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Important Current Affairs 9th February 2022

NATIONAL

RPF has launched a nationwide “AAHT operation” to combat human trafficking

• Indian Railway Protection Force has launched a nationwide operation to curb human trafficking. As part of “Operation AAHT”, special teams will be deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with a focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers. The Railways, which operate about 21,000 trains across the country daily, is the most reliable mode of transportation for the traffickers who often moved their victims on long-distance trains.

• The RPF that rescued more than 2,000 women and children between 2017-21 from the clutches of traffickers intensified the crackdown on human trafficking with the increasing number of cases. The National Crime Records Bureau registers about 2,200 cases of Human Trafficking cases on an average each year.

Age-old Kanchoth festival celebrated in J&K's Bhaderwah

• The ancient festival of Kanchoth is annually celebrated, mainly by the Nag followers, during the Shukla Paksha of Magh month which usually falls in January or February. The festival is celebrated with religious fervour across the Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

• The 3-day festival is celebrated by married women who pray for the long life of their husbands. Kanchoth or Gauri Tritya is widely celebrated in hilly kishtwar, Ramban and Doda of Jammu province. The festival is celebrated across Bhaderwah (also known as mini-Kashmir), Kotli, Mathola, Ghata, Khakhal, Gupt Ganga, Chinnote, Kapra, Bhalra, Bheja, Chinchora and other regions.

PMKSY scheme extended till FY'26 with Rs 4600 crore outlay

• The ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)’ has been extended till March 2026 with an allocation of Rs 4,600 crore. The scheme is administered by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The scheme aims for the overall growth and development of the food processing sector. In May 2017, the Central Government had launched SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with an allocation of Rs 6,000 crore. The scheme was renamed as PMKSY in August 2017.

• The scheme will boost the growth of the food processing sector but also help in providing better prices to farmers and creating huge employment opportunities. PMKSY is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the ministry like Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation /Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities and Operation Greens.

NITI Aayog, USAID to collaborate in healthcare

• Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced a new partnership under the Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH) initiative. It aims to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and rural and tribal regions.  It aims to mobilize a capital pool of $100+ million from the private sector and bilateral organizations. It leverages this fund to offer both grant and debt financing provision to support the expansion of market-based health solutions.

• AIM and SAMRIDH have announced a Call for Proposals for healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs in India. Through this initiative, they will focus on innovations across the healthcare landscape.

• This new partnership announced will enhance SAMRIDH’s efforts to reach vulnerable populations, leveraging AIM’s expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship.

• The collaboration would focus on innovations across the healthcare landscape with the common goal to mount an effective response to the ongoing third wave of C-19 and build health system preparedness for future infectious disease outbreaks and health emergencies.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

MediBuddy ropes in Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador

• MediBuddy, one of India’s largest digital healthcare platforms, has signed legendary Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as the official brand ambassador. As part of the deal, Bachchan will be seen endorsing various services available on the platform, while highlighting the need to prioritise one’s health.

• With the deal in place, MediBuddy is looking at further amplifying its reach across India. Leveraging the veteran actor’s popularity, especially across tier II and tier III cities, the brand aims to position itself as a household name.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Sonata Software ties up with Microsoft in its launch

• A global IT Services, and Technology Solutions Company, Sonata Software has announced its partnership with Microsoft for its launch of ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’. The company has been a partner with Microsoft for over three decades. The ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’ collaboration is expected to further strengthen the relationship. Sonata Software delivers solutions for retailers worldwide, leveraging world-class IPs, in-house migration and modernisation tools.

• The partnership with Microsoft Cloud for Retail will further enhance our capabilities, with its emphasis on leveraging data, elevating the shopping experience, building real-time, sustainable supply chains, and empowering store associates. The Sonata Connected Retail solution is available through Microsoft AppSource. Sonata Software is a Microsoft Gold Partner and is a member of the Microsoft Inner Circle for Business Applications.

Govt signs deal to develop clean energy tech in Kerala

• Kerala Government has signed an MoU with the Social Alpha’s Energy Lab – “Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC)” to support innovative and clean energy technology programmes in Kerala. The Government of Kerala signed this agreement through Kerala Development & Innovation Strategy Council (KDISC) and Energy Management Centre (EMC).

• The EMC Kerala represents the Power Department agencies including the Kerala State Electricity Board, Electrical Inspectorate and ANERT (Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology). To establish a clean energy incubation centre to boost green energy development and energy conservation activities in Kerala.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

PM CARES Fund corpus triples to Rs 10,990.17 crore in FY 2020-21

• The total corpus under the PM CARES Funds in 2020-21 was Rs 10,990.17 crore. While Rs 3,976.17 crore was spent from the fund in 2020-21, according to the latest audited statement of PM CARES Funds. As on March 31, 2021, the Fund had an unspent balance of Rs 7,013.99 crore. The government has used a part of the money to buy medical equipment, including ventilators, to boost the battle against the C-19 and has also provided relief to migrants.

• The highest amount was spent on Procurement of 6.6 crore doses of C-19 vaccine i.e. Rs 1,392.82 crore. The Fund was established on March 27, 2020. PM CARES fund is a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation like posed by the C-19 pandemic. Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund.  The fund was set up as a public charitable trust “keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the C-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected”.

RBI to observe February 14-18, 2022 as Financial Literacy week 2022

• The Reserve Bank of India will observe February 14-18, 2022 as Financial Literacy week 2022. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been conducting Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year since 2016 to propagate financial education messages on a particular theme across the country. Banks have been advised to disseminate the information and create awareness among its customers and the general public.The theme of Financial Literacy week 2022 is: “Go Digital, Go Secure”. The theme is aligned with one of the strategic objectives of the National Strategy for Financial Education: 2020-2025.

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