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Important Current Affairs 11th December 2021

National

Cabinet approves Ken-Betwa river linking project at cost of Rs 44,605 cr

• Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers project has been approved by the Union Cabinet, which is chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. At 2020-21 price levels, the overall cost of the Ken-Betwa link project has been estimated at Rs. 44,605 crore. The Union Cabinet has approved central support for the project in the amount of Rs. 39,317 crore, which includes a grant of Rs. 36,290 crore and a loan of Rs. 3,027 crore.

• The project will be implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as the Ken-Betwa Link Project Authority (KBLPA).”

• The project includes the construction of the Daudhan dam across river Betwa from Ken and the transfer of water through a canal connecting the two rivers, Lower Orr project, Kotha barrage- and Bina complex multipurpose project.

• The project will irrigate 10.62 lakh hectares annually, provide drinking water to a population of 62 lakhs, and generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW of solar power.

Uttarakhand CM launched the ‘Milk Price Incentive Scheme‘ in Dehradun

• Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami has launched the ‘Milk Price Incentive Scheme‘ in Dehradun. The scheme is aimed to provide incentives benefiting around 53,000 people of Uttarakhand. The state government is targeting to spend INR 444.62 crore to open 500 milk sales centres in Uttarakhand. It is a Direct Bank Transfer (DBT) scheme, the amount under the scheme would go directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries through their linked bank accounts.

• In the Dehradun district, milk production and consumption are completely contradictory. On one hand, the government is making many attempts to enhance milk production, all government claims of promoting products are proving to be fictitious. Despite thousands of hours of labour, milk is not produced in accordance with demand.

Atma Nirbhar Krishak development scheme Approved in UP

• Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the Atma Nirbhar Krishak development scheme for boosting the agriculture sector. Atma Nirbhar Krishak development scheme will be implemented from the current financial year. Under this scheme, 1,475 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) will be formed in the next three years in each development block.

• The scheme will provide a long-term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for postharvest management infrastructure and community.

• Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies, Marketing Cooperative Societies, Self Help Groups, farmers, and joint liability groups.

• All loans will be provided with an interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum up to a limit of Rs 2 crore. The scheme will be funded through the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund(AIF).

SPORTS

Manipur survive penalty shootout to win 21st Senior Women's NFC title

• Manipur successfully defended their Senior Women’s National Football Championship crown after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Railways in the final at the EMS Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala. After a dearth of goal-scoring chances in regulation and extra time, the match went to penalties with the scores at 0-0. Manipur goalkeeper Okram Roshini Devi produced three saves to give her side their 21st title at this level.

Sanket Mahadev Sargar won the gold medal in the Men's 55kg snatch category

• Sanket Mahadev Sargar won the gold medal in Men’s 55 kg snatch category at the ongoing Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021. He created the national record by lifting 113kg in the men’s 55kg snatch category. Sargar has also qualified for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

• Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 is being held in Tashkent along with World Weightlifting Championships 2021 from December 7 to 17. The Indian Contingent is participating in the Weightlifting Championships as well as the Commonwealth Senior Championships.

OBITUARY

Serum Institute of India ED Suresh Jadhav passes away at 72

• Serum Institute of India’s Executive Director Dr Suresh Jadhav has passed away. He played an important role in the development of the Covishield vaccine. He was part of several national and international bodies and organisations. Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine maker. It is the second company to apply for the approval of a vaccine candidate from the Drugs Controller General of India.

• He started his career with a research fellowship of CSIR. He was President of Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) from 2004 to 2008.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Mountain Day 2021:11th 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 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.

Ministry of Power kickstarts celebration of Energy Conservation Week: 8th to 14th December 2021

• Ministry of Power is celebrating the Energy Conservation Week from 8th to 14th December 2021 under “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”. Celebration by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency will include three major activities i.e. National Painting Competition for school children, National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) for Industries and establishments and National Energy Efficiency Innovation Awards (NEEIA) to recognize innovative energy efficiency technologies.

• The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has been organising National Level Painting Competitions on Energy Conservation for school children studying in 4th to 10th standard. This year, the themes for the competition are “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Energy Efficient India” and “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Cleaner Planet”.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Paytm Payments Bank gets RBI nod for scheduled bank status

• Paytm Payments Bank has been given the scheduled bank status by the Reserve Bank of India. The bank has been included in the Second Schedule t o the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and the approval will help it to bring more financial services and products. The bank supports 33.3 crore Paytm Wallets and enables consumers to make payments at over 87,000 online merchants and 2.11 crore in-store merchants.

• The bank can explore new business opportunities, including participation in government and other large corporations issued requests for proposals, primary auctions, fixed-rate and variable rate repos, and reverse repos.

• Besides, it can participate in Marginal Standing Facility and will be eligible to partner in government-run financial inclusion schemes.

• The inclusion of Paytm Payments Bank in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, will help us innovate further and bring more financial services and products to the underserved and unserved population in India.

Microsoft launches cybersecurity skilling programme in India; aims to train over 1 lakh people by 2022

• Microsoft has launched a cybersecurity skilling program with the goal of training over 1 lakh learners by 2022 to address the skills gap and prepare India’s workforce for a career in cybersecurity. The program is meant to give students hands-on experience with security, compliance, and identity fundamentals.

• Courses will be conducted by Microsoft in collaboration with its strategic partners Cloud that, Koenig, RPS, and Synergetics Learning.

• This tie-up is part of Microsoft’s global skilling program, which aims to help 25 million individuals learn new digital skills throughout the world.

• In India, almost 3 million individuals have been trained through this project.

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