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Important Current Affairs 23rd February 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Israeli Defense Forces Successfully Test Naval Version Of Iron Dome Missile Defense System

• Israel successfully tested a new naval air defence system “C-Dome,” to be used on the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvettes. C-Dome is the naval version of the Iron Dome, an all-weather air defence system of Israel to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and missiles, from the Gaza Strip. The successful test further strengthens the missile defence systems of the Israeli Navy to safeguard the maritime assets of the State of Israel.

• The systems that we are developing as part of Israel’s multi-tier missile defence array enable us to operate against Iranian proxies in the region and defend against their weapon systems, which are constantly being upgraded. The C-Dome is to become part of Israel’s multilayer missile defence system — which includes weapons capable of intercepting everything from long-range missiles to short-range rockets.

Russia wants to 'turn Ukraine into a broken country'

• Russian President, Vladimir Putin has recognised the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk. Putin’s announcement paved the way for Russia to openly send troops and weapons to the long-running conflict pitting Ukrainian forces against Moscow-backed rebels. Russian-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk since 2014, with regular violence despite a ceasefire agreement.

• Putin signed decrees recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions’ independence, eight years after fighting erupted between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces, and called on lawmakers to approve measures paving the way for military support.

NATIONAL

Centre organise week-long ‘Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate’ Science exhibition at 75 locations across country

• The Government of India has organised a week-long science exhibition titled ‘Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate’ from February 22 to 28, 2022, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commemoration. It will be conducted simultaneously at 75 locations across the country through a hybrid model. The inaugural programme was held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on the 22nd of February.

• The exhibition will celebrate science and technology (S&T) and display the country’s scientific legacy and technology prowess. The exhibition will culminate on February 28, 2022, which coincide with the National Science Day, commemorated in remembrance of Nobel Laureate Sir C.V. Raman’s path-breaking discovery of the Raman Effect in 1930.

Lavender designated as brand product of J&K’s Doda district, the birthplace of Purple Revolution

• The Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, chaired the District Development Coordination & Monitoring Committee (DISHA) meetings of several districts in Jammu & Kashmir recently. A key decision taken during the meeting was to designate Lavender as a Doda brand product, to promote lavender under the ‘One District, One Product’ initiative of the Modi Government.

• Doda district in J&K is the birthplace of India’s Purple Revolution or the cultivation of Lavender. Though, Lavender cultivation is practised in almost all the 20 districts of Jammu & Kashmir.

• Purple Revolution (Lavender cultivation) was launched under the Aroma Mission of the Union Ministry of Science & Technology. The AROMA mission is implemented by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) through its Jammu-based laboratory, the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicines (IIIM).

• The Mission’s objective is the cultivation of important medicinal and aromatic plants domestically to empower domestic farmers and support India’s aromatic crop-based agro-economy by reducing imports of aromatic oils and increasing homegrown varieties. The Lavender crop is however a native to Europe.

Railway Ministry Shares Glimpse Of India’s First-ever Cable-stayed Rail Bridge In J&K

• The Indian Railways has shared new images of the country’s first cable-stayed bridge on the Anji river in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. The under-construction Anji Khad bridge, part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project, will connect Katra and Reasi areas through rail links. The bridge will stand at a height of 331 metres above the river bed – higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The total length of the bridge is 473.25 metres and it is supported by 96 cables.

• The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link is deemed to be one of the most difficult projects undertaken in the Indian subcontinent. The bridge has been designed to withstand storms and strong winds. Given the complex geology of the high-altitude region, constructing the bridge is very challenging. The Railways has divided the 272-km rail link into three subsections.

SPORTS

At 16, India’s big chess hope scales first peak, beats his own hero and World No 1 Magnus Carlsen

• India’s teen chess Grandmaster, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has created history as he defeated world number one chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, of Norway in an online chess tournament. The Airthings Masters is the first of the nine events of the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, being held from February to November 2022.

• The 16-year-old Pragg achieved the feat in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters, an online rapid chess tournament, in 39 moves with black pieces. Pragg is also only the third Indian grandmaster to win against Magnus Carlsen apart from Viswanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

C-19 Vaccine: Corbevax gets DCGI nod for emergency use in 12-18 year olds

• The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Corona Vaccine Biologicals E Ltd’s Corbevax for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years. Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E Ltd said its coronavirus vaccine Corbevax, is also India’s third homegrown vaccine. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is being given to children aged 15 to 18 years from January 3.

• Corbevax is called a protein subunit and currently, we have an example of the hepatitis B vaccine which is also similarly a protein subunit vaccine. Corbevax and the other vaccine in India, we have Covovax from Serum Institute.

APPOINTMENS & RESIGNATIONS

Takuya Tsumura to take over as new President & CEO of Honda Cars India

• Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has announced the appointment of Takuya Tsumura as the new President & CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) with effect from 1 April 2022. The appointment comes as part of the management changes announced annually by the company.

• Tsumura will take over from Gaku Nakanishi, who moves from India to regional headquarters in Asia and Oceania region – Asian Honda as General Manager, Automobile Business for the region. Tsumura has been associated with Honda Motor for more than 30 years. He has worked in several international markets including Thailand, Australia, China, Japan, Turkey, Europe and Asia & Oceania regions. Tsumura was in-charge of South Asian countries, including India from 1997 to 2000.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

India and France adopt road map on ‘blue economy’

• India and France have inked a roadmap to enhance their bilateral exchanges on the blue economy and ocean governance. Dr S Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to France, from February 20 to 22, 2022, to attend EU Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific scheduled for February 22. The agreement on ‘Roadmap on Blue Economy and Ocean Governance’ was signed between India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar’s and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

• The partnership will help to explore the potential for collaboration in marine science research for a better understanding of oceans and ensure that the ocean remains a global common, a space of freedom and trade, based on the rule of law.

• The scope of the roadmap will encompass maritime trade, the naval industry, fisheries, marine technology and scientific research, integrated coastal management, marine eco-tourism, inland waterways, and cooperation between competent administrations on civil maritime issues.

• India and France underscored that fisheries are a vital economic sector and play a decisive role in food security and livelihood security, particularly for coastal populations.

Education ministry approves continuation of RUSA scheme till 2026

• The Ministry of Education has approved the continuation of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme till 31st March 2026 with an expenditure of 12,929.16 crores. The new phase of the scheme would support around 1,600 projects. Out of Rs 12,929.16 crores of expenditure, the centre will share Rs 8,120.97 crores, and the state will share Rs 4,808.19 crores.

• The new phase of the scheme has been designed to implement some of the recommendations of the New Education Policy (NEP). Under the new phase of the scheme, State Governments will support Gender inclusion, Equity Initiatives, Enhance employability through vocationalisation and skill upgradation.

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