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Important Current Affairs 25th December 2021

INTERNATIONAL

With 33 new 'unicorns', India replaces UK to be 3rd top country hosting such enterprises

• Adding 33 “unicorns” in a single year has helped India displace the United Kingdom to be third in the list of countries that are home to such enterprises valued at over $1 billion each. The US and China, who occupy the first two ranks, are way ahead, according to the data compiled by Hurun Research Institute.

• US and China are home to 74 per cent of the unicorn universe. The US added 254 unicorns and now totals 487 companies in the coveted list, while China added 74 to take its tally to 301 start-ups having a valuation of over $1 billion. The UK added only 15 unicorns to take its total to 39, and hence got displaced by India.

NATIONAL

Niti Aayog launches vernacular innovation programme in 22 languages for entrepreneurs

• Niti Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission has unveiled Vernacular Innovation Programme, which will enable innovators and entrepreneurs in India to have access to the innovation ecosystem in 22 scheduled languages by the Centre. This will help in overcoming the barriers of language & empower innovators.

• To get the program rolling, AIM NITI Aayog is launching a train-the-trainer program where it will collaborate with the Design Department of IIT Delhi to coach the VTF in design thinking and entrepreneurship and the adaptation of these subjects in the 22 languages and cultures. Furthermore, industry mentors have joined hands to lend design thinking expertise, and CSR sponsors have agreed to generously support the program. Upon training the task force over the period of December 2021 to April 2022, the ecosystem will be opened to vernacular innovators.

Chalo mobile app and smart card launched for convenient bus travel in Mumbai

• Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray has launched the Chalo mobile application (app) and Chalo smart cards to facilitate digital and advance purchase of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) bus tickets. He also launched the NCMC compliant smart card of BEST as well as new fare schemes for the passengers, one that provided 10 trips at Rs 70 and another called ‘Flexifare’.

• Chalo mobile app will allow passengers to buy online bus tickets and have access to bus passes through an e-wallet. A contract worth Rs 85 crore has been given for the maintenance of the Chalo mobile application for six years.

SPORTS

Bangladesh beat India to retain SAFF U-19 Women’s title

• Bangladesh women team has won the SAFF U 19 Women’s Championship by defeating India in the finals. Shaheda Akter Ripa of Bangladesh scored the maximum number of goals in the tournament. She received the ‘most valuable player’ award. The 2021 SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship was the 2nd edition of the SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship.

• The tournament was organized from 11 to 22 December 2021 at BSSS Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Dhaka. Five countries have participated in the 2021 SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship. Pakistan Football Federation was suspended by FIFA in April 2021 so it didn’t participate in this competition.

Asian Champions Trophy: India beat Pakistan 4-3 in thriller to win bronze, Korea lift title

• India defeated Pakistan 4-3 to secure the bronze medal, while Korea defeated Japan 4-2 to emerge Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The five-nation tournament came to an end with two matches being played on the last day of the game.

• Kanta Tanaka of Japan was declared the best player of the tournament while Suraj Karkera of India was adjudged the best goalkeeper. Jang Jonghyun of Korea was the top scorer with 10 goals in the tournament.

India's Anahat Singh wins Junior US Open Squash Meet

• Indian teenager Anahat Singh has scripted history by winning the U-15 girls category of the prestigious Junior US Open Squash tournament in Philadelphia. The 13-year-old girl from Delhi overcame powerhouse Egypt’s Jayda Marei in the final match 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 played at the Arlen Spectre Centre. More than 850 squash junior players, representing 41 countries, participated in the World’s largest junior individuals squash tournament.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Private sector IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance appointed H O Suri as new managing director

• IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance has announced the appointment of HO Suri as its new managing director and chief executive officer. He was the financial advisor, head, internal audit & legal, at the company and the new position took effect from October 1. IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Company Limited is a 51:49 joint venture between IFFCO and Japan’s Tokio Marine Group. The firm offers retail products like motor, health, travel, home and personal accident insurance and corporate insurance products.

• HO Suri began his professional journey in 1982 with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO). A chartered accountant by profession, he is one of the founder-members of IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company in 2000.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Merry Christmas Day 2021: 25th Dec

• This annual Christmas is celebrated by Christians across the globe, as on this day, Jesus Christ was born in a city called Bethlehem. Christmas is the biggest and most auspicious festival in the Christian faith. Christians across the world visit their nearest Church to prayer which they call The Mass. They ring the bells and light candles as a ritual of worship. Families come together to celebrate this day in remembrance of the people and the love that touched their lives.

• Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa, is a legendary character originating in Eastern Christian culture who is said to bring children gifts on Christmas Eve of toys and candy or coal or nothing, depending on whether they are “naughty or nice”.  He resides in the North Pole with his wife, Mrs Claus.

Good Governance Day 2021: 25th December

• In India, Good Governance Day (Sushasan Divas) is observed annually on 25th December. On this day nation celebrates the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna and former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In keeping with this principle, Good Governance Day has been declared to be a working day for the government.

• The aim to observe this day is to let the students and citizens of the country know about the duties and responsibilities of the government they need to fulfil. Good governance day acts as a reminder to the government about their responsibilities, and the government should be unbiased, transparent, and development-oriented.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Environmentalist Anil Prakash Joshi won Mother Teresa Memorial Award for 2021

• Environmentalist Dr Anil Prakash Joshi, who was conferred upon the Padma Bhushan this year, has been awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2021. Vidyut Mohan, the winner of the Earth shot Prize, and Ridhima Pandey, a young environmental activist from Uttarakhand, were also the recipients of the award.

• The Harmony Foundation identifies a theme each year for the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards and felicitates individuals and organisations who work in the realm of augmenting environmental sustainability. The awardees were felicitated by Dr Abraham Mathai, the founder chairman of the foundation.

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