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Important Current Affairs 18th January 2022

NATIONAL

Kerala’s Kumbalangi to Become India’s First Sanitary Napkin-free Village

• Kerala’s Kumbalanghi is set to become the country’s first sanitary napkin-free panchayat. This move is a part of the ‘Avalkayi’ initiative, which is being implemented in the Ernakulam parliamentary constituency, in association with the “Thingal Scheme” of HLL Management Academy’s and Indian Oil Corporation. Under this initiative, menstrual cups will be distributed to women aged 18 and above in Kumbalangi village. 5000 menstrual cups will be distributed under it.

• In the same event, Governor will also declare Kumbalangi village as a model village. The model village project is implemented as a part of ‘Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (PM-SAGY)’. A new tourist information centre will also be set up in the village.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh launches AI driven start-up by IIT alumni for water purification

• Union Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh has launched Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven Start-Up by Indian Institute Technology (IIT) alumni for water purification through innovative technology with financial support from Technology Development Board (TDB).  The facility aims to provide clean drinking water at a price much lesser than the market price.

• A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between TDB, a statutory body of the Department of S&T and Swajal Water Private Limited. The Gurugram based company’s patented system, ‘Clairvoyant’ uses artificial intelligence to optimise purification systems and predict future breakdowns. The company is focused on innovative technologies to make reliable clean drinking water accessible to communities at affordable price, for their project on IoT enabled point of use Solar Water Purification Unit for slums, villages and High Utility Areas.

Defence Ministry sets up online portal to resolve pension-related grievances: Rajnath Singh

• The Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has set up an online Raksha Pension Shikayat Nivaran Portal to resolve pension-related grievances of ex-servicemen (ESM) and their dependents. The portal will allow them to lodge grievances directly with the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW), he stated on the occasion of Armed Forces Veterans Day.

• The minister also announced that the DESW has allotted Rs 320 crore to Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) to clear all backlog of pending applications for welfare schemes, especially education and marriage grants for widows or dependent children of ESM. The Minister also stated that the Directorate General of Resettlement has issued 22,278 job letters—including 7,898 job letters to freshly retired/first-time entrants—to civil life ESMs in the government sector/PSUs/banks and private sector during the year April 2021-December 2021.

SPORTS

Savita Punia named captain of Indian women hockey team for Asia Cup in Muscat

• Goalkeeper Savita Punia will lead India at the upcoming women’s Asia Cup in Muscat as Hockey India named a strong 18-member squad for the event, including 16 players that featured at the Tokyo Olympics. Since regular skipper Rani Rampal is recovering from an injury in Bengaluru, Savita will lead the side in the tournament, which is scheduled to be held between January 21-28.

• Indian women are the defending champions. Seven other teams competing at the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2022 are China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Russian Aslan Karatsev won third ATP Title in Sydney Tennis Classic

• In tennis, Aslan Karatsev defeated Andy Murray by 6-3, 6-3, to win men’s single title at the Sydney Tennis Classic final, to claim his third ATP Tour title. The women’s single title was claimed by Spanish world number nine Paula Badosa, who defeated Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 4-6 7-6(4), to capture her third career title.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Adani Power appoints Shersingh Khyalia as CEO with immediate effect

• The Board of Directors of Adani Power Limited (APL), a subsidiary of Adani Group, approved the appointment of Shersingh B Khyalia as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Adani Powers with effect from 11th January 2022. He is a Chartered Accountant, who has served as the Managing Director in Gujarat Power Corporation. Earlier, Khyalia has worked as Managing Director in Gujarat Power Corporation, where he got experience of the Renewable Power Sector especially the development of Ultra Mega Renewable Parks.

OBITURY

Former Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita dies aged 76

• The former President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in a military coup, has passed away. Mr Keita had ruled Mali for seven years, since September 2013, till he was overthrown in a military coup in August 2020. He had also served as prime minister of the country from 1994 to 2000. He had promised to restore Mali’s honour as a model for democracy in West Africa as he campaigned as a unifying figure in his fractured country, pledging “zero tolerance” for corruption.

Padma Shri awardee, eminent social activist Shanti Devi dies in Odisha

• Odisha’s social worker and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Devi, who was remembered as the voice of the poor, has passed away. She was 88. She was also called Lugdi Devi. She was known for her dedication towards the underprivileged community and restoring peace in the Maoist-affected areas in Odisha. She has received the prestigious Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind on November 9, 2021.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Mrs World 2022: Mrs America Shaylyn Ford Takes The Crown; UAE & Jordan Runner Ups

• 37 Years old Shaylyn Ford was crowned as the winner of Mrs World 2022. She was crowned by the outgoing queen Kate Schneider from Ireland. Mrs Jordan Jaclyn Stapp & Mrs UAE Debanjali Kamstra were the runner up. Shaylyn Ford represented America in the pageant and battled out 57 other contestants from across the globe to claim the title. This is the 8th time an American representative won the title of Mrs. World.

• Shaylyn Ford hails from Granville, Ohio, USA. She won the annual Mrs American pageant on November 19, 2021. She is a professional makeup artist, who has worked in every setting, from movie sets to make-a-wish projects. She has been married to her pastor husband for the past seven years and has three children. She also serves as a charitable director and does a lot of volunteer work to bring services to special needs families.

India's Navdeep Kaur wins Best National Costume award for her Kundalini Chakra dress at Mrs World 2022

• India’s Navdeep Kaur has won the award for the Best National Costume at the prestigious Mrs World 2022 pageant in Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the winner of Mrs India World 2021, was representing the country at Mrs World 2022. Navdeep hails from a small town near Odisha’s Steel City, Rourkela.

• The “avant garde” outfit was inspired by Kundalini Chakra, which “symbolises the movement of energy in chakras of the body from the base to the spine up through the crown”. Cobra embellishments on the shoulder were added to represent the “mystical serpent native to India”, while the golden colour was chosen as it represents novelty, power and glory.

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