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Important Current Affairs 29th December 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Japan launches huge Inmarsat-6 F1 communications satellite into orbit

• Japan has launched Inmarsat-6 F1, a communication satellite, through a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) H-IIA204 rocket from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center that will enter geostationary orbit, about 22,240 miles (35,790 kilometres) above the earth. It is developed by the London-based company Inmarsat as a part of its next-generation satellite broadband service. The satellite is 12,060-pound (5,470 kilograms) and is the first of two ‘I-6’ spacecraft.

• Designated H-IIAF45, Inmarsat-6 F1 launch is Japan’s third orbital flight of 2021 and H-IIA’s second mission of the year, marking the 45th flight of the H-IIA vehicle overall.

Alia Bhatt named PETA India's Person of the Year

• People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has named Bollywood star Alia Bhatt its 2021 Person of the Year. She is an animal lover and often shares pictures with her pets. This year, Alia Bhatt invested in Phool, the company behind Fleather, which is a vegan leather made from discarded temple flowers.

• Her vegan kidswear line, Ed-a-Mamma, also won a 2021 PETA India fashion award for helping to nurture kids’ love for animals and nature. Alia also starred in a pro-adoption PETA India campaign to help cats and dogs. She has used her position to call for stronger animal protection laws.

NATIONAL

Centre sets up high-level committee to examine possibility of lifting AFSPA from Nagaland

• The Government of India has decided to constitute a ‘five-member’ committee to look into the demand for withdrawal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act “AFSPA” in Nagaland. The committee headed by Vivek Joshi, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, would submit its recommendations within 45 days. Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Piyush Goyal will be its Member-Secretary. The Chief Secretary and DGP of Nagaland and the DGP of Assam Rifles will be the other members of the committee.

• Vivek Joshi, who is Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, will head the five-member committee while Additional Secretary in the Union Home Ministry Piyush Goyal will be the member secretary of the panel. Other members of the committee are the chief secretary and DGP of Nagaland and the DGP of the Assam Rifles.

NITI Aayog releases fourth edition of state health index

• NITI Aayog has released the fourth edition of the State Health Index for 2019–20 that provides incremental performance in health outcomes and status. The index is developed by: NITI Aayog, World Bank, and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The report, titled “Healthy States, Progressive India”, ranks states and Union Territories on their year-on-year incremental performance in health outcomes as well as their overall status. The index is being compiled and published since 2017. The reports aim to nudge states/UTs towards building robust health systems and improving service delivery.

• Among the ‘Larger States’, in terms of annual incremental performance, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Telangana are the top three ranking states.

CEBR: India expected to become 3rd largest economy by 2031

• The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) from the United Kingdom has predicted that the Indian economy will become the world’s third-largest by the year 2031. In the year 2022, India is set to regain its sixth position in World Economic League Table (WELT) from France, as per CEBR.

• In the year 2020, India’s GDP had witnessed a contraction of 7.3% due to the C-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown leading to constraints on economic activity. India has witnessed a large scale spread of infections and has the third-highest death toll worldwide, behind US and Brazil. However, with the help of emergency aid and prompt measures taken by the Indian government, the country has recovered from the second wave of C-19.

• The annual league table also predicted that China will overtake the US to be the largest economy in 2030 (two years later than the forecast in 2021). The world economy is set to surpass $100 trillion for the first time in 2022.

Rajnath Singh inaugurates Brahmos missile manufacturing unit in Lucknow

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has laid the foundation stone of the BrahMos Aerospace cruise missile manufacturing unit in Lucknow. He also laid the foundation of DRDO Defence Technology and Test Centre in Lucknow. BrahMos Project will help in creating 5,500 fresh job opportunities.

• BrahMos is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the NPOM of Russia. BrahMos missile derives its name from the Brahmaputra river of India and the Moskva river of Russia.

• All the three wings of the Indian defence forces have already inducted the BrahMos advanced weapon system.

• Recently, India successfully test-fired the air version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the integrated test range of Chandipur.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Government of India has appointed Atul Kumar Goel as the new MD and CEO of PNB

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Atul Kumar Goel, MD & CEO of UCO Bank, as MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank (PNB) with effect from February 1 next year. Goel will serve as PNB chief until December 31, 2024, which is his attaining the superannuation age. Goel will replace Mallikarjuna Rao, incumbent MD & CEO of PNB.  Rao was given a three-month extension that will end on January 31, 2022.

• Meanwhile, the ACC has appointed Soma Sankara Prasad, currently Deputy Managing Director at State Bank of India, as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in UCO Bank. He will serve as MD & CEO of UCO Bank till the date of attaining the age of superannuation on May 31, 2023.

Aarati Krishnan: SEBI Member Of MF Advisory Panel

• Aarati Krishnan, Editorial Consultant with BusinessLine, has been inducted as a member of the Securities & Exchange Board of India’s Advisory Committee on Mutual Funds. The committee, chaired by Usha Thorat, former Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India, advises SEBI on matters related to mutual fund regulation to ensure investor protection, development of the industry and disclosure requirements. It suggests measures required to be taken to render the legal framework for mutual funds transparent and simple for investors and constituents.

• The committee has 24 members comprising CEOs of leading mutual fund houses as well as representatives from academia, exchanges, consumer interest groups, fund trustees, rating agencies, distribution firms and media.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Global Environment And Climate Action Citizen Award 2021: Viral Desai honoured

• Viral Sudhirbhai Desai, an industrialist from Surat, who is popularly known as the Greenman or green man of Gujarat has been honoured with the Global Environment and Climate Action Citizen Award 2021. Among the 28 personalities from 11 countries (which includes the United Kingdom(UK), the United States(US), New Zealand, France, and Malaysia,) who were honoured with this award, Viral Desai was the only Indian to win the honour for climate change.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Indipaisa partners with NSDL Payments Bank to launch a new Fintech platform targeting India's flourishing 63 million SME sector

• Indipaisa has signed a partnership agreement with NSDL Payments Bank to launch Financial Technology (Fintech) solutions targeting India’s 63 million Small & Mid-sized Enterprise (SME) sector. To empower SME owners & operators to provide facilities and services that help them grow businesses, comply with government tax laws and build a sustainable future.

• Indipaisa’s mission is to empower SME owners and operators to take charge of their finances as well as give them facilities and services that help them grow their businesses, comply with government tax laws, and build a better future for their families.

• Indipaisa plans to introduce multiple financial products and services customized from the ground up to match the specific needs of Indian SME owners and operators.

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