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Important Current Affairs 14th February 2022

NATIONAL

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurates 14.5 km long rail-cum-road-bridge over Ganga river at Munger in Bihar

• The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar jointly inaugurated the 14.5-kilometre long ‘Rail-cum-Road-Bridge’ in Bihar. The much-awaited bridge is constructed over the River Ganga on NH 333B in Bihar’s Munger region. The cost of the ‘Rail-cum-Road-Bridge’ project is Rs 696 crore. The new bridge will reduce travel time, give a boost to tourism, agriculture as well as generate employment opportunities.

• One of Bihar’s major tourist and pilgrimage sites, the city of Munger is well known for its rich ancient history, culture, education and commerce. With the construction of this Rail-cum-Road-Bridge, the distance from Munger to Khagaria will be less than 100 kilometres and also, the distance from Munger to Begusarai will be less than 20 kilometres.

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates politically significant Durbar Hall at Raj Bhavan

• President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the Durbar Hall at Raj Bhavan, situated at Malabar Hill, Mumbai. While retaining the heritage features of the old court hall, the new hall has been given additional features such as a balcony and a sea view gallery. Durbar Hall has political importance as it has been associated with oath-taking ceremonies of the Governors, chief ministers of the state.

• Earlier, the inauguration of Durbar Hall was scheduled on December 8, 2021, but it was postponed due to the sudden demise of General Bipin Rawat, chief of defence staff in a helicopter crash.

Army holds 1st hackathon to boost cyber warfare

• Indian army has conducted a first-of-its-kind Hackathon named “Sainya Ranakshetram”. The hackathon was conducted in the Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Mhow under the overall guidance of the Shimla-based Army Training Command (ARTRAC), one of the seven commands of the Indian Army.

• The event was conducted from 01 October 2021 to 31 December 2021 under the name of “Sainya Ranakshetram”, in collaboration with the Rashtriya Raksha University.

• The virtual event witnessed the participation of over 15,000 participants and comprised a number of challenges based on Secure Coding, Software Defined Radio exploitation and Cyber Offensive skills. Further, the main highlights of the event included participants competing with each other in cyberspace against simulated threats.

• Additionally, the event also hosted a plethora of training sessions and sessions by experts for the participants. Cyber enthusiasts from across India were the cynosure in the entire event.

Maharashtra’s Health Minister announces "Hope Express" will be launched to prevent cancer

• Maharashtra’s Health Minister, Rajesh Tope has announced that “Hope Express” will be launched in the state to prevent cancer. This is the first such machine in India. He was speaking at the launch of a state-of-the-art Mosaic-3D radiation machine at a private hospital in Kolhapur. The State Health Minister also promised to take initiative to start Hope Express in every district of the state through district planning.

• The State Health Minister also promised to take initiative to start Hope Express in every district of the state through district planning. He also inaugurated the Oncoprime Cancer Center online at the Hattarki Hospital in Gadhinglaj. The centre will benefit patients in rural areas.

SPORTS

ESPNcricinfo awards 2021: Rishabh Pant wins ‘Test Batting Award’, Kane Williamson is ‘Captain of Year’

• In the 15th Edition of ESPNcricinfo Awards, India’s wicketkeeper-batsman, Rishabh Pant wins the ‘Test Batting’ award by scoring 89 not out, helped India to win the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2021 by (2-1) and shattered Australia’s unbeaten record at Gabba after 32 years. Rishabh Pant was the top scorer of the series for the Indian team, scoring (274 runs).

• New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was adjudged ‘Captain of the Year’.

• The Test bowling award went to Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand) for his 5 wickets leaving just 31 runs, which helped New Zealand in becoming the first World Test champions (2019-2021).

• England fast bowler Ollie Robinson was named Debutant of the Year.

• Saqib Mahmood’s 4 for 42 in a nine-wicket win over Pakistan got him the top ODI bowling prize.

• Jos Buttler won the T20I batting award.

• The ODI batting and T20I bowling awards went to Pakistan. Fakhar Zaman won the top batting prize. Shaheen Afridi won the T20I bowling award for his annihilation of India in the 10-wicket win for Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Chairman of SC-appointed panel on Char Dham all-weather road resigns

• Veteran environmentalist Ravi Chopra has resigned as chairman of the Supreme Court’s High Powered Committee (HPC) on the Char Dham project. His belief that the HPC could protect this fragile (Himalayan) ecology has been shattered. The Supreme Court on December 14 allowed double-lane widening of roads for the project in view of “security concerns.”

• In his resignation letter to the secretary-general of the Supreme Court on January 27, Chopra referred to the apex court’s December 2021 order that accepted the wider road configuration to meet defence needs, instead of what the HPC had recommended and the SC accepted in its earlier order in September 2020. In 2018, the project was challenged by an NGO for its potential impact on the Himalayan ecology due to felling trees, cutting hills and dumping excavated material. In 2019, the SC formed the HPC Chopra to examine the issues, and in September 2020, accepted his recommendation on road width etc.

Actor Pankaj Tripathi invests in agritech startup Krishi Network

• Cultino Agrotech Pvt Ltd, which runs agritech app Krishi Network has roped in film actor Pankaj Tripathi as a brand ambassador, with a view to reaching out to farmers to its app. Tripathi’s background as a farmer resonates with the platform’s aim to aid farmers to grow their profits by offering them solutions to critical decisions. The app is currently available in Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, and English, and is planned to be launched in other languages soon.

• The startup plans to use the fresh funds to boost their artificial intelligence-based technology platform across India. Founded by IIT Kharagpur alumni Ashish Mishra and Siddhant Bhomia, Krishi Network leverages the growing rural internet penetration to create a platform that eases information accessibility for farmers and enables them to generate higher profits from their land.

RANKING

India among top 5 economies for ease of starting new business

• The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2021/2022 report, unveiled at the Dubai Expo, India is among the top five easiest places to start a new business. The survey of Indian respondents, who answered questions on their entrepreneurial activity, attitudes to enterprise and view of their local entrepreneurial ecosystem, found that 82% think it is easy to start a business, placing India fourth globally. It was topped by Saudi Arabia and followed by Netherlands & Sweden.

• India has topped amongst low-income economies (according to GDP per capita) on different Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions such as Entrepreneurial Finance, Ease of Access to Finance, Government Policy: Support and Relevance; and Government Support: Taxes and Bureaucracy; while Government Entrepreneurial Programmes was ranked second highest.

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