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Important Current Affairs 23rd December 2021


Reliance- Most Visible Corporate In Media Says Wizikey Report

• Reliance Industries Ltd, India’s largest corporate by revenues, profits and market value, topped the 2021 Wizikey News Score ranking as India’s most-visible corporate in the media. State Bank of India is a close second on the ranking, followed by Bharti Airtel, Infosys and Tata Motors.  Others on the India list include HDFC at the sixth spot, followed by HDFC Bank, TCS, Maruti Suzuki India, Vodafone Idea and ICICI Bank.

• The highest-ranked state-owned firm is National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), at rank 13.

• On the global rankings chart for top Multinational Corporations(MNC), Facebook tops the index, followed by Google’s Alphabet Inc.


UP to launch ‘Free Smartphone Yojna’ on Dec 25, to dole out 1 lakh smartphones

• The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is set to launch the ambitious ‘Free Smartphone Yojana on December 25, which is the birth anniversary of senior BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Under the scheme, the state government will distribute smartphones and tablets to final year students of graduation and above.

• On December 25, the chief minister will distribute 60,000 smartphones and 40,000 tablets to the youths. More than 38 lakh youths have registered themselves on the Digi Shakti Portal. Further registration is going on.

Landmark achievement:Jan Dhan accounts surpass the 44-cr mark

• The total number of beneficiaries under the Centre’s financial inclusion scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), has crossed the 44 crore mark. The total number of accounts opened under PMJDY stood at 44.05 crores, with a total balance of ₹1,47,812 crore as on December 8. Uttar Pradesh tops the list with the highest number of accounts followed by Bihar. Since its launch in 2014, the scheme has been steadily expanding its base.

• The PMJDY was launched on August 28, 2014, with an aim to provide universal access to banking facilities to the people in the country. According to the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines, savings and current accounts will be classified as dormant if there are no transactions in the account for two years. The average balance in Jan Dhan accounts hovers at about ₹2,700 across banks.

Odisha CM inaugurates State’s longest bridge ‘T-Setu’ over Mahanadi

• Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated the state’s longest bridge, ‘T-Setu’, built over the Mahanadi River in Cuttack District, Odisha. The bridge in the shape of the English alphabet ‘T’ was constructed at a cost of Rs 111 crore. The 4-km-long bridge connecting Gopinathpur in Badamba, Baideswar in Banki to Singhanath Pitha in Cuttack, will cut the distance between Badamba and Banki Baideshwar by almost 45 km.

• Chief Minister had laid the foundation stone T-setu on February 28, 2014. But, due to some technical issues, construction work was delayed and started in 2018. The bridge will facilitate communication for some five-lakh people from nearby localities. It will also improve agriculture, business and tourism activities in the area. It will benefit devotees, who are visiting Baba Singhanath’s Bali Makar Jatra in Badamba block.


Beijing Winter Olympics: Harjinder Singh announced India's Chef de Mission

• The Indian Olympic Association of India (IOA) has appointed the Ice Hockey Association of India’s general secretary, Harjinder Singh, as the Chef de Mission of the country’s contingent for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Singh was the Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games too, which was held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

• Harjinder Singh is the general secretary of the Ice Hockey Association and has also led the Indian contingent at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where India had two representatives – cross-country skier Jagdish Singh, and six-time Olympian luger Shiva Keshavan.


Pradeep Kumar Rawat to be India's new envoy to China

• Senior Indian diplomat Pradeep Kumar Rawat, who is well-versed in negotiating with Chinese diplomats, has been appointed as India’s next Ambassador to China. Rawat’s appointment comes amid the lingering border stand-off in eastern Ladakh. Rawat is currently the country’s envoy to the Netherlands.

• An Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1990 batch, Rawat is currently the country’s envoy to the Netherlands. He was joint secretary (East Asia) in the MEA when the Doklam border stand-off took place in 2017. He was involved in the negotiations during the early days before he moved to Indonesia as ambassador.

• Rawat served as India’s envoy to Indonesia and Timor-Leste from September 2017 to December 2020. He had earlier served in Hong Kong and Beijing and speaks fluent Mandarin.


Indian National Farmer’s Day 2021: 23rd December

• Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day is celebrated across the nation on December 23 to commemorate the birth anniversary of the fifth Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh. He brought farmer-friendly policies and worked towards the welfare of the farmers. He was the fifth Prime Minister of India and served the country as Prime Minister from 28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980.

• In 2001, the government of India declared December 23, the day Chaudhary Charan Singh was born, to be celebrated as National Farmers’ Day and for all the right reasons. Chaudhary Charan Singh breathed his last on January 14, 1980.

• A memorial dedicated to him was built at Raj Ghat and is called ‘Kisan Ghat.’ He played an important role in raising issues of the small and marginal farmers.


IIT-Roorkee Bags First Position In "Most Innovative Institutions" Category By CII

• IIT Roorkee has been selected by the prestigious Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the Industrial Innovation Awards. IIT Roorkee bagged the first position under the Most Innovative Research Institutions category this year. Last year, IIT Roorkee was adjudged as ‘The Most Innovative Institute of the Year’ for its innovation quotient.

• Visco-elastic Energy Dissipating Link Elements for Earthquake resistant housing construction by Prof. Pankaj Agarwal, Dr Amit Goyal, Dr Nidhin and Mr Naveen, all from the Department of Earthquake Engineering.

• Nitrogen-Doped Reduced Graphene Oxide (N-rGO) for High-Performance Supercapacitor from Prof. Anil Kumar and Dr Sahil Thareja from the Department of Chemistry.

• Novel hybrid adsorbent for simultaneous removal of arsenic and fluoride from contaminated water by Prof. Prasenjit Mondal, Dr Vineet, Rahul, Hemant, Dr Lokendra and Shubhi, all from the Department of Chemical Engineering.


IOCL acquires 4.93 per cent equity stake in Indian Gas Exchange

• Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has announced that it has acquired a 4.93 per cent equity share in Indian Gas Exchange Limited – the country’s first automated national level gas exchange. The Board of Indian Oil at its meeting held on 20 December 2021 has accorded approval for the acquisition of 36,93,750 equity shares of the face value of Rs. 10/- each equivalent to 4.93 per cent of the share capital in Indian Gas Exchange Limited (IGX).

• The acquisition of an equity stake in IGX is a strategic opportunity for the country’s top oil refiner to become part of India’s natural gas market. IGX is a subsidiary of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). Indian Gas Exchange is the country’s first automated national level gas exchange, that ensures transparent price discovery in natural gas and facilitates the growth of natural gas in India’s energy basket.

CCI approves Tata Group's acquisition of Air India

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of a shareholding in Air India by Talace Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons. The regulator also approved stake acquisition by Talace in Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services along with the acquisition of shares in Air India. Currently, Air India is wholly owned by the government.

• Air India SATS Airport Services is engaged in providing ground handling services at airports in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram. It also provides cargo handling services at Bengaluru airport.

• Air India, along with AIXL, is primarily engaged in the business of providing domestic scheduled air passenger transport service, air cargo transport services and international scheduled air passenger transport service.

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