water intensive, plantation and cash crops in their crop cycle.
PM MODI INAUGURATED SARYU CANAL PROJECT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the Rs 9,802 crore Saryu Canal National project in Balrampur district of Uttar Pradesh on December 11.
The Saryu Canal project is the biggest in Uttar Pradesh. It will benefit some 25-30 lakh farmers across nine eastern UP districts namely, Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Shravasti, Balrampur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Siddharthnagar, Gorakhpur and Maharajganj.
Canal will facilitate irrigation of 14.04 lakh hectares of land, as well as reduce the risk of floods in several flood-prone areas of the region.
The irrigated area under the project will be 4.04 lakh hectares. Under this project, five rivers namely Ghagra, Rapti, Banganga, Saryu and Rohini, have been connected.
The canals have a total length of 6,600 kilometers and have been linked to the 318 km long main canal.
This project was started on a small scale, back in 1978 to provide irrigation facilities in two districts with a cost of Rs 78.68 crore.
In 1982, it was expanded to nine districts and Its name was changed to Saryu Canal National Project. The cost of the project increased to Rs 9,802 crore by 2021.
The Saryu River originates at a ridge south of Nanda Kot Mountain in Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand. It flows through Kapkot, Seraghant and Bageshwar towns and finally discharges into the Sharda River at Pancheshwar, which is located at India—Nepal border.
It then flows into Ghaghara River in Sitapur District of Uttar Pradesh. Lower Ghaghara is also known as Saryu River, especially when it flows through the city of Ayodhya. The river has been mentioned multiple times in the ancient Indian epic called Ramayana.
CHARDHAM DEVASTHANAM MANAGEMENT ACT
The Uttarakhand Government recently withdrew the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act.
The act was withdrawn due to the protests from priests and other stakeholders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the major shrines.
The Char Dham Shrine Management Act was legislated by the Uttarakhand State Assembly in 2019.
The act constituted a board called Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board. The board brought the Char Dham of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri and 49 other temples under its purview.
The Chief Minister was the Chairman of the board and the Minister of Religious Affairs was the vice chairman. Two MLAs of Yamunotri and Gangotri were members of the board and a senior IAS officer was the Chief Executive Officer.
The board was responsible for management of temples. It had powers to frame policies, sanction expenditure, and budget formulation. Also, the board had powers to give directions for the safe custody of temple jewellery and properties.
Before the act, the temples were managed under the Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Act, 1939. Under the act, Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Mandir Samiti was constituted.
The Samiti was chaired by a person appointed by the Government. The committee was responsible for making decisions related to funds, donations and development works in and around the temples.
Most of the provisions of Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Act, 1939 were not relevant to the present context. Thus, the Char Dham Bill was proposed. It aimed to rejuvenate the temples.
Why did priests and other stakeholders protest against the Char Dham Act?
According to the Protestants, the Government wants to take control over the financial and policy decisions of the temple.
In Gangotri and Yamunotri, the temples were earlier under the control of local trusts. The Government had no say and no share in the donations made by the devotees.
KERALA TOURISM LAUNCHED 'STREET PROJECT'
Kerala Tourism launched the ‘STREET’ project to promote and take tourism deep into the interiors and rural hinterland of Kerala.
The project would help visitors experience the diversity of offerings in these locales. The STREET is an acronym for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism hubs.
Aim of the project:
The STREET project aims to present the unique identity of the state of Kerala before the travellers. It also offers a huge potential for growth in the tourism sector and would bring in significant changes.
The project will foster mutually beneficial organic relationships between tourism development and the ordinary lives of people in the state of Kerala.
The project, conceived by the Responsible Tourism Mission, is inspired by the ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ slogan of The United Nations World Tourism Organization.
INDIA JOINED G-20'S TROIKA WITH ITALY & INDONESIA
India recently joined the G20 Troika. The G20 Troika is made of Indonesia, India and Italy. Troika is made of the current presidency, Indonesia; the previous presidency Italy and the incoming presidency which is India.
Troika means a group of three people working together. It is an English word. The Troika of G20 is made of the current, next and immediate past host countries. The Troika ensures continuity and provides presidency support.
The G20 operates without a permanent staff or secretariat. The chair of the group rotates annually among its members.
The current chair establishes the secretariat temporarily. This secretariat organises meetings and coordinates the working of the group. Thus, there is a need for the Troika to help with the secretariat so that there is continuity in the works of G20.
In 2019, the G20 was hosted by Japan. In 2020, Italy will host the G20. In 2021, it will be Indonesia. In 2022, 2023 and 2024, it will be hosted by Indonesia, India and Brazil. Thus, the following countries formed the Troika in G20
• 2020: Japan, Italy and Indonesia
• 2021: Italy, Indonesia and India
• 2022: Indonesia, India and Brazil
The current presidency of G20 was assumed by Indonesia recently. It is to hold the chair till October 2022 under the theme “Recover Together Recover Stronger”. Then India will take over for the first time.
INDIA & EU TO SET UP CLEAN ENERGY & CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP
India and the European Union (EU) have agreed to step up their Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.
They jointly agreed on a detailed work program until 2023 to implement the 2016 India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.
The Panel agreed on increased technical cooperation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, green hydrogen, grid integration, storage, power market design, interconnection, cold chain, and sustainable financing.
The Panel also agreed to explore further avenues to strengthen India-EU cooperation within the context of the International Solar Alliance.
The EU expressed its support for the close cooperation between India and the International Energy Agency. India and EU also agreed to exchange closely on clean energy in the frame of G20.
• European Union Founded: 1 November 1993.
• European Union Headquarters: Brussels.
• European Union Member states: 27.
• European Union President of the European Council: Charles Michel.
CHILE PASSED LAW PERMITTING SAME SEX MARRIAGE
Chile has passed a law permitting same-sex couples to marry on December 9, 2021.
The adoption was signed into law by President Sebastian Pinera during an event attended by activists for LGBT and broader human rights.
The ceremony was organized more than six months after conservative leader announced that he would smooth the way for a marriage equality law which had long been pending in the nation’s Congress.
The new law will allow all children with a father and a mother, with two fathers or with two mothers to have the same rights and same protection.
This move will help hundreds of children and adolescents who have been unable to get legal protection from both parents.
In the year 1999, Chile had depenalized sex between consenting adults of the same sex. It had also outlawed arbitrary discrimination in the year 2012. In the year 2015, President Michelle Bachelet signed a law allowing gay civil unions.
He also introduced the bill to allow same-sex marriages in 2017, which was passed on December 7, 2021, in both houses of Congress. In recent years, similar laws have been adopted across many Latin American nations.
In February 2021, Central Government had opposed same-sex marriage in Delhi High Court, noting that marriage in India can be recognised only if it is happening between biological man and biological woman, capable of producing children.
Government had responded to petitions of 2020 seeking recognition of same sex marriages under Special Marriage Act, 1954 and Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
INDIA & RUSSIA SIGNED DEFENCE DEAL 2021
In a major boost to India’s defence sector, a procurement deal of over 6 lakh AK-203 rifles were signed between India and Russia on December 6, 2021.
As India and Russia begin their 2+2 first-ever ministerial dialogue Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu signed a contract for the manufacture of nearly 6 lakh AK-203 rifles under a joint venture in Amethi, UP.
The deal between India and Russia was signed following the bilateral meeting between the Defence Ministers of both nations.
As the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has arrived in India for the annual talks with Prime Minister Modi, both India and Russia are expected to sign more than 10 agreements following the talks between the two leaders.
The agreements will be in the area of culture, space, science and technology, defence etc.
India and Russia have signed defence deals to facilitate and boost the military cooperation between the two nations.
The deals will also be significant for India in expanding its defence mechanism at the border amid the continuous threat from China.
Deal for the procurement of over 6 lakh AK-203 assault rifles. The procurement deal is worth over Rs. 5,000 crores.
Another agreement between India and Russia has been signed on Protocol on amending the agreement on cooperation in the field of Kalashnikov series small arms manufacturing dated back to February 18, 2019.
The Defence Ministers of India and Russia signed an agreement to extend the military-technical cooperation between the two nations for the next decade, from 2021 to 2031.
AUNG SAN SUU KYI SENTENCED TO JAIL
Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years imprisonment after being found guilty on two charges, the first verdicts in a raft of criminal cases that the country’s military has brought against her since seizing power 10 months ago.
Ms Suu Kyi was convicted of charges of incitement and violating pandemic rules. The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate is facing a total of 11 charges which can bring in a maximum imprisonment of 102 years.
Why has the court sentenced Suu Kyi to four years in prison?
Suu Kyi has been found guilty on two charges — of inciting the public against the military and breaching the Covid-19 protocols in the country.
The incitement charge stems from statements made on Facebook pages of Suu Kyi’s party after she was detained by the military, following a coup that prevented her from starting a second term in office.
OLAF SCHOLZ ELECTED AS GERMAN CHANCELLOR
Parliament of Germany has elected Olaf Scholz as the ninth post-World War II chancellor, on December 8, 2021.
This has opened a new era for Germany after the 16-year tenure of Angela Merkel.Government of Olaf Scholz took office with high hopes of modernizing Germany and combating climate change.
However, it faces the immediate challenge of handling Covid-19 pandemic. Olaf’s three-party coalition has won 416 seats in the 736-seat lower house of parliament.
The Chancellor of Germany is officially called as the federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is the head of the federal government of Germany.
He also acts as the commander in chief of German Armed Forces during wartime. He is the chief executive of the Federal Cabinet and heads its executive branch.
The chancellor is elected by Bundestag, following the proposal of the federal president and without debate in accordance with the Article 63 of German Constitution.
History of the office of Chancellor dates back to the Holy Roman Empire, when the office of German archchancellor was held by archbishops of Mainz.
The title was used in several states of German-speaking Europe. The modern office of chancellor was set up in 1867. With the enlargement of the federal state to the German Empire, the title was renamed to Reichskanzler in 1871. In 1949, the title of Bundeskanzler was revived.
Olaf Scholz is a German politician, who is serving as Chancellor of Germany since December 8, 2021. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
He earlier served as the vice chancellor to Angela Merkel, as well as the finance minister from 2018 to 2021. He also held the office of First Mayor of Hamburg in between 2011 to 2018.
M. ANDERSSON BECOMES 1ST FEMALE PM OF SWEDEN
The former Finance Minister of Sweden, Eva Magdalena Andersson from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won her 2nd election and became the 1st female Prime Minister (PM) of Sweden.
On 24 November 2021, she was first elected as the PM but later resigned after her coalition partner (Green Party) quit the government and the budget failed to pass. Sweden's Parliament is known as Riksdag. Sweden is the last Nordic country to get a female Prime Minister.
About Magdalena Andersson: Magdalena Andersson was born on 23 January 1967. She is a 54-year-old Swedish politician and economist serving as the PM from the Social Democratic Party or SDP.
She began her political career as a political adviser to then PM Goran Persson in 1996 and then as Director of Planning. In 2004 she began to work in the Ministry of Finance as State Secretary. She became the head of the SDP on November 4, 2021. She is the second woman leader of the SDP.
BANGLADESH & USA BEGAN BILATERAL EXERCISE 'CARAT'
US military personnel and Bangladesh Navy (BN) began the 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) maritime exercise virtually from 1 December in the Bay of Bengal.
The nine-day exercise focuses on a wide range of naval capabilities and includes cooperative actions that demonstrate the US and Bangladesh’s capacity to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
CARAT is to promote regional cooperation and build relationships, according to Bangladesh Navy Fleet Commander Rear Admiral S M Abdul Kalam Azad.
Since 2011, the Bangladesh Navy has been participating in the CARAT exercise, which is celebrating its 27th anniversary this year.
Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Exercise CARAT):
CARAT exercise is an annual bilateral exercise. United States Pacific Fleet, a command of the US Navy conducts it with several ASEAN members.
Currently, Exercise CARAT is conducted with navies of nine nations, which are the navies of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
ADMIRAL HARI KUMAR TOOK CHARGE AS NEW CHIEF OF NAVY
Vice Admiral Hari Kumar on November 30, 2021, took charge as the new Chief of Naval Staff.
The Ministry of Defence has announced on November 9, 2021, that Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar will take charge as the next Chief of the Indian Navy.
Vice Admiral Kumar has been serving as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command.
Who is Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar?
Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar was commissioned on January 1, 1983, into the executive branch of the Indian Navy.
The Vice-Admiral R Hari Kumar, during his long and distinguished service which spanned nearly 39 years, has served in a variety of command, staff and instructional appointments.
Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar’s sea command includes INS Nishank, Missile Corvette, INS Kora and Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvir.
Vice Admiral Kumar has also commanded Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat. He also served as the Fleet Operation Officer of the Western Fleet.
Vice Admiral Kumar, before serving as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, was the Chief of Integrated Staff Committee of headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff.
Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar has been decorated with-
• Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM)
• Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM)
• Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)
Chief of Naval Staff: The Chief of the Naval Staff is the head of the military staff of the Indian Navy. The Naval Staff Chief is the highest-ranking naval officer on the active service of the Indian Armed Forces unless the Chief of Defence is a Navy Officer.
Role- The Chief of Naval Staff is the primary adviser to the Government of India on naval affairs.
The Chief is also responsible for governing and directing the naval staff, the supreme decision-making body which consists of the highest-ranking naval officers of the Indian Navy. They are the Navy’s Chief Executive and the Chief Naval Adviser of the Chief of Defence Staff.
GITA GOPINATH BECOMES 1ST DEPUTY MD OF IMF
The Indian American, Gita Gopinath has become the first Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
She is the first Indian to take up the top role in the organisation. First Deputy Managing Director is the second top post in the IMF next to the Managing Director.
Gita Gopinath was the first female Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund. In 2018, she was appointed the Chief Economist of the IMF.
She named the world wide recession of 2020 due to COVID-19 as “The Great Lockdown”. In 2021, she was named the First Managing Director of the IMF. It is the number 2 position in the organisation.
She was awarded the Parvasi Bharatiya Samman in 2019 by the President of India.
The Parvasi Bharatiya Samman is presented in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. It is the highest award presented to the overseas Indians.
IMF is managed by the Managing Director, First Deputy Managing Director and deputy managing directors.
The First Deputy Managing Director in the IMF takes lead on conducting surveillance, flagship publications and oversees research.
Under Ms Gopinath’s leadership, the IMF has contributed to multilateral surveillance through World Economic Outlook. Her plan to end COVID-19 crisis by vaccinating the world at feasible cost was a huge success.
AWARDS & HONOURS
56TH & 57TH JNANPITH AWARDS ANNOUNCED
56th and 57th Jnanpith Awards were announced recently, for the year 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Assamese Poet Nilmani Phookan Jr. and Konkani Novelist Damodar Mauzo have emerged as the winners of 56th and 57th Award respectively.
They were selected for their contribution to Indian literature. Jnanpith Awards are India’s highest literary honor, which is bestowed on the writers for their outstanding contribution in Literature.
Both Phookan and Mauzo are also the winners of Sahitya Akademi Award. They are known for their significant contribution to the respective regional literature.
Damodar Mauzo is from Majorda in Goa while Nilmani Phookan is from Guwahati in Assam. Assamese Poet Nilmani Phookan Assamese Poet Nilmani Phookan received the highest literary honor ‘Jnanpith Award’, honoring his lifelong devotion to literature.
Other Assamese to won the award: Assam has received the Jnanpith Award for the third time. Before Nilmani Phookan, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya won the award in 1979 while Mamoni Raisom Goswami won it in 2000.
Konkani Writer Damodar Mauzo: Damodar Mauzo is a 77 years old Konkani writer. He has been awarded the 57th Jnanpith Award.
He is known for his novels like Tsunami Simon and Karmelin as well as for short stories like Other Stories from Goa and Teresa’s Man.
About Jnanpith Award
Jnanpith Award is the oldest and highest literary award. Award is honored annually by Bharatiya Jnanpith to an author for their contribution to literature. The award was established in 1961.
It is bestowed only on the Indian writers who write in the Indian languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of Indian Constitution, besides English.
NIZAMUDDIN BASTI PROJECT WINS UNESCO HERITAGE AWARD
The UNESCO recently presented two Heritage Awards to the Nizamuddin Basti Project. The project was awarded for its conservation efforts.
It was awarded with the Special Recognition for Sustainable Award and Award of Excellence.
The project restored more than 20 historic monuments located around 14th century Sufi Saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.
The Nizamuddin area consists of Humayun Tomb and Batashewala Tomb and tomb of a 16th century poet Rahim (Khan I Khanan). These regions were segregated and damaged.
They were also renewed by the Nizamuddin Basti Project. The project was started in 2007 by the Aga Kahn Trust for Culture, Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi Urban Heritage Foundation and the Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The Nizamuddin Basti Project is an Urban Renewal Project. It successfully unified the segregated zones of the seven-century old settlement of the Nizamuddin Basti and its surrounding 70 acres.
It integrated socio – economic development, conservation and environmental development objectives in these areas. It unified three major sites namely Sundar Nursery, Nizamuddin Basti and Humayun Tomb.
Humayun Tomb: Humayun Tomb was commissioned by his first wife Bega Begum. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1993.
Since then, it has undergone extensive restoration work. The tomb is placed in the centre of a thirty-acre garden called “Char Bagh”. The last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was captured by the British in Humayun Tomb in 1857.
RATAN TATA HONOURED WITH ASSAM'S HIGHEST AWARD
On the occasion of Assam Divas, the state government of Assam has decided to accolade renowned industrialist Ratan Tata with the ‘Asom Bhaibav’ award, the highest civilian state award for his contribution to cancer care in the state.
The awards that precede it are Asom Saurav, followed by Asom Gaurav. With healthcare as one of its top priorities, the Assam government is showing its appreciation towards Tata’s push to cancer care in the region.
The Tata Trust, in collaboration with the Assam government, had decided to set up 19 cancer care units during the ‘Advantage Assam – Global Investment Summit’ in 2018 and an MoU had been signed between the Assam government and Tata Trusts.
The hospitals were to be set up on a three-tier system and constructed under the divisions L1, L2 and L3, which signified the standard of care that would be provided by them.
Ratan Tata had laid the foundation stone for the cancer care units in the state.
YOUNG GEOSPATIAL SCIENTIST AWARD
Ropesh Goyal from IIT-Kanpur won the ‘Young Geospatial Scientist’ award in recognition of his unique contribution to developing the Indian Geoid Model and computation software.
Member of Space Commission, Government of India, and former ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar presented the award to Goyal during the inaugural event of the DigiSmart India 2021 conference hosted by the Geospatial World.
About the award: The ‘Young Geospatial Scientist’ award and a gold medal have been presented every year since 2011 to promising scientists below 35 years of age in memory of Rachapudi Kamakshi, a strategic analyst with a strong inclination towards geography and geospatial studies.
The Rachapudi Kamakshi Memorial Trust is an organization founded to help and encourage students and young and talented individuals with great ideas and research work in the field of geospatial sciences.
ANJU BOBBY GEORGE WINS WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Indian Athlete Anju Bobby George has accomplished the Woman of the Year Award from World Athletics.
She has won the accolade for grooming young girls to take up sports.
In the 2005 IAAF World Athletics Finals, she was a gold medallist and the first Indian contestant to win a bronze medal in the long jump at the World Championships in Athletics held in 2013 in Paris. In the 2004 Olympics, she finished sixth.
Anju was conferred the Arjuna award in 2002, Padma Shri in 2004, Khel Ratna in 2003. In 2021, she won the BBC lifetime achievement award under Best Athlete Category.
In 2016, she formed a sports academy for young girls, helped India advance in sports, and inspired more women to follow in her footsteps.
Anju was born in Cheeranchira village in Kottayam, Kerala, in the Kochuparambil family, an orthodox family.
She cultivated an interest in athletics from her father and started her career with Heptathlon.
She won medals in the Delhi Junior Asian Championship, South Asian Federation Games (held in Nepal), Commonwealth games held in Manchester, and a gold medal at the Asian Games held in Busan.
US ANNOUNCES BOYCOTT OF BEIJING OLYMPICS
The Biden administration has announced that US officials will not attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after China pledged unspecified “countermeasures” against any such diplomatic boycott.
The US cited that “China’s human rights ATROCITIES” is the main reason for its boycott. The US has named the boycott as “Diplomatic Boycott”.
It means that the US is not sending any official or diplomatic representation to participate in the Olympics. However, the US is allowing American athletes to participate in the Olympics.
The US is boycotting for the following human rights atrocities of China: Situations in Taiwan and Tibet, The crackdown in Hong Kong and Abuse of minority Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
CANADA JOINS US IN DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT OF OLYMPICS
Canada will join the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights concerns.
The announcement came after the White House, the Australian government and the UK government confirmed diplomatic boycotts of the Winter Games in February to protest Chinese human rights abuses. China has vowed to react with “firm countermeasures.”
The diplomatic moves by Canada, the U.S., Britain and Australia do not affect their athletes’ ability to compete in the games.
Australia took this decision amid a disagreement with China over several issues, ranging from Australia’s foreign interference laws to a move to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
Relations between Canada and China have been poor since China arrested two Canadians in China in Dec. 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, on a U.S. extradition request.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said no ministers will attend due to alleged human rights abuses in China, which Beijing strongly denies.
The 2022 Winter Olympics: The 2022 Winter Olympics are an upcoming international winter multi-sport event.
This event is scheduled to take place from February 4 to 20, 2022 in Beijing, China. It will be the first Winter Olympics in China as well as the last of three consecutive Olympics which is to be held in East Asia, after the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.
IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES
WORLD AIDS DAY OBSERVED ON DECEMBER 1ST
Every year, World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1st. The day is being celebrated since 1988.
It is celebrated to create awareness against the spread of HIV infection. It is one of the 11 official Global Public Health campaigns of the World Health Organisation.
This year, World AIDS Day is celebrated under the theme: Ending Inequalities.
Every year the last week of November is celebrated as AIDS awareness week. The first AIDS Awareness Week was celebrated in 1984 in San Francisco.
According to the National AIDS Control Organisation, around 2.14 million people live with AIDS in India as of 2017.
India is home to the third largest population of persons with AIDS in the world after South Africa and Nigeria as of 2018.
However, the prevalence rate of AIDS in India is lesser than that of many other countries. In 2016, the prevalence rate of AIDS was at 0.3% in India. This was the 80th highest in the world.
India fights the disease through antiretroviral drugs and education programmes.
It was established in 1992 under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It takes leadership in controlling AIDS in India.
It conducts estimates of the disease once in every 2 years along with National Institute of Medical statistics and Indian Council of Medical Research. The first such Estimation in India was done in 1998 and the last was done in 2017.
NACO has increased its number of centres providing free antiretroviral treatment from 54 to 91. The number of AIDS patients in the country has increased largely in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The government programmes implemented to reduce AIDS in the country have come to halt due to COVID-19 crisis.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Every year, International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3 by the United Nations and several other organisations spread all over the world. This year the day is celebrated with the following theme.
Theme: “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.
The International Day of Persons with Disability was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992.
It aims to promote well-being and rights of the persons with disabilities and increase the awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in social, political, economic and cultural life.
Need for International Day of Persons with Disabilities
There are more than 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world. Of these 80% live in developing countries. Of the disabled persons in the world, 46% are older than 60 years. The persons with disabilities are among the hardest hit by COVID-19.
In 2006, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted. The other major United Nations frameworks that included disabilities as a major part are as follows
The following goals include disabilities as a major part in their agenda
• Goal 4: Inclusive and Equitable Quality of Education
• Goal 8: To promote inclusive, sustainable economic growth. This is to be achieved by providing productive employment to all men, women and persons with disabilities.
• Goal 10: To reduce inequality
• Goal 11: To make human settlements, cities safe, inclusive and sustainable.
• Goal 17: To strengthen and revitalise global partnership for sustainable development.
INDIA & BANGLADESH TO CELEBRATE MAITRI DIVAS
India and Bangladesh have decided to celebrate December 6, the day on which India formally recognized Bangladesh, as “Maitri Divas” (Friendship Day).
During the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March 2021 to attend the national day of Bangladesh, it was decided to commemorate 6 December as Maitri Diwas (Friendship Day).
Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India had recognised Bangladesh on 6 December 1971. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh.
According to the joint statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Prime Minister Modi highlighted that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, one of the greatest leaders of modern times, will be remembered for his courage and indelible contribution to Bangladesh’s emergence as a sovereign country.
About the Maitri Divas:
The Maitri Diwas is being commemorated in 18 countries around the world apart from Dhaka and Delhi.
These countries are Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE and USA.
The holding of Maitri Diwas is a reflection of the deep and abiding friendship between the people of India and Bangladesh that have been forged in blood and shared sacrifices.
INDIAN NAVY DAY OBSERVED ON DECEMBER 4TH
Every year the Indian Navy Day is celebrated on December 4. This year the Indian Navy Day is celebrated on the following theme.
Theme: Indian Navy – Combat Ready, Credible and Cohesive.
The theme sends the message that India is keenly watching the moves of the Chinese in the Indian Ocean Region and the Indian Navy is combat ready to encounter the Chinese forces anytime. The message includes Pakistani forces as well.
Every year the Indian Navy Day is celebrated to commemorate Operation Trident. The operation was launched by the Indian Navy during the India-Pakistan war of 1971 to attack Karachi Harbour.
Operation Trident was launched on the night of December 4. During the attack Indian Navy ravaged the fuel Storage tankers at Pakistan Naval headquarters located in Karachi.
The Indian Navy also sinked 4 of the Pakistani boats and killed 500 Pakistani Naval personnel. This included minesweepers and destroyed us as well.
For the first time India deployed an anti-ship missile during the India Pakistan war of 1971. The operation Trident was followed by operation Python.
Operation python: After the first attack during operation Trident, the Pakistan Navy attempted to outsmart the Indian Navy by mingling with merchant ships. Operation Python was launched to counter this move of the Pakistan Navy.
History of Indian Navy day: Earlier during the British rule, Indian Navy Day was celebrated in the month of October coinciding with the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar Day. The Trafalgar Day falls on October 21.
The President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian Navy. A four-star admiral is appointed as the Chief of Indian Navy and he commands the navy. The Indian Navy was founded in 1612 in order to protect the British merchant ships.
In the evening of December 3, 1971, Pakistan attacked Indian Air bases. In response to the attack the Indian Defence Force launched Operation Trident.
Three high speed missile boats namely Nirghat, Nipat, Veer were dispatched towards the Karachi port.
INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY 2021
The anti-corruption day is observed annually on December 9 to raise awareness against corruption and the measures that can be implied to fight it.
The act of corruption, which exists in all forms of societies, is considered a threat to democracy by the international community.
The anti corruption day 2021 is a reminder as well as an opportunity to address the issue which impacts every significant structure and the lives of people.
The International anti-corruption day 2021 sheds light particularly on the problems persisting in the bureaucratic structures of the countries which in turn impacts the functioning of every institution.
The theme of the International anti corruption day 2021 is ‘Your right, your role: Say no to corruption’.
History of International anti-corruption day: To fight corruption, the United Nations Convention against Corruption was adopted by the General Assembly on October 31, 2003.
The international anti-corruption day is organized by the UN Development Programme in which all the agencies work together to fight against corruption and discourage acts that can facilitate the practice of corruption.
REPORTS AND INDEXES
WORLD MALARIA REPORT 2021 BY WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its World Malaria Report 2021 on December 6, 2021.
In the report, the WHO notes that ‘Global efforts to tackle malaria suffered because of novel coronavirus disease in 2020.
Report further warned that, if proper action is not taken, the world will witness the danger of seeing an immediate resurgence of Malaria, particularly in Africa.
The WHO African Region accounted for around 95 percent of the cases. It accounted for 228 million malaria cases in 2020. Twenty-nine countries were responsible for 96 per cent of malaria cases across the world.
Six countries namely Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Mozambique, Angola and Burkina Faso accounted for around 55 per cent of all cases worldwide.
India is responsible for 83 per cent of cases in WHO South-East Asia Region. Sri Lanka was certified malaria-free in the year 2016 and it remains malaria-free.
Global progress against malaria had been downgraded even before the covid-19 pandemic. Countries having a high burden of Malaria were losing ground.
LOWY INSTITUTE ASIA POWER INDEX
According to Lowy Institute Asia Power Index 2021, India has ranked 4th most powerful country in the Asia-Pacific region for comprehensive power out of 26 countries, with an overall score of 37.7 out of 100.
India’s overall score declined by 2 points compared to 2020. India again falls short of the major power threshold in 2021. India is one of 18 countries in Asia to trend downward in its overall score in 2021.
• United States
• South Korea
Lowy Institute Chairman of the Board: Frank Lowy AC.
Lowy Institute Headquarters: Sydney, Australia.
FORBES LIST OF WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL WOMEN
Finance Minister(FM) of India, Nirmala Sitharaman has ranked 37th on the Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women 2021 or 18th Edition of Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
She has been featured on the list for the 3rd year in a row. She was ranked 41st on the list in 2020 and 34th in 2019.
India’s seventh woman billionaire and the wealthiest self-made billionaire, Falguni Nayar, founder and CEO, Nykaa was ranked 88th on the list. Only 4 Indian Women ranked in Forbes 2021 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of the HCL Technology, the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India was ranked 52nd on the list.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson and founder of Biocon was ranked 72nd on the list. She founded India’s largest listed biopharmaceutical firm in India in 1978.
The 3rd richest woman in the world, MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist, author and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was topped Forbes’ 2021 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women replacing the outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel who topped the 15 out of 17 iterations of the list.
Kamala Harris, the first woman and the first person of color (Black) to become the Vice President of the United States of America was ranked 2nd on the list.
Janet Yellen, the first woman to be named the U.S. Treasury Secretary has ranked 39th on the list.
The list also features Oprah Winfrey (23), Jacinda Ardern (34), Rihanna (68), and others.
Taylor Swift (31 years old) ranked 78th, is the youngest woman featured in the list and Queen Elizabeth II (95 years old) ranked 70th, is the oldest.
WORLD INEQUALITY REPORT 2022
France-based World Inequality Lab published its report titled “World Inequality Report 2022”. This report was authored by Lucas Chancel, who is the co-director of World Inequality Lab.
It was coordinated by famed French economist Thomas Piketty. In 2021 the top 10 percent and top 1 percent of the Indian population hold 57 percent and 22 percent of total national income respectively, whereas the share of the bottom 50 percent has gone down to 13 percent.
Key Findings analysis on inequalities in India:
The report notes that the top 1 % of India’s population owns more than one-fifth of the total national income in 2021.
The bottom half of the population earns just 13.1 per cent. It highlights that economic reforms and liberalization that India has adopted, have mostly benefited the top 1 percent.
The report identifies India as a poor and unequal country, with an affluent elite. 1 percent richest people in India hold 22% of the total national income in 2021, while the top 10 % own 57 per cent of the income.
The average national income of the Indian adult population is Rs 204,200 in 2021, on the basis of purchasing power parity.
However, the report clarified that the average national income of a country masks inequalities.
The scenario in the world’s richest nation
The ratio in the richest nation that is the US, is 1 to 17. The richest ten of the global population owns 52 per cent of global income. On the other hand, the poorest half of the population earns 8.5 per cent of the global income.
Global Scenario: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are the most unequal regions in the world, whereas Europe has the lowest inequality levels. In Europe, the top 10 per cent income share is around 36 per cent, whereas in MENA it is 58 per cent.
Lowy Institute Chairman of the Board: Frank Lowy AC.
Lowy Institute Headquarters: Sydney, Australia.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
INDIA TO HAVE NINE NUCLEAR REACTORS BY 2024
The nation will have nine nuclear reactors by 2024 and a new nuclear project, the first in northern India, will come up 150 kms away from Delhi in Gorakhpur of Haryana, the government informed the Rajya Sabha.
By 2024, India will have nine nuclear reactors plus 12 new additional ones which were approved during the Covid times with a capacity of 9000 MW.
The minister said that nuclear energy will soon emerge as one of the most important sources of alternative or clean energy for the increasing power demand of the country.
India is counting on its nuclear program to help meet its Paris climate commitments to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by a third from 2005 levels by 2030.
INDIA TEST-FIRED BRAHMOS SUPERSONIC MISSILE
India successfully test-fired the air version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the integrated test range of Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
The air version of the missile was test-fired from supersonic fighter aircraft Sukhoi 30 MK-I.
BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO (India) and NPO Mashinostroyeniya (Russia) for the development, production, and marketing of the supersonic cruise missile which has been inducted into the Indian Armed Forces.
The missile derives its name from the rivers of Brahmaputra in India and Moscow in Russia.
List of DRDO Missile with range:
• Prithvi II- 250–350 Km
• Brahmos- 400 Km
• Shaurya- 700 to 1,900 km
• Pranash- 200 Km
• K-4 nuclear- 3500 Km
• Nirbhay: 1500 Km
• Agni P Ballistic Missile: 1000 to 2000 Km
• Akash-NG: 27-30 Km
• Agni-5: 5000 Km
SM Current Affairs DECEMBER 2021 Set 01, 02, 03 - CLICK HERE