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Important Current Affairs 9th January 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Pakistan to get its first woman Supreme Court judge as Justice Ayesha Malik

• Pakistan has moved closer to appointing the first woman judge of the Supreme Court, after a high-power panel approved the elevation of Lahore High Court judge Ayesha Malik to the apex court. The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, approved Malik’s elevation by a majority of five votes against four.

• This is the second time that the JCP held a meeting to decide on Justice Malik’s elevation. Justice Malik’s name first came before the JCP on September 9 last year but the panel was equally split, resulting in the rejection of her candidature.

NATIONAL

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated India's first unique 'Rock' museum

• Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh has inaugurated India’s first Open Rock Museum in Hyderabad, Telangana. Museum displays around 35 different types of rocks from different parts of India with ages ranging from 3.3 billion years to around 55 million years of the Earth’s history.

• The Open Rock Museum, set up with the aim of educating and enlightening the masses about several lesser-known facts, displays around 35 different types of rocks from different parts of India. These rocks also represent the deepest part of the earth, up to 175 km from the surface of the earth. The rocks have been sourced from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and others.

KVIC launches ‘Mobile Honey Processing Van’ to support farmers and beekeepers

• Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena has launched the country’s first Mobile Honey Processing Van at Village Sirora in Ghaziabad. The Mobile Van has been designed in-house by KVIC at its Multi-disciplinary Training Centre, Panjokehra, at a cost of Rs 15 lakh. This mobile honey processing unit can process up to 300 KG of honey in 8 hours. The van is also equipped with a testing laboratory, that would instantly examine the quality of honey.

• The Mobile Honey Processing Van comes as a major development under KVIC’s Honey Mission which aims at training beekeepers, distributing Bee Boxes to farmers and helping rural, educated as well as unemployed youth to earn extra income through beekeeping activities.

• In line with the Prime Minister’s dream of “Sweet Kranti” (Sweet Revolution) through honey production, the KVIC has come up with this unique innovation to enable beekeepers and farmers to get a fair prices for their honey production.

DPIIT to organize Startup India Innovation Week from 10th January

• The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry have decided to organise a week-long virtual innovation celebration called ‘Startup India Innovation Week’ to showcase the spread and depth of entrepreneurship across India. The virtual event will be organised from January 10 to January 16, 2022. The event also aims to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

• ‘Startup India Innovation Week’ will have sessions ranging from topics such as enhancing market access opportunities, discussions with industry leaders, best practices by states, capacity building of enablers, reverse pitching by incubators, technology exhibitions, corporate connect and more. “The programme is expected to bring together top policymakers, industry, academia, investors, startups, and all ecosystem enablers from across the globe,”.

Made-in-India test kit to detect Omicron gets ICMR nod

• The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a testing kit for detecting the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The covid kit developed by Tata is called ‘OmiSure’ and will be an enhancement for the detection of the Omicron variant. The kit is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics. The tests have been performed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Responsibility for batch-to-batch consistency lies with the manufacturer.

• The Tata Medical and Diagnostics has developed a kit ‘OmiSure’ that can detect the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2 in nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal specimens during the RT-PCR tests. The test kit is compatible with all standard Real-Time PCR Machines. The test run time of this kit is 85 minutes. The result turnaround time, including sample collection and RNA extraction, is 130 minutes.

SPORTS

Winter Olympics-bound Arif Khan included in TOPS, granted Rs 17.46 lakh for training

• Sports Ministry’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of India has approved the inclusion of Alpine Skiing athlete Md Arif Khan in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Core group, until the Winter Olympics, scheduled this February in Beijing, China. The feat earned Khan the unique distinction of becoming the first Indian to win direct quota spots in two different Winter Olympics events, besides being the first athlete from the country to seal a berth at the Winter Olympic games 2022.

• Khan will take part in the Winter Olympics in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. He has also been approved an amount of Rs 17.46 Lakh under TOPS towards training in Europe and procurement of equipment, ahead of the grand event in China. Khan’s current training base is in Austria, where he is accompanied by his coach and physio.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

OPEC elects Kuwait's Haitham al-Ghais as new secretary general

• Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has appointed Kuwaiti oil executive Haitham Al Ghais as its new secretary-general, as demand for oil continues to improve amid a mild recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Al Ghais, a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and Kuwait’s Opec governor from 2017 to June 2021, will take the group’s reins in August, replacing Mohammad Barkindo.

• The move comes as the oil exporters’ group and its allies prepare to decide on a future course for oil production. Opec+ is expected to stick to the plan and increase production by 400,000 barrels per day in February.

OBITURY

Sidney Poitier, first black man to win Oscar for best actor, dies at 94

• Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964, has died at the age of 94. In 1963, Poitier had made a film in Arizona, Lilies of the Field. The performance led to a huge milestone making him the first black winner of a lead-acting Oscar. He was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Obama for his work.

• Sidney Poitier started his career as an actor in theatre in the 1940s before his breakthrough film role in the 1950 release No Way Out. Over a five-decade career in films, he worked both as an actor and director. His last appearance on screen was in the 1997 film Jackal.

Shillong Chamber Choir founder Neil Nongkynrih dies at 52

• Founder of Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC) and renowned Indian concert pianist Neil Nongkynrih passed away. In 2010, SCC performed for former US President Barack Obama & Michelle Obama during their visit to India. SCC’s version of ‘Vande Maataram’ was played during the live telecast program Indian space rocket Chandrayaan – 2’s landing on the moon. In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Shri – India’s fourth-highest civilian honour.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas observed  on 09th January 2022

• The Non-Resident Indian Day or also known as the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is celebrated every year on 9th January every year. The aim of the event is to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots. On the occasion of 2022 Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD), Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will speak at a virtual youth PBD conference on the “role of Indian diaspora” in innovation and new technology.

• On 9 January 1915, Mahatma Gandhi came to India from South Africa and became the greatest Pravasi who led India’s Freedom Struggle and made India free from British or colonial rule. As a Non-Resident Indian or Pravasi, he is presented as a symbol of a change and development that could bring into India.

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