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Important Current Affairs 7th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Antigua, Barbuda joins International Solar alliance in presence of Indian High Commission in Guyana

• The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as the 102nd member by signing the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement, the India-led global green energy initiative. The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne signed the framework agreement in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Dr K. J. Srinivasa to catalyze global energy transition through a solar-led approach.

• ISA was jointly launched by India and France in 2015 during the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change COP-21 in Paris, France to promote solar energy.

JC Chaudhry achieves the first Guinness World Record on Numerology, first of 2022

• India’s one of the top numerologists, JC Chaudhry has achieved the first-ever Guinness World Record in Numerology and the first world record of 2022 by educating about ancient science to around 6000 participants, enthusiasts of numerology joined from the United States, the United Kingdom, Middle East, and India. The Guinness World Record London office has opened a new category, “Numerology” for this achievement.

• The initiative was organised by CNPL (Chaudhry Nummero Pvt Ltd) and the Indian Institute of Numerology to create awareness regarding numerology, which is prevalent across ancient cultures like Greece, Egypt, China, Chaldea and India.

NATIONAL

PM Modi to inaugurate National Youth Festival on January 12

• Puducherry has been handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to host the 25th National Youth Festival. The 25th National Youth Festival is going to be held in Puducherry from 12th to 16th January 2022. The festival has been organised as part of the Azadi ki Amrit Mahotsav marking the 75th year of Independence, said Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur.

• The festival is likely to draw around 7000 youths in the age group of 18 to 22 from across the country. Around 500 youths from Puducherry will take part in the event.

• The government of India holds National Youth Festival, as a part of National Youth Week celebrations. It is organised with the aim of propagating the concept of national integration, brotherhood, the spirit of communal harmony, courage and adventure amongst the youth.

• This aim is achieved by organizing gatherings of youth and encouraging them to take part in different activities.

Akshaya Patra Foundation to help enhance effectiveness of mid-day meal scheme

• United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) in India, has partnered with The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF), a not-for-profit organization, to enhance the effectiveness of the Pradhan Mantri – Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) scheme (earlier known as National Programme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools). The partnership aims to enhance food safety and hygiene projects, capacity building of cooks-cum-helpers and nutritional quality of school meals.

• Under this collaboration, WFP and TAPF will share knowledge through workshops and policy and strategy dialogues with the government to enhance the quality of the school meal programme. Since its inception in 1961, school meals have been part of WFP’s mission. WFP has six decades of experience supporting school feeding and working with more than 100 countries to set up sustainable national school feeding programmes.

UJALA completes 7 years of energy-efficient and affordable LED distribution

• The flagship UJALA programme of the Ministry of Power has successfully completed seven years of distributing and selling LED lights on January 05, 2022. Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme was launched by Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on January 05, 2015.

• UJALA initiative is the world’s largest zero-subsidy domestic lighting programme with more than 36.78 crore LEDs distributed across the country.

• As on 5th January 2022, 47,778 million (48 billion) kilowatt-hour (kWh) per annum energy has been saved. The demand of 9,565 Megawatt (MW) has been avoided, along with 386 crore tonnes of reduction in CO2 emissions.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Bank Of Baroda Ropes In Cricketer Shafali Verma As Brand Endorser

• State-owned Bank of Baroda has signed cricketer Shafali Verma as its brand endorser. The Bank continuously supports the youth of the country through its various banking and non-banking initiatives and this announcement reflects the bank’s ethos of adding value to its customer experience by choosing youth-icons like Shafali to inspire them.”

• In 2019, at the age of 15, Shafali became the youngest cricketer to play in a Women’s Twenty20 International match for India. Previously in 2021, Shafali Verma became the 1st Women Cricketer to Hit 3 Sixes in Test Match.

India's TS Tirumurti assumes new chair of UN Counter-Terrorism Committee

• India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti has been appointed as the Chair of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee for 2022. India has assumed the chairmanship of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNSC-CTC) for one year, beginning from January 01, 2022.

• Being the Chair of Counter-Terrorism Committee 2022, India will work to further enhance the role of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in strengthening the multilateral response to counter-terrorism, and ensure that global response to the threat of terrorism remains unambiguous, undivided and effective. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation UNSC. Its two-year term will end on December 31, 2022.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards: 2022

• The Indian Express Group has announced the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards (RNG Awards) for journalists across the country, for their work done in 2019. RNG awards are one the most prestigious awards in India in the field of journalism, held annually since 2006. The photo stories of our winners appeared in our print and digital editions between December 24, 2021, and January 4, 2022.

• The award is given to honour journalists across the country from print, broadcast and digital media who have maintained the highest standards of their profession and, despite immense challenges, produced work that sustains public trust in the media and impacts the lives of people. The award is named after Ramnath Goenka, the founder of “The Indian Express” and Indian Express Group in 1932.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

RBI cancels Certificate of Authorisation of Muthoot Vehicle and Asset Finance, Eko India Financial Services

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the Certificate of Authorisation (CoA) of two Payment System Operators (PSOs): Muthoot Vehicle and Asset Finance Limited and Eko India Financial Services Private Limited, citing non-compliance with regulatory requirements under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007. Both Muthoot Vehicle and Asset Finance Limited and Eko India Financial Services Private Limited had the certificate of authorisation issued by the RBI for issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments.

• The RBI further mentioned in its press release that the COA cancellation came into force on December 31, 2021. But RBI clarified in its notice that the customers or merchants who have a valid claim on these companies as PSOs can approach them for settlement of their claims within three years from the date of cancellation.

Reliance Retail acquires 26% in Dunzo for $200 million

• Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail has invested $200 million or around Rs 1,488 crore in Bengaluru-based quick commerce player Dunzo for a 25.8 per cent stake on a fully diluted basis. The move will help Reliance get a foothold in the country’s growing quick delivery market. Dunzo raised a total of $240 million in this latest round led by the Reliance Industries Ltd arm. The other existing investors were Lightbox, Ligthrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital, who participated in the round.

• The funding will be used to strengthen Dunzo’s vision to excel in the quick commerce business, enabling instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses while also expanding its B2B business vertical to enable logistics for local merchants in Indian cities.

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