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Important Current Affairs 14th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Man in the US receives a genetically-modified pig heart in the world's first transplant of its kind

• A US man has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig. David Bennett, 57, is doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore. The possibility of using animal organs for so-called xenotransplantation to meet the demand has long been considered, and using pig heart valves is already common.

• Pigs are increasingly becoming popular candidates for organ transplantation. This is because their organs are anatomically similar to those of humans. What’s more, porcine components are more tuned for genetic engineering.

NATIONAL

India's oldest sloth bear Gulabo dies at Bhopal's Van Vihar national park

• India’s oldest female sloth bear, whose name was Gulabo, has passed away at the Van Vihar National Park and Zoo, located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Gulabo was the oldest sloth bear of the country. She died at the age of 40. She was rescued from a street performer (Madaari) in May 2006, when she was 25 years. Gulabo was one of the star attractions in the park. The Van Vihar National Park, located on the banks of Bhopal’s Upper Lake, also runs a rescue and breeding centre for sloth bears.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

RBI approves one-year term for Ittira Davis as CEO of Ujjivan SFB

• Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Ittira Davis as managing director & chief executive officer of (MD & CEO) of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for one tenure. He will take charge of the extended tenure from January 14, 2022. The post had been lying vacant since three-month following the sudden exit of incumbent Nitin Chugh.

• Prior to Ujjivan, Davis was the Managing Director with the Europe Arab Bank, London. He has also held leadership positions with Arab Bank plc, Bahrain and Citibank, India. He has over 40 years of work experience in India, Middle East and Europe.

RenewBuy ropes in Rajkummar Rao as its brand ambassador

• RenewBuy, an online insurance platform, has appointed Rajkummar Rao as the brand ambassador for its 1st 360-degree consumer advertising campaign that highlights consumers’ insurance needs. The campaign was designed and conceptualised by Havas Worldwide India. “Smart Tech, Right Advice” is the theme of the campaign. This program aims to increase the spread of insurance policies digitally for consumers from any part of the country.

Eminent rocket scientist S Somanath appointed ISRO chief

• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the appointment of the eminent rocket scientist Dr S Somanath as its new chairman and Space Secretary. He will succeed Kailasavadivoo Sivan who completes his extended tenure. The post of the ISRO chairman, the Space Secretary and the Space Commission chief is usually held by one person only.

• Mr Somanath is an expert in a host of disciplines including launch vehicle design and has specialised in launch vehicle systems engineering, structural design, structural dynamics, integration designs and procedures, mechanism design, and pyrotechnics. He is currently the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram. He was a team leader for the Integration of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the early phases of his career.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Armed Forces Veterans Day 2022: 14 th January 

• In India, the Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed each year on 14 January since 2017. The day aims to acknowledge and honour the selfless devotion and sacrifice of our veterans in the service of the nation. 2022 marks the 6th Armed Forces Veterans Day. It is observed as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Field Marshal KM Cariappa OBE, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces who retired on 14 January 1953.

• Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed to reiterate the resolve of services for the well being of veterans and assure them that their valuable suggestions are always welcome. Last year, Admiral Karambir Singh released the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ song dedicated to our brave and courageous soldiers of the 1971 war. At various events, stalls are set up at the venue for the benefit of ex-servicemen, which includes health and medical check-up camp, job placement and resettlement stall. In addition, there are informative lectures on pensions and welfare-related subjects. Various government departments commemorate the day in their own unique way.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Autobiography of Arundhati Bhattacharya released

• HarperCollins is set to publish “Indomitable: A Working Woman’s Notes on Life, Work and Leadership” the autobiography of Arundhati Bhattacharya, retired Indian banker and former first-ever woman Chairperson of the State Bank of India. Indomitable features the story of Arundhati Bhattacharya’s life as a banker and the difficulties she faced in the male-dominated sector. She is the chairperson and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of salesforce India, a cloud-based Software as a service (SaaS) company headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States of America.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Centre to become Vodafone Idea’s major shareholder with 35.8% stake

• The Central Government of India is set to become the largest shareholder in Vodafone Idea. The company’s board approved the conversion of Rs 16,000 crores in interest into equity. India’s third-largest network Vi or Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) has approved the interest on the spectrum and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues into government equity.

• VIL accepted a four-year moratorium as well as accepted the equity conversion, which means the Indian government will own almost 35.8% of VIL’s stake followed by Vodafone Group which owns 28.5% and 17.8% by Aditya Birla Group.

UN forecasts India's GDP to grow 6.5% in FY22

• The GDP growth forecast of India in fiscal 2022 is estimated to grow at 6.5 per cent as per the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2022 report. Earlier this was estimated at 8.4%. The WESP is a flagship report produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA). UN has projected the growth rate for fiscal 2023 (FY 2022-2023) at 5.9 per cent.

India retail inflation rises to 5.59% in December, hits 5-month high

• Retail inflation in December 2021 rose to a six-month high of 5.59 per cent from 4.91 per cent in November 2021, mainly due to a sharp rise in food prices as food inflation for the period under review also rose steeply to 4.05 per cent against 1.87 per cent in November 2021.

• According to data released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, prices of cereals, egg, milk products and prepared meals went up during December 2021. Apart from these items, prices of clothing and footwear, education, health as well as recreation activities and transportation too witnessed a rise in December 2021 compared to November 2021.

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