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SM Current Affairs DECEMBER 2021 Set 02, Current Affairs Notes By Success Mantra Coaching Institute GTB Nagar Delhi

SM Current Affairs DECEMBER 2021 Set 02

Diksha Sharma 15 MINUTES

PREFACE

It gives us great pleasure to release the monthly edition of the PRAVAHINI - Monthly e-Compendium & Weekly e-Periodicals of Current Affairs. The magazine’s members have shown considerable cooperation as well as devotion. We at successmantra.in work tirelessly to create this magazine and bring it to you with a great sense of gratitude.

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.

Current Affairs play the bigger role in many competitive and government exams. It holds the power of making or breaking your chance of success. Therefore, the candidates should cover the Current Affairs thoroughly and smartly.

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.

We would also be pleased to receive any suggestion that could assist us with the upcoming editions.

Success Mantra (GTB Nagar, Delhi)
Website: www.successmantra.in
Mail Id: [email protected]

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. National Affairs
2. International Affairs
3. Economic Affairs
4. Appointments
5. Awards And Honors
6. Important Dates & Sports
7. Reports And Indexes
8. Science & Technology
9. Miscellaneous

 

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

LEGAL MARRIAGE AGE OF WOMEN FROM 18 TO 21 YEARS

 The Union Cabinet on December 15, 2021 cleared a bill to raise women's legal marriage age from 18 to 21 years after reviewing a proposal from a specially constituted task force.

 The task force had made its recommendations after holding extensive consultations with experts and young adults, especially young women.

 The present legal marriageable age for women is 18 years and for men it is 21 years.

 The decision to raise the marriageable age of women will bring the marriageable age of men and women at par. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first announced this plan during his Independence Day address in 2020.

 Following the cabinet's approval of the proposal of raising the marriageable age of women, the centre is expected to introduce an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and consequently bring amendments to the Special Marriage Act and personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

 Jaya Jaitly Task Force

 The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development had set up the special task force in June 2020 to examine various matters pertaining to the age of motherhood, lowering Maternal Mortality rates, improving nutritional and other related issues.

 After reviewing all matters, the task force submitted its recommendations to Niti Aayog. The task force had received some objections from certain quarters.

 Headed by Jaya Jaitly, the task force comprises Niti Aayog member Dr. V K Paul and Secretaries of the Women and Child Department, Health and Education ministries and of the Legislative Department.

 The task force was constituted to look at the feasibility of increasing the marriage age and its implication on women and child health and how to increase access to education for women.

 It has also recommended training of women in polytechnic institutes, skills and business training and livelihood enhancement as a means to ensure that an increase in marriageable age can be implemented.

 Why was the task force formed?

 The government decided to form the task force to re-examine marriage age for women due to various reasons including to reduce Maternal Mortality Rate, infant mortality rate and improve overall health and mental wellbeing of women and their children and for the empowerment of women who get cut off from education and livelihood after early marriage.

5 ASIAN COUNTRIES TO BE CHIEF GUEST OF REPUBLIC DAY

 India is planning to invite the leaders of five Central Asian countries as Republic Day 2022 Chief Guests.

 The five central Asian nations include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Out of the five nations, three share a border with Afghanistan.

 This comes against the backdrop of the country’s focus on the strategic region for connectivity, trade and security.

Leaders of 5 Central Asian Nations

• Kazakhstan- Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
• Uzbekistan- Shavkat Mirziyoyev
• Tajikistan- Emomali Rahmon
• Turkmenistan- Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
• Kyrgyzstan-Sadyr Japarov

 These five leaders are likely to attend the Republic Day Celebrations in India in January 2022.

 India has been engaging with these five central Asian nations in the past few months over the current situation in Afghanistan, as these nations play a significant role in the region.

 India had recently hosted an NSA-level dialogue on the Afghanistan crisis with the five countries in New Delhi, during which they had expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan.

 This will be the first time that all Central Asian countries will be present as Republic Day guests and the second time so many countries will be invited together for India's Republic Day celebrations after India invited ASEAN grouping for the 2018 Republic day celebrations.

 India shares cultural, civilization and historic linkages with central Asian countries.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had become the first Prime Minister to visit all Central Asian countries in 2015, a first by any Indian Prime Minister since the five republics came into being after the Soviet Union's breakup.

ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021

 The Union government is likely to introduce ‘The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021’ in Lok Sabha, in order to link Aadhaar with electoral roll.

 Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 will allow electoral registration officers to ask for the Aadhaar number of people who want to register as voters, once passed. They will ask for an Aadhaar number to establish the identity.

 Bill also seeks to allow electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers from persons who have already been included in the electoral roll.

 This will be done to authenticate the entries in the electoral roll as well as to identify the registration of the name of the same person in the electoral roll of more than one constituency or to identify the registration of name more than once in the same constituency.

 Bill also makes it clear that, “no application will be denied for inclusion of name in the electoral roll and no entries will be deleted for inability of individuals in the electoral roll, to intimate Aadhaar number due to such sufficient cause.

 Such people will be allowed to furnish other alternative documents as may be prescribed.

 The bill will amend several sections of Representation of the People Act, 1950 and 1951.

 Section 23 of 1950 act will be amended for allowing linking of electoral roll data with Aadhaar ecosystem. This amendment will help in curbing the menace of multiple enrolment of the same person in different places.

 Section 14 of 1950 act will be amended to have four “qualifying” dates for eligible people for registering as voters.

 Section 20 of 1950 act and section 60 of 1951 act will allow the elections to become gender neutral for service voters.

 Amendment will replace the word “wife” with the word “spouse”. As per existing electoral law, the wife of an Army man was entitled to be enrolled as a service voter however, but a woman Army officer’s husband was not.

 This provision will change as the world wife will be replaced with the world Spouse.

PM MODI INAUGURATED KASHI VISHWANATH CORRIDOR

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 339 crore Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project that connects the temple town’s two iconic landmarks – Kashi Vishwanath temple and Ganga ghats.

 Modi offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and planted a Rudraksha tree at the premises of the temple.

 He also offered Ganga Jal, Chandan, ashes and milk to Lord Shiva. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP President J P Nadda and a large number of saints from across the country attended the ceremony.

 Here are some important points about the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project:

 The idea behind the project is to ensure that all heritage structures get preserved.A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in phase 1 of the project.

 They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery and Food Court, among others.

 The project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises were limited to just around 3000 square feet.

NATIONAL SUMMIT ON AGRO & FOOD PROCESSING

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the valedictory session of “National Summit on Agro & Food Processing” on December 16, 2021.

 During his address, the Prime Minister will present the detailed contours of Natural Farming.

 This summit will be organized to emphasize on natural farming and to deliver a message to farmers in far flung areas of India.

 About National Summit on Agro & Food Processing

 This summit is being organized as part of “Vibrant Gujarat Summit” which is scheduled to be held in Anand, Gujarat from December 14 to December 16.

 Conference will be witnessed and attended by 5000 farmers. 80 central institutes of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), ATMA network in states and Krishi Vigyan Kendras will also connect farmers to witness this event live.

 During the event, farmers will get to know and learn about practice and benefits of Natural Farming.

Government’s measure to transform agriculture

• Government has initiated several measures for transforming agriculture with the objective of increasing farmer’s income, in the last six years.
• Government has also been taking efforts to promote & support initiatives for reducing cost, accessing markets and maintaining the sustainability of the system.
• Zero Budget Natural Farming
• Government has also implemented ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ as a promising tool for minimizing the dependence of farmers on purchased inputs and reducing the cost of agriculture by using traditional field-based technologies.
• It emphasizes shifting agriculture practices from mono-crops to diversified multi-crops systems. Cow and its dung & urine play an important role in making inputs like Beejamrit, Jivamrit and Ghanjivamrit, on the farm.

INDIA'S 1ST GREEN HYDROGEN MICROGRID PROJECT

 Andhra Pradesh has been granted India's first green hydrogen microgrid project by state-owned NTPC Ltd.

 The project was awarded at NTPC Ltd. 's Simhadri plant in Andhra Pradesh. At NTPC Simhadri, NTPC will work on a project called "Standalone Fuel-cell based Microgrid with hydrogen production using electrolyzer."

 In addition, as part of its energy security strategy, India plans to invite bids for the construction of 4 gigawatts (GW) of electrolyzer capacity.

 This project will serve as a testbed for large-scale hydrogen energy storage systems. Multiple microgrids will also be studied and deployed in numerous off-grid and key places in India.

 Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant, located in Simhadri, India, is a coal-fired power plant in the Andhra Pradesh city of Visakhapatnam.

 It's one of NTPC's coal-fired power plants. The coal for this power station comes from the Talcher Coal resources in Odisha's Kalinga Block. It is a national asset that generates power that is shared among several states.

 NTPC Renewable Energy Limited (NTPC REL) has also struck an agreement with the Union Territory of Ladakh for a green hydrogen transportation project.

 NTPC will carry out this project in collaboration with the NVVN. Green hydrogen is made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen in an electrolyzer fueled by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

 Green hydrogen as a fuel has the potential to revolutionize India's energy security. Currently, India imports 85 percent of its oil and 53 percent of its gas.

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

PM MODI PARTICIPATED IN DEMOCRACY SUMMIT

 US President Joe Biden is hosting the first of two Summits for Democracy, which takes place virtually between December 9–10.

 India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the summit saying that ‘democratic spirit’ and ‘pluralistic ethos’ are ingrained in Indians.

 A total of 100 nations participated in this ‘Summit for Democracy’.

 Even Ukraine and Taiwan were invited to the summit but Russia and China were not.

 Both these countries released a joint statement in which they said that the US is displaying a “Cold-War mentality” that will “stoke up ideological confrontation and a rift in the world”.

PM Modi highlights in the summit:

 In his address, PM Modi highlighted India’s civilisational ethos as one of the original sources of democracy.

 He outlined sensitivity, accountability, participation, and reform orientation as four pillars of Indian democratic governance, stressing that principles of democracy should also guide global governance.

 India’s Prime Minister also recalled that 75 years ago, India’s Constituent Assembly had held its first session. He said how democratic countries must deliver on values enshrined in their respective constitutions.

UNITED NATIONS GRANTED OBSERVER STATUS TO ISA

 The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has granted Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance.

 The 76th President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid informed that the UN General Assembly based on the 6th Committee Report unanimously decided to invite the International Solar Alliance to participate in the sessions and work of the UNGA in the capacity of an ‘Observer’.

 The 4th General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance was held in October 2021 in which a total of 108 countries around the world participated.

 It included the 74 member countries, 34 Observer and Prospective countries, 33 Special invitee organizations, and 23 Partner Organizations.

 The launch of the International Solar Alliance was announced back in 2015 by Prime Minister Modi and the former President of France Francois Hollande at the 21st Session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in France.

 ISA’s mission is for a rapid increase in solar energy usage so that the countries can achieve an ambitious goal of net-zero carbon emission by the middle of the century, in a bid for limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C.

 USA joins International Solar Alliance

 With an aim of accelerating the global adoption of solar energy, the United States of America joined the ISA as a member country in November 2021.

 With this, the US became the 101st country to sign the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance.

 Other countries that have recently joined the International Solar Alliance are Greece, Israel, and Sweden.

HONG KONG IMPLEMENTED 'ZERO COVID POLICY'

 On December 6, 2021, Hong Kong implemented its new ‘Zero Covid Policy’.

 With the implementation of new rules, travelers from the United States will be subject to the highest tier of quarantine measures in semi-autonomous city, having some of the strictest anti-Covid policies worldwide.

 Hongkong will make the US the first country outside Africa to be placed under the quarantine center order since the Omicron variant was first detected in November month.

 Only fully vaccinated travelers from the US will be allowed to enter Hong Kong and will also be required to spend their first seven days at a quarantine center accompanied with daily testing and health monitoring.

 Following this, they will be required to spend another 14 days in quarantine at a hotel booked in advance.

 Hong Kong has followed China’s lead in adopting a “zero-Covid strategy”. This strategy has led to toughest quarantine and testing measures worldwide. This policy has kept infections low.

 Hong Kong is a city and special administrative region of China. It is located on the eastern Pearl River Delta in South China. It has more than 7.5 million residents of various nationalities.

 City is one of the most densely populated places worldwide. It is one of the most developed cities of the world, with the most expensive housing.

GABRIEL BORIC ELECTED AS NEXT PRESIDENT OF CHILE

 On December 19, 2021, A leftist millennial Gabriel Boric was elected as next President of Chile.

 He was elected as President, after a campaign against a free-market firebrand likened to former US President Donald Trump.

 Gabriel won with 56 per cent of the votes. Gabriel Boric Font is the president-elect of Chile.

 He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies since March 2014, and represented the Magallanes and Antarctic district.

 In the 2013 general election, he was elected as an independent candidate. He was re-elected in 2017. In both the elections, he received the largest number of votes among all candidates in Magallanes Region.

 For the 2021 general election, he won the Apruebo Dignidad Presidential primary, with 60% of the popular vote.

 Thus, he became a Presidential candidate for the leftist electoral coalition. He is all set to take charges as the first socialist President of Chile, after Salvador Allende.

 Chile is officially called the Republic of Chile. It is a country in western part of South America. The country occupies a long, narrow strip of land between Andes and the Pacific Ocean.

 It is the southernmost country of the world. It is closest to Antarctica, and shares borders with Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and the Drake Passage.

 It also controls the Pacific islands of Juan Fernandez, Desventuradas, Isla Salas y Gomez, and Easter Island in Oceania. Santiago is the country's capital as well as largest city. Spanish is the national language of Chile.

 The country is a founding member of the United Nations, Pacific Alliance and Community of Latin American & Caribbean States (CELAC). It also joined the OECD in 2010.

INDIA RE-ELECTED TO INT. MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO)

 India has been re-elected to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for the 2022-2023 biennium under category B states.

 The Assembly of the International Maritime Organization has elected the Members of its Council for the 2022-2023 biennium.

 The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization.

 Candidates for IMO Council:

 Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services:

 China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States.

 Category (b) 10 State with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.

• International Maritime Organization Headquarters: London, United Kingdom;
• International Maritime Organization Founder: United Nations;
• International Maritime Organization Founded: 17 March 1948.

1ST EUROPEAN NATION TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS

 Malta became the first European country to allow limited cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use, following a vote in parliament.

 The Maltese parliament voted in favor of the reform last week, with 36 votes in favor and 27 against.

 Adults will be allowed to grow four plants at home and carry seven grams of cannabis, with smoking in public or in front of children remaining illegal.

 The Netherlands also has a liberal attitude towards cannabis, allowing the sale of small quantities in a policy aimed at managing crime and health risks, though officially it is illegal.

 Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant.

 Native to Central and South Asia, the cannabis plant has been used as a drug for both recreational and entheogenic purposes and in various traditional medicines for centuries.

 

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

ADB FORECASTED INDIA'S GROWTH FOR 2021-22

 Asian Development Bank has trimmed its 2021 growth forecast for India to 9.7 percent from 10 per cent but left the 2022 growth forecast unchanged at 7.5 per cent.

 The inflation forecast of developing Asia was revised to 2.1 per cent for 2021 and unchanged at 7 per cent for 2022.

 Asian Development Outlook Supplement Report 2021-22:

 In its Asian Development Outlook Supplement Report of December 2021, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has trimmed the growth forecasts for developing Asia for 2021-2022 to reflect the economic impact and uncertainty caused by the new Omicron COVID -19 variant.

 ADB marks the 2021 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projection of developing Asia to 7 per cent, down from its earlier projection of 7.1 per cent (September 2021), and 2022 growth to 5.3 per cent, down from 5.4 per cent.

 

APPOINTMENTS

MM NARAVNAE AS CHAIRMAN OF CSC

 Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane has taken charge as the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee comprising the three service chiefs.

 The post of the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee had fallen vacant after the death of the Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat in the IAF helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on December 8, 2021.

 MM Naravane is the current Chief of the Army Staff and the 58th Chairman of the Chiefs Staff Committee.

 Before his appointment as the Army Staff Chief, Naravane served as the 40th Vice Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Officer Commanding in chief of Army Training Command, and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command.

 The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee was the head of the Indian Armed Forces. The appointment of senior-most Chief of Staff was made to serve as a Chairman until he retired.

 After the creation of Chief of Defence Staff, CDS became the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Before that senior-most of the three Chiefs used to be the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

 The Chiefs of Staff Committee consists of the most senior military personnel.

 They advise on the operational military matters as well as on the preparation and conduct of the military operations.

 The Chiefs of Staff Committee consists of the heads of each branch of the armed forces: Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, and Chief of Army.

CATHERINE RUSSEL TO HEAD UNICEF

 Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Catherine Russell as the head of UN children’s agency UNICEF.

 Catherine Russell is an assistant to US President Joe Biden. She also heads the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

 From 2013-2017, she has also served as the State Department’s ambassador-at-large, for global women’s issues. Russell will succeed Henrietta Fore, who resigned in July 2021 because of a family health issue.

 UNICEF is also known as “United Nations Children’s Fund”. It is a United Nations agency, which is responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children across the world.

 It is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations of the world. It is present in 192 countries and territories.

 UNICEF is the successor of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. It was established on December 11, 1946, in New York.

 It was established by the U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration for providing immediate relief to children and mothers who were affected by World War II.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

PM MODI HONORED WITH BHUTAN'S HIGHEST CIVILIAN AWARD

 Bhutan conferred Prime Minister Modi with the country's Highest Civilian Award- Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo on December 17, 2021.

 The Head of the State of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk pronounced Prime Minister Modi’s name for the highly prestigious civilian decoration of Bhutan and also highlighted the unconditional friendship between India and Bhutan.

 The neighboring country also acknowledged the support that India provided to Bhutan during the COVID-19 pandemic under PM Modi’s leadership.

 The diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan were established in 1968 with the establishment of a special office of India in Thimpu, Bhutan.

 The basic framework of the bilateral relations between the two countries is the 'Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation' which was signed in 1949 and was later revised in February 2007.

 In 2018, India and Bhutan celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two nations.

 Bhutan, being one of the most peaceful neighbor countries of India, has always received economic support from India for the country's socio-economic development since the early 1960s when Bhutan launched its five-year Plans.

HARNAAZ SANDHU CROWNED AS MISS UNIVERSE 2021

 Actor-model Harnaaz Sandhu made history as she was crowned Miss Universe 2021 beating contestants from 80 countries, 21 years after India last brought home the title.

 While Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, 22, finished second, South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, 24, came third.

History of India in Miss Universe title:

 Only two Indians before Ms Sandhu have won the title of Miss Universe— actors Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.

 The 70th edition of the event was held in Eilat, Israel, where the 21-year-old bagged the coveted pageant.

 Career of Harnaaz Sandhu: The Chandigarh-based model, who is pursuing her master’s degree in public administration, was crowned by her predecessor Andrea Meza of Mexico, who won the pageant in 2020.

 Ms Sandhu started her journey in pageantry when she won Times Fresh Face in 2017, representing Chandigarh at the age of 17. She later won the LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 title.

 About the ceremony: The ceremony was hosted by Steve Harvey and saw performances from American singer JoJo.

 The selection committee included actor and Miss Universe India 2015 Urvashi Rautela, Adamari López, Adriana Lima, Cheslie Kryst, Iris Mittenaere, Lori Harvey, Marian Rivera and Rena Sofer.

TIME MAGAZINE'S '2021 PERSON OF THE YEAR'

 The prestigious TIME magazine has named Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, as the “2021 Person of the Year.

 In 2021, US-based electric-vehicle startup Tesla became a $1 trillion company as Musk became the world’s richest person with an estimated net worth of around US $255 billion.

 Musk is also the founder and CEO of rocket company SpaceX, and leads brain-chip start-up Neuralink and infrastructure firm The Boring Company.

 In 2020: US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were named as the Person of the Year for 2020 by Time magazine.

 

SPORTS

KHELO INDIA WOMEN'S HOCKEY LEAGUE

 Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur formally inaugurated the first-ever national-level Khelo India Women’s Hockey League at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.

 The winner of the Khelo India Women’s Hockey League will get a cash prize of 30 lakhs. In the first phase, 14 teams will participate in the league and 42 matches will be played from 15 December to 21 December.

 The second and third phases will be organized early next year.

 The Sports Authority of India and Hockey India are jointly organizing the first-ever national-level Khelo India league.

 This is the first big event that will be organized at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium after 2015.

TIME'S MAGAZINE 2021 ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 Simone Biles was named Time magazine’s 2021 Athlete of the Year.

 The world’s most decorated gymnast, a four-time Olympic medalist, was hailed for putting her mental health first when she withdrew from four event finals at the Tokyo Olympics.

 Despite the setback, the 24-year-old managed to earn team all-around silver and a bronze in balance beam at the Tokyo Games.

 Biles along with hundreds of athletes accused the FBI, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for failing to stop the abuse.

 A month after the Tokyo Olympics, Biles gave an emotional testimony at a US senate hearing into former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

KIDAMBI SRIKANTH CREATED HISTORY IN BWF

 On December 19, 2021, Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth became the first Indian man to win a silver medal at BWF World Championships.

 In the final, he was defeated by Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew by 21-15, 22-20.

 This was the first time that a men’s player from Singapore won gold at BWF World Championships.

 2021 BWF World Championships is officially known as “TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021” for sponsorship purposes.

 The badminton tournament was held from December 12 to 19, 2021 in Huelva, Spain.

 Huelva was awarded this event in November 2018, when an announcement was made for 18 major badminton event hosts from 2019 to 2025.

 It is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company, which was founded in 1924.

 Its businesses include crude oil & natural gas exploration and production to power generation, refining, transportation, international crude oil & product trading and petroleum product marketing. It is also a large-scale chemicals manufacturer.

 Srikanth Kidambi: He is an Indian badminton player, who trains at Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.

 In April 2018, he was ranked as world number 1, at the BWF ranking. He also received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 2018 as well as the Arjuna award in 2015.

 He became the first ever Indian to reach the final of 2021 BWF World Championships in Men’s singles and win a silver medal.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

INT. HUMAN RIGHTS DAY OBSERVED ON 10TH DECEMBER

 The world observes Human Rights Day every year on December 10 to make people aware of their basic rights and also to acknowledge the absence of human rights in various countries.

 Human Rights is described as a broad range of fundamental rights and freedoms to which each and every human being living on Earth is entitled to.

 In the current political scenario, Human Rights Day 2021 must not be an observance of one day, but it should also bring our focus towards the people living in regions that still lack basic human rights forcing them to live under crisis and instability.

 The theme announced by the UN for Human Rights Day 2021 is ‘Reducing Inequalities and Advancing Human Rights’.

 The theme of Human Rights Day 2021 is related to equality and to Article 1 of UDHR which states that all human beings in the world are born free and are equal in dignity and rights.

 The principles of non-discrimination and equality are at the heart of human rights.

 Human Rights Day is significant as it highlights and makes people aware of the institutions that are empowered to prevent inequality, protect the most vulnerable, abuses, and discrimination, and punishes the perpetrators of human rights violations.

INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY: 11TH DECEMBER

 International Mountain Day is observed globally on December 11 every year.

 The day is celebrated to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.

 The theme of the day: The theme of this year’s International Mountain Day (IMD) on 11 December will be sustainable mountain tourism.

 Sustainable tourism in mountains can contribute to creating additional and alternative livelihood options and promoting poverty alleviation, social inclusion, as well as landscape and biodiversity conservation.

 It is a way to preserve the natural, cultural and spiritual heritage, to promote local crafts and high-value products, and celebrate many traditional practices such as local festivals.

 History of the day: The day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2003 to encourage the sustainable development of mountains. The United Nations had declared 2002 as the UN International Year of Mountains.

 Mountains are home to 15% of the world's population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

 They provide fresh water for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development and is part of Goal 15 of the SDGs.

NATIONAL ENERGY CONSERVATION DAY: 14TH DECEMBER

 Every year on the 14th of December, National Energy Conservation day is celebrated in India.

 This occasion has been celebrated since 1991 when it was led by the Ministry of power.

 This day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding the conservation of energy as it is the best way to have a greener and brighter future.

 Significance of the day: Energy conservation is a big necessity that is required of our future well-being.

 It is a practice that everyone should indulge in to make the future of our earth even better.

 The agenda of celebrating national energy conservation Day is to raise awareness regarding the importance of energy and resources conservation. Conserving energy means wisely using energy rather than indiscriminately misusing it.

 History of the day: Back in 2001, the Indian bureau of energy efficiency implemented the Indian energy conservation act which focused on formulating policies regarding energy conservation.

 Since then on every 14th December various discussions, conferences, and workshops are organized to raise awareness regarding energy conservation. These events are organized across the country.

VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATED ON 16TH DECEMBER

 In India, Vijay Diwas (also called Victory Day) is celebrated every year on December 16.

 The country is celebrating the 50th Vijay Diwas in 2021. Vijay Diwas is observed to commemorate the service, valour, and sacrifices of the gallant men of the Indian Armed Forces’ victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.

 On this day, we pay homage to all the soldiers who had defended the nation in the war.

 About Vijay Diwas: The Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 which began on December 3 lasted for 13 days and officially ended on December 16, after which Pakistan surrendered to India.

 It was on this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General AA Khan Niazi, along with 93 thousand troops, had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of the Indian Army and Mukti Bahini.

 The end of the war also resulted in the subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.

INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY OBSERVED ON 18TH DECEMBER

 International Migrants Day is observed on 18 December throughout the world. Migration is a global phenomenon where a wide range of factors determine the movement of people.

 Hope and aspiration for dignity, safety and peace often prompt people to leave their homes in search of a better life.

 History: Taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, the United Nations General Assembly declared 18 December as International Migrants Day. The day was proclaimed on 4 December, 2000.

 The day also coincides with the UN General Assembly adopting the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of Their Families in the year 1990.

 Significance: On the International Migrants Day this year, UN Secretary General António Guterres stated that the world requires "more effective international cooperation and a more compassionate approach to migration."

 He also talked about the challenges faced by migrants, including racism and xenophobia. Guterres also highlighted the contribution migrants have made in the face of their struggles, including their role as frontline workers in many nations during the coronavirus pandemic.

 As per the UN, in the year 2020, approximately 281 million people, or 3.6 percent of the global population, were classified as international migrants.

 Many people leave their homes out of choice, but most migrate due to necessity where factors such as economic challenges, frequent disasters, extreme poverty and conflict become the reason for their forced movement.

 Launched by UNESCO in 2004, International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities, works to promote a welcoming approach towards migrants at the local level.

 Furthermore, UNESCO jointly works with UN partners through the Global Migration Group (GMG), an inter-agency group that promotes wider application of migration related norms, to build a system for safe, orderly and regular migration globally.

 Theme: A theme for International Migrants Day is observed every year and as per the International Organization for Migration, ‘Harnessing the Potential of Human Mobility’ is the theme for 2021.

 The theme aims at highlighting the contributions made by migrants to build stronger communities, through their knowledge, networks and skills.

NATIONAL MINORITIES RIGHTS DAY

 Every year, December 18 is observed as the Minorities Rights Day to uphold the right to freedom and equal opportunities for the ethnic minorities in India and create awareness about the respect and dignity of the minorities.

 India has faced many obstacles since the British Rule regarding basic human rights. However, these rights were safeguarded after independence and people must be made aware of them.

 Thus we celebrate Minorities Rights Day on 18th December every year.

 The Minority Rights Day 2021 aims to uplift all the minority sections of society and back them to voice their opinion.

 Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, all the sessions, seminars, and debates are likely to take place digitally.

 History of the day: 18 December was declared as the Minorities Rights Day back in 1992 by the United Nations.

 The UN had adopted the statement on the individual’s Rights belonging to religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minorities.

 In India, it is the responsibility of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to carry out the events on this day.

 The NCM was established by the Union Government under the National Commission for Minorities Act, in 1992.

GOOD GOVERNANCE WEEK 2021 IN DECEMBER

 The Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG), under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions is celebrating ‘Good Governance Week 2021’ on December 20-25.

 The Good Governance Week is being organized in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Panchayati Raj & Rural Development.

 It is being celebrated as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. On the occasion, Good Governance Week Portal will be launched and a booklet on 2-year achievements of DARPG will be released.

 A film on “Prashasan Gaon Ki Aur” will also be screened.

 Theme of the Week: The Good Governance Week is being organized under the theme- “Prashasan Gaon Ki Aur”.

 During the celebration of Good Governance Week, Nation-wide campaign to Redress the Public Grievances and to improve Service Delivery will also be held across all the Districts, States, and Union Territories in India.

 More than 700 Districts Collectors will take part in the campaign. They will visit Tehsil or Panchayat Samiti Headquarters for providing timely grievance redressal and improve service delivery.

 Objective of the event: The Good Governance Week is being organized with the objective of translating the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for Next Generation Administrative Reforms during the Amrit Kaal period in all the Districts and Tehsils across the country.

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN SOLIDARITY DAY: 20TH DECEMBER

 International Human Solidarity Day is observed globally on 20 December every year to celebrate unity in diversity and raise awareness about the importance of solidarity.

 According to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, solidarity is among the fundamental values that are essential to international relations.

 International Human Solidarity Day is: a day to celebrate our unity in diversity;

• a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements;
• a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity;
• a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication;
• a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.

 Solidarity is defined as an awareness of shared interests and objectives that create a psychological sense of unity and ties in a society that bind people together as one.

 History of International Human Solidarity Day: The General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, by resolution 60/209 identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.

GOA LIBERATION DAY: 19TH DECEMBER

 Goa Liberation Day is observed on 19 December every year in India and it marks the day Indian armed forces freed Goa in 1961 following 450 years of Portuguese rule.

 The year 2021 marks the 60 years of Goa’s independence.

 Goa Liberation Day is marked by an abundance of events and festivities in Goa though this time because of the pandemic the celebrations are expected to be muted.

 A torchlight procession is ignited from three different locations in the state, eventually all meeting at the Azad Maidan.

History of Goa Liberation Day:

 The Portuguese colonized several parts of India in 1510 but by the end of the 19th-century Portuguese colonies in India were limited to Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Anjediva Island.

 The Goa liberation movement, which sought to end Portuguese colonial rule in Goa, started off with small scale revolts.

 On August 15, 1947, when India gained its Independence, Goa was still under Portuguese rule.

 The Portuguese refused to give up their hold over Goa and other Indian territories. Following a myriad of unsuccessful negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese, the former prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, decided that military intervention was the only option.

 The 36-hour military operation, conducted from December 18, 1961, was code-named ‘Operation Vijay’ meaning ‘Operation Victory,’ and involved attacks by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Army.

 

REPORTS AND INDEXES

GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY INDEX (GHSI) 2021

 As per the Global Health Security (GHS) Index 2021, the world’s average overall GHS Index score was reduced to 38.9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019.

 GHS Index is developed in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 India ranked 66 out of 195 countries with an overall Index score of 42.8 and along with a change of -0.8 from 2019.

 The United States of America (USA) ranked 1st on the index with a score of 75.9 followed by Australia and Finland.

WORLD TALENT RANKING REPORT 2021

 The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitive Center published its “World Talent Ranking Report”. In the report, Europe has dominated the ranking in 2021.

 Global top 10 countries are from this region. Switzerland has retained its top spot. India has been ranked at 56th position.

 In the Middle East & North Africa, UAE maintained its second position, following Israel (first in this region). Israel has been ranked 22nd.

 In the Arab world, UAE maintained its top position. The UAE has improved its global talent ranking by one position to 23rd.

 Taiwan has been ranked at third place in Asia while at 16th place In Asia, Taiwan has been ranked behind Hong Kong (11) and Singapore (12) but ahead of South Korea (34), China (36), and Japan (39).

 Top 10 in World Talent Ranking report 2021:

 About the IMD: IMD is an independent academic institution, having Swiss roots and a global reach. It was founded 75 years ago for business leaders by business leaders.

 It has been a pioneering force in developing leaders who can transform organizations and contribute to society.

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NUCLEAR CAPABLE BALLISTIC MISSILE 'AGNI-P'

 Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully tested the new generation nuclear capable ballistic missile ‘Agni P’.

 Agni P was launched from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island off the coast of Odisha. Trajectory and parameters of the missile were tracked and monitored by several telemetry, electro-optical stations, radar, and down range ships positioned along eastern coast.

 Agni P followed a textbook trajectory and met all the objectives of the mission with a high level of accuracy.

 About Agni P: Agni P is a two-stage canisterised solid propellant ballistic missile, having a dual redundant navigation and guidance system.

 It is a medium-range ballistic missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as the successor of Agni-I and Agni-II missiles. It is the sixth missile in the Agni (missile) series of ballistic missiles.

 The missile can be either transported on a train or stored in a canister.

 First Test of Agni-P: DRDO successfully test fired the first Agni-P on June 28, 2021, from Abdul Kalam Island. The missile carried two multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV).

 It is a three-stage solid fuel missile, having the capability of maneuverable re-entry vehicle (MaRV).

ISRO SIGNED 6 AGREEMENTS WITH FOREIGN NATIONS

 The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has signed six agreements with four countries for launching foreign satellites during 2021-2023.

 About 132 million Euros would be earned through the launching of these foreign satellites on a commercial basis.

 The ISRO-Indian space agency, founded in 1969 to develop an independent Indian space program.

 Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh has said that ISRO has launched a total of 342 satellites from 34 countries since 1999.

 ISRO through its commercial arm, New Space India Limited (NSIL), has been launching satellites belonging to other countries from Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

 Total 124 indigenous satellites have been put into Earth’s orbit including 12 student satellites.

DRDO SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED SANT MISSILE

 The Defense Research and Development Organization and Indian Air Force on December 11, 2021, flight tested the indigenously developed and designed Stand-Off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran Range.

 According to the Defense Ministry, the Sant missile test was successful in meeting all its objectives.

 The flight test of an indigenously developed SANT missile successfully met all its objectives.

 The advanced guidance and tracking algorithms, release mechanism, all avionics with the integrated software, performed sufficiently and satisfactorily and the tracking systems also monitored all the events.

 The indigenously designed and developed Stand-Off Anti-tank missile is equipped with a state-of-art MMW seeker.

 It is capable of providing high precision strike capability from a safe distance. The SANT missile can neutralize targets in a range up to 10 kms.

 The SANT Missile for the armed forces has been designed and developed by the Research Center Imarat (RCI) in Hyderabad in coordination with the other labs of DRDO and other industries.

INDIA LAUNCHED 'SMART MISSILE' SYSTEM

 On December 13, 2021 India successfully launched Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo System (SMART) from Abdul Kalam Island, off the Odisha coast.

 During the mission, full range capability of the missile was successfully demonstrated.

 The SMART system has been designed for enhancing anti-submarine warfare capability far beyond the conventional range of torpedoes.

 This was a textbook launch, in which entire trajectory of the test was monitored by the electro optic telemetry system and several range radars, including down range instrumentation & down range ships.

 SMART carried a torpedo, release mechanisms and parachute delivery system. It was launched from a ground mobile launcher and can cover a range of distances.

 The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) have developed the weapon for the Indian Navy.

 About Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedo (SMART)

 SMART is a next-generation, missile based standoff torpedo delivery system. It has been designed to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capability.

 Missile will work beyond the conventional range of the torpedo. It is a canister-based missile system comprising of advanced two-staged solid propulsion, precision inertial navigation and electromechanical actuators.

 Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO)

 DRDO is a premier agency, working under the Department of Defence Research and Development of the Ministry of Defence.

 It is charged with military’s research and development. The agency is headquartered in Delhi. It was established in 1958.

NASA'S PARKER SOLAR PROBE ENTERED SUN'S CORONA

 Recently, a scientific paper revealed that NASA's Parker Solar Probe successfully entered the Sun’s Corona on April 28, 2021.

 Corona is the outermost layer of the Sun's atmosphere. Here, strong magnetic fields bind plasma as well as prevent turbulent solar winds from escaping.

 Prior to April 28, spacecraft had been flying just beyond the Alfven point. The Alfven point is when solar winds become greater than critical speed and can break free of the Sun's corona and magnetic fields.

 Parker Solar Probe is a NASA space probe. It was launched on August 12, 2018.

 It was launched with the objective of making observations of the outer corona of the Sun. It reached to within 9.86 solar radii from the Sun's center.

 By 2025, it will travel at closest approach. It is the first spacecraft to fly into a low solar corona.

 This project was announced in 2009, at the cost of US$1.5 billion. The spacecraft was designed and built by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

 It is the first spacecraft by NASA, named after a living person. It has been named so to honor nonagenarian physicist Eugene Newman Parker.

EXTENDED RANGE PINAKA ROCKET TESTED BY DRDO

 The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced that an Extended Range Pinaka (Pinaka-ER) Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System has been successfully tested at Rajasthan’s Pokhran Range.

 Pinaka-ER launcher system has been designed by DRDO Laboratory Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) with the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory in Pune, the technology has already been transferred to the Indian Industry.

 The system is designed by DRDO Laboratory ARDE along with HEMRL, Pune, the technology has been transferred to the Indian industry.

 According to the Defense Research and Development Organization, the Pinaka-ER Multi Barrel Rocket System Launcher is the upgraded version of the earlier version of Pinaka which has been in service with the Indian Army for the last decade.

 The latest system has been designed by DRDO in the light of newly emerging requirements with advanced technologies enhancing the range.

 Objective: Reportedly, the development of the enhanced Pinaka System was taken up by the government and armed forces for achieving the longer-range performance.

 All the flight articles at the time of the test were tracked by various range instruments for checking the accuracy of the rockets hitting the targets.

 Earlier in June 2021, India had successfully test-fired the enhanced range versions of indigenously developed Pinaka rockets as well as 122mm caliber rockets from multi-barrel Rocket Launcher at Integrated Test Range in Odisha.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

DUBAI 1ST IN WORLD TO GO 100% PAPERLESS

 Dubai became the world’s first government to turn 100% paperless, the announcement was made by the United Arab Emirate (UAE) Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 It will save around 3 billion Dirham (USD 350 million) and 14-million-man hours. The digitization will provide all the govt.

 services to customers & reduce paper consumption by more than 336 million papers.

 All the exceptional digital services can be accessed by the Citizens through the “Dubai Now application’’.

• UAE Capital: Abu Dhabi.
• UAE Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham.
• UAE President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

UNESCO ADDS DURGA PUJA IN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL LIST

 The Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage decided, in its 16th session, to inscribe ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 The 16th session of UNESCO is being held, starting from December 13, 2021. It will conclude on December 18, 2021.

 Till now, Durga Puja was celebrated in many parts worldwide. But an official global recognition was pending.

 Durga Puja is a classic fusion of religion and culture. It is regarded with a lot of pride. This festival is performed and celebrated predominantly by the Bengali community.

 Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival. It is also known as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav. The festival originates in the Indian subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to Hindu goddess Durga.

 It is celebrated to mark goddess Durga’s victory over Mahishasur. This festival is particularly popular and traditionally celebrated in states like West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Tripura, Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarakhand as well as in Bangladesh. Durga Puja is a ten-day festival. Out of this, the last five are most significant.

BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021

 Recently, the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was tabled in the Parliament.

 The amendments seek to decriminalize certain provisions and bring more foreign investments in the chain of biological resources, including research, patent and commercial utilization, without compromising the national interest.

 However, opposition parties have cited concerns over the bill and it is being referred to a select committee.

 They demanded the bill to be referred to the Parliament standing committee.

 A Select Committee is formed for examining a particular Bill and its membership is limited to Members of Parliament from one House. It’s chaired by MPs from the ruling party.

 Objective: The bill looks to relax certain rules in the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

 The 2002 Act imposed a heavy “compliance burden” on Indian medicine practitioners, seed sector, industry & researchers and made it hard to conduct collaborative research and investments.

 Simplify Research Process: The amendments also streamline the process of Patenting for Indian researchers to encourage patenting.

 For this, regional parenting centers will be opened across the country.

 Boosting Indian Medicine System: It seeks to give a fillip to “Indian system of medicine”, and facilitate fast-tracking of research, patent application process, transfer of research results while utilizing the biological resources available in India.

 It seeks to empower local communities to be able to utilize resources, particularly of medicinal value, such as seeds.

 The Bill looks to encourage farmers to increase cultivation of medicinal plants. These objectives to be achieved without compromising the objectives of the United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity.

SM Current Affairs DECEMBER 2021 Set 01, 02, 03 - CLICK HERE